Among the aboriginals (Orang Asli) who still dwell in the jungles are partially nomadic. They live in an enclave for some years and when resources in the area are depleted they move to a new area for livelihood. Whereas, those who settled in communities closer to towns have been provided with proper housing and facilities by the government.
Five families are putting dwellings in a small flattened space by the side of the Spg. Pulai - Kg. Raja road. It is cool up there by the mountains where several years ago I have sneaked to open land a km away from their present settlement.
When I go for short visit at my kebun, I have a close opportunity to keep track of the OA making their new homes. I have yet to meet any of them.
The area they chose was flattened when MTD (Malaysia-Thai joint venture) built the road. First they slashed the thick Neprolepis ferns and burnt them. From the nearby jungle trees they obtain straight posts (6) and poles needed for the uprights, beams, flooring and walls of the house.
The foundation structure of the house is ready. Two layers of flooring are needed, poles for the lower layer are tied further apart while the upper layer closer.
Bundle of fresh Serdang palm leaves for the roof.
Thatching of the palm leaves using rattan onto the beams of the roof.
The roof half-ready.
Poles are tied over the roof to weigh it down.
Flooring of split bamboo.
Bamboo for the walls are first splintered (hammered) and them split open to a flat plank like.
A dwelling, room for two about ready to move in. Walls of flattened bamboo.
I do not have a shelter built for my kebun yet. May be I may ask them to build one for me. In that way I could get to know them and be friendly.
Bah Botak, an OA that I met quite recently asked me what is my name. "Bah Din", I said!
Another OA, Dolah just could not get my name right. He called me Kamarudin. His wife passed away and his hut got burned one windy day. He got frequent headaches and always asked for Penadol. I have not visit him for sometime. This Ramadhan is a good occasion to bring him some rice and other stuffs.