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The effects of slave raiding on the Aborigines of the Malay Peninsula

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... In the past, Malay political power was frequently exercised through direct violence against Bateks in slave raids and massacres which only ended in the early twentieth century (Endicott 1983(Endicott , 1988Tacey and Riboli 2014). Even today, Malays hold considerable political power over Batek communities. ...
... The alternating appearance of the thunder lord as a normal human of Malay appearance when calm and terrifying animals when angered mirrors the episodic violence that punctuated Batek-Malay relations. Historically, during times of peace, Bateks traded forest products with Malays and relationships were, for the most part, amicable but when violence erupted, Bateks fled to the forest or were massacred in incidents of devastating violence (Endicott 1983;Tacey and Riboli 2014). Even today, the Maia and other Bateks will flee to the forest at the drop of a hat if they perceive they are threatened by Malays. ...
... However, Batek Maia claims of slave raids and violence should be taken seriously, regardless of whether or not they were victims of cannibalism. The colonial literature is rife with descriptions of Malays, Thais, Rawas, and other dominant ethnic groups hunting down Orang Aslis-labeled as sakais (slaves) or kafirs (infidels)-like animals (see Endicott 1983 for an overview). The violent outsiders who attacked Bateks would have been described in monstrous, predatory terms by any survivors. ...
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This chapter explores the politics of indigenous cosmologies and shamanic practices in the early twenty-first century, a period marked by rampant environment destruction and climatic change. Through an examination of Batek eco-cosmologies and cosmopolitical relations with other-than-human beings, the chapter focuses on transformations to these relations and discourses about shamanistic practices. The forest periphery is a site of complex interconnection with a variety of actors and agencies of the forest and the local and larger national and globalized human environment. From this peripheral location, Batek shamans have reassembled relations with other-than-human beings and built new discourses about environmental changes.
... World views vary among the major communities (Storz 1999, Ibrahim 2004, as well as among the indigenous minorities (Dentan 1968, Endicott 1983, Howell 1984, Robarchek and Dentan 1987, Robarchek and Robarchek 1992, Robarchek and Robarchek 1998, van der Sluys 2000, Riboli 2013, Tacey and Riboli 2014. There have been several monographs that examine the relationship of groups of Orang Asli and the natural world (Dunn 1975, Lye 2004). ...
... After the invasion of Perak, the Thais and the Pattanis carried out numerous slave raids against the Jahais. Meanwhile, slave raiders from Sumatra (of Batak ethnicity) employed Temiars of the lowlands to hunt down the people of the highlands (Endicott 1983, Heikkilä 2016. ...
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In the Malay Peninsula, people have lived alongside Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) for around 55,000 years but our expansion now endangers the species. With the aim of gaining knowledge on how to we can live together in future, I reviewed the ecology, history, and management of human-elephant relations in the Peninsula. I found that indigenous people (Orang Asli) occupied many of the same landscapes as elephants and, despite a degree of ecological overlap, managed to enjoy a convivial coexistence by following the pathways elephants created through the rainforest, and by subsisting off wild yams. Around 6500 years ago, a swidden-farming culture arrived and crop-raiding elephants were killed and occasionally eaten. Around 2500 years ago, new settlers arrived and elephants came to be sought for ivory, to be captured, tamed, and even exported. Aspects of the traditional forager and swiddener cultures remain in Belum-Temengor, a priority elephant conservation site in the north of the Peninsula. Here, I surveyed 37 villages to examine beliefs, attitudes, and behaviour towards elephants. I found that tough elephants were the main source of human-wildlife conflict, most respondents considered the animals to be worthy of respect. Thre were some indications that younger respondents tended to have less tolerant attitudes. To get a clearer idea on how to manage elephants in this landscape, I mapped the villages and monitored the movement of four elephants using satellite collars. I found that governement-sponsored rubber plantations, exposed villagers to elephant raids despite the construction of electric fences. Based on these findings I propose a five-phase strategic intervention approach to elephant conservation: (i) land-use planning; (ii) barriers to protect people (including electric fences); (iii) compensation for losses; (iv) education and engagements; and (v) removal (killing or capture).
... The marginality of the Orang Asli was initially rooted in the precolonial relations of Malay feudal society. In the traditional political economy of the Malay world (see Couillard 1984;Dodge 1981;Endicott 1983;Dunn 1975), the Orang Asli were often essential mediating links in the precolonial trading networks, especially those which spread to tap the jungle products. Though they enjoyed a certain degree of freedom in the jungle habitat, and therefore were subjected to less formal control from the feudal state as compared to the Malay peasantry, the Orang Asli were also incorporated into the precolonial stratification system as slaves (Couillard 1984;Endicott 1983). ...
... In the traditional political economy of the Malay world (see Couillard 1984;Dodge 1981;Endicott 1983;Dunn 1975), the Orang Asli were often essential mediating links in the precolonial trading networks, especially those which spread to tap the jungle products. Though they enjoyed a certain degree of freedom in the jungle habitat, and therefore were subjected to less formal control from the feudal state as compared to the Malay peasantry, the Orang Asli were also incorporated into the precolonial stratification system as slaves (Couillard 1984;Endicott 1983). It was noted that in the 1870s, frequent raids were mounted by ruling class chiefs to hunt down Orang Asli young men for slaves and the young girls as gundek (kept women) (Akiya 2007). ...
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Following the latest emphasis in the discourse on mainstreaming “human security” in Southeast Asia which articulates a “people-centric” concern, this chapter is an attempt to “anthropologize human insecurities” by way of examining the “emic” database of subjectivities among Orang Asli and Penan indigenes experiencing deterritorialization on the margins of the Malaysian nation state. In attempting to explain further their “lived experiences” of human insecurity, it is equally important to link the micro-based perspective with the broader structural, development and nation-state political processes which generate deterritorialization onto the landscape of the indigenes in the context of a specific historical trajectory.
... After the invasion of Perak, the Thais and the Pattanis carried out numerous slave raids against the Jahai. Meanwhile, slave raiders from Sumatra (of Batak ethnicity) employed Temiar of the lowlands to hunt down the people of the highlands (Endicott 1983, Heikkilä 2016. ...
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This paper highlights the recent history of human-elephant relationships in Belum-Temengor, a priority site for elephant conservation and also home to indigenous people. In this site, the conservation of elephants often comes into conflict with measures taken to develop the land for the benefit of the people such as the creation of a hydroelectric dam, building a highway, and clearing the forest to plant rubber trees. We examine the history of elephants, the history of the people, and the history of the relationship between humans and elephants in this site. We find commonalities between the ways in which the authorities have treated both elephants and people, with paternalistic attempts at translocation and resettlement resulting in unintended consequences on both elephant conservation and economic development. We highlight conflicting government policies that set the stage for unprecedented levels of conflict between Orang Asli and elephants as human population densities increase and land use shifts towards permanent agriculture (particularly rubber plantations).
... Indeed, Batek people articulate a strong sense of suspicion towards the gɔp who inhabit the dəŋ ('town'), a sentiment with a long history rooted in the slave-raiding by the Malays of the nineteenth century, and which is further compounded by current attempts at forced conversion to Islam and assimilation into Malaysian society (Dentan et al 1997;Lye 1997:78-95;Endicott 2016:13-29;1983). This suffering at the hands of outsiders is not merely a historical phenomenon: prejudice against the Batek (by the government, missionaries, local Malaysians, and Malaysian and foreign tourists) is still widespread. ...
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Through combining ethnography of human-bird interactions with analysis of Batek discourses on musical instrument playing, this paper describes the emotional entanglements between human and non-human persons in the Batek’s forest. The argument is made that sound-making and listening are privileged means of deepening the relationships between people and birds, and that these relationships then come to be part of what defines people’s sense of being Batek. Ways of understanding how sound, environment, memory and emotion intertwine are presented, speaking to broader debates surrounding the role of ‘music’ in hunting and gathering societies.
... Signals are also cues, in which case it has more to do with present-moment movement, such as the physical sights (shadows, shuffling of leaves) and sensations (vibrations, sounds, smells) when someone or something is approaching. Batek can (and may prefer to) move silently in the forest, as do solitary predator s; these concepts indicate utter vigilance to the faintest and minutest of signals, something that would have been necessary during slavery days (Endicott 1983), when there was a constant fear of being ambushed. In the 1990s whenever Batek were camping in remote locations, they would stop what they were doing when they heard the distant sounds of approaching vehicles, and try to guess who ...
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This chapter explores two postcolonial indigenous storytellers from the historic margins of the Malaysian nation-state. The first is the late Mak Minah (Menah Anak Kuntom), a Temuan woman who learned songs of the forest from her husband and kin, and later joined forces with non-Orang Asli musicians to form a fusion band, Akar Umbi, and became the first Orang Asli storyteller to sing to a wider public. In contrast, Akiya (Mahat Anak China), the author of Tuntut (Claiming), Perang sangkil (The slave-raiders’ war) and Hamba (Slave), comes from a younger and better educated generation of Orang Asli. The analysis presented here suggests that through their creative works, performance and discursive practice, indigenous storytellers are subverting what Norbert Elias calls ‘the civilising process’. In both the anthropological literature and the practices of indigenous governance of the British colonial state and the postcolonial nation-state, ‘civilising the margins’ has generally been identified with policies that assumed the state’s role as bearers of progress (read: ‘civilisation’, ‘development’) towards the allegedly ‘backward’ (‘primitive’) Orang Asli communities. These two variants of the ‘civilising process’ are examined to demonstrate how they further marginalised the Orang Asli and ruptured their sense of identity, dignity and social worth. The critical subtext of Mak Minah’s and Akiya’s storytelling interventions is that they represent indigenous people’s assertion of agency, empowering a sense of identity and ontology, which embodies their rights to humanity and self-esteem, their desire for participatory development and, most of all, their historical pursuit of peace and love. In the context of an evolving Malaysian nation-state, its grand narratives and dominant discourse have constantly denied the Orang Asli these rights. This chapter argues that the narratives and discursive content of storytelling as articulated by Mak Minah and Akiya constitute a remaking of an indigenous postcolonial discourse aimed at ‘civilising the centre’.
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This introductory chapter explains the aim of the book, defines what we understand by the term pacification and gives an outline of the following chapters. Pacification as a process, whereby a state achieves a monopoly of violence and law over politically autonomous small-scale communities, and thereby ends both tribal warfare between those communities and any armed resistance against the imposition of state control, should not be understood as a unilateral imposition of state control, but as the result of an interaction between various state actors, on one hand, and politically autonomous local groups on the other.
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All over the world and throughout millennia, states have attempted to subjugate, control and dominate non-state populations and to end their wars. This book compares such processes of pacification leading to the end of tribal warfare in seven societies from all over the world between the 19th and 21st centuries. It shows that pacification cannot be understood solely as a unilateral imposition of state control but needs to be approached as the result of specific interactions between state actors and non-state local groups. Indigenous groups usually had options in deciding between accepting and resisting state control. State actors often had to make concessions or form alliances with indigenous groups in order to pursue their goals. Incentives given to local groups sometimes played a more important role in ending warfare than repression. In this way, indigenous groups, in interaction with state actors, strongly shaped the character of the process of pacification. This volume’s comparison finds that pacification is more successful and more durable where state actors mainly focus on selective incentives for local groups to renounce warfare, offer protection, and only as a last resort use moderate repression, combined with the quick establishment of effective institutions for peaceful conflict settlement. --------------------------------------------- Table of Contents 1 Introduction JÜRG HELBLING AND TOBIAS SCHWOERER 2 Pacification as Strategic Interaction of Indigenous Groups and State Actors JÜRG HELBLING 3 The Herero and Nama in German South-West Africa (1830–1910) MATTHIAS HÄUSSLER 4 The Eastern Highlands of New Guinea (1930–1965) TOBIAS SCHWOERER 5 The Iban in Sarawak (1840–1920) JÜRG HELBLING 6 The Lobi in French West Africa (1897–1940) NATALIE AMMANN 7 The Naga in British North-East India (1830–1890) RUTH WERNER 8 The Karimojong in Uganda (1898–2010) TOBIAS SCHWOERER 9 The Waorani in Ecuador (1940–2000) JÜRG HELBLING 10 Conclusion: Comparing Configurations and Processes of Pacification JÜRG HELBLING AND TOBIAS SCHWOERER
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This article, an unpublished essay delivered at the Fifth International Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies, Darwin, Australia in 1988, focuses on the mystery of what has been known as “silent trade”—the direct exchange of goods conducted between groups with no face-to-face interaction or communication. Given that the instances of this phenomenon between nomadic hunter-gatherers and pastoral peoples, which emphasize a regularity of status inequality between participants, cannot be explained as literary borrowings from Herodotus and others, this article uses comparative material from the historical and ethnographic record to test three hypotheses: (1) silent trade is an early academic myth deriving from the view, especially characteristic of the nineteenth century, that “civilization” must have evolved stage by stage from some type of society representing an antithesis to “civilization”; (2) silent trade is a myth propagated by the neighbors expressing the social distance they perceive between themselves and the hunter-gatherers; and (3) silent trade is a real phenomenon to be understood in terms of the special nature of the political and other ties associated with the encapsulation (enclavement) of such hunter-gatherers by their neighbors.
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