Out of the Forest and Into the Market: Social and Economic Transformations in a Bornean Foraging Society
AdvisorLansing, J. Stephen
Committee ChairLansing, J. Stephen
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation is an account of a Bornean hunting and gathering group, the Punan of Long Suluy, as it transitions from an economy based primarily in subsistence foraging to one increasingly oriented to the market and about the accompanying social shifts associated with that transition. It focuses on the period stretching from the mid-1960s until 2004 during which time an Arab Indonesian trader managed to establish and maintain what constituted a one-man monopoly over the Punans' trade in commercialized forest products. The relationship between the Punan and this trader began as one based solely in economics and eventually transformed into a type of patron-client relationship embedded in terms of mutual obligations and quasi-kin relations. As the Punan became increasingly involved in market relations and to adopt values based in material accumulation and an identity referenced outside of their own social group, they became increasingly adversarial with the trader, transitioning from subservient laborers to competitors in the forest product trade. This dissertation investigates both the shifting political economy of the Punan during this time period and their internal social dynamics as they negotiate their increasing participation in the market.