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07 Feb 2010 290 views
 
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photoblog image Hunters & Collectors - an Essay [7/7]

Hunters & Collectors - an Essay [7/7]

Khun Da has a small herd of cattle. Each morning he takes them from their over-nighting shed out to the rice field where they graze all day on the rice straw and weeds...each evening he brings them home.

He always takes his cloth shoulder-bag with him. It contains a snack, perhaps a couple of portions of betel-nut, a knife, a hand-catapault. It also serves as the carry-bag for any edible things he finds on the journey...perhaps mushrooms, edible berries, a lizard, a field rat, some water-weed.

The Boy and Nong Prae have spent an hour with Khun Da this afternoon, and now return with him and the cattle in time for the evening meal ritual.

This has been Khun Da's daily routine for most of his 60 years; probably it is little different from that of his ancestors from this region over the past 1000 years. Khun Da may be the last member of his lineage to perform this routine...the culture is deteriorating rapidly now, and the rate is accelerating as I observe...I document what I can...


===
At my
other Shutterchance site, I have moved on to a photo essay of  Yangon, Myanmar [Rangoon, Burma] which might be of interest to you.
===

Hunters & Collectors - an Essay [7/7]

Khun Da has a small herd of cattle. Each morning he takes them from their over-nighting shed out to the rice field where they graze all day on the rice straw and weeds...each evening he brings them home.

He always takes his cloth shoulder-bag with him. It contains a snack, perhaps a couple of portions of betel-nut, a knife, a hand-catapault. It also serves as the carry-bag for any edible things he finds on the journey...perhaps mushrooms, edible berries, a lizard, a field rat, some water-weed.

The Boy and Nong Prae have spent an hour with Khun Da this afternoon, and now return with him and the cattle in time for the evening meal ritual.

This has been Khun Da's daily routine for most of his 60 years; probably it is little different from that of his ancestors from this region over the past 1000 years. Khun Da may be the last member of his lineage to perform this routine...the culture is deteriorating rapidly now, and the rate is accelerating as I observe...I document what I can...


===
At my
other Shutterchance site, I have moved on to a photo essay of  Yangon, Myanmar [Rangoon, Burma] which might be of interest to you.
===

comments (10)

Very interesting. He looks very fit. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Ray: Thanks, Dawn. Na's Dad is quite it. He's nearly as tall as me but weighs at least 20 kg less. He travels nearly everywhere by walking or riding a bicycle.
  • zed
  • Australia
  • 7 Feb 2010, 00:46
very interesting series Ray and fascinating insights into another culture
Ray: I am pleased you found the series of interest, Zed.
what I like about these series is, the effort that goes into the story. I know how hard it is to extract from anyone Thai..... they just know, or don't care, or don't ask....

smile
Ray: There was initially a lot of shyness or bemusement about my efforts with a camera, Rob, but the family [indeed...the Village] now accept that this is what the eccentric farang [foreigner] does.

It is quite difficult to ask questions and get answers, though, partly because the Village speaks Khmer.
Very interesting, Ray - a rather unusual 'family' scene!
Ray: Pretty much gone from British life, I suppose, Tom, but still very much the routine in the villages of many countries in SE Asia. It is all changing very quickly, though.
I don't understand what Tom finds weird in this coz that's how people used to live and still do in some places of the world. I also took the cows out "for lunch" in the country side when I was lil and most people in Romania in villages have the same lifestyle still. Nice shot, only a bit over exposed.
Ray: I am shooting slightly into a low-angle sun, Delia, and do not have enough skills to fully manage that kind of light...I tried to meter off the people, so they were not just dark blobs.

I'll keep practicing! [grin]
'levee walking' ... looks rather pleasant.

I like to see the routines of daily life Ray.

richard
Ray: I am glad you found it interesting, Richard.

I intend to do a few more short series of Village rituals.
I suppose this is a 7 days a week job for them Ray..Do they ever take time off?
Ray: Occasionally they will come with me on short, one-day trips, but their routine is basically 7 days per week.

Friendly neighbours help each other out a bit, so it is very occasionally possible to be away from home for 1 night.
My friends and I talk often of the incredible change the 'family farm' has gone through in the last generation. You can basically say it is gone. What is called a 'family farm' now is only a ghost and so different than that of a generation ago.

What I love about this photo is the engagement so apparent between these three people. The cows, the dog and these three are so relaxed they seem part of the land that holds them.

One of my favorite photos.
Ray: Thanks, Mary.

This is also one of Na's favourite images...it reminded her of her childhood, when she had the job of taking the buffalo out to graze [this was in an age before buffalo were replaced by the now ubiquitous 2 wheel diesel tractors].

She recalls that time with fondness, because it was a time when she and a few friends would spend all day in the jungle...swimming in ponds, playing kids games, away from the parents.

Na agrees with my contention that 1000 years of routine and culture is coming to an end with her father's generation.
A great shot Ray and it is all so fascinating.
Ray: Thanks, Brian.

I might have another short series, on another aspect of Village life, in a few weeks.
Great documentary capture. smile

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