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 […]

The Chewong of Malaysia experience, or at least they used to experience, absolutely no violence within their society. They see themselves as peaceful and timid, people without leaders, individuals who forage for their needs in the forests. In contrast, they view others, primarily neighboring Malays and Chinese, as violent, fearless, powerful, demanding and angry, people […]

Many lingering views of cute kids highlight a charming video of the Chewong community located at Lanchang, next to the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary in Malaysia’s Pahang State. Uploaded to YouTube last Thursday, January 26th, the video shows scenes of the community: adults raking their gardens, kids mugging for the camera, men cutting grass with […]

A Chewong community in Malaysia has a new building designed to display village crafts for tourists, according to a news story last week. Kampung Kuala Gandah, near Temerloh, has used a poorly made building as a store for many years, but the new facility, costing RM200,000 (US$62,000) will significantly boost the ability of the villagers […]

Last week, Bernama, the Malaysian national news agency, issued a five-part series of feature articles on the Orang Asli societies, the Original People of Malaysia. The focus of the articles was on the assistance provided to the Semai, Batek, Chewong and 15 others groups by the Department of Orang Asli Affairs (JHEOA), the national agency […]

The Chewong, Batek, Semai, and other Orang Asli (Original People) of Malaysia realize that their lack of education causes them some difficulties, but the reasons for the problem are debatable. The Malaysia Star on Sunday published an analysis of the issue. The statistics of Orang Asli successes in education are unimpressive—large numbers of students drop […]

According to a young Semai person, the Orang Asli “only know that the police are government, and the government can have them arrested.” Alice M. Nah interviewed the Semai individual for a recent journal article on the indigeneity of the Orang Asli, the “Original People,” of Malaysia. She begins her piece with a history of […]