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Matsya avatar). In his hands he holds a discus, a flower, and a sceptre. The walls of his temples are said to be richly decorated with fishes of all descriptions. People weary of life, or in fits of devotion, sacrifice themselves to this form of Canon.
Fig. 8 is called by my authority Joosie Tiedbak. This image has the head of a boar, wearing a crown, and holding in his hands a discus, a serpent, a sceptre, and a stick with apparently a ring upon it. He is trampling upon a demon or giant. We are at no loss to discover in this figure the third avatar of Vishnu.
The Formosans entertain an extraordinary opinion of their gods, which I am almost afraid to repeat, lest I should incur the censure of the most amiable part of my readers. I beg of them, however, to consider that I am not accountable for the actions or opinions of others; but merely relate matters as I find them ; which, that I may avoid all chance of disgrace, I will now do verbatim.
“ Amongst their several gods which they worship, the chief one is Tamagisanbach, who governs and inhabits the south. His celestial spouse, Taxankpada Agodales, commands the east, where, when it happens to thunder they believe that she exercises her tongue, the female's best arms, scolding so loud at her husband in the south because he neglects his office, not sending rain when the earth needs; who being nettled with his wife's bitter and sharp expression, and not enduring to hear her any longer, opens his mouth, sending and dispersing with his breath abundance of water.”
The Japanese have also a temple dedicated to the Prince of Devils, a terrific gentleman, whose two attendants hold books, in which all the actions of mankind are registered. On the walls of his temples are painted the torments of the infernal regions.
These accounts which I have given of the very numerous hosts of Japanese deities, I have found partially confirmed by another old authority, viz., that of Don Rodrigo de Vivero y Velasco, the governor general of the Philippine Islands, who, in 1609, was shipwrecked on the coast of Japan. He was hospitably received by the emperor, and, after having travelled over various parts of the country, was sent with his people to Acapulco. This gentleman has confirmed many of the Dutch ambassador's statements, on the points I have here related ; and it is due to them, therefore, to conclude that they are, in many respects, correct. He states that in Meaco there were not less than five thousand temples; and describes the Daiboth (or Daibu) as worthy of being classed among the wonders of the world. Its dimensions rendered him mute with astonishment. “ I ordered,” he says, “one of my people to measure the right thumb of the idol, and I perceived that, although he was a man of large size, he could not embrace it with his two arms by two palms. But the size of this statue is not its only merit. The feet, hands, mouth, eyes, forehead, and other features, are as perfect and as expressive as the most accomplished painter could make a portrait. One hundred thousand men were, at the time, employed upon it.”
THE BUGIS and MACASSARS.
These people are the most prominent tribes in the Island of Celebes : they profess the Mahomedan religion, and use the same written character, but speak different languages. “They are known to be the most bold, adventurous, and enterprising of all the people of the Eastern Islands. They were formerly celebrated for their fidelity and their courage, and for this reason were employed, like the Swiss in Europe, in foreign armies. They served in those of Siam, Camboja, and other countries, and also as guards to their own princes.
“ The most singular political feature in Celebes is that of an elective monarchy, limited by an aristocracy generally hereditary, and exercising feudal authority over the minor chiefs and population, at all times prepared to take the field; a constitution of civil society which, however common in Europe, is, perhaps, without parallel in Asia, where we seldom witness any considerable departure from the despotic sway of an individual. The whole of the states in that portion of Celebes to which I have alluded, are constituted on the peculiar principle stated. The prince is chosen from the royal stock by a certain number of counsellors, who also possess the right of subsequently removing him. These counsellors are themselves elected from particular families of the hereditary chiefs of provinces, and such is their influence, that the prince can neither go to war, nor indeed adopt any public measure, except in concert with them. They have the charge of the public treasure, and also appoint the prime minister. The prince cannot himself take the personal command of the army; but the usage of the country admits of a temporary resignation of office for this purpose ; in which case a regent succeeds provisionally to the rank of chief, and carries on the affairs of government in concert with the majority of the council. Women and minors are eligible to election in every department of the state, from the prince down to the lowest chief; and when this takes place, an additional officer, having a title which literally means 'support,' or 'prop,' is appointed to assist. Some variation is observable in the different states.
“ War is decided upon in the council of state, and so forcibly is the desperate ferocity and barbarism of the people depicted by the conduct they observe on these occasions, and in their subsequent proceedings towards their enemies, that however revolting the contemplation of such a state of society may be, it forms too striking a trait in their character to be omitted. War being decided upon by the prince in council, the assembled chiefs, after sprinkling their banners with blood, proceed to take a solemn oath, by dipping their cresses in a vessel of water, and afterwards dancing around the bloody banner with frantic gestures and a strange contortion of the body and limbs, so as to give the extended creese a tremendous motion. Each severally imprecates the vengeance of the deity against his person if he violates his vow. An enemy is no sooner slain than the body is decapitated, and treated with every indignity which the barbarous triumph of savages can dictate. The heads are carried on poles, or sent in to the lordparamount. Some accounts go so far as to represent them devouring the raw heart of their subdued enemy, and whatever shadow of doubt humanity may throw over this appalling fact, it cannot be denied that their favourite meal is the raw heart and blood of the deer. This latter repast is termed Lor Dara, or the feast of the bloody heart, which they are said to devour, as among the Battas, in the season when limes and salt are plentiful. The inhabitants of the Wadju districts are celebrated for their enterprize and
intelligence, extending their commercial speculations, with a high character for honourable and fair dealing, from the western shores of Siam to the eastern coast of New Holland. Women, as before observed, take an active part in all public concerns, and are, in no instance, secluded from society; being on a perfect equality with the men. The strongest attachment that is conceivable is felt for ancient customs, and relics of antiquity are held in the highest possible veneration. They are slow and deliberate in their decisions; but these, once formed, are final. Agreements once entered into are invariably observed on their part, and a Bugis is never known to swerve from his bargain. That natural politeness which characterises the various nations and tribes distinguished by wearing the cris or creese, is no where more forcibly exhibited than among the inhabitants of Celebes. Their minor associations are held together by all the attachment and warmth which have distinguished the clans of North Britain. The same bold spirit of independence and enterprise distinguishes the lower orders; while the pride of ancestry and the romance of chivalry are the delight of the higher classes. Attached to the chase as an amusement, rather than as the means of subsistence, the harvest is no sooner reaped than every feudal chief, with his associates and followers, devotes himself to its pursuits. The language of Goa, or Macassar, is peculiarly soft, and is considered to be the more easy of acquisition, but not so copious as that of the Bugis. Whether the Bugis language contains any portion of a more ancient language than either (of which traces are said to exist in some old manuscripts of the country), or, from commercial intercourse with other states, has adopted more foreign terms, is yet to be determined.
“ The Bugis trace back their history to Sawira Geding, whom they represent to have proceeded in immediate descent from their heavenly mediator, Bitara Guru, and to have been the first chief of any celebrity in Celebes." *
* Sir T. S. Raffles' Discourse.
THE DAYA of BORNEO.
The population of the extensive island of Borneo consists of the Daya, the Chinese, the Malaya, the Ugi from Celebes, and a few Arabs. The Dayas, who are principally miners and agriculturists, are by far the most numerous class. They are, generally speaking, peaceable; but petty feuds among themselves are not infrequent, which are ascribed to the horrid custom of ornamenting their houses with human skulls, procured by waylaying individuals of a different tribe, and to decorating their children with the teeth; or to disputes about particular tracts of forests; and the oppression of the Chinese sometimes rouses them to revenge themselves against that race. It is considered more honourable that the skulls should be those of women or children, on the supposition that the men would exert themselves for their protection; but it is seldom they are procured by open attack; the general practice, when operations are carried on to a considerable extent, being to surround a village during the night, and murder those who have occasion to leave it at break of day. Some of those who are found about the ports to the northward of Sambas at times connect themselves with the pirates, and the condition of the connexion is, that the skulls and iron shall be their share, the other plunder that of the pirates.
“ The villages of these savages are mostly placed near spots fit for their ladangs, and are generally protected by a beinting or breastwork. The houses are built with a long verandah in front, which serves for communicating with the different families, and for their several fire-places. There are mostly three ladders, which are pulled up at night. From six to seven families reside in one house, the patriarch in the middle, in whose apartment the musical instruments are kept. The houses are built upon posts, and in the space below the pigs, &c. are reared.
“ Among the customs peculiar to them, it may be expected that something respecting the decapitation of heads should be mentioned. The more heads a man has cut off, the more he is respected; and a young man can