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PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:45 pm 
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Knowing that several members of this forum are interested in baskets as well as textiles I am sharing details with you of an excellent book 'Plaited Arts from the Borneo Rainforest' edited by Bernard Sellato published by the NIAS Press in 2012 ISBN 978-97-7694-074-4. Bernard Sellato has been involved with Borneo since 1973, first as a geologist and later as an anthropologist. A former director of the Institute for Research on Southeast Asia (CNRS and Universite de Provence) in Marseilles, France, he is the author of numerous books and articles on the island - including 'Beyond the Green Myth', published by NIAS Press in 2007 - and until recently was editor of the journal 'Moussons: Social Science Research on Southeast Asia'.

Quote:
“The contributors to this volume are among the world’s leading authorities on the arts of Borneo. These twenty scholars and artisans are from ten different nations, including Indonesia and Malaysia, and from Borneo itself: Sarawak, Sabah, and Kalimantan. Their original work is supplemented by a selection of texts written by three pioneer authors that described Borneo basketry before the Second World War.

The volume is dived into twelve parts that cover the complex role of basketry in Borneo societies, the ethnobotanical and technical aspects of basketry, the distribution of plaited arts by region, the past and current market for Borneo’s plaited arts, and style and identity. The abundantly illustrated Appendix surveys the relation between the tropical environment and the material culture.

Illustrated with more than 1,250 color photographs, newly commissioned maps, rare historical photographs, and detailed line drawings, Plaited Arts from the Borneo Rainforest is an essential addition to the libraries of universities, collectors, and scholars alike.”

The book is an extremely heavy, hardback volume and might almost be dismissed as a 'coffee table' book but, although it it has many very seductive photos - both modern and some very interesting old black and white photos - the content is very informative and it is really bringing alive for me my small and idiosyncratic collection of Borneo plaited art.

What really stimulated me to order the book was my attention having been drawn to the wonderful plaited mats of Borneo. First Susan Stem had a lovely one on her website and then, very recently, Mark Johnson in his latest email, drew my attention to a stunning gallery on his site of a collection of 15 such mats (and information on this book for which I am very grateful). I find the mats visually stunning! Sadly, as they are so large and of proportions that would not enable them to be displayed in my 1938 bungalow, I felt that the book was the nearest I could get to enjoying them! It has been such a bonus to find the volume packed with information including photos of baskets, baby carriers and hats as well as the wonderful mats. It covers plaited art across the ethnic groups of Borneo. I have been amazed by the breadth of the content and would recommend it to anyone interested in the culture (and 'art') from Borneo. It is a very welcome addition to my library.

I think the book is quite widely available including on Amazon.


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File comment: Plaited Arts from the Borneo Rainforest - dust jacket
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:03 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Location: Canterbury, UK
I found this short video of a (somewhat noisy) interview with Bernard Sellato on the material arts of Borneo which members may find interesting:


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