CHITA' HAE: Culture, Crafts and Customs of the Hma' Meri in Kampung Sungai Bumbon, Pulau Carey

Published: 05 March 2007


Editor: Reita Rahim

Published March 2007
by Center for Orang Asli Concerns
for TOMPOQ TOPOH (Mah Meri Women's 'First Weave' Project)

ISBN 978-983-43248-1-0

34 + vi pages, 33 images, soft-cover booklet
6in x 8in (150mm x 210mm)
RM 5.00


chita' hae, our stories
pronunciation guide
we are the Hma' Besise'
Telo' Gunjeng
before the plantations
encroaching on our lands
Kampong Sungai Bumbon
life & livelihood
adat & spirituality
Ari' Muyang
mayin jo-oh
Tompoq Topoh
anyam dawud & anyam hake'
topeng & patong
select bibliography

The Hma' Meri of Carey Island have long been a source of interest to anthropologists and tourists alike. Living on an estuarine island at the mouth of the Langat River in Selangor - barely an hour's drive from Kuala Lumpur - the villagers of Kampung Sungai Bumbon are accustomed to visits by students, researchers and tourists who are attracted by their indigenous culture and handicrafts.

As the number of visitors steadily increased over the years (notably after a bridge was built in 1985 and a sealed access road constructed in the 1990s), some villagers began to see the need to help visitors better understand their culture. In the past, the scarcity of villagers conversant in English led to tour guides frequently misinterpreting or mis-communicating their culture or beliefs. Later, they also discovered that some publications on the Hma' Meri were inaccurate or misinformed.

In 2006, members of the Tompoq Topoh Mah Meri Women's 'First Weave' Project had the opportunity to not only document their oral history but to publish this booklet in which they narrate about their past, the physical changes to their island home and about their beliefs.