AN EXCURSION DOWN THE RIVER - LONG PAHANGEI - THE OMA-SULINGS - THE GREAT
TRIENNIAL FESTIVAL - HOSPITABLE NATIVES - INCIDENTS IN PHOTOGRAPHY
It is significant as to the relations of the tribes that not only Bukats
and Punans, but also the Saputans, are invited to take part in a great
triennial Bahau festival when given at Long Tjehan. Shortly after our
arrival we were advised that this great feast, which here is called tasa
and which lasts ten days, was to come off immediately at an Oma-Suling
kampong, Long Pahangei, further down the river.
Though a journey there might be accomplished in one day, down with the
current, three or four times as long would be required for the return.
However, as another chance to see such a festival probably would not
occur, I decided to go, leaving the sergeant, the soldier collector, and
another soldier behind, and two days later we were preparing for departure
in three prahus.
What with making light shelters against sun and rain, in Malay called
atap, usually erected for long journeys, the placing of split bamboo
sticks in the bottom of my prahu, and with the Penihings evidently
unaccustomed to such work, it was eight o'clock before the start was made.
Pani, a small tributary forming the boundary between the Penihings and the
Kayans, was soon left behind and two hours later we passed Long Blu, the
great Kayan kampong.