SHS Web Conf.
Volume 53, 2018International Conference on Humanities and Social Sciences (ICHSS 2018)
|Number of page(s)
|Communication and Media
|16 October 2018
Digital preservation of language, cultural knowledge and traditions of the indigenous Semai
Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Malaysia
2 Australian National University, Australia
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
In this paper we describe two community-based participatory research projects in an Orang Asli community that set out to document their local knowledge and culture. We describe how with the support of technology we are able to document indigenous oral traditions and practices that are on the verge of disappearing. The Semai are the largest Orang Asli community in Peninsular Malaysia and mainly live in the states of Perak and Pahang. Like in many other indigenous contexts, the Semai peoples’ transition from an oral culture to a literate culture is relatively recent. In this paper we discuss how our long-term relationship has facilitated two projects using digital media technology that focus on the documentation of local knowledge and culture of the community members in a Semai-speaking village in Perak. Elders in this community, having local knowledge accumulated over generations through direct experiences and participation, were the main source of information for these documentation projects, while younger people assisted with film and audio recording, editing, as well as language transcription and translation. The elders in this Semai community recognise the value and importance of transmitting their local culture and knowledge to the next generation. The projects described in this paper led to the production of two short films in 2014, and a book project, which began in early 2017, is currently underway. Thus, this paper highlights how technology is an enabler in the preservation of endangered indigenous knowledge and culture.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2018
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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