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tuam secut in cieli et un terra pater noster. Lorem ipusum dolor
sequiturm tuem adveniat. Lorem ipusum dolor sequiturm tuem adveniat
regniam tuam secut in cieli et un terra pater noster qui est in
cieli santificiertum nomen tuum. Lorem ipusum dolor sequiturm tuem
adveniat regniam tuam secut in cieli et un terra pater noster qui
est in cieli santificiertum nomen tuum.
an outline of this work in progress.
Sabah Oral Literature Project
Indigenous peoples without a system of writing maintain
an archive of their traditions in the memory of their elders. These
traditions are then expressed in the oral literature of the society
that the elders perform before various audiences. This literature
includes historical narratives, folktales, myths, and religious
chants, hymns, and songs, detailing the work of the gods. And through
this oral literature the aesthetic impulse of a society finds expression
so that this literature is frequently of great beauty and value.
Unfortunately, with the advent of schooling and
mass media such as television and radio, this volatile memory of
a society’s oral literature is quickly erased as the younger
generation no longer finds interest in it, as the local religion
is discarded for Christianity or Islam, and as the older generation
dies off. Yet this oral literature is of great interest and value
not only to the world of scholars but also to the new developing
countries. As these countries try to find and establish a true cultural
identity from their roots, this oral tradition and literature can
serve as a fundamental resource. But frequently realization of the
value of its beauty and use comes too late, after most of it has
Nowhere is the problem more salient than in Borneo
where there exists oral literatures of such beauty and aesthetic
importance that they rank with the great oral literatures of the
world that have already been written down, such as the Norse Sagas,
the Mahabharata, etc. But it is rapidly being lost and will be completely
lost within the next ten to fifteen years.
Dr. G. N. Appell and his wife, Laura W. R. Appell
have established the Sabah Oral Literature Project to collect the
oral literature of the various Dusunic speaking peoples of Sabah
as well as a “Cultural Dictionary of Rungus Momogun.”
more information on the Sabah Oral Literature Project.
Firebird Foundation for Anthropological
|Rungus woman weaving on a backstrap loom. On the
right a toothless grandmother prepares betel to chew.
G. N. Appell as president of the Firebird Foundation
for Anthropological Research on February 7, 2001 obtained for its
archives the collections of Dr. Peter Goethals who did research
in Sumbawa in the 1950s and then in Malaysia in the 1960s. This
collection includes Goethals's field notebooks, photographs, unpublished
manuscripts, field tapes of oral literature of Professor Peter R.
The Foundation, on April 12, 2001, purchased the
field logs of Owen Rutter, who was an early District Officer in
the North Borneo Charter Company service in 1913-14 and who wrote
two critically important books on the peoples of North Borneo.
The Foundation is currently archiving the field
notes, tape recordings, photographs, linguistic data, and collection
of material culture made by George and Laura Appell among the Dogrib
Indians of the Northwest Territories of Canada, the Rungus of Sabah,
Malaysia, and the Bulusu and Tinggalan of Kalimantan, Timor, Indonesia.
Fund for Urgent Anthropological Research
|Rungus longhouse with swidden rice fieldsd on
The Anthropologists: Fund for Urgent Anthropological
Research, of which G. N. Appell is the Founding Sponsor, was launched
in late 1993 to support basic ethnographic research on threatened
or disappearing cultures and languages of indigenous peoples and
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 struggle to control their
to the website for the Fund for Urgent Anthropological Research.
Borneo Research Council
G. N. Appell, President and General Editor of the
Borneo Research Council’s publications. In 1968, he was one
of the founders of the BRC to help forward knowledge in the social,
biological, and medical sciences in Borneo. The Council is composed
of an international group of scholars engaged in research in Borneo.
The Council's goals are to:
- Promote scientific research in the social, biological,
and medical sciences in Borneo;
- Permit the research community, interested Borneo
government departments, and others to keep abreast of ongoing
research and its results;
- Serve as a vehicle for drawing attention to
urgent research and its results;
Coordinate the flow of information on Borneo research arising
from many diverse sources;
- Disseminate rapidly the initial results of research
Inform the interested public on research in Borneo.
Other functions include providing counsel and assistance
to research endeavors, conservation activities, and the practical
application of research results.
to the website for the Borneo Research Council.