Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies
Recent publications
In the summer of 2020, tens of thousands of people took to streets and squares around the Netherlands under the banner of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Many speakers called for Dutch institutions to ‘decolonize’ by reckoning with their own colonial history and racialized legacies. Addressing institutional racism at universities should be a multi-layered process. Recruitment and admission of students, curriculum design, hiring of academic staff, retention, promotion and teaching practices should all be considered. Those of us teaching at Dutch law schools, however, do not have to wait; by incorporating critical theoretical approaches and existing historical research on race and colonialism, Dutch law school teachers can begin to address structural racism and colonial legacies as soon as the next teaching term. This article gives concrete examples of where and how to begin.
Artificial feeding of young infants is considered a modern phenomenon. However, historical sources note its practice in some past European populations. This research explores factors that contributed to a short to absent period of breastfeeding in pre-modern Netherlands. Stable nitrogen and carbon isotope analysis is undertaken on 277 19th century individuals from Beemster, a, rural, mainly Protestant, dairy farming community. An intra-individual sampling approach for ≤6 year-olds compares newer metaphyseal to older diaphyseal long bone collagen to classify feeding status at death. Archivally identified individuals permit analyses of sex and year-of-death. Few infants have isotopic evidence for breastfeeding and, if present, it was likely of short duration or a minor source of dietary protein. From only a few weeks to months of age infants were fed cow's milk and paps with sugar. There is broad dietary homogeneity with no sex or temporal isotopic differences, but young infants (1-11 months) have the most ẟ15N and ẟ13C variation highlighting the effect of multiple dietary and physiological processes. Beemster had many factors associated with high rates of breastfeeding in other Dutch communities, yet, most mothers did not breastfeed, or not for long, showing that regional variation in infant feeding is influenced by community values and traditions. On top of child rearing and domestic chores, female dairy farmers were in charge of milking cattle and dairy production, an important income source, suggesting high workload was also a factor in short or absent breastfeeding periods, aided by the constant supply of fresh milk that could be fed to an infant by an older sibling.
This research aims to provide a better understanding of the diffusion of ceramic morphological traits in the Greater Antilles and how communities experienced and integrated new ideas into their manufacturing traditions. The chaîne opératoire approach together with the communities of practice theory produce a holistic methodology to unveil social and temporal connections between artifacts, sites and communities. A detailed petrographic and macro-trace analysis of the ceramic manufacturing techniques for the site of El Cabo (Dominican Republic) is provided. Results evidence a complex homogeneous assemblage characterized by one major techno-group but petrographic heterogeneity. The communities, who lived in El Cabo, experienced and integrated changes in vessel shape and style (from Ostionoid to Chicoid features), though maintained conservative and stable traditions in the main technological steps. The petrographic heterogeneity implies that the inhabitants of El Cabo were probably involved in a broader regional network of interaction and were thus not limited to their community for the production of their pottery. Communities from different locations were, as shown by the presence of raw materials from various and distant geological environments, affiliated with a common ancestor represented by the persistence of one shared technical tradition.
The rapid expansion of oil palm plantations in Indonesia has generated a large and growing number of protests against palm oil companies over, mainly, access to land. So far, these protests have been mainly studied through scattered case studies, which precludes an understanding and analysis of general patterns. Addressing this challenge, this paper presents the results of the first-ever large-scale collaborative effort to document 150 conflicts between rural Indonesians and palm oil companies in four Indonesian provinces (West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, Riau and West Sumatra). With this material this article unpacks trajectories of the anti-corporate activism sparked by the rapid expansion of palm oil plantations, discussing the causes, character of protests, conflict resolution efforts and outcomes of these conflicts. We find that palm oil conflicts generate a particular 'rightless' form of collective action: instead of invoking legal provisions or rights, communities often avoid formal institutions while adopting largely accommodative forms of protest aimed at improving their bargaining position vis-à-vis companies. Despite regular and intense protests often directed at local governments, we find that in 68 percent of the studied conflicts communities fail to address their grievances. We argue that this limited success is not just due to the inadequacies of legal frameworks but also to the way in which Indonesia's infor-malized state institutions foster collusion between powerholders and palm oil companies. Such collusion has facilitated the repression of protests and undermined the effectiveness of conflict resolution mechanisms.
The rapid expansion of oil palm plantations in Indonesia has generated a large and growing number of conflicts between rural communities and palm oil companies over, mainly, access to land. Employing a detailed documentation of 150 such conflicts in four Indonesian provinces, this paper assesses and evaluates how local, national and international NGOs help communities address their grievances. We find that rights-based activism characterises only a small portion of NGOs working on land conflicts, as a more common strategy revolves around political brokerage. NGOs generally fail to achieve significant impact, with the partial exception of (those connected with) international NGOs.
Dit artikel is de inleiding op het direct hierna volgende (Oonk e.a. 2022) waar een nieuw praktijkmodel over het ontstaan en ontwikkeling van stotteren wordt voorgesteld. In de dagelijkse praktijk van vooral Nederlandstalige logopedisten (-stottertherapeuten) is tot nu toe veel gebruik gemaakt van het klinische werkmodel van Bertens (1994; 2017). Dit model gaat uit van een primaire neuromusculaire timingsstoornis, welke zich niet alleen uit in het spreken, maar ook in algemene zin aanwezig is. Dit model echter, is aan revisie toe. Volgens de recente literatuur is de algemene aard van die timingstoornis niet bewezen, en zijn er veel vroegere (meer primaire) factoren aantoonbaar van belang bij het ontstaan van stotteren, met name in de genetica en in de neurologie. In dit artikel wordt deze literatuur kort samengevat, alsmede worden enkele recente modellen omschreven. Met name regulatie en terugkoppeling krijgen in recente modellen meer aandacht. Er is geen volledigheid nagestreefd, maar dit artikel is meer een tutoriale opmaat voor het hierna te presenteren model.
Pre-colonial Caribbean jade objects from the National Museum of Denmark Hatt Collection were subjected to a provenance and microwear analysis. Thirty-nine jade celts and bodily ornaments from the US Virgin Islands, i.e., St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John, and five celts from the West Indies of unknown location, St. Vincent, Cuba and the Dominican Republic were analysed. A comprehensive in-depth examination of jade adornments from St. Croix, combining typo-technological and microwear analysis, is compared to other lithologies used for pre-colonial ornaments. A portable laser ablation system was used to sample jade celts and bodily ornaments on site in a quasi-non-destructive manner. Low-blank trace element and Sr-Nd isotope ratio data were evaluated with a multiclass regression provenance prediction model. This study demonstrates that the pan-Caribbean exchange of jade raw materials, pre-forms or finished objects during the Ceramic Age (400 BC to AD 1492) occurred on a more complex scale than previously thought involving jade sources in Guatemala, eastern Cuba and the northern Dominican Republic. In addition, the study of ornaments recovered from St. Croix reveals use of specific lithologies suggesting stronger ties to Indigenous communities on Puerto Rico than other Lesser Antillean Islands.
Considering the growing need to protect nature and acknowledging that not everyone has intrinsic desires to do so, what happens when social, community-based motives are seen to align with pro-environmental behavior? Specifically, the hypothesis addressed in this study is that individuals engage in actions to protect the natural environment at least partly to improve their sense of belonging to their community. To test this hypothesis, we distributed an online survey in rural regions of the UK. We found that particularly people who are concerned about their reputation and have a strong desire to belong engage in conservation actions. Our findings support the hypothesis that people conserve the environment to enhance their sense of belonging and illustrate that there are different additional processes at work that affect the relationship between desire to belong and engagement in conservation actions.
This article explores the myths and evidence surrounding extreme violence and the framing of ‘ethnic soldiers’ as loyal and indispensable Moluccan soldiers in the Dutch army in the Indonesian War of Independence, 1945–1949. In this article, we first interrogate the origins of this framing in the Dutch–Indonesian case and the type of sources underlying this perspective. Next, we present the results of our research, which combines a study of Dutch veterans’ ego documents and oral-history projects. Based on this analysis, we reconsider both the framing and the evidence, after which we conclude with some comparative observations on ‘ethnic soldiers’ and the sources and perspectives underlying the ambivalent, but increasingly critical, framing of these men. Our methodology includes the use of digital-humanities techniques.
In the late medieval period, Holland experienced substantial socioeconomic change. While the region was largely undeveloped prior to 1200 CE, the period after was characterised by extensive urbanisation and flourishing international trade, changes that would have impacted many aspects of life. This paper investigates the effect of these changes on diet by comparing skeletal collections from the early/central medieval rural village of Blokhuizen (800‐1200 CE) to the late medieval urban town of Alkmaar (1448‐1572 CE) using a combination of the prevalence and location of carious lesions (n teeth=3475) and stable carbon and nitrogen isotope data (n=50). Results show that the urban Alkmaar population had a significantly higher caries frequency (7.4% vs. 16.1%), starting at a younger age. Moreover, Alkmaar had significantly more approximal caries. These results point to increased consumption of cariogenic products, such as sugars and starches, by the urban citizens. Dietary differences are also demonstrated by the stable isotope data. Alkmaar individuals have significantly enriched δ15N ratios and more variable δ13C ratios compared to rural Blokhuizen. The elevated δ15N values may be due to increased consumption of fish or animals such as omnivorous pigs and chickens. The combination of caries and isotopic data points to clear changes in diet suggesting that urban individuals in the late medieval period had a substantially different diet compared to early rural inhabitants from the same area. Specifically, an increase in market dependence, availability of international trade products, and the growth of commercial fishing in the late medieval period may have contributed to this dietary shift. Future research should include a late medieval rural population to better understand the effects of late medieval socioeconomic developments outside of the urban environment. This study demonstrates that the integration of palaeopathology and stable isotopic research provides a more complete understanding of dietary changes in medieval Holland.
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