The deep well in our house have always been there. It was dug when Atuk Usop built the house way back in the early 50s. I have always got water from the deep well everyday, either for bathing or washing. Since it is too deep, we have to use the wooden pulley with a pail attached to a rope to extract the water from the deep well. Collecting water from the well into the small water holding at the surface is a task not easily done and sometimes treacherous. Nevertheless, we have always got our water supply (for drinking, cooking or washing) from the deep well.
Pak Cik Amin (our neighbour across the street) plans to dig a well and have seek the help of the kampong folks to help him. First the village spiritual leader will seek to locate the best place to dig the well. He would place an egg on a saucer and place a sharp knife touching the egg. After chanting a few Koranic verses, if the eggs spins fast many times, then there must be lots of water underneath. And so the site was located and decided. The men then starts digging the well, working in rotation up to a few days, when we have then reached the desired fresh well water.
The rounded concrete walls are then lowered into the well by lowering it slowly from a few ropes held from the top by the few men. It may take up to 10 6 feet wide round concrete walls to complete the well. It has to juts out, as since it is a deep well, leaving it open would be dangerous for young children. Above it, the wooden pulley together with the pail and the rope to extract water is then installed. Leaving the water a few days to subside and for the fresh water to accumulate, the well will then be able to serve the family for drinking, cooking, washing and bathing for many years to come; or at least until tap water comes into the picture!
2 weeks ago