Saturday, 23 May 2015

The pagan tribes of Borneo; a description of their physical, moral and intellectual condition, with some discussion of their ethnic relations

Borneo is one of the largest islands of the world. Its area is roughly 290,000 square miles, or about five times that of England and Wales. Its greatest length from north-east to south-west is 830 miles, and its greatest breadth is about 600 miles. It is crossed by the equator a little below its centre, so that about two-thirds of its area lie in the northern and one-third lies in the southern hemisphere. Although surrounded on all sides by islands of volcanic origin, Borneo differs from them in presenting but small traces of volcanic activity, and in consisting of ancient masses of igneous rock and of sedimentary strata.

The highest mountain is Kinabalu, an isolated mass of granite in the extreme north, nearly 14,000 feet in height. With this exception the principal mountains are grouped in several massive chains, which rise here and there to peaks about 10,000 feet above the sea. The principal of these chains, the Tibang-Iran range, runs south-westward through the midst of the northern half of the island and is prolonged south of the equator by the Schwaner chain. This median south-westerly trending range forms the backbone of the island. A second muchbroken chain runs across the island from east to west about i"" north of the equator.

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