Spontaneous Migration and Settlement Patterns: A Study of Upland Village in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia 1985 - 2017

Melani Abdulkadir-sunito, Soeryo Adiwibowo, Endriatmo Soetarto, Rilus A. Kinseng, Sean Foley


This paper discusses frontier agriculture migration and village transformation by describing how settlements are established and develop over time and analyzing factors that determine it. The study combined quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection, by conducting village-level population census and collecting village population registration, as well as observation, transect walks and interviews to elders and pioneer migrants. As within the last thirty years the population increased eight-folds and currently two-third of them are migrants, migration is an important factor of village transformation to focus on. However, with regards to settlement patterns, case of upland village Watumaeta indicates that its establishment and development is not only affected by size and period of migration, but also by local geography and history, incidents of conflict in the region, ethnic and religious affiliation, and migrants’ crops of choice.  The result of such intertwining factors is a village with clusterred settlements based on ethnic and sub-ethnic groupings that give indication to a community with a weak social integration.

Keywords: Indonesia frontier migration; settlements structure; social integration; upland village

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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