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Open Access Ritual and reflexes of lost sovereignty in Sikka, a regency of Flores in eastern Indonesia

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Ritual and reflexes of lost sovereignty in Sikka, a regency of Flores in eastern Indonesia

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In 1993 some among the Sikkanese population of the town of Maumere on the north coast of Flores in eastern Indonesia attended a ritual to reconcile the members of two branches of the family of the rajas of Sikka, a dynasty that had once ruled the district. The two branches had fallen out over differences in opinion about the last succession to the office of raja a few years before the end of the rajadom in the late 1950s. A description of the ritual, which was conducted in an urban rather than a village setting, and an analysis of the performance demonstrate much about the persistence of elements of the old Sikkanese religion in modern Sikkanese society. The contemporary Sikkanese are Christians and the regency of Sikka is part of the modern Indonesian nation-state.

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