© 2007 Nicolas Césard. All rights reserved.

Forest products and bride price in Borneo


Most of the former nomadic Punan of Kalimantan (Borneo) reside along the large rivers of the hinterland. For almost a century in northeastern Kalimantan the increased trade in forest products along the Tubu River, as well as the settling process, had a significant impact on the Punan Tubu’s social system and the interaction of the different groups with the outside world. The article analyses and summarises the continuity between the commercial trade of the past and the current “bride-price” as exemplified by the Punan Tubu – at first glance two unrelated spheres. A sociohistorical review highlights the effects of the evolution of trade and the emergence of new goods, of the neighbouring Dayak groups’ influence, and of the adoption of complex marriage payments.

Césard, N. 2007. A Sociohistorical Transition: Trade in Forest Products and Bride-Price among the Punan Tubu of Eastern Kalimantan, Anthropos, 102.2: 455-477.

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