This book describes how some representative Orang Asli groups lived before development and assimilation pressures, how these forces have affected them, and how they have reacted. It also examines the reasons behind the government's policies and methods. It concludes with a discussion of Orang Asli aspirations for their future. Part of the Cultural Survival Studies in Ethnicity and Change series, edited by David Maybury-Lewis and Theodore Macdonald, Jr. of Cultural Survival, Inc., Harvard University. Sharply focused on key issues affecting indigenous and ethnic groups worldwide, this series of ethnographies builds on introductory material by going further in-depth and allowing students to explore, virtually first-hand, a particular issue and its impact on a culture. The Orang Asli are the "Original People" of the Malay Peninsula. Nineteen culturally distinct peoples, with a combined population of 90,000, the Orang Asli are a small minority of Malaysia's 19 million people. Until about 1970 most Orang Asli lived in the rain forests which still covered more than half the Peninsula. Subsisting by varying combinations of hunting, gathering, fishing, shifting and permanent field cultivation, and small-scale trade, most were economically self-sufficient, politically independent, and socially egalitarian. Their deep attachments to their land and its natural resources were reflected in rich mythologies and complex religions.