Water dowsing in Malaya

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Water dowsing in Malaya

Postby Grahame Gardner » Wed Nov 15, 2006 2:55 pm

A friend kindly sent me a copy of an article in the November 2006 issue of "Pennant", the journal of the Forces Pension Society.
An article by Major Richard Neve called 'Iban Dadop' talks about the water divining skill of their tracker, an Iban from Borneo known as Pte. Dadop.
The major's platoon was camped 500 feet from the summit of a 3,000 foot ridge in the Malaysian jungle for the night, with dwindling water supplies and no water sources nearby. When asked if he could find water, Pte. Dadop replied in the affirmative...
While the water bottles were being collected Dadop had walked round the base area looking at various bushes. Spotting what he wanted he cut off two pencil width pieces of branch, each about three inches long.
Dadop leading, I gave the order to move off. He immediately placed the two pieces of wood in the palm of his hand so they formed a V with the base pointing towards his fingers(italics added). He then set off at a fast pace down the side of the ridge... It suddenly dawned on me I was watching the Iban equivalent of water divining. After descending no more than 100 feet he veered off into a slight hollow about 30 feet across.
"Dig here, Tuan".
We quickly dug down two feet with an entrenching tool and our parangs. The resulting hole soon filled with slightly muddy but drinkable water deep enough to submerge each water bottle in turn until it was full. In half an hour we had finished and were on our way back.

Certainly an interesting method of water divining, and one that I haven't come across before. I've heard of two sticks being laid balanced between the outstretched index fingers, but not this. Has anyone heard of this method before, or tried it?
Grahame
The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it - Terry Pratchett.
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Postby Diegoarias » Fri May 25, 2007 7:07 am

Hi Grahame, really interesting what you wrote about how the Ibans dowse for water. They were known as Sea Dayaks, a branch of the Dayak peoples of North Borneo also known as Sarawak. One of my relatives lived for some years in that part of the world and I have a special interest in their local costumes. I have never read how they dowse for water. It's time to reread some old books about the Dayaks and the 'White Rajahs' searching for it. If I got any information, I will post it here.

Would you be so kind to send me a scan, or post a link in this forum, of the article by Major Richard Neve? Do you have any other information on how 'Iban Dadop' searched for water?

I am sure that 'natural cultures' (not primitive) stick to practical methods when their survive depends on them and they keep it 'clean, clear and simple' as Tom Graves states in the last number of 'Dowsing Today'. And that is my view of what we must do when dowsing "KISAE: Keep it simple and effective".

Best regards,
Diego Arias
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Postby Grahame Gardner » Fri May 25, 2007 8:26 am

Hi Diego, and welcome to the forum.
Thanks for the extra info on the Iban dowsing. I'd be very interested to hear of anything else you find on the subject.

If I can remember where I put the article (it's not online), I'll scan it in for you when I get some time, but that quote I posted is the only mention of the dowsing in the article.
Grahame
The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it - Terry Pratchett.
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Iban

Postby Diegoarias » Fri May 25, 2007 12:03 pm

Thanks for your offer. I have contacted people at 'Pennant Journal' and they kindly sent me a PDF copy. I will try to contact with Major Richard Neve and ask for more details in order to write here any new information about the Dayak dowsing method.

I did enjoy very much reading the paper by Major Neve, not only the dowsing part, but also when Mr. Dadop communicates with the monkeys. That part remembered me a history about Sir Richard Burton, the British explorer, soldier and spy. It is said that he was very good learning languages (seems to speak 30 or 40 different languages and dialects). In one of his houses in India, around the year 1840, he had an enclosure with monkeys and he learned the monkey language. Then he wrote an English/monkey dictionary. When he died, his widow Lady Burton set up fire to all the papers she thought were not good for the memory of his husband (some others say it was a fortuity accident). In Spain hunters say that the Red partridge (Alectoris rufa) has different sounds (words) for a terrestrial danger (a fox) or an aerial danger (a golden eagle),. The reason is that, in order to escape from the predator, it must fly in the first case or hide in the bush in the second.

And speaking of animals, do you think they use the "dowsing sense" when they search for water or when they find their destination in their migrations or when a lost dog walks a thousand miles and reach his home?

Best regards,
Diego Arias
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Postby Diegoarias » Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:04 am

I contacted with Major Richard Neve and he has give me permission to quote the following:

"I am afraid I can no longer be certain which way round Dadop placed the V of sticks in his palm. It was over 50 years ago! Though when I opened your attachment and saw your excellent drawing No. 2 with the apex towards the fingers that seemed to jog my memory the most. I suspect that was exactly how they looked".

Image

Drawing no. 2

I have a copy of the original article by Major Richard Neve and I can send to anyone who is interested (I have obtained also permission for this from peolple at Pennant).

Major Neve said he will publish his Malaysia memories soon with this and other stories.

Best regards.
Diego Arias
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Uk Armed Forces and Dowsing!

Postby B.J.C.Courtney » Tue Jun 12, 2007 3:22 pm

I do know that this thread was posted dome time ago butit was in Malaya in 1957 when i was around 3 years old, my Dad was posted to a Army base in Kula Lumur that was originaly built by the Japenese as a supply Dump!

It was there I originaly found out about dowsing, i had just cut myself and my sister sent me to the Camos medical centre, at the back of the centre was a large Army Dump full of of unsed stuf, from unused webbing and other related items to basicly anything that got broken and perhaps could be repaired.

Well at the entrance to this Dump was some times used as a night park up, mostly for radio vans and Command Vehichiles.

When i left the medical centre i went to the back of the building and saw this huge Matador Command Truck withis officer from the Royal Enginers useing a some what odd looking Peice of Tree branch, i now no it was a Y rod, i remmber asking what he was doing and he said he was looking for a lost underground Water outlet.

I t was a few months back that i had this memory flash back, it was very vivid and evan pictorial.
Bryan a some what Dsylexic travler in time and space.
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