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Striving to reach "heaven's gate" : Javanese adaptations to swamp and upland environments in Kalimantan

Hidayati, Deny

Description

This thesis focuses on the interrelationship between Javanese transmigrants and their new environments in the Outer Islands, specifically how particular groups adapted to and survived in the harsh environments of tidal swamps and an upland area in Kalimantan. The Javanese in the study settlements faced great difficulties in coping with these unfamiliar environments, particularly in the unique swamp ecosystems of South Kalimantan where according to them, 'water manipulates people', as...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorHidayati, Deny
dc.date.accessioned2017-05-04T00:33:20Z
dc.date.available2017-05-04T00:33:20Z
dc.date.copyright1994
dc.identifier.otherb1887740
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/116778
dc.description.abstractThis thesis focuses on the interrelationship between Javanese transmigrants and their new environments in the Outer Islands, specifically how particular groups adapted to and survived in the harsh environments of tidal swamps and an upland area in Kalimantan. The Javanese in the study settlements faced great difficulties in coping with these unfamiliar environments, particularly in the unique swamp ecosystems of South Kalimantan where according to them, 'water manipulates people', as opposed to Java where 'people manipulate water'. A lack of basic information was the main problem they identified, and acquiring and developing knowledge about the new environment emerged as the most pressing task for their survival. This study considers both the physical and social environments as major factors influencing the Javanese process of adaptation to the environment of Kalimantan. The study identifies learning about the new settlements, off-farm employment, and government programs as the main mechanisms generating the resources used by the Javanese in the process of adaptation. The operating of these mechanisms was influenced by the natural environment as well as by the Javanese own culture and that of the indigenous people. It was also affected by socioeconomic variables and intervening factors such as the level of technology, and economic needs and opportunities. The Javanese reacted to their situation by developing a range of agricultural and non-agricultural strategies that utilised the resources available to them in a variety of ways. The thesis identifies three major agricultural strategies: the application of Javanese agricultural practices, adoption of indigenous agricultural systems, and the adoption of government agricultural programs. The indigenous people had developed effective systems of environmental management based on their long experience in the location. By contrast, the Javanese had to acquire new knowledge and modify certain aspects of their existing agricultural and nonagricultural knowledge. In doing so, they often practised techniques that were inappropriate in the new setting and caused serious environmental deterioration. The thesis also identified non-agricultural strategies adopted by the Javanese, particularly the development of off-farm sources of income, new ways of organising capital, and changes in their sociocultural practices. The different ecological and socioeconomic settings in the field sites led to different patterns of adaptation. The Javanese in the daily-flooded swamp had adapted most thoroughly to their new environment, while those in the high-tide swamp had adapted least. Settlers in Bukit Village were the most able and willing to maintain their Javanese culture, while those in the daily-flooded swamp had made the most radical changes to their life-style. In the indirect swamp, the pattern of adaptation was mixed. This study shows how such changes have taken place and why the Javanese, particularly in the daily-flooded swamp, adapted more to local conditions, while those in the upland area and high-tide swamp were more dependent on traditional Javanese practices. The outcome of the long process of settlement was that most Javanese transmigrants did achieve a better life in Kalimantan. Despite their better life, most settlers remained dissatisfied with their living conditions and hoped for further increases in their standard of living. At the time of field work, they agreed that they had achieved an improved quality of life in terms of an adequate supply of their staple food, rice. However, they expected greater improvements in their socioeconomic status, particularly better education for their children and access to non-agricultural wage labour.
dc.format.extent351 p.
dc.language.isoen
dc.subject.lcshJavanese (Indonesian people) Agriculture Indonesia Kalimantan
dc.subject.lcshSwamp ecology Indonesia Kalimantan
dc.subject.lcshAgriculture Environmental aspects Indonesia Kalimantan
dc.titleStriving to reach "heaven's gate" : Javanese adaptations to swamp and upland environments in Kalimantan
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorFox, James
dcterms.valid1994
local.description.notesThis thesis has been made available through exception 200AB to the Copyright Act.
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued1994
local.contributor.affiliationThe Australian National University
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d74e30df3231
dc.date.updated2017-04-29T08:48:01Z
local.mintdoimint
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