Wednesday, August 4, 2010

the very humble most; Orang Batek (Aborigines-Orang Asli)

Program Lawatan Sambil Belajar ke Perkampungan Orang Asli di Taman Negara, Pahang

3rd August 2010

Today is the day our field trips started, and it was the real adventure I was looking forward to. It was a relatively long boat trip to Indigenous People (Orang Asli) village, it takes 45 minutes to get there, but I really enjoyed the spectacular scenery around me especially the river, the forest, and the best part was the villagers at the riverside were waving towards us during the journey. There are no words to describe how beautiful the place was, in order to smell the fresh air, hear the sounds of the waving river, and see nature in its purity. In order to realize, how small and unimportant we actually are, as human beings compared to nature and its unpredictability. I was thrilled during boat trip to the Orang batek’s village. We were get there by speed boat and I was just holding on to my seat trying not to fall out and at the same time taking pictures and videos as I did not want to miss a thing.

On arrival, we were climbing the hills to get there and the first thing that I noticed immediately was the fact that this village is quite pleasant, quiet, calm, pretty clean and beautiful, not as bad as I thought. The second thing I noticed was there were nobody at the village except the children but I was more surprised since they were running away from us, maybe they were scared toward us since we were almost 30 of us. It was the first time in my life that I entered to Orang Asli village and I didn’t expected it will be that way. I thought it maybe the same with other villages that I had visited before this, but it was totally different. The village was at the riverside, their houses are made of leaves (daun cucuh), and the scenery was really spectacular. It was a bit awkward when I entered this village because they were running away from us. Usually, if we go to any villages, the villagers mostly like to welcome us since we are the visitors, but here was totally different. It feels like we were not welcomed at all. I really have no idea how am I going to approach them. I really don’t know what’s in their minds toward us and I badly wanted to know. Thus, that day I said to myself, for at least I can get to know at least one of them.

I saw few students offering candies and other foodstuff but I don’t have anything to offer. But since I was the ‘AKJ Makanan’ and I had few sandwiches with me, the breakfast’s leftover, so I used it to offer to them. The good thing is, they took the sandwiches but then they ran away. However, I managed to interview one of the children, but I’m not really satisfying since he only answered me one single answer every time I’m questioning. His name is Ali. I learnt a few Batek’s language from him such as, ‘am – eating’, ‘ tin – drinking’ , ‘lai – bathing’, ‘tom – river’, ‘minga – like/love’, ‘nak – mother’, ‘pak – father’, ‘goweng – cooking’, ‘awak – children’, ‘yek – I/me’, ‘ kense – husband’, ‘kende – wife’ and many more.

I asked him did he get any opportunity to go for hunting or using blowpipe (sumpit), and he said that he did went into the jungle and learning how their adults go for hunting. But I think he had mentioned that he never use the blowpipe. Even though it was not really a satisfying interview session, but I’m still happy I managed to get a lot of good information. i found out that they are no longer eating the source of protein that are from the squirrel, birds that usually they can get it from hunting anymore, the adults will go to the jetty and buying groceries and fresh meats and bring it back home and the women will cook it for the family. But there still few villagers that still go for hunting and hunt for the animals for the source of protein, but most of them will go into the jungle to get the fruits and plants which can useful. They also eat fish which I found out interestingly that they actually catch the fish by their hands. It’s amazing that they don’t use any utensils to catch the fish. But according to the villagers, they don’t catch fishes during the day because of the sound of the boat engine that usually passing by at the river might disturb the fishes and it’s quite difficult for them to catch the fish. They usually do it during the night time.

I fell in love with the jungle, such a beautiful, peaceful, serene and simply breath-taking place. It was a long, long walk into the jungle but it’s all worth it not only because I saw the spectacular green of the forest but also I had learnt a lot about the trees and the plants. During jungle walking with two of the villagers, I also had an opportunity to interview one of the Orang Batek. His name is Idham. He is 23 years old. He was the one who was being the ‘tour guide’ showed us many types of valuable plants in the jungle during jungle tracking. I was so fascinated and adored the way he showing us around because he knows everything about the jungle, about the plants, their names, their function, how to use them, when to use them and a lot of information that I wish I could remember all of them.
After tiredness from walking in the jungle, I and a few of my friends got an opportunity to interview Idham again. Well actually it’s not really interviewing session, it’s more like chatting. Surprisingly, Idham was not like the other villagers, he’s really talks a lot about his village. We were sat under the tree and chatting and what Puan Nurul said was right. The Orang Asli is a bit shy but once the conversation had started or the rapports were built, they tend to talk a lot.

According to Idham, he said that, they don’t have any water supply in their village. They get the water supply under the ground. They have to dig the ground in order to get the water source or the other option is to get the water source from the river, but the taste is not so good. They live nomadic where they usually move out or migrate to the other places in the jungle depends on what kind of situations. According to him again, if the food or water supply were run out or finished, they migrate to the other places. Or if somebody got sick, or having an illness, he or she will move out into the other places for 2-3 months to prevent from others to get infected too. And it also depends on the climates such as raining season. They usually stay is the one place only about 2-5 months but the one place that we were visited was the longest period they had stayed since it was near to the river, and the area was quite wide or large for them to build the houses. The special things about Orang Batek, they are inheriting with the two skills from their ancestor which are produce fire and shooting (menyumpit).

I was so lucky to get an opportunity to watch for real with my own eyes on how people make a fire by woods. Before this people usually said, if you got lost in the jungle and you don’t have any utensils to make a bonfire or campfire, you don’t have any choice but to make them with woods or using stones. But now, I definitely know how to make a bonfire since I know what equipments or utensils that I need which are the strand of cane (kayu rotan tunggal), meranti wood as the base (dahan kayu meranti) and daun cucuh for the fuels. They make a fire using a strand of cane that will be pulled with the base that made of meranti wood. Believe it or not, in time less than a minute, the rubbing cane with wood then will burn the wood dust which after that will turned into fuel. Me and a few of my friends had tried to make the fire, but it seems we’re not skilled enough, we were almost there to start the fire since the smoke came out when we’re rubbing the cane with the wood but it’s okay we’re happy cause we had tried. To see how easy they made the fire, they get the water and food supply and to image how they can survive with it was really quite impressed to me.

Another opportunity that I got during this visit was for the first time in my life I used the blowpipe (sumpit). The villagers taught us on how to use the blowpipe, he was demonstrated with the correct technique and then a few of tourists and our group including me got an opportunity to use it. Although my arrows (also known as damak or peluru) missed the target, after several attempts, well it’s finally touched the target and I’m happy with my achievement. Sumpit or blowpipe is made of bamboo and the ‘bullet’ or arrow (damak) are made of rattan.

One of the tourist guide said to me, the value of the blowpipe is from how the carving (ukiran) at the bamboo and the owner of the blowpipe if is he skilled enough or not. I had read in the one of the article, claimed that the greater of the Batek’s man in using blowpipe can be seen from the circle carving at the blowpipe. The owner of the blowpipe usually will take a good care of their blowpipe as showing of appreciation of its function and usefulness.

The function of the blowpipe usually is for hunting. The male are responsible to go for hunting for the foods and bring it home for the family while the female will prepare for the dishes for the family, clean the house, and make their house. The great thing I found out about Orang Batek is that they are usually sharing their foods with others. I really adore on how they are living together and sharing everything with the others, they will make sure their children will get enough food to eat and the male and female are working hard together to make sure they can survive. I also found out that the male will go into the jungle and get the rattan and daun cucuh and bring it home and the female will make their house by plait the daun cucuh (menganyam daun cucuh).
One of the villagers, Aki, he is the oldest Orang Asli in that jungle, and I was quite thrilled with his story about how they manage the death person. According to Aki, he said that when somebody is dead, his body will be tied up at the big tree in the jungle, depends on the person’s request before he/she is dead if he/she wanted to be buried or to be tied up at the tree. During jungle tracking at the evening, I was looking up everywhere to see the trees and wondering are there any corpse being tied up at the trees but lucky me I didn’t found any.

According to a few theory of history, Orang Batek is defined from Negritos, one of the main ethnics. Negritos are the first group of human reach into this country. This group of people was believed that they were reach here about 25000 years ago. Then, another group of people called Senoi who has reached here around 6000-8000 years ago and then followed by a group of Melayu Asli that reached here around 4000 year then.

For Orang Asli, they consider environment as their house and the children are being taught by their parents that environment surroundings should be protecting them. In the forest, they also have many resources where give benefits to them such as food, medicines and building materials. I am honestly impressed on how they can live in such conveniently and comfortable.

On our way back to our hostel, I was thinking about why we are so materialistic and success-focused, even though there is obviously a different way of life, living with just the basics and I am definitely convinced that the Batek people are much more happier and satisfied with their life than we are, who are greedy and sometimes never grateful and satisfied of what we had.

I would like to thank to everyone involved in this program; our beloved Pro
f Dato’ Dr. Hood and wife, Puan Teoh, Puan Nurul, the tourist guide, and I would especially love to say a big thank you to all my friends who was working hard for this program. It was amazing and fantastic experienced I ever had in my entire life.

Thank You.

if Malay said that they are deserve better in this country because they are Malay and they have been living in this wonderful Malaysia for a long time to compare with other ethnicity, well bet me, Orang Asli Batek have been living in this world's oldest rainforest for more that 130 million years ago. but look at them now, they never get a single chance like what most people like to fight for. because of what 'we' are, they greedy kind of human type. and fortunately they don't choose to be greedy like what we are most did.
Accrding to kak Tini, in front of herself, one day, she saw orang asli came to jetty and ate rice at one of the stall, and the villagers simply asked to that orang asli, "kau makan nasi ke?". God, can't this world be fair enough? what's wrong with eating rice? why people simply like to insulting others like that? and this very humble orang asli, that's why don't go out and get mixed with others, not because they don't want to, but they're afraid of being discriminate and underestimate. really sad.
Pn Nurul also did mentioned about there was an issue of orang asli sent their children to school, but the other kids just love to make fun of them and tease them. and since that issue, orang asli stop sending their children to school. its not that they don't aware the importance of knowledge to their generation, but its just the people the villagers mostly that always very unmerciful to them. very pity. not to the orang asli. i am pity to the villagers. the idiocy of them.
nothing much i can do tho change this very unfair world, what can i do is only to pray for them, may Allah bless them with joy, loving and happiness.

This wonderful rainforest will be the legacy for the future generation, and thanks to Orang Asli for preserve it and take a good care of it.

Taman Negara Pahang,
the World's Oldest Tropical Rainforest

during canopy walk, i learnt so much about the forest especially the plants, the treasure of Taman Negara, and here are some of the information that i managed to collect:

Pokok Mengkudur

pokok yang sangat besar dan berongga (kosong) di dalamnya. biasanya digunakan oleh orang asli untuk berhubung sesama sendiri terutamanya jika sesat didalam hutan, dimana bila ia diketuk dengan kuat, ia akan mengeluarkan bunyi yang sangat kuat. ia juga sebagai alat komunikasi di antara orang asli.

Tapak Kaki Hantu (Ghost Footprint)

gingseng tea for women after deliver. daunnya boleh direbus dan airnya boleh diminum. baik untuk wanita selepas bersalin.

Tongkat Ali
pokok yang agak tinggi, akar, batang pokok dan daunnya boleh digunakan, di rebus dan diminum airnya untuk tenaga.

Sepetir Daun Licin

getahnya boleh digunakan sebagai ubat luka. fungisnya lebih kurang sama seperti Flavin ( di hospital). getahnya seperti gam, di letakkan di atas luka dan luka akan sembuh dalam 1-2 minggu.

Pokok Ara
pokok yang mengelilingi/menjeruti pokok Katong. spesis yang bergantung pada pokok Katong mengambil sumber nutrient di dalam pokok Katong dan kelama-lamaan akhirnya akan membunuh pokok Katong itu.

Meranti Siput
getahnya digunakan untuk membuat damar sumpit. (damar adalah 'peluru' yang diletakkan di dalam sumpit).
terdapat juga meranti lain seperti Meranti Sarang Punai dan Meranti Tembaga kayunya sangat kuat. boleh digunakan untuk membuat boat.

Pokok Salak
daunnya digunakan oleh orang asli untuk membuat atap rumah. daunnya dikenali sebagai daun atap cucuh.

Pokok Keruing
bergetah, mengeluarkan minyak. harganya lebih mahal daripada harga pokok getah biasa dan lebih mahal dari pokok meranti. harga minyak pokok Keruing 1kilo lebih kurang bernilai rm11 ribu.

Pokok Ipoh
getahnya sangat beracun. jika terkena kulit, paling teruk seseorang itu boleh mati dan paling bernasib baik seseorang itu boleh pengsan.


kaunya digunakan untuk membuat bara api. sesetengah jenis rotan, kayunya sebesar lengan dan batangnya berduri.

Kayu Gaharu

pokok yang sangat besar yang termahal dan hampir pupus kerana terdapat banyak penyeludup yang mencuri masuk di dalam hutan ini untuk mencuri pokok ini. bahagian tengah (teras)pokok ini berwarna hitam, digunakakan untuk membuat minyak wangi, bedak, dll. harga 1kio bernilai hampir rm11-25 ribu.

Pokok Langsuir
daunnya boleh digunakan untuk membuat shampoo. bila dilumatkan daunnya, buih-buih akan keluar. Langsuir sejenis pokok parasit (menumpang di atas pokok lain).

Pokok Buluh (Bamboo)

dalam banyak-banyak rumput, rumput apa terbesar di dunia? jawapannya pokok buluh. Buluh adalah spesis rumput atau dikenali sebagai giant grass. Buluh betung adalahbuluh yang terbesar didunia. boleh digunakan untuk membuat rakit, lemang.

Daun Lirik
daunnya boleh digunakan untuk membuat lemang. dan buahnya pula boleh digunakan untuk mengubati penyakit telinga bernanah terutamanya dikalangan kanak-kanak.

maklumat yang saya dapat mungkin ada yang tidak beberapa tepat kerana saya hanya menyalin apa yang saya lihat dan dengar semasa canopy walk. jika mahu information yang lebih mendalam, boleh la google sendiri. atau, ayari,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good points and the details are more specific than somewhere else, thanks.

- Norman