Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Families, Funerals and Facebook: Reimag(in)ing and ‘Curating’ Toraja Kin in Trans-local Times

  • Kathleen M. Adams
Abstract

The Sa'dan Toraja of upland Sulawesi, Indonesia have long been celebrated in the anthropological literature for their elaborate procession-filled mortuary rituals, which draw vast networks of kith and kin to mourn, memorialise, and reaffirm familial bonds and obligations. Whether residing in the homeland or abroad, most Torajans underscore funeral rites as the most vital expression of Toraja familial and cultural identity. Although some estimates suggest that more Torajans now reside off-island and overseas than remain in the homeland, extended familial funerals in the homeland continue to have a centripetal physical, economic and emotional pull. While various scholars have documented the ways in which remittances from Toraja migrants or the presence of international tourists have transformed Toraja funerals in recent decades, this article focusses on the role of social media in navigating global familial relationships and rituals. Indonesia has the largest number of Facebook subscribers in the world, and this study offers the first exploration of the ways in which Facebook interweaves far-flung familial relationships. This study also examines house-society orientations in the Toraja highlands and addresses the use of Facebook by Torajans in the homeland to cultivate continued allegiances to ancestral houses (around which extended Toraja families are oriented). Finally, this article also examines a large-scale 2012 Toraja funeral in order to spotlight the contours of the Toraja family in the current era of neoliberalism and cyber-technologies. The article offers insights into the ways in which various Torajans navigate social media and non-local corporations to image, reimagine and negotiate familial identities for various audiences (local, national and transnational).

Copyright
References
Hide All
Adams, Kathleen M. 2000. Negotiated identities: humor, kinship rhetoric and mythologies of servitude in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. In Adams, K. and Dickey, S. (eds.) Home and Hegemony: Domestic Service and Identity Politics in South and Southeast Asia, pp. 157178. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Adams, Kathleen M. 2006. Art as Politics: Re-crafting Identities, Tourism, and Power in Tana Toraja, Indonesia. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
Adams, Kathleen M. 2008. Indonesian souvenirs as micro-monuments to modernity: hybridization, deterritorialization and commoditization. In Hitchcock, Michael, King, Victor, and Parnwell, Michael (eds.), Tourism in South-East Asia: Challenges and New Directions, pp. 6982. Honolulu and Singapore: NIAS Press & Univ. of Hawaii Press.
Agar, Michael. 1996. The Professional Stranger. New York: Academic Press.
Bernard, H. Russell (ed.). 1998. Handbook of Methods in Cultural Anthropology. Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press.
Blackwood, Evelyn. 2000. Webs of Power: Women, Kin and Community in a Sumatran Village. Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield.
Carsten, Janet. 2000. Introduction. In Carsten, Janet (ed.), Cultures of Relatedness: New approaches to the Study of Kinship, pp. 136. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Carsten, Janet and Hugh-Jones, Stephen (eds.). 1995. About the House: Lévi-Strauss and Beyond. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Causey, Andrew. 2011. Toba Batak selves: personal, spiritual, collective. In Adams, Kathleen and Gillogly, Kathleen (eds.), Everyday Life in Southeast Asia, pp. 2736. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press:
Cho, Younghan, Leary, Charles and Jackson, Steven J. (eds.). 2012. Glocalization and sports in Asia. Sociology of Sport Journal 29.
Coles, Tim and Dallen, Timothy J. 2004. My field is the world: conceptualizing diasporas, travel and tourism. In Coles, T., and Timothy, D.J., (eds.), Tourism, Diasporas and Space, pp. 129. London and New York: Routledge.
Constable, Nicole. 2003. Romance on a Global Stage: Pen Pals, Virtual Ethnography, and “Mail Order” Marriages. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
Dallen, Timothy, J. 1997. Tourism and the personal heritage experience. Annals of Tourism Research 34(3), 751754.
Di Leonardo, Michaela. 1984. The Varieties of Ethnic Experience: Kinship, Class and Gender among California Italian Americans. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Ellen, R. F. (ed.) 1984. Ethnographic Research: A Guide to General Conduct. London: Academic Press.
Erb, Maribeth. 1998. Tourism space in Manggarai, Western Flores, Indonesia: The house as a contested place. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 19(2), 177192.
Erb, Maribeth. 1999. The Manggaraians: A Guide to Traditional Lifestyles. Singapore: Times Editions.
Esman, Marjorie R. 1984. Tourism as ethnic preservation: the Cajuns of Louisiana. Annals of Tourism Research 11, 451–67.
Fairclough, N. 1995. Critical Discourse Analysis. Boston: Addison Wesley.
Forshee, Jill. 2001. Between the Folds: Stories of Cloth, Lives and Travels from Sumba. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
Forshee, Jill. 2012. Rambu Pakki and Rambu Tokung: Pau, Sumba, Indonesia. In Hamilton, Roy (ed.), Weavers' Stories of Island Southeast Asian, pp. 3645. Los Angeles: UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History.
Fox, James J. 1987. The house as a type of social organization on the island of Roti. In Macdonald, Charles (ed.). De la Hutte au Palais: Societies ‘á Maison’ en Asie du Sud-est Insulaire, pp. 215224. Paris: Editions du CNRS.
Fox, James J. (ed.). 1993. Inside Austronesian Houses: Perspectives on Domestic Designs for Living. Canberra: Anthropology, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies.
Freitag, Ulrike and von Oppen, Achim (eds.). 2010. Translocality: the Study of Globalizing Processes from a Southern Perspective. Leiden: Brill.
Grazella, Mariel. 2013. Facebook has 64m active Indonesian users. Jakarta Post. June 18, 2013. Available at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/06/18/facebook-has-64m-active-indonesian-users.html (accessed on 18 March 2014).
Harris, Olivia. 1984. Households as natural units. In Young, Kate, Wolkowitz, Carol, and McCullogh, Roslyn (eds.), Of Marriage and the Market: Women's Subordination Internationally and Its Lessons, pp. 136155. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Hayami, Yoko, Koizumi, Junko, Songsamphan, Chalidaporn and Tosakul, Ratana. 2012. The Family in Flux in Southeast Asia: Institution, Ideology, Practice. Kyoto: Kyoto University Press.
Hugo, Graeme. 2002. Effects of international migration on the family in Indonesia. Asian and Pacific Migration Journal 11(1), 1346.
de Jong, Edwin. 2008. Making a living in turbulent times: livelihoods and resource allocation in Tana Toraja during Indonesia's economic and political crises. In Titus, M. J. and Burgers, P. (eds.), Rural Livelihoods, Resources and Coping with Crisis in Indonesia: A Comparative Study, pp. 1743. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
de Jong, Edwin. 2013. Making a Living between Crises and Ceremonies in Tana Toraja: The Practice of Everyday Life of a South Sulawesi Highland Community. Leiden and Boston: Brill.
Lee, Sung-Woo and Ducruet, César. 2009. Spatial glocalization in Asian hub port cities: A comparison of Hong Kong and Singapore'. Urban Geography 30(2), 162184.
Lévi-Strauss, Claude. 1983. The Way of the Masks. (translated by Modelski, S.). London: Jonathan Cape.
Lévi-Strauss, Claude. 1987. Anthropology and Myth: Lectures 1951–1982. Oxford: Blackwell.
Lim, Merlyna. 2003. From real to virtual (and back again): civil society, public sphere, and internet in Indonesia. In Ho, K. C., Kluver, R., & Yang, C. C.. Asia.Com: Asia Encounters the Internet, pp. 113128. New York: Routledge.
Lim, Merlyna. 2009. Muslim voices in the blogosphere: mosaics of local-global discourses. In Goggin, Gerard and McLelland, Mark (eds.), Internationalizing Internet Studies: Beyond Anglophone Paradigms, pp. 178195. London: Routledge.
Lim, Merlyna. 2012. Life is local in the imagined global community: Islam and politics in the Indonesian blogosphere. Journal of Media and Religion 11(2), 127140.
Lim, Merlyna. 2013. The internet and everyday life in Indonesia' Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 169, 133147.
Lindquist, Johan. 2008. The Anxieties of Mobility: Migration and Tourism in the Indonesian Borderlands. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
Madianou, Mirca and Miller, Daniel. 2012. Migration and New Media: Transnational Families and Polymedia. Abingdon and New York: Routledge.
Markplus, Insight. 2013. Report: Indonesia now has 74.6 million internet users. Marketeers. Available at: http://www.techinasia.com/indonesia-internet-users-markplus-insight/ (accessed on 18 March 2014).
Miller, Daniel. 2011. Tales from Facebook. Cambridge: Polity Books.
Nugroho, Anuar. 2012. Localising the global, globalising the local: the role of the internet in shaping globalization discourse in Indonesian NGOs. Journal of international Development 24(3), 341368.
Oakes, Timothy and Schein, Louisa. 2006. Preface. In Oakes, Timothyand Schein, Louisa(eds), Translocal China: Linkages, Identities, and the Reimaging of Space, pp. xiixiii. London: Routledge.
Pambayun, Ellis Lestari. 2010. Nirahi Maya: Mengintip Perumpuan di Cyberporn. (Virtual Sexual Desire: Peeking at Women in Cyberporn). Bandung: Nuansa Cendekia.
Pelto, P. J. and Pelto, G. H. 1981. Anthropological Research: The Structure of Inquiry. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Raz, Aviad E. 1999. Riding the Black Ship: Japan and Tokyo Disneyland. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center.
Reed, Chris J. 2013. Indonesia: the world's most social mobile centric country. Available at: http://wallblog.co.uk/2013/05/09/indonesia-the-worlds-most-social-mobile-centric-country/ (accessed on 18 March 2014).
Robertson, Roland. 1995. Glocalization: time-space and homogeneity-heterogeneity. In Featherstone, Michael, Lash, Scott and Robertson, Roland (eds.), Global Modernities, pp 2544. London: Sage Publications.
Rubin, Herbert J. and Rubin, Irene S. 2005. Qualitative Interviewing: The Art of Hearing Data. Second edition. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Saroengallo, Tino. 2010. Ayah Anak Beda Warna! Anak Toraja Kota Menggugat. Yogyakarta: Tembi Rumah Budaya.
Schrauwers, Albert. 2000. Three weddings and a performance: marriage, households, and development in the highlands of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. American Ethnologist 27(4), 855876.
Silvey, Rachel. 2000. Diasporic subjects: gender and mobility in South Sulawesi. Women's Studies International Forum 23, 501–15.
Silvey, Rachel. 2006. Consuming the transnational family: Indonesian migrant domestic workers to Saudi Arabia. Global Networks 6(1), 2340.
Sparkes, Stephen and Howell, Signe. 2003. The House in Southeast Asia: A Changing Social, Economic and Political Domain. London and New York: Routledge.
Suryadinata, L., Arifin, E.N. and Anata, A.. 2003. Indonesia's Population: Ethnicity and Religion in a Changing Political Landscape. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
Tammu, J. and van der Veen, H. 1972. Kamus Toraja-Indonesia. (Toraja-Indonesian Dictionary). Rantepao: Jajasan Perguruan Kristen Toradja.
Volkman, Toby Alice. 1985. Feasts of Honor: Ritual and Change in the Toraja Highlands. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press.
Waterson, Roxana. 1990. The Living House: An Anthropology of Architecture in Southeast Asia. Kuala Lumpur and Singapore: Oxford University Press.
Waterson, Roxana. 1995a. Houses and hierarchies in island Southeast Asia. In Carsten, Janetand Hugh-Jones, Stephen(eds.), About the House: Lévi-Strauss and Beyond, pp 4768. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Waterson, Roxana. 1995b. Houses, graves and kinship groupings in Sa'dan Toraja. Bijdragen Tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde. 151(2), 194217.
Waterson, Roxana. 2003. The immortality of the house in Tana Toraja. In Sparks, Stephen and Howell, Signe (eds.), The House in Southeast Asia: A Changing Social, Economic and Political Domain, pp. 3452. London: Routledge Curzon.
Waterson, Roxana. 2009. Paths and Rivers: Sa'dan Toraja Society in Transformation. Leiden: KITLV Press.
Waterton, Emma. 2009. Sights of sites: picturing heritage, power and exclusion. Journal of Heritage Tourism 4(1), 3756.
Williams, Alex. 2009. On the tip of creative tongues. New York Times, 2 October. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/04/fashion/04curate.html?_r=0&pagewanted=print (accessed on 12 March 2013).
Yamashita, Shinji. 2003. Introduction: ‘Glocalizing’ Southeast Asia. In Yamashita, Shinjiand Eades, J.S.(eds.), Globalization in Southeast Asia: Local, National and Transnational Perspectives, pp. 117. New York and Oxford: Bergham Books.
Yogaswara, A. 2010. The Power of Facebook: Gerakan 1,000,000 Facebookers. Yogyakarta: Mediakom.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

TRaNS: Trans-Regional and -National Studies of Southeast Asia
  • ISSN: 2051-364X
  • EISSN: 2051-3658
  • URL: /core/journals/trans-trans-regional-and-national-studies-of-southeast-asia
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed