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Caged in on the OutsideMoral Subjectivity, Selfhood, and Islam in Minangkabau, Indonesia$
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Gregory M. Simon

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824838300

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824838300.001.0001

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The Village and the Marketplace

The Village and the Marketplace

The Moral Structure of a Minangkabau City

(p.16) 1 The Village and the Marketplace
Caged in on the Outside

Gregory M. Simon

University of Hawai'i Press

The particular economic, religious, and political history of Minangkabau society in West Sumatra has fueled a moral tension between autonomy and social integration. Minangkabau society, and the city of Bukittinggi, developed in the image of an Islamic trading society, forged during the social disruption and rapid expansion of trade that accompanied colonial intrusion. In this context, Islam was embraced as a unifying moral framework desperately needed in a fracturing society, but also as one that legitimized individual endeavor. With a social structure rooted in village and neighborhood kinship ties, and an economy emphasizing the competitive marketplace, the resulting moral tensions have carried into subsequent eras of Indonesian statehood, the New Order regime, and the period of reformasi. An overview of daily life in Bukttinggi also reveals these tensions as manifest in a conceptual division of the city—moral as much as geographic—into “the village” (kampuang) and “the marketplace” (pasa).

Keywords:   Bukittinggi, West Sumatra, Minangkabau, Islam, economy, kampuang, pasa, Indonesia, autonomy, social integration

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