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eat, thy liver do we eat. And should either of us retract from the terms of this oath, let him instantly become a fool, let him instantly become blind, let this covenant prove a curse to him: let him not be a human being: let there be no heir to inherit after him, but let him be reduced, and float with the water never to see its source; let him never obtain; what is out of doors, may it never enter; and what is within may it never go out; the little obtained, may he be deprived of it;1 and let him never obtain justice from the sovereign nor from the people! But if we keep and observe this covenant, let these things bear witness.2 O mouth of the heart! (repeating as before),-may this cause us to live long and happy with our wives and our children; may we be approved by the sovereign, and beloved by the people; may we get money, may we obtain property, cattle, &c.; may we marry wives, (vady kely); may we have good robes, and wear a good piece of cloth on our bodies ;3 since, amidst our toils and labor, these are the things we seek after.1 And this we do that we may with all fidelity assist each other to the last.'

1 See Matt. 13: 12; 25: 29.

2 Here is an indication of the witness-bearing nature of these accessories of the rite.

3 Compare these blessings and cursings with those under the Mosaic laws: Deut. 27: 9-26; 28: 1–68.

4 See Matt. 6: 31, 32.

"The incision is then made, as already mentioned; a small quantity of blood [is] extracted and drank by the covenanting parties respectively, [they] saying as they take it, 'These are our last words, We will be like rice and water;1 in town they do not separate, and in the fields they do not forsake one another; we will be as the right and left hand of the body; if one be injured, the other necessarily sympathizes and suffers with it." 2

Speaking of the terms and the influence of this covenant, in Madagascar, Mr. Ellis says, that while absolute community of all worldly possessions is not a literal fact on the part of these blood-friends, "the engagement involves a sort of moral obligation for one to assist the other in every extremity." "However devoid of meaning," he adds, " some part of the ceremony of forming [this] brotherhood may appear, and whatever indications of barbarity of feeling may appear in others, it is less exceptionable than many [of the rites] that prevail among the people. So far as those who have resided in the country have observed its effects, they appear almost invariably to have been safe

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1"This is a natural, simple, and beautiful allusion in common use among the Malagasy, to denote an inseparable association. The rice is planted in water, grows in water, is boiled in water, and water is the universal beverage taken with it when eaten."

2 Ellis's Hist. of Madagascar, I., 187–190.



to the community, and beneficial to the individuals by whom the compact was formed."

Yet again, this covenant of blood-friendship is found in different parts of Borneo. In the days of Mr. Ellis, the Rev. W. Medhurst, a missionary of the London Missionary Society, in Java, described it, in reporting a visit made to the Dayaks of Borneo, by one of his assistants, together with a missionary of the Rhenish Missionary Society.1

Telling of the kindly greeting given to these visitors at a place called Golong, he says that the natives wished "to establish a fraternal agreement with the missionaries, on condition that the latter should teach them the ways of God. The travelers replied, that if the Dayaks became the disciples of Christ, they would be constituted the brethren of Christ without any formal compact. The Dayaks, however, insisted that the travelers should enter into a compact [with them], according to the custom of the country, by means of blood. The missionaries were startled at this, thinking that the Dayaks meant to murder them, and committed themselves to their Heavenly Father, praying that, whether living or dying, they might lie at the feet of their Saviour. It appears, however, that it is the custom of the Dayaks, when they enter into a covenant, to draw a little blood from the arms of the

1 Cited in Ellis's Hist. of Mad., I., 191, note.

covenanting parties, and, having mixed it with water, each to drink, in this way, the blood of the other.

"Mr. Barenstein [one of the missionaries] having consented [for both] to the ceremony, they all took off their coats, and two officers came forward with small knives, to take a little blood out of the arm of each of them [the two missionaries and two Dayak chiefs]. This being mixed together in four glasses of water, they drank, severally, each from the glass of the other; after which they joined hands and kissed. The people then came forward, and made obeisance to the missionaries, as the friends of the Dayak King, crying out with loud voices, 'Let us be friends and brethren forever; and may God help the Dayaks to obtain the knowledge of God from the missionaries!' The two chiefs then said, ' Brethren, be not afraid to dwell with us; for we will do you no harm; and if others wish to hurt you, we will defend you with our life's blood, and die ourselves ere you be slain. God be witness, and this whole assembly be witness, that this is true.' Whereupon the whole company shouted, Balaak! or 'Good,'' Be it so.'"

Yet another method of observing this rite, is reported from among the Kayans of Borneo-quite a different people from the Dayaks. Its description is from the narrative of Mr. Spenser St. John, as follows: Siñgauding [a Kayan chief] sent on board to request




me to become his brother, by going through the sacred custom of imbibing each other's blood. I say imbibing, because it is either mixed with water and drunk, or else is placed within a native cigar, and drawn in with the smoke. I agreed to do so, and the following day was fixed for the ceremony. It is called Berbiang by the Kayans; Bersabibah, by the Borneans [the Dayaks]. I landed with our party of Malays, and after a preliminary talk, to allow the population to assemble, the affair commenced. Stripping

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my left arm, Kum Lia took a small piece of wood, shaped like a knife-blade, and, slightly piercing the skin, brought blood to the surface; this he carefully scraped off. Then one of my Malays drew blood in the same way from Siñgauding; and, a small cigarette being produced, the blood on the wooden blade was spread on the tobacco. A chief then arose, and, walking to an open place, looked forth upon the river, and invoked their god and all the spirits of good and evil to be witness of this tie of brotherhood. The cigarette [blood-stained] was then lighted, and each of us took several puffs [receiving each other's blood by inhalation], and the ceremony was over." "1 This is a new method of smoking the "pipe of peace"-or, the cigarette of interunion! Borneo, indeed, furnishes many illustrations of primitive customs, both social and religious.

1 St. John's Life in the Forests of the Far East, I., 116 f.


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