This account of culture and society in the villages of West Sumatra, Indonesia, during the period of Dutch colonialism is based on materials collected from the colonial archives, local Indonesian newspapers and recent fieldwork in Malaysia and Indonesia. The author argues that the impact of colonial land-grabbing and political control led to the formation of a peasant economy in the period.At the same time, the author tackles issues in the recent anthropological debates about ethnography and culture to argue that this period also witnessed the construction of what we now call 'Minangkabau Culture' - a process that involved western ethnographers, colonial officials and Minangkabau intellectuals in an often conflicted process of modern cultural transformation.
Table of Contents
Contents: The Interpretation of Minangkabau Culture: Traditions of Modernity of Modernist Traditions? - Peasantization and Class Formation in Minangkabau Villages - The Constitution of Minangkabau in Colonial Discourse - Nationalism, Modernism, and Neotraditionalism: Discursive Transformation in Twentieth - Century Minangkabau Culture - Images of Tradition: the Selective Constitution of Minangkabau Culture - State Formation in Colonial Indonesia: Bureaucratization and Land Alienation and the Constitution of Minangkabau's Southern Frontier in the 1920s - The Hypertrophic Modern State, Culture and the Peasantry in Colonial Indonesia.1993 314pp.
Joel S Kahn Professor of Anthropology and Sociology,La Trobe University