Former Hunter, Now Guard
10 October 2018

Hunting is an activity that is loved by quite a lot of people, especially men. For indigenous people who live near the forest, this activity is one of the activities carried out. However, not all people living in the forest depend on hunting. The Iban Dayak tribe, one of the indigenous people who lives in the forest, actually tends to depend on plants in the forest as food. That's why many of the Iban Dayaks are farming. There are only a handful of Iban Dayaks who hunt.

Verdianus Muling (25) is one of the Iban Dayak youths who like to hunt. Muling, that's the nickname. Every time he crossed the forest, he always equipped himself with air rifles and ladong (bags made of rattan) so he could bring home pigs, deer or deer. "We have never sold hunting animals. All that is obtained, shared with family and neighbors, the game will also be eaten in full, ”Muling said.

Hunting is not done every day. When hunting, hunting results cannot be ascertained. It could be bringing many hunted animals, but can also go home empty-handed. Muling told me, in 2012 he and his friends hunted, but did not get anything. At that moment suddenly crossed ivory hornbills near them. Because he was disappointed not to get the game, he finally took aim and shot the hornbill using his air rifle. He uses his fur as an accessory for traditional ceremonies, he eats the meat, and he sells his beak to his relatives who live in the village of Lauk Rugun. At that time the money obtained from the proceeds of selling the beak hornbill amounted to one million rupiah. After the incident, Muling claimed to have never shot hornbills again.

"We feel that we have lost the hornbill, when we used to enter the forest, we often found it, but now it's hard. "I used to shoot hornbills, but it was enough to be the last time," he said.

Now Muling is mandated to be a representative of the Tourism Awareness Group (Pokdarwis). Together with Herkulanus Edmundus (Chairman of Pokdarwis), he promoted ecotourism owned by Sungai Utik. The struggle was sweet when some tourists from abroad came to Sungai Utik. For three consecutive years students from Gajah Mada University held a Real Work Lecture (KKN) in Sungai Utik, each month. Then followed by students from Tanjungpura University who carried out the Field Work Practice (PKL) there. Seeing the growing spirit of Sungai Utik, some NGOs also often give directions for the progress of ecotourism owned by Sungai Utik.

Unfortunately, the increase in tourist visits has not yet been able to be used as a field of fortune for them because of the uncertainty of opinion gained. They get income from tourist solidarity, so they still have to find another job. The youths are more interested in trying their fortune to Malaysia by becoming porters of buildings, but they do not have a passport. Of course this is dangerous for them, because hiring employees who do not have a passport is prohibited from entering Malaysia.