Semang


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Semang

 

(self-designations, Meni, Menik, Monik, and Mendi), a group of tribes in northern Malaysia and southern Thailand, remnants of the ancient aboriginal population of the forests of the central Malay Peninsula. Population, about 4,000 (1972, estimate).

The Semang speak a language of the Mon-Khmer group that is similar to the language of the Senoi, but they are gradually adopting the language of the Malays. They believe in magic and worship the forces of nature. Anthropologically, they are short-statured members of the Australian race. Although in the past the Semang inhabited a broader area, they have since been forced into mountainous and swampy regions and have to some extent been assimilated by the Senoi and Malays. They are mostly gatherers and hunters; when hunting, they use spears, bows, and blowguns. Some of the Semang practice land cultivation, raising grains and vegetables.

REFERENCE

Narody Iugo-Vostochnoi Azii. Moscow, 1966.
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