The Ma' Betisek are a group of aborigines who live on the mangrove coastal area of Selangor in peninsular Malaysia. Dr Karim's study is mainly focused on the Ma' Betisek communities on Carey Island, off the west coast of Selangor and in particular threevillages - Sungei Sialang, Sungei Mata and Sungei Bumbun. Few changes have taken place in the lives of the Betisek people on the island since 1975. On the mainland, the Ma' Betisek are busy keeping pace with development and modem life. However,despite increasing deforestation and new urban influences on the island, the Carey Island communities continue to preservetheir naturistic ideas of how humans should live with plants and animals. Dr Karim's research focuses on this issue.
Table of Contents
I. INTRODUCTION 2. THE HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL BACKGROUND OF THE MA' BETISEK 13 Name and classification 13 The spread and development of Ma' Betisek settlements I 7 Ma' Betisek village organization 23 Patterns of marriage 30 3. MA' BETISEK CONCEPTS OF TULAH AND KEMALIThe concept of tulah 32 The concept of kemali' 43 4. MA' BETISEK MYTHS 67 Myths of origin 67 Myths of plants and animals 84 5. THE ECONOMY OF THE MA' BETISEK AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO TULAH BELIEFS 102 Rice cultivation 104 Rice harvest ceremonies 107 jo-oh songs and dances of the rice harvest 13 The cultivation of root crops and vegetables 117 Fruit cultivation 118 Fishing and gathering 119 Game hunting and trapping 123 The extraction offorest products 130 6. KEMALI' BELIEFS IN THE CONTEXT OF ILLNESSES AND SHAMANISTIC CURES 136 The interpretation of illnesses and injuries 137 The treatment of illnesses and injuries by medicines and curative spells 155 Shamanism and spirit-possession the performance of the ritual offer sembuang and bale 7. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION APPENDICES GLOSSARY BIBLIOGRAPHY INDEX
Dr Karim is Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Penang, Malaysia.