He was vainly trying to catch it that he
might tie its legs and throw it into the river, because the people believe
that the shedding of a dog's blood would surely result in misfortune to
their health or crops. After three days the dog disappeared.
In Data Laong few were those men, women, and children who had not some
form of the skin diseases usual among the Dayaks, which were rendered
still more repugnant by their habit of scratching until the skin bleeds. A
man and wife whose skin looked dry and dead, the whole body exhibiting a
whitish colour, one day came to my tent. Standing, or crouching, before
the tent opening they formed a most offensive picture, vigorously
scratching themselves, while particles of dead skin dropped in such
quantity that after some minutes the ground actually showed an
accumulation resembling snow. They were accompanied by a twelve-year-old
daughter who, strange to say, had a perfectly clean skin.
The belief about disease and its cure is identical with that of other
tribes I have met. The evil antohs are believed to be very numerous in the
mountainous region at the headwaters of the Kasao River, from whence they
visit the kampongs, though only the blians are able to see them. The dead
person is given new garments and the body is placed in a wooden box made
of boards tied together, which is carried to a cave in the mountains,
three days' travel from Data Laong.