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Edited by E.B. Locher-Scholten and A. Niehof

This volume contains a selection from the papers presented at an interdisciplinary symposium on 'Images and ideas concerning women and the feminine in the Indonesian archipelago', organized in 1984 by the Werkgroep lndonesische Vrouwenstudies (WIVS), a Dutch interdisciplinary study group on Indonesian women.
In the present volume, now in its second printing, notions about women in Indonesia in past and present are treated in relation to their actual positions. The articles deal with cultural definitions of sex roles and their social implications, and thus link up with the current academic interest in gender studies. The contributions occupy varying positions on an imaginary scale ranging from an approach primarily concerned with underlying cultural principles to one focused on the social context. Some show a clearly 'culturalist' approach, dealing with female symbols in Balinese offerings, female figures in Indonesian agricultural myths, and Tolaki views on procreation and production. The contributions on the images of women in Indonesian literature, views on the prostitute in colonial society, and the position of women in marriage in Madura and the Minahasa more or less take an intermediate position. The 'sociological' approach may be found in the contributions on the life of the educational pioneer Rahmah EI Yunusiya, on Indonesian-Chinese women, on priyayi women at the Central Javanese courts and in modern Jakarta, and on women's labor in pre-war and present-day Java. Recurring themes, such as sexual dualism, 'ibuism', and the questions of female power and authority, create unity in the diversity of regions and topics represented.


A.F. Marks

The subject of the present study concerns the relationships between men and women and the composition of household groups among the lower Afro-American strata of the society of Curaçao. The material on which it is based was collected in Curaçao in the course of a 15-month period of fieldwork in 1965 and 1966.


Edited by T. Otto and A. Borsboom

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.

The Logic of the Laws

A Structural Analysis of Malay Language Legal Codes from Bengkulu


David S. Moyer

This study is directed towards providing basic background material for the understanding of South Sumatran social organisation. To this end, four legal codes from the first half of the nineteenth century are presented and analysed. The method used in the analysis is a modification of that used by Levi-Strauss for the analysis of myth. The author concludes by stating: "Out of these detailed analyses the most significant phenomenon to emerge is the fact that a relatively small number of formal properties are distributed through a large number of structures within a single legal code, and because of their formal similarities these structures are mutually reinforcing".

Writing a New Society

Social Change through the Novel in Malay

V. Matheson-Hooker

Writing a New Society is the first extended study of the novel in Malay and is a groundbreaking study of the relationship between social change and literary practice. The book traces the emergence of the genre from the 1920s and, drawing on 26 of Malaysia's best-known novels, argues that the form was developed as a vehicle for transforming Malay ideas about themselves and their society. Virginia Hooker focuses on the underlying anxiety about racial identity, which underpins much of Malay writing and examines how ethnic identity is constructed and expressed.
In a radical break with the traditional notion of Malay society as being totally dependent on the Sultan, the book shows how the novelists centre their writings on descriptions of 'ordinary' Malays, and present the household as the primary site of change. Here the novels develop and describe a 'private' sphere where Malays who previously had no rights begin to exercise their initiative. The concept of social equality which inspires the novelists subverts many of the themes of modern Malay politics.

Framing Indonesian Realities

Essays in Symbolic Anthropology in Honour of Reimar Schefold


Edited by Peter J.M. Nas and G.A. Persoon

Ritual language, wild and domestic animals, and objects of material culture like houses, palaces, and works of art, are often loaded with symbolic meaning. ‘Reading the landscape’, or giving meaning to the natural environment, is a cultural act as well, and one must discover what mountains, coastlines, and islands mean to different groups of people. In this book, written on the occasion of Professor Reimar Schefold’s retirement from the Department of Cultural Anthropology at Leiden University, colleagues and former students from the Netherlands and abroad demonstrate the variety and wealth of the field of symbolic anthropology.
The regional focus of the book is Indonesia. The studies presented range from small island communities in western, northern, and eastern Indonesia to urban settlements in Java and Sumatra. All the contributions are in one way or another related to Reimar Schefold’s work over the past thirty-five years, work that includes extensive studies on material culture, rituals, and the use of symbols in the expression of ethnicity among the various cultural groups of Indonesia.

Histories of the Borneo Environment

Economic, Political and Social Dimensions of Change and Continuity


Reed L. Wadley

In light of the tremendous changes that have come to the island of Borneo in recent decades, this volume takes a detailed historical look at the Borneo environment from native, colonial and national perspectives. It examines change and continuity in the economic, political and social dimensions of human-environment interactions. Reflecting the increasingly multidisciplinary nature of environmental history, the book brings together an international group of historians, anthropologists, geographers and social foresters, all looking through a historical lens at the environment in the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, and the Indonesian province of Kalimantan and Brunei. Drawing on extensive archival research and fieldwork, these ten original contributions encompass eleven centuries of history on Borneo, examining interrelated topics that include long-distance trade, conservation, land tenure, resource access, property rights, perceptions of the environment, migration, and development policy and practice.
The chapters in this volume are extensively revised versions of selected papers presented at an international seminar on ‘"Environmental change in native and colonial histories of Borneo: Lessons from the past, prospects for the future"’ held in Leiden under the auspices of the International Institute for Asian Studies.

Frode Jacobsen

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2007 DOI: 10.1163/156853107X240305 Asian Journal of Social Science 35 (2007) 472–487 Marriage Patterns and Social Stratification in Present Hadrami Arab Societies in Central and Eastern Indonesia Frode F. Jacobsen Department of Public Health and

Henry Spiller

Julia Byl, Antiphonal Histories. Resonant Pasts in the Toba Batak Musical Present . Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 2014, viii + 316 pp. ISBN 9780819574787, price: USD  85.00 (hardback); 9780819574794, 29.95 (paperback); 9780819574800, 23.99 (e-book). By the end of

Cynthia Chou

Kirk Endicott (ed.), Malaysia’s Original People: Past, Present and Future of the Orang Asli . Singapore: National University of Singapore Press, 2016, xiv + 520 pp. ISBN 9789971698614, price: USD  34.00 (paperback). Kirk Endicott brings together a landmark-collection of twenty