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boards eighteen inches wide and six feet long, with which some Dyaks floor their houses. These, with constant rubbing of the feet and the smoke of years, become dark and polished, like walnut or old oak, so that their real material can hardly be recognized.
6. What labor is here saved to a savage, whose only tools are an ax and a knife, and who, if he wants boards, must hew them out of the solid trunk of a tree, and give days and weeks of labor to obtain a surface as smooth and beautiful as the bamboo thus treated affords him !
7. Again, if a temporary house is wanted, either by the native on his plantation or by the traveler in the forest,
othing is so convenient as the bamboo, with which a house can be constructed with a quarter of the labor and time required if other materials were used.
8. The Dyaks in the interior make paths for long distances, from village to village, and to their cultivated grounds, in the course of which they have to cross many gullies and ravines, and even rivers, or sometimes, to avoid a long circuit, to carry the path along the face of a precipice. In all these cases, the bridges they construct are of bamboo, and so admirably adapted is the material for this purpose, that it seems doubtful whether they would ever have attempted such works if they had not possessed it.
9. The Dyak bridge is simple but well designed. It consists merely of stout bamboos crossing each other at the roadway like the letter X, and rising a few feet above it. At the crossing they are firmly bound together, and to a large bamboo which lies upon them, and forms the only pathway, with a slender and often very shaky one to serve as a hand-rail.
10. When a river is to be crossed, an overhanging tree
is chosen, from which the bridge is partly suspended and partly supported by diagonal braces from the banks, so as to avoid placing posts in the stream itself, which would be liable to be carried away by floods.
11. In carrying a path along the face of the precipice, trees and roots are made use of for suspension ; braces arise from suitable notches or crevices in the rocks; and if these are not sufficient, immense bamboos, fifty or sixty feet long, are fixed on the banks or on the branch of a tree below.
12. These bridges are traversed daily by men and women carrying heavy loads, so that any insecurity is soon discovered, and, as the materials are close at hand, immediately repaired.
13. When a path goes over very steep ground, and becomes slippery in very wet or very dry weather, the bamboo is used in another way. Pieces are cut about a yard long, and opposite notches being made at each end, holes are formed through which pegs are driven, and firm and convenient steps are thus constructed with the greatest ease and celerity. It is true that much of this will decay in one or two seasons; but it can be so quickly replaced as to make it more economical than using a harder and more durable wood.
Borneo (1) is an island in the Indian Archipelago. Next to Australia it is the largest island in the world.
The Dyaks (1) are the aboriginal inhabitants of the island of Borneo. They are well formed, yellowish in color, cruel, and wild ; when once their favor is won they prove faithful friends.
Where do the bamboos grow? What qualities render them useful for a hundred different purposes ? Tell how the Dyak houses are made. What sort of a bed does bamboo make? How are boards made when a flat, close floor is required ? How is a Dyak bridge made i
6. serăm' blęd; v. climbed | 11. q'ue dủets; n. artificial with hands and feet.
channels for conveying water. 7. prop' ěr ties; n. the pecu- 12. u těn' sĩls ; n. that which is liar qualities of anything.
used; especially an instrument 8. çý lyn' drie al; a. having a or vessel used in a kitchen, or roller-like form.
in domestic and farming busi10. eðn' ie al; a. having a circle
for its base and its top ending 13. oblique' lý; adv. in in a point.
Bamboo. Part II. 1. One of the most striking uses to which bamboo is applied by the Dyaks is to assist them in climbing lofty trees. One day I was so fortunate as to shoot a small monkey, which fell dead, but caught in a fork of a tree and remained fixed. As I was very anxious to get it, I tried to persuade two young Dyaks who were with me to cut down the tree, which was tall, perfectly straight, and smoothbarked, and without a branch for fifty or sixty feet.
2. To my surprise they said they would prefer climbing up it, although it would be a good deal of trouble; but after a little talking together, they said they would try. They first went to a clump of bamboos that stood near, and cut down one of the largest stems. From this they chopped off a short piece, and splitting it, made a couple of stout pegs, about a foot long, and sharp at one end.
3. Then cutting a thick piece of wood for a mallet, they drove one of the pegs into the tree and hung their weight upon it. It held, and this seemed to satisfy them, for they immediately began making a quantity of pegs of the same kind, while I looked on with great interest, wondering how they could possibly ascend such a lofty tree by merely
driving pegs in it, the failure of any one of which at a good height would certainly cause their death.
4. When about two dozen pegs were made, one of them began cutting some very long and slender bamboo from another clump, and also prepared some cord from the bark of a small tree. They now drove in a peg very firmly at about three feet from the ground, and bringing one of the long bamboos, stood it upright, close to the tree, and bound it firmly to the first two pegs, by means of the bark cord and small notches near the head of each peg.
5. One of the Dyaks now stood on the first peg, and drove in a third, about level with his face, to which he tied the bamboo in the same way, and then mounted another step, standing on one foot, and holding by the bamboo at the peg immediately above him, while he drove in the next one.
In this manner he ascended about twenty feet, when the upright bamboo becoming thin, another was handed up by his companion, and this was joined on by tying both bamboos to three or four of the pegs.
6. When this was also nearly ended, a third was added, and shortly after the lowest branches of the tree were reached, along which the young Dyak scrambled, and soon sent the monkey tumbling headlong down.
7. I was exceedingly struck by the ingenuity of this mode of climbing, and the admirable manner in which the peculiar properties of the bamboo were made available. The ladder itself was perfectly safe, since if any one peg were loose or faulty, and gave way, the strain would be thrown on several others above and below it.
I now understood the use of the line of bamboo pegs sticking in trees, which I had often seen and wondered for what purpose they could have been put there.
8. This method of climbing is constantly used in order
to obtain wax, which is one of the most valuable products of the country. The honey-bee of Borneo very generally hangs its combs under the branches of the tappan, a tree which towers above all others in the forest, and whose smooth, cylindrical trunk often rises a hundred feet without a branch. The Dyaks climb these lofty trees at night, building up their bamboo ladder as they go, and bringing down gigantic honeycombs.
9. These furnish them with a delicious feast of honey and young bees, and also wax which they sell to traders and with its proceeds buy the much-coveted brass wire, ear-rings, and gold-edged handkerchiefs with which they love to decorate themselves. In ascending durion and other fruit trees, which branch at from thirty to fifty feet from the ground, I have seen them use the bamboo pegs only, without the upright bamboo which renders them so much more secure.
10. The outer rind of the bamboo, split and shaved thin, is the strongest material for baskets; hen-coops, bird-cages, and conical fish-traps are very quickly made from a single joint, by splitting the skin in narrow strips, which are left attached to one end, while rings of the same material, or rattan, are twisted in at regular distances.
11. Water is brought to the house by little aqueducts formed of large bamboos split in half and supported on crossed sticks of various heights to give it a regular fall. Thin long-jointed bamboos form the Dyak's only water vessels, and a dozen of them stand in the corner of every house. They are clean, light, and easily carried, and are in many ways superior to earthen vessels for the same purpose.
12. They also make excellent cooking utensils ; vegetables can be boiled in them to perfection, and they are