Duncan Holaday Notebooks



Duncan Holaday Notebooks


Duncan Holaday received a B.A. in Anthropology with Honors from Wesleyan University in 1968. He received an M.A. in Anthropology from Cornell University in 1972, and earned a PhD in Communications from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984. Holaday received a Fulbright grant to the University of Indonesia in 1978, and to the Universiti Sains Malaysia in 1985. The Jah Hut stories described in the notebooks in this collection were recorded, transcribed, and translated during a ten month stay in Malaysia between May 1969 and March 1970. This visit included six months of study at Gombak Hospital and three months at the Krau River in Pahang with Batin Long bin Hok. Batin Long bin Hok was the headman of the Jah Hut people at Sungai Krau, Pahang. He recited, explained and provided illustrations of the myths. Holaday returned to the Jah Hut in 1985 and 1986 to prepare these stories for their first publication through Times Books International. The stories were originally published under the title, 'Tales of a Shaman: Jah Hut Myths as told by Batin Long bin Hok.' During this visit he also made the film, 'Metos Jah Hut,' which can be found in the Human Studies Film Archive at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Holaday returned again in 1998 to prepare for the second publication of the book, this time under the title, 'Batin Long bin Hok's Bés Hyang Dnéy and other Jah Hut Stories.' The second publication was published by the Center for Orang Asli Concerns. This collection includes two notebooks that contain field notes compiled by anthropologist Duncan Holaday between 1969 and 1970. These notebooks document Holaday's research of the Jah Hut language and mythology. The first notebook, labeled Book #1 by Holaday, contains 346 pages. From the front of the notebook there are 244 pages of written notes and drawings. From the back of the notebook, upside down, there are 16 pages of notes. Upside down notes occur on pages 266, 275, 276, 308, and 333-346. There are pages missing between 195-196 and 275-276. Included in Book #1 are vocabulary lists of Jah Hut words with their English translations, drawings to illustrate the meaning of words, and notes on phonology. Book #1 also includes illustrations and descriptions of Jah Hut spirits, myths, and their meaning. The illustrations were drawn by Batin Long bin Hok, who was the headman, religious leader and story-teller of the Jah Hut. Additionally, there are two re-transcriptions of audio recordings of stories told by Long. The transcriptions are translated line by line into English. The second notebook, labeled Book # 2 by Holaday, contains 296 pages. 162 pages contain written notes and drawings. The notes include vocabulary lists and illustrations and transcriptions of audio recordings of stories told by Long. The transcriptions in Book #2 are not always accompanied by English translations. Book #1 and Book #2 also contain vocabulary lists of other Orang Asli languages. These lists are marked as Mah Meri, Semai, Che' Wong, or Semelai. The page numbers in this note do not correspond to the page numbers marked in red by Holaday in the notebooks.


McGarrity, Irene










Keene State College




Linguistic Anthropology




Keene State College

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