This volume is the product of an international workshop on Women and Mediation, organized in Leiden in 1988 by the Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde (KITLV) and the Werkgroep Indonesische Vrouwenstudies (WIVS), a Dutch interdisciplinary study group on Indonesian women. The book contains a selection of fourteen contributions—sociological, anthropological, and historical—ranging geographically ‘from Sabang to Merauke’ from the Toba Batak (North Sumatra) to the Dani (Irian Jaya). Loosely centred around the concept of mediation, many of the articles include new data derived from archival research and fieldwork.
One cluster of articles concentrates on theoretical questions concerning the concept of mediation. Another cluster deals with brokerage in the economic and social fields. A third cluster focuses on mediation in the cultural domain, which many extend to mediation between different ‘cultures’(elite-agrarian, Western-Indonesian) or between the human and the suprahuman world, between macrocosm and microcosm.
Mediation by women has been overlooked not only in the social sciences in general but also in the field of women studies in particular. The present volume explores the theme of mediation by women in general, and in Indonesia in particular.