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Story Publication logo March 5, 2022

The Eroded Old Malay Customary Forest on Bangka Island (bahasa Indonesia)


Three people look at the camera, in the foreground is a house.

After political reforms in Indonesia in 1998, about 13,565 hectares of forest belonging to the state...


This story excerpt was translated from bahasa Indonesia. To read the original story in full, visit Mongabay. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. The website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.

Mapur is not an aggressive and dangerous Malay tribe. For hundreds of years, they lived in the forests of the northern tip of Bangka Island, which overlooks the South China Sea. After the Orde Baru [New Order] regime in Indonesia ended in 1998, the old Malay living space on Bangka Island was controlled by oil palm plantation companies, tin mining, Industrial Plantation Forests, and shrimp ponds.

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"This is our remaining forest. Others have become oil palm plantations or mined tin," said Atuk Sukar [67], aka Sukarman, in his cottage in the form of a wooden stilt house, in Benak, Pejem Hamlet, Bukit Pelawan Village, Belinyu District, Bangka Regency, Bangka Belitung Islands, mid-February 2022.

Atuk Sukar is the Head of The Mapur Tribe in Pejem Hamlet. Atuk Sukar means "Grandpa Is Difficult".

Tabun Hill, a forest prohibition Mapur Tribe in Pejem Hamlet, Bangka Regency, Bangka Belitung Islands. For The Mapur Tribe, if this prohibition forest is damaged, disaster will strike humans. Image by Taufik Wijaya/Mongabay Indonesia.

Atuk Sukar, head of The Mapur Tribe in Pejem Hamlet. Throughout his life, he gardened the Mind region. Image by Nopri Ismi/Mongabay Indonesia.

Forests in Aik Abik Hamlet, Bangka, are slowly depleted by illegal oil palm plantations and tin mines. Image by Taufik Wijaya/Mongabay Indonesia.

Nek Ya [110], flanked by his son Nek Aso [68] and nephew Abok Gedoi [53]. Three generations of the original Mapur Tribe [Orang Lom] who survived with its culture, which is wise with nature. Image by Nopri Ismi/Mongabay Indonesia.

Mapur women harvest rice fields in Aik Abik Hamlet, Bangka, at the foot of Mount Cundong. Image by Nopri Ismi/Mongabay Indonesia.

Hills along the coast of Tuing-Tengkalat. The forest on the hill is still awake, but below it is filled with oil palm plantations. Image by Taufik Wijaya/Mongabay Indonesia.