The word “orang asli” means original people in Bahasa Melayu. There are three kinds of “orang asli”. They are known as “Senoi”, “Orang Melayu Asli” and “Negrito”. Those who are living in Cameron are the “Senoi” and the “Negrito”. The “Senoi” look exactly like the Malaysians. Those who are darker are the Negrito.
The “Senoi” originated from the hills of Vietnam, Cambodia and Northern Thailand about 6,000 to 8,000 years ago. In Cameron highland, they work as a worker on the highland tea estate to earn money.
Malaysian Aboriginal Village
The “Negritos” are the semi-nomadic tribes of the “Orang Asli”. The “Negritos” arrived in Malaya 8,000 years ago. Their forefathers were hunters and gatherers who used to live in cave and rock shelter.
When you are on your way to Cameron, after you left the highway, you will be able to see a sign with “Orang Asli” village on it.
Mostly of the “Negritos” live in the jungle. They hunt for foods such as birds and little monkeys by blowing their blowpipes. This blowpipe is made of bamboo, while the mouth piece is made of damar.
They make their own natural weapon
The damar is a resin that is obtained from the dipterocarp trees. The darts are made from the split leaf-stalks of Arenga palm cone. It is made of light weight pitch and the tip is coated with a lethal preparation made from the sap of the lpol tree (Antiaris toxicaria).
It is carried in a carefully closed bamboo tube. As for the windage, a soft fluffy “wool’ is made from a kind of bark. The blowpipe is deadly accurate within 20 meters and therefore, it is very dangerous.
One chief in each tribe
These “Orang Asli” live in the jungle in small tribes. Every tribe has their own chief. The roof of their house is made of leaves while the floor is made of wood. They usually live very near the river for the river is their main source of water.
Since they are nomad, they will usually move to another place from time to time. But, they will not move to another place for no reason. They will only move to another place when something happened, such as death or severe illness. However, the chief of the tribe will decide whether to move or not and where to move to.
They build a house in 3 hours!
For them, building a house only takes 2 to 3 hours. Although government built long houses for them, they will still feel more comfortable staying in the jungle. This is because that’s where they belong to.
When you visit Cameron highland, do pay a visit to the “Orang Asli” village. You will be able to learn a lot from them, such as their living style.