Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The blow-gun of the Malays and the Dyaks of Borneo. Its effective range is necessarily very short, not exceeding fifty yards, and the arrow is so light that to render it efficient the head is always poisoned.
- n. A kind of blowgun for discharging arrows, used by indigenous peoples of Borneo and adjacent islands.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A kind of blowgun for discharging arrows, -- used by the savages of Borneo and adjacent islands.
“The sumpitan is a piece of hard wood, from six to eight feet in length and in circumference slightly larger than the handle of a broom.”
“The sumpitan is a kind of blow-gun, like the "bean-blower" formerly used by American boys, which was a tin pipe, or the "pea-shooter," an English plaything.”
“On leaving the house we noticed several blow-pipes, a hollow tube eight feet long called by the Poonans "sumpitan," the chief weapon of this tribe, and in the manufacture of which they greatly excel.”
“Their weapon is the sumpitan, a blow-gun, from which poisoned arrows are expelled.”
“I observed those flat, evil faces sweeping down on us behind their glittering lance-heads and kampilans, and decided they weren't open to discussion; there was nothing for it but to sit and blaze away in panic - and then a red-hot pain shot through my left ribs, and I looked down bewildered to see a sumpitan shaft in my side.”
“Let's see you puff your pop-gun, Johnny," cries one of the tars, and they swung a champagne cork on a string as a target, twenty yards off; one of the grinning little brutes slipped a dart into his sumpitan, clapped it to his mouth - and in a twinkling there was the cork, jerking on its string, transfixed by the foot-long needle.”
“A seaman at my elbow screamed and stood up, tearing at a sumpitan dart in his arm; as I dived for the cover of the rail another stood quivering in a cable a foot from my face; Brooke leaned over, grinning, snapped it off, tossed it away, and then did an unbelievable thing.”
“There was a Malay steward behind each chair, and over in the corner, silent but missing nothing, the squint-faced Jingo; even he had exchanged his loin-cloth for a silver sarong, with hornbill feathers in his hair and decorating the shaft of his sumpitan* (* Blowpipe.) standing handy against the wall.”
“On the third day a little Chink doctor visited me with the steward, but he didn't have a word of English, and busied himself impassively examining the sumpitan-wound in my guts - which was fairly healed, and barely ached - while remaining deaf to my demands to see Solomon.”
“There's a hundred mile o 'river between Skrang creek and the sea, every yard o' it hotchin 'wi' pirates, slavers, nata-hutan, * (* "Wood devils", i.e. users of the sumpitan). an 'heid-hunters by the thousand, every side-stream crawlin' wi 'war-praus an' bankongs, tae say nothin 'o' the forts!”
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