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Sid Harta Publishers
Based on events surrounding the infamous, billion-dollar BRE-X gold fraud, and the determined few that recklessly destroyed so many lives with their all-consuming quest for gold, in Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo.
“Indonesian Gold” brings a depth of description and colour to the archipelago’s ethnic tribes as they resist the flood of Moslem migrants from the poorer, Indonesian islands, and reveals the extent of devastation visited upon indigenous peoples by multinational, mining companies.
When Canadian miner, Borneo Gold Corporation announces the discovery of gold reserves in excess of twenty million ounces, pundits drive the worthless stock to giddying heights as the rich and powerful in three countries move to secure control over the deposit. Dayak tribes are forced off traditional lands, precipitating ethnic blood feuds and a return to headhunting practices as exploration practices destroy pristine forests and pollute the environment.
ISBN: 0 9578709 3 0
TPB: 630 pages
Sid Harta Publishers
To the unskilled, the suggestion of change in the still, suffocating, humid forest air might have gone unnoticed. As the momentary breath of wind passed by ever so gently, Jonathan Dau paused, conscious of the shift in the natural balance of his immediate environment. With practiced movement the shaman cocked his head to one side and listened. Somewhere amongst the trees a wild pig snorted and he stiffened – identifying the deception; and one so often played by the spirits. Encumbered by this thought, the Dayak chief’s hand unconsciously moved to the gold amulet hanging on simple thread around his neck, and he muttered an appropriate chant, in whispered silence.
Deep in the sun-hidden canopy above, where wild, black-speckled orchids hung unnoticed, protected from man’s curious hand, proboscis monkeys engaged in dispute or play squealed boisterously, their occasional engagements of no import to the Penehing leader, Jonathan Dau. Slowly, his brow creased. With perceptive eye he searched his timeless surrounds, reassured when the hornbill came into view, satisfied that she would watch over him. Equipped with the cautionary signals his instincts and empiric knowledge had taught him to respect, the shaman exhaled slowly and paused. Then, with rehearsed motion he drew deeply, his chest swelling as he inhaled the forest’s air, his senses questioning the scents and movements within his immediate environment. Becoming one now with the forest and its demanding spirits, he remained motionless as time moved slowly forward, seemingly without count. Then, the shaman’s eyed glazed and he stood, silently, centered on the gently swaying bridge, a giant butterfly flapping across his vision unseen, but recognized by its presence as the chief remained in trance-like state.
The squawk of a hornbill broke the silence. Moments passed. A puff of wind caressed his cheeks and he turned, peering downstream, his eyes following the black hornbill’s flight along the narrow river’s course, before her form blurred amongst the towering, giant forest trees. The dukun remained paused, alert, and when he recognized the hornbill’s familiar cry, knew then that the interlopers were near.