INDIGENOUS IMPLEMENTS USED IN RANGELAND COW HERDING
- Silo – The cowboy’s noose usually strung from a two meter pole with its lasso hanging at one end. A good handler can easily snare a head and the noose would tighten and lock around its neck or the horns.
Another trick employed with the silois to set up a sizeable noose among the low brush found along the cowpaths. One end of the lasso is knotted tout around a deep rooted brush a peg made from a tree branch and droven deep enough to keep the snared animal from pulling it off.
- Bitad – A single strand harness of about an inch wide made from tanned cowhide. It is usually used as an alternative to rope. It is said to be the best tout line to hold down the wildest cow or bull by snaring one of its feet with it. Guiding a wild cow with the bitad is usually by controlling the movement of the hind foot where the bitad is harnessed on.
- Busal – The muzzle commonly crafted from rope. A well measured busal could easily keep an animal well within good reign and keep a herder from getting dragged by a wayward cow or bull.
- Marka, malka> – A branding iron usually used for registry purposes. Branding irons bear the distinct mark of the herd owner. This implement is registered in the local municipal registrar and cattle bearing this distinctive mark are known to be belonging to an individual herd operator with appropriate legal recognition. Cows are skillfully singed by this marka during branding activities.
- Etak – The universal bolo.
- Ta-ed – A short handy knife usually used in the kitchen by women
- Kalapyaw – A rain coat hewn from grass or (in the lowlands) coconut leaves
- Eket/gwanet – Stranded rope usually from abaca hemp, silag, bamban or plastic and nylon.
TABOOS “Pejew” – Loud and whimsical talk of what part of the animal is good to eat during or when catching an animal enrages the spirits who oversee the herd’s upkeep. They appropriately alarm the animal and it would be almost impossible to snare it. If it is snared, it often will not move and may even just lay still. It would be impossible and ridiculous for a team to carry it. Unceremonious slaughter of an animal in the range due to imprudent and foolish behavior may cause dire consequences.