Nine Dayak Nights Author:W. R. Geddes The Dayaks of Borneo have achieved a gruesome reputation. Known only for their skulls and their headhouses, they are quoted as examples of the most primitive savagery. — Dr. W. R. Geddes spent two years living among them. He lived in the remote village of Mentu Tapuk, a hundred miles inland from Kuching in Sarawak, where he came to know and love ... more »the Land Dayaks whose life he shared. Far from being bloodthirsty, he found them to be gentle, likeable people, full of affection and good humour. He draws a vivid picture of their work and play, their village and family life, their legends and their songs.
Above all, he presents these jungle people by means of a legend, the wonderful tale of a Dayak folk hero as told by Raseh, the spirit-medium of the village. Its hero, Kipachi, swaggers boldly through the story defying giants and rivals in love, emerging unscathed from the coquetry of girls as well as the vindictiveness of his enemies.
This legend and the general description illuminate each other. Dr. Geddes is at pains to show not only the land Dayaks' differences from but also their likeness to ourselves. Whether writing of head-hunting or love-making, he always makes us aware of a common humanity.« less