The subak in diaspora: Balinese farmers and the subak in South Sulawesi

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The subak has a long history as an irrigators’ institution on Bali. It has also spread across Indonesia along with Balinese farmers who were resettled by colonial and post-colonial governments or who have migrated spontaneously since colonial times. While subaks have been much researched in Bali itself, little is known about subaks outside Bali. Luwu District in South Sulawesi is one of the areas where thousands of Balinese families settled in the last four decades. Based on research in this transmigration area, this paper analyzes the emergence and development of the subak in relation to the development of irrigation infrastructure of a state-built irrigation system. A comparison between two Balinese settlements in the same system shows that differences in infrastructural and managerial conditions and arrangements between parts of the irrigation system were major determinants of the institutional space allowed for the subak and ways in which the subaks developed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-68
JournalHuman Ecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • irrigation management

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