Southeast Asian hunter-gatherers: Towards the longue durée

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Abstract

Southeast Asia offers a unique opportunity to address broad questions of the origins and identities of its diverse present and former hunting-gathering communities with a parallel focus on tropical forest peoples and maritime peoples. Overall, this session intends to bring together scholars in different disciplines to obtain a comprehensive, longue durée view, hitherto separately studied, in Southeast Asia’s history. This may lead to alternative, both long-term and contextual ways of defining hunter-gatherers.

Papers exploring the following fields of investigation are welcome:

  1. Rapidly developing—and now often combined—genetic and historical linguistic studies, along with ground-breaking archaeological and historical ecological investigations, searching for the deep roots and long-range migration histories of the region’s hunting- gathering peoples;

  2. Research into the ideological, social, and economic basis of the strong resilience of forest hunting-and-gathering and marine foraging ways of life, taking into account their protracted involvement in relationships with a wide network of long-distance trade in valuable forest and marine products;

  3. Research into networks of egalitarian peoples (hunter-farmers or hunter-hunters) that have been hitherto under-represented in the literature, and how such networks might (or might not) promote long-term resilience;

  4. Research into (forest or marine) “nomadic” communities’ historically fluid and repeatedly renegotiated ethnonyms and ethnocultural identities, and into their ongoing repositioning, based on (among other factors) their spatial and environmental changes and constraints, ethnic mixing and shifting linguistic situation, and occupational pressures or choices, in relation to upland farming neighbours, coastal peoples, and the provincial/state and national scenes.