Basketry Weaves and Bau-Malay Earthenware Pottery in Southeast Asia

Wilhelm G. Solheim II


Gua Sirih was excavated in 1959, but circumstances at that time beyond my control prevented the research for and writing of a final report on the site. Thanks to a Senior Fellowship from the Nippon Foundation for the Asian Public Intellectuals program I was able to return to the Sarawak Museum in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia in 2004 to do the needed research on the collection for a final report. My portion of the final report is on the earthenware pottery, my specialty, and other specialists will be contributing reports on the remaining recovered materials.

After working for about a month on the earthenware pottery sherds I realized that the understanding I had of the different types of pottery from the site was in part incorrect. This paper explains the changes I had to make in my classification of the pottery from that which I had used in publications made on pottery from other sites in Sarawak on which I had worked in 1958­1959. It further explains some problems I had on the using the term "Malay" in naming the "Bau­Malay Pottery Tradition" for use in Southeast Asian comparative research.


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