Temuan Ontology through Derian Worlding

Juffri, Helsheila Julis (2024) Temuan Ontology through Derian Worlding. MRes thesis, University of Nottingham Malaysia.

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The opening of the China market to fresh whole frozen durian and the popularity surge of the Malaysian Musang King in 2019 has seen a rush to clearing forests to durian plantations. Forests are long seen by the state and public as wild, untamed land. With a lack of recognition towards indigenous rights, this growing concern is deemed problematic amidst the state’s perceptions on viewing forests as resources instead of elements of conservation. As a result, Orang Asli communities in Gua Musang, Kelantan and other Malaysian states are facing encroachment into their lands within other existing exploitative economic mechanisms. Beyond the story of oppression and the oppressed, this dissertation investigates the Orang Temuan’s practice of durian cultivation and management as part of their agroforestry tradition. It aims to provide a counter-narrative to the popular conversations of victimization and subalternized perspectives, as the community utilizes durian as a tool to build resilience, unity, and the reclamation of their communal rights. It bases its investigations by firstly, examining the complexity of durian agroforestry as a worldview using a Temuan community as an ethnographic case study. The village is nicknamed Kampung Orang Asli Gendoi (KOAG) and is located in Selangor, peninsular Malaysia. Secondly, this research aims to document the Temuan’s oral history as part of an alternative memory opposing formal narratives on land management. Data samples are collected through participant observations, informal group interviews and structured interviews. Through this, the thesis then demonstrates how such complexity influences property relations, including land demarcation and resource ownership among the community, which opposes the state’s prevailing narratives. Lastly, the thesis explores the community’s responses to pressures of land use changes influenced by the burgeoning demand of durians in the domestic and international trade. In summary, the findings of this dissertation prove that the Orang Asli community have methodological approaches to agroforestry, defined by a dynamic relationship to their ecological niches using a unique framework of indigenous customs.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (MRes)
Supervisors: Khoo, Gaik Cheng
Idrus, Rusaslina
Keywords: Temuan, Orang Asli, polyphonic assemblage, worlding, ethnography, anthropology, land rights, ecotourism, agroforestry, indigenous peoples, indigenous knowledge, ontology, cosmology, environment anthropology, political ecology, oral history, derian, durian, adat, customary land, indigenous customs
Subjects: S Agriculture > SB Plant culture
Faculties/Schools: University of Nottingham, Malaysia > Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Media, Languages and Cultures
Item ID: 77118
Depositing User: Juffri, Helsheila
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2024 04:40
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2024 06:00
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/77118

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