The History of Chinese overseas goldmine in West Borneo Indonesia

The History of West Borneo Chinese overseas gold Mine  

 

Indonesian West  Borneo

(KALIMANTAN BARAT)

Created by

Dr iwan suwandy,MHA

copyright@2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

PREFACE

I write this limited e-book special for collectors and journalist who need rare info about vintage Chinese Overseas in West Borneo,

 because before I went to West Borneo on my official duty in 1990 very difficult to find the vintage information related with West Borneo Chinese goldmine especially at Montrado Goldmine  Sambas and

a

 Lanfang Republic at mandor Kingdom , that is why during my duty in West Borneo between 1990 until 1994 I collected the rare collections  and another kind artifact related collections of Vintage West Borneo Chinese goldmine .

 During my duty in West Borneo, I  only found one coin of the Chinese Goldmine ‘s Kongsi,  because I haven’t had the sample or picture of that rare collections.

After backhome to Jakarta in 1994,almost 18 years I have made study about this topic,and I found the lithography illustrations of the goldmine kongsi cast coin which different type from the chinese bronze coins like nothern song coin seal script below

,and after I know that the cast coin metal were Tin in my last visit to Pontianak in 2011 I found some rare collections of tin Chinese  char script cast  coins  same with mint mark qing boo look the sample below

at first I think this the heaven tin mony because one with six hundred cast nominal.

  This very rare coins which never report before in the world  will made me to starting  the comperative study with the lithography illustrations ,

This day the study were finish and now I offer this rare and difficult to find information in  limited e-book in CD-ROM special for  collectors and journalist or official man who will write or need basic informations related to the forgotten little kingdom in West Borneo.

Thank You very much to My yunior Dr Tri and Dr Sugeng for their facility during my research at Singkawang ,Sambas and Pontianak.

Thank You very much for comment and corrections because this e-book still not complete and many wrong info.Thank you too for many friend have help me to collect this special and rare informations.

Jakarta,Mei.2012

Dr IWAN SUWANDY,MHA

THIS THE SAMPLE OF LIMITED E-BOOK IN CD ROM,THE COMPLETE CD EXIST BUT ONLY FOR PREMIUM MEMBER,PLEASE SUBSCRIBED VIA COMMENT

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

To starting the report of my study of

Chinese Tin cast Coins  from West borneo Chinese Gold Mine Kongsi

please Look the illustrations of Dr Iwan collections

1.lithography Chinese goldmine kongsi coins

One page litho

 

I only found the litho from sambas only ,four type

a.Ta kong (or Tai kong) Kongsi means great river

(read Top Bottom right left of the hole)

 

Reverse  Ho shun means Harmony obedience

 

b. Lun thien (from buduk) means the raining Ricefield

 

Reverse ?(unidentified) cheng

 

c.Shi Wu Kong shi means kongsi of 15 fifteen(montrado)

十五公司

 

reverse   yung fen means  profitable use for

 

d. Sam Tiao Kong shi means three river branch

 

reverse  cheng Li means membawa rezeki(give mercy)

 

2.original photography of tin Chinese cast coin found at west borneo

a.Ba (eight=8) Fen Tao kongsi(three time photos)

八分头公司

 

 

 

reverse

mint Qing cast coin Boo Ciowan

 

b.Ho ? Kong shi(two time photos)

和公司

 

 

reverse qing boo ciowan

 

c. liu ?(six Hundred)

 

Reverse

 O-O

Double moon

 

d.Ba ? kong shi(clockwise)

八?公司

 

Reverse

Yung Fen

?

 

e.Shi pimg  kong shi

 

reverse

 

four unidentified char

 

After that please read information below

1772,

 Luo Fangbo

 

could write in his poem

You Jinshan Fu游金山赋³

(Rhapsody on My Travels to Gold Mountain):[21]

Ever since I heard about the beauty of Gold Mountain,

My heart has yearned for this place.

Although it belongs to the regions of the Southern Barbarians,

Its confines are yet within the lands of the Southern Seas.

The year when the cycle attained renchen [1772],

It was in the tenth month, [22]

I boarded a ship and departed at the harbour of Humen [in Guangzhou],

The direction of those traveling South turned due East.

Hand in hand, assembled together,

Friends and relatives, we were a hundred in number.

All in the same ship, we assisted each other,

As the entire visible world had vanished from sight

The fame of the Borneo goldfields in China is confirmed

by the Haidao Yizhi 海岛逸志 (A Desultory Account of the Maritime Archipelago)[23], published in 1806,

 

containing a map on which Mandor is indicated as Jinshan 金山 (Gold Mountain).

All kinds of rumours proliferated about the fortunes to be made on “the gold mountain” of Borneo. For instance, Schaank tells us one story about “Gold Mountain” current on the Chinese mainland:

 half a golden guilder could be gotten just by washing the road-dirt from one’s socks. [24]

The reputation of Borneo as a land of Eldorado must have spread along the junk routes, stimulating a growing influx of Chinese in the 1760s and 1770s, which brought about a mushrooming of mining settlements.[25]

 Many farmers now sailed to Borneo from Chaozhou, Jiayingzhou, and Huizhou in eastern Guangdong and from southern Fujian. Each year in the second and third month (of the lunar year), some 1,500 to 2,000 arrived. In the sixth and seventh months many hundreds, who had made their fortune, returned to their homeland. [26]

 

 the name of the Chinese goldmine Kongsi in West Borneo

look the Chinese char script of area, market and kongsi below as the references for  read the char of  west borneo kongsi tin cast coins

 

 

Mountain

³

Gold

Shangwu (Montrado)

The first mining organizations of Chinese were known as

 shansha 山沙 (hill-sand)

, bali (mine), hui (association),  fen (share ), 

jiawei 家围 (family circle), 

 jinhu 金湖 (gold-lake).

In 1776, fourteen kongsis in the Sambas and Montrado regions united themselves and established an official alliance.

These were Dagang 大港 (Big Harbour),

Lao Bafen 老八分 (Old Eight Shares),

Jiu Fentou 九分 (Nine Shares ),

Shisanfen 十三分 (Thirteen Shares),

Jielian 结连 (Confederation) ,

Xin Bafen 新八分 (New Eight Shares),

Santiaogou 三条沟 (Three Gullies),

Manhe 满和 (Full Harmony),

Xinwu 新屋 (New House),

 Kengwei 坑尾 (End of the Ravine),

 Shiwufen 十五分 (Fifteen Shares),

Taihe 泰和 (Great Harmony),

Lao Shisifen 老十四分 (Old Fourteen Shares),

and Shi’erfen 十二分 (Twelve Shares).

Together they established the Heshun zongting. Its headquarters building was situated at the bazaar at Montrado and its leader was chosen from among its members. From this time on, the fourteen associations were no longer designated hui, but were called kongsi.[57]

One of the reasons which could have prompted the establishment of larger and more powerful organizations might have been – in the cases of Montrado and Mandor at least – the problem of the existence of the Tiandihui sectarian movement, called the “Heaven and Earth Society”, which was also known as

the San-he-hui 三合会

or San-dian-hui 三点会,

or again as the “Triads”, or the Hongmen (“Hung League”).

Veth says that West Borneo harboured many adherents to this secret society which advocated the renaissance of the Ming dynasty and the downfall of the Manchu rulers

 

the Most Merciful Bodhisattva Guanyin

¹观音,

 

the Three Kings were called

 Jin ,

Ming ,

and Du ,

and their respective mountain abodes were those that contained iron, tin, and lead

 

 

the Heavenly Master,

 Tian-shi 天师 (in Montrado),

and probably to Yu-huang 玉皇

(Tieya must stand for Tian-ye 天爷).

Taoist masters, presumably of popular

 fashi 法师(“Master of Rites”) type,

 and spirit mediums.

 The latter went by the name of

tongshen 童神, “Infant Gods”

(as a reversal of the term

 shentong 神童)  [46],

whereas today they are universally called  

luotong 落童,

or literally “fall children”. “Fall” here refers to the ritual of

 “luo diyu落地狱, 

during which the fashi or his medium “falls” – that is, descends into the infernal regions in order to question the spirits of the dead or to settle the litigation which may have risen between them and the living. “Child” of course is the generic name of spirit mediums, shown by their appellation of

tongji 童乩 (“divination child”) in Southern Fujian and in Taiwan, and

 tiaotong 跳童 in other parts of China

the Old Port (Lao putou 老埔头)

Before the establishment of the Lanfang kongsi, mainly Hoklo from Chaoyang and Jieyang had settled in these areas.

Banshanke lived at Singkawang, Montrado,

Lara 唠唠, and Sepang 昔邦;

all these places are in the Sambas region. Banshanke from Hepo mainly lived at Budok 乌乐. I

In 1777,

 for example, after the Lanfang kongsi had been established, the major concentrations of settlers from Jiayingzhou and Dapu Hakka could be found in the markets of Mandor, at

 Mao’en 茅恩, Shanzhu daya 山猪打崖, Kunri 坤日,

Longgang 龙冈, and Senaman 沙喇蛮

Those Hoklo living in the mining areas were engaged in trade.

At Kulor 骨律 in the region of Montrado and

Sungai Duri at Mampawa

at an early stage other names were given by the Chinese themselves, such as Jinshan to Lara, Gaoping 高坪 to Mandor,

and Lanfanghuidong 兰芳会岽, Kengweishan 坑尾山,

Jieliandong 结连岽 in the region of Montrado

district      prefecture

Jieyang       揭阳

Huilai           惠来

Puning        普宁      

Fengshun   丰顺       

Dapu           大埔

Chaozhou  潮州

the Sungai Peniti Besar 勿黎里港

Seminis 西宜宜.

The first settlers at Montrado came from Mampawa and later directly from the Chinese mainland.

[38] They moved east along the rivers of

Sungai Duri 百演武, 

Sungai Raya,双沟劳也

Sebangkau 乌乐港

or Singkawang 山口洋

and landed at Weizha 尾栅

and Pangkalan Batu, Selakau 坟肚泥

or Pakucing 百万突 where they established the first Chinese temple in the region. Shortly after this, settlements were founded on the banks of the Sambas River and the Sambas Canal:

Bakuwan 木官, Sepang, Lumar, Lara,

Pamangkat 邦戛,

Sebawi 沙泊,

Ledo 义罗,

 

and Sebalau 哇哩. [39]

The small sum of money,

 the so-called

 chalujin 插炉金

Guansheng dijun 关圣帝君,

His Imperial Majesty the Holy Guan.

 Guan-gong 关公

as he is familiarly known, is the embodiment of trust and valour, and as such is venerated by China’s merchant class

the west Borneo “kong-si” ¹ 公司 or “common management” structure

1850,
 Sambas kingdom led by Sultan Abubakar Tadjudin II
nearly fell into the hands of a joint partnership

Tai Kong

, 泰 ? 公司

and Mang Kiu.

Sam Tiu,

三?

 Tiu Kit kongsi

 

At Least The report of Comparative study

The economic aspects were of overwhelming importance. The federated kongsis levied taxes on all kinds of activities and goods, from the mining, from trade, imports, poll tax, and so forth. All of this, at least in the initial stages, made them quite affluent.

 Many kongsis even minted their own money

 

Only the fourteen kongsis had the privilege of recruiting new members, establishing new villages, and opening a temple dedicated to Dabogong. They were therefore also called

kaixiang kongsi” 开香公司

Lin-tian kong-si 霖田公司

the Dagang kongsi (

the Shangwu

 and the Xiawu)

Some of the larger mines among these were also called “kongsi”.

Private mines known by name were:

 1. Jinhe kongsi 金和;

2. Dasheng kongsi 大盛公司;

3. Guanghe kongsi 广和公司(an old kongsi, established by Macao Chinese);

 4. Liufentou kongsi 六分头公司 (also a very old kongsi, from which Siwufen branched off); 5

. Bafentou kongsi八分头公司;

 and 6. Zanhe kongsi 赞和公司.[72]

Lao Bafenpo 老八分坡

the other larger kongsis –

 Jielian,

Santiaogou,

 Xin Bafen  kongsi

八分

Lanfang kongsi at Mandor

公司

 

1. The Dagang kongsi

  • operated the Shangwu and Xiawu [74] mines, situated west and south-west of Montrado. The oldest kongsi house of the Dagang kongsi had been established at Xiawu. Later, around 1807, the Dagang had built a more solid kongsi house to the south of the former. This was subsequently called Shangwu. It gradually overshadowed the older building in importance, and became the most important institution of the Dagang kongsi. Despite this ceding of rank, Xiawu did retain various privileges. At the festivals it maintained the right to bring the offerings and hold the theatrical performances. [75] The majority of its members were Banshanke from the Lufeng district in Huizhou prefecture and Huilai district from Chaozhou prefecture. Its major clans were Wu, Huang, and Zheng. At first the Dagang kongsi did not hold a position of any significance in the zongting. Its members were even called, with some disdain, “the dogs from Dagang ”. Over the years the importance of this kongsi steadily grew until it was ranked the first among the members of the zongting. With it the name of its members completely transformed into the courteous “ elder brother from Dagang”.

2. The Lao Bafen kongsi

mined north-west of  Montrado, along the road leading from Montrado to Singkawang. In Schaank’s time a pond called

 Lao Bafenpo

老八分坡

老八分坡

 

was all that remained of a reservoir that had been used by the kongsi for its water supplies.

2. The Jiufentou kongsi

六分头公司 (

 operated at a location north-west of Montrado. Eighty years later Schaank established that part of the bazaar at Montrado was still called by the name of this kongsi.

  1. 3.     The Shisanfen kongsi

公司

mined somewhere between Wanglidong and Qiaotou.

  1. 4.     The Jielian kongsi

公司

was located in the vicinity of Sanbasha 三把沙. This kongsi was fairly influential in the period shortly after the establishment of the Heshun zongting. It had about 800 members, mostly bearing the surname Peng, who were known, according to Schaank, as the “Tigers of Jielian”.

 

 

6. The Xin Bafen kongsi

八分坡公司

was situated at Pangkalan Batu, Capkala 夹下滹, Sungai Duri, Danyuan , and Pangliwan. It had approximately 800 members when the zongting was established. The majority of its members hailed from Haifeng district.

7. The Santiaogou kongsi

公司

 

mined east of Montrado, at Banyaoya 半要, Baimangtou, Sibale 西哇黎, and Serukam 凹下. It had about 800 members. The majority hailed from Lufeng and Huilai, and bore the surnames of Zhu and Wen. Although the members from both the Santiaogou and the Dagang came from Lufeng and Huilai, relations between these kongsis later deteriorated until they had become like oil and water.

 

 

 

8. The Manhe kongsi

 began its mining activities at Pangkalan Batu. It had the largest pagong of Montrado. Later this kongsi moved to Sungai Duri Ulu.

公司

 

 

 

9. The Kengwei kongsi

坑尾公司

operated mines at Pangkalan Batu, Luxiaheng, Kulor, and

the Kengweishan 坑尾山.

Most of its members had their roots in Guishan in Huizhou. The kongsi protected two smaller, privately operated mines, i.e. the Jinhe kongsi and the Guanghe, a very old kongsi of people from Macao.

 

10. The Shiwufen kongsi

十五分公司

mined north-east of Dagang. Its reservoir was called

Shiwufen po 十五分坡.

It was situated along the road leading from Montrado to Capkala. It developed from a smaller, privately operated mine, known as Liufentou 六分. Later Liufentou became one of the mines under protection of the kongsi. The most prevalent surnames of its members were Liu and Chen.

11. The Taihe kongsi,

公司

also known as the Shiliufen 十六分, mined at

 Gouwangyou 狗王油, south of Jielian kongsi, on the southern borders of Montrado. At Schaank’s time there still was a Taihe bali 泰和把.

12. The Lao Shisifen kongsi

老十分公司

mined at Qiaotou 桥头.

 

 

 

 

 

13. The Xinwu kongsi,

公司

also known as the Xin Shisifen, had branched off from the Lao Shisifen kongsi. It also mined at Qiaotou.

 

 

14. The Shi’erfen kongsi,

also known as Dayi , operated at Qiaotou. Schaank founded a village and a mine which still bore the kongsi’s name.

 

the period before the establishment of  the Heshun zongting, two mines of the Dagang kongsi (the Shangwu and the Xiawu) both had about 250 to 300 members; the other larger kongsis – Jielian, Santiaogou, Xin Bafen, and Xinwu kongsi – all had about 800 members. [69] At the time at which the Heshun zongting was established, the total number of members of the fourteen kongsis must have been close to ten thousand.

The first leader of the zongting was Xie Jiebo 谢结伯 [70] . It is no longer possible to establish of which kongsi he was a member, or if he – like Luo Fangbo – was a founder of  the zongting, or whether he was later elected leader by the people.

At the time when the zongting was established, all kongsis were of equal importance. Although Dagang later became very powerful, even to such an extent that its name was used to represent the entire zongting, in the early period its influence was about equal to that of the Santiaogou and Jielian kongsis. Ritter reports that decisions concerning the zongting – especially major issues concerning its policies, like the election of new leaders, decisions to go to war, and so forth – were taken in public assemblies.[71]

The Heshun zongting established its office, ting or hall, in Montrado. Montrado was located on high ground in the middle of a valley, and was skirted all around by a range of low mountains creating a scenery which is both variegated and beautiful. The central part of the valley had been selected for the chief settlement. The whole region was thickly populated in that period. After the zongting had been established, gold-mining activities could be worked out more constructively under more peaceful and co-operative conditions. A number of privately owned mines were opened at Montrado.

Some of the larger mines among these were also called “kongsi”.

Private mines known by name were:

 1. Jinhe kongsi 金和;

2. Dasheng kongsi 大盛公司;

3. Guanghe kongsi 广和公司(an old kongsi, established by Macao Chinese);

 4. Liufentou kongsi 六分头公司 (also a very old kongsi, from which Siwufen branched off); 5

. Bafentou kongsi八分头公司;

 and 6. Zanhe kongsi 赞和公司.[72]

These privately owned kongsis were under the protection of the zongting. The miners in these kongsis, as well as the farmers, traders at the bazaar, and craftsmen, all had to pay taxes to Heshun zongting. In time of war they had the duty to join the kongsi’s army.

The seven kongsis of Lara all strove to find a protector among the fourteen original kongsis of the Heshun zongting. We shall discuss the circumstances of Lara kongsi in detail in the next chapter, but first we shall make a comparison between the establishment and institutions of Lanfang kongsi and those of the Heshun zongting.

Schaank gives a fairly precise description of the distribution and the relative importance of  these fourteen kongsis of Montrado in the early period of the Heshun zongting: [73]

1. The Dagang kongsi operated the Shangwu and Xiawu [74] mines, situated west and south-west of Montrado. The oldest kongsi house of the Dagang kongsi had been established at Xiawu. Later, around 1807, the Dagang had built a more solid kongsi house to the south of the former. This was subsequently called Shangwu. It gradually overshadowed the older building in importance, and became the most important institution of the Dagang kongsi. Despite this ceding of rank, Xiawu did retain various privileges. At the festivals it maintained the right to bring the offerings and hold the theatrical performances. [75] The majority of its members were Banshanke from the Lufeng district in Huizhou prefecture and Huilai district from Chaozhou prefecture. Its major clans were Wu, Huang, and Zheng. At first the Dagang kongsi did not hold a position of any significance in the zongting. Its members were even called, with some disdain, “the dogs from Dagang ”. Over the years the importance of this kongsi steadily grew until it was ranked the first among the members of the zongting. With it the name of its members completely transformed into the courteous “ elder brother from Dagang”.

2. The Lao Bafen kongsi mined north-west of  Montrado, along the road leading from Montrado to Singkawang. In Schaank’s time a pond called

 Lao Bafenpo 老八分坡

was all that remained of a reservoir that had been used by the kongsi for its water supplies.

3. The Jiufentou kongsi operated at a location north-west of Montrado. Eighty years later Schaank established that part of the bazaar at Montrado was still called by the name of this kongsi.

4. The Shisanfen kongsi mined somewhere between Wanglidong and Qiaotou.

5. The Jielian kongsi was located in the vicinity of Sanbasha 三把沙. This kongsi was fairly influential in the period shortly after the establishment of the Heshun zongting. It had about 800 members, mostly bearing the surname Peng, who were known, according to Schaank, as the “Tigers of Jielian”.

6. The Xin Bafen kongsi was situated at Pangkalan Batu, Capkala 夹下滹, Sungai Duri, Danyuan , and Pangliwan. It had approximately 800 members when the zongting was established. The majority of its members hailed from Haifeng district.

7. The Santiaogou kongsi mined east of Montrado, at Banyaoya 半要, Baimangtou, Sibale 西哇黎, and Serukam 凹下. It had about 800 members. The majority hailed from Lufeng and Huilai, and bore the surnames of Zhu and Wen. Although the members from both the Santiaogou and the Dagang came from Lufeng and Huilai, relations between these kongsis later deteriorated until they had become like oil and water.

8. The Manhe kongsi began its mining activities at Pangkalan Batu. It had the largest pagong of Montrado. Later this kongsi moved to Sungai Duri Ulu.

9. The Kengwei kongsi operated mines at Pangkalan Batu, Luxiaheng, Kulor, and the Kengweishan 坑尾山. Most of its members had their roots in Guishan in Huizhou. The kongsi protected two smaller, privately operated mines, i.e. the Jinhe kongsi and the Guanghe, a very old kongsi of people from Macao.

10. The Shiwufen kongsi mined north-east of Dagang. Its reservoir was called Shiwufen po 十五分坡. It was situated along the road leading from Montrado to Capkala. It developed from a smaller, privately operated mine, known as Liufentou 六分. Later Liufentou became one of the mines under protection of the kongsi. The most prevalent surnames of its members were Liu and Chen.

11. The Taihe kongsi, also known as the Shiliufen 十六分, mined at Gouwangyou 狗王油, south of Jielian kongsi, on the southern borders of Montrado. At Schaank’s time there still was a Taihe bali 泰和把.

12. The Lao Shisifen kongsi mined at Qiaotou 桥头.

13. The Xinwu kongsi, also known as the Xin Shisifen, had branched off from the Lao Shisifen kongsi. It also mined at Qiaotou.

14. The Shi’erfen kongsi, also known as Dayi , operated at Qiaotou. Schaank founded a village and a mine which still bore the kongsi’s name.

This list is more or less all of the general information we have about the location and activities of the kongsis, apart from what may be gleaned from the occasional travel account, or that can be distilled from the different accounts concerning the conflicts between them, which we will deal with in the next chapter.

 

Luo Fangbo and the Establishment of the Lanfang Kongsi

The Lanfang kongsi zongting was established one year after the Heshun zongting in 1777. It was founded on a similar basis, but there are notable differences in the regulations of its institutions. This can be traced to the personal influence which its first leader, Luo Fangbo, exercised over the development of this kongsi.

The Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi offers detailed information about the establishment of the Lanfang kongsi and its leader. It allows us to reconstruct the growth of the kongsi in the early period of its development.

Luo Fangbo was born at Shishanbao 石扇堡 in Jiayingzhou in 1738 .[76] According to the clan chronicle of Luo family, [77] his ancestors had lived in the southern parts of Jiangxi江西 province. From there they moved to Baidubao 白渡堡 in Jiayingzhou in Guangdong. After five generations they moved on to Shishanbao. Luo Fangbo’s  father, Luo Qilong, was married to Lady Yang. They had three sons: Fangbo 芳柏 , Kuibo 葵柏, and Taibo 台柏. Fangbo was married to a daughter of the Li family. According to geomancers ( fengshui xiansheng 风水先生), Shishanbao was splendidly situated, because “at the mouth of the river there is an altar to the spirits, plane trees and elms protect and embrace it, mulberries and catalpas form a protective screen”. [78] They were convinced that this locality would produce a person of unusual talents. Luo’s appearance is described as follows: [79]

His head was like that of a tiger, his jaw like that of a swallow, his chin was like that of a dragon and his whiskers likewise. Long were his ears, and square his mouth. Although his height was less than five feet, yet he liked to study. Always did he cherish great ambitions. He was broad-minded and tolerant.

He must have seen his ambitions frustrated, because in 1772 he set out, with a group of some hundred relatives and friends, to the “Gold Mountain” of Borneo. After his arrival, he earned his livelihood as a teacher at Pontianak. This did, however, not satisfy him: [80]

I am a man of only few talents,

The fierceness of my willpower carries me far.

My work is hard, as I live by my tongue,

to toil at the ink-slab, that is the field I till.

I am ashamed of not having the capital to engage in trade,

Regret not to be a renowned scholar or a lofty master.

Employed as a teacher in this foreign land,

The years and months go by without any meaning.

At this period the different groups of Chinese migrants in West Borneo – like Hakkas, Hoklo, and Hokkien – were frequently embroiled in armed conflicts. Each side was in need of good advice. This was an opportunity for Luo Fangbo, who as a scholar had earned the respect of his people, the Hakka. His wisdom was acknowledged by the nickname Luo Fangkou [81].

There was a large concentration of Hoklo at the bazaar of Pontianak. The Hakkas of Jiayingzhou were in the minority. They were frequently locked in battle; a battle which the Hakkas usually lost. This stimulated them to organize themselves so that they would be better prepared to deal with threats from others. This also offered Luo Fangbo an opportunity to fulfill his ambition of becoming a leader.

While Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi does not offer very concrete information on this point, it tells us that Luo Fangbo started by organizing one hundred and eight Hakkas, and with them occupied a mine known as Shanxin Jinhu several miles south of Mandor. They forced Zhang Acai 张阿才, the supervisor of the mine, to acknowledge their authority, and appeased the miners. This was their base. They built palisades and defence posts, and slowly started to expand: [82]

From this day on his fame echoed far and wide. With great prowess he maintained his quarters. A multitude came to him from all directions. He established the zongting of the Lanfang kongsi at Mandor.

It goes without saying that this account is greatly simplified. It also has the characteristics of an hagiographic legend; for  instance the number of the “one hundred and eight” comrades is also found in novels such as the Shuihu zhuan, an important element we will discuss at length at a later stage. As we have already indicated, Schaank offers a different view about the establishment of the Lanfang kongsi. He claims that in 1774 Luo Fangbo began by becoming the leader of an association called the Lanfanghui. This appears not to have been a miners’ community but an association of “farmers”. As this is all rather complicated, I give a translation of what Schaank reports below: [83]

1760. When the Chinese had made themselves more independent  of the Malay rulers, it was not surprising that as an agricultural people they soon also set themselves up in Borneo in the farming sector. The lucrative returns from the mining activities made agriculture very worthwhile and people who were disposed to engage in it could be found. Thus in the years after 1770, there were two great farming associations in the region of Montrado, to wit: the Tiandihui and the Lanfanghui, alongside the many small mining associations which were also called hui, or, if they were very small, were called shansha or palit. […] The head of the Tiandihui was Liu Sanbo who carried an eighteen-pound sword, whereas the Lanfang association was under the authority of Luo Taibo 罗太伯.

The first of these associations were settled near Rantauw (in Chinese: Landuo 烂哆), Bageting, Wanglidong and Kulor and were desirous of making this last place, where it had already a bazaar, its capital. The Lanfang association had its territory in the Lanfanghuidong (the “hills of  the Lanfang Association”) and near Dashushan during the years 1772 to 1774 approximately. Prompted by jealousy,  these associations soon began to quarrel. The situation became so serious that finally, after a violent fight, the Lanfanghui was completely defeated. After having kept himself hidden for an entire day at the bazaar of Montrado, Luo Taibo narrowly escaped over the Kengweishan to Mampawa. Later he succeeded in rallying new comrades and with them he founded the Lanfang kongsi at Mandor.

Schaank does not indicate his sources for this narrative, which were most likely based on oral tradition. He notes himself that this version of the facts is at variance with the one given in the Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi. This source not only does not mention anything related to a conflict with a “Tiandihui”, but even goes so far as to say that Luo Fangbo never set foot in Montrado prior to the time he launched his attack on that place. This happened only after he had founded the Lanfang kongsi in Mandor. What the Chronicle does however mention is the “Lanfanghuidong”, but explains that the hills received this name in commemoration of Luo’s expedition. This seems unlikely as, also according to the same Chronicle, Luo withdrew his troops before ever actually attacking the Heshun zongting! This is all rather contradictory, and I suppose therefore that in spite of its rather vague character, the oral tradition noted by Schaank is substantially more trustworthy than the Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi. Naturally the latter source, which was compiled for De Groot by Liu Asheng, wanted to preserve an unstained image of the founding leader of the organization.

How should the assertion that there were two “peasant associations” called Tiandihui and Lanfanghui be interpreted? Here we have to return to the question of the “Tiandihui” which we looked at earlier in the case of the Montrado kongsis that were to become the Heshun zongting alliance. If we acknowledge that for “Tiandihui” we may read the merchant organization at the different bazaars, especially that of Kulor which controlled the supplies of the mining communities, we have to acquiesce in that there may have been a “Lanfanghui” that was established in the hills north of the township of Montrado (see map by Schaank), and which, by the very nature of its geographical setting can only have been a mining community. With this in place we may surmise that this Lanfang mining community attempted to conquer the bazaar of Kulor so as to secure its own supply lines. This ties in well with the continuation of Schaank’s narrative, which runs as follows:[84]

When the Lanfanghui was defeated, the power of the Tiandihui increased considerably and it was the source of much harassment to the miners. These miners, formerly dispersed over many associations, gradually became more and more closely connected and concentrated themselves in a ever smaller number of alliances which took the name of “kongsi”. Thus the tradition still mentions “the seventeen kongsis”, whereas Veth speaks of twenty-four. By the time the Lanfanghui was defeated, the number of associations at Montrado had been reduced to fourteen. […]

1775. Around 1775 when the Tiandihui, proud of its victory and in possession of the rice monopoly, adopted a brazen attitude and wanted to sell the rice only against high prices, and from time to time even refused to sell the sugar-cane (especially from the gardens of Landuo), while moreover its members indulged in all kinds of liberties with the wives of the other kongsis and even raped them, the above-mentioned fourteen kongsis united themselves. The united associations declared war on the Tiandihui and finally succeeded in defeating this organization at Wanglidong. Liu Sanbo died with five hundred of his men and it is said that the many bones that are found in these hills are these of the men who died in that battle.

In other words: first a major Montrado mining community, with the name of Lanfang and which was situated fairly close to Kulor, tried to gain dominance over the bazaar and its Hoklo merchants. Having suffered a defeat, they moved to Mandor. But a year later an alliance of the remaining communities succeeded in defeating the “Tiandihui” Hoklo of Kulor and this made the beginning of the Heshun alliance.

We will never know whether Luo Fangbo was then already with the miners of the Lanfanghui at Montrado, but is it very probable that he was not. As we have seen he arrived at Pontianak in 1772 and lived there first as a teacher. It may well be that after what remained of the Lanfanghui settled at Mandor under the protection of the Panambahan of Mampawa, the newly immigrated schoolmaster joined the settlement. Chosen as a leader, he then began to secure its base.

According to the Chronicle, his first target was Mao’en, a flourishing trading town some ten miles north of Mandor. It had an old and a new bazaar, of which the old bazaar was the larger. It housed  over 200 shops of different kinds of goods. The majority of its residents originated  from Chaoyang, Xieyang, Haifeng, and Lufeng. Huang Guibo 黄桂伯, its headman, was honoured as “zong dage总大哥 [85]. The new bazaar provided room for some twenty shops, mostly operated by Hakkas from Jiayingzhou. They were organized into what was called the Lanheying 兰和营. Jiang Wubo was its leader. He was called “gongye功爷 [86]. He was assisted by four men, who were called “laoman 老满 [87]. Luo Fangbo’s first move was to send some of his people to make contact with Lanheying. By co-ordinating his actions with Jiang Wubo, Huang Guibo was defeated. He also captured the regions of Kunri, Longgang, and Senaman.

He then set his sights on Minghuang 明黄, which was located in the vicinity of Mao’en. Here Liu Qianxiang刘乾相, [88] a Hakka from Dapu, operated a gold mine in conjunction with over 500 members of his clan. Its organization was the most powerful at the time. Liu Qianxiang had established himself as dage. Minghuang was the Lanfang kongsi’s most powerful rival. Liu Qianxiang adamantly refused to come to terms with the Lanfang kongsi and he frequently raided its territory . He also built stockades from Minghuang to Liufentou, quite close to the zongting of the Lanfang kongsi, and vowed to  “swallow up the whole” of Mandor. Luo Fangbo organized all the men of Lanfang kongsi to mount an attack. He personally supervised the maneuvers and “beat the drum to signal the attack”. Six large defensive works were overrun. Liu Qianxiang and his men were defeated and fled. Liu committed suicide by jumping into the river at Ayermati. Lanfang kongsi incorporated the gold-mines of Minghuang. Its power increased accordingly.

After the Chinese mines and settlements in the vicinity of Mandor had been incorporated, Luo Fangbo made preparations for his second move: the attack on his old opponent, the Heshun zongting.[89] When he led his forces to a mountain in the vicinity of the bazaar of Montrado, he discovered that the town was built in the shape of a cauldron. He did not consider it prudent to attack hastily, and so withdrew his forces. Tradition has it, that a hill in the vicinity of Montrado was called Lanfanghuidong[90] to commemorate this event. We have seen above what may have been the true course of the events that led to his retreat.

Luo Fangbo’s third move was to mend relations with the Malays and Dayaks. The road from Mandor to Pontianak passed through

the Dayak villages of Laoxingang 老新港,

 Peniti 勿黎, and Gaoping and Kwala Sepata 沙坝达 lay downriver of it. At the mouth of the Kuala Sepata “Pangeran Seta”,  a man from Mampawa, had built a dalam[91], after which the Chinese no longer dared to travel along this road. Luo Fangbo therefore ordered Zhang Acai, a bookkeeper from Shanxin, to attack Gaoping and the localities lying below it. The sultan of Pontianak, Abdoel Rachman, sent troops to help him. The dalam was destroyed in the first battle. After the defeat of the Dayaks, Pangeran Seta fled to Landak, and established a bond with its ruler. Here he stirred the Dayak up against the Chinese. Luo Fangbo also roused his forces and built fortifications. For nine months he besieged the fortifications of Pangeran Seta, and finally dug a tunnel to penetrate them, and thus defeated the Dayaks. He pursued them to Sambas. The rulers of Landak and Kuala Sepata were afraid of what would happen to them, and requested the sultan of Pontianak to act as a mediator in suing for peace. A peace settlement was concluded. Sambas was to be the boundary. As a demarcation fences of bamboo were planted along the borderline.

In 1780, when the Lanfang kongsi was well established, Luo expressed his feelings in a “standard poem” (lüshi), which said:[92]

When the hero, down and out, arrived at these far away shores,

Truly numerous were the knaves who boisterously laughed at him.

Swallows and sparrows,  how  can  they  understand  the  mind  of wild  geese and swans?

Reeds and worthless  chu trees, how can they compare with  wood  for  beams  and    rafters?[93]

In pacifying barbarians and routing bandits, three years were spent.

Twice new regions were opened up and frontiers established.

Do not say that this old man has no good points:

his lips are like halberts, his tongue a sword and his voice yet can thunder!

Luo Fangbo could indeed be proud of himself. For eighteen years, from 1777 to 1795, he held the position of

zongting dage 总厅大哥 (Elder Brother of the zongting)

of the Lanfang kongsi. Profiting from battles like the ones described above, the domain of the kongsi expanded continuously. Along its borders fortifications were built. At the time of Luo, the fortress at the mouth of the Landak River, and the forts at Sepata and Gaoping guarded the waterway leading from Pontianak to Kampong Baru 新埠头. They were supported by additional strong point at Bao’en on the Sepata River. The fortress of Ayermati was situated at the upper reaches of the Mampawa River.

In the history of the Lanfang kongsi Luo Fangbo is represented as a leader with supernatural powers. The Mandor River being infested by crocodiles, Luo imitated the great Confucian scholar Han Yu (768-824) by offering them a propitiatory sacrifice and then address to them a written prayer bidding them to leave the place. According to the Chronicle this was most efficient because the crocodiles were never seen again.  “After he had thus shown himself to have power over the crocodiles”, it said, “the local rulers regarded him as being endowed with special powers and they all submitted to him, heaving sighs of admiration and being imbued with a deep sense of fear.”

Luo had great ambitions for the Lanfang kongsi. In his eyes it was to be more than a place to live. It was to become one of

the “Outer Countries” (waifan 外藩),

like Annam and Siam, that would bring tribute to the Qing emperor every year.[94] Paradoxically one of the reasons that he failed to realize this dream lies in the fact that the emperors of  the Qing did not allow Chinese who had migrated to return to their motherland. This means that although some miners did in fact return home, they could never do so ostentatiously, lest they would be persecuted.

 

Table 3: Distribution, native places, and surnames of the kongsi populations

 

kongsi

distribution

surname

native place

1

Dagang

 

 

 

 

 

west and south-west of Montrado

Wu , Huang, Zheng

Huilai, Lufeng

2

Kengwei

Pangkalan-Batu, Luxiaheng, Kulor, Kengweishan

 

Huiyang

3

Xinwu, i.e. Xin Shisifen

Qiaotou

   

4

Manghe

Pangkalan-Batu, Sungai Duri Ulu

   

5

Shierfen, i.e. Dayi kongsi

Qiaotou

   

6

Shiwufen

north-east of the mines of Dagang

Liu , Chen

 

7

Santiaogou

east of Montrado, Banyaoya, Baimangtou, Sibale, Serukan

Wen , Zhu

Huilai, Lufeng

8

Laobafen

north-west of Montrado

   

9

Jiufentuo

north-west from Montrado

 

Haifeng

10

Shisanfen

between Wanglidong and Qiaotou

   

11

Jielian

vicinity of Sanbasha

Peng

 

12

Xinbafen

Pangkalan-Batu, Tjapkala, Sungai Duri, Danyuan, Banliwan

 

Haifeng

13

Taihe

Gouwangyou

   

14

Laoshisifen

Qiaotou

   

15

Lintian

Budok

Zhang , Cai , Liu ,

 Huang

Jieyang,

i.e. Hepo

16

Lanfang

The region of Mandor

Luo ,

Liu , Song , Chen

Jiayingzhou, Dapu

 

 

 

 

 

Read more information about:

The history of Chinese goldmine in west borneo

The Arrival of the Chinese Miners

As J.C. Jackson notes, the initial influx of Chinese miners, which is generally considered to have started around 1750, occurred within the Malay framework.[12] Tobias as well as Francis report that these miners were called in by the Panambahan of Mampawa, but they do not elaborate on this.[13] Jackson states that the Chinese miners were recruited because Chinese exploitation of the tin deposits of Banka had greatly augmented the income of the sultan of Palembang. It is therefore reasonable to infer that news of his success spread along the junk routes and persuaded the West Borneo rulers to invite Chinese to work their gold deposits. [14] Jackson also supposes, with Veth [15], that at first the Chinese miners did not come directly from China, but from Brunei instead. It is also a possible that they may  have come from Bangka, where Hakka miners had established tin-mines as early as the 1720.[16]

The mining at Mampawa proved to be a success and more Chinese were recruited to work there. Taking note of this, other Malay rulers also saw an opportunity to expand their wealth, so they too started to recruit Chinese workers to mine their lands. The first to do this was Omar Akamaddin, the sultan of Sambas. [17]

 

The success of the mining soon began to influence the relations among the Malay rulers themselves. Striving to make greater profits, they vied with each other in inducing as many Chinese as possible to come to their lands. The sultans would supply the miners with tools, rice, fish and other provisions, in return for which the Chinese were required to pay tribute in gold.  The sultan of Sambas extracted 500 taël (almost 32,000 guilders) a year from the miners in his domain. [18] Shrewdly ensuring their lucrative monopoly of provisions, the Malay rulers forbade the Chinese to engage in either agriculture or trade, nor were they to import weapons, gunpowder, or table salt.[19]

It was not long before disputes emerged over the territorial rights in areas rich in resources.

As we have seen above,

in 1772 Mampawa and Sambas were at war with each other.

In the process, the region of  Selakau, which was situated between the two sultanates and which was considered to be rich in gold deposits, became the theatre of great destruction in terms of human lives and of natural resources. The territorial conflicts and political strife between the different sultanates coincided with a dramatic increase of the Chinese population. In a situation exacerbated by the feuds between the Malays, there was a growing concern about how to deal with the Chinese. In the last decade of the century, the total Chinese population may have risen to well over 40,000, [20] thus outnumbering the Malay population. This numerical increase also resulted in a growing degree of independence from their hosts, which again was considerably helped by the incessant strife among the sultans themselves. By this time many immigrants were coming directly from the Chinese mainland.

As most of the miners were of Hakka and Hoklo origin, the message about great prospects of wealth spread first among their kin in their home districts in China. This explains why, as early as

 

 

 

 

.

Founding


Battle mountains and rivers, exposing Xiantian imagine then spirit.
Chapters of compliance, the scriptures Wei Wu, lingering homeland crown instrument.
This is a couplet hung in a Chinese-style temple in Indonesia, Pontianak card Pu Aspen River East. The temple is the establishment of the expatriates to commemorate open up Pontianak Datang off long Luofang Bo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Datang off long, the king overseas. Luofang Bo, formerly known as Fang.

 His life of Chong Yin Fang, “” English wind over the foreign “by the people loved and respected, known for his Luo Fangbo.

 

 

1736

born in Mei County, Guangdong Province. Early years, joined the world to spread patriotism, to carry forward the national spirit, committed to the revival of the Han national cause. In 1772 he led the ambition congenial fellow comrades piece boat set off from Humen driving canoe voyage, until the Borneo West Bank Pontianak law. In Pontianak, Luofang Bo initially taught in building by the believers.

After teaching for two years,

 the organization with fellow comrades Lanfang company engaged in open gold and cultivation of various crops, the sale of gold to be elected by the people as “Big Brother”.

1777,

according to the views of the diaspora, Luofang Bo in the local Sultan ceded to his thousands of miles of land, the creation of an independent democratic state in East Asia unprecedented called Lanfang “system, era called Lanfang,

the implementation of a democratic republic form of government. His name is just “Grand General” also known as “Tang-off length. Means that the Chinese guest heads of overseas. Independent than the United States, elected Washington as the first president of the United States 12 years earlier.

The Lanfang country east of Westlaw as the capital, the establishment of Corruption, all rules and regulations developed personally by Aromatic Primary total length of the following officials by public election, Hing Ying Ge matters resolved by the public. Attaches particular importance to the economy and education building. Although the National Library received ample still reward wasteland. Attention to education for all, to set up Hanwen schools, public schools free of charge. Encourage the mining business, the development of transport, the implementation of the universal soldiers, also started the ordnance factory, casting cannon, becoming wealthy, powerful country. Fang Bo Jianguo has been ground management affairs of state, love people, handling official business, fair and straight is active will reward, there shall be a fine, disciplined, social stability, do not abuse the authority of the length of democratic style everywhere, frugal private life. Pontianak by the Aromatic Primary keen on governance, good governance, culture and the constant increase, the people affluence, peace and prosperity.
In 1795,

 Fang Bo, overwork, he summoned the heads of each deacon asked the funeral. Claimed that the “demise” Passes Throngh Longhai, set to inherit the Codex, died only 58 years old.

Original info In chinese language

開國
百戰據山河,揭地掀天,想見當年氣概。
三章遵約法,經文緯武,猶存故國冠儀。
  這是在印尼坤甸卡浦亞斯河之東的一所中國式的廟宇裡掛的一副對聯。這座廟宇是僑民為紀念開闢坤甸的大唐客長羅芳伯而建立。大唐客長即海外王。 羅芳伯,原名芳。因他畢生“業創賢芳”,“英風遍著中外”深受人們愛戴和尊崇,尊稱他為羅芳伯。1736年生於廣東省梅縣。早年加入天地會,傳播愛國思想,發揚民族精神,致力復興漢民族大業。 他1772年率領志氣相投的同鄉同志,從虎門駕獨木連體船啟程遠航,直到婆羅洲西岸坤甸萬律。
  在坤甸,羅芳伯起初教書設館受徒。教書兩年後,與同鄉同志組織“蘭芳公司”,從事開金礦,種植各種農作物,買賣黃金,被眾人推舉為“老大哥”。 1777年﹐根據僑民的意見﹐羅芳伯在當地蘇丹割讓給他的數千裡土地上﹐創立東亞前所未有的獨立民主國家,名為“蘭芳大總制”﹐年號稱為蘭芳,實行民主共和政體。他的名義僅是“大唐總長”又稱“大唐客長”。意思是中國人作客海外的首長。它比美國獨立,推舉華盛頓為美國第一屆總統早12年。 蘭芳國以東萬律為國都,設立公署,一切規章、制度由芳伯親自制訂,總長以下官吏,由大家公選,應興應革事宜,由大眾議決。對於經濟與教育建設尤為重視。雖然國家庫收充裕,仍獎勵開荒。注意普及教育,廣設漢文學校,公立學校不收費。鼓勵開礦經商,發展交通事業,實行全民皆兵,還開辦軍械廠,鑄大炮等,成為富庶、強大國家。 芳伯建國以來,勤理國事,愛護民眾,處理公事,公平直正,有功必賞,有過必罰,紀律嚴明,社會安定,不濫用總長權威,處處民主作風,私人生活儉樸。 坤甸經芳伯銳意治理,勵精圖治,文化程度不斷提高,人民豐衣足食,國泰民安。
  1795年,芳伯積勞成疾,他召集各執事首長囑咐後事。聲言“禪讓”傳賢,定為繼承法典,卒年僅58歲。

 

Top of Form

Disappearance of the Chinese state: the Lanfang Republic

 

 

(a)
Keywords: Chinese Republic of Overseas Chinese
      

1776,

 the advent of the Declaration of Independence, the United States of America by British immigrants living in North America, little is known about this year in Southeast Asia, Chinese immigrants also established a bourgeois nature of the republic – Lan Fang of the Republic, before and after 110 years of existence. See “Xinhua Monthly Journal of Zhao pool Au article.

      45 years ago, the important work of the historian Luo Xiang Lin

 

West Borneo Luofang Bo, the examination of the Republic “was published in Hong Kong in June 1961, the international academic community sensation.


      From the gang to the enterprise to the national


      Luofang Bo, formerly known as Luo Fangbai Luofang Bo is the descendants of his title.

Born in the Qianlong years (AD 1738), “since childhood, school martial arts group of children crown.” Lanfang established by him in the end of a country or a large enterprise? Or is it a gang?

 

My answer:

both. First gang, then the enterprise, and finally the country.


      Thirty-seven years of Qianlong (1772 AD),

 Luo Fangbo Provincial Examination is not the first, “is pregnant with the Grand Tour of Chi”, to promote Hakka spirit, across the oceans, board Borneo (now West Kalimantan).

 

To the East Wan law, Luo Fangbo first established Lanfang will be the one to protect the Chinese associations, industry organizations, in fact, a gang, the main opponent of the world will.

After several rounds of fighting hand to hand, the world will perish, Lanfang will grow and develop.


      At that time, the East Wan law,

faced with internal and external, internal fighting each other, external invasion of another powerful neighbor, the United East India Company, the Dutch colonists in Indonesia on several occasions to Pontianak vicinity of armed aggression. Luofang Bo and his partner, and locals together to assist the local Sudanese leader put down the rebellion of the indigenous people, the leader of the awards, East Westlaw classified Luofang Bo jurisdiction.

 

This place more than 100,000 people and tens of kilometers north and south of the gold-producing the adsorption Chinese tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of indigenous logical to set up a huge economic entities – Lanfang.


      The company is set up, Luo Fangbo a clean up of fragmented local Chinese community, trade associations, village, eliminate all opponents. This time, Lanfang has freed itself from the previous nature of the gang, officially the face of an army.


      1776,

 Luo Fangbo the “Company” changed to “Republic”,

the establishment of self-government. This year Lanfang first year.

 

At that time, we recommend

 

Luofang Bo for King,

 Luo Fangbo do not agree with the commensurate to the king, by representatives of the deliberations of the establishment of of Lanfang large total, said

Luo Fangbo “Grand General”

or the the Datang off long. But he tributary to send a messenger to go to Beijing, still use the name of the Lanfang.
    

  Luo Fangbo any length of 19 years, died in West Kalimantan in 1795, aged 58 years.

Luofang Bo died, Bo Jiang Shu successor to their place.
      In the the Lanfang country 110 years of history, before and after a total of 12 heads of state.

 

The change of heads of state, with a between the forms of democratic elections and the demise of. Luo Xiang Lin West Borneo Luofang Bo, and to build the Republic of the test, “to make such a conclusion:” Qianlong, Guangdong Jiaying Luofang Bo, and lived in southeast Asia Borneo, west of Pontianak, Ken provision of land policy all the mining, and to assist them the indigenous Sultan, pacification and bring disaster, and sometimes nationals more than refuge in the

 

“Thus, Lanfang is the Republic of This thesis has been widely accepted. On the Internet, if you search for “gone country”, Lan Fong is one.


      Luofang Bo Biography, Lanfang does have some characteristics of the Republic:
capital (in the East law), the central government and local government, the place is divided into provinces, counties, townships, three. Officials at all levels are democratically elected, the Chief’s decision, but also by everyone to the umpire. This one is the people determine Lanfang is not a country, and is not a key to the Republic.
Constitutional divided into five parts of the judicial, military, financial, economic, education.
arms to run Ordnance Factory, casting weapons, in addition to military strategy to the presence of a small amount of standing army, no troops elsewhere. Usually we set every industry, deployment of school-age youth to practice shooting, if anything happens to recruit these young composition of the army (much like today’s reserve).
Financial, based tax inspectors officer, implementation of the tax to replenish the national treasury; impose excise taxes of businessmen, and the principle of export earnings.
economic, and actively expand the market; mineral by the state company, the implementation of unified management.
education, organized by Han Wen schools employ Confucian coach to focus on Chinese traditional culture.
the administration of justice in the world by Programme (Lanfang in Heaven and Earth will be a difficult military struggle, the annexation of the heavens and the earth, so the world would be more systematic and complete program Lanfang absorption), and then revise the universal easy regulations.
Lanfang also to determine its own flag, the provisions of all kinds of Chinese clothing national dress.
     

 View East Westlaw jungle Luogong Fang Bo tomb,

 stone inscriptions in the tomb under column-law of History should be the final nail of the theory, which clearly wrote:
      Luogong Fang Bo, Mei County, Guangdong Province, Stone fan Fort … Dingding East Westlaw, create Lanfang Company Foundation. “Dingding” subtly changed the nature of things, you can say is the capital can also be said that given the location of the headquarters.

 

Original info in Chinese language

 

 

消失的华人国家:兰芳共和国(一)

键词华人    共和国    华侨                                          

      1776年,《独立宣言》问世,由居住在北美的英国移民建立了美利坚合众国,鲜为人知的是,也是这一年,在东南亚,中国移民也建立起一个资产阶级性质的共和国家--兰芳共和国,前后共存在110年。请看《新华月报》刊赵池凹的文章。

      45年前,历史学家罗香林的重要著作《西婆罗洲罗芳伯等所建共和国考》于1961年6月在香港出版,国际学术界轰动一时。

      从帮会到企业到国

      罗芳伯,原名罗芳柏,罗芳伯是后人对他的尊称。生于乾隆三年(公元1738年),“自幼学文习武为群儿冠”。由他建立的兰芳到底是一个国家,还是一个大企业?抑或是一个帮会?我的答案:三者皆是。最早是帮会,后来是企业,最后是国家。

      乾隆三十七年(公元1772年),罗芳伯乡试不第,“乃怀壮游之志”,发扬客家精神,漂洋过海,登上婆罗洲(今西加里曼丹岛)。到了东万律,罗芳伯最先建立的是兰芳会,一个以保护华人社团为业的组织,其实就是一个帮会,主要的对手是天地会。经过多次交手,天地会灭亡,兰芳会发展壮大。

      当时,东万律面临内忧外患,内部互相争斗,外部又有强邻入侵,在印度尼西亚的荷兰殖民者联合东印度公司,曾多次向坤甸一带发动武装侵略。罗芳伯和他的伙伴,和当地人一起,协助当地苏丹首领平定了土著人的叛乱,得到了首领的嘉奖,将东万律划归罗芳伯管辖。这块地方有十多万人及南北几十公里的产金地,吸附华人数万,土著好几十万,顺理成章地成立了巨大的经济实体-兰芳公司。

      公司成立后,罗芳伯一个个收拾了当地四分五裂的各种华人团体、商会、村寨,消灭了所有对手。这时的兰芳公司已经摆脱了先前的帮会性质,正式以一个军队的面目出现了。

      1776年,罗芳伯将“公司”改为“共和国”,建立了自治政府。这一年定为兰芳元年。当时,大家推荐罗芳伯为国王,罗芳伯不同意以王相称,后由各代表商议建立兰芳大总制,称罗芳伯为“大唐总长”或“大唐客长”。但他向北京派遣使者前去朝贡时,仍然使用的是“兰芳公司”的名义。

      罗芳伯任总长19年,于1795年在西加里曼丹病逝,终年58岁。罗芳伯病故后,由江戍伯继任其位。

      兰芳国110年历史中,前后共有12位元首。元首的更迭,用的是一种介乎于民主选举和禅让的形式。罗香林的《西婆罗洲罗芳伯等所建共和国考》做出了这样的结论:“清乾隆年间,广东嘉应州有罗芳伯者,侨居南洋婆罗洲西部之坤甸,垦辟土地,策众采矿,并助土著苏丹,平定祸乱,一时侨民多归依之。”由此可见,兰芳就是共和国。这个论断,被广泛接纳。互联网上,如果你搜寻“已经消失的国家”,兰芳是其中一个。

      根据《罗芳伯传》,兰芳的确具有共和国的一些特征:

  • 有首都(在东万律),有中央政府和地方政府,地方还分为省、县、乡三级。各级官吏均由民主选举产生,政务的裁决,也由大家来公断。这一条是人们判断兰芳是不是一个国家,以及是不是共和国的关键。
  • 政制分司法、军事、财政、经济、教育五部分。
  • 军备方面,开办军械厂,铸造兵器,除军事战略要地派驻少量常备军外,其他地方没有驻军。平时大家各安本业,抽调适龄青年练习射击,一旦有事,就征召这些青年组成军队(很像当今的预备役)。
  • 财政方面,设税收督察官,实施征税来充实国库;征收商人的货物税,并且以出口创收为原则。
  • 经济方面,积极扩充市场;矿产由国家组成公司,实施统一经营。
  • 教育方面,举办汉文学校,聘请儒士执教,以中国传统文化为重点。
  • 司法方面,以天地会纲领为基础(兰芳公司在与天地会进行了艰苦的军事斗争之后,吞并了天地会,所以天地会比较系统完整的纲领也被兰芳吸收),进而修订为普及易行的法规。
  • 兰芳还确定了自己的国旗,规定以各式汉服为国家礼服。

      但是,来看东万律丛林中的“罗公芳柏之墓”,墓柱下石刻的《罗公略史》,应是其盖棺之论,其中清楚地写道:

      “罗公芳柏,广东省梅县石扇堡人……定鼎东万律,创建兰芳公司基业。”这“定鼎”一词,微妙地改变了事情的性质,你可以说是定都,也可以说是定总部的所在地。

 

 

The Mining System and Technology

The strength of Chinese mining lay in its superior technology, which neither the Malay sultans nor Dayak tribesmen could emulate. As Jackson remarks, gold was traditionally mined on a small scale by the Dayaks. That a strip mining culture was therefore already present, is indisputably shown by the fact that some vocabulary was taken over by the Chinese. For instance, a water reservoir was called a “pagong”, a term which the Chinese translated as potou 坡头, and a mine “parit”, which the Chinese transcribed as bali 把坜.

On their arrival the Chinese introduced three important innovations in the local gold-mining industry. First of all, the Hakka miners, arriving with their long experience of mining in China, were acquainted with various methods by which to extract the ore and make it yield the precious mineral. In Borneo, they tended to use a specific and very wasteful technology which yielded maximum results for a minimum of physical effort. Once a deposit was discovered, the gold-bearing soil or sand was extracted and panned so as to sift out the gold particles. To help in this time-consuming chore, the miners harnessed Chinese hydraulic skills. One frequently used method was to dam off a small stream and let the water run through a small gutter. The ore was then thrown into this gutter, where the swift current carried off the lighter soil or sand, leaving the heavier gold particles behind. When there was no stream, a pool was dug and water pumped up by means of a tread-wheel – the same as that used in Chinese irrigation for wet rice-fields. The same water mill was used to drain deeper mines which tended to flood. These “waterworks” are the most important Chinese contribution to the mining industry.[27]

The second important aspect is of course cooperation. Each labourer had a personal interest in the success of the group undertaking, and at the same time was capable of showing enough discipline to collaborate with others and doing his share of the work. It was this element, even more than the technological skills, that made the Chinese miners so different from contemporary gold-seekers in California or Australia. At a later stage, the larger kongsis could mobilize nearly one thousand workers at one site, in an integrated and highly efficient workforce.

The third important aspect which prompted Chinese success was their motivation to make money. When the Chinese immigrants entered the inhospitable environment of West Borneo, they distinguished themselves by their willingness to put their shoulders to the wheel and their capability for doing hard work, both qualities strengthened by the motivation to make money to take home, notwithstanding the extortion by the Malay rulers or the murderous attacks by the Dayaks. They lived as economically as possible, in order to enable them to collect as speedily as possible enough riches to permit them to retire to their own country. [28] As De Groot remarks, even the Dayaks could not endure the arduous task of mining under tropical conditions in the same way Chinese were able to. For several generations the mobile Chinese miners continued toiling, with all their efforts bent on their eventual return home.

When starting a new mine, the first step was to select a suitable site. Although the Chinese were not experts in formal geological knowledge,  they acted with an acute appreciation both of the composition of the gold-bearing deposits and of the economics of mining. As the geologists have pointed out, [29] the original gold deposits are to be found in the formation of tertiary quartz deposits in

the Bajang Mountains and Bawang-Belakang hill ranges,

 inland from the coastal plain of West Borneo. Through eons of erosion, the bulk of this gold has moved down the mountain sides and upper hill slopes on to the lower slopes, the plains and the river valleys, and into the river beds themselves. This alluvial gold forms the so-called “placer deposits” and generally speaking they have a far richer gold content than the original gold veins in the mountains themselves. Some gold can be found scattered everywhere in the coastal plain stretching from Sambas to Pontianak, but the richer placer deposits tend to be not too far from the foothills, around the Kapuas and in the basins of the short streams that run from the hills into the larger rivers. It was in these rivulets that the Dayaks first panned gold for their Malay rulers. Men would dig in the gravel of the stream beds (especially in the dry season) and women would take it in baskets and wash it in nearby pools. The Chinese were one step ahead of them possessing hydraulic techniques that could speed up this process a thousand times more efficiently, and in consequence.

They do not find gold-washing in the river beds very remunerative, and to work the gold in the parent rock is too laborious for them, and very unsatisfactory with their deficient technical knowledge: consequently, they devote themselves chiefly to working the drifts, for which their knowledge suffices, and where they obtain the greatest result with proportionally least expenditure of labour. [30]

The most important feature of strip-mining shallower deposits, whether on the plains or on hillsides, is the planning and the installation of  the water supply. At the site which Earl witnessed at Montrado, there was a artificial lake formed by a dam thrown across a valley through which ran a small stream. The water thus collected was enough give the subsequent stream the necessary strength to wash the soil from the gold-ore. He describes the mine working in the following way: [31]

The soil which contains the metal is here found in small veins from eight to fifteen feet below the surface. If the depth of the vein be less than ten feet, a trench is dug, the whole of  the upper stratum being removed, but if deeper , a shaft of three feet square is sunk perpendicularly into the vein, and the miner works into it about ten feet in both directions, sending the ore up in baskets. When it is all removed, another shaft is sunk into the vein twenty feet beyond the first, and the miner works back into the old excavation, extending his labours ten feet in the opposite direction.

The ore thus produced is removed to the nearest washing place, where a stream has been dammed up like a mill-pool, and a strong body of water being turned through a large wooden trough into which the ore has been placed, the bulk of the dirt is thus removed: the metal being afterwards washed by hand in small bowls until perfectly cleaned.

 

Some small mines were dry pits where the water supply depended on the rain, [32] and the technique used in some small-scale mines was far more simple. These small mines were usually opened at a place in the immediate vicinity of a stream, so that its waters could be diverted by digging a ditch and leading the stream directly through the mine. Into this artificial channel, the earth which contained the ore was thrown and the current was allowed to carry off all the useless matter, leaving behind the gold particles which could then be collected after some time. [33]

It goes without saying that this type of strip mining caused havoc to the local ecology and left the once lushly forested hills totally devoid of vegetation. Scars like these still today mar the landscape in the vicinity of Mandor.

 

Immigration and Temple Cults

A. The Origin of the Settlers

Having described the working conditions of the miners, our investigation now turns to the problem of who they were. On certain important issues such as the exact origin of the miners, the only data we have are of a later date, such as  the 1858 census on the places of origin of the Chinese population quoted by Schaank. This does not invalidate these data for our purpose here, inasmuch as we can be sure that the composition of the Chinese population, as far as its origins are concerned, did not undergo important changes once the immigration pattern had established itself.

The Chinese settlers in West Borneo were mainly of  Hakka, Hoklo, Bendi (the original people of Guangdong province ) , and Hokkien origin.

The Hakka came from Jiayingzhou and Dapuxian in Chaozhou; Hoklo refers to Chaozhou. Another kind of Hakka,  the so-called “Banshanke” ( half Hakka, half Hoklo), refers to people from Fengshun, Hepo, Haifeng, and Lufeng, who spoke a Hakka dialect which differed slightly from the Hakka dialect spoken by the people from Jiayingzhou.

These settlers organized themselves on the basis of the locality from which they hailed. In 1777, for example, after the Lanfang kongsi had been established, the major concentrations of settlers from Jiayingzhou and Dapu Hakka could be found in the markets of Mandor, at Mao’en 茅恩, Shanzhu daya 山猪打崖, Kunri 坤日, Longgang 龙冈, and Senaman 沙喇蛮

 Before the establishment of the Lanfang kongsi, mainly Hoklo from Chaoyang and Jieyang had settled in these areas.

Banshanke lived at Singkawang, Montrado, Lara 唠唠, and Sepang 昔邦; all these places are in the Sambas region. Banshanke from Hepo mainly lived at Budok 乌乐. In the second half of the nineteenth century, when Schaank worked in Montrado, he still found localities bearing names like Hoklo-nan 福佬  (Hoklo-mine), Hoklo-jie福佬街(Hoklo-street), and Hoklo-po 福佬坡 (Hoklo-hill). This shows that there must have been quite a number of Hoklo who had lived in the area in the preceding period. The majority of the Hoklo living in Montrado were farmers, traders, artisans, and sailors.

Those Hoklo living in the mining areas were engaged in trade.

At Kulor 骨律 in the region of Montrado and

Sungai Duri at Mampawa

 

, a number of Bendi resided who were also engaged in trade. Quite a few Bendi who had been called up by the Malay rulers to open up and farm the land also lived at Sukadana; when their numbers increased, the Malay felt threatened, and incited the Dayaks to kill them, which they did. The largest number of Hokkien people lived at Pontianak. They were also found in the other, larger towns, where they were mainly engaged in trade.

The census which was held in 1858

in Lara and Lumar 炉末 reveals the origins of the Chinese population of these districts. Most settlers came from Jieyang, Huilai, Lufeng, Jiayingzhou, and Zhenping. More than 46 percent of the Chinese population in Lara and  Lumar were Huizhou people.

Table 1: The origins of the Chinese settlers in Lara and Lumar districts

 

Register

district      prefecture

Lara

nr of

people    proportion

Lumar

nr of

people     proportion

Jieyang       揭阳

Huilai           惠来

Puning        普宁      

Fengshun   丰顺       

Dapu           大埔

Chaozhou  潮州

39               5.3

95             12.9

2                0.3

1                0.1

16               2.2

21               2.9

20                9.4

35              16.45

1                 0.5

10                4.7

Totals for Chaozhou

174            23.7

66              30.9

Lufeng        陆丰

Haifeng       海丰

Guishan      归善      

Heyuan       河源      

Longzhuan 龙川

Wengyuan  翁源

272            37.0

4                0.5

42               5.7

3                0.4

1                0.1

20               2.7

88              41.3

3                 1.4

6                 2.8

1                 0.5

2                 0.9

Totals for Huizhou

342            46.5

100            46.9

Jiaying        嘉应

Zhenping    镇平      

Changle      长乐      

Pingyuan    平远      

131            17.8

43               5.9

17               2.3

1                0.1

24             11.3

11               5.2

11               5.2

Totals for Jiayingzhou

192            26.1

46             21.6

Guangzhou 广州

Xinning       新宁       广

Panyu          番禺      

Conghua     从化

14              1.9

2               0.3

9               1.2

1               0.1

1                0.5

Totals for Guangzhou

26              3.5

1                0.5

Fujian          福建

1               0.1

Hakka          客家

688          93.6

212            99.5

Others         其它

47             6.4

1                0.5

Total

735

213

Source : Schaank De Kongsis van Montrado, pp. 19-20.

 

The development of the Chinese settlements in Borneo can be assessed through the study of the place-names. As Veth has pointed out, there were more than five hundred places (hoofdplaatsen) inhabited by the Chinese settlers in the region of Sambas. [34]

 Many local names, such as

Mandor

 or Montrado

 were readily transposed into Chinese. But at an early stage other names were given by the Chinese themselves, such as Jinshan to Lara, Gaoping 高坪 to Mandor, and Lanfanghuidong 兰芳会岽, Kengweishan 坑尾山, Jieliandong 结连岽 in the region of Montrado. It is significant that most of these Chinese place-names are concentrated in Mampawa, Pontianak, and Sambas. There are hundreds places names in Chinese in West Borneo, and many of them are originally in Hakka dialect. [35] This indicates that these villages had only been established after the arrival of the Chinese inhabitants.

Because there were no overland roads in eighteenth century

in West Borneo, rivers served as the principal highways for the movement of immigrants, provisions, and produce. The original route to Mandor, for instance, followed the Sungai Peniti Besar 勿黎里港

 

 

 

 

and vessels with cargoes for Montrado went up the Sungai Raya 双沟劳也

 

 

to Pangkalan Batu

 

Through sheer necessity these early settlements were closely tied to the river arteries. [36]

As mining operations began in the upper reaches of the Mandor River, then under the Panambahan’s authority, the first Chinese settlements may have appeared along the southern bank tributaries of the Mampawa River around Minghuang and Senaman.

[37] Afterwards the Chinese miners moved into Sambas territory. Schaank indicates that the first Chinese settlement in Sambas must have been the one established at Seminis 西宜宜. From there the miners moved farther inland, and they are known to have started mining in Lara around 1760.

The first settlers at Montrado came from Mampawa and later directly from the Chinese mainland.

[38] They moved east along the rivers of Sungai Duri 百演武,  Sungai Raya, Sebangkau 乌乐港 or Singkawang 山口洋 and landed at Weizha 尾栅 and Pangkalan Batu, Selakau 坟肚泥 or Pakucing 百万突 where they established the first Chinese temple in the region. Shortly after this, settlements were founded on the banks of the Sambas River and the Sambas Canal: Bakuwan 木官, Sepang, Lumar, Lara, Pamangkat 邦戛, Sebawi 沙泊, Ledo 义罗, and Sebalau 哇哩. [39]

B. Temples and Cults

There are two conditions that obviously played a role in the immigration process of the Chinese mining population. The first of these was the general fact that most of the miners were Hakka or Banshanke. Although from different places in South China, theirs was a community of great linguistic and cultural unity. Mining was a traditional speciality of the Hakkas. The second was a development of settlement groups according to family ties, which prolonged the corporate family patterns that characterize migration in China in general. To this we must add a third most important feature: affiliation to local cults and temple networks.

The mining organizations were also religious communities. Viewed through the lens of the historical data, these religious aspects are not at all prominent. Yet, if we look attentively at all the details related to cults, temples, festivals, spirit mediums, rituals, and the like, it appears that religion was more important than the sources suggest. And only if we take these aspects fully into account can the institutions of Chinese society be understood. Let us therefore review some of the more important elements related to the religious life of the Chinese mining communities.

Local cults were founded by affiliation as regional subsidiaries of larger cult organizations. This affiliation was symbolized by the fenxiang (“division of incense”), that is: the newly affiliated community filled its incense-burner with the ashes from that of the mother temple (zumiao 祖庙). This affiliation expressed reciprocal recognition and trust, and could be implemented through co-operation and mutual support.

[40] By bringing ashes from his home temple to the incense-burner of the kongsi temple, the newcomer reiterated this affiliation and won himself acceptance as a trustworthy member. Adherence to a cult community also entailed a sharing in its financial holdings, which, as we have seen, is the original meaning of “kongsi”. The small sum of money, the so-called chalujin 插炉金, that the newcomer brought along with him did not, of course, constitute a real share in the kongsi mining enterprise, but symbolically expressed the xinke’s qualification as a shareholder.

The main cult of the immigrants was that devoted to the worship of Tudi 土地, the Earth God, or, according to his Taoist canonical title: the Correct Spirit of Blessed Power, Fude Zhengshen 福德正神. His colloquial name in Hakka was “Great Paternal Uncle”, Dabogong, a title so pregnant with meaning that the pioneer leaders such as Luo Fangbo also received the honorific epithet of “bo” . The ubiquity of this cult and its temples was such that for outsiders all saints and gods of the West Borneo Chinese became “Dabogong”.  The worship of the Earth God is also absolutely fundamental in China, where every village in the countryside has one or more shrines. Every ward and alley in the cities has its Tudigong association and in some parts of China, such as Guangzhou, even every home and shop has an altar dedicated to this patron saint.

[41] This notwithstanding, larger temples dedicated principally to his worship are fairly seldom seen although of course every temple has a secondary shrine for his worship. By contrast in Borneo such temples are more prominent. The reason for this may well be that most of the immigrants brought their fenxiang from their village shrine, and this was in most cases a Tudigong temple. Because the xianghuo 香火 of Borneo came mainly from these rural communities, it was principally to Tudi that the main incense-burner was dedicated when the immigrants were finally wealthy enough to build temples. Apart from the question of social background however, we may also assume that the Earth God might have had a special significance for miners and for those who prospected the soil in order to find gold deposits. But Tudi was never considered, as far as is known, to be a special patron saint of the miners.

The Sanshan guowang (Three Mountain Kings)

 

 

 

 

played a very important role in the kongsi societies. As Schaank reports,

the Three Kings were called Jin , Ming , and Du , and their respective mountain abodes were those that contained iron, tin, and lead.

 

 [42] These three mountains are situated in the vicinity of the founding temple of the cult, the Lintian zumiao 霖田祖庙 at Hepo. Understandably, this cult was also of paramount importance in Borneo.

Around 1780

a temple was founded at Budok, between Singkawang and Sambas,

 

and this became the centre of all activities in the region. A kongsi was founded which was given the name of Lintian kongsi 霖田公司 so as to express the link with the zumiao back home.

On the festival day of the Three Kings,

 on the twenty-fourth day of the second lunar month, a large festival was held in and around the temple, with performances of Chinese theatre. The festival in their honour was also held at  Montrado, where there was another temple, but there it was held eight days earlier, on the sixteenth day of the month. This may be seen as an indication that the Montrado temple was a subsidiary (fenmiao 分庙) of the one at Budok. [43]

As the immigrants came by ship, embarking at the major port cities of Fujian and Guangdong, they brought with them as a matter of course the cult of Tianhou 天后 or Mazu 妈祖, the great protectress of seamen. Her cult stemmed from Meizhou, an island off the coast of Fujian.

 

 

 

 

 Important temples dedicated to Tianhou were to be found at the Old Port (Lao putou 老埔头) of Pontianak and at Singkawang,

 

 

and most temples on the coast had secondary shrines dedicated to her.

 

[44]

 

Yet another important cult was that of Guansheng dijun 关圣帝君, His Imperial Majesty the Holy Guan. Guangong 关公 as he is familiarly known, is the embodiment of trust and valour, and as such is venerated by China’s merchant class. As the representative of the martial spirit, the Manchu government made him the divine protector of the dynasty, and his cult was therefore mandatory for all the Three Religions. Guangong therefore had his place in all the kongsi houses, and was especially prominent in Mandor.[45]

Finally, among the most important gods who made the voyage from China to Borneo was the Most Merciful Bodhisattva Guanyin ¹观音,

 

 “She Who Perceives the Sounds” of the prayers and complaints of the world. Her cult is so prominent among the Indonesian Chinese that the name of her temple, Guanyinting 观音亭 has become, transformed as “klenteng”, the generic word in Indonesian for a Chinese temple.

Although they rarely devote much attention to the subject, almost all sources do mention the Chinese temples. Putting together the scraps of information, I have succeeded in locating seventeen shrines in all for the period around 1850.

As I have been able to verify, some of these still exist, like, for example, the Dabogong temple (called, like most Earth God Temples, Fude ci 福德祠 ) at Sepang. This temple does not differ, in any respect, from the great many other temples I saw on my short visit to West Kalimantan in 1997. Each village where Chinese live has at least one temple, and most townships two or more. Thus, one could postulate that one hundred fifty years ago, there must have been many more than those mentioned in the historical records. This is a matter to which shall return shortly.

Turning now to the seventeen shrines mentioned in the historical records: the list below shows that, besides the deities we just mentioned, there were temples dedicated to the Heavenly Master, Tianshi 天师 (in Montrado), and probably to Yuhuang 玉皇(Tieya must stand for Tianye 天爷). But most of them were consecrated to Tudi (four), Guanyin (three), Guangong (two), and Sanshan guowang (two). Three temples are mentioned without identifying either their name or their tutelary deity. Finally a Xianfeng miao 先锋庙, literally “Temple of the Vanguard” is mentioned, but not even De Groot knew who the resident deity might be.

Invariably, in speaking of these temples and cults, the Dutch sources not only for the most part mention the principal deity worshipped therein, but also the priests as well. These were, as far as we know, Taoist masters, presumably of popular fashi 法师(“Master of Rites”) type, and spirit mediums. The latter went by the name of tongshen 童神, “Infant Gods” (as a reversal of the term shentong 神童)  [46], whereas today they are universally called  luotong 落童, or literally “fall children”. “Fall” here refers to the ritual of “luo diyu落地狱,  during which the fashi or his medium “falls” – that is, descends into the infernal regions in order to question the spirits of the dead or to settle the litigation which may have risen between them and the living. “Child” of course is the generic name of spirit mediums, shown by their appellation of tongji 童乩 (“divination child”) in Southern Fujian and in Taiwan, and tiaotong 跳童 in other parts of China.[47]

Montrado, as the centre, had at least five temples, dedicated to the Sanshan guowang (at Shangwu 上屋), to Guangong (called Zhongchen miao, situated in the township), to Guanyin (at Xiawu 下屋), to Dabogong (at the zongting) and to the Heavenly Master (in the township of Montrado itself). Each of these temples had it specific function and its own priests. The gods were important not only as protectors and as representatives of the Heavenly Bureaucracy of China, but also as givers of advice to the community through their oracles. Von Dewall speaks of Guanyin and Sanshan guowang as oracles (“orakels”) and of their priests as magicians (“ tovenaars”). Schaank calls the latter diviners (“ wichelaars”). For all important events and undertakings, the community and its chiefs consulted the gods through their fashi and spirit mediums. The most important temple in Montrado for this purpose was the Sanwangye temple at Shangwu. Around 1850 its priest was called Yan Zhuang and Von Dewall gives him the title of  tongshen, which means that he was a medium.

In April 1853,

When the Dutch government troops occupied Sepang and removed the shrubs and bamboo trees around it, the Montrado kongsis hesitated about what attitude to adopt, as this occupation was seen as a threat to them. First they turned to the luotong of the Sanshan guowang temple, but the gods did not reply as the spirit medium failed to be inspired. Thereupon the spirit mediums of other shrines were consulted. The one of the Tianshi temple at Lumar declared that the Dutch should not be allowed to install themselves at Sepang and fortify the place, as it would not take long before they would then move on from that place and march on Montrado. The gods (the “oracles”) of the Sanshan guowang temple at Shangwu then manifested themselves and said the same thing. The military expedition to dislodge the Dutch from Sepang was thus decided upon and the gods even indicated a suitable day to start the hostilities. These few examples may suffice to show the important place these religious institutions occupied within the society of the West Kalimantan Chinese.

This can still be seen today. During the short fieldtrip I made in the summer of 1997, I saw that even today the landscape of West Borneo is dotted with Chinese temples of various sizes, varying from modest wayside shrines to imposing temple complexes. During those few days I visited and photographed the twenty-three temples listed in the Appendix 6, but saw many more. If all the temples in West Borneo could be counted, they would probably amount to several hundreds[48].

 

Table 2: Temples and priests in West Borneo mentioned in historical records

 

temple

place or kongsi

priest

god

sources

Sanwangye

(Wangye)

Shangwu (Montrado)

Yan Zhu,

Wu Yingzu,

Cai Wei,

Huang Shuimei,

Yan Zhuang,

Luo Guangnian,

Cai Wuxiu

Sanshan guowang

Dewall, p. 5

Schaank, pp. 60,82.

Dabogong

ting

(Montrado)

 

Dabogong

Xianshi gushi, p. 46

Schaank, p. 74

Tianshi

Lumar

 

Zhang tianshi

Dewall, p.13

Dabogong

Kengwei kongsi (Lara)

 

Dabogong

Xianshi gushi,p. 24

Maniang

Xiawu (Montrado)

Wu Sheng

Guanyin

Dewall, p. 16

Fudeci

Sepang

 

Dabogong

Dewall, p. 17

Tianye

Bangkielin

Deng Tang

Yuhuang dadi

Dewall, p. 17

Guanyinniang

Djintan

Zhao Mei

Guanyin

Dewall, p. 17

Tianshiye

Montrado

Peng Qingxiang

Tianshi

Schaank, p. 81

Guanyinniang

Baluoming (Pangliwan)

Ni Zhang

Guanyin

Schaank, p. 81

Zhongchenmiao

Montrado

 

Guangong

Schaank, p. 80

Wangyemiao

Budok

 

Sanshan guowang

Schaank, p. 59

 

Pelandjauw

   

Schaank, p. 83

 

Bengkayang

   

Schaank, p. 82

Xianfengmiao

Mandor

   

Lanfang niance

Fudeci

Mandor

 

Dabogong

Lanfang niance

Guandimiao

Mandor

 

Guangong,

Luo Fangbo

Lin Fengchao, see Luo Xianglin, p. 158

 

From Hui to Kongsi

As we have seen in the Introduction, the institution of the kongsi is in fact part of the traditional hui cult associations of mainland China, which are similar to those which were established in Borneo when the first immigrants arrived.

The first mining organizations of Chinese were known as shansha 山沙 (hill-sand), bali (mine), hui (association),  fen (share ),  jiawei 家围 (family circle),  jinhu 金湖 (gold-lake). These organizations which all were some kind of hui were initiated by members of the same clan or village. Their members varied from any small number up to several hundred people. Generally speaking, the shansha and bali were small-scale mining units which included anything from several individuals up to several scores of people. They were usually formed by members of the same family or village, on the basis of mutually invested funds. In contrast, the nan and the fen were somewhat larger in scale. They not only included people from the same village, but were formed more often on the basis of a shared dialect.[49]  Work and rank within these associations were allotted on the basis of order of arrival and the amount of capital invested. The organization of these associations was based on the purchase of shares by its members. The profits were distributed according to the shares each member held. Older people without capital also held high positions. They took part in the sharing out of the profits from the mines, and were involved in the election of administrators.

It is hard to determine how many hui associations existed in West Borneo during the quarter century between 1750 and 1776. Veth and Schaank have given us different views on this. We do know that there were at least fourteen mining organizations and two agricultural associations in the region of Montrado before the establishment of the Heshun zongting in 1776. Apart from these, the Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi also mentions the Shanxin jinhu 山心金湖, Jusheng kongsi 聚胜公司, Sida jiawei 四大家围, and the Lanheying 兰和营 and Liuqianxiang clan-based organizations of Hakka in Dapu district. As Schaank notes, there were seven more mining associations at Lara. Thus it may be assumed that there were at least thirty to forty associations of this kind.

The various factors which triggered off the evolution of this traditional framework into the mighty kongsis, and then into the even more powerful kongsi alliances have been addressed by various scholars. Schaank proposes that the earlier, smaller hui were in principle, if not in fact, based on the lineage principle (tongxing 同姓). As the mining groups showed a tendency to pool their resources and consequently expanded in size, it was inevitable that people with many different surnames, backgrounds, and even ethnicity’s entered into one and the same hui, which essentially amounted to making them members of the same family. In order to increase their commitment and their integration into the group, the hui soon began [50] to demand that new members (xinke) swear an oath of allegiance to the Dabogong of the association and also contribute a sum of money to the treasury. The entrance ceremony took place once a year, on the festival of Guangong, the thirteenth day of the eighth month. [51]

Quite apart from the growth in members and wealth of the original cult associations, other, more painful necessities must have played an important role. In a long report to the Governor-General dated 18 December 1851, [52] Major Andresen[53] retraces in detail the evolution which saw the “insignificant partnerships” of the Chinese transformed into the powerful kongsis against which he was to fight such a bitter war. Andresen was at first quite sympathetic to the Chinese and maintained a cordial relationship with a number of them, especially at Singkawang. He was certainly well informed and hence his account of the development of the kongsis is worthy of attention.

Andresen recalls that the first miners acquired the right of delving for gold by purchasing a licence from the Malay rulers, and in addition to buying this initial lease, they also had to cede a large part of the gold they obtained from the alluvial sands. Later the sultans attempted to impose a capital tax on the Chinese. The sultans paid little heed to the Chinese associations as these did not yet wield much power and, in their opinion, only served the purpose of keeping the ties with the motherland intact. Like Schaank, Andresen also notes the rise of the associations and their mounting importance from the moment that the number of immigrants began to increase. In view of an ever stiffer competition between the goldseekers, some form of common policy and mutual check mechanism became indispensable.

The Chinese communities needed laws and discipline, authority and protection. The prime necessity was for the larger associations to elect officers who would be in charge of the accounts, so as to ensure that the yields were distributed equally. These accountants were elected for a brief period of four months. A number of stringent measures and punishments were adopted in order to curb any form of theft or undue advantages from the common profit (see Chapter Two).

The mines were generally situated inland, in Dayak country. The Dayaks themselves panned gold in the river beds, but initially there appears to have been little strife between the two peoples. Problems arose when the Chinese started making mines on the mountain slopes, where the Dayaks reclaimed their ladang fields. Conflicts became unavoidable. In principle, the ruler who had sold the licence to the Chinese miners was also responsible for their safety. Should conflict arise over mining sites, the Chinese would appeal to the sultan for protection. When this happened, the latter found the best solution was to play the two communities off against each other and obtain as many advantages as possible from the situation. Any request for help from the Chinese had, it was understood, to be accompanied by gifts. Andresen shows that the Malay sultans often willingly promoted conflicts between Dayaks and Chinese, not in order to protect the Dayaks – about whom they could care less – nor because the Chinese did not pay capital taxes – which they generally did very punctually – but because the losers of these conflicts could only turn to the ruler for help, and of course, they could never approach him empty-handed!

The Chinese’s situation soon became unbearable and before long they began to see through the strategy of the local rulers. If the Chinese had to ensure the benefit of their hard and lawful labours for themselves, they also had to learn to defend themselves. Small associations and partnerships had proved powerless. Only organizations with some kind of political and military structure could help them to liberate themselves from the unrelenting exactions and maltreatments. With the emergence of these organizations, the Dayak problem was resolved fairly quickly without the help of the armies of the Malay sultans. From this period (1770) comes a gruesome story, reported by T.A.C. van Kervel, about Dayaks who, enticed into an alliance with the Chinese of Montrado and invited to large banquet to celebrate the union, were trapped and murdered to a man. [54] In consequence, the associations began to form territories in the regions in which they mined and in which they had subjugated the Dayak tribes. It was not long before conflicting territorial claims surfaced between the different associations, which in turn led to armed conflicts between them. In this way the inland of West Borneo was divided into several large entities, each dominated by a single organization or by an alliance of several smaller ones. Andresen, and many others, compared these entities to separate small states. These states soon grew so powerful that they could keep the Dayaks in check and also maintain an independent stance towards the Malay sultans, although they normally continued to pay the poll tax.

The name of kongsi was given to these new political and military powers. As we have seen, this title of “common management group” was originally a subsidiary function of a religious association. Now the roles appeared reversed: the economic partnership of the “kongsi” emerged as the leading organizational principle and the religious group appeared as a subsidiary subgroup inside it.

With this in mind, we must again mention the possibility of some influence from the Tiandihui or Triad societies. It is impossible to overlook the fact that the establishment of the more powerful and cohesive organizational structures of the zongting alliances came about in the wake of the fighting against the Tiandihui communities. The latter appear to have been  Chinese farming communities which had established themselves on the plains of Mandor and Sambas.

The first matter to be tackled is the question of recruitment. Formerly, the associations were organized, for the most part, by people who shared one or several particulars: family, surname, village, region, worship, and the like. During this period, the recruitment into the kongsis appears to have been more open. Whoever was free and willing to work could enter, take the oath of allegiance, pay the initial contribution, and thus become a partner of the common enterprise. The recruits had to be willing to serve in the militia of the kongsi, and to defend the “republic” with their lives. Here again, a similar service had formerly existed at the village level in the framework of the homestead and extended family. Under the new circumstances the “small republic” became the rallying point for civil service and allegiance.

Secondly, the kongsis progressed beyond being mining organizations, and branched out into many other activities: manufacturing, agriculture, trade, and the like. In order to escape the economic monopoly of the Malays, the Chinese settlers first developed salt making, fisheries, and fish drying workshops along the coast. From Java and other places they imported rice, cloth and weapons. In the interior they brought land under cultivation and grew food crops, including rice and vegetables, and raised pigs. [55] To support these enterprises the Chinese settlements developed markets, butcheries, breweries, and workshops for the manufacturing of utensils and whatever else they might need.

All this required an ever more sophisticated administration, which was ordinarily elected by all the members. In Chapter Two there is a table (no. 5) showing all the different offices in the kongsi administration.

 

 

 

Table 3: Distribution, native places, and surnames of the kongsi populations

 

kongsi

distribution

surname

native place

1

Dagang

west and south-west of Montrado

Wu , Huang, Zheng

Huilai, Lufeng

2

Kengwei

Pangkalan-Batu, Luxiaheng, Kulor, Kengweishan

 

Huiyang

3

Xinwu, i.e. Xin Shisifen

Qiaotou

   

4

Manghe

Pangkalan-Batu, Sungai Duri Ulu

   

5

Shierfen, i.e. Dayi kongsi

Qiaotou

   

6

Shiwufen

north-east of the mines of Dagang

Liu , Chen

 

7

Santiaogou

east of Montrado, Banyaoya, Baimangtou, Sibale, Serukan

Wen , Zhu

Huilai, Lufeng

8

Laobafen

north-west of Montrado

   

9

Jiufentuo

north-west from Montrado

 

Haifeng

10

Shisanfen

between Wanglidong and Qiaotou

   

11

Jielian

vicinity of Sanbasha

Peng

 

12

Xinbafen

Pangkalan-Batu, Tjapkala, Sungai Duri, Danyuan, Banliwan

 

Haifeng

13

Taihe

Gouwangyou

   

14

Laoshisifen

Qiaotou

   

15

Lintian

Budok

Zhang , Cai , Liu , Huang

Jieyang,

i.e. Hepo

16

Lanfang

The region of Mandor

Luo , Liu , Song , Chen

Jiayingzhou, Dapu

The economic aspects were of overwhelming importance. The federated kongsis levied taxes on all kinds of activities and goods, from the mining, from trade, imports, poll tax, and so forth. All of this, at least in the initial stages, made them quite affluent. Many kongsis even minted their own money. [56]

One last important feature was ­­­­­­the rule of law. In addition to jurisdiction over economic crimes, which had been one of the preoccupations of the associations and partnerships from the beginning, the kongsis now wielded power over all aspects of life, from marriage and death to property rights, feuds, commercial rights, and a wide range of other areas. A small police force was established under the authority of the local headmen. Schaank as well as De Groot have sung the praises to the rule of law in the Borneo kongsis, comparing it favourably with the general state of affairs, even among the Dutch communities.

 

The Founding of the Heshun Zongting

In 1776, fourteen kongsis in the Sambas and Montrado regions united themselves and established an official alliance. These were Dagang 大港 (Big Harbour), Lao Bafen 老八分 (Old Eight Shares), Jiu Fentou 九分 (Nine Shares ), Shisanfen 十三分 (Thirteen Shares), Jielian 结连 (Confederation) , Xin Bafen 新八分 (New Eight Shares), Santiaogou 三条沟 (Three Gullies), Manhe 满和 (Full Harmony), Xinwu 新屋 (New House), Kengwei 坑尾 (End of the Ravine), Shiwufen 十五分 (Fifteen Shares), Taihe 泰和 (Great Harmony), Lao Shisifen 老十四分 (Old Fourteen Shares), and Shi’erfen 十二分 (Twelve Shares). Together they established the Heshun zongting. Its headquarters building was situated at the bazaar at Montrado and its leader was chosen from among its members. From this time on, the fourteen associations were no longer designated hui, but were called kongsi.[57]

One of the reasons which could have prompted the establishment of larger and more powerful organizations might have been – in the cases of Montrado and Mandor at least – the problem of the existence of the Tiandihui sectarian movement, called the “Heaven and Earth Society”, which was also known as the Sanhehui 三合会 or Sandianhui 三点会, or again as the “Triads”, or the Hongmen (“Hung League”). Veth says that West Borneo harboured many adherents to this secret society which advocated the renaissance of the Ming dynasty and the downfall of the Manchu rulers.[58]

The origin and spread of this religious organization continues to be a subject of  much debate. According to the original documents published by Schlegel, the movement itself claimed to have been founded in Zhangzhou (Fujian) in 1734, with the avowed aim of restoring the Ming dynasty.[59] The historical data available from official sources do not contradict this, as the first well-known occasion when this movement, which originated in Fujian and Guangdong, made its debut in history is the Lin Shuangwen revolt in Taiwan in 1788. [60] The rules of the Tiandihui leave no doubt that the movement was principally composed of merchants. Overseas travel is repeatedly mentioned in the rules, [61] one of which explicitly mentions the fact that members engaged in overseas expeditions to far-away countries should not be reported to the authorities. This shows how important this kind of activity must have been for the adherents to the Tiandihui.

In Borneo, according to Schaank, the Tiandihui members seem to have specialized in agriculture. They settled in the region of Montrado, to be more precise at Kulor, which is a township not far from the coast at the entrance of the valley of Montrado. When the miners established themselves deeper inland at Montrado, they became the customers of the Tiandihui farmers, a situation which gave rise to conflicts. The Tiandihui’s monopoly in rice and sugar had long since aroused the anger of the miners. It is said that members of the Tiandihui behaved in a very domineering way, and in the end even abducted the wives of  Chinese who were not members of their association. [62] These sorts of injustices eventually led to the destruction of the Tiandihui. The fourteen miner’s associations at Montrado joined forces in an attack on the Tiandihui at Wanglidong in 1775 in which the latter was defeated. Liu Sanbo 刘三伯, the leader of Tiandihui, and his five hundred members were killed. Those who had been fortunate enough to escape with their lives were divided up among the miner’s organizations. From this time on the miner’s organizations employed their own farmers.

The situation just described raises many questions. To judge from its own rules and institutions, the Tiandihui appears to have been mainly a society of city-dwelling merchants and artisans. Founded in Zhangzhou and Huizhou, although later introduced into many other parts of China, it may well have been a Hokkien and Hoklo dominated organization. It certainly was not a Hakka movement. The conflict with the Tiandihui may have been, therefore, a fight between Hakka and Hokkien. Still, in the light of these events, how sure can we be that the “Tiandihui” of the farmers at Kulor was in fact the same secret society as the one we know of from the Chinese mainland? Could it not simply be that the farmers’ association adopted this name by chance, without there being any relationship to the anti-dynastic movement? Bearing this possibility in mind, we must also take into account that apart from this agricultural Tiandihui there was another similar association called Lanfanghui (Sweet Orchid Society) also present in the Montrado region. Was this second association, which fought the former in 1774, also related to the Tiandihui movement?

Although evidence is scant and scholars such as De Groot have argued against the “secret society” hypothesis, I believe that there are valid reasons to assume that the Tiandihui did exist as a Chinese political society and exerted its influence in West Borneo at the time, and continued to do so during the whole period during which the kongsis flourished. As we shall see, in 1822 Tobias emphatically mentions influence of the Triads inside the Montrado kongsis, and he endeavoures to take measures against them. Again later, the presence of the “Triad” Tiandihui secret society comes up regularly and explicitly in the discussions between the Chinese leaders and the Dutch. The existence of this organization among the West Borneo Chinese is therefore beyond doubt. It would be far fetched to assume that a farmers’ association at Kulor carried the same name only by chance. Turning to the “Lanfanghui”, it seems possible that a connection existed between this very name (“orchid fragrance”) and the Heaven and Earth Society. As Schlegel has noted, the lodges of the society were built as military camps, and that the flags which flew over every gate carried the inscription “golden orchid” (jinlan ). This is a reference to a passage in the Book of Changes (Yijing ) which reads “words from united hearts are fragrant as orchids” (同心之言其臭如).[63] Thus “orchid” and even more “golden orchid” came to stand for the idea of “fraternal friendship”. [64] In the historical context we have here, it could well be that the flowery name of “lanfang” is indeed a literary allusion to the Triad brotherhood.[65] We also should note that Luo Fangbo, the founder of the Lanfang kongsi (which was to succeed the Lanfanghui), is considered to have been a Triad member.[66] Other important leaders, such as Huang Jin’ao, the last headman of the Heshun zongting, were also leaders of the secret society.[67] The presence of the Tiandihui among the West Borneo Chinese seems therefore to be ineluctable, especially since we have seen that this organization – which originated at Zhangzhou but spread out during the 1760s to north and east Guangzhou as well as the region of Huizhou from which many Banshanke originated – recruited its members among the overseas merchants and emigrants.

This narrows the question down to the problem of the agricultural aspect of the Tiandihui and Lanfanghui organizations of West Borneo. Here I think we have to be more circumspect. It may well be that the Montrado valley and Kulor were important Chinese agricultural regions in Schaank’s time, since even now, notwithstanding the anti-Chinese measures of the Indonesia government in 1957, there are many Chinese farmers in the region. There is nothing to suggest, however, that this was already the case in 1770. As Schaank points out, Kulor was an important bazaar. It must therefore have played a  role in the supply of rice and other vital necessities for the fast-growing mining communities. This supply trade may well have been in the hands of Hokkien or Hoklo merchants from cities such as Pontianak, Mampawa, and Sambas, and they, in turn, may have been organized into Tiandihui lodges. That they also might have invested in the early clearing and irrigation of the agricultural land in order to practice rice cultivation with their half-Chinese half-Dayak offspring is also a possibility. Given the circumstances, the conflict of the Montrado kongsis with the “Tiandihui” at Kulor and that of Luo Fangbo and his men with the “Lanfanghui” at Mampawa might, therefore, be seen as a move to gain control of the market in essential supplies for the mining communities.

The kongsis that joined the Heshun zongting still retained their economic independence. Most kongsis operated a number of gold-mines, and oversaw the civil administration of the miners, farmers, traders, and artisans within their territory. Private mines were (in name) also associated with the zongting. By paying taxes, they received the protection of the zongting. Only the fourteen kongsis had the privilege of recruiting new members, establishing new villages, and opening a temple dedicated to Dabogong. They were therefore also called “kaixiang kongsi” 开香公司.[68]

According to Schaank’s estimates, pertaining to the period before the establishment of  the Heshun zongting, two mines of the Dagang kongsi (the Shangwu and the Xiawu) both had about 250 to 300 members; the other larger kongsis – Jielian, Santiaogou, Xin Bafen, and Xinwu kongsi – all had about 800 members. [69] At the time at which the Heshun zongting was established, the total number of members of the fourteen kongsis must have been close to ten thousand.

The first leader of the zongting was Xie Jiebo 谢结伯 [70] . It is no longer possible to establish of which kongsi he was a member, or if he – like Luo Fangbo – was a founder of  the zongting, or whether he was later elected leader by the people.

At the time when the zongting was established, all kongsis were of equal importance. Although Dagang later became very powerful, even to such an extent that its name was used to represent the entire zongting, in the early period its influence was about equal to that of the Santiaogou and Jielian kongsis. Ritter reports that decisions concerning the zongting – especially major issues concerning its policies, like the election of new leaders, decisions to go to war, and so forth – were taken in public assemblies.[71]

The Heshun zongting established its office, ting or hall, in Montrado. Montrado was located on high ground in the middle of a valley, and was skirted all around by a range of low mountains creating a scenery which is both variegated and beautiful. The central part of the valley had been selected for the chief settlement. The whole region was thickly populated in that period. After the zongting had been established, gold-mining activities could be worked out more constructively under more peaceful and co-operative conditions. A number of privately owned mines were opened at Montrado. Some of the larger mines among these were also called “kongsi”.

Private mines known by name were: 1. Jinhe kongsi 金和; 2. Dasheng kongsi 大盛公司; 3. Guanghe kongsi 广和公司(an old kongsi, established by Macao Chinese); 4. Liufentou kongsi 六分头公司 (also a very old kongsi, from which Siwufen branched off); 5. Bafentou kongsi八分头公司; and 6. Zanhe kongsi 赞和公司.[72] These privately owned kongsis were under the protection of the zongting. The miners in these kongsis, as well as the farmers, traders at the bazaar, and craftsmen, all had to pay taxes to Heshun zongting. In time of war they had the duty to join the kongsi’s army.

The seven kongsis of Lara all strove to find a protector among the fourteen original kongsis of the Heshun zongting. We shall discuss the circumstances of Lara kongsi in detail in the next chapter, but first we shall make a comparison between the establishment and institutions of Lanfang kongsi and those of the Heshun zongting.

Schaank gives a fairly precise description of the distribution and the relative importance of  these fourteen kongsis of Montrado in the early period of the Heshun zongting: [73]

1. The Dagang kongsi operated the Shangwu and Xiawu [74] mines, situated west and south-west of Montrado. The oldest kongsi house of the Dagang kongsi had been established at Xiawu. Later, around 1807, the Dagang had built a more solid kongsi house to the south of the former. This was subsequently called Shangwu. It gradually overshadowed the older building in importance, and became the most important institution of the Dagang kongsi. Despite this ceding of rank, Xiawu did retain various privileges. At the festivals it maintained the right to bring the offerings and hold the theatrical performances. [75] The majority of its members were Banshanke from the Lufeng district in Huizhou prefecture and Huilai district from Chaozhou prefecture. Its major clans were Wu, Huang, and Zheng. At first the Dagang kongsi did not hold a position of any significance in the zongting. Its members were even called, with some disdain, “the dogs from Dagang ”. Over the years the importance of this kongsi steadily grew until it was ranked the first among the members of the zongting. With it the name of its members completely transformed into the courteous “ elder brother from Dagang”.

2. The Lao Bafen kongsi mined north-west of  Montrado, along the road leading from Montrado to Singkawang. In Schaank’s time a pond called Lao Bafenpo 老八分坡 was all that remained of a reservoir that had been used by the kongsi for its water supplies.

3. The Jiufentou kongsi operated at a location north-west of Montrado. Eighty years later Schaank established that part of the bazaar at Montrado was still called by the name of this kongsi.

4. The Shisanfen kongsi mined somewhere between Wanglidong and Qiaotou.

5. The Jielian kongsi was located in the vicinity of Sanbasha 三把沙. This kongsi was fairly influential in the period shortly after the establishment of the Heshun zongting. It had about 800 members, mostly bearing the surname Peng, who were known, according to Schaank, as the “Tigers of Jielian”.

6. The Xin Bafen kongsi was situated at Pangkalan Batu, Capkala 夹下滹, Sungai Duri, Danyuan , and Pangliwan. It had approximately 800 members when the zongting was established. The majority of its members hailed from Haifeng district.

7. The Santiaogou kongsi mined east of Montrado, at Banyaoya 半要, Baimangtou, Sibale 西哇黎, and Serukam 凹下. It had about 800 members. The majority hailed from Lufeng and Huilai, and bore the surnames of Zhu and Wen. Although the members from both the Santiaogou and the Dagang came from Lufeng and Huilai, relations between these kongsis later deteriorated until they had become like oil and water.

8. The Manhe kongsi began its mining activities at Pangkalan Batu. It had the largest pagong of Montrado. Later this kongsi moved to Sungai Duri Ulu.

9. The Kengwei kongsi operated mines at Pangkalan Batu, Luxiaheng, Kulor, and the Kengweishan 坑尾山. Most of its members had their roots in Guishan in Huizhou. The kongsi protected two smaller, privately operated mines, i.e. the Jinhe kongsi and the Guanghe, a very old kongsi of people from Macao.

10. The Shiwufen kongsi mined north-east of Dagang. Its reservoir was called Shiwufen po 十五分坡. It was situated along the road leading from Montrado to Capkala. It developed from a smaller, privately operated mine, known as Liufentou 六分. Later Liufentou became one of the mines under protection of the kongsi. The most prevalent surnames of its members were Liu and Chen.

11. The Taihe kongsi, also known as the Shiliufen 十六分, mined at Gouwangyou 狗王油, south of Jielian kongsi, on the southern borders of Montrado. At Schaank’s time there still was a Taihe bali 泰和把.

12. The Lao Shisifen kongsi mined at Qiaotou 桥头.

13. The Xinwu kongsi, also known as the Xin Shisifen, had branched off from the Lao Shisifen kongsi. It also mined at Qiaotou.

14. The Shi’erfen kongsi, also known as Dayi , operated at Qiaotou. Schaank founded a village and a mine which still bore the kongsi’s name.

This list is more or less all of the general information we have about the location and activities of the kongsis, apart from what may be gleaned from the occasional travel account, or that can be distilled from the different accounts concerning the conflicts between them, which we will deal with in the next chapter.

 

Luo Fangbo and the Establishment of the Lanfang Kongsi

The Lanfang kongsi zongting was established one year after the Heshun zongting in 1777. It was founded on a similar basis, but there are notable differences in the regulations of its institutions. This can be traced to the personal influence which its first leader, Luo Fangbo, exercised over the development of this kongsi.

The Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi offers detailed information about the establishment of the Lanfang kongsi and its leader. It allows us to reconstruct the growth of the kongsi in the early period of its development.

Luo Fangbo was born at Shishanbao 石扇堡 in Jiayingzhou in 1738 .[76] According to the clan chronicle of Luo family, [77] his ancestors had lived in the southern parts of Jiangxi江西 province. From there they moved to Baidubao 白渡堡 in Jiayingzhou in Guangdong. After five generations they moved on to Shishanbao. Luo Fangbo’s  father, Luo Qilong, was married to Lady Yang. They had three sons: Fangbo 芳柏 , Kuibo 葵柏, and Taibo 台柏. Fangbo was married to a daughter of the Li family. According to geomancers ( fengshui xiansheng 风水先生), Shishanbao was splendidly situated, because “at the mouth of the river there is an altar to the spirits, plane trees and elms protect and embrace it, mulberries and catalpas form a protective screen”. [78] They were convinced that this locality would produce a person of unusual talents. Luo’s appearance is described as follows: [79]

His head was like that of a tiger, his jaw like that of a swallow, his chin was like that of a dragon and his whiskers likewise. Long were his ears, and square his mouth. Although his height was less than five feet, yet he liked to study. Always did he cherish great ambitions. He was broad-minded and tolerant.

He must have seen his ambitions frustrated, because in 1772 he set out, with a group of some hundred relatives and friends, to the “Gold Mountain” of Borneo. After his arrival, he earned his livelihood as a teacher at Pontianak. This did, however, not satisfy him: [80]

I am a man of only few talents,

The fierceness of my willpower carries me far.

My work is hard, as I live by my tongue,

to toil at the ink-slab, that is the field I till.

I am ashamed of not having the capital to engage in trade,

Regret not to be a renowned scholar or a lofty master.

Employed as a teacher in this foreign land,

The years and months go by without any meaning.

At this period the different groups of Chinese migrants in West Borneo – like Hakkas, Hoklo, and Hokkien – were frequently embroiled in armed conflicts. Each side was in need of good advice. This was an opportunity for Luo Fangbo, who as a scholar had earned the respect of his people, the Hakka. His wisdom was acknowledged by the nickname Luo Fangkou [81].

There was a large concentration of Hoklo at the bazaar of Pontianak. The Hakkas of Jiayingzhou were in the minority. They were frequently locked in battle; a battle which the Hakkas usually lost. This stimulated them to organize themselves so that they would be better prepared to deal with threats from others. This also offered Luo Fangbo an opportunity to fulfill his ambition of becoming a leader.

While Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi does not offer very concrete information on this point, it tells us that Luo Fangbo started by organizing one hundred and eight Hakkas, and with them occupied a mine known as Shanxin Jinhu several miles south of Mandor. They forced Zhang Acai 张阿才, the supervisor of the mine, to acknowledge their authority, and appeased the miners. This was their base. They built palisades and defence posts, and slowly started to expand: [82]

From this day on his fame echoed far and wide. With great prowess he maintained his quarters. A multitude came to him from all directions. He established the zongting of the Lanfang kongsi at Mandor.

It goes without saying that this account is greatly simplified. It also has the characteristics of an hagiographic legend; for  instance the number of the “one hundred and eight” comrades is also found in novels such as the Shuihu zhuan, an important element we will discuss at length at a later stage. As we have already indicated, Schaank offers a different view about the establishment of the Lanfang kongsi. He claims that in 1774 Luo Fangbo began by becoming the leader of an association called the Lanfanghui. This appears not to have been a miners’ community but an association of “farmers”. As this is all rather complicated, I give a translation of what Schaank reports below: [83]

1760. When the Chinese had made themselves more independent  of the Malay rulers, it was not surprising that as an agricultural people they soon also set themselves up in Borneo in the farming sector. The lucrative returns from the mining activities made agriculture very worthwhile and people who were disposed to engage in it could be found. Thus in the years after 1770, there were two great farming associations in the region of Montrado, to wit: the Tiandihui and the Lanfanghui, alongside the many small mining associations which were also called hui, or, if they were very small, were called shansha or palit. […] The head of the Tiandihui was Liu Sanbo who carried an eighteen-pound sword, whereas the Lanfang association was under the authority of Luo Taibo 罗太伯.

The first of these associations were settled near Rantauw (in Chinese: Landuo 烂哆), Bageting, Wanglidong and Kulor and were desirous of making this last place, where it had already a bazaar, its capital. The Lanfang association had its territory in the Lanfanghuidong (the “hills of  the Lanfang Association”) and near Dashushan during the years 1772 to 1774 approximately. Prompted by jealousy,  these associations soon began to quarrel. The situation became so serious that finally, after a violent fight, the Lanfanghui was completely defeated. After having kept himself hidden for an entire day at the bazaar of Montrado, Luo Taibo narrowly escaped over the Kengweishan to Mampawa. Later he succeeded in rallying new comrades and with them he founded the Lanfang kongsi at Mandor.

Schaank does not indicate his sources for this narrative, which were most likely based on oral tradition. He notes himself that this version of the facts is at variance with the one given in the Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi. This source not only does not mention anything related to a conflict with a “Tiandihui”, but even goes so far as to say that Luo Fangbo never set foot in Montrado prior to the time he launched his attack on that place. This happened only after he had founded the Lanfang kongsi in Mandor. What the Chronicle does however mention is the “Lanfanghuidong”, but explains that the hills received this name in commemoration of Luo’s expedition. This seems unlikely as, also according to the same Chronicle, Luo withdrew his troops before ever actually attacking the Heshun zongting! This is all rather contradictory, and I suppose therefore that in spite of its rather vague character, the oral tradition noted by Schaank is substantially more trustworthy than the Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi. Naturally the latter source, which was compiled for De Groot by Liu Asheng, wanted to preserve an unstained image of the founding leader of the organization.

How should the assertion that there were two “peasant associations” called Tiandihui and Lanfanghui be interpreted? Here we have to return to the question of the “Tiandihui” which we looked at earlier in the case of the Montrado kongsis that were to become the Heshun zongting alliance. If we acknowledge that for “Tiandihui” we may read the merchant organization at the different bazaars, especially that of Kulor which controlled the supplies of the mining communities, we have to acquiesce in that there may have been a “Lanfanghui” that was established in the hills north of the township of Montrado (see map by Schaank), and which, by the very nature of its geographical setting can only have been a mining community. With this in place we may surmise that this Lanfang mining community attempted to conquer the bazaar of Kulor so as to secure its own supply lines. This ties in well with the continuation of Schaank’s narrative, which runs as follows:[84]

When the Lanfanghui was defeated, the power of the Tiandihui increased considerably and it was the source of much harassment to the miners. These miners, formerly dispersed over many associations, gradually became more and more closely connected and concentrated themselves in a ever smaller number of alliances which took the name of “kongsi”. Thus the tradition still mentions “the seventeen kongsis”, whereas Veth speaks of twenty-four. By the time the Lanfanghui was defeated, the number of associations at Montrado had been reduced to fourteen. […]

1775. Around 1775 when the Tiandihui, proud of its victory and in possession of the rice monopoly, adopted a brazen attitude and wanted to sell the rice only against high prices, and from time to time even refused to sell the sugar-cane (especially from the gardens of Landuo), while moreover its members indulged in all kinds of liberties with the wives of the other kongsis and even raped them, the above-mentioned fourteen kongsis united themselves. The united associations declared war on the Tiandihui and finally succeeded in defeating this organization at Wanglidong. Liu Sanbo died with five hundred of his men and it is said that the many bones that are found in these hills are these of the men who died in that battle.

In other words: first a major Montrado mining community, with the name of Lanfang and which was situated fairly close to Kulor, tried to gain dominance over the bazaar and its Hoklo merchants. Having suffered a defeat, they moved to Mandor. But a year later an alliance of the remaining communities succeeded in defeating the “Tiandihui” Hoklo of Kulor and this made the beginning of the Heshun alliance.

We will never know whether Luo Fangbo was then already with the miners of the Lanfanghui at Montrado, but is it very probable that he was not. As we have seen he arrived at Pontianak in 1772 and lived there first as a teacher. It may well be that after what remained of the Lanfanghui settled at Mandor under the protection of the Panambahan of Mampawa, the newly immigrated schoolmaster joined the settlement. Chosen as a leader, he then began to secure its base.

According to the Chronicle, his first target was Mao’en, a flourishing trading town some ten miles north of Mandor. It had an old and a new bazaar, of which the old bazaar was the larger. It housed  over 200 shops of different kinds of goods. The majority of its residents originated  from Chaoyang, Xieyang, Haifeng, and Lufeng. Huang Guibo 黄桂伯, its headman, was honoured as “zong dage总大哥 [85]. The new bazaar provided room for some twenty shops, mostly operated by Hakkas from Jiayingzhou. They were organized into what was called the Lanheying 兰和营. Jiang Wubo was its leader. He was called “gongye功爷 [86]. He was assisted by four men, who were called “laoman 老满 [87]. Luo Fangbo’s first move was to send some of his people to make contact with Lanheying. By co-ordinating his actions with Jiang Wubo, Huang Guibo was defeated. He also captured the regions of Kunri, Longgang, and Senaman.

He then set his sights on Minghuang 明黄, which was located in the vicinity of Mao’en. Here Liu Qianxiang刘乾相, [88] a Hakka from Dapu, operated a gold mine in conjunction with over 500 members of his clan. Its organization was the most powerful at the time. Liu Qianxiang had established himself as dage. Minghuang was the Lanfang kongsi’s most powerful rival. Liu Qianxiang adamantly refused to come to terms with the Lanfang kongsi and he frequently raided its territory . He also built stockades from Minghuang to Liufentou, quite close to the zongting of the Lanfang kongsi, and vowed to  “swallow up the whole” of Mandor. Luo Fangbo organized all the men of Lanfang kongsi to mount an attack. He personally supervised the maneuvers and “beat the drum to signal the attack”. Six large defensive works were overrun. Liu Qianxiang and his men were defeated and fled. Liu committed suicide by jumping into the river at Ayermati. Lanfang kongsi incorporated the gold-mines of Minghuang. Its power increased accordingly.

After the Chinese mines and settlements in the vicinity of Mandor had been incorporated, Luo Fangbo made preparations for his second move: the attack on his old opponent, the Heshun zongting.[89] When he led his forces to a mountain in the vicinity of the bazaar of Montrado, he discovered that the town was built in the shape of a cauldron. He did not consider it prudent to attack hastily, and so withdrew his forces. Tradition has it, that a hill in the vicinity of Montrado was called Lanfanghuidong[90] to commemorate this event. We have seen above what may have been the true course of the events that led to his retreat.

Luo Fangbo’s third move was to mend relations with the Malays and Dayaks. The road from Mandor to Pontianak passed through the Dayak villages of Laoxingang 老新港, Peniti 勿黎, and Gaoping and Kwala Sepata 沙坝达 lay downriver of it. At the mouth of the Kuala Sepata “Pangeran Seta”,  a man from Mampawa, had built a dalam[91], after which the Chinese no longer dared to travel along this road. Luo Fangbo therefore ordered Zhang Acai, a bookkeeper from Shanxin, to attack Gaoping and the localities lying below it. The sultan of Pontianak, Abdoel Rachman, sent troops to help him. The dalam was destroyed in the first battle. After the defeat of the Dayaks, Pangeran Seta fled to Landak, and established a bond with its ruler. Here he stirred the Dayak up against the Chinese. Luo Fangbo also roused his forces and built fortifications. For nine months he besieged the fortifications of Pangeran Seta, and finally dug a tunnel to penetrate them, and thus defeated the Dayaks. He pursued them to Sambas. The rulers of Landak and Kuala Sepata were afraid of what would happen to them, and requested the sultan of Pontianak to act as a mediator in suing for peace. A peace settlement was concluded. Sambas was to be the boundary. As a demarcation fences of bamboo were planted along the borderline.

In 1780, when the Lanfang kongsi was well established, Luo expressed his feelings in a “standard poem” (lüshi), which said:[92]

When the hero, down and out, arrived at these far away shores,

Truly numerous were the knaves who boisterously laughed at him.

Swallows and sparrows,  how  can  they  understand  the  mind  of wild  geese and swans?

Reeds and worthless  chu trees, how can they compare with  wood  for  beams  and    rafters?[93]

In pacifying barbarians and routing bandits, three years were spent.

Twice new regions were opened up and frontiers established.

Do not say that this old man has no good points:

his lips are like halberts, his tongue a sword and his voice yet can thunder!

Luo Fangbo could indeed be proud of himself. For eighteen years, from 1777 to 1795, he held the position of zongting dage 总厅大哥 (Elder Brother of the zongting) of the Lanfang kongsi. Profiting from battles like the ones described above, the domain of the kongsi expanded continuously. Along its borders fortifications were built. At the time of Luo, the fortress at the mouth of the Landak River, and the forts at Sepata and Gaoping guarded the waterway leading from Pontianak to Kampong Baru 新埠头. They were supported by additional strong point at Bao’en on the Sepata River. The fortress of Ayermati was situated at the upper reaches of the Mampawa River.

In the history of the Lanfang kongsi Luo Fangbo is represented as a leader with supernatural powers. The Mandor River being infested by crocodiles, Luo imitated the great Confucian scholar Han Yu (768-824) by offering them a propitiatory sacrifice and then address to them a written prayer bidding them to leave the place. According to the Chronicle this was most efficient because the crocodiles were never seen again.  “After he had thus shown himself to have power over the crocodiles”, it said, “the local rulers regarded him as being endowed with special powers and they all submitted to him, heaving sighs of admiration and being imbued with a deep sense of fear.”

Luo had great ambitions for the Lanfang kongsi. In his eyes it was to be more than a place to live. It was to become one of the “Outer Countries” (waifan 外藩), like Annam and Siam, that would bring tribute to the Qing emperor every year.[94] Paradoxically one of the reasons that he failed to realize this dream lies in the fact that the emperors of  the Qing did not allow Chinese who had migrated to return to their motherland. This means that although some miners did in fact return home, they could never do so ostentatiously, lest they would be persecuted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fig. 2. The West Borneo goldfields c. 1775 ( after Jackson)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fig. 3. Tomb of Luo Fangbo at Mandor

 

 

 


[1] About the detailed geographical description of West Borneo, see J.J.K. Enthoven, Bijdragen tot de geographie van Borneo’s Wester-afdeeling, 2 vols. Leiden 1903; and J.C. Jackson, Chinese in the West Borneo Goldfields. A Study in Cultural Geography. Hull 1970.

[2] G. Irwin, Nineteenth-Century Borneo. A Study in Diplomatic Rivalry. ’s Gravenhage 1955, p. 5.

[3] See his Daoyi zhilue 岛夷志略 (The Synoptical Accounting of the Islands and Their Barbarians) published in 1349.

[4] Ming shilu, 6th year of the Yongle reign.

[5] The Dutch called them Vorstenlanden or Principalities, and their rulers Vorsten, Sultans or Panambahan.

[6] See Enthoven, Bijdragen tot de geographie van Borneo’s Wester-afdeeling.

[7] See J.H. Tobias,  “Rapport omtrent Borneo’s Westkust van 8 mei 1822”, ARA, 1814-1849, dossier Borneo, 3081. Tobias was the fourth Commissioner sent by the Dutch colonial government in its attempt to re-establish its power in the region. Having arrived in 1821, he set out to reconnoitre the territory of West Borneo and evaluate the different problems it presented. His report is the first general description from the physical as well as the political points of view, and subsequent writers, above all P.J. Veth, have made ample use of it.

[8] Hence the name of Pontianak, i.e.: “Ghost City”.

[9] J.van Goor, “Seapower, Trade and State- Formation: Pontianak and the Dutch”, in Van Goor (ed.) Trading Companies in Asia, Utrecht 1986, p. 86.

[10] P.J. Veth, Borneo’s Wester-afdeeling, geographisch, statistisch, historish, voorafgegaan door eene algemeene schets des ganschen eilands. Zaltbommel: Noman 1854-1856, vol. I, p. 260. There is no proof that the VOC actually bought the right to dispose of this territory.

[11] Ibidem, p. 274.

[12] Jackson, Chinese Goldfields, p. 23.

[13] Tobias, “De Westkust van Borneo” in “Macassar”, De Nederlandsche Hermes, III, (1828) n.12, p. 13; E. Francis “Westkust van Borneo in 1832”, p. 19.

[14] Jackson, Chinese Goldfields, p. 20.

[15] Veth, Borneo’s  Wester-afdeeling, vol.I, p. 297.

[16] Jackson, Chinese Goldfields, p.  20.

[17] Veth, Borneo’s  Wester-afdeeling, vol.I, pp. 297-298.

[18] Ritter, Indische herinneringen, Amsterdam, 1843, p. 118.

[19] Veth, Borneo’s Wester-afdeeling, vol. I, p. 300.

[20] According to Veth’s Borneo’s  Wester-afdeeling (vol.I, pp. 314-315, note 6), the Chinese population was 30,000 in total in this period, but The Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi says that there were more than 20,000 people in the region of Mandor in Luo Fangbo’s time. As we know, the population of the Heshun fourteen kongsis could not be less than that of Lanfang. Even in 1838,  there were still 20,000 inhabitants under the sway of Dagang kongsi, after many kongsis moved to other regions. (Doty and Pohlman, “Tour in Borneo”, p. 305.)

[21] See Appendix 4, and the Chinese text see Luo Xianglin’s A Historical Survey of the Lan-Fang Presidential System in Western Borneo, p. 147.

[22] This corresponds to November 1772.

[23] The author, Wang Dahai, had first visited Java in 1783 and lived in Indonesia for many years.

[24]  Schaank, De Kongsis van Montrado, p. 65.

[25] Jackson, Chinese Goldfields, p. 22.

[26] Veth, Borneo’s  Wester-afdeeling, vol. I, p. 313.

[27] Jackson, Chinese Goldfields, p. 36.

[28] G.W. Earl, The Eastern Sea or Voyages and Adventures in the Indian Archipelago, London 1837, p. 245.

[29] We rely here on the clear explanation by Jackson, Chinese Goldfields, pp. 12-14.

[30] Posewitz, Borneo: Its Geology and Mineral Resources, London 1892, pp. 345, 356; Quoted from Jackson, Chinese Goldfields, p. 31.

[31] Earl, Eastern Seas, pp.285-286.

[32] Francis, “Westkust van Borneo in 1832”, p. 23.

[33] Doty and Pohlman, “Tour in Borneo”, p. 289.

[34] Veth, Borneo’s Westafdeeing, vol. I, p. 312.

[35] See Appendix 9.

[36] De Groot, Het Kongsiwezen van Borneo, p. 9; Jackson, Chinese Goldfields, p. 22.

[37] Jackson, Chinese Goldfields, p. 20; De Groot, Het Kongsiwezen van Borneo, pp. 8-10.

[38] Schaank, De Kongsis van Montrado, pp.  9-10.

[39]Ibidem, p. 10.

[40] The fenxiang institution has been studied by Schipper (1990).

[41] See Schipper, “Neighborhood Cult Associations in Traditional Tainan”, in G. W. Skinner (ed.) The City in Late Imperial China, pp. 651-678. Stanford University Press 1977.

[42] Ibidem, pp. 58-63.

[43] According to our information , the temple at Budok still exists, but the main cult has been transferred to Singkawang, since now only a few Chinese still live in the interior.

[44] On Mazu’s cult, see De Groot, Jaarlijkse feesten en gebruiken, pp. 207-212. The temple of Tianhou   天后) at Pontianak is still the one of the largest temples in West Borneo.

[45] See De Groot, Het Kongsiwezen van Borneo, pp. 124-125.

[46] H. von Dewall, “Opstand der Chinezen van Mentrado, Westkust Borneo 1853-1854”; 1854, 34 pages, KITLV, manuscript collection, no. H83.

[47] K. M. Schipper, Tao, De levende religie van China, Amsterdam 1988, pp. 66-77.

[48] Wolfgang Franke has written a short article on the temples of West Borneo entitled, “Notes on Chinese Temples and Deities in Northwestern Borneo”  in Gert Naundorf  (ed.) Religion und Philosophie in Ostasien, Königshausen 1985, pp. 267-290.

[49] See Schaank De Kongsis van Montrado, p. 86.

[50] Schaank says “weldra” but without specifying any precise date, De Kongsis van Montrado, p. 87.

[51] For a detailed description and discussion of the ritual, see Ibidem, pp. 87-90.

[52] Reproduced in E.B. Kielstra, “Bijdragen tot de geschiedenis van Borneo’s Westerafdeeling”, part 4, in  IG, 1889, pp. 951-991.

[53] This important military commander will be discussed below in Chapters 5 and 6.

[54] T.A.C. van Kervel,  “De hervorming van de maatschappelijke toestand ter Westkust van Borneo”, in TNI, 1853, I, p. 188.

[55] Schaank, De Kongsis van Montrado, p. 70; Veth, Borneo’s Wester-afdeeling, vol. I, p. 98.

[56]  See Schaank, De Kongsis van Montrado, p. 26.

[57]Ibidem, p. 72. I have given an earlier discussion about the origins and the institution of the kongsi in the Introduction.

[58] Veth, Borneo’s Wester-afdeeling, vol.I, pp. 306-307.

[59] A recent study by Hao Zhiqing considers the founding of the Tiandihui to have taken place in 1674. See Hao’s Tiandihui Qiyuan Yanjiu 天地会起源研究 (The Origin of the Tiandihui), Beijing 1996. See also B. ter Haar’s The Ritual and Mythology of the Chinese Triads, Brill 1998.

[60] Tiandihui Qiyuan Yanjiu, p. 7.

[61] Ten rules out of the total of seventy-two deal explicitly with overseas  travel. In contrast, agriculture is mentioned only sporadically.

[62]  Schaank, De Kongsis van Montrado, p. 23.

[63]  Yinjing, appendix  Xici, 1.

[64]  Schlegel, The Hung League, page 20.

[65]  Lin Fengchao has a different interpretation of the term “lanfang” which he considers to be derived from the two personal names of Luo Fangbo and his elder brother Luo Lanbo. But the name of “Lanbo” is not mentioned in the jiapu of Luo Fangbo, and his brothers are called  “Kuibo” and “Taibo”. Lin’s hypothesis seems therefore untenable.  See Lin’s the History of Pontianak, p. 1.

[66] The inscription in the Memorial Hall of Luo Fangbo at the Meibei Middle School of Meizhou mentions specifically the fact that he was a member of the Tiandihui.

[67] Huang calls himself “Brother of Hui” in the invitation letter to his inaugural ceremony in 1853. See Inventaris Arsip Nasional of Indonesia, West Borneo no. 79.

[68] Schaank, De Kongsis van Montrado, p. 29.

[69] Ibidem, p. 23

[70] Schaank states that Xie Jiebo is also called Xie Jiejia 结甲, and that jia is short for jiabidan 甲必丹 (captain). This does, however, seem to be a misrepresentation by the informants of Schaank. His real name ust have been Xie Jie. Bo (“uncle) was added as a term of respect. This is in agreement with the fact that the early leaders of the Lanfang kongsi were called “elder brother (dage 大哥). The term Jiatai was not used until the 1820’s as a designation for the sixth leader of Lanfang kongsi, Liu Taier, and the term captain as a designation for the headmen of the bazaar at Mandor was introduced at about the same time. The Dutch had not much interfered with the affairs of the Dagang kongsi before 1850, when they deprived it of  its independent administration. It is therefore impossible that the leader of the zongting was called captain as early as 1776.

[71] Ritter, Indische herinneringen, p. 125.

[72] Schaank, DeKongsis van Montrado, p. 29.

[73] Ibidem, pp. 27-29. This description is based on the written materials Schaank had at his disposal, and also on the interviews he conducted.

[74] During the same period there was another kongsi at Lara, which was also called Xiawu, but this fell under the authority of Santiaogou kongsi, and was also known as Little Santiaogou kongsi.

[75] Schaank, De Kongsis van Montrado, p. 74, note 1.

[76] The Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi says that Luo Fangbo died at the age of 57 in 1795, therefore he was born in 1738.

[77] See Luo Xianglin, A Historical Survey of the Lan-Fang Presidential System in Western Borneo, p. 65.

[78] The Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi.

[79] Ibidem.

[80] See Luo Fangbo’You Jinshan Fu” in Appendix 4.

[81] Fangkou , “square mouth, indicating that he was able to give good advice.

[82] The Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi.

[83] Schaank, De Kongsis van Montrado, pp. 21-22.

[84] Ibidem, pp. 22-24.

[85] The general elder brother.

[86] The characters are those used in the Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi, but their meaning is not clear.

[87] Like the earlier term, we reproduce the writing of it here as it is given in the Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi, without being able to identify its meaning.

[88] The legend about Liu Sanbo, the leader of Tiandihui, mentioned by Schaank is similar to the story of  Liu Qianxiang told here. The Chronicle of Lanfang Kongsi states, of course, it was its founder Luo Fangbo who had defeated Liu and his people, not the fourteen kongsis of Heshun zongting.

[89] At this point the author of the Chronicle of Lanfang Kongsi clearly made a mistake. He states: “At the time there were seven kongsis that had opened the mines at Montrado. The most powerful was the Dagang kongsi. The Santiaogou kongsi came next, then the Xinwu kongsi, the Kengwei kongsi, the Shiwufen kongsi, the Shiliufen kongsi, the Manhe kongsi. Apart from these there were other kongsis, like the Heshun zongting, Jiufentou, Xin Bafen, Lao Bafen, Xin Shisifen, and Lao Shisifen.” It considers the Heshun zongting to be a kongsi, and in his list of kongsis mentions both the Xinwu and the Xin Shisifen kongsi, which are actually two different names for the same kongsi. It also does not mention the Jielian kongsi, the Shisanfen kongsi, and the Shierfen kongsi. This shows, that even at that time notions about the early history of the kongsis was very vague and unclear.

[90] Schaank mentions that it would be illogical for the name given to this hill to refer to the Lanfang kongsi as the Lanfanghui after the establishment of the Lanfang kongsi.

[91] A Javanese word for the residence of a ruler or an important person.

[92] See Lin Fengchao’s A History of Pontianak, in Luo Xianglin’s A Historical Survey of the Lan-Fang Presidential System in Western Borneo, p. 148.

[93] These two sentences contain allusions to the Zhuangzi. The first chapter “Xiaoyaoyou” contains a passage where small birds laugh at a great peng bird that soars through the sky. In the same chapter there is the philosopher Hui Zi who tells Zhuang Zi about a tree, called chu which produces completely worthless and useless timber.

[94] See The Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi.

 

 

 

 ten years later.

Umar Ahmadin, the Sultan of Sambas,

offered to immigrants who are ready to work this hard to open a gold mine in

 Montrado

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look montrado old map

 

, Pemangkat,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bengkayang,

 

 

and Lumar.

 

“Offering” is more appropriate than “imported labor”.

 

Therefore, the Chinese did not then put to work and get paid from the Sultan. It is precisely those who have to divide their earnings to the Sultan. Because they not only have the manpower, but also of skills – let’s call it technology – gold mining.
Therefore, stand kongsis China engaged in gold mining. Sultanate and tax levy.
In the book Report of the Mining Industry in Borneo and Its Economic Prospect (1939) by Dr.. C.P.A. Zijlmans van Emmichoven told, of the Chinese joint venture in Bengkayang and the Sultan of Sambas Montrado just quoting excise 27 kg of gold each year.


While the record Raffles in 1812, the gold business in the western region of Borneo is reached œ 11 million annually.


And when disputes arise between Sambas and PunBB, immigrants were also fishing in murky waters. They combine, forming a kind of small republics, and arm themselves organized. Thus was born “Chinatown district,” wrote Zijlmans, which “has set itself without the intervention of either ~ or the Sultan of Sambas Panembahan Mempawah.”
In the 17th century
 Chinese emigration to the West Kalimantan which take two routes through Indochina – Malaya – West Kalimantan and North Borneo – West Kalimantan.

In 1745,
Chinese people brought massive partnership interests, as the Sultan of Sambas and Panembahan Mempawah using the Chinese forces as a compulsory levy employed in gold mines.

Their arrival in Monterado

Picture Now

 

form
Taikong Kongsi  (Big Ditch)


and
Samto Kiaw kongsi  (Three Bridges).

1770,
 Chinese joint venture, based in Monterado
 and

Bodok

 


war with the Dayak tribe that killed the head of the Dayak tribe in the area.
Sultan of Sambas and then assign the Chinese people in both regions subject only to the Sultan and is obliged to pay tribute every month, instead of annually as before. But they were given the power to set governance, justice, security and so forth. Since then arises Small Republic, based in Monterado and Dayak people move to a safer part of the Chinese people.
In the meantime, some are trying to locate the face. A man named Lo Fong Fa lick the Sultan of Sambas Dayak helped quell the rebellion. In return, in 1770


he was allowed to make Kongsi Lan Fong. But from the beginning seems to Lan Fong does have a purpose behind the help. Kongsinya not only looking for gold, also collect power and sharpening weapons.

 

1776
Six years later,
when they feel themselves already powerful and has a sharp weapon, he refused to pay the tax to the Sultan of Sambas. Thus, fighting broke out again. Replace now the Dayaks, the rebellion they had exterminated by the Chinese settlers, helped the Sultan. Sultan won. Then he set the excise tax must be paid once a month instead of once a year. However, the Kongsi gain more power: not only mastering the mining region, but also following the Dayak people in the region. This means that the Emperor betrayed his allies.

In the 17th century
 Chinese emigration to the West Kalimantan which take two routes through Indochina – Malaya – West Kalimantan and North Borneo – West Kalimantan.

In 1745,
Chinese people brought massive partnership interests, as the Sultan of Sambas and Panembahan Mempawah using the Chinese forces as a compulsory levy employed in gold mines.

 

 

Their arrival in forming joint venture Monterado Taikong (Big Ditch) and Samto Kiaw (Three Bridges).

1770,
Chinese consortium based in Monterado and Bodok war with the killing of Dayak Dayak tribal chiefs in the area. Sultan of Sambas and then assign the Chinese people in both regions subject only to the Sultan and is obliged to pay tribute every month, instead of annually as before. But they were given the power to set governance, justice, security and so forth. Since then arises Small Republic, based in Monterado and Dayak people move to a safer part of the Chinese people.

On October 1771
Pontianak city stands.


Year 1772
came a man named Lo Fong (Pak) from the village Po Shan Shak, Kunyichu, Canton
carrying 100 family landed in
 Siantan, North Pontianak

 

.

Previously existing in the United Kingdom
 joint venture of the tribe Tio Tszu Sjin Ciu
who viewed Lo Fong as an important person. Foreman and the surrounding areas have also been inhabited by

 tribes Tio Ciu, especially from Tioyo and Kityo.
 Mimbong area
inhabited by workers from
 Kun-tsu
 and
Tai-pu.
A man named Liu Siong Kon


living with more than five hundred families lift themselves

as Tai-Ko in there.
San Sim (The center of the Mountains)
 silent workers of the Thai-Phu and under the authority
A Tsoi Tong as Tai-Ko.


Lo Fong then moved to the foreman and building houses for the people, the general assembly (Thong) and the market.
But he was unrivaled by Mao Yien
 which has 220 doors market, consisting of 200 doors of the old market is populated communities Tjiu Tio, KTI-Yo, Hai Fung and contortion with Tai Fung Kui Ung-Ko Peh


and 20 new markets door from Kia community inhabited by

Tai Yin TJU-Pak Ko Kong Mew.


 Mao also established a fort Yien Fo Lan (Orchid Association) and picked up four aides under the name Lo-Man.

Lo Fong then sent Thoi Ni Liu
to carry a secret letter to
 Ung Kong Kui Peh and Mr Mew,
so they were forced to surrender and merge under the rule of Lo Fong without bloodshed.
Lo Fong and also seized control of Tai-Ko Liu Min Kon Bong Siong

 

 

 in the area (Benuang)

 

up to
San King

 

( Air Mati west borneo).
Thus, the Dayak people increasingly marginalized, moving inland. At that time there were at least eight kongsi spread of Sambas to Pontianak, and it only grew stronger.


 Lan Fong, for example, consists of 110 thousand people. When each feels more strongly than others lust invasion was delayed again.
Ta Sin Kiu partnership in Sambas
 Kongsi fought Kong-based Tai Montrado,

 rich in mines fight
 Sungai Raya, Singkawang.

 

 

 

 

A year of fighting, Ta Sin Kiu lost.
Then, again, take the face of politics there. Ta Sin Kiu to the Sultan of Sambas, invites alliance pounding Tai Kong. In return, he promised to “faithfully and will not disobey the sovereign and the people of Sambas.”

Sultan ingested this poisonous inducements.
Tengku Sambo, former commander of the Siak, Sumatra,
surrendered, assigned to invade Montrado, Tai Kong headquarters, along with Ta Sin Kiu. Through the fierce battle, Montrado fall. But the victory was costly: Tengku Sambo fall, just in time for the final battle. Head cut, and the skull kept by the inheritors of Tai Kong.
Predictably, Ta Sin Kiu then lick their own spit. He opposed the Sultan while embracing former enemy, Tai Kong and Mang Ki Tiu.
 Major war is inevitable.
Tsafioeddin Sultan, the Sultan of Sambas at that time,
demolish all the gold mines.
Troops moved into the kingdom moves
Pemangkat,
Seminis,
Sebawi,
Bengkayang,
Larah,
Lumar,
Montrado,
 to Buduk.
Alas, one by one partnership was weak, but three seems to be no match for the army of the Sultan.
Lo Fong and control
 Liu Siong Kon gold mining
 and
Prince of silver mining Ngabang Sita.
Lo Fong includes the royal power PunBB, Pontianak and Hedgehog and incorporated in 1777 under the name Republic of Lan Fong.

In 1795
Lo Fong died and was buried at Sak Dja foreman.
Republicans who each year send a tribute to the Emperor of China was also disbanded. By the Chinese foreman called
 Ban Toeng Lit
(Eastern region by 1000 legislation.
In 1795,
raging battle between the joint venture Tai-Kong based joint venture Monterado with Kiu Sam Tiu, based in Sambas since the Kiu Sam Tiu gold digging in the River Kingdom Singkawang, Tai-Kong territory.
 1796,
with the help of Sambas kingdom, joint venture Kiu Sam Tiu managed to master Monterado. But a commander of the sultan named Tengku Sambo was killed when stormed the last stronghold of Tai Kong joint venture. Sambas this war by the people called Sambo Tengku War.

The Definition of the Term “Kongsi”

In spite of the amount of source materials available and the studies which have hitherto been devoted to the subject, I feel that the exact nature of the kongsi remains ill-defined, even the subject of misunderstanding. This is an apt moment to remind the reader that this term today, in Mandarin Chinese, just means a (commercial) company, whereas in colloquial Dutch it has received the rather disparaging connotation of a murky group or gang banded together for the sole purpose of promoting its own interest.

When we turn to the sources and studies related to the Borneo kongsis, we find a fairly bewildering number of very different receptions and meanings, defining “kongsi” as:

1. A common management group.

2. A social organization akin to a common descent group, like those found in Southern China’s “one-surname” villages and the clan temples.

3. A republic.

4. A generic name of Chinese ethnic secret societies of the Tiandihui 天地会 (“Triad”) type which in fact did sometimes call themselves “kongsi”.

5. The title of an official or leader of the Chinese pioneer settlements.

6. The house where the latter has his residence.

7. An amount of money that represents the capital of the common management group.

8. A god, patron saint, or tutelary spirit of the Chinese pioneers, such as a “Dabogong” 大伯公.

The first of these definitions, that of a common management group, is found in S.H. Schaank’s studies. [1]He notes important historical evidence which shows that pioneer groups on their arrival in Borneo were initially organized as hui, that is: “associations” (in Dutch: “verenigingen”). According to Schaank, as they grew larger and relatively wealthy, these hui had to develop their military and political functions for the “common weal”, hence the importance of the “common management”. Through this series of steps the “kongsi” became the most important function of the “hui”, and therefore superseded, in a metonymical way,  the previous term as the general designation of the Chinese mining organizations. The fact that in the Borneo frontier society, others, such as the Malay sultans or the Dutch administrators, had to deal with the Chinese population principally from the economic and political points of view, it was logical that they considered this agency of the settlement group to be the most essential one, and took it to represent the entire organization.

As can be seen from recent fieldwork on local, non-official, organizations as they still exist on Taiwan, “kongsi” indeed appears to be the generic term by which the common management of financial assets is designated, inside of larger cult group defined as “hui”. As Fiorella Allio describes the situation in cult associations of Saikang (Xigang 西港) in Taiwan, these assets in terms of land, buildings, capital, goods such as furniture, works of art, instruments, and the like are the common property of the hui, and their management in whatever form this may take is defined as “kongsi”.[2] The kongsi here is the common capital of the cult association. During public meetings the members of the hui, decide on the use, as well as on the need to augment the capital through levying contributions. These meetings are also called “kongsi”. Fiorella Allio relates the way these kongsi function. She observes that essentially they have two kinds of income: obligatory contributions and voluntary ones. The more important are the former, which can be compared to a kind of taxation. For each particular occasion, such as the participation of a village temple organization in a larger festival, something which obliges the fitting out of a troupe (zhentou 阵头) which will take part in the great festival procession or the repair of the temple, a budget is made and the cost per family is calculated. Each family in the community then has to give its share, which is collected by the headmen (toujia 头家), as this is their principal function. This is called: “taking in the men’s money” or “taking in the household’s money”. The way in which this is calculated may mean that very rich families with extensive land and many sons are often made to pay more, in relation to these assets, than less fortunate ones. The way each segment of the society is defined also varies greatly. Headmen may be responsible for a quarter, a hamlet, or a neighbourhood of a “share”. Indeed, many parts of the land in southern Taiwan were originally developed by pioneers who came from Fujian to work on collective enterprises and their territory was segmented into “shares” (gu or fen ). The elders of the cult community are in charge of the kongsi administration. Very careful accounts are drawn up and also made public. The second way of collecting money is through voluntary contributions. Although these are not mandatory, well-off people are expected, for considerations of  “face”, to give generously. Fiorella Allio stresses the point though, that even the donation of important gifts does not necessarily mean that whoever has given that money may enjoy any kind of privilege. But generosity certainly reaps prestige. Again in this case, detailed accounts are drawn up and published. In the case of material gifts (tables, embroidered cloths, musical instruments, to name a few) the name of the donor is always written on the gift.  I  found the same situation in present day Borneo, in the Dabogong Temple at Selakau. According to a hand-written wallposter in the temple, the association which owns and governs it, besides the temple land and buildings, possessed a number of tables, plates and other items which are all administered by an elected “lishi hui” . Thus we may define the term as “the shared financial management of a hui”. Should we extend the definition, we may also include the common decision-making process in matters of political and military import, as these were part and parcel to the management of the common assets in the Borneo case.

In many respects the above definition matches that given by Tian Rukang in his article on the Chinese kongsi organization in West Kalimantan from the end of the eighteenth century until the end of the nineteenth century. [3] He says that kongsi is a general name given to the traditional common economic organization as is found in the rural villages of Guangdong and Fujian. Fishermen as well as seamen call their shared capital which they have constituted together “kongsi”. Members of a common lineage group of a village who take turns in administering the common holdings of their group also call this institution a “kongsi”. Western scholars have advanced all kinds of explanations concerning this kind of organization of the Overseas Chinese of West Kalimantan. Some have called it: (1) “Independent Government”; others have designated it a (2) “Federal Republic”. Yet others have said it is (3) a transformation of the lineage organization of Guangdong and Fujian; and some have even called it (4) a “secret society”.

The Borneo Kongsi as Seen by De Groot and His Followers

Het Kongsiwezen van Borneo by J.J.M. de Groot (1854‑1921) [4] is the first work which inquires into the nature of overseas Chinese communities. It is also the first anthropological study of one of  the Borneo kongsis. Considering the importance of De Groot’s pioneering work as well as the fact that it has been in many respects the point of departure for our own research,  its argument should be presented it here in some detail.

De Groot studied Chinese under the supervision of  G. Schlegel at Leiden. In its early years, the basic purpose of Dutch Sinology consisted of the training of qualified translators for the colonial administration in the Netherlands Indies.[5] In De Groot’s case, his personal interests went far beyond this. He also pursued religious studies and his fascination with anthropology, at the time a comparatively new discipline, was already burgeoning. Four years after entering university, he went to China for one year. During this stay he learned Hokkien.

In 1878 De Groot was sent to the town of Ceribon in Java to act as a Chinese interpreter. Two years later he was transferred to Pontianak 坤甸 in West Borneo. Here he accompanied the Resident on many official visits to the Lanfang kongsi 兰芳公司, the last still existing zongting in West Borneo. He established good relations with Liu Asheng 刘阿生, the kongsi’s Jiatai 甲太. In order to communicate with him, he studied the Hakka dialect. Through Liu he managed to collect some historical materials on the history of the Lanfang kongsi and other former Chinese kongsis of West Borneo. Later, illness forced him to apply for sick-leave and to return to the Netherlands.

In 1884 De Groot submitted a detailed proposal to the Minister of Colonial Affairs, in which he applied for funds to enable him to go to southern China to pursue his studies. His proposal coincided with an important event in the Netherlands East Indies. The Dutch colonial authorities had begun to assume that the Lanfang kongsi was a secret society, and after the death of Liu Asheng took steps to disband this organization. This event was paid lavish attention by both the Dutch papers and in Dutch politics. De Groot, who had been in close contact with this kongsi for three years, utterly condemned the policy of the colonial authorities. He believed this ill-fated measure was founded on a misunderstanding about the character and meaning of Chinese social customs. The occasion prompted him to write his monograph. In this he strongly emphasized the necessity to take up sociological and anthropological research on Chinese society in order to acquire a more thorough understanding of it.

In the first chapter of the book, De Groot gives a critical translation of  the Lanfang kongsi lidai niance 兰芳公司历代年册, “Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi through the Ages ”. This is a modest document of some four thousand characters which gives the short biographies of the leaders of the Lanfang corporation from its founder, Luo Fangbo 罗芳伯, to Liu Asheng, the last headman, who lived from 1812 to 1884.[6] The document certainly draws on sources kept at the headquarters of the Lanfang kongsi from its foundation until within a short period before its abolition in the late nineteenth century.[7]

The “Chronicle” was translated in extenso by De Groot under the title “Jaarboeken der voorbijgegane geslachten van de Kongsi Lanfong”.[8] At times De Groot also supplied some additional information gleaned from the kongsi’s archives. He  reproduced the original text, not in facsimile but set in type. No specifications as to the size and other particulars of the original manuscript were given. It is not known whether the original still exists.[9]

In the second chapter De Groot traces the historical backgrounds to the two most important groups of emigrants, the Hakka (kejia 客家) and the Hoklo (fulao 福佬). He makes an analysis of the reasons why they undertook to travel across the seas and engaged in the arduous work in a dangerous mining area. But his most important theme is his attack on the general lack of knowledge about Chinese social organizations, noting that as far as the Dutch colonials of the nineteenth century were concerned a “kongsi” was synonymous with a “secret organization”. He accused both colonial officials and colonial scholars of purposely spreading misconceptions, distorted views, and slanders about the Chinese, because they had denounced the kongsi people as the dregs of Chinese society, and because they accused the kongsi of aiming to overthrow supreme rule of the colonial authority. Braving these general misconceptions and insinuations De Groot strove to provide a clear picture of the origins and true nature of the Chinese kongsi, in order to persuade the Dutch to revise their policies. He approached the question methodically, from the sociologist’s point of view. The essential questions which he set out to answer were the following:

1. How was it possible that the emigrants, who came from the bottom rung of Chinese society, had established the kongsis – strong, independent, and orderly “republics” without any support from the government of their fatherland?

2. What were the characteristics of the kongsi, and what was the nature of the village organization in China, which was – as he considered – the prototype on which the organization of the kongsi was founded?

3. What were the origins and the nature of the colonial secret organizations, and what were the relations between the kongsi and these secret organizations?

In this context, he discusses the formation of village society in South China. He argues that the Chinese village society was basically a large-scale family. Nearly all the inhabitants of any Chinese village shared the same surname and belonged to the same clan. The local social organization itself possessed the feature of a “miniature republic”. The institution of the republic village society, De Groot believed, constituted a factor which helped the authorities to maintain order and unity within the realm of their administration. It did, however, inevitably give rise to some negative effects. The worst of these was the escalation of quarrels between individuals of different clans to conflicts between entire villages. Since each person within the village was considered to be a member of the same large clan, matters of individual interest were automatically raised to the level of public interest, and individual or family resentments were turned into resentments of the whole clan. A result of this was that the discord among individual villagers quite often developed into disputes between whole villages. In those areas of Guangdong province where non‑native clans of Hakka and Hoklo co-habited for a longer period with a local clans, mutual friction not infrequently led to the outbreak of armed fights between two different clans. The local authorities were usually at loss about how to handle the situation.

After describing the social organization of the Southern Chinese village, De Groot turns to the social organization of the “kongsis of Borneo”. He points out that the kongsi essentially amounted to a re‑establishment of Chinese village society  and clan organization in an overseas setting. The traditional Chinese village community was inclined to adhere to its independence and internal democratic structure. These were traditional qualities that had been accepted by the rulers of the successive dynasties of the Chinese empire. The ability of the Chinese emigrants, who originated from the lower rungs of society, to establish well ordered, egalitarian, and independent communities in a foreign land was nothing but a continuation of their own tradition of social organization. The strong resistance shown by the overseas Chinese to the colonial government should therefore be explained as the longing for autonomy of the village society, and not as an attempt to oppose the colonial authorities.

Colonial authorities, who explained this independence and strong internal organization as the inevitable result of rebellious policies, found such an autonomy intolerable. In their eyes the kongsi was akin to a secret organization, comprised of “unwashed” emigrants. As events turned out, it was the attempt by the colonial authorities to eliminate the autonomous Chinese institutions that eventually provoked the Chinese population to rise against their authority. Their goal was simply to survive under foreign domination. In no way did they aim to overthrow the colonial government – although events were interpreted in this light.

In refuting the prejudices against the Chinese that were prevalent in his time De Groot also had to deal with the widespread opinion that the Chinese organizations were in fact “secret societies”. The last  part of his essay deals extensively with this issue. De Groot rightly points out  that there was nothing occult or secret about the Chinese kongsis and that the reason why these organizations were more visible in Borneo than in China was due only to the fact that it was the deliberate policy of  the imperial administration to counter the free associations of the people, forcing them to remain in the background. But by no stretch of the imagination they could be called “secret”. This argument is certainly very sound, but a few issues, which we shall address later in greater detail, complicate the matter. The first is that Chinese secret societies, most prominent among them the Tiandihui (Heaven-Earth league), were indeed active in West Borneo and that the mining communities had to deal with them from the beginning. Their existence is regularly mentioned in the conversations with the Dutch authorities, and they play an important role in the final resistance to Dutch rule. The next issue is that the term “gongsi” (kongsi) appears to have been used in the context of the Tiandihui to designate local groups and organizations belonging to the movement. G. Schlegel gives the example of a subdivision of the Tiandihui in Shandong province which goes by the name of  Yixing kongsi 义兴公司.[10] Finally, as we shall see, the Borneo kongsi institutions seem to have been developed through confrontation with the Tiandihui, and may therefore have been influenced by it.

Whatever the case may be, there is much truth in De Groot’s analysis of the institution of the Borneo kongsi, and as a pioneering study of some of  the fundamentals of Chinese society it is truly remarkable. Unfortunately it is also flawed by the fact that De Groot’s aim in writing this essay was not purely scientific; he wanted to produce a polemic. His treatment of the subject and its conclusions are aimed directly at the Dutch colonial authorities, criticizing their narrow-mindedness and lack of understanding. Only when we take into account this particular slant of his reasoning can we explain why De Groot simplified the true nature of the kongsis so drastically and why he did not seek to delve deeply into uncovering their antecedents. This is especially true for the supposed relationship between the kongsi institution and the lineage organization.

Undeniably, Hakka settlements tended to unite people from certain regions or clans. But this principle was far from universally adhered to, and as in any kongsi at any time there might be not only a great variety of surnames, but people of many different ethnic backgrounds as well. Among the predominantly Hakka miners were also a great number of Hoklo, Punti (bendi 本地), and even Hokkien (Fujian 福建) as well. Such diversity was not just confined to the labourers, but was also present among the leaders. This contradicts the idea that traditional village society and lineage organization (South China villages were typically “one-surname villages”) was exported lock, stock, and barrel to West Borneo. Indeed, there is no evidence that there ever was anything like lineage temples (citang 祠堂 in Borneo! Evidence from surviving  genealogies (zupu ) shows that those families which established themselves properly in West Borneo continued to depend on their lineage organization back home and never initiated local branches. Only in recent times have surname associations emerged in West Borneo. These are not true lineage associations, but they unite people from all parts of China, the only common denominator being the fact that they share one or several common surnames. These common surname alliances operate as charitable associations and mutual help groups, something which allows them to exist within the boundaries of Indonesian law and contribute conspicuously to community welfare. They are all affiliated to the “Confucian Association” (孔教会) of West Borneo, a far cry indeed of the former kongsi organization.

In traditional Chinese society, between lineage groups and the State, there was yet another intermediary but extremely important level of local organization. This was the cult and temple community called hui. The hui ensured the absolutely essential co-operation and co-ordination between the lineage groups at the local and regional level in terms of irrigation, defence, and local politics. It was this institution that fulfilled the necessary framework for social solidarity and economic development in the multi-lineage and multi-ethnic society of West Borneo, as it did everywhere else among the overseas Chinese communities in South-East Asia.  The fact that De Groot missed this point is all the more astonishing as, during his years of residence in West Borneo, he had just finished his pioneering Jaarlijkse feesten en gebruiken  van de Emoy-Chineezen, for which he had studied these community institutions more profoundly and extensively than any scholar before him.[11] While living at Pontianak, De Groot must have seen the many Chinese temples and realized the paramount importance they had for the social life of the Chinese communities.  We may therefore suspect that his total omission of this aspect was caused not by ignorance, but done for reasons of political expediency.

De Groot’s work was intended for the Dutch colonial authorities. Although it was highly critical of the colonial policy that had suppressed the kongsis at the cost of a long and bloody war, it was widely read and acclaimed. Later authors such as Schaank and Kielstra fully endorsed De Groot’s view that the forced suppression of the kongsis was a mistake if not indeed a crime, and that the authorities who were responsible for it were greatly to blame for having destroyed a well regulated and democratic community the development of which had held great promise for Borneo. The reason that is given for this mistake is attributed to the lack of understanding of  the Chinese kongsi communities, the dearth of knowledge about Chinese culture in general and also the chauvinistic attitude and the sometimes barbarian methods resorted to by the Dutch. I have not come across any serious work that refutes the view of De Groot, Schaank or Kielstra. Not being a specialist on Dutch colonialism, I find it difficult to say whether the present case was an isolated one or whether it was characteristic of Dutch colonial rule in general. It may be that the violent destruction of the Montrado kongsis can be explained by political motives and strategies of a higher order, but I have not heard of them. I therefore consider that De Groot and the other scholars were justified in their condemnation of the Dutch authorities, and many of the events that will be studied here also bear this premise out. In order to prevent any misunderstanding, I would like to stress, perhaps unnecessarily, that my critical attitude towards the policies of the Dutch colonial administration is by no means inspired by Chinese patriotic feelings, but has only grown out of what the above-mentioned scholars had already pointed out and is fully supported by the historical evidence.

De Groot’s work was only published in Dutch and not in an international journal, so few scholars have ever had access to it, much less have used it.[12] It was read extensively in Dutch colonial circles, and Chinese scholars in Indonesia writing on the subject of  the Dutch rule and related subjects, were familiar with De Groot’s work and ideas. As the bulk of these works were written in Chinese, they were also read by researchers in China itself, which explains why the case of  the Lanfang kongsi became widely known, but the history of the other kongsis was much less in evidence. This disparity resulted in the widespread, although not extensively documented, fame of Luo Fangbo, exemplified in Liang Qichao’s article entitled “Zhongguo zhimin bada weiren zhuan” 中国八大殖民伟人传 (Biography of Eight Great Emigrants), in which he canonizes “Luo Da” as  the founder of a “Chinese republic” in Borneo. [13]

Within this context the recent work by Wang Taipeng should also be mentioned.[14] Wang maintains that the organization of the Chinese kongsis at Borneo derived from the system of partnership among the maritime-merchants of Fujian and the private entrepreneurs who operated the copper mines of Yunnan, as well as from the Hakka system of self-government. Although in this respect the analysis of Wang offers new insights into important factors which underlie the origin of the kongsi at Borneo, its treatment of the internal organization of the kongsi is based mainly on materials provided  by Schaank, Veth, and De Groot.

 

The Borneo Kongsis Revisited

 

In fact, De Groot paid attention only to the case of the Lanfang kongsi. At the same time, the main object of his polemical article was not the problems involved in the suppression of this kongsi, but that of the forceful suppression of a whole group of kongsis united in the famous Heshun Assembly Hall (Heshun Zongting 顺总厅) some thirty years earlier. This parliament of sorts, with its most powerful member the Dagang kongsi, was established at Montrado, an important mining site situated some fifty kilometres north of Mandor 东万律. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Montrado developed into the most populous Chinese settlement in West Borneo. A cruel and protracted war was fought by these Chinese settlers because Montrado determined to maintain its freedom and preserve its territory from Dutch interventionism. The history of the Chinese kongsis is therefore by and large that of the Montrado kongsis, and not of the Lanfang kongsi. Only through a study of these kongsis, their history, and their institutions can the true nature of the “Chinese republics” be understood.

As stated earlier, no comprehensive historical study has as yet been devoted to the West Borneo kongsis as a whole, either in their diversity and connections, or in their relationship to the other groups of the population, the Malay merchants and the Dayak tribes. Much depends, in such an undertaking, on the availability of pertinent source materials. In spite of De Groot’s pessimism not all the kongsi records have since perished, although they do remain very incomplete. The most important and accessible collection of manuscript source materials are kept at the department of oriental manuscripts of the University Library of Leiden. The collection comprises more than one hundred letters, reports, requests and other documents emanating from the Montrado and Mandor kongsis, as well as from other persons or institutions. Almost all date from the period of the so-called “kongsi war” (1850-1854).[15]

Most important for our research are the extensive records kept by the Dutch colonial authorities and historians. Undoubtedly, the Dutch sources on the history of the kongsis in Borneo are relatively abundant and in many respects more detailed than whatever other texts we may have at our disposal. The major part of these sources was never published, but has been preserved in manuscript form. The official reports are the most numerous representatives of this material. They contain surveys of the general situation in West Borneo as well as more specialized reports on, for instance, military and financial operations. A special series consists of the daily records (dagregisters) of the Dutch officials at Sambas and Pontianak. We also find numerous contracts, decrees, letters, maps and the like which were produced by the Dutch colonial government. Besides these official documents we also have a few travel records written by individuals as well as private diaries. I have not been able to study all the manuscript sources which exist. Especially those kept at the National Archives (Arsip Nasional) in Jakarta have remained, in spite of my many efforts, unavailable to me. I have instead concentrated on the sources preserved in Holland, mainly at the Algemeen Rijksarchief (ARA) in the Hague and at the Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal- Land- en Volkenkunde (KITLV) in Leiden. All in all, the sources at my disposal have already proved to be sufficient, I hope, for the purpose of the present study. I still hope one day to be able to study the documents preserved in Jakarta and to publish them.

As indicated above, the primary aim of the present study is to attempt to establish a   history of the West Borneo kongsis from the first arrival of the gold-miners around 1750 until the demise of their autonomous communities somewhat more than one century later. This reconstruction, based on the analysis of a great number of different sources in Chinese, Dutch, and English, does not however constitute my main purpose. It is no more than the indispensable first step towards a better understanding of the questions first asked by De Groot, which still remain valid today.

We can divide the history of the West Borneo kongsis into a number of significant periods, each of which has its own distinctive characteristics. They cover different time-spans, as some are longer and other shorter. For some we also possess far more material than for others, and this difference explains why some chapters are longer and go more into detail than others.

The first period, studied in Chapter One, ranges from around 1750 to 1777. It witnesses the arrival of the first groups of miners invited or recruited by the Panambahan of Mampawa and the sultan of Sambas. Although the work in the gold-fields rewarded them highly, these miners were also greatly exploited by their Malay overlords and were under the continuous threat of attack from the Dayaks. In an attempt to shield themselves from both these dangers, they strengthened their communal organizations, the hui. These associations, which later were given the name of kongsis, gradually evolved into autonomous systems not only dedicated to the actual task of mining, but encompassing many other activities as well. Most of the fundamental aspects of the kongsi institution, its leadership, its relationship with temple cults, and so forth evolved in this period. After a period of division and strife, during which the relations between the Chinese and, the Malay and the Dayaks underwent many changes, the most important kongsis, those of Sambas, united themselves into a federation or alliance, the Heshun zongting in 1776. This alliance became the very pillar of the kongsi institutions of West Borneo and the main opponent of the Dutch. The next year, the Lanfang kongsi founded a comparable institution called the Lanfang kongsi zongting. In both cases, the establishment of these organizations came about in the context of armed conflicts with the Tiandihui societies that had established themselves among the Chinese settlers. The zongting organizations mark the definite establishment of the Chinese mining communities as permanent residents in West Borneo. This brings the first period of their evolution to an end.

In the second and third chapters I study the next period, one of almost unchecked development of the kongsis, covering the years 1777 to 1839. Until 1818, Dutch colonial rule, more honoured in the breach than the observance in the previous period, disappears completely, and the English do not really establish themselves either. In this vacuum of international politics, the Chinese are able to keep the local Malay rulers at bay and strengthen their ties with the indigenous Dayaks, who become by and large their allies by marriage and division of labour. This is the golden age of the Chinese communities, who enjoy virtually total independence from their former Malay overlords. Relieved of the threat of external conflict, the internal relationship between the kongsis at this period is, however, fraught by mounting animosity. Under the leadership of Dagang, Montrado eliminates several other kongsis. Some of these flee to Sarawak. War weakens the cohesion of the Chinese as a group, but strengthens the individual kongsis and especially the Montrado Heshun zongting and the Mandor Lanfang kongsi zongting. The prosperity of the Chinese communities attracts the interest of the Dutch colonial government which, for the first time, sees a possibility to enrich the colonial treasury through the taxation of the Chinese. In 1818, a Commissioner is sent who surveys the land and assesses its situation. After this, the first measures regarding the taxes to be paid by its inhabitants are taken. J.H. Tobias, the fourth Commissioner to be sent within a relative short period of time, is the first Dutch magistrate to conduct detailed negotiations with the kongsis. These negotiations directly concern the problems created by the mutual fighting among them.

Chapter Four covers the period between 1840 to 1850 and deals with the decline of the kongsis as the incessant wars and the exhaustion of the mining resources both begin to take their toll. During the 1840s the economic situation changes and some mining communities start to take steps towards becoming agricultural settlements. The continued resistance to the Dutch taxation measures degenerates into armed confrontation. Looking askance at the rise of the “white raja” James Brooke in Sarawak prompts the colonial government to try to strengthen its grip on West Borneo. This situation hastens the outbreak of the first “kongsi war” of 1850, culminating in the inconclusive battle of Pamangkat.

Chapter Five deals with an even shorter span of time (1851 to 1853), yet a very eventful and important period for our understanding of the nature of the kongsis. Under the governorship of the Resident, F.J. Willer, an attempt is made to change the nature of the kongsis from independent republics to commercial societies. The relatively abundant materials on Willer’s endeavours contain a wealth of important material, especially on the many conferences he conducted with the Chinese and on the way he attempted to take the religious institutions of the kongsis into consideration. The attempt to change the political nature of the kongsis proved unworkable. This is the time in which the non-interference policy (“onthoudings politiek”) of the Dutch colonial government comes to an end; a far more aggressive stance is now adopted.

Chapter Six deals with the end of the autonomous kongsis in the wake of a bitter war involving thousands of colonial troops which was fought by Commander A.J. Andresen against Montrado. Montrado fell into Andresen’s hands on June 2, 1854. Although this was celebrated as a Dutch national victory, the Chinese resistance was not broken, and soon the armed confrontations broke out again. In the autumn of that same year when the last Chinese troops were dispersed, the resistance was continued by an underground organization of the Triad type. This covert resistance would eventually spread all over West Borneo. Montrado was rapidly depopulated and ten years later was but a shadow of the bustling township it had formerly been. The last kongsi to survive was the Lanfang kongsi which, under the able political rule of Liu Asheng, had succeeded in remaining more or less unscathed during the confrontation. Liu openly collaborated with the Dutch, but in fact must also have helped the Montrado resistance movement. The Lanfang kongsi was disbanded in 1884, and with it the kongsi institution disappeared for good.

In the concluding chapter, I draw upon the historical evidence in order to outline the characteristics of the Chinese frontier in West Borneo. Here I study some of the most important questions with regard to the context of today’s research on overseas Chinese communities, there are (1) the question of the “Hakka tradition”, (2) the characteristics of the Chinese immigrant communities and their democratic institutions, and (3) the institution of the zongting and its background.

West Borneo’s Chinese immigrant societies have generally been considered to be composed essentially of people belonging to Hakka ethnic groups. Some authors moreover see certain links between some specific Hakka traditions and the establishment of the kongsis. De Groot, for instance, stresses the rural origins of the Hakka immigrants and sees this as an important element of his theory of the “Chinese village” antecedents of the kongsi institution. He also notes that the Hakka were among the most sturdy and hardy of all Chinese peasants, and that therefore they were better able to endure the incredible hardships in the Borneo gold-mines. Their great courage was instrumental in the establishment of relationships with the fierce Dayaks, something no other immigrant group had ever dared to do.

Close examination of the data on ethnicity shows it is not correct to maintain that the mining communities were exclusively Hakka. As we shall see in Chapter One, on the basis of the figures published by Schaank, even if the Jiaying Hakka were an important part of the mining communities population, they were not even a majority. This place was occupied by the so-called “half-mountain” (banshan 半山) Hakkas from Lufeng and Haifeng who made up the population of the great Montrado kongsis, by far the largest in terms of number of inhabitants. The banshanke 半山客 people were bilingual Hakka and Hoklo, and culturally speaking very close to the Hoklo and Hokkien groups. The presence of people from the latter two groups among the inhabitants of the Montrado kongsis has been signalled by E. Doty. [16] Indeed, one of the leaders of the Heshun zongting, named Hu Yalu 亚禄, was Hokkien. As we shall see, he attempted to change the name of the Heshun alliance into “Guangfu” 广福, meaning: “from Guangdong and Fujian”, thereby stressing that the kongsis were composed of immigrants from both provinces. All this shows that the Borneo gold-miners were by no means uniformly Hakka, and even less “pure” Hakka from Jiayingzhou 应州. That makes it difficult to maintain the hypothesis that the kongsi spirit of autonomy and democracy – in terms of the kongsis being “republics” – had something to do with particular Hakka ethnic traditions.

The kongsi institution itself was, as we have seen, not at all of Hakka origin, but was an offshoot of the universal temple organizations. That is to say that the institution was essentially religious. From the viewpoint of the historical data which we have reviewed in the preceding chapters, this religious aspect may not seem prominent at all. Yet, if we look attentively at all the details related to cults, temples, festivals, spirit mediums, rituals, and the like, this fundamental characteristic becomes more evident, and only if we take them into account, can the kongsi institution be fully understood. For instance, E.A. Francis, the former Commissioner of West Borneo, reports that newcomers, arriving from the Chinese mainland at the Montrado kongsis, were allowed to enter the communities on the following conditions: they had to bring some incense ashes from the incense burner of their home village as well as make a small monetary contribution to the kongsi temple. Both elements are related directly to the  institution of the division of incense (fenxiang 分香) and the constitution of a cult group. [17]  Among these, most important was the patron saints of miners, the famous triad of local gods from Hepo 河婆 (nowadays Jiexi 揭西), the Kings of the Three Mountains (Sanshan guowang 三山国王). These three mountain spirits are worshipped by the Chaozhou people and the Hakkas alike and more particularly by the ethnic group which constitutes the intermediary between the two, the Banshanke from Hepo and the adjacent counties.

It is the foundation of cult-groups and temples for patron saints of the “kaishan” (开山) type that marks the gradual “march towards the tropics” in Chinese history. The Chinese “tianxia” (天下) had no clear borders. Wherever Chinese settled, they made “little Chinas”, and some of them, like Luo Fangbo, wanted to make Borneo part of the Chinese empire. In this way at least West Borneo can be considered to be a “Chinese frontier”.

What made the Chinese pioneers go to Borneo? The quest for adventure and material gain, as well as the desire to escape the Manchu political and social oppression are cogent reasons. Too often the pioneers are portrayed as destitute, starving coolie labour. This is not entirely correct and in many instances must have been a pretext used to justify emigration the Chinese authorities, and sometimes the Dutch as well.  In other places, the mining companies were Dutch, and they employed coolie labour, whereas in Borneo the mining enterprises themselves were in Chinese hands.

The Chinese entered in Borneo under the authority of the sultans. Yet they lost no time in diverting themselves of this yoke. When the Dutch came, one of their first measures was to put the Chinese directly under the control of the colonial government, so as to have a better grip on them. But nothing short of the complete dismantling of the kongsis could put an end to the desire for independence from the Chinese. The reason that so many Chinese came to Borneo in such a short time has to be seen in this light: for a short period, Borneo was, for the Chinese, a free country and they came to see it as their own. As a matter of speculation, we might imagine that if the Chinese had not been stopped in their progress by the Dutch, West Borneo might have been a very different place today. The Borneo case could moreover be used to compare the relative merits of Chinese expansion versus Western expansion. It would be interesting to look at the main differences between the Borneo goldseekers and the California goldrush. Both were frontier societies in lands previously occupied by aboriginal peoples. In many respects, the contrasts are great, but so too are the points of convergence. In both cases the will to create a free and democratic society was paramount. The Chinese were  not allowed to have theirs.

 

Fig. 1. Map of West Borneo

 


[1] S.H. Schaank, De Kongsi’s van Montrado. Bijdrage tot de geschiedenis en de kennis van het wezen der Chinesche vereenigingen op de Westkust van Borneo, Batavia 1893, pp.  86-87.

[2] See the dissertation of Fiorella Allio: Rituel, territoire et pouvoir local. La procession du ‘pays’ de Sai-kang (Taiwan), University of Paris X, 1996.

[3] Tian Rukang quotes respectively as sources for definition (1) an article which appeared in a magazine in Singapore in 1836 (this source also speaks of “a Chinese government”); for (2) a handbook on Dutch Borneo from the Foreign Office published in 1920; for (3) De Groot and for (4) Veth. He also refers to the definition which given by the Beknopte Encyclopaedie van Nederlandsch-Indië. See Tian Rukang “The Organizations of Overseas Chinese in Kalimantan Between the Late 18th Century and the Late 19th Century”. In Tian’s  Collected Essays on Traditional Chinese Maritime Trade and Foreign Relations 中国帆船贸易与对外关系史论集,  Zhejiang 1987, pp. 53‑99.

[4] Het Kongsiwezen van Borneo – Eene verhandeling over den grondslag en den aard der Chineesche politieke vereenigingen in de kolonien, Maritnus Nijhoff, ‘s Gravenhage 1885.

[5] For further information on the rise of the Dutch Sinology see L. Blussé’s “Of Hewers of Wood and Drawers of Water: Leiden University’s Early Sinologists ( 1853-1911), in W. Otterspeer, (ed.) Leiden Oriental Connections 1850-1940, Leiden 1989, pp. 317-353.

[6] See the article written by De Groot in memory of this great and last chief of the Lanfang kongsi: “Lioe A Sin van Mandohr”, in BKI (1885) 34, pp. 34-42.

[7] The Chronicle was presumably compiled by Liu’s son-in-law, Ye Xiangyun 叶湘云. De Groot says, the text was made by copying the “ official yearbooks ” which were kept at the headquarters of Lanfang.

[8] See Het Kongsiwezen van Borneo, p. 6.

[9] In the De Groot archives kept in Berlin no such document can be found, nor any other Chinese text related to the Borneo kongsi. The author wishes to thank Professor Zwi Werblowski (Jerusalem) for this information, based on his private inventory of the De Groot archives.

[10]  See G. Schlegel, The Hung-League or Heaven-Earth-League, Batavia 1866, p. 32.

[11] Batavia: Bruining, 1882.

[12] A Chinese transtation of this work, Poluozhou Huaren Gongsi Zhidu 罗洲华人公司制度, has been produced by Yuan Bingling and published by Academia Sinica of Taiwan, 1996.

[13] Quoted from Luo Xianglin’s A Historical Survey of the Lan-Fang Presidential System in Western Borneo, Established by Lo Fang-Pai and Other Overseas Chinese, Hong Kong 1961, p. 1.

[14] Wang Tai Peng, The Origins of Chinese Kongsi, Singapore 1994. Commercial edition of the author’s thesis.

[15]  The bulk of the archives kept at the University Library became accessible, in spite of my many efforts to the contrary, only after the final draft of the present study was completed. I have incorporated as much of the material as I could at this late stage. It should be stressed however, that none of the manuscript data contain elements which would allow entirely new insights. They are important however for the exact dating of certain events and for the correct writing of Chinese proper names. All these data have been incorporated in the present work. A complete catalogue of Chinese manuscript of  the University Library archives is being prepared will be soon forthcoming.

[16] See E. Doty and W.J.Pohlman “Tour in Borneo, from Sambas through Montrado to Pontianak, and the adjacents of  Chinese and Dayaks, during the autumn of 1838”, in Chinese Repository (Canton), 1839, vol.VIII, No.6, pp. 283-310.

[17] E.A. Francis,  “Westkust van Borneo in 1832”, in TNI, 1842, 4, II, pp. 21-22; and also Schaank, De Kongsi’s van Montrado, pp. 86-90. On the institution of the affiliation of temples through so-called “division of incense”, see K. Schipper,  “The Cult of Pao-sheng ta-ti and its Spreading to Taiwan – A Case Study of Fen-hsiang”, E. Vermeer (ed.) Development and Decline in Fukien Province in the 17th and 18th Centuries, Leiden 1990, pp. 397-416

On 6 September 1818 entry into the Kingdom of the Netherlands Sambas.
September 23, Muller was sworn in as Acting Resident Sambas
 and the next day announced Monterado under the rule of the Dutch government. Also on 28 November held a meeting with the heads of joint venture and the Chinese people in Sambas.
1819,
Chinese community in Sambas and Overseer rebelled and did not acknowledge the Dutch government. A thousand people from the foreman attacked Dutch joint venture in London.
On 22 September 1822
announced the results of the triangular negotiations between the Sultan of Pontianak, the Dutch government and the heads of the Chinese joint venture.
But in 1823, after successfully mastered the Lara area, Ta Sin Kiu (Kiu Sam Tiu), Sambas, Tai Kong joint venture entered into rebellion against the Dutch because they felt it was detrimental to the negotiations. With the help of Kiu Sam Tiu and the Chinese people in Sambas, Tai Kong partnership and then hit back to Monterado.
Having failed on the second attack on February 28, 1823,
on March 5, the Chinese population are rebelling states to give up and then May 11 the Dutch commissioner issued the rules and obligations kongsis. Rebels who controlled the gold mines of course have the money, then it could pay the troops and buy weapons. Army Tsafioeddin leeward. Areas annexed by the power Sambas. Tercatatlah cliched story of the colonial era: the Sultan of Sambas and then send a letter to the Netherlands, for help. When Sambas have been besieged, and lived – a matter of time fall into the hands of the plot, that’s when the Dutch troops, under the command of Lieutenant Zorg, come. Soon, in 1851, the Zorg stormed the headquarters of Ta Sin Kiu.
1850,
 Sambas kingdom led by Sultan Abubakar Tadjudin II
nearly fell into the hands of a joint partnership Tai Kong, and Mang Kiu Sam Tiu Tiu Kit.
Sambas kingdom asked for help from the Netherlands.

1850

Dutch Operation Atest Borneo

 

Read more history of Chinese in west borneo

LAN FANG

 

In 1777 

the Kwangtung Hakkas established a republic in Western Kalimantan.

 

 Its first president was Low Lan Pak.

He was succeeded by another nine presidents (Ta Tang Chon Chang) who were appointed by election. Both the presidents and the vice presidents had to be of Hakka origin from the Ka Yin or Ta Pu area.

 

 

Seal

The inscription reads: Hakka Community

 

 

 

[A] flag of  Lan Fang charged with the word ‘Hakka’ in chinese characters

 

The capital was in Ceh Wan Li.

 

The flag was a rectangular yellow flag with the word Lan Fang Ta Tong Chi (Republic of Lan Fang).

 

The presidential flag was a triangular yellow flag with the word Chuao (General).

 

The high ranking of Lan Fang officials dressed in Chinese style

 

 

while lower ranking officials dressed in western style.

 

Source of Lan Fang name

 from the Ancient Chinese legend of Land Judge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lan fang also used by the famous Beijing opera Mei Lan Fang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Famous Beijing Opera Artists
In the long history of
Beijing Opera, there are so many masters who play the opera very well.

Mei Lanfang,

Shang Xiaoyun, Cheng Yanqiu and Xun Huisheng are well known as Four Great Dan in the golden era of Peking Opera.

Mei Lanfang was born into a family of Kunqu performers. He first performed when he was just 10 years old. His most famous characters are the Qingyi roles. His skilful portrayal of women won him an international acclaim.

Because of his smooth,perfectly timed, poised style, a “Mei School” was gradually introduced in the circle of Chinese Opera. Mei also worked hard to create new performance skills. One of his most important contributions to Beijing Opera was the creation of Dan, the Huashan. This role type combines the status of the Qingyi with the sensuality of the Huadan

Shang Xiaoyun was famous for his dance and acrobatic skills as well as his singing. Cheng Yanqiu was the creator of several original productions of the Beiing Opera. Xun Huisheng is best known for his effective portrayal of Huadan roles.

Are there any other forms of Chinese Opera?
Chinese Opera includes many different regional styles. Besides Beijing Opera, there are also Kunqu, Sichuan Opera and Cantonese Opera which are equally worldwide famous.

 

 

Dr Iwan note:

Republic of Lanfang, Indonesia

 

i


Description of the flag

Lanfang Republic is described as the first republic in Asia, first corporate republic in the World, and more… the descendants of those Hakka pioneers established the modern corporate republic, in Singapore. The fascinating story (with the description of the flags) read the article below:

\

Sejarah perjalanan dan perkembangan orang Cina di Bumi Borneo di mulai pada Adad ke-III/IV, pelaut Cina telah berlayar ke Indonesia untuk perdagangan Route pelayaran menyusuri pantai Asia Timur dan pulaunya melalui Kalimantan Barat dan Filipina dengan mempergunakan angin musim.

Abad ke-VII, hubungan Tiongkok dengan Kalimantan Barat sudah sering terjadi, tetapi keberadaan mereka belum menetap sepenuhnya, namun perlahan tapi pasti imigran orang China dari Tiongkok berdatangan juga. Kedatangan Orang Cina di Kalimantan Barat membawa tradisi dan kebudayaan mereka. Dan tetap mempertahankan dan memelihara tradisi negeri leluhurnya (Tiongkok)

tidak seperti Colombus pada tahun 1492 saat menemukan Benua Amerika langsung di ikuti imigran besar-besaran dari Eropah. Mereka memutuskan hubungan dengan tempat kelahirannya dan menjadi warga Amerika. Imigran besar-besaran dimulai di Sambas dan Mempawah, mengorganisir diri dalam lingkungan sosial politik berbentuk Kongsi yang berpusat di Mentrado dan Budok.

Abad ke-XI dan XII, kedatangan Bangsa Melayu dari Johor dan tempat-tempat lain di Malaya ke Sambas dan Mempawah, meluas ke Tayan, Meliau, Sanggau, Sintang, Silat, Selimbau, Piasa, Suhaid, Jongkong dan Bunut.

Abad ke XII/XIV, Kalimantan Barat kedatangan dari Hindu-Jawa di bawah pimpinan kekuasaan Majapahit di Sukadana, Landak dan Nanga Pinoh.

Tahun 1292, pasukan Kubilai Khan di bawah pimpinan Ike Meso, Shih Pi, dan Khau Hsing dalam perjalanannya untuk menghukum Karta Negara, singgah di pulau Karimata, pulau yang terletak di depan pelabuhan Tanjungpura (Kalimantan) yang termasuk di dalam jaringan lalu lintas route pelayaran dari kontingen Asia ke Selatan (Nan Yang), melarikan diri dan menetap di Kalimantan Barat. Namun pasukan Tar-tar dari Jawa ini mengalami kekalahan total, kalah siasat dan strategi dari pemuda ulung Raden Wijaya, karena takut mendapatkan hukuman dari Khubilai Khan, melarikan diri dan menetap di Kalimantan Barat

Tahun1407, di Sambas didirikan Muslim/Hanafi-Chinese Community. Sebelumnya telah dibentuk di Kukang (Palembang) untuk yang pertama di kwepulauan Indonesia. Semelumnya Islam/Hanafi, Armada Tiongkok (Dinasty Ming) merebut Kukang, yang sudah turun temurun menjadi sarang perampok dari orang-orang Cina Hokkian yang bukan muslim.

Tahun 1463, laksamana Cheng Ho seorang Hui dari Junan, atas perintah Kaisar Cheng Tsu alias Jung Lo (kaisar keempat dari dinasty Ming) selama tujuh kali memimpin exspedisi pelayaran ke Nag Yang, di antara anak buahnya ada yang menetap di Kalimantan Barat. Yang bermaksud untuk menguasainya. Mengingat kesulitan pelayaran pada waktu itu anak buah yang mdengikuti Cheng Ho ini semuanya adalah pria. Perkawinan mereka dengan penduduk setempat menjadikan mereka membaur dan penduduk asli dan Agama Islam yang di bawanya menjadi agama penduduk. (Laksamana Cheng Ho adalah seorang Cina yang beragama Islam).

Tahun 1690, V.O.C. Mengadakan hubungan dagang dan menanamkan pengaruhnya di Kerajaan Sambas, yang masih di bawah daulat Kerajaan Johor. Terjadilah perselisihan antara Rakyat kerajaan Sambas dangan V.O.C. Pablik-pabrik yang didirikan oleh V.O.C dibakar dan semua penduduk bangsa Belanda di bunuh oleh masyarakat setempat.

Tahun 1612, V.O.C melakukan pembalasan terhadap Kerajaan Sambas serta rakyatnya dengan membakar sebuah kampung. Pada abad ke-17 ini hidjrahnya Bangsa Cina ke Kalimantan Barat menempuh dua route. Melalui Indocina terus ke Malaya dan menyebar ke pantai Sumatra Timur, kepulauan Bangka-Belitung serta pantai Kalbar, terutam Sambas dan Mempawah. Route lain, mereka melalui Borneo Utara terus ke daerah Paloh dan Sambas kemudian ke pedalaman Sambas dan Mempawah Hulu, guna mendapatkan dan pengalihan tambang-tambang emas.

Tahun 1745, didatangkan secara besar-besaran orang-orang Cina untuk kepentingan perkongsian, karena Sulatan Sambas dan Penembahan Mempawah mengunakan tenaga-tenaga orang Cina sebagai wajib rodi dipekerjakan di tambang-tambang emas. Rombngan yang datang ke daerah ini membentuk “Kongsi” yang mula-mula tujuannya mencari emas. Dua buah pusat gabungan kongsinya. Satu di Mentrado (Kab.Sambas) dan Mandor (Kab.Landak)

kedatangan mereka di daerah kab. Smbas membentuk kongsi-kongsinya seperti “Taikong” (parit besar) “Samto Kiaw” (tiga jembatan) dan lain-lainnya, yang Sjum (sama selamat).

Tahun 1770, kerajaan Sambas yang dipimpin oleh Sultan Tadjudin I. Orang-orang Cina perkongsian yang berpusat di Mentrado dan Budok, setelah mereka merasa kuat, mulai berani menentang kekuasaan Kepala-Kepal suku Dayak.

Terjadilah peperangan dengan orang-orang Dayak di kedua daerah tersebut dan berhasil membunuh Kepala Suku Dayak di kedua daerah itu. Sultan mengambil keputusan dengan menetapkan orang-orang cina di daerah tersebut, dan hanya tunduk kepada Sultan dan Kepada Cina perkongsiannya di kenakan upeti tiap bulannya.



Kepala Cina-Cina perkongsian diberkan kekuasaan mengatur daerah mereka seperti :
1. kekuasaan pemerintahan
2. pengadilan
3. kepolisian
4. dan sebagainya

sejak saat itu timbullah yang disebut Republik kecil dalam bentuk kongsi-kongsi dengan berpusat di Mentrado, dan orang-orang Dayak dalam daerahnya berada di bawah kekuasaan atau pemerintahan perkongsian Cina. Akhirnya orang-orang Dayak yang merupakan penduduk asli memilih pindah ke daerah yang aman dari orang Cina.

Pada tanggal 28 Oktober 1771, kota Pontianak didirikan, mengakibatkan perkembangan operdagangan yang cepat sekali. Perhubungan ke pelabuhan Sambas, Pemangkat, Selakau, Sebakau, Singkawang, Sei Pinyuh, Sei Purun dan Peniti. Penghidupan kongsi-kongsi berkembang terus dengan masuknya Imigran dari Tiongkok, karena banyak terdapat emas, intan, perak dan kesuburan tanahnya.

Tahun 1772, datanglah seorang yang bernama Lo Fong (Pak) dari Tiongkok, asal kampung Shak Shan Po, Kab. Kuyinchu, Propinsi Kanton (Noyan) dengan membawa seratus orang keluarganya, mendarat di kampung siantan Pontianak. Sebelumnya di kota pontianak sudah ada Kongsi TSZU SJIN dari suku Tio Tjiu dan memandang Lo Fong sebagai orang penting.

Sebelumnya di Mandor telah didiami oleh orang-orang dari Tio Tjui terutama dari TIOYO dan KITYO dengan tambang-tambang emas. Begitu juga tidak kurang dari 10 mil di sebelah hulu Mandor terdapat Mao-en, sentus-tangan, Kunyit, Lingkong. Senanam dan lain-lain tempat pekerja-pekerja mas asal dari daerah yang sama. Daerah Mimbong dan sekitarnya telah banyak pula tinggal pekerja-pekerja dari Kun-tsu dan Tai-pu. Seorang yang bernama Liu Siong yang tinggal dengan lebih lima ratus keluarganya mengangkat dirinya sebagai Tai-Ko di sana dan merupakan pemusatan yang paling kuat dan makmur.

Disebelah hilir beberapa mil jauhnya terletak San sim yang berarti “Tengah-tengah pegunungan”, pekerja-pekerja mas disana adalah dari daerah Thai-Phu dan berada di bawah kekuasaan Tong A Tsoi sebagai Tai-Ko.

Tai-Ko Long Fong berangkat menuju mandor melalui jalan masuk sungai Peniti terus kehulu sampai kesebuah tempat yang di sebut Lo Sin Kong, san Sin dan terus ke Mandor. Mandor bertambah maju dan menjadi pusat perdagangan, dari berbagai wilayah datangan menyatakan dirinya tunduk dan bernaung di bawah panji-panji kekuasaan Lo Fong. Oleh Lo Fong dibangun rumah-rumah penginapan untuk rakyat serta sebuah majelis umum (Thong) serta pasar atau took.

Untuk menyaingi Mandor, Moe-yen dengan pasarnya sebanyak dua ratus dua puluh pintu yang terpisah 200 pintu (pasar lama) didiami oleh orang Cina yang berasal dari Tio Tjiu, Kti-Yo, Hai Fung, Liuk Fung, dibawah kekuasaan Ung Kui Peh sebagai Tai-Ko, sedangkan 20 pintu (pasar baru) didiami oleh orang-orang Cina yang berasal dari Kia Yin Tju. Dan mengangkat Kong Mew Pak sebagai Tai-Ko (pemimpin besar) untuk keamanan dar pertahanan mereka mendirikan sebuah benteng “Lan Fo” artinya Anggrek Persatuan dan mengangkat empat orang pembantunya dengan nama Lo-Man.

Tai-Ko Lo Fong merasa iri hati melihat kemajuan Mao Yien itu dan bermaksud akan menaklukan daerah itu. Pemerintahan Liu Thoi Ni seorang kepercayaannya, dating kedua pimpinan yag menguasai daerah itu dengan membawa surat rahasia untuk diserahkan kepada Ung Kui Peh dan Kong New Pak tanpa pertumpahan darah kedua pemimpin itu menyerahkan dan mengabungkan diri di bawah kekuasaan Tai-Ko Lo Fong. Dengan demikian jatuhlah ke tangan Tai-Ko Lo Fong tberturut-turut kampong Kunyit, Liongkong, Senanam dan lain-lain, terkecuali daerah Min Bong (Benuang) di bawah pimpinan Tai-Ko Kon siong. Kekuatan Tai-Ko Liu Kon Siong di Min Bong dapat dihancurkan oleh Tai-Ko Lo Fong dan pertempuran meluas sampai ke San King (hulu Toho) yang sekarang di sebut Air Mati. Tai-Ko Liu ong siong terbunuh dan seluruh pertambangan atau parit mas dikuasai oleh Tai-Ko Lo Fong, termasuk tambang perak kepunyaan Pengeran Sita dari Ngabang. Daerah yang dikuasai oleh Tai-Ko Lo Fong meliputi Mempawah, Pontianak, dan Landak.

Tahun 1777, berdirilah Republik Lan Fong di bawah kekuasaan tertinggi Tai-Ko Lo Fong, di Mandor.

(* a. Kekuasaan tertinggi disebut “Tai-Ko” artinya Abang yang paling besar.
b. Dibawah Tai-Ko adalah Nji-Ko. Artinya Abang Kedua (sama dengan Bupati)
c. dibawah Nji-Ko adalah Kaptai. Artinya Kapten Besar. (setingkat dengan wedana) dibantu
oleh Kap Tjong
d. Dibawah Kaptai adalah Lo Tai, setingkat dengan Kepala Kampung.

Tahun 1795, Tai-Ko Lo Fong meninggal dunia di Mandor. Dimakamkan di bukit sak Dja. Mandor sisebut oleh orang Cina Toeng Ban Lit, artinya Daerah Timur yang mempunyai 10.000 undang-undang. Dengan meninggalnya pemimpin tertinggi Republik Lan Fong ini, cita-cita mendirikan sebuah kerajaan Cina di Luar tembok Negara Leluhurnya yang bernaung di bawah dynasty kekaisaran tidak berhasil. Tetapi sempat mengirim tiap tahun upeti kepada kaisar, bukan kepada Sultan atau Penembahan Pontianak atau Mempawah.

 

 

 

 

Top of Form

History of the Gold Mine In West Kalimantan


Since the third century,

 the Chinese sailors had sailed to Indonesia to conduct trade. Shipping routes along the coast of East Asia and the return of West Kalimantan and the Philippines through the use of wind season.

In the seventh century,

China’s relations with the West Kalimantan has happened so often, but not yet settled. Immigrants from China and then enter the kingdom of Sambas and PunBB and organized in a partnership based on political social and

Bodok Monterado in Sambas

 

 

 

and foreman in the Royal Kingdom of PunBB.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Khubilai Khan’s troops

 

 

under the command of Ike Mese, Shih Pi and Khau Sing

 

 

 

 

 

 on his way to punish Kertanegara, stopping at

 islands  Karimata Tanjungpura

 

 

 dealing with the Kingdom. Because of this defeat of the armed forces of war and fear of punishment Java from Khubilai Khan, most likely some of them escaped and settled in West Kalimantan.

(dr iwan Note about the kubilaikan punishment war at Java


Note the Yuan Dynasty in the year 1293 tells the Mongol army of 20,000 men led by Ike Mese landed in Java to punish Kertanagara, because in the year 1289 Kertanagara take off hurt the messenger who delivered the Mongol tickled Kublai Khan.

Raden Wijaya take break no bones of the stack up of the Mongol army was to destroy Jayakatwang. He altogether invited Ike Mese to let you transmission that he is heir Kertanagara already dead. Wijaya astake-charge for help to regain power from the hands Jayakatwang Java Island, and after that he was unrefusing to declare swot to the Mongols.

Jayakatwang hear comradery Wijaya and Ike Mese Kadiri immediately sent troops to bruise higher-ups. But the forces that just defeated by the Mongols. Furthermore, the compound of the Mongolian army and Majapahit and moves to attack Daha Madura, the cash of the chieftainry of Kadiri. Jayakatwang inconsequence gave up and taken prisoner in Mongol ship.

After Jayakatwang defeated, Wijaya ask permission to go back to the Majapahit ghost surrender himself. Ike Mese allow it without suspicion. Arriving in Majapahit, Wijaya bowdlerize the Mongol soldiers who escorted him. He primeval led a attack in the hand in which the Mongol army Daha having a Conservative Party go. Sudden attack that made Ike Mese bygone ample soldiers and cramped to withdraw its forces to execute a will Java.

Wijaya hereat crowned himself plastichearted of Majapahit. According to Song of Harsha Wijaya, the coronation took place on the 15th month in 1215 Karttika Saka, or coincides with 12 November 1293.

.

In 1407,
established at Sambas Muslim / Hanafi – Chinese Community.

 

 

Year 1463

 


Admiral Cheng Ho, a Hui of Yunnan, on the orders of Emperor Cheng Tsu Jung aka Lo (fourth emperor of the Ming dynasty) for seven times to lead an expedition cruise to the Nan Yang.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of his men there who later settled in West Kalimantan and mingle with the locals. They also bring the teachings of Islam which they profess.

In the Ming Dynasty, between the 14th century and

 

the 17th,
 Chinese history records uprisings mountain people who mentioned looking and rough accent, hard  head.

 

They  again rebelled against the emperor yongle in 17th century.

 

 

 

Lost. Then avoid arrest by royal accomplices,

they fled by Jung Jung destined to leave China,

 

 and docked at the Pha-la.


 That’s the name of Brunei under the tongue at the time of China, an area that never should always pay tribute to China.


As immigrants everywhere, the people of the north that was ready to fight with new life. Among others, they soon became a tenacious miners. Not one of two junks, not a two-day immigrants arrive. But they are increasingly flowing into Brunei as turmoil in Mainland China did not immediately subside.
Those people came from was a major ~ Fu Kien

 

and Kwang Tung,

 

who vehemently opposed the emperor.
Is Panembahan PunBB,
one of the rulers in most of the area now called West Kalimantan, is interested in slanting the people who work it tough. Panembahan and bring 20 people from Brunei

 

to China’s gold mine in Sungai Duri (90 km from Pontianak),


authority in the region. “Imported labor” performed Panembahan in 1750 turned out to be successful.
Dorsal River gold mine soon so famous, and soon the West Kalimantan region a destination of Chinese immigrants. Pha-la then only be a stepping stone.

 

They go further to the south, to the region of West Kalimantan is now: Ngabang,

 

 

 

hedgehogs, PunBB, and foreman. They are looking for gold. Not told there was then seseru gold fever gold fever in the Americas at the time of the Wild West. Bright, in the South China Sea reportedly increasingly seen junk boat cruised from north to Brunei. The passengers then went on a road trip over to the south.
This is alleged by historians to be the base of the first West Kalimantan save more Chinese residents than any area in Indonesia. Of the approximately 2.5 million residents of the province, now about 30%, are ethnic Chinese. Because,

 

then not only Mempawah

 

and not just “spontaneous migrants” who led China to arrive.
Sultan of Sambas kingdom,
authorities elsewhere in West Kalimantan, imitating her neighbor brought Chinese immigrants from Brunei,

 

Expedition against the ChiIn the century that passed between, roughly, 1770 and 1880, West Borneo witnessed the rise and demise of the Chinese mining settlements with their idiosyncratic organizational framework,

the west Borneo “kongsi” ¹ 公司 or “common management” structure.

During the same period, the political, social, and economic setting of the region underwent dramatic changes. This caused important transformations within the social and economic structures that Chinese immigrants had brought along with them. Most remarkable was the advent of new political institutions, among which the zongting 总厅 or “assembly hall” stood out as the most innovative and important. It functioned as the general assembly and executive council of an alliance of kongsi communities and settlements. The different zongting, of which the one at Montrado 唠鹿¹ became most important one, were in fact governments of autonomous republics. They became internationally famous because of the stubborn way in which they opposed the imposition of Dutch colonial rule.

(Dr Iwan Note,The Kongsi issued their own Tin Cash Coin,I search in Internet no exist,I have some and i will show directly to the collectors)

The Chinese miners in West Borneo 罗洲 arrived, it is generally assumed, around 1750. 

They had been called upon because of their fine reputation as miners and their superior mining-technology. With their technological skills, they also brought their own system of values.

Their social organization had a strong religious undertone, hence the introduction of cults from the motherland and the building of temples as community centres. The original associations and partnerships which were set up by the Chinese immigrants, who had faced hardships in their motherland and hoped for a better future in the Borneo goldfields, soon developed into a larger and more powerful kind of organization: the Borneo kongsi.

The Chinese did not arrive in a no-man’s land, but in a place which, in spite of the presence of vast areas of tropical rain forest, had witnessed over many centuries a succession of highly structured political organizations. Some of these, like the Malay sultanates, were linked to international commercial and religious networks.

The Dayaks, the original inhabitants of the island, were organized in tribes, each moving within its own territory according to the requirements of their slash and burn type of agriculture.

The Malay, who had arrived in Borneo rather recently, were also newly converted to Islam. Although it was they who invited the Chinese to exploit the gold fields, they did not mingle with them. Marriage between these two groups was prohibited.

All this made for a very complex social and economic context where the Chinese only could establish their niche at the price of much conflict and hardship. The working conditions in the great mining operations were hard indeed, not to mention extortion by the Malay overlords and, at least initially, harassment by the Dayak tribes. Having succeeded however in establishing themselves in the mining regions where they cleared the forest, constructed irrigation works and brought the land under cultivation, the Chinese immigrants considered these places as their new home-land.

 Faced with the need to adapt to circumstances which they had never before experienced, they created new social and economic frameworks. The zongting had their own courts of law, their own financial systems, minted their own money, levied their own taxes, and maintained a number of treaties with the neighbouring Malay sultanates and Dayak tribes.

 The Chinese settlements developed in symbiosis with the former, and in competition with the latter, during the Napoleonic wars when the Dutch were entirely absent from the West Borneo scene.

 The system of government exercised by the Chinese – and this has been remarked on systematically by all observers and historians – was remarkably democratic.

Hence scholars, such as J.J.M. de Groot,

 

 

speak of  “republics” when addressing the character of the Borneo kongsis and their zongting government.

After the Napoleonic wars,

 and the resumption of the colonization of the East Indies by the Dutch, West Borneo became a source of concern to the colonial regime because of its proximity to Singapore and therefore English influence, and even more dangerously to Sarawak and its ruler, James Brooke, the “white raja”.

The Dutch therefore tried to regain a foothold in West Borneo and to re-establish their authority so as to safeguard the territory for their own colonial exploitation.

Dr Iwan Note:

 

the history of the Chinese community in West Kalimantan

since the Dutch colonial era, through the Japanese occupation, into post-Independence Indonesia, the New Order and finally the present day Reform era.

 

The first Chinese settlers came to West Kalimantan at the request of Panembahan Mempawah and the Sultan of Sambas in early 1740. Malayan nobles invited the Chinese because they had more advanced mining technology than local people. At that time, the local people, the Dayaks and Malayan tribes, were mostly farmers.

 

In West Kalimantan, the Chinese people organized their workers in groups called kongsi. The members of each kongsi elected their own head and shared the profits from mining activities. Some kongsi united into federations.

 

There were three principal kongsi: Fosjoen/Thaikong in Monterado (1776-1854), Lanfang in Mandor (1777-1884) and Samtiaokioe, which separated from Fosjoen in either 1819 or 1822 and then fled in 1850 into Sarawak territory with disastrous results for the Brooke regime seven years later. The office of kongsi had several roles, including as a center of public administration, residence of the chairmen, public hall and religious shrine.

 

Eventually, the existence of the independent and democratic kongsi became a threat to the local kingdoms and their ally, the Dutch colonial power. In September 1850, the Dutch colonial government began a military campaign to dismiss the kongsi.

This resulted in three kongsi wars (1822-1824, 1850-1854, 1884-1885), with a spillover in the 1857 Chinese uprising in Sarawak (in Malaysian Borneo). The first conflict was an attempt by the new Dutch regime to control the kongsi. The last kongsi, Lanfang, vanished in 1884-1885.
The kongsi wars were not simply an outcome of the Chinese resistance against the Dutch. There were complex ethnic and political alliances. After the demise of the kongsi, depopulation and impoverishment followed
.

This policy was officially launched in 1818.

 The Dutch endeavours were immediately impeded by the kongsis, now organized into powerful confederations, which acknowledged the Dutch right to be in Borneo to a certain extent, but did not want to relinquish their hard won autonomy.

The conflict simmered down, and did not develop into a full-scale confrontation until 1850. The  “west Borneo kongsi war”

that followed after this date brought the existence of these remarkable institutions into the limelight of history. Much was written about the conflict which, shorn of its evenemental character, allows us to understand what these kongsis were, how they were organized, and what kind of society they represented.

The stubborn resistance offered by the Chinese confronted the Dutch with hitherto unknown problems and moral issues. What right did they have to destroy the autonomous kongsis? And what would be the outcome of this action? The nature of the kongsis and the kind of society they established also was, and continues to be today, the subject of ardent debate, ranging from utter rejection to very positive appraisal. The many meanings given to the term kongsi (literally: “common management”) are illustrative of this confusion.

It was only at the end of the 19th century that Chinese people started to return to West Kalimantan in significant numbers. This time, it was not gold but agriculture that drove them to come. They dominated the trade of forest products (gutta-percha, rattan and lumber).

 

In the political field, the Dutch colonial government appointed Chinese officers to control the work and become the intermediaries between them and the Chinese settlers. Their tasks were to collect taxes, to organize forced labor and to collect the opium levy. Burdened by the heavy taxes in 1912 and 1914 the Chinese, along with the Dayaks and Malayans, rebelled against the Dutch .The colonial government blamed

 

the Chinese secret societies and nationalist movement inspired by the 1911 Chinese revolution

– for being behind the rebellion. But a small number of Dutch

troops suppressed the rebellion.

 

 

 

 

.

nese in Montrado

 

 

De overvalling der Sam-tjam-foei door het Nederlands Indisch leger onder leiding van kapitein Gustave Verspijck.

The expedition against the Chinese in Montrado (1854–1855) was a punitive expedition of the Royal Netherlands Indies Army against Chinese rebels in Montrado (Borneo).

 

 

Majoor de Brabant bij Singkawang.

Sources

  • 1900. W.A. Terwogt. Het land van Jan Pieterszoon Coen. Geschiedenis van de Nederlanders in oost-Indië. P. Geerts. Hoorn
  • 1900. G. Kepper. Wapenfeiten van het Nederlands Indische Leger; 1816-1900. M.M. Cuvee, Den Haag.’
  • 1876. A.J.A. Gerlach. Nederlandse heldenfeiten in Oost Indë. Drie delen. Gebroeders Belinfante, Den Haag.}

THE RISE OF THE KONGSI SOCIETIES

(1750 – 1777)

After New Guinea and Greenland, Borneo is the third largest island on earth.[1] Even nowadays the bulk of it is still covered by tropical rain forests. Some of the larger rivers are navigable for hundreds of miles upstream, but outside of these communication arteries, urban settlements are non-existent.  It is said that the island has not yet been entirely explored. In the eighteenth century it was, of course, even less known.

During the three or four hundred years before the arrival of the  Europeans, Borneo received, sometimes at different stages and sometimes simultaneously, influxes of colonists from the Malay Peninsula and from other islands of the Archipelago.[2] The earliest written sources to mention Borneo are Chinese. They can be traced back to the Tang dynasty ( 618 – 907), but

the first official contacts may actually date from the Song period (960-1279).

Zhao Rugua 赵汝括 , a customs officer in Quanzhou during the thirteenth century,

mentions “Boni” ²³ 渤泥 in his Zhufan Zhi 诸蕃志 (Chronicle of the Barbarian Peoples ). He adds that the Chinese traders who visited Borneo always brought some good cooks with them, because the king of that place very much liked Chinese food. 

Therefore Borneo must have been part of the area of  Chinese maritime expansion along the sea routes between China and India, following the development of the magnetic compass and sophisticated sea-going vessels.

 

China as a Sea Power, 1127-1368: A Preliminary Survey of the Maritime Expansion and Naval Exploits of the Chinese People During the Southern Song and Yuan Periods

Lo Jung-pang, edited by Bruce A. Elleman

Lo Jung-pang (1912-1981) was a renowned professor of Chinese history at the University of California at Davis. In 1957 he completed a 600-page typed manuscript entitled China as a Sea Power, 1127-1368, but he died before arranging for the book to be published. Bruce Elleman found the manuscript in the UC Davis archives in 2004, and with the support of Dr Lo’s family prepared an edited version of the manuscript for publication.

Lo Jung-pang argues that during each of the three occasions when imperial China embarked on maritime enterprises (during the Qin and Han dynasties, the Sui and early Tang dynasties, and Sung, Yuan, and early Ming dynasties), coastal states took the initiative at a time when China was divided. Maritime trade and exploration subsequently peaked when China was strong and unified. It then declined as Chinese power weakened, and China’s people became absorbed by internal affairs while state policy focused on threats from the north and the west. These cycles of maritime activity, each lasting roughly five hundred years, corresponded with cycles of cohesion and division, strength and weakness, prosperity and impoverishment, expansion and contraction.

 

In the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368),

a Fujian trader named Wang Dayuan 汪大渊 (1311-? ) is known to have visited Borneo [3], while during the Ming dynasty,

in 1408, the Yongle emperor

received at his court the visit of a “king of Borneo” (Boni wang ²³渤泥王) called “Manarejiananai 麻那惹加那乃”, i

 

dentified as Maharaja Karna. According to the Ming shilu (The Veritable Records of the Ming Dynasty), the purpose of the visit was to put Borneo under the protection of the Chinese souvereign and more specifically to ask him to “invest” (feng ) one the mountains of the island with the divine function of “stabilizing mountain for lasting peace” (changning zhenguo zhi shan ³长宁镇国之山) in the same way as the Five Sacred Peaks of China had been canonized. Thus, said the Borneo monarch, “his entire land would become part of the Chinese imperial administration”. The Yongle Emperor wrote a stele inscription for him, had it engraved and sent the monarch back to Borneo with it, probably with the idea that it would be placed on the Borneo equivalent of the Taishan, which may well have been the North Borneo holy mountain Kinabalu.[4]

CRI

Sebelum tahun 1430,

terjemahan perkataan Brunei dalam bahasa Mandarin ialah Boni, Puoli atau Poluo dalam catatan sejarah. Selepas itu baru dicatat sebagai “Wenlai”.

Sebuah makam Raja Brunei telah ditemui di Nanjing, ibu kota Provinsi Jiangsu, timur China pada tahun 1958. Tulisan yang terukir pada batu nisan tersebut mencatat kata “Boni” yang merujuk negara “Brunei” dan nama Almarhum raja asing dalam bahasa Mandarin, iaitu Ma-na-re-jia-na-nai yang bermaksud Maharaja Karna, Raja Brunei berdasarkan hasil penyelidikan para sarjana. Dalam buku Ming Shi (Sejarah Dinasti Ming), jilid 325, bahagian Sejarah Boni tercatat hubungan persahabatan China dengan Empayar Brunei sekitar abad ke-15.

  

Makam Maharaja Brunei Karna di Nanjing

Pada tahun 1405,

 utusan Raja Brunei Maharaja Karna telah disambut dengan meriah di China dan dihadiahkan cenderamata yang berharga, antara lain cap mohor kerajaan, sutera dewangga dan sebagainya. Sehubungan dengan itu, Baginda Maharaja Karna amat gembira.

Tiga tahun kemudian, iaitu pada tahun 1408,

baginda sendiri mengetuai rombongan yang terdiri dairpada permaisuri, putera-puterinya, menteri dan hulubalang yang berjumlah lebih 150 orang berkunjung ke China. Mereka mendarat di Provinsi Fujian dan terus menuju ke Nanjing, ibu kota Dinasti Ming pada waktu itu. Di sepanjang perjalanan mereka disambut meriah oleh pembesar-pembesar China tempatan. Pada 20 September 1408, sampailah rombongan Maharaja Karna di Nanjing.

Tetamu kehormat dari Brunei itu dijemput menghadiri upacara sambutan besar-besaran dan jamuan negara di Fengtianmen. Di situlah Maharaja Ming dan Raja Brunei bertukar-tukar cenderamata. Cenderamata yang disampaikan oleh Maharaja Ming antara lain pelana emas, sutera dewangga, tongkat dan kursi kerajaan. Manakala cenderamata daripada Raja Brunei antara lain penyu karah, cula, borneo camphor, barangan kemas dan perak.

 

Makam Maharaja Brunei Karna di Nanjing

Tidak disangka tiba-tiba Maharaja Karna gering selepas 40 hari berada di Nanjing dalam suasana penuh persahabatan. Mendengar hal itu Maharaja Ming amat gelisah dan segera diarahkannya tabib peribadinya mengubati maharaja Karna. Sayang seribu sayang, usaha itu tidak berjaya menyembuhkan Maharaja Karna.

Pada 19 Oktober 1408,

 Raja Brunei itu mangkat di Huitungkuan, Nanjing. Waktu itu Maharaja Karna baru berumur 28 dan putera mahkotanya Xi Wang berdasarkan ejaaan bahasa Mandarin baru berumur 4 tahun. Apabila Maharaja Karna mangkat, Raja Ming begitu sedih sehingga tiga hari berturut-turut tidak menguruskan pentadbiran negara. Baginda telah mentitahkan agar diadakan upacara pemakaman rasmi. Ketika upacara pemakaman itu diadakan, para menteri dan hulubalang China di Nanjing juga turut berkabung.

Pemakaman itu dilakukan di Nanjing menurut wasiat terakhir Almarhum Maharaja Karna dengan maksud untuk menyatakan rasa sayang dan hormat baginda terhadap China.

Berdasarkan catatan sejarah China, sebelum kedatangan Maharaja Karna ke China sudah terjalin hubungan diplomatik yang lama antara China dengan Brunei. Dalam tempoh tahun 1370-1425, Raja China pernah empat kali menghantar utusan ke Brunei, manakala Raja Brunei telah 10 kali menghantar utusannya ke China. Dalam hubungan persahabatan China-Brunei yang bersejarah berabad-abad itu, kunjungan Maharaja Karna ke China merupakan suatu peristiwa yang amat penting. Kerana itu makam Maharaja Karna telah dipelihara dengan baik oleh kota kerajaan Nanjing pada tahun 1982 dan ditetapkan sebagai warisan sejarah negara dan patut dipelihara sebaik-baiknya oleh kerajaan China.

 

Makam Maharaja Brunei Karna di Nanjing

Apakah Cheng Ho pernah berkunjung ke Brunei dalam tujuh kali pelayarannya ke Asia? Dalam hal ini belum terdapat persefahaman pendapat di kalangan sarjana. Namun bukan mustahil bahawa ada sejumlah anggota rombongan Cheng Ho yang berjaya berkunjung ke Brunei. Dalam Ming Shi bahagian riwayat Cheng Ho tercatat nama “Borneo” sebagai salah satu tempat dilalui oleh armada Cheng Ho. Sehubungan dengan itu, ada sarjana membuat Peta Pelayaran Cheng Ho yang mencatatkan bahawa kapal Cheng Ho pernah melalui bahagian utara Broneo dalam pelayarannya yang pertama hingga keenam. Bahagian utara Borneo merangkumi wilayah Brunei. Tambahan pula, sejak abad ke-15 hingga kini di Brunei tersebar luas legenda tentang kunjungan Cheng Ho ke Brunei.

Soalannya apakah Cheng Ho pernah berkunjung ke Brunei, yang pasti ialah, terjalinnya hubungan baik antara China dengan Brunei pada pertengahan abad ke-15, tidak dinafikan kerana kesan positif hasil kunjungan muhibah rombongan Cheng Ho ke Asia Tenggara khasnya, dan ke Lautan Hindi amnya.

Soalan 1:  Pada tahun berapa makam Raja Brunei ditemui di Nanjing?

Soalan 2:  Pada tahun berapakah Raja Brunei mangkat di Nanjing?

 

 

After that, there seems to be no other new record in Chinese referring to Borneo before the eighteenth century. The History of Ming Dynasty (Mingshi 明史) does repeatedly mention important tributaries in Borneo, but, no doubt owing to the ban on maritime trading during that period, no other Chinese travellers reported their findings with regard to the island.

The beginning of Malay rule on the island commences with the establishment of the Brunei sultanate, founded by traders from Malacca probably at the end of the fifteenth century. In the first half of the sixteenth century, Brunei already had important commercial relationships with the Spaniards and Portuguese.

It was the Malays, it seems, who gave the island the name “Kalimantan” which is explained as having been derived from “kalamantan”, a kind of pear, in allusion to its shape. Veth expresses his doubts about this etymology, but does not question the fact that the name was given by the Malays. Another etymology which is widely used today is that of “river of jewels” (from the Javanese “kali” river and  “mantan” diamond).

The west-coast sultanates of Sambas, Sukadana 吻律述, and Landak 万那 were established during the latter half of the sixteenth century. In the beginning, these sultanates were tributaries to and had family ties with mightier and more ancient Muslim kingdoms outside Borneo. Sambas was an offshoot of Johore, whereas Sukadana was related to Surabaya in Java and Landak was part of the sultanate of Demak in north-eastern Java.

Generally speaking Malay rule was restricted to the coastal areas and navigable waterways, but it did open up the land for trade and colonization. In the middle of the eighteenth century, when the Chinese began to enter this region on a large scale, the area was divided into more than twenty Malay, Javanese, and Arab political entities.

[5] The largest of these polities, Sambas, Pontianak and Mampawa 南吧哇, were situated on the west coast.

[6] They also had the largest population of Chinese settlers. The sultanates were no more than economic and political superstructures, engaged in taxing transport routes (especially the harbours and rivers), in trading, and when it suited them in piracy. Their grip on the native population of the island was but tenuous.

At this time most of the island was only sparsely inhabited. West Borneo’s original population was composed of many different tribes. The vast majority of these are currently called “Dayak”, a general name given to a wide array of peoples with different though related cultures.

Dayak economic life was generally based on agriculture of the slash-and-burn type, but purely nomadic forest-dwellers, living from fishing or hunting with blow-pipes and poisoned darts, were also very numerous. Ritual head-hunting appears to have been a universal feature among them.

The native population inhabited the lowland parts and hillsides of the primeval forests, where they tilled the so-called “ladang” dry rice fields, reclaimed through the fertilizing of a piece of forest soil with the ashes of the burnt vegetation. A village was composed of a score to one hundred or so individuals, living together in one or two so-called “long houses” built on posts.

 The village would remain at one place until all the cultivated land within walking distance had been exhausted, usually after five to ten years. It would then move on to a new location within its own larger territory. This means that the Dayak population was never fixed and settled in one place. At any time they could move away somewhat, not only for economic reasons, but also to avoid aggressive newcomers such as Malays or Chinese.

The sedentarization of the coastal Dayaks had already started by the time the Chinese miners came to Borneo. Those responsible for this evolution were the Malays.

By the seventeenth century,

Malays involved in trade and piracy had established themselves in the river estuaries along the West Borneo coast setting up a great number of trade posts and maritime bases.

Among these, the sultanates of Sambas and Sukadana had achieved a sizable dimension. From there, the network of trading, taxing, and piracy expanded, especially towards the inland, where Malay chiefs married the daughters of Dayak headmen and later established themselves in their father-in-laws’ place. In this fashion a great number of Malay and Javanese polities were established throughout West Borneo

 At these centres, in addition to the Malay population of orang merdeka or “free men” (including other traders such as Arabs, Bugis, and the like) lived the orang butak , slaves or bond servants of Dayak descent. Dayaks would be forced into slavery after having been captured in raids, but more commonly through enticing them into accumulating debts which only their labour could repay. As these servants or slaves were then converted to Islam, they became sedentary and intermingled with the Malays. Coastal Borneo had only rather recently come under the influence of Malay sultans, while the hinterland remained the territory of the Dayaks.

 

West Borneo in the Eighteenth Century

In the eighteenth century West Borneo was, as far as European visitors were concerned, still virtually unexplored territory. The first general description was not made until 1822. [7] The second half of the eighteenth century witnessed two major developments: (1) the progressive establishment of

the Dutch East Indian Company (VOC)

 

at Sukadana,

 Landak and Pontianak, and (2) the arrival of the Chinese miners.

 

Dutch East India Company

The Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie or VOC in old-spelling Dutch, literally “United East Indian Company”) was established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia. It was the first multinational corporation in the world and the first company to issue stock.[1] It remained an important trading concern for almost two centuries, paying an 18% annual dividend for almost 200 years, until it became bankrupt and was formally dissolved in 1800,[2] its possessions and the debt being taken over by the government of the Batavian Republic. The VOC’s territories became the Dutch East Indies and were expanded over the course of the 19th century to include the whole of the Indonesian archipelago, and in the twentieth century would form Indonesia.

n the late sixteenth century, considerable pressure was upon the United Provinces of the Netherlands to expand overseas.[3] By the end of the 16th century Dutch merchants had acquired large amounts of capital from their successful European trade, and were looking for new investment opportunities. The highly profitable sea trade routes between Europe and Asia had been established and dominated by the Portuguese. Reconnoitering in the late sixteenth century (J. H. van Linschoten, 1582, and the explorations of Cornelis de Houtman, 1592) paved the way for Houtman’s voyage to Banten, the chief port of Java, and back (1595–97), which raised a very modest profit.

 

History

In 1596,

 a group of Dutch merchants decided to try to circumvent the monopoly. In 1596, a four-ship expedition led by Cornelis de Houtman was the first Dutch contact with Indonesia. The expedition reached Banten, the main pepper port of West Java, where they clashed with both the Portuguese and indigenous Indonesians. It then sailed east along the north coast of Java, losing twelve crew to a Javanese attack at Sidayu and killing a local ruler in Madura. Half the crew were lost before the expedition made it back to the Netherlands the following year, but with enough spices to make a considerable profit[4]

In 1598,

an increasing number of new fleets were sent out by competing merchant groups from all around the Netherlands. Some fleets were lost, but most were successful, some wildly so. In March 1599, a fleet of twenty-two ships under Jacob van Neck of five different companies was the first Dutch fleet to reach the ‘Spice Islands’ of Maluku. The ships returned to Europe in 1599 and 1600 and although eight ships were lost, the expedition made a 400 percent profit [4]

 In 1600,

the Dutch joined forces with the local Hituese (near Ambon) in an anti-Portuguese alliance, in return for which the Dutch were given the sole right to purchase spices from Hitu.[5] Dutch control of Ambon was achieved in alliance with Hitu when in February 1605, they prepared to attack a Portuguese fort in Ambon but the Portuguese surrendered. In 1613, the Dutch expelled the Portuguese from their Solor fort, but were expelled again in 1636 following a re-occupation.[5]

 

Formation

At the time, it was customary for a company to be set up only for the duration of a single voyage, and to be liquidated right after the return of the fleet. As the competition between companies intensified, the profitability of the new trade was threatened, but consolidation was not possible as the merchants of different provinces were unwilling to cooperate.

 

In 1602,

 the Dutch government forced the issue, sponsoring the creation of a single “United East Indies Company” that was granted a monopoly over the Asian trade.In 1603, the first permanent Dutch trading post in Indonesia was established in Banten, West Java and in 1611, another was established at Jayakarta (later ‘Batavia’ and then ‘Jakarta’).[6] In 1610, the VOC established the post of Governor General to enable firmer control of their affairs in Asia. To advise and control the risk of despotic Governors General, a Council of the Indies (Raad van Indië) was created.

 

The Governor General effectively became the main administrator of the VOC’s activities in Asia, although the Heeren XVII continued to officially have overall control.[5]

VOC headquarters were in Ambon for the tenures of the first three Governor Generals (1610-1619), but it was not a satisfactory location. Although it was at the centre of the spice production areas, it was far from the Asian trade routes and other VOC areas of activity ranging from Africa to Japan. A location in the west of the archipelago was thus sought; the Straits of Malacca were strategic, but had become dangerous following the Portuguese conquest and the first permanent VOC settlement in Banten was controlled by a powerful local ruler and subject to stiff competition from Chinese and English traders.[5]

In 1604, a second British East India Company voyage commanded by Sir Henry Middleton reached the islands of Ternate, Tidore, Ambon and Banda; in Banda, they encountered severe VOC hostility, which saw the beginning of Anglo-Dutch competition for access to spices[6].

From 1611 to 1617, the English established trading posts at Sukadana (southwest Kalimantan),

Makassar, Jayakarta and Jepara in Java, and Aceh, Pariaman and Jambi in (Sumatra) which threatened Dutch ambitions for a monopoly on East Indies trade.[6] Diplomatic agreements in Europe in 1620 ushered in a period of cooperation between the Dutch and the English over the spice trade.[6] This ended with a notorious, but disputed incident, known as the ‘Amboyna massacre’, where ten English and ten Japanese traders were arrested, tried and beheaded for conspiracy against the Dutch government.[7] Although this caused outrage in Europe and a diplomatic criAt the time, it was customary for a company to be set up only for the duration of a single voyage, and to be liquidated right after the return of the fleet. As the competition between companies intensified, the profitability of the new trade was threatened, but consolidation was not possible as the merchants of different provinces were unwilling to cooperate.

In 1602,

 the Dutch government forced the issue, sponsoring the creation of a single “United East Indies Company” that was granted a monopoly over the Asian trade.In 1603, the first permanent Dutch trading post in Indonesia was established in Banten, West Java and in 1611, another was established at Jayakarta (later ‘Batavia’ and then ‘Jakarta’).[6] In 1610, the VOC established the post of Governor General to enable firmer control of their affairs in Asia. To advise and control the risk of despotic Governors General, a Council of the Indies (Raad van Indië) was created. The Governor General effectively became the main administrator of the VOC’s activities in Asia, although the Heeren XVII continued to officially have overall control.[5]

VOC headquarters were in Ambon for the tenures of the first three Governor Generals (1610-1619), but it was not a satisfactory location. Although it was at the centre of the spice production areas, it was far from the Asian trade routes and other VOC areas of activity ranging from Africa to Japan. A location in the west of the archipelago was thus sought; the Straits of Malacca were strategic, but had become dangerous following the Portuguese conquest and the first permanent VOC settlement in Banten was controlled by a powerful local ruler and subject to stiff competition from Chinese and English traders.[5]

In 1604,

a second British East India Company voyage commanded by Sir Henry Middleton

 

 reached the islands of Ternate, Tidore, Ambon and Banda; in Banda, they encountered severe VOC hostility, which saw the beginning of Anglo-Dutch competition for access to spices[6]. From 1611 to 1617, the English established trading posts at Sukadana (southwest Kalimantan), Makassar, Jayakarta and Jepara in Java, and Aceh, Pariaman and Jambi in (Sumatra) which threatened Dutch ambitions for a monopoly on East Indies trade.

 

[6] Diplomatic agreements in Europe in 1620 ushered in a period of cooperation between the Dutch and the English over the spice trade.

 

[6] This ended with a notorious, but disputed incident, known as the ‘Amboyna massacre’, where ten English and ten Japanese traders were arrested, tried and beheaded for conspiracy against the Dutch government.[7] Although this caused outrage in Europe and a diplomatic criAt the time, it was customary for a company to be set up only for the duration of a single voyage, and to be liquidated right after the return of the fleet. As the competition between companies intensified, the profitability of the new trade was threatened, but consolidation was not possible as the merchants of different provinces were unwilling to cooperate.

 

Growth

In 1619, Jan Pieterszoon Coen was appointed Governor-General of the VOC. He was not afraid to use brute force to put the VOC on a firm footing. On 30 May that year, Coen, backed by a force of nineteen ships, stormed Jayakarta driving out the Banten forces, and from the ashes, established Batavia as the VOC headquarters. In the 1620s, almost the entire native population of Banda Islands, the source of nutmeg was deported, driven away, starved to death or killed in an attempt to replace them with Dutch colonial slave labour.

The VOC traded throughout Asia. Ships coming into Batavia from the Netherlands carried silver from Spanish mines in Peru and supplies for VOC settlements in Asia. Silver, combined with copper from Japan, was used to trade with India and China for textiles. These products, such as cotton, silk and ceramics, were either traded within Asia for the coveted spices or brought back to Europe. The VOC was also instrumental in introducing European ideas and technology to Asia. The Company supported Christian missionaries and traded modern technology with China and Japan.A more peaceful VOC trade post on Dejima, an artificial island off the coast of Nagasaki, was for a long time the only place where Europeans were permitted to trade with Japan. In 1640, the VOC obtained the port of Galle, Sri Lanka, from the Portuguese and broke the latter’s monopoly of the cinnamon trade. In 1658, Gerard Hulft laid siege to Colombo, which was captured with the help of King Rajasinghe II of Kandy. By 1659, the Portuguese had been expelled from the coastal regions, which were then occupied by the VOC, securing for it the monopoly over cinnamon.

In 1652, Jan van Riebeeck established an outpost at the Cape of Good Hope (the southwestern tip of Africa, currently in South Africa) to re-supply VOC ships on their journey to East Asia. This post later became a fully-fledged colony, the Cape Colony, when more Dutch and other Europeans started to settle there. VOC outposts were also established in Persia (now Iran), Bengal (now Bangladesh, but then part of India), Malacca (Melaka, now in Malaysia), Siam (now Thailand), mainland China (Canton), Formosa (now Taiwan) and southern India. In 1662, Koxinga expelled the Dutch from Taiwan (see History of Taiwan).By 1669, the VOC was the richest private company the world had ever seen, with over 150 merchant ships, 40 warships, 50,000 employees, a private army of 10,000 soldiers, and a dividend payment of 40%.

 

Decline

The Dutch were ousted at the 1741 Battle of Colachel by Nairs of Travancore under Raja Marthanda Varma. The Dutch commander Captain Eustachius De Lannoy was captured. Marthanda Varma agreed to spare the Dutch captain’s life on condition that he joined his army and trained his soldiers on modern lines. This defeat in the Travacore-Dutch War is considered the earliest example of an organized Asian power overcoming European military technology and tactics; and it signaled the decline of Dutch power in India.

From 1720 on, the market for sugar from Indonesia declined as the competition from cheap sugar from Brazil increased. European markets became saturated. Dozens of Chinese sugar traders went bankrupt which led to massive unemployment, which in turn led to gangs of unemployed coolies. The Dutch government in Batavia did not adequately respond to these problems. In 1740, rumors of deportation of the gangs from the Batavia area led to widespread rioting. The Dutch military searched houses of Chinese in Batavia searching for weapons. When a house accidentally burnt down, military and impoverished citizens started slaughtering and pillaging the Chinese community. This incident was deemed sufficiently serious for the board of the VOC to start an official investigation into the Government of the Dutch East Indies for the first time in its history[1].

During the 18th century, the possessions of the Company were increasingly focused on the East Indies. After the fourth war between the United Provinces and Great Britain (1780–1784), the VOC got into financial trouble, and in 1800,[2] the company was dissolved, four years after the States-General were replaced by the French supported Batavian Republic. This was soon replaced by French occupation. After the defeat of the French empire, the previously privately owned East Indies territories were granted to the newly created Kingdom of the Netherlands by the Congress of Vienna in 1815.

 

Organizationlegacyprogramming

The VOC consisted of six Chambers (Kamers) in port cities: Amsterdam, Delft, Rotterdam, Enkhuizen, Middelburg and Hoorn. Delegates of these chambers convened as the Heeren XVII (the Lords Seventeen)Of the Heeren XVII, eight delegates were from the Chamber of Amsterdam (one short of a majority on its own), four from the Chamber of Zeeland, and one from each of the smaller Chambers, while the seventeenth seat was alternatively from the Chamber of Zeeland or rotated among the five small Chambers. Amsterdam had thereby the decisive voice. The Zeelanders in particular had misgivings about this arrangement at the beginning. The fear was not unfounded, because in practice it meant Amsterdam stipulated what happened The six chambers raised the start-up capital of the Dutch East India Company

The raising of capital in Rotterdam did not go so smoothly. A considerable part originated from inhabitants of Dordrecht. Although it did not raise as much capital as Amsterdam or Zeeland, Enkhuizen had the largest input in the share capital of the VOC. Under the first 358 shareholders, there were many small entrepreneurs, who dared to take the risk.Among the early shareholders of the VOC, immigrants played an important role. Under the 1,143 tenderers were 39 Germans and no fewer than 301 Zuid-Nederlanders (roughly present Belgium and Luxemburg, then under Habsburg rule), of whom Isaäc le Maire was the largest subscriber with ƒ85,000. VOC’s total capitalization was ten times that of its British rival.

 

VOC outposts

The logo of the VOC consisted of a large capital ‘V’ with an O on the left and a C on the right leg. The first letter of the hometown of the chamber conducting the operation was placed on top (see figure for example of the Amsterdam chamber logo). The flag of the company was orange, white, blue (see Dutch flag) with the company logo embroidered on it.The Heeren XVII (Lords Seventeen) met alternately 6 years in Amsterdam and 2 years in Middelburg. They defined the VOC’s general policy and divided the tasks among the Chambers. The Chambers carried out all the necessary work, built their own ships and warehouses and traded the merchandise. The Heeren XVII sent the ships’ masters off with extensive instructions on the route to be navigated, prevailing winds, currents, shoals and landmarks. The VOC also produced its own charts.

In the context of the Dutch-Portuguese War the company established its headquarters in Batavia, Java (now Jakarta, Indonesia). Other colonial outposts were also established in the East Indies, such as on the Spice Islands (Moluccas), which include the Banda Islands, where the VOC forcibly maintained a monopoly over nutmeg and mace. Methods used to maintain the monopoly included the violent suppression of the native population, not stopping short of extortion and mass murder.Opperhoofd is a Dutch word (plural Opperhoofden) which literally means ‘supreme head[man]’. In this VOC context, the word is a gubernatorial title, comparable to the English Chief factor, for the chief executive officer of a Dutch factory in the sense of trading post, as lead by a Factor, i.e. agent.

 

Flag of the Netherlands

The national flag of the Netherlands, with its three equal horizontal bands coloured red (top), white, and blue. However, it was not the country’s first flag. When, at the end of the 15th century, the majority of the Netherlands provinces were united under one lord, one common flag came into use for joint expeditions. This was the banner of the Lord of Burgundy, which consisted of a white field charged with two bundles of red laurel branches in the form of an X, with flames issuing from the intersection: the Cross of Burgundy. Under the later House of Austria, this flag remained in use.

The provinces of the Low Countries, however, rose in revolt against King Philip II of Spain, and the Prince of Orange placed himself at the head of the rebels. The Watergeuzen (pro-independence privateers), acting on his instructions, harassed the enemy everywhere they could and they did this under a tricolour Orange White Blue (“Orange Blanche Bleu”, or in Dutch: “Oranje Wit Blauw”/”Oranje Blanje Bleu”), the colours of the Prince’s coat of arms. It was thus a flag easily associated with the leader of the rebellion, and the association was also expressed in the name: “the Prince’s Flag.” In an atlas of Kittensteyn, the first Red White and Blue flag can be seen on a painting imaging a battle between the Watergeuzen and the Spaniards. This date was early on in the Eighty Years’ War, the Dutch war of independence. Hence 1572 is the official year of the introduction of this banner. This was commemorated in the Netherlands by the issue of a post stamp in 1972.(1)

The flag had three, sometimes six or even nine horizontal stripes, but also took the form of rays projecting from a circle. The colours were used without any fixed order and it was only towards the end of the 16th century that any degree of uniformity appeared. After 1630, the orange stripe was gradually replaced by a red one, as paintings of that time indicate. Since there was likely no political reason for introducing a non-orange motive in the flag, the probable reason is that orange and blue are faint colors and more difficult to distinguish than red and dark blue, especially at sea. Another explanation is that the orange was originally made of natural/herbal yellow and red. The yellow colour faded out first, leaving a red strip.

 

Overview

The orange-white-blue flag, however, continued to be flown as well and in later times formed the basis for the former South African flag. It is also the basis for the flag of New York City. In addition to the two main flags, a third official flag, that of the States-General, came into being, although it never assumed the importance of the tricolour. Originally it consisted of the red lion of the province of Holland, taken from its coat of arms, on a gold field, holding a sword and seven arrows, and later, of a gold lion on a red field.(See the page on the Coat of arms of the Netherlands.) It marked no contradistinction to the Prince’s flag and, in old paintings of ships and sea battles, both flags may be seen flying harmoniously side by side, thus illustrating the complex form of government with its two centres of authority: the Stadtholder (who was always a member of the House of Orange) and the States General.

The revolution in the Netherlands, in the last decade of the 18th century, and the conquest by the French also resulted in another flag. The name “Prince’s Flag” was forbidden. There came no change in the red-white-blue (colours to which the French “liberators” were kindly disposed, analogous as they were to their own tricolour), but in 1796 the red division of the flag was embellished with the figure of a Netherlands maiden, with a lion at her feet, in the upper left corner. In one hand she bore a shield with the Roman fasces and in the other a lance crowned with the cap of liberty. This flag had a life as short as that of the Batavian Republic for which it was created. Louis Bonaparte, made king of Holland by his brother the Emperor Napoleon, wished to pursue a purely Dutch policy and to respect national sentiments as much as possible. He removed the maiden of freedom from the flag and restored the old tricolour. His pro-Dutch policies led to conflicts with his brother, however, and the Netherlands were incorporated into the French Empire. Its flag was replaced by the imperial emblems.

In 1813, the Netherlands regained its independence and the Prince of Orange returned to the country from England. The tricolour reappeared from the attics and cellars where it had remained hidden for three years, waiting for better times. In order to demonstrate the attachment of the people to the House of Orange, the orange-white-blue and the red-white-blue fluttered together on the roofs. Which of the two flags should be the national flag was left undecided. Until recently, both had the same rights, although the red-white-blue was generally given precedence. This is apparent from the fact that it was not only hoisted on public buildings but also chosen by the first King as his personal standard, showing the national coat of arms on the white stripes. From the same period dates the custom, prescribed spontaneously by popular will, to fly an orange pennant together with the national flag as a sign of allegiance of the people to the House of Orange. On February 19, 1937, a Royal Decree issued by Queen Wilhelmina finally laid down the red, white and blue colours as the national flag (heraldic colours of bright vermilion, white and cobalt blue). She did this as a response to fascist activists, who claimed the Kingdom should use another flag.

 

 

The first known diplomatic contact between the Dutch and the people in West Borneo took place in 1698.

When the ruler of Landak was engaged in a war with Sukadana, he asked the sultan of Bantam who was a vassal of the VOC for help. The Dutch authorities decided to come to the latter’s aid and Sukadana was destroyed. From then on, during the entire first half of the eighteenth century, the VOC had regular contacts with the different polities of West Borneo, but without making any binding contracts or undertaking military occupation. Most of the negotiations concerned the buying of diamonds, of which at that time Borneo was an important supplier.

A milestone in the history of West Borneo is the foundation of  Pontianak, its present capital city.

 

 

 

 

 

Its founder was Sjarif Abdoel Rachman Alkadri,

 

a trader of Arab origin. His father, Hussein bin Achmat Alkadri, settled at Matan in the interior of Borneo in 1735 as a Koran scholar. Here he obtained a Dayak spouse who, when the couple had later moved to Mampawa, bore him

Abdoel Rachman, in 1742.

The boy was betrothed to a girl from the Mampawa ruling family. This family was of Bugis origin. After an adventurous career as trader and pirate, he found himself at the head of a small fleet of trading vessels, including a Chinese sea junk and a French ship. He returned to Mampawa upon the death of his father, in order to succeed him. Instead of establishing himself there, he rallied around him a number of followers and in 1772 with fifteen vessels moved to up the Kapuas River, to a small island situated at the  junction of the Kapuas with the Landak River, a place said to be haunted by ghosts.[8] Having first subjected it to intensive gun fire for a couple of days,  the aspirant settlers went ashore and built a settlement. This very strategic point soon developed into an important trading junction. By 1778 Abdoel Rachman already found himself sufficiently powerful to try to extend his authority to trading places upstream on the Kapuas River which fell under the authority of the sultans of Landak and Sanggau ÉϺî. Landak being an offspring of Bantam, the ruler of Bantam sent a complaint to the Governor-General and the Council of the Indies in Batavia. That same year, the Dutch sent an official, named Nicolaas Kloek, with two men of war to Pontianak to see what was the matter. Here he was very well received and given many presents, among them a large diamond. Abdoel Rachman suggested to Kloek that the Dutch East Indian Company should take Pontianak under its own protection. Kloek did not  believe that the Dutch East Indian Company would willingly shoulder such a task. He made it clear that the Dutch authorities did not intend to expand their territory.[9]

In the same year, however, the sultan of Bantam also seized upon the idea of placing Sukadana and Landak under Dutch administration, because he no longer considered those two areas to be of any profit to himself. Kloek received orders to take over these states from Bantam and to establish Dutch rule over them. In a decree of 6 November 1778, the VOC gave Abdoel Rachman the fiefs of Pontianak and Sanggau, as the Company claimed the sultan of Bantam had renounced his territorial rights.[10] The Resident of Rembang, Willem Adriaan Palm, was sent to West Borneo as Commissioner to make the necessary arrangements. He found Abdoel Rachman quite willing to accept Dutch supremacy. In a contract sealed on July 5, 1779, the VOC obtained preferential treatment in all commercial transactions at Pontianak. The harbour would be closed to all vessels which did not have a Dutch permit. All foreigners, especially the Chinese, would fall under the direct authority of the Company.

After this agreement, Palm returned to Batavia. The Governor-General now appointed a permanent Resident in the person of Wolter Markus Stuart. A redoubt was built for a garrison of twenty-five soldiers, and a schooner with a European crew was stationed on the river, so that the entire military force amounted to sixty men.  They were soon to see action. Abdoel Rachman proved to be a master of intrigue and strategy, so that the newly installed Resident had to cope with a number of difficult problems in order to maintain the peace. Since 1772, Mampawa and Sambas had been at loggerheads with each other about the question to whom the territory of Montrado where the Chinese miners were active belonged. Both tried to squeeze as much as they could from the Chinese settlements, while fighting among themselves. Mampawa went so far as to destroy the Chinese settlement of Selakau, whereupon Sambas attacked Mampawa. Abdoel Rachman, with the support of the Dutch, acted as intermediary and a covenant was drawn up. Mampawa did not keep its promises, and this gave Abdoel Rachman the opportunity to lodge a complaint against the Panambahan with the VOC. But there were other reasons why the Dutch had an axe to grind with Mampawa and its close ally, Raja Ali, formerly a prince of Riau who had participated in a revolt against the VOC and who had now established himself at Sukadana. In collaboration with its ruler, Sultan Ahmed Kamaluddin, Raja Ali transformed the place into the most prosperous trading centre on Borneo’s West Coast. This, of course, ran counter to the Dutch expectations for Pontianak. Consequently, the sultan of Pontianak and Resident Stuart decided, in 1786, to launch an expedition against Sukadana. Because its kampong and palace had not yet been reinforced, Sukadana could offer only paltry resistance. Raja Ali and Sultan Ahmed fled, and the allies entered the place without any difficulty and subsequently destroyed it completely.[11]

Sukadana having been dealt with, an expedition against Mampawa was planned thereupon, but here things went less smoothly. As this town was better defended, an additional seaforce under Commander Silvester was sent over. Hampered by bad weather, it took the vessels about a month to sail from Batavia to Borneo. On April 28, 1787,  the ships anchored in the roadstead of Mampawa. In the meantime, however, the Malay allies of the Dutch from Pontianak and Sambas had left the theatre of war as they had grown tired of waiting. Silvester therefore decided to return, but to his surprise, the Panambahan sent a delegation with white flags to offer submission. Not long after the negotiations had begun, the warships from Pontianak and Sambas suddenly returned. These were light war-prahus which could negotiate the sandbanks that closed of the estuary to Mampawa. It so happened that the fighting force from Sambas was on the side of the Panambahan of Mampawa, and the latter, by offering submission, had in fact only hoped to win time before these additional forces arrived! The Dutch managed to beat the Sambas force, and then turned their attention to Mampawa. Now hoist with his own petard, the Panambahan was more serious in his wish to submit himself to the Dutch. The latter ordered all the fortifications which defended the waterfront and the entry to the town to be demolished. When that had been completed, the Dutch army, assisted by the Pontianak navy, entered Mampawa, only to find the place entirely deserted, as the court and all the inhabitants had fled inland. The latter returned a few days later, but the Panambahan refused to come back and face the Dutch. As a result he was declared deposed from his throne, and the son of Abdoel Rachman, Sjarif Kasim, was installed in his place. This is how Mampawa finally became subjected to the authority of  Pontianak. In June 1787, Silvester imposed on the new Panambahan a similar covenant to the one concluded with his father. As before, all Chinese residing on the territory of the sultanate were placed under the direct administration of the VOC.

As a result of these circumstances, the entire coast of West Borneo, from Sukadana to Mampawa, now fell under the authority of the ruler of Pontianak. The latter had the region of Mandor, where the Lanfang kongsi was to develop, under his sway. This being the case, the VOC never saw one ounce of the gold that it had been promised under the covenant concluded with Abdoel Rachman. In the years that followed Pontianak continued to rule supreme and both Sukadana and Mampawa went into a lasting decline. Abdoel Rachman, who died in 1808, engaged in open trade with the English from Singapore, thereby making the Dutch efforts to profit from the Borneo trade even less fruitful. On October 8, 1791, the VOC therefore decided to quit West Borneo altogether as it had become “a costly and insufferable nuisance”. Soon the Napoleonic wars would cause the total disappearance of Dutch authority in the region. Almost thirty years passed before the Dutch came back with the intention to establish their authority at Pontianak again in 1818.

 

 

Expeditie naar de westerafdeling van Borneo

 

 

Gevecht bij Sekadau.

De expeditie naar de westerafdeling van Borneo was een strafexpeditie van het Koninklijk Nederlandsch-Indisch Leger naar de westerafdeling van Borneo van 18501854. [bewerken] Inleiding

De Chinezen weigerden belasting te betalen en onderdrukten de inlandse bevolking; een groot aantal mijnwerkers had zich verenigd tot kleine republieken, kongsies genoemd, die werden beheerd door hoofden die zij zelf kozen. De districten Sambas, Mempawah en Pontianak kenden, in het jaar 1850, de kongsies van Langfong of Mandor (gevestigd te Pontianak en Mempawah), die van Sam Tiu Kiu te Sepang en Pemangkat, met de hoofdplaats Seminis; die van Taikong omvatte alle districten Monterado, Lara, Singkawang en Kulor; dit was de machtigste van allen en de kongsies Sjep-eng-fou en Liemtjin waren hieraan onderworpen. De kongsihuizen waren in staat van verdediging gebracht en werden langzamerhand geduchte versterkingen. Ze waren voortdurend met elkaar in oorlog geweest en hun macht nam dermate toe dat een botsing met de Nederlandse autoriteiten niet meer uit kon blijven.

[bewerken] De expeditie

 

 

Majoor Sorg.

Er werd een levendige smokkelhandel in opium bedreven en toen Nederlandse kruisboten een Chinees vaartuig met smokkelwaar in beslag wilden nemen kwamen de Chinezen feitelijk in verzet en wierpen zij versterkingen op. Daarop werd door de regering een fregat gezonden dat met andere schepen op de oevers van de Sambas debarkeerde om de Chinezen uit het fort Pemangkat te verdrijven. De 12de september 1850 werd deze versterking genomen, ondanks hardnekkige tegenstand; luitenant-kolonel Frederik Johannes Sorg sneuvelde hierbij. Als bewijs van hulde werd zijn naam gegeven aan het fort, dat gebouwd werd te Penibungan, het belangrijkste strategische punt. Fort Pemangkat was niet door de Nederlandse troepen bezet en overste Le Bron de Vexela, die met een versterking te Sambas aankwam, wilde die fout herstellen maar de Chinezen hadden zich krachtig versterkt en de slechte moesson belemmerde de operaties, zodat de troepen de 23ste november onverrichter zake naar Sambas terugkeerden.

Desalniettemin kwamen de Chinezen zich toch onderwerpen en in het begin van het jaar 1851 werd een conventie gesloten met de kongsi’s Taikong, Sjep-eng-fou en Liemtjin. Later zou blijken dat het de Chinezen er slechts om te doen was om tijd te winnen. Pamangkat was inmiddels weer in Nederlandse handen gevallen en nu werd aan de hoofden der kongsi’s vergiffenis geschonken mits de Nederlandse bondgenoten van de kongsi van Sam-ti-Kiouw (door de hoofden naar Sarawak verjaagd) vrij mochten terugkeren naar hun landstreken tussen Monterado en Sambas; de vluchtelingen durfden echter niet terug te komen omdat Sepang door de kongsi van Taikong bezet bleef. Op de 29ste maart 1853 vertrok daarom een colonne van Sambas naar Sepang onder majoor Andresen en vergezeld door de gouvernementscommissaris Ary Prins; in de mening dat de zaak nu in orde was keerde men, onder zwak geleide, naar Sambas terug.

Te Kedondong werden zij door een bende Chinezen verraderlijk overvallen; een detachement infanterie kwam te hulp; maar weldra werd het garnizoen aldaar ingesloten en moest zich verweren tegen een grote macht. Kapitein Van Houten, commandant van fort Sorg, rukte met 250 man tot ontzet op en verdreef de vijand. Omdat Sepang slechts met een sterke troepenmacht kon worden behouden werd het besluit genomen om deze post en ook Balai Binang te verlaten en om de bezettingsmacht terug te laten keren naar Sambas.

[bewerken] Gevecht te Sekadouw

Van Houten, tevens met het civiel gezag in deze streken belast, verscheen de 12de mei opnieuw te Seminis om de Chinezen van Sam Tiu Kiu, de bondgenoten van Nederland, te ondersteunen. De panglima van Taikong had intussen een bloedprijs gesteld op het hoofd van Van Houten en daarnaast zijn stellingen versterkt; hij viel Van Houten aan met een talrijke bende Chinezen. Toen majoor Kroesen de 16de hem met 160 man te hulp schoot werd de vijand teruggedreven tot de helling van Sekadau, waar hij stand bleef houden. Majoor Kroesen rukte nu met een troep van 200 man tegen deze sterke stelling op; de Chinezen hielden hardnekkig stand en deden een aanval maar tenslotte overwonnen de Nederlandse troepen, werden de retranchementen met de bajonet veroverd en vluchtte de vijand. Een van de soldaten die bij deze gevechten eervol vermeld werd was Root, een officier die zich eervol onderscheidde was Mekern.

[bewerken] Vervolg

Kort hierna begonnen de Chinezen hun werkzaamheden in de mijnen (naast Singkawang, Sungai Duri en Monterado) te versterken. Hoewel er eigenlijk onvoldoende troepen waren om de machtige Kongsi aan te vallen werd toch besloten om het machtige kongsihuis te Bentunai aan te vallen, gelegen op de linkeroever van de Selakau. De commandant van de Celebes, Geerling, werd opgedragen de versterking te nemen; de 7de juli 1853 voer het schip de rivier op maar een hevige storm belette een geforceerde doortocht door het hevige vuur van de vijand. Pas de 7de juli gelukte het tot een landing over te gaan en viel Bentunai; dit zou verder de plaats worden van waaruit alle overige operaties uit zouden gaan. Zie verder voor het vervolg de Expeditie tegen de Chinezen te Montrado.

[bewerken] Deelnemers

 

Portaal KNIL

[bewerken] Bronnen, noten en/of referenties

Bronnen, noten en/of referenties:

  • 1900. W.A. Terwogt. Het land van Jan Pieterszoon Coen. Geschiedenis van de Nederlanders in oost-Indië. P. Geerts. Hoorn
  • 1900. G. Kepper. Wapenfeiten van het Nederlands Indische Leger; 1816-1900. M.M. Cuvee, Den Haag.’
  • 1876. A.J.A. Gerlach. Nederlandse heldenfeiten in Oost Indië. Drie delen. Gebroeders Belinfante, Den Haag.

Overgenomen van “http://nl.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Expeditie_naar_de_westerafdeling_van_Borneo&oldid=28354028


1851, led the Dutch Company arrived Overste Zorg
 which then fall when the seizure of the fortress defense center at Seminis Kiu Sam Tiu Pemangkat. He was buried on the hill Penibungan, Pemangkat.
In 1854
increasingly widespread insurgency and backed out of the Chinese joint venture. Holland then send additional troops to the resident-led Sambas Anderson.
Finally in 1856
 Monterado Republic that has stood for 100 years was defeated.
Dated January 4, 1857 the Dutch took over China in the kingdom PunBB,
and in 1884 the whole of China in the partnership was dissolved by the Dutch West Kalimantan.

Zorg rather unexpectedly, turns out such a large enemy force had been killed in the fortress of the enemy Zorg. And the raging insurgency. Chinese people outside the gang of three Kongsi that helped carry the weapon. Company to bring additional troops commanded by Andersen: At last the rebels put down after five years of fighting. Chinese immigrants still can mine gold, but must still obey the old agreement was a matter of duty. It’s just no longer tax paid to the Sultan, but to the Dutch.
In 1884,
 drastic shrinkage mining. Kongsis China is dissolved,
because it no longer profitable. The miners, the Chinese people, and then switch to work traders crops: copra, nutmeg, and pepper – in West Kalimantan trade crops that are still held among them.
Others are seeking brothels and gambling houses in the slums. Then be they, who became traders and pimps and dealers, the population of West Kalimantan. Meanwhile, gold, which no longer as much in the 17th century and into the 18’s, still be a source of conflict until now. No longer between immigrants and local authorities, but between the people of the traditional miners and companies holding concessions.
1914,
coincided with World War I, Sam uprising Tiam (three eyes, three codes, three-way).
Monterado rebellion in families headed by former Republican Monterado,
while the rebellion in PunBB led by former Republican Lan Fong family.
They were also helped by the Malay and Dayak are forced to participate.
Rebellion ended in 1916
with a victory in the Netherlands. Holland later founded in Mandor memorial for soldiers who died during the Chinese rebellion twice (in 1854-1856 and 1914-1916). Kenceng War 1914-1916 war called by the people of West Kalimantan.
Year 1921-1929
 because in China (China) civil war, large-scale immigration of Chinese re-occurs with the purpose of the Malay peninsula, Sarawak and West Kalimantan.

Sejarah Emas Kalbar

Sejak abad ketiga, pelaut Cina telah berlayar ke Indonesia untuk melakukan perdagangan. Rute pelayaran menyusuri pantai Asia Timur dan pulangnya melalui Kalimantan Barat dan Filipina dengan mempergunakan angin musim.

Pada abad ketujuh, hubungan Tiongkok dengan Kalimantan Barat sudah sering terjadi, tetapi belum menetap. Imigran dari Cina kemudian masuk ke Kerajaan Sambas dan Mempawah dan terorganisir dalam kongsi sosial politik yang berpusat di Monterado dan Bodok dalam Kerajaan Sambas dan Mandor dalam Kerajaan Mempawah.

Pasukan Khubilai Khan di bawah pimpinan Ike Meso, Shih Pi dan Khau Sing dalam perjalanannya untuk menghukum Kertanegara, singgah di kepulauan Karimata yang terletak berhadapan dengan Kerajaan Tanjungpura. Karena kekalahan pasukan ini dari angkatan perang Jawa dan takut mendapat hukuman dari Khubilai Khan, kemungkinan besar beberapa dari mereka melarikan diri dan menetap di Kalimantan Barat.

Pada tahun 1407,

di Sambas didirikan Muslim/Hanafi – Chinese Community.

Tahun 1463

laksamana Cheng Ho, seorang Hui dari Yunan, atas perintah Kaisar Cheng Tsu alias Jung Lo (kaisar keempat dinasti Ming) selama tujuh kali memimpin ekspedisi pelayaran ke Nan Yang. Beberapa anak buahnya ada yang kemudian menetap di Kalimantan Barat dan membaur dengan penduduk setempat. Mereka juga membawa ajaran Islam yang mereka anut.

 

 

Di zaman dinasti Ming, antara abad ke-14 dan ke-17,

 sejarah Tiongkok mencatat pemberontakan orang-orang gunung yang disebut-sebut bertampang dan berdialek kasar, lagi keras kepala.Mereka memberontak terhadap kaisar. Kalah. Lalu menghindari penangkapan oleh kaki tangan kerajaan, mereka mengungsi.

Jung demi jung dilayarkan meninggalkan Cina, dan merapat di Pha-la.

 Itulah nama Brunei menurut lidah Cina kala itu, daerah yang pernah harus selalu membayar upeti ke Tiongkok.

Sebagaimana imigran di mana pun, orang-orang dari utara itu pun siap bertarung dengan kehidupan baru. Antara lain, mereka segera menjadi pekerja tambang yang ulet. Tak satu dua jung, tak satu dua hari para imigran berdatangan. Tapi mereka makin banyak mengalir ke Brunei karena kemelut di Daratan Cina tak segera reda.

Orang-orang itu ter~utama berasal dari Fu Kien dan Kwang Tung, daerah yang keras menentang kaisar.

Adalah Panembahan Mempawah,

salah seorang penguasa di sebagian kawasan yang sekarang disebut Kalimantan Barat, tertarik pada orang-orang sipit yang ulet bekerja itu. Panembahan lalu mendatangkan 20 orang Cina dari Brunei untuk menambang emas di Sungai Duri (90 km dari Pontianak),

di wilayah kekuasaannya. “Impor tenaga kerja” yang dilakukan Panembahan pada 1750 itu ternyata sukses.

Segera tambang emas Sungai Duri jadi kesohor, dan segera kawasan Kalimantan Barat menjadi tujuan imigran Cina. Pha-la lalu hanya jadi batu loncatan. Mereka masuk lebih ke selatan, ke wilayah Kalimantan Barat sekarang: Ngabang, Landak, Mempawah, dan Mandor. Mereka mencari emas. Tak diceritakan adakah demam emas kala itu seseru demam emas di Benua Amerika di zaman Wild West. Yang terang, di Laut Cina Selatan dikabarkan makin sering terlihat perahu jung melaju dari utara menuju Brunei. Para penumpangnya lalu melanjutkan perjalanan darat lebih ke selatan.

Inilah yang diduga oleh para ahli sejarah menjadi pangkal awalnya Kalimantan Barat menyimpan lebih banyak warga keturunan Cina dibandingkan dengan wilayah mana pun di Indonesia. Dari sekitar 2,5 juta warga provinsi tersebut, kini sekitar 30%, adalah keturunan Cina. Sebab, kemudian tak hanya Mempawah dan tak cuma “imigran spontan” yang menyebabkan Cina berdatangan.

Sultan Kerajaan Sambas,

penguasa wilayah lain di Kalimantan Barat, meniru tetangganya mendatangkan imigran Cina dari Brunei, sepuluh tahun kemudian. Umar Ahmadin, Sultan Sambas itu, menawarkan kepada imigran-imigran yang siap kerja keras ini membuka tambang emas di Montrado, Pemangkat, Bengkayang, dan Lumar. “Menawarkan” memang lebih tepat daripada “mengimpor tenaga kerja”. Sebab, orang-orang Cina itu tak lalu disuruh bekerja dan mendapat bayaran dari Sultan. Justru mereka yang mesti membagi perolehan mereka kepada Sultan. Karena mereka tak cuma memiliki tenaga kerja, tapi juga keterampilan – sebut saja teknologi – penambangan emasnya.

Karena itu, berdirilah kongsi-kongsi Cina yang bergerak di bidang pertambangan emas. Kesultanan lalu memungut cukai.

Dalam buku Report of the Mining Industry in Bomeo and Its Economic Prospect (1939) karya Dr. C.P.A. Zijlmans van Emmichoven diceritakan, dari kongsi Cina di Bengkayang dan Montrado saja Sultan Sambas mengutip cukai 27 kg emas tiap tahun.

Sedangkan dalam catatan Raffles tahun 1812, bisnis emas di kawasan barat Bomeo itu mencapai œ 11 juta setahunnya.

Dan ketika muncul pertikaian antara Sambas dan Mempawah, para imigran itu pun mengail di air keruh. Mereka berserikat, membentuk semacam republik kecil, lalu mempersenjatai diri menyusun kekuatan. Lahirlah “distrik pecinan”, tulis Zijlmans, yang “sudah mengatur dirinya sendiri tanpa campur tangan~ baik Panembahan Mempawah maupun Sultan Sambas.”

Di abad ke-17

 hijrah bangsa Cina ke Kalimantan Barat menempuh dua rute yakni melalui Indocina – Malaya – Kalimantan Barat dan Borneo Utara – Kalimantan Barat.

Tahun 1745,

orang Cina didatangkan besar-besaran untuk kepentingan perkongsian, karena Sultan Sambas dan Panembahan Mempawah menggunakan tenaga-tenaga orang Cina sebagai wajib rodi dipekerjakan di tambang-tambang emas. Kedatangan mereka di Monterado membentuk

kongsi Taikong (Parit Besar)

dan

Samto Kiaw (Tiga Jembatan).


Tahun 1770,

 orang-orang Cina perkongsian yang berpusat di Monterado

 dan

 

Bodok

berperang dengan suku Dayak yang menewaskan kepala suku Dayak di kedua daerah itu.

Sultan Sambas kemudian menetapkan orang-orang Cina di kedua daerah tersebut hanya tunduk kepada Sultan dan wajib membayar upeti setiap bulan, bukan setiap tahun seperti sebelumnya. Tetapi mereka diberi kekuasaan mengatur pemerintahan, pengadilan, keamanan dan sebagainya. Semenjak itu timbullah Republik Kecil yang berpusat di Monterado dan orang Dayak pindah ke daerah yang aman dari orang Cina.

Sementara itu, ada pula yang mencoba cari muka. Seorang bernama Lo Fong Fa menjilat Sultan Sambas dengan turut memadamkan pemberontakan Dayak. Imbalannya, di tahun 1770

ia diizinkan membikin Kongsi Lan Fong. Tapi sejak awal tampaknya Lan Fong memang punya tujuan di balik bantuan. Kongsinya tak cuma mencari emas, juga menghimpun tenaga dan mengasah senjata.

1776

Enam tahun kemudian,

ketika merasa diri sudah kuat dan senjata telah tajam, ia menolak membayar cukai kepada Sultan Sambas. Maka, kembali pecah pertempuran. Ganti kini orang Dayak, yang pemberontakan mereka dulu dibasmi oleh Cina pendatang itu, membantu Sultan. Sultan menang. Lalu ia menetapkan cukai mesti dibayar sekali sebulan, bukan sekali setahun lagi. Namun, pihak Kongsi memperoleh kekuasaan lebih: tak cuma menguasai wilayah tambang, tapi juga berikut orang-orang Dayak yang ada di kawasan itu. Ini berarti Sultan mengkhianati sekutunya.

 

Di abad ke-17

 hijrah bangsa Cina ke Kalimantan Barat menempuh dua rute yakni melalui Indocina – Malaya – Kalimantan Barat dan Borneo Utara – Kalimantan Barat.

Tahun 1745,

orang Cina didatangkan besar-besaran untuk kepentingan perkongsian, karena Sultan Sambas dan Panembahan Mempawah menggunakan tenaga-tenaga orang Cina sebagai wajib rodi dipekerjakan di tambang-tambang emas. Kedatangan mereka di Monterado membentuk kongsi Taikong (Parit Besar) dan Samto Kiaw (Tiga Jembatan).

Tahun 1770,

orang-orang Cina perkongsian yang berpusat di Monterado dan Bodok berperang dengan suku Dayak yang menewaskan kepala suku Dayak di kedua daerah itu. Sultan Sambas kemudian menetapkan orang-orang Cina di kedua daerah tersebut hanya tunduk kepada Sultan dan wajib membayar upeti setiap bulan, bukan setiap tahun seperti sebelumnya. Tetapi mereka diberi kekuasaan mengatur pemerintahan, pengadilan, keamanan dan sebagainya. Semenjak itu timbullah Republik Kecil yang berpusat di Monterado dan orang Dayak pindah ke daerah yang aman dari orang Cina.

Pada Oktober 1771

kota Pontianak berdiri.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tahun 1772

datang seorang bernama Lo Fong (Pak) dari kampung Shak Shan Po, Kunyichu, Kanton

membawa 100 keluarganya mendarat di

 Siantan, Pontianak Utara.

Sebelumnya di Pontianak sudah ada

 kongsi Tszu Sjin dari suku Tio Ciu

yang memandang Lo Fong sebagai orang penting. Mandor dan sekitarnya juga telah didiami suku Tio Ciu, terutama dari

Tioyo dan Kityo.

 Daerah Mimbong

didiami pekerja dari

 Kun-tsu

 dan

Tai-pu.

Seorang bernama Liu Kon Siong

yang tinggal dengan lebih dari lima ratus keluarganya mengangkat dirinya sebagai Tai-Ko di sana.

Di San Sim (Tengah-tengah Pegunungan)

 berdiam pekerja dari daerah Thai-Phu dan berada di bawah kekuasaan

Tong A Tsoi sebagai Tai-Ko.

Lo Fong kemudian pindah ke Mandor dan membangun rumah untuk rakyat, majelis umum (Thong) serta pasar.

Namun ia merasa tersaingi oleh Mao Yien

 yang memiliki pasar 220 pintu, terdiri dari 200 pintu pasar lama yang didiami masyarakat Tio Tjiu, Kti-Yo, Hai Fung dan Liuk Fung dengan Tai-Ko Ung Kui Peh

dan 20 pintu pasar baru yang didiami masyarakat asal Kia Yin Tju dengan Tai-Ko Kong Mew Pak.

 Mao Yien juga mendirikan benteng Lan Fo (Anggrek Persatuan) dan mengangkat 4 pembantu dengan nama Lo-Man.


Lo Fong kemudian mengutus Liu Thoi Ni

untuk membawa surat rahasia kepada

 Ung Kui Peh dan Kong Mew Pak,

sehingga mereka terpaksa menyerah dan menggabungkan diri di bawah kekuasaan Lo Fong tanpa pertumpahan darah.

Lo Fong kemudian juga merebut kekuasaan Tai-Ko Liu Kon Siong di daerah Min Bong (Benuang)

sampai ke

San King (Air Mati).

Maka, orang-orang Dayak kian tersisih, bergerak ke pedalaman. Kala itu setidaknya ada delapan kongsi tersebar dari Sambas hingga Pontianak, dan semuanya saja tumbuh kuat.

 Lan Fong, misalnya, beranggotakan 110 ribu orang. Ketika masing-masing merasa lebih kuat daripada yang lain nafsu invasi tak tertahan lagi.

Kongsi Sin Ta Kiu di Sambas

 bertempur dengan Kongsi Tai Kong yang bermarkas di Montrado, memperebutkan tambang kaya di

 Sungai Raya, Singkawang.

Setahun bertempur, Sin Ta Kiu kalah.

Lalu, sekali lagi, terjadilah politik ambil muka. Sin Ta Kiu menemui Sultan Sambas, mengajak bersekutu menggempur Tai Kong. Imbalannya, ia berjanji akan “setia dan tak akan mendurhakai sultan dan rakyat Sambas.” Sultan termakan bujukan beracun ini.

Tengku Sambo, bekas panglima Siak, Sumatera,

yang menyerah, ditugasi menyerbu Montrado, markas besar Tai Kong, bersama Sin Ta Kiu. Lewat pertempuran sengit, Montrado jatuh. Tapi kemenangan ini mahal harganya: Tengku Sambo gugur, tepat pada saat pertempuran terakhir. Kepalanya dipenggal, dan tengkoraknya disimpan oleh para pewaris Tai Kong.

Mudah ditebak, Sin Ta Kiu lalu menjilat ludahnya sendiri. Ia menentang Sultan sambil merangkul bekas musuhnya, Tai Kong dan Mang Ki Tiu.

 Perang besar pun tak terelakkan.

Sultan Tsafioeddin, Sultan Sambas kala itu,

menggempur seluruh tambang emas.

Pasukan Kerajaan bergerak beringsut ke

Pemangkat,

Seminis,

Sebawi,

Bengkayang,

Larah,

Lumar,

Montrado,

 hingga Buduk.

Celaka, satu per satu kongsi itu lemah, tapi tiga menjadi satu tampaknya bukan tandingan tentara Sultan.

Lo Fong kemudian menguasai

 pertambangan emas Liu Kon Siong

 dan

pertambangan perak Pangeran Sita dari Ngabang.

Kekuasaan Lo Fong meliputi kerajaan Mempawah, Pontianak dan Landak dan disatukan pada tahun 1777 dengan nama Republik Lan Fong.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tahun 1795

Lo Fong meninggal dunia dan dimakamkan di Sak Dja Mandor.

Republik yang setiap tahun mengirim upeti kepada Kaisar Tiongkok ini pun bubar. Oleh orang Cina Mandor disebut

 Toeng Ban Lit

(daerah timur dengan 1000 undang-undang .

Tahun 1795,

berkobar pertempuran antara kongsi Tai-Kong yang berpusat di Monterado dengan kongsi Sam Tiu Kiu yang berpusat di Sambas karena pihak Sam Tiu Kiu melakukan penggalian emas di Sungai Raya Singkawang, daerah kekuasaan Tai-Kong.

 Tahun 1796,

dengan bantuan kerajaan Sambas, kongsi Sam Tiu Kiu berhasil menguasai Monterado. Namun seorang panglima sultan bernama Tengku Sambo mati terbunuh ketika menyerbu benteng terakhir kongsi Tai Kong. Perang ini oleh rakyat Sambas disebut juga Perang Tengku Sambo.

 

 

 

 

Pada 6 September 1818 Belanda masuk ke Kerajaan Sambas.

Tanggal 23 September Muller dilantik sebagai Pejabat Residen Sambas

 dan esoknya mengumumkan Monterado di bawah kekuasaan pemerintahan Belanda. Pada 28 November diadakan pula pertemuan dengan kepala-kepala kongsi dan orang-orang Cina di Sambas.

Tahun 1819,

masyarakat Cina di Sambas dan Mandor memberontak dan tidak mengakui pemerintahan Belanda. Seribu orang dari Mandor menyerang kongsi Belanda di Pontianak.
Pada 22 September 1822

diumumkan hasil perundingan segitiga antara Sultan Pontianak, pemerintahan Belanda dan kepala-kepala kongsi Cina.
Namun pada 1823, setelah berhasil menguasai daerah Lara, Sin Ta Kiu (Sam Tiu Kiu), Sambas, kongsi Tai Kong mengadakan pemberontakan terhadap belanda karena merasa hasil perundingan merugikan pihaknya. Dengan bantuan Sam Tiu Kiu dan orang-orang Cina di Sambas, kongsi Tai Kong kemudian dipukul mundur ke Monterado.

Setelah gagal pada serangan kedua tanggal 28 Februari 1823,

pada 5 Maret penduduk Cina yang memberontak menyatakan menyerah dan kemudian 11 Mei komisaris Belanda mengeluarkan peraturan-peraturan dan kewajiban-kewajiban kongsi-kongsi. Pemberontak yang menguasai tambang emas tentu saja punya uang, maka bisa membayar pasukan dan membeli senjata. Tentara Tsafioeddin di bawah angin. Daerah demi daerah kekuasaan Sambas direbut. Tercatatlah cerita klise dari zaman kolonial: Sultan Sambas lalu mengirim surat kepada Belanda, minta bantuan. Ketika Sambas telah terkepung, dan tinggal — soal waktu saja jatuh ke tangan komplotan itu, ketika itulah pasukan Belanda, di bawah komando Overste Zorg, datang. Segera, pada 1851 itu, Zorg menyerbu markas Sin Ta Kiu.

Tahun 1850,

 kerajaan Sambas yang dipimpin Sultan Abubakar Tadjudin II

hampir jatuh ke tangan perkongsian gabungan Tai Kong, Sam Tiu Kiu dan Mang Kit Tiu.

Kerajaan Sambas meminta bantuan kepada Belanda.

Tahun 1851, kompeni Belanda tiba dipimpin Overste Zorg

 yang kemudian gugur ketika perebutan benteng pusat pertahanan Sam Tiu Kiu di Seminis Pemangkat. Ia dimakamkan di bukit Penibungan, Pemangkat.

Tahun 1854

pemberontakan kian meluas dan didukung bangsa Cina yang di luar perkongsian. Belanda kemudian mengirimkan pasukan tambahan ke Sambas yang dipimpin Residen Anderson.

Akhirnya pada 1856

 Republik Monterado yang telah berdiri selama 100 tahun berhasil dikalahkan.

Tanggal 4 Januari 1857 Belanda mengambil alih kekuasaan Cina di kerajaan Mempawah,

dan tahun 1884 seluruh perkongsian Cina di Kalimantan Barat dibubarkan oleh Belanda.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Di luar dugaan Zorg agaknya, ternyata kekuatan musuh sudah demikian besar Zorg tewas di benteng musuh. Dan pemberontakan semakin berkobar. Orang-orang Cina di luar komplotan tiga Kongsi itu ikut mengangkat senjata. Kompeni mendatangkan pasukan tambahan yang dikomando oleh Andersen: Akhirnya pemberontak dipadamkan setelah 5 tahun pertempuran. Para imigran Cina tetap boleh menambang emas, namun harus tetap menaati kesepakatan lama soal cukai itu. Hanya saja, cukai tak lagi dibayarkan kepada Sultan, melainkan kepada Belanda.

Pada 1884,

 hasil tambang susut drastis. Kongsi-kongsi Cina itu dibubarkan,

karena tak lagi mendatangkan keuntungan. Para penambang, orang-orang Cina itu, lalu beralih kerja menjadi pedagang hasil bumi: kopra, pala, dan lada — di Kalimantan Barat perdagangan hasil bumi itu hingga kini masih dikuasai kalangan mereka.

Sebagian lainnya mengusahakan rumah bordil dan judi di kawasan kumuh. Lalu jadilah mereka, yang jadi pedagang maupun germo dan bandar, penduduk Kalimantan Barat. Sementara itu, emas, yang tak lagi sebanyak di abad ke-17 dan ke-18 itu, tetap saja jadi sumber konflik hingga kini. Bukan lagi antara imigran dan penguasa setempat, melainkan antara rakyat penambang tradisional dan perusahaan pemegang konsesi.

Tahun 1914,

bertepatan dengan Perang Dunia I, terjadi pemberontakan Sam Tiam (tiga mata, tiga kode, tiga cara).

Pemberontakan di Monterado dipimpin oleh bekas keluarga Republik Monterado,

sedangkan pemberontakan di Mempawah dipimpin oleh bekas keluarga Republik Lan Fong.

Mereka juga dibantu oleh masyarakat Melayu dan Dayak yang dipaksa untuk ikut.

Pemberontakan berakhir tahun 1916

dengan kemenangan di pihak Belanda. Belanda kemudian mendirikan tugu peringatan di Mandor bagi prajurit-prajuritnya yang gugur selama dua kali pemberontakan Cina (tahun 1854-1856 dan 1914-1916). Perang 1914-1916 dinamakan Perang Kenceng oleh masyarakat Kalimantan Barat.

Tahun 1921-1929

 karena di Tiongkok (Cina) terjadi perang saudara, imigrasi besar-besaran orang Cina kembali terjadi dengan daerah tujuan Semenanjung Malaya, Serawak dan Kalimantan Barat.

 

 

1927

The transport of the rubberslabs to the market of Mandor by bicycle, district Mampawah, West-Borneo

 

 

 

Lan Fang Republic

(summary from the book Hakka people – Jews of the Orient by Kao Chung Xi. Summary digest compiled by Jonathan Teoh. Some spelling were revised according to Josef Widjaja, Oct 26, 1996)

Towards the end of the 18th century, Kwangtung Hakkas established a republic in Western Kalimantan which lasted 107 years and had 10 presidents.

The first president is Low Lan Pak. He was born in Kwangtung, Mei Hsien, Shih Pik Pao on the third year of Ching dynasty Chien Long emperor. He married a girl and had a son. But Hakka’s custom usually do not take wife along for overseas trip. He left for Western Kalimantan alone to join the gold rush at that time.

He travelled along Han Jiang to Shantao, along Vietnam coastline, and finally landed in Western Kalimantan.

The sultan at that time, Panembahan believing that Chinese workers are hard working, brought in 20 Chinese from Brunei. The sultan Omar in Singkawang, also heard about Chinese diligence and use the lease land system to encourage Chinese to explore in his territory.

When Low Fan Pak reached Western Kalimantan, the Holland has not yet aggressively moved to Kalimantan. Along the coastal area, a lot of Java people and oceania’s Bugis people settled down. Also, the Sultan’s power were confined to the coastal area, the inland power belongs to the Dayak. The territories among Sultans were not well defined as well.

In the beginning of 1740,

 the Chinese numbered only a few tens. By 1770, the Chinese has grown to 20,000 strong. By blood clan or by the area they are from, the Chinese established Kongsi(company) to protect themselves.

In 1776,

14 kongsi banded together to form a He Soon 14 Kongsi in order to break the bottleneck of being grouped by area or by blood.

At that time Low Lan Pak established his own Lang Fan kongsi. He then united all the Hakkas in the San-Sin lake area and build a Mem-Tau-Er township and made it the headquarter of his united company.

At that time, Kun Tian(Pontianak) which located in the lower stream of Kapuas River was an important commerce area and was controlled by Sultan Abdul Laman. The upper stream of the river is controlled by the Dayaks. Kun Tian neighboring state Mempawah’s Sultan tried to build a palace in the upper stream which led to the fighting between the 2 Sultans.

The Kun Tian Sultan asked Low Lan Pak for help. Since the palace is being built near the Lan Fang company territory, Low Lan Pak decided to help Kun Tian Sultan and defeated the Mempawah’s Sultan.

The defeated Mempawah’s Sultan then joined forces with the Dayaks and launched a counter-attack. Low Lan Pak again defeated Mempawah Sultan and this time marched North all the way to Singkawang. Singkawang Sultan and Mempawah Sultan signed a peace treaty with Low Lan Pak and Low Lan Pak’s popularity increased dramatically. He was 57 then.

After that, Chinese and locals, turned to Low Lan Pak to seek protection, and when Kun Tian Sultan realized that he can not challenged Low Lan Pak, The sultan himself seek protection from Low Lan Pak.

Thus, Low Lan Pak established a government, using his company name, changing kongsi(company) to republic, and formed Lan Fang Republic in 1777, 10 years earlier than USA(1787). At that time people wanted Low Lan Pak to be Sultan, but he declined and take the post of governorship, similar to the president post.

From Qing dynasty’s sea nation annals, it recorded that it is a place where Ka Yin people (Mei Hsien area) do mining, build road, establish its own nation, every year has ships reached ng Zhou and Chao Zhou area, doing commerce. >From its own Lan Fang Company annals, it indicated that every year it pays tribute to Qing dynasty like Annan (Vietnam).

The capital was in Ceh Wan Li. The Ta Tang Chon Chang(president) is elected by election. Both the president position and the vice president position has to be of Hakka from Ka Yin or Ta Pu area. The flag is a rectangle yellow flag with the word Lan Fang Ta Tong Chi. The president flag is a triangular yellow flag with the word Chuao (General). The high ranking officials dress in Chinese style while lower ranking officials dress western style clothing.

Low Lan Pak passed away on the second year of the republic. He has been in Borneo for 20 years. he 47th year of the republic during the reign of the fifth president Liew Tai Er, Dutch began its active expansion in Indonesia and occupied the South East region of Borneo. Lan Fang lose its autonomy and became a protected state of Dutch.

Then Dutch opened a colonial office in Kun Tian and intervened republic’s affair. In 1884, Singkawang refused to be ruled by Dutch, and was attacked by the Dutch. The Dutch occupied Lan Fang Kongsi. Lan Fang Kongsi fought for 4 years but eventually was defeated, and its people fled to Sumatra. Fearful of strong reaction from Ching government, Dutch never declared that it occupied Lan Fang and let one of the descendent be a figure head. It was not until the formation of Republic of China in 1912 that Dutch formally declared its formal control of the area.

Those that fled to Sumatra regrouped in Medan. From there, some moved to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. One of the descendent from these people is Lee Kuan Yew. While Hakkas are the minority in Singapore, it is the Hakkas that played an important part to establish the second Lan Fang company – Singapore.

More info read below

 

 

 

Saga of Lanfang Republic

 

(Top)Map showing Lanfang Republic in the 18th and 19th centuries. (Above)Scene of old Lanfang Republic.

IF one can travel through time, one interesting destination is 18th century west Kalimantan in Borneo.

More than 200 years ago, this part of the Borneo Island was well known for its mineral deposits which were mostly gold and tin. There were already a number of sultanates established in this part of the Borneo Island then. Every single one needed labour to work in the mines.

There were three sultanates at that time. The boundaries of the Sultanates were not clearly defined. This led to frictions and battles between the three sultanates exploding from time to time. Along the coastal area, the Javanese and the Bugis settled down in the sultanates.

At the same time, the three Sultans’ control were confined to the coastal areas, and towards the interior, the local aborigines Dayaks were not under the control of any of the Sultanates and aligned themselves with whomever they wanted to.

In Kuntian, Pontianak was Sultan Abdul Rahman

 

 

 

 

 

; in Mempawah was Sultan Omar

 

; and in Singkawang was Sultan Panembahan.

Interestingly enough according to Kao Chung Xi writing in the book entitled “Hakka people – Jews of the Orient”, Sultan Panembahan believing that Chinese workers are hard working, brought in 20 Chinese from Brunei. Sultan Omar in Singkawang, also having heard about Chinese diligence, leased land to the Chinese under the lease land system to encourage them to explore in his territory.

Thus the three sultans were very much aware of the pioneering spirit of the Chinese migrants. The three Sultans competed to offer them attractive leases for them to explore and work the gold and tin mines.

In 1740, the number of Chinese in the area was very small. By 1770, that number has multiplied to more than 20,000. The Chinese established a number of Kongsi (company) both as a business cooperative venture and for mutual protection against hostile outside forces including other rival Chinese kongsi.

One such kongsi was formed by a Chinese Hakka named Low Fan Pak. Low Fan Pak also known as Low Lanfang, came from a small village in the Chinese Hakka Meixian County of Guangdong Province in South China. Lam Pin Foo writing in an Internet article noted that Low was both an educated man, skilled in martial arts and admired for his brain and brawn.

However, failing repeatedly to pass the highly competitive Imperial Examinations, he knew he could not make it in the Chinese Civil Service and decided on a new career in Borneo. He managed to borrow enough money for his long journey, accompanied by a small group of ambitious fellow villagers to seek a better life.

Under Low’s leadership, the Lanfang Kongsi became very prosperous and they were able to build a new township near Kuntian. It was now easy to facilitate trade for the members and their families too.

With the expanding mining industries, the Sultans in the area also saw increasing wealth from their land concessions. Sultan Omar of Mempawah decided to build a new grand palace and expand his sultanate to enhance his standing.

However Sultan Abdul Rahman of Kuntian was offended and fierce rivalry between the two Sultans ensued. Sultan Abdul Rahman also managed to convince Low’s Langfang Kongsi to join in attacking Sultan Omar and easily defeated him.

Even though Sultan Omar managed to join forces with the Dayaks to launch a counter attack that too was easily repelled by Sultan Abdul Rahman and Low Fan Pak. The role of Low Fan Pak in the victory raised his profile and that of the Lanfang Kongsi. The other Chinese kongsi in the area and neighbouring districts all wanted to align themselves with the Lanfang Kongsi. Low Fan Pak was now the most well known of all the Kongsi leaders. He became the protector of a very much larger kongsi now.

Sultan Omar and Sultan Panembahan both agreed to sign a peace treaty with Lanfang Kongsi. Surprisingly Sultan Abdul Rahman too thought it was in his best interest to come under the protection of the Lanfang Kongsi. As a result, Lanfang Kongsi now have better terms for their mining rights. They had more land mining concessions. Most importantly, Lanfang Kongsi now governed a much bigger area than it was used to.

Low Fan Pak now suddenly had a very extensive area to look after and by some counts, there were close to one million people within its borders. Like it or not, Lanfang Kongsi had become a government. It had to look after a large and significant population. That means looking after their livelihood, welfare and security.

Low Fan Pak enjoyed tremendous popularity and he could have taken any title he wanted. He did not style himself Sultan. He would prefer to be elected as Lanfang’s founding president (Ta Tang Chon Chong) and he was duly elected in 1777. He also ensured that their new constitution also required that, since the Hakkas formed the majority of the administration and the population, future presidents must be elected from the Hakkas.

Even though the borders and the authority were not clearly defined, many described the Lanfang Kongsi as a modern Republic, much earlier than France which became a republic in 1780 or the USA in 1787. The town of Ceh-Wan-Li where the Kongsi was sited became the new Republic’s capital. According to Lam Pin Foo, similar to modern countries, Lanfang was divided into provinces, counties, towns and villages. Lanfang set up judiciary and legislative assemblies and other functional departments. There was no army. Every able bodied person was required to defend Lanfang if the need arises.

Low Fan Pak died in 1795 when he was 57 years old. He had served as president for 18 years. His successors managed to run the state until 1884. In that year, the Dutch occupied the lands of a nearby sultanate and Lanfang was drawn into the conflict. After four years of fighting the Dutch emerged victorious and many Chinese fled to Sumatra and elsewhere. The Dutch allowed a Chinese to be the figurehead of the area for but for all intents and purposes, the Lanfang Republic was over.

Many wondered whether Brunei had connection with this Lanfang Republic. Other than providing the 20 able bodied Chinese to Sultan Panembahan, nothing much is known about Brunei’s connection. Perhaps Lanfang was not a real state but merely a state within a state as noted by a book entitled “Sojourners and Settlers: Histories of Southeast Asia and the Chinese” edited by Anthony Reid and published in 1996.

The tales of Lanfang Republic survived because Yap Siong-yoen, the son-in-law of the last kongsi leader wrote an adulatory and only account of the kongsi which was translated into Dutch in 1885. Although the text shows the leading role of Hakkas in the region but another Dutch author, Schaank writing a book entitled “De Kongsis van Montrado” published in 1893 has shown that it is not always reliable.

There were also other gold mining settlements, much larger than Lanfang but unfortunately left no written accounts. Lanfang Kongsi functioning as a governing state was therefore not unique and perhaps there were more “republics” formed during those years. The Brunei Times

 

 

Lan Fang Republic

(summary from the book Hakka people – Jews of the Orient by Kao Chung Xi. Summary digest compiled by Jonathan Teoh. Some spelling were revised according to Josef Widjaja, Oct 26, 1996)

Towards the end of the 18th century,

L

lan Fang Republic (summary from the book Hakka people – Jews of the Orient by Kao Chung Xi)

 

Kwangtung Hakkas

established a republic in Western Kalimantan which lasted 107 years and had 10 presidents.

The first president is Low Lan Pak. He was born in

Kwangtung, Mei Hsien, Shih Pik Pao

 

 

on the third year of Ching dynasty Chien Long emperor. He married a girl and had a son. But Hakka’s custom usually do not take wife along for overseas trip. He left for Western Kalimantan alone to join the gold rush at that time.

He travelled along Han Jiang  river

 

 

 

With more than 50,000 rivers, China abounds in rivers. Almost all large rivers in China belong to the exterior river system, which directly or indirectly emptying into the seas. Because China’s terrain is high in the west and low in the east, most of its rivers flow east and empty into the Pacific Ocean, including the Yangtze, Yellow, Heilong, Pearl, Liaohe and Haihe rivers. The following are the top 10 most important rivers in China.

1. Yangtze River (Changjiang, 长江)

The Yangtze River is the longest river in China, the third longest in the world. It originates from the snow-capped Geladandong—the main peak of Tanggula Mountains of the Qinghai and Tibet plateau, flows through Qinghai, Tibet, Yunnan, Sichuan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Anhui and Jiangsu, and finally enters into the East China Sea in Shanghai. The 6300-kilometer-long Yangtze River has eight major tributaries and a catchment area of 1.8 million square kilometers, which equivalent to 1/5 of the total land of China.

Yangtze River Curise has become a must-do activity when visitors visit China. The Yangtze River winds its way through high mountains and deep valleys with many tributaries. The cruise always includes a variety of exciting shore excursions to local riverside villages and historic sites. The highlights of the Yangtze River are the magnificent Three Gorges and the famous Three Gorges Dam.

2. Yellow River (Huanghe, 黄河)

The Yellow River, with a total length of 5,464 kilometers, is the second longest river in China. The Yellow River is the birthplace of ancient Chinese culture and the cradle of Chinese Civilization. It is originated from the Bayanhar Mountain Range in Qinghai Province, meandering across 9 provinces and finally emptying into the Bohai Sea at Kenli of Shandong Province.

The unique scenery of the Loess Plateau is extremely attractive. Along the Yellow River, tourists can not only fully enjoy the breathtaking natural scenery of the Yellow River, but also explore the Chinese history and culture. The multiplying and growing sites of Chinese ancients can be found along the Yellow River, showing the rise and decline of China’s history.

3. Heilongjiang River (Heilongjiang, 龙江)

The Heilongjiang River (also called Amur), the Sino-Russian boundary river, runs eastwardly across the northern part of north China and finally empties into the Sea of Okhotsk. Its entire length is 4,370 kilometers, the 11th largest river in the world. Wherever the Heilongjiang River flows across, the forests are luxuriant and the aquatic grasses are verdant. The river is in the shape of a black dragon and the name of the Heilongjiang River was thus formed.

4. Songhuajiang River (Songhuajiang, 松花江)

The Songhuajiang River (also known as the Sungari River in English) is a river in Northeast China, and it is the largest tributary of the Heilongjiang River, flowing about 1,927 km from Changbai Mountains through the Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces. In winter, the beautiful rime along the banks of the Songhuajiang River is the unique feature of the river. Experiencing the white fairytale land in winter is amazing.

 

5. Zhujiang River (the Pearl River, 珠江)

The Zhujiang (the Pearl River) is the third longest river in China (2,200 km, after the Yangtze River and the Yellow River), and second largest by volume (after the Yangtze). It is the largest river in south China, flowing into the South China Sea between Hong Kong and Macau. Its lower reach forms the Pearl River Delta. The Pearl River is formed by convergence of three rivers—the Xijiang, Beijiang and Dongjaing. The river flows through the majority of Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan, and Guizhou Provinces, and parts of Hunan and Jiangxi, forming the 409,480 km² Pearl River Basin, which has a network of rivers, fertile soil, abundant natural resources and a sense population.

 

 

6. Brahmaputra River (Yaluzangbujiang, 鲁藏布江)

The Brahmaputra is a trans-boundary river and one of the major rivers of Asia. From its headsprings in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, the Brahmaputra River flows first east and then south into the Indian Ocean. About 1,800 miles (2,900 km) long, the Brahmaputra boasts the Brahmaputra Grand Canyon, the largest canyon in the world, 504.6 km long and 6,009 m deep. The river is an important source for irrigation and transportation.

7. Lancang River(Lancang Jiang, 澜沧江)

The Lancang River, also known as the Mekong River, is the longest river in the Southeast Asia, with a total length of 2,354 kilometers. It takes its source from the Tanggula Mountain Range in Qinghai Province, China. The Lancang River runs south until it leaves China at the Nanla Bayout of Yunnan Province and there from changes its name from the Lancang River to the Mekong River. The river finally empties into the Pacific Ocean in the south of Vietnam. The Lancang River is China’s main artery of water carriage connecting Southeast Asian countries, and it is reputed as the “Danube of the East”. The Lancang River is a fantastic river with more than ten ethnic minorities living along the river. The ethical cultures and customs are special and the scenic spots and historical sites are numerous.

8. Nujiang River (Nujiang, 怒江)

The Nujiang River is originated from the southern slope of the Tanggula Mountain Range in Tibet Autonomous Region, flowing north to south across the Tibet Autonomous Region and Yunnan Province, with a total length of 2,816 kilometers and a drainage area of 324,000 square kilometers. The name of the river is changed into the Salween River after flowing into Burma from China, and it finally empties into the Andaman Sea of Indian Ocean at the Moulmein.

 

9. Hanjiang River (Han Jiang, 汉江)

The Hanjiang River, also called Han Shui River, is one of the most important tributaries of the Yangtze River with a total length of 1532 km. It rises in southwestern Shaanxi and then crosses into Hubei. It merges with the Yangtze at Wuhan in Hubei Province. The name of the Han kingdom and the later Han Dynasty and subsequently of the China’s majority ethnic group apparently derives from this river.

10. Liaohe River (Liao He, 辽河)

Being one of the largest rivers in northern China, the Liaohe River is called the Mother River by people in Liaoning Province. Originated in Qilaotu Mountain in Heibei Province, it flows 1,394 kilometers through Hebei, Inner Mongolia, Jilin, and Liaoning provinces, and at last empties into the Bohai Sea, with a drainage area of 201,600 square kilometers

 

 

Han Jiang Ancestral Temple

 

 

to Shantao,

(OR SWATOW)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now

 

 

along Vietnam coastline,

 

 

 and finally landed AT SAMBAS SINGKAWANG  in Western Kalimantan.

 

 

 

 

The sultan at that time, Panembahan believing that Chinese workers are hard working, brought in 20 Chinese from Brunei.

 

The sultan Omar of Brunei

 

in Singkawang,

also heard about Chinese diligence and use the lease land system to encourage Chinese to explore in his territory.

When Low Fan Pak reached Western Kalimantan, the Holland has not yet aggressively moved to Kalimantan. Along the coastal area, a lot of Java people and oceania’s Bugis people settled down. Also, the Sultan’s power were confined to the coastal area, the inland power belongs to the Dayak. The territories among Sultans were not well defined as well.

In the beginning of 1740,

the Chinese numbered only a few tens.

 

 By 1770,

the Chinese has grown to 20,000 strong. By blood clan or by the area they are from, the Chinese established Kongsi(company) to protect themselves.

 

In 1776,

 14 kongsi banded together to form

a He Soon 14 Kongsi

in order to break the bottleneck of being grouped by area or by blood.

At that time Low Lan Pak established his own Lang Fan kongsi. He then united all the Hakkas

 

in the San-Sin lake are

 

a and build a Mem-Tau-Er township and made it the headquarter of his united company.

At that time, Kun Tian(Pontianak) which located in the lower stream of Kapuas River was an important commerce area and was controlled by Sultan Abdul Laman.

 

The upper stream of the river is controlled by the Dayaks. Kun Tian neighboring state Mempawah’s Sultan tried to build a palace in the upper stream which led to the fighting between the 2 Sultans.

The Kun Tian Sultan asked Low Lan Pak for help. Since the palace is being built near the Lan Fang company territory, Low Lan Pak decided to help Kun Tian Sultan and defeated the Mempawah’s Sultan.

The defeated Mempawah’s Sultan then joined forces with the Dayaks and launched a counter-attack. Low Lan Pak again defeated Mempawah Sultan and this time marched North all the way to Singkawang. Singkawang Sultan and Mempawah Sultan signed a peace treaty with Low Lan Pak and Low Lan Pak’s popularity increased dramatically. He was 57 then.

After that, Chinese and locals, turned to Low Lan Pak to seek protection, and when Kun Tian Sultan realized that he can not challenged Low Lan Pak, The sultan himself seek protection from Low Lan Pak.

Thus, Low Lan Pak established a government, using his company name, changing kongsi(company) to republic, and formed Lan Fang Republic in 1777, 10 years earlier than USA(1787). At that time people wanted Low Lan Pak to be Sultan, but he declined and take the post of governorship, similar to the president post.

From Qing dynasty’s sea nation annals, it recorded that it is a place where Ka Yin people (Mei Hsien area) do mining, build road, establish its own nation, every year has ships reached ng Zhou and Chao Zhou area, doing commerce. >From its own Lan Fang Company annals, it indicated that every year it pays tribute to Qing dynasty like Annan (Vietnam).

The capital was in Ceh Wan Li. The Ta Tang Chon Chang(president) is elected by election. Both the president position and the vice president position has to be of Hakka from Ka Yin or Ta Pu area. The flag is a rectangle yellow flag with the word Lan Fang Ta Tong Chi. The president flag is a triangular yellow flag with the word Chuao (General). The high ranking officials dress in Chinese style while lower ranking officials dress western style clothing.

Low Lan Pak passed away on the second year of the republic. He has been in Borneo for 20 years. he 47th year of the republic during the reign of the fifth president Liew Tai Er, Dutch began its active expansion in Indonesia and occupied the South East region of Borneo. Lan Fang lose its autonomy and became a protected state of Dutch.

Then Dutch opened a colonial office in Kun Tian and intervened republic’s affair. In 1884, Singkawang refused to be ruled by Dutch, and was attacked by the Dutch. The Dutch occupied Lan Fang Kongsi. Lan Fang Kongsi fought for 4 years but eventually was defeated, and its people fled to Sumatra. Fearful of strong reaction from Ching government, Dutch never declared that it occupied Lan Fang and let one of the descendent be a figure head. It was not until the formation of Republic of China in 1912 that Dutch formally declared its formal control of the area.

Those that fled to Sumatra regrouped in Medan. From there, some moved to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. One of the descendent from these people is Lee Kuan Yew. While Hakkas are the minority in Singapore, it is the Hakkas that played an important part to establish the second Lan Fang company – Singapore.

 

and

http://www.asiawind.com/pub/forum/fhakka/mhonarc/msg00511.html.

Lan Fang Republic

(summary from the book Hakka people – Jews of the Orient

by Kao Chung Xi.  Summary digest compiled by Jonathan Teoh)

 

Towards the end of the 18th century, Kwangtung Hakkas

established a republic in Western Kalimantan which lasted

107 years and had 10 presidents.

 

The first president is Low Lan Pak.  He was born in

Kwangtung, Mei Hsien, Shih Pik Pao on the third year of

Ching dynasty Chien Long emperor.  He married a girl and

had a son.  But Hakka’s custom usually do not take wife

along for overseas trip.  He left for Western Kalimantan

alone to join the gold rush at that time.

 

He travelled along Han Jiang to Shantao, along Vietnam

coastline, and finally landed in Western Kalimantan.

 

The sultan at that time, Ponanbahan(?) believing that

Chinese workers are hard working, brought in 20 Chinese

from Brunei.  The sultan Omar in Singkawang(?), also

heard about Chinese diligence and use the lease land

system to encourage Chinese to explore in his territory.

 

When Low Fan Pak reached Western Kalimantan, the

Holland has not yet aggressively moved to Kalimantan.

Along the coastal area, a lot of Java people and oceania’s

Pukik(?) people settled down. Also, the Sultan’s power

were confined to the coastal area, the inland power

belongs to the Dayak(?).  The territories among Sultans

were not well defined as well.

 

In the beginning of 1740, the Chinese numbered only a few

tens.  By 1770, the Chinese has grown to 20,000 strong.

By blood clan or by the area they are from,  the Chinese

established Kongsi(company) to protect themselves.

 

In 1776, 14 kongsi banded together to form a He Soon 14

Kongsi in order to break the bottleneck of being grouped by

area or by blood.

 

At that time Low Lan Pak established his own Lang Fan

kongsi. He then united all the Hakkas in the San-Sin lake

area and build a Mem-Tau-Er township and made it the

headquarter of his united company.

 

At that time, Kun Tian(Pontianak) which located in the

lower stream of Kapuya(?) river was an important

commerce area and was controlled by Sultan Abdul Laman.

The upper stream of the river is controlled by the Dayaks.

Kun Tian neighboring state Mempawah’s Sultan  tried to

build a palace in the upper stream which led to the

fighting between the 2 Sultans.

 

The Kun Tian Sultan asked Low Lan Pak for help.  Since the

palace is being built near the Lan Fang company territory,

Low Lan Pak decided to help Kun Tian Sultan and defeated

the Mempawah’s Sultan.

 

The defeated Mempawah’s Sultan then joined forces with

the Dayaks and launched a counter-attack.  Low Lan Pak

again defeated Mempawah Sultan and this time marched

North all the way to Singkawang. Singkawang Sultan and

Mempawah Sultan signed a peace treaty with Low Lan Pak

and Low Lan Pak’s popularity increased dramatically.  He

was 57 then.

 

After that, Chinese and locals, turned to Low Lan

Pak to seek protection, and when Kun Tian Sultan realized

that he can not challenged Low Lan Pak, The sultan himself

seek protection from Low Lan Pak.

 

Thus, Low Lan Pak established a government, using his

company name, changing kongsi(company) to republic, and

formed Lan Fang Republic in 1777, 10 years earlier than

USA(1787).  At that time people wanted Low Lan Pak to be

Sultan, but he declined and take the post of governorship,

similar to the president post.

 

>From Ching dynasty’s sea nation annals, it recorded that it

is a place where Ka Yin people (Mei Hsien area) do mining,

build road, establish its own nation, every year has ships

reached ng Zhou and Chew Zhou area, doing commerce.

>From its own Lan Fang Company annals, it indicated that

every year it pays tribute to Ching dynasty like Annan

(Vietnam).

 

The capital was in Ceh Wan Li.  The Ta Tang Chon

Chang(president) is elected by election.  Both the

president position and the vice president position has to

be of Hakka from Ka Yin or Ta Pu area.  The flag is a

rectangle yellow flag with the word Lan Fang Ta Tong Chi.

The president flag is a triangular yellow flag with the

word Chuao (General).  The high ranking officials dress in

Chinese style while lower ranking officials dress western

style clothing.

 

Low Lan Pak passed away on the second year of the

republic.  He has been in Borneo for 20 years.  he 47th

year of the republic during the reign of the fifth president

Liew Tai Er, Dutch began its active expansion in Indonesia

and occupied the South East region of Borneo.  Lan Fang

lose its autonomy and became a protected state of Dutch.

 

Then Dutch opened a colonial office in Kun Tian and

intervened republic’s affair.  In 1884, Singkawang refused

to be ruled by Dutch, and was attacked by the Dutch.  The

Dutch occupied Lan Fang Kongsi.  Lan Fang Kongsi fought

for 4 years but eventually was defeated, and its people

fled to Sumatra.  Fearful of strong reaction from Ching

government, Dutch never declared that it occupied Lan

Fang and let one of the descendent be a figure head.  It was

not until the formation of Republic of China in 1912 that

Dutch formally declared its formal control of the area.

 

Those that fled to Sumatra regrouped in Medan.  From

there, some moved to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.  One of

the descendent from these people is Lee Kuan Yew.  While

Hakkas are the minority in Singapore, it is the Hakkas that

played an important part to establish the second Lan Fang

company – Singapore.

 

 

A list of 10 presidents of the republic is presented in this article (in Bahasa Indonesian – scroll down to the bottom) at http://roemahgergasi.wordpress.com/sejarah-republik-lan-fang-di-kalbar-republik-pertama-di-nusantara/.

 Wiki has it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lanfang_Republic.

Lanfang Republic

The Lanfang Republic (modern name in Traditional Chinese: 蘭芳共和國, Hanyu Pinyin: Lánfāng Gònghéguó) was a Chinese state in West Kalimantan in Indonesia that was established by a Hakka Chinese named Low Lan Pak (Luo Fangbo) (羅芳伯) in 1777, until it was ended by Dutch occupation in 1884 (for their part, the Dutch considered their actions in 1884 as breaking up a “Chinese uprising“).

The sultans of Western Borneo imported Chinese laborers in 18th century to work in gold or tin mines. A number of mining communities (kongsi) enjoyed some political autonomy,[1] but Lanfang is the best known thanks to a history written by Yap Siong-yoen, the son-in-law of the last kapitan of the Lanfang kongsi, which was translated into Dutch in 1885.[2] None of the other Chinese mining settlements in western Kalimantan left written accounts (Heidhues 2001:169).

The founding father of the Lanfang Republic was Luo Fangbo who hailed from Meizhou in Guangdong Province. Chinese settlers have long lived in Borneo island, with most engaging in trading and mining. They formed their own companies (kongsi), among which was the Southern Company headed by Luo.

As Dutch imperialism encroached upon modern-day Indonesia, Luo established the Lanfang Republic (with its capital in East Wanjin) to protect the Chinese settlers and other indigenous peoples from Dutch oppression. The settlers subsequently elected Luo as their inaugural president. Luo implemented many democratic principles, including the idea that all matters of state must involve the consultation of the republic’s citizenry. He also created a comprehensive set of executive, legislative, and judicial agencies. The Republic did not have a standing military, but had a defense ministry that administered a national militia based on conscription. During peacetime, the populace mostly engaged in farming, production, trading, and mining. Lanfang’s administrative divisions included three tiers (province, prefecture, and county) with the people electing leaders for all levels.

Although Luo discarded the ancient institutions of monarchism and dynastic succession, he continued to adhere to many Chinese traditions. For example, he established the founding year of the republic as the first year of the calendar. Moreover, he submitted a report to the Chinese emperor notifying him about the Republic’s founding and paid tribute to the Chinese Qing Empire.

Luo served as head of state until his death in 1795. Afterwards, Lanfang citizens elected Jiang Wubo (江戊伯) as their next president. Lanfang citizens elected a total of twelve leaders, who helped improve agricultural techniques, expand mine production, develop cultural education, and organize military training. These measures allowed Lanfang to increase its wealth and power, which encouraged the non-Chinese indigenous population to pledge their allegiances to Lanfang. Quickly, the borders of Lanfang expanded to cover the whole of Borneo. The Lanfang Republic also helped the Sultan of Brunei suppress a rebellion. In appreciation of Lanfang’s actions, the Bruneian Sultan deferred to Lanfang power.

Although the Republic had both ethnic Chinese citizens (numbering in the tens of thousands) and indigenous subjects (numbering in the hundreds of thousands), the ethnic Chinese were the only ones who voted in presidential elections. Thus, Luo would not dare call himself a king in front of the ethnic Chinese citizens, but was not afraid to do so in front of his indigenous subjects.

In the mid-to-late 19th century, the Chinese Qing Empire weakened substantially and became increasingly unable to support the Lanfang Republic as its vassal state. Thus, Lanfang Republic’s vigorous development suffered from the eventual expansion of the Dutch. The Republic’s citizenry waged a tenacious resistance, but ultimately failed due to poor weaponry. Many of Lanfang’s citizens and their descendants made their way to Singapore, which subsequently became another ethnic Chinese republic in Southeast Asia.

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ 海外華人創建了世上第一個共和國
  2. ^ Groot, J.J.M. (1885), Het Kongsiwezen van Borneo: eene verhandeling over den grondslag en den aard der chineesche politieke vereenigingen in de koloniën, The Hague: M. Nijhof .

[edit] References

Heidhues, Mary Somers (2001), “Chinese Settlements in Rural Southeast Asia: Unwritten Histories”, in Anthony Reid, Sojourners and Settlers: Histories of Southeast Asia and the Chinese, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Pre

 

 

After the Dutch had opened a trading post in Kun Tian they intervened in the affairs of the republic.

 

 When in 1884,

 Singkawang refused to accept Dutch rule and was attacked by the Dutch, Lan Fang was also drawn into the conflict. After a four years war Lan Fang eventually was defeated, and its people fled to Sumatra. Afraid of an intervention from the Chinese Qing government, the Dutch never declared that they occupied Lan Fang and let one of the descendants of the last president be a puppet ruler. It was not until the foundation of the Republic of China in 1912 that the Dutch formally declared its control of the area.

 

Lit.: Kao Chung Xi: Hakka people – Jews of the Orient.

THE RISE OF THE KONGSI SOCIETIES

(1750 – 1777)

After New Guinea and Greenland, Borneo is the third largest island on earth.[1] Even nowadays the bulk of it is still covered by tropical rain forests. Some of the larger rivers are navigable for hundreds of miles upstream, but outside of these communication arteries, urban settlements are non-existent.  It is said that the island has not yet been entirely explored. In the eighteenth century it was, of course, even less known.

During the three or four hundred years before the arrival of the  Europeans, Borneo received, sometimes at different stages and sometimes simultaneously, influxes of colonists from the Malay Peninsula and from other islands of the Archipelago.[2] The earliest written sources to mention Borneo are Chinese.

They can be traced back to the Tang dynasty ( 618 – 907), but the first official contacts may actually date from the Song period (960-1279). Zhao Rugua 赵汝括 , a customs officer in Quanzhou during the thirteenth century, mentions “Boni” ²³ 渤泥 in his Zhufan Zhi 诸蕃志 (Chronicle of the Barbarian Peoples ).

He adds that the Chinese traders who visited Borneo always brought some good cooks with them, because the king of that place very much liked Chinese food.  Therefore Borneo must have been part of the area of  Chinese maritime expansion along the sea routes between China and India, following the development of the magnetic compass and sophisticated sea-going vessels.

In the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368),

a Fujian trader named Wang Dayuan 汪大渊 (1311-? ) is known to have visited Borneo [3],

while during the Ming dynasty, in 1408,

the Yongle emperor received at his court the visit of a “king of Borneo” (Boni wang ²³渤泥王) called “Manarejiananai 麻那惹加那乃”, identified as Maharaja Karna. According to the Ming shilu (The Veritable Records of the Ming Dynasty), the purpose of the visit was to put Borneo under the protection of the Chinese souvereign and more specifically to ask him to “invest” (feng ) one the mountains of the island with the divine function of “stabilizing mountain for lasting peace” (changning zhenguo zhi shan ³长宁镇国之山) in the same way as the Five Sacred Peaks of China had been canonized. Thus, said the Borneo monarch, “his entire land would become part of the Chinese imperial administration”. The Yongle Emperor wrote a stele inscription for him, had it engraved and sent the monarch back to Borneo with it, probably with the idea that it would be placed on the Borneo equivalent of the Taishan, which may well have been the North Borneo holy mountain Kinabalu.[4]

After that, there seems to be no other new record in Chinese referring to Borneo before the eighteenth century.

The History of Ming Dynasty (Mingshi 明史)

does repeatedly mention important tributaries in Borneo, but, no doubt owing to the ban on maritime trading during that period, no other Chinese travellers reported their findings with regard to the island.

The beginning of Malay rule on the island

commences with the establishment of the Brunei sultanate, founded by traders from Malacca probably at the end of the fifteenth century. In the first half of the sixteenth century, Brunei already had important commercial relationships with the Spaniards and Portuguese.

It was the Malays, it seems, who gave the island the name “Kalimantan” which is explained as having been derived from “kalamantan”, a kind of pear, in allusion to its shape. Veth expresses his doubts about this etymology, but does not question the fact that the name was given by the Malays. Another etymology which is widely used today is that of “river of jewels” (from the Javanese “kali” river and  “mantan” diamond).

The west-coast sultanates of Sambas, Sukadana 吻律述, and Landak 万那 were established during the latter half of the sixteenth century. In the beginning, these sultanates were tributaries to and had family ties with mightier and more ancient Muslim kingdoms outside Borneo. Sambas was an offshoot of Johore, whereas Sukadana was related to Surabaya in Java and Landak was part of the sultanate of Demak in north-eastern Java.

Generally speaking Malay rule was restricted to the coastal areas and navigable waterways, but it did open up the land for trade and colonization. In the middle of the eighteenth century, when the Chinese began to enter this region on a large scale, the area was divided into more than twenty Malay, Javanese, and Arab political entities.[5] The largest of these polities, Sambas, Pontianak and Mampawa 南吧哇, were situated on the west coast.[6] They also had the largest population of Chinese settlers. The sultanates were no more than economic and political superstructures, engaged in taxing transport routes (especially the harbours and rivers), in trading, and when it suited them in piracy. Their grip on the native population of the island was but tenuous.

At this time most of the island was only sparsely inhabited. West Borneo’s original population was composed of many different tribes. The vast majority of these are currently called “Dayak”, a general name given to a wide array of peoples with different though related cultures. Dayak economic life was generally based on agriculture of the slash-and-burn type, but purely nomadic forest-dwellers, living from fishing or hunting with blow-pipes and poisoned darts, were also very numerous. Ritual head-hunting appears to have been a universal feature among them. The native population inhabited the lowland parts and hillsides of the primeval forests, where they tilled the so-called “ladang” dry rice fields, reclaimed through the fertilizing of a piece of forest soil with the ashes of the burnt vegetation. A village was composed of a score to one hundred or so individuals, living together in one or two so-called “long houses” built on posts. The village would remain at one place until all the cultivated land within walking distance had been exhausted, usually after five to ten years. It would then move on to a new location within its own larger territory. This means that the Dayak population was never fixed and settled in one place. At any time they could move away somewhat, not only for economic reasons, but also to avoid aggressive newcomers such as Malays or Chinese.

The sedentarization of the coastal Dayaks had already started by the time the Chinese miners came to Borneo. Those responsible for this evolution were the Malays. By the seventeenth century, Malays involved in trade and piracy had established themselves in the river estuaries along the West Borneo coast setting up a great number of trade posts and maritime bases. Among these, the sultanates of Sambas and Sukadana had achieved a sizable dimension. From there, the network of trading, taxing, and piracy expanded, especially towards the inland, where Malay chiefs married the daughters of Dayak headmen and later established themselves in their father-in-laws’ place. In this fashion a great number of Malay and Javanese polities were established throughout West Borneo. At these centres, in addition to the Malay population of orang merdeka or “free men” (including other traders such as Arabs, Bugis, and the like) lived the orang butak , slaves or bond servants of Dayak descent. Dayaks would be forced into slavery after having been captured in raids, but more commonly through enticing them into accumulating debts which only their labour could repay. As these servants or slaves were then converted to Islam, they became sedentary and intermingled with the Malays. Coastal Borneo had only rather recently come under the influence of Malay sultans, while the hinterland remained the territory of the Dayaks.

 

West Borneo in the Eighteenth Century

In the eighteenth century West Borneo was, as far as European visitors were concerned, still virtually unexplored territory. The first general description was not made until 1822. [7] The second half of the eighteenth century witnessed two major developments: (1) the progressive establishment of the Dutch East Indian Company (VOC) at Sukadana, Landak and Pontianak, and (2) the arrival of the Chinese miners.

The first known diplomatic contact between the Dutch and the people in West Borneo took place in 1698. When the ruler of Landak was engaged in a war with Sukadana, he asked the sultan of Bantam who was a vassal of the VOC for help. The Dutch authorities decided to come to the latter’s aid and Sukadana was destroyed. From then on, during the entire first half of the eighteenth century, the VOC had regular contacts with the different polities of West Borneo, but without making any binding contracts or undertaking military occupation. Most of the negotiations concerned the buying of diamonds, of which at that time Borneo was an important supplier.

A milestone in the history of West Borneo is the foundation of  Pontianak, its present capital city. Its founder was Sjarif Abdoel Rachman Alkadri, a trader of Arab origin. His father, Hussein bin Achmat Alkadri, settled at Matan in the interior of Borneo in 1735 as a Koran scholar. Here he obtained a Dayak spouse who, when the couple had later moved to Mampawa, bore him Abdoel Rachman, in 1742. The boy was betrothed to a girl from the Mampawa ruling family. This family was of Bugis origin. After an adventurous career as trader and pirate, he found himself at the head of a small fleet of trading vessels, including a Chinese sea junk and a French ship. He returned to Mampawa upon the death of his father, in order to succeed him. Instead of establishing himself there, he rallied around him a number of followers and in 1772 with fifteen vessels moved to up the Kapuas River, to a small island situated at the  junction of the Kapuas with the Landak River, a place said to be haunted by ghosts.[8] Having first subjected it to intensive gun fire for a couple of days,  the aspirant settlers went ashore and built a settlement. This very strategic point soon developed into an important trading junction. By 1778 Abdoel Rachman already found himself sufficiently powerful to try to extend his authority to trading places upstream on the Kapuas River which fell under the authority of the sultans of Landak and Sanggau ÉϺî. Landak being an offspring of Bantam, the ruler of Bantam sent a complaint to the Governor-General and the Council of the Indies in Batavia. That same year, the Dutch sent an official, named Nicolaas Kloek, with two men of war to Pontianak to see what was the matter. Here he was very well received and given many presents, among them a large diamond. Abdoel Rachman suggested to Kloek that the Dutch East Indian Company should take Pontianak under its own protection. Kloek did not  believe that the Dutch East Indian Company would willingly shoulder such a task. He made it clear that the Dutch authorities did not intend to expand their territory.[9]

In the same year, however, the sultan of Bantam also seized upon the idea of placing Sukadana and Landak under Dutch administration, because he no longer considered those two areas to be of any profit to himself. Kloek received orders to take over these states from Bantam and to establish Dutch rule over them. In a decree of 6 November 1778, the VOC gave Abdoel Rachman the fiefs of Pontianak and Sanggau, as the Company claimed the sultan of Bantam had renounced his territorial rights.[10] The Resident of Rembang, Willem Adriaan Palm, was sent to West Borneo as Commissioner to make the necessary arrangements. He found Abdoel Rachman quite willing to accept Dutch supremacy. In a contract sealed on July 5, 1779, the VOC obtained preferential treatment in all commercial transactions at Pontianak. The harbour would be closed to all vessels which did not have a Dutch permit. All foreigners, especially the Chinese, would fall under the direct authority of the Company.

After this agreement, Palm returned to Batavia. The Governor-General now appointed a permanent Resident in the person of Wolter Markus Stuart. A redoubt was built for a garrison of twenty-five soldiers, and a schooner with a European crew was stationed on the river, so that the entire military force amounted to sixty men.  They were soon to see action. Abdoel Rachman proved to be a master of intrigue and strategy, so that the newly installed Resident had to cope with a number of difficult problems in order to maintain the peace. Since 1772, Mampawa and Sambas had been at loggerheads with each other about the question to whom the territory of Montrado where the Chinese miners were active belonged. Both tried to squeeze as much as they could from the Chinese settlements, while fighting among themselves. Mampawa went so far as to destroy the Chinese settlement of Selakau, whereupon Sambas attacked Mampawa. Abdoel Rachman, with the support of the Dutch, acted as intermediary and a covenant was drawn up. Mampawa did not keep its promises, and this gave Abdoel Rachman the opportunity to lodge a complaint against the Panambahan with the VOC. But there were other reasons why the Dutch had an axe to grind with Mampawa and its close ally, Raja Ali, formerly a prince of Riau who had participated in a revolt against the VOC and who had now established himself at Sukadana. In collaboration with its ruler, Sultan Ahmed Kamaluddin, Raja Ali transformed the place into the most prosperous trading centre on Borneo’s West Coast. This, of course, ran counter to the Dutch expectations for Pontianak. Consequently, the sultan of Pontianak and Resident Stuart decided, in 1786, to launch an expedition against Sukadana. Because its kampong and palace had not yet been reinforced, Sukadana could offer only paltry resistance. Raja Ali and Sultan Ahmed fled, and the allies entered the place without any difficulty and subsequently destroyed it completely.[11]

Sukadana having been dealt with, an expedition against Mampawa was planned thereupon, but here things went less smoothly. As this town was better defended, an additional seaforce under Commander Silvester was sent over. Hampered by bad weather, it took the vessels about a month to sail from Batavia to Borneo. On April 28, 1787,  the ships anchored in the roadstead of Mampawa. In the meantime, however, the Malay allies of the Dutch from Pontianak and Sambas had left the theatre of war as they had grown tired of waiting. Silvester therefore decided to return, but to his surprise, the Panambahan sent a delegation with white flags to offer submission. Not long after the negotiations had begun, the warships from Pontianak and Sambas suddenly returned. These were light war-prahus which could negotiate the sandbanks that closed of the estuary to Mampawa. It so happened that the fighting force from Sambas was on the side of the Panambahan of Mampawa, and the latter, by offering submission, had in fact only hoped to win time before these additional forces arrived! The Dutch managed to beat the Sambas force, and then turned their attention to Mampawa. Now hoist with his own petard, the Panambahan was more serious in his wish to submit himself to the Dutch. The latter ordered all the fortifications which defended the waterfront and the entry to the town to be demolished. When that had been completed, the Dutch army, assisted by the Pontianak navy, entered Mampawa, only to find the place entirely deserted, as the court and all the inhabitants had fled inland. The latter returned a few days later, but the Panambahan refused to come back and face the Dutch. As a result he was declared deposed from his throne, and the son of Abdoel Rachman, Sjarif Kasim, was installed in his place. This is how Mampawa finally became subjected to the authority of  Pontianak. In June 1787, Silvester imposed on the new Panambahan a similar covenant to the one concluded with his father. As before, all Chinese residing on the territory of the sultanate were placed under the direct administration of the VOC.

As a result of these circumstances, the entire coast of West Borneo, from Sukadana to Mampawa, now fell under the authority of the ruler of Pontianak. The latter had the region of Mandor, where the Lanfang kongsi was to develop, under his sway. This being the case, the VOC never saw one ounce of the gold that it had been promised under the covenant concluded with Abdoel Rachman. In the years that followed Pontianak continued to rule supreme and both Sukadana and Mampawa went into a lasting decline. Abdoel Rachman, who died in 1808, engaged in open trade with the English from Singapore, thereby making the Dutch efforts to profit from the Borneo trade even less fruitful. On October 8, 1791, the VOC therefore decided to quit West Borneo altogether as it had become “a costly and insufferable nuisance”. Soon the Napoleonic wars would cause the total disappearance of Dutch authority in the region. Almost thirty years passed before the Dutch came back with the intention to establish their authority at Pontianak again in 1818.

 

The Arrival of the Chinese Miners

As J.C. Jackson notes, the initial influx of Chinese miners, which is generally considered to have started around 1750, occurred within the Malay framework.[12] Tobias as well as Francis report that these miners were called in by the Panambahan of Mampawa, but they do not elaborate on this.[13] Jackson states that the Chinese miners were recruited because Chinese exploitation of the tin deposits of Banka had greatly augmented the income of the sultan of Palembang. It is therefore reasonable to infer that news of his success spread along the junk routes and persuaded the West Borneo rulers to invite Chinese to work their gold deposits. [14] Jackson also supposes, with Veth [15], that at first the Chinese miners did not come directly from China, but from Brunei instead. It is also a possible that they may  have come from Bangka, where Hakka miners had established tin-mines as early as the 1720.[16]

The mining at Mampawa proved to be a success and more Chinese were recruited to work there. Taking note of this, other Malay rulers also saw an opportunity to expand their wealth, so they too started to recruit Chinese workers to mine their lands. The first to do this was Omar Akamaddin, the sultan of Sambas. [17]

The success of the mining soon began to influence the relations among the Malay rulers themselves. Striving to make greater profits, they vied with each other in inducing as many Chinese as possible to come to their lands. The sultans would supply the miners with tools, rice, fish and other provisions, in return for which the Chinese were required to pay tribute in gold.  The sultan of Sambas extracted 500 taël (almost 32,000 guilders) a year from the miners in his domain. [18] Shrewdly ensuring their lucrative monopoly of provisions, the Malay rulers forbade the Chinese to engage in either agriculture or trade, nor were they to import weapons, gunpowder, or table salt.[19]

It was not long before disputes emerged over the territorial rights in areas rich in resources. As we have seen above, in 1772 Mampawa and Sambas were at war with each other. In the process, the region of  Selakau, which was situated between the two sultanates and which was considered to be rich in gold deposits, became the theatre of great destruction in terms of human lives and of natural resources. The territorial conflicts and political strife between the different sultanates coincided with a dramatic increase of the Chinese population. In a situation exacerbated by the feuds between the Malays, there was a growing concern about how to deal with the Chinese. In the last decade of the century, the total Chinese population may have risen to well over 40,000, [20] thus outnumbering the Malay population. This numerical increase also resulted in a growing degree of independence from their hosts, which again was considerably helped by the incessant strife among the sultans themselves. By this time many immigrants were coming directly from the Chinese mainland.

As most of the miners were of Hakka and Hoklo origin, the message about great prospects of wealth spread first among their kin in their home districts in China. This explains why, as early as 1772, Luo Fangbo could write in his poem “You Jinshan Fu游金山赋³ (Rhapsody on My Travels to Gold Mountain):[21]

Ever since I heard about the beauty of Gold Mountain,

My heart has yearned for this place.

Although it belongs to the regions of the Southern Barbarians,

Its confines are yet within the lands of the Southern Seas.

The year when the cycle attained renchen [1772],

It was in the tenth month, [22]

I boarded a ship and departed at the harbour of Humen [in Guangzhou],

The direction of those traveling South turned due East.

Hand in hand, assembled together,

Friends and relatives, we were a hundred in number.

All in the same ship, we assisted each other,

As the entire visible world had vanished from sight.

 

The fame of the Borneo goldfields in China is confirmed by the Haidao Yizhi 海岛逸志 (A Desultory Account of the Maritime Archipelago)[23], published in 1806, containing a map on which Mandor is indicated as Jinshan 金山 (Gold Mountain).

All kinds of rumours proliferated about the fortunes to be made on “the gold mountain” of Borneo. For instance, Schaank tells us one story about “Gold Mountain” current on the Chinese mainland: half a golden guilder could be gotten just by washing the road-dirt from one’s socks. [24] The reputation of Borneo as a land of Eldorado must have spread along the junk routes, stimulating a growing influx of Chinese in the 1760s and 1770s, which brought about a mushrooming of mining settlements.[25] Many farmers now sailed to Borneo from Chaozhou, Jiayingzhou, and Huizhou in eastern Guangdong and from southern Fujian. Each year in the second and third month (of the lunar year), some 1,500 to 2,000 arrived. In the sixth and seventh months many hundreds, who had made their fortune, returned to their homeland. [26]

 

The Mining System and Technology

The strength of Chinese mining lay in its superior technology, which neither the Malay sultans nor Dayak tribesmen could emulate. As Jackson remarks, gold was traditionally mined on a small scale by the Dayaks. That a strip mining culture was therefore already present, is indisputably shown by the fact that some vocabulary was taken over by the Chinese. For instance, a water reservoir was called a “pagong”, a term which the Chinese translated as potou 坡头, and a mine “parit”, which the Chinese transcribed as bali 把坜.

On their arrival the Chinese introduced three important innovations in the local gold-mining industry. First of all, the Hakka miners, arriving with their long experience of mining in China, were acquainted with various methods by which to extract the ore and make it yield the precious mineral. In Borneo, they tended to use a specific and very wasteful technology which yielded maximum results for a minimum of physical effort. Once a deposit was discovered, the gold-bearing soil or sand was extracted and panned so as to sift out the gold particles. To help in this time-consuming chore, the miners harnessed Chinese hydraulic skills. One frequently used method was to dam off a small stream and let the water run through a small gutter. The ore was then thrown into this gutter, where the swift current carried off the lighter soil or sand, leaving the heavier gold particles behind. When there was no stream, a pool was dug and water pumped up by means of a tread-wheel – the same as that used in Chinese irrigation for wet rice-fields. The same water mill was used to drain deeper mines which tended to flood. These “waterworks” are the most important Chinese contribution to the mining industry.[27]

The second important aspect is of course cooperation. Each labourer had a personal interest in the success of the group undertaking, and at the same time was capable of showing enough discipline to collaborate with others and doing his share of the work. It was this element, even more than the technological skills, that made the Chinese miners so different from contemporary gold-seekers in California or Australia. At a later stage, the larger kongsis could mobilize nearly one thousand workers at one site, in an integrated and highly efficient workforce.

The third important aspect which prompted Chinese success was their motivation to make money. When the Chinese immigrants entered the inhospitable environment of West Borneo, they distinguished themselves by their willingness to put their shoulders to the wheel and their capability for doing hard work, both qualities strengthened by the motivation to make money to take home, notwithstanding the extortion by the Malay rulers or the murderous attacks by the Dayaks. They lived as economically as possible, in order to enable them to collect as speedily as possible enough riches to permit them to retire to their own country. [28] As De Groot remarks, even the Dayaks could not endure the arduous task of mining under tropical conditions in the same way Chinese were able to. For several generations the mobile Chinese miners continued toiling, with all their efforts bent on their eventual return home.

When starting a new mine, the first step was to select a suitable site. Although the Chinese were not experts in formal geological knowledge,  they acted with an acute appreciation both of the composition of the gold-bearing deposits and of the economics of mining. As the geologists have pointed out, [29] the original gold deposits are to be found in the formation of tertiary quartz deposits in the Bajang Mountains and Bawang-Belakang hill ranges, inland from the coastal plain of West Borneo. Through eons of erosion, the bulk of this gold has moved down the mountain sides and upper hill slopes on to the lower slopes, the plains and the river valleys, and into the river beds themselves. This alluvial gold forms the so-called “placer deposits” and generally speaking they have a far richer gold content than the original gold veins in the mountains themselves. Some gold can be found scattered everywhere in the coastal plain stretching from Sambas to Pontianak, but the richer placer deposits tend to be not too far from the foothills, around the Kapuas and in the basins of the short streams that run from the hills into the larger rivers. It was in these rivulets that the Dayaks first panned gold for their Malay rulers. Men would dig in the gravel of the stream beds (especially in the dry season) and women would take it in baskets and wash it in nearby pools. The Chinese were one step ahead of them possessing hydraulic techniques that could speed up this process a thousand times more efficiently, and in consequence.

They do not find gold-washing in the river beds very remunerative, and to work the gold in the parent rock is too laborious for them, and very unsatisfactory with their deficient technical knowledge: consequently, they devote themselves chiefly to working the drifts, for which their knowledge suffices, and where they obtain the greatest result with proportionally least expenditure of labour. [30]

The most important feature of strip-mining shallower deposits, whether on the plains or on hillsides, is the planning and the installation of  the water supply. At the site which Earl witnessed at Montrado, there was a artificial lake formed by a dam thrown across a valley through which ran a small stream. The water thus collected was enough give the subsequent stream the necessary strength to wash the soil from the gold-ore. He describes the mine working in the following way: [31]

The soil which contains the metal is here found in small veins from eight to fifteen feet below the surface. If the depth of the vein be less than ten feet, a trench is dug, the whole of  the upper stratum being removed, but if deeper , a shaft of three feet square is sunk perpendicularly into the vein, and the miner works into it about ten feet in both directions, sending the ore up in baskets. When it is all removed, another shaft is sunk into the vein twenty feet beyond the first, and the miner works back into the old excavation, extending his labours ten feet in the opposite direction.

The ore thus produced is removed to the nearest washing place, where a stream has been dammed up like a mill-pool, and a strong body of water being turned through a large wooden trough into which the ore has been placed, the bulk of the dirt is thus removed: the metal being afterwards washed by hand in small bowls until perfectly cleaned.

 

Some small mines were dry pits where the water supply depended on the rain, [32] and the technique used in some small-scale mines was far more simple. These small mines were usually opened at a place in the immediate vicinity of a stream, so that its waters could be diverted by digging a ditch and leading the stream directly through the mine. Into this artificial channel, the earth which contained the ore was thrown and the current was allowed to carry off all the useless matter, leaving behind the gold particles which could then be collected after some time. [33]

It goes without saying that this type of strip mining caused havoc to the local ecology and left the once lushly forested hills totally devoid of vegetation. Scars like these still today mar the landscape in the vicinity of Mandor.

 

Immigration and Temple Cults

A. The Origin of the Settlers

Having described the working conditions of the miners, our investigation now turns to the problem of who they were. On certain important issues such as the exact origin of the miners, the only data we have are of a later date, such as  the 1858 census on the places of origin of the Chinese population quoted by Schaank. This does not invalidate these data for our purpose here, inasmuch as we can be sure that the composition of the Chinese population, as far as its origins are concerned, did not undergo important changes once the immigration pattern had established itself.

The Chinese settlers in West Borneo were mainly of  Hakka, Hoklo, Bendi (the original people of Guangdong province ) , and Hokkien origin. The Hakka came from Jiayingzhou and Dapuxian in Chaozhou; Hoklo refers to Chaozhou. Another kind of Hakka,  the so-called “Banshanke” ( half Hakka, half Hoklo), refers to people from Fengshun, Hepo, Haifeng, and Lufeng, who spoke a Hakka dialect which differed slightly from the Hakka dialect spoken by the people from Jiayingzhou. These settlers organized themselves on the basis of the locality from which they hailed. In 1777, for example, after the Lanfang kongsi had been established, the major concentrations of settlers from Jiayingzhou and Dapu Hakka could be found in the markets of Mandor, at Mao’en 茅恩, Shanzhu daya 山猪打崖, Kunri 坤日, Longgang 龙冈, and Senaman 沙喇蛮.  Before the establishment of the Lanfang kongsi, mainly Hoklo from Chaoyang and Jieyang had settled in these areas. Banshanke lived at Singkawang, Montrado, Lara 唠唠, and Sepang 昔邦; all these places are in the Sambas region. Banshanke from Hepo mainly lived at Budok 乌乐. In the second half of the nineteenth century, when Schaank worked in Montrado, he still found localities bearing names like Hoklo-nan 福佬  (Hoklo-mine), Hoklo-jie福佬街(Hoklo-street), and Hoklo-po 福佬坡 (Hoklo-hill). This shows that there must have been quite a number of Hoklo who had lived in the area in the preceding period. The majority of the Hoklo living in Montrado were farmers, traders, artisans, and sailors. Those Hoklo living in the mining areas were engaged in trade. At Kulor 骨律 in the region of Montrado and Sungai Duri at Mampawa, a number of Bendi resided who were also engaged in trade. Quite a few Bendi who had been called up by the Malay rulers to open up and farm the land also lived at Sukadana; when their numbers increased, the Malay felt threatened, and incited the Dayaks to kill them, which they did. The largest number of Hokkien people lived at Pontianak. They were also found in the other, larger towns, where they were mainly engaged in trade.

The census which was held in 1858 in Lara and Lumar 炉末 reveals the origins of the Chinese population of these districts. Most settlers came from Jieyang, Huilai, Lufeng, Jiayingzhou, and Zhenping. More than 46 percent of the Chinese population in Lara and  Lumar were Huizhou people.

Table 1: The origins of the Chinese settlers in Lara and Lumar districts

 

Register

district      prefecture

Lara

nr of

people    proportion

Lumar

nr of

people     proportion

Jieyang       揭阳

Huilai           惠来

Puning        普宁      

Fengshun   丰顺       

Dapu           大埔

Chaozhou  潮州

39               5.3

95             12.9

2                0.3

1                0.1

16               2.2

21               2.9

20                9.4

35              16.45

1                 0.5

10                4.7

Totals for Chaozhou

174            23.7

66              30.9

Lufeng        陆丰

Haifeng       海丰

Guishan      归善      

Heyuan       河源      

Longzhuan 龙川

Wengyuan  翁源

272            37.0

4                0.5

42               5.7

3                0.4

1                0.1

20               2.7

88              41.3

3                 1.4

6                 2.8

1                 0.5

2                 0.9

Totals for Huizhou

342            46.5

100            46.9

Jiaying        嘉应

Zhenping    镇平      

Changle      长乐      

Pingyuan    平远      

131            17.8

43               5.9

17               2.3

1                0.1

24             11.3

11               5.2

11               5.2

Totals for Jiayingzhou

192            26.1

46             21.6

Guangzhou 广州

Xinning       新宁       广

Panyu          番禺      

Conghua     从化

14              1.9

2               0.3

9               1.2

1               0.1

1                0.5

Totals for Guangzhou

26              3.5

1                0.5

Fujian          福建

1               0.1

Hakka          客家

688          93.6

212            99.5

Others         其它

47             6.4

1                0.5

Total

735

213

Source : Schaank De Kongsis van Montrado, pp. 19-20.

 

The development of the Chinese settlements in Borneo can be assessed through the study of the place-names. As Veth has pointed out, there were more than five hundred places (hoofdplaatsen) inhabited by the Chinese settlers in the region of Sambas. [34] Many local names, such as Mandor or Montrado were readily transposed into Chinese. But at an early stage other names were given by the Chinese themselves, such as Jinshan to Lara, Gaoping 高坪 to Mandor, and Lanfanghuidong 兰芳会岽, Kengweishan 坑尾山, Jieliandong 结连岽 in the region of Montrado. It is significant that most of these Chinese place-names are concentrated in Mampawa, Pontianak, and Sambas. There are hundreds places names in Chinese in West Borneo, and many of them are originally in Hakka dialect. [35] This indicates that these villages had only been established after the arrival of the Chinese inhabitants.

Because there were no overland roads in eighteenth century in West Borneo, rivers served as the principal highways for the movement of immigrants, provisions, and produce. The original route to Mandor, for instance, followed the Sungai Peniti Besar 勿黎里港 and vessels with cargoes for Montrado went up the Sungai Raya 双沟劳也 to Pangkalan Batu ¼ÀÃæ. Through sheer necessity these early settlements were closely tied to the river arteries. [36]

As mining operations began in the upper reaches of the Mandor River, then under the Panambahan’s authority, the first Chinese settlements may have appeared along the southern bank tributaries of the Mampawa River around Minghuang and Senaman. [37] Afterwards the Chinese miners moved into Sambas territory. Schaank indicates that the first Chinese settlement in Sambas must have been the one established at Seminis 西宜宜. From there the miners moved farther inland, and they are known to have started mining in Lara around 1760. The first settlers at Montrado came from Mampawa and later directly from the Chinese mainland. [38] They moved east along the rivers of Sungai Duri 百演武,  Sungai Raya, Sebangkau 乌乐港 or Singkawang 山口洋 and landed at Weizha 尾栅 and Pangkalan Batu, Selakau 坟肚泥 or Pakucing 百万突 where they established the first Chinese temple in the region. Shortly after this, settlements were founded on the banks of the Sambas River and the Sambas Canal: Bakuwan 木官, Sepang, Lumar, Lara, Pamangkat 邦戛, Sebawi 沙泊, Ledo 义罗, and Sebalau 哇哩. [39]

B. Temples and Cults

There are two conditions that obviously played a role in the immigration process of the Chinese mining population. The first of these was the general fact that most of the miners were Hakka or Banshanke. Although from different places in South China, theirs was a community of great linguistic and cultural unity. Mining was a traditional speciality of the Hakkas. The second was a development of settlement groups according to family ties, which prolonged the corporate family patterns that characterize migration in China in general. To this we must add a third most important feature: affiliation to local cults and temple networks.

The mining organizations were also religious communities. Viewed through the lens of the historical data, these religious aspects are not at all prominent. Yet, if we look attentively at all the details related to cults, temples, festivals, spirit mediums, rituals, and the like, it appears that religion was more important than the sources suggest. And only if we take these aspects fully into account can the institutions of Chinese society be understood. Let us therefore review some of the more important elements related to the religious life of the Chinese mining communities.

Local cults were founded by affiliation as regional subsidiaries of larger cult organizations. This affiliation was symbolized by the fenxiang (“division of incense”), that is: the newly affiliated community filled its incense-burner with the ashes from that of the mother temple (zumiao 祖庙). This affiliation expressed reciprocal recognition and trust, and could be implemented through co-operation and mutual support.[40] By bringing ashes from his home temple to the incense-burner of the kongsi temple, the newcomer reiterated this affiliation and won himself acceptance as a trustworthy member. Adherence to a cult community also entailed a sharing in its financial holdings, which, as we have seen, is the original meaning of “kongsi”. The small sum of money, the so-called chalujin 插炉金, that the newcomer brought along with him did not, of course, constitute a real share in the kongsi mining enterprise, but symbolically expressed the xinke’s qualification as a shareholder.

The main cult of the immigrants was that devoted to the worship of Tudi 土地, the Earth God, or, according to his Taoist canonical title: the Correct Spirit of Blessed Power, Fude Zhengshen 福德正神. His colloquial name in Hakka was “Great Paternal Uncle”, Dabogong, a title so pregnant with meaning that the pioneer leaders such as Luo Fangbo also received the honorific epithet of “bo” . The ubiquity of this cult and its temples was such that for outsiders all saints and gods of the West Borneo Chinese became “Dabogong”.  The worship of the Earth God is also absolutely fundamental in China, where every village in the countryside has one or more shrines. Every ward and alley in the cities has its Tudigong association and in some parts of China, such as Guangzhou, even every home and shop has an altar dedicated to this patron saint.[41] This notwithstanding, larger temples dedicated principally to his worship are fairly seldom seen although of course every temple has a secondary shrine for his worship. By contrast in Borneo such temples are more prominent. The reason for this may well be that most of the immigrants brought their fenxiang from their village shrine, and this was in most cases a Tudigong temple. Because the xianghuo 香火 of Borneo came mainly from these rural communities, it was principally to Tudi that the main incense-burner was dedicated when the immigrants were finally wealthy enough to build temples. Apart from the question of social background however, we may also assume that the Earth God might have had a special significance for miners and for those who prospected the soil in order to find gold deposits. But Tudi was never considered, as far as is known, to be a special patron saint of the miners.

The Sanshan guowang (Three Mountain Kings) played a very important role in the kongsi societies. As Schaank reports, the Three Kings were called Jin , Ming , and Du , and their respective mountain abodes were those that contained iron, tin, and lead. [42] These three mountains are situated in the vicinity of the founding temple of the cult, the Lintian zumiao 霖田祖庙 at Hepo. Understandably, this cult was also of paramount importance in Borneo. Around 1780 a temple was founded at Budok, between Singkawang and Sambas, and this became the centre of all activities in the region. A kongsi was founded which was given the name of Lintian kongsi 霖田公司 so as to express the link with the zumiao back home. On the festival day of the Three Kings, on the twenty-fourth day of the second lunar month, a large festival was held in and around the temple, with performances of Chinese theatre. The festival in their honour was also held at  Montrado, where there was another temple, but there it was held eight days earlier, on the sixteenth day of the month. This may be seen as an indication that the Montrado temple was a subsidiary (fenmiao 分庙) of the one at Budok. [43]

As the immigrants came by ship, embarking at the major port cities of Fujian and Guangdong, they brought with them as a matter of course the cult of Tianhou 天后 or Mazu 妈祖, the great protectress of seamen. Her cult stemmed from Meizhou, an island off the coast of Fujian. Important temples dedicated to Tianhou were to be found at the Old Port (Lao putou 老埔头) of Pontianak and at Singkawang, and most temples on the coast had secondary shrines dedicated to her.[44]

Yet another important cult was that of Guansheng dijun 关圣帝君, His Imperial Majesty the Holy Guan. Guangong 关公 as he is familiarly known, is the embodiment of trust and valour, and as such is venerated by China’s merchant class. As the representative of the martial spirit, the Manchu government made him the divine protector of the dynasty, and his cult was therefore mandatory for all the Three Religions. Guangong therefore had his place in all the kongsi houses, and was especially prominent in Mandor.[45]

Finally, among the most important gods who made the voyage from China to Borneo was the Most Merciful Bodhisattva Guanyin ¹观音, “She Who Perceives the Sounds” of the prayers and complaints of the world. Her cult is so prominent among the Indonesian Chinese that the name of her temple, Guanyinting 观音亭 has become, transformed as “klenteng”, the generic word in Indonesian for a Chinese temple.

Although they rarely devote much attention to the subject, almost all sources do mention the Chinese temples. Putting together the scraps of information, I have succeeded in locating seventeen shrines in all for the period around 1850. As I have been able to verify, some of these still exist, like, for example, the Dabogong temple (called, like most Earth God Temples, Fude ci 福德祠 ) at Sepang. This temple does not differ, in any respect, from the great many other temples I saw on my short visit to West Kalimantan in 1997. Each village where Chinese live has at least one temple, and most townships two or more. Thus, one could postulate that one hundred fifty years ago, there must have been many more than those mentioned in the historical records. This is a matter to which shall return shortly.

Turning now to the seventeen shrines mentioned in the historical records: the list below shows that, besides the deities we just mentioned, there were temples dedicated to the Heavenly Master, Tianshi 天师 (in Montrado), and probably to Yuhuang 玉皇(Tieya must stand for Tianye 天爷). But most of them were consecrated to Tudi (four), Guanyin (three), Guangong (two), and Sanshan guowang (two). Three temples are mentioned without identifying either their name or their tutelary deity. Finally a Xianfeng miao 先锋庙, literally “Temple of the Vanguard” is mentioned, but not even De Groot knew who the resident deity might be.

Invariably, in speaking of these temples and cults, the Dutch sources not only for the most part mention the principal deity worshipped therein, but also the priests as well. These were, as far as we know, Taoist masters, presumably of popular fashi 法师(“Master of Rites”) type, and spirit mediums. The latter went by the name of tongshen 童神, “Infant Gods” (as a reversal of the term shentong 神童)  [46], whereas today they are universally called  luotong 落童, or literally “fall children”. “Fall” here refers to the ritual of “luo diyu落地狱,  during which the fashi or his medium “falls” – that is, descends into the infernal regions in order to question the spirits of the dead or to settle the litigation which may have risen between them and the living. “Child” of course is the generic name of spirit mediums, shown by their appellation of tongji 童乩 (“divination child”) in Southern Fujian and in Taiwan, and tiaotong 跳童 in other parts of China.[47]

Montrado, as the centre, had at least five temples, dedicated to the Sanshan guowang (at Shangwu 上屋), to Guangong (called Zhongchen miao, situated in the township), to Guanyin (at Xiawu 下屋), to Dabogong (at the zongting) and to the Heavenly Master (in the township of Montrado itself). Each of these temples had it specific function and its own priests. The gods were important not only as protectors and as representatives of the Heavenly Bureaucracy of China, but also as givers of advice to the community through their oracles. Von Dewall speaks of Guanyin and Sanshan guowang as oracles (“orakels”) and of their priests as magicians (“ tovenaars”). Schaank calls the latter diviners (“ wichelaars”). For all important events and undertakings, the community and its chiefs consulted the gods through their fashi and spirit mediums. The most important temple in Montrado for this purpose was the Sanwangye temple at Shangwu. Around 1850 its priest was called Yan Zhuang and Von Dewall gives him the title of  tongshen, which means that he was a medium. In April 1853, When the Dutch government troops occupied Sepang and removed the shrubs and bamboo trees around it, the Montrado kongsis hesitated about what attitude to adopt, as this occupation was seen as a threat to them. First they turned to the luotong of the Sanshan guowang temple, but the gods did not reply as the spirit medium failed to be inspired. Thereupon the spirit mediums of other shrines were consulted. The one of the Tianshi temple at Lumar declared that the Dutch should not be allowed to install themselves at Sepang and fortify the place, as it would not take long before they would then move on from that place and march on Montrado. The gods (the “oracles”) of the Sanshan guowang temple at Shangwu then manifested themselves and said the same thing. The military expedition to dislodge the Dutch from Sepang was thus decided upon and the gods even indicated a suitable day to start the hostilities. These few examples may suffice to show the important place these religious institutions occupied within the society of the West Kalimantan Chinese.

This can still be seen today. During the short fieldtrip I made in the summer of 1997, I saw that even today the landscape of West Borneo is dotted with Chinese temples of various sizes, varying from modest wayside shrines to imposing temple complexes. During those few days I visited and photographed the twenty-three temples listed in the Appendix 6, but saw many more. If all the temples in West Borneo could be counted, they would probably amount to several hundreds[48].

 

Table 2: Temples and priests in West Borneo mentioned in historical records

 

temple

place or kongsi

priest

god

sources

Sanwangye

(Wangye)

Shangwu (Montrado)

Yan Zhu,

Wu Yingzu,

Cai Wei,

Huang Shuimei,

Yan Zhuang,

Luo Guangnian,

Cai Wuxiu

Sanshan guowang

Dewall, p. 5

Schaank, pp. 60,82.

Dabogong

ting

(Montrado)

 

Dabogong

Xianshi gushi, p. 46

Schaank, p. 74

Tianshi

Lumar

 

Zhang tianshi

Dewall, p.13

Dabogong

Kengwei kongsi (Lara)

 

Dabogong

Xianshi gushi,p. 24

Maniang

Xiawu (Montrado)

Wu Sheng

Guanyin

Dewall, p. 16

Fudeci

Sepang

 

Dabogong

Dewall, p. 17

Tianye

Bangkielin

Deng Tang

Yuhuang dadi

Dewall, p. 17

Guanyinniang

Djintan

Zhao Mei

Guanyin

Dewall, p. 17

Tianshiye

Montrado

Peng Qingxiang

Tianshi

Schaank, p. 81

Guanyinniang

Baluoming (Pangliwan)

Ni Zhang

Guanyin

Schaank, p. 81

Zhongchenmiao

Montrado

 

Guangong

Schaank, p. 80

Wangyemiao

Budok

 

Sanshan guowang

Schaank, p. 59

 

Pelandjauw

   

Schaank, p. 83

 

Bengkayang

   

Schaank, p. 82

Xianfengmiao

Mandor

   

Lanfang niance

Fudeci

Mandor

 

Dabogong

Lanfang niance

Guandimiao

Mandor

 

Guangong,

Luo Fangbo

Lin Fengchao, see Luo Xianglin, p. 158

 

From Hui to Kongsi

As we have seen in the Introduction, the institution of the kongsi is in fact part of the traditional hui cult associations of mainland China, which are similar to those which were established in Borneo when the first immigrants arrived.

The first mining organizations of Chinese were known as shansha 山沙 (hill-sand), bali (mine), hui (association),  fen (share ),  jiawei 家围 (family circle),  jinhu 金湖 (gold-lake). These organizations which all were some kind of hui were initiated by members of the same clan or village. Their members varied from any small number up to several hundred people. Generally speaking, the shansha and bali were small-scale mining units which included anything from several individuals up to several scores of people. They were usually formed by members of the same family or village, on the basis of mutually invested funds. In contrast, the nan and the fen were somewhat larger in scale. They not only included people from the same village, but were formed more often on the basis of a shared dialect.[49]  Work and rank within these associations were allotted on the basis of order of arrival and the amount of capital invested. The organization of these associations was based on the purchase of shares by its members. The profits were distributed according to the shares each member held. Older people without capital also held high positions. They took part in the sharing out of the profits from the mines, and were involved in the election of administrators.

It is hard to determine how many hui associations existed in West Borneo during the quarter century between 1750 and 1776. Veth and Schaank have given us different views on this. We do know that there were at least fourteen mining organizations and two agricultural associations in the region of Montrado before the establishment of the Heshun zongting in 1776. Apart from these, the Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi also mentions the Shanxin jinhu 山心金湖, Jusheng kongsi 聚胜公司, Sida jiawei 四大家围, and the Lanheying 兰和营 and Liuqianxiang clan-based organizations of Hakka in Dapu district. As Schaank notes, there were seven more mining associations at Lara. Thus it may be assumed that there were at least thirty to forty associations of this kind.

The various factors which triggered off the evolution of this traditional framework into the mighty kongsis, and then into the even more powerful kongsi alliances have been addressed by various scholars. Schaank proposes that the earlier, smaller hui were in principle, if not in fact, based on the lineage principle (tongxing 同姓). As the mining groups showed a tendency to pool their resources and consequently expanded in size, it was inevitable that people with many different surnames, backgrounds, and even ethnicity’s entered into one and the same hui, which essentially amounted to making them members of the same family. In order to increase their commitment and their integration into the group, the hui soon began [50] to demand that new members (xinke) swear an oath of allegiance to the Dabogong of the association and also contribute a sum of money to the treasury. The entrance ceremony took place once a year, on the festival of Guangong, the thirteenth day of the eighth month. [51]

Quite apart from the growth in members and wealth of the original cult associations, other, more painful necessities must have played an important role. In a long report to the Governor-General dated 18 December 1851, [52] Major Andresen[53] retraces in detail the evolution which saw the “insignificant partnerships” of the Chinese transformed into the powerful kongsis against which he was to fight such a bitter war. Andresen was at first quite sympathetic to the Chinese and maintained a cordial relationship with a number of them, especially at Singkawang. He was certainly well informed and hence his account of the development of the kongsis is worthy of attention.

Andresen recalls that the first miners acquired the right of delving for gold by purchasing a licence from the Malay rulers, and in addition to buying this initial lease, they also had to cede a large part of the gold they obtained from the alluvial sands. Later the sultans attempted to impose a capital tax on the Chinese. The sultans paid little heed to the Chinese associations as these did not yet wield much power and, in their opinion, only served the purpose of keeping the ties with the motherland intact. Like Schaank, Andresen also notes the rise of the associations and their mounting importance from the moment that the number of immigrants began to increase. In view of an ever stiffer competition between the goldseekers, some form of common policy and mutual check mechanism became indispensable.

The Chinese communities needed laws and discipline, authority and protection. The prime necessity was for the larger associations to elect officers who would be in charge of the accounts, so as to ensure that the yields were distributed equally. These accountants were elected for a brief period of four months. A number of stringent measures and punishments were adopted in order to curb any form of theft or undue advantages from the common profit (see Chapter Two).

The mines were generally situated inland, in Dayak country. The Dayaks themselves panned gold in the river beds, but initially there appears to have been little strife between the two peoples. Problems arose when the Chinese started making mines on the mountain slopes, where the Dayaks reclaimed their ladang fields. Conflicts became unavoidable. In principle, the ruler who had sold the licence to the Chinese miners was also responsible for their safety. Should conflict arise over mining sites, the Chinese would appeal to the sultan for protection. When this happened, the latter found the best solution was to play the two communities off against each other and obtain as many advantages as possible from the situation. Any request for help from the Chinese had, it was understood, to be accompanied by gifts. Andresen shows that the Malay sultans often willingly promoted conflicts between Dayaks and Chinese, not in order to protect the Dayaks – about whom they could care less – nor because the Chinese did not pay capital taxes – which they generally did very punctually – but because the losers of these conflicts could only turn to the ruler for help, and of course, they could never approach him empty-handed!

The Chinese’s situation soon became unbearable and before long they began to see through the strategy of the local rulers. If the Chinese had to ensure the benefit of their hard and lawful labours for themselves, they also had to learn to defend themselves. Small associations and partnerships had proved powerless. Only organizations with some kind of political and military structure could help them to liberate themselves from the unrelenting exactions and maltreatments. With the emergence of these organizations, the Dayak problem was resolved fairly quickly without the help of the armies of the Malay sultans. From this period (1770) comes a gruesome story, reported by T.A.C. van Kervel, about Dayaks who, enticed into an alliance with the Chinese of Montrado and invited to large banquet to celebrate the union, were trapped and murdered to a man. [54] In consequence, the associations began to form territories in the regions in which they mined and in which they had subjugated the Dayak tribes. It was not long before conflicting territorial claims surfaced between the different associations, which in turn led to armed conflicts between them. In this way the inland of West Borneo was divided into several large entities, each dominated by a single organization or by an alliance of several smaller ones. Andresen, and many others, compared these entities to separate small states. These states soon grew so powerful that they could keep the Dayaks in check and also maintain an independent stance towards the Malay sultans, although they normally continued to pay the poll tax.

The name of kongsi was given to these new political and military powers. As we have seen, this title of “common management group” was originally a subsidiary function of a religious association. Now the roles appeared reversed: the economic partnership of the “kongsi” emerged as the leading organizational principle and the religious group appeared as a subsidiary subgroup inside it.

With this in mind, we must again mention the possibility of some influence from the Tiandihui or Triad societies. It is impossible to overlook the fact that the establishment of the more powerful and cohesive organizational structures of the zongting alliances came about in the wake of the fighting against the Tiandihui communities. The latter appear to have been  Chinese farming communities which had established themselves on the plains of Mandor and Sambas.

The first matter to be tackled is the question of recruitment. Formerly, the associations were organized, for the most part, by people who shared one or several particulars: family, surname, village, region, worship, and the like. During this period, the recruitment into the kongsis appears to have been more open. Whoever was free and willing to work could enter, take the oath of allegiance, pay the initial contribution, and thus become a partner of the common enterprise. The recruits had to be willing to serve in the militia of the kongsi, and to defend the “republic” with their lives. Here again, a similar service had formerly existed at the village level in the framework of the homestead and extended family. Under the new circumstances the “small republic” became the rallying point for civil service and allegiance.

Secondly, the kongsis progressed beyond being mining organizations, and branched out into many other activities: manufacturing, agriculture, trade, and the like. In order to escape the economic monopoly of the Malays, the Chinese settlers first developed salt making, fisheries, and fish drying workshops along the coast. From Java and other places they imported rice, cloth and weapons. In the interior they brought land under cultivation and grew food crops, including rice and vegetables, and raised pigs. [55] To support these enterprises the Chinese settlements developed markets, butcheries, breweries, and workshops for the manufacturing of utensils and whatever else they might need.

All this required an ever more sophisticated administration, which was ordinarily elected by all the members. In Chapter Two there is a table (no. 5) showing all the different offices in the kongsi administration.

Table 3: Distribution, native places, and surnames of the kongsi populations

 

kongsi

distribution

surname

native place

1

Dagang

west and south-west of Montrado

Wu , Huang, Zheng

Huilai, Lufeng

2

Kengwei

Pangkalan-Batu, Luxiaheng, Kulor, Kengweishan

 

Huiyang

3

Xinwu, i.e. Xin Shisifen

Qiaotou

   

4

Manghe

Pangkalan-Batu, Sungai Duri Ulu

   

5

Shierfen, i.e. Dayi kongsi

Qiaotou

   

6

Shiwufen

north-east of the mines of Dagang

Liu , Chen

 

7

Santiaogou

east of Montrado, Banyaoya, Baimangtou, Sibale, Serukan

Wen , Zhu

Huilai, Lufeng

8

Laobafen

north-west of Montrado

   

9

Jiufentuo

north-west from Montrado

 

Haifeng

10

Shisanfen

between Wanglidong and Qiaotou

   

11

Jielian

vicinity of Sanbasha

Peng

 

12

Xinbafen

Pangkalan-Batu, Tjapkala, Sungai Duri, Danyuan, Banliwan

 

Haifeng

13

Taihe

Gouwangyou

   

14

Laoshisifen

Qiaotou

   

15

Lintian

Budok

Zhang , Cai , Liu , Huang

Jieyang,

i.e. Hepo

16

Lanfang

The region of Mandor

Luo , Liu , Song , Chen

Jiayingzhou, Dapu

The economic aspects were of overwhelming importance. The federated kongsis levied taxes on all kinds of activities and goods, from the mining, from trade, imports, poll tax, and so forth. All of this, at least in the initial stages, made them quite affluent. Many kongsis even minted their own money. [56]

One last important feature was ­­­­­­the rule of law. In addition to jurisdiction over economic crimes, which had been one of the preoccupations of the associations and partnerships from the beginning, the kongsis now wielded power over all aspects of life, from marriage and death to property rights, feuds, commercial rights, and a wide range of other areas. A small police force was established under the authority of the local headmen. Schaank as well as De Groot have sung the praises to the rule of law in the Borneo kongsis, comparing it favourably with the general state of affairs, even among the Dutch communities.

 

The Founding of the Heshun Zongting

In 1776, fourteen kongsis in the Sambas and Montrado regions united themselves and established an official alliance. These were Dagang 大港 (Big Harbour), Lao Bafen 老八分 (Old Eight Shares), Jiu Fentou 九分 (Nine Shares ), Shisanfen 十三分 (Thirteen Shares), Jielian 结连 (Confederation) , Xin Bafen 新八分 (New Eight Shares), Santiaogou 三条沟 (Three Gullies), Manhe 满和 (Full Harmony), Xinwu 新屋 (New House), Kengwei 坑尾 (End of the Ravine), Shiwufen 十五分 (Fifteen Shares), Taihe 泰和 (Great Harmony), Lao Shisifen 老十四分 (Old Fourteen Shares), and Shi’erfen 十二分 (Twelve Shares). Together they established the Heshun zongting. Its headquarters building was situated at the bazaar at Montrado and its leader was chosen from among its members. From this time on, the fourteen associations were no longer designated hui, but were called kongsi.[57]

One of the reasons which could have prompted the establishment of larger and more powerful organizations might have been – in the cases of Montrado and Mandor at least – the problem of the existence of the Tiandihui sectarian movement, called the “Heaven and Earth Society”, which was also known as the Sanhehui 三合会 or Sandianhui 三点会, or again as the “Triads”, or the Hongmen (“Hung League”). Veth says that West Borneo harboured many adherents to this secret society which advocated the renaissance of the Ming dynasty and the downfall of the Manchu rulers.[58]

The origin and spread of this religious organization continues to be a subject of  much debate. According to the original documents published by Schlegel, the movement itself claimed to have been founded in Zhangzhou (Fujian) in 1734, with the avowed aim of restoring the Ming dynasty.[59] The historical data available from official sources do not contradict this, as the first well-known occasion when this movement, which originated in Fujian and Guangdong, made its debut in history is the Lin Shuangwen revolt in Taiwan in 1788. [60] The rules of the Tiandihui leave no doubt that the movement was principally composed of merchants. Overseas travel is repeatedly mentioned in the rules, [61] one of which explicitly mentions the fact that members engaged in overseas expeditions to far-away countries should not be reported to the authorities. This shows how important this kind of activity must have been for the adherents to the Tiandihui.

In Borneo, according to Schaank, the Tiandihui members seem to have specialized in agriculture. They settled in the region of Montrado, to be more precise at Kulor, which is a township not far from the coast at the entrance of the valley of Montrado. When the miners established themselves deeper inland at Montrado, they became the customers of the Tiandihui farmers, a situation which gave rise to conflicts. The Tiandihui’s monopoly in rice and sugar had long since aroused the anger of the miners. It is said that members of the Tiandihui behaved in a very domineering way, and in the end even abducted the wives of  Chinese who were not members of their association. [62] These sorts of injustices eventually led to the destruction of the Tiandihui. The fourteen miner’s associations at Montrado joined forces in an attack on the Tiandihui at Wanglidong in 1775 in which the latter was defeated. Liu Sanbo 刘三伯, the leader of Tiandihui, and his five hundred members were killed. Those who had been fortunate enough to escape with their lives were divided up among the miner’s organizations. From this time on the miner’s organizations employed their own farmers.

The situation just described raises many questions. To judge from its own rules and institutions, the Tiandihui appears to have been mainly a society of city-dwelling merchants and artisans. Founded in Zhangzhou and Huizhou, although later introduced into many other parts of China, it may well have been a Hokkien and Hoklo dominated organization. It certainly was not a Hakka movement. The conflict with the Tiandihui may have been, therefore, a fight between Hakka and Hokkien. Still, in the light of these events, how sure can we be that the “Tiandihui” of the farmers at Kulor was in fact the same secret society as the one we know of from the Chinese mainland? Could it not simply be that the farmers’ association adopted this name by chance, without there being any relationship to the anti-dynastic movement? Bearing this possibility in mind, we must also take into account that apart from this agricultural Tiandihui there was another similar association called Lanfanghui (Sweet Orchid Society) also present in the Montrado region. Was this second association, which fought the former in 1774, also related to the Tiandihui movement?

Although evidence is scant and scholars such as De Groot have argued against the “secret society” hypothesis, I believe that there are valid reasons to assume that the Tiandihui did exist as a Chinese political society and exerted its influence in West Borneo at the time, and continued to do so during the whole period during which the kongsis flourished. As we shall see, in 1822 Tobias emphatically mentions influence of the Triads inside the Montrado kongsis, and he endeavoures to take measures against them. Again later, the presence of the “Triad” Tiandihui secret society comes up regularly and explicitly in the discussions between the Chinese leaders and the Dutch. The existence of this organization among the West Borneo Chinese is therefore beyond doubt. It would be far fetched to assume that a farmers’ association at Kulor carried the same name only by chance. Turning to the “Lanfanghui”, it seems possible that a connection existed between this very name (“orchid fragrance”) and the Heaven and Earth Society. As Schlegel has noted, the lodges of the society were built as military camps, and that the flags which flew over every gate carried the inscription “golden orchid” (jinlan ). This is a reference to a passage in the Book of Changes (Yijing ) which reads “words from united hearts are fragrant as orchids” (同心之言其臭如).[63] Thus “orchid” and even more “golden orchid” came to stand for the idea of “fraternal friendship”. [64] In the historical context we have here, it could well be that the flowery name of “lanfang” is indeed a literary allusion to the Triad brotherhood.[65] We also should note that Luo Fangbo, the founder of the Lanfang kongsi (which was to succeed the Lanfanghui), is considered to have been a Triad member.[66] Other important leaders, such as Huang Jin’ao, the last headman of the Heshun zongting, were also leaders of the secret society.[67] The presence of the Tiandihui among the West Borneo Chinese seems therefore to be ineluctable, especially since we have seen that this organization – which originated at Zhangzhou but spread out during the 1760s to north and east Guangzhou as well as the region of Huizhou from which many Banshanke originated – recruited its members among the overseas merchants and emigrants.

This narrows the question down to the problem of the agricultural aspect of the Tiandihui and Lanfanghui organizations of West Borneo. Here I think we have to be more circumspect. It may well be that the Montrado valley and Kulor were important Chinese agricultural regions in Schaank’s time, since even now, notwithstanding the anti-Chinese measures of the Indonesia government in 1957, there are many Chinese farmers in the region. There is nothing to suggest, however, that this was already the case in 1770. As Schaank points out, Kulor was an important bazaar. It must therefore have played a  role in the supply of rice and other vital necessities for the fast-growing mining communities. This supply trade may well have been in the hands of Hokkien or Hoklo merchants from cities such as Pontianak, Mampawa, and Sambas, and they, in turn, may have been organized into Tiandihui lodges. That they also might have invested in the early clearing and irrigation of the agricultural land in order to practice rice cultivation with their half-Chinese half-Dayak offspring is also a possibility. Given the circumstances, the conflict of the Montrado kongsis with the “Tiandihui” at Kulor and that of Luo Fangbo and his men with the “Lanfanghui” at Mampawa might, therefore, be seen as a move to gain control of the market in essential supplies for the mining communities.

The kongsis that joined the Heshun zongting still retained their economic independence. Most kongsis operated a number of gold-mines, and oversaw the civil administration of the miners, farmers, traders, and artisans within their territory. Private mines were (in name) also associated with the zongting. By paying taxes, they received the protection of the zongting. Only the fourteen kongsis had the privilege of recruiting new members, establishing new villages, and opening a temple dedicated to Dabogong. They were therefore also called “kaixiang kongsi” 开香公司.[68]

According to Schaank’s estimates, pertaining to the period before the establishment of  the Heshun zongting, two mines of the Dagang kongsi (the Shangwu and the Xiawu) both had about 250 to 300 members; the other larger kongsis – Jielian, Santiaogou, Xin Bafen, and Xinwu kongsi – all had about 800 members. [69] At the time at which the Heshun zongting was established, the total number of members of the fourteen kongsis must have been close to ten thousand.

The first leader of the zongting was Xie Jiebo 谢结伯 [70] . It is no longer possible to establish of which kongsi he was a member, or if he – like Luo Fangbo – was a founder of  the zongting, or whether he was later elected leader by the people.

At the time when the zongting was established, all kongsis were of equal importance. Although Dagang later became very powerful, even to such an extent that its name was used to represent the entire zongting, in the early period its influence was about equal to that of the Santiaogou and Jielian kongsis. Ritter reports that decisions concerning the zongting – especially major issues concerning its policies, like the election of new leaders, decisions to go to war, and so forth – were taken in public assemblies.[71]

The Heshun zongting established its office, ting or hall, in Montrado. Montrado was located on high ground in the middle of a valley, and was skirted all around by a range of low mountains creating a scenery which is both variegated and beautiful. The central part of the valley had been selected for the chief settlement. The whole region was thickly populated in that period. After the zongting had been established, gold-mining activities could be worked out more constructively under more peaceful and co-operative conditions. A number of privately owned mines were opened at Montrado. Some of the larger mines among these were also called “kongsi”.

Private mines known by name were: 1. Jinhe kongsi 金和; 2. Dasheng kongsi 大盛公司; 3. Guanghe kongsi 广和公司(an old kongsi, established by Macao Chinese); 4. Liufentou kongsi 六分头公司 (also a very old kongsi, from which Siwufen branched off); 5. Bafentou kongsi八分头公司; and 6. Zanhe kongsi 赞和公司.[72] These privately owned kongsis were under the protection of the zongting. The miners in these kongsis, as well as the farmers, traders at the bazaar, and craftsmen, all had to pay taxes to Heshun zongting. In time of war they had the duty to join the kongsi’s army.

The seven kongsis of Lara all strove to find a protector among the fourteen original kongsis of the Heshun zongting. We shall discuss the circumstances of Lara kongsi in detail in the next chapter, but first we shall make a comparison between the establishment and institutions of Lanfang kongsi and those of the Heshun zongting.

Schaank gives a fairly precise description of the distribution and the relative importance of  these fourteen kongsis of Montrado in the early period of the Heshun zongting: [73]

1. The Dagang kongsi operated the Shangwu and Xiawu [74] mines, situated west and south-west of Montrado. The oldest kongsi house of the Dagang kongsi had been established at Xiawu. Later, around 1807, the Dagang had built a more solid kongsi house to the south of the former. This was subsequently called Shangwu. It gradually overshadowed the older building in importance, and became the most important institution of the Dagang kongsi. Despite this ceding of rank, Xiawu did retain various privileges. At the festivals it maintained the right to bring the offerings and hold the theatrical performances. [75] The majority of its members were Banshanke from the Lufeng district in Huizhou prefecture and Huilai district from Chaozhou prefecture. Its major clans were Wu, Huang, and Zheng. At first the Dagang kongsi did not hold a position of any significance in the zongting. Its members were even called, with some disdain, “the dogs from Dagang ”. Over the years the importance of this kongsi steadily grew until it was ranked the first among the members of the zongting. With it the name of its members completely transformed into the courteous “ elder brother from Dagang”.

2. The Lao Bafen kongsi mined north-west of  Montrado, along the road leading from Montrado to Singkawang. In Schaank’s time a pond called Lao Bafenpo 老八分坡 was all that remained of a reservoir that had been used by the kongsi for its water supplies.

3. The Jiufentou kongsi operated at a location north-west of Montrado. Eighty years later Schaank established that part of the bazaar at Montrado was still called by the name of this kongsi.

4. The Shisanfen kongsi mined somewhere between Wanglidong and Qiaotou.

5. The Jielian kongsi was located in the vicinity of Sanbasha 三把沙. This kongsi was fairly influential in the period shortly after the establishment of the Heshun zongting. It had about 800 members, mostly bearing the surname Peng, who were known, according to Schaank, as the “Tigers of Jielian”.

6. The Xin Bafen kongsi was situated at Pangkalan Batu, Capkala 夹下滹, Sungai Duri, Danyuan , and Pangliwan. It had approximately 800 members when the zongting was established. The majority of its members hailed from Haifeng district.

7. The Santiaogou kongsi mined east of Montrado, at Banyaoya 半要, Baimangtou, Sibale 西哇黎, and Serukam 凹下. It had about 800 members. The majority hailed from Lufeng and Huilai, and bore the surnames of Zhu and Wen. Although the members from both the Santiaogou and the Dagang came from Lufeng and Huilai, relations between these kongsis later deteriorated until they had become like oil and water.

8. The Manhe kongsi began its mining activities at Pangkalan Batu. It had the largest pagong of Montrado. Later this kongsi moved to Sungai Duri Ulu.

9. The Kengwei kongsi operated mines at Pangkalan Batu, Luxiaheng, Kulor, and the Kengweishan 坑尾山. Most of its members had their roots in Guishan in Huizhou. The kongsi protected two smaller, privately operated mines, i.e. the Jinhe kongsi and the Guanghe, a very old kongsi of people from Macao.

10. The Shiwufen kongsi mined north-east of Dagang. Its reservoir was called Shiwufen po 十五分坡. It was situated along the road leading from Montrado to Capkala. It developed from a smaller, privately operated mine, known as Liufentou 六分. Later Liufentou became one of the mines under protection of the kongsi. The most prevalent surnames of its members were Liu and Chen.

11. The Taihe kongsi, also known as the Shiliufen 十六分, mined at Gouwangyou 狗王油, south of Jielian kongsi, on the southern borders of Montrado. At Schaank’s time there still was a Taihe bali 泰和把.

12. The Lao Shisifen kongsi mined at Qiaotou 桥头.

13. The Xinwu kongsi, also known as the Xin Shisifen, had branched off from the Lao Shisifen kongsi. It also mined at Qiaotou.

14. The Shi’erfen kongsi, also known as Dayi , operated at Qiaotou. Schaank founded a village and a mine which still bore the kongsi’s name.

This list is more or less all of the general information we have about the location and activities of the kongsis, apart from what may be gleaned from the occasional travel account, or that can be distilled from the different accounts concerning the conflicts between them, which we will deal with in the next chapter.

 

Luo Fangbo and the Establishment of the Lanfang Kongsi

The Lanfang kongsi zongting was established one year after the Heshun zongting in 1777. It was founded on a similar basis, but there are notable differences in the regulations of its institutions. This can be traced to the personal influence which its first leader, Luo Fangbo, exercised over the development of this kongsi.

The Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi offers detailed information about the establishment of the Lanfang kongsi and its leader. It allows us to reconstruct the growth of the kongsi in the early period of its development.

Luo Fangbo was born at Shishanbao 石扇堡 in Jiayingzhou in 1738 .[76] According to the clan chronicle of Luo family, [77] his ancestors had lived in the southern parts of Jiangxi江西 province. From there they moved to Baidubao 白渡堡 in Jiayingzhou in Guangdong. After five generations they moved on to Shishanbao. Luo Fangbo’s  father, Luo Qilong, was married to Lady Yang. They had three sons: Fangbo 芳柏 , Kuibo 葵柏, and Taibo 台柏. Fangbo was married to a daughter of the Li family. According to geomancers ( fengshui xiansheng 风水先生), Shishanbao was splendidly situated, because “at the mouth of the river there is an altar to the spirits, plane trees and elms protect and embrace it, mulberries and catalpas form a protective screen”. [78] They were convinced that this locality would produce a person of unusual talents. Luo’s appearance is described as follows: [79]

His head was like that of a tiger, his jaw like that of a swallow, his chin was like that of a dragon and his whiskers likewise. Long were his ears, and square his mouth. Although his height was less than five feet, yet he liked to study. Always did he cherish great ambitions. He was broad-minded and tolerant.

He must have seen his ambitions frustrated, because in 1772 he set out, with a group of some hundred relatives and friends, to the “Gold Mountain” of Borneo. After his arrival, he earned his livelihood as a teacher at Pontianak. This did, however, not satisfy him: [80]

I am a man of only few talents,

The fierceness of my willpower carries me far.

My work is hard, as I live by my tongue,

to toil at the ink-slab, that is the field I till.

I am ashamed of not having the capital to engage in trade,

Regret not to be a renowned scholar or a lofty master.

Employed as a teacher in this foreign land,

The years and months go by without any meaning.

At this period the different groups of Chinese migrants in West Borneo – like Hakkas, Hoklo, and Hokkien – were frequently embroiled in armed conflicts. Each side was in need of good advice. This was an opportunity for Luo Fangbo, who as a scholar had earned the respect of his people, the Hakka. His wisdom was acknowledged by the nickname Luo Fangkou [81].

There was a large concentration of Hoklo at the bazaar of Pontianak. The Hakkas of Jiayingzhou were in the minority. They were frequently locked in battle; a battle which the Hakkas usually lost. This stimulated them to organize themselves so that they would be better prepared to deal with threats from others. This also offered Luo Fangbo an opportunity to fulfill his ambition of becoming a leader.

While Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi does not offer very concrete information on this point, it tells us that Luo Fangbo started by organizing one hundred and eight Hakkas, and with them occupied a mine known as Shanxin Jinhu several miles south of Mandor. They forced Zhang Acai 张阿才, the supervisor of the mine, to acknowledge their authority, and appeased the miners. This was their base. They built palisades and defence posts, and slowly started to expand: [82]

From this day on his fame echoed far and wide. With great prowess he maintained his quarters. A multitude came to him from all directions. He established the zongting of the Lanfang kongsi at Mandor.

It goes without saying that this account is greatly simplified. It also has the characteristics of an hagiographic legend; for  instance the number of the “one hundred and eight” comrades is also found in novels such as the Shuihu zhuan, an important element we will discuss at length at a later stage. As we have already indicated, Schaank offers a different view about the establishment of the Lanfang kongsi. He claims that in 1774 Luo Fangbo began by becoming the leader of an association called the Lanfanghui. This appears not to have been a miners’ community but an association of “farmers”. As this is all rather complicated, I give a translation of what Schaank reports below: [83]

1760. When the Chinese had made themselves more independent  of the Malay rulers, it was not surprising that as an agricultural people they soon also set themselves up in Borneo in the farming sector. The lucrative returns from the mining activities made agriculture very worthwhile and people who were disposed to engage in it could be found. Thus in the years after 1770, there were two great farming associations in the region of Montrado, to wit: the Tiandihui and the Lanfanghui, alongside the many small mining associations which were also called hui, or, if they were very small, were called shansha or palit. […] The head of the Tiandihui was Liu Sanbo who carried an eighteen-pound sword, whereas the Lanfang association was under the authority of Luo Taibo 罗太伯.

The first of these associations were settled near Rantauw (in Chinese: Landuo 烂哆), Bageting, Wanglidong and Kulor and were desirous of making this last place, where it had already a bazaar, its capital. The Lanfang association had its territory in the Lanfanghuidong (the “hills of  the Lanfang Association”) and near Dashushan during the years 1772 to 1774 approximately. Prompted by jealousy,  these associations soon began to quarrel. The situation became so serious that finally, after a violent fight, the Lanfanghui was completely defeated. After having kept himself hidden for an entire day at the bazaar of Montrado, Luo Taibo narrowly escaped over the Kengweishan to Mampawa. Later he succeeded in rallying new comrades and with them he founded the Lanfang kongsi at Mandor.

Schaank does not indicate his sources for this narrative, which were most likely based on oral tradition. He notes himself that this version of the facts is at variance with the one given in the Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi. This source not only does not mention anything related to a conflict with a “Tiandihui”, but even goes so far as to say that Luo Fangbo never set foot in Montrado prior to the time he launched his attack on that place. This happened only after he had founded the Lanfang kongsi in Mandor. What the Chronicle does however mention is the “Lanfanghuidong”, but explains that the hills received this name in commemoration of Luo’s expedition. This seems unlikely as, also according to the same Chronicle, Luo withdrew his troops before ever actually attacking the Heshun zongting! This is all rather contradictory, and I suppose therefore that in spite of its rather vague character, the oral tradition noted by Schaank is substantially more trustworthy than the Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi. Naturally the latter source, which was compiled for De Groot by Liu Asheng, wanted to preserve an unstained image of the founding leader of the organization.

How should the assertion that there were two “peasant associations” called Tiandihui and Lanfanghui be interpreted? Here we have to return to the question of the “Tiandihui” which we looked at earlier in the case of the Montrado kongsis that were to become the Heshun zongting alliance. If we acknowledge that for “Tiandihui” we may read the merchant organization at the different bazaars, especially that of Kulor which controlled the supplies of the mining communities, we have to acquiesce in that there may have been a “Lanfanghui” that was established in the hills north of the township of Montrado (see map by Schaank), and which, by the very nature of its geographical setting can only have been a mining community. With this in place we may surmise that this Lanfang mining community attempted to conquer the bazaar of Kulor so as to secure its own supply lines. This ties in well with the continuation of Schaank’s narrative, which runs as follows:[84]

When the Lanfanghui was defeated, the power of the Tiandihui increased considerably and it was the source of much harassment to the miners. These miners, formerly dispersed over many associations, gradually became more and more closely connected and concentrated themselves in a ever smaller number of alliances which took the name of “kongsi”. Thus the tradition still mentions “the seventeen kongsis”, whereas Veth speaks of twenty-four. By the time the Lanfanghui was defeated, the number of associations at Montrado had been reduced to fourteen. […]

1775. Around 1775 when the Tiandihui, proud of its victory and in possession of the rice monopoly, adopted a brazen attitude and wanted to sell the rice only against high prices, and from time to time even refused to sell the sugar-cane (especially from the gardens of Landuo), while moreover its members indulged in all kinds of liberties with the wives of the other kongsis and even raped them, the above-mentioned fourteen kongsis united themselves. The united associations declared war on the Tiandihui and finally succeeded in defeating this organization at Wanglidong. Liu Sanbo died with five hundred of his men and it is said that the many bones that are found in these hills are these of the men who died in that battle.

In other words: first a major Montrado mining community, with the name of Lanfang and which was situated fairly close to Kulor, tried to gain dominance over the bazaar and its Hoklo merchants. Having suffered a defeat, they moved to Mandor. But a year later an alliance of the remaining communities succeeded in defeating the “Tiandihui” Hoklo of Kulor and this made the beginning of the Heshun alliance.

We will never know whether Luo Fangbo was then already with the miners of the Lanfanghui at Montrado, but is it very probable that he was not. As we have seen he arrived at Pontianak in 1772 and lived there first as a teacher. It may well be that after what remained of the Lanfanghui settled at Mandor under the protection of the Panambahan of Mampawa, the newly immigrated schoolmaster joined the settlement. Chosen as a leader, he then began to secure its base.

According to the Chronicle, his first target was Mao’en, a flourishing trading town some ten miles north of Mandor. It had an old and a new bazaar, of which the old bazaar was the larger. It housed  over 200 shops of different kinds of goods. The majority of its residents originated  from Chaoyang, Xieyang, Haifeng, and Lufeng. Huang Guibo 黄桂伯, its headman, was honoured as “zong dage总大哥 [85]. The new bazaar provided room for some twenty shops, mostly operated by Hakkas from Jiayingzhou. They were organized into what was called the Lanheying 兰和营. Jiang Wubo was its leader. He was called “gongye功爷 [86]. He was assisted by four men, who were called “laoman 老满 [87]. Luo Fangbo’s first move was to send some of his people to make contact with Lanheying. By co-ordinating his actions with Jiang Wubo, Huang Guibo was defeated. He also captured the regions of Kunri, Longgang, and Senaman.

He then set his sights on Minghuang 明黄, which was located in the vicinity of Mao’en. Here Liu Qianxiang刘乾相, [88] a Hakka from Dapu, operated a gold mine in conjunction with over 500 members of his clan. Its organization was the most powerful at the time. Liu Qianxiang had established himself as dage. Minghuang was the Lanfang kongsi’s most powerful rival. Liu Qianxiang adamantly refused to come to terms with the Lanfang kongsi and he frequently raided its territory . He also built stockades from Minghuang to Liufentou, quite close to the zongting of the Lanfang kongsi, and vowed to  “swallow up the whole” of Mandor. Luo Fangbo organized all the men of Lanfang kongsi to mount an attack. He personally supervised the maneuvers and “beat the drum to signal the attack”. Six large defensive works were overrun. Liu Qianxiang and his men were defeated and fled. Liu committed suicide by jumping into the river at Ayermati. Lanfang kongsi incorporated the gold-mines of Minghuang. Its power increased accordingly.

After the Chinese mines and settlements in the vicinity of Mandor had been incorporated, Luo Fangbo made preparations for his second move: the attack on his old opponent, the Heshun zongting.[89] When he led his forces to a mountain in the vicinity of the bazaar of Montrado, he discovered that the town was built in the shape of a cauldron. He did not consider it prudent to attack hastily, and so withdrew his forces. Tradition has it, that a hill in the vicinity of Montrado was called Lanfanghuidong[90] to commemorate this event. We have seen above what may have been the true course of the events that led to his retreat.

Luo Fangbo’s third move was to mend relations with the Malays and Dayaks. The road from Mandor to Pontianak passed through the Dayak villages of Laoxingang 老新港, Peniti 勿黎, and Gaoping and Kwala Sepata 沙坝达 lay downriver of it. At the mouth of the Kuala Sepata “Pangeran Seta”,  a man from Mampawa, had built a dalam[91], after which the Chinese no longer dared to travel along this road. Luo Fangbo therefore ordered Zhang Acai, a bookkeeper from Shanxin, to attack Gaoping and the localities lying below it. The sultan of Pontianak, Abdoel Rachman, sent troops to help him. The dalam was destroyed in the first battle. After the defeat of the Dayaks, Pangeran Seta fled to Landak, and established a bond with its ruler. Here he stirred the Dayak up against the Chinese. Luo Fangbo also roused his forces and built fortifications. For nine months he besieged the fortifications of Pangeran Seta, and finally dug a tunnel to penetrate them, and thus defeated the Dayaks. He pursued them to Sambas. The rulers of Landak and Kuala Sepata were afraid of what would happen to them, and requested the sultan of Pontianak to act as a mediator in suing for peace. A peace settlement was concluded. Sambas was to be the boundary. As a demarcation fences of bamboo were planted along the borderline.

In 1780, when the Lanfang kongsi was well established, Luo expressed his feelings in a “standard poem” (lüshi), which said:[92]

When the hero, down and out, arrived at these far away shores,

Truly numerous were the knaves who boisterously laughed at him.

Swallows and sparrows,  how  can  they  understand  the  mind  of wild  geese and swans?

Reeds and worthless  chu trees, how can they compare with  wood  for  beams  and    rafters?[93]

In pacifying barbarians and routing bandits, three years were spent.

Twice new regions were opened up and frontiers established.

Do not say that this old man has no good points:

his lips are like halberts, his tongue a sword and his voice yet can thunder!

Luo Fangbo could indeed be proud of himself. For eighteen years, from 1777 to 1795, he held the position of zongting dage 总厅大哥 (Elder Brother of the zongting) of the Lanfang kongsi. Profiting from battles like the ones described above, the domain of the kongsi expanded continuously. Along its borders fortifications were built. At the time of Luo, the fortress at the mouth of the Landak River, and the forts at Sepata and Gaoping guarded the waterway leading from Pontianak to Kampong Baru 新埠头. They were supported by additional strong point at Bao’en on the Sepata River. The fortress of Ayermati was situated at the upper reaches of the Mampawa River.

In the history of the Lanfang kongsi Luo Fangbo is represented as a leader with supernatural powers. The Mandor River being infested by crocodiles, Luo imitated the great Confucian scholar Han Yu (768-824) by offering them a propitiatory sacrifice and then address to them a written prayer bidding them to leave the place. According to the Chronicle this was most efficient because the crocodiles were never seen again.  “After he had thus shown himself to have power over the crocodiles”, it said, “the local rulers regarded him as being endowed with special powers and they all submitted to him, heaving sighs of admiration and being imbued with a deep sense of fear.”

Luo had great ambitions for the Lanfang kongsi. In his eyes it was to be more than a place to live. It was to become one of the “Outer Countries” (waifan 外藩), like Annam and Siam, that would bring tribute to the Qing emperor every year.[94] Paradoxically one of the reasons that he failed to realize this dream lies in the fact that the emperors of  the Qing did not allow Chinese who had migrated to return to their motherland. This means that although some miners did in fact return home, they could never do so ostentatiously, lest they would be persecuted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fig. 2. The West Borneo goldfields c. 1775 ( after Jackson)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fig. 3. Tomb of Luo Fangbo at Mandor

Luo Fang Bo’s Tomb Memorial_ Mandor, Pontianak, Indonesia


Republik Lanfang (Hanzi tradisional: 蘭芳共和國, Hanyu Pinyin: Lánfāng Gònghéguó) adalah sebuah negara Hakka di Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia yang didirikan oleh Low Fang Pak (Luo Fangbo) (羅芳伯) pada tahun 1777, sampai akhirnya dihancurkan oleh Belanda di tahun 1884.

Ibukota

Ceh Wan Li (Mandor)

Tahun didirikan

1777

Tahun diruntuhkan

1884

Presiden (pertama)

Low Lan Pak (Luo Fangbo) (羅芳伯)

Wilayah sekarang

Kalimantan Barat

 

History Kongsi
Chinese joint venture is mining association in the western island of Borneo / Kalimantan. Mines worked by the Chinese people are gold mines scattered on the north coast of Borneo area west of this. Most of the gold mines in the territory of the Sultanate of Sambas.

The Chinese are working on gold mines that first came to the region of West Kalimantan in 1740 was imported by Raja M Panembahan Menambon PunBB is Opu Daeng.

Then in about 1750 M-4

for the Sultan of Sambas the Sultan Abubakar Kamaluddin also brought the Chinese people for the first time the Sultanate of Sambas to work the gold mines in the region, namely in the Sultanate of Sambas Montraduk, Seminis, and Lara.

 In this case the status of the Chinese people are mine workers who worked on the Sultan of Sambas.

 

 Most of the mine was set aside to pay the gold mine workers and one part is income for the Sultanate of Sambas the land owner.
Along with the development of gold mining activities in the territory of the Sultanate of Sambas,

 in the years around 1764 AD

occurred a massive wave of Chinese people who were invited by the Sultan of Sambas to-5 the Sultan Omar Aqamaddin II to the Sultanate of Sambas found after so many mine- new gold mines in this territory of the Sultanate of Sambas.


In about AD 1767, the number of Chinese people who worked the gold mines in the west of the island of Borneo, particularly in the Sultanate of Sambas have reached up to tens of thousands of people.
Because the number of Chinese people’s growing and they are in groups based on their respective mining areas, then in the years around 1768 AD, these groups then set up a sort of association of each mining venture called Kongsi name. Kongsis this (which at that time amounted to about 8 Kongsi) states subject to the Sultan of Sambas, but Kongsi-partnership was given the freedom is limited by the Sultan of Sambas to organize itself as the appointment of a leader Kongsinya Kongsi and regulation of mining activities respectively. As for the gold mine, it was agreed that the joint venture shall Kongsi-regularly set aside a portion of their gold mines to be submitted to the Sultan of Sambas for income as the owner of the Sultan of Sambas District. At that time the Sultan of Sambas accept the outcome of China’s kongsis as much as 1 kg of pure gold per month, not including the acceptance by the Prince-Prince is important in the Sultanate of Sambas kongsis it.
In 1770 AD a kind of defiance of the nascent kongsis China in the region is against the Sultan of Sambas Sultanate of Sambas. This Pembakangan of their refusal to give a portion of the gold mines to the Sultan of Sambas that is equal to 1 kg of pure gold per month. The joint venture was only willing to give the results of a gold mine for half a kg or half of the previous agreement and it was the gold mining activities in the Sultanate of Sambas is growing.
This then makes the Sultan of Sambas and then of the killing especially angered by the Chinese people Kongsi against supervisory officers of the Sultanate of Sambas (which is the Dayak people) commissioned by the Sultan of Sambas to oversee the activities of gold mining Kongsi it, so then the Sultan of Sambas when that the Sultan Omar Aqamaddin II sent troops to the region of the Sultanate of Sambas kongsis of treason and pembakangan it. After the movement of troops Sambas Sultanate has been for about 8 days and have not had a big battle between the forces of the Sultanate of Sambas with the partnership, then the joint venture was terrified until later admitted his mistake and is willing to keep paying for the gold mine to the Sultan of Sambas in accordance with previous agreements that is equal to 1 kg of gold each month.
The longer the Kongsi existing and growing in the years around 1770 AD, there have been about 10 Kongsi in the Sultanate of Sambas and then there are the two greatest Kongsi Kongsi Kongsi Thai and Lan Fong Kong.
In 1774 AD a battle between two of the largest fruit in the joint venture is Kongsi Sambas Sultanate Thai Lan Fong Kong and Kongsi. Thai joint venture Kong then defeated Kongsi Kongsi Lan Lan Fong Fong so dispersed.
The arrival of Mr. Fang Lo
Fang Lo Pak began adventuring at the age of 34 years. He migrated to the West Kalimantan currently looking height of the gold (Gold Rush), by heading down the Han Jiang Shantao, along the coast of Vietnam, and finally anchored in West Kalimantan (Sultanate of Sambas District) at the age of 41 years is about the year 1774 AD
The arrival of the Chinese people from mainland China is at the request of the Malay sultans was a gold mine workers brought from mainland China that is to do the work of mine who did mine skill and hard work was only possible with the persistence of the Chinese people. Miners demand from mainland China when it is a growing trend in the Malay kingdoms, which was started by a Malay kingdom in the Malay Peninsula and Malay kingdoms in the north and east coast of Sumatra and the Malay kingdom of Brunei (ie at the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin period I) and then followed by the Royal Malay kingdom located in the coastal area of western Borneo island.
Malay kingdom on the west coast of Borneo island which first brought miners from the Chinese mainland is the time of King Panembahan PunBB is Opu Daeng Menambon is in about the year 1740 AD PunBB Panembahan policy is likely on the advice of the younger Opu Opu Daeng Daeng Menambon Eye Shadow, who was then serving as Viceroy in Riau Sultanate which had previously brought workers from mainland China to mine tin in Riau Sultanate and working well. However, when it Panembahan Mempawah bring the Chinese people for miners (gold) is the first of 20 people (presumably the experts in search of gold) which had previously been working in the Sultanate of Brunei.
After they raised the gold mining undertaken by the Chinese people in the area of the foreman who was then the territory Panembahan PunBB. After several years working in the gold mine foreman, experts from the Chinese gold seekers then indicate a place not far from the foreman who allegedly contains a lot of gold. But the region is a territory of the Sultanate of Sambas area called Montraduk. So then the envoy of Chinese gold miners are facing the Sultan of Sambas on the gold potential in this Montraduk. On hearing this Sultan of Sambas and then allowed to open a gold mine in Montraduk by the Chinese people with the condition for the results of the partial results for the gold is mine workers from China and some other results are for the Sultan of Sambas as the owner of Home Affairs. Then later opened a gold mine in Montraduk in about 1750 AD the second gold mine after the foreman.
It’s beyond belief that the gold potential in the Sultanate of Sambas are very abundant. After Montraduk consecutive gold mine opened in Seminis, Lara, Lumar all in the Sultanate of Sambas and gives very satisfactory results of the gold. As a result the coming wave of Chinese people increasingly abundant to the area of West Kalimantan, especially in the Sultanate of Sambas. Those arriving by kinship, fellow compatriot pages or so and then set about the year 1770 AD has been around more than 20,000 Chinese gold miners in West Kalimantan region is about 70% of the gold miners are located in the region Sambas Sultanate based in Montraduk.
In about the year 1775 AD came from China Hakka community leaders called Lo Fong Pak to Kongsi area in the Sultanate of Sambas District.
In the Year 1776 M 14 Kongsi fruit in this region of West Kalimantan which is 12 Kongsi in the Sultanate of Sambas, based in Kongsi Montraduk and 2 in the region based on PunBB Panembahan foreman unite themselves in a container named Hee Soon institute is to strengthen the unity among them from the threat of a battle between fellow Kongsi like that has happened between Kongsi Thai and Lan Fong Kong in the year 1774 AD the past. One of 14 it is Kongsi Lanfong Kongsi which revived by Lo Fong Lo Fong Pak Pak by itself became its chairman.
A year later ie in 1777 AD Mr. Lo Fong Fong Lan Kongsi relocate to another location where the location of the new Kongsi Lan Fong is no longer the territory of the Sultanate of Sambas, but is in the region Panembahan Mempawah the foreman (Ban Tung LUT).
Although it has had a parent group that is Hee Soon, Kongsi-Kongsi remain submissive to the Sultan of Sambas states and 12 Kongsi Panembahan Mempawah which is subject under the auspices of the Sultan of Sambas and 2 Kongsi Panembahan subject under the auspices of PunBB. But kongsis authorized to appoint and regulate mining Kongsi leaders and the surrounding area in accordance with the location of the mine (such autonomous district).
In the foreman, Mr. Lo Fong, Chairman of Lan Fong Kongsi then unite Hakka people in the area foreman in an organization called the San Shin Ching Fu (as in the foreman at that time there are also Chinese people besides Hakka Tribe / Khek that is, those Thio Ciu, in contrast to Kongsi-Chinese joint venture in the Sultanate of Sambas which are all of interest Hakka / Khek).
In 1778 AD there peninggkatan degree of power in the Porcupine River Estuary where the Sharif Abd Al Qadri who was chairman of the village of Pontianak (formed in 1771 AD) located in the Porcupine River estuary later in the year it raised itself into the first Sultan of Pontianak Sultanate. The establishment of the Sultanate of Hedgehog Estuary Pontianak in this then caused strong protests from the King of the Kingdom of porcupine because historically the Porcupine River estuary is an area of the power of the Kingdom of Hedgehog. However, the Dutch VOC due to the economic interests of the Porcupine River estuary area is then stands behind the Pontianak Sultanate of Hedgehog loosened so as to make the King protested hard.
Reign of Sultan Sharif Rahman at the mouth of the Porcupine River to some extent make Kongsi Lan Fong depends on the activity at the mouth of the river, so here’s one that makes Lo Fong and Pak closer to the Sultan of Pontianak compared to Panembahan Mempawah Lan Fong Kongsi when it was still under the auspices of Panembahan PunBB.
In 1789 AD, Sultan of Pontianak with support from the Netherlands carried out attacks against the objective of winning Panembahan PunBB PunBB Panembahan region. To support this attack was the Sultan of Pontianak also invited Mr Lo Fong (Fong Lan Kongsi participating role in the attack and Kongsi Panembahan Mempawah Lan Fong then also sent troops to help force the Sultan of Pontianak. Faced with this attack, which later lost Panembahan Mempawah King Panembahan PunBB is resigned himself to the Authorship and then settle there.
Since then relations Lo Fong Pak (Kongsi Lan Fong) by the Sultan of Pontianak became stronger and then close that Mr. Lo Fong (Kongsi Lan Fong) is given greater authority again (sort of special autonomy) but remained under the auspices of the Pontianak Sultanate. This event occurs when the age of Lo Fong Pak reaches the age of 57 years is about the year 1793 AD
Chairman of the Selection Method Kongsi Fan Lan was under the understanding of the present age is so democratic that Kongsi chairman elected through general elections by all citizens Kongsi. Because of the way this election so that by some people who translated the writings Yap Siong Yoen (Kapitan Kongsi stepchild of the last Lan Fang) and writing JJ Groot (Dutch historian) on Lan Fang Kongsi who interpreted too much so Kongsi interpreted Lan Fang was “Lan Fang Republic” when writing in both the Republic said it does not exist. In addition to the word Republican is a term for a country / region free while Lan Fang Kongsi time although got the status of special autonomy but remain under the auspices of the Sultanate of Pontianak that is not an independent state. Therefore, the so-called “Republic of Lan Fang” were never there, that there is Kongsi Lan Fang’s got a special autonomous status of the Sultan of Pontianak.
Fang Lo Pak then was re-elected through the electoral system to serve as Chairman of the Autonomous Region Kongsi Lan Fong, and given the title in Mandarin “Ta Tang Chung Chang” or the Head of the Autonomous Region. Lan Fong Kongsi regulation states that the position of Chairman and Vice Chairman of Lan Fong Kongsi be held by people who speak Hakka.
The headquarters remain in Mandor and Ta Tang Chung Chang (Chairman Kongsi) elected through general elections. According to the rules, both the Chairman and Vice Chairman must be a person Kongsi Hakka from Ka Yin Chiu region or Thai Pu. Rectangular flag is yellow, with the words in Mandarin “Lan Fang Ta Tong Chi”. Pak flag Lo Fong (Chairman Kongsi Lan Fong) yellow triangle with the words “Chuao” (General). High officials wore traditional Chinese style, while lower officials wear western style clothing. Lan Fong partnership is achieving great success in economic and security stability during 19 years of leadership of Mr. Fang Lo.
In the era of the Qing Dynasty recorded the ocean, a place where people of Ka Yin (from May Hsien area) to work as miners, building roads, setting up his own country, every year his ship landed in the Zhou and Chao Zhou (Teochiu) to trade. While the historical record itself Kongsi Lan Fong revealed that every year they paid tribute to the Qing dynasty like Annan (Vietnam).
Fall of Lan Fong Kongsi
Mr. Lo Fong died in 1795, the second year declaration of the Special Autonomous Region (1793). He has lived in Borneo more than 20 years. At the age of 47 Lan Fong Kongsi the establishment, during the reign of the fifth Kongsi chairman, Liu Tai Er (Hakka: Liu Thoi Nyi), the Dutch began to actively expand in Indonesia and occupied the south-east Kalimantan. Liu Tai Er seduced by the Dutch in Batavia (now Jakarta) to sign a cooperation agreement with the Netherlands. The signing of the agreement then made Kongsi Lan Fong in the Dutch influence. The emergence of a native rebellion further weakened Kongsi Lan Fang. Partnership Lan Fang and loss of autonomy and move from the area under the auspices of the Sultan of Pontianak became a Dutch protectorate. The Netherlands opened its colonial representatives in London and take full control of Lan Fong Kongsi.
In 1884 AD Kongsi Kong-based Thai Montraduk refused ruled by the Dutch, so Kongsi Tahi Kong was attacked by the Dutch. The Netherlands managed to occupy the Thai Kong Kongsi, but the joint venture’s inertia for 4 years. The fight against the Dutch Kong Kongsi Thai was also later involved Kongsi Lan Lan Fong Fong so Kongsi then also attacked and conquered the Dutch Netherlands, following the death of Liu Asheng (Hakka: Liu A Sin), Chairman of Lan Fong Kongsi the latter. Some residents Kongsi Lan Fong then fled to Sumatra. For fear of backlash from the Qing government, the Dutch never declared Lan Fong as a colony and their descendants be allowed a puppet leader.
List of Chairman Lanfang Kongsi
List of Chairman Kongsi who had led the Autonomous Region Kongsi Lanfang (1777 – 1793) and the Special Autonomous Region of Kongsi Lanfang year from 1793 to 1884.
Name Period Description Kongsi Chair
Lo Fangpak 1777-1795 Founder Kongsi at the foreman Lanfang in 1777

Kong Meupak 1795-1799 war with Panembahan PunBB
Jak Sipak 1799-1803 conflict with the Dayak people of the Hedgehog
Meupak Kong 1803-1811
Sung Chiappak 1811-1823 mine expansion in Hedgehogs
Liu Thoinyi 1823-1837 has been under the influence of the Dutch colonial
My Liukpak 1837-1842 conflict with Panembahan Hedgehog and the deterioration of joint venture
Chia Kuifong 1842-1843
Yap Thinfui 1843-1845
Liu Konsin 1845-1848 Battle of the Dayak people of the Hedgehog
Liu Asin mine expansion into the region 1848-1876 Hedgehogs
Liu Liongkon 1876-1880
1880-1884 The fall of Lanfang Liu Asin Kongsi in 1884

Indonesian version

Sejarah Kongsi

Kongsi adalah perkumpulan pertambangan Cina

 di wilayah barat Pulau Borneo / Kalimantan. Pertambangan-pertambangan yang dikerjakan oleh orang-orang Cina ini adalah tambang-tambang emas yang tersebar di pesisir utara Wilayah Kalimantan sebelah barat ini.

Sebagian besar tambang-tambang emas itu berada di wilayah kekuasaan Kesultanan Sambas. Orang-orang Cina yang mengerjakan tambang-tambang emas itu pertama kali datang ke wilayah Kalimantan Barat ini adalah pada tahun 1740 M yang didatangkan oleh Raja Panembahan Mempawah yaitu Opu Daeng Menambon.

Kemudian pada sekitar tahun 1750 M

Sultan Sambas ke-4 yaitu Sultan Abubakar Kamaluddin juga mendatangkan orang-orang Cina untuk pertama kali wilayah Kesultanan Sambas untuk mengerjakan tambang-tambang emas di wilayah Kesultanan Sambas yaitu di daerah Montraduk, Seminis dan Lara. Dalam hal ini status orang-orang Cina ini adalah pekerja-pekerja tambang yang bekerja pada Sultan Sambas. Sebagian hasil tambang itu disisihkan untuk upah para pekerja tambang emas itu dan sebagian lagi adalah merupakan penghasilan bagi Kesultanan Sambas sebagai pemilik negeri.

Seiring dengan semakin berkembangnya kegiatan pertambangan emas di wilayah kekuasaan Kesultanan Sambas, pada sekitar tahun 1764 M terjadi gelombang besar-besaran orang-orang Cina yang didatangkan oleh Sultan Sambas ke-5 yaitu Sultan Umar Aqamaddin II ke wilayah Kesultanan Sambas menyusul begitu banyaknya ditemukan tambang-tambang emas baru di wilayah kekuasaan Kesultanan Sambas ini.

Pada sekitar tahun 1767 M

 jumlah orang-orang Cina yang mengerjakan tambang-tambang emas di wilayah barat Pulau Kalimantan ini khususnya di wilayah Kesultanan Sambas sudah mencapai hingga belasan ribu orang.

Karena jumlah orang-orang Cina yang semakin besar ini dan mereka berkelompok-kelompok berdasarkan wilayah pertambangan masing-masing, maka pada sekitar tahun 1768 M,

kelompok-kelompok ini kemudian mendirikan semacam perkumpulan usaha tambang masing-masing yang disebut dengan nama Kongsi. Kongsi-kongsi ini (yang saat itu berjumlah sekitar 8 Kongsi) menyatakan tunduk kepada Sultan Sambas namun Kongsi-kongsi itu diberi keleluasaan secara terbatas oleh Sultan Sambas untuk mengatur Kongsinya sendiri seperti pengangkatan pemimpin Kongsi dan pengaturan kegiatan pertambangan masing-masing. Sedangkan mengenai hasil tambang emas, disepakati bahwa Kongsi-kongsi berkewajiban secara rutin menyisihkan sebagian hasil tambang emas mereka untuk diserahkan kepada Sultan Sambas bagi penghasilan Sultan Sambas sebagai pemilik Negeri. Pada saat itu Sultan Sambas menerima bagi hasil dari Kongsi-Kongsi Cina itu sebanyak 1 kg emas murni setiap bulannya, belum termasuk penerimaan oleh Pangeran-Pangeran penting di Kesultanan Sambas dari Kongsi-kongsi itu.

Pada tahun 1770 M

mulai timbul semacam pembangkangan dari kongsi-kongsi Cina yang ada di wilayah Kesultanan Sambas ini terhadap Sultan Sambas. Pembakangan ini berupa penolakan mereka untuk memberikan sebagian hasil tambang emas kepada Sultan Sambas yaitu sebesar 1 kg emas murni setiap bulannya. Para kongsi itu hanya bersedia memberikan bagi hasil tambang emas sebesar setengah kg atau separuh dari kesepakatan sebelumnya padahal saat itu kegiatan pertambangan emas di wilayah Kesultanan Sambas ini semakin berkembang.

Hal ini kemudian membuat Sultan Sambas marah apalagi kemudian terjadi pembunuhan oleh orang-orang Cina Kongsi terhadap petugas-petugas pengawas Kesultanan Sambas (yang adalah orang-orang Dayak) yang ditugaskan oleh Sultan Sambas untuk mengawasi kegiatan tambang emas Kongsi itu, sehingga kemudian Sultan Sambas saat itu yaitu Sultan Umar Aqamaddin II mengirimkan pasukan Kesultanan Sambas menuju daerah kongsi-kongsi yang melakukan makar dan pembakangan itu. Setelah gerakan pasukan Kesultanan Sambas telah berlangsung selama sekitar 8 hari dan belum sempat terjadi pertempuran besar antara pasukan Kesultanan Sambas dengan pihak kongsi, kemudian pihak kongsi itu ketakutan hingga kemudian mengakui kesalahannya dan bersedia untuk tetap membayar bagi hasil tambang emas kepada Sultan Sambas sesuai dengan kesepakatan sebelumnya yaitu sebesar 1 kg emas setiap bulannya.

Semakin lama jumlah Kongsi yang ada semakin bertambah dan pada sekitar tahun 1770 M, telah ada sekitar 10 Kongsi di wilayah Kesultanan Sambas dan saat itu terdapat 2 Kongsi yang terbesar yaitu Kongsi Thai Kong dan Kongsi Lan Fong.

Pada tahun 1774 M

terjadi pertempuran antara kedua buah kongsi terbesar di wilayah Kesultanan Sambas yaitu Kongsi Thai Kong dan Kongsi Lan Fong. Kongsi Thai Kong kemudian berhasil mengalahkan Kongsi Lan Fong sehingga Kongsi Lan Fong bubar.

Kedatangan Lo Fang Pak

Lo Fang Pak mulai bertualang pada usia 34 tahun. Dia merantau ke Kalimantan Barat saat ramainya orang mencari emas (Gold Rush), dengan menyusuri Han Jiang menuju Shantao, sepanjang pesisir Vietnam, dan akhirnya berlabuh di Kalbar (Wilayah Kesultanan Sambas) pada usia sekitar 41 tahun yaitu pada sekitar tahun 1774 M.

Kedatangan orang-orang Cina dari daratan Cina ini adalah atas permintaan sultan-sultan Melayu saat itu yang mendatangkan para pekerja tambang emas dari daratan Cina yaitu untuk melakukan kerja-kerja tambang yang memang keahlian dan kesulitan pekerjaan tambang saat itu hanya dapat dilakukan dengan ketekunan dari orang-orang Cina. Permintaan pekerja tambang dari Cina daratan saat itu merupakan satu trend yang berkembang di kerajaan-kerajaan Melayu, yang dimulai oleh kerajaan Melayu yang ada di Semenanjung Melayu kemudian kerajaan Melayu di pesisir utara dan timur Sumatra lalu Kerajaan Melayu Brunei (yaitu pada masa Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin I) baru kemudian disusul oleh Kerajaan-Kerajaan Melayu yang berada di pesisir wilayah Pulau Kalimantan bagian barat.

Kerajaan Melayu di pesisir barat Pulau Kalimantan yang pertama mendatangkan pekerja tambang dari daratan Cina adalah Panembahan Mempawah yang waktu Rajanya adalah Opu Daeng Menambon yaitu pada sekitar tahun 1740 M. Kebijakan Panembahan Mempawah ini kemungkinan atas saran dari Adik Opu Daeng Menambon yaitu Opu Daeng Celak yang saat itu sedang menjabat sebagai Raja Muda di Kesultanan Riau yang telah lebih dahulu mendatangkan pekerja dari Cina daratan untuk tambang timah di Kesultanan Riau dan berhasil dengan baik. Namun demikian saat itu Panembahan Mempawah mendatangkan orang-orang Cina untuk pekerja tambang (emas) pertama kali adalah berjumlah 20 orang (kemungkinan para pakar mencari emas) yang sebelumnya telah bekerja di Kesultanan Brunei.

Setelah itu didirikanlah pertambangan emas yang dikerjakan oleh orang-orang Cina yaitu di daerah Mandor yang saat itu merupakan wilayah Panembahan Mempawah. Setelah beberapa tahun mengerjakan tambang emas di Mandor ini, para pakar pencari emas dari Cina ini kemudian mengindikasikan satu tempat tak begitu jauh dari Mandor yang disinyalir banyak mengandung emas. Namun wilayah itu adalah wilayah kekuasaan dari Kesultanan Sambas yaitu daerah yang bernama Montraduk. Maka kemudian utusan pekerja tambang emas Cina ini menghadap Sultan Sambas mengenai potensi emas di Montraduk ini. Mendengar hal demikian Sultan Sambas kemudian mengijinkan untuk membuka tambang emas di Montraduk oleh orang-orang Cina dengan syarat bagi hasil yaitu sebagian hasil emas adalah untuk pekerja tambang dari Cina ini dan sebagian hasil yang lain adalah untuk Sultan Sambas sebagai pemilik Negeri. Maka kemudian dibukalah tambang emas di Montraduk pada sekitar tahun 1750 M yaitu tambang emas kedua setelah di Mandor.

Sungguh di luar dugaan bahwa potensi emas di wilayah Kesultanan Sambas ini sangat melimpah ruah. Setelah Montraduk berturut-turut dibuka lagi tambang emas di Seminis, Lara, Lumar yang semuanya di wilayah Kesultanan Sambas dan memberikan hasil emas yang sangat memuaskan. Sebagai dampaknya gelombang kedatangan orang-orang China semakin melimpah ke wilayah Kalimantan Barat ini khususnya di wilayah Kesultanan Sambas. Mereka berdatangan berdasarkan pertalian keluarga, sekampung halaman atau sesama kumpulan sehingga kemudian pada sekitar tahun 1770 M telah ada sekitar lebih dari 20.000 orang-orang Cina pekerja tambang emas di wilayah Kalimantan Barat ini yang sekitar 70 % dari jumlah pekerja tambang emas itu adalah berada di wilayah Kesultanan Sambas yang berpusat di Montraduk.

Pada sekitar tahun 1775 M datang pemuka masyarakat Hakka dari China yang bernama Lo Fong Pak ke daerah Kongsi yang ada di Wilayah Kesultanan Sambas.

Pada Tahun 1776 M

14 buah Kongsi yang ada di wilayah Kalimantan Barat ini yaitu 12 Kongsi di wilayah Kesultanan Sambas yang berpusat di Montraduk dan 2 buah Kongsi di wilayah Panembahan Mempawah yang berpusat di Mandor menyatukan diri dalam wadah lembaga yang bernama Hee Soon yaitu untuk memperkuat persatuan diantara mereka dari ancaman pertempuran antara sesama Kongsi seperti yang telah terjadi antara Kongsi Thai Kong dan Lan Fong di tahun 1774 M yang lalu. Salah satu dari 14 Kongsi itu adalah Kongsi Lanfong yang dihidupkan lagi oleh Lo Fong Pak dengan Lo Fong Pak sendiri yang menjadi ketuanya.

Setahun kemudian yaitu pada tahun 1777 M Lo Fong Pak memindahkan lokasi Kongsi Lan Fong ke lokasi lain dimana lokasi Kongsi Lan Fong yang baru ini tidak lagi diwilayah Kesultanan Sambas tetapi adalah di wilayah Panembahan Mempawah yaitu Mandor (Tung Ban Lut).

Walaupun telah mempunyai Kelompok Induk yaitu Hee Soon, Kongsi-Kongsi ini tetap menyatakan tunduk dibawah Sultan Sambas dan Panembahan Mempawah dimana 12 Kongsi tunduk dibawah naungan Sultan Sambas dan 2 Kongsi tunduk dibawah naungan Panembahan Mempawah. Namun Kongsi-Kongsi diberi kewenangan untuk mengangkat pemimpin Kongsi dan mengatur pertambangan serta wilayah sekitarnya sesuai dengan lokasi tambangnya (semacam daerah otonomi distrik).

Di Mandor, Lo Fong Pak, Ketua Kongsi Lan Fong kemudian menyatukan orang-orang Hakka yang ada di wilayah Mandor dalam organisasi yang bernama San Shin Cing Fu (karena di wilayah Mandor saat itu juga terdapat orang-orang Cina selain Suku Hakka / Khek yaitu orang Thio Ciu, berbeda dengan Kongsi-kongsi Cina yang ada di wilayah Kesultanan Sambas yang seluruhnya adalah dari Suku Hakka / Khek).

Pada tahun 1778 M terjadi peninggkatan derajat kekuasaan di daerah Muara Sungai Landak dimana Syarif Abdurrahman Al Qadri yang tadinya Ketua dari Kampung Pontianak (terbentuk pada tahun 1771 M) yang terletak di Muara Sungai Landak kemudian pada tahun itu mengangkat dirinya menjadi Sultan pertama dari Kesultanan Pontianak. Berdirinya Kesultanan Pontianak di Muara Sungai Landak ini kemudian menimbulkan protes keras dari Raja Kerajaan Landak karena secara historis wilayah muara Sungai Landak adalah merupakan daerah kekuasaan Kerajaan Landak. Namun VOC Belanda karena kepentingan ekonomi terhadap daerah muara Sungai Landak ini kemudian berdiri di belakang Kesultanan Pontianak sehingga membuat Raja Landak mengendurkan protes kerasnya.

Berkuasanya Sultan Syarif Abdurrahman di muara Sungai Landak sedikit banyak membuat Kongsi Lan Fong bergantung pada aktifitas di muara sungai itu sehingga inilah salah satu yang kemudian membuat Lo Fong Pak lebih dekat kepada Sultan Pontianak dibandingkan kepada Panembahan Mempawah padahal Kongsi Lan Fong saat itu masih dibawah naungan dari Panembahan Mempawah.

Pada tahun 1789 M, Sultan Pontianak dengan dukungan Belanda melakukan serangan terhadap Panembahan Mempawah dengan tujuan merebut wilayah Panembahan Mempawah. Untuk mendukung serangan ini Sultan Pontianak saat itu juga mengajak Lo Fong Pak (Kongsi Lan Fong untuk ikut serta dalan serangan kepada Panembahan Mempawah ini dan Kongsi Lan Fong kemudian juga mengirimkan pasukannya membantu pasukan Sultan Pontianak. Menghadapi serangan ini, Panembahan Mempawah kalah yang kemudian Raja Panembahan Mempawah yaitu mengundurkan dirinya ke daerah Karangan dan kemudian menetap disana.

Sejak saat itu hubungan Lo Fong Pak (Kongsi Lan Fong) dengan Sultan Pontianak menjadi semakin kuat dan dekat sehingga kemudian Lo Fong Pak (Kongsi Lan Fong) diberikan kewenangan yang lebih luas lagi (semacam daerah otonomi khusus) namun tetap berada dibawah naungan Kesultanan Pontianak. Peristiwa ini terjadi ketika usia Lo Fong Pak mencapai usia 57 tahun yaitu pada sekitar tahun 1793 M.

Cara Pemilihan Ketua Kongsi Lan Fan saat itu menurut pemahaman zaman sekarang ini adalah sangat demokratis yaitu Ketua Kongsi dipilih melalui pemilihan umum oleh seluruh warga Kongsi. Karena cara pemilihan ini sehingga oleh sebagian orang yang menterjemahkan tulisan Yap Siong Yoen (anak tiri dari Kapitan Kongsi Lan Fang yang terakhir)dan tulisan J.J. Groot (sejarawan Belanda) mengenai Kongsi Lan Fang yang di interpretasikan terlalu jauh sehingga Kongsi Lan Fang diartikan adalah “Republik Lan Fang” padahal didalam kedua-dua tulisan itu tidak ada kata Republik. Disamping itu kata Republik adalah untuk sebutan bagi suatu negara / wilayah yang merdeka sedangkan Kongsi Lan Fang saat walaupun mendapat status otonomi khusus namun tetap berada dibawah naungan Kesultanan Pontianak sehingga bukan merupakan suatu negara merdeka. Oleh karena itu apa yang disebut sebagai “Republik Lan Fang” itu tidak pernah ada, yang ada adalah Kongsi Lan Fang yang mendapat status otonomi khusus dari Sultan Pontianak.

Lo Fang Pak kemudian terpilih kembali melalui sistem pemilihan umum untuk menjabat sebagai Ketua Daerah Otonomi Kongsi Lan Fong, dan diberi gelar dalam bahasa Mandarin “Ta Tang Chung Chang” atau Kepala Daerah Otonomi. Peraturan Kongsi Lan Fong menyebutkan bahwa posisi Ketua dan Wakil Ketua Kongsi Lan Fong harus dijabat oleh orang yang berbahasa Hakka.

Pusatnya tetap di Mandor dan Ta Tang Chung Chang (Ketua Kongsi) dipilih melalui pemilihan umum. Menurut aturannya, baik Ketua maupun Wakil Ketua Kongsi harus merupakan orang Hakka yang berasal dari daerah Ka Yin Chiu atau Thai Pu. Benderanya berbentuk persegi empat berwarna kuning, dengan tulisan dalam bahasa Mandarin “Lan Fang Ta Tong Chi”. Bendera Lo Fong Pak (Ketua Kongsi Lan Fong) berwarna kuning berbentuk segitiga dengan tulisan “Chuao” (Jenderal). Para pejabat tingginya memakai pakaian tradisional bergaya Tionghoa, sementara pejabat yang lebih rendah memakai pakaian gaya barat. Kongsi Lan Fong tersebut mencapai keberhasilan besar dalam ekonomi dan stabilitas keamanan selama 19 tahun kepemimpinan Lo Fang Pak.

Dalam tarikh negara samudera dari Dinasti Qing tercatat adanya sebuah tempat dimana orang Ka Yin (dari daerah Mei Hsien) bekerja sebagai penambang, membangun jalan, mendirikan negaranya sendiri, setiap tahun kapalnya mendarat di daerah Zhou dan Chao Zhou (Teochiu) untuk berdagang. Sementara dalam catatan sejarah Kongsi Lan Fong sendiri terungkap bahwa setiap tahun mereka membayar upeti kepada Dinasti Qing seperti Annan (Vietnam).

Kejatuhan Lan Fong Kongsi

Lo Fong Pak meninggal pada tahun 1795, tahun kedua dideklarasikannya Daerah Otonomi Khusus tersebut (1793). Ia telah hidup di Kalimantan lebih dari 20 tahun. Pada usia ke 47 berdirinya Kongsi Lan Fong tersebut, yaitu pada masa pemerintahan Ketua Kongsi kelima, Liu Tai Er (Hakka: Liu Thoi Nyi), Belanda mulai aktif melakukan ekspansi di Indonesia dan menduduki wilayah tenggara Kalimantan. Liu Tai Er terbujuk oleh Belanda di Batavia (kini Jakarta) untuk menandatangani kesepakatan kerjasama dengan Belanda. Penandatanganan kesepakatan tersebut kemudian membuat Kongsi Lan Fong dalam pengaruh Belanda. Munculnya pemberontakan penduduk asli semakin melemahkan Kongsi Lan Fang. Kongsi Lan Fang kemudian kehilangan otonomi dan beralih dari daerah dibawah naungan Sultan Pontianak menjadi sebuah daerah protektorat Belanda. Belanda membuka perwakilan kolonialnya di Pontianak dan mengendalikan sepenuhnya Kongsi Lan Fong.

Pada tahun 1884 M Kongsi Thai Kong yang berpusat di Montraduk menolak diperintah oleh Belanda, sehingga Kongsi Tahi Kong diserang oleh Belanda. Belanda berhasil menduduki Thai Kong Kongsi, namun kongsi tersebut mengadakan perlawanan selama 4 tahun. Perlawan Kongsi Thai Kong terhadap Belanda ini juga kemudian melibatkan Kongsi Lan Fong sehingga Kongsi Lan Fong kemudian juga diserang Belanda dan ditaklukkan Belanda, menyusul kematian Liu Asheng (Hakka: Liu A Sin), Ketua Kongsi Lan Fong yang terakhir. Sebagian warga Kongsi Lan Fong kemudian mengungsi ke Sumatera. Karena takut mendapat reaksi keras dari pemerintahan Qing, Belanda tidak pernah mendeklarasikan Lan Fong sebagai koloninya dan memperbolehkan seorang keturunan mereka menjadi pemimpin boneka.

Daftar Ketua Kongsi Lanfang

Daftar Ketua Kongsi yang pernah memimpin Daerah Otonomi Kongsi Lanfang (1777 – 1793 ) dan Daerah Otonomi Khusus Kongsi Lanfang dari tahun 17931884.

Nama Ketua Kongsi

Periode

Keterangan

Lo Fangpak

1777-1795

Pendiri Kongsi Lanfang di Mandor pada tahun 1777

Kong Meupak

1795-1799

Perang dengan Panembahan Mempawah

Jak Sipak

1799-1803

Konflik dengan orang Dayak dari Landak

Kong Meupak

1803-1811

 

Sung Chiappak

1811-1823

Ekspansi tambang di Landak

Liu Thoinyi

1823-1837

Sudah di bawah pengaruh kolonial Belanda

Ku Liukpak

1837-1842

Konflik dengan Panembahan Landak dan kemerosotan kongsi

Chia Kuifong

1842-1843

 

Yap Thinfui

1843-1845

 

Liu Konsin

1845-1848

Pertempuran dengan orang Dayak dari Landak

Liu Asin

1848-1876

Ekspansi tambang ke kawasan Landak

Liu Liongkon

1876-1880

 

Liu Asin

1880-1884

Kejatuhan Lanfang Kongsi pada tahun 1884

 

 

references


[1] About the detailed geographical description of West Borneo, see J.J.K. Enthoven, Bijdragen tot de geographie van Borneo’s Wester-afdeeling, 2 vols. Leiden 1903; and J.C. Jackson, Chinese in the West Borneo Goldfields. A Study in Cultural Geography. Hull 1970.

[2] G. Irwin, Nineteenth-Century Borneo. A Study in Diplomatic Rivalry. ’s Gravenhage 1955, p. 5.

[3] See his Daoyi zhilue 岛夷志略 (The Synoptical Accounting of the Islands and Their Barbarians) published in 1349.

[4] Ming shilu, 6th year of the Yongle reign.

[5] The Dutch called them Vorstenlanden or Principalities, and their rulers Vorsten, Sultans or Panambahan.

[6] See Enthoven, Bijdragen tot de geographie van Borneo’s Wester-afdeeling.

[7] See J.H. Tobias,  “Rapport omtrent Borneo’s Westkust van 8 mei 1822”, ARA, 1814-1849, dossier Borneo, 3081. Tobias was the fourth Commissioner sent by the Dutch colonial government in its attempt to re-establish its power in the region. Having arrived in 1821, he set out to reconnoitre the territory of West Borneo and evaluate the different problems it presented. His report is the first general description from the physical as well as the political points of view, and subsequent writers, above all P.J. Veth, have made ample use of it.

[8] Hence the name of Pontianak, i.e.: “Ghost City”.

[9] J.van Goor, “Seapower, Trade and State- Formation: Pontianak and the Dutch”, in Van Goor (ed.) Trading Companies in Asia, Utrecht 1986, p. 86.

[10] P.J. Veth, Borneo’s Wester-afdeeling, geographisch, statistisch, historish, voorafgegaan door eene algemeene schets des ganschen eilands. Zaltbommel: Noman 1854-1856, vol. I, p. 260. There is no proof that the VOC actually bought the right to dispose of this territory.

[11] Ibidem, p. 274.

[12] Jackson, Chinese Goldfields, p. 23.

[13] Tobias, “De Westkust van Borneo” in “Macassar”, De Nederlandsche Hermes, III, (1828) n.12, p. 13; E. Francis “Westkust van Borneo in 1832”, p. 19.

[14] Jackson, Chinese Goldfields, p. 20.

[15] Veth, Borneo’s  Wester-afdeeling, vol.I, p. 297.

[16] Jackson, Chinese Goldfields, p.  20.

[17] Veth, Borneo’s  Wester-afdeeling, vol.I, pp. 297-298.

[18] Ritter, Indische herinneringen, Amsterdam, 1843, p. 118.

[19] Veth, Borneo’s Wester-afdeeling, vol. I, p. 300.

[20] According to Veth’s Borneo’s  Wester-afdeeling (vol.I, pp. 314-315, note 6), the Chinese population was 30,000 in total in this period, but The Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi says that there were more than 20,000 people in the region of Mandor in Luo Fangbo’s time. As we know, the population of the Heshun fourteen kongsis could not be less than that of Lanfang. Even in 1838,  there were still 20,000 inhabitants under the sway of Dagang kongsi, after many kongsis moved to other regions. (Doty and Pohlman, “Tour in Borneo”, p. 305.)

[21] See Appendix 4, and the Chinese text see Luo Xianglin’s A Historical Survey of the Lan-Fang Presidential System in Western Borneo, p. 147.

[22] This corresponds to November 1772.

[23] The author, Wang Dahai, had first visited Java in 1783 and lived in Indonesia for many years.

[24]  Schaank, De Kongsis van Montrado, p. 65.

[25] Jackson, Chinese Goldfields, p. 22.

[26] Veth, Borneo’s  Wester-afdeeling, vol. I, p. 313.

[27] Jackson, Chinese Goldfields, p. 36.

[28] G.W. Earl, The Eastern Sea or Voyages and Adventures in the Indian Archipelago, London 1837, p. 245.

[29] We rely here on the clear explanation by Jackson, Chinese Goldfields, pp. 12-14.

[30] Posewitz, Borneo: Its Geology and Mineral Resources, London 1892, pp. 345, 356; Quoted from Jackson, Chinese Goldfields, p. 31.

[31] Earl, Eastern Seas, pp.285-286.

[32] Francis, “Westkust van Borneo in 1832”, p. 23.

[33] Doty and Pohlman, “Tour in Borneo”, p. 289.

[34] Veth, Borneo’s Westafdeeing, vol. I, p. 312.

[35] See Appendix 9.

[36] De Groot, Het Kongsiwezen van Borneo, p. 9; Jackson, Chinese Goldfields, p. 22.

[37] Jackson, Chinese Goldfields, p. 20; De Groot, Het Kongsiwezen van Borneo, pp. 8-10.

[38] Schaank, De Kongsis van Montrado, pp.  9-10.

[39]Ibidem, p. 10.

[40] The fenxiang institution has been studied by Schipper (1990).

[41] See Schipper, “Neighborhood Cult Associations in Traditional Tainan”, in G. W. Skinner (ed.) The City in Late Imperial China, pp. 651-678. Stanford University Press 1977.

[42] Ibidem, pp. 58-63.

[43] According to our information , the temple at Budok still exists, but the main cult has been transferred to Singkawang, since now only a few Chinese still live in the interior.

[44] On Mazu’s cult, see De Groot, Jaarlijkse feesten en gebruiken, pp. 207-212. The temple of Tianhou   天后) at Pontianak is still the one of the largest temples in West Borneo.

[45] See De Groot, Het Kongsiwezen van Borneo, pp. 124-125.

[46] H. von Dewall, “Opstand der Chinezen van Mentrado, Westkust Borneo 1853-1854”; 1854, 34 pages, KITLV, manuscript collection, no. H83.

[47] K. M. Schipper, Tao, De levende religie van China, Amsterdam 1988, pp. 66-77.

[48] Wolfgang Franke has written a short article on the temples of West Borneo entitled, “Notes on Chinese Temples and Deities in Northwestern Borneo”  in Gert Naundorf  (ed.) Religion und Philosophie in Ostasien, Königshausen 1985, pp. 267-290.

[49] See Schaank De Kongsis van Montrado, p. 86.

[50] Schaank says “weldra” but without specifying any precise date, De Kongsis van Montrado, p. 87.

[51] For a detailed description and discussion of the ritual, see Ibidem, pp. 87-90.

[52] Reproduced in E.B. Kielstra, “Bijdragen tot de geschiedenis van Borneo’s Westerafdeeling”, part 4, in  IG, 1889, pp. 951-991.

[53] This important military commander will be discussed below in Chapters 5 and 6.

[54] T.A.C. van Kervel,  “De hervorming van de maatschappelijke toestand ter Westkust van Borneo”, in TNI, 1853, I, p. 188.

[55] Schaank, De Kongsis van Montrado, p. 70; Veth, Borneo’s Wester-afdeeling, vol. I, p. 98.

[56]  See Schaank, De Kongsis van Montrado, p. 26.

[57]Ibidem, p. 72. I have given an earlier discussion about the origins and the institution of the kongsi in the Introduction.

[58] Veth, Borneo’s Wester-afdeeling, vol.I, pp. 306-307.

[59] A recent study by Hao Zhiqing considers the founding of the Tiandihui to have taken place in 1674. See Hao’s Tiandihui Qiyuan Yanjiu 天地会起源研究 (The Origin of the Tiandihui), Beijing 1996. See also B. ter Haar’s The Ritual and Mythology of the Chinese Triads, Brill 1998.

[60] Tiandihui Qiyuan Yanjiu, p. 7.

[61] Ten rules out of the total of seventy-two deal explicitly with overseas  travel. In contrast, agriculture is mentioned only sporadically.

[62]  Schaank, De Kongsis van Montrado, p. 23.

[63]  Yinjing, appendix  Xici, 1.

[64]  Schlegel, The Hung League, page 20.

[65]  Lin Fengchao has a different interpretation of the term “lanfang” which he considers to be derived from the two personal names of Luo Fangbo and his elder brother Luo Lanbo. But the name of “Lanbo” is not mentioned in the jiapu of Luo Fangbo, and his brothers are called  “Kuibo” and “Taibo”. Lin’s hypothesis seems therefore untenable.  See Lin’s the History of Pontianak, p. 1.

[66] The inscription in the Memorial Hall of Luo Fangbo at the Meibei Middle School of Meizhou mentions specifically the fact that he was a member of the Tiandihui.

[67] Huang calls himself “Brother of Hui” in the invitation letter to his inaugural ceremony in 1853. See Inventaris Arsip Nasional of Indonesia, West Borneo no. 79.

[68] Schaank, De Kongsis van Montrado, p. 29.

[69] Ibidem, p. 23

[70] Schaank states that Xie Jiebo is also called Xie Jiejia 结甲, and that jia is short for jiabidan 甲必丹 (captain). This does, however, seem to be a misrepresentation by the informants of Schaank. His real name ust have been Xie Jie. Bo (“uncle) was added as a term of respect. This is in agreement with the fact that the early leaders of the Lanfang kongsi were called “elder brother (dage 大哥). The term Jiatai was not used until the 1820’s as a designation for the sixth leader of Lanfang kongsi, Liu Taier, and the term captain as a designation for the headmen of the bazaar at Mandor was introduced at about the same time. The Dutch had not much interfered with the affairs of the Dagang kongsi before 1850, when they deprived it of  its independent administration. It is therefore impossible that the leader of the zongting was called captain as early as 1776.

[71] Ritter, Indische herinneringen, p. 125.

[72] Schaank, DeKongsis van Montrado, p. 29.

[73] Ibidem, pp. 27-29. This description is based on the written materials Schaank had at his disposal, and also on the interviews he conducted.

[74] During the same period there was another kongsi at Lara, which was also called Xiawu, but this fell under the authority of Santiaogou kongsi, and was also known as Little Santiaogou kongsi.

[75] Schaank, De Kongsis van Montrado, p. 74, note 1.

[76] The Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi says that Luo Fangbo died at the age of 57 in 1795, therefore he was born in 1738.

[77] See Luo Xianglin, A Historical Survey of the Lan-Fang Presidential System in Western Borneo, p. 65.

[78] The Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi.

[79] Ibidem.

[80] See Luo Fangbo’You Jinshan Fu” in Appendix 4.

[81] Fangkou , “square mouth, indicating that he was able to give good advice.

[82] The Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi.

[83] Schaank, De Kongsis van Montrado, pp. 21-22.

[84] Ibidem, pp. 22-24.

[85] The general elder brother.

[86] The characters are those used in the Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi, but their meaning is not clear.

[87] Like the earlier term, we reproduce the writing of it here as it is given in the Chronicle of the Lanfang Kongsi, without being able to identify its meaning.

[88] The legend about Liu Sanbo, the leader of Tiandihui, mentioned by Schaank is similar to the story of  Liu Qianxiang told here. The Chronicle of Lanfang Kongsi states, of course, it was its founder Luo Fangbo who had defeated Liu and his people, not the fourteen kongsis of Heshun zongting.

[89] At this point the author of the Chronicle of Lanfang Kongsi clearly made a mistake. He states: “At the time there were seven kongsis that had opened the mines at Montrado. The most powerful was the Dagang kongsi. The Santiaogou kongsi came next, then the Xinwu kongsi, the Kengwei kongsi, the Shiwufen kongsi, the Shiliufen kongsi, the Manhe kongsi. Apart from these there were other kongsis, like the Heshun zongting, Jiufentou, Xin Bafen, Lao Bafen, Xin Shisifen, and Lao Shisifen.” It considers the Heshun zongting to be a kongsi, and in his list of kongsis mentions both the Xinwu and the Xin Shisifen kongsi, which are actually two different names for the same kongsi. It also does not mention the Jielian kongsi, the Shisanfen kongsi, and the Shierfen kongsi. This shows, that even at that time notions about the early history of the kongsis was very vague and unclear.

[90] Schaank mentions that it would be illogical for the name given to this hill to refer to the Lanfang kongsi as the Lanfanghui after the establishment of the Lanfang kongsi.

[91] A Javanese word for the residence of a ruler or an important person.

[92] See Lin Fengchao’s A History of Pontianak, in Luo Xianglin’s A Historical Survey of the Lan-Fang Presidential System in Western Borneo, p. 148.

[93] These two sentences contain allusions to the Zhuangzi. The first chapter “Xiaoyaoyou” contains a passage where small birds laugh at a great peng bird that soars through the sky. In the same chapter there is the philosopher Hui Zi who tells Zhuang Zi about a tree, called chu which produces completely worthless and useless timber.

THIS THE SAMPLE OF E-BOOK IN CD-ROM,THE COMPLETE CD WITH FULL ILLUSTRATIONS EXIST BUT ONLY FOR PREMIUM MEMBER,PLEASE SUBSCRIBED VIA COMMENT,THANKS

THE END@COPYRIGHT@2012

 

 

11 responses to “The History of Chinese overseas goldmine in West Borneo Indonesia

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  3. The article ‘The History of Chinese overseas goldmine in West Borneo Indonesia’ on this blog is complete. We ask permission to share (Reblog) on our blog. Thank you.

    • hallo roemah gergasi blog
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  4. Reblogged this on Roemahgergasi's Journal and commented:
    Kami pernah menulis dua artikel tentang masalah ini yakni “Sejarah Republik Lan Fang di Kalbar, Republik Pertama di Nusantara” dan
    “Republik Lan Fang” di Kalimantan Barat
    Lan Fang Republic”. Dan kami ingin menambahkan informasi tentang hal tersebut dari artikel di blog Driwancybermuseum’s Blog. Semoga tulisan di Blog tersebut dapat menambah hasanah pengetahuan sejarak kita teantang Kaliamantan Barat. Salam Gergasi!

    • thanks aan for comment and addeed info,
      I will put that info in my wbe blog’thanks very much

    • hallo aan inthis web obly the sample of lanfang republic sample,
      the complette in complete in the CD-ROM, If you want to get it plrease subscribed via comment
      I donn’t have the Indonesia version,but the same like you upload at your web blog
      Sejarah Republik Lan Fang di Kalbar, Republik Pertama di Nusantara dan di Dunia
      Posted by roemahgergasi on September 13, 2012
      Image by Jaume Ollé, 25 February 2009

      Tolak Disebut Sultan, Jalankan Sistem Kepresidenan

      Republik Lan Fang, demikian namanya yang pernah di bentuk oleh orang orang Hakka dari Kwangtung pada akhir abad ke-18. Republik ini berlangsung selama 107 tahun dan mencatat 10 presiden yang pernah memimpin republik di Kalbar ini. Berikut lanjutan catatan Hasan Karman, SH, MM dari penelitian pustaka sejarah Tionghoa di Kalbar.
      LO FANG PAK mulai bertualang pada usia 34 tahun. Dia merantau ke Kalimantan Barat saat ramainya orang mencari emas (Gold Rush), dengan menyusuri Han Jiang menuju Shantao, sepanjang pesisir Vietnam, dan akhirnya berlabuh di Kalbar. Ketika itu Sultan Panembahan yang percaya bahwa orang Tionghoa adalah pekerja keras membawa 20 pekerja Tionghoa dari Brunei. Sultan Omar juga mendengar tentang ketekunan orang Tionghoa memanfaatkannya melalui sistem kontrak lahan kepada orang Tionghoa guna membuka kawasannya.

      Ketika Lo Fang Pak sampai di Kalbar, Belanda belum secara agresif merambah ke Kalimantan. Di pesisir banyak didiami orang Jawa dan Bugis, yang mana daerah ini dikuasai oleh Sultan, dan bagian pedalaman didiami oleh orang Dayak, kendati batas teritorialnya tidak jelas.

      Pada permulaan tahun 1740, jumlah orang Tionghoa hanya beberapa puluh saja di sana. Pada tahun 1770 orang Tionghoa sudah mencapai 20.000 orang. Mereka berdatangan berdasarkan pertalian saudara, sekampung halaman, atau sesama kumpulan. Kelompok Tionghoa ini membentuk Kongsi (perusahaan) untuk melindungi mereka. Lo Fang Pak diangkat menjadi ketua.

      Pada tahun 1776, 14 Kongsi disatukan membentuk He Soon 14 Kongsi guna menjaga kesatuan dari ancaman persengketaan antar kumpulan, daerah asal, dan darah. Pada saat itu Lo Fang Pak mendirikan Lan Fang Kongsi, kemudian menyatukan semua orang golongan Hakka di daerah yang dinamakan San Shin Cing Fu (danau gunung berhati emas), dan mendirikan kota Mem-Tau-Er sebagai markas besar dari group perusahaannya.

      Pada masa itu Khun Tian (Pontianak) yang berlokasi di hilir Sungai Kapuas, merupakan daerah perdagangan yang penting dan dikuasai oleh Sultan Abdulrahman. Daerah hulu sungai dikuasai oleh orang Dayak. Usaha Sultan Mempawah yang bertetangga dengan Pontianak untuk membangun sebuah istana di hulu sungai menyebabkan pertikaian antara kedua sultan ini. Terjadilah perang antara kedua negeri itu. Sultan Abdulrahman meminta bantuan Lo Fong Pak. Karena istana tersebut dibangun dekat wilayah Lan Fong Kongsi, Lo Fong Pak akhirnya memutuskan untuk membantu Sultan Pontianak dan berhasil mengalahkan Mempawah. Sultan Mempawah yang dikalahkan bergabung dengan orang Dayak dan melakukan serangan balasan. Sekali lagi Lo Fong Pak berhasil mengalahkan Sultan Mempawah, sehingga mengungsi ke arah utara, yaitu Singkawang, dimana ia dan Sultan Singkawang (Sambas) menandatangani perjanjian damai dengan Lo Fong Pak. Peristiwa itu secara dramatis melambungkan popularitas Lo Fong Pak. Ketika itu dia berusia 57.

      Sejak saat itu, orang-orang Tionghoa dan penduduk setempat mencari perlindungan kepada Lo Fong Pak. Kekuatan dan prestise Lo Fong Pak semakin meningkat. Ketika Sultan Pontianak menyadari tidak mampu melawan Lo Fong Pak, ia sendiri meminta perlindungan dari Lo Fong Pak. Lalu Lo Fong Pak mendirikan sebuah pemerintahan dengan menggunakan nama kongsinya, sehingga nama kongsinya menjadi nama republik, Republik Lan Fong, yang jika dihitung sejak tahun berdirinya, 1777, berarti sepuluh tahun lebih awal dari pembentukan negara Amerika Serikat (USA) oleh George Washington tahun 1787.

      Ketika itu masyarakat ingin Lo Fong Pak menjadi Sultan, namun ia menolak dan memilih kepemerintahan seperti sistem kepresidenan. Lo Fong Pak terpilih melalui pemilihan umum untuk menjabat sebagai presiden pertama, dan diberi gelar dalam bahasa Mandarin “Ta Tang Chung Chang” atau Presiden. Konstitusi negeri itu menyebutkan bahwa posisi Presiden dan Wakil Presiden Republik tersebut harus dijabat oleh orang yang berbahasa Hakka.

      Ibukota Republik Hakka ini adalah Tung Ban Lut (Mandor). “Ta Tang Chung Chang” (Presiden) dipilih melalui pemilihan umum. Menurut konstitusinya, baik Presiden maupun Wakil Presiden harus merupakan orang Hakka yang berasal dari daerah Ka Yin Chiu atau Thai Pu. Benderanya berbentuk persegi empat berwarna kuning, dengan tulisan dalam bahasa Mandarin “Lan Fang Ta Tong Chi”. Bendera presidennya berwarna kuning berbentuk segitiga dengan tulisan ‘Chuao’ (Jenderal). Para pejabat tingginya memakai pakaian tradisional bergaya China, sementara pejabat yang lebih rendah memakai pakaian gaya barat. Republik tersebut mencapai keberhasilan besar dalam ekonomi dan stabilitas politik selama 19 tahun pemerintahan Lo Fong Pak.

      Dalam tarikh negara samudera dari Dinasti Qing tercatat adanya sebuah tempat dimana orang Ka Yin (dari daerah Mei Hsien) bekerja sebagai penambang, membangun jalan, mendirikan negaranya sendiri, setiap tahun kapalnya mendarat di daerah Zhou dan Chao Zhou (Teochiu) untuk berdagang. Sementara dalam catatan sejarah Lan Fong Kongsi sendiri terungkap bahwa setiap tahun mereka membayar upeti kepada Dinasti Qing seperti Annan (Vietnam).

      Kemunduran dan Kejatuhan

      Lo Fong Pak meninggal pada tahun 1795, tahun kedua dideklarasikannya republik tersebut (1793). Ia telah hidup di Kalimantan lebih dari 20 tahun. Pada usia ke 47 berdirinya republik tersebut, yaitu pada masa pemerintahan presiden kelima, Liu Tai Er (Hakka: Liu Thoi Nyi), Belanda mulai aktif melakukan ekspansi di Indonesia dan menduduki wilayah tenggara Kalimantan. Liu Tai Er terbujuk oleh Belanda di Batavia (kini Jakarta) untuk menandatangani suatu pakta non-agresi timbal-balik. Penandatanganan pakta tersebut praktis berarti menyerahkan rezim Lan Fong ke dalam kekuasaan Belanda. Munculnya pemberontakan penduduk asli semakin melemahkan pemerintahan Lan Fong. Lan Fong kehilangan otonomi dan menjadi sebuah daerah protektorat Belanda. Belanda membuka perwakilan kolonialnya di Pontianak dan mencampuri urusan republik tersebut. Pada tahun 1884 Singkawang menolak diperintah oleh Belanda, sehingga diserang oleh Belanda. Belanda berhasil menduduki Lan Fong Kongsi, namun kongsi tersebut mengadakan perlawanan selama 4 tahun, tetapi akhirnya dikalahkan, menyusul kematian Liu Asheng (Hakka: Liu A Sin), presidennya yang terakhir. Warganya mengungsi ke Sumatera. Karena takut mendapat reaksi keras dari pemerintahan Qing, Belanda tidak pernah mendeklarasikan Lan Fong sebagai koloninya dan memperbolehkan seorang keturunan mereka menjadi pemimpin.
      Riwayat Kepemimpinan Lan Fang Republic :
      1. Lo Fongpak 1777-1795 Pendirian Langfong Kungsi di Mandor pada tahun 1777.
      2. Kong Meupak 1795-1799 Perang dengan Panembahan Mempawah.
      3. Jak Sipak 1799-1803 Konflik dengan orang Dayak dari Landak.
      4. Kong Meupak 1803-1811
      5. Sung Chiappak 1811-1823 Ekspansi tambang di Landak.
      6. Liu Thoinyi 1823-1837 Sudah di bawah pengaruh kolonial Belanda.
      7. Ku Liukpak 1837-1842 Konflik dengan Panembahan Landak dan kemerosotan kongsi.
      8. Chia Kuifong 1842-1843
      9. Yap Thinfui 1843-1845
      10. Liu Konsin 1845-1848 Pertempuran dengan orang Dayak Landak.
      11. Liu Asin 1848-1876 Ekspansi tambang ke kawasan Landak.
      12. Liu Liongkon 1876-1880
      13. Liu Asin 1880-1884 Kejatuhan Lanfong Kungsi pada tahun 1884.

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