The Orang Asli – the first peoples of Peninsular Malaysia – are nature’s naturalists. They are intimately familiar with the social structure and behaviour of many of the animals in their forest homelands. To explain nature’s mysteries, they have surrounded themselves with colourful folklore about wondrous creatures that are so much a part of their lives.
In this collection of Orang Asli animal tales you will learn, for example, how the once-cruel tapir got its white band and became the timid animal that it is today. And why the flying squirrel always hides his tail and flies only by night. Or how friends of the slow-loris protected him from the punishment of blindness ordered by the king for outraging the modesty of his daughter.
These tales are not only for enjoyment and amusement. They also teach us morals and give us a peek into the rich scientific and cultural heritage of the Orang Asli – which should rightfully warrant a significant place in Malaysia’s cultural heritage. Available in English and Malay.
About the author: Dr Lim Boo Liat began his zoological career in the Institute of Medical Research as a laboratory assistant in 1947. Lim is a founder member of the Malayan Nature Society and Malaysian Society of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine. In addition to numerous scientific papers and popular nature articles, he has authored or co-authored five books including The Poisionous Snakes of Peninsular Malaysia, Turtles of Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia, and A pocket Guide Amphibians of Ulu Muda Forest Reserve, Kedah. He has many Orang Asli friends who are an invaluable help to his work.