Cover

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pp. 1-2

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 3-6

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-x

In 1985, I signed up for the American Field Service high school student exchange program and was placed with a mixed Minangkabau-Mandailing family in Jakarta. I have been returning to Indonesia and living as part of this extended family ever since. I did a stretch of long-term fieldwork in West Sumatra in 1994 – 1996 and in Jakarta in 1998 – 2001. ...

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Introduction: Culture of Paradox

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pp. 1-16

A student of Indonesia could be forgiven for thinking that the two great cultures of the archipelago are the Javanese and the Minangkabau. When we count the names in the history books or tally the individuals who shaped the national culture, these two ethnic groups stand out. ...

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1. Contention Unending

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pp. 17-33

In 2001, the Indonesian National Bank issued a note featuring a portrait of a stern man with a long beard, wearing a turban and a white robe thrown back over his left shoulder (figure 1.1). Tuanku Imam Bondjol was the formal title given to this man, whose name was Muhamad Sahab and who as a young adult had been called Peto Syarif; ...

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2. Shapes of the House

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pp. 34-57

The reformist Padri War did not end because of a Dutch military triumph; Tuanku Imam Bondjol ceased his attack on the matriarchate from a position of strength. An ideological shift in Mecca, the temporary defeat of Wahhabism, and the Tuanku’s ultimate conscientiousness brought an end to the civil war. ...

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3. Interiors and Shapes of the Family

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pp. 58-86

The stereotypical Minangkabau longhouse developed alongside a new tradition of authority. The concept of the family was changing as well, and the ideal form that a household should take became the subject of heated debate. Dutch policy was shifting authority away from nagari councils and the senior women representing matrilocal longhouses. ...

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4. Educating Children

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pp. 87-111

In the nineteenth century, villagers in West Sumatra grew up with divergent ideas of a house and a family. Parenthood was debated and negotiated by mothers and aunts, fathers and uncles. Both reformist Islam and the colonial state favored patriarchy but mistrusted one another. ...

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5. Intimate Contention

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pp. 112-137

The revolution is the great eclipse of Indonesian history. Time is marked relative to its passing, all other moments are swallowed up in its shadow. It is awesome, beautiful, and, if stared at directly, blinding. The unexpectedness of the revolution, precipitated by the Japanese occupation, eclipsed the myriad visions of the future that had grown, clandestine and subversive, ...

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6. Earthquake

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pp. 138-155

In the 1920s, colonial West Sumatra was turned upside down. For Minangkabau, it was not unreasonable to believe that the day of reckoning, foretold in the Quran, was imminent. In smaller villages, the conflict between reformist and traditionalist religious leaders had proved divisive; in separate mosques and prayerhouses, ...

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7. Families in Motion

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pp. 156-176

In his study of Sutan Sjahrir, Rudolf Mrázek discusses the excitement of fin-de-siècle West Sumatra: “History seemed to accelerate in Minangkabau towards the beginning of the twentieth century.”1 In the first two decades of the twentieth century, Movement politics infused daily life in West Sumatra. ...

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Conclusion: Victorious Buffalo, Resilient Matriarchate

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pp. 177-180

The Minangkabau matriarchate is hard to kill. Since the 1820s, the people of West Sumatra have been involved in an intensive three-way contest among reformist Islam, the traditions of the matriarchate, and what would become European progressivism. This dialectic focused on the concept of the ideal house and family. ...

Bibliography

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pp. 181-198

Glossary

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pp. 199-200

Index

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pp. 201-212