Gaining Access to People and Trees

Nancy Lee Peluso

in Rich Forests, Poor People

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 1992 | ISBN: 9780520073777
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520915534 | DOI:
Gaining Access to People and Trees

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From the seventeenth to the twentieth century, Java's forests and forest dwellers have served Javanese sultans and regents, Dutch traders and officials, Chinese businessmen, Japanese war planners, and Indonesian foresters. But forest people also have exerted some controls of their own. This chapter begins by discussing the probable constraints on forest access felt by Javanese forest dwellers prior to contact with the agents of the United East India Company (VOC, for Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, or “the Company”). Scholars continue to debate the nature of rural life during this period. Most pertinent to this chapter are the de jure and de facto claims and controls of the Javanese sovereign and other elites over the forest dwellers' uses of the forest, and the nature of social cohesiveness in forest settlements, specifically, whether it was based on vertical or horizontal ties. The chapter focuses primarily on the first of these questions, as others have treated the second question at great length.

Keywords: Java; forests; Javanese forest dwellers; forest access; East India Company; Oost-Indische Compagnie; forest settlements

Chapter.  7287 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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