In the history of the tradition to donate (Tradisi Nyumbang) in Javanese rural areas as reciprocity institution, food produce are the main form of gift. However, economic system has penetrated the social aspect of the tradition. Money use as the medium for donation replaced food produce is now a general practice in almost all villages. The research will show how women from underprivileged households in rural areas adhere to use food produce as social exchange tool in the tradition of donation. The produce itself has subjective meaning for the women rooted from the village culture and custom even if they are no longer involved in agricultural farming. The shift in women’s work pattern also characterizes food consumption pattern of the village. Many instant foods have displaced local food existence. This tradition to donate will portray how the moral economic of women villagers is being constructed.
Key words: Reciprocity, food exchange, moral economy of the rural women.
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