You are here

The Iban & Rungus Collection

The Iban tribe was part of the Dayak nation. These images are history, the jungle cleared to give way to palm oil plantations and a greedy worlds hunger for hardwoods,exotic animals,botanicals. Capitalist conformity results in the destruction of these cultures.

The Rungus people are at the crossroads in these photos, government longhouses and many new shinny objects, their compensation for an innocence and culture lost.

The Iban people were just beginning this process as we were the first Caucasians they had seen at this longhouse and they had few toys that they had traded for. They had been taught to grow pepper for trade by the Chinese merchants to begin their domestication.

True curiosity, hospitality and beauty in their relationship with the forest. Gone, 5 years after these photos were made. Forest cleared. Monkeys and birds gave way to the dead banality of countless rows of oil palms. Lifeless and affecting local rainfall.

- Terry K. Thompson, 2017