Universitas Indonesia Conferences, 7th International Symposium of Journal Antropologi Indonesia

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Become Kulisusu People: Identity Construction and Transformation of Kulisusu People from XVII to XXI Century.
Nurlin Nurlin

Building: Soegondo Building
Room: 126
Date: 2019-07-25 01:00 PM – 02:30 PM
Last modified: 2019-06-18


This article aims at discussing the construction and transformation of the Kulisusu people’s identity in relation to the political alliances drift in the 17th century until the 21st century. When viewed in terms of the closeness of language and origins, the Kulisusu people appear to be identical to the Tolaki, Bungku, Moronene, Wawonii, and Mori communities. But in terms of politics (power), the Kulisusu people are closer to Buton and Muna. Buton and Kulisusu political relations had been established from 1610 to 1959. During that time Kulisusu became one of the four sub-kingdoms (known as Barata Pata Palenain local language) that supporting Buton Sultanate. While with Muna, the political relationship lasted from 1959 to 2007. In this period, the Kulisusu people were under the authority of the government located in another island i.e Muna Island. This happened due to political polarization in the region. Now, Kulisusu people in constructing their identities was in quandary between two choices: building his identity based on the narrative of his origin, from the Tolaki and Bungku clusters, or being a Butonese and Muna people where they had been sheltered politically. These identity disclosures were then resolved at the moment of the North Buton regency propagation in 2007. At that political moment, the Kulisusu people firmly refused to become part of Muna, and also refused to become Tolaki or Bungku. They instead settled on their past narratives as part of the Buton sultanate. This shows that the construction of the Kulisusu identity is more influenced by political relations than in the genealogical narrative.


Key Words: Kulisusu people, construction, transformation, identity, power.