My bones now lie buried on top of a hill overlooking the saddest sight you can imagine. Majestic hills stripped of trees, mountains blown up to make a dam. I may be dead but my spirit lives on in my songs, and in the sacred (and now badly scarred) landscape I love so dearly. One day my songs will be heard and they will soften the hardened hearts of the greedy ones who destroy more than they construct. When men’s hearts heal, so will the land.
Extract from Mak Minah Uncrowned Queen of the Temuan – http://www.magickriver.org/2014/09/mak-minah-uncrowned-queen-of-temuan.html
There’s no doubt that the Temun are thriving since they were relocated to their new village and now have access to clean running water, sanitary toilet facilities, electricity, satellite TV and Internet. I feel sure Minah would have enjoyed being able to watch her favorite Bollywood movies at home, but she would, I suspect, feel sad that the oral tradition she was so fiercely proud of has pretty much passed on along with her generation. Today, the call from the surau (Muslim prayer house) not the tappety tap of bamboo instruments, mingles in the evening breeze along with the sound of motorbikes, barking dogs, karaoke stars and laughter.
Photos of Kg Pertak by Ailsa Wright
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One thought on “Guardians of the Malaysian Rainforest”
Sweet to feel the soulful presence of the ones who have relocated to the spirit realms… 20 years down the line! xoxo