Institutt for sosialantropologi

Bandits of Mandiri. Analysis of a land occupation in Lore Lindu National Park, Indonesia


By Anne-Marthe Hagen Asphaug

Supervisor: Associate Professor Eldar Bråten

This thesis explores different perspectives concerning power, communication and masculine identities in relation to an illegal occupation in Lore Lindu National Park in Central Sulawesi in Indonesia.

The occupation started in 2001, was based on claims of land embezzlement by governors and a general land deprivation experienced by the occupants, and was ongoing while the fieldwork for this thesis was performed in 2012. While this thesis focuses on one ethnic group, there was several groups who joined together to occupy land, all which had been previously resettled by the government. The occupation has been focus for media attention and a fierce political debate in the region since it has involved a considerable amount of logging within the park’s conservation zones.

The different interpretations and motivations to logging are necessary factors to understand the occupation, and this thesis explores these in relation to masculine identities.

While much attention has been focused on the debate between different NGOs, the park management, and government representatives, this thesis also explores different perspectives of groups on village level who have not received attention before, and how different masculine acts and rituals have been interpreted during the occupation process.