MATURITY CUSTOMS AND BELIEFS
whereas this identical custom is certainly found almost everywhere among the purer Sakai tribes, even in the east coast states (e.g. Pahang, where a nose-ring is sometimes substituted for the quill), and as far south as Ulu Langat in Selangor, where the Orang Bukit were described by Campbell, in the passage referred to above, as a race that a put skewers through their noses,a1 and probably yet further south as far as Negri Sembilan. On the other hand, the practices of filing and blackening the teeth are widely-spread customs which are found (generally speaking) throughout the whole of the Malayan region, and the custom of ear-boring is practically universal.
Shaving the head, with the exception of a topknot, which is often temporarily removed at puberty, may be seen among the Semang, but so rarely that it may be regarded as borrowed from the Malays, amongst whom it is common enough. With regard to the Sakai and the Jakun there is very little evidence, though, if we may judge from photographs, the latter certainly practise it to some extent. The apparent system of totemism reported by Vaughan-Stevens, which is given below (p. 62), rests on most unsatisfactory evidence, which can only have come, I think, from the use of a leading questions.a2
Kedah Semang1.aThe boring of the nose-cartilage is, as already explained, most probably a Sakai custom
greatly from their neighbours the Nico- enable them by the time they are full,
barese, who not only flatten the occi- grown to insert a wooden cylindrical
puts of their children in infancy, but instrument three-quarters of an inch
from the period of puberty, blacken thick.aaManas Andamanese, p. 115. their teeth, and perforate the lobes of 1 J. A. G. Campbell, p. 241. their ears to such an extent as to 2 Cp. pp. 258-260, infra.from the period of puberty, blacken thick.a a Mana s Andamanese, p. 115. their teeth, and perforate the lobes of 1 J. A. G. Campbell, p. 241. their ears to such an extent as to 2 Cp. pp. 258-260, infra.