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Social and Behavioral Sciences Commons

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Anthropology

Anthropology Faculty Publications

Kelabit Highlands

Publication Year

Articles 1 - 4 of 4

Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Returning Urbanite, Matthew H. Amster Jan 2014

Returning Urbanite, Matthew H. Amster

Anthropology Faculty Publications

Christian is not a typical returning urban-rural migrant. Unlike most men who come back to the Kelabit Highlands after living in town, he did not return having struggled to make a decent living, nor did he return expecting to get married and start a family. Christian had already done both, leaving behind a good job and returning with his wife and children. What he did not anticipate is how out of place and misunderstood he would be once back home. [excerpt]


Borderland Tactics: Cross-Border Marriage In The Highlands Of Borneo, Matthew H. Amster Jan 2010

Borderland Tactics: Cross-Border Marriage In The Highlands Of Borneo, Matthew H. Amster

Anthropology Faculty Publications

The first time I traveled to Borneo was near the end of 1989. The Berlin Wall had recently fallen and the economics of Southeast Asia were booming. The towns of Sarawak, an oil-rich state of East Malaysia, were experiencing rapid economic growth - due to both the oil company and an expanding logging industry. Rural-urban migration was draining indigenous people from the longhouses of the interior and swelling the populations of coastal towns. Traveling at that time to the Kelabit Highland - a remote interior plateau located in the northeastern corner of Sarawak along the Indonesian border - was to enter a place ...


Where Spirit And Bulldozer Roam: Environment And Anxiety In Highland Borneo, Matthew H. Amster Jan 2008

Where Spirit And Bulldozer Roam: Environment And Anxiety In Highland Borneo, Matthew H. Amster

Anthropology Faculty Publications

This paper explores changing perceptions of the natural environment among the Kelabit, an indigenous people of the Borneo interior. It considers both traditional and post-Christian conversion understandings about forest spaces. The former animistic ritual practices of the Kelabit centered on a spiritual dialogue with the natural world and this dialogue was often marked by active efforts to avoid or mitigate danger through ritual practice. One key example presented here is the former ceremony of 'calling the eagle' (nawar keniu), a ritual employed in times of crisis that exemplifies the dialogical and entwined relationship Kelabit had to the natural world. Such ...


The Diary Of A District Officer: Alastair Morrison's 1953 Trip To The Kelabit Highlands, Matthew H. Amster Jan 2005

The Diary Of A District Officer: Alastair Morrison's 1953 Trip To The Kelabit Highlands, Matthew H. Amster

Anthropology Faculty Publications

In 1953, Alastair Morrison, then acting District Officer for the Bara, traveled to the Kelabit Highlands along with his wife, photographer Hedda Morrison, and ever changing entourage of 'coolie" porters and guides. This journey was part of his regular responsibilities as a District Officer. During such tours, Morrison surveyed longhouse communities and collected information about the local population and spoke to people about government policies, school fees, taxes, the registering of guns, and often sought to resolve local disputes. Such journeys were summarized in formal reports. However, Morrison also kept travel notebooks, which he later used to write his memoir ...