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Just as in the language of the Malays it is possible by analysis to pick out words of Sanskrit and Arabic origin from amongst the main body of genuinely native words, so in their folklore one finds Hindu, Buddhist, and Muhammadan ideas overlying a mass of apparently original Malay notions. have been other perquisites as well as 6 Others are titah (commands) ; those mentioned, e.g. not suffered to ascend beyond the base of the chin.
PREFACE xiii These various elements of their folklore are, how- ever, now so thoroughly mixed up together that it is often almost impossible to disentangle them. rhinoceros' horns patek (slave) ; mtrka or murka (wrath) ; (suml/u badak) and bezoar stones karnia or kumia (favour) ; and nlgrah \guliga). as high as your forehead, bending for- 4 Touching hands is done with both ward somewhat while doing so. If you touch hands 8 Cliff., Stud, in Brown Humanity, with a man who is somewhat your p. In saluting a real Raja, the hands are carried higher and higher, according to the prince's rank, until, for the Sultan, the tips of the thumbs are on a level with the forehead.
No systematic attempt has been made to do so in this book, although here and there an indication of the origin of some particular myth will be found ; but a complete analysis (if possible at all) would have necessitated, as a preliminary investigation, a much deeper study of Hindu and Muhammadan mythology than it has been found practicable to engage in. or anugrah (permission) ; the penalty of 36 MAN AND THE UNIVERSE CHAP. Little details such as these are of immense importance in the eyes of the Malays, and not without reason, seeing that in an Independent Native State many a man has come by his death for carelessness in their observance." l In the king's audience hall the formal saluta- tions are performed in a sitting posture, and in this case, too, the greatest attention is paid to the height to which the hands are raised.
In order, however, to give a clear notion of the relation which the beliefs and practices that are here recorded bear to the official religion of the people, it is necessary to state that the Malays of the Penin- sula are Sunni Muhammadans of the school of Shafi'i, and that nothing, theoretically speaking, could be more correct and orthodox (from the point of view of Islam) than the belief which they profess. dropped, and he receives the title of " Marhum," the late or "deceased," with the addition of an expression alluding to some prominent fact in his life, or occasion- ally to the place of his decease. The chief twice makes salutation in a sitting posture as he advances, and at the third advance bends over the Sultan's hands, two more salutations being made on his way back to his place. ii INFRINGEMENT OF ROYAL TABOOS 39 buffaloes, decorated after the royal fashion, which were presented to him as wedding gifts in his daughter's honour.
I remember my old friend and former teacher, Wan viii PREFACE 'Abdullah, a Singapore Malay of Trengganu extrac- tion and Arab descent, a devout and learned Muham- madan and a most charming man, objecting to them on the grounds, first, that they were useless, and, secondly, which, as he emphatically declared, was far worse, that they were perilous to the soul's health.
It is true that Malay notions on these subjects are under- going a process of disintegration, the rapidity of which has been considerably increased by contact with European civilisation, but, such as they are, these ideas still form a great factor in the life of the mass of the people.
It may, however, be desirable to point out that the complexity of Malay folklore is to be attributed in part to its singularly mixed character.