Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/258

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
246
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

that which results from a death, and that which follows the birth of a child. They are distinguished as that of bad fortune and that of good fortune, the former continuing three years and the latter one month. Were the bride to approach any unclean person, she would herself incur the danger of becoming an occult cause of calamity among her relatives. During the first few months after marriage she must carefully guard against exposure to any influence adverse to good luck.

A neighbor of a Chinese friend of mine had one daughter, an only child, of whom she was passionately fond. The girl was married off when sixteen years old. When the first four months were nearly past, her mother's neighbor died, and her visit to her old home had therefore to be delayed for a hundred days. Before this period of the neighbor's daily worship of the manes had passed, the bride's mother-in-law died, and she had to go into mourning for three years. Just before she put off mourning, she bore a son, and that made it necessary for her to again delay her first visit to her mother's house. Her mother, meanwhile, became subject to hallucinations, under which she frequently saw her child entering her door. She said she could distinctly perceive her face, could discern every detail in her dress, and could hear the jingle of her bangles. She would exclaim, "O my child, you have come!" but, when she clasped the vision, she found only empty air in her arms. At last the daughter, who had all these years been but two miles away, really came to visit her mother. The two embraced each other and wept aloud; and thereafter the mother's hallucinations ceased.

After the first visit, a married daughter may go to the home of her parents at any time, and they, after the birth of her first child, may occasionally go to see her in her husband's house.

 

NATIVE LIFE IN BRITISH BORNEO.
By D. D. DALY, Assistant Resident.[1]

THE author gave in this paper a personal record of two explorations which he undertook from the east and from the west coast of North Borneo to countries and tribes in the interior, hitherto unvisited by the white man. Having left Sandakan, the capital of the territory, in August, 1887, and ascending the Kinabatangare, the largest navigable river, the first place of importance reached is Malapi, within twelve miles of the famous Gomanton bird's-nest caves, and the depot for their product. The nests collected here are valued at $25,000 per annum, and the

  1. Abridged from the author's paper before the Royal Geographical Society.