Return to Sumatra: 1957,1997



In this article, I reflect on how ethnography has changed between my 1957 fieldwork in a Toba Batak village in Sumatra, Indonesia, and my return visit in 1997. I argue that current issues of transnationalism and globalization are as significant in what is seemingly the most traditional of anthropological sites, a mountain village in Southeast Asia, as in more modern worldly settings. I discuss culture and ethnography, and I explore different experiential meanings of the term village.