Crossing Tasik Temenggor lake
The keeper of the tales, Pak Uda
Talking story, storyteller to storyteller!
The man who transformed into the 'talud' rattan plant
Listening to the storyteller, late into the night
Stumbled upon a Rafflesia Flower!
Grandmother Anum, the female storyteller
Kamini with Awis who translated, and Pak Uda the keeper of the tales
Stories of plants and animals
Stories of Gods and mortals
The elders
Waterfall inside the jungle

Tribal Tales

A storytelling project collecting oral stories from indigenous people in Malaysia

The orang asli are the aboriginal people of peninsula Malaysia. Kamini has embarked on a project collecting their stories.

Date: 17 Jun 2012 – 17 Jan 2014
Location: jungles of Malaysia

Having spent most of her childhood years in plantations in isolated parts of peninsula Malaysia, Kamini was surrounded by the jungle. She attended a host of primary schools in remote parts of the country where she recalls folktales shared by teachers and classmates. Her deep interest in Malaysian folk and fairy tales has always included the lesser-known stories of the orang asli people. Her travels to Shillong (in Meghalaya, Eastern India) was a discovery period of the Khasi people's tribal stories. Her repertoire also includes stories from Borneo sourced from the various indigenous groups.

Tribal Tales is a project spending time deep inside the jungles of Malaysia, meeting and staying with the Temiar people in upper Perak, way past the 2-hour boat journey to cross the massive Tasik Temenggor lake, travelling from Pos Khemar to the village of Rantau.  During her recent stay with them she was privileged to meet Temiar elders who are keepers of the stories. Her fluency in Malay was a great ice-breaker that also helped build trust among the people she met. She spent many magical days and nights listening to creation myths (the Temiar world), stories of Gods and mortals (Along and Aluich), stories of human beings that transformed into various plants (the rotan plant) and animals (cockroaches, earthworms, porcupines, frogs), and stories of spirits.

During the time spent in the jungle with the Temiar people she was also able to share her stories and regale them with tales of peacocks and crows, shamans and evil spirits and more.

She has permission from Pak Uda and Anum to re-tell the stories they shared.