Ein Comeback der Tradition? Die Revitalisierung von Adat in Ostindonesien

Translated title of the contribution: A comeback of tradition? : The revitalisation of Adat in eastern Indonesia

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Since the breakdown of the Suharto regime in 1998 and the passing of a new autonomy law in 1999, we can observe trends to revive local traditions all over Indonesia. In parallel, a bloody conflict was fought out in the Moluccas in Eastern Indonesia, mainly between Christians and Muslims, from 1999 until 2002. Nothing was left of the interreligious harmony, for which the Moluccas had been famous until then. During and after the conflict local actors pled for the strengthening or revival of traditions and customary law (adat) in order to create sustainable peace. I therefore argue that in the Moluccas the revitalisation of adat process not only has to be seen as part of a general trend in post-Suharto Indonesia, but also as a local strategy for reconciliation. These revival attempts take place on different levels and are initiated by different actors with different backgrounds, motives and objectives. This paper aims to portray and analyse identity construction processes coming along with the revival movements, it aims to identify central actors, to reveal contradictions and problems in the revitalisation process and to discuss its potential as peacemaker in the Moluccas.

Translated title of the contributionA comeback of tradition? : The revitalisation of Adat in eastern Indonesia
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)37-57
Number of pages21
JournalZeitschrift fuer Ethnologie
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Decentralisation
  • Indonesia
  • Local leaders
  • Reconciliation
  • Revitalisation of tradition

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