Event Title

Presentation, "Semai toponymy and landscape narratives: An introduction

Start Date

12-6-2014 9:15 AM

End Date

12-6-2014 10:30 AM

Description

ABSTRACT –This paper describes the preliminary results of a toponymy project being conducted in the Semai land use area of the Tapah Hills Forest Reserve, Perak, Malaysia. Specifically, I discuss a number of themes that have emerged from a preliminary assessment of the etymologies and etiologies of Semai place-names documented to date. I explore how Semai place-names reflect multisensory notions of place, which challenge the idea of ‘landscape as visual experience’ (Duncan & Ley, 1993). The geographical concepts of cultural/heritage landscapes and critical toponymy buttress the points made in this paper, including the idea that ‘a good ecological profile of an [indigenous homeland can be obtained] by…studying indigenous place names’ (Campbell, 2009: 109). I conclude by discussing the importance of Semai toponymy and landscape narratives in two important areas of Semai cultural survival: 1) cultural and language documentation projects aimed at keeping the Semai language viable; and 2) educational efforts aimed at promoting Semai geographical knowledge among school-going children and youth.

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Jun 12th, 9:15 AM Jun 12th, 10:30 AM

Presentation, "Semai toponymy and landscape narratives: An introduction

ABSTRACT –This paper describes the preliminary results of a toponymy project being conducted in the Semai land use area of the Tapah Hills Forest Reserve, Perak, Malaysia. Specifically, I discuss a number of themes that have emerged from a preliminary assessment of the etymologies and etiologies of Semai place-names documented to date. I explore how Semai place-names reflect multisensory notions of place, which challenge the idea of ‘landscape as visual experience’ (Duncan & Ley, 1993). The geographical concepts of cultural/heritage landscapes and critical toponymy buttress the points made in this paper, including the idea that ‘a good ecological profile of an [indigenous homeland can be obtained] by…studying indigenous place names’ (Campbell, 2009: 109). I conclude by discussing the importance of Semai toponymy and landscape narratives in two important areas of Semai cultural survival: 1) cultural and language documentation projects aimed at keeping the Semai language viable; and 2) educational efforts aimed at promoting Semai geographical knowledge among school-going children and youth.