DECORATIVE ARTS OF THE BATEK INDIGENOUS PEOPLE: A SYSTEMATIC DOCUMENTATION OF FEATURES
Background and Purpose: The present paper discussed the features of Batek Hep tribe of the Tembeling River, Pahang National Park dwellers’ decorative arts, and the characteristics of three features which include the influence of Fibonacci numbers and Golden ratio in these decorative arts as well as whether its symmetrical elements are leaning towards the vertical or horizontal axis.
Methodology: The study adopted a qualitative approach where a content analysis was conducted. The arts being studied were the carvings on Batek bamboo dart cases. Initial impressionistic exploratory overview suggested some similar patterns. Therefore, a hundred bamboo dart containers were conveniently documented by systematic labelling, photographed, and analytically documented. Each bamboo dart casing was then purposively visually analysed. Immerging features were coded and themed. Simple quantification in terms of the carvings and the diameter and the base segment height of 26 bamboo dart cases was performed to put forth the three analysed art forms that is available and visible in Batek arts for the purpose of discussion.
Findings: The findings suggest that Batek decorative arts were mostly vertically symmetrical and conform to initial reported representations. The influence of Fibonacci numbers and Golden ratio could also be seen in these decorative arts. There were also repetitions of a sequential pattern that could be found on the dart cases.
Contributions: The significance of this study is, not only it documents an endangered artistic element, but it also serves as a mechanism to set apart the Batek Hep’s decorative arts from other indigenous’ decorative arts through systematic and analytical study on the characteristics of its features. Therefore, the findings contribute to the Malaysian artistic heritage pool of knowledge.
Keywords: Batek hep, decorative arts, Fibonacci numbers, golden ratio, symmetrical elements.
Cite as: Abd Halim, N., Tengku Sharif, T. I. S., & Ramli, N. (2021). Decorative arts of the batek indigenous people: A systematic documentation of features. Journal of Nusantara Studies, 6(2), 273-295. http://dx.doi.org/10.24200/jonus.vol6iss2pp273-295
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