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How to Hunt With Poison Darts

Aug 26, 2014 | 136-part series
Video by Jungles in Paris

In this short documentary, filmmaker Ross Harrison profiles a blowpipe maker who lives on the island of Borneo. His name is Balan, and his work is painstaking. "When making a blowpipe," he says, "you must think carefully."

To make each pipe, Balan must find an endangered tree known as ironwood, bore a narrow hole into its trunk with a hand tool, then carve, sand, and smooth its exterior surface. Once finished, he applies poison to the tips of blowdarts, which he uses to hunt birds, boar, and other animals. Even the smallest scratch from a dart can kill. "It won't hurt. You'll itch and itch and itch and your breathing stops," he says. "Straight away, you fall over and die."

This short documentary was made from footage shot for Sunset Over Selungo, a 30-minute film which will be released on September 22.

Author: Chris Heller

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