The Batek (or Bateq) are an indigenous people (currently numbering about 1,516) who live in the rainforest of peninsular Malaysia. As a result of encroachment, they now primarily inhabit the Taman Negara National Park. They are nomadic hunters and gatherers, so the exact location of their settlements change within the general confines of the area that they inhabit.

The common phrase used to refer to them, ‘orang asli’, signifies a diverse group of which the Batek tribe is a part. It means ‘original people’ in Malay and was probably first used to identify these people by Austronesian-speaking settlers who arrived by boat from the islands of Southeast Asia.Read More

Aboriginal Batek in Malaysia 

Batek, an indigenous tribe living among the first people living in Malaysia. Those who came from South Africa came into the land of Peninsular Malaysia through Australia Islands. Jerantut, Malaysia. 

Batek an indigenous tribe living among the first in Malaysia. Those who came from South Africa came into the land of Peninsular Malaysia through Australia Islands. Batek’s live in the Kuala Tahan National Park, set around the upper reaches of Sungai Tembeling, Kechau River, Gulf Mountain in Pahang, Sungai gala, Chiku River, Tako River, and River Lebir Airing in Kelantan and Sungai Berua, Besut, Terengganu. They were formerly nomads, but lately they prefer to occupy the area provided by the government for the betterment of their lives. Batek people are living in rural areas north of Pahang, Terengganu and south west of Kelantan. The once nomadic Batek like to find a suitable place to find food ingredients.

Tapping Ink, Tattooing Identities

Kapwa Collective congratulates Dr. Analyn Salvador-Amores on the publication of Tapping Ink, Tattooing Identities: Tradition and Modernity in Contemporary Kalinga Society, North Luzon Philippines - a scholarly book on the account of contemporary and past tattooing practices among the Kalinga people in northern Luzon.  Published by the University of the Philippines Press and the Cordillera Studies Center, UP Baguio.

Dr. Analyn Salvador-Amores made the presentation: B A T O K - Kalinga Tattoo, Markers of Identity: From Indigenous to Diasporic at the Inaugural Kapwa Collective Speaker Series in Toronto.

Learn more:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tapping-Ink-Tattooing-Identities-Kalinga/698510113499368


Patience Dabany

Patience Dabany

She is the mother of the current President of Gabon and the former First Lady while her ex-husband was ruling Gabon for 30 years. Patience Dabany was born into a family of musicians before she became an emblematic symbol of national politics. At the tender age of 15 she was married off and once she divorced she was free to pursue her innate talent for singing, growing into a…

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Prestige collar from the Teke people of DR Congo | Brass/bronze || The brass collar necklaces such as this are the most original artworks from the Teke. These collars were cast in a hollowed-out tree trunk, and chiseled designs might be added.


Europearrak gara ezin dugu izkutatu. Adis Abebako Sheraton hotelean bukatu dugu, aberatzak bagina bezala. Goizean ausardia handiz kaleetatik paseatzen saiatu gara baina ez gaituzte bakean utzi. Gizon bat segika izan dugu, auskalo zergatik. Agian gure gida izkutua izan nahi zuen, gero kobratzeko.
Sant Georges elizara heldu gara, txirotasunez jositako kaleetatik gora. Elizan zuzenean ordaintzera eraman gaituzte. Gida batek eliza guretzako ireki du, eta ondoren berriro ordaintzeko eskatu digu, ‘zuentzako ireki dut eliza’, azpimarratu du propina eskatuz. Poltsikotik bi bilete atera ditut baina ez zaio ondo iruditu, berak tarifa markatuta dauka, hasieran kobratutako beste hainbeste. Eta zertarako ote zen hasierakoa? Ez haserretzen saiatu naiz eta bideari berriz ekin diogu.
Gure espia ezagutu dugu, trafikoz josita zegoen kale batean gurutzatzen lagundu digu. Beti gu begira jarraitu du, atzetik ala aurretik. Galeria batzuetan sartu garenean ere gire bila etorri da.
Berriro kalera atera gara eta ume batzuei Sheraton hotelarengatik galdetu diegu. Kuriositatez ikusi nahi dugu. Ondoren gure jarratzaileak umeengana joan da zerbait galdetzera. Segituan gure norabidea aldatzea erabaki dugu, ikaratuta.
Beste bide batetik Sheraronera heldu gara eta aske sentitu gara. Ospatzeko prezioari garrantzi handirik eman gabe jatetxe batean sartu gara. Gero gerokoa. Begiak itxi eta luxuan murgildu gara, bapo jarriz.

The World as a Giving Place

"Typically, infants become accustomed to trusting and relying on others or else they learn not to. As the evolutionary psychiatrist Randy Nesse once told me, ‘As soon as we become convinced love
is not possible, love becomes impossible.’ The same is true of trust. Bowlby conceptualized this process as acquiring an ‘internal working model’ for how the world and the people inhabiting that world are likely to work. What is striking about the worldviews of foragers (among people as widely dispersed as the Mbuti of Central Africa, Nayaka foragers of South India, the Batek of Malaysia, Australian Aborigines, and the North American Cree) is that they tend to share a view of their physical environment as a ‘giving’ place occupied by others who are also liable to be well-disposed and generous. They view their physical world as being in line with benevolent social relationships. Thus, the Mbuti refer to the forest as a place that gives ‘food, shelter and clothing just like their parents.’ The Nayaka simply say, ‘The forest is as a parent.’….

This endowed them with a personal confidence notably different from that of many modern people who grow up in environments with more available resources but less caring. People with French and German agricultural ancestors like my own are more likely to have been reared to beware of strangers. Many of us were put to bed with folktales about the world ‘outside over there,’ a scary place peopled by impoverished widows, cruel stepmothers, hungry orphans, and unwanted children who lived surrounded by a dangerous forest where malign creatures—wolves and
witches—lurked. To an Mbuti child, the foreat is not so much dangerous as nurturing—it is a benignly encompassing mother-figure. Such a
child is taught to be at least initially (until encountering information to the contrary) curious rather than fearful of outsiders.”

—Hrdy, “Mothers and Others”

The Seeds are back with an original sketch revue filled with stormy weather, broken hearts, fetus hats and beards. We’ll show you our rotten truth if you show us yours. Written, Directed and Performed by: Emily Batek, Cassandra Belek, Dylan Carey, Abby Chew, Allie Keller, Phylicia McLeod, Jon Meyer, Meghan Murphy and Matt Sadler. Show poster by davidkantrowitz.