e-ISSN 2231-8542
ISSN 1511-3701

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Misappropriation And Dilution of Indigenous People's Cultural Expression through the Sale of Their Arts And Crafts: Should More Be Done?

Azmi, I. M., Ismail, S. F., Abd. Jalil, J., Hamzah, H. and Daud, M.

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 23, Issue S, November 2015

Keywords: Traditional cultural expression, arts and crafts, indigenous people, cultural heritage

Published on: 01 Apr 2016

Indigenous cultural expressions, a component of traditional cultural expressions (TCEs), are drawing tourists to Malaysia by their millions and hence are considered valuable resources that need to be preserved to ensure their sustainability. Equally valuable are the indigenous arts and handicrafts which are sold and traded by craft centres set by the government or by private sellers. Unfortunately, these arts and handicrafts have fallen prey to counterfeit and fakes. This paper examines national initiatives to regulate the sale of indigenous people's arts and crafts as a means of constraining the misappropriation of these cultural expressions in Malaysia, and compares these initiatives with those in Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America. This paper uses the mixed methods of library-based and qualitative research. The latter consists of unstructured, face-to-face interviews with respondents from selected communities of aborigines in Peninsular Malaysia as well as Sabah and Sarawak. The focus is to explore and understand the problem and to observe whether misappropriation and dilution are real issues within the indigenous people. Based on the information and data collected from the interviews, the problem of misappropriation proves to be a real threat to the sanctity of indigenous people's cultural expression, in particular their arts and crafts. The paper concludes that Malaysia must adopt a multi-pronged approach including a range of laws to effectively curb the misappropriation of indigenous arts and crafts as well as preventing them from being diluted.

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

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