SA VAGE MALA YS OF MALACCA
a Our language and customs have not changed much since we arrived here, but the Malay Peninsula has greatly altered, the straits extending in old days as far inland as Ulu Klang; Bukit Galah and Bukit Menuwang were both formerly on the sea-coast, and the former took its name from a post to which a Chinaman, named Si Pakong, made fast his boat during a storm which occurred on his way to Riau. At the same time there was dry land where the straits are now.a
Beliefs concerning Natural Phenomena.
The Mantra have not, to any great extent, acquired any of the Malayan ideas respecting the form of the earth, motion of the sun, etc. The dark spots in the moon they believe to be a tree, beneath which sits the Moon-man, Moyang Bertang, who is the enemy of mankind, and who is constantly knotting strings together to make nooses wherewith to catch them, the only reason for his not succeeding in doing so being the fact that some pitying mice are no less diligently employed in biting through the strings.1 They do not know how or whence the winds arise, but believe that through their incantations tempests are made to subside. They do not, like the Malays and Chinese, believe that eclipses are caused by the attempt of a dragon to swallow the sun or the moon, as the case may be, but, like some of the Polynesians, that an evil spirit is devouring or destroying it. Many of them, however, have a different notion. They believe the sky to be a great pot suspended over the earth by a string. The earth around its foot or edge
1 Cp. Malay Magic, p. 13. This is properly a aLast-Daya belief.1 Cp. Malay Magic, p. 13. This is properly a a Last-Daya belief.