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  President's Report 2004  

August 9, 2004

Dear Fellows and Members:

It is time again to renew your membership in the BRC.

We would like to update the BRC membership database. We have enclosed a form along with your invoice to use in correcting your mailing address. In this we are also requesting e-mail addresses and permission to send occasional notices via e-mail to those who wish to participate.

As there have been new publications during the year, we have included a list of publications with an order form.

Contents of this Letter

  1. Publication Discounts and Special Sales of Sets
  2. New Monographs
  3. New Format for Monographs
  4. New Books for Sale
  5. Borneo Research Council Medal Awarded to Dr. Bernard Sellato
  6. Announcement About the Firebird Foundation for Anthropological
    Research and Its Archive
  7. Announcement on the Anthropologists' Fund for Urgent
    Anthropological Research
  8. Revised Website:
  9. International Board of Editors: Request for Volunteers
  10. Administration
    - New Office Manager
    - Request for New Manuscripts to Prepare for Publication
    - Present Volunteers
    - Editor of the Bulletin, Dr. Clifford Sather
    - Preparation of the Bulletin for Publication
    - Book Review Editor and Current Bibliographer, Dr. A.V.M. Horton
  11. Additional Volunteers Needed
  12. Reviews of Research and Literature in Various Disciplines: Ideas
  13. Finances
  14. Authors of Articles in the Bulletin Who are Not Members
  15. Biennial Conferences
  16. New Members and Fellows
  17. Mailings
  18. John Landgraf
  19. Contributors to the Endowment Fund
  20. Contributors to the General Fund
  21. Visitors to the BRC Office
  22. The Passages of Life: New Blood Needed

1. Publication Discounts and Special Sales of Sets

The discount to Fellows for the purchase of publications of the BRC has been raised to 25%. Members shall receive a 10% discount.

We have put aside a number of complete sets of the Proceedings to sell for $45 per set.

We also have for sale sets of all Borneo Research Bulletins for $35.00. Unfortunately, these sets do not include the following numbers: Volumes 1(2), 4(1), 6(2), 7(1), and 23.

2. New Monographs

The BRC has recently published two new volumes in its Monograph Series:

Journeys of the Soul: Anthropological Studies of Death, Burial, and Reburial Practices in Borneo, William D. Wilder, Editor. BRC Monograph No. 7. 2003. Price $45.00. ISBN #1-929900-04-X.

Fishing, Hunting and Headhunting in the Former Culture of the Ngaju Dayak in Central Kalimantan: Notes from the manuscripts of the Ngaju Dayak authors Numan Kunum and Ison Birim from the legacy of Dr. H. Schaerer with a recent additional chapter on hunting by Katuah Mia, A. H. Klokke, Editor and Translator. 2004. BRC Monograph No. 8. Soft cover. 2004. Price $39.00. ISBN #1-929900-05-8.

3. New Format for Monographs

We have discontinued the hard cover format for the monographs since the cost for it is an extra US$1,500 per monograph. From the current monograph No. 8 on they will be in a soft cover.

4. New Books for Sale

We also have for sale:

Reflections from Yogya: Portraits of Indonesian Social Life by Masri Singarimbun, edited by Irawati Singarimbun. Yogyakarta: Galang Press. Soft cover. Price $10.00. ISBN 979-9341-73-6.
Acting Authoritatively: How Authority is Expressed through Social Action among the Bentian of Indonesian Borneo, Kenneth Sillander. 2004. SSKH Skrifter 17. Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki. Soft cover. Price $30.00. ISBN 952-10-0362-0.

We want to thank Dr. Sillander for contributing a set of these books for sale.

5. Borneo Research Council Medal Awarded to Dr. Bernard Sellato

The 7th Borneo Research Council Medal for excellence in the pursuit of knowledge in the social, medical, or biological sciences was awarded to Dr. Bernard Sellato. Dr. Sellato has been extraordinarily productive in contributing to the field of Borneo studies both as a scholar and an administrator. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Borneo Research Council from 1985 to 1997 and Director of the Indonesia Office of the BRC in Jakarta from 1991-1996. During this time he was responsible for administering Ford Foundation grants to the Council, which enabled more than three dozen Indonesian scholars to attend the BRC Biennial Meetings in Sabah (1992), Pontianak (1994), and Brunei (1996). From 1999 to 2003, he was Director of the Institute for Research on Southeast Asia (IRSEA), University of Provence, having served in other administrative positions earlier. Currently he is a member of CNRS, the French National Science Research Center, and the founding editor of the Southeast Asian studies journal, Moussons.

In the realm of Borneo scholarship Dr. Sellato is the author of four volumes and editor of six other works. These books cover a wealth of topics, ranging from art and material culture, through kinship and social organization, to ecology and ethnohistory. He is the undisputed authority on the smaller Dayak groups of the central Borneo interior, including not only the Aoheng and other swidden agricultural peoples, but also, notably, a variety of rainforest hunter-gatherers.

6. Announcement About the Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research and Its Archive

The activities of the Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research might be of interest to Borneo scholars.

The Firebird Foundation has the capacity for digitizing photographs and slides from field work and digitizing tape recordings to preserve them on CD disks. It also has the capacity for archiving these materials as well as other field research materials.

One of the goals of the foundation is to be of service to all scholars and researchers. Inquiries are welcome about the facilities for digitizing data and archiving them as well as inquiries about the currently archived photographs and tape recordings:

Firebird Foundation
P.O. Box A
Phillips, ME 04966

The Firebird Foundation was founded in 2000 to serve as an operating foundation and not a grant giving foundation. It has been involved in digitizing all the photographs and tape recordings in the George and Laura Appell collection on the Bulusu' and the Rungus of Borneo as well as their photographs of the Dogrib Indians of the Northwest Territories of Canada. It will also hold all material culture collected by the Appells.

It has archived all the field notes and data of the late Dr. Peter R. Goethals. The Firebird has finished digitizing his photographs.

The foundation has had two research associates in the past year and contributed to their research expenses:

Betony Jones, ethnobotanist, has been collecting and identifying the various plants used by the Rungus of Sabah.

Dr. Mark Turin, a linguist, is doing research in the Himalayan region. He is to look into the feasibility of establishing an oral literature project in the region based on the model of the Sabah Oral Literature Project.

7. Announcement on the Anthropologists' Fund for Urgent Anthropological Research

The Anthropologists' Fund for Urgent Anthropological Research was launched in 1993 to support basic ethnographic research on threatened or disappearing cultures and languages of indigenous peoples. The Fund is entirely supported by individual contributions. It is expected that the research funded will make a fundamental contribution to anthropological knowledge and will also serve, where appropriate, as an aid to indigenous peoples in their struggles to control their own destinies.

Grants for research are made in association with the Royal Anthropological Institute. Further information may be found at:

8. Revised Website

We hired a local individual who has experience in designing websites to update the BRC website:

The website now includes a list of Members and Fellows, all our publications with table of contents of each, President's Reports, announcements, history of the BRC, application for membership, information on the BRC Medals and Biennial Conferences, list of Officers, etc.

9. International Board of Editors: Request for Volunteers

The executive committee of the BRC has concluded that the BRC's publications would benefit from having an International Board of Editors. It is hoped that members will be willing to give advice to the editors of the Bulletin, the Proceedings series, the Monograph series, and the series of Occasional Papers as well as bringing important manuscripts to their attention. We would welcome hearing from anyone willing to participate on this Board.

10. Administration

New Office Manager: The previous individual who handled all BRC matters in terms of membership, mailings, filling orders, etc. has left to start his own business. Alan Morse has taken over this work. Alan has been with us for a number of years digitizing Borneo data.

Request for New Manuscripts to Prepare for Publication: Joan Bubier, copy editor, does all the work in preparing monographs for publication. Currently, we have no backlog of publications. Consequently, if anyone is contemplating publishing a monograph or an occasional paper in the BRC series, we would welcome hearing from them.

Present Volunteers: The BRC's ability to generate scholarly work is because of the volunteer work of various Fellows and Members of the Council. Vinson Sutlive continues to oversee and advise on the work of the BRC and has been instrumental in maintaining the Biennial Conferences.

Robert Winzeler, as I have mentioned previously, is devoting much of his volunteer time to creating the list of dissertations on Borneo and keeping it up to date.

Jacqueline Pugh Kitingan is now busy preparing the proceedings from the 2002 BRC conference for publication in our proceedings series.

Editor of the Bulletin: Clifford Sather has devoted much of his time to the editorship of the Borneo Research Bulletin. This is a hard, time-consuming job, but which has its rewards in the response of those who read the Bulletin and find this material useful in their own research.

Preparation of the Bulletin for Publication: Phillip Thomas takes the materials that Cliff provides for the Bulletin and prepares them for publication. Again, this is a difficult job, and we are very grateful to both Phil and Cliff for keeping the publication of the Bulletin going and with such intellectual rigor.

Book Review Editor and Current Bibliographer: Dr. A. V. M. Horton has kindly consented to become Book Review Editor and Current Bibliography Compiler for the Borneo Research Bulletin. A Bibliography of recent publications will appear in each issue of the Bulletin. Books for review, reprints or other notices of recent publication would be gratefully received by the editor. Please send these to:

Dr. A.V.M. Horton
180 Hither Green Lane
Worcestershire B98 9AZ

11. Additional Volunteers Needed

We need more volunteers to help in the running of the BRC! Let me suggest certain jobs that need to get done in the hopes that we can get some volunteers to undertake these:

1. General Editor of the Monographs, Proceedings, and/or Occasional Papers: This job could be split between three persons. In each case it would include soliciting and locating new manuscripts as well as taking a first editorial reading and preparation of the manuscript.

2. Publication Distribution: Increased distribution of our publications is badly needed. We need someone who might man tables at various association meetings, as Vinson Sutlive did in the past. And part of the job would be to find ways of getting a larger distribution of our publications.

12. Reviews of Research and Literature in Various Disciplines: Ideas Needed!!!

We would like the Bulletin to carry reviews on the status of research in various disciplines. These could include a review of botanical research in Borneo, a review of studies of the history of Borneo, reviews of medical research, and reviews of biological research such as on birds, trees, fish, snakes, mammals, etc.

Can you let us know of scholars and scientists who would undertake that work?

We need to get the Bulletin in a position to appeal to a wider audience. We believe that these reviews will be useful in achieving this. And we all need to know the results of research in other disciplines that we cannot cover on our own.

13. Finances

The income and expense statement for the past two years is attached. This does not include the costs of labor which have been donated. We really need to increase contributions and develop new sources of income.

The Endowment Fund has grown from $3,800.61 in 2002 to $4,253.28 in 2003. The return we are receiving from the investment of the Endowment Fund is not outstanding. We have taken steps to invest it in a mutual fund that has greater dividends than a money market fund.

14. Authors of Articles in the Bulletin Who Are Not Members

The financial situation for the BRC would improve if those who submit articles for the Bulletin would become Members or Fellows of the BRC. This would help cover the costs of printing their articles. There has been some discussion on how to handle this. We have considered charging nonmembers a publication fee. But this was not met with great enthusiasm by the executive committee.

The following policy was developed to handle the problem. All authors who are not Members or Fellows will receive a Membership or Fellowship for one year including the following year's Bulletin. It is hoped by this they will be encouraged to continue their membership.

Any other thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

15. Biennial Conferences

Vinson Sutlive has been working on finding a host for the next biennial conference. He is currently working for a site in Sarawak.

16. New Members and Fellows

The Council has a policy of welcoming new Fellows and Members by letter and sending them the last issue of the Bulletin to let them know that they are logged in as Fellows or Members.

17. Mailings

We have found in one case that a mailing arrived completely mangled so that the addressee 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.

18. John Landgraf

A celebration for John's 90th birthday was held in New Haven by his daughter. Congratulations!

19. Contributors to the Endowment Fund

Dr. Matthew Amster, Antiquarian Booksellers, Mrs. Laura P. Appell Warren, Mr. Ralph Arbus, Dr. Clare Boulanger, Ms. Dorothy Chin, Dr. Amity A. Doolittle, Dr. Michael R. Dove, Ms. V. K. Gorlinski, Professor Virginia Matheson Hooker, Professor H. Arlo Nimmo, Dr. Phillip Thomas, Dr. & Dr. Herbert L. Whittier, Dr. W. D. Wilder, Mr. Herwig Zahorka.

20. Contributors to the General Fund

Ms. E. Kim Adams, Dr. Matthew Amster, Dr. G. N. Appell, Mrs. Laura P. Appell Warren, Mr. Ralph Arbus, Dr. Martin Baier, Dr. Clare Boulanger, Dr. Donald E. Brown, Mr. Chew Lun Chang, Dr. Jay Crain, Dr. Otto Doering, Professor Ian Douglas, Dr. Richard Fidler, Ms. V. K. Gorlinski, Ms. Judith Heimann, Professor Virginia Hooker, Dr. A. V. M. Horton, Dr. Allen R. Maxwell, Dr. Rodney Needham, Dr. Graham Saunders, Dr. Clifford Sather, Dr. Anne Schiller, Dr. Rolf Schlömer, Dr. Bernard Sellato, Professor F. Andrew Smith, Dr. & Mrs. Otto Steinmayer, Dr. Jack Stuster, Ms. Pushpa Thambipillai, Dr. Reed Wadley, Mr. Jim Welsh, Dr. & Dr. Herbert L. Whittier, Mr. James Wicks, Dr. W. D. Wilder, Dr. Robert L. Winzeler, Dr. Leigh Wright.

21. Visitors to BRC Office

During the past year we have had a number of visitors.

Four individuals from the Rungus community and members of the Sabah Oral Literature Project spent almost five months here helping with the collection of oral literature and the preparation of the Rungus cultural dictionary. These were:

  • Monobidong Sulimban: weaver and spirit medium
  • Sovoli Mabok, husband of Monobidong, who constructed a number of traps and made models of Rungus structures
  • Majintin Sovoli, who has been tape recording stories, legends, religious chants and hymns, and other oral literature of the Rungus, Tobilung, Kimaragang, Sonsogon, etc.
  • Hamzah Malajun, who has been managing the collection of oral literature and doing trial translations.

In addition there was the following visitor:

Dr. Anton Ploeg of Nijmegen University, The Netherlands.

We encourage and welcome visitors at any time.

22. The Passages of Life: New Blood Needed

Many of us who have devoted our energies and time to make the Borneo Research Council successful are no longer young. We need new blood now. In the next few years it will be mandatory to keep the BRC vital. We hope various individuals will step forward.

Sincerely yours,

George N. Appell, Ph.D.

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