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Mentawai > Economy

 

Economy

The TRADITIONAL ECONOMY

 The economy of Mentawai was based on sago and taro as principal crops, with fishing,pig – raising, and hunting providing most of the protein. Members of the uma shared food freely and there was no stimulus to acquire wealth or to produce a surplus.

 Their simple didblestick agriculture requiredthat only small patches of forest(0.25-0.50 ha) be cleared, but not burned, this is quite different from most other tropical shifting agriculture system were fire is a vital part of the process, but on Mentawai, especially on Siberut this system allows thepeople to live in a more harmonious relationship with the forest.Fruit is an important part of the food, particulary bananas (eaten both ripe and green throughout the year, often with palm sugar) and durian.

 The forests are used for collecting a wide range of forest fruits, vegetables, medicinal plants, and building materials.The large trees are seldom cut down, except for the Shorea which were made into excellent sampans by using only a rather primitive adze. These sampans are the main form of transport within each river system.

 Hunting is amajor social activity for  the men of Mentawai, closely involved in the traditional religion. All wild animals are hunted, With the xception of snakes, but only the primates, pigs, and deer are regularly sought; the others. Such as pangolins, hornbills, and squirrels are taken when the opportunity arises and snares may accasionally be set for palm civets, fruitbats, flowerpeckers, and spiderhunters.

 

 

EKONOMI  TRADISIONAL.

Perekonomia Suku asli Mentawai didasari atas sagu dan talas, dengan menangkap ikan, beternak babi,berburu untuk kebutuha proteinnya. Penghuni Uma berbagi makanan secara bebas antar  sesama mereka dan tidak ada dorongan mencari yang berlebihan.

Sistim pertanian tunggal mereka sederhana, hanya memerlukan hutan kira – kira 0,25-0,50 ha untuk ditebas namun tidak dibakar. Sungguh berbeda dengan kebanyakan sistim pertanian berpindah didaerah tropis lain dimana api merupakan  bagian penting dari proses penebasan itu. Sistim ini mengisyaratkan manusia hidup selaras dengan hutan.Buah – buahan adalah bagian penting dari susunan makanan, khususnya pisang, (dimakan baik mentah maupun masak dicampur dengan gula merah) dan durian.

Hutan digunakan untuk mengumpulkan buah – buahan hutan,sayuran, tumbuhan obat, dan bahan – bahan bangunan. Pohon – pohon besar jarang sekali ditebang,kecuali Shorea untuk bahan sampan dengan hanya menggunakan beliung yang agak primitif.Sampan – sampan ini adalah alat angkut utama di setiap sungai.

Perburuan menjadi kegiatan utama Masyarakat  Pria Mentawai. Hal tersebut erat sekali hubungannya dengan kepercayan adat. Semua binatang liar diburu kecuali ular. Primata, babi dan rusa paling sering dicari, yang lainya seperti trenggiling, burung Hongkong dan Punai jarang diburu. Jerat kadang – kadang dipasang untuk menangkap musang, kalong, burung Cabe dan burung Jantun

 


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