RATA. GELORKA. Xanthochymus pictorius. RATAN or Rattan ; Cane.
Beta, BENG. Calamus rotang, . . LAT.
Bet, Ned, . . . HIND. . . . MALAY.
Panjalin, . . . JAV. Pirambu, . . . . TAM.
Kowe Sunda, JAV., SUNDA. Bettam, TEL The rattan canes of commerce are obtained from Calamus rotang, Linn., C. rudentum, Lour., C. Royleanus, Grzif, and C. fasciculatus, Roxb. The Malay term Rotan is an abbreviation of Raotan, from the verb Raot, to pare or trim, that is, the object pared or trimmed. The plants which yield rattans are a genus of palms, which consists of many species from the girth of a goose-quill to that of a stou't walking-stick. They are abundant in all the forests of the Malay and Philippine Archipelagos, and are everywhere extensively used as cordage or ligatures or in the manufacture of mats and basket-wor'lc. These singular plants creep along the ground or climb trees, according to the species, to the length of from 100 to 1200 feet. The principal places of production for the general market are Sumatra, Borneo, and the Peninsula of India. A valuable species is brought from Banjarniassin, on the southern coast of Borneo in the market they are worth about 150 per cent'. more than any others. A vast quantity of rattans are exported from the Malay Archipel ago to Europe, Hindustan, and China, four or five millions of them being in some years shipped from the territories under the Government of British India. Amongst the plants producing them may be named the genus Calamosagus harinimfolius (Wallichimfolius), termed Rotang Simote ; C. ochriger, Rotang Donam ; with C. scapiger and C. laciniosus. The Calamosagi are all climbing plants. The rattan cane is used ex tensively in Burma and the Tenasserira Provinces instead of cordage. The stays of the masts in the
native boats are usually made of rattans, and they are split up into strings for innumerable purposes, to which cord and twine are elsewhere applied. The Karen have different names for seventeen species or varieties. Rattans are manu factured into chairs, baskets, etc.; they also furnish material for the cables of Shakespearian bridges. One species, called country rattan, Pedda piramboo, Moti bet, HIND., Pedda bettam, TEL., grows' to a great length in most districts of the Peninsula. • When green, it is formed into cables for drawing the cars of the Hindu idols, and in some parts for suspension bridges. It answers better than ba,mboo for baskets and for strong fences, when interwoven between stakes. The rattan when burnt yields an ordinary black for paint. In Liver pool the selling price is from ls. 6d. to 3s. per 100. The rattans of Borneo are exported to Singapore and Batavia in immense quantities from the Coti and Banjar rivers ; on the south and easterr: parts of the island they are collected and brought down these streams on rafts by the Dyaks ; they are principally re - exported from Batavia and Singapore to India a,nd China. The exports of rattans from India are principally from Calcutta and Bombay to the Mauritius, Cape of Good Hope, and New South Wales, to the value of .£3000 to X4000 annually.—S'eemeta ; Rohde, MSS.; Crawfurtrs Diet. p. 365 ; Milian& Middle King dom, p. 402 ; Low's Sarawak, p. 42; 411ason's 'Pommel-1m.