October 1, 2012

A Foochow Rubber Smoke House

Most rubber smoke houses along the Rajang Basin have either collapsed due to disuse or razed to the grounds by vandals.

smoking of rubber sheets is no longer a "done" thing. After the rubber industry collapsed due to the Communist insurrection in Sarawak, many of the Foochow rubber tappers moved to Sibu and left their rubber trees to turn wild and unkempt.

Today a new spate of rubber tapping has occurred and many Ibans and Indonesians are back in the rubber gardens tapping rubber!!

But smoked rubber sheets are no longer in demand.

This is the side of a rubber smoke house which was still in use a few years ago. It can still be used. The wood fire can be started on the left. Rubber sheets are hung inside in the "brick" enclosed area...and for drying before smoking in the wood portion in the forefront. This smoke house is owned by Mr. Chieng of Mang Kwong (Bintangor)
Raw rubber sheets now fetch a hefty sum of 800 ringgit per ton or even more. The car industry in China has sent the demand for raw rubber to new heights.

(Mr. Chieng is about 82 years old and is a friend of my uncles...He also knows my grandfather. He is also friends with my cousin who son is working in Bintangor...all of them have connections with Mang Kwong)

4 comments:

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Sarawakiana, how you doin'?
I would appreciate it very much if you would remove your link to my blog ASAP.
Thank you.
Best regards.
Lee.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Sure...will do so...

Ann said...

very modern brick smoke house. My aunt's FIl was double storey wooden. Rubber is good business. If you want connection, I know one, he drives a merc.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yes...I know it is quite new..perhaps built in the 1980's...not too keen on men who drive merc...they can drive away faster......hahahaha