National Geographic : 1956 May
I them of many little silver rings strung together on rattan, then hang old Dutch guilders or Chinese and Malayan dol lars to the bottom of the finished gar ment (pages 732 and 733). In our ignorance we asked after the rice crops, whereupon the Malohs laughed gaily. "We buy our rice," they told us. "Why should we trouble to plant it? We have all the silver orders we can fill: it keeps us very busy and brings us much money." Closed Season on Human Heads I went by myself to visit the Land Dyaks, who live in the westernmost sec tion of Sarawak. Their resemblance to Sea Dyaks ends with their name; in deed, the two Dyak groups are tradi tional enemies, and the wandering Sea Dyaks probably would have extermi nated their physically smaller cousins but for Sir James Brooke. Before Sir James's rule began, the Brunei noblemen who controlled Sara wak had an arrangement with the Sea D)aks whereby the Iban warriors were allowed to attack the Land 1)vaks with out interference. The Ibans kept the heads of those they slaughtered, while the captives were handed over to the Brunei rulers as slaves. Sir James found the Land I)yaks re duced to a pitiful remnant of a once numerous tribe. He announced a per manently closed season, and today they have made a good recovery to about 47.000 people. Their womenfolk wear brass rings around their arms, legs, and necks. In the old days the girls wore enough to cripple them, but they have been shed ding the ornaments gradually, so that now they suffer only some distortion of the calf muscles. 727 Kuching: Ocean-going Ship Docks in Sarawak's Capital Rebellious Chinese gold miners captured and sacked Kuching in 1857. Malay and Sea I)Dak warriors faithful to the White Raja put a speedy end to the revolt. Today the town has some 45.COO inhabitants and a traffic problem. Cargo booms of the Rajah Brooke frame Kuching's commercial section; the white build ing with a tower is police headquarters. Twenty miles downstream lies the South China Sea.