edited by Lynn L. Thomas and Franz von Benda-Beckmann
Social scientists have long recognized many apparent contradictions in the Minangkabau. The world's largest matrilineal people, they are also strongly Islamic and, as a society, remarkably modern and outward looking. Focusing on Minangkabau proper, and treating several adjacent areas as well, this collection examines the resilience and adaptability of the Minangkabau in the face of outside political and economic pressures and of distortions in social science and legal theory. Individual studies address issues of kinship and other forms of social organization, ideology, and political and economic life. Together, they emphasize the integrity of Minangkabau social forms while revealing fascinating patterns of continuity and change in Minangkabau culture. This collection will be of particular interest to anthropologists specializing in Southeast Asia, but it will also be important reading for those concerned with the issue of change and continuity in the third world generally.