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  President's Report 2002  

August 1, 2002

Dear Fellows and Members:

I write this report before we leave for the BRC Conference in Kota Kinabalu. And I suspect you will not receive it until the conference is concluded.


I feel uncomfortable in announcing what is really a necessary step to improve the Council's financial position.

Our publication program has been operating at a loss for several years. Sales even of the BRC's limited publication runs of 400 to 500 copies just does not result in the Council recovering the full publication cost. Consequently, each year, even though we have had wonderful gifts to the general administration fund and to the endowment fund, the Council's operating statement runs in the red to several thousand U.S. dollars.

In consultation with the executive committee it was decided to raise the fees for Fellows and Members by US$5.00 per year:

All other countries

Peso 783.00

Peso 652.50

Rp. 51,760
Peso 261.00

Rp. 89.452
Peso 391.50


The Borneo Research Bulletin:

We are making every effort we can to get the BRB published on schedule. We are in the process of mailing the issue for 2001. And with luck we might get the 2002 out before the end of the year.

Preparing the BRB takes an incredible amount of work. Dr. Clifford Sather puts in days and weeks without any remuneration in the preparation of each issue. And Dr. Phillip Thomas also puts in incredibly long hours in copy editing, formatting, and preparing the issue for the printers.

They are both to be given our deepest thanks!

New Publications:

It is expected that by the end of September the Council will be publishing the long awaited monograph:

I. H. N. Evans Bornean Diaries 1938-1942, A. V. M. Horton, Editor. Borneo Research Council Monograph No. 6. Tentative price: $55.00.

Dr. Horton has done a superb job in preparing these diaries for publication, in annotating them, and providing critical commentary and additional information about them. It is really a fine work.

This volume runs to close to 700 pages, and the audience for this volume is not very large. Consequently, we had to put a higher than usual price on it.

Another long awaited publication that will be appearing we hope before the end of the year is:

Journeys of the Soul: Anthropological Studies of Death, Burial and Reburial Practices in Borneo, W. D. Wilder, Editor. Borneo Research Council Monograph No. 7.

Dr. Wilder has spent long months over this publication. I for one have been very tardy in finishing up our contribution on the death rituals of the Rungus, and this has held it up. With Dr. Wilder's excellent editing this volume will be an important contribution to the ethnography of Borneo and a major contribution to the theory of death ceremonies.

Dr. Hans Klokke is working on the translation of several Ngaju texts on fishing techniques and headhunting. As these progress we will see if they would fit in the Council's Occasional Papers Series or in the Monograph Series.

Publications of the Tun Jugah Foundation in Cooperation with the Borneo Research Council

There have been three recent publications of the Tun Jugah Foundation in cooperation with the Borneo Research Council.

First, there is The Encyclopedia of Iban Studies created and edited by Vinson and Joanne Sutlive. This stunning four volume work is frankly breath-taking for those of us who have followed Bornean ethnography over the years. It is an extremely valuable and incomparable source for understanding Iban society. It is a must requirement for the library of any Bornean scholar. What is more interesting, I know of no other comparable encyclopedia of any indigenous society anywhere in the world.

Copies may be purchased from:

The Tun Jugah Foundation
P. O. Box 734
93714 Kuching, Sarawak
telephone: 60 82 246517/ fax 60 82 411300

It sells for US$300.00 plus $25.00 shipping.

Then Clifford Sather has completed his beautiful and moving translation of Seeds of Play, Words of Power: An Ethnographic Study of Iban Shamanic Chants.

This text has taken years of hard work to bring it to fruition. Sather's translation and analysis is without parallel in Borneo studies. This volume demonstrates that the Iban have an incredibly sophisticated level of aesthetic creation. Now that Sather has made an important part of this creative and artistic oral literature of the Iban available to the rest of the world, it demonstrates that these works of art measure up as equivalent to the classic texts in world-wide oral literature. It is hoped that the texts of other Bornean groups will also be translated and made available to be appreciated by the rest of the world.

The BRC office here has a few limited copies which may be purchased for US$49.00 plus $5.00 shipping.

Datin Amar Margaret Linggi's Ties That Bind: Iban Ikat Weaving is a revised and expanded version of an exhibition catalogue published first in August, 1998. It is an overview of Iban weaving and the use of natural dyes. In it, Datin Amar Margaret Linggi presents a comprehensive description of weaving. Commencing with the treatment of cotton thread with mordants, she traces the intricate procedures and rituals of weavers who produce the world famous and much sought after Iban ikat fabrics. It is a pictorial delight from the unique perspective of an Iban weaver. The BRC will also have a limited number of copies of this volume for US$17.50 plus $5.00 shipping.

These publications are a cut above anything that has been published on Bornean societies. They create a new level of scholarship and suggest what might be done for other societies in Borneo.


Mrs. Bubier who has worked for me for over 35 years, continues to prepare the BRC manuscripts for publication.

Ms. Elizabeth Goudreau became our bookkeeper early last year. She has ordered many things that were in much disarray because of the loss of two bookkeepers in rather rapid succession due to circumstances that warranted that they should go their separate ways.

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.


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 their 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, Mrs. Laura P. Appell-Warren, Mr. Ralph Arbus, Dr. Donald Brown, Mr. Patrick K. Cassels, Dr. Michael R. Dove, Dr. Christine Helliwell, Dr. Linda Kimball, Dr. Rodney Needham, Professor H. Arlo Nimmo, Professor Robert Reece, Dr. Graham Saunders, Dr. Reed Wadley, Dr. W. D. Wilder, Dr. Robert L. Winzeler.

Contributors to the General Fund

Ms. E. Kim Adams, Antiquarian Booksellers 'Gemilang', Dr. and Mrs. G. N. Appell, Mrs. Laura P. Appell-Warren, Mr. Ralph Arbus, Dr. Martin Baier, Dr. Clare Boulanger, Dr. Carol J. Pierce Colfer, Professor Ian Douglas, Dr. Michael R. Dove, Dr. and Mrs. Allen Drake, Dr. Christine Helliwell, Fru Ida Nicolaisen, Ms. Vicki Pearson-Rounds, Dr. Robert Pringle, Dr. Anne Schiller, Professor F. Andrew Smith, Dr. Jack Stuster, Dr. W. D. Wilder, Dr. Robert L. Winzeler, Dr. Leigh Wright.

Visitors to the BRC Office

It is always with great pleasure to have visitors to the BRC office. This past year visitors have included: Dr. Anton Ploeg from the Netherlands; Professor Robert Reece from Australia; Dr. Professor Paul B. Roscoe, a New Guinea specialist; Dr. Cristina Eghenter from Kalimantan; Mrs. Ira Singarimbun (widow of Dr. Masri Singarimbun) from Indonesia and their daughter Nima Sinaga from New York City.


George N. Appell, Ph.D.

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