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Batek Tribe of Malaysia - Research Paper Example

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The opening of the report consists of the basic characteristics and subsistence of the Batek tribe and impact of foraging on different aspects of culture. The report also demonstrates a gender relation under the Batek tribe, its social organization, religious and spiritual beliefs and values …
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Batek Tribe of Malaysia
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Batek Tribe of Malaysia

Download file to see previous pages... The paper tells that in our life we have “a web of values, meanings, and behavior” which is deeply infused in our everyday life. This is the essence of culture and it plays an important role in our lives. In a particular habitat where human beings stay they are considered to be the “ecologically dominant component.” Humans have always appropriated nature including the living and inanimate ambience to suit their purpose. One thing has to be kept in mind that a change occurs in humans over time which is both cultural as well as biological. However humans have always adapted to the change and progressed. Human beings have always selected established and refined modes of production so that there is an existence of long term coordination and settlement in a particular area. A change in the subsistence will not only bring about changes in conditions pertaining to food production but also in the socio- cultural base of a community. Thus we can say that a change in subsistence is closely related to cultural changes. Subsistence mode differs among tribes in different places across the world. The pattern of the mode in turn also affects different aspects of the culture. The tribe selected here is the Batek of Malaysia and their chief mode of subsistence is foraging. Foraging, or hunting and gathering are considered to be the “oldest form of human society” and here survival was based on the exploitation of “flora and fauna.” People here mostly lived in small and independent communities. Nomadic lifestyle was followed here and goods produced were meant for self consumption. In this mode there is the strengthening of people’s obligations to each other because of continuous movement of goods through “kinship ties and residential proximity.” Here one cannot find the existence of personal wealth as there is the obligation to share and due to the nomadic life. Exercising authority over others on the basis of control over others is absent in this form and as a result there is the existence an “egalitarian structure in foraging societies” (Nowak & Laird, 2010). In this respect 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 Batek Tribe – basic characteristics and subsistence In the modern world people in order to keep pace with the ever changing world adopt new subsistence mode and move on in life. Even tribes often forced by circumstances abandon their traditional modes and adopts the latest to keep pace with the world in the name of development. Amidst this there is still the existence of the Batek tribe who has been foragers and they had been living like this for a long time. The Batek of Malaysia living in the peninsular region still follows foraging as their subsistence mode. At present most of them lives around Taman Negara, Peninsular Malaysia’s national park. Prior to this until 1970 most of them had been residing in the lowland rain forests which was field with ample flora and fauna was very much suitable for foraging type of subsistence. It is believed that both culturally and biologically the Batek are the descendents of the earliest human population found in the Malay Peninsula known as “Hoabinhians.” The Batek society follows the pattern of a nuclear family. So we find that the married couples in this tribe are independent in their decisions to live and to choose the kind of work they desire. “Personal autonomy” is very much valued by the Batek and any form of force is not seen over here. The authority of the parents over their children is found to be week. Orthodox views in case of marriages and divorces are not observed in this society. Men and women are free to choose their spouses and in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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