Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty Profiles

National University of Singapore
10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260

Appointment: OTHERS
Office: AS1/03-29
Email: socmerb@nus.edu.sg
Tel: 6874 3825
Fax: 6777 9579
Homepage: http://profile.nus.edu.sg/fass/socmerb/
| Brief Introduction | Teaching Areas | Current Research | Research Interests | Publications | Other Information

Brief Introduction Top

Maribeth Erb joined the Department of Sociology in 1989. She had taught for a year in the Department of Anthropology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook after finishing her Ph.D. there, before coming to Singapore. Her research for her Ph.D. was on Kinship and Ritual among the people of Manggarai in Western Flores, Eastern Indonesia. She has continued to pursue research in Western Flores over the years. When the villagers of one old village in Manggarai decided to rebuilt their traditional house for tourism purposes, she was asked to help in researching out the history and symbolism of this house. Since then she has been interested in the influence that growing tourism has had on Manggaraian culture.
She is married and has two daughters.

Teaching Areas Top

  • Introduction to Anthropology (SC1102)
  • Culture and Society (SC2206)
  • Urban Anthropology (SC4206)

Current Research Top

History of the development of tourism in western Flores, the impact of this development on the local people, how they have come to understand tourists, and how they adapt and recreate their culture for the purposes of tourism.

Research Interests Top

  • Sociology of Tourism
  • History and Ethnography of Manggarai, Western Flores
  • Kinship, Marriage and the Person
  • Ritual and Social Change

Publications Top


  • The Manggaraians: Guide to Traditional Life Styles, Singapore: Times Editions. 1999.


  • "Negotiating History: Myth, Power and Ethnicity in Manggarai (Flores, Eastern Indonesia)."  In ASEAN in the Global System, edited by H.M. Dahlan, J. Hamzah, J.H. Ong and A.Y. Hing. Kuala Lumpur: Penerbit UKM. 1997.
  • "Talking and Eating: Sacrificial Ritual among the Rembong."  In For the Sake of Our Futures: Sacrificing in Eastern Indonesia, edited by S. Howell. Leiden: Center for Non-western Studies. 1996.
  • "The Curse of the Cooked People: Weaving among the Rembong, Northeastern Manggarai."  In Gift of the Cotton Maiden: Textiles of Flores and the Solor Islands, edited by R. Hamilton. Los Angelos: The Fowler Museum of Cultural History. 1994.
  • "Flores: Cosmology, Art and Ritual." In Islands and Ancestors: Indigenous Styles of Southeast Asia. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Geneva: Barbier-Mueller Museum. 1988.
  • 2005 “Introduction: Entangled Politics in Post-Suharto Indonesia”, Priyambudi Sulistiyano and Maribeth Erb, in Regionalism in Post-Suharto Indonesia, edited by Maribeth Erb, Priyambudi Sulistiyanto, and Carole Faucher, Routledge-Curzon, forthcoming.
    2005 “Creating Cultural Identity in an Era of Regional Autonomy: Reinventing Manggarai?” with Romanus Beni, and Wilhelmus Anggal, in Regionalism in Post-Suharto Indonesia, Maribeth Erb, Priyambudi Sulistiyanto and Carole Faucher eds., London: Routledge-Curzon, forthcoming.


  • 2004 “Miscommunication and Cultural Values in Conflict: Reflections on Morality and Tourism in Labuan Bajo, Flores, Indonesia”, in Tourism: An Interdisciplinary International Journal, special issue on Cultural Differences in Tourism, vol. 52 (1):75-89.
    2003 “True Catholics: Religion and Identity in Western Flores”, in Franck Michael ed.
    special issue on Religion and Identity (Sentiments religieux et identités culturelles),
    Histoire et Anthropologie Asies 2: 125-160.
    2003 “‘Uniting the Bodies and Cleaning the Village’: Conflicts over Local Heritage in a
    Globalizing World”, in Michael Hitchcock and V.T. King eds, special issue on
    Heritage in Southeast Asia, Indonesia and the Malay World, vol 31 (89):129-139
    2001 “Eco-tourism and Environmental Conservation in Western Flores: Who Benefits?”,
    Antropologi Indonesia 66: 72-88.
    2001 “Le Tourisme et la Quete de la Culture a Manggarai” (Tourism, and the Search for Culture in Manggarai), special issue on the Anthropology of Tourism in Southeast Asia, edited by Michel Picard and Jean Michaud, Anthropologie et Societes 25(2): 93-108.
    2000 “Work, Consumption and the Indonesian Crises in Western Flores”, Southeast Asian
    Journal of Social Science, special issue on Changing Indonesia, 28 (2):131-152.
    2000 “Introduction: A Changing Indonesia”, by Maribeth Erb and Kathleen M. Adams,
    Southeast Asian Journal of Social Science, special issue on Changing Indonesia, 28
    2000 “Understanding Tourists: Interpretations from Indonesia”, Annals of Tourism Research,
    27 (3):709-736.
    1998 “The Deer and the Boar: Hunting, Predatory Animals and Rituals of Respect in
    Rembong Manggarai”, Antropologi Indonesia vol. 56: 28-36.
  • "Tourism Space in Manggarai, Western Flores, Indonesia: The House as a Contested Place",  Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 19: 177-192.
  • "Contested Time and Place: Myth and History in Todo, Manggarai (Flores, Indonesia)." Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 28: 47-77. 1997.
  • "Cuddling the Rice: Myth and Ritual in the Agricultural Year of the Rembong of Northern Manggarai, Indonesia." Contributions to Southeast Asian Ethnography 10: 151-183. 1994.
  • "Becoming Complete Among the Rembong: This Life and The Next." Southeast Asian Journal of Social Science 21: 10-33. 1994.

Other Information Top

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