Inter-Hierarchical Commissions in a Bornean Plural Society

Inter-Hierarchical Commissions in a Bornean Plural Society 97 INTER-HIERARCHICAL COMMISSIONS IN A BORNEAN PLURAL SOCIETY D.E. Brown, Ph.D. Department of Anthropology University of California Sonta Barbara, California. This paper has three aims: 1) to present and discuss data on a social position of a type which Gluckman labelled "inter-hierarchical" (1968), 2) to explore - in light of the data presented-the relation- ship between the concepts of office and commission (Smith 1966: 124-5; 1968: 195-6), and 3) to suggest some of the concomitants of the difference between offices and commissions. The inter-hierarchical position which is to be examined is that of the "land chiefs" in Brunei. The Context ' ° . Brunei is a small British-protected Malay Sultanate in northwest Borneo. In the last century Brunei's dominions included most of the present- day states of Sarawak and Sabah, Malaysia. In earlier periods ' Brunei's hegemony swept from Luzon in the Philippines to some point in western or even southern Borneo. Brunei has long been, and remains, ethnically plural. One ethnic group, called the Bruneis, appears to have been immemorially domin- ant, though always a minority. The ethnic Bruneis are Malay-speaking Muslims who are associated with the urban socio-cultural orientation of their ancient seaport capital. The other Asian Journal of Social Science Brill

Inter-Hierarchical Commissions in a Bornean Plural Society

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© 1973 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
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