Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/157

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the Home of the Dead m Indonesia. 147

of origin and place of disposal, and this fact is of importance. In many cases the myth of origin states that men first came out of a bamboo, and the fact that two of the three definite cases that we possess are of this kind is of peculiar interest.

The position with regard to tree-disposal may be put in this way — that, wherever a myth of origin exists which states that the first men came from trees or bamboos, then it will generally be found that the dead are placed in trees, or disposed of in a way derived from tree disposal. It is the fact that the last part of this proposition must first be established which makes it impossible to state the case here with all its force.

There is an interesting matter connected with the dis- posal in Timorlao. Canoes have been claimed as the accompaniment of a belief in a land of the dead reached by means of a journey over water, and it would seem at first sight an extraordinary thing to place the canoe in a tree, as is done in these islands. The matter is simple, for a people who have a belief in an origin from trees, and have migrated over water, will continue to practise tree-disposal after their migration, and if they wish to send their dead back home in a canoe, then it seems quite natural that the canoe should be placed in a tree.

Intenneiit. — Having thus established a correspondence between the myth of origin and the mode of disposing of the dead, it will be interesting to pass to the practice of interment. Here again it will be seen that a similar correspondence exists. Some of the clans of the Old Kuki of Manipur believe that their ancestors came out of the ground. The Purum clan claim descent from Ton- ring and Tonshu, who issued out of the ground, and the ancestors of the Kohlen sprang out of Khurpui.^® These peoples inter their dead as do the inhabitants of Keisar, whose first ancestor sprouted out of Mt. Wahkuleren.^ In

•^ J. Shakespeai, The Lu she i A'nki Clans, 1912, pp. 151, 16^ e( seq. ^ Riedel, Shiik- en kroeshaarige rassen, pp. 401, 420.