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References: Orang Asli bibliography 2001 (56): Appendix 1 (glossary of names)

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

From: Lye Tuck-Po, ed. 2001. Orang Asli of Peninsular Malaysia: A Comprehensive and Annotated Bibliography, CSEAS Research Report Series No. 88. Kyoto: Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University.

I. Glossary of names for ethnic and language groups

· Aboriginal Malay: ethnolinguistic group for the Malayic, Austronesian-speaking Orang Asli: Jakun, Temuan, Orang Laut, Orang Kuala, Orang Kanaq. Used here interchangeably with “Melayu Asli”. Both of these terms have replaced Deutero-Malay although Proto-Malay remains in use by government agencies. The label was first proposed by P. D. R. Williams-Hunt (#986) as “by far the best of a bunch of bad terms” (he also considered “Jakun” and “Proto-Malay”).
· Aslian: name for the Mon-Khmer languages that are found in the Peninsula and southern Thailand. “Aslian” was invented by Gérard Diffloth and then used more widely by Geoffrey Benjamin. In 1973, in response to their proposal, the need for this special name was agreed by the First International Conference on Austroasiatic Languages (1973) and it has continued to be used widely by linguists ever since. Contrary to popular perception, Aslian are not debased forms of Malay but distinctive languages. Aslian languages are further subdivided thus: Northern Aslian, Southern Aslian, and Central Aslian. Northern Aslian languages are: Maniq, Kensiu, Kintaq, Jahai, Mendriq, Batek, Batek Tanum, Batek Nong, and Chewong. Central Aslian are: Lanoh, Semnam, Sabum, Temiar, and Semai. Southern Aslian are: Semaq Beri, Semelai, Temoq, and Besisi (Mah Meri). The remaining language, Jah Hut, is either Central Aslian or in a fourth division of its own.
· Austroasiatic: language family, encompassing the Mon-Khmer division of languages, in which are grouped the Aslian sub-division. The other division of Austroasiatic is constituted by the Munda languages of eastern India.
· Austronesian: language family with two branches, Malayo-Polynesian and Formosan. Malayo-Polynesian, which includes Malay and Aboriginal Malay, is that part of Austronesian that lies outside of Taiwan. The Austronesian languages in Taiwan constitute the Formosan branch.
· Bateg Hapen: the Batek Nong studied by I. H. N. Evans.
· Batek ‘Iga’: subgroup of Batek mainly centered around the Tahan and Tembeling area of Pahang, but now indistinguishable from their Batek De’ relatives. Kirk Endicott suggested that the ‘Iga’ and De’ sub-groups originated from a single population that diverged into two dialect groups; this seems supported by some oral history collected by Lye Tuck-Po. Lye’s genealogies show native ‘Iga’ speakers to number less than ten at the end of the 20th century (although there are many more part-‘Iga’ relatives who recognize and can use the dialect). See Kerbat.

A group of interrelated Batek men, who are part-Semaq Briʔ, part-Batek ʔIgaʔ, etc. Photo by Lye Tuck-Po, 2010

· Batek De’: subgroup of Batek living in southern Kelantan and Pahang.
· Batek Deq: another way to spell Batek De’
· Batek Indong: Azizan Mohd. Yusoff’s rendition of Batek Nong
· Batek N’dong: Saidah Hj. Ridzuan’s rendition of Batek Nong
· Batek Nong: Semang; Northern Aslian. Alternatively rendered as Batek Indong, Batek N’dong, Bateg, and Batek Hapen. See comment for Batek.
· Batek Tanum: Semang; Northern Aslian. A small hunting-gathering society, now semi-sedentary, that traditionally recognized the Tanum River in Pahang as their place of origin, although they have been reported to travel as far as Lebir in Kelantan. Also called Mintil, which they seem to reject. Formerly also known as “Batek Blokka” by local Malays (as rendered by Wim van der Schot), “Blokka” being the people’s mimicry of the Malay word belukar ‘secondary forest’.
· Batek Tè’: one of the Batek sub-groups first identified by Kirk Endicott as dialect groups; found mainly in Terengganu. Not enough research has been done on the people and their language to determine their cultural history, and today they live in JHEOA settlements with the Semaq Beri of Terengganu (in the areas studied by Yukio Kuchikura and Ramle Abdullah, who focused on the latter). Hugh Clifford’s Kerbat vocabulary was possibly collected from Batek Tè’ speakers.
· Batek: Semang; Northern Aslian. Kirk Endicott has identified various sub-groups he called dialect groups (Batek De’, Batek ‘Iga’, Batek Tè’, etc.) and recognized that sub-groupings are flexible phenomena. Lye Tuck-Po, based mainly on 1990s fieldwork among the so-called Batek De’ and Batek ‘Iga’ of Pahang’s Kechau and Tembeling river valleys, has not found these dialect labels to be much used by the Batek themselves and, following their practice, prefers to just identify groups by the state (Pahang, Kelantan, Terengganu) they live in. The Batek do, however, recognize that they are different from the other Pahang “Batek” groups usually lumped (especially by JHEOA) with them—the Batek Tanum and the Batek Nong. Among Batek Tanum and Batek—and probably the Batek Nong as well—“batek” means “people of our group” and when they are asked who they are, “Batek” is what they will answer. However, these three peoples are linguistically and sociologically different groups and recognize themselves as such. Therefore, Batek Tanum and Batek Nong should be separately distinguished. The “Bateg” studied by I. H. N. Evans and the “Batek” of Paul Schebesta are Batek Nong.
· Bateq: misspelling for Batek since the final consonant is a true velar /k/, not a glottal stop (as implied by the <q>). Found mainly in the official releases and maps of the JHEOA and reproduced unquestioningly by secondary observers.

Temuan woman, photographed at the public market in Kuala Kubu Bahru by Lye Tuck-Po, 2002 or so

· Bedoanda: alternative rendition of Biduanda; therefore, Temuan.
· Belandas: Temuan, as rendered by such as Vaughan-Stevens.
· Benar: unidentified group on the Galas River of Kelantan discussed by Paul Schebesta. This may be a sub-group of Batek, as Galas is in their territory. Batek sometimes dub themselves Batek benér (“true Batek”), benér being their rendition of the Malay benar for “true”.
· Benar-Benar: Benua in Vaughan-Stevens’ account, who lived on the coast of Selangor (but not inland); possibly Besisi?
· Benua: according to W. W. Skeat, this name for Jakun peoples appeared as far back as 1613. In the 19th century, it came into common use among writers like J. R. Logan. Logan identified Benua or Binua as the people of the upper reaches of certain large rivers in Johor (most famously, the Endau). Note, however, that in the 1960s the Endau informants of Narifumi Maeda (Tachimoto) called themselves Orang Hulu (as they continue to do so). Paul Favre a few decades before Logan used Binua to mean all Orang Asli peoples. Benua is from the Malay word meaning “land” (thus, Orang Benua means “people of the land”).
· Bersisek: another variation on the name of the Mah Meri, as rendered in Iskandar Juberi’s study.
· Besese: Satkuna Mathur’s spelling of Besisi
· Besisi: Senoi; Malayic; Southern Aslian. The oldest name recorded for people known administratively today as Mah Meri. “Besisi” has appeared in the literature for several centuries: in the Sejarah Melayu it was the name given to the indigenous people of Melaka and it is almost certainly a word-play on the old Malay word for “edge” (because they live at the edge of the land). In the modern period, Besisi may have come into formal usage with the fieldwork of W. W. Skeat. See Btsisi’, Ma’ Betisék, and Mah Meri.
· Bianok: according to I. H. N. Evans, this was the name that Kintaq Bong called the people known variously as Menik Gul and Semang Paya
· Biduanda Kallang: one of the Orang Laut groups in Singapore, Kallang being the name of the river where they lived.
· Biduanda: older name for some groups of Temuan or Jakun (in Melaka and Negri Sembilan, among other places). The name is from the Malay word for “royal messenger” or “palace servant” and thus is often considered to reflect Orang Asli’s important role in pre-colonial Malay society.
· Binua: a different way to spell Benua, probably reflecting Malay dialectical variations
· Blandas: a different way to spell Belandas
· Blandass: a different way to spell Belandas
· Btsisi’: proposed by Barbara Nowak, and then Robert K. Dentan, as the proper way to spell Besisi, based on the way they feel the name is actually pronounced by the people. Used most notably by Carey Island Orang Asli to identify themselves. Alternative rendition: Hma’ Btsisi’ (“Hma’” or “Mah” are from the local word for “people”). See Besisi; Mah Meri; Ma’ Betisék.
· Bumiputera Asli: according to Colin Nicholas, a substitute name for Orang Asli, meaning “original sons of the soil”; proposed by the Sultan of Johor in 1984 prior to his installation as the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong (King) of Malaysia. The Sultan argued that the only reason Orang Asli are not Malays is that they are not Muslim.
· Central Aslian: see prefatory remarks and Aslian.
· Central Sakai: a term proposed by R. J. Wilkinson for people now known as Semai. See Sakai
· Che Wong: C. S. Ogilvie’s spelling of Chewong (i.e., as two separate words)
· Chewong: Senoi; Central Aslian. The name has no indigenous or ethnographic logic at all. As Chewong explained to their primary ethnographer Signe Howell, the name arose from a miscommunication between C. S. Ogilvie (at the time the Game Warden) and a Malay employee of the Game Department. Ogilvie was the first to record information about the Chewong as a distinct social group. Because the name has become entrenched both administratively and ethnographically, it has continued to be used by the Chewong as a convenient way of identifying themselves to outsiders. Signe Howell suggests there is no need to render Chewong as two separate words: it is a corruption of a Malay ranger’s name, Siwang
· Cho-Ben: see Jelbeng.
· Chow Pal: name for Semang of Trang, south Thailand, in W. L. Abbot’s collection at the Smithsonian Institution. Probably from the politically neutral Thai words chao paa meaning “forest folk”.
· Desin Dolaq: “people of the sea” in the (Austronesian) language of the Duano (or Orang Kuala) of the west coast of Johor and some of the Indonesian islands across the Straits of Malacca.
· Deutero-Malay: primarily proposed by R. O. Winstedt; means “second(-wave) Malays”, i.e., Malays “proper” in the now-defunct race-based theories once current in the ethnological literature. Still widely repeated in the more popular accounts.
· Djakun: spelling of Jakun in the older German literature
· Duano: Aboriginal Malay. Orang Kuala of Johor and Sumatra.
· Hma’ Batisi: Mah Meri; perhaps a misprint for (Hma’) Btsisi’ or (Ma’) Betisék in one of Wazir-Jahan Karim’s papers.
· Jacoon: on first sight, this is merely how untrained colonial observers spelt “Jakun”. It has also been a misnomer. E.g., Frank Swettenham’s “Jacoons” were Semai. Casual visitors like William T. Hornaday used it to name any one of a range of southern groups, including the Temuan
· Jah Het: Senoi; Central Aslian, or possibly a distinct Aslian division of its own. In earlier writings, like I. H. N. Evans’, they were known as Krau Sakai (the Krau river being a territorial marker) or put in the category of Sakai-Jakun. Here used interchangeably with Jah Hut; both are equally established spellings of the name (perhaps reflecting local dialectical variations). Sometimes the two words jah, meaning “people” and het, meaning “no”, are hyphenated.
· Jah Hut: common way of spelling Jah Het. Both spellings are used interchangeably in this bibliography
· Jah Klet: according to Signe Howell, this was what the Jah Het call the Chewong (“jah” being the Jah Het word for “people” and Klet or Kled being a place-name). See Kleb
· Jahai: Semang; Northern Aslian. There is a remarkable line of historical continuity in the naming of this group. Variations have to do with the spelling of the name (“Jehai”, “Jehehr”, etc.) rather than with the choice of the name. Their range extends across to Thailand.

Jahai children at Air Banun resettlement area, 2001. Photograph @ Lye Tuck-Po

· Jahut: erroneous rendition for Jah Het/Jah Hut, since jah and het (or hut) are two separate words in their language.
· Jakun: Aboriginal Malay; Austronesian. Identifying “Jakun” in the literature is an onerous task, primarily because Jakun have been famous collectors of forest products and are mentioned in many different kinds of writings – and under a variety of names! It is not always clear to whom the name “Jakun” (or its colonial variant, “Jacoon”) is applied. In the colonial period, Jakun might sometimes refer to all Aboriginal Malay peoples from the southern part of the Peninsula (Pahang, Melaka, Negri Sembilan, and Johor), and further sub-classified (by such as C. O. Blagden) as “Land-Jakun” and “Sea-Jakun”. In Paul Favre’s writing, e.g., “Jakun” included Temuan. At the same time, research was turning up local names such as Benua/Binua. Today, Jakun is a proper name for a specific ethnic group living in Johor and Pahang. Those researchers who work in Johor often use “Orang Hulu” (or “Orang Ulu”) rather than Jakun.
· Jehai: Jahai
· Jehaic: linguistic division proposed by Gérard Diffloth, equivalent to Northern Aslian
· Jehehr: Paul Schebesta’s occasional rendition of Jahai
· Jelbeng: name recorded by I. H. N. Evans for the people later identified as Chewong, subsequently explained to C. S. Ogilvie and Signe Howell as a group of unrelated “refugees” from Malay advances. Also Jo-Ben, So-Ben, or Cho-Ben.
· Jeni: unidentified group in S. Ballinger’s study
· Jo-Ben: see Jelbeng.
· Kansiw: a different way to spell Kensiw
· Kenaboi: a speech variety from Negri Sembilan, most likely to be an avoidance language, which has become absorbed into Temuan
· Kensiu: Semang; Northern Aslian. Their language is very close to that of the Kintaq (though Kensiu are in Kedah and Kintaq are in Perak), with whom they share settlements and have close socio-economic relations. As such, studies of one group inevitably make reference to the other (or the studies treat both together). They are closely related to the Kensiw of Thailand, and cross-border movement is frequent. These groups—Kensiu and Kintaq—are the best known ones remaining from those identified in the older literature as western Semang.
· Kensiw: Northern Aslian people of Thailand, closely related to the Kedah Kensiu. Linguists would spell the name as “Kensiw” (or “Kansiw”), but “Kensiu” is not unknown in the literature (see, e.g., D. Hughes’ study). For convenience’s sake, in this bibliography Kensiw refers to the Thai peoples, and Kensiu to the Malaysian Orang Asli.
· Kenta or Kenta Bog’n: Kintaq; this spelling was used mainly or exclusively by Paul Schebesta.
· Kentakbong: Asmah Hj. Omar’s spelling of Kintaq Bong
· Kerbat: name of a river in Terengganu where, in 1895, Hugh Clifford recorded a wordlist (but not much else) from a group that was almost certainly Batek. The “Kerbat” vocabulary was then included in C. O. Blagden’s comparative vocabulary in Skagden. Kirk Endicott, reviewing Blagden’s list, suggested Kerbat were Batek ‘Iga’ though Batek Tè’ is also possible. Today the Kerbat area, where Yukio Kuchikura conducted fieldwork, is shared by Batek Tè’ and Semoq Beri.
· Kintak Bogn: alternative spelling used by Shuichi Nagata, among others, for Kintaq Bong
· Kintaq Bong: sub-group of the Kintaq
· Kintaq Nakil: sub-group of the Kintaq. Apparently nakil means “true, real” in their language
· Kintaq: Semang; Northern Aslian. See comment for Kensiu. Spelling variants of their name aside (e.g., Kintak, Kenta), sub-groups have been identified. These include the Kintaq Bong and Kintaq Nakil.
· Kleb: name recorded by Paul Schebesta for a group living close to Raub (Pahang), and subsequently identified by Signe Howell as a sub-group of the Chewong (who render the name as Kled or Bi Kled, “Kled” being a place-name or a kind of palm tree, and “bi” being the local word for “people”).
· Lanoh: Semang; Central Aslian. Although a recognizable ethnonym, Lanoh refers to a number of different but closely interacting peoples, the Semnam, Sabüm, and Lanoh Yir.
· Ma’ Betisék: Besisi. Spelling or printing variants Ma’ Betise’; Ma’ Betisek. For further explanations, see Besisi; Mah Meri.
· Mah Meri: the popularly used name for the peoples known otherwise as Besisi, Btsisi’, or Ma’ Betisék, which might have been coined by an early JHEOA official. In the 1980s, Wazir Jahan Karim, Barbara Nowak, and Robert Dentan (all based on fieldwork on Carey Island) argued that Mah Meri is not a suitable name, because Mah (pronounced hma’, meaning “people”) and meri (pronounced merih, meaning “forest”) just refers to generic “forest people” (and by extension all indigenes) in the local language. According to Colin Nicholas, the Tg. Sepat group (off the island) today do recognize themselves as Mah Meri. Wazir Jahan Karim’s rendition of what Carey Islanders call themselves is Ma’ Betisék (“people with scales”) while Nowak, with Dentan following suit, decided on the spelling of Btsisi’ (for the old name Besisi). Mah Meri is also spelt as “Hmak Merih” (more closely following the local pronunciation) and erroneously written as one word “Mahmeri”.
· Mahmeri: erroneous way of writing Mah Meri since the name is from two separate words meaning “people” and “forest”.
· Mai Darat: a form of self-designation by Semai, from their words for “people” and “land”, i.e., lowlanders.
· Mai Sengoi: a name that Semai use to refer to all Semai as a group

Maniq man in Trang. Photograph @ Lye Tuck-Po

· Maniq or Meniq: Aslian speakers of Trang and Yala provinces, south Thailand, categorized in this bibliography as Semang (Thailand). Their language is not found among Malaysian Orang Asli. The name means “own people”. In Thailand, these populations are called Sakai, without the derogatory connotations that this word has in Malaysia.
· Manni: rendition of Maniq in Ishida et al.’s study
· Mantra or Matra: Temuan
· Maroi: name recorded by I. H. N. Evans for the people later identified as Chewong. It was the personal name of a Chewong spokesman and leader. Thus “Orang Maroi” simply meant “Maroi’s people” and was not a proper ethnonym.
· Mawken: Moken, as spelt by Walter Grainge White
· Melayu Asli: see comment for Aboriginal Malay.
· Mendriq: Semang; Northern Aslian. Alternative spelling Mendrik. The /d/ is actually an epenthetic consonant, caused by a “strong” enunciation of the /r/. Thus, “Mendriq” is the spelling of the name as heard and “Menriq” as it really is (in the phonemic sense).
· Menik Gul: according to I. H. N. Evans, the name that Menik Kaien called the people known otherwise as Bianok or Semang Paya.
· Menik Hangat: “hot springs people”; one of the ethnonyms uncovered by I. H. N. Evans.
· Menik Kaien: according to I. H. N. Evans, this was what the Malays called the Jahai of Temengoh and Tadoh. Kaien = Krian, a place name; therefore, the name means “people of Krian”.
· Menik Lanoh: “Lanoh people”. Reported by I. H. N. Evans as the name that the Kintak Bong and Menik Kaien called the Semak Belum/Semak Belong. However, Belum usually refers to the upper reaches of the Perak River above Grik (Jahai territory), whereas the Lanoh live on the middle reaches, below Grik.
· Menik Semnam: “Semnam people”. A dialect-group now subsumed under Lanoh
· Meniq: a common western Semang word for “people”, also used by Semang in south Thailand (=Maniq)
· Menriq: probably the correct, though less common, way to spell the Mendriq’s name. See linguistic explanation for Mendriq
· Mentra or Mentera: other ways of rendering Mantra; therefore, Temuan
· Mintil: a name that Batek Tanum are called by, but which they do not react kindly to
· Mintra or Mintira: alternative renditions of Mantra; therefore, Temuan
· Moken, Moklen: speakers of a group of Austronesian, but non-Malayic, languages that have so far not been conclusively classified. Based in the Mergui Archipelago (off the west coast of southern Thailand); their range extends up the coast to Burma.
· Moni: Maniq in the Bernatziks’ rendition
· Mon-Khmer: one of the two subdivisions of Austroasiatic; see prefatory comments and notes for Aslian
· Mos: name recorded by Paul Schebesta for one of the Thai Aslian-speaking peoples. The name is from an old Austronesian word for “end”.
· Negrito: a term that only means “little black people” and therefore has no ethnographic utility. In the Peninsula, Negrito is commonly used to designate the Semang; it is best dropped altogether. In the broader Southeast Asian region, Negrito of the Philippines designates the people who know themselves as Agta or Aeta (and various other forms of the name), and Negrito of Thailand designates the Maniq, Kensiw, and Ten’en peoples (also known there as Sakai). The Thai peoples are related to Orang Asli linguistically and culturally; the Filipinos (despite speculations in the older literature and among today’s tourist guides) are not. When used by biological anthropologists like David Bulbeck, “Negrito” does not refer to social and ethnic groups as such, but to biological populations that share a set of identifiable genetic traits.
· Ngo Paa: Thai name for the Semang of southern Thailand, from the two words for “rambutan” and “forest people”; presumably because they associate the crinkly hair of Semang with rambutan hairs.
· Nogn: what Batek Nong called themselves, as reported by Paul Schebesta (though when asked who they were, they said “Batek”; see comment for Batekabove)
· Northern Aslian: see prefatory remarks and Aslian.
· Northern Sakai: Temiar, as labelled by such as R. J. Wilkinson and Hugh Clifford. See Sakai
· Orang Akit: tribal Malay population on Karimun Isl. and elsewhere off the east coast of Sumatra, studied by Hans Kähler
· Orang Asal: name for Orang Asli meaning “original people”; used by the Communist Terrorists in the early 1950s to name a formal organisation among the Orang Asli who were sympathetic to them. As the name suggests, “Orang Asal” is a non-pejorative name that formally recognizes the people’s indigenous status. Until it came along, the derogatory “Sakai” was the only name by which anyone could call all the Orang Asli in one breath. “Orang Asli” came into governmental use largely in response to “Orang Asal” (and also because administrators considered “aborigines” to have pejorative connotations), in a sort of oneupmanship game between government and insurgents to win Orang Asli sympathies—and, in some sense, claim “ownership” of Orang Asli.
· Orang Belokar: according to Paul Schebesta, this was a Malay folk designation (meaning “secondary forest people”) used on the east coast, mainly applied to those groups that lived near to Malay settlements and villages.
· Orang Bukit: a Malay folk designation meaning, simply, “hill people” and often contrasted by the reporting writers and observers to “Orang Laut” for sea people. Probably used quite widely for any number of local Orang Asli peoples, with extremely ambiguous ethnic references. Currently, e.g., the Batek of Pahang still remember being called Orang Bukit by Malays and the usage has been reported from other places in the Peninsula as well.
· Orang Halas: Senoi in Newbold’s study. Cf. Orang Alas, the Sumatran word for “jungle (people)”.
· Orang Hulu: Jakun. From the Malay words meaning “people of the upper reaches (or interior)”. Perhaps the most consistent use of Orang Hulu in contemporary writings is that by Narifumi Maeda Tachimoto. According to him, the Endau villagers in the 1960s (as they still do) recognized themselves as Orang Hulu and reserved Jakun for “other groups”. Orang Hulu (or Orang Ulu) is also used in Sarawak to refer to quite different peoples.
· Orang Jeram: unidentified group in Perak studied by Ivan Polunin in the 1950s. Almost certainly one of the Lanoh peoples.
· Orang Kanaq: Aboriginal Malay. A small group of people living in Mawai, Johor. Originally (re)moved from Pulau Sekanak in the the Riau Islands during the gutta percha rush of the mid-19th century, when the Johor sultanate (which monopolized the trade) needed to supplement their forest collection labour force.
· Orang Kuala: Aboriginal Malay, but speaking a distinct language of their own. Also known as Duano and Desin Dolaq.
· Orang Laut: Aboriginal Malay. This name is used in two senses: to dub any of the maritime peoples in Riau, Singapore, Sumatra, and scattered islands, and as a specific ethnonym for a distinctive ethnic group that encompasses the sub-groups of: Orang Laut of the Riau islands and Orang Kallang and Orang Singapura of Singapore. The Orang Singapura, also known as Orang Selat, are related in a complicated kind of way to the people known as Orang Seletar in Johor. Although Orang Seletar and Orang Laut are not strictly identical peoples, entries for both are combined in the Index to Ethnic and Language Groups, because much of the earlier literature did not really make a distinction. Even today, the literature on these groups is rather sparse compared to that for groups like Semai and Temiar.
· Orang Mantong: Orang Laut visited by W. L. Abbot. Mantong is a misspelling for Mantang, which is the name of an island in Riau, off Bentan, where Orang Laut continue to live.
· Orang Mawas: a Malay folk label meaning, literally, “orang utan people”.
· Orang Seletar: Aboriginal Malay. One of the maritime peoples, part of the broader Orang Laut complex. In the Index to Ethnic and Language Groups, entries for Orang Seletar are combined with those for Orang Laut (see Orang Laut for explanation). Seletar is alternatively written as “Selitar” or “Sletar”.
· Orang Selitar, Orang Sletar: different ways of spelling Orang Seletar
· Orang Tanjong: according to Paul Schebesta, this was a Malay folk designation (meaning “river reaches peoples”) used in Perak, to designate those groups living on the Perak River. Most likely to be Jahai.
· Orang Utan: a Malay folk designation meaning, simply, “forest people”; probably used quite widely for any number of local Orang Asli peoples, with extremely ambiguous ethnic references.
· Pangan: a name for Semang that was used by east coast Malays (primarily in Kelantan) and, according to Annandale and Robinson, by Patani (Thai) Malays. Colonial writers suggested, but erroneously, that it derives from the Malay word panggang ‘to roast’ (which is another rendition of the name). Pangan is a different word; e.g., in Indonesia it is a common Javanese-derived word meaning “food” or “to eat”. According to the Batek today, pangan is an alternative name for the tiger (it means “eater [of raw meat]”) and is also a class of man-eating spirits. The Pangan vocabulary collected by T. S. Adams was Temiar.
· Panggang: Pangan, as spelt by the likes of Paul Schebesta
· Panggei: Pangan
· Pangghan: Pangan in Vaughan-Stevens’ rendition, determined by Paul Schebesta to be the Kenta Bog’n of U. Selama and Baling.
· Ple: Temiar, in Perak. So-called by the Lanoh because they always hear the Temiar saying peléh, which is more or less equivalent to local English la.
· Ple-Temiar or Ple-Temer: Senoi; Central Aslian. This name was used in two different contexts. As used by Paul Schebesta, it was the name for a speech variety in the Plus valley that does not correspond to any dialect found today. In later usage, as by H. D. Noone, Ple-Temiar were Temiar.
· Proto-Malay: ethnolinguistic label used by JHEOA for the Melayu Asli/Aboriginal Malay peoples. Should be discredited, as it gives the suggestion that the Orang Asli are only incompletely evolved Malays. Originally conceived by R. O. Winstedt for his dual classification of Malay groups, with Proto-Malay (meaning “first[-wave] Malays”) being distinguished from Deutero-Malay (meaning “second[-wave] Malays”).
· Putra Asli: name meaning “original sons”. According to Colin Nicholas, this name was suggested in 1977 by the then Deputy Prime Minister, Abdul Ghafar Baba, to replace “Orang Asli”. Rejected by Orang Asli political leaders and those working in the JHEOA.
· Sabimba: the Orang Laut visited by J. R. Logan. Skeat reported that Sabimba is a place-name, but this remains a mystery.
· Sabubn, Sabum or Sabüm: usually classed among the Lanoh peoples; the name is sometimes hyphenated with “Semnam” (to make, e.g., “Semnam-Sabun”). These two are actually different dialects—languages, according Gérard Diffloth—differing in some historically important phonological features.
· Sakai Jeram: reported by I. H. N. Evans as the name that Malays called the Semak Belum or Semak Belong. Jeram is from the Malay word for “rapids”.
· Sakai Jina: Malay term, reported by Miklucho-Maclay, for the “tame” forest people of Kelantan (jinak is Malay for “tame”). Most likely to be Batek sub-groups who maintained close socio-economic relations with their Malay neighbours and/or were slaves or former slaves. For more explanation, see Sakai Liar.
· Sakai Liar: Malay term, reported by Miklucho-Maclay, for the “untamed” forest people of Kelantan (liar is Malay for “wild”). Most likely to be Batek sub-groups who kept their independence from the Malays, lived in fear of slavery, and physically retaliated when outsiders tried to control them. Note, however, that jinak and liar were and remain common Malay descriptions of patterns of Orang Asli behaviour. Jinak represents the kind of behaviour that is most compatible with Malay ideals of social relations and liar, with its animalian associations, is the direct conceptual opposite of jinak. As such, though Miklucho-Maclay did indeed work with Batek groups, the names he famously recorded, Sakai Jina and Sakai Liar, are not true ethnonyms, or necessarily names of defined sub-groups. They are, rather, descriptors that encode what local Malays saw in Orang Asli and how they classified different behavioural patterns.
· Sakai: there is much discussion in the literature about this term, which is also spelt and pronounced “Sakei”. Fundamentally, there are four very different meanings, with different implications for understanding Orang Asli relations with the Malay world. (1) Term of abuse with a folk meaning of “slave”. Orang Asli are highly sensitive to the derogatory connotations of this term today. In older writings, however, it was suggested that the Semang (western half of the Peninsula) did not object to being called this. (2) A word meaning “dependent” or “subject peoples”. Prior to colonization, there is evidence that the term was used between Malay patrons and their aboriginal clients in the course of commercial transactions and did not have the derogatory connotations of today. (3) An ethnolinguistic term that was used during the colonial period to categorize the people now classed as Senoi (and also for all the aborigines). It was further subdivided as Northern Sakai and Central Sakai, with the former denoting Temiar and the latter Semai. (4) In Thailand, Sakai is what outsiders call the Semang (Aslian-speakers) of southern Thailand. In Indonesia, there are, again, multiple meanings. On the one hand, it has been applied in old texts to subject peoples of Malayic kingdoms, and on the other it refers to indigenous forest peoples of Riau. In these countries, Sakai does not seem to have the derogative connotations common in the Peninsula.
· Sakai-Jakun: an ethnolinguistic term used descriptively by I. H. N. Evans to refer to those peoples living on the eastern and southern edges of the Senoi range, who physically did not quite fit the “Senoi-type”. Included the Besisi and the Jah Het.
· Semai: Senoi; central Aslian. In the older literature, description of those peoples who lived near the boundary between Semai and Temiar territories are hard to identify ethnographically. Both were called Sakai. “Mai” is the indigenous word for “they many” (i.e., a third-person-plural pronoun). Ethnographers recognize that acceptance of the name Semai evolved in response to outsiders’ need to find a word to call the people and that it has become established locally as Semai develop political consciousness of how they are different from the Malays. There is a great deal of dialect differentiation within Semai society and therefore a proliferation of different local ways of identifying communities from each other.
· Semak Belum, Semak Belong: Senoi; Central Aslian? Lenggong and K. Kenering groups studied by I. H. N. Evans, whom Malays called “Sakai Jeram”, and the Menik Kaien and Kintak Bong called “Menik Lanoh”.
· Semang Paya: an Ijok (Selama District, Perak) group that is now probably extinct or assimilated into a larger Semang group. According to I. H. N. Evans, they were called Menik Gul by the Menik Kaien, Bianok by the Kintak Bong, and Semang Paya by the Malays. The name “Semang Paya” also appears in a study by C. Boden Kloss. Linguistically, they seem to have been closest to Kintaq.
· Semang: the ethnolinguistic group for the northern peoples, Batek (and various sub-groups thereof), Batek Nong, Batek Tanum, Lanoh, Semnam, Kensiu, Kintaq, Jahai, as well as some now extinct groups. In some of the older literature, Semang was used to distinguish those groups living on the western side of the Peninsula (Kensiu, Kintaq, Jahai, etc.) from the eastern peoples, who were known as Pangan (or Panggang). The term came into use about the turn of the 20th century, when writers became aware of differences between these groups of people and the Senoi. According to Geoffrey Benjamin, Semang most probably originated as the Malayised version of a common Aslian word for “person, human being”. See Sömañ.
· Semaq Beri: Senoi; Central Aslian. This controversial name was officialised in the 1950s when sub-groups in Pahang came under the attention of the Department of Aborigines for the first time. In their own language, sma’ bri’ just means “forest people”; in the Tembeling area, the people call themselves Semelai but continue to use “Semaq Beri” because that is what JHEOA calls them. On the other hand, their use of the name Semelai does not necessarily mean they are sociologically identical with the better-known Semelai of T. Bera. A widely used spelling version of the name is Semoq Beri; both versions are used interchangeably in this bibliography.
· Semelai: Senoi; Southern Aslian. Semelai is both a distinctive name for a recognizable ethnic group and a folk Orang Asli label for a kind of forest people. It appears to be a Khmer-derived word originally meaning “swiddeners”. In the Tembeling region, which is far from the areas we usually associate with Semelai groups, Semelai is what the Batek call the Semaq Beri and what the Semaq Beri recognize themselves to be.
· Semelaic: linguistic division, equivalent to Southern Aslian
· Semnam: Semang; Central Aslian. Usually classed with the Lanoh peoples. See Sabubn; Lanoh
· Semnoi: misprint for Senoi in the Tesh et al. report.
· Seng-oi or Sengoi: dialectical forms of the Semai word for “people”
· Senoi: this derivation of the common Aslian word for “people/human being” is understood in at least two senses. As used bureaucratically, it is the ethnolinguistic grouping in which Semai, Temiar, Mah Meri, Chewong, Semoq Beri, Jah Het, etc, are placed. As used by Geoffrey Benjamin in several papers, “Senoi” labels a distinctive societal tradition, which does not include most of these groups. Benjamin’s work is part of a broader series of findings, by archaeologists, anthropologists, linguists, geneticists, and biological anthropologists, which has called into question the arbitrary nature of the methods by which government departments put Orang Asli groups in one or another ethnolinguistic category.
· Senoic: a linguistic division proposed by Gérard Diffloth, equivalent to Central Aslian
· Siwang: according to Tan Siew Bee, Chewong explained to her that Siwang is what they should be called. However, Chewong has become more convenient because that is what outsiders know them by.
· Siwong: version of the Chewong’s name first used by Rodney Needham and then by Adi Hj. Taha, among others.
· So-Ben: see Jelbeng.
· Sömañ: de Morgan’s spelling of Sema’, meaning “human” or “aboriginal”. Paul Schebesta suggested that this word came from the Sabubn dialect (in, among other places, U. Piah)
· Southern Aslian: see prefatory remarks and Aslian.
· Tae-en Sakai: Saowani Phakphian’s way of denoting Ten’en (name for the Trang Province Kensiw).
· Tem-Be Sakai: Temiar in one of Hugh Clifford’s spellings.
· Temer: Temiar, more closely approximating to the local pronunciation of the name.
· Temia: Semai in Vaughan-Stevens’ study. Not necessarily a misnomer, but a genuine shift of reference through time.
· Temiar: Senoi; Central Aslian. In the older literature, Temiar were sometimes known as (Northern) Sakai (see comment for Semai) and sometimes Tem-be Sakai, Ple, or Ple-Temer. Today, they are among the most famous of the Orang Asli peoples and, as in the Ramachandran et al. report, “Temiar” is sometimes a misprint for Temuan.
· Temo: name recorded by Paul Schebesta; probably Temoq. Schebesta was only told about the existence and location of the Temo; he did not visit the area in question.
· Temoin: misnomer for Temuan
· Temoq: Senoi; Southern Aslian
· Temuan: Aboriginal Malay. Temuan as an ethnonym, labelling the peoples formerly known as Mantra and Biduanda (and other versions of the names), is likely to have rather recent origins. Temuan does not appear at all in colonial writings, and news reports from the 1950s and 1960s were still identifying local groups as Mantra or Belandas. There is some evidence that there were indeed two distinct divisions, and that present-day “Temuan” is a composite, synthetic, category.
· Ten’en: Aslian-speakers of Thailand. Ten’en is suspected to be not a Kensiw dialect but a different Northern Aslian language. Also written as Tae-en.
· Tonga: name recorded by Paul Schebesta for one of the Thai Aslian-speaking peoples. It is from the Malay word tengah for “middle”
· Tumeor: Temiar. Used by Vaughan-Stevens and suggested by Paul Schebesta to be a corruption of the place-name “Temengor” (which is in Temiar territory). However, Schebesta was probably mistaken, as Temiar is a Semai word from outside the Temengor area he was thinking of.
· Urak Lawoi’: the pronunciation corresponding to “Orang Laut”, as employed by the indigenous inhabitants of the islands lying off the northernmost part of the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia and the adjoining islands in southern Thailand.
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