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Track #1: "New" Knowledge among the Batak

This video clip examines the Batak, a hunter-gatherer group that dwells in the highland forests of the island of Palawan in the Philippines. They have a wide variety of subsistence strategies, including farming techniques that are environmentally friendly, leaving the forests intact. The clip also looks at the role of a local conservationist group, Hariban Palawan, which begins to work with the Batak, interested in the common goals that the two groups shared.

Critical Thinking Questions

1) How did the farming techniques of the Batak differ from those of their non-Batak neighbors, whom the Batak referred to as "Christianos?"
2) For what specific reasons did Hariban Palawan, the conservationist group, want to work with the Batak? Were the Batak immediately accepting of them?
3) One of the ways in which anthropology has broadened its horizons is by demonstrating the value that other people's cultures and ways of life may have for the wider world. What can the Batak offer the world?

When farming, the Batak used:
A)slash and burn methods
C)environmentally friendly techniques
D)only biodegradable tools
E)division of labor by gender
Conservationist groups were attracted to the Batak because they:
A)knew how to find oil underground
B)shared the Batak's concern for the forest
C)needed the permission of the Batak to open a reserve
D)wanted to destroy the ways of life of the Batak
E)hoped to spread the Christian religion to the Batak
According to the Batak, the "Christianos" do not believe in the:
A)power of chain saws
B)Philippine government
C)usefulness of women in farming
D)consumption of forest animals
E)spirits of the forest
The conservationist group Hariban Palawan wanted to link conservation and human rights by helping the Batak to:
A)build a bridge over a river
B)open the land to other non-Batak farmers
C)gain exclusive land rights
D)construct a new school
E)prosecute corrupt government officials
What type of kaingens (farming plots) did the Batak usually make?
A)large, rambling ones
B)small, scattered ones
C)underwater ones
D)ones covered in cloth
E)none of the above

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