Climate resilience and shifting monsoons: agricultural adaptation at the village level in communities of East Flores, Indonesia
The rat ceremony performed by farmers in villages throughout East Flores, Indonesia, provides an example of an emic approach to climate change adaptation—one drawing insight from the perspective of the farmers themselves. The alternative, etic, approach, although heavily critiqued by practitioners and theorists, is often prioritized over emic ones, and typically employs quantitative measurements of livelihoods to understand how best to create resiliency in communities vulnerable to the challenges presented by climate change. The rat ceremony demonstrates a way in which community resiliency is strengthened by supporting an already existing community ceremony that emphasizes two essential tenets: community solidarity and coexistence with nature. Both tenets directly promote community resiliency. An explicit emphasis on emic approaches to climate change challenges could help re-define how adaptation is understood and supported within vulnerable communities such as rural villages.