7.7. Does Inagawan play a role in a public sphere?

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Last Updated 10 October 2016

Lamtiur Hasianna Tampubolon (Unika Atma Jaya)


In the traditional structure of the Amungme society, men and women have a cleared role that develops a traditional relationship between them in their daily activities. Women were used to have domestic roles as a care taker, the one who raises pigs and who serves food, etc. On the other hand, men do hunting, building a house and a traditional house (honai), clearing the land for a garden, as they regarded stronger than women. The Amungme is a paternalistic society; therefore, a man is a leader and has power in the family as well as in the community to take a decision in any aspects of daily life. In the community, there is a local term known as ‘inagawan”, i.e. a woman who has a charismatic character as she has mercy, provides assistance and can protect people. “Inagawan” is perceived has a broad knowledge and the ability to lead. A woman who can be categorized as “inagawan” is very rare, but some people ever mentioned, she was the wife of a chief tribe in Dolilingogin, a small village in Kabupaten Mimika. As “inagawan”, that woman should play a role in a public area; it means that she has courage to show her opinion. As “inagawan”, she would be given a time to speak in the public area. However, looking at the patrilineal system in the Amungme, it is doubt that “inagawan” could do such a thing. Even though she is “inagawan”, her role in the domestic sphere still avails. It does not automatically stop her duty as a wife and a mother in the family. This was a qualitative study, utilizing an in-depth interview and observation. Indepth interview was conducted to some mothers/women, community leaders (male), and local members of the community. The results of the in-depth interview was transcribed in the form of verbatim, and was analyzed its content (content analysis). This study find out that even though “inagawan” could be seen as a leader in the community, or has a voice to speak up in public sphere, it only happens when male/men give her  a change to do so.

Keywords: gender, sex, leader, power relation