Tuked Rini, Cosmic Traveller

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Monica Janowski
2014. Sarawak Museum.
Includes 2 audio discs
Softcover. 25.4 cm x 20.3 cm, 182 pp
ISBN: 9789839466076


This book is based on a legend that has been recited for centuries around logfires in longhouses in the Kelabit Highlands, the highest inhabited place in Borneo. The legend narrates the adventures of a powerful hero, Tuked Rini, who ventured out into the cosmos to do battle in remote spirit-laden places, returning to his wife with the heads of his enemies. Accompanied by audio material and additional resources that will be developed on a companion website, the work uses the legend to explore Kelabit ideas about life and cosmology – ideas of power or life force, the world of women centred on rice-growing and the relationship of men with the wild.  Especially innovative is the way it brings together an orally told legend and a highly visually-oriented exploration of the way of life of the people who tell it. The book will be of interest to academics studying the culture, language and stories of Borneo but will also – with its striking illustrations including those by Kelabit artist Stephen Baya – appeal to a wider audience. Featured among the illustrations are also photographs taken in 1956 by British explorer Guy Arnold as well as other photographs taken from the 1940s to the 60s.

Weight 800 g
Dimensions 25.4 × 20.3 × 1.6 cm

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