MARRIAGE CUSTOMS AND BELIEFS
narrative, present-day facts, and inferences, seem hopelessly and indistinguishably intermingled.
Elsewhere Vaughan-Stevens gives the story of twins who married the same woman. Their a totems a were amusanga and a palm-leaf,a and their child should have followed the father's a totem,a but this being uncertain, it was giVen a new 4 4 musang a totem. It is not clear that the twins were children of a Batin.l
Again, the breast-paint of a Sakai (Sen-oi) man represented a fern (a sort of polypodium). The fronds of this fern being bruised in water and squirted over the bride and bridegroom at marriage assured the pair many children. The dots and -lines of the face-paint represented another fern, with the juice of which the youth was sprinkled before he became man and might many.
The face-paint of the Sakai man consisted of three lines or stripes, whereas that of the woman consisted of five.2
The tiger and a musang a patterns represented these animals, but are now only used as blowpipe marks. Formerly they were patterns for face-paint.3
Yet in Z.f. E. xxvi. 150, the face patterns are spoken of by Vaughan-Stevens as being all of one type.
With regard to the age of the contracting parties M. Brau de St. P. Lias states that the women were often married when mere children.4
In the account by Colonel Low, from which I have already quoted, we are further told that polygamy was permitted among the Sakai, but was not common, and that the men seemed to care little about their wives leaving them.
The men appeared, nevertheless, to treat them well. But should a man choose to resent the infidelity of his wife, he might kill her and her paramour without any fear of the result, further than the possibility of their relatives avenging the deed.5
To this we may add the fuller account given by De Morgan, who tells us that the husband acquire^ absolute power over his wife, and would not shrink from beating her if the provocation were great
1 EtknoL Notizblatt, i. 4-6. angia, as these latter would not only h*
2 Z. f E. xxvi. 154. Mr. H. N. rather brown than black, but would be Ridley (of Singapore) suggests that these a uniform colour. 3 Notizblatt, i. ^
allporpd ffAm.Annrpc /ac rom-zwontiMl tka 4 /'V* ----------A - *
alleged fern-spores (as represented in the 4 Cp. Vaughan-Stevens in Z. A
face-paint of the Sakai) are more prob- xxviii. 174, where we are told that
ably copied from the black and white the age among the Sakai was fourteen
fruit-seeds which are found in the Sakai for the girl and from fifteen to sixtee
necklaces and armlets. They are prob- for the man.
ably not meant for fern-seeds or spor- 5 J. /. A. vol. iv. pp. 430, 431 #ably not meant for fern-seeds or spor- 5 J. /. A. vol. iv. pp. 430, 431 #