Sources of Sociality in a Cosmological Frame: Chewong, Peninsular Malaysia
Signe Howell is describing Chewong sociality as manifested through sharing in her artickle as a part of the anthology Anarchic Solidarity: Autonomy, Equality, and Fellowship in Southeast Asia. The article investigates the egalitarian ideology of sharing in the Chewong society based on vital values of equality.
Signe Howell started her consideration of the sources of Chewong solidarity from a premise that humans are innately social and experience themselves in a relational mode. She argued that Chewong personal and social interaction is predicated on their metaphysical and ontological understanding. With no formal political system, and an egalitarian ethos that values autonomy, they nevertheless display a prfound sense of communality-the outer baoudary of which coincides with their animated forest environment, in which humans and "spirits" stand in a continuous exchange relationship. Despite living in small and scattered settlements that are moved every other year or so, the actual makeup of the population of any one settlement fluctuates. However, everyone participates in a shared perception of the cosmos and carries out their daily activities according to a number of cosmo-rules.