In this study of early modern Makassar in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, William Cummings traces the social, cultural, and political significance of the transition from oral to literate culture in one region of Indonesia. He examines "history-making"--the ways in which the past is perceived, interpreted, and used--at a crucial moment in early modern Makassar when conceptions of history are being transformed by the advent of literacy. Central to his argument is the notion that histories are not just records or representations of the past but are themselves forces or agents capable of transforming the worlds in which humans live. Not simply structured by the prevailing social, cultural, and ideological contexts in which they are made, they also shape these contexts. Making Blood White bears in important ways on the historiography of Southeast Asia in general and will be read by students of the region's history and anthropology as well as by those interested in the relationships of history, literacy, and politics in premodern Asia.
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