LOOKING FOR MONEY Capitalism and Modernity in an Orang Asli Village


Alberto G. Gomes

Jointly published in 2004 by:
Center for Orang Asli Concerns, Subang Jaya
Trans Pacific Press, Melbourne

ISBN: 983-40042-5-7
236 + xix pp.; 30 photos.
6in x 9in; limp cover
Price: RM25.00

The setting
Production: time allocation
Production output and income
Market relations
Commoditisation and social relations
The future of the Tapah Semai

Looking for Money is about the entanglement of an indigenous people, the Semai of Malaysia, with modernity. A key feature of this entanglement is the process of commoditisation that has resulted in what is emically known as "looking for money" work.

Based on ethnographic research, Alberto Gomes documents and analyses the extent and effects of Semai involvement in commodity production and wage labour.

Challenging the prevailing view of the Semai as subsistence-oriented people with weak links to the market economy, the study also stresses the fact that development for the people must be based on correct conceptions of the economy of the people.

The book is based on a doctoral thesis submitted in 1986. Dr. Alberto Gomes currently lectures in anthropology at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.