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Jakarta Post

The forest people

  • Yani Saloh

Jakarta   /   Tue, October 20 2009   /  12:36 pm

Playground: Children play in a shelter that serves as a playhouse.“We used to own this land but now we are excluded,” says Jumi Iyah, a Suku Rimba woman who lives in the village of Simpang Macan in Jambi. “Please do not move us again. We are happy to be here as long as we are allowed to collect rattan, damar and dragon blood.” The Orang Rimba, who live in the Jambi forest, make their living by collecting forest products. The forest is of great importance to them, both for sustenance and for spiritual purposes. However, illegal logging and agricultural expansion have led to widespread forest loss. Conversion of forest land to oil palm plantation is also widespread.Happy face: A boy swings between palm leaves.These indigenous people have lived in this area for hundreds of years. “We want our children to have the right to this land’s heritage, just as it was passed on to us by o...