The Indigenous People of Batek

Published: 2021-06-29 07:10:43
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Category: Social Issues

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The indigenous people of Batek live in the rainforest of the Peninsular Malaysia. They are referred to as the Orang Asli, meaning "original people" in Malay language. The Batek people prefer to live a nomadic life of hunting and gathering as it offers them freedom, which they greatly value (Endicott, 1984). Amongst the Batek, they still practice their traditional ways, with little influence from the outside world. The Batek of Malaysia are hunters and gatherers also known as foragers. They reside in camps of five or six nuclear families (nuclear families usually consists of a mother, father, and their children). In this paper, I will discuss the cultural aspects of the Batek of Malaysia that explains the way they behave. I will also discuss some breakdown of their kinship, social organization, and gender relations of the organization.
The Batek people of Malaysia were living just like their ancestors for thousands of years. They live in groups of family, called bands and they are continuously on the move to find a prime location where there is food and water that is needed (Nowak & Laird, 2010). Another reason the natives move to other locations, is to allow the land to replenish. Their dependability is upon their environment in order for survival. They are nomadic hunters and gatherers, so their site of settlement changes within the general limits of the area that they inhabit.
The kinship ties are very strongly connected. They have a strong family bond, and they do not follow political ways. Marriages are highly valued by the Batek, they have rigorous rules when it comes to incest. The Batek of Malaysia does not tolerate any incest behaviors that occur within their cultures. They are not allowed to marry anyone closer than their second cousins, nor can they marry any person with the same name as their sibling or parent. The availability of marriages can be scarce due to seventy percent of the society are ruled out.
The Batek of Malaysia resides in camps of five to six nuclear families. The distance between each camps are generally equivalent to a two hour walking distance, and other members are able to join or go on their separate way. They follow the nomadic life within a distinct territory and live what it is called a subsistence economy, in which people produce only what they need to for their survival (Nowak & Laird, 2010). The pathways, trails, and rivers are what divides the camp from the others. Family is important part of their community. The family operates as an autonomous economic unit, the husband, and wife make joint decisions about how to obtain their food and where to move.

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