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Archaeology & Anthropology:Open Access

Book Review ‘Malay Ethnic and Sociocultural Dynamism’ (Malay Version)

Uqbah Iqbal*

Socioeconomic Researcher, Pitas Agriculture, Malaysia

*Corresponding author:Uqbah Iqbal, Socioeconomic Researcher, Managing Director, Pitas Agriculture, Kampung Mempakad Darat, 89100 Pitas, Sabah, Malaysia

Submission: January 24, 2023; Published: February 19, 2024

DOI: 10.31031/AAOA.2024.05.000625

ISSN: 2577-1949
Volume5 Issue2


Local wisdom refers to the disciplines of knowledge and expertise that originate from the indigenous local culture that has developed since ancient times and has been practiced as part of the community’s way of life. Local wisdom has been passed down from generation to generation. The local wisdom that is highlighted and raised comes from the culture of the Malaysian community in particular, or from the Malay archipelago in general. This study of local wisdom aims to facilitate the process of social transformation through a paradigm shift that is addressed by local epistemology so that it can run well. The publication of this local wisdom book is the result of the presentation of papers in the 4th Local Knowledge Regional Conference on 12-13 October 2014 and the 5th on 14-16 October 2015. Both conferences respectively have been held in Kuching, Sarawak and Bandung, Indonesia. This conference is one of the efforts of the Local Wisdom Group, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) to dignify the local wisdom that exists and has been practiced among the Malays and other ethnic groups in Malaysia in particular and in the region in general. This effort is expected to preserve all the knowledge and skills that once existed in the community in this region once upon a time.

This book is divided into two main subtopics which are material and non-material culture. All of them represent the culture of the Malay community in particular and Malaysian culture in general. All these cultures clearly show a real connection if seen from the perspective of the local wisdom of the people in the archipelago. The local wisdom highlighted not only shows the wisdom of the Malays who take advantage of their environment, but also clearly has applied their skills in the context of the socio-cultural dynamism of the community itself. They relate all actions in material and non-material culture to their environment and daily activities. In accordance with the title of this book, which is Malay Ethnic and Socio-Cultural Dynamism, then the book which contains eight papers as a whole highlighting aspects related to aspects of anthropology, history, art, culture, heritage and literature that are related to the Malay world and other regions of the archipelago. This relationship is established through physical evidence of its existence and the evidence of historical materials, such as in the form of manuscripts, cultural influences and people from all over such as Vietnam, Java and so on. Efforts to preserve all forms of culture are reflected through the papers that are published. This is important to ensure that future generations can see and use it. In addition, all these cultural heritages clearly have a function in the development of Malay culture and the local culture itself. All the cultural heritage of various ethnicities in the Malay socio-culture is clearly dynamic. Its dynamism has helped preserve that legacy. While any cultural heritage that is not dynamic will obviously soon come to an end. This is because its lack of dynamism will reduce the space and opportunity of its heirs to continue it. There are many factors that can help and hinder the dynamism of a particular ethnic culture. Internal and external factors clearly play a role in the current of change. These factors are discussed in various papers in this book [1].

The first article is the result of work by Soijah Likin and Nazarudin Zainun entitled “Social Processes and Extinction of the Duanu and Javanese Languages in Pontian Johor.” Ku Boon Dar, who traces the early history of the relationship between the archipelago and Vietnam, has focused on events around the 19th century under the title of his writing “Preserving Vietnamese Historical Resources in the Archipelago-Vietnam Relationship.” Dadang Hikmah Purnama and Ernalida Purnama have highlighted the title “Traditions of Oban: Values of Reciprocity and Social Solidarity of Kayuagung Ethnic Marriage Custom.” The next paper was written by Norzaliza Ghazali, Norhafidah Ibrahim and Melor Fauzita Md Yusoff, with the title “Malay Heritage in Cartoon Art in Malaysia.” Hamid Mohd Isa and Wan Nor Hafizan Wan Sulaiman appeared as contributors to the next paper under the title “Uniqueness and Sustainability of Chewong Bark Houses in Kuala Gandah, Lancang, Pahang.” Setiawan Hardono and Azizi Bahauddin with the title “Construction of Negeri Sembilan Traditional Houses: Matrilineal Values on Architectural Elements.” The title of the next paper is “Iban Mat Art” was introduced by several writers namely Anna Durin, Connie Lim Keh Nie, Noria Tugang and Alexander Chelum.

The last paper in this book is titled “Rebab Playing and Making in Traditional Malay Performances” written by Che Mat Jusoh and Mohamad Omar Bidin.

The conclusion is that based on all the papers contained in this book, it clearly shows that it is important that dynamic and continuous efforts are made to ensure that all cultural materials, both material and non-material, can be preserved. The local wisdom that has given birth to various types of tools belonging to various ethnicities in this socio-cultural diversity can certainly be maintained if proactive measures can be carried out. This is important to ensure that everything is dynamic so that the cultural continuity and heritage of the traditional owners do not continue to die over time. This action is also an alternative for researchers from every corner to share their expertise in studying the diversity of local wisdom values that are clearly rich in customs and culture that are still practiced by the Malay community in the archipelago region.


  1. (2017) In: Zainun N, Bidin MO (Eds.), Malay ethnic and sociocultural dynamism. University Sains Malaysia Publishers, Malaysia.

© 2024 Uqbah Iqbal. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and build upon your work non-commercially.