Printer Friendly

"Big Cats" and honorific titles among the Benuaq of East Kalimantan: the case of Timang.

Introduction (1)

One of the most challenging and important steps in writing a monograph on any religion lies in an adequate description of its religious pantheon. The German ethnologist Waldemar Stohr (1976: 69) once concluded his comparative study of what he called "the polytheistic-henotheistic panthea of Old-Indonesian religions" with the words: "It is virtually impossible to classify the multitude of transcendental beings. Even in the case of a single old-Indonesian religion such a classification or typology of deities (Gotterlehre) is extremely difficult. To obtain an overview one can, at best, roughly divide the deities and spirits into some strata or categories." (2) Stohr chose to distinguish (1976: 69-70) between: (1) otiose creator beings, (2) mythologically subsequent world rulers and world preservers, (3) the majority of the deities and powerful spirits, (4) demons and goblins as well as witches and sorcerers and, last but not least, (5) humankind.

Such classifications that are based solely on cosmogonic-genealogical myths might provide a first ordering of part of the numinous landscape, but while common in Indonesian religious studies, they are far from satisfying. Besides, western terms such as "transcendental," "spirit," or "demon" impose unwarranted connotations upon the indigenous numina to be studied, in addition to having only minimal explanatory power due to their own ambiguous semantics. The same is true for the concept of "pantheon" itself, if understood in its literal sense as "the temple of all gods." It also needs to be asked, to what extent a religious pantheon can be elucidated by way of studying myths and, consequently, if it wouldn't be more profitable, to distinguish between (1) religiously relevant and (2) mythological numina (with and without cult) as well as (3) those confined to ritual texts, functioning, for example, as poetic images. A decision here will depend on the type of religion under study. Moreover, (1) a genealogical classification of numina gleaned from myths is but one of many possible strategies. Other criteria for the categorization of such phenomena that could be used are (2) their origin, (3) their appearance, (4) their character, (5) their place within a hierarchy, (6) their socio-geographical sphere of action (or influence) or (7) their behavior. Using such criteria, the inquiry could then proceed by either studying individual numina or by defining existing categories of numina designated by indigenous terms (see Cain 1979: 171). If possible, such definitions should be based on a sound philological analysis of the indigenous terms themselves, since as Bierbach & Cain (1996: 1) put it: "[tjhere is a fair chance that such an analysis discloses first all connotations of the terms themselves and thus the characterizing and categorical criteria of the phenomena so designated."

The Benuaq pantheon

The study of Benuaq (3) religion over the last 30 years has seen the publishing of five major attempts to classify the multitude of their numina, namely those of Massing (1983), Hopes et al. (1997), Gonner (2002), Zahorka (2007) and, with regard to the Luangan of Central Kalimantan, of Weinstock (1983). Since, in the Benuaq context, a clean line between religion and mythology is hard to draw, most of these authors heavily relied on (origin) myths. Some also looked into ritual texts, and all used ethnographic interviews in their classifications. In addition, all of them recognized the existence of special terms within the religious nomenclature of the Benuaq and used these for the categorization of the numinous phenomena. Another common aspect of their classifications is a basic division into numina that originate in humans and those that do not. Each of the five models of ordering the Benuaq, or Luangan, pantheon produced different results, which is probably to be expected considering that the data were collected at different times and in different areas. However, one cannot ignore the fact that all of these classifications leave many questions unanswered and show many inconsistencies and contradictions when considered individually and as a group. Systematic comparisons based on criteria such as those mentioned above are lacking, the numbers of distinguished numinous categories vary, and definitions of them leave much to be desired. However, these pioneering scholars struggled hard to navigate the numinous jungle of the Benuaq in a time when many aspects of their traditional worldview hardly belonged to lived local realities anymore, and the linguistic documentation of their language and of most of the other Greater Barito languages of Kalimantan had only just begun. A more comprehensive discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of these classifications, together with a reappraisal of the available data, is given in Venz (2013: 361-534). One of the major results of this reappraisal is the relativization of the allegedly clear-cut dichotomy between numina of human origin and what have been called beings of nonhuman origin, e.g., "non-human spirits" (Weinstock 1983: 32) or "spiritual forces beyond mankind" (Massing 1983: 61). By contrast, most of the autochthonous numina of the second group form part of the Benuaq's concept of person.

Here, I would like to bring one particular example to the fore, namely the alleged numinous "category" designated by the term timang. Beings belonging to this category have been defined in the Benuaq literature as "Tiger spirits (though they often take human form)" (Hopes et al. 1997: 189; Hopes 1997: 167), roh harimau (Madrah & Karaakng 1997: 172), "powerful spirits usually symbolized as tigers" (Gonner 2002: 62), "a spirit taking the form of a large feline animal" (Herrmans 2011: 93) or as "the powerful cat of prey" (Haug 2010: 65). To achieve an adequate understanding of this class of numinous beings is more than challenging, as the few and quite heterogeneous data published so far preclude any straightforward analysis and require a special effort at clarification. In what follows, I present the few ethnographic sources that mention timang and, together with my own fieldwork and comparative data, offer a new solution to the problem of "tiger spirits" among the Benuaq. It is argued here that the term timang was essentially an honorific, rather than a special category of numina, used for humans and, by extension, for human and mythological ancestors.

This paper is divided into three parts, each focusing on the issue of timang from a different angle suggested by the ethnographic data, namely timang as (1) "spirit," as (2) animal and, finally, as (3) honorific.

The timang as "spirit"

In the Benuaq literature one finds timang most frequently translated as "spirit(s)," but there is considerable uncertainty as to what exactly this means. It could be understood in its etymological sense as "breath," or more probable perhaps, in one of its common senses given by the Oxford dictionary (1989) as a "person's mind or feelings," "soul," "ghost" or something like a "supernatural creature," or in a more specialized anthropological sense as a "spirit, an immaterial nondivine being of fairly independent existence" (Winick 1956). In the field of Benuaq/Luangan studies only a couple of scholars have made their use of this term explicit. Thus, in contrast to the term "soul," Sillander (2004: 178) wants to "reserve the word 'spirit' "for other supernatural agencies (the only exception being the ancestors, regarding whom I use both words, as in "ancestral spirits" and "souls of the dead.)" This usage coincides with Endicott's (1970) who regard souls as bound and spirits as unbound spirit agencies." Herrmans (2011: 201) notes that "[t]here is no general word for 'spirits' among the Luangans" and then explains that "[w]ith the word 'spirit,'... I do not intend to refer to some bodiless entity; spirits have bodies of different kinds, human-like or animal-like, even if they mostly are invisible to human beings (with the exception of belians, who may be able to see them on certain occasions)." Haug, (2010: 64), in her work on the Benuaq, uses "the term 'spirit' in a common understanding of immaterial beings, which possess superhuman powers but still, have limited abilities (Hirschberg 1999: 143). I do not associate it with further attributes linked to the term 'spirit' in theoretical religious and philosophical works." Hence, it is evident that the term "spirit" needs considerable modification to fit the local context, and I wonder if we need it. The Benuaq themselves would consider such entities under the general label of esaaqyaq beaau ditaatn, i.e. 'something that cannot be seen,' an expression which itself is neutral with regard to such western dualistic pairs as material vs. spiritual, natural vs. supernatural, or bound vs. unbound (see Venz 2013).

This being said, I would like to enter into the realm of the timang, as other scholars did before, by first looking at the myth(s). The Benuaq myth of the origin of human beings places the timang among the offspring of the incestuous union committed by the primordial pair of Tamarikukng and his wife or, as among the Central Luangan, of Sempirang Laang and his wife (Herrmans 2011: 200). There does not seem to be any strict chronological order as regards the timang's genealogical position in the succession of mythical births, other than that they appear "somewhat later." They are also not imagined as immediate children of the primordial pair, but as having only 'originated' (genurai) from one of their children, treated in the myth as an individual numen. The sources differ, though, as to the name of this individual mythical being. Hopes et al. (1997: 36-37) state: "Then there was Bontik, ancestor of Timang, the Tiger Spirits." The same is true for the myth of the Central Luangan, where Herrmans (2011: 200) identifies "[a] child named Bontik," who himself is said to have "become timang." In contrast to that, Madrah and Karaakng (1997: 32) mention "Sentikng, from whom descended the Tigers." The head of the Tunjung village of Juhan (personal communication, 20/4/2006) again gives both, Sentikng and Bontik, as the progenitors of the clouded leopards (BI macan dahan) and tigers (BI harimau), respectively. Lahajir et al. (2006: 139) speak of Dontik, instead of Bontik, as the forebear of tigers, and of Sentikng as the progenitor of forest dogs. These differences might be a reflex of mythology's changing nature, but the majority of the sources clearly have the "tigers" associated with Bontik. A translation or explanation of this numen's name is not available, however, there might be a clue to its semantics, to which I will return later.

Interestingly, the concept of timang changes somewhat at a later stage in the same Benuaq myth: One day, before Tamanrikukng and his wife went to their rice fields, they instructed their children to kill a white hen, pekate piaak bura, if their younger siblings should become hungry. The children misunderstood their father's advice, and eventually killed their younger sister named Bura and ate her, instead. Hopes et al. (1997:40) narrate the following events:
   A number of those who had eaten the raw and bloody flesh of Bura
   and drunk her blood assumed the forms of those evil spirits who
   greatly endanger the lives of human beings. Others amongst them
   changed their shapes into those of the animals which prey on
   humankind or are known to shed their blood. The ones who ate the
   cooked flesh of Bura became those spirits who on occasion are able
   to help human beings in time of need and who may act as familiars.
   These are the Tangkai and they include many Nayuq and Timang in
   their number.

Somewhere else we read: "Those of you who ate her cooked flesh shall become Nayuq and Timang Tangkai, familiars of humankind" (Hopes et al. 1997: 40). Finally, Madrah and Karaakng's (1997: 33) translation of the same episode calls these familiars "Nayuq ... and Timang Tangaai, also called Tangaai Tamui." Here, it seems, the term timang has to be understood as referring collectively to different "categories" of Tamarikukng's offspring, namely to all those who did not eat the raw flesh of Bura, rather than to a closed group of Bontik's offspring, or to a transformation of him. The term timang is also not used here for those "animals which prey on humankind," a category in which one would expect to find tigers. It should be kept in mind that we are dealing here with myths, sacred literature, which must not necessarily be equated with a religious system or beliefs and, in addition, we should never underestimate the abstracting powers of ritual jargon and mythological imagery. The investigation of the religious relevance of the concept of timang should not, therefore, stop at the level of myth.

As to the religious role of the timang, the following data are of interest. Hopes et al. (1997: 14) explain that "important in connection with the execution of punishment on wrongdoers are the Timang, or Tiger Spirits, who are said to dwell in the main on mountain tops or in the depths of caves and whose voices can be heard in the thunder." Zahorka (2007: 133) calls "a timang (tiger), a spirit that protects the beliatn" and uses "sickness to punish people who disregard adat" (2007:135). Sillander (2004: 194-195) again refers to both the timang and naiyu of the Bentian as "protecting spirits of the house." Moreover, Hopes (1997: 73) has it that there are "four categories of spirits" resident within the human body, of which "[t]he Nayuq and Timang are responsible for the highly charged emotions within the human heart; they may foment anger and precipitate conflict or even killing but they are also the source of courage." A further characteristic of the timang becomes evident in the following description of headhunting raids by the same author (1997:158):
   Before the attack was launched, usually in the last hours of
   darkness before dawn when all in the longhouse were still sleeping
   soundly, offerings were made to particular spirits who would
   accompany them into battle, spirits hungry after the blood or
   livers of the foe. These were the Nayuq and the Wook and the Timang
   spirits who could "enter" the bodies of the attacking warriors.
   Once the attack had been made, the longhouse set aflame, the
   killing done and captives taken or, perhaps more commonly, one or
   two heads and livers had been taken before a hurried flight, these
   familiars would have to be given their dues. Still within the
   bodies of their hosts, the Nayuq and Wook would partake of the
   blood only symbolically tasted, while the Timang, the Tiger
   spirits, the spirits of courage, would relish the taste of
   liver--none more so than the eldest of the dead Timang, Mut Timang
   Tuha. If spirit familiars were not given to as they had been
   promised, then not only would they be likely to withdraw their aid on
   future occasions but serious illnesses might be visited on the
   ungrateful in order to 'remind' them of their obligations. (4)

It is noteworthy that many of these reports suggest a particularly close relationship between the timang and nayuq, and indeed, these two terms are most often used adjointly or as a compound.

Hopes' (1997) Magic and Divination among the Benuaq contains some additional material related to the timang. First, the Benuaq know of a spell called timang ngaraakng, "dancing tiger," a "spell which sends people mad" and of which the "jealous husband typifies the marked" (1997:143). The spell requires seven ingredients and preparations should be made on a Friday. It suffices here to cite the last of the procedures (1997:144): "A figurine representing the victim has to be carved. The cutting has to be taken in late afternoon from a plant which has sprung from a grave mound. The name of the plant from which this must be taken is the knowledge most closely guarded by those who sell the spell ... The plant if cut changes color when exposed to the air, turning yellow--the hue associated with the Timang ("Tiger") spirits." We may recall here that in Herrmans' (2011: 92) description of the ritual houses for the timang; the roofs are made of topus timang leaves, "which are leaves with reddish dots on them" (2011:93) "intended to resemble the spirit's fur." Another passage of interest is Hopes' (1997:106-107) comments on the function of small cone shells on grangih necklaces worn by shamans during healing ceremonies said to "protect infants from roving spirits, particularly the harimau or tiger spirit." Two additional passages may be cited here referring directly to tigers, rather than to the associated numina. Thus, Hopes (1997: 59) describes a so-called ketika binatcmg 'calendar of animals' as follows: "The top, circular display of eight animal signs, consisting of four opposed pairs. The particular animals depicted may vary from one ketika to another but their number ... and the principal assumption that one animal of each pair is the natural victor in any contest, is standard." And further on: "the tiger, or harimau, the most potent of all animal signs, contests the elephant." Last, but not least, Hopes (1997: 18) notes that "the tiger crying" counts as an evil omen.

A cultural object of major significance among the Benuaq is the so-called beliq timang, usually translated as the "canine teeth of the tiger." It counts among the most important ritual objects (Bnqpenyentuhuq) in the nowadays rarely-performed procedure called sumpah, or 'oath,' as the final stage in conflict resolution (Bnq besara). Hopes (1997: 95) gives the following description: "On this occasion the Mantiq brings out the special implements of the sumpah--the canine of the tiger, to symbolize the fact that the wrongdoer will be eaten by the Timang, or tiger spirits, in retribution." How "will be eaten" is to be understood here is suggested elsewhere in his book where he explains that (1997: 88): "Magic works on the assumption that.. .different properties or potencies are transferable on the basis of analogy or imitation in other words, ...[j]ust as the leopard preys on man, its teeth may help you to devour your enemies." After all ritual arrangements have been made, the mantiq finally turns to the alleged culprit and utters the following curse (1997: 96): "May you be sprung on by the tiger and the lion, may your breath stop with the setting of the sun, may you live like the vine which grows on barren land, or like the bamboo in the swamp." (5)

It might be mentioned here that the custom of oath-taking on "tiger-teeth" among the Benuaq bears a heavy Hindu-Kutai-Malayan flavor, insofar as many terms involved in such procedures are ultimately borrowed from Sanskrit (see also Gonner: 62 below), e.g., sumpah (BI/Kutai Malay oath), perkara (Skt. prakara 'manner') or besara (Skt. vicara 'discussion'). Besides, the most important numen in the besara is called Seniang Besara, of which seniang is most probably a Malayo-Javanese loan; see Jav. sang 'honorific marker applied to exalted persons or things' and hyang 'title of a native or Hindu deity' (Robson & Wibisono 2002). The second component is possibly to be derived from PWMP *qiaq 'ancestor, deity, divinity,' but Blust notes a "clear association ... with Hindu religious ideas," here making him unsure whether the term is really of Austronesian origin (see ACD). A thorough discussion of the issue of seniang has been presented by Sillander (2006: 453), who calls them "a category of 'global' spirits." Nevertheless, it has to be remarked here that the term itself is, historically, just an honorific title given to these (and other) numina (see Venz 2013: 442-458).

An important numinous being associated with the tiger appears to be part of the religious beliefs of the neighboring Bentiaatn, or Bentian, as well. Thus, Fried (1995: 9) cites a report of the former Bentiaatn official, Nasir, on the institution of oath-taking as follows: "This Witness is ready to be called on at any occasion to testify about the truth of the ownership claim ... Before testifying, the Witness is sworn in first by the Tatau [Bentian adat leader] with the Ineq Rodot oath. Whosoever bears false witness ... will die within at most one month, eaten by Ineq Rodot. Ineq Rodot is the name of the Tiger God. The Tiger God Oath is very honored and feared in the Bentian Besar [region]. This oath is still valid and the apparatus for it is still cared for by the Tatau." It seems then, that the Bentiaatn have developed a concept of "tiger god" or rather, "tiger goddess," judging from the title Ineq Rodot 'Mother (of) Rodot.' Unfortunately, no more can be said about this numen, since Sillander as the principle authority on Bentian ethnology, never mentioned her in his publications. However, Sillander (2004: 220) discusses the cultural significance of the belin timang among the Bentian, which he identifies not only as tiger teeth, but also as clouded leopard teeth and defines as "spirit associated ancestral objects" (2004:287) and with reference to Errington (1989) and Kirsch (1973), as having potency, "e.g., understood here as an inherent ability to generate, by way of mystical means, a general well-being, associated with such elementary values as health, fertility and prosperity." As with other ancestral objects this capacity derives from its (2004: 220) "association with the ancestors. Being manufactured, found, procured or used by the ancestors, ... such things typically represent the ancestors both iconically and metonymically."

Having summarized major parts of the pertinent Benuaq literature on the issue of timang, a first interim report could read as follows: First, the term refers, (1) to predators of the subfamily of the pantherinae and (2) to an associated religious phenomenon as is clear from formulations such as "tiger spirit," "spirit familiar," or "protecting spirits," it is this second sense that predominates in the ethnographic sources. Second, the attributes of the "spirit" seem to be--at least in part--derivable from those of the animal. They live on mountaintops and caves, have fur with reddish dots or are associated with the color yellow and are, as the animal, characterized by their roar, dangerousness and strength. They can act both for the protection and benefit, as well as to the detriment of humans. In addition, they are said to be responsible for the strong emotions within the human body, are able to enter the bodies of headhunters in time of warfare and equip them with the power and courage of the predator--abilities that they also share with the nayuq (and wook). Hence, they function, as almost all authors noticed, as familiars of the living. Finally, "the curse of the timang" requires a plant from the burial ground of the dead and the tiger's canine teeth are, as we learned from Sillander, associated with ancestors. This, somehow, seems to be true for the whole concept of "timang spirit" when considering a short comment from Herrmans (2011: 152) on buntang rituals of the Central Luangan, which are said to "directly address spirits (e.g., naiyu, timang) associated with the ancestors." (6)

Timang as animal

Although the term timang is reported to refer to "spirits associated with" the subfamily of the pantherinae, there is actually no agreement in the Benuaq literature on the specific genus and species involved. Most authors choose the 'tiger,' but there is also mention of 'lions,' 'leopards,' and 'clouded leopards.' Hopes' reference to lions must be understood as a stylistic means, since this once most widespread land mammal has lost its prominent position since the late Pleistocene and is nowadays only found in some African national parks and zoos around the world, but never roamed the forests of Borneo. Similar considerations apply to the tiger. In the Indo-Malayan region this animal can only be found in the south-central parts of the Malayan peninsula and some parts of Sumatra. It became extinct in Bali in the 1940s and in Java in the 1980s. As for Borneo, many an author has referred to the zoo-geographical miracle of the tiger's absence from the island (Stetson 1897: 643; Sellato 1983: 25; Rousseau 1998: 62; Gonner 2001:48; Dyson 2008: 34), and whether it ever was part of the local fauna has been the subject of intense debate over the last 100 years or so. Meijaard (1999), after looking into some of the relevant literature, remained undecided, but formulated four alternatives, namely: (1) "tigers never occurred on Borneo," (2) "tigers once occurred naturally on Borneo but became extinct," (3) "tigers still occur naturally on Borneo," and (4) "tigers were once introduced to Borneo and established a wild-living population, which either survived or died out," although he confessed to possess no historic documentation for the last alternative and appealed to readers for any information on this possibility.

By now, there seems to be enough archeological evidence for Meijaard's second alternative. From Malaysian Borneo we know of a fragmentary canine crown of a young tiger recovered from the Niah caves (Sarawak), a fourth metacarpal of an adult female as well as a navicular bone from Madai cave (Sabah). In addition, tiger bones were recently found at Ille Cave (Northern Palawan) in the southwestern Philippines, so that the existence of the tiger during the late Pleistocene until the Holocene "throughout the Sundaic biogeographic region and all the large islands of Southeast Asia west of Wallace's Line of Huxley" seems to be confirmed in archaeozoological circles (Hooijer 1963; Medway 1964, 1977; Harrison 1998; Sunquist & Sunquist 2002; Wilkinson & O'Regan 2003; Piper et al. 2007, 2008; Tilson & Nyhus 2010). In addition to the archeological record, evidence of the tiger in Borneo also comes in the form of tiger skins (e.g. Hose & Dougall 1912), tiger skulls (e.g. Nieuwenhuis 1904a; Banks 1931), tiger teeth (e.g. Peranio 1959) as well as tiger paintings, ornaments and carvings and even alleged tiger sightings (Abbott in Lyons 1911: 54; Witkamp 1932; Gersi 1975; and reply by Medway 1977b: 65; see also Meijaard 1999) from various parts of the island. Apart from the sightings (Meijaard's alternative 3), which are notoriously difficult to assess, there are certainly hints, although difficult to verify, of tigers having come to Borneo (close to Meijaard's alternative 4) in the form of presents between courts as when around 1800 the "Sultan of Trengganu, ... sent to the Sultan Khan-zul-Alam [of Brunei] a caged tiger as a gift; great was the consternation in the court when the beast was released to spring around, and great the respect accorded to a minister who played with it as one plays with a cat--it must have been a very young tiger cub, but even so, the first to be seen, no doubt, by the assembled court" (Hughes-Hallett 1940: 35).

There is also no doubt that some of the ritually used body parts of tigers (and related species) came by way of presents or trade from neighboring islands. Everett (1880: 160) saw a tiger skull and found "a tradition of the existence of the tiger" in Southwest Borneo that, according to him, might have come from Java or the Malay peninsula. Hose (1894: 159) related that the Kayan have bought canine teeth of the Borneo tiger-cat (kuleh) "for large sums from the Kenniahs" and Hose & McDougall (1901: 188) suspected Malay traders to be the source for tiger skins of the Kenyahs, finding it "probable that whatever knowledge of the tiger the Kenyahs possess has come from the same source." Nieuwenhuis (1904: 63) himself reported to have brought tiger teeth from Java as "big presents" for the greatest tribal leaders of the upper Mahakam. Trade relations as a possible source for tiger teeth in Borneo have also been considered by Sillander (2004: 220). Sellato (1983: 25) and Hopes (1997: 98) explicitly mention Sumatra. To quote the latter (1997): "in actuality, leopards are indigenous to Borneo, not tigers, though these teeth may have been imported from Sumatra in the past."

As to the role of the tiger in Bornean art, several authors have pointed to the possibility of foreign influence as well. Nieuwenhuis (1904b: 282-283) supported the possibility of Hindu-Javanese and Chinese influence among the peoples of Central Borneo and specifically mentioned the Bornean concept of rimau (or ledjo) 'the mythical Bengal tiger.' Hein (1889, 1890) was probably the most fervent supporter of Chinese influence on the various branches of Dayak art and sought the origin of Central Bornean's demon shield designs in the Chinese tiger and dragon shields. Utsurikawa (1921) proposed Hindu-Javanese influence coming from southeastern Borneo and even hinted at the possibility of influence from South-Sulawesi via the Bugis. As to the 'timang symbols' of the Benuaq, Gonner (2002: 62) concluded: "Tigers have never actually occurred in Borneo (see Payne et al. 1985). Hence, the Timang symbols probably originate from Kutai's Hindu past (fourth-fifth to sixteenth century, see Boyce 1986: C1-C6)." (7) Finally, and independent of the problems of palaeontology, archaeology and foreign influence, one might still want to consider Sellato's (1993: 164) proposal, namely that "[cjollective memory has probably preserved the remembrance of real encounters with tigers in very ancient times, and maybe not in Borneo."

Aside from the tiger traditions of Borneo, there are other felines to be found on the island (Medway 1977a: 139), the largest being the clouded leopard of which Borneo even has its own species. The existence of clouded leopards in Borneo has been known by scientists since the early 19th century and it was long believed to be a subspecies of the mainland clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa). In 2006 it was identified as being a distinct species and on March 14th, 2007, officially publicized under the name of Bornean Clouded Leopard or Neofelis diardi by the World Wide Fund for Nature. The following facts on anatomy and morphology of this animal are especially telling: "The Bornean Clouded Leopard has a stocky build, weighing around 12 to 25 kg (55 pounds).

It is the largest feline in Borneo. The majority of its prey lives in trees, necessitating its excellent climbing skills. With short, flexible legs, large paws, and keen claws, this big cat is very sure-footed. The canine teeth are two inches long, which, in proportion to the skull length, are longer than those of any other extant feline. Its tail can grow to be as long as its body, aiding balance." The Bornean clouded leopard differs also in fur pattern and skin coloration, having small "clouds with many distinct spots within them, grey and dark fur, and twin stripes along their backs" and finally, we read: "The habits of the Bornean Clouded Leopard are largely unknown because of the animal's secretive nature. It is assumed that it is generally a solitary creature." (8)

Thus, the Bornean clouded leopard is the biggest feline of Borneo, a fast solitary predator with mighty claws and canine teeth almost equal in size to those of a tiger (2 inches = 5. 08 cm compared to a tiger's 6 cm)! It has dark and grey or, according to Boyce (1986: F-38), "yellow-grey fur color," reminding us of the yellow hue usually associated with the timang. Among the Central Luangan, Hermans (2011: 92) observed reddish dots on timang leaf roofs and described the wooden figure representing the timang as "a roughly carved catlike creature with pink dots painted on it." Zahorka (2007: 133) presented photographs of Benuaq depictions of timang showing what he referred to as a "big dog-shaped figure" in a belian sentiu ritual or a "dog-like tiger" depicted at the belontaakng pole erected at kuwangkai funerals (2007:136) reminiscent, to my mind, of clouded leopards. Last but not least, the tern timang also appears in the Benuaq expression dosa timang reek, (9) an expression that, somewhat associating the reclusive nature of the clouded leopard, refers to a secret rendezvous between two lovers of whom at least one is already married or, as Madrah (2001: 92) has it, to "the sin of unfaithfulness." All of these characteristics could well speak for an interpretation of the timang as 'clouded leopard' instead of 'tiger.' Again, Hopes and Sillander are also undecided in this respect and give 'leopards' and 'clouded leopards' as alternative translations, Massing (1982: 68) has "a leopard (harimau)" and Hermans (2011: 235; also 92) defines the timang as "Tiger or clouded leopard spirit" for the Central Luangan.

Having come this far, one might ask why the translation "tiger" has been so prevalent in the Benuaq, and Borneo, literature? At least from the Benuaq context, I suspect that it might also be a simple problem of linguistic communication. The definition of timang as 'tiger' is not a direct product of ethnographic observance, but rather the indirect product of translation. First, when confronted with more difficult questions of meaning, both (western) researchers and their informants quite naturally seek clarification through BI. Now, the most frequent BI tern used for timang is harimau, more rarely macan, both of which, according to established dictionaries, translate as "tiger." In order to be more specific, an attribute could be added, e.g. (harimau) tunggal 'Bengal tiger,' (harimau) buluh 'panther,' (harimau) kumbang 'black panther,' (macan) tutul 'panther' or (macan) dahan 'clouded leopard. ' But, in fact, Indonesians often use these two terns just as general terns for all "big cats." One must keep in mind that Indonesian interviewees have, not less than their academic interviewers, some difficulty differentiating linguistically between various genera and species of "big cats," unless they are professionally qualified. This applies all the more to Benuaq informants asked to comment in BI on a representative of the local fauna whom most of them had never met, face to face. Borneans of different linguistic and cultural backgrounds might have different associations with the BI term harimau as will become evident in the discussion of the distribution of its cognates in Borneo languages below. Last but not least, photograph tests leave no doubt that 'clouded leopard' is the most likely translation of the Benuaq term timang!

Considering the above data, the question arises whether some of the alleged local "tiger traditions" shouldn't be reinterpreted as "clouded leopard traditions"? Sellato (1983: 25), with respect to Central Borneo, touched upon the same idea remarking that "settle lapanthere longibande, Neofelis nebulosa diardi (Cuvier), pourrait etre confondue avec le tigre," but, somewhat rhetorically, rejected this possibility, saying,
   pour autant que cela soit possible pour ces grands chasseurs que
   sont les Dayak. Que les rayures de la fourrure du tigre et ses
   grandes canines soient familieres aux Dayak n'a rien d'etonnant.
   Des peaux et des crocs, propriete de grands chefs, circulent depuis
   longtemps a Borneo, en provenance de Sumatra. Que les Dayak
   puissent decrire ses moeurs, en particulier le fait qu'il n'est pas
   arboricole comme la panthere et qu'il est souvent dans l'eau.

   Sellato (1983: 28) was also mindful of the following terminological

   II semble qu'un terme designant specifiquement le tigre et done
   bien distinct de celui designant la panthere, existe dans la
   majorite des langue Dayak. Alors que la panthere parait etre, de
   fagon homogene dans le centre de Borneo appelee kuleh (Kayan,
   Kenyah, Bahau), kuri (Aoheng, Hovongan), kuyir (Kelabit), la
   denomination du tigre est variable avec les ethnies : lejo (Kayan),
   lejau (Bahau), lenjau (Kenyah); limau (Bidayuh), remaung (Beketan
   et Iban), rimau (Kadazan); sengiru (Aoeng, Seputan), sengiro
   (Hovongan, Punan-Kereho). Notons encore le balang des Kelabit et le
   baro des Maloh (King 1976b). Line de ces series de termes est
   apparentee au malais harimau, qui designe le tigre, tandis qu 'une
   autre rappelle le terme malais singa qui, lui, designe le lion.

Ten years later, Sellato (1993: 164) still concluded that "[t]he groups of Borneo distinguish well between tiger and panther, and describe the former correctly although they have never seen one." Sellato's remarks seem to make a strong case for an old autochthonous knowledge of tigers among Bornean peoples, although the terminological heterogeneity among his "tiger" terms, compared to that of his clouded leopard terms, could be equally pointing to a more recent acquaintance with this animal. Therefore, an updated look at "big cats" terms in Borneo, and the Greater Barito area, is in order. However, in the absence of dictionaries and detailed taxonomies of mammalia for most Bornean communities, no great degree of comprehensiveness will be possible at this stage of inquiry.

Bornean "tiger" terms

According to Blust (2002: 108), reflexes of Proto-Austronesian (PAN) * likeNaw or * lukeNaw 'clouded leopard, Pardofelis nebulosa' are not readily found in languages other than those of Taiwan. Considering the distribution of this animal, which is found from Taiwan to the Malay Peninsula and Borneo, but not in the Philippines, he further hypothesizes that the "AN speakers presumably would have lost the inherited term in passing through the Philippines, and would have been forced to innovate a new one when encountering the animal again in Borneo" (see also Blust 2010: 96). This, he says, probably was Proto-West-Malayo-Polynesian (PWMP) * qari-maqun. The meaning of 'clouded leopard' is well reflected in some of the Greater Barito languages of Kalimantan as Samihim rima?uqn or Ngaju and Ma'anyan harimaun, but "[i]n areas where the clouded leopard is absent, the cognate term is applied instead to tigers, as with Jarai ramoy," and, I might add, as with Malay harimau (11) 'tiger,' which was borrowed into many languages of Borneo and the Philippines and is easily identifiable by its phonologically irregular form. One such borrowing is given by Blust (2010) for Ilokano olimaw 'winged serpent; imaginary creature' "with semantic change due to the inevitably speculative character of a gloss that was understandable to Malays, who were familiar with tigers and leopards, but not to peoples of the northern Philippines, who were not." Heading southwards, the same argument holds for Tagalog halim'aw 'beast; monster' (Ramos 1971) or Yakan halimaw glossed 'tiger; lion' and 'some mythical creature' (see Table below). (12) As for Bornean languages, Adelaar (1992: 53) found Iban's rimaw 'tiger' equally suspicious, remarking that "since tigers are not found in Borneo this is probably borrowed (from Standard] M[alay]?)". (13)

However, Bornean languages, including Iban, display cognates of PWMP * qarimaqun, but with seemingly different meanings. Thus, the Kutai and Sellato's Beketan reflexes point to 'tigers,' as did Sellato's glossing of Iban remaung and his Bidayuh limau, the latter of which I was unable to identify in Bidayuh sources. In contrast to Sellato, established dictionaries of these two languages have Iban remaung as 'wild cat,' whereas Nais (1988) is undecided as to the meaning of Bidayuh rimaung 1. 'leopard' 2. 'tiger,' as is also the case in the sources on Banjar and some West-Barito languages. Melanau dimong seems to refer solely to the 'leopard,' as do the reflexes of Barito and Malayic languages cited by Hudson, although his glossing of Indonesian harimau as 'leopard' casts doubt on the reliability of his data. Nevertheless, it seems that Bornean reflexes of * qari-maqun really point to the 'leopard,' rather than to the 'tiger.' However, problems remain for the whole of WMP: Although Blust (2002: 100) was willing to reconstruct the PWMP etymon with the meaning 'leopard' in an earlier publication, the more general gloss 'wild feline' is chosen now in his Austronesian Comparative Dictionary.

Some other sets of "tiger" terms are restricted to the North Sarawakan branch of the North Borneo group. In the Kayan-Kenyah group, modern Kenyah isolects show reflexes of Proto-Kenyah * lajaw, and Bahau-Busang and Kayan have lejau. The semantic association of these terms with the tiger seems uncontestable. But one should take note of the fact that Barth (1910) and Sombroek (1986) glossed the Bahau term as 'legendarisch verscheurend dier' or '(mythische) tiger,' and that, according to both authors, the term has only recently come to be identified with the tiger. But then, Barth (1910) also gives ipen ledjo as 'tusk of the tiger,' that is, a non-mythical object. Questions also arise as to the referent of the Kayan reflex, because Southwell (1990) also cites an ominous lejau danum as 'mythical wildcat' or 'wolf,' which could, of course, be interpreted as a special term denoting instances of tigers crossing rivers. Metcalf (1992: 139) again mentioned the term lenjau in the sense of 'tiger' for the Berawan, but interestingly, interprets it as a "Berawanized version of the Malay word for tiger" without explaining this alleged linguistic link. But considering this piece of information together with the proposal by different authors of a Malay origin of the "tiger culture" among the Kayan-Kenyah group, one might, very cautiously, ask if there couldn't be a relationship between this set of Bornean terms and the mythical hero in the tiger stories of the Malayan Kerinci of Sumatra who goes by the very similar name of "Linjo" (see Bakels 2003: 76)?

Another set of terms, namely sengiro or sengiru, is restricted to the Kayanic Muller-Schwaner "Punan" groups known through the writings of Sellato (1983: 28). Unfortunately, no other comparative data is available as a further reference for these terms. But the rather arbitrary link to singa 'lion,' which Sellato seems to be proposing, would ultimately make it a borrowing from Sanskrit simha 'lion' (de Casparis 1997). Still another set of "tiger" terms is found in the Dayic Branch of North Sarawakan. Kemaloh Lundayeh and Bario Kelabit balang (Blust 1993) are translated as 'tiger,' but Sa'ban beleang is glossed by Blust as 'tiger cat,' as is his Proto-Kelabit-Lun Dayeh (PKLD) * balan (Blust 2000: 317), from which all of the Dayic forms originate. This etymon again derives from PWMP * balan (3) 'spotted, striped, multi-colored' and contains the still earlier PAN root *-latj 'striped' (ACD). It is not clear to me what "tiger cat" is meant to refer to here, for the real 'tiger cat' or oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus) is native only to Central and South America, but it is certainly not the 'leopard cat' (Prionailurus bengalensis borneoensis) expressed by PKLD's descendant languages with a reflex of * tubang, nor the 'clouded leopard' which is expressed, for example, in Kelabit and Kemaloh Lundayeh by the term kui(i)r.

In the Greater Barito languages of Kalimantan, alleged "tiger" words seem to be restricted to the Eastern branch. In regards to the Benuaq, Bentiaatn and Central Luangan, I have already addressed the possibility for a translation of timang as 'clouded leopard.' The same term is also mentioned for the Taboyan, Lawangan and Pasir and glossed as 'leopard' (Hudson 1967: 79), but also 'harimau' for the last two languages (Suryadikara et al. 1985: 101, Ibrahim 1997). The form simang is found among the Dusun Deyah as 'lion' (Kawi 1983) or 'leopard' (Hudson 1967: 79) and the Ma'anyan know the same form, in addition to harimaun, as 'clouded leopard,' but in this case understood as an invisible or mysterious animal (BI gaib). Durasid (1990: 273,56) reconstructed the form * timan as 'harimau' for his Proto-Lawangan-Dusun Deyah (PLD) and Proto-Barito-Timur (PBT) as well, because of Tunjung timang, up to his Proto-Barito, and regarded it as one of the 49 lexical innovations defining his Barito language group. (14) All in all though, the above data are suggestive of timang as 'clouded leopard' for the whole of East-Barito. The name of timang's mythological progenitor Bontik (or Dontik) is also interesting, insofar as in this group of languages the root usually refers to 'a colorful pattern,' like the spectrum colors of the rainbow, a pattern called botik. Considering other such names of Benuaq mythology, it could well be that the name of this numen is just an older word for this predator. One such example is the mythical being Kujar from whom originated the monkeys. In fact, for Lawangan, a more conservative isolect, the terms kujar (Suryadikara 1985: 97) or uyar (Hudson 1967) are glossed as 'monkey,' suggesting that this old generic term for 'monkey' became this animal's ancestor in Benuaq myth (Venz 2013:434).

As for the case of Maloh's barn 'tiger,' one could try to achieve a better understanding of the underlying semantics of this word by considering cognates in the languages of the South-Sulawesi group, whose relationship to the Tamanic languages has been established by Adelaar (1994). But here the following table displays ambiguous results as well: in Tae'-Toraja, halo means 'striped' or 'yellow or brown stripes,' in Mandar, halo glosses as 'striped' or 'colored fur' used with respect to cats or dogs and in Makassar the same form stands for 'colored' and 'white spots,' but also 'striped,' and is used in relation to dogs and horses, as in djarang-balo-dondo 'horse with a white stripe over the head.' It would have to be concluded then, that Maloh's barn does not actually refer to the tiger or whatever "big cat" as such, but rather, as PWMP * balan3 to the colorful fur pattern of such an animal, used by the Maloh for the "tiger" (King 1975: 109, 1976). It would seem reasonable to attempt an interpretation of "big cat" terms along the line of 'striped' (tiger) versus 'spotted' (leopard), but the cases of balo, barn, -tik and * balan glossed 'spotted, striped, multi-colored,' are ambiguous with respect to this distinction. Besides, the crux with the Bornean clouded leopard is that it is somewhat neutral to this semantic dichotomy, because of its fur pattern having "many distinct spots ... and twin stripes along their backs." See also Taiwan's Pazeh rangarang 'clouded leopard' containing the

PAN root *-lan 'striped' (Blust 1999: 362 and ACD).

Finally, as regards terms for the 'Bornean clouded leopard' (Neofelis nebulosa diardi), Sellato (1982: 23) already pointed to the homogeneity of Central Borneo's 'kuli set.' Indeed, cognates of this group are especially prevalent in North Borneo's North Sarawakan languages, and they can also be found in Iban engkuli' as well as in Greater Barito. I haven't detected any cognates in western Barito, but Nathanael gives kuleh for Barito Mahakam's Tunjung, where it is said to refer to the melanistic color variant of the animal. As for the eastern branch, Hudson cites kuli 'leopard' for Northeast Barito's Lawangan. However, as regards the Benuaq term, the anthropologist and biologist Gonner (2001: 290) (15) specifies kuliiq (teniq) as 'Malay civet (Viverra tangalunga)' and this semantic shift is also reflected in Yakan of Sama-Bajaw, where the aberrant form ketuli 'refers to the same animal. This might count as a further argument in favor of timang as 'clouded leopard,' at least in the Northeastern branch of Greater Barito where it seems to have replaced reflexes of PWMP * qari-maqun, otherwise abundant in the Southeast and Western branches of this language group.

In addition to those sets of terms reviewed above, we find some more alleged "tiger" words restricted to individual languages, e.g. Keningau Murut mondoh or Punan Tubu fi'at, but in the absence of any supporting evidence, no further comment would be reasonable here. I also refrain from a final statement as to Sellato's proposal above. Nevertheless, the alleged "tiger" terms of Borneo are spread over many different (cognate) sets of words, implying no great deal of shared history among Borneans as to this predator. In addition, many of these terms are loans, others are at least suspicious as to their origins; some are ambiguous as to the animal species concerned, while others don't refer to "real" animals (anymore), but to mysterious creatures of legend and myth.

Timang as honorific

The foregoing discussion has shown that the Benuaq (and Luangan) term timang has both a non-religious and a religio-mythological sense to it. It refers to a large feline, originally probably to the clouded leopard, rather than to the tiger, and nowadays to both, and, because of the absence of any large predator in the region, also to an invisible, and therefore, mysterious predator sometimes referred to with the BI term harimau gaib. It is also referred to as a "spirit familiar" associated with this feline, in addition to being associated with the ancestors. Yet, what kind of association(s) this might be remains somewhat obscure, apart from the fact, of course, that mythology links the timang to humans genealogically and that the canine teeth are linked to ancestors symbolically.

The relation between this animal, "spirits," and ancestors could be manifold: Is timang some ill-defined "spirit" in animal or human guise? Is it the animal itself that manifests as "spirit helper" or "protecting spirit" taking human form, a special case of which, for example, reported by Wessing (1997: 116) for the Kerinci of Sumatra, would be a belief in deceased tigers becoming guardians? Or, in a similar vein, is it the vanished (or extinct) predator of long ago whose remembrance society keeps alive by entrusting it with the function of "spirit familiar"? Is it part of what King (1985: 144) referred to as a "protective syndrome" that he described as a characteristic of many creatures in Borneo symbolism whose aggressive nature needs to "be harnessed for human purposes," and which, if not cared for, become what Needham (1967: 282-283) called "punishment-animals in Borneo"? Is it humans, post-mortal humans or mythological ancestors transformed into "spirit-animals," such as was reported about the "men of prowess" of the Iban "who in death are said to return to the living world as spirit-animals, for example, as ... clouded leopards" (Sather 2012:120) or the apical ancestors of the Uut Danum who "take the specific form of tiger-spirits" (Couderc 2012:180)? Or, is it about deceased humans that simply "inhabit" the predator or, finally, a mixture of some of these possibilities?

None of these alternatives is, at the present stage of our knowledge, completely satisfying in the context of the Benuaq. I am reluctant to believe that the animal itself ever was an object of veneration, let alone that there existed something like a "tiger cult" in the real sense of the word. I am equally dissatisfied with any projection into Benuaq religion of a "tiger spirit" as such, or, at least, am cautious with the use of this particular term. Considering Couderc's transformed ancestors above (see also Couderc 2012; and Beguet 2012) and Herrmans' myth of the Central Luangan referred to earlier in the paper, the timang might simply be understood as the transformed Bontik, i.e. an individual numen or a singular existence, just as her myth tells us. A similar myth exists among the Benuaq, but without the explicit transformation of Bontik. And here, timang relates to more than one, to a plural phenomenon, forming a much more inclusive category of "[t]he ones who ate the cooked flesh of Bura" being, thus, taken beyond the narrow context of Bontik. I am, therefore, hesitating to derive the religious significance of the timang from mythology alone, and, rather, see here secondary developments. Of course, the ritual context again suggests some special ritual treatment of the timang among the Luangan groups, at least in some types of heavily Malay influenced ritual as, for example, reported by Zahorka (2007) or Herrmans (2011), but these, together with the accompanying liturgies, are not yet sufficiently documented and ethnographer's opinions diverge as to what timang refers in these contexts (see "leopard effigy" in Massing 1982: 68). Generally speaking, the oral literature of the Benuaq does not seem to give the timang a level of cultural significance comparable to the "tiger motif' in Central Borneo as described by Sellato (1983). True, the predator figures quite prominently in many of the so-called intootn 'folktales' of the Benuaq as the mightiest, most ferocious and most respected animal of the forest, but here it is mostly presented as the tricked and stupid one. I have recently included one such story in the KCLC magazine entitled "The mousedeer and the timang." (16)

Dyson (2008: 34), an author of Benuaq origin and Professor of Anthropology, opens another avenue toward an understanding of the timang in a very short comment: "The tiger in Benuaq culture is a were-animal (binatang jadi-jadian), who does not have a definite shape, but can kill humans immediately." (17) Here Dyson seems to refer to ailuranthropy, a typical form of therianthropy in Borneo, that is, the transformation of selected humans into a feline therianthropic being, in this case were-tigers, or -leopards. This, of course, would imply that the religious phenomenon under discussion originates in living humans. However, I haven't yet found a belief of such a metamorphosis among the Benuaq, nor has Payne (2012: 344) who speaks of the timang as "presumably nonhuman tiger spirits." I, nevertheless, support the view of an association between these felines and humans, and to this aim, it will be instructive to look at the following cultural usages of the term timang, which have not been sufficiently appreciated in the pertinent Benuaq literature so far.

As in other parts of Borneo, there exists among the Benuaq a pervasive symbolic association between high status and tigers. (18) A first note in this direction can be found in Massing's (1982: 68) brief account of a nalitn tautn ceremony that contains the following passage concerning "the carved effigy of a leopard (harimau)": "the symbolism is not clear but may point to the royal lineage of the kepala adat who is responsible for the ceremony, as the leopard is the sign of royalty." I might not necessarily subscribe to Massing's tentative link between such effigies and the "royal lineage of the kepala adat" in this context, as opinion is divided on this issue among the Benuaq, but in other contexts such symbolism is definitely borne out by the data. It is no wonder then to find the term timang as part of so-called sengkulaakng, or 'titles.' Bonoh (1985) explains that coffins of aristocrats usually displayed a motif called belokookng timang 'spear of the timang' and that: "[t]he motif resembles a tiger carrying his tail. The tiger is a dangerous animal and is feared ... [T]his ornament is only found on coffins of kings and aristocrats." (19) Madrah (2001: 67) again gives a brief overview of the goods mutually exchanged by a new couple in former upper-class marriages (lakuuq tiwaai), mentioning that the groom was required to provide an antaakng serentimang or "substitute of the bride's body." Another title, tengkaatn timang, 'layer of the timang,' refers to the Benuaq village of Dasaq located in Kutai Barat's sub-district Muara Pahuq, which might be a hint of the political significance of the village in the past, although nothing is as yet known about it. The same title also stands for the colloquial word belango 'to sit cross-legged' or 'to sit Indian style' as this sitting posture is held to be indicative of aristocracy.

More importantly, the term timang is also used as a title, or better, honorific, for individual aristocrats. The Benuaq relate that at the height of the leadership of Tataau Mantiq Solaai Ragup Mpooq Jentui (app. 1600), a renowned headman of the longhouse (loou) Bereq, a dispute over land between two principal families broke out, in the center of which stood Timang Tanatn and Timang Mereap. Since Ragup Mpooq Jentui was unable to resolve the conflict himself, he felt forced to request assistance from the reigning Sultan Mahkota of Kutai Kertanegara and sent a delegation to its capital, Tenggarong. The delegation returned to Bereq accompanied by the Muslim missionary, Tunggang Parangan, who had been appointed by the Sultan to mediate negotiations. Eventually, a solution acceptable to all sides was found, but the Benuaq regent had to agree to pay an annual tribute to the Sultan and to put Bereq under his rule. In remembrance of this "peaceful" agreement, Bereq was later renamed Damai (BI; peace), which until today is the capital of the kecamatan of the same name. Ragup Mpooq Jentui himself bore the major title Timang Tungar Buah Nungur Pahuq Botuk Bataakng Malaakng Maraaq Idaatn Joakng Ompakng Pahuq Dayaq, which roughly translates as 'the solitary timang, the crocodile poised to attack, reigning over the whole Pahuq-Idaatn region' (see also Dyson 2002: 35). Further examples for the use of the term timang as an honorific can be found in Dyson's (2002:55-57) list of the "kings" (BI raja) of Sendawar, as, for example, the 5th raja Timaang Entoot and 24th raja Timaang Mpooq Baraau, who are said to have resided in the villages of Rajuq and Ngenyan respectively.

Finally, the term timang can also be found in so-called perencaatn, 'titles given to religious specialists.' One such example is the ominous Timaang Maih 'the thin timang,' who was supposedly a pengewara 'death priest' of the village of Piraaq Nahaaq. Another instance are the pengeguguuq or 'female helpers' of the death priests, who are ritually referred to as Timaang Lalaakng Jejakaq (lalaakng 'mediator'). One also finds the term in the priestly language with respect to animal protagonists in myths, an example of which is Hopes et al.'s (1997: 52, 53, 54), mentioning a large tree-shrew (sentukuq) named Sentukuq Timang in the myth of the origin of water. In a joking manner, timang loou or ltimang of the longhouse' is used to refer to cats (meoong) that stroll around the longhouses. Last but not least, we find the term timang in connection with titles of numina usually treated as "categories of spirits" in their own right. One such example can be found in Bonoh's (1984/1985: 22-24) enumeration of different "tonoi spirits," one of which is called Tonoi Unuk Timang Tongaq 'tonoi of the human body,' two others are referred to as Seniang Dasai Menik and Ketutut Nayun Buratn. To complicate matters, Hopes et al. (1997: 59-60) mention a nayuq named Timang Batang Berasatn which Benuaq ritual recitation specialists know as mulukng timang. Now, seniang, nayuq, timang, tonoi and mulukng would usually be treated in the literature as different "categories of spirits." These issues lie outside the scope of this paper, but these examples make it clear that a classification of the Benuaq pantheon requires more than a simple cataloguing of existing indigenous terms for numina.

I reaffirm the following points: The term timang, often simply defined as "tiger spirit(s)" in the Benuaq ethnographic literature, primarily denotes one of the most imposing predators of the (earlier) regional fauna and, in addition, served also as an honorific for the local aristocracy and respected elders. Whatever other symbolic associations between humans and big cats there might be, this is certainly the most unambiguous expression of this association. Owing to the fact that social stratification and the use of honorific titles belong to the past, this finding might not be obvious to many Benuaq of today and, therefore, has not been much of an issue in the scholarly literature. However, a very brief comment on the subject from Dyson (2008: 34) may be cited in support: "Considering the use of the name Timang ... one can imagine, how important the so-designated leaders must have been." (20)

It is quite possible that the use of the term timang as a title was also influenced by a similar title of this kind of Indian origin, namely singa (Skt. simha 'lion'), conferred on local leaders in southeast Kalimantan by the Sultan of Kutai in the 19th and early 20th century (see Sillander 2004: 237). This borrowing is also found in Kemaloh Lundayeh, Bidayuh or Kayan as Singa ' and used as 'a male personal name' (Ganang et al. 2008). But the widespread use of "indigenous" words for feline predators as personal names, terms of address and honorifics all around Borneo somewhat precludes its reducibility to a purely foreign phenomenon (see Table above): Kemaloh Lundayeh Balang and Busang Kuleh, Lejau and Lejiw all refer to 'a male personal name' (Sombroek 1986). Ngaju Dien of the priestly jargon equally qualifies as 'a male name.'Among the Kenyah, the name Kuleh is given to boys and Linjau to sons of chiefs (Hose & McDougall 1901: 188). The Berawan give the name Lenjau to boys "who are expected to have a political future" and sometimes say "Our great ones are [or more frequently, were] tigers" (Metcalf 1992: 139). Both Iban Engkuli' and Remaung are used poetically as a 'term of address to a young man' (Richards 1981) and Ngaju Haramaung again refers to the bravest of a group of people. It goes without saying that the use of words designating exceptional animals for exceptional humans is also known from other parts of Indonesia, (21) Southeast Asia, and, of course, also from European history, a well-known example being Richard Plantagenet, better known as Richard (I) Lionheart.

Now, it only takes one more step to connect the term timang with the (human) ancestors, since among the Benuaq, the social significance of such individuals did not end with death, but became a religious one, in that these ancestors continued to watch over their community, e.g., as familiars of living religious specialists, as warriors in times of warfare, as advisers in traditional arbitrations, or generally, for the benefit of the whole community. No wonder then that such ancestors are also referred to as nayuq timang. (22) The term nayuq again, as we saw earlier, figures prominently in Benuaq myths and many proposals have been offered in the literature for a better understanding of this alleged "category of spirits." A recent, and impressive, example of how this term relates to so-called "second-order ancestors" of human origin was given by Payne (2012: 317, 344-345). As for the term itself, it could well be that nayuq, and Ma'anyan nanyuq 'ancestor,' both associated with 'thunder,' are somehow related to Old Indian tanyu-thundering' and, thus, would be loan words. But even if not, there is no doubt at all that the term nayuq is only another honorific applied to human as well as mythological ancestors, as I recently discussed (Venz 2013: 459-469).

This again leads to the use of the term timang in ritual recitations during mortuary

rituals, which, I concede, is not at all an easy matter, since ritual language is largely metaphoric, and the understanding of it, therefore, rather diverse. One such ambiguous sentence is epuuq olaaq timang tehur 'for a long time have the timang remained dormant.' Some informants have related it to the ominous predator; most saw here a general reference to (human and mythological) ancestors to be invited back from the realms of the dead. Indeed, such a view would also be confirmed by comparative data, since such metaphors are known, for example, from the Ngaju about whom Robert Hertz (1960: 137) himself once said: "It is remarkable that these terms--tiger, crocodile, or hornbill--are constantly used in the priestesses'jargon to designate men and women, as well as persons already established in the other world."

Apart from ritual recitations, the designation nayuq timang in the context of death rituals clearly refers, inter alia, to such mythological ancestors as the guardians of the two different realms of the dead, i.e. the "heavenly" Tenangkai and Saikng Lumut, who are invited only in the final stages of the secondary mortuary ceremony. And here again we find a bewildering array of links between these two terms and still others. Thus, an alternative designation for these guardians is tangai tamui, an expression Hopes et al. (1997: 40) and Madrah & Karaakng (1997: 33) used as a synonym for the nayuq timang of the origin myth where they referred to "[t]he ones who ate the cooked flesh of Bura." Somewhere else Madrah (1997:27) explicitly states: "Nayuq and Timang, better known as Tangaai Tamuui in colloquial language, are spirits who protect and regulate the continuance of human life." (23) Some other sources would rather restrict the term tangai to the mythological guardians of the highest level of Tenangkai, a place called Tenukng Mentararatn, for only these would possess the capacity to come to the aid of humans (see also Pamung & Suni 1994, private manuscript; Lahajir et al. 2006: 149). However, that this term is not only referring to the mythological realm is evident from Payne's (2012: 336) case study of Kakah Bulaatn. This human ancestor of the village of Lempukng Bungaq wished to be installed as a nayuq to take on the function of a tangai kampukng or tangai benua, defined by Payne as "a protector spirit of the village." And, although this insight is certainly correct, some informants would not only apply the function of tangai to Payne's "second-order ancestors," but would even include here virtually all those postmortals for whom a secondary mortuary ceremony has been performed, for the term tangai also, and most importantly, refers to the final stage of this ceremony. The translation of tangai as 'protector' or 'guardian' is certainly borne out by the ethnographic data, but it also has connotations such as 'to finish,' 'to appease,' and probably 'to propitiate,' or even 'to release from' and it might also well be related to the name Tenangkai. Hence, could the function of tangai be interpreted as the direct result of secondary mortuary ceremonies installing a dead person in the "heavenly" Tenangkai? In any case, a deeper understanding of this term would certainly help us to better characterize those referred to by this term (see Venz 2013: 410-412 for a short discussion of this term). It may also be more plausible, I contend, to derive it from the immediate religious practice of humans, rather than from its mythological context.

There are still other terms used to refer to the mythological guardians, i.e. the nayuq timang or tangai tamui. With respect to Tenangkai, they are also called nayun Tenangkai, and with respect to Saikng Lumut, they are called nayun Lumut. But, if it seemed so far that the guardians of the realms of the dead would be some undifferentiated collectivity of (abstract) higher level mythological beings, we are surprised by the following facts, because the first are also referred to as kelelungan nahaaq, 'older kelelungan' and the second as liau nahaaq, 'older liau.' These two terms, kelelungan and liau, are known in the Benuaq literature as primarily referring to the two "spirits of the dead." The question as to how these two "spirits of the dead" are distinguished has been answered in different ways in the Benuaq literature and lies outside the scope of this paper (see Sillander 2012: 65; Payne 2012: 318; Venz 2013: 261-318, and Zahorka in this volume of the BRB). But notice that the mythical guardians are conceptualized no differently than dead humans. This will become even more evident when considering the following: One of the kelelungan nahaaq bears the title Nayuq Sulitn Kelinceekng and one of the liaau nahaaq bears the title Nayuq Tataau Temengukng Gerukng Tunyukng. Now, to what, or whom do the titles of these two mythical "spirits of the dead" refer? The answer is surprising. As a pair, these "older spirits of the dead" refer to no other than Mukng Melur who, together with his wife, is known as the main protagonist of the myth of the origin of death (Hopes et al. 1997: 171-178). And here we might even find a way back to Taman Rikukng and his wife in the origin myth, for according to Latief (1996: 21), this pair equally counts among the mythical guardians. There is even a chance that these two pairs are (historically) the same, for one Luangan legend has it that "Mbung Munur, not satisfied with the power of immortality ... desired to experience death." Finally, he "was able to die, ... thus rendering man mortal. Having taken the name Samarikung, Lord of Death, he now ... gather[s] the souls of the dead around him on Gunung Lumut" (Weinstock 1983: 121-122). It would seem then that even Samarikung, alias Taman Rikukng, whom Hopes et al. (1997: 14) were willing to concede only "something of the Nayuq nature" is, at least as a mythological postmortal, and indeed as all human and mythological ancestors, to be referred to as nayuq, or [nayuq] timang.

I have come full circle now, but would like to point to a last interesting fact, namely that the individual sengkulaakng of mythological ancestors, not different from those of living or dead humans, frequently contain political titles such as Tatau 'community leader' or Temengukng 'chief' as in the case of the liau of Mukng Melur. Other names, again, are simply teknonyms (e.g. parentonym, gerontonym), such as Taman 'Father (of)' Tinan 'Mother (of),' Kakah 'Grandfather (of)' or 'Itaak 'Grandmother (of)'. This is the case with Taman Rikukng, but also of Ineq Rodot, the alleged "tiger-goddess" of the Bentiaatn mentioned earlier by Fried (1995: 9). Hence, different from what would be expected of most gods or goddesses in theistic religions, these mythological beings continue the naming system characteristic of Benuaq society reflecting, once more, that these are conceptualized by the Benuaq, essentially, as just an extension of humankind into the mythological past.


This paper focuses on one particular phenomenon in the Benuaq's religio-mythological pantheon, namely timang, most often defined in the ethnographic literature as "tiger spirit(s)." The aim is to assess all available data and, if possible, to achieve a better understanding of timang. From the foregoing discussion it should be clear that the timang, far from being simply "tiger spirit(s)," present us with a multi-dimensional phenomenon that exemplifies some of the critical comments made at the beginning of this paper and, in addition, allows for a general appreciation of the Benuaq religio-mythological system as a whole:

A classification of the religio-mythological pantheon of the Benuaq, as we have seen from looking at only a single term designating an alleged "category of spirits," is not at all straightforward, but rather, complicated by various factors. As Sillander (2004: 197) remarked with respect to the Bentian, "[i]nformants ... claimed ignorance regarding the qualities of the soul and ancestral souls, as they did also with respect to characteristics of spirits. Typically they said that only the belians know ... but even the belians were often unknowing" (see also Hermans 2011: 17). In other cases, interviewees communicate a befuddling spectrum of different opinions and, needless to say, perceptions have changed in the course of history. Hence, when looking at the pantheon from a purely synchronic and contemporary point of view, terns such as timang, nayuq, seniang or liau etc., could well be analyzed as referring to different "categories of spirits," which makes for the "spiritual wilderness" found in ethnographic reports much bemoaned by the authors, themselves. But then, published classifications of the Benuaq pantheon just mirror this ethnographic reality and are, thus, of great ethnographic value. I would nevertheless contend that a look at Benuaq religion, mythology and ritual from a historical-phenomenological angle may help understanding and explaining much of the existing confusion, or better, perhaps, diversity.

To summarize: first, a review of general information and relevant language data on "tiger" words in (Greater) Barito languages, and Borneo in general, indicates astounding difficulties as to a clear-cut classification of the timang as tiger, or clouded leopard, a problem which could not satisfactorily be resolved in this article, either. Second, the timang are explained by informants and ethnographers in various ways, as having originated in (or, in the Luangan case, as a transformation of) Taman Rikukng's child, Bontik, of the creation myth, as mystical animals or as therianthropes. Other data showed that timang symbols (e.g. carvings) are associated with the local aristocracy and that the term timang refer(ed) to honorable living people, and by extension, to human ancestors and even mythological ancestors, for the term itself, not often noticed in the ethnographic literature, also functions as an honorific. Third, in addition to this surprising usage of the term timang, it appears that it is often joined to the term nayuq, which is another honorific. The term nayuq again is often joined to, and also interchangeably used with, seniang, which is another honorific, and both of these terms could well be of Indian origin. While this usage is often interpreted as a juxtaposition of different types of "spirits," I would propose to look at it as a juxtaposition of honorifics, which can refer equally to human and mythological ancestors. Moreover, the expression nayuq timang is "synonymously" used with the--more colloquial--expression tangai tamui 'guardian spirits,' both of which again refer to the liau kelelungan 'spirits of the deceased' of higher status. Finally, all of these expressions can equally be applied to human or mythological ancestors. Hence, a first conclusion to be drawn is that Benuaq indigenous words of different shapes and meanings applied to the religio-mythological pantheon must not be understood as necessarily denoting different "categories of spirits," and elsewhere I have given many more examples of this kind to substantiate this point (Venz 2013).

The religious terminology of the Benuaq uses different terms to refer to 'guardians,' 'spirit familiars,' 'spirit helpers,' or 'protecting spirits,' i.e. not only tangai tamui, but also mulukng (derivable from PMP *bulun 'medicinal herbs'), pengirikng or ntuq (derivable from PAN *qaNiCu 'ghost, spirit of the dead; owl'). Of course, there are factors that differentiate these terms, but in the end, all of them refer to functions, rather than to categories of Benuaq numina, and in addition, ancestors are said to form the largest group of them. If these terms refer generally to 'guardians' and the terms timang and nayuq (as well as seniang) are to be understood as honorifics, then what are/were the religious objects venerated by the Benuaq? The simple answer is that almost all other Benuaq terms for numina that lend themselves to (philological) analyses refer to numina originating as deceased humans, such as the liau (or meruaq), the kelelungan, the anaak majaakng 'spirits of stillborn children,' or the band 'spirits of women who died in childbirth.' Of course, in accord with the hybrid status of Benuaq animism (as typical of Southeast Asia) with respect to Kaser's (2004: 15) two main types of animism, i.e. animism with and without ancestor veneration, we find a few other terms referring to alleged non-human numina described as animals or, at least, as appearing in animal form (theriomorph). This is true for many mulukng, but also of so-called "spirits of nature," such as the kuyaakng a "group of spirits who dwell in the ... giant fig trees" (Hopes et al. 1997: 186-187) or the wook, mentioned by Hopes et al. together with the timang and nayuq as guardians of the headhunters, who "dwell in the forests and mountains, ... are ... essentially hostile and difficult to placate" and of which "[tjhere are a great many different kinds" (1997: 15). These latter terms themselves are, unfortunately, not given to further analysis, but additional (comparative) data might open windows towards a new understanding of them. As for the kuyaakng, for example, Hardeland (1859) cites 'kojan (Bandjarsch,) i.q. das dajacksche hantuen' and Jay (1993: 157) explains that: "Ngaju vampires or hantuen, also kuyang (Banjarese) are described as "humans who are not human" because they feed on the blood of the newly deceased, the newly bom, or of pregnant women." In Ma'anyan the terms hantuen and kuyang are used as synonyms for the associated phenomenon of "flying heads." The Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia (1991) glosses kuyang as "ghost of a woman, who according to the inhabitants of East Kalimantan, can let their head and intestines fly and feeds on the blood of pregnant women or those that have given birth to a baby." And finally, Hapip glosses kuyang in his Banjar Dictionary (2008) as 'kuntilanak', i.e. "spirits of women who died in childbirth." The wook (in Pasir also called uwok nayu, see Dewi et al. 2000: 28), again, are equally ambiguous, but the wook utak come close to the hantuen of the Ngaju and Ma'anyan and wook walik and wook oseekng doubtlessly refer to numina of human origin (see Venz 2013 for a more comprehensive discussion of Benuaq numina). So, notwithstanding such ambiguous cases, a further conclusion to be drawn is that the (primary) religious object of the Benuaq were dead humans, who, once elevated to the status of ancestor, "high above the world of the living," i.e. established on the mountain of death and in the heavenly Tenangkai, 'roared' (timang), 'thundered' (nayuq) and 'guarded' (tangai) the living, as it should be. The inescapable human experience of death as a main cause for religious reasoning and the resulting veneration of the "spirits of dead and ancestors" must, therefore, be acknowledged as a major basis of Benuaq animistic religion (see also Cain 1996: 31 on Polynesia).

Another question that needs to be asked with respect to Benuaq numina is, in how far they fit a definition of "spirit" or "spiritual"? A comprehensive discussion of problems associated with the use of these terms and arguments as to why "spirit being" or "spirit-like being" might be more appropriate for typological and comparative reasons is given in Kaser (2004, 2014 forthcoming). Here Kaser (2014: 89) also remarked that "in animistic thinking spirit beings are understood to be not so totally spirit-like as would appear to be the case according to (modem) European-Western perceptions" and similar notes have been made by Sillander and Herrmans cited in the beginning of this article. Indeed, when we look at the Benuaq's conceptualization of the two "spirits of the dead" and other numina, which is admittedly not a straightforward issue, we nevertheless find them modeled upon the living person, as having a SEIC and a 'body' (Bnq unuk), although this is more often referred to as 'form' (Bnq umakng) (see Venz 2012). The terms for the "spirits of the deceased" themselves seem to point in the same direction for, however represented in the ritual idiom, liau is, at least historically, to be understood as an euphemism for the dead person himself (see also Scharer 1966: 681-682 for the Ngaju and Southwell 1980 for the Kayan), rather than as a "spirit of the dead." Likewise, most Barito cognates of the Benuaq term ntuq are glossed by Hudson (1968: 91) as 'corpse' and a most basic translation for kelelungan would come down to, simply, 'skull' (see e.g. Madrah 2001: 11), which proves a historical derivation of such "(ancestor) spirits" from the body. Hence, all these factors combined lead me to point to a conclusion drawn by Cain & Bierbach (1996b: 152) with respect to Polynesian "spirits," namely, that these "numinous phenomena are but dialectically comprehended spirits of the dead or ancestral spirits - that is, the dead and the ancestors themselves." If such indications were confirmed in the future, we might well have to rethink a too Tylorian (1871: 383) reading of animism as "belief in spiritual beings" and even wipe off the "spirit" from the equation to keep solely with the terms dead and ancestors. Again, as far as the Benuaq (or Luangan in general), are concerned, a most basic expression for such existences is, as almost everywhere in Borneo, "those that cannot be seen" singling out in-/visibility as the most important of their characteristics (emic).

We have also seen, or rather glimpsed, to what extent Benuaq religion and mythology are interwoven as a consequence of what Stohr (1976: 88) termed "the genealogical principle" characteristic of "Old-Indonesian religion." Indeed, the Benuaq worldview connects humans, forebears and ancestors to the beings of primordial times and the present and history to myth (-ical history, in the emic sense), an ideology which becomes tangible in the context of ritual practice. But when we venture on to the level of analysis, then Benuaq religion and mythology should be kept apart. "Reading the code" of mythical narratives about Taman Rikukng's descendants, or Bontik and of "eating raw" or "cooked" is essentially a task for theories of mythological symbols and the historical-comparative study of Benuaq myths. Likewise, a classification of the religio-mythological pantheon based solely on the study of myths can hardly ever suffice. Glossing over such intricacies of mythological worldview, the Benuaq provide a strong case for how the religious microcosm is reflected in the mythological macrocosm. It is not only, as Hopes et al. (1997: 14) noted, that the myths "provide something of a time capsule of traditional social life, describing a way of living which has become increasingly historical," nor, that we find, consequently, honorific, political and teknonymic titles for humans and human ancestors extended to the beings of myth and ritual. The mythological ancestors are conceptualized essentially like human ancestors. The latter, by definition, must have gone through death, turning from a living human being into the "two spirits of the dead." But mythological ancestors, such as Mukng Melur alias, perhaps, Taman Rikukng, are understood to have gone through the very same transformation and are modeled upon the same postmortal dichotomic constitution. And this is, mythologically speaking, logical, for in the end it is they who have to take on the burden of explanation for the origin of human mortality. Of course, death is not the only issue of Benuaq myths, but the modeling of beings of myths and nature is reflected on humans throughout. Moreover, whatever the ultimate origin of the Benuaq's personified beings of mythology and nature, we find them (to a large part) designated by the same generic terms (liau, kelelungan, timang, nayuq etc.) used for humans and human ancestors, which is proof of their integration per analogiam into the system of ancestor veneration and that is why I chose to call them mythological ancestors throughout this article.

Research into Benuaq animism is like disentangling a knotted rope. It is about identifying successive layers of concepts and influences and of reconstructing what is primary and what came next. The veneration and deification of the dead has been practiced from the earliest days of the Austronesians (e.g. Cain 1979: 511). Among the Benuaq, the religious significance of (human) ancestors is, or was, no less important. But, the socio-political and religious changes which affected the Benuaq through processes of local and regional integration, as well as influences from the major world religions, have gradually led to what Sillander (2006: 327) expressed as a shift from a local cosmological orientation "in the direction of a more global and abstract worldview typical of theistic religions." This, of course, implied redefinitions and restructuring of their autochthonous Austronesian beliefs, myths and ritual practices, including their pantheon, with the result of marginalizing, specifically, the ancestors of human origin. Timang has not remained unaffected by these processes, which is the reason for its multifaceted nature today. Nowadays, the term timang (as others) not only refers to a multitude of protagonists of history, legend and myth, but even lends itself, at least among some part of the community, as an appropriate translation for setan, 'devil.'

There are, of course, more issues associated with timang to be discussed in the future, of which one is the eminent Mut Timang Tuha, 'the eldest of the dead Timang,' mentioned earlier by Hopes (1997:158). In this paper, no explanation has been attempted as to this numen, but ongoing research, I hope, will have some clues to offer. (24)


Abidin bin Ahmad, Z. 1922 The Tiger-Breed Families. Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 85: 36-39.

1925 Dato' Paroi, Were-Tiger. Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 3(1 (93)): 74-78.

Adelaar, K.A.

1992 Proto Malay ic: The Reconstruction of its Phonology and Parts of its Lexicon and Morphology. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.

1994 The Classification of the Tamanic Languages. In: T. E. Dutton and D. Tryon, eds., Language Contact and Change in the Austronesian-Speaking World. Trends in Linguistics Studies and Monographs. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 1-42.

Alexander, J. 1992 Must Ascribed Status Entail Inequality? Reproduction of Rank in Lahanan Society. Oceania 62(3, Southeast Asian Issue): 207-226.

Amster, M. 2003 Gender Complementarity and Death among the Kelabit. In: William D. Wilder, ed., Journeys of the Soul: Anthropological Studies of Death, Burial, and Reburial Practices in Borneo. Borneo Research Council Monograph Series. Phillips, ME: Borneo Research Council, Inc, pp. 251-308.

Armstrong, R. 1992 The Cultural Construction of Hierarchy among the Kenyah Badeng. Oceania 62(3, Southeast Asian Issue): 194-206.

Baboneau, N. B., and G. C. Woolley 1922 A Murut Vocabulary. Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 86: 343-375.

Bahrah, H. A. 2000 Kamus Bahasa Kutai Umum--Indonesia. 2nd edition. Balikpapan.

Bakels, J. 2003 Friend or Foe. The Perception of the Tiger as a Wild Animal. In: P. Nas, G. Persoon, and R. Jaffe, eds., Framing Indonesian Realities. Essays in Symbolic Anthropology in the Honour ofR. Schefold. Leiden: KJTLV, pp. 71-85.

Banks, E. 1931 A Popular Account of the Mammals of Borneo. Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Asiatic Society 9(2): 1-139.

Barth, J.P.J. 1910 Boesangsch-Nederlandsch Woordenboek. Batavia: Landsdrakkerij.

Beguet, V. 2012 Iban Petara as Transformed Ancestors. In: P. Couderc and K. Sillander, eds., Ancestors in Borneo Societies: Death, Transformation, and Social Immortality. Copenhagen: NIAS Press, pp. 243-277.

Behrens, D. 2002 Yakan-English Dictionary. Manila: Linguistic Society of the Philippines.

Bierbach, A., and H. Cain 1996a Religion and Language of Easter Island: An ethnolinguistic analysis of religious key words of Rapa Nui in their Austronesian context. Berlin: D. Reimer.

1996b Polynesien. Theologische Realenzyklopddie. Berlin--New York: Walter de Gruyter.

Blagden, C. O. 1902 A Malayan Element in Some of the Languages of Southern Indo-China. Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 38: 1-27.

Blust, R. A. 1993 Kelabit-English Vocabulary. Sarawak Museum Journal 44(64 (NS)): 141-226.

1999 Notes on Pazeh Phonology and Morphology. Oceanic Linguistics 38(2): 321-365.

2000 Low-Vowel Fronting in Northern Sarawak. Oceanic Linguistics 39(2): 285-319.

2002 The History of Faunal Terms in Austronesian Languages. Oceanic Linguistics 41(1): 89-139.

2003 A Short Morphology, Phonology and Vocabulary of Kiput, Sarawak. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.

2007 Oma Longh Historical Phonology. Oceanic Linguistics 44(1): 1-53.

2010 The Greater North Borneo Hypothesis. Oceanic Linguistics 49(1): 44-118.

Bonoh, Y. 1985 Lungun Dan Upacara Adat. Samarinda: Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan Kantor Wilayah Propinsi Kalimantan Timur.

Boyce, D. 1986 Kutai, East Kalimantan: A Journal of Past and Present Glory. Kota Bangun.

Bruggeman, G. 1985 English-Iban Vocabulary. Kuching, Sarawak: Persatuan Kesusasteraan Sarawak.

Cain, H. 1979 A itu: Eine Untersuchung zur autochthonen Religion der Samoaner. Marburg: Steiner.

Carpenter, K. 1992 Kancil: From Mischief to Moral Education. Western Folklore 51 (2): 111-127.

Cense, A. 1979 Makassaars-Nederlands Woordenboek. 's-Gravenhage: Martinus Nijhoff.

Collins, M. A., V. R. Collins, and S. A. Hashim 2001 Mapun-English Dictionary. Manila: Summer Institute of Linguistics.

Couderc, R 2012 Separated Dead and Transformed Ancestors: Two Facets of Ancestorship among the Uut Danum of West Kalimantan. In: P. Couderc and K. Sillander, eds., Ancestors in Borneo Societies--Death, Transformation, and Social Immortality. Copenhagen: NIAS Press.

Couderc, P. and K. Sillander, eds. 2012 Ancestors in Borneo Societies: Death, Transformation, and Social Immortality. Copenhagen: NIAS Press.

Dahl, O. C. 1977 La subdivision de la famille Barito et la place du Malgache. Acta Orient alia 38: 77-134.

Devung, G. S., C. Eghenter, B. Sellato, Y. Hudiyono, and J. Lindsay 1998 Kamus Punan--Indonesia: Bah Ngguh Punan Tufu 'Kamus Bahasa Punan Tubu. Samarinda: Pusat Kebudayaan dan Alam Kalimantan, WWF-I Proyek Kayan Mentarang.

Dewi, B. W. P. 2000 Mulung Dalam Upacara Pengobatan Tradisional Masyarakat Pasir. Samarinda: Departemen Pendidikan Nasional Kantor Wilayah Propinsi Kalimantan Timur Proyek Pembinaan Permuseuman Kalimantan Timur.

Dove, M.R. 1993 Uncertainty, Humility, and Adaptation in the Tropical Forest: The Agricultural Augury of the Kantu'. Ethnology 32(2): 145-167.

Durasid, D. 1990 Rekonstruksi Protobahasa Barito. Dissertation, Fakultas Pascasarjana, Universitas Indonesia.

Dyson, L. 2002 Sejarah Sendawar: Dari Mitologi Hingga Histori Suatu Kajian Sejarah Lokal. Surabaya: Airlangga University Press.

2008 Sejarah Sendawar: Sebuah Sejarah Sosial. Surabaya: Airlangga University Press.

Evans, I. H. N. 1913 Folk Stories of the Tempassuk and Tuaran Districts, British North Borneo. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 43: 422-479.

Everett, A. H. 1880 The Tiger in Borneo. Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society: 158-160.

Fried, S. 1995 Writing for Their Lives: Bentian Dayak Authors and Indonesian Development Discourse. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting. Atlanta, Georgia.

Ganang, R., V. Pearson-Rounds, and J. B. Crain 2008 Kemaloh Lundayeh--English Dictionary And Bibliographic List of Materials Relating to the Lundayeh-Lun Bawang-Kelabit and Related Groups of Sarawak, Sabah, Brunei and East Kalimantan. Borneo Research Council Reference Series. Phillips, ME: Borneo Research Council.

Gersi, D. 1975 Dans La Jungle de Borneo. Paris: Editions G.P.

Gonda, J. 1973 Sanskrit in Indonesia. Sata-Pitaka Series, Vol. 99. New Delhi: International Academy of Indian Culture.

Gonner, C. 2001 Muster und Strategien der Ressourcennutzung: Eine Fallstudie aus einem Dayak Benuaq Dorf in Ost-Kalimantan, Indonesien. Forstwissenschaftliche Beitrage 24 Der Professur Forstpolitik und Forstokonomie. ETH: Zurich.

2002 A Forest Tribe of Borneo: Resource Use among the Dayak Benuaq. Man and Forest Series, Vol. 3. New Delhi: D.K. Printworld.

Hapip, A.D. 2008 Kamus Banjar-Indonesia. 6th edition. Banjarmasin: CV. Rahmat Hafiz Al Mubaraq.

Hardeland, A. 1859 Dajacksch-Deutsches Worterbuch. Amsterdam: Frederik Muller.

Harrison, T. 1998 Vertebrate Faunal Remains from Madai Caves (MAD 1/28), Sabah, East Malaysia. Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association 17: 85-92.

Haug, M. 2010 Poverty and Decentralisation in East Kalimantan. Soziookonomische

Prozesse in Asien Und Afrika, Vol. 13. Freiburg: Centaurus Verlag & Media KG.

Hein, A. R. 1889 Malerei Und Technische Kunste Bei Den Dayaks. Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien 4(3): 197-288.

1890 Die bildenden Kunste bei den Dayaks auf Borneo: Ein Beitrag zur allgemeinen Kunstgeschichte. A. Holder.

Herrmans, I. 2011 Towards the Breaking Day--An Ethnography of Belian Curing Rituals among the Luangans of Indonesian Borneo. Dissertation. University of Helsinki, Finland.

Hertz, R. 1960 Death & The Right Hand. Translated by Rodney and Claudia Needham. Glencoe, Illinois: Free Press.

Hooijer, D.A. 1963 Further "Hell" Animals from Niah. Sarawak Museum Jounal 11: 196-200.

Hopes, M. 1997 Ilmu: Magic and Divination amongst the Benuaq and Tunjung Dayak. Jakarta: Puspa Swara and Rio Tinto Foundation.

Hopes, M., D. T. Madrah, and Karaakng 1997 Temputn: Myths of the Benuaq and Tunjung Dayak. Jakarta: Puspa Swara and Rio Tinto Foundation.

Hornby, A. S., and A. P. Cowie 1989 Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hose, C. 1894 The Natives of Borneo. The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 23: 156-172.

Hose, C., and W. McDougall 1900 Some Peculiar Features of the Animal-Cults of the Natives of Sarawak, and Their Bearing on the Problems of Totemism. The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 30: 70-71.

1901 The Relations Between Men and Animals in Sarawak. The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 31: 173-213.

1912 The Pagan Tribes of Borneo. London: Macmillan.

Hudson, A. B.

1967 The Barito Isolects of Borneo: A Classification Based on Comparative Reconstruction and Lexicostatistics. Data Paper 68. Southeast Asia Program. Department of Asian Studies. Cornell University. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University.

Hughes-Hallett, H.R. 1940 A Sketch of the History of Brunei. Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 18(137): 23-42.

Ibrahim, S. S. A. R 1997 Kamus Bahasa Indonesia-Pasir. Jakarta: Pusat Pembinaan dan Pengembangan Bahasa, Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan.

Ibrahim, S. SARA. R, R. Effendi, and M.P. Lambut 1991 Struktur Bahasa Bosap. Jakarta: Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan.

Jones, R. 1970 Harimau. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 126(2): 260-262.

Kaser, L. 2004 Animismus: Eine Einfuhrung in die begrifflichen Grundlagen des Welt- und Menschenbildes traditionaler (ethnischer) Gesellschaften Fur Entwicklungshelfer und kirchliche Mitarbeiter in Ubersee. Bad Liebenzell: Liebenzeller Mission.

2014 Animism--A Cognitive Approach: An Introduction to the Basic Notions Underlying the Concepts of the World and of Man Held by Ethnic Societies, for the Benefit of Those Working Overseas in Development Aid and in the Church. Numberg: VTR Publications.

Kawi, D. 1983 Struktur Bahasa Dusun Deyah. Jakarta: Pusat Pembinaan dan Pengembangan Bahasa Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan.

Keith, H.G. 1936 Some Ulun-No-Bokan (Murut) Words from North Borneo. Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 14(126): 314-322.

King, V. T. 1975 Stones and the Maloh of Indonesian West Borneo. Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 48(1): 104-119.

1976 The Maloh Language: A Vocabulary and Summary of the Literature. Sarawak Museum Jounal 24(45): 137-164.

1985 Symbolism and Material Culture: Some Footnotes for Penny van Esterik. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land-en Volkenkunde 141: 142-147.

Kloss, C. B. 1909 The Primates, Carnivores and Ungulates of the Peninsular Region. Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 53: 1-47.

Van der Kroef, J. M. 1954 Dualism and Symbolic Antithesis in Indonesian Society. American Anthropologist, New Series 56(5, Part 1): 847-862.

Lahajir, Y., Y. Dawin, J.i Yedi, and Franklin 2006 Adat, Religi, Hukum Adat Dalam Masyarakat Rentenukng. Linggang Melapeh--Sendawar--Kubar: Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan Daerah Kabupaten Kutai Barat, Center For Ethnoecology Research And Development.

Latief, H. 1996 Upacara Adat Kwangkay. Jakarta: Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, Direktorat Jendral Kebudayaan.

Laubscher, M. 1977 Iban und Ngaju: Kognitive Studie zu Konvergenzen in Weltbild und Mythos. Paideuma 23: 221-253.

Lyons, M.W. 1911 Mammals Collected by Dr. W.L. Abbott on Borneo and Some of the Small Adjacent Islands. Proceedings U.S. National Museum 40: 53-160.

Madrah, D. T. 2001 Adat Sukat Dayak Benuaq dan Tonyooi. Jakarta: Puspa Swara dan Yayasan Rio Tinto.

Madrah, D. T., and Karaakng 1997 Tempuutn: Mitos Dayak Benuaq dan Tunjung. Puspa Swara & Yayasan Rio Tinto.

Mahdi, W. 1988 Morphophonologische Besonderheiten und historische Phonologie des Malagasy. Veroffentlichungen des Seminars fur Indonesische und Sudseesprachen der Universitat Hamburg, Vol. 20. Berlin: D. Reimer.

Massing, A. 1982 Where Medicine Fails: Belian Disease Prevention and Curing Rituals among the Lawangan Dayak of East Kalimantan. Borneo Research Bulletin 13(2): 56-84.

1983 The Journey to Paradise: Funerary Rites of the Benuaq Dayak of East Kalimantan. Borneo Research Bulletin 14(2): 85-104.

Maxwell, C. N., and R. J. Wilkinson 1936 Light in the Malay Language. Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 14(3): 89-154.

Maxwell, W.E. 1881 The Folklore of the Malays. Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 7: 11-29.

1917 A Manual of the Malay Language: With an Introductory Sketch of the Sanskrit Element in Malay. 10th edition. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co.

Medway, L. 1964 Post-Pleistocene Changes in the Mammalian Fauna of Borneo. Archeological Evidence from the Niah Cave. Studies in Speleology 1(1): 33-37.

1977a Mammals of Borneo. Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society.

1977b The Niah Excavations and an Assessment of the Impact of Early Man on Mammals in Borneo. Asian Perspectives 20(1): 51-69.

Meijaard, E. 1999 The Bornean Tiger; Speculation on Its Existence. Cat News(30): 12-15. Metcalf, P.A.

1992 Aban Jau's Boast. Representations 37(Special Issue: Imperial Fantasies and Postcolonial Histories): 136-150.

Morris, H. S. 1997 The Oya Melanau: Traditional Ritual and Belief with a Catalogue of Belum Carvings. Kuching, Sarawak: Sarawak Museum Dept.

Muthalib, A. 1977 Kamus Bahasa Mandar--Indonesia. Jakarta: Pusat Pembinaan dan Pengembangan Bahasa Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan.

Nais, W. 1988 Daya Bidayuh--English dictionary. Kuala Lumpur: Sarawak Literary Society.

Nathanael 2001 Kamus Bahasa Tunjung Rentenuukng. Sendawar: Rio Tinto.

Needham, R. 1955 Punan Bah. Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 28(1): 24-36.

1967 Blood, Thunder and Mockery of Animals. In: J. Middleton, ed., Myth and Cosmos. New York: The Natural History Press, pp. 271-285.

Nieuwenhuis, A. W. 1904a Quer Durch Borneo: Ergebnisse Seiner Reisen in Den Jahren 1894, 1896-97 und 1898-1900: Zweiter Teil. Leiden: E.J. Brill.

1904b Quer durch Borneo: Ergebnisse seiner Reisen in den Jahren 1894, 189-697 und 1898-1900: Erster Teil. Leiden: E.J. Brill.

Payne, R. C. 2012 Agency and Ambiguity in Communication with the Ancestors: Spirit Possession, Ancestral Transformation, and the Conflicts of Modernity among the Benuaq. In: P. Couderc and K. Sillander, eds., Ancestors in Borneo Societies--Death, Transformation, and Social Immortality. 1st edition. Copenhagen: Nias Press, pp. 313-355.

Peranio, R. 1959 Animal Teeth and Oath-Taking among the Bisaya. Sarawak Museum Journal 9: 6-14.

Piper, P.J., E.O. Cranbrook, and R.J. Rabett 2007 Confirmation of the Presence of the Tiger Panthera Tigris (L.) in Late Pleistocene and Holocene Borneo. Malayan Nature Journal 59: 257-265.

Piper, P. J., J. Ochoa, H. Lewis, V. Paz, and W. P. Ronquillo 2008 The First Evidence for the Past Presence of the Tiger Panthera Tigris (L.) on the Island of Palawan, Philippines: Extinction in an Island Population. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 264(1-2): 123-127.

Ramos, T. 1971 Tagalog Dictionary. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

Richards, A. 1981 An Iban-English Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Robson, S., and S. Wibisono 2002 Javanese English Dictionary. Singapore: Periplus Editions.

Rousseau, J. 1998 Kayan Religion: Ritual Life and Religious Reform in Central Borneo. Verhandelingen van Het Koninklijk Instituut Voor Taal-, Land- En Volkenkunde, Vol. 180. Leiden: KITLV Press.

Sather, C. 2012 Recalling the Dead, Revering the Ancestors: Multiple Forms of Ancestorship in Saribas Iban Society. In: P. Couderc and K. Sillander, eds., Ancestors in Borneo Societies: Death, Transformation, and Social Immortality. Copenhagen: NIAS Press, pp. 114-152.

Scharer, H. 1966 Der Totenkult der Ngadju Dajak in Sud-Borneo: Mythen zum Totenkult und die Texte zum Tantolak matei. 's-Gravenhage: Martinus Nijhoff.

Sellato, B. 1983 Le Mythe Du Tigre Au Centre de Borneo. Asie Du Sud-Est et Monde Insulindien 14(1-2): 25-49.

1993 Collective Memory and Nomadism: Ethno-Historical Investigations in Borneo. Indonesia 57: 155-174.

1995 Zoolinguistics II. New Species in Kalimantan? Conservation Indonesia 11(1): 34-35.

Sillander, K. 2004 Acting Authoritatively: How Authority Is Expressed through Social Action among the Bentian of Indonesian Borneo. Dissertation, University of Helsinki.

2006 Local Integration and Coastal Connections in Interior Kalimantan: The Case of the Nalin Taun Ritual among the Bentian. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 37(2): 315-334.

2012 Ancestors as Sources of Authority and Potency among the Bentian of East Kalimantan. In: P. Couderc and K. Sillander, eds., Ancestors in Borneo Societies: Death, Transformation, and Social Immortality. Copenhagen: NIAS Press, pp. 62-113.

Skeat, W. W. 1902 The Wild Tribes of the Malay Peninsula. The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 32: 124-141.

Sombroek, H. 1986 Kamus Bahasa Busang-Indonesia-Belanda. MSF.

Southwell, C. H. 1990 Kayan-English Dictionary. 2nd edition. Kuching, Sarawak: Sarawak Literary Society.

Stetson, G. R. 1897 The Fauna of Central Borneo. Science, New Series 5(121): 640-643.

Stohr, W. 1976 Die altindonesischen Religionen. Handbuch der Orientalistik. 3.: Indonesien, Malaysia und die Philippinen unter Einschluss der KapMalaien in Sudafrica. Religionen, Vol.2. Leiden, Koln: Brill.

Stokhof, W.A. L., ed. 1986 Holle Lists, Vocabularies in Languages of Indonesia. Vol. 8, Kalimantan (Borneo). Pacific Linguistics / D, 69; Materials in Languages of Indonesia, 31. Canberra: Dept, of Lingustics, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University.

Sunquist, M., and E. Sunquist 2002 Wild Cats of the World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Suryadikara, F., Darmansyah, and M.P. Lambut 1985 Struktur Bahasa Lawangan. Jakarta: Pusat Pembinaan dan Pengembangan Bahasa, Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan.

Tilson, R., and P. J. Nyhus, eds. 2010 Tigers of the World: The Science, Politics and Conservation of Panthera Tigris. Academic Press.

Tim Penyusun Kamus Pusat Pembinaan dan Pengembangan Bahasa 1989 Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia. 2nd edition. Jakarta: Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan.

Utsurikawa, N. 1921 Demon Design on the Bornean Shield: A Hermeneutic Possibility. American Anthropologist, New Series 23(2): 138-148.

Veen, H. van der 1940 Tae'(Zuid-Toradjasche)--Nederlandsch Woordenboek. 's Gravenhage: M. Nijhoff.

Venz, O. 2012 A First Look at Asakng as Part of the Concept of Person among the Benuaq in East Kalimantan. Borneo Research Bulletin 43: 225-244.

2013 Die autochthone Religion der Benuaq von Ost-Kalimantan--eine ethnolinguistische Untersuchung. Dissertation, Albert-LudwigsUniversitat Freiburg.

Weinstock, J. A. 1983 Kaharingan and the Luangan Dayaks: Religion and Identity in CentralEast Borneo. Dissertation, Cornell University.

Wessing, R. 1986 The Soul of Ambiguity: The Tiger in Southeast Asia, Vol.24. Monograph Series on Southeast Asia, Special Report. DeKalb: Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Northern Illinois University.

1992 A Tiger in the Heart: The Javanese Rampok Macan. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land en Volkenkunde 148(2): 287-308.

1994 "Bangatowa," "Patogu" and "Gaddhungan": Perceptions of the Tiger among the Madurese. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 25(2): 368-380.

1995 The Last Tiger in East Java: Symbolic Continuity in Ecological Change. Asian Folklore Studies 54(2): 191-218.

2006a A Community of Spirits: People, Ancestors, and Nature Spirits in Java. Crossroads: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 18(1): 11-111.

2006b Symbolic Animals in the Land between the Waters: Markers of Place and Transition. Asian Folklore Studies 65(2): 205-239.

Wessing, R., and E. Jordaan 1997 Death at the Building Site: Construction Sacrifice in Southeast Asia. History of Religions 37(2): 101-121.

Wilkinson, D. M., and H. J. O'Regan 2003 Modelling Differential Extinctions to Understand Big Cat Distribution on Indonesian Islands. Global Ecology and Biogeography 12(6): 519-524.

Winick, C. 1956 Dictionary of Anthropology. New York: Philosophical Library.

Witkamp, H. 1932 Het Voorkomen van Enige Diersoorten in Het Landschap Koetai. Tropische Natuur 21(10): 169-175.

Woolley, G. C. 1928 Murut Folktales, I. Folklore 39(3): 253-271.

Zahorka, H. 2007 The Shamanic Belian Sentiu Rituals of the Benuaq Ohookng, with Special Attention to the Ritual Use of Plants. Borneo Research Bulletin 38: 127-147.

Oliver Venz

IEAS and FSS, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak

94300 Kota Samarahan


(1) I am indebted to Clifford and Louise Sather, Nancy White, Richard and Dorte Futch as well as Ferra Fusfita for comments on earlier versions of this paper. Austronesian reconstructions are taken from Blust's online Austronesian Comparative Dictionary accessed on 17.01.2014. Sanskrit forms are taken from de Casparis (1997). Abbreviations used: BI = Bahasa Indonesia, Skt = Sanskrit, Bnq = Benuaq, Dt. = German.

(2) Die Vielzahl der transzendenten Wesen zu klassifizieren, ist praktisch unmoglich. Selbst im Falle einer einzigen altindonesischen Religion ist eine solche Gotterlehre oder--typologie noch ungemein schwierig. Allenfalls kann man die Gotter und Geister, um sich einen Uberblick zu verschaffen, grob in einige Schichten oder Kategorien unterteilen.

(3) The Benuaq Dayak live in the West Kutai district of East Kalimantan and belong to the cultural and linguistic group of Luangan of the northeastern branch of Greater Barito.

(4) see Rousseau (1998: 107) for a similar situation among the Kayan: "those who are 'entered by the tiger spirit' (putam lejo) are good traders and warriors because they make quick decisions and grasp opportunities. In olden times, several men had a tiger familiar."

(5) Oath-taking on the tooth of a tiger or clouded leopard has been reported from various parts of Borneo, see Hose (1894: 165), Peranio (1959: 8) on the Bisaya, Needham (1955: 35) on the Punan Bah, or Rousseau (1998: 83) on the Kayan. Interestingly, among the Kayan (Rousseau 1998:83): "[i]t is forbidden to take an oath--or undergo an ordeal--anywhere else than a graveyard because the procedures unleash fearsome forces." Swearing, thunder and tiger seem to form a phenomenological complex throughout Borneo (Rousseau 1998: 83), but this issue is not discussed in this paper.

(6) As Herrmans distinguishes between (1) ancestors and (2) mythological or mythical ancestors throughout her book, I assume that she is referring here to ancestors originating in humans. A focal study of ancestors and ancestorship in Borneo has been published by Couderc and Sillander (2012).

(7) Another example would be the Kutainese Lembu Suana with its "tiger-like" canine teeth. This chimera is certainly the result of the fusion of Indian and Arabic mythical elements (Laubscher 1977: 246).

(8); new-cat-discovered-on-boreo-an/

(9) Dosa 'sin' is ultimately a Sanskrit loan (Gonda 1973), and reek translates as 'an appointment at a secret place.'

(10) Sellato (1995) published a one-page zoo-linguistical report on Dayak terms for big cats which was, unfortunately, unavailable to me.

(11) As to earlier analyses of Malay harimau: Blagden (1902: 9): "Possibly the form harimau is a sort of Hobson-Jobsen word, that is to say, really the old native Malayan word for "tiger" but twisted into its present form by a fanciful notion that it ought to mean "the beast of Hari "...". Maxwell (1917: 21): "Perhaps the Malay word harimau ..., a tiger, may have been formed from Hari (Krishna or Vishnu) and mriga (an animal). Words similarly compounded with mriga (Malay morga) are not uncommon in Sanskrit, e.g., Krishna-mriga (the black antelope), maha-mriga (an elephant)." In a footnote he added one more possibility: "Perhaps a more plausible derivation is from the Tamul ari-ma, a male lion." Finally, a more psycholinguistic explanation came from Maxwell & Wilkinson (1936: 114): "The Malay name for tiger is harimau which morphologically explains light, covering of light, and, perhaps, dazzle, the earliest reference, may we say, to protective coloration?"

(12) But, northern Philippines' Kankanaey has alimaon 'civet cat', which, according to Blust: "... raises questions about either the gloss, or the distribution of this animal at the time AN speakers entered the Philippines."

13 Even in Malay the meaning of harimau as 'tiger' could be a result of historical developments (see also Jones' 1970 comment on the use of the word in the older Malay literature). At least, in Malay felines' taxonomy as given in Kloss (1909: 13-16), this word is used as a component for different species, e.g.: harimau 'tiger' (Felis Tigris, Linn), rimau bintang, 'leopard' (Felis pardus typicus), rimau kumbong (Felis pardus melas), rimau akar 'clouded leopard' (Felis Nebulosa, Griffith), rimau dahan 'marbled cat' (Felis Marmorata, Martin), rimau anjing 'golden cat' (Felis Temmincki) and rimau burong 'flat-headed cat' (Felis Planiceps) or kuching jalong, and finally, kuching utan 'leopard cat' (Felis bengalensis, Kerr).

(14) Hudson (1967) offered the first reconstruction of Proto Barito, which was later substantially refined by Dahl (1977) and Mahdi (1988), with the latter, I think, still the principal authority on the issue.

(15) see Gonner (2001: 290) for further terms for civet cats.

(16) see Evans (1913: 474) or Woolley (1928) for a similar story of the Bajau and Murat as well as Carpenter (1992) for an analysis of so-called mouse deer stories (and the role of tigers therein) of Western Indonesia.

(17) "Harimau dalam masyarakat Dayak adalah binatang jadi-jadian, tanpa wujud, tetapi dalam waktu sekejap dapat membunuh manusia."

(18) For example, among the Lahanan only the linau laja's beaded baby carriers or family burial chambers may bear tiger (and hombill) motives (Alexander 1992: 215). Among the Kelabit as well, tiger designs are only used on coffins for people of high status (Amster 2003: 268). Among the Kenyah, the skin of a tiger could be worn or touched only by old or renowned warriors (Hose & McDougall 1900: 71). In Kenyah (Badeng) artwork, only paren "headmen and their descendants" are entitled to use tigers (or hombills) (Armstrong 1992: 206).

(19) "Corak ini adalah ornamen yang menyerupai seekor harimau sedang memikul ekornya. Harimau adalah binatang yang buas dan ditakuti, sehubungan dengan hal itu ornamen ini hanya dilukiskan pada tempat mayat tulang golongan raja-raja dan bangsawan."

(20) "Dari nama 'timaang '... sudah dapat dibayangkan betapa hebatpara tokoh tersebut. "

(21) As regards the Javanese, whose nobles also bore the name Macan 'tiger' as part of their titles, this phenomenon has been interpreted as part of an original dualistic clan totemism among earlier scholars, see Rassers (1922: 323) or van der Kroef (1954: 858).

(22) Most Benuaq or Luangan scholars rather see them as two different "categories of spirits." See Herrmans (2011: 201): "they [the Luangan] ... often join two categories of spirits, such as naiyu timang or wok bongai, together, thus metonymically extending them to include other spirits as well."

(23) Nayuq dan timaang, yang dalam bahasa sehari-hari lebih dikenal dengan sebutan tangaai tamuui ... adalah roh-roh yang menjaga dan mengatur kelangsungan hidup manusia.

(24) For studies on local perceptions of tigers in the neighboring regions of the Malay Peninsula,

Java, Madura and Sumatra see Maxwell (1881), Skeat (1902), Abidin bin Ahmad (1922, 1925), Bakels (2003), Wessing & Jordaan (1997) and Wessing (1986, 1992, 1994, 1995, 2006a, 2006b).
Table: Bornean words for "Big Cats"

PWMP              *qari-maquK     wild feline            ACD


Proto-Malayic     *hArimaw        tiger                  Adelaar
                                                         (1992: 53)
Standard Malay    harimaw,        tiger                  Adelaar
                  rimaw                                  (1992: 53)
Minangkabau       arimaw          tiger                  Adelaar
                                                         (1992: 53)
Seraway           ximaw           wild cat               Adelaar
                                                         (1992: 53)
Iban              remaung         tigre                  Sellato
                                                         (1983: 28)

                  engkuli'        1.clouded leopard      Richards
                                  Neofelis nebulosa      (1981)
                                  diardi Cuvier rimau
                                  dan, engkuk: cf.
                                  Remaung. 2.(poet.)
                                  term of address to a
                                  young man

                  remaung         1 .wild cat Felis      Richards
                                  spp., rembayan: esp.   (1981)
                                  Leopard cat F.
                                  bengalensis Kerr,
                                  Engkuk; also r.
                                  raras, Marbled cat
                                  F. marmorata Martin,
                                  (poet, for) young
                                  man; r. bendar,
                                  Tiger F. tigris,
                                  Rimau, not present
                                  in Borneo, but fangs
                                  etc. were imported
                                  as amulets; Ocelot,
                                  usu. Jelu mayau;
                                  Clouded leopard,
                                  usu. Engkuli'2. Antu
                                  r., demon slain by
                                  Danjai. 3. Tajau r.,
                                  jar, unid.

                  rimau           (M) tiger, Remaung     Richards
                                  bendar. r. dan,        (1981)
                                  Clouded Leopard,
                                  engkuli'; bulu r.,
                                  (of cats) tabby

                  rimong          For Remaung, wild      Richards
                                  cat                    (1981)
                  remaung         tiger                  Bruggeman
                  bendar                                 (1985)
                  remaung raras   tiger cat              Bruggeman
Kantu'            remaung         tiger                  Dove
                                                         (1993: 165)
Kutai             remaong         harimau                Bahrah (2000)
Banjar            harimaw         harimau                Hapip (2008)
                  harimau         leopard                Hudson
                                                         (1967: 107)
Delang            harimau         leopard                Hudson
                                                         (1967: 107)
Tamuan            haramaung       leopard                Hudson
                                                         (1967: 107)

Melanau Kajang
Melanau           dimong          leopard                Clayre in
                                                         (1997: 354)
Beketan           remaung         tigre                  Sellato
                                                         (1983: 28)

North Sarawakan

Berawan           lenjau          tiger                  Metcalf
                                                         (1992: 139)
Kiput             kulaay          the clouded leopard;   Blust (2003)
                                  mottled pattern on
                                  leopard skin
Proto-Kelabit-    *balaK          tiger cat              Blust
                                                         (2000: 317)
Lun Dayeh         *tubaK          wild cat               Blust
                                                         (2000: 317)
Kelabit           balang          tiger                  Blust (1993)
                  knir            clouded leopard        Blust(1993)
Kemaloh           kuiir           a clouded-leopard      Ganang et
                                                         al. (2008)
Lundayeh          tubang          a leopard cat          Ganang et
                                                         al. (2008)
                  singa'          a lion; Singa' a       Ganang et
                                  male personal name     al. (2008)
                  balangl         a tiger                Ganang et
                                                         al. (2008)
                  balang2         a wound or cut made    Ganang et
                                  by a sharp blade       al. (2008)
                  Balang          a male personal name   Ganang et
                                                         al. (2008)
Sa'ban            beleYng         tiger cat              Blust
                  bbeYng          wild cat               Blust
                                                         (2000: 317)
Keningau Murut    mondoh          tiger                  Baboneau &
                  (k)ungau        cat: ampu, a species   Baboneau &
                                  of tree tiger, often   Wooley
                                  found in Keningau      (1922)
Bookan Murut      tatakinun       the clouded leopard    Keith
                                                         (1936: 321)
Busang            koeleh          tijgerkat, panter      Barth (1910)
                  ip*n koeleh     de slagtanden v.e.     Barth (1910)
                                  tijgerkat, die door
                                  mannen als sieraad
                                  in de ooren
                                  gedragen worden
                  soenoeng        strijdbuis van         Barth (1910)
                  koeleh          pantervel
                  l*djo           (mythische) tijger     Barth (1910)
                  ip*n l*djo      tijger(slag)-tand      Barth (1910)
                  kuleh           1 .nama laki-laki      Sombroek
                                  (mannennaam).          (1986)
                                  2.macan loreng (een
                                  soort panter)
                  kuleh midang    sj macan (een          Sombroek
                                  pantersoort)           (1986)
                  lejau           1 .nama laki-laki      Sombroek
                                  (mannennaam).          (1986)
                                  2.binatang peberkah
                                  yg gaib yg sekarang
                                  disebut harimau
                                  verscheurend dier,
                                  vereenzelvigd met de

                  lejiw           nama laki-laki         Sombroek
                                  (mannennaam)           (1986)
Bahau             lejau           tigre                  Sellato
                                                         (1983: 28)
Kayan             lejo            tigre                  Sellato
                                                         (1983: 28)
                  kuleh           the clouded leopard    Southwell
                                  (felis nebulosa)       (1990)
                  kuleh buang     clouded leopard,       Southwell
                                  another species        (1990)
                  kuleh midang    clouded leopard,       Southwell
                                  another species        (1990)
                  lejau           tiger                  Southwell
                  lejau danum     1.mythical wildcat:    Southwell
                                  cf. kuleh. 2.wolf      (1990)
                  lejo hida       kind of tiger          Rousseau
                    danum         spirit: underwater     (1998: 107)
                                  tiger associated
                                  only with priests
                  singyat         the leopard cat        Southwell
                                  (felis bengalensis)    (1990)
                  singa'          lion (felis leo)       Southwell
Penihing          sang-roe        tiger                  Stokhof et
                                                         al. (1986)
Aoheng            kuri            panthere               Sellato
                                                         (1983: 28)
                  sengiru         tigre                  Sellato
                                                         (1983: 28)
Hovongan          kuri            panthere               Sellato
                                                         (1983: 28)
                  sengiro         tigre                  Sellato
                                                         (1983: 28)
Kereho            sengiro         tigre                  Sellato
                                                         (1983: 28)
Seputan           sengiru         tigre                  Sellato
                                                         (1983: 28)
Proto-Kenyah      *kule(h)        clouded leopard        Blust
                                                         (2007: 46)
Oma Longh         *lYnjaw         tiger                  Blust
                                                         (2007: 47)
                  lenco           tiger (BI harimau)     Soriente
                                                         (2006: 133)
                  kole            tiger (BI macan);      Soriente
                                  clouded leopard in     (2006: 130)
                                  Blust (2007: 46)
Lebu' Kulit       kule            tiger (BI macan)       Soriente
                                                         (2006: 286)
Kenyah            l*ndjow         tiger                  Stokhofet
                                                         al. (1986)
Punan Tubu        kulii           macan                  Devung et
                                                         al. (1998)
                  kulii jotik     sejenis macan kecil    Devung et
                                                         al. (1998)
                  pekulii         memburu macan,         Devung et
                                  memakai kulit atau     al. (1998)
                                  gigi macan
                  tepalong kulii  anting-anting dari     Devung et
                                  taring macan           al. (1998)
                  tenayung nit    pakaian yang terbuat   Devung et
                    kulii         dari kulit macan       al. (1998)
                  fi'at           harimau                Devung et
                                                         al. (1998)
                  fi'at tukuk     harimau gunung         Devung et
                                                         al. (1998)
Bosap             remaw           harimau                Ibrahim et
                                                         (1991: 141)
Kadazan           rimau           tigre                  Sellato
                                                         (1983: 28)


Bidayuh           limau           tigre                  Sellato
                  bisiyu          1.a kind of leopard    (1983: 28)
                                  with white and black
                                  spots all over the
                                  body 3.wild brown
                                  cat with dark stripe
                                  4.the leopard cat 5.
                                  A type of spotted or
                                  striped cat-like
                                  animal i. Mun
                                  bisiyii = resembling
                                  the tiger-cat

                  bisuwi          1.clouded leopard 2.   Nais (1988)
                                  large carnivorous
                                  beast with dark-
                                  spotted fawn coat

                  rimaung         1.leopard 2.tiger      Nais (1988)
                  singah          the lion


West Barito
Ba'amang          harimau         leopard                Hudson
                                                         (1967: 93)
Kapuas            harimau         leopard                Hudson
                                                         (1967: 93)
Ot Danum          haremau         tiger                  Stokhofet
                                                         al. (1986)
Dohoi             haramatmg       leopard                Hudson
                                                         (1967: 93)
Katingan          har*mau         tiger                  Stokhofet
                                                         al. (1986)
                  haramaung       leopard                Hudson
                                                         (1967: 93)
Ngaju             haramaung       Eine kleine            Hardeland
                                  Tigerart, (Panther,)   (1859)
                  harimaung       mehr im Inneren
                                  Borneos lebt.--la ta
                                  haramaung ita hetoh,
                                  er ist der Tiger
                                  (i.e. der tapferste)
                                  von uns hier.--Aku
                                  toh haramaung edan,
                                  ich bin der Tiger
                                  der Zweige, (i.e.
                                  darf bis in die
                                  hochsten und
                                  dunnsten Baumzweige
                  pangandien      bahasa Sangiang =      Hardeland
                                  harimaung: tiger       (1859)
                  dien            Mannlicher Name;       Hardeland
                                  (von pangandien,
                                  (bas. Sang.) Tiger.)   (1859)
                  sambali         eine kleine            Hardeland
                                  Tigerart; lebt mehr    (1859)
                                  im Innern Borneos
                  tandang         (bas. Sangiang =       Hardeland
                                  harimaung,) der        (1859)
Murung2           horomaung       leopard                Hudson
                                                         (1967; 93)
Siang             horomaung       leopard                Hudson
                                                         (1967: 93)
Barito Mahakam

Tunjung           kuleh           macan kumbang          Nathanael
Rentenuukng                                              (2001)

East Barito

Tabojan           timang          leopard                Hudson
                                                         (1967: 79)
Lawangan          timang          harimau                Suryadikara
                                                         et al.
                                                         (1985: 101)
                  kuli            leopard                Hudson
                                                         (1967: 79)
Benuaq            timang          clouded leopard (?)    Venz (2013)
Benuaq-Ohookng    kuliiq teniq    Malay civet,           Gonner
                                  Tangalung (Viverra     (2001: 263)
Pasir             timang          harimau                Ibrahim
Dusun Deyah       simang          singa (K); leopard     Kawi (1983),
                                  (H)                    Hudson
                                                         (1967: 79)
Dusun Malang      harimau         leopard                Hudson
                                                         (1967: 79)
Ma'anyan          simang          clouded leopard        Venz (2013)
                  harimauK        clouded leopard        Hudson
                                                         (1967: 79)
                  matjan          tiger                  Stokhof et
                                                         al. (1986)
Samihim           rima "uK        clouded leopard        Hudson
                                                         (1967: 79)
Dusun Witu        rama'"          leopard                Hudson
                                                         (1967: 79)
Paku              harimaung       leopard                Hudson
                                                         (1967: 79)
Yakan             halimaw,        tiger; lion (it may    Behrens
                                  be some mythical       (2002)
                  halimew         creature. One person
                                  claimed to have seen
                                  one in the forests
                                  of Basilan. It was
                                  reportedly like a
                                  huge dog and strong)
                  lima'ung        lion                   Behrens
                  layon           (Eng.) lion            Behrens
                  taygel          (Eng.) tiger           Behrens
                  ketuli'         civet; Malay civet     Behrens
                                  or Tanglong civet; a   (2002)
                                  wild cat. Fain.
                                  Viverridae (Carni-
                                  vorous quadruped
                                  between fox and
                                  weasel in size and
                                  looks. It is colored
                                  like a cat. Eats
                                  chicken, also
                                  bananas, canistel
                                  kisas and other
                  ketuli' datu'   civet cat, speckled    Behrens
                                  (It is speckled        (2002)
                                  black and white and
                                  white under the
                                  throat. Possibly the
                                  male of the ketuli')
                  kubing          palm civet, a kind     Behrens
                                  of wild cat.           (2002)
Mapun             halimaw         lion                   Collins et
                                                         al. (2001)


Maloh             baro            tiger                  King (1976)
Tae'-Toraja       balo            "gestreept, met        Veen (1940)
                                  zwarte, gele of
                                  bruine strepen, die
                                  over de lengte
                                  loopen, tallang
                                  balo, bamboe met
                                  zwarte of gele
                                  strepen, darang
                                  balo, zwart-of
                                  paard, kakojan balo,
                                  misschien Itl.
                                  kiekendief = rasoen
                                  keboeloe, een hevige
                                  vervloeking bij
                                  grooten haat geuit"
Mandar            balo            "berbelang-belang      Muthalib
                                  (bulu hewan yang       (1977)
                                  berwama-wami) posa
                                  kucing berbelang-
                                  belang, asu -anjing

Makassar          balo            "bont, met witte       Cense (1979)
                                  vlekken (vooral v
                                  paarden en honden);
                                  djarang-balo paard
                                  met witte vlekken,
                                  bruine, gedeeltelijk
                                  witte huid; djarang-
                                  balo-dondo' paard
                                  met een witte Streep
                                  over het hoofd;
                                  djarang-balo-la 'bo
                                  izabelkleurig paard
                                  met flauw-witte
                                  vlekken; djarang-
                                  balo -palange paard
                                  met op verschillende
                                  plaatsen witte
                                  vlekken; djarang-
                                  balo-tjinde M paard
                                  met witte strepen
                                  over zijn rug; balo-
                                  sembang-tope met
                                  witte strepen rond
                                  het lichaam;
COPYRIGHT 2013 Borneo Research Council, Inc
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2013 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:RESEARCH NOTES
Author:Venz, Oliver
Publication:Borneo Research Bulletin
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9INDO
Date:Jan 1, 2013
Previous Article:Kwangkai: the secondary funerary rituals of the Benuaq Ohookng Dayaks, East Kalimantan: a journey of souls ending in two different heavens.
Next Article:March of hegemonism? Probing political function in the higher education of Brunei Darussalam.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |