|Regions with significant populations|
|Malaysia (Perak and Kelantan)||2,326 (2010)|
|Jahai language, Malay language|
|Ethnic religion (predominantly), Islam, Christianity|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Batek people, Lanoh people, Maniq people|
The Jahai or Jehai people are an indigenous people (Orang Asli) of the Semang people group found in Perak and Kelantan, Malaysia and parts of Thailand. They have dark skin and afro-textured hair and are stockily built. They are hunter-gatherers and they occasionally practice swidden agriculture .
The Jahai people believe in a religious system with Karei (pronounced as "Karεy") as a supernatural force that oversees their actions and behaviours. In order to avoid attracting Karei's attention negatively, there are taboos and avoidance rules to follow. They believe Karei can be scared away or attracted to by various odors depending on Karei's preferences, for example, the unpleasant smell of a burnt crayfish. Therefore this led to a rich odor lexicon in the Jahai language, a trait also shared among the Maniq people in Thailand.
The Jahai people, who are traditionally nomadic, were forced by the government to live in permanent settlements in parts of the Royal Belum State Park as part of the tourist attraction. They lived in isolation, lacking infrastructure such as roads, schools, health services, and so on. This resulted in exhaustion of resources. The mortality rate of the Jahai people in villages along the Kejar River was as high as 50% in children due to Serawan, which caused the population there to dwindle from 600 to 400.
The population dynamics of the Jahai people in Malaysia are as the following:-
Other settlements of the Jahai people in Malaysia are:-
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- Ronzi Mohd Yusoff, Joy Jacqueline Pereira, Sharina Abdul Halim, Hood Salleh & Mustaffa Omar. "Kemudahterancaman Perubahan Iklim: Kajian kes Komuniti Jahai di RPS Air Banun, Perak" (PDF). Institut Alam Sekitar dan Pembangunan (LESTARI). Retrieved 2017-07-11.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Dony Adriansyah, Ibrahim Busu, Hafzan Eva & Mohammad Muqtada (15 May 2015). "Geoheritage As The Basis For Geotourism Development: A Case Study In Jeli District, Kelantan, Malaysia" (PDF). GeoJournal of Tourism and Geosites: 35. ISSN 2065-0817. Retrieved 2017-07-11.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)