The Batek of Malaysia Way of Life Amos Shaw Ant 101 Sean McCoy April 23, 2012 The Batek of Malaysia Way of Life This paper will discuss the values and beliefs, the political organization, and the gender of relations of the Batek of Malaysia. Batek are Semang or Malayan Negritos, numbering 700-800 in 1995. The Batek of Malaysia’s primary mode of substances is Foragers. Foragers are hunting and gathering lifestyle, it is one of the oldest forms of human society. The Batek have held on to their traditional way of life for years. How do you think it was possible for them to maintain their way of life through many different generations?
My paper is on The Batek of Malaysia which is a group of people of Aboriginal; they lived mainly in the watershed of the Lebir River in the peninsular Malaysian state of Kelantan and along the northern tributaries of the Tembeling River in the Pahang state. They are typically shorter than other Southeast Asians with dark brown skin and curly to wooly hair. They are a Southeast Asian rainforest foraging society who lives in camps with at least five or six nuclear families. They survive by hunting, gathering, and trading their forest products.
The Malaysians stayed to themselves besides recent contact between the Batek and outsiders occurred largely on an individual basis, with individual Malay farmers living along the main rivers of the area. A majority of the Batek community are being logged to make way for rubber and palm oil plantations and for land development schemes intended to provide family plots for landless Malay farmers. The Batek values the freedom that their way of life provides, they are able to move around freely and are able to move around freely and participate in any economic activities.
They have no formal leader, but women and men can be assigned the title as a headmen but this does not assign to special authority or privileges. Values and Beliefs They believe in a group of supermen surrounding the sea and the land. They believe that they were discriminated the Batek from ordinary humans, and were created by a superpower being. They believe the superpower being created all the plants and animals in the forest. They ask everything they require from the super humans, including the cure to diseases.
They are motivated by the compassion extended to them and they cannot fail to give back and if they do they have terrible consequences from the supernatural that would be beyond their control. The Batek believe that one of their diseases, ke’oy, consisting of fever, depression, shortness of breath, and weakness, is caused when someone is angry with another without justification. The cure for the disease is that the person responsible for the problem treats the victim with various folk remedies, tells the victim’s heart to be cool, blows on his or her chest for the cooling effect, and grasps and throws away the disease.
They believe that living in the forest is cooler and healthier than living in the heat of the clearing, forest are also preferred because it gives refuge from other people. They are opposed to interpersonal violence, they avoid violence. Political Organization They live in domestic groups forming a camp of no less than three. They reside intents with ten people per tent. Land ownership does not exist, the bateks don’t think of themselves as landowners but as land administrators. They still have their own surrounding land.
They had no leadership; the leaders treated themselves as equals. Bateks had no formal conflict resolution procedure; they had private discussion if a conflict comes between family, camp, or group. If it is a serious problem then they will have the input of all members of their camp to assist in the argument. If there is no resolution then they will remove them from the camp to cool down the situation. Gender Relations There are no special influences specifying duties of either gender, they are highly egalitarian which means that they practice equality.
Women and men have a strong bonds and the subsequent sharing of the same. They each produce their share of food men hunt while women gather vegetables, and fruits they are valued equally. The women are still able to hunt if they choose to because there are no rigid rules. They have no major rules that tell what the roles of the different sex’s men and women play a part in agricultural activities. The men also gather tubers and other plant foods. Their main cash producing activity is their collecting of rattons. Decisions making is a shared responsibility to couples.
The women and men chose their own marital fate; the parents can try and persuade their children on whom they want them to marry but they cannot demand or require them to marry anyone. They are known to marry because of physical attraction and love; they also desire a partner who is industrious and will participate in household activities (Endicott & Endicott, 2008). In foraging society virginity is not important some married couples were adolescent partners who had relationships before. They do not have marked ceremonies, a couple is considered married when they begin living together.
When a couple no longer resides together they are no longer considered married. They are normally close because they work together in a close proximity. Either can end the marriage and then they depend on the family. Husband and wife are considered equally important. The JOA has been trying to prepare them for hard times. The Batek will probably continue to forage in the forest as long as they can. They will have to supplement their foraging more through wage labor working for the logging companies or the new plantations. Recently young Batek men joined the Malaysian army.
There are wage earning jobs on plantations, such as tapping rubber or cutting grass. Batek women will be able to get such jobs in the future and thus retain some of their economic independence. Malaysian government has tried to promote economic a social assimilation and it is slowed by such arrangement. When the Batek finally settle they will live in homogeneous villages or neighborhoods. This paper discusses the values and beliefs, the political organization, and the gender relations of the Batek of Malaysia. It shows the different ways of life and how they chose to lead theirs.
They are a very open and equal community who values both men and women equally. From the information I gathered I do not think it was hard for them to maintain their way of life because they have a fair society. Their people are treated fair and they are all given equal opportunities. References I. VI. 5 The Batek of peninsular Malaysia. (2006). In The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunters and Gatherers. Retrieved from http://www. credoreference. com/entry/cuphg/i_vi_5_the_batek_of_peninsular_malaysia I. VI. 1 Introduction: Southeast Asia. (2006).
In The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunters and Gatherers. Retrieved from http://www. credoreference. com/entry/cuphg/i_vi_1_introduction_southeast_asia II. II. 5 Traditional and modern visual art of hunting and gathering peoples. (2006). In the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunters and Gatherers. Retrieved from http://www. credoreference. com/entry/cuphg/ii_ii_5_traditional_and_modern_visual_art_of_hunting_and_gathering_peoples “ Nowak, B. , & Laird, P. (2010). Cultural anthropology. San Diego, Bridgepoint Education, Inc. Retrieved from https://content. ashford. edu `