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  I. H. N. Evans's Bornean Diaries 1938-1942  

A. V. M. Horton, Editor

Price $55.00

ISBN 1-929900-03-1

(Because of the size of this book, overseas orders will be charged actual shipping and handling charges.)



Ivor Hugh Norman Evans (1886-1957) enjoyed a long, intimate and productive relationship with North Borneo (Malaysian Sabah), and, in particular, with the Dusuns of the Tempasuk region, and to a lesser extent the neighbouring Tuaran. That special relationship and the close bonds of affection which Evans formed and nurtured with many native people during his residence in the territory are given expression in his Bornean Diaries, 1938-1942. We can count ourselves fortunate that most of the personal records of Evans's sojourn in Dusun country survived the Japanese occupation.

The Diaries commence on October 29, 1938, and draw to a close on May 3, 1942, with the addition of a "Preface," "Epilogue" and a final section on "Characters of Some Dusuns who figure in these Diaries." The entries from September 4, 1940, to November 7, 1941, are missing. Some extracts from the Diaries were published in the Sarawak Museum Journal (1955, 1956), and direct quotations also appear in Evans's The Religion of the Tempasuk Dusuns of North Borneo (1953).

In a foreword to the Diaries Professor Victor T. King (University of Hull) evaluates Evans's current standing as an ethnographer and folklorist. Evans's personal reminiscences, King argues, "give us considerable insight into his [Evans's] methods of data collection; they show us the ethnographer at work, his particular interests and motivations, his relations with local people, his opinions of his informants, evaluations of the quality and content of the information given, and his personal views of the events and activities which he observed."

The Diaries have been annotated by Mr. A. V. M. Horton, who also provides an introduction.

I. H. N. Evans (1886-1957), a British ethnographer and archaeologist, was educated at Charterhouse School in Godalming (Surrey) and at Clare College, University of Cambridge.  After a brief spell as a cadet in the British North Borneo Company's Service (1910-1911), he was employed as a curator in Malaya for twenty years (1912-1932), spent mostly at the Perak Museum in Taiping.  He retired in 1932 and settled at Oulton Broad in Suffolk until 1938.  He then returned to Borneo, where he spent the remainder of his life.  Detained by the Japanese in Kuching during the war years (1942-1945), he died in Labuan on May 3, 1957.

Evans's best publication is considered by informed critics to be his 1937 book, The Negritos of Malaya (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge), re-issued in 1968 by Frank Cass, London.


A. V. M. Horton (Ph.D. University of Hull) is an Honorary Fellow in the Center for South-East Asian Studies at The University of Hull and author of many works, including The British Residency in Brunei 1906-1959, Negara Brunei Darussalam: A Biographical Dictionary (1846B1998), Turun Temurun: A Dissection of Negara Brunei Darussalam, A Critical Guide to Source Material Relating to Brunei With Special Reference to the British Residential Era 1906B1959 and New Sketch of the History of Negara Brunei Darussalam.  Dr. Horton also co-edited with Victor T. King a volume of essays in honor of Father Robert Nicholl entitled From Buckfast to Borneo and introduced and annotated Report on Brunei in 1904 by M. S. H. McArthur.

A.V.M. Horton is a Fellow of the Borneo Research Council.

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