A Very Extraordinary Guardian Of The Dead Is A Loving Pair, The Man's Arm
Placed Affectionately Over The Shoulder Of His Companion.
Lovers do not
sleep, hence they are good at watching, reasons the Dayak.
In these regions I gathered some information about the huge serpent of
which one hears occasionally in Borneo, called sahua by the Malays, and
which, according to accounts, may attain a length of seven or eight
metres. It is able to remain long under water, moves slowly on land, and
can climb trees. Deer and pigs are its usual food, but at times it attacks
and eats natives. A few years previously this python devoured a Katingan,
and as it remains at the same place for some time after a meal, two days
later it was found and killed. These Dayaks kill it with knives, spears
being ineffectual, and the meat is eaten. A very large lizard is also said
to be a man-eater.
Crocodiles are numerous here, and at low water have been responsible for
the disappearance of many Katingans. They are considered good antohs, but
if one of the monsters devours a man arrangements are made to kill it,
though otherwise the natives prefer not to do so and do not eat it. For
the purpose of capture they use a piece of strong wood, about three
centimetres thick, pointed at each end. A line of fibre a metre long is
tied to the middle, and about half a metre above the surface of the water
an ill-smelling monkey or dog is suspended from it as bait.
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