From 19 to 23 January, 2011, Dr. Robert Menua Saleh, Research Director of the Oral History Section of the Tun Jugah Foundation, Participated in an International Conference on Oral Epics Held at the Ateneo De Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines

Borneo Research Bulletin, Annual 2011 | Go to article overview

From 19 to 23 January, 2011, Dr. Robert Menua Saleh, Research Director of the Oral History Section of the Tun Jugah Foundation, Participated in an International Conference on Oral Epics Held at the Ateneo De Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines


From 19 to 23 January, 2011, Dr. Robert Menua Saleh, Research Director of the Oral History Section of the Tun Jugah Foundation, participated in an international conference on oral epics held at the Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines. During the conference, Dr. Menua presented a paper on Iban invocatory chants entitled "Timang Tuah in the life of Iban Traditional Society."

On the evening of 11 July, 2011, the Tun Jugah Foundation organized an Iban oral poetry program which was attended by Dato Seri Utama Rais Yatim, Malaysian Federal Minister for Communication, Information and Culture. During the event, Iban experts Madam Siah anak Tun Jugah, Lemambang Lau anak Nyanggau, Lemambang Jinggan anak Lanchang, Miss Burai anak Sebau and Janang anak Ensiring recited oral poetry composed in traditional forms such as sampi, biau, pantun, timang, and sabak. For the benefit of those in the audience who were non-Iban-speakers, Dr. Robert Menua Saleh and Jantan Umbat explained the meaning of some of the poetry in English. More than 200 persons attended the event which was held in the Tun Jugah Building in Kuching.

In August, 2011, the Tun Jugah Foundation published its long-awaited comprehensive dictionary of the Iban language, Bup Sereba Reti Jaku Iban. A massive volume of 1,359 pages of Iban text, the dictionary covers both vernacular and ritual speech. For further details, see ANNOUNCEMENTS.

In October, 2011, two senior researchers from the Tun Jugah Foundation, Dr. Peter Mulok Kedit and Dr. Robert Menua Saleh, visited Sumatra to carry out the initial phase of a comparative study of Minangkabau and Iban, concentrating on linguistic comparisons using a 600-item word list. A high level of mutual intelligibility was found. The researchers plan to follow up this work with a more detailed comparative look at other aspects of culture, including oral tradition. In November, two members of the Tun Jugah Foundation staff, Dr. Robert Menua Saleh and Jantan Umbat, participated in an international Asian Folklore Seminar held at University Science Malaysia, Pulau Pinang. The seminar paper they presented was entitled "The Richness and Power of Words Used in lban Folklore" and covered four categories of Iban folklore, timang (invocatory chants), pantun (traditional songs), sampi (prayers) and pelian (healing chants). (Robert Menua Saleh, The Tun Jugah Foundation, Kuching).

The biography of Dato Sri Tra Zehnder, written by Hew Cheng Sire of the Faculty of Social Sciences, UNIMAS and Rokiah Talib, retired Professor at the Universiti Malaya was launched on July 13, 2011 by the Institute of East Asian Studies, UNIMAS.

Sahib Said has been appointed Director of the Institute of East Asian Studies, UNIMAS, taking over from Abdul Rashid Abdullah who stepped down to concentrate on research and supervision of Graduate Students. IEAS, together with the Sarawak Chinese Cultural Association, conducted a one-day seminar on the Chinese in Sri Aman Division. The Institute of East Asian Studies, UNIMAS is currently hosting the following visiting research fellows: Tomomi Toyozomi, Hiroshima Shudo University, Japan, doing an environmental auditing survey of Japanese companies in Malaysia, and Albertos Yustnus, Asian Public Intellectual Fellow, Nippon Foundation, conducting research on the Selako residing in urban centers.

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From 19 to 23 January, 2011, Dr. Robert Menua Saleh, Research Director of the Oral History Section of the Tun Jugah Foundation, Participated in an International Conference on Oral Epics Held at the Ateneo De Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines
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