Orang Rimba is a name of indigenous nomadic ethnic group living in Jambi, province in the middle of Indonesian Sumatra. Due to logging of the forest and expansion of palm oil plantations their existence within the traditional life style is disappearing rapidly. As one of the Chiefs of the tribe said during the meeting with them, they already prepare next generation to leave the forest. Unavoidably, also leave behind their identity, traditions and knowledge… Extinct.
Beautiful people, having a chance to meet them and talk to them was both exiting and a deeply sad experience. It’s a great shame on our world that we could not coexist, but took away from them their home that is an absolutely necessary base of their lifestyle… Their life is already very influenced by so called modernity, traditional medicine they used for ages almost disappeared as they can’t find healing plants in the small forest area that has been left.
Meeting Orang Rimba was a powerful experience. Although due to their believes and traditions I was not allowed to go into the village, I was honored to meet Chiefs of the tribe for a long conversation, that was also an opportunity to give them voice – there is a video interview to share with you to come soon. It needs translation (and time to do it as they speak their own language that not many people can translate, the ones that do are busy helping them out in their every day existence disturbed by the way modern world invaded their living space…) but is being worked on.
I’m afraid that it might be too late to save the life they lived, but at least they should be heard.