Two different types of cognition are recognised in Moluccan culture: the biological relationship, the family, and the age-old village relationships, the pèla bandage.

The Moluccan population in Indonesia is traditionally organized in village communities. Pèla is a covenant system, which is a connection between two or more villages. The most important characteristic of pèla is that help is always available for each neighbouring village. The internal hierarchy focuses on the individual in the group.

The Moluccan family connection is very close: family is family. This commitment to family is based on the identified family 

relationship and thus, stretches out beyond direct relatives. You stand up for yourself as well as for your family; you defend the honour of the family.


Every act of a family member, either positive or negative, has its effect and is the responsibility of the total group. This intertwining of ‘me’ and ‘we’, makes the individual dependant on the group which reflects the closeness of the family members.