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Random Diss Excerpt #12

READING ADVISORY: Straight up ethnographic writing on hunting. Yawn.

Historically, hunting was an important part of Dayak life in the area of Southeast Borneo (Knapen 2001: 311). There are very few hunters left in Kamipang as most people have converted to Islam and may not touch or eat the meat of wild pig, which is the game that is common to the area. The hunters of Baun Bango are Protestants and/or adherents of Hindu Kaharingan. Hunters reported that there is no shortage of wild boar, because they reproduce quickly. It is rare however to find deer. At the time of fieldwork, male members of Christian and Hindu Kaharingan households hunted occasionally. They would hunt alone, or in twos, accompanied by up to four dogs that chase the pigs to the river where the hunter waits on a boat and spears it.

When the hunters set out traps, they must give offerings of eggs and cigarettes to the guardian spirits in the forest. This rite is called ngariaw. According to the hunters the offering serves both to ask permission from the guardian spirits, as well as to summon the wild pigs to the trap. As shall be discussed further below, the ngariaw is also performed for the extraction of other resources from the forest.

When a boar is caught it is brought back to Baun Bango where it is washed and cleaned on the batang (the landing raft that each household has along the river) of the hunter. Word of the catch soon spreads through the village and people come to wait for the meat to be cut into different portions. The meat is sold very cheaply, at Rp.10,000 per kilogram. The hunters usually limit themselves to one pig a week in order to be able to dispose of the meat. The excess meat is salted and air-dried or smoked. Excess meat is taken upriver to Petak Bahandang, or Kasongan where there are allegedly many Christians and Hindu Kaharanging that buy meat from them. Sometimes a hunter will take as much as one pikul (100 kilograms) upriver and dispose of it in Kasongan. Although the men of Baun Bango may opt to engage in hunting throughout the year, wild pigs are most plentiful when trees in the forest and around the villages bear fruit such as durian, in the months of November and December.

The hunters of Baun Bango are often called upon through amateur radios to hunt down boars that have been raiding ladang in other villages. Thus there are no specific territories or boundaries for hunting. Baun Bango villagers boast that their hunters are famed for their skills throughout the Kamipang sub-district.


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