Friday, November 4, 2011

The Wilds of Borneo

The world's third largest island.  It's interior is one of the least explored places on earth.  Borneo tribes engaged in head hunting as recently as the WWII (against the Japanese occupying force).  Two books of exploration to take into it's jungles.

1.  Into the Heart of Borneo, Redmond O'Hanlon (1984).  O'Hanlon, an Oxford naturalist, travels with his friend, the poet, James Fenton, on foot and canoes to the very center of Borneo.  The trip is both hazardous and hilarious with the group meeting the Ukit tribe who had not been visited by outsiders since a 1926 expedition.  They exchange Fenton's poetry for dance lessons with the Ukits.   Bought used at a church book sale sometime in Alexandria, VA.

2.  Stranger in the Forest: On Foot Across Borneo, Eric Hansen (1988).  An experienced travel writer, Hansen picked Borneo because he wanted to journey to something far beyond his comprehension that he would have to step completely out of his skin to understand his surroundings.  On his 1,500 miles under triple canopy of jungle, Hansen befriends remote tribes.  Bought used but can't remember where.

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