Riska: Memories Of A Dayak Girlhood

Riska: Memories Of A Dayak Girlhood

by Riska Orpa Sari, Linda Spalding
     
 

Never before has the Dayak culture been described from the inside, by an indigenous woman born and raised in the rainforest listening to the stories and legends of her tribe, who are famous as the "head- hunters of Borneo." In this vivid memoir - that speaks to readers everywhere about the powerful effects of change - Riska tells us what it means to move

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Overview

Never before has the Dayak culture been described from the inside, by an indigenous woman born and raised in the rainforest listening to the stories and legends of her tribe, who are famous as the "head- hunters of Borneo." In this vivid memoir - that speaks to readers everywhere about the powerful effects of change - Riska tells us what it means to move in one's lifetime from a rainforest culture to the modern world.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"You'll never forget Riska." —Now

"[A] lovely memoir—a rare and valuable record [and] a thoroughly original account of growing up in the rain forests of Borneo.— Fresh, direct writing and sparkling, meandering connections between thoughts, snatches of conversation and memory." -The Globe and Mail

"A captivating story—and a stunning and insightful testament to her life and the life of her people." -Winnipeg Free Press

"Riska ought to be essential reading—A totally enchanting and beguiling autobiography [that] provides valuable insights into the past, present and future of Borneo's first inhabitants. " -Woman Newsmagazine

KLIATT
Spalding, a Canadian anthropologist, met Riska while traveling in the latter's native Borneo. Riska responded to Spalding's attempts to interview her about cultural gender roles by producing the memoir reworked for the book in hand. The thirty-year-old author presents the story of her life from her parents' meeting through her own childhood, adolescence, early marriage, motherhood and career. The story moves quickly and spends little time describing events or thoughts Riska experienced before her marriage at 18. However, her teenaged discovery of sexuality and her husband's disappointment in her inability to prove her virginity are described fully. Riska's parents, like her, were relatively well educated and her production of a written manuscript seems to be in keeping with her background. There is little here, however, that describes the rapid changes the Dayak culture has seen in the past quarter-half, or full century. This remains simply one woman's story, emphasizing the points that engage her most about recounting her own young life. KLIATT Codes: A—Recommended for advanced students, and adults. 1999, Univ. of Georgia Press, 257p, bibliog, 21cm, $16.95. Ages 17 to adult. Reviewer: Francisca Goldsmith; Teen Svcs., Berkeley P.L., Berkeley, CA, November 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 6)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780676972696
Publisher:
Knopf Canada
Publication date:
04/11/2000
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Riska Orpa Sari, 29, lives in Kalimantan, Borneo.

Linda Spalding, in her Introduction, tells of meeting Riska in 1995 when she visited Borneo to research her latest book, The Follow. She is also a novelist, most recently of The Paper Wife, and editor of Brick, A Literary Journal. She lives in Toronto.

Carol Colfer is an anthropologist who lives and works in Indonesia, and has a particular interest in forest cultures.

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