Aslian cultures continue to undergo many ideological and economic changes, and are increasingly endangered with the threat or inevitability of greater globalisation. As the anthropologist feels increasingly powerless to control the tide of events leading to the destruction of the diversity of these communities, every small attempt to provide new light on the lives of these fragile cultures deserves some merit. The reader is dedicated to discussing a wide range of issues, from cultural history to ethnozoology, of the Peninsular Indigenous minority cultures, in hopes of preserving their heritage and survival. Scholars from all over the world contribute to this collection of well-researched articles.
About the Editors
Razha Rashid is a cultural anthropologist and Associate Professor of anthropology at Universiti Sains Malaysia. He has for several years now been conducting research on one of the smallest Orang Asli communities in the world, the Kintak Bong, who now number less than 200. Razha is also one of the pioneers of the Orang Asli Ecology Project in Universiti Sains Malaysia. His research has been published in many journals spanning over 40 years.
Dato’ Datin Dr Wazir Jahan Karim has conducted extensive research on indigenous minorities in Penunsular Malaysia and women in politics, culture and religion. She has authored and edited several books on cultural minorities, Islam and women, including Emotions of Culture: A Malay Perspective; Women and Culture: Between Malay Adat and Islam and Women, Cultural Minorities of Peninsular Malaysia. She was a professorial fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge and is currently a Life Member. Most recently, she is the founder of the Jawi Peranakan Society.
Table of Contents
Maps, Figures, Tables and Plates Listing by Chapter
Frontal Map of the Orang Asli of Peninsular Malaysia
Prologue by Razha Rashid and Wazir Jahan Karim
Section One: Biosocial and Material Culture
Chapter 1: Constructing Emotions and the World of the Orang Asli by Wazir Jahan Karim (Universiti Sains Malaysia)
Chapter 2: Genetic Studies on the Orang Asli by Adela Baer (Oregon State University)
Chapter 3: Material Culture as Technological Transformation: The Ma’ Bətise and Kintak Bong by Wazir Jahan Karim and Razha Rashid (Universiti Sains Malaysia)
Chapter 4: Development, Modernity and the Orang Asli by Razha Rashid
Section Two: Language and Heritage
Chapter 5: Minorities of the Minority: Language Death and Patterns of Cultural Extinction by Wazir Jahan Karim
Chapter 6: Linguistic Aspects of the Semang by Niclas Burenhult (Lund University)
Chapter 7: Sociolinguistic Aspects of Northern Aslian Languages: A Case Study of the Kensiw (Baansakai, Yala, Thailand) by Nancy McAllistar Bishop (Thammasat University)
Chapter 8: Orang Asli Languages: From Heritage to Death by Geoffrey Benjamin (Nanyang Technological University)
Section Three: Ecology, Economy and Organization
Chapter 9: Process and Structure in Temiar Social Organisation by Geoffrey Benjamin
Chapter 10: Cultural Resilience in Encountering ‘Development': The Case of the Chewong of Central Pahang by Signe Howell (University of Oslo)
Chapter 11: Environmental Economics and the Ma’ Bətise in Mangrove Rainforests by Wazir Jahan Karim
Chapter 12: Semai-Malay Ethnobotany: Hindu Influences on the Trade in Sacred Plants, Ho Hiang by Robert Knox Dentan (State University of New York at Buffalo)
Biodata of Contributors