|Regions with significant populations|
|Malaysia (Pulau Carey, Selangor)|
|Mah Meri language, Malay language|
|Forest & Natural Spirituality, a type of Animism and a significant population practicing Islam or Christianity|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Semaq Beri people, Semelai people, Temoq people|
The Mah Meri are an ethnic group native to western part of Peninsular Malaysia. They are one of the 18 Orang Asli groups named by the Malaysian government. They are of the Senoi subgroup. Most of the members of the Mah Meri tribe live along the coast of South Selangor from Sungai Pelek up to Pulau Carey, although there is at least one Mah Meri Community on the other side of the Klang River.
According to the Orang Asli Office of the Malaysian government, they numbered around 2,200 in 2005. Most of the Mah Meri live in small villages (kampungs) on the fringes of other cities and on Pulau Carey, which has five separate villages of Mah Meri.
The Mah Meri people of Pulau Carey are internationally well known for their traditional wood carving skills.
The changes in the Mah Meri population are as the following:-
Mah Meri in Mah Meri language means "Jungle people" (Mah = people, Meri = jungle)., while in another term the meaning of the name means Bersisik (meaning, "scaly" in Malay language) or Persisir (meaning, "coastal" in Malay language). They are also considered as Orang Laut due to them residing in settlements that are nearby seasides and work as fishermen. They are believed to have migrated from the islands in southern Johor to the coastal shores of Selangor in order to escape from their enemies.
Today Mah Meri community has undergone changes in terms of mentality and development as a result of integrating with other neighbouring communities.
The Mah Meri language, also called Besisi, is an Austroasiatic language. It is part of Southern Aslian sub-branch of Aslian languages, and is related to Semelai, Temoq and Semaq Beri. There are an estimated 3,000 people still speaking the language, but it is seriously endangered.
Many among them are skilled in carving statues that are made from wood. Their carvings include deities, humans, flora and fauna figurines. These carvings have gained recognition from the UNESCO. Handicrafts produce of the Mah Meri community in Sungai Bumbun, Kuala Langat have high artistic value and the potential to be recognised at an international level.
In common with other Orang Asli Villages, each kampung elects its own Batin (Village Headman) and a council of "elders" to represent the people living in the kampung. The Batin is paid an annual salary by the Malaysian government. The Bomoh, who functions as a shaman in their society, plays an important role in the kampung. Main puteri (meaning "Playing princess"), a dying ritualistic form of treatment due to Islamisation; is performed by the Mah Meri shaman with the purpose to rejuvenate patients suffering from emotional depression, physical fatigue or psychological problems caused by metaphysical forces.
Major settlements of the Mah Meri people are:-
|Name of Kampung||Nearest Town|
|Kampung Orang Asli Bukit Bangkong||Sungai Pelek
Kampung Orang Asli, Tanjung Sepat
|Kampung Orang Asli Sungei Kurau||Pulau Carey|
|Kampung Orang Asli Sungei Judah||Pulau Carey|
|Kampung Orang Asli Sungei Bumbun||Pulau Carey|
|Kampung Orang Asli Sungei Jugra||Pulau Carey|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mah Meri people.|