The Batek of Malaysia Final Paper

The Batek of Malaysia Final Paper - The Batek of Malaysia 1...

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The Batek of Malaysia 1 The Batek of Malaysia Maureen E Gaspard Jason Gonzalez September 12, 2011
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The Batek of Malaysia 2 The Batek are a group of aboriginal people, called Orang Asli, who are one of the original people of Malay. They live in rainforest of peninsular Malaysia in camps of five or six nuclear families. This paper will share the following aspects of the Batek; their kinship, economic organizations and gender relations. The Batek are considered foragers that survive by hunting and gathering as well as collecting products from the forest for trading but only produce what they need for basic survival but to thrive. The Batek are a nomadic group of forgers that live by hunting, gathering and trading products from the forest that they collect. Their camps consist of five to six nuclear families which consist of a father, mother and their children in each family. Like most foraging societies, the Batek work together and share the responsibilities. They are all considered equals and do not own anything. They reside in the forest close to rivers or streams which supply them with fish, drinking water, and a place for bathing. The women do the gathering and are responsible for a majority of the diet. According to Nowak and Laird (2010), “their diets are composed primarily of nuts, fruit, melons, and berries gathered by the women, while the men, the hunters, provide the meat.” (p. 51) Wild tubers are the main subsistence of the Batek. The women collect enough food to feed their families in one day for a week, while the men hunt only two to three days per week to provide them with meat for the week. The rest of their time is spent doing what pleases them most like relaxing, participating in activities of the band, or enjoying the company of other band members or visitors.
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The Batek of Malaysia 3 The women go out in groups to forage and bring their small children with them. They dig for tubers with “digging sticks”. The tubers are placed in slings or basket that the children carry. When not foraging, the women cook and clean. The men hunt game which is an important source of protein, such as, monkey and wild boar. The men use the blowpipe most frequently because the poison, obtained from tree sap, is deadly. The men are said to be better hunters because their breath is stronger than the females, so they can blow the darts farther than the female. They do not have a lot of material things, few wants and are easily satisfied. As long as they have enough food to feed their families, they do not strive for more. Foragers are known as “the original affluent society” because they have enough food and leisure time to do as they please and they are happy with that. The men will alert the women to ripe plants and vegetation they encounter while hunting and the women will alert the men to any animals they encounter while gathering. “Like most foraging groups, the Batek kinships are strongly connected to make sure their
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This note was uploaded on 09/25/2011 for the course ANT101 ANT101 taught by Professor Nancy during the Fall '10 term at Ashford University.

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The Batek of Malaysia Final Paper - The Batek of Malaysia 1...

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