Identitas Orang Melanesia

Suatu Tinjauan Antropologis


  • Izak Resubun



identitas, identitas etnik, Melanesia


The paper delves into the ethnic identity. It consists of four parts. The first part discusses Mendel and Lamarck theories on identity. Mendel is of opinion that one’s identity is defined by the genetic-biologic elements, while Lamarck argues that the socio-cultural elements are the determinant factors. The second theory goes well with oceanic theory of identity. The second part is a case study on Mandok’s people who sees themselves middlemen. They were, are, and will be maritime middlemen. The third part provides a couple of categories like land, language, religion, and cargo cults that Melanesians used to take in defining their own identity. The final part deals with Melanesian identity. The launching of Law on Regional Autonomy by Indonesian Government, the issue of being indigenous or not is relevant and even conditio sine qua non according to one’s socio-economic, political and cultural position in the Indonesian society. Relying on Lamarck’s theory I argue that the Melanesians make use of the same categories in defining their own identity and outsiders’; moreover ethnic identity is a social construction which is always manipulated by both the elites and the commoners in order to take advance of it.


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