This is the unprocessed bit of hardened secretion left by the Malaus
Smaller pieces scraped from a tree in the jungle.
This is a tubular piece of processed (cleaned too) of malau. The shape is due to melting of the malau resin in a bamboo canister by my sister in law who is an expert in looking for malau. This piece (which she calls "baka tai/like shit")can last for a long long time and will not "expire". So there is no used by date for this product.
One of the uses of malau is to fix the parang or duku handle on to the sharp blade. The malau is so permanent that the Ibans and Bidayuhs in the longhouse do not often have trouble caused by lose handles!!
This is my sister-in-law's small parang used for cutting grass or slashing in the farm. The notebook indicates the slender form of the parang.
Besides using the malau as a strong adhesive the "resin" is useful as a kind of aromatherapy. My great grandmother was famous for farming alone in the Medamit farm and would be able to stay for weeks in her little langkau without fear because she was accompanied by the aromatic power of the malau.
When young children cry a lot at night the malau is burnt for several hours to chase away the evil spiritis which are disturbing the children.
The malau can also be melted and added to some oil to make a special kind of perfume. However this practice has been discontinued because commercial perfumes have flooded the market and pushed the malau off the home shelves about thirty years ago!!
However it remains a very significant household adhesive which is beyond compare.
I hope to collect some specimens for some detailed study and I do hope that people would start becoming interested in this very ancient jungle product again.