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Photographer: Jason Houston
Organization: freelance
Title: People of the Forest
Location: Indonesia
  

Luparia (many Dayak people use only a single name) is twenty-six years old and has been tapping rubber since she was thirteen. Most days she is at work by 3:00 a.m., leaving the house while her husband, a sawyer at a nearby mill, and her two children sleep. Because the sap of the rubber trees flows strongest in the small hours of the night, she makes her rounds in the dark, returning home shortly after dawn to rest for an hour before rising again to stir and store the latex. With a hooked blade she scores the bark of each tree diagonally so that the white, milky sap oozes down the cut. She captures the flow by undercutting a small flap of bark and inserting a leaf in the slit. The leaf lifts the trickle of sap away from the trunk of the tree, allowing it to drip into a bamboo cylinder she places at the foot of the tree. Each night she gathers about ten kilograms (twenty-two pounds) of latex, worth a little more than four dollars, of which she will owe thirty percent [Sorry - captions are limited to 200 words. Please contact Jason Houston for the complete caption.]

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