03 September 2009
The Dusuns in the 1900s
"The Dusuns in character are quiet and orderly and not particularly brave,
but no doubt would be industrious if occasion arose; a very
good rural population, with somewhat yokelish notions. Any
slight bloodthirsty tendencies that circulmstances and the want
of proper restraint have driven them to, are gladly abandoned
wherever our influence has spread. They show every symptom
of thriving and increasing, under a proper firm government, and
there is no fear of their melting away and disappearing, like so
many races have done, when brought into contact with the white
man. Much the same thing may be said of the sea coast races,
who also possess many good work-a-day knockabout qualities,
but not to the same extent as the Dusuns."
(W.B Pryer, 1887: 236- The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 16
(1887), pp. 229-236)
Wow! So they have discovered us or rather our ancestors in the late 1800s. The Dusuns were still headhunters then but I gather from this writing that they weren't very happy with the custom too. Headhunting must have been a tradition they held on to simply because it was tradition, not because they were bloodthirsty. (Am I relieved to read that- that means I have the blood of peaceful ancestors, who somewhat braved their existence because that was all they knew then.
And it seems that the hardworking traits have had always been there. You know the work-till-you-drop-dead thing. I'll stop complaining about that then.