Sasak - Sociopolitical Organization

The Indonesian government is headed by a president with other elected officials. Political parties operate through popular vote.

Social Organization. Sasak society has a ranked system of titled levels (arguably called "castes") with two levels for the aristocracy and one for commoners. Additionally, the society is hierarchically organized by relative age, wealth, religious attainment, occupation, and residence.

Political Organization. The island of Lombok is part of the province of Nusa Tenggara Barat, composed of Lombok and Sumbawa. There is a provincial governor. Lombok has three districts, kabupatan, each of which has a district headman, bupati. These districts are Western Lombok, Central Lombok, and Eastern Lombok. Each district is subdivided into subdistricts, kecamatan, which vary greatly in population and have subdistrict headmen called camat. There are several hundred Sasak villages, or desa, with village headmen, kepala desa. Most desa are subdivided into hamlets, gubug, with neighborhood headmen, or keliang. The village council of elders, kerama desa , is an important decision-making body in many villages and works by discussion and consensus.

Social Control. Direct conflict is avoided. Gossip and ostracism are key mechanisms of control. District courts handle problem cases beyond the village level. In the more isolated areas local problems are adjudicated by the kerama desa.

Conflict. Conflicts over succession and control led to warfare in the past. Present disputes over water rights or inheritance are often resolved through adjudication.

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