Dentan, Robert Knox, 1936-. If there were no Malays, who would the Semai be?

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Title: If there were no Malays, who would the Semai be?

Published in: Pluralism in Malaysia: myth and reality, edited by Judith Nagata

Published By: Pluralism in Malaysia: myth and reality, edited by Judith Nagata Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1975. 50-64 p.

By line: Robert Knox Dentan

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2012. Computer File

Culture: Semai (AN06)

Subjects: Identification (101); (15); Population (161); Composition of population (162); Acculturation and culture contact (177); Cultural identity and pride (186); Settlement patterns (361); (57); Kin relationships (602); Behavior toward non-relatives (609);

Abstract: The central consideration of this source is ”how Semai come to include some of their fellows as sen'oi hii' (“we people”) and to exclude others as mai (“they”)” (p. 50). In analyzing this question the author makes reference to the Semai grammar and counting systems and contends that a tripartite classification underlying these systems also underlies Semai world view and notions of ethnicity. The author concludes that Semai notions of “we people” are describable as a three-tiered extension of ego's self identity.

Document Number: 15

Document ID: an06-015

Document Type: Essay

Language: English

Field Date: 1962-1963

Evaluation: Ethnologist-5

Analyst: Gerald Reid; 1989

Coverage Date: 1962-1963

Coverage Place: Perak State and Pahang State, Malaysia

LCSH: Senoi (Southeast Asian people)

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