Dr Christopher Duncan

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christopher_duncanDr. Christopher Duncan (Arizona State Univ.) ‘The Impact of communal violence on the Tobelo, of Halmahera, Indonesia’ (2000)

I originally intended to use this Urgent Anthropology Fellowship to document the indigenous ritual practices and cosmological beliefs of the Forest Tobelo, a group of forest-dwelling foragers on the eastern Indonesian Island of Halmahera. Unfortunately, prior to my fieldwork, Halmahera was engulfed in ethnic and religious violence that made his original project unfeasible. I was forced to change my research project and instead undertook an ethnographic study of the 1999-2000 conflict and its aftermath, exploring issues such as forced migration, reconciliation, and the use of religion and customary law during and after the fighting. One aspect of this project has been an exploration of the conflict’s impact on indigenous groups such as the Forest Tobelo. For example, I have explored how national policies on decentralization have had a generally negative impact on these communities as timber and mining interests enter the region in large numbers.


2009a. “Monuments and Martyrdom in the Aftermath of Communal Violence in North Maluku.” Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land-  en Volkenkunde 165(4): 429-458.

2009b. “Reconciliation and Reinvention: The Resurgence of Tradition in Post-conflict North Maluku, Indonesia.” Journal of Asian Studies 68(4): 1077-1104.

2008e. “Where Do We Go From Here? The Politics of Ending Displacement in Post-conflict North Maluku.” In Conflict, Violence, and Displacement in Southeast Asia: Patterns, Dynamics, and Experience, edited by E. Hedman, pp. 207-230. Ithaca: Cornell Southeast Asia Program.

2007a. “The Devil Is in the Details: Representations of Conflict in North Maluku, Eastern Indonesia.” Goldsmiths Anthropology Research Papers, No. 12 (15 pp.).

2007b. “Mixed Outcomes: The Effects of Regional Autonomy and Decentralization on Ethnic Minorities in Indonesia.” Development and Change 38(4): 711-733.

2005a. “The Other Maluku: Chronologies of Conflict in North Maluku, Eastern Indonesia.” Indonesia 80: 53-80.

2005b. “The Politics of Going Home: The Future of Internally Displaced Persons in North Maluku.” Cakalele: Maluku Research Journal 11: 81-108.

2005c. “Unwelcome Guests: Relations between Internally Displaced Persons and Their Hosts in North Sulawesi.” Journal of Refugee Studies 18(1): 25-46.

2004d. “Tamu Tak Diundang: Hubungan diantara Pengungsi dan Orang Lokal di Sulawesi Utara.” Antropologi Indonesia 74: 48-58. (Translated by Antropologi Indonesia staff).