3i6 NATURAL RELIGION AND FOLK-LORE part m
before he had gone ten yards from the tree he dropped down dead. There can be no doubt that the other chief (Mahabut) derived his name from this same legend, but unfortunately I was unable to obtain further information, except that his full name was Batin Mahabut, and that he was stjll living (in 1895). He had resided all by himself on Bukit Nuang, ever since Batin Banggai abandoned it for Sepang Kechil.
I may add that this legend came to me through a Besisi source, and that for want of other evidence I have classed it as a Besisi tradition.
Besisi Tradition of early Migrations.
The following tradition of the early history of the Besisi was taken down by me from a young Jakun who was credited with knowing all the traditions of his tribe, though this knowledge, on being put to the test, did not carry him very far:a
aWe came from a land at the edge of the sky, in the country where the sun comes to life (a mata-hari hidupa), beyond the country of Siam, at a distance of more than a manas lifetime (a mati balik hidupa). Thence we went south till we reached Johor, whence, however, we returned hither again, through fear of a cruel Malay Raja. At the edge of the sky (a tepi langit a) stood one of our ancestors, who was a great giant, and whose duty it was, by order of Tuhan Allah, to guard the pillars of the sky (atongkat langita).1 By way of food he devoured the clouds which kept falling downwards at the edge of the sky, cutting off the over-
1 But a tongkat langit a (lit. pillar dialects also the name for the sun itself, or prop of heaven) is in many of these possibly through some popular confusion.1 But a tongkat langit a (lit. pillar dialects also the name for the sun itself, or prop of heaven) is in many of these possibly through some popular confusion.