- Until the mid 20th century, the religious landscape of the village areas in Bima - the easternmost regency on the island of Sumbawa - was an amalgam of Islamic and pre-Islamic beliefs and ritual practices that anthropologists usually subsume under the notion of syncretism. From the 1960s onwards such ideas including the belief in the existence of spiritual beings to whom humans were tied through ritual exchange, and in the presence of a spiritual essence that was considered to animate various types of 'living' entities including people, cultivated plants and several categories of material objects were increasingly antagonised by Islamic reformers who up to the present are trying to eradicate all local beliefs and ritual performances considered inconsistent with the 'purity' of scripturalist Islam. This article gives a brief historical outline of the Islamisation of Bima, identifies the factors contributing to the local upsurge of reformist Islam embodied by the local Mecca pilgrims and discusses the fundamental religious changes brought about by Muhammadiyah- sponsored Islamic boarding schools.
- Author Affiliations: Lecturer in Anthropology, University of Leipzig.
- Source: Indonesia & the Malay World; Mar2010, Vol. 38 Issue 110, p9-25, 17p