The Tribe! Testimonial
07.11.2016 - 07.11.2016 35 °C
Hi Mrs. Hoff,
Let me just tell you about this fascinating trip I went on with my school friends just a few days ago. The day we got there was when we all caught a whiff of what we were going to be doing for the week. We directly went from the four hour bus ride, to the speedboat, to the houseboat where we were going to stay for the trip. It was in the middle of a lake called Belum state Park. The lake was man made with an electrical dam that produced all the electricity for the whole location. Apparently the lake is four times larger than Singapore and you can even see the tip of the tree trunks that were there before the water was added to the site.
After a quick lunch we took the speedboats to our first destination. Some boats were small with minimal spaces to sit in, wooden seats and blue while the other boats were white with comfortable cushions, it just depended on which group was selected to go in which boat, a cool or boring one. Once we got to the island to do our first activity, we had to climb up this steep, green, rocky hill and a couple of us slipped and a few laughed although that was just part of the experience.
We were visiting a tribe called “Orang-Asli”. The tribe was described to us as the oldest tribe in Malaysia. We learnt about the small and extremely different resources they have, compared to ours. The only electricity source they have is, the small Christmas lights used to light up the outside of their homes. It almost seemed as though they had only one pair of clothes, and that their houses made of green and brown bamboo were falling apart. I thought to myself what if I had to survive in the heat and standards that they do, I probably wouldn’t be able live at all. Although this tribe has been offered by the government several times, to be relocated and live in better, healthier conditions, they won’t budge an inch. They claim that their home has always and will always be where it is.
The resources we saw that were explained to us were, first, the hunting tools. The first hunting tool was a poison dart shooter, it looked like a long piece of hollow wood that let the dart shoot right through it. Anyone who would use it had two tiny baskets on the side of their pockets which in one had white cotton to put on the end of the dart in the hole so that the person who blew through the tube, wouldn’t get pricked by the sharp edges of the dart. The other basket was filled simply with the actual darts which were sharpened to it's peak with a small pocket knife that the hunters carried at all times. They would take the tip of the pointy stick (dart) and brush the knife against it so that pieces of the wood would shred off and make the object sharper.
Another resource they had was to cook, with fire, bamboo and wood. They take the rice that they have and fill a bamboo piece with it so that when they apply it on the flaming, red fire, it would cook well [b]especially when they trying to trap their rice away from the bacteria, that could contaminate their food.They would also kill a chicken, clean it well (special people who know how to do that, were there for the cleaning process) and prick it onto a stick or piece of wood they sharpen. They leave the protein above the fire for a few seconds and keep changing position so that the chicken or other meats won’t burn.
We met some of the cultural people and some of the teenagers (who were pretty uncomfortable by the way) performed a dance on a bamboo built room that they would use for any type of big news that the tribe needed to know about, or a wedding, or any ceremony of their choosing. The dance was performed at any of their events, with instruments strictly made of bamboo. They depend immensely on bamboo, if people took away that massive resource of theirs, they might actually have nothing.
The group learnt mostly about the resources that differed to ours as a lesson for the venture, for example, the tribe, as I told you about before, rely almost always on bamboo. Although to me, I don’t even own anything made from that material, so it has no effect on me. Yet if you took away my phone that would be a whole other story regarding essential resources.
Mrs. Hoff, this is only the first activity and I am already so excited for tomorrow, if you ever do get the chance to go to Belum state Park, I definitely recommend it and it’s only been the first day for me!