The Batek are originally from Malaysia and are found in the rainforest of peninsular Malaysia. They gather food by hunting rather than animal husbandry and so their place of settlement varies within the limited boundaries of the area that they occupy…
They are one of the groups of Malayan aborigines (Orang Asli) and from historic times they have always been gathering food by hunting and gathering natural resources (Bisht and Bankoti, 2004, p.100). This paper will focus on forage as primary mode of subsistence of the Batek population and its impact on some aspects of their culture. The Batek have maintained their primitive lifestyles but with time they might be facing challenging with respect to upholding their beliefs and traditions.
There is a population of 133,000 Orang Asli in Malaysia and they are divided into 3 groups which again has 18 ethnic sub-groups. Each group has an identity of their and differ in language, culture and also architecture. In the age of urbanization they have adopted modern lifestyles and have come to live in urban areas. However, the Batek still maintain their traditional nomadic lifestyle (Beswick, 2010). The Batek people claim to have a strong and positive relationship with the forest. They hunt for food in the forests and also take refuge in the forests. In spite of their dependence on forests, their everyday life can be in danger.
As with other nomadic groups, the Batek too suffer from this fear. The major factor that contributes to their fear of life is falling of trees. The Batek have an inherently practical approach to this problem. They cut down a tree if they think it has the possibility of falling over their camp. If cutting down of a tree does not seem possible then they escape from the way of the tree. As the best and hassle free solution they build their camps in place where there are no old trees so that they are saved from the threat of potential falling trees. In general term, this fear of the Batek of falling trees is a fitting environmental behaviour and can be considered normal for people living among trees. The Batek people believe that the world will cease to exist if no people live in the forests and so according to their belief they are holding up the world by remaining attached to the forests. Administrative boundaries do not restrict the Batak and they move freely in and out of Taman Negara Park. Based on their political and sexually democratic structure, there exist no boundaries among groups. The main characteristic of their daily camp life is fluctuation. The Batek people always look for new zones for resource and so their encampments are always fresh and in established sites (Tuck-Po, 2005, pp.250-251). A camp group has an average of 38 people and in general does not remain in one place for more than two weeks. They move from one rive valley to another in three to four months. Their movement is not random through the forest. They follow a definite walking trail and other pathways including rivers and streams (Tuck-Po, 2005, pp.250-251). The Batek do not have ownership of lands and they only look after lands. This makes them easier to move every five months so that the forest can replenish (Beswick, 2010). In Batek society leadership is not ascribed. It is based on situation and activity. Although individuals make decisions, still group decisions act as the best compromise between peaceful agreements and chaotic conflicts. Dominating behaviour is not favorably accepted and even the children have the right to object and refuse obedience. The nuclear family is the primary unit for production and consumption. An important social performance is the practice of sharing of food between households. The largest share of food that they gather goes to the family members of the hunter and their closest kin and the remaining portion of the food is distributed among the other members of the ...
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(The Batek of Malaysia Research Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 Words)
“The Batek of Malaysia Research Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.net/anthropology/1575-the-batek-of-malaysia.
The paper seeks to examine the impact of subsistence mode and culture on the Batek tribe of Malaysia. One can see that there is a deep association between subsistence mode and culture. Culture is something that is inculcated by the Batek and it is often adapted to suit the changing subsistence mode.
The focus in this paper is on the Batek as one of the 18 ethnic groups in the country and make up around 0.5% of the national population of Malaysia. An in-depth look into the aspects of the Batek society will hopefully provide a deeper insight into how these people live and which values they possess that contemporary society should emulate.
The Southeast Asia is a sub region of Asia that comprises countries that are east of India, south of China, north of Australia and west of New Guinea. To this effect, as former British colonies, Malaysia and Singapore fall within this rubric and are the cases that are to be used in this study, to showcase the process of democratisation and reform in Southeast Asia.
(Endicott 1978) The Bateks make up about 0.5 percent of the entire original people community of Malaysia which comes around an estimated 100 thousand people. Irrespective of all the people belonging to a same structure of living, all of these people are divided and subdivided into multiple groups and hence the way of living is extraordinarily unique with respect to each group.
They are commonly referred to as “Orang Asli” which means “Original People” in Malay and is assumed to be first used by Austronesian-speaking settlers who arrived by boat from the islands of Southeast Asia. The Batek, who currently number about 800 (Center for Orang Asli Concerns, 2008), are foragers and use hunting and gathering as their primary mode of subsistence.
Another distinctive feature of the community is the way gender relations exists in the community, women and men share equal rights and privileges as no sex is superior to other. Lastly the community is also well known for brotherhood and sisterhood and the sharing of available resources without any repayment or restrictions.
Subsistence allowed societies to survive in terms of food and necessities and was able to expand cultures among different societies. Subsistence palsy an important role in the formulation of culture such an example is the aboriginal society of the Batek of Malaysia that will be discussed among the context of this paper.
Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy and the head of the state is a king Yang di-Pertuan Agong. The king is elected by and among the nine hereditary heads of royal families. The political party in power is Barisan
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