chapter  3
22 Pages

Initiation – Malifut

Many Makians did not want to leave their homeland of Makian Island when government officials arrived in 1975. Despite increased seismic activity over the preceding months, and the warnings that Kie Besi volcano was ready to erupt, the people of Makian wanted to stay with their homes and gardens. Many believed that the government was simply trying to move them to less crowded and unproductive land. When officials began forcibly removing many families to Malifut on Halmahera, this distrust turned to anger. Yet by the 1990s the Makians had accepted they would remain in Malifut and sought to legitimate their permanence in the area by having their new sub-district formally recognized. However, in 1999, just as they were about to achieve their goal, the Makians found their way blocked by their neighbouring community, the Kaos.