The Anthropological Romance of Bali 1597-1972: Dynamic Perspectives in Marriage and Caste, Politics and Religion

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CUP Archive, Nov 30, 1977 - Social Science - 259 pages
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For centuries Bali has generated provocative - and often conflicting - images in the minds of ethnographers and travellers alike. Professor Boon places our current understanding of Bali within the context of historical views of Balinese life and religion, beginning with the initial Dutch contacts after 1597. He approaches Balinese culture as a 'social romance' of flexible values and actions keyed to native ideals of an enduring hierarchy. In this way, he explains the changing perspectives of Bali throughout the colonial era; the relationship between marriage and caste; the enthusiasm of various outsiders for Balinese arts and lifestyle; and recent political developments, including communist factions and parties modelled on the idea of an ancestral caste. Based on field work in Indonesia as well as historical research, this book is the first thorough study of Balinese social and cultural dynamics. Professor Boon consolidates approaches from structuralism, comparative literature, interaction theory and the analysis of social organisation and social change in order to demonstrate the complex principles that make this island of enduring interest to students of other societies.
 

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Contents

Temporal perspectives
9
concerted documentation 1880s1920s
35
twentiethcentury systems 1920s1950s
50
an indigenous retrospect pre1906 to post1971
70
Social and cultural dynamics
91
The meaning of marriage and descent
119
Caste in retroflexion
145
Situational hierarchy
165
Images in action
186
The end of romance?
219
Notes
225
Bibliography
243
Index
255
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