[Places To See Before You're Too Old]
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08 February 2009

Orang Asli of Taman Negara, Malaysia

Orang Asli simply means original people in the Malay language and refers to the aboriginal tribes who were the first human occupants of the Malay Peninsular. The Orang Asli who continue to live a nomadic, hunting-and-gathering lifestyle in Taman Negara call themselves Batek. There has, however, of recent times been some intermarriage with the neighbouring Semokberi group. The Batek are a gentle race of people, short in stature, dark-skinned and with tight curly hair. (The Semokberi have wavy hair). Their habitations are simple, palm-thatched shelters, one for each family group, with several families usually staying together. You may see some of the shelters alongside the trails. The Batek depend largely on forest produce for their food supply-fruits, yams, and small animal life such as monkeys and squirrels which are hunted with a blowpipe. The Batek have their own language. As guides they will willingly share with you their intimate knowledge of the rain forest, and the beliefs and customs that form the basis of their way of life.Amidst the visitors to their placeShowed us their many skillsBlowing the blowpipe was oneTaught us how to shoot animals with itWith a target, we tried and triedYameen trying her skillWe mingled with themApai, Ang, Yameen and AmelAgainst the backdrop of their residences

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