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The Batek Simplistic and Peaceful Existence

  • Date Submitted: 06/25/2011 03:17 PM
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The Batek Simplistic and Peaceful Existence
Cynthia Aldridge
                                                                    ANT 101
                                                                  Jeri Meyers
June 6, 2011

The Batek Simplistic and stress-free existence
The Batek are an egalitarian social order of people who dwell in the forests of Pahang, Malaysia.   The Batek are also a society of mobile hunter and gatherers, who recognize the forest to be a major component of their existence.   Batek mobility should not be mistaken as nomadic, for they have a stable existence and do return to solid living quarters after hunting and gathering. In a lot of cases they return in a few days, or even that very day, depending on the success of the hunt. Woman almost always return home the same day, for it is not good for a woman to stay away from home too long; especially if there are young children involved. Foraging skills are taught and developed at a young age, and helps seal a life-long commitment to the Batek culture.   “The primary unit of production and consumption is the nuclear household.” (Tuck-Po 2002, Pg. 6)   The Batek work together to keep things running smoothly and everyone knows their roles. That makes for a stress-free society, when everyone has a job, and work together for the good of everyone involved. There is no jealousy from the husband to his wife because she is making more or doing more. Everyone’s duties are known early in life and they are trained in the area in which they are expected to perform. Batek is struggling now to stay true to some of the traditions that have worked for them for centuries. “Through the off skirts of Batek’ living areas, is the emergence of “capitalist” or “nation-state penetration”, hunter-gatherers of Southeast Asia, including the Batek demonstrate “resilience and persistence” preserving kinship and social practices. (Tuck-Po 2002, Pg. 4) If there is any stress amongst them, it because they now have to...


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