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Oliver Venz.

Oliver Venz, a graduate student in social anthropology and linguistics at the Freie Universitat and Technische Universitat of Berlin, Germany, is currently (since Dec 2004) carrying out research in East Kalimantan (Kutai Barat) aimed at studying the autochthonous religion of the Benua' with a special focus on the characteristics, functions and historical development of the numina that form the Benua's religious pantheon. His approach is interdisciplinary, combining theories and methods from religious sciences, (cognitive) anthropology and (historical) Austronesian linguistics. The Benua' language, its synchronic structure and historical relationship to other Barito languages is also being studied. Mr. Venz plans to continue his work in Kutai Barat for approximately one more year (through the end of 2006).

Prior to fieldwork, Mr. Venz spent a year at the IKIP in Bandung studying Indonesian philology and, on the basis of four-months fieldwork, wrote an M.A. thesis in 2003 on the Benua's concept of person (Das Menschenbild, der Tod und das Jenseits bei den Benua'-Idaatn in Ost-Kalimantan [Concept of Person, Death and the Beyond among the Benua'-Idaatn of East Kalimantan]). Since 2004, he has been a Ph.D. candidate at the Albert-Ludwigs Universitat of Freiburg, Germany, working under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Stefan Seitz and Prof. Dr. Lothar Kaser; Prof. Dr. Bernd Nothofer and Dr. Horst Cain are also providing support.
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Title Annotation:KALIMANTAN NEWS
Publication:Borneo Research Bulletin
Date:Jan 1, 2005
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