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Dragons In The Waters Of Borneo: Power, Protection And Threat
Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 19:00
Beliefs about snake-like water spirits or dragons are ubiquitous in SE Asia, and Borneo is no exception. These beliefs derive from east and west, from the Chinese lung and the Indian naga, as well as from an earlier stratum of beliefs deriving from both an Austronesian and a pre-Austronesian heritage. In 2017 I began research on these beliefs in Sarawak and I will discuss some of these here. These spirits are closely associated with water and its power both to fertilize and to destroy, and this is reflected in complex beliefs around their relationship with humans.
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Next evening class
Ian Watts, a founding member of the Radical Anthropology Group, recounts his experiences as an archaeologist in Africa, exploring how modern Homo sapiens evolved. Ian is the world's leading specialist in the ochre record of human evolution, and was part of a team who, while excavating Blombos Cave in 2002, discovered the world's earliest art. He is currently working intensively to sort out the sequences in Border Cave, which features a remarkably continuous stratigraphic record of human occupation spanning about 200 ka.