Jakuns - Encyclopedia

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JAKUNS, an aboriginal race of the Malay Peninsula. They have become much mixed with other tribes, and are found throughout the south of the peninsula and along the coasts. The purest types are straight-haired, exhibit marked Mongolian characteristics and are closely related to the Malays. They are probably a branch of the Pre-Malays, the "savage Malays" of A. R. Wallace. They are divided into two groups: (1) Jakuns of the jungle, (2) Jakuns of the sea or Orang Laut. The latter set of tribes now comprise the remnants of the pirates or "seagipsies" of the Malaccan straits. The Jakuns, who must be studied in conjunction with the other aboriginal peoples of the Malay Peninsula, the Semangs and the Sakais, a.re not so dwarfish as those. The head is round; the skin varies from olive-brown to dark copper; the face is flat and the lower jaw square. The nose is thick and short, with wide, open nostrils. The cheekbones are high and well marked. The hair has a blue-black tint, eyes are black and the beard is scanty. The Jakuns live a wild forest life, and in general habits much resemble the Sakai, being but little in advance of the latter in social conditions except where they come into close contact with the Malay peoples.

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