Picture 1

1. This picture represents typical countryside in which gum trees (Jelutong) are found. A tropical climate of high humidity is necessary, and clearly many types of vegetation find the setting ideal. While the lone tree in the plain is a Jelutong tree, more frequently they are found in the high jungle seen in the background.

Picture 2

2. Here we see a close-up of the tapping. As the gouge-shaped knife removes the bark, the latex begins to flow down the edges of the cuts. Since the cut cannot be deepened without injuring the tree, the next tappers will enlarge the groove by widening.




Picture 33. From the "V" shaped cut on this young tree, the latex is channeled into a central vertical slit to be collected below in a cup made from the bark of a tree.



4. On this older tree, grooves from previous tappings may be seen as the natives enlarge existing cuts. Older, larger trees may also be tapped on several levels. Here the central slit extends from the cup seen near the base of the tree to the grooves just cut, then up to another set of taps near the top of the picture.



4b. At the bottum of the cut a U-shaped metal spout that pours into a cup below it. When the cup fills whit the latex it is collected by the tappers.

Picture 55. After tapping a number of trees, the natives return to collect the latex from the bark cups and put it into cans they can carry on their backs. At their village they pour the latex into a wooden barrel which has been lined with wet clay to keep the material from sticking to the sides and bottom. The latex is coaqulated by the is coagulated by the addition of an acid and forms a large block which is carried to the docks to be weighed and shipped.

6 6. These are the coagulated blocks of natural gum being weighed by an old system known as "dutching". It is one of the simplest systems of the balance.


Picture 7

7. The men here are taking the blocks of latex and boiling them to reduce the water content and give the material some cohesion. After boiling, the man on the right stamps on the gum to form it into a thick sheet. He then rolls it and stamps it again. Finally it is pressed into a block which is shipped to our plant for further cleaning and processing and is combined with other ingredients to make our gum base.

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