A. V. M. Horton, Editor
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Hugh Norman Evans (1886-1957) enjoyed a long, intimate and
productive relationship with North Borneo (Malaysian Sabah),
and, in particular, with the Dusuns of the Tempasuk region,
and to a lesser extent the neighbouring Tuaran. That special
relationship and the close bonds of affection which Evans
formed and nurtured with many native people during his residence
in the territory are given expression in his Bornean Diaries,
1938-1942. We can count ourselves fortunate that most of the
personal records of Evans's sojourn in Dusun country survived
the Japanese occupation.
The Diaries commence on October 29, 1938, and draw
to a close on May 3, 1942, with the addition of a "Preface,"
"Epilogue" and a final section on "Characters
of Some Dusuns who figure in these Diaries." The entries
from September 4, 1940, to November 7, 1941, are missing.
Some extracts from the Diaries were published in
the Sarawak Museum Journal (1955, 1956), and direct
quotations also appear in Evans's The Religion of the
Tempasuk Dusuns of North Borneo (1953).
In a foreword to the Diaries Professor Victor T.
King (University of Hull) evaluates Evans's current standing
as an ethnographer and folklorist. Evans's personal reminiscences,
King argues, "give us considerable insight into his [Evans's]
methods of data collection; they show us the ethnographer
at work, his particular interests and motivations, his relations
with local people, his opinions of his informants, evaluations
of the quality and content of the information given, and his
personal views of the events and activities which he observed."
The Diaries have been annotated by Mr. A. V. M.
Horton, who also provides an introduction.
I. H. N. Evans (1886-1957), a British ethnographer and archaeologist,
was educated at Charterhouse School in Godalming (Surrey)
and at Clare College, University of Cambridge. After
a brief spell as a cadet in the British North Borneo Company's
Service (1910-1911), he was employed as a curator in Malaya
for twenty years (1912-1932), spent mostly at the Perak Museum
in Taiping. He retired in 1932 and settled at Oulton
Broad in Suffolk until 1938. He then returned to Borneo,
where he spent the remainder of his life. Detained by
the Japanese in Kuching during the war years (1942-1945),
he died in Labuan on May 3, 1957.
Evans's best publication is considered by informed critics
to be his 1937 book, The Negritos of Malaya (Cambridge
University Press, Cambridge), re-issued in 1968 by Frank Cass,
ABOUT THE EDITOR
A. V. M. Horton (Ph.D. University of Hull) is an Honorary
Fellow in the Center for South-East Asian Studies at The University
of Hull and author of many works, including The British
Residency in Brunei 1906-1959, Negara Brunei Darussalam: A
Biographical Dictionary (1846B1998), Turun Temurun:
A Dissection of Negara Brunei Darussalam, A Critical
Guide to Source Material Relating to Brunei With Special Reference
to the British Residential Era 1906B1959 and New
Sketch of the History of Negara Brunei Darussalam.
Dr. Horton also co-edited with Victor T. King a volume of
essays in honor of Father Robert Nicholl entitled From
Buckfast to Borneo and introduced and annotated Report
on Brunei in 1904 by M. S. H. McArthur.
A.V.M. Horton is a Fellow of the Borneo Research Council.