Volunteers from a Malaysian company and an NGO provided assistance recently to the Chewong village at Kuala Gandah. According to a news post last week in The Sun Daily, a Malaysian English-language news source, personnel from 7-Eleven Malaysia, a branch of the international chain of convenience stores, and people from the organization NGOHub Asia cooperated […]

An anthropologist who has studied the Orang Asli for 40 years advises Malaysians to expose themselves more effectively to their lifestyles and cultures in order to better understand them. Professor Alberto Gomes argues that societies such as the Semai, Batek, and Chewong are not respected as they should be by the broader population of Malaysians—the […]

Perhaps the most basic question for anyone investigating the peaceful societies phenomenon is how they are able to maintain their peacefulness in the face of global economic and social pressures. Some answers are suggested by the Chewong, who still avoid anger, violence, and competition—and cherish the nonviolent interactions of their egalitarian society—despite the many challenges […]

Researchers affiliated with the University of Nottingham observed at the beginning of February that Southeast Asian rainforests can be food deserts for wildlife, though the Chewong are making a difference for terrestrial mammals. The reason, the scholars reported in a journal article, is that the forests do not produce an abundance of fruits. The investigation […]

In 1977, a tree fell during an evening thunderstorm on a Chewong camp in a central Malay Peninsula forest, killing and injuring several people. Anthropologist Signe Howell arrived shortly after the tragedy had occurred, but the Chewong dismissed her thought that it was bad luck for them—they had no conceptions of good or bad fortune. […]

Chewong elders are often dismayed when animals that are killed in the forest are not shared in the village, a result of the economic and social changes occurring in their society. Signe Howell describes those changes, and the ways the Chewong are coping, in a recently published article. Starting in 1977, Howell spent 18 months […]

Anthropologists have characterized many hunting and gathering societies as “immediate return,” a phrase that describes people who consume their food immediately since they have no way of accumulating and storing surplus. Such foraging societies often lack competition and are highly egalitarian. The Chewong certainly fit that description. In contrast, “delayed return” societies, especially peoples who […]