This first detailed ethnographic account of the Pahang Malay people of peninsular Malaysia focuses on the society's traditional agricultural system, particularly on its specialization in the production of rice on largely unmodified natural swampland. Dr. Lambert discusses the historical development of Pahang Malay rice farming, its dependence on indigenous knowledge of local ecology, and its adaptability to adverse conditions. Farmers experimenting with cultivars, adapting new technologies to local conditions, and using their own seed selection skills have over several decades substantially improved their rice yields. Dr. Lambert suggests that well-adapted indigenous farming systems found throughout the world should be studied and the adoption of these successful agricultural practices should be encouraged by governments and development planners.
Table of Contents
Preface -- Introduction: Indigenous Agriculture— Survival in a Modern Age -- Pahang and Pesagi History -- The Natural Setting and Making a Living -- Rice Varieties -- Making a Living— Swamp Rice Agriculture -- Prospects and Conclusions: Diversified Farming— An Adaptive System -- Frequently Cited Measures and Currency -- General Habitat of Selected Pesagi Plants--Page 1 -- Plants Common to Pesagi by Family and Local Use--Page 1 -- River Fish Common to Pesagi -- Paya Fish Common to Pesagi -- Common Wild Animals at Pesagi -- Singapore Rubber Prices for Past 70 Years
Donald H. Lambert is a teaching associate in anthropology and political economy at the University of Texas at Dallas.