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Photographer's Note

An outdoor studio work of three elderly Oobian ladies, one very late afternoon.

Lina, Jupa and Betti lives in the beach front small Oobian village called Kampong Simpang Mengayau. Twice or three times a week, they walk for over an hour to a coconut plantation, scrounging old coconuts for a Chinese towkay. For 300 coconuts collected, they would get half of the RM90 sales, split among the three of them. Usually they collectively make around RM400 a month.

Beside gathering coconuts and tending to their vegetable gardens, they also scrounge for firewoods. They said, dishes cooked from burning firewoods tasted better than from gas. As for staple diet, they favored 'putu' or tapioca cakes rather than rice and for dishes, souped than fried. For their soups, they don't like onion as garnishing as it gives a vile taste and preferred 'bawing', a wild and tangy short leafy plant with a lemon grass smell.

They couldn't collect or walk as much as before as most of them are well into their late 60s, with Betti, the eldest pushing into her late 70s. They have lived here along the Tanjung Simpang Mengayau since the early 70s.

They are Oobian, coastline ethnic usually found along the western shore of the Kudat Peninsular. While the Oobian men work the sea, the women tend to their landed little plots of vegetables by the hillsides.

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Additional Photos by Rabani HMA (rabani) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1133 W: 1 N: 3217] (9645)
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