Encyclopedia of Language and Education

2008 Edition
| Editors: Nancy H. Hornberger

Small Worlds: The Language Ecology of the Penan in Borneo

  • Peter G. Sercombe
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-30424-3_230

Introduction

Borneo Island sits astride the equator, is 750,000 km 2 in area, and had an estimated population of 15 million people at the beginning of the twenty‐first century. It is divided politically among Brunei Darussalam (hereafter Brunei), Indonesian Kalimantan and the East Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah.

The ethnonym Penan is used here generically to refer to those in Borneo who were, have been or, in a few cases, continue to live as nomadic hunter–gatherers, i.e. people whose economies are based on hunting wild game, fishing and gathering uncultivated plant foods, without plant or animal domestication other than dogs (cf. Lee and Daly, 1998). This article provides a brief socio‐cultural outline of the Penan. This serves as an introduction to the language ecology of the congeries of Penan people in the East Malaysian state of Sarawak (124,450 km 2, population approximately 2.18 million, capital Kuching) and the independent sultanate of Brunei (5,765 km 2, population...

Keywords

Penan Community Formal Education Language Policy National Language Educational Provision 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Bible Society of Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei: 1974, Rengah jian: Surat jaji maréng (Penan New Testament), Lembaga Al Kitab Singapura, Singapore, Malaysia dan Brunei.Google Scholar
  2. Blust, R.A.: 1972, ‘Report of linguistic fieldwork undertaken in Sarawak’, Borneo Research Bulletin 4(1), 12–14.Google Scholar
  3. Brosius, J.P.: 1986, ‘River, forest and mountain: The Penan Gang landscape’, Sarawak Museum Journal 36(57), 173–184.Google Scholar
  4. Brosius, J.P.: 1993, Negotiating Citizenship in a Commodified Landscape: The Case of Penan Hunter–Gatherers in Sarawak, East Malaysia, Social Science's Research Council's conference Cultural Citizenship in Southeast Asia, Hawaii.Google Scholar
  5. Brunei Government: 1938, Brunei Annual Report for 1937, Brunei Government Press, Brunei Town.Google Scholar
  6. Christie, M. and Harris, S.: 1985, ‘Communication breakdown in the Aboriginal Classroom’, in J.B. Pride (ed.), Cross‐Cultural Encounters: Communication and Mis‐Communication, River Seine Publications, Melbourne.Google Scholar
  7. Cummins, J.: 2000, Language, Power and Pedagogy: Bilingual Children in the Crossfire, Multilingual Matters, Clevedon.Google Scholar
  8. Gaudart, H.: 1987, ‘A typology of bilingual education in Malaysia’, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 8(6), 529–552.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Haarmann, H.: 1986, Language in Ethnicity: A View of Basic Ecological Relations, Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin.Google Scholar
  10. Heath, S.B.: 1983, Ways with Words, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  11. Kedit, P.: 1982, ‘An ecological survey of the Penan’, Sarawak Museum Journal, Special Issue No. 2 (30), 225–279.Google Scholar
  12. Langub, J.: 1974, ‘Adaptation to the settled life by the Penan of Belaga Sub‐District’, Sarawak Museum Journal, New Series XXII (43), 295–301.Google Scholar
  13. Langub, J.: 1996, ‘Penan response to change and development’, in C. Padoch and N.L. Padoch (eds.), Borneo in Transition: People, Forests, Conservation and Development, Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  14. Langub, J.: 2000, Profile of Five Penan Longhouses, Paper presented at Workshop on Community Profiles of Ethnic Minorities in Sarawak, Malaysia.Google Scholar
  15. Lee, R.B. and Daly, R.: 1998, ‘Introduction: Foragers and others’, in R.B. Lee and R. Daly (eds.), The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunters and Gatherers, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  16. Malone, D.: 2004, The In‐Between People, SIL International, Dallas, Texas.Google Scholar
  17. Martin, P.W.: 2002, ‘One language, one race, one nation? The changing language ecology of Brunei Darussalam’, in M.K. David (ed.), Methodological and Analytical Issues in Language Maintenance and Shift Studies, Peter Lang, Frankfurt.Google Scholar
  18. Moll, L.: 1992, ‘Bilingual classroom studies and community analysis: Some recent trends’, Educational Researcher 21(2): 20–24.Google Scholar
  19. Mühlhäusler, P.: 1996, Linguistic Ecology, Routledge, London.Google Scholar
  20. Mühlhäusler, P.: 2000, ‘Language planning and language ecology’, Current Issues in Language Planning 1(3), 306–367.Google Scholar
  21. Needham, R.: 1953, The Social Organisation of the Penan, a Southeast Asian People, DPhil thesis, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.Google Scholar
  22. Needham, R.: 1965, Death‐names and solidarity in Penan society, Bijdragen tot de Taal‐, Land‐en Volkenkunde 121, 1e, 58–77.Google Scholar
  23. Rousseau, J.: 1990, Central Borneo: Ethnic Identity and Social Life in a Stratified Society, Clarendon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  24. Sarawak‐News: 2002, Latest update on the Penan Community Meeting in Long Sayan, Baram, Miri, Sarawak 7–9 June, Retrieved 12/07/05, http://www.bmf.ch/en/en_sarawak_news.html
  25. Sellato, B.: 1994, Nomads of the Borneo Rainforest: The Economics, Politics and Ideology of Settling down, Hawaii University Press, Honolulu.Google Scholar
  26. Sellato, B. and Sercombe, P.G.: 2007, ‘Introduction’, in P.G. Sercombe and B. Sellato (eds.), Beyond the Green Myth: Borneo's Hunter–Gatherers in the 21st Century, Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Copenhagen.Google Scholar
  27. Sercombe, P.G.: 1996, ‘An annotated bibliography of the Penan of Brunei’, Borneo Research Bulletin 27, 52–63.Google Scholar
  28. Sercombe, P.G.: 2002, Linguistic Continuity and Adaptation among the Penans of Brunei, Unpublished PhD dissertation, The National University of Malaysia.Google Scholar
  29. Sercombe, P.G.: 2003, ‘Multilingualism among the Penans of Brunei’, International Journal of Bilingualism 7(2), 153–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Voeks, R.A. and Sercombe, P.G.: 2000, ‘The scope of hunter–gatherer ethnomedicine’, Social Science and Medicine 51, 679–690.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter G. Sercombe
    • 1
  1. 1.English Language CentreUniversity of NorthumbriaNewcastle upon TyneUK