The Peaceful People: The Penan and Their Fight for the Forest Paul Malone

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Published: February 25th 2015

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The Peaceful People: The Penan and Their Fight for the Forest  by  Paul Malone

The Peaceful People: The Penan and Their Fight for the Forest by Paul Malone
February 25th 2015 | Kindle Edition | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, RTF | | ISBN: | 7.50 Mb

As late as the mid-twentieth century almost the whole of Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo was covered with tropical jungle. Today only one-fifth remains intact, but one people, the Penan, maintain the struggle to preserve whats left. The Peaceful PeopleMoreAs late as the mid-twentieth century almost the whole of Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo was covered with tropical jungle.

Today only one-fifth remains intact, but one people, the Penan, maintain the struggle to preserve whats left. The Peaceful People is the story of the Penan, the jungle nomads of Sarawak, who for decades have fought for possession and preservation of their traditional forest lands.

Drawing on extensive first-hand interviews, as well as the diaries and journals of explorers, botanists and colonial administrators, and the observations of missionaries, the book provides the most comprehensive account of the dynamics of Penan society to date. Written in a compelling and accessible style, The Peaceful People tells the shocking history of the Penan, exposing massacres and murders, while recounting the nomads uniquely shy and peaceful way of life.

In particular, the analysis focuses on the Penans consistently non-violent modern-day protests against rampant logging which attracted world attention in the 1980s and 1990s. The Penan, who have not yet won any land rights, argued their case in every possible way, in letters and petitions to government, in court challenges and at blockades. Exposing the hypocrisy of government officials who nominated certain species of animals for protection while allowing logging to proceed, one elder, Along Sega, challenged: You from the government: you dont allow us to hunt hornbills, leopard and gibbons.

But how do you think they survive? Does the hornbill raise her children in a cave under the ground like a porcupine? Hasnt the leopard always slept high up in the trees? And the gibbon and bear, dont they look for food in the treetops?

All the birds live in the trees. What is the government thinking then, when it gives orders to fell trees? The government is itself killing the animals it doesnt allow us to hunt. In recounting this struggle The Peaceful People delves into the mystery disappearance of key players in the campaign, such as the Swiss environmentalist, Bruno Manser, who is presumed dead, and Penan anti-logging leader, Kelesau Naan, whose remains were found in 2007, some months after he left his campsite to check his jungle traps.

To present all sides of the story journalist Paul Malone travelled widely to interview not only Penan who protested against logging, but also those who felt it best to work with government authorities. The Peaceful People is essential reading for those interested in the history and culture of Borneo, the politics of logging and development, and the lives of indigenous peoples who seek new ways to survive in a hostile world.



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