Cooking to Kill
Perhaps the most intrinsically exciting chore I got to tag along for with the Mentawi people was a shaman making poison to tip his hunting arrows with.
We started back in the jungle, picking plants the shaman had planted for just this.
Back at home, a lot of cutting and grating and chopping to get things in just the right proportion.
Then, its all packed into a juicer and squeezed until it runs.
All the juice collected, each arrowhead is individually painted from the base towards the tip with a coating of poison.
According to our guide/translator: if mixed correctly the poison will paralyze the victim or, if hit close enough to the heart, kill very quickly.
Though I tasted one or two of the the pre-mixed ingredients, we all elected not to test the completed poison out.