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President's Report 2008




FOR THE YEAR 2007-2008

September 2008

Dear Fellows and Members:

I have heard very positive and complementary comments on the success of the 9th Biennial Conference which was held at the Universiti Malaysia Sabah. Dr. Jacqueline Pugh-Kitingan as Chair of the Organizing Committee did an outstanding job! We owe her many thanks!

It is now time to renew your Fellowships or Memberships. We have enclosed your invoice and a list of books published by the BRC.

There have been several interesting developments in the Council during this past year with publications being a major one.


By now most of you have heard of the untimely death of Reed Wadley. He was one of my closest friends, one of the finest of the finest anthropologists I have known, a man with a character of gold, who fought an aggressive cancer courageously and died a relatively young man, after making major contributions to Borneo ethnography.

At the request of Reed’s wife, Oona Paredes, Ph.D., the BRC has established The Reed Wadley Memorial Fund to honor the life and work of Dr. Reed Wadley (1962-2008). Those of you who wish to honor the memory of Reed are encouraged to send contributions to the Fund. When fully funded, the fund will provide supplemental grants to graduate students in cultural anthropology planning to do research in Borneo. Dr. Oona Paredes has been asked to be one of the advisors to the fund. Gifts to honor Dr. Wadley’s memory should be sent to the Borneo Research Council, P.O. Box A, Phillips, Maine, 04966, USA Further inquiries about the fund should be sent to the same address.

As of this writing, the Fund now contains $5775 through the generosity of:

Dr. Geoffrey A. Clark, Dr. George L. Cowgill, Dr. Michael Dove, Dr. & Mrs. Allen Drake, Mr. John D. Pearson, Dr. Robert Pringle, Professor F. Andrew Smith, and George and Laura Appell.


We have launched this series with the publication this past month of :

The Kemaloh Lundayeh - English Dictionary and Bibliographic List of Materials Relating to the Lundayeh-Lun Bawang-Kelabit and Related Groups of Sarawak, Sabah, Brunei and East Kalimantan, Compiled by Ricky Ganang, Jay Crain, and Vicki Pearson-Rounds.

For this series we are still working on:

Jones, Betony
N.d. Ethnobotany of the Rungus Momogun.

We hope to bring this out in 2009.


Freeman, Monica
N.d. Monica Freeman’s Iban Diaries and Sketches (1949-1951), edited by Laura P. Appell Warren, D. Ed.

This will be a monumental publication full of data and interesting information, including some previously unpublished drawings and photographs. It may in fact comprise two volumes.

Colfer, Carol J. Pierce
N.d. The Longhouse of the Tarsier: Changing Landscapes, Gender, and Well Being in Borneo.

This collection of Dr. Colfer’s publications and essays is in the final stages of preparation.

Sutlive, Vinson and Joanne Sutlive
N.d. The Memoirs of Janang Ensiring.

Chur-Hansen, Anna, Md.
N.d. The Sarawak Papers of Robert Barrett, M.D.

We all were stunned by the unexpected death of Dr. Barrett. We have been in touch with his colleague, Professor Anna Chur-Hanson, Deputy Head of Discipline School of Medicine Discipline of Psychiatry, at the Royal Adelaide Hospital University of Adelaide, who is compiling Rob’s relevant papers and writing an introduction to this volume.

Appell, G. N. And Laura W. R. Appell
N.d. The Oral Literature of the Rungus Momogun: The Translation of Three Myths and Legends.

Heppell, Michael
N.d. Bidayuh Ethnography of West Kalimantan (1981)
N.d. Iban Social Control: The Infant and the Adult. Unpublished MS, Ph.D. dissertation for the Australian National University.

These last two are particularly important manuscripts as Michael Heppell was ahead of his time by several decades in his study of child rearing and child behavior.

We are also hoping sometime in the coming year to bring to press the very important collected articles and papers of Dr. Clifford Sather.

We are in the process of obtaining permission to have Jacob Mallinckrodt’s two volume Ph.D. thesis, Het adatrecht van Borneo, translated.

Volume Thirty-eight (2007) of the Borneo Research Bulletin was published earlier this year. We expect to be able to bring out volume Thirty-nine (2008) before the end of the year. And then BRB will be current.


The BRC was founded on the principle that in Borneo the various scientific and scholarly disciplines are closely intertwined. The success of the queries of any discipline are interdependent on the findings of many other disciplines. Consequently, when the BRC was formed, it was on the basis of advancing research in the social, biological, and medical sciences in Borneo.

However, since that time, the various disciplines have grown immensely so that it is impossible for a scholar to keep up with developments in related disciplines that may have relevance to one’s own research. Therefore it was decided to establish a new series of publications to review the status of research and scholarly publications in various fields. It is hoped that these reviews will help scholars determine what research from other disciplines might be relevant to their own research and also provide students with the necessary information to help them prepare for their research in Borneo.

If these reviews are lengthy they will be published as Occasional Papers; if shorter in length, they will appear in the BRB.

We have invited the following individuals to prepare reviews:

- Sander Adelaar, a survey of linguistic research in Borneo
- Motomitsu Uchibori, a review of research in Borneo by Japanese scholars
- Jacqueline Pugh-Kitingan, a review of ethnomusicology in Borneo
- Leslie Potter, historical research on Kalimantan from the Dutch period onwards
- Chris Hunt, review of the environmental change over the last 100,000 years

Reviews which have already appeared in Volume 36 (2005) of the Borneo Research Bulletin:

- Menno Schilthuizen, After the Sarawak Law: Evolutional Biology in Borneo Since 1855.
- Nicolas Tarling, Further Notes on the Historiography of British Borneo

We want to express our thanks to these authors for their excellent work!

We hope that these publications will stimulate new research and communication between the various disciplines as well as produce additional comments in the BRB.

We are searching for other scholars to provide reviews on the status of research in various disciplines. These could include a review of botanical research in Borneo, a review of studies on the uses of plants by various peoples of Borneo, a review of medical research, review of psychological research. and reviews of biological research such as those on birds, trees, fish, snakes, mammals, etc.

Please send any offers to prepare a review, or suggestions and nominations to the:


The BRC has been in contact with a foundation that is willing to provide supplemental grants to support the collection of oral literature. If this is of any interest to anyone please contact the:


The Borneo Research Council is a tax exempt foundation under the regulations of the Internal Revenue Service of the United States government. As such it must meet certain requirements, including a meeting of the Board of Directors at least once a year. Previous to this year the board was composed of international members which made a yearly meeting with a quorum impossible.

To prevent any jeopardy to this vital tax exempt status we had to reorganize the Council under the laws of the State of Maine, U.S.A., and limit the Board of Directors to those living in America who could attend an annual meeting. These annual meetings are crucial in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service to ensure that the board meets its fiduciary obligations.

Consequently, we have broken the board down into two sections: the Statutory board and the Advisory board.

The Statutory board now consists of:

Vinson H. Sutlive, Executive Vice President
Clifford Sather, Editor, Borneo Research Bulletin
Amity A. Doolittle, Secretary/Treasurer
Reed N. Wadley (deceased 6/28/08)
G. N. Appell, President

The Advisory board consists of:

Syamsuni Arman, Ph.D.
Dato Seri Laila Jasa Awang Haji Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong
Peter Kedit, Ph.D.
Victor King, Ph.D.
Datuk Amar Dr. Leonard Linggi Jugah
YBhg. Datuk Haji Mohd. Taha Ariffin

We would welcome interest by anyone who would like to join the advisory board.

We also have an International Board of Editors for BRC Publications. This includes:

Dr. Sander Adelaar (The University of Melbourne)
Dr. George N. Appell (Brandeis University)
Dr. Adela S. Baer (Oregon State University)
Dr. Peter Bellwood (The Australian National University)
Dr. Jay B. Crain (California State University, Sacramento)
Dr. Bjorn F. Dahlen (University of North Dakota)
Dr. Amity A. Doolittle (Yale University)
Dr. Michael R. Dove (Yale University)
Dr. Cristina Eghenter (Trento, Italy)
Mr. Jayl Langub (Universiti Malaysia Sarawak)
Dr. Peter Metcalf (University of Virginia)
Fru. Ida Nicolaisen (Nordic Institute of Asian Studies)
Dr. Arlo Nimmo (San Francisco, California)
Dr. Lesley Potter (The Australian University)
Dr. Jacqueline Pugh-Kitingan (Universiti Malaysia Sabah)
Dr. Rajindra K. Puri (University of Kent at Canterbury)
Dr. Robert Reece (Murdoch University)
Dr. Clifford Sather (Portland,Oregon)
Dr. Bernard Sellato (CNRS-IRSEA)
Dr. F. Andrew Smith (The University of Adelaide)
Dr. Vinson H. Sutlive (College of William and Mary)
Dr. Nicholas Tarling (University of Auckland)
Dr. Motomitsu Uchibori (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
Dr. Andrew Vayda (Cook College,Rutgers University)
Dr. Reed L. Wadley (Deceased)
Dr. D. T. W. Wong (Open Unviersity, U.K.)
Dr. Mashitah Mohd. Yusoff (University College of Engineering & Technology, Pahang)

As it has been a most productive year for this Board, it has been decided to offer the members of the Board a 40% discount on all BRC publications in appreciation of their work.

We welcome hearing from anyone who would be interested in participating on this Board.


In addition to being president of the BRC, Dr. Appell is also president of the Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research. These two foundations now share an office. One of the consequences of this association and the reorganization of the BRC is that we are assured of its existence in perpetuity. As a result we have been able to accept contributions of field notes, photographs, tape recordings, etc., to be archived in the offices of the BRC. If there is any interest in this please contact:

We already have field notes, tape recordings, and photographs of five individuals who have worked in Borneo, as well as several other scholars who have worked in Southeast Asia.


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.


The U.S. Post Office has increased their mailing fees. We find it necessary also to increase our mailing costs for overseas orders to $20.00 per book and $10.00 for each additional book. Even at this rate we are subsidizing our mailing costs.

We wish to thank the following individuals for their contributions to the BRC:


Dr. Jennifer Alexander, Antiquarian Booksellers “Gemilang,”, Dr. Clare Boulanger, Dr. Michael R. Dove, Dr. Michael B. Leigh, Mrs. Charity Appell McNabb, Professor H. Arlo Nimmo, Mr. John D. Pearson, Prof. Robert Reece, Dr. Anne Schiller, Dr. & Mrs. Otto Steinmayer, Dr. Herbert L. & Dr. Patricia Whittier, Dr. W. D. Wilder, and Dr. Robert L. Winzeler.


Dr. Laura Appell Warren, Antiquarian Booksellers “Gemilang,” Dr. Adela Baer, Dr. Martin Baier, Dr. Clare Boulanger, Dr. Donald Brown, Dr. Carol J. P. Colfer, Prof. Ian Douglas, Dr. & Mrs. Allen Drake, Ms. Katherine Edwards, Dr. Richard Fidler, Ms. Judith Heimann, Mr. John W. McCarthy, Dr. Peter Metcalf, Mr. John D. Pearson, Mr. David Phillips, Dato Seri John Pike, Dr. Robert Pringle, Dr. & Mrs. Clifford Sather, Dr. & Mrs. Otto Steinmayer, Dr. Jack Stuster, Mr. Nathaniel Tarn, FR Brian Taylor, Dr. Phillip Thomas, Dr. & Dr. H. L. Whittier, Mr. James Wickes, Dr. W. D. Wilder, Mr. William Wilkinson, Dr. Robert Winzeler, Dr. Leigh Wright, Dr. Patricia Yamaguchi , and Mr. Herwig Zahorka.


The balance sheet and operating statement are attached.

G.N. Appell, Ph.D.
September 4, 2008

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