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References: Orang Asli bibliography 2001 (7): Benjamin

Updated: Sep 28, 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.References 106–126

Geoffrey Benjamin captured in the 1960s by Baharon Azhar b. Raffie’i, reproduced in: Six Photographs of Temiar Life, with Accompanying Notes (1965). Permanent Light 78:33–37.

1. BENJAMIN, Geoffrey [M.] 1966. Temiar social groupings. FMJ (n.s.) 11: 1–25 — shows how the Temiar categorize the larger features of their social universe; the categories (groupings) are defined through levels and patterns of social inclusiveness. Includes attention to history and a model and much cited discussion of how the Temiar classify and stereotype outsiders. [LTP]
2. ——. 1967. Temiar kinship. FMJ (n.s.) 12: 1–26 — basic account of Temiar ideas about marriage and kinship, and of the formal rules associated with these institutions. [GB]
3. ——. 1967. Temiar religion. Ph.D. thesis, Cambridge University, Cambridge. 376 pp. — the first major study of the Temiar in the contemporary period. Describes and explains religious beliefs and practices, with ethnographic summary. Major themes: cosmology and worldview; classifications of natural species and objects, and the complex ritual behaviour attached to each class; concepts of disease and other mishaps; spirit-mediumship. The final chapter comprises an interpretation of the underlying theology and suggestions as to how this theology becomes a major factor in shaping Temiar society so that it almost completely shuns the overt expression of hostility while also allowing a great deal of leeway in individual behaviour. [LTP; extract]
4. ——. 1968. Headmanship and leadership in Temiar society. FMJ (n.s.) 1: 31–43 — headmanship derived from external legitimation has been consonant with the indigenous system of leadership which was based on personal qualities and such intangibles as charisma. Suggests that, as the Temiar came under Malay influence, there emerged a bifurcated but co-existing model of leadership: consisting of the integration of “the outsiders’ model of chiefly hierarchy by blood and the indigenous tendency towards hierarchy by descent” (p. 35). [LTP]
5. ——. 1968. Temiar personal names. BTTLV 124: 99–134 — structural analysis of the Temiar’s system of naming. Sorts out how the various names that individuals can be identified by, which might be confusing to outsiders, fall into several defined classes. These classes are not merely descriptive but form a functionally and logically integrated set. On K. Humid village, Sg. Perolak of Betis valley. [LTP]
6. ——. 1973. “Introduction” to #835 — contains the initial introduction of the term “opportunistic foraging” to describe the Semang style of hunting-and-gathering, by which is meant a flexible switching from one suite of activities to another (as opposed to a permanent concern with one mode of production). Suggests that the “simple” technology of the Semang is a conscious choice to permit maximum freedom of movement and way of life. [LTP]
7. ——. 1974. Prehistory and ethnology in Southeast Asia: Some new ideas. Singapore: Working Papers no. 28, Department of Sociology, University of Singapore — largely superseded by #117. [GB]
8. ——. 1979. “Indigenous religious systems of the Malay Peninsula”. Pp. 9–27 in The imagination of reality: Essays in Southeast Asian coherence systems. Ed. Aram Yengoyan and Alton L. Becker. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corporation — analyzes different patterns of animism among Temiar, Semang, and Jah Het. [LTP]
9. ——. 1980/83. Semang, Senoi, Malay: Culture-history, consciousness and kinship in the Malay Peninsula. Unpublished typescript, 55 pp. — largely superseded by #116. [GB]
10. ——. 1983/1997. The anthropology of grammar: Self and other in Temiar. Unpublished typescript, 98 pp. — explains significant features of Temiar grammar in light of a cultural notion of a Self/Other distinction present in the society. [#NBur #1678]
11. ——. 1985. “In the long term: Three themes in Malayan cultural ecology”. Pp. 219–278 in Cultural values and human ecology in Southeast Asia. Ed. Karl L. Hutterer, A. Terry Rambo, and George Lovelace. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Center for South and Southeast Asian Studies — a much-cited article. Argues that the Peninsula provides linguistic, archaeological and sociological evidence for the long-term maintenance, through deliberate but culturally mystified political action, of three distinct cultural régimes (“Semang”, “Senoi”, “Malay”), each devised out of the same common matrix to make one mode of life (respectively: foraging, swiddening, collecting-for-trade) seem most desirable. Peninsular kinship patterns are shown to constitute a set of linkages between (a) marriage rules, subsistence modes, relations of production, (b) local-group organisation, (c) inter-cultural boundary mechanisms, and (d) sedentism versus nomadism, that have served for centuries and possibly millennia to embed the politically desired values in concrete patterns of on-the-ground social organisation. [LTP; extract]
12. ——. 1986. Between isthmus and islands: Reflections on Malayan palaeo-sociology. 40 pp. Singapore: Working Papers no. 71, Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore. — discussion of the long-term relations between environment, population genetics, demographic patterns and societal patterns, in terms of what is known of the Peninsula’s archaeology. [GB]
13. ——. 1987. “Ethnohistorical perspectives on Kelantan’s prehistory”. Pp. 108–153 in Kelantan zaman awal: Kajian arkeologi dan sejarah di Malaysia. Ed. Nik Hassan Shuhaimi bin Nik Abd. Rahman. Kota Bharu, Kelantan: Perpaduan Muzium Negeri Kelantan.
14. ——. 1993. “Process and structure in Temiar social organisation”. In Mereka yang terpinggir: Masyarakat terasing di Indonesia dan Orang Asli di Malaysia. Ed. Hood Salleh, Kamaruddin M. Said, and Awang Hasmadi Mois. Bangi, Selangor: Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Revised version to appear 2001 in a volume on Orang Asli heritage, edited by Wazir-Jahan Karim (publication details unavailable at time of press).
15. ——. 1993. “Temiars and other Orang Asli: A personal appreciation”. Pp. 15–19 in Hood, Salleh, Hasan Mat Nor, and Kamaruddin M. Said, eds. Orang Asli: An Appreciation. [see notes therein]
16. ——. 1994. “Danger and dialectic in Temiar childhood”. Pp. 37–62 in Enfants et sociétés d’Asie du Sud-Est. Ed. Josiane Massard-Vincent and Jeannine Koubi. Paris: L’Harmattan — discusses how, in view of the animism of Temiar thought, childhood is a time of danger for parents and children. Contains ethnographic accounts of childcare and socialization, naming, notions of the body and soul, childbirth practices. With some etymological discussion of key words in the Temiar religious and kinship vocabularies. [LTP; GB]
17. ——. 1996. Rationalisation and re-enchantment: Temiar religion, 1964–1995. 46 pp. Singapore: Working Papers no. 130, Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore — outlines several changes in Temiar religion, including the adoption of the Bahai faith and the emergence of new syncretic cults. [LTP]
18. ——. 1997. “Issues in the ethnohistory of Pahang”. Pp. 82–121 in Pembangunan arkeologi pelancongan negeri Pahang. Ed. Nik Hassan Shuhaimi b. Nik Abd. Rahman et al. Pekan, Malaysia: Muzium Pahang — analysis of Pahang’s ethnic and linguistic diversity. Draws from the vast anthropological and archaeological literature in outlining various trade routes, historic and prehistoric patterns of movement, and other conditions leading to the emergence of today’s recognized social and linguistic groupings. [LTP]
19. ——. 1999. Temiar kinship terminology: A formal and linguistic analysis. Occasional paper no. 1, AKASS heritage paper series. Malaysian Academy of Social Sciences (AKASS), Pulau Pinang. 29 pp. — Lounsbury-type reduction analysis of the referential terminology, with notes on its social significance, as well as on the morphological and etymological basis of the terms. [GB]
20. ——. 2002. “On being tribal in the Malay world”. In Benjamin and Chou, eds., #126 — extensive and detailed analysis of the meanings of “tribal” and “Malay world”, and various dimensions of the relations between tribal peoples in the region and the broader state-making apparatus. Tribal here is defined as a relational rather than primordial category, and tribality the outcome of conscious choice by individuals [LTP]. For publication notes, see #126.


21. BENJAMIN, Geoffrey, and Cynthia CHOU, eds. 2002. Tribal communities in the Malay world: Historical, social and cultural perspectives. Leiden: IIAS and Singapore: ISEAS — collection of articles dealing with various modes of modernities and relatedness among the region’s tribal peoples and between communities and nation states in the Malay world. List of papers: Benjamin #125, Chou and Wee #1439, Dentan #271, Hamilton #1446, Howell #477, Juli #499, Kroes #534, Lenhart #1452, Lye #601, Mariam #1454, Nicholas #686, Porath #1459, Roseman #811.

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