The history of Sumatra: containing an account of the government, laws, customs and manners of the native inhabitants, with a description of the natural productions, and a relation of the ancient political state of that island

Front Cover
Printed for the author, 1784 - Natural history - 373 pages
1 Review

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MiaCulpa - LibraryThing

A very important work covering the history of Sumatra, or at least to the late 18th Century when it was initially released. The biggest interest for me was its historic value, including apparently the ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 299 - They do not eat human flefh, as a means of fatisfying the cravings of nature, owing to a deficiency of other food ; nor is it fought after as a glutonous delicacy, as it would feem among the New Zealanders.
Page 131 - Circumference of shadow at noon, 1116 feet. Circumference of the several stems, in number fifty or sixty, 921 feet. Under this tree sat a naked Fakir, who had occupied that situation for twenty-five years ; but he did not continue there the whole year through, for his vow obliged him to lie during the four cold months up to his neck in the waters of the Ganges.
Page 28 - The surf begins to assume its form at some distance from the place where it breaks, gradually accumulating as it moves forward, till it gains a height, in common, of fifteen to twenty feet, when it overhangs at top, and falls like a cascade...
Page 296 - The men are allowed to marry as many wives as they pleafe, or can afford, and to have half a dozen is not uncommon. Each of...
Page 300 - ... the fenfation of pain. I have found a difference of opinion in regard to their eating the bodies of their enemies Jlain in battle.
Page 90 - Sumatrans have a degree of botanical knowledge that furprifes an European. They are in general, and at a very early age, acquainted, not only with the names, but the qualities and properties of every fhrub and herb, amongft that exuberant variety with which thefe iflands are clothed.
Page 182 - do not acknowledge a right in the chiefs to constitute what laws they think proper, or to repeal or alter their ancient usages, of which they are extremely tenacious and jealous.
Page 171 - He is temperate and fober, being equally abitemious in meat and drink. The diet of the natives is moftly vegetable ; water is their only beverage...
Page 222 - In the mode of marriage by Ambel-anek, says Marsden, the father of a virgin makes a choice of some young man for her husband generally from an inferior family, which renounces all further right to, or interest in, him ; and he is taken into the house of his father-in-law, who kills a buffalo on the occasion, and receives twenty dollars from his son's relations. After this, the "buruk baik" nia (the good and bad of him) is invested in the wife's family.
Page 131 - How the feed, from which it is produced, happens to occupy ftations feemingly fo unnatural, is not eafily determined. Some have imagined the berries carried thither by the wind, and others, with more appearance of truth, by the birds ; which, cleanfing their bills where they light, or attempt to light, leave, in thofe places, the feeds, adhering by the vifcous...

Bibliographic information