Universitas Indonesia Conferences, The 8th International Symposium of Journal Antropologi Indonesia

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The narrative of the contemporary hunter-gatherer society as the last frontier of Austronesian speakers in Indonesia
Adi Prasetijo

Last modified: 2022-06-04


The hunting-gathering society in Indonesia is currently minimal. From several literature studies, there are several hunter-gatherer community groups left in Indonesia, namely the Orang Rimba (Prasetijo, 2015) (Seager, 2008) (Sandbukt, 1997) (Ekoningtyas, 2022), the Punan (Sellato, 2007) (Dounias, 2011), and Forest Tobelo (Christopher Duncan, 1972), where these groups are speakers of the Austronesian society. Their existence as a hunting-gathering community is based on several characteristics. Jana Frontier (2014) states that the characteristics of hunter-gatherer societies emphasize their egalitarian ways, constant fidelity to their lineage, use of forests as the primary subsistence basis, use of forests for natural resources as a source of food and cultural identity, and simple social organization following their life patterns. It is also known that their existence is now a marginal situation. Their culture is robust based on the forest functioning as their economic base and as the basis of their cultural identity. Lye Tuck Po (2005) said they are a hunter-gatherer community that makes the forest their landscape of life and culture. Forests have an essential role as a cultural trait in their culture. In this paper, we will discuss the narrative discourse of the existence of this hunter-gatherer group in Indonesia in the face of massive changes in the forest landscape. Due to the rapid changes in nature around hunter-gatherer areas, they are inevitably forced to adopt adaptation strategies that focus on environmental adaptation and require adaptation strategies of hunter-gatherer groups in different and different directions. How are they, then how do they survive as a hunter-gatherer group, and do they have the same survival strategy in the face of drastic changes in the natural environment landscape were question want to address in this paper.

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