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Pragmatism, identity and the state: how the Nuaulu of Seram have re-invented their beliefs and practices as ‘religion’. Wacana

Ellen, Roy F. (2014) Pragmatism, identity and the state: how the Nuaulu of Seram have re-invented their beliefs and practices as ‘religion’. Wacana. Wacana: Jurnal Ilmu Pengetahuan Budaya, 15 (2). pp. 254-285. ISSN 1411-2272. E-ISSN 2407-6899.

Abstract

The Dutch colonial state categorized animists and ancestor-worshippers and inscribed them into written records in ways that have had long-term effects. The immediate post-independence period in Maluku, despite early political turmoil, settled-down to a kind of stability under the New Order, the paradoxical outcome of which was both gradual integration of Nuaulu into a wider political and cultural consensus and conditions favouring economic change that undermined that consensus. The new policies of reformasi after 1998 presented further opportunities for Nuaulu to engage with the state in ways that promoted their interests. The opportunities were short-lived, however, given the implosive events of the communal unrest that lasted until 2001. This paper illustrates how this history has influenced Nuaulu self-perceptions and conceptualisation of themselves as a separate people with a “religion” that goes beyond simply adherence to adat, and how this process has been partly driven by demography and a desire for pragmatic accommodation. ABSTRAK Pemerintah kolonial Belanda mengkategorikan penganut Animisme dan pemuja leluhur serta mendokumentasikan mereka dalam literatur atau dokumen tertulis sedemikian rupa sehingga memiliki efek jangka panjang. Periode pasca-kemerdekaan di Maluku -walaupun awalnya ada kekacauan politik- berlangsung teratur di bawah stabilitas pemerintahan Orde Baru, berlawanan dengan situasi orang Nuaulu sebagai hasil integrasi secara bertahap ke dalam konsensus politik dan budaya yang lebih luas serta dengan kondisi-kondisi perubahan ekonomi yang meruntuhkan konsensus itu. Kebijakan-kebijakan baru era reformasi setelah tahun 1998 memberikan kesempatan lebih jauh untuk orang Nuaulu terlibat dengan negara dalam hal menyokong kepentingan-kepentingan mereka. Namun kesempatan itu hanya sebentar karena pecahnya konflik komunal di Maluku yang berlangsung sampai tahun 2001. Tulisan ini menjelaskan bagaimana sejarah itu mempengaruhi persepsi-diri orang Nuaulu dan konseptualisasi diri mereka sebagai komunitas tersendiri dengan suatu “agama” yang melebihi ketaatan yang lazim terhadap adat, dan bagaimana proses ini sebagian disebabkan oleh keadaan demografi dan keinginan untuk penyesuaian secara pragmatis.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Nuaulu, Maluku, religion, animism, ethnicity, official categories, government policy
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Social and Cultural Anthropology
Depositing User: Roy Ellen
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2015 14:03 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 16:18 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/51579 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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