“Women, land, and labor: negotiating clientage and kinship in a Minangkabau peasant community”

One of the central dynamics shaping agrarian change, and one seldom highlighted, is the structure and ideology of kinship and clientage in peasant communities. This article examines the importance of kin ties in the maintenance of nonwage labor relationships in a wet-rice farming community in West Sumatra, Indonesia. In this village patron-client ties are primarily organized on the basis of matrilineal kin ties through and between women. Elite women and their client kin are both bound to and invested in a complex relation of land, labor, and obligations that supports the continued interdependence of landlord/tenant and helps keep agricultural wage labor from becoming the dominant relation of production in the village.
Blackwood, Evelyn
Source publication: 
Ethnology 36(4): 277-293