Accepted paper:

Appropriation, obligation and exchange in East Timor.

Paper authors:

Andrew McWilliam (Western Sydney University)

Paper short abstract:

The collapse of the market economy and most employment opportunities that accompanied the withdrawal of Indonesia from East Timor in 1999 has prompted the revitalisation of customary exchange practices that were heavily attenuated during the Indonesian interregnum (1975-99). With a focus on the indigenous Fataluku speaking communities of far-eastern Timor, this paper explores the character of social exchange relationships as forms of mutually appropriated debt obligations.

Paper long abstract:

The collapse of the market economy and most employment opportunities that accompanied the withdrawal of Indonesia from East Timor in 1999 has prompted the revitalisation of customary exchange practices that were heavily attenuated during the Indonesian interregnum (1975-99). For many Fataluku communities, the strict internal security regime that accompanied military occupation, curtailed opportunities for enacting the vital exchange relationships that inform and reproduce social relations between kin, affines and ancestors. As they rebuild their lives in a now independent East Timor, a renewed attention to exchange and the reciprocal flow of gifts, goods, labour and blessings is once again engaging Fataluku households in culturally intensive relations of exchange and obligation. In this context ideas of ownership and appropriation are constitutive elements of social constructs and entitlement.

back to P46
Social and material exchanges
Convenors:
Cris Shore (Goldsmiths)
Location:
H
Start time:
10 December, 2008 at 8:30
Session slots:
1