This powerful ethnography of a people believed to be the least violent in the world explores how they maintain peaceful relations even under the most dire circumstances. Robert Knox Dentan, the world's foremost scholar of Semai, brings its members vividly to life. His book includes translations of their poetry, dramatized accounts of particular events, and narratives in their own words. Throughout, the author highlights the mechanisms and costs of peace, underscoring their relevance to everyday life in all societies. Students and scholars of peace studies, conflict resolution, ethnography, and Southeast Asia will find this unique work an invaluable and compelling study.
Robert Knox Dentan is professor emeritus of anthropology at State University of New York at Buffalo.
Introduction: Writing Someone Else's Life Chapter 1: Spotted Doves at War: The Praak Sangkiil Chapter 2: Regrettable Undertakings: A Dirty Joke, a War, a Vacancy Chapter 3: Responding to Terror: Intellectually, Emotionally, Spiritually Chapter 4: Transforming Demons by Love and Surrender Chapter 5: Ceremonies of Innocence and "Positive" Peace Chapter 6: Freedom: Just Say "No" Chapter 7: For Fear of Finding Something Worse: Raising Kids Chapter 8: Juni Gone Astray Chapter 9: Inconclusion