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MALAY

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Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 475 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MALAY PENINSULA 473 are armed. They are skilful hunters, however, catch fish by in- geniously constructed traps, and live almost entirely on jungle-roots and the produce of their hunting and fishing. The most civilized of these people is found in Upper Perak, and the members of this clan have acquired some knowledge of the art of planting, &c. They cannot, however, be taken as typical of their race, and other specimens of this people are seldom seen even by the Sakai. From time to time they have been raided by the latter, and many Negritos are to be found in captivity in some of the Malayan villages on the eastern side of the peninsula. The mistake of speaking of the Sakai tribes as practically identical with the Semang or Pangan has very frequently been made, but as a matter of fact the two races are absolutely distinct from one another. It has also been customary to include the Sakai in the category of Malayan races, but this too is undoubtedly incorrect. The Sakai still inhabit in greatest numbers the country which forms the interior of Pahang, the Plus and Kinta districts of Perak, and the valley of Nenggiri in Kelantan. Representatives of their race are also found scattered among the Malayan villages through-out the country, and also along the coast, but these have intermixed so much with the Malays, and have acquired so many customs, &c., from their more civilized neighbours, that they can no longer be regarded as typical of the race to which they belong. The pure Sakai in the interior have a good knowledge of planting rice, tapioca, &c., fashion pretty vessels from bamboos, which they decorate with patterns traced by the aid of fire, make loin-cloths (their only garment) from the bark of the trap and ipoh trees; are very musical, using a rude lute of bamboo, and a nose-flute of a very sweet tone, and singing in chorus very melodiously; and altogether have attained in their primitive state to a higher degree of civilization than have the Semang. They are about as tall as the average Malay, are slimly built, light of colour, and have wavy fine hair. In their own language they usually have only three numerals, viz, na-nun, one; nar, two; and ne', three, or variants of these; all higher arithmetical ideas being expressed by the word kerpn, which means " many." A few cases have been re-corded, however, of tribes who can count in their own tongue up to four and five. Among the more civilized, however, the Malay numerals up to ten are adopted by the Sakai. An examination of their language seems to indicate that it belongs to the Mon-Khmer group of languages, and the anthropological information forthcoming concerning the Sakai points to the conclusion that they show a greater affinity to the people of the Mon-Khmer races than to the Malayan stock. • Though they now use metal tools imported by the Malays, it is noticeable that the names which they give to those weapons which most closely resemble in character the stone implements found in such numbers all over the peninsula are native names wholly unconnected with their Malay equivalents. On account of this, it has been suggested that in a forgotten past the Sakai were themselves the fashioners of the stone implements, and certain it is that all tools which have no representatives among the stone kelts are known to the Sakai by obvious corruptions of their Malayan names. The presence of the Sakai, a people of the Mon-Khmer stock, in the interior of the peninsula has also been considered as one of many proofs that the Malays intruded from the south and approached the peninsula by means of a sea-route, since had Emery Walker .r._ they swept down from the north, being driven thence by the people of a stronger breed, it might be expected that the fringe of country dividing the two contending races would be inhabited by men of the more feeble stock. Instead, we find the Sakai occupying this position, thus indicating that they have been driven northward by the Malays, and that the latter people has not been expelled by the Mon-Khmer races from the countries now represented by Burma, Siam and French Indo-China. The Sakai population is dying out, and must eventually disappear. (With regard to the Malay, see MALAYS.) Archaeology.—The only ancient remains found in the peninsula are the stone implements, of which mention has already been made, and some remarkable ancient mines, which are situated in the Jelai valley in Pahang. The stone implements are generally of one or two types: a long rectangular adze or wedge rudely pointed at one end, and used in conjunction with a mallet or flat stone, and a roughly triangular axe-head, which has evidently been fixed in the some 750,000 to 800,000, while the Tamils and other natives of India number about roo,000, the aboriginal natives of the peninsula perhaps 20,000, Europeans and Americans about 65oo, and Eurasians about 9000. The colony of the Straits Settlements, and to a lesser extent the towns of the Federated Malay States, carry a considerable heterogenous population, in which most of the races of Asia find their representatives. Races of the Peninsula.—Excluding the Tai, or Siamese, who are undoubtedly recent intruders from the north, there are three races which for an extended period of time have had their home in the Malay Peninsula. These are the Semang or Pangan, the Sakai or Jakun, and the Malays. The Semang, as they are most usually called by the Malays, are Negritos—a small, very dark people, with features of the negroid type, very prognathous, and with short, woolly hair clinging to the scalp in tiny crisp curls. These people belong to the race which would seem to be the true aboriginal stock of southern Asia. Representatives of it are found scattered about the islands from the Andaman group southwards. The state of civilization to which they have attained is very low. They neither plant nor have they any manufactures except their rude bamboo and rattan vessels, the fish and game traps which they set with much skill, and the bows, blow-pipes and bamboo spears with which they i. K 1 ~" e G'har'p I. 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Trengganu N Iliudings g,T~t ~• *- 'h , ft I C of go ~n pun (Korth Cape) ~e fy n s unpin Cap.) A --fir f - ty ~' Tanjong 1.4buan Tan/q v A! to . -' ~ • / KmIoamun /l,enjut (South Cap J+ PuW Pang, kor .' pit rp J`../'~•7an' 10, PENINSULA e w is f~;t Ealing e•,_0n KSamam A Y a g ,~tPufo S inlai a° 9 T '., Im x• " "4 TanJonp Tr Eu)rlYman Medan L kpakun !• Kuala Selan: • End of Article: MALAY
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