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Transition from Native Forest Rubbers to Hevea brasiliensis (Euphorbiaceae) among Tribal Smallholders in Borneo

Michael R. Dove
Economic Botany
Vol. 48, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 1994), pp. 382-396
Published by: Springer on behalf of New York Botanical Garden Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4255664
Page Count: 15
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Transition from Native Forest Rubbers to Hevea brasiliensis (Euphorbiaceae) among Tribal Smallholders in Borneo
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Abstract

This is a study of the historic transition in Southeast Asia, in particular Borneo, from the exploitation of native forest rubbers to Para rubber (Hevea brasiliensis, Euphorbiaceae). During the second half of the nineteenth century, booming international markets subjected forest rubbers to more intensive and competitive exploitation. At the same time, the settlement patterns of tribal rubber gatherers were becoming more sedentary and their agriculture more intensive. Hevea spp. was better suited to these changed circumstances than the native forest rubbers, largely because it was cultivated not naturally grown. The status of Hevea spp. in Southeast Asia as a cultigen, as opposed to a natural forest product, and the political-economic implications of this helps to explain the contrasting histories of smallholder rubber producers in the New and Old Worlds. This study offers an historical perspective on current debates regarding relations between forest resources, forest peoples, and the state. /// Penelitian ini mempelajari sejarah peralihan di Asia Tenggara, khususnya Kalimantan, dari eksploitasi karet hutan menjadi penanaman karet Para (Hevea brasiliensis, Euphorbiaceae). Selama pertengahan kedua abad ke sembilanbelas, melonjaknya pasar internasional menyebabkan karet hutan di eksploitasi lebih intensif dan kompetitif. Pada saat yang sama, pola pemukiman pemulung-pemulung karet hutan menjadi lebih menetap dan sistem pertanian mereka menjadi lebih intensif. Penanaman Hevea spp. lebih sesuai terhadap peralihan ini dibanding dengan karet hutan, terutama karena Hevea spp. tersebut ditanam bukan tumbuh secara alami. Status Hevea spp. di Asia Tenggara sebagai suatu tanaman yang diusahakan (kultigen) yang berlawanan dengan pohon hutan alam, dan akibat ekonomi-politik untuk ini, menerangkan perbandingan sejarah pengelolahan Hevea spp. di Asia dan Amerika Selatan. Penelitian ini juga memberikan suatu pandangan sejarah pada perdebatan saat ini tentang hubungan sumberdaya hutan, suku terasing yang hidup di dalam hutan, dan kebijaksanaan pemerintah.

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