Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Penan Tribe

The shy nomadic people of the jungle, the Penans, live in the dense virgin jungles of Central Borneo, among some of the State's most valuable timber resources.

Penan shelters are quickly constructed to last for a few weeks or months.  They are sited near a good stand of wild sago trees, the Penan's staple food.  after the sego trees have been used up the family moves on.

Another Penan speciality is the manufacture and accurate use of blowpipes.  A wood beam of adequate length is fixed in a drilling platform, and then bored by patient manual labour.  The bore is smoothed and ground by pulling lengths of rattan through it.  Blowpipe ammunition is a softwood plug tipped with a hardwood dart.  Blowpipe poison, carefully dosed to suit the prey, is made from the sap of the upas tree.

Elder Boyter, with his trumpet lips and lungs was a natural at the blowpipes.

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