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Title: Lamaholot of East Flores : a study of a boundary community
Author: Modh, Sandra Violeta
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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Lamaholot is a population found on Flores and in the Solor Archipelago of Eastern Indonesia. The population is village-based and divided into patrilineal descent groups. Marriage is coupled with bridewealth and follows a pattern of asymmetric marriage alliance between descent groups. This thesis shows that a small group of Lamaholot in the administrative regency of East Flores shares certain traditions with a neighbouring population called Ata Tana ‘Ai. Ata Tana ‘Ai are a sub-group of the Sikka population in the administrative regency of Sikka. Descent group among Ata Tana ‘Ai are matrilineal and households were traditionally based in scattered gardens. Marriage is not coupled with bridewealth and instances of asymmetric marriage alliance between descent groups are here a consequence rather than a cause of marriage. The current fieldsite seems to have been part of the ceremonial system of Ata Tana ‘Ai and also to have shared a tradition of dispersed settlement in the gardens. The descent groups might initially have been matrilineal, but in the recent past there was also a habit of dividing children between the parental descent groups. Recent traditions of dividing children can be found throughout central-east Flores, but seemingly not to same extent as at the fieldsite. The payment of elephant’s tusks was a central feature in the acquisition of group members at the fieldsite and could be paid by both men and women. These payments were not necessarily tied to marriage and did not serve as bridewealth. In the last century outer social factors, such as the Catholic mission and the creation of the Dutch colonial state, have resulted in that many of the traditional practices at the fieldsite have been replaced with traditions from Lamaholot elsewhere. The residence pattern is now village-based, but gardens retain a central social and ritual position. The role of the elephant’s tusks has taken different expressions throughout this period of social change, and alongside the changing role of tusks, the traditional social and material authority of women at the fieldsite has declined, whereas that of men has increased. This thesis examines the current and the traditional practices in and around the fieldsite, and focuses on local definitions of descent group, kinship, and inheritance, looking at both biological and social perspectives.
Supervisor: Barnes, R. H. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Social influence ; Minor cults and religions ; Social Sciences ; Anthropology ; Ethnographic practices ; Indigenous peoples ; Families,children and childcare ; Ethnic minorities and ethnicity ; Families ; Gender ; Households ; Ideologies ; Intergenerational relationships ; Social status ; Women ; Agriculture ; Southeast Asia ; Indonesia ; Eastern Indonesia ; Flores ; East Flores ; Lamaholot ; kinship ; social structure ; ethnology