Developed from papers presented at the first European Colloquium on Pacific Studies this volume addresses the dynamics of contemporary Oceanic religions. In particular, the contributors investigate how indigenous populations have come to terms with the enormous impact of colonization and missionization while maintaining a distinct cultural and religious identity.
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.
In this book Sita van Bemmelen offers an account of changes in Toba Batak society (Sumatra, Indonesia) due to Christianity and Dutch colonial rule (1861-1942) with a focus on customs and customary law related to the life cycle and gender relations. The first part, a historical ethnography, describes them as they existed at the onset of colonial rule. The second part zooms in on the negotiations between the Toba Batak elite, the missionaries of the German Rhenish Mission and colonial administrators about these customs showing the evolving views on desirable modernity of each contestant. The pillars of the Toba patrilineal kinship system were challenged, but alterations changed the way it was reproduced and gender relations for ever.
Fitful Histories and Unruly Publics re-examines the relationship between Eurasia’s past and its present by interrogating the social construction of time and the archaeological production of culture. Traditionally, archaeological research in Eurasia has focused on assembling normative descriptions of monolithic cultures that endure for millennia, largely immune to the forces of historical change. The papers in this volume seek to document forces of difference and contestation in the past that were produced in the perceptible engagements of peoples, things, and places. The research gathered here convincingly demonstrates that these forces made social life in ancient Eurasia rather more fitful and its publics considerably more unruly than archaeological research has traditionally allowed.
Contributors are Mikheil Abramishvili, Paula N. Doumani Dupuy, Magnus Fiskesjö, Hilary Gopnik, Emma Hite, Jean-Luc Houle, Erik G. Johannesson, James A. Johnson, Lori Khatchadourian, Ian Lindsay, Maureen E. Marshall, Mitchell S. Rothman, Irina Shingiray, Adam T. Smith, Kathryn O. Weber and Xin Wu.