Changes in Economic Life of the Hunters and Gatherers : the Kelay Punan in East Kalimantan

Makoto INOUE, LUGAN, Bilung IGIN
1991 Tropics  
The Punan people in Bomeo island had traded forest products for the necessities of life with the Dayak people, who traded them with the brokers. At present, the Kelay Punan people in East Kalimantan rade directly with the brokers and merchants, who control the rade of the forest products from the region. They are degraded to debtors now and still carrying out hunting and gathering to pay back the debt" Besides, the inroduction of swidden cultivation is one of the most important factors to
more » ... their life style. Their swidden system might not be so sustainable, since they were not tradirional swidden cultivators like the Kenyah Dayak people. The "Punan" is a generic term for hunters and gatherers living in Borneo island. The Punan people have the same physical characteristics as the Dayaks practicing swidden cultivation, since the Punans are also the protd-Malayan people. The bodies of the Punans, however, are generally better-built than those of the Dayaks. According to Hoffman (1983), Bock's description of the Punan (Bock, 1881) is one of the earliest to appear in print. Bock described the Punan as "wild people of the woods" who were almost entirely isolated from all communication with the rest of the world, which has remained the basis of popular conception of the Punan ever since. According to Sellato (1988) and Brosius (1988) , however, scientists had reponed the importance of uade in the life of the Punan. Traditionally the Punan people have met their subsistence needs by hunting wild game such as wild pigs, deers, and monkeys with blowpipes and spears, and by gathering wild sago, fruits, and honey. They form goups consisting of a few households and wander over the forest area. In fact, none of the groups has been fully economically self-sufficient (Hoffman, 1983) . The Punan people have lived in symbiosis with the Dayaks through the trade relationship. The Punans bartered tusks and furs of wild pigs, leopards and bears; antlers of deers; rattan; and rattan mats for salt, tobacco, iron products, and cotton textiles which were possessed by the Dayaks.
doi:10.3759/tropics.1.143 fatcat:33eacng43bfdzhr72tyf27vlmu