Wednesday, 18 March 2015

New blog: International Summer School in Southeast Asian Studies

Interested in Southeast Asia, the study of, the thinking about, the living in?

We have a new blog, mainly to showcase the work of our postgraduate participants in the International Summer School in Southeast Asian Studies, an annual two-week programme jointly-organised by Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang (USM), the Institute of Asian and African Studies of Humboldt Universität zu Berlin (IAAW-HU), and Universitas Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta (UGM). Check it out here.

I am one of the contributors, yes...

We've only just set it up; come back frequently.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Aliran Down the Ages

Here's a bit of Malaysian social history, as seen through the work of Aliran, Malaysia's oldest human rights group. Watch how information dissemination styles have changed since the 1970s, when the group was founded. Past 2010, all the images (and video) were shot by me.


Monday, 22 December 2014

Call for Papers: the Eleventh Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies (CHAGS 11)

The Eleventh CONFERENCE ON HUNTING AND GATHERING SOCIETIES (CHAGS 11) will be held in Vienna, September 7-11, 2015.

The CALL FOR PAPERS has been announced here:

Deadline for submission of abstracts is February 20, 2015

"All accepted session abstracts can be viewed online at our CHAGS 11 website. We mandate that ALL individual participants need to register and submit their abstracts via our online form, where papers can be directly submitted to a specific session.

Participants may present ONE paper or poster as main authors and may be credited with co-authorship of one or more additional papers.

The call will remain open till February 20. Shortly thereafter session organizers will select abstracts and administer their session to ensure final decisions about submitted abstracts by March. Notifications to individual participants will be sent out shortly thereafter.

Early-bird registration will start in February. We have applied for funding for colleagues who are in need of travel support at various institutions but have no confirmation yet. There will be a separate announcement for this."


Sponsoring organisation:
International Society for Hunter Gatherer Research (ISHGR)

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Hi-jinks in the lean-to

Act it up
Sometimes I do wonder if my little friends have a pact among themselves, "Quick, start acting cute! Anthropologist coming!" Batek children in Taman Negara, 2013

Weavers of the forest

Weaving 1

Weaving 2A mother knows how it's done. naʔSarik (top left) was weaving miniature baskets for her boys, who had demanded to have their own fruit-storing containers. Her mother showed her how to make the bends. Later (left) I found her weaving a mat.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

At home in Taman Negara

Way too busy to do more than post a token few photos. Here's one of an old friend in Taman Negara.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

More Batek photos

Young couple in a boat, Taman Negara, 2014. The last time you might have seen him, he was laughing heartily on a fallen tree trunk, here.

Mother and son, Taman Negara, 2014. I don't have an earlier one for comparison, but the photo below shows how HE was imprinted in my memory for close to 15 years. He is her youngest.

  B1996 13b-06
Boy in Taman Negara, 1996. In those days he spent many hours chasing his siblings round and round, running away from a pesky anthropologist, creating havoc with a big knife, or perched atop his father's shoulders.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Get me off this rock!

Get me off this rock | 1
Boy perches on big stone, holds out his arms for a lift back to the lean-to...
Get me off this rock | 2
It is granted, but not without motherly grumbles. He can walk, after all. I'm tickled by the look of exhaustion on his face. The other photos in the series show that he had done absolutely nothing but perch on the stone, peering suspiciously at the water.

I've been observing Batek children a lot for a paper on social learning, based initially on stuff I did for my doctoral work so many years ago, now being confirmed and updated. It's been great to see all the classic behaviour patterns still going strong... including parental patience with childish demands on their time (and back).

I've known naʔDaduʔ since—as she and her sisters stressed repeatedly—we were young together. The first time I met the boy last week, he was fussing over something or other. "Whose child is that?" I asked. "It's my son—he's horrible," she replied. "Is he now?" I replied with scholarly interest. "Come over here so I can see whether you're good or bad." She repeated my words to the boy. He considered this proposition warily for a moment, then looked at his mother and released a big wide grin that reminded me of his mother, grandmother, and grandfather all at once.

After another bout of childish tantrum I suggested that we sell him to the tourists. "If they will have him," his aunt naʔTəkuʔ replied seriously. "Who knows, he may be so bad that tourists wouldn't want him." He heard us, but paid no attention.