Carol Rubenstein is an American poet with a background of studies in anthropology and mythology. A graduate of Bennington College and Johns Hopkins University, she has received grants from the Ford Foundation, the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, and the Eben Demarest, and has been the recipient of awards from PEN and the Columbia University Translation Center. Most recently, she is a recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Dayaks of Sarawak in Borneo, formerly headhunters, have long fascinated anthropologists and other travelers to the region. In recent years, however, mounting social, political, and economic pressures from the outside world have threatened their society and traditions. In 1971 Rubenstein began a three-year project of collecting and translating Dayak oral literature in order to preserve the insights, knowledge, and vision of these remote peoples.