Primitive Jews'-Harp, Universally Found Among The Tribes, Is Played To
Frighten Away Antohs, And So Is The Flute.
A kindly antoh may enter a man and become his guardian spirit, to whom he
occasionally offers food, but it never remains long because that would
make the man insane.
One must not step over a person, because a benevolent
antoh that may be in possession is liable to be frightened away, say the
Katingans and other Dayaks. In dancing with masks, which is much practised
on the Mahakam, the idea is that the antoh of the animal represented by
the mask enters the dancer through the top of his head.
The Penihings and Long-Glats of the Mahakam have an interesting belief in
the existence of a friendly antoh which reminded me of the superstition of
the "Nokken" in the rivers of Norway. It lives in rivers, is very rarely
beheld by mortals, and the one who sees it becomes rich beyond dreams of
avarice. The Long-Glats call it sangiang, a survival of Hindu influence.
An old man in Long Tujo is reported to have seen this antoh, and according
to him it had the appearance of a woman sitting underneath the water. No
doubt other tribes have the same belief.
The most famous of antohs is the nagah, which may be good or evil,
according to the treatment received from mortals, and being very powerful
its help and protection are sought in a manner later to be described in
connection with my travels on the Mahakam.
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