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Muhammad Fuad Abdullah
Azmah Othman
Rohana Jani
Candyrilla Vera Bartholomew
Elizabeth Pesiu
Mohd Tajuddin Abdullah


Indigenous people are generally descended from original inhabitants of the land in which they inhabit and as such have a historical relationship with their land. Nowadays, most of the Orang Asli have been resettled to a village provided by the government. Nevertheless, they are still carrying out their traditional lifestyle, such as hunting and gathering forest product. Over many generations, they have developed a holistic ancestral traditional knowledge of their lands, natural resources and environment, which plays an important role in their livelihood and well-being. Documentation of traditional knowledge on natural resources by the native people in Malaysia is still far from complete. Thus, the objective of this study is to document the traditional knowledge and natural resources used by the Orang Asli in their livelihoods. This study adopts a qualitative approach through exploratory study whereby the study was carried out at the Orang Asli resettlement villages in the state of Terengganu, Malaysia. Data was obtained from the tribal elders who served as informants using in-depth interviews and field observations. The results show that two plant species mainly relied on the Orang Asli for their economic activity, including agarwood and rattan. Besides, there are 34 species of plants and herbs, 31 species of animals and 31 species of fishes that commonly utilised by the Orang Asli in Terengganu, Malaysia. Interestingly, they still using conventional methods and equipment to harvest natural resources needed. Therefore, the government have to raise the importance of traditional knowledge and preserve the natural resources by adapting them into the formal education system for the sake of the new generation of Orang Asli. Besides, the data collected will be useful for researchers, JAKOA and policymakers to improve the lifestyle and well-being of the Orang Asli.

Keywords: indigenous people, ecological knowledge, Semaq Beri, Kenyir Lake, Terengganu



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Author Biography

Elizabeth Pesiu

Faculty of Science and Marine Environment, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030 Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia.


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