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The concept of ‘compatibility' has a particular salience in many Indonesian societies. This article examines ‘compatibility' with reference to person-house relationships on the island of Lombok.

Examining a case where the house and its inhabitants had become incompatible, the article follows one Sasak woman's efforts to rebuild her house and to achieve compatibility. Stressing the unpredictable and recalcitrant quality of material things, the article shows how the materiality of the house imparts dynamism into the relation between a house and its inhabitants. The article suggests that the house is not only a pivot of reflexivity but a vehicle of action.