Maiden Voyages: Eastern Indonesian Women on the Move

Maiden Voyages: Eastern Indonesian Women on the Move
Date of publication:  2007
Publisher:  ISEAS / KITLV
Number of pages:  212
Code:  BM305


"This study explores the sea travel of women of (semi-) rural origins. Whereas the search for economic opportunities may have been the prime motivation, sea travel has a much wider significance and impact in a cultural sense for the women and their families. Travelling implies crossing boundaries of class, ethnicity, culture and gender. Langgar laut ('crossing the sea') creates a liminal space in which women may have to redefine and renegotiate norms, categories and identities. The merit of this study is its exploration of the subjective dimension of travel and temporary migration, especially its significance for the personal development of women in an under-researched region" (International Journal of Maritime History).

About the publication

Maiden Voyages is a fascinating, unusual study of the centrality, impact and place of sea travel on the lives of women in Eastern Indonesia. It shows how women there travel constantly by sea, to move between islands, to urban centres and even overseas. In doing so, they negotiate and cross and re-make their social boundaries. In contrast to the dominant economic approach to migration, this book uses Eastern Indonesian womens own travel accounts to show how sea voyages recreate their identities. The book is based on research of contemporary rural and semi-rural women in the East Nusa Tenggara province of Indonesia.
           This book is an original and valuable contribution to the debates on gender, subjectivity, and the local specificity. It aims to contribute to an understanding of womens mobility and spatial relations in Eastern Indonesia. It will be of interest to scholars of geography, migration, gender and microeconomics as well as of appeal to general readers.

Co-publication: ISEAS / KITLV



  • Maiden Voyages: Eastern Indonesian Women on the Move
    [Whole Publication, ISBN: 9789812305688]
  • Preliminary pages
  • 1. Women, Space, and Travel
  • 2. Charting the Routes
  • 3. Situating Women and Their Travel
  • 4. Inter-island Travel: Women Negotiating Boundaries of Propriety
  • 5. Travel to Urban Centres: Nurses and Teachers Mobilizing Selves
  • 6. Travel Abroad: Recollections of Domestic Workers
  • 7. Moving Forward: A Process of Becoming
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • About the Author

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