Boar Hunting Tradition Jambi`s Special Tourist Attraction

Jakata,  (ANTARA News) - Wild boars and rats are annoying pests, destroying hundreds of hectares of rice fields and other crops every year in Jambi province.

The pests frequently cause harvests to fail in a number of districts in the province but efforts to protect the crops including the use of nets to trap the wild boars in the province have proven to be ineffective.

In a bid to help curb the pests from spreading, the local authorities have invited the Indonesian Boar Hunting Sport Association (PORBI) to hold hunting events there periodically.

In Kerinci district, the wild boar hunting tradition can be turned into a special tourist attraction and packed it into a tour package, Jambi branch of Indonesian Tourist Guide Associations spokesman Guntur said in the city on Friday.

Guntur said the wild boar hunting tradition among the farmers in Kerinci district, Jambi province, was very unique and distinctive and therefore it could be offered to tourists.

For the local farmers, wild boars are exotic pests that can never be destroyed because of their rapid proliferation.

Wild boars in Jambi, especially Kerinci district, are called "pests" for many reasons because when they dig up the ground for roots, they kill many native plants.
When they wallow near the edge of a pond, they tear up the water plants and causes the soil to wash away because the plant roots can`t hold onto the dirt anymore.

Wild boars get into gardens and rice fields and eat up all the crops.

The wild boars have very few natural predators, and because of this, they have to be hunted to keep them from damaging the local farmers crops and the surrounding environment.

"Therefore the hunting tradition has been a long lasting activity, and periodically the local farmers conduct it once a week every Friday in the fields, bushes, and forests to destroy the wild boars," Guntur said.

With their beagle dogs, the farmers usually hunt the wild boars in traditional way with traditional weapons such as barbed spears, javelins, long machetes, and bows instead of using fire guns, toxic pest, and anesthetics.

The farmers hunt the wild boars every Friday as part of adrenaline sports and competition, and also as a means of social interaction among the individual community.

Each hunting event is always initiated by the Indonesian Boar Hunting Sport Association (PORBI).

The Indonesian Boar Hunting Sport Association holds the boar hunting events in Kerinci periodically, but but due to the large number of animals they need to be held more frequently.

"Such events can attract tourists, and therefore the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies (ASITA) is expected to turn the unique boar hunting tradition into an interesting tour package," Guntur said.

He said that if the hunting tradition was managed properly and professionally, it would have a positive impact on tourism in Kerinci district in particular and in Jambi province in general.

Meanwhile, Jambi-born Amie Fenia Arimbi, an alumni of Andalas University in West Sumatra, said Jambi has so much to offer in terms of beauty, culture, and history.

According to Amie, her home town of Jambi has a wealth biodiversity that can be found in Kerinci Seblat National Park, Berbak National Park, Bukit Dua Belas National Park, and Bukit Tiga Puluh National Park.

With a total area of about 5,343,700 hectares, Jambi is made up of nine districts with its varies from low land areas in the east and hills and mountainous in the west.

Jambi has also a lot of beautiful lakes for tourism, and therefore Kerinci district government in the province has invited investors to develop them into tourism mainstay.

Kerinci district tourism office chief Arlis Harun said in Jambi on Friday that there were six lakes in the district, and they were able to be turned into tourist attraction but they needed proper management by investors.

"Besides Lake Kerinci, there are five other beautiful ones which need a gentle touch of investors," Arlis Harun said, adding that the five other lakes were Lake Bento at Kayu Aro subdistrict, Lake Gunung Tujuh at Gunung Kayuaro subdistrict, and Lake Kaca, Lake Lingkat and Lake Dua at Lempur subdistric.

Each lake, especially Lake Dua, has its own uniqueness and attraction because its water level recedes in rainy season and rises in dry season.

Commenting on Lake Kerinci, he said it covers an area of 4,200 hectares, surrounded by mountains and hills.

He said the lake can be seen from several points of view in the central Kerinci such as Pesanggrahan where the lake can been seen from Tanjung Hatta, Seleman Village where Laheik traditional house of Kerinci could also be seen.

Around the lake, there are also several carved stones, the archaeological remains of Megalithic Age.

Located some 20 kilometers from Kerinci district town of Sungai Penuh, Lake Kerinci is a popular tourist spot with beautiful panoramas and a cool place to chill out.

Another tourist attraction in Jambi is Muara Jambi Temple, considered one of the richest archaeological sites on the island of Sumatra.

The temple, thought to have originated from 11th century AD, is the largest temple complex and the best-kept site on the island.

Archaeologists concluded that this site is the center of the ancient Jambi, the capital of the ancient kingdoms that ruled the Kingdom of the highest Malays about ten centuries ago. (*)

(T.O001/A/O001/A/A014) 21-01-2011 18:01:59