Life of the Longhouse Peter Metcalf

ISBN: 9780521110983

Published: January 1st 2010

Hardcover

384 pages


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Life of the Longhouse  by  Peter Metcalf

Life of the Longhouse by Peter Metcalf
January 1st 2010 | Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, AUDIO, mp3, ZIP | 384 pages | ISBN: 9780521110983 | 6.67 Mb

For two centuries, travellers were amazed at the massive buildings found along the rivers that flow from the mountainous interior of Borneo. They concentrated hundreds of people under one roof, in the middle of empty rainforests. There was noMoreFor two centuries, travellers were amazed at the massive buildings found along the rivers that flow from the mountainous interior of Borneo.

They concentrated hundreds of people under one roof, in the middle of empty rainforests. There was no practical necessity for this arrangement, and it remains a mystery. Peter Metcalf provides an answer by showing the historical context, using both oral histories and colonial records. The key factor was a pre-modern trading system that funneled rare and exotic jungle products to China via the ancient coastal city of Brunei. Meanwhile the elite manufactured goods traded upriver shaped the political and religious institutions of longhouse society.

However, the apparent permanence of longhouses was an illusion. In historical terms, longhouse communities were both mobile and labile, and the patterns of ethnicity they created more closely resemble the contemporary world than any stereotype of tribal societies.



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