The Cultural Universe of the Nuaulu Tribe: A Testament to Commitment to Unity, Tradition, and Mutual Trust

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indigenous culture, Mataruma, traditional rulers, traditional houses, gender equity and mutual trust, cultural preservation


Engaging in research within the interdisciplinary realms of ethics and cultural studies is immensely important. This study delves into the social institutions of the Nuaulu people, an indigenous community inhabiting the Seram Island of Indonesia. The analysis focuses on Mataruma, Traditional Rulers, and Traditional Houses, shedding light on their roles, significance, and implications for the community. The research draws on a combination of interviews and references to prior studies to construct a comprehensive narrative about these social institutions. The Mataruma system, characterized by gender equity and shared responsibilities, stands as a testament to the Nuaulu’s commitment to unity, tradition, and mutual trust. Traditional Rulers, the intermediaries between the human world and the realm of ancestors, play a pivotal role in preserving religious practices, reinforcing collective faith, and maintaining cultural integrity. The traditional houses, constructed from natural materials, serve as sacred spaces for rituals, symbolizing the connection between the living and the spiritual world. This in-depth analysis thoroughly explores the Nuaulu social institutions and their enduring influence on the preservation and enrichment of their culture. This study enriches our comprehension of the Nuaulu tribe’s distinctive cultural heritage and also underscores the significance of cultural preservation in the face of evolving religious identities, contributing substantially to the broader discourse in the fields of ethics and cultural studies.


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Author Biographies

I Nyoman Yoga Segara, Universitas Hindu Negeri I Gusti Bagus Sugriwa Denpasar

I Nyoman Yoga Segara is a lecturer in the field of social-cultural anthropology at Universitas Hindu Negeri I Gusti Bagus Sugriwa Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. E-mail: He previously became a researcher on religious, cultural, and societal issues at the Agency for Research and Development and Education and Training, the Ministry of Religious Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia. He graduated his Bachelor's study in Literature and Philosophy of Hinduism at the University of Hindu Indonesia (1998); Master of Philosophy at the University of Indonesia (2004); and Doctoral study of Anthropology at the University of Indonesia (2011).

I Made Budiasa, Universitas Hindu Negeri I Gusti Bagus Sugriwa Denpasar

I Made Budiasa is a lecturer in field of socio-cultural anthropology at Universitas Hindu Negeri I Gusti Bagus Sugriwa Denpasar. In 2002, Budiasa earned a bachelor's degree in the Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Letters, Universitas Udayana. In 2008 he succeeded in obtaining a master's degree in the Postgraduate Program, Cultural Studies Study Program at Universitas Udayana, and now he on the process  at Doctoral Study Program Cultural Studies at Universitas Udayana. One of publications in 2023, one of which is "Ideological Struggle in Cyber Media: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Stigmatization of Spirituality Movements in Bali".

I Ketut Gede Harsana, Univeritas Udayana, Denpasar

I Ketut Gede Harsana is a lecturer in the field of cultural studies since 2001 at Universitas Udayana, Bali, Indonesia. He completed his first bachelor’s degree, majoring at Philosophy of Hinduism, University of Hindu Indonesia. Then, he continued his magister dan doctoral degree, majoring at Cultural Studies at Universitas Udayana. Over the courses of his carrier, he was publish some international reaserch article. He also have a good cooperation with his fellow lectures to develope reaserch.

I Wayan Gede Lamopia, Institut Teknologi dan Bisnis (ITB) STIKOM Bali

I Wayan Gede Lamopia is a lecturer in arts and culture, social and cultural anthropology at Institut Teknologi dan Bisnis (ITB) STIKOM Bali, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. Email: In 2008, Gede Lamopia learned a bachelor's degree in the Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Letters, Universitas Udayana. In 2010 he succeeded in obtaining a master's degree in the Postgraduate Program of the Cultural Studies Study Program at Universitas Udayana. A number of books and publications in 2023 include: Jaladhi Smreti Exploring old port in Ketewel in Community Memory and Colonial Records and Development of a New Model for Bali Tourism Recovery Strategy Based on Sustainable Tourism.

I Gusti Ngurah Jayanti, Badan Riset dan Inovasi Nasional (BRIN)

I Gusti Ngurah Jayanti is an Associate Expert Researcher with expertise in Social and Cultural Anthropology at Badan Riset dan Inovasi Nasional (BRIN). In 2004, Ngurah Jayanti learned a bachelor's degree in the Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Letters, Universitas Udayana. In 2009 he succeeded in obtaining a master's degree in the Postgraduate Program, Cultural Studies Study Program at Universitas Udayana. A number of publications in 2023, one of which is "Multiculturalism in Paradise: Emerging Ethnicity, Religion, Belief and Tourism in Bali".


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How to Cite

Segara, I. N. Y., Budiasa, I. M., Harsana, I. K. G., Lamopia, I. W. G., & Jayanti, I. G. N. (2023). The Cultural Universe of the Nuaulu Tribe: A Testament to Commitment to Unity, Tradition, and Mutual Trust. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 10(4), 213–232.



Original Manuscript
Received 2023-09-23
Accepted 2023-11-12
Published 2023-11-26