Home
Curriculum Vitae-
Research
Teaching
Photo Gallery
Purdue University

Part I     Part II     Maps


PART I: A MINANGKABAU VILLAGE

Introduction:
The Minangkabau are a vibrant matrilineal and Islamic people living in West Sumatra. They are one of the largest matrilineal societies in the world, numbering about 4.5 million people. They are considered a devoutly Islamic people who have established a harmonious balance between their Islamic and matrilineal practices. Inheritance of land and houses passes from mothers to daughters so that senior women living in the rural agricultural areas control land, labor and kin. Mothers and their daughters form the core of the big lineage houses, although many daughters today have decided to build their own houses separate from their mother’s houses. Wet rice agriculture is the primary source of income in the fertile valleys of the highlands.

Photos 1-19 were taken in 1989-90 during my fieldwork in the village of Taram, province of Lima Puluh Kota, in the highlands of West Sumatra. Photos by EB except no. 8.

Photos may be used for educational purposes only with attribution. For more information on the Minangkabau, please see my book Webs of Power: Women, Kin and Community in a Sumatran Village.

 

Anthropologist at work
#1 Anthropologist at work

Minangkabau big house  (rumah gadang)
#2 Minangkabau big house
(rumah gadang)

 

Newly repainted big house and rice granary (on right) no longer in use
#3 Newly repainted big house and rice
granary (on right) no longer in use

Highland West Sumatra showing fertile rice fields and Mt. Singgalang in background
#4 Highland West Sumatra showing
fertile rice fields and Mt. Singgalang
in background

 

street corner in Taram
#5 street corner in Taram

newer model house with attached garage and apartment on right
#6 newer model house with attached
garage and apartment on right

 

young Minangkabau women attending a high status wedding
#7 young Minangkabau women
attending a high status wedding

An elaborate wedding procession, bride in center with gold headpiece and groom to the left with red head covering (taken in the 1970s)
#8 An elaborate wedding procession,
bride in center with gold headpiece
and groom to the left with red head
covering (taken in the 1970s)

 

A Minangkabau bride
#9 A Minangkabau bride

Senior women attending a wedding event
#10 Senior women attending a
wedding event

 

Men participating in a wedding ceremony
#11 Men participating in a
wedding ceremony

Bride and groom seated together at the wedding ceremony
#12 Bride and groom seated together
at the wedding ceremony

 

Women farmers planting a rice field
#13 Women farmers planting a rice field

Threshing the rice by hand
#14 Threshing the rice by hand

 

Rice farmer measuring her harvest
#15 Rice farmer measuring her harvest

Mother and daughter at the daughter’s house
#16 Mother and daughter at the
daughter’s house

 

Waiting for dusk during the holy month of Ramadan
#17 Waiting for dusk during the holy
month of Ramadan

 

mosque in the village of Taram
#18 mosque in the village of Taram

A big house behind the daughter’s new house
#19 A big house behind the daughter’s new house


PART II: TRAVELS IN WEST SUMATRA     [top]

Padang, capital city of the province of West Sumatra

 

Hotel Bumi Minang in Padang, West Sumatra. Note the use of peaked roofs on the hotel to signify Minangakbau identity.
#20 Hotel Bumi Minang in Padang, West
Sumatra. Note the use of peaked roofs
on the hotel to signify Minangakbau
identity.

 

view of the ocean from the hotel
#21 view of the ocean from the hotel

A street in Padang
#22 A street in Padang

A day at the beach near Padang
#23 A day at the beach near Padang

 

A large mosque near Bukittinggi
#24 A large mosque near Bukittinggi

The road through Padang Panjang.
#25 The road through Padang Panjang.

 

A view of rice fields near coastal West Sumatra
#26 A view of rice fields near coastal
West Sumatra

central Jakarta, view from Hotel Indonesia. Taken while in transit to West Sumatra, 1996.
#27 central Jakarta, view from Hotel
Indonesia. Taken while in transit to
West Sumatra, 1996.

 


Maps     [top]

 

UN Map of Indonesia
#1 Indonesia
See also UN Map of Indonesia - pdf

 

Sumatra
#2 Sumatra
www.govacation-indonesia.com/maps/08sumalg.html

 

[top]

 

 

Home   |   Curriculum Vitae   |   Research   |   Teaching   |   Photos


Department of Anthropology
700 W. State Street     Purdue University      West Lafayette, IN 47907
Tel. (765) 496-1728      Fax (765) 496-7411

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License
.

Website Design Murphysclay.com