Land demand in the Tanimbar Islands Regency has increased in recent years. The causes are President Joko Widodo's decision to move the oil and gas exploration of the Masela block from offshore to onshore, and the Indonesian Government's policy to develop the periphery. There are five villages affected by these two policies, namely Bomaki Village, Latdalam Village, Lermatang Village, Adaut Village, and Kandar Village. Land in these five villages attracts many investors and most have been sold. However, in the negotiation process, the sale of the land caused many conflicts among the local people. Based on the in-depth interviews we conducted with the respondents, who consisted of traditional leaders, village officials, and residents, we found that the high and low intensity of the conflict was determined by the role of the Adat Institutions in each village. Adat institutions have a significant role because of the inherent legitimacy and the practice of the custom 'Duan Lolat', that has been practised so far. The custom's role in conflict resolution is supported by its function as a communicator and mediator that connects village communities, village officials, and investors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-61
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Adat institution
  • Communicator
  • Duan lolat
  • Land conflict
  • Mediator


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