Art as Politics
Publication Year: 2006
Published by: University of Hawai'i Press
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Chapter 1. Carvings, Christianity, and CHiPs
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Some researchers are lured by distant, palm-fringed island beach communities; others are enticed by bustling urban centers; but in my case it was the high tropical mountains of South Sulawesi, Indonesia, homeland of an ethnic group known as the Sa’dan Toraja.1 (See Map 1.) Ever since my first undergraduate literary encounters...
Chapter 2. Competing Toraja Images of Identity
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My introduction to the politically charged nature of identity imagery in Tana Toraja began on my third day in Rantepao. I was hunting for a map of the area, and several young aspiring Toraja guides steered me in the direction of a small general store near the market. ...
Chapter 3. The Carved Tongkonan [Includes Image Plates]
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A few weeks after settling in at Ne’ Duma’s family home, I set out to find a carving mentor. My initial prospect was Ne’ Lindo, a charismatic, fine-featured carver in his fifties, with closely cropped salt-and-pepper hair, thick glasses, and twinkling eyes. Ne’ Lindo resided with his family inKe’te’ Kesu’ and ran a small but lucrative carving kiosk not far from Indo’...
Chapter 4. Mortuary Efﬁgies and Identity Politics
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In the late 1920s a young Frenchwoman named Titayna set off on an adventure to the Borneo and Sulawesi hinterlands. Her travels were later chronicled in the sensationally titled book: A Woman in the Land of the Headhunters (Une femme chez les chausseurs de t
Chapter 5. Ceremonials, Monumental Displays, and Museumiﬁcation
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It was early evening in August 1995, on my second night back in the village, and I was sitting with my adopted Toraja family absently watching the national television station (TVRI) that was broadcasting around the clock in celebration of Indonesia’s fiftieth anniversary of independence. ...
Chapter 6. Toraja Icons on the National and Transnational Stage
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This chapter pursues a number of themes pertaining to cultural pastiches, cultural appropriation, art, and the negotiation of Toraja identity and values in ever-widening spheres. Central here is the issue of how, in the context of growing interethnic, interreligious, and economic turmoil, Torajasare struggling to project their identity and viewpoints beyond the local...
Chapter 7. Carving New Conceptions of Community in an Era of Religious and Ethnic Violence
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On a brisk morning in 1997, some time after the anti-Chinese rioting, a convoy of trucks rumbled into Rantepao. The trucks screeched to a halt at the town’s dusty main intersection, where villagers awaited public transport to the buffalo market and unemployed Toraja guides lingered along-side snoozing Makassarese becak drivers. ...
Chapter 8. From Toraja Heritage to World Heritage?
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Throughout this book I have illustrated how art can serve as an active ingredient in identity politics. In this regard this book contributes to a growing literature that critiques traditional perspectives on art and material creations as passive mirrors of the social relations in the creator culture. ...
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Index [Includes About the Author]
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Publication Year: 2006