"Agrarian Relations in Upland Sulawesi: The Case of Tana Toraja"

16:00 -, January 22 (Mon), 2007
Room 207 on the 2nd Floor, East Building, CSEAS, Kyoto University
Dr. Dias Pradadimara (CSEAS visiting research fellow and Lecturer at the History Department, Universitas Hasanuddin, Makassar, Indonesia)

This presentation will focus on the Sa'dan Toraja speaking community of Tana Toraja (Toraja Land) in the northern upland of South Sulawesi. Much of what will be presented are the outcomes of a survey which was facilitated by the collaborative project between Kyoto University and Universitas Hasanuddin (Makassar). The survey itself was designed to obtain a more detailed socio economic picture of the community, by focusing on their agrarian aspects.
Some of the outcomes of the survey were quite surprising. First of all, there are already widespread private ownership claims to plots of land both of rice fields and of dry fields, contrary to the general understanding‐and persistent claims by local informants‐which suggest predominantly communal ownerships (i.e. controlled by lineage houses‐the tongkonan). Secondly, both ownership patterns and cultivation patterns of rice fields and dry fields are skewed with significant percentages of landlessness. The top 5% of largest rice field owners own more than 55% of total rice field, while the top 5% of largest dry field owners claim about 60% of all dry field. When it comes to actually working on the land, the degrees of concentration are somewhat less with 5% of largest rice field operators cultivate 38.55% of rice fields, and the 5% top dry field operators operate slightly more than half of all dry land. While tenancy in the forms of sharecropping and pawning are common, fixed-rate tenancy is not. There are about 30% rice field owner-operators, and about the same number of rice field tenant households, who own no rice field. More than half of dry land operators, however, are owner-operators. Extra household laborers are used for various works in the fields but especially for harvesting in rice fields. The presentation will be concluded with some preliminary notes on agrarian differentiation in Tana Toraja.

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