Location : Kapit, Sarawak, Malaysia.
The town of Kapit is on the south bank of the Rajang River. The district comprises 15,595.6 square kilometers. Although accessible only by boat (slightly more than 2 hours from Sibu by express boat), it is the vibrant commercial and social center for the middle Rajang River catering to the longhouse communities and timber camps. It is an excellent base for exploring nearby longhouses or for arranging trips to the Upper Rajang and Balleh Rivers.
We spent 2 days in Kapit before the Chinese New Year celebration checking out River Sut for possible tubing adventure. The river was clean but wasn’t as fast flowing as we hoped for. Ah Chiang our guide promised to look further upriver for a better spot and he was quite confident of locating a better one. We hope to visit and try it out on our next trip.
We were invited by Mr Lai our Kapit friend to join him for the new year eve dinner at his home. The celebration also coincided with his grandson’s first month after birth which is something quite grand for all Chinese families. But the highlight of the evening went to the ‘miring’ ritual for the ‘protectors’ or spirits which protects him from harm in the jungle or in town. Going by the number of offering plates displayed on the pua kumbu he must have more than a dozen of such protectors.
Only once a year are his amulets publicly displayed. We must be lucky and honoured to be able to view and take photos of his amulets.
He entertained us with many of his stories in connection with these amulets such as the ambush years ago in a coffee shop by an enemy due to some misunderstanding. He works as a negotiator for one of the biggest timber company in Sarawak and his job requires him to negotiate with villages and sometimes with goons of illegal contractors. He needs all the extra spiritual help in tense moments which can easily flare up into deadly business. His hunting days have been over as I mentioned in some earlier albums. So most of these amulets are made redundant. Annual sacrifice of chicken blood must continue nevertheless.
Passing by Song on our way to Kapit from Sibu
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