The Gathering Is Done At Night, An Assistant
Bearing A Torch Made Of Bark And Filled With Damar Or Wax.
first smears himself with honey in order that the bees shall not sting
him; when he reaches the deposit a large bark bucket is hoisted up and
In lowering it the honey sometimes disappears, my informant said,
because antoh is very fond of it.
About noon, as we were passing a ladang near Bali, we heard the beating of
a gong, also weird singing by a woman. It was evident that a ceremony of
some kind was in progress, probably connected with funeral observances, so
I ordered a halt. As we lay by many people gathered on the top of the
steep bank. We learned that an old woman had died and that the ceremonies
were being performed in her honour. I climbed the ladder and found in
front of me a house on poles, simply constructed, as they always are at
the ladangs. Several of the men wore chavats; an elderly female blian sang
continuously, and a fire was burning outside.
Ascending the ladder of the house I entered a dingy room into which the
light came sparingly. In a corner many women were sitting silently. Near
them stood one of the beautiful red baskets for which the Katingans higher
up the river are famous. As I proceeded a little further an extremely fine
carved casket met my astonished eyes. Judging from its narrowness the
deceased, who had been ill for a long time, must have been very thin when
she passed away, but the coffin, to which the cover had been fastened with
damar, was of excellent proportions and symmetrical in shape.
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