Sejarah Sumatra (Marsden)/Bab 6

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Kerajaan hewan meraih perhatian, namun, binatang pulau pada umumnya sama dengan yang ditemukan di wilayah lain di seluruh belahan Dunia Timur, dapat dideskripsikan, aku melakukan sedikit lebih ketimbang menempatkan daftar hewan yang didapat pada catatanku; menambahkan sedikit pengamatan terhadap hal semacam itu yang nampaknya diperlukan kita.


Karbau, atau kerbau, meliputi bagian utama dari makanan penduduk asli, dan merupakan satu-satunya hewan yang dipekerjakan dalam pekerjaan domestik mereka, ini membuatku harus memasukan beberapa penjelasan dari kualitas dan pemakaiannya; meskipun tak dapat ditemukan perbedaan secara material dari kerbau Italia, dan sama dengan kerbau Bengal. Kelompok spesies tersebut, seperti halnya kerbau jinak lainnya, sangat berbeda satu sama lain dalam tingkat kesempurnaan mereka, dan ketetapan tak dapat menghimpun jenis-jenis superiornya, dari hal semacam itu biasanya dilebih-lebihkan seperti yang ditujukan kepada kapal-kapal dari Eropa. Mereka terbagi dalam dua jenis; hitam dan putih. Keduanya sama-sama dipergunakan untuk menggarap, namun kerbau putih disembelih untuk dimakan, menjadikannya sangat rendah dalam hal kualitas, dan menurut beberapa orang secara tak keseluruhan, membuat tubuhnya mengalami bercak-bercak. Jika hal semacam itu benar-benar terjadi, warna muda sejarah itu sendiri kemungkinan besar dianggap akibat dari beberapa penyakit asli, seperti halnya dalam kasus penyakit spesies manusia yang disebut negro putih. Rambutnya sangat tipis, nyaris tidak berfungsi untuk menutupi kulit; sementara kerbau hitam memiliki warna seperti sapi Inggris. Kakinya lebih pendek ketimbang kaki lembu, kukunya lebih besar, dan tanduknya sangat aneh, biasanya persegi atau dapat alih-alih bulat, kecuali yang di dekat bagian-bagian ujung; dan meruncing ke belakang, karena secara umum, atau ke arah depan, seperti yang sering mereka alami, selalu di bagian kepala depan, dan tidak menyudut, seperti halnya tanduk jenis sapi. They contain much solid substance, and are valuable in manufacture. The tail hangs down to the middle joint of the leg only, is small, and terminates in a bunch of hair. The neck is thick and muscular, nearly round, but somewhat flatted at top, and has little or no dewlap dependant from it. The organ of generation in the male has an appearance as if the extremity were cut off. It is not a salacious animal. The female goes nine months with calf, which it suckles during six, from four teats. When crossing a river it exhibits the singular sight of carrying its young one on its back. It has a weak cry, in a sharp tone, very unlike the lowing of oxen. The most part of the milk and butter required for the Europeans (the natives not using either) is supplied by the buffalo, and its milk is richer than that of the cow, but not yielded in equal quantity. What these latter produce is also very small compared with the dairies of Europe. At Batavia, likewise, we are told that their cows are small and lean, from the scantiness of good pasture, and do not give more than about an English quart of milk, sixteen of which are required to make a pound of butter.

The inland people, where the country is tolerably practicable, avail themselves of the strength of this animal to draw timber felled in the woods: the Malays and other people on the coast train them to the draft, and in many places to the plough. Though apparently of a dull, obstinate, capricious nature, they acquire from habit a surprising docility, and are taught to lift the shafts of the cart with their horns, and to place the yoke, which is a curved piece of wood attached to the shafts, across their necks; needing no further harness than a breast-band, and a string that is made to pass through the cartilage of the nostrils. They are also, for the service of Europeans, trained to carry burdens suspended from each side of a packsaddle, in roads, or rather paths, where carriages cannot be employed. It is extremely slow, but steady in its work. The labour it performs, however, falls short of what might be expected from its size and apparent strength, any extraordinary fatigue, particularly during the heat of the day, being sufficient to put a period to its life, which is at all times precarious. The owners frequently experience the loss of large herds, in a short space of time, by an epidemic distemper, called bandung (obstruction), that seizes them suddenly, swells their bodies, and occasions, as it is said, the serum of the blood to distil through the tubes of the hairs.

The luxury of the buffalo consists in rolling itself in a muddy pool, which it forms, in any spot, for its convenience, during the rainy season. This it enjoys in a high degree, dexterously throwing with its horn the water and slime, when not of a sufficient depth to cover it, over its back and sides. Their blood is perhaps of a hot temperature, which may render this indulgence, found to be quite necessary to their health, so desirable to their feelings; and the mud, at the same time, forming a crust upon their bodies, preserves them from the attack of insects, which otherwise prove very troublesome. Their owners light fires for them in the evening, in order that the smoke may have the same effect, and they have the instinctive sagacity to lay themselves down to leeward, that they may enjoy its full benefit.

Although common in every part of the country, they are not understood to exist in the proper wild or indigenous state, those found in the woods being termed karbau jalang, or stray buffaloes, and considered as the subject of property; or if originally wild, they may afterwards, from their use in labour and food, have been all caught and appropriated by degrees. They are gregarious, and usually found in large numbers together, but sometimes met with singly, when they are more dangerous to passengers. Like the turkey and some other animals they have an antipathy to a red colour, and are excited by it to mischief. When in a state of liberty they run with great swiftness, keeping pace with the speed of an ordinary horse. Upon an attack or alarm they fly to a short distance, and then suddenly face about and draw up in battle-array with surprising quickness and regularity; their horns being laid back, and their muzzles projecting. Upon the nearer approach of the danger that presses on them they make a second flight, and a second time halt and form; and this excellent mode of retreat, which but few nations of the human race have attained to such a degree of discipline as to adopt, they continue till they gain the fastnesses of a neighbouring wood. Their principal foe, next to man, is the tiger; but only the weaker sort, and the females fall a certain prey to this ravager, as the sturdy male buffalo can support the first vigorous stroke from the tiger's paw, on which the fate of the battle usually turns.


Sapi (sampi dalam dialek lain) dan jawi, adalah hewan asing di daerah tersebut, dan tak nampak di alam liar. Hewan tersebut umumnya berasal dari buahan Madagaskar, dengan punuk besar di pundaknya, namun umumnya berukuran kecil. Aku melihat bahwa hewan tersebut merosot, dari penghasil susu yang baik ke produksi tanah yang terlalu rendahan.


Kuda: buahannya kecil, gampang dibuat, dan keras. Orang-orang daerah tersebut membawa mereka dalam penjumlahan untuk dijual dalam keadaan nyaris liar; terutama dari wilayah utara. Di daerah Batta, hewan tersebut disantap sebagai makanan; yang juga merupakan kebiasaan di kalangan orang Sulawesi.

DOMBA, DLL[sunting]

Sheep, biri-biri dan domba: buahan kecil, kemungkinan diperkenalkan dari Bengal.

W. Bell delt. A. Cardon sc.

W. Bell delt.

Kambing: disamping hewan ternak, yang umumnya berukuran kecil dan berwarna coklat muda, terdapat pula kambing utan, atau kambing liar. Yang satu ini aku teliti memiliki tinggi tiga kaki, dan panjang tubuh empat kaki. Hewan tersebut memiliki ciri-ciri kijang pada penampilannya, dan, dengan pengecualian tanduk, yang memiliki panjang sekitar enam inchi dan melingkar balik dengan lengkungan, hewan tersebut tidaklah seperti kambing pada umumnya. Bagian-bagian tertutup berbentuk seperti beruang, pantatnya melingkar dari punggung; ekornya sangat kecil, dan berujung runcing; kakinya kaku; rambut di sepanjang bagian punggung lebat dan kuat, nyaris seperti bulu; tanpa janggut; pada pundak ditutupi rambut keabu-abuan; bagian lainnya tertutupi rambut hitam; alat vitalnya bundar. Penampilannya nampak liar dan garang, dan dikatakan oleh penduduk asli gampang berubah.

Hog, babi: yang buahannya kami sebut [hog] Tionghoa.

Babi hutan, babi utan.

Dog, anjing: those brought from Europe lose in a few years their distinctive qualities, and degenerate at length into the cur with erect ears, kuyu, vulgarly called the pariah dog. An instance did not occur of any one going mad during the period of my residence. Many of them are affected with a kind of gonorrhoea.

<a name="sumatra-11"></a><img alt="" src="images/sumatra-11.jpg"> PLATE 11. n.1. THE ANJING-AYER, Mustela lutra.
W. Bell delt. A. Cardon fc.

<a name="sumatra-13a"></a><img alt="" src="images/sumatra-13a.jpg"> PLATE 13a. n.2. THE ANJING-AYER.
Sinensis delt. A. Cardon fc.
Published by W. Marsden, 1810.

Otter, anjing ayer (Mustela lutra).

Cat, kuching: these in every respect resemble our common domestic cat, excepting that the tails of all are more or less imperfect, with a knob or hardness at the end, as if they had been cut or twisted off. In some the tail is not more than a few inches in length, whilst in others it is so nearly perfect that the defect can be ascertained only by the touch.

Rat, tikus: of the grey kind.

Mouse, tikus kechil.


Gajah: hewan besar yang hidup di hutan, dan biasanya bergerak di daerah tersebut dalam kelompok besar bersamaan, menimbulkan pengrusakan besar terhadap lahan pertanian penduduk, membuat jejak tanaman dengan berjalan melewati tanah ; namun mereka juga dipakai untuk menghasilkan taman, terutama pohon-pohon tanam dan tebu, yang dapat mereka kerjakan. Perlakuan terhadap tindakan mereka seringkali berakibat fatal untuk mereka, bagi para pemiliknya, mengetahui mereka mendatangkan sayur-sayuran, memiliki praktek meracuni beberapa bagian penanaman, dengan membelah tebu dan mencampur arsenik kuning dalam santapan hewan tersebut, dan mati. Bukanlah karnivora alami, gajah tidaklah buas, dan dapat menyerang manusia namun ketika ditembak atau hal memprovokasi lainnya. Kecuali sebagian kecil daerah oleh raja Achin, mereka tak dijinakkan di belahan pulau manapun.


Badak, baik spesies yang memiliki satu cula maupun dua cula , berasal dari hutan. Badak bercula dua umumnya telah dideskripsikan oleh Tuan John Bell (salah satu murid Tuan John Hunter) dalam sebuah makalah yang dicetak dalam Volume 83 dari Philosophical Transactions pada tahun 1793. Vulanya dijadikan obat melawan racun, dan pada catatatn tersebut, dibentuk menjadi cangkir minuman. Aku tak mengetahui hal apapun untuk memberikan cerita yang menyebutkan antipati saling menguntungkan dan perlawanan terhadap dua jenis makhluk tersebut.

KUDA NIL[sunting]

Kuda nil, kuda ayer: keberadaan binatang tersebut di pulau Sumatra dipertanyakan oleh M. Cuvier, dan aku sendiri sebetulnya tak melihatnya, aku pikir ini membutuhkan pihak yang memiliki otoritas langsung agar dapat aku cantumkan dalam daftar hewan yang ditemukan di sana adalah gambar yang dibuat oleh Tuan Whalfeldt, seorang perwira yang ditujukan untuk meneliti pesisir, yang mendatangkannya di mulut salah satu sungai selatan, dan menyebarkan sketsa bersama dengan laporan pemerintahannya, yang mana saat itu aku menjadi sekretarisnya. Pernyataan umumnya emnyatakan bahwa keberadaan hewan terkenal tersebut tak dapat diragukan. M. Cuvier menduga bahwa aku salah mengira dengan hewan yang disebut dugong atau secara vulgar disebut sapi laut oleh para naturalis, yang disebut demikian pada saat itu; dan ini akan menimbulkan kekeliruan terhadap hewan dengan empat kaki, a fish with two pectoral fins serving the purposes of feet; but, independently of the authority I have stated, the kuda ayer, or river-horse, is familiarly known to the natives, as is also the duyong (from which Malayan word the dugong of naturalists has been corrupted); and I have only to add that, in a register given by the Philosophical Society of Batavia in the first Volume of their Transactions for 1799, appears the article "couda aijeer, rivier paard, hippopotamus" amongst the animals of Java.

BERUANG, DLL[sunting]

Beruang, bruang: umumnya kecil dan hitam: memanjati pohon-pohon kelapa dalam rangka mengambil bagian enaknya atau kubis.

Sinensis delt. A. Cardon fc.

PLATE 12a. n.2. KIJANG ATAU ROE, Cervus muntjak.
W. Bell delt. A. Cardon sc.
Diterbitkan oleh W. Marsden, 1810.

Dari jenis rusa, terdapat beberapa spesies: rusa, yang paling besar; kijang, denagn tanpa tanduk bercabang, lambang perubahan dan keliaranbagi para penyair Melayu; palandok, napu, dan kanchil, tiga ragam, yang terakhir merupakan yang terkecil, hewan paling diskui, disebut oleh Buffon dengan sebutan chevrotin, namun masuk dalam spesies moschus. Kanchil yang diukur di Batavia memiliki panjang enam belas inchi, tinggi sepuluh inchi dan pundak delapan inchi.

Babi-rusa: sebuah hewan jenis babi, dengan taring aneh mirip tanduk. Dari hewan ini, terdapat sebuah representasi dalam Valentyn, Volume 3 laman 268 fig. c., dan juga dalam perjalanan paling awal Cosmas, yang diterbitkan dalam Thevenot's Collect. Volume 1 laman 2 dari Teks Yunani..

Ragam-ragam suku monyet tak terhitung: beberapa yang terkenal adalah muniet, karra, bru, siamang (atau simia gibbon dari Buffon), dan lutong. Dengan perhatian terhadap orang utan, hewan tersebut tak memiliki pengartian spesifik, namun diterapkan kepada hewan berukuran besar manapun yang terkadang berjalan dengan berdiri, dan memperlihatkan sifat yang sangat mirip dengan manusia.

Ku-kang, ka-malas-an (Lemur tardigradus).

Tupei; biasanya kecil dan berwarna tua.



Tiger, arimau, machang: this beast is here of a very large size, and proves a destructive foe to man as well as to most other animals. The heads being frequently brought in to receive the reward given by the East India Company for killing them, I had an opportunity of measuring one, which was eighteen inches across the forehead. Many circumstances respecting their ravages, and the modes of destroying them, will occur in the course of the work.

Tiger-cat, kuching-rimau (said to feed on vegetables as well as flesh).

Civet-cat, tanggalong (Viverra civetta): the natives take the civet, as they require it for use, from a peculiar receptacle under the tail of the animal. It appears from the Ayin Akbari (Volume 1 page 103) that the civet used at Delhi was imported from Achin.

<a name="sumatra-09a"></a><img alt="" src="images/sumatra-09a.jpg"> PLATE 9a. THE MUSANG, A SPECIES OF VIVERRA.
W. Bell delt. A. Cardon fc.
Published by W. Marsden, 1810.

Polecat, musang (Viverra fossa, or a new species).

<a name="sumatra-13"></a><img alt="" src="images/sumatra-13.jpg"> PLATE 13. n.1. THE LANDAK, Hystrix longicauda.
Sinensis delt. A. Cardon fc.
Published by W. Marsden, 1810.

Porcupine (Hystrix longicauda) landak, and, for distinction, babi landak.

Hedgehog (erinaceus) landak.

<a name="sumatra-10"></a><img alt="" src="images/sumatra-10.jpg"> PLATE 10. THE TANGGILING OR PENG-GOLING-SISIK, A SPECIES OF MANIS.
W. Bell delt. A. Cardon fct.
Published by W. Marsden, 1810.


Peng-goling, signifying the animal which rolls itself up; or pangolin of Buffon: this is distinguished into the peng-goling rambut, or hairy sort (myrmophaga), and the peng-goling sisik, or scaly sort, called more properly tanggiling (species of manis); the scales of this are esteemed by the natives for their medicinal properties. See Asiatic Researches Volume 1 page 376 and Volume 2 page 353.

<a name="sumatra-09"></a><img alt="" src="images/sumatra-09.jpg"> PLATE 9. A SPECIES OF Lemur volans, SUSPENDED FROM THE RAMBEH-TREE.
Sinensis delt. N. Cardon fct.
Published by W. Marsden, 1810.


Of the bat kind there is an extraordinary variety: the churi-churi is the smallest species, called vulgarly burong tikus, or the mouse-bird; next to these is the kalalawar; then the kalambit; and the kaluwang (noctilio) is of considerable size; of these I have observed very large flights occasionally passing at a great height in the air, as if migrating from one country to another, and Captain Forrest notices their crossing the Straits of Sunda from Java Head to Mount Pugong; they are also seen hanging by hundreds upon trees. The flying-foxes and flying-squirrels (Lemur volans), which by means of a membrane extending from what may be termed the forelegs to those behind, are enabled to take short flights, are also not uncommon.



Alligators, buaya (Crocodilus biporcatus of Cuvier), abound in most of the rivers, grow to a large Size, and do much mischief.

The guana, or iguana, biawak (Lacerta iguana) is another animal of the lizard kind, about three or four feet in length, harmless, excepting to the poultry and young domestic cattle, and sometimes itself eaten as food. The bingkarong is next in size, has hard, dark scales on the back, and is often found under heaps of decayed timber; its bite venomous.

The koke, goke, or toke, as it is variously called, is a lizard, about ten or twelve inches long, frequenting old buildings, and making a very singular noise. Between this and the small house-lizard (chichak) are many gradations in size, chiefly of the grass-lizard kind, which is smooth and glossy. The former are in length from about four inches down to an inch or less, and are the largest reptiles that can walk in an inverted situation: one of these, of size sufficient to devour a cockroach, runs on the ceiling of a room, and in that situation seizes its prey with the utmost facility. This they seem to be enabled to do from the rugose structure of their feet, with which they adhere strongly to the smoothest surface. Sometimes however, on springing too eagerly at a fly, they lose their hold, and drop to the floor, on which occasions a circumstance occurs not undeserving of notice. The tail being frequently separated from the body by the shock (as it may be at any of the vertebrae by the slightest force, without loss of blood or evident pain to the animal, and sometimes, as it would seem, from the effect of fear alone) within a little time, like the mutilated claw of a lobster, begins to renew itself. They are produced from eggs about the size of the wren's, of which the female carries two at a time, one in the lower, and one in the upper part of the abdomen, on opposite sides; they are always cold to the touch, and yet the transparency of their bodies gives an opportunity of observing that their fluids have as brisk a circulation as those of warm-blooded animals: in none have I seen the peristaltic motion so obvious as in these. It may not be useless to mention that these phenomena were best observed at night when the lizard was on the outside of a pane of glass, with a candle on the inside. There is, I believe, no class of living creatures in which the gradations can be traced with such minuteness and regularity as in this; where, from the small animal just described, to the huge alligator or crocodile, a chain may be traced containing almost innumerable links, of which the remotest have a striking resemblance to each other, and seem, at first view, to differ only in bulk.


The chameleon, gruning: these are about a foot and half long, including the tail; the colour, green with brown spots, as I had it preserved; when alive in the woods they are generally green, but not from the reflection of the leaves, as some have supposed. When first caught they usually turn brown, apparently the effect of fear or anger, as men become pale or red; but if undisturbed soon resume a deep green on the back, and a yellow green on the belly, the tail remaining brown. Along the spine, from the head to the middle of the back, little membranes stand up like the teeth of a saw. As others of the genus of lacerta they feed on flies and grasshoppers, which the large size of their mouths and peculiar structure of their bony tongues are well adapted for catching.

<a name="sumatra-14a"></a><img alt="" src="images/sumatra-14a.jpg"> PLATE 14a. n.2. THE KUBIN, Draco volans.
Sinensis delt. A. Cardon sc.
Published by W. Marsden, 1810.

The flying lizard, kubin, or chachak terbang (Draco volans), is about eight inches in its extreme length, and the membranes which constitute the wings are about two or three inches in extent. These do not connect with the fore and hind legs, as in the bat tribe, but are supported by an elongation of the alternate ribs, as pointed out by my friend Mr. Everard Home. They have flapped ears, and a singular kind of pouch or alphorges, under the jaws. In other respects they much resemble the chameleon in appearance. They do not take distant flights, but merely from tree to tree, or from one bough to another. The natives take them by springs fastened to the stems.

FROGS. SNAKES[sunting]

With animals of the frog kind (kodok) the swamps everywhere teem; and their noise upon the approach of rain is tremendous. They furnish prey to the snakes, which are found here of all sizes and in great variety of species; the larger proportion harmless, but of some, and those generally small and dark-coloured, the bite is mortal. If the cobra capelo, or hooded snake, be a native of the island, as some assert, it must be extremely rare. The largest of the boa kind (ular sauh) that I had an opportunity of observing was no more than twelve feet long. This was killed in a hen-house where it was devouring the poultry. It is very surprising, but not less true, that snakes will swallow animals of twice or three times their own apparent circumference; having in their jaws or throat a compressive force that gradually and by great efforts reduces the prey to a convenient dimension. I have seen a small snake (ular sini) with the hinder legs of a frog sticking out of its mouth, each of them nearly equal to the smaller parts of its own body, which in the thickest did not exceed a man's little finger. The stories told of their swallowing deer, and even buffaloes, in Ceylon and Java, almost choke belief, but I cannot take upon me to pronounce them false; for if a snake of three inches diameter can gorge a fowl of six, one of thirty feet in length and proportionate bulk and strength might well be supposed capable of swallowing a beast of the size of a goat; and I have respectable authority for the fact that the fawn of a kijang or roe was cut out of the body of a very large snake killed at one of the southern settlements. The poisonous kinds are distinguished by the epithet of ular bisa, among which is the biludak or viper. The ular garang, or sea-snake, is coated entirely with scales, both on the belly and tail, not differing from those on the back, which are small and hexagonal; the colour is grey, with here and there shades of brown. The head and about one-third of the body from thence is the smallest part, and it increases in bulk towards the tail, which resembles that of the eel. It has not any dog-fangs.


The tortoise, kura-kura, and turtle, katong, are both found in these seas; the former valuable for its scales, and the latter as food; the land­tortoise (Testudo graeca) is brought from the Seychelles Islands.

There is also an extensive variety of shellfish. The crayfish, udang laut (Cancer homarus or ecrevisse-de-mer), is as large as the lobster, but wants its biting claws. The small freshwater crayfish, the prawns and shrimps (all named udang, with distinctive epithets), are in great perfection.

The crab, kapiting and katam (cancer), is not equally fine, but exhibits many extraordinary varieties.

The kima, or gigantic cockle (chama), has been already mentioned.

The oysters, tiram, are by no means so good as those of Europe. The smaller kind are generally found adhering to the roots of the mangrove, in the wash of the tide.

The mussel, kupang (mytilus), rimis (donax), kapang (Teredo navalis), sea­egg, bulu babi (echinus), bia papeda (nautilus), ruma gorita (argonauta), bia unam (murex), bia balang (cuprea), and many others may be added to the list. The beauty of the madrepores and corallines, of which the finest specimens are found in the recesses of the Bay of Tappanuli, is not to be surpassed in any country. Of these a superb collection is in the possession of Mr. John Griffiths, who has given, in Volume 96 of the Philosophical Transactions, the Description of a rare species of Worm-Shells, discovered at an island lying off the North-west coast of Sumatra. In the same volume is also a Paper by Mr. Everard Home, containing Observations on the Shell of the Sea Worm found on the Coast of Sumatra, proving it to belong to a species of Teredo; with an Account of the Anatomy of the Teredo navalis. The former he proposes to call the Teredo gigantea. The sea-grass, or ladang laut, concerning which Sir James Lancaster tells some wonderful stories, partakes of the nature of a sea-worm and of a coralline; in its original state it is soft and shrinks into the sand from the touch; but when dry it is quite hard, straight, and brittle.


The duyong is a very large sea-animal or fish, of the order of mammalia, with two large pectoral fins serving the purposes of feet. By the early Dutch voyagers it was, without any obvious analogy, called the sea-cow; and from the circumstance of the head being covered with a kind of shaggy hair, and the mammae of the female being placed immediately under the pectus, it has given rise to the stories of mermaids in the tropical seas. The tusks are applied to the same uses as ivory, especially for the handles of krises, and being whiter are more prized. It has much general resemblance to the manatee or lamantin of the West Indies, and has been confounded with it; but the distinction between them has been ascertained by M. Cuvier, Annales du Museum d'Histoire Naturelle 22 cahier page 308.*

(*Footnote. "Some time ago (says Captain Forrest) a large fish, with valuable teeth, being cast ashore in the Illana districts, there arose a dispute who should have the teeth, but the Magindanoers carried it." Voyage to New Guinea page 272. See also Valentyn Volume 3 page 341.)


The grampus whale (species of delphinus) is well known to the natives by the names of pawus and gajah mina; but I do not recollect to have heard any instance of their being thrown upon the coast.


Of the ikan layer (genus novum schombro affine) a grand specimen is preserved in the British Museum, where it was deposited by Sir Joseph Banks;* and a description of it by the late M. Brousonet, under the name of le Voilier, is published in the Mem. de l'Acad. de Scien. de Paris for 1786 page 450 plate 10. It derives its appellation from the peculiarity of its dorsal fin, which rises so high as to suggest the idea of a sail; but it is most remarkable for what should rather be termed its snout than its horn, being an elongation of the frontal bone, and the prodigious force with which it occasionally strikes the bottoms of ships, mistaking them, as we may presume, for its enemy or prey. A large fragment of one of these bones, which had transfixed the plank of an East India ship, and penetrated about eighteen inches, is likewise preserved in the same national collection, together with the piece of plank, as it was cut out of the ship's bottom upon her being docked in England. Several accidents of a similar nature are known to have occurred. There is an excellent representation of this fish, under the name of fetisso, in Barbot's Description of the Coasts of Guinea, plate 18, which is copied in Astley's Collection of Voyages, Volume 2 plate 73.

(*Footnote. This fish was hooked by Mr. John Griffiths near the southern extremity of the west coast of Sumatra, and was given to Captain Cumming of the Britannia indiaman, by whom it was presented to Sir Joseph Banks.)


To attempt an enumeration of the species of fish with which these seas abound would exceed my power, and I shall only mention briefly some of the most obvious; as the shark, hiyu (squalus); skate, ikan pari (raya); ikan mua (muraena); ikan chanak (gymnotus); ikan gajah (cepole); ikan karang or bonna (chaetodon), described by Mr. John Bell in Volume 82 of the Philosophical Transactions. It is remarkable for certain tumours filled with oil, attached to its bones. There are also the ikan krapo, a kind of rock-cod or sea-perch; ikan marrang or kitang (teuthis), commonly named the leather fish, and among the best brought to table; jinnihin, a rock-fish shaped like a carp; bawal or pomfret (species of chaetodon); balanak, jumpul, and marra, three fish of the mullet kind (mugil); kuru (polynemus); ikan lidah, a kind of sole; tingeri, resembles the mackerel; gagu, catfish; summa, a river fish, resembling the salmon; ringkis, resembles the trout, and is noted for the size of its roe; ikan tambarah, I believe the shad of Siak River; ikan gadis, good river fish, about the size of a carp; ikan bada, small, like white bait; ikan gorito, sepia; ikan terbang, flying-fish (exocoetus). The little seahorse (Syngnathus hippocampus) is commonly found here.


Of birds the variety is considerable, and the following list contains but a small portion of those that might be discovered in the island by a qualified person who should confine his researches to that branch of natural history.


The kuwau, or Sumatran pheasant (Phasianus argus), is a bird of uncommon magnificence and beauty; the plumage being perhaps the most rich, without any mixture of gaudiness, of all the feathered race. It is found extremely difficult to keep it alive for any considerable time after catching it in the woods, yet it has in one instance been brought to England; but, having lost its fine feathers by the voyage, it did not excite curiosity, and died unnoticed. There is now a good specimen in the Liverpool Museum. It has in its natural state an antipathy to the light, and in the open day is quite moped and inanimate. When kept in a darkened place it seems at its ease, and sometimes makes use of the note or call from which it takes its name, and which is rather plaintive than harsh. The flesh, of which I have eaten, perfectly resembles that of the common pheasant (tugang), also found in the woods, but the body is of much larger size. I have reason to believe that it is not, as supposed, a native of the North or any part of China. From the Malayan Islands, of which it is the boast, it must be frequently carried thither.

PEACOCK, ETC[sunting]

The peacock, burong marak (pavo), appears to be well known to the natives, though I believe not common.

I should say the same of the eagle and the vulture (coracias), to the one or the other of which the name of raja wali is familiarly applied.

The kite, alang (falco), is very common, as is the crow, gadak (corvus), and jackdaw, pong (gracula), with several species of the woodpecker.

The kingfisher (alcedo) is named burong buaya, or the alligator-bird.

The bird-of-paradise, burong supan, or elegant-bird, is known here only in the dried state, as brought from the Moluccas and coast of New Guinea (tanah papuah).

<a name="sumatra-15"></a><img alt="" src="images/sumatra-15.jpg"> PLATE 15. BEAKS OF THE BUCEROS OR HORN-BILL.
M. de Jonville delt. Swaine sc.
Published by W. Marsden, 1810.

The rhinoceros bird, hornbill, or calao (buceros), called by the natives anggang and burong taun, is chiefly remarkable for what is termed the horn, which in the most common species extends halfway down the upper mandible of its large beak, and then turns up; but the varieties of shape are numerous. The length of one I measured whilst alive was ten inches and a half; the breadth, including the horn, six and a half; length from beak to tail four feet; wings four feet six inches; height one foot; length of neck one foot; the beak whitish; the horn yellow and red; the body black; the tail white ringed with black; rump, and feathers on the legs down to the heel, white; claws three before and one behind; the iris red. In a hen chick there was no appearance of a horn, and the iris was whitish. They eat either boiled rice or tender fresh meat. Of the use of such a singular cavity I could not learn any plausible conjecture. As a receptacle for water, it must be quite unnecessary in the country of which it is a native.

STORK, ETC[sunting]

Of the stork kind there are several species, some of great height and otherwise curious, as the burong kambing and burong ular, which frequent the rice plantations in wet ground.

We find also the heron, burong kuntul (ardea); the snipe, kandidi (scolopax); the coot, or water-hen, ayam ayer (fulica); and the plover, cheruling (charadrius).

The cassowary, burong rusa, is brought from the island of Java.

The domestic hen is as common as in most other countries. In some the bones (or the periostea) are black, and these are at least equally good as food. The hen of the woods, ayam barugo, or ayam utan (which latter name is in some places applied to the pheasant), differs little from the common sort, excepting in the uniformity of its brown colour. In the Lampong country of Sumatra and western part of Java lying opposite to it there is a very large breed of fowls, called ayam jago; of these I have seen a cock peck from off of a common dining table; when inclined to rest they sit on the first joint of the leg and are then taller than the ordinary fowls. It is singular if the same country produces likewise the diminutive breed that goes by the name of bantam.

A species of partridge is called ayam gunong, or mountain hen.


Selain burung dara, merapeti dan burong darah (columba), dan dua spesies merpati umum, yang satu berwarna coklat terang atau warna merpati, yang disebut ballum, dan yang lainnya hijau, yang disebut punei, terdapat beberapa ragam dari punei: punei jambu yang lebih kecil ketimbang ukuran merpati biasa; punggung, sayap dan ekor berwarn a hijau; dada dan buku berwarna putih, namun bagian depannya berwarna merah jambu; bagian depan kepala berwarna merah jambu tua, mirip dengan kembang buah jambu, sesuai dengan namanya; warna putih dari hewan tersebut bergaris tipis, berwanrna hijau di satu sisi dan merah jambu di sisi lainnya, matanya setengah bundar, yang besar, utuh dan kuning; yang juga merupakan warna paruhnya. Hewan tersebut diberi makan dengan nasi kukus dan padi; namun makanan kesukaannya, di alam liar, adalah beri rumpunnei (Ardisia coriacea), yang mungkin disebut demikain dari keadaannya. Selaya, atau punei andu, ragam lainnya, memiliki tubuh dan sayapnya berwarna merah tua, dengan kepala dan ujung ekor panjangnya berwanr aputih; kaki berwarna merah. Hewan tersebut hidup dengan menyantap ulat-ulat yang muncul di bagian busuk pohon tua, dan memiliki ukuran menyerupai burung gagak. Dari ukuran yang sama, ada juga burong sawei, seekor burung berwarna hitam kebiruan, dengan ekor merpati, yang dapat merentangkan dua bulu yang sangat panjang, secara melingkar. Hewan yang nampak disebut burung janda, dan setangguh burung layang-layang.

Burong pipit mirip dengan burung gagak dalam hal penampilannya, kelakuannya, jumlahnya dan penghancurannya yang terdampak pada biji-bijian.

Puyuh (coturnix); meskipun burung asli atau burung penjelajah, tak dapat aku jelaskan.

Burung jalak (sturnus), yang aku tak ketahui nama Melayunya.

Burung layang-layang (hirundo), salah satu spesiesnya, yang disebut layang buhi, yang dikumpulkan dari pantai, yang menghasilkan sarang burung pangan.

Mu­rei, atau burung panggilan, mirip dengan magpie kecil, berpenampilan cantik namun pendek. Tak ada burung manapun di daerah yang tersebut yang dikatakan dapat bernyanyi. Ti­yong, atau mino, seekor burung hitam dengan insang kuning, memiliki kemampuan meniru suara manusia dengan kesempurnaan yang lebih besar ketimbang spesies berbulu lainnya. Terdapat juga spesies kuning, namun bukan membeo.

Dari jenis burung gagak, ragamnya tak sebanyak yang dipikirkan, dan utamanya terdiri dari parkit-parkit terdenominasi. Luri indah, meskipun umum, datang dari wilayah timur. Kakatua umumnya hidup di ujung selatan pulau tersebut.

Angsa India, angsa dan gangsa (anser); bebek dan itik (anas); dan belibi, merupakan hewan umum di daerah tersebut.


With insects the island may truly be said to swarm; and I doubt whether there is any part of the world where greater variety is to be found. Of these I shall only attempt to enumerate a few:

The kunang, or firefly, larger than the common fly, (which it resembles), with the phosphoric matter in the abdomen, regularly and quickly intermitting its light, as if by respiration; by holding one of them in my hand I could see to read at night;

Lipas, the cockroach (blatta); chingkarek, the cricket (gryllus);

Lebah, taun, the bee (apis), whose honey is gathered in the woods; kumbang, a species of apis, that bores its nest in timber, and thence acquires the name of the carpenter;

Sumut, the ant (formica), the multitudes of which overrun the country, and its varieties are not less extraordinary than its numbers. The following distinctions are the most obvious: the krangga, or great red ant, about three-fourths of an inch long, bites severely, and usually leaves its head, as a bee its sting, in the wound; it is found mostly on trees and bushes, and forms its nest by fastening together, with a glutinous matter, a collection of the leaves of a branch, as they grow; the common red ant; the minute red ant; the large black ant, not equal in size to the krangga, but with a head of disproportioned bulk; the common black ant; and the minute black ant: they also differ from each other in a circumstance which I believe has not been attended to; and that is the sensation with which they affect the taste when put into the mouth, as frequently happens unintentionally: some are hot and acrid, some bitter, and some sour. Perhaps this will be attributed to the different kinds of food they have accidentally devoured; but I never found one which tasted sweet, though I have caught them in the fact of robbing a sugar or honey-pot. Each species of ant is a declared enemy of the other, and never suffers a divided empire. Where one party effects a settlement the other is expelled; and in general they are powerful in proportion to their bulk, with the exception of the white-ant, sumut putih (termes), which is beaten from the field by others of inferior size; and for this reason it is a common expedient to strew sugar on the floor of a warehouse in order to allure the formicae to the spot, who do not fail to combat and overcome the ravaging but unwarlike termites. Of this insect and its destructive qualities I had intended to give some description, but the subject is so elaborately treated (though with some degree of fancy) by Mr. Smeathman, in Volume 71 of the Philosophical Transactions for 1781, who had an opportunity of observing them in Africa, that I omit it as superfluous.

Of the wasp kind there are several curious varieties. One of them may be observed building its nest of moistened clay against a wall, and inclosing in each of its numerous compartments a living spider; thus revenging upon this bloodthirsty race the injuries sustained by harmless flies, and providently securing for its own young a stock of food.

Lalat, the common fly (musca); lalat kuda (tabanus); lalat karbau (oestrus);

Niamok, agas, the gnat or mosquito (culex), producing a degree of annoyance equal to the sum of all the other physical plagues of a hot climate, but even to these I found that habit rendered me almost indifferent;

Kala-jingking, the scorpion (scorpio), the sting of which is highly inflammatory and painful, but not dangerous;

Sipasan, centipede (scholopendra), not so venomous as the preceding;

Alipan (jules);

Alintah, water-leech (hirudo); achih, small land-leech, dropping from the leaves of trees whilst moist with dew, and troublesome to travellers in passing through the woods.

To this list I shall only add the suala, tripan, or sea-slug (holothurion), which, being collected from the rocks and dried in the sun, is exported to China, where it is an article of food.