Monday, March 1, 2021

The last ring-bearers of Sarawak

The custom of wearing copper rings on the arms, legs and neck has been handed down through generations, but now, these four women are the only ones left keeping the tradition alive in Malaysia.

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Some historians have traced this practice to the 11th century, theorising its roots in either cosmetic or protective grounds.

Anik Unggom (right) with Peluh Abeh, her aunt, in Kampung Padawan, a village near Kuching.

Each day, adorned with their rings, they traverse the rivers and jungles of Padawan to fish and hunt for food.

This rare quartet of women, bound together by their ancient tradition, carry out their daily activities together.

Deep in the jungle, Anik Unggom, Peluh Abeh and Dasin Ngalong cook their lunch of fish on a banana leaf.

Together, Peluh Abeh (left), Dasin Ngalong and Singai Nikan enjoy a delicious meal of grilled fish.

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