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* Culturing the Rainforest

* Culturing the Rainforest

The Kelabit Highlands of Sarawak

(p.161) 12 * Culturing the Rainforest
The Social Lives of Forests
Monica JanowskiHuw BartonSamantha Jones
University of Chicago Press

The complexity of use of the landscape in the Kelabit Highlands, the extent of reliance on wild resources, and the anthropogenic nature of the landscape have been little recognized in intellectual or public discourse. This chapter draws on anthropology, archaeology, environmental science, and GIS to explore human–landscape interactions in the present and past in this region in the Malaysian state of Sarawak. Before the “Cultured Rainforest” project was mounted between 2007 and 2010, there was little in the way of archaeological data, environmental history, or written information available for the region. The data presented here illustrate complex interactions between culturally and linguistically distinct “agriculturalists” (rice cultivators) and “hunter-gatherers” (those reliant on wild game and management of wild sago palms) and the landscape that has been central to both livelihoods throughout their deep history in the region.

Keywords:   Malaysia, Sarawak, agriculture–forest interaction, foraging–forest interaction, archaeology, GIS, Great Divide

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