August 15, 2001
Dear Fellows and Members:
Let me first discuss a possible project that might
interest the Council members.
Elders of Borneo Recovering Lost Identities
Two years ago I was visiting the Head-Smashed-In
Buffalo Jump in Alberta Canada. This is an important site to the
Native American Indians. At the site was an exhibition of photographs
entitled "Lost Identities: A Journey of Rediscovery".
These were historic photographs of Aboriginal peoples from Alberta.
The Archives and Museums of Alberta are trying to identify the names,
places, and events of the people in these historical photographs.
It struck me that this is the kind of work that should now be going
on in Borneo.
The exhibit had the following information:
"Photographs can speak. They can whisper
or shout. They can lie. Many photographs, though, are silent. When
people, events, or other details, which appear in photographs, are
not known, the images have lost their voices. The Aboriginal people
who are the main focus of this exhibit are unidentified: the photographs
"The purpose of the Lost Identities
project is to encourage the documentation of historical photographs
of Aboriginal peoples by means of community participation. Most
of the early photographs of Aboriginal peoples held in archives
and museums are unidentified except in the most superficial way.
This project will focus on input from Aboriginal elders in identifying
the people, places, and events depicted in these historical images.
The project will involve communities directly in recording aspects
of their own history as well as adding to our documentation of important
Lost Identities will travel to the Aboriginal
communities where the photographs were taken and will ask the people
to find the voices buried in the pictures. It is a journey of rediscovery."
I wanted to share this with the Fellows and Members
of the Council in the hopes that some of you might be instrumental
in developing a similar project in the various parts of Borneo before
all knowledge of the personages that appear in the many historical
photographs is lost.
Death Notice: Professor Derek Freeman
Derek Freeman died on Friday, July 6, 2001 at
his home in Canberra. He was a close friend and colleague. His work
spanned several disciplines, and he broke incredibly important ground
in them all. His ethnography of the Iban of Sarawak forms the canon
against which all other Bornean ethnographies will be measured.
In 1994 Professor Freeman was awarded the Borneo Research Council
medal given to those who have made an extraordinary contribution
to the advancement of knowledge in the social, medical, and biological
sciences in Borneo.
I shall never forget him telling me on the way
to my fieldwork among the Rungus what a magnificent body of oral
literature the Iban had created, equivalent in beauty and scope
to that of classical Greek religion. He always thought of the Iban
as being an ideal society, in which individuals were able to make
those important choices that determined their life chances.
His intellectual stimulation and drive will be
A full obituary will appear in the next issue
of the Borneo Research Bulletin.
Report on the Publication Program
Monograph Series: This past year the Council has
published a new monograph:
Eva Maria Kershaw's A Study of Dusun Religion
in Brunei: Ethnic Priesthood on a Frontier of Islam. 2000. Price
Christine Helliwell's "Never Stand Alone":
A Study of Borneo Sociality. 2001. Price $35.00.
The Council is preparing for publication:
Borneo Diaries of I. H. N. Evans, 1938-1942, A.
V. M. Horton, Editor.
It is hoped that this will be published by September.
Occasional Papers Series: This new series was
established with the publication of:
Foong Kin's Social and Behavioral Aspects of Malaria
Control: A Study Among the Muruts of Sabah, Malaysia. 2000. Price
Other Publications: The BRC has other internal
publications which members and fellows may purchase. These are:
Complete Membership List: US$3.00
Policies on management of the Council: US$3.00
Style Sheet for Monographs and Occasional Papers:
Borneo Classic Texts in Oral Literature: The Tun
Jugah Foundation is publishing in cooperation with the Council the
following volumes in the Borneo Research Council Classic Text Series:
The Encyclopedia of Iban Studies, Volumes I-IV.
Joanne and Vinson Sutlive, General Editors. 2001. Price US$300 plus
Seeds of Play, Words of Power, with Introduction
and English Translation by Clifford Sather. There is also a paperback
Information on ordering these volumes may be obtained
Tun Jugah Foundation
Attn. Wan Mohammad Hj. Wan Ibrahim
P.O. Box 734
Dissertations on Diskette: This is a new series
managed by Robert Winzeler. It's purpose is to make available dissertations
that are published in various countries but which are not otherwise
available. Further information on this important innovation can
be found in the forthcoming Bulletin.
The Borneo Research Bulletin: This series continues
under the able editorship and hard work of Clifford Sather and the
long hard work by Phillip Thomas in making the text ready for printing.
We all owe them a great debt of gratitude!
Volume 31 (2000) was mailed out on July 26, 2000.
We hope this year that we will have another issue
of the Bulletin out so that we are finally on track and not delayed
in publication of this.
Web Site: www.sarawak.com.my/org/BRC
The Council is very lucky in having James Chin
volunteering to run the Council's web site. It is a touchy job keeping
a web site in operation. We owe him a great deal of thanks for all
his efforts in keeping Borneo scholars up to date and in touch with
Vinson Sutlive has suggested that we introduce
a student membership rate. This is at: US$10.00 and adjusted for
various countries as below.
The Council office has recently had a visit from
Bob Reece. And he has given us a great deal of good advice on the
operations here. He has also suggested that the Fellowship and Membership
fee be increased by $5.00 each. And we would welcome comments on
The fees currently are:
All other countries
It costs the Council $16.00 to print each Bulletin
and an average mailing costs of $3.75, for a total of $19.75
Because of the generous contributions of various
Fellows and Members the Council has been able to continue its publication
Invoice for Fees
It is time now to invoice for Fellowship/Membership
fees in the Council for 2001 as per the enclosed.
Some have already paid for 2001, and this should
be noted in the enclosed invoice stamped "PAID". If there
is any error in this, please let us know.
Let me again draw your attention to the 10% discount
on all BRC publications available to Fellows of the Council.
In this regard, we have enclosed a list of BRC
publications and an order form.
Methods of Payment of Fees and Publication Orders
Let me again state that arrangements have been
made for payments to be made by Visa, Mastercard, currency, or check.
Only currency in Malaysian ringgit, British pounds, or U.S.A. dollars
are acceptable. Money orders in U.S.A. dollars are also acceptable.
Checks drawn on U.S.A. accounts should be made
payable to the Borneo Research Council.
Checks drawn on British or Malaysian accounts
should be made payable to George N. Appell. (These will then be
transferred to the BRC account in the U.S.A. via G. N. Appell's
accounts in those countries.)
It has not been possible to complete the financial
statement at this point for two reasons. First, we have discovered
that the Council is logged in with the United States Internal Revenue
Service to make its reports on a fiscal year basis. We had assumed
that the Council's financial statements were on a calendar year.
Consequently, we will have to redo the past three years.
Second, we have had a turnover in the position
of bookkeeper, which has put things in a bit of a mess. We now have
a new bookkeeper who will be redoing our financial statements sometime
We have had approximately:
As a result of the turnover of personnel, some
fellowships and memberships were not adequately serviced. I hope
this will not happen again.
New Members and Fellows
The Council has a policy of welcoming new Fellows
and Members by letter and sending the last issue of the Bulletin
to let them know that they are logged in as Fellows or Members.
This has not always been the case this past year, but in the future
it will be continued as before.
We have found in one case that a mailing arrived
completely mangled so that the addressee's name could not be read.
Please let us know if you have had difficulty with our mailings
and give us suggestions on how to improve this.
The U.S. Postal Service has made major changes
in its rates that adversely impact the Council. First, there is
no longer an overseas book rate. All mailings must go first class
Second, the rates within the U.S.A. have been
As the Council subsidizes the costs of each of
its publications, it has been necessary to raise shipping rates.
Domestic shipping rates have been increased to
$5.00 for the first publication and $2.50 each for additional publications.
Overseas surface is now $7.00 with $2.50 for each
6th Biennial Conference
Negotiations are in progress with representatives
of the Universiti Malaysia Sabah to hold the next conference in
Sabah. Further information can be obtained from:
Dr. Jacqueline Pugh-Kitingan
Likas Post Office
89400 Kota Kinabalu
E-Mail for Invoices
Dr. Reed Wadley has suggested that to save money
the Council should consider sending invoices by e-mail to members
and fellows. And he has also suggested that we should consider publishing
on the internet. These suggestions are very useful and most interesting.
We would appreciate any comments on these thoughts by those who
have a better familiarity with these issues than I.
The new office manager is Ms. Elizabeth C. Goudreau
Ms. Goudreau will be taking over the management
of the membership services, financial accounting, mailing of publications,
filling orders for publications, etc. Any questions you have on
these matters should be addressed to her.
Mrs. Bubier who has been filling in during this
period will be spending her time now on processing manuscripts for
The Council could not maintain its publishing program
without the kind and generous financial contributions of the many
fellows and members. As you can see from the above, the Council
subsidizes all its publications, including the Bulletin. None carry
its own weight. We want to express our thanks to those who have
made contributions over the past year.
Contributors to Endowment Fund
Ms. E. Kim Adams, Mr. Ralph Arbus, Mr. Patrick
Cassels, Dr. Carol J. Pierce Colfer, Dr. Jay B. Crain, Dr. Otto
Doering, Dr. Michael R. Dove, Dr. & Mrs. Allen Drake, Dr. Linda
Kimball, Mr. Godwin Limberg. Mr. James McLellan, Professor H. Arlo
Nimmo, Dr. Rodney Needham, Professor Robert Reece, Dr. Graham Saunders,
Dr. Phillip Thomas, Dr. Reed Wadley, Dr. W. D. Wilder, Dr. Robert
Contributors to the General Fund
Antiquarian Booksellers 'Gemilang', Dr. G. N.
Appell, Mrs. Laura P. Appell-Warren, Mr. Ralph Arbus, J. B. Blanche,
Dr. Clare Boulanger, Dr. & Mrs. Tan Chee-Beng, Dr. Jay B. Crain,
Dr. Carol J. Pierce Colfer, Dr. Amity A. Doolittle, Professor Ian
Douglas, Dr. Michael R. Dove, Dr. Richard Fidler, Ms. Judith Heimann,
Dr. Christine Helliwell, Professor Virginia Matheson Hooker, Mr.
A. V. M. Horton, Mrs. Eva Maria Kershaw, Professor Victor T. King,
Mr. Stuart T. Lyman, Mr. James McLellan, Fru Ida Nicolaisen, Ms.
Vicki Pearson-Rounds, Dr. Ralph Schlömer, Dr. Bernard Sellato,
Professor F. Andrew Smith, Dr. Jack Stuster, Mr. & Mrs. James
Warren, Dr. Robert L. Winzeler, Dr. Leigh Wright.
George N. Appell, Ph.D.