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Magical device against skin disease. The Semang are a Negrito ethnic group of the Malay Peninsula. Negrito peoples show strong physical similarities with the Pygmy peoples of Africa but are genetically closer to other Southeast Asian populations. They may be descended from ancient Australoid-Melanesian settlers of Southeast Asia, or represent an early split from the southern coast migrants from Africa. The Semangs live in caves or leaf-shelters that form between branches. A loincloth for the men, made of tree bark hammered out with a wooden mallet from the bark of the terap, a species of wild bread-fruit tree, and a short skirt of the same material for the women decorated with segments of bamboo in patterns to magically protect its wearer from disease, is the only dress worn. Image appeared in The Story of the Alphabet by Edward Clodd, 1938.
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