Meet One of the Last Bornean Elders Who Still Makes Traditional Poison Dart Blowpipes | Smart News | Smithsonian

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Meet One of the Last Bornean Elders Who Still Makes Traditional Poison Dart Blowpipes

It takes two days of constant drilling by hand to create a single pipe, which can be used to hunting animals

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The Penan of Sarawak have lived in the jungles of Borneo for thousands of years, but, as in many places, deforestation and the draw of a more urban lifestyle are pulling younger people away from the traditions of nomadic life in the rainforest. As Jungles in Paris reports, younger people are moving to towns to get jobs, and just a fraction of the tribe still lives deep in the jungle, where contemporary weapons such as guns and snares have replaced traditional poison arrow blowpipes. 

Some still hunt using those ancient tools, however. Balan, an elder in the Penan tribe, is the only person left in his village who still makes blowpipes. This short documentary—taken from a longer upcoming film called Sunset Over Selungo—details Balan's painstaking process. 

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