Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Books on Madura

These three books are on Madura and the Madurese:

Across Madura Strait: The Dynamics of an Insular Society edited by Kees Van Dijk et al.. The editors of this volume convened a workshop in 1991 to gather the various researchers to explore the information available on Madura, which has until only recently been overshadowed by the more exotic Indonesian locations. Selected papers presented at the KITLV Sixth International Workshop on Indonesian Studies focus on Madura and its relationship to the Indonesian society at large. Anthropologists, historians, musicologists, Islamologists, rural economists, and students of ecology gathered to address the many facets of Madurese culture. Scholarly research and fieldwork findings support the individual discussions which examine historical development, environmental and anthropological idiosyncrasies, and cultural distinctions. The final essay by Didik J. Rachbini identifies current initiatives for improving social and economic infrastructure, and future trends of the approaching industrialization.

Madurese Seafarers: Prahus, Timber and Illegality on the Margins on the Indonesian State by Kurt Stenross. The Madurese are one of the great maritime and trading peoples of the Indonesian Archipelago. This remarkable study takes readers into the trading villages of Madura, with their remarkable tranditional vessels (perahu) that were powered by sail until the late 20th century, and examines their informal-sector economic niches, notably the cattle, salt and timber trades and the carriage of people. The book argues that the nature of village society, the physical characteristics of the island's coast, cultural traditions of frugality and self-reliance, and an appetite for risk all contributed to the enduring success of Madurese traders. During Suharto's New Order, Madurese seafarers prospered through their central role in the booming timber trade between Kalimantan and Java, using great ingenuity and quasi-legal means to negotiate state laws and regulations. Based on data collected during visits to remote ports and unlicensed sawmills in Kalimantan, perahu harbours in Java, and 'wild' beach ports in Madura, the book explores the inner workings of Madurese maritime trade during a critical period that brought this village-based transport industry into a modern and increasingly regulated economic environment.

Equipages Et Voiliers De Madura by Paul Piollet. An overview of the history of Madura, an important centre and entreport in the history of Indonesia since pre-Islamic times, introduces this study of the area's sailing ships. Maps, drawings, diagrams, glossaries, colour photos and documentation of the boats' registration and ladings together give a picture of the now diminished fleet and its associated sailing communities. In French.

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