Watch Temenggung Menyurau explaining how important the forest and trees are to the nomadic Orang Rimba tribe of Indonesia. When an Orang Rimba is born, their umbilical cord is buried and a sentubung tree is planted on top. Each individual maintains a sacred bond with that tree for the rest of their life, charting their age as it grows. For Orang Rimba, cutting down a birth tree is equivalent to murder.
The Orang Rimba are under pressure to leave their forests, give up their religion and settle in government-built houses. This not only takes them from their sacred trees, it violates their tradition of “melangun” – moving to another location in the forest to escape the sadness of a death in the community.
Many Orang Rimba believe they won’t survive outside their forest. Forcing “development” or “progress” on tribal people does not make them happier or healthier. In fact, the effects are disastrous.
You can learn more about the Orang Rimba here.
Please take action to help the Orang Rimba defend their land and lives.