The article, based on the study of a wide scope of literature available on the Minangkabau of West Sumatra, Indonesia, as well as on the authoress' own previous ethnographic research, describes the peculiar functional symbiosis of two cultural traditions: social organization based on the principals of matrilineal kinship and institutionalized male migration, viewed from both a structural and a historical perspective. It thus provides a summary of the current state of knowledge about the problem preliminary to further field research planned by her beginning from July of this year, which will focus on new developments resulting from major socio-political changes in the Indonesian society in the last 10 years since the fall of the regime of President Suharto.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.