On the weekend we went to Carey Island which is about 60km from KL. It is only an island thanks to a river separating it from the mainland. Most of the island is covered with palm oil trees.
We visited the Mah Meri cultural village and were given a tour by a lovely young lady who explained about their culture and traditions.
The island is home to the Mah Meri (forest people) tribe of Orang Asli who are famous for their masks and statues carved from a mangrove wood.
There are many ancestral spirits in the tribe’s tradition, which the Mah Meri people use to solve different problems and ward off evil spirits. For example, fishermen will take along the wood carvings of Moyang Sauh (anchor spirit) when they venture out to sea to ensure their safety.
We took a tour of the village and watched a tv presentation on the Hari Muyang (ancestor’s day) celebration held once a year. Visitors are allowed to the celebration and it looks worth a visit.
There is a gallery showcasing some of their amazing carvings that have been given the UNESCO Seal of Excellence. Some are really scary!
A short walk took us to the home of one of the carvers to see him at work. He had a thick book showing examples of the carvings and we ordered one which we will go and pick up next month when Natalie and Barbs are visiting.
The bartering process was weird as the final price was considerably lower than the final price that we offered – I think something got lost in translation – but we were all happy with the final price which is a good outcome for all.
There are apparently very good seafood restaurants on the island and we will have to investigate them when we return.