We used to play with these

Trap - Sungul


Trap - Kasip


Trap - Gado


Trap - Sodik


Living in the 60s in a village that is located at the edge of a rainforest, I remembered I had a lot of fun growing up. While the forests were a source for our firewood, fruits (a loy of them) and wild vegetables, house-building materials, and sometimes bush meat, for a young growing boy, it was a place of many adventures…and misadventures. From an early age we learned, especially from our male relatives, how to make and set animal traps.

The above pictures are some of the traps we use to make and occasionally trap an animal (and eat for dinner). If you visit the Sabah Museum you can see many more types than these (pictures are courtesy of my friend, Albert Lo, a curator at Sabah Museum). The Sungul is a very specific trap for freshwater turtles (labi-labi); once it elongates its neck to poke its head inside the bamboo and bite at the bait (usually a freshwater crab), it is usually toast already as the bamboo pin that pierced the bait will snap away the long bamboo arm and tightened the rattan noose set at the opening.

Squirrels are creatures of habit: from their nests, they have a fixed route where they jump from tree branch to tree branch (they probably use piss as markers). Knowing this, we will set the Kasip at a known branch. Once the squirrel step on the trigger, wham! – the two blades will snap together.

Freshwater turtles are much tastier than squirrels, especially if you cook them with lihing (concentrated rice wine).


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