Political Identity of a Minority Group

Abdul ManafTubaka (IAIN Ambon)

Abstract

This study attempts to answer five reseach questions. First, how do we explain the religion of Noaulusurvivial in the midst of rapid social change? Second, how does the relationship that has developed between Naulu believers and the government maintain their identity? Third, how does the government treat the minority of Noaulu across different periods of time? Fourth, how do social, cultural and political factors influence the sustainability of Noaulu political identity of Sepa?. Lastly, How do Noaulu’s values as prominent base of its political identity interact with the general social and political structures? This study employs a qualitative method using the verstehenapproach in order to understanding values and meanings that comes from the subjects of the study (both individuals and political identity of Noaulu community). Data for this study is collected through observation, in-depth interview, and archival works. This study shows: (1) religion serves as a cohesive object to sustain the identity of Noaulu people; (2) minority groups tend to strategically adapt to the state power through resistances within compliance practices; (3) the New Order State has pushed space for race, religion, and ethnic plurality into a rigid political stability which then deteriorates articulation spaces for cultural and religious identity of ethnicity groups; (4) social, cultural, and political factors have influenced the field of social, cultural, and political relations; (5) minority groups posses shared values such as a high level of trust, commitment to religion, loyalty to the group members, and reciprocity values wherein everyone helps and keep each other safe. These practices become a marker of strength for the identity politics of Noaulu minority community in maintaining their beliefs in religion and culture.