A news story published two days ago provides additional details about a proposed botanical garden in northern Malaysia which poses a threat to a nearby Semai community. Initial reports, covered here on March 29, gave only sketchy details about the dispute. A reporter for the Inter Press Service News Agency (IPS) interviewed a number of […]

Authorities in Perak State recently sent bulldozers into an ancient rain forest near a Semai community in northern Malaysia to clear land for a proposed National Botanical Garden. The Semai protested. An Orang Asli group living in the kampong (village) of Chang Sungai Gepai, northern Perak, they number about 600 people in one account and […]

The homegardens of the Piaroa serve many purposes in addition to food production. They provide building materials, supplies for hunting magic, medicinal plants, and the setting for social activities. The gardens display the creativity of their owners, and they serve as sources of pride and self-esteem. The Piaroa use them for the first stages of […]

Piaroa women gain fulfillment, pleasure, and respect from raising manioc in their gardens, one anthropologist argues, and this work is essential to their society. In her recent article “Tedium and Creativity: The Valorization of Manioc Cultivation and Piaroa Women,” published in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute volume 10, 2004, p.241-259, Serena L. Heckler […]