June 2, 2010

Disappearing Way of Life : Hunting

A government officer travelling in the ulu once told me this story

"We were actually just trekking (to spend half a Saturday afternoon while travelling in the ulu) to find a good place for fishing. But suddenly all the dogs went to the left. Our hunter friends who were of Iban descent suddenly became quiet and looked for tracks and trails. The senior one told us to go to the left and he got his gun ready. He then did a surprising thing. He threw a heavy piece of wood into the clump of trees and out came a slithering sound. I had never seen a twenty foot snake.

Quick as lightning he shot the serpent while we held our breath. I am sure my colleague almost fainted.

If we did not have these two guys with us probably we would not live to tell the tale. Thank God for the gun!! Thank God for the Iban trekkers!

According to him he and his friends had a good fishing trip. The following Monday they did what they had to do and then sailed downriver to the main town. They wrote a good report about the progress of government projects and nothing about their frightening experience. "

This gun has been with the Iban family for three generations. Still in very good condition it was made in England. One thing good about owning guns like this is that the cartridges will always remain the same. This gun is made to last for eternity it seems. Not like handphones...spare parts cannot be found after six months according to Mr. Ingan. Nice thought.

Four good deer antlers from ancient days. Today in this generation we do not get them any more. These are all probably 1930's to 1950's.

They caught a wildboar two months ago. They salted the meat for guests purposely. They had some left for the coming Gawai. Kasam Babi or salted wild boar meat is a delicacy reserved for guests and children who are working in towns.

This is kidjang which is more populous in the jungle but it is not every day they need to hunt. They hunt only when they have no more money left to buy pork in the town or when they need to entertain special guests. Sometimes they are given some angpows to look for wild animals by camp managers or good friends from town. This usually takes them away from their padi farming and also oil palm growing.

These folks have never over hunted because they do not have a commercial need to sell what they hunt and it is also against the law they said. They got a few snakes in the last few months because friends ask them to help them rid of the snakes. Wild boars can be a menace to padi farms and tapioca plots. But wild animals are getting rarer now because people from outside kill faster with semi automatic guns and fast four wheels. The deforestation and frequent forest fires have also reduced the proper and natural habitat of the Sarawakian fauna to regenerate quickly.

A gun is always a good property to own : it protects as well as provides food when occasion calls for extra food.


The Observer said...

You can slowly start doing an iban... oops, shhh will email you...

change topic...I can smell the kijang by just looking at the picture, the gingery and salty taste with hot rice... lots of rice

Ah Ngao said...

hi Sarawakiana..! i tasted wild boar meat quite sometimes ago,kinda forgot the exact toughness of it..it's tougher than the city pigs,right?

Ann said...


Remember the Communist era. people reported the wild boars and the deers were eating corpses. Since then, I didn't like wild boar meat and venison.

I am not adventurous person.

Another closer to home story, one of my aunties, the first to marry a Foochow, had a shop cum rubber collection shop up the ulu Rejang river. She was pregnant and said she ate wild boar meat everyday. The Ibans brought the meat to exchange for grocery. When her baby was born, he was cover with black hair like a wild boar. She stopped eating wild boar after that.

With stories like this, you think I will still eat wild boar?

Not so long ago, at my Bidayu relatives' place they served Babi Kasum. I am sorry to say, I didn't even try. People asked me," You become Ang Mo?"

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hahahah Observer...you have a great sense of smell..

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ah Ngao...Wild boar meat can be very tender. I really miss the stall in Channel Road of Sibu in the days when wild boar meat was easily an alternative to town pork....

WB can be very tasty if you know how to cook it...

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Ann

You might be right because my second daughter is more hairy as during my pregnancy I had a craving for wild boar meat...and Sibu at that time had lots of WB meat in Channel Road...I must tell her that..She blamed me for her hairiness.

No...some people like WB some people don't...ang mo or not...it really depends...hahahahah

Sarawakiana@2 said...


Yes I have heard of these same stories too....WB is a forager...but not deer.

Free Bird said...

Eating wild boar during pregnancy causes children to be more hairy??

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Free Bird

That is the Foochow Old Wives' Tales....

The Observer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Observer said...

it's an acquired taste i must say

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Observer...

Exotic meat is really for those who have acquired the taste...i do agree.

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