Semelai people

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Semelai people
JOHN SEMELAI (16044798638).jpg
Semelai people receiving visitors at Tasik Bera, Pahang.
Total population
9,228 (2010) with Temoq people included in the census[1]
Regions with significant populations
Negeri Sembilan & Pahang5,026 (2000)[2]
Semelai language, Malay language
Animism (predominantly), Christianity, Islam
Related ethnic groups
Temuan people,[3] Semaq Beri people, Mah Meri people, Temoq people

Semelai people are an Orang Asli people of the Proto-Malay people group found in Negeri Sembilan and Pahang states of Malaysia.[4]

Settlement area[edit]

They are divided into two major groups, namely:-


The population of the changes of the Semelai population are as the following:-

Year 1960[9] 1965[9] 1969[9] 1974[9] 1980[9] 1991[10] 1993[10] 1996[9] 2000[11] 2003[11] 2004[12] 2010[1]
Population 3,238 1,391 2,391 2,874 3,096 4,775 4,103 4,103 5,026 6,418 7,198 9,228

The 2010 census, the Temoq people were included in the Semelai population due to the small numbers of Temoq people.[1]


The Semelai music have been passed down for generations except with little modification to suit with the modern times. There are two musical instruments used, which are the Rebana and Gong (including both "male" and "female" Gongs).[13] This musical style is often performed in community halls or houses during feasts, weddings, circumcision ceremonies, gatherings and welcoming visitors for the purpose of entertainment.[14] This music is performed with songs sung in Semelai language. There are also dances but it is only done with regulation and under certain requirements. The music of the Semelai is also used for healing purposes,[13] such as singing in fertility ceremony.[15]


  1. ^ a b c Kirk Endicott (2015). Malaysia's Original People: Past, Present and Future of the Orang Asli. NUS Press. ISBN 99-716-9861-7.
  2. ^ "Orang Asli Population Statistics". Center for Orang Asli Concerns. Archived from the original on 2012-02-09. Retrieved 2017-04-11.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  3. ^ "S. Karger". Human Heredity. Karger. 1978. p. 62.
  4. ^ Katia Iankova, Azizul Hassan & Rachel L'Abbe (2016). Indigenous People and Economic Development: An International Perspective. Routledge. ISBN 13-171-1731-X.
  5. ^ Kyōto Daigaku. Tōnan Ajia Kenkyū Sentā (2011). Tuck-Po Lye (ed.). Orang asli of Peninsular Malaysia: a comprehensive and annotated bibliography. Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University. ISBN 49-016-6800-5.
  6. ^ Rosemary Gianno (1990). Semelai Culture and Resin Technology. Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences. ISBN 18-785-0800-8.
  7. ^ "Suku Orang Asli Semelai gagal peroleh kebenaran merayu". Malaysia Kini. 23 March 2016. Retrieved 2016-12-12.
  8. ^ Mohd Husni Mohd Noor (11 September 2016). "6 pelajar Orang Asli ke UK". Harian Metro. Retrieved 2016-12-12.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Nobuta Toshihiro (2009). "Living On The Periphery: Development and Islamization Among Orang Asli in Malaysia" (PDF). Center for Orang Asli Concerns. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  10. ^ a b Colin Nicholas (2000). "The Orang Asli and the Contest for Resources. Indigenous Politics, Development and Identity in Peninsular Malaysia" (PDF). Center for Orang Asli Concerns & International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs. ISBN 87-90730-15-1. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  11. ^ a b "Basic Data / Statistics". Center for Orang Asli Concerns. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  12. ^ Alberto Gomes (2004). Modernity and Malaysia: Settling the Menraq Forest Nomads. Routledge. ISBN 11-341-0076-0.
  13. ^ a b "Semelai Folk Music". National Department for Culture and Arts. Retrieved 2016-12-12.
  14. ^ James Alexander (2006). Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore. New Holland Publishers. ISBN 18-601-1309-5.
  15. ^ Hi-fi News & Record Review, Volume 26, Issues 2-6. Link House Publications. 1981.

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