Me and Alex tried to enter Pantai Cunang beach in Tanjung Sepat and found the sandy track accessible to only motorcycles. While looking at the map, we saw an Orang Asli Village (indigenous or aboriginal people) nearby. Further reading revealed they are of the Mah Meri tribe and many are fishing people like the town folk.
Roadside stall in Slim River town selling strings of petai or stink beans (Parkia speciosa). From here to Bidor, Tapah and the road to Cameron Highlands, we will see many such stalls. Orang Asli people harvest the crop, sell it themselves or through local traders.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f11, 1/200 sec.
At a coffee shop in Behrang, two polite gentlemen asked to share my table. We introduced ourselves, chatted and ended up becoming friends; exchanging phone numbers and all. They even invited me to their village to eat durians.
They are Orang Asli of the Semai tribe (aboriginal people) from nearby Kuala Slim. Sal (left) was busy writing lottery numbers to place bets on. I asked him if I can go to his village to ask for lottery numbers from the tree spirits. The Orang Asli are traditionally animists.
In building the dam and subsequent flooding of the jungle area, 2 Orang Asli villages, comprising 84 families, were relocated and re-settled. They moved from their traditional jungle homes into a colony-like housing area with brick houses and relatively modern amenities.
Going up and down a hill behind the dam, I came upon one of the settlements. It has been more than 10 years since, and some of the houses are a bit worn. Saw only kids playing outside but there was an adult.
The inhabitants here are of the Temuan tribe and indeed there is a dog at every turn. Aboriginal dogs were originally kept as hunting dogs and were lean and mean.
Acting also as guard dogs for those staying deep in the jungles, they alert human companions to approaching wild boars, bears and other aggressive wildlife. Importantly, they provide endless fun and companionship for Orang Asli children growing up without toys, gadgets and electricity.