Minangkabauists have gone to great lengths to highlight the minutiae of the transformation of epistemological and ontological units shaping everyday life in West Sumatra under colonialism. Jeffrey Hadler, in particular, was among the most prolific researchers of Minangkabau history emphasizing the “cultural resilience” of pre-colonial categories such as the matriarchate and showcasing their genealogies in great empirical detail. In the course of Minangkabau studies, however, the anthropological categories of the “colonial encounter” and “pre-coloniality” have been left undertheorized as they form the axiomatic subsoil of empirical analyses although the way we conceive of them fundamentally determines our understanding of change and continuity. Building on the canonized empirical efforts of Minangkabauists, I propose a problematization and theorization of the labile epistemological and ontological units that enframed the amorphous colonial encounter and conceptions of the pre-colonial polity in West Sumatra. Such a methodological intervention can shed new light on the notions of “transformation” and “resilience” by placing them within a context of différance and a problematization of the archival form.