Category Archives: Asian Collection Exhibtion

The Bangka island Historic and Travel Informations

Bangka  Historic Collections

Created By

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

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Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you. — Marsha Norman

Created By

Dr Iwan suwandy.MHA

Private Limited E-Book In CD-ROM Edition


Nature of the Bangka Island

Bangka-Belitung Islands Province was formed as the 31st province by Indonesian Government based on the Act No. 27 year 2000 with Pangkal Pinang as its capital city. It consists of two main islands i.e. Bangka and Belitung Islands and several small islands (see Figure 4), located at 104° 50’ – 109° 30’ E and 0° 50’ – 4° 10’ S.

The total area of Bangka-Belitung Islands Province is about 81,725.14 km2, consisting of land area about 16,424.14 km2 or 20.1 percent of the total area and sea area about 65,301 km2 or 79.9 percent of the total area.


Figure 4. Administrative Map of Bangka-Belitung Islands Province

The hill or mountain lies at the center of Bangka and Belitung Island. The highest level of topography is 675 m at the mountain in the north part of Bangka Island. In general, the slope at the center of Bangka Island ranged from 5% to 40%, while near the coastline, the slope is very gentle.

In terms of the characteristics of the coast line and marine condition in general the seabed has a gentle to slightly steep slope from the coastal line to the sea. The regional bathymetry map is provided in Figure 5.

Bangka and Belitung Islands are located on the area with relatively low seismicity. There are no significant earthquakes in Bangka-Belitung Islands Province. The main earthquake events are along Sumatera Island at the western part as Semangko Fault manifestation (Figure 6). The value of peak ground acceleration on the basement rock for 500 years period is based on SNI 1726-2002 is very small, about 0.03 g.


Figure 5. Topography and Bathymetry Map of Bangka Belitung Region


Figure 6. Earthquake Distribution along 1900 – 2009 (source USGS)

The shortest distance of an active volcano (Bukit Lumut Balai) to Bangka is ± 303 km to the southwest direction. There is no volcano in Bangka-Belitung Islands Province (See Figure 7).


Figure 7. Distribution of Active Volcanoes around Bangka-Belitung Islands Province

Geologically, the main formation in Bangka Island is the Tanjung Genting Formation which is dominated by clastic rocks (sandstone) sedimentation of Triassic age which settled at shallow sea and Klabat Granite which is dominated by intrusive granite of Late Triassic age (see Figure 8).


Figure 8. Geological Map of Bangka Belitung Islands Province

Bangka island lies in Sunda peneplain, which is a part of elevated Sunda land. From geological point of view, distribution of tin ore in Indonesia is a continuation of granitic belt of Jurassic to Cretaceous that extends from Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Riau islands (Singkep, Karimun and Kundur islands), Bangka, Belitung to Karimata islands. The belt is also known as the tin belt, a granite containing casiterite series.

There is no significant tsunami effect in Bangka-Belitung Islands Province. The main sources of tsunami are mostly located in Indian Ocean, at the west side of Sumatera Island. The effect of tsunami from this area is retained by Sumatera Island and therefore the Bangka-Belitung Islands was protected from tsunami hazard.

Demographically, the total population of Bangka-Belitung Islands Province in year 2008 was 1,122,526 people (National Socio-economy Survey, SUSENAS 2008) as shown in Table 16, while population in 2000 was 899,095 people (Year 2000 Population Census), therefore the population growth rate is about 1,19 percent.

Population at Bangka-Belitung Islands Province (2008)


Number of Population









Bangka Barat




Bangka Tengah




Bangka Selatan








Belitung Timur
















Interest area

According to literature study and field confirmation, all of the visited areas in Bangka Island are free from exclusions factors and therefore they can be considered as areas which are potential to be developed further.

However, to enable good site survey management, 2 areas with best characteristics in terms of their acceptability (safety, suitability, and construction cost), proximity to Sumatera Island, and other considerations are selected as the preferred areas for the first NPP sites.

The two areas will then be called interest areas. The two interest areas are:

(1) Teluk Manggris-Tanah Merah in Bangka Barat Regency,


(2) Tanjung Berani-Tanjung Krasak in Bangka Selatan Regency (see Figure 9).


Figure 9. Interest Areas in Bangka Island

The interest area 1 can be reached from Pangkal Pinang through Kelapa by paved road of approximately 140 km long, then continued for about 4 to 6 km by unpaved road, of which only 3 km can only be accessed by car and the rest by motorcycle or by 4 wheel-drive vehicle. The unpaved road needs to be repaired before starting the main activity.

The interest area 2 can be reached from Pangkal Pinang through Sungai Selan,

 Bangka Kota, Simpang Rimba, Permis,Village, Rajik Village and Sebakin Village

by paved road of 83.5 km long.

It seems that the unpaved road does not need further improvement before main activities start except for the broken small Sebagin bridge.


Road network

including access road to both interest areas is provided in Figure 10


Figure 10. Access Road to Interest Area 1 and 2 from Pangkal Pinang



The chronicle history Of Bangka

How does the history of tin that originated on the island of Bangka who has been known as the Chinese sailors named the island

Pu-lei since the 3rd century AD.

 Chinese news the 7th century
 mentions that the commodity trade of Shih-li-fo-hell (Srivijaya), among others, is tin.
 In later centuries it Bangka-Billiton including Srivijaya territory.

 Only in the mid-18th century
 the involvement of Chinese people in the Pacific, which generally comes from Hakka region, comes into play, either as a rough power, buyer agents, and entrepreneurs mining itself.
The presence of Chinese mainland origin miners in Bangka Island area of ​​11,704 square kilometers continues to grow.
 Mary F. Somers Heidhues in Bangka Tin and Mentok Pepper explained, thousands of workers from China were imported by the Dutch in bulk and bumpy as contract laborers in the Pacific in 1710.
The Netherlands took over the power of tin mining on Bangka Island from Palembang Sultanate in the 19th century post-fall of Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II.
Holland then established tin mining company,
This then became the early presence of PT Timah on the island of Bangka-Belitung until now

Tin mines in Bangka in the open around mid-year 1700
The arrival of the first Hakka is to the Overseer and Montrado, gold mining dikonsesi by Sultan Mempawah and Sambas, Around the beginning of the year 1700, they brought in large numbers through Sarawak.
When the tin mines in Bangka in the open around mid-year 1700, which followed later in the Pacific Islands, hundreds of Hakka people shipped to the Pacific.

Fortress or Citadel Kutopanji Bongkap,
located in the village of Dull. Robustness of the remains of the Citadel building berwaran grayish-black is made from baked clay, which was built around 1700 by
 Kapitan Bong Bong or Khiung Fu

Tin was first excavated in Bangka Island in 1709.

Tin mining continued until mid 1800.
Average Contract Coolie Meixien imported from china and they come without bringing his wife.

 When the contract runs out there are only two choices, go back to China or settle in the vicinity of the mine.
For those who do not return to open settlement in the Pacific, as in Belinyu.

Tan Liong Tjen (80th) was born in Sunghin, near the town of Clay River, West Bangka. Her mother (mama) Ngafa who is the daughter of Jet Tan On which since the 1800’s served as head of the Trench (Mining) Tin in Sunghin in collaboration with the Indian government Belanda.Ibu Ngafa married to his father Tan Mung Jung. The father joined his father’s head trench,
Tjen Liong Tan was born in 1933 in Sung Hin, as a child to-5 of 12 brothers (currently only five people are still alive, in the Pacific there are still two people).

(Tan liong Tjen is dr Iwan Neighbour from bangka)


BTW, aka Winning Banka Tin
As a child participate in sunghin father, a school in sung Hin, elementary school Suek Siauw Sung Hin, and
Papa tan yung story might have a story about mine (trench) Tin.
Tin Mine a lot of Chinese workers by the hundreds, of workers in the screen grab yourself with your own boat from China (Kwantung village, Sichuan)


Special for szechuan etnis I upload some picture from their homeolnad country below



If you fall off the eastern edge of the Himalayan mountains, the first major city (population 4.1 million) that you come to is Chengdu, in China’s Sichuan province. You’ve heard of it from the spicy Chinese food, called “Szechuan” in the west.

Rosemary and I spent 5 or 6 days based around there. A few of those were visiting a Buddhist holy mountain, and the largest Buddha in the world – I’ll write about them in another post.

Chengdu itself was like every other large Chinese city – endless streets with few distinguishing features. My fault for hoping it might be a bit better than that. It has some super parks, but you have to deliberately go to them, you couldn’t stumble upon them by accident.

We saw real Giant Pandas at the breeding centre outside town – they’re super cute, mainly because they have a sixth thumb-like finger so they look like people as they eat bamboo. The Red Pandas are even better. I hope somebody domesticates some soon. They were running round playing, happy like dogs, but cute like cats.

The surprise attraction in Chengdu itself was Du Fu’s “cottage”. Really a whole complex of buildings and gardens (photo right), originally where an 8th century poet lived in a thatched house. There was lots of good bonsai trees, and also calligraphy of Du Fu’s poems. Those are the two arts which I’ve seen that are both still practiced properly in China, and are uniquely Chinese

From google exploration I found information from Szecuan during Dai Nippon Occupation below

Dari eksplorasi Google ditemukan info tentang kampong Szechuan masa perang dunia kedua

Needham Photographs – Wartime China, 1942-1946

Northwest Journey 西北之旅

Photographs taken by Joseph Needham on the long expedition to the northwest from Chongqing to Jiayuguan in Gansu province and back, via Chengdu, Lanzhou and many other places. Note that on this journey he travelled beyond Jiayuguan to the Buddhist caves at Qianfodong near Dunhuang in Gansu, the photographs for which are in CFT. The Northwest journey was undertaken from 7th August – 14th December 1943, but there are also a few photographs taken before and after the journey on rolls NW2 and NW6. On the outward leg of the journey to Lanzhou, Needham was accompanied by SBSCO staff members H.T. Huang 黃興宗 and Liao Hongying 廖鴻英, as well as Edward Beltz, an American oil geologist, and a young scientist Chen Zixin 陳自信. In another truck travelled the famous explorer Sir Eric Teichman (1884-1944). From Lanzhou to Qianfodong and back he was accompanied by H.T. Huang (who travelled back to Lanchow separately), Rewi Alley (1897-1987), Sun Guangjun 孫光俊 and Wang Wansheng 王萬盛, two boys from the Lanzhou Bailie School, the painter Wu Zuoren 吳作人, as well as a driver, Kuang Wei 鄺威, and a mechanic from Lanzhou, Yu Dexin 俞德新. The photographs have been rearranged from their original sequence into chronological order.

照片是李约瑟先生在从重庆到甘肃省嘉峪关往返的漫长途中拍摄的,期间他还经过了成都市,兰州市和其它许多地方。需要指出的是在这次旅行中,他还参观了甘肃敦煌的千佛洞,那部分的照片请参看CFT。西北之旅的照片是在194387号到1214号之间拍摄的,但NW2NW6胶卷上也有少量照片是在之前和之后拍摄的。在去兰州旅行的途中,陪同李约瑟先生的有中英科学合作馆的黄兴宗和廖鸿英,还有美国石油质学者 Edward Beltz 和青年科学家陈自信。在另外一个卡车上旅行的有著名的探险家 Eric Teichman 爵士。从兰州到千佛洞往返的途中,陪同的有黄兴宗 (兰州回来时他独自返回),路易艾黎 Rewi Alley (1897-1987),孫光俊和王萬盛, 来自兰州培黎学校的两个男孩, 画家吳作人,司机鄺威,还有来自兰州的机械师余德新。照片已按照年代顺序重新进行排列


<BTitle: H.T. Huang (Huang Hsing-Tsung / Huang Xingzong
黃興宗) outside the guest-house in Lichuang (Lizhuang) 李莊, Szechuan (Sichuan) 四川
Location: Lizhuang
李莊, Sichuan 四川省.
Date: 4 Jun. 1943 – 12 Jun. 1943
Original caption by Joseph Needham:
Photographer: Needham, Joseph.
Classmark: NW2/27

<BTitle: Joseph Needham outside the guest-house in Lichuang (Lizhuang)
李莊, Szechuan (Sichuan) 四川
Location: Lizhuang
李莊, Sichuan 四川省.
Date: 4 Jun. 1943 – 12 Jun. 1943
Original caption by Joseph Needham:
Photographer: Needham, Joseph.
Classmark: NW2/26

Chinese immigrants who worked as coolies in the tin mines of Bangka build such temples in the 1800.


Kwan Ti Miau temple



The history of an old temple in Bangka Island can not be separated from the history of tin mining and Kwan Tie Miau. Big wave arrival of the Chinese to exploit tin in Bangka began in the early 20th century.

 Many trade partnership that stands to mine and sell / purchase of tin, each group or partnership has its own leaders and social structure, they also bring genuine belief from which they originate.

To perform worship according Their religious. Chinese immigrants who worked as coolies in the tin mines of Bangka build such temples in the 1800. would not be surprised if the from end to end of Bangka Island stood so many temple. indeed there is no exact data, but at least there are 200 temples big and small.

Kwan Tie Miau

in Pangkalpinang is one of the oldest temples on the island of Bangka – Formerly called the Temple of Kwan Tie Bio -.



This Kwan Tie Miau  temple is located on the Major Syafrie Rachman Street Pangkal Pinang . This temple is built in 1841 AD (according from the Chinese characters on an iron bell in temple) and built by a group of tin mining in Pangkalpinang,



 Temple Kwan tie Miau inaugurated in 1846.

This proved of congratulations from several associations on a good day a good month year 26 Daoguang which coincided with the year 1846.



Temple of Kwan Tie Miau

There’s Pumpkin fruit garnish (gourd) at the top of the roof of the temple. in front of the temple there is a symbol of Patkwa ( Pakua ) which in the middle there is a black and white circles (Ying and Yang). Patkwa (Pakua) symbolizes good luck, fortune or happiness . Two features of the above shows that the Taoisme still the most important

The main worship of the temple is to Thian (God’s universe) and to Huang Ti (Emperor of Chin dynasty, the famous Shih Huang Ti) is the dominant one in this temple, so they are often called the Cin.

 there are statues of Chui chang on the left and Pien Kuan on right besides Huang Ti.

 In addition to gods and goddesses derived from Confucian beliefs, the worship of Goddess Kwan Im also performed.

This goddess is Awalokiteswara, one God in the pantheon of Mahayana Buddhism is believed to awaken the world from destruction and save humanity from the doom of the Hereafter.

 Every day to 13 months of five calendar days of the Lunar New Year celebration was held the god of the temple deity.




The plague of beri-beri disease (Vitamin B1 deficiency)in the Bangka  around year 1850-


this activity is performed to reject any reinforcements and the plague that struck the public like the plague of beri-beri in the Bangka  around year 1850-1860

The houses in the street Pangkal Pinang is an elite area occupied by employees of mining tin porch, built in 1928

Dutch East indies (Indonesia) send postcards from Belawan (Medan Port) via Dutch Post 18.06.1932 Agent Louth singapore to Bangka Island.
The Dutch post abroad Agent Will showed in the next Indonesia Postal History (Shipmail), Singapore Post british agent never reports, the collections below post still not clear british agent in Indonesia or abroad Straits (Singapore) or Johor cancceled stamps at the port (Singapore or Indonesia) if the letter Pls post the ship arrived at the Port Abroad,. @ Copyright Dr. Iwan S.


 In the city Muntok
 there is also a monument to 21 (twenty one) Australian nurses who died in the bombing of ships Australia by the Japanese army on 16 February 1942.
The nurses were stranded in Muntok after the boat they were riding the SS Vyner Brooke sank in the waters of the Pacific on his way to Singapore.


TAN.’s experience during Dai Nippon Occupation

When the soldiers of Dai Nippon from Pangkal pinang  dating to the Sung Hin village wwhere Tan lived(Tan is Dr Iwan neighbour from Bangka), all the people had to march and salute memebri (beggar), if not the first man will be beaten or put to the sun heated up, their stature official clothing tentara.Semua people are afraid of soldiers met dai Nippon, many who fled into the forest.
During the Japanese occupation of difficult economic times, rice, cassava and apparel is up, people eat cassava and beras.sehingga sack dress of the people starving and many died.
After Japan’s defeat, the Dutch came in and ruled for five years, and the newly independent in 1949.


History of the Pacific after the Proclamation of Independence of the Republic of Indonesia

the role of the Chinese Bangka (Thong Ngin) into the regional administration in the early days of independence and the exile of President Sukarno, Vice President Mohammad Hatta on the island of Bangka.

On December 10, 1946
 born of a decision by Lieutenant General Gouverneur Netherlands Indies as an autonomous region makes the Pacific through the Pacific While the Board formation (Voorlopige Bangka Raad).
Bangka Council
While this is the highest government agency in the Pacific, was unveiled February 10, 1947 with co-chaired by
Datuk Masyarif Bendaharo Lelo,
beraggotakan 25orang, 14 people were Indonesia (13 elected, one appointed by the resident), 9 Chinese (8 elected, one appointed by the resident, two Dutch people (one elected, one appointed by the resident). This is the first official government in the Pacific after Republic of Indonesia’s independence proclamation of August 17, 1945.
 Since the initial form of government in Bangka Bangka Chinese people (Thong Ngin Bangka) already involved in it.

 Through July 12, 1947

 decision letter No.7 (Stbl. 1947 # 123) “While the Pacific Council” to the Pacific Council appointed 11 November 1947.

 Until 22 April 1950
 Bangka Council mandate handed to the Governor of South Sumatra Dr. M. Isa, then the Pacific are under a resident named Raden Sumarjo.
Pacific People’s Struggle for Independence against Dutch colonialism was not a bit ranging from civil disobedience to fight the army of the people. Good resistance is sporadic or organized resistance. The spirit of nationalism People Bangka, experienced a peak when
 the arrival of President Sukarno and Foreign Minister Agus Salim on February 6, 1949.


This is illustrated in the writings of Abdullah

“… Sunday morning on February 6, 1949 appear in droves flow of people back and forth and in groups waiting in the outskirts of major road, heard the news when and where Bung Karno was going to land. Those who have money or who have private vehicles and or who have a great zest to the coming of the Bung Karno, group after group was headed to the airfield Dul Village, where Bung Karno likely will land, figuring it would be impossible to ship.
After a while they wait, the news gives another, out of nowhere comes the source said Bung Karno and Haji Agus Salim will arrive by plane katalina through …

 From start Jetty Balam Balam arrived at the intersection of Jetty pier environments that are restricted primarily to barbed wire, already crowded people are standing and fro, looking for opportunities to enter the front entrance pelabuhan.Di colonial police guard with his weapon to the rigors. Intermittently they move to block the people who continue to come forward …
In the midst of the throng that crowded the sound of car horns. Three sedans after splitting the stream of people struggling, finally can also go up on the edge of the pier.

From sedans are out the mission of the BFO Anak Agung Gde Agung (NTT), Ateng Karmamiharja, accompanied the delegation, Dr RI. Darma Setiawan, Sujono and Dr. Leimena. Mr. entourage then out again. Moh. Rum … more about Around 10:00 am, the sound of aircraft sounds.

Shortly Katalina them a plane seems closer. All eyes fixed on the door of the plane. Heart thumping. Whether that comes true Bung Karno’s beloved President? Just a moment, but it was a long time. With gray suits, and the famous black cap never cracked the head. No doubt, that he, Bung Karno. Following Haji Agus Salim wearing white suits with gray coat, cane, glasses and cap the pointed beard hitam.Jelas visible and have started to turn white …
when Bung Karno menjejakan foot on the jetty Jetty Balam
, Suddenly came Mat Amin (Alimin) Bung Karno squatting ushered up to his shoulder. Stature as a driver krant Mat Amin was quite stocky coupled with overwhelming enthusiasm. He was like take it easy as getting satisfaction.

Arriving at the gates of the port state was already out of control again … There’s nothing more that could catapult independent cried. Throat feels clogged. Tears of emotion began to flow.

A white Plymouth sedan service vehicles Masyarif BN 2 specifically provided for both the leaders, but the Bung Karno prefer to sit on the front hood of course. Tjong Tjhia Ka (Ka Chia Cong) from Ipphos Fotocorrespondent with his assistants busy looking and waiting for a good snap. 12.30 .. until the vehicle is still at Jetty Balam.

 Arriving at the village Lembawai.

 Car engine is turned off. Car is running slowly, driven by a burly-burly young man … Finally at about 14:00 just got home Masyarif “. Thus the story of Abdullah’s paintings are bright for the events Bung Karno’s exile on the island of Bangka.

People kept coming Bangka Island Old Young, Male Female, Thong Fan Ngin Ngin all united to welcome the arrival of President Sukarno.

There is a sense of unity, togetherness, pride, enthusiasm and euphoria of independence in the Republic of Indonesia welcomed the supreme leader at the time. Then get together with Bung Karno, Bung Hatta who had arrived earlier to exile in deadlock, t

he House of Bangka Tin Mine (CCTs) on Mount Manumbing. Bung Karno, Bung Hatta, Haji Agus Salim and some pertinggi Indonesia at that time under house arrest in landfills, at Mount Manumbing, Mentor, the island of Bangka.

 In landfills is still undergoing funginya Bung Karno as Head of the State with all its limitations. He also met with various leaders of the movement, leaders of Chinese organizations Bangka, the young warrior, and so forth.

Be a deep impression Bung Karno, etched deep in the Pacific People’s hearts at the time. Masyarif, Mat Amin, Tjhia Tjong Ka (Ka Chia Cong), Bung Karno, Bung Hatta, Haji Agus Salim all had gone, but the sense of unity, togetherness, pride, enthusiasm and euphoria of independence still exist in the middle of the Pacific people to kini.MEERDEKAAA

in 1946
Tan in junior high school in Louth Hung Mung Suek Siauw until graduation.

There to learn Mandarin (every day), Malay (1xseminggu), arithmetic, geography, history (Lie Se).
Bangka history learned in junior high, Chinese history, History of the Pacific is studied.
In the Dutch colonial period, there is a dutch in Sung Hin as a supervisor (controleur) and assistant at the Jetty Pinang.Waktu r4esident school in Louth remain in Hin sung every morning at 4:00 am riding a bike to the base of the Areca (the distance is 8 km, taken two hours )

Bung Karno Mentor Mount Manumbing discharged into the Pacific
The place is currently
Pensions Menumbing is a silent witness to the struggle of historic building figures proclaimer of the Republic of Indonesia tens of years ago. This building is one of the houses built by the Dutch exile to limit the space for independence leaders at the time. No data exactly when the guesthouse / guesthouse was built Menumbing. Clearly this building was built by the workers corvee (forced labor) in the Dutch colonial period around the year 1927, while other sources mention of this complex was built in 1890 and other sources mentioned in 1932. This historic building located at the top of Mount Menumbing and the building stood on a height of 450 meters above sea level and directly facing the Bangka Strait. This building is a historical asset that should continue to be preserved, because it became a place of exile of President Sukarno and republican leaders during Dutch colonial rule in 1949.

Over an area of ​​two hectares, this building stands upright diketinggian 445 meters above sea level. Consisting of three buildings, namely the main building comprising 6 rooms and two pavilions comprising 6 rooms and 7 rooms. Here is an idea sparked by the founders of this republic to conduct negotiations with the Dutch. Based on information written and displayed in room 102 House Menumbing, Sukarno and a number of other national leaders brought to this place is divided into three groups or party. The first group, Mohammad Hatta, Mr. A.G. Pringgodigdo, Mr. Assaat and Air Commodore S Suryadarma the exiled December 22, 1948 from Yogyakarta. Then the second group, Mr. Roem and Mr Moh. Sastroamidjojo who was exiled from Yogyakarta to Manumbing on December 31, 1948. And the third group, Bung Karno and Agus Salim also exiled to the Pacific on February 6, 1949 from exile in the city originally Prapat, North Sumatra.

To get into your building free of charge for Rp.2.500/orang. Inside the building visitors can see the old VW car (Volks Wagon) driven by Sukarno’s old to get around Mentor who only lived body (frame) only while the engine already lost. In addition there are also bed as many as two pieces which fitted inside the bathroom, 2 lounge chairs, a wardrobe and so forth fruit. Outside the room there is a room where the writing and reading of Bung Karno.

To reach this location you should proceed first in Post 1 (Entrance) especially if you bring a car. This is because the road is narrow because it only passable by one vehicle only. By driving a car or motorcycle then the time required to reach the location of exile Ir.H Soekarno about 15 minutes. But if you are traveling by foot, it takes about 1 hour trip more meaningful time round trip takes about 2 hours more. Not a short time. I suggest you better ride the vehicle to get to the top unless you want to really feel the cool mountian air.

The President himself did not long been at the Mount Menumbing because of her condition could not stand the cold weather of the mountains. At his request, Bung Karno was placed in the middle of the city of Mentor in a building that is currently named Pesanggrahan Ranggam or Ranggam Pensions. Bung Karno just stay at Pesanggrahan Ranggam, but daily life may be more at Wisma Menumbing. Before coming to the House of Bung Karno Menumbing first inhabited by another character, say Vice President Mohammad Hatta, the Secretary of State Pringgodigdo, Foreign Minister Agus Salim, Minister of Teaching Sastroamidjojo, Mr. Chairman KNIP Assaat, Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Mohammad Roem and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Air Commodore S Suryadarma. Bung Karno himself brought to the Pacific uses the plane type B-25 bomber Sukarno moved from North Sumatra to Bangka. No one knows exactly what kind of atmosphere when the leaders gathered in Menumbing. It’s just a choice to pursue confrontation and negotiations with the Dutch-born Menumbing.

Keeping the spirit of that history is important, because in this region Bung Hatta to make poetry of the importance of the island of Bangka for Indonesia’s independence. Consider the poem that ever engraved on metal plates which today no longer know where missing.

Under the rays of light sparkling weather
Recalled memories bring victory
Bangka, Jogjakarta, London
Living Pancasila, Unity in Diversity.

Hatta wrote memories about Menumbing as part of his gratitude to the people of Bangka the unrelenting show of support to the nation’s leaders during the exile. Unfortunately his gratitude was wasted with no history of Pensions Menumbing terawatnya assets by local governments.

But the history of the Pensions Menumbing that should be the primary concern of government in power today no longer even a pride, Wisma Menumbing ever rented in 1996. Bangka regency government, when it was incorporated with the Province of South Sumatra, the historic building is leased to PT Carmeta for 15 years to be managed as a hotel and restaurant. Pensions Menumbing also changed its name to Hotel Jati Menumbing. I wonder what the reason was time Bangka regency, allow the Pensions Menumbing leased. Too bad assets of the history that was built towers and telecommunication facilities broadcasting television station. Unconsciously the existence of the tower is clearly damaging the overall landscape of the historic site.
But the history of assets is much more valuable. This is where tens of years ago the leaders of Indonesia’s independence penjuang for approximately nine months to finish his time

Indonesian version

Bagaimana sejarah timah itu berawal di Pulau Bangka yang telah dikenal pelaut-pelaut China sebagai pulau bernama

Pu-lei sejak abad ke-3 Masehi.

 Berita China abad ke-7

 menyebutkan bahwa komoditas perdagangan dari Shih-li-fo-sih (Sriwijaya) antara lain adalah timah.

 Pada abad-abad itu Bangka-Belitung termasuk wilayah kekuasaan Sriwijaya.

 Baru pada pertengahan abad ke-18

 keterlibatan orang-orang Tionghoa di Bangka, yang umumnya datang dari wilayah Hakka, mulai berperan, baik sebagai tenaga kasar, agen pembeli, maupun pengusaha pertambangan itu sendiri.

Keberadaan penambang asal daratan Tiongkok di Pulau Bangka seluas 11.704 kilometer persegi terus bertambah.

 Mary F Somers Heidhues dalam Bangka Tin and Mentok Pepper memaparkan, ribuan pekerja asal China didatangkan oleh Belanda secara massal dan bergelombang sebagai kuli kontrak di Bangka pada tahun 1710.

Belanda mengambil alih kuasa penambangan timah di Pulau Bangka dari Kesultanan Palembang pada abad ke-19 pasca-kejatuhan Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II.

Belanda kemudian mendirikan perusahaan pertambangan timah,

Inilah yang kemudian menjadi awal keberadaan PT Timah di Pulau Bangka-Belitung hingga kini



Tambang timah di Bangka di buka sekitar pertengahan tahun 1700

Kedatangan Hakka pertama adalah ke Mandor dan Montrado, pertambangan emas yang dikonsesi oleh Sultan Mempawah dan Sambas, Sekitar awal tahun 1700, mereka didatangkan dalam jumlah besar melalui Serawak.

Ketika tambang timah di Bangka di buka sekitar pertengahan tahun 1700, yang disusul kemudian di Belitung, beratus-ratus orang Hakka dikapalkan ke Bangka.


Benteng Kutopanji atau Benteng Bongkap,

terletak di kampung Kusam. Kekokohan sisa-sisa bangunan Benteng berwaran hitam keabuan—terbuat dari tanah liat yang dibakar—yang dibangun sekitar 1700 oleh

 Kapitan Bong atau Bong Khiung Fu




Timah pertama kali digali di Pulau Bangka pada tahun 1709.



Penambangan Timah terus  berlanjut hingga pertengahan tahun 1800.

Rata-rata Kuli Kontrak cina  didatangkan dari Meixien dan mereka datang tanpa membawa istri.



 Ketika kontrak habis hanya ada dua pilihan, kembali ke Cina atau menetap di sekitar lokasi tambang.

Bagi mereka yang tidak pulang membuka permukiman di Bangka, seperti di Belinyu.



Tan Liong Tjen(80th) lahir di Sunghin,dekat kota Sungai Liat,Bangka Barat. Ibunya(mama)Ngafa yang merupakan putri dari Tan On Jet yang sejak tahun 1800-an menjabat sebagai kepala Parit(Tambang) Timah di Sunghin yang bekerjasama dengan pemerintah Hindia Belanda.Ibu Ngafa menikah dengan ayahnya Tan Mung Jung. Sang ayah ikut ayahnya kepala parit,

Tan Liong Tjen lahir tahun 1933 di Sung Hin,sebagai anak ke-5 dari 12 orang bersaudara(saat ini tinggal lima orang masih hidup, di Bangka masih ada dua orang).


Banka Tin Winning alias BTW





Waktu kecil ikut bapak di sunghin ,sekolah di sung Hin, sekolah SD Sung Hin Suek Siauw, dan

Cerita Papa tan mung yung pernah cerita tentang tambang(parit) Timah.

Tambang Timah banyak pekerjanya dari tiongkok yang jumlahnya ratusan,pekerja di ambil sendiri dengan Kapal Layarnya sendiri dari Tiongkok (kampungnya Kwantung –sichuan)




Rumah-rumah di kawasan jalan Depati Amir itu adalah kawasan elit yang ditempati oleh pegawai teras atas pertambangan timah, dibangun pada tahun 1928



Dutch East indie(Indonesia) postcard send from Belawan (Medan Port) 18.6.1932 via Dutch Post Agent singapore to Pangkal Pinang Bangka Island.

The Dutch post Agent abroad will showed in the next Indonesia Postal History (Shipmail), Singapore british Post Agent never report, the collections below still not clear british post agent abroad in Indonesia or Straits(singapore) or Johor stamps cancceled at the port (Singapore or Indonesia) if the letter post when the ship arrived at the abroad Port,.@Copyright Dr Iwan S.



 Di kota Muntok

 terdapat pula monumen peringatan 21 (duapuluh satu) perawat Australia yang gugur dalam peristiwa pemboman kapal laut Australia oleh tentara Jepang pada tanggal 16 Pebruari 1942.

Para perawat itu terdampar di Muntok setelah kapal yang mereka tumpangi SS Vyner Brooke tenggelam di perairan Bangka dalam perjalanan menuju Singapura.




 Pengalaman masa pendudkan jepang

Apabila tentara Dai Nippon dari Pangkal pinag dating ke Sung Hin,semua rakyat harus berbaris dan memebri hormat(kere),bila tidak kere akan dipukul atau dihukum berdiri dipanas matahari, mereka badannya pendek pakaian dinas  tentara.Semua orang takut ketemu tentara dai Nippon,banyak yang kabur ke Hutan.

Pada masa pendudukan jepang ekonomi sulit,beras ,singkong dan pakaian sudah habis,orang makan singkong dan baju dari karung beras.sehingga rakyat kelaparan dan banyak yang meninggal dunia.

Setelah Jepang Kalah,Belanda masuk dan berkuasa selama lima tahun,dan baru merdeka tahun 1949.



Sejarah Bangka Paska Proklamasi Kemerdekaan Republik Indonesia


peranan orang Tionghoa Bangka (Thong Ngin) ke dalam pemerintahan daerah pada masa awal kemerdekaan dan masa pembuangan Presiden Soekarno, Wakil Presiden Mohammad Hatta di Pulau Bangka.

Pada 10 Desember 1946

 lahirlah sebuah keputusan oleh Letnan Gouverneur General Nederlandsch Indie menjadikan Bangka sebagai daerah otonom melalui terbentuknya Dewan Bangka Sementara (Voorlopige Bangka Raad).

Dewan Bangka

Sementara ini merupakan lembaga pemerintahan yang tertinggi di Bangka, diresmikan 10 Februari 1947 dengan diketuai oleh

Masyarif Datuk Bendaharo Lelo,

beraggotakan 25orang, 14 orang Indonesia (13 dipilih, 1 diangkat oleh residen), 9 orang Tionghoa (8 dipilih, 1 diangkat oleh residen, 2 orang Belanda (1 dipilih, 1 diangkat oleh residen). Ini adalah merupakan pemerintahan resmi pertama di Bangka setelah proklamasi kemerdekaan Republik Indonesia 17 Agustus 1945.

 Sejak awal pemerintahan di Bangka terbentuk orang-orang Tionghoa Bangka (Thong Ngin Bangka) sudah terlibat didalamnya. Melalui surat keputusan 12 Juli 1947 No.7 (Stbl. 1947 no.123) ”Dewan Bangka Sementara“ menjadi Dewan Bangka yang dilantik 11 November 1947.


 Hingga akhirnya 22 April 1950

 diserahkannya mandat Dewan Bangka ke Gubernur Sumatera Selatan Dr. M. Isa, selanjutnya Bangka berada dibawah seorang residen bernama Raden Sumarjo.

Perjuangan Kemerdekaan Rakyat Bangka melawan penjajahan Belanda tidaklah sedikit mulai dari perlawanan sipil hingga perlawanan tentara rakyat. Baik perlawanan yang sporadis maupun perlawanan yang terorganisir. Semangat nasionalisme Rakyat Bangka, mengalami puncaknya ketika

 kedatangan Presiden Sukarno dan Menteri Luar Negeri Agus Salim pada 6 Februari 1949.


Ini terlukis dalam tulisan Abdullah “…Minggu pagi tanggal 6 Februari 1949 kelihatan berbondong-bondong arus manusia hilir mudik dan berkelompok-kelompok menanti di pinggir-pinggir jalan besar, mendengar berita kapan dan dimana Bung Karno akan mendarat. Mereka yang punya duit atau yang punya kendaraan pribadi dan atau yang punya animo besar terhadap kedatangan Bung Karno tersebut, berkelompok-kelompok sudah menuju ke lapangan udara Kampung Dul, tempat kemungkinan besar Bung Karno akan mendarat, dengan pertimbangan takkan mungkin dengan kapal laut.

Setelah agak lama mereka menunggu, terbetik berita, entah dari mana datang sumbernya mengatakan Bung Karno dan Haji Agus Salim akan tiba dengan pesawat katalina lewat Pangkal Balam…Dari mulai simpang Pangkal Balam sampai di lingkungan dermaga yang dibatasi denan kawat berduri, sudah penuh sesak manusia berdiri dan hilir mudik, mencari kesempatan untuk dapat masuk ke pelabuhan.Di muka pintu masuk polisi kolonial dengan senjatanya berjaga-jaga dengan ketatnya. Sebentar-sebentar mereka bergerak menghalau orang-orang yang terus mau maju…

Di tengah kerumunan manusia yang berjejal tersebut terdengar bunyi klakson mobil. Tiga buah sedan setelah bersusah payah membelah arus manusia, akhirnya dapat juga masuk sampai di pinggir dermaga.

 Dari sedan-sedan tersebut keluar perutusan BFO Anak Agung Gde Agung (NTT), Ateng Karmamiharja, disertai delegasi RI yaitu Dr. Darma Setiawan, Sujono dan Dr. Leimena. Kemudian keluar lagi rombongan Mr. Moh. Roem…Sekitar lebih kurang pukul 10.00 pagi, kedengaran bunyi pesawat udara.

Tak lama antaranya sebuah pesawat Katalina tampak mendekat. Semua mata tertuju ke pintu pesawat. Jantung berdetak keras. Apakah betul Bung Karno yang datang itu Presiden RI tercinta? Hanya sesaat, tapi terasa lama sekali. Dengan stelan abu-abu, dan peci hitamnya yang terkenal tak pernah lekang dari kepala. Tak salah lagi, itu dia, Bung Karno. Menyusul kemudian Haji Agus Salim mengenakan stelan putih dengan mantel abu-abu, bertongkat, berkacamata dan peci hitam.Jelas nampak jenggotnya yang lancip dan sudah mulai memutih…

saat Bung Karno menjejakan kakinya di dermaga Pangkal Balam


, tiba-tiba datang Mat Amin (Alimin) berjongkok menyilakan Bung Karno naik ke pundaknya. Perawakan Mat Amin sebagai supir krant memang cukup kekar ditambah dengan semangatnya yang meluap-luap. Ia seperti santai saja seperti mendapat kepuasan tersendiri. Sampai di gerbang pelabuhan keadaan sudah sudah tidak dapat dikendalikan lagi…Tak ada lagi yang sanggup melontarkan pekik merdeka. Kerongkongan terasa tersumbat. Air mata haru mulai mengalir.

Sebuah sedan Plymouth putih BN 2 kendaraan dinas Masyarif disediakan khusus untuk kedua orang pemimpin, tapi Bung Karno lebih senang duduk diatas kap depannya saja. Tjhia Ka Tjong (Chia Ka Cong) dari Ipphos Fotocorrespondent dengan pembantu-pembantunya sibuk mencari dan menanti snap yang bagus. ..hingga pukul 12.30 kendaraan masih di Pangkal Balam. Sampai di kampung Lembawai. Mesin mobil dimatikan. Mobil berjalan pelan, didorong oleh para pemuda yang tegap-tegap…Akhirnya sekitar pukul 14.00 baru tiba di rumah Masyarif “. Demikian lukisan kisah Abdullah yang terang atas peristiwa pengasingan Bung Karno di Pulau Bangka.

Rakyat Pulau Bangka terus berdatangan Tua Muda, Laki Perempuan, Thong Ngin Fan Ngin semua bersatu menyambut kedatangan Presiden Sukarno. Ada rasa persatuan, kebersamaan, kebanggaan, antusiasme dan euforia kemerdekaan di dalam menyambut pemimpin tertinggi Republik Indonesia kala itu. Kemudian Bung Karno berkumpul dengan Bung Hatta yang sudah tiba lebih dulu untuk diasingkan di mentok, di Wisma Tambang Timah Bangka (TTB) di Gunung Manumbing. Bung Karno, Bung Hatta, Haji Agus Salim dan beberapa pertinggi Indonesia kala itu menjalani tahanan rumah di tempat pembuangan, di Gunung Manumbing, Mentok, Pulau Bangka. Di tempat pembuangan inilah Bung Karno tetap menjalani funginya sebagai Kepala Negera dengan segala keterbatasannya. Ia bertemu pula dengan berbagai pemimpin pergerakan, pemimpin organisasi Tionghoa Bangka, pemuda-pemuda pejuang, dan lain sebagainya. Kesan yang mendalam akan seorang Bung Karno, tergores dalam di hati sanubari Rakyat Bangka kala itu. Masyarif, Mat Amin, Tjhia Ka Tjong (Chia Ka Cong), Bung Karno, Bung Hatta, Haji Agus Salim semua sudah pergi, namun rasa persatuan, kebersamaan, kebanggaan, antusiasme dan euforia kemerdekaan masih ada di tengah-tengah orang-orang Bangka hingga kini.MEERDEKAAA



tahun 1946

Tan sekolah di SMP di Pangkal Pinang Hung Mung Suek Siauw sampai tamat.


Di sana belajar bahasa mandarin(tiap hari),bahasa Melayu(1xseminggu),berhitung,ilmu bumi,sejarah(Lie Se).

Sejarah Bangka yang dipelajari di SMP,sejarah Tiongkok,Sejarah Bangka tidak dipelajari.

Pada Masa Kolonial Belanda, ada belanda di Sung Hin sebagai pengawas(controleur) dan assisten r4esident di Pangkal Pinang.Waktu sekolah Di Pangkal Pinang tinggal tetap di sung Hin tiap pagi jam 4.00 pagi naik sepeda ke pangkal Pinang (jaraknya 8 km,ditempuh dua jam)







Bung Karno dibuang ke Mentok Gunung Manumbing Bangka



Tempat tersebut saat ini


Wisma Menumbing merupakan sebuah bangunan bersejarah saksi bisu perjuangan tokoh-tokoh proklamator Republik Indonesia puluhan tahun silam. Bangunan ini merupakan salah satu rumah pengasingan yang dibangun oleh Belanda untuk membatasi ruang gerak para tokoh kemerdekaan pada saat itu. Tidak ada data pasti kapan wisma/pesanggrahan Menumbing ini dibangun. Yang jelas bangunan ini dibangun oleh para pekerja rodi (pekerja paksa) pada masa penjajahan Belanda sekitar tahun 1927, sementara dari sumber lain menyebutkan komplek ini dibangun pada tahun 1890 dan sumber lainnya menyebut pada tahun 1932. Bangunan bersejarah ini berada di puncak Gunung Menumbing dan bangunannya berdiri di atas ketinggian 450 meter dari permukaan laut dan langsung menghadap selat Bangka. Bangunan ini merupakan aset sejarah yang harus terus dilestarikan, karena menjadi tempat pengasingan Presiden Soekarno dan para tokoh republik pada masa pemerintahan kolonial Belanda di tahun 1949.




Di atas lahan seluas dua hektar, bangunan ini berdiri tegak diketinggian 445 meter dari permukaan laut. Terdiri dari tiga bangunan, yakni bangunan utama yang terdiri 6 kamar dan dua paviliun terdiri 6 kamar dan 7 kamar. Disini lah tercetus ide oleh para tokoh pendiri republik ini untuk melakukan perundingan dengan belanda. Berdasarkan informasi tertulis dan terpajang di ruang 102 Wisma Menumbing, Soekarno dan sejumlah tokoh nasional lainnya dibawa ke tempat ini dibagi menjadi tiga kelompok atau rombongan. Rombongan pertama, Mohammad Hatta, Mr A.G. Pringgodigdo, Mr. Assaat dan Komodor Udara S Suryadarma yang diasingkan 22 Desember 1948 dari Yogyakarta. Kemudian rombongan kedua, Mr. Moh Roem dan Mr. Ali Sastroamidjojo yang diasingkan dari Yogyakarta ke Manumbing pada 31 Desember 1948. Dan rombongan ketiga, Bung karno dan Agus Salim juga diasingkan ke Bangka pada 6 Februari 1949 dari tempat pengasingannya semula di Kota Prapat, Sumatera Utara.




Untuk masuk ke dalam bangunan anda dipungut biaya sebesar Rp.2.500/orang. Di dalam bangunan tua tersebut pengunjung bisa melihat mobil VW (Volks Wagon)tua yang dikendarai Soekarno untuk berkeliling Mentok yang hanya tinggal body (kerangka) saja sedangkan mesinnya udah hilang. Selain itu juga terdapat tempat tidur sebanyak 2 buah yang didalamnya dilengkapi kamar mandi,2 buah kursi santai, 1 buah lemari pakaian dan sebagainya. Di luar kamar terdapat ruangan tempat Bung Karno menulis dan membaca.




Untuk menuju lokasi ini anda harus melapor lebih dulu di Pos 1 (Pintu Masuk) apalagi jika anda membawa mobil. Hal ini dikarenakan jalan yang sempit karena hanya bisa dilewati oleh satu kendaraan saja. Dengan mengendarai mobil atau sepeda motor maka waktu yang dibutuhkan untuk mencapai lokasi pengasingan Ir.H Soekarno sekitar 15 menit. Namun jika anda menempuh perjalanan dengan berjalan kaki,  maka dibutuhkan waktu perjalanan sekitar 1 jam lebih berarti waktu perjalanan pulang pergi memakan waktu sekitar 2 jam lebih. Bukan waktu yang singkat. Saya menyarankan lebih baik anda naik kendaraan untuk menuju puncak kecuali jika anda ingin benar-benar merasakan sejuknya hawa pengunungan.




Sang Presiden sendiri tidak lama berada di Bukit Menumbing karena kondisi tubuhnya yang tak tahan cuaca dingin pegunungan. Atas permintaannya, Bung Karno ditempatkan di tengah kota Mentok pada sebuah bangunan yang saat ini bernama Pesanggrahan Ranggam atau Wisma Ranggam. Bung Karno hanya menginap di Pesanggrahan Ranggam, namun kesehariannya boleh jadi lebih banyak di Wisma Menumbing. Sebelum kedatangan Bung Karno ke Wisma Menumbing terlebih dahulu di huni oleh tokoh lain, sebut saja Wakil Presiden Mohammad Hatta, Sekretaris Negara Pringgodigdo, Menteri Luar Negeri Agus Salim, Menteri Pengajaran Ali Sastroamidjojo, Ketua Badan KNIP Mr Assaat,Wakil Perdana Menteri Mr Moh Roem dan Kepala Staf Angkatan Udara Komodor Udara S Suryadarma. Bung Karno sendiri dibawa ke Bangka menggunakan pesawat pembom jenis B-25 memindahkan bung karno dari Sumatra Utara ke Bangka. Tak ada yang tahu persis seperti apa suasana para tokoh saat berkumpul di Menumbing. Hanya saja pilihan untuk menempuh konfrontasi dan perundingan dengan Belanda lahir di Menumbing.

Menjaga ruh sejarah itu memang penting, sebab di kawasan ini Bung Hatta membuat puisi akan arti penting Pulau Bangka bagi kemerdekaan Indonesia. Simak saja puisinya yang pernah terpahat pada lempeng besi yang sekarang ini tak tahu lagi ke mana rimbanya.

Di bawah sinar gemerlap terang cuaca
Kenang-kenang membawa kemenangan
Bangka, Djokjakarta, Djakarta
Hidup Pancasila, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika.

Hatta menuliskan kenangan tentang Menumbing sebagai bagian dari rasa terima kasihnya kepada masyarakat Bangka yang tak henti-hentinya menunjukkan dukungan kepada para pemimpin bangsa selama dalam pengasingan. Sayang rasa terima kasih itu terbuang sia-sia dengan tak terawatnya aset sejarah Wisma Menumbing oleh pemerintah setempat.



Tapi nilai sejarah Wisma Menumbing yang seharusnya menjadi perhatian utama pemerintah yang berkuasa saat ini malah tak lagi menjadi kebanggaan, Wisma Menumbing pernah di sewakan tahun 1996. Pemerintah Kabupaten Bangka, saat itu masih tergabung dengan Provinsi Sumatera Selatan, menyewakan bangunan bersejarah tersebut kepada PT Carmeta selama 15 tahun untuk dikelola sebagai hotel dan restoran. Wisma Menumbing pun berubah nama menjadi Hotel Jati Menumbing. Entah apa alasan Pemkab Bangka waktu itu, mengizinkan Wisma Menumbing tersebut disewakan. Sayang sekali aset sejarah itu pun dibangun menara sarana telekomunikasi dan stasiun pemancar siaran televisi. Secara tak sadar keberadaan menara itu jelas merusak lanskap keseluruhan situs bersejarah tersebut.
Namun aset sejarah ini jauh lebih berharga. Disinilah puluhan tahun silam para tokoh penjuang kemerdekaan RI itu selama kurang lebih sembilan bulan menghabisi waktunya.



in 1986

Name of the temple has been amended twice. in the Orde Baru era is named Amal Bhakti temple

 the front of the temples kwan tie miap being exposed to widening the road so that the front yard, front door and the wall back several feet. the altar remains intact and in the front is built into 2 floors.

 In 1991

 the back of the temple was changed into place of employee bed and kitchen.

Dated February 22, 1998

a fire destroyed all the buildings except the temple on the left side of the building,

after that the temple was rebuilt by an expert in the temple: Jamal. All restored and finished as the form now and

inaugurated on August 5, 1999

under the name

 Temple of Kwan Tie Miau.

Kwan Tie Miau

near by with the location of Pasar Mambo and Gang Singapur has changed as one of the place attractions the city Pangkalpinang as place of cultural tourism and shopping tourism.

This site attempted to china town (to remind the old faces Pangkalpinang city heavily influenced by the houses and temples china). and also serves as a center for celebrating the Lunar New Year (Imlek), celebrating Cap Go Meh, Sembahyang Rebut activities and activities of Pot Ngin Bun. Pot Ngin Bun activities is the only one ritual in the Temple of Kwan Tie Miau.






Bangka Travelling Informations

Legend story

Tradisi Perang Ketupat di Tempilang, Bangka

Perang Ketupat di Tempilang

Gendang panjang, gendang Tempilang/Gendang disambit, kulet belulang/Tari kamei, tari Serimbang,/Tari kek nyambut, tamu yang datang

Lagu Timang Burong (Menimang Burung) pengiring tari serimbang itu dilantunkan secara lembut.

Lagu itu, diiringi suara gendang dari enam penabuh serta alunan biola, untuk mengiringi gerak lima penari remaja yang menyambut tamu.

Dengan baju dan selendang merah, kelima penari menyita perhatian ribuan pengunjung yang memadati Pantai Pasir Kuning, Tempilang, Bangka Barat, Bangka Belitung.

Tarian yang menggambarkan kegembiraan sekumpulan burung siang menyambut kehadiran seekor burung malam itu merupakan pembukaan dari rangkaian tradisi perang ketupat,

 khas Kecamatan Tempilang, awal September lalu. Tradisi tersebut menggambarkan perang terhadap makhluk-makhluk halus yang jahat, yang sering mengganggu kehidupan masyarakat.

Tradisi itu sebenarnya sudah dimulai pada malam sebelum perang ketupat dimulai. Pada malam hari sebelumnya, tiga dukun Kecamatan Tempilang, yaitu dukun darat, dukun laut, dan dukun yang paling senior, memulai upacara Penimbongan.

Upacara dimaksudkan untuk memberi makan makhluk halus yang dipercaya bertempat tinggal di darat. Sesaji untuk makanan makhluk halus itu diletakkan di atas penimbong atau rumah-rumahan dari kayu menangor.

Secara bergantian, ketiga dukun itu memanggil roh-roh di Gunung Panden, yaitu Akek Sekerincing, Besi Akek Simpai, Akek Bejanggut Kawat, Datuk Segenter Alam, Putri Urai Emas, Putri Lepek Panden, serta makhluk halus yang bermukim di Gunung Mares,

yaitu Sumedang Jati Suara dan Akek Kebudin.

Menurut para dukun, makhluk-makhluk halus itu bertabiat baik dan menjadi penjaga Desa Tempilang dari serangan roh-roh jahat. Karena itu, mereka harus diberi makan agar tetap bersikap baik terhadap warga desa.

Pada upacara Penimbongan itu digelar tari campak, tari serimbang, tari kedidi, dan tari seramo.

Tari campak dilakukan dalam beberapa tahap dengan iringan pantun yang dinyanyikan secara bersahut-sahutan. Tari ini juga biasa digelar dalam pesta pernikahan atau pesta rakyat lainnya.

Tari kedidi lebih mirip dengan peragaan jurus-jurus silat yang diilhami gerakan lincah burung kedidi, sedangkan tari seramo merupakan tari penutup yang menggambarkan pertempuran habis-habisan antara kebenaran melawan kejahatan.

Seusai upacara Penimbongan, para dukun itu kembali mengadakan upacara Ngancak, yakni pada tengah malamnya. Upacara Ngancak dimaksudkan memberi makan kepada makhluk halus penunggu laut.

Diterangi empat batang lilin, dukun laut

 membuka acara itu dengan membaca mantra-mantra pemanggil makhluk halus penunggu laut, di antara bebatuan tepi Pantai Pasir Kuning, Tempilang. Nama-nama makhluk halus itu diyakini tidak boleh diberitahukan kepada masyarakat agar tidak disalahgunakan untuk kepentingan tertentu.

Seperti pada upacara Penimbongan, upacara Ngancak juga dilengkapi sesaji bagi makhluk halus penunggu laut. Sesaji itu dipercaya merupakan makanan kesukaan siluman buaya, yaitu buk pulot atau nasi ketan, telur rebus, dan pisang rejang.

Perang ketupat

Pagi harinya,

 seusai tari serimbang digelar, dukun darat dan dukun laut bersatu merapal mantra di depan wadah yang berisi 40 ketupat.

Mereka juga berdoa kepada Yang Maha Kuasa agar perayaan tersebut dilindungi, jauh dari bencana.

Di tengah membaca mantra, dukun darat tiba-tiba tak sadarkan diri (trance) dan terjatuh. Dukun laut menolongnya dengan membaca beberapa mantra, dan akhirnya dukun darat pun sadar dalam hitungan detik.

Menurut beberapa orang tua di tempat tersebut, ketika itu dukun darat sedang berhubungan dengan arwah para leluhur. Kenyataannya, setelah siuman, dukun darat menyampaikan beberapa hal yang tidak boleh dilakukan (pantangan) warga selama tiga hari, antara lain melaut, bertengkar, menjuntai kaki dari sampan ke laut, menjemur pakaian di pagar, dan mencuci kelambu serta cincin di sungai atau laut.

Setelah semua ritual doa selesai, kedua dukun itu langsung menata ketupat di atas sehelai tikar pandan. Sepuluh ketupat menghadap ke sisi darat dan sepuluh lainnya ke sisi laut.

Kemudian, 20 pemuda yang menjadi peserta perang ketupat juga berhadapan dalam dua kelompok, menghadap ke laut dan ke darat.

Dukun darat memberi contoh dengan melemparkan ketupat ke punggung dukun laut dan kemudian dibalas, tetapi ketupat tidak boleh dilemparkan ke arah kepala. Kemudian, dengan aba-aba peluit dari dukun laut, perang ketupat pun dimulai.

Ke-20 pemuda langsung menghambur ke tengah dan saling melemparkan ketupat ke arah lawan mereka. Semua bersemangat melemparkan ketupat sekeras-kerasnya dan berebut ketupat yang jatuh.

Keadaan kacau sampai dukun laut meniup peluitnya tanda usai perang dan mereka pun berjabat tangan.

Selanjutnya, perang babak kedua dimulai. Prosesnya sama dengan yang pertama, tetapi pesertanya diganti. Perang kali ini pun tidak kalah serunya karena semua peserta melempar ketupat dengan penuh emosi.

Rangkaian upacara itu ditutup dengan upacara Nganyot Perae atau menghanyutkan perahu mainan dari kayu ke laut. Upacara itu dimaksudkan mengantar para makhluk halus pulang agar tidak mengganggu masyarakat Tempilang.


Pergeseran budaya

Kentalnya pengaruh dukun dan dominannya aspek dinamisme dalam tradisi perang ketupat terjadi karena budaya ini merupakan warisan masyarakat asli Pulau Bangka yang belum beragama, atau sering disebut sebagai orang Lom.

Tidak ada yang mengetahui secara pasti kapan dimulainya tradisi ini. Namun, berdasarkan cerita rakyat, ketika Gunung Krakatu meletus pada tahun 1883, tradisi ini sudah ada.

Seiring dengan masuknya pengaruh Islam ke Bangka, tradisi tersebut pun mengalami beberapa perubahan cara dan pergeseran substansi. Meskipun tetap turut menonton perang ketupat, sebagian besar warga yang beragama Islam telah mengubah beberapa ritual menjadi bernuansa islami.

Perayaan yang dulunya difokuskan bagi roh-roh halus, kini sebagian ditujukan untuk mengenang arwah leluhur. Demikian pula dengan sesaji, diubah menjadi kenduri untuk dimakan bersama.

Puteri Malam Cerita Rakyat Bangka

Penggemar cerita rakyat mungkin akan mendapat kesulitan untuk menemukan cerita rakyat Pulau Bangka.

 Berbeda dengan cerita rakyat daerah lainnya seperti: Sunda, Jawa, Batak, Aceh, Sulawesi, yang sudah banyak diterbitkan. Baik dalam suatu kumpulan bersama antara cerita rakyat dari berbagai daerah maupun sendiri-sendiri.
Namun demikian penggemar cerita rakyat Pulau Bangka yang dikenal sebagai penghasil timah itu tidak perlu kecewa karena masih dapat ditolong oleh Proyek Penerbitan Buku Sastra Indonesia dan Daerah, Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan.

Pada tahun 1983 Proyek ini pernah menerbitkan buku Puteri Ladang dan Puteri Malam yang ditulis oleh Amiruddin D (Dja’far) berisi cerita rakyat Bangka .

Dalam kata pengantar pengarang kita pun akhirnya mengetahui bahwa buku ini merupakan lanjutan penerbitan sebelumnya yakni Cerita-Cerita Purba dari P. Bangka yang ditulis oleh pengarang yang sama. Mungkin karena penerbitan dengan oplah terbatas kedua buku ini pun sukar ditemukan di tengah masyarakat.
Selanjutnya dalam tulisan ini kita mencoba melihat nilai budaya daerah dalam cerita rakyat Puteri Malam.
Puteri Malam mengisahkan Pak Raje seorang kepala desa yang memiliki sawah dan bertindak sewenang-wenang. Sawah yang ditanami padi yang sedang berbuah itu dimasuki beberapa ekor babi. Pak Raje meminta kepada Sang Penyumpit menjaganya dengan dalih orang tua Sang Penyumpit yang sudah almarhum pernah berutang kepadanya. Demi membayar utang orang tua Sang Penyumpit rela bekerja pada Pak Raje.

 Ketika menjalankan tugasnya Sang Penyumpit mendapat rezeki yang tak diduga sehingga kaya raya. Melihat ini Pak Raje juga ingin mengikuti jejak Sang Penyumpit namun nasibnya sial, Pak Raje mati. Untunglah kemudian Sang Penyumpit mau membantu sehingga Pak Raje pulih kembali. Di akhir cerita Pak Raje insaf akan perbuatannya.

Lalu menikahkan anaknya yang bungsu dengan Sang Penyumpit. Jabatan kepala desa pun diserahkannya kepada menantunya yang baik hati itu.
Tema cerita ini memperlihatkan bahwa orang yang jahat akan mendapat hukuman yang setimpal dan orang yang baik akan mendapat keberuntungan.

Sedang pesan atau amanat cerita adalah sebaiknya jangan berbuat jahat dan sewenang-wenang kepada orang lain.
Perlakuan jahat yang dilakukan Pak Raje pada mulanya ketika sawahnya dimasuki babi.

Dia memaksa Sang Penyumpit untuk mau menjaga. Agar Sang Penyumpit tak dapat menolak Pak Raje mengatakan bahwa pekerjaan ini sebagai ganti membayar utang ayahnya yang sudah almarhum.

Sang Penyumpit tak dapat menolak demi untuk melunasi hutang ayahnya dan inilah tanda ia berbakti kepada orang tua. Sang Penyumpit bekerja keras siang malam demi membela nama baik orang tuanya.
Tutur Amiruddin Ja’far dalam cerita Puteri Malam:
Sampai diladang ia pun membakar kemenyan minta restu dewa-dewanya, tak lupa ia memuja mentemau (dewa babi) agar suka menolongnya supaya babi-babi jangan dilepaskan memakan ladang Pak Raje.

 Jika malam telah menyungkupi alam ini, sunyi senyaplah perladangan itu, merondalah Sang Penyumpit kesegenap pojok ladang.

 Tiga malam belum kejadian apa-apa, demikianlah hingga tujuh malam berlalu. Siang hari ia harus bekerja di ladang menuai padi dan malam hari harus pula jaga hingga tubuhnya merasa lemas dan pucat. Kadang-kadang ingin ia beristirahat tapi mengingat ancaman Pak Raje terpaksa ia terus berjaga-jaga.
Kerja keras Sang Penyumpit diberi imbalan yang baik. Dalam cerita dikisahkan ketika babi memasuki sawah ia sempat menombak dan mengenai seekor babi. Ingin tahu Sang Penyumpit menelusuri ke mana babi itu lari lewat darah yang bercucuran.

 Tiba di sebuah desa dalam rimba itu ia akhirnya mengetahui yang terkena seorang puteri. Ibu puteri itu minta kepada Sang Penyumpit menyembuhkan sakit puteri.

Sang Penyumpit menolong puteri yang sakit. Nilai budaya menolong di sini digambarkan pengarang dalam cerita sebagai berikut:
Didekatinya gadis yang sedang sakit itu, dibukanya selimut yang menutupi kakinya.

Sang Penyumpit meneliti tampak olehnya suatu benda hitam mencuat, sedikit ditelitinya betul-betul nyatalah bahwa itu mata tombak. ”Bik, kuminta agar disediakan buluh seruas panjang sehasta, daun keremunting yang sudah ditumbuk banyaknya secupak”, kata Sang Penyumpit kepada ibu gadis itu……..
……………dicabutnya mata tombak yang terhunus , ….luka bekas cabutan ditutupinya dengan daun keremunting untuk penahan darah yang keluar.
Besok tentu ia sudah bisa berjalan-jalan kembali….
Di sini kita juga diberi informasi bagaimana mengobati orang luka dengan dedaunan obat yang tersedia di daerah itu.
Nilai budaya tolong-menolong dapat ditemukan juga dalam cerita rakyat ini, ketika Sang Penyumpit akan pergi meninggalkan desa puteri itu.

Sang Penyumpit yang telah menolong menyembuhkan puteri yang sakit diberi hadiah. Hal itu digambarkan pengarang sebagai berikut:
……tetapi sebelum anak pulang paman mau menyiapkan oleh-oleh guna kau bawa ke duniamu.
Inilah oleh-oleh dari dunia kami, ini bungkusan kunyit, ini bungkusan buah nyatoh, ini daun simpur, ini buah jering. Tapi kempat bungkusan ini jangan anakku buka sebelum sampai ke rumah. Supaya anak tidak mendapat kesulitan di jalan bakarlah dulu kemenyan ini.
Dalam cerita selanjutnya digambarkan ketika oleh-oleh itu dibuka dirumah Sang Penyumpit ternyata isinya bukan kunyit dan jering tetapi perhiasan emas, pemata intan berlian. Sejak itu tersiar kabar bahwa Sang Penyumpit telah menjadi kaya raya. Hutang ayahnya kepada Pak Raje pun segera dilunasi.
Mendengar pengalaman Sang Penyumpit yang akhirnya menjadi kaya raya, Pak Raje pun ingin meniru.

 Tapi sial ketika Pak Raje mengikuti jejak Sang Penyumpit dalam cerita dikisahkan mati.

Setelah mengobati anak gadis yang kena tombak itu Pak Raje tertidur.

Ketika bangun ia diserang berpuluh-puluh ekor babi yang besar-besar. Tubuhnya disobek-sobek.

Berita ini tersiar di desa Pak Raje. Puteri tua Pak Raje menyampaikan nasib ayahnya kepada Sang Penyumpit. Mendengar kabar ini Sang Penyumpit ingin segera menolong lebih-lebih ia sudah mengenal desa itu.

Sifat menolong dan jujur yang dimiliki oleh Sang Penyumpit merupakan nilai budaya daerah yang khas dalam cerita rakyat Puteri Malam.

 Hal ini tercermin dalam baris-baris yang disusun pengarang Amiruddin Ja’far sebagai berikut:
Dewa Matemau mengetahui bahwa anakku seorang yang jujur. Karena kejujuranmu itu, anakku dianiaya ataupun ditipu oleh sebangsamu di duniamu sendiri.

Sebat itulah Matemau pada mulanya melarang adik-adikmu ke tempat buah-buahan yang enak di ladang Pak Raje, kemudian Matemau memerintahkan supaya adik-adikmu datang lagi ke ladang.

Kami bertanya mengapa Matemau memerintahkan demikian? Katanya cucuku Sang Penyumpit harus ditolong karena dia sendiri ditipu oleh Pak Raje. Bagaimana caranya Sang Penyumpit menolong Pak Raje sehingga tubuhnya tak tersobek-sobek lagi dan hidup kembali?

Dikisahkan Sang Penyumpit menggunakan 7 helai daun. Lalu dia membakar kemenyan lalu menyebut, ada tangan, ada kaki. Semua anggota tubuh Pak Raje disebut. Terakhir diucapkan Pak Raje.
Digambarkan dalam asap mengepul Sang Penyumpit membacakan manteranya lalu tampak Pak Raje berusaha duduk.

Dia tampak menggosok-gosokkan matanya.
Pak Raje yang telah insaf dan mengaku bersalah digambarkan pengarang dengan kalimat sebagai berikut:
” Marilah kita pulang Sang Penyumpit segala kesalahankku kepadamu dan kepada rakyat segera kuminta maaf. Sesudah itu engkau kukawinkan dengan si Bungsu lalu aku akana mengundurkan diri, engkaulah akan menggantiku.

Marilah kita pulang agar kabar gembira ini segera kita laksanakan”.
Sesuai dengan janji Pak Raje pada saat yang telah ditentukan puteri Bungsunya dinikahkannya dengan Sang Penyumpit. Jabatan sebagai kepala desa pun diserahkan kepada menantunya yang baik hati itu.

Selanjutnya kedua insan yang baru menjadi suami isteri ini hidup berbahagia.***

Sekilas Sejarah Rebo Kasan

  1. I.                LATAR BELAKANG
  2. II.            Upacara Rabu Kasan setiap tahun diadakan di desa Air Anyer Kecamatan Merawang Kabupaten Bangka. Upacara ini merupakan tolak balak yang dilaksanakan tiap-tiap hari Rabu di bulan Syafar Tahun Hijriah.

Perkataan Rabu Kasan berasal dari kata Rabu yang terakhir (Bulan Syafar).

Menurut keterangan dari beberapa orang ulama, setiap tahun Allah menurunkan bermacam-macam bala lebih kurang 3.200 macam bala ke muka bumi ini pada hari Rabu terakhir di bulan Syafar, mulai terbitnya fajar sampai siang Rabu tersebut.

Maka setiap penduduk pada hari itu hendaklah hati-hati, karena pada hari itulah yang paling mudah dan paling banyak mendapatkan bala (bahaya).

Oleh sebab itu dianjurkan pada setiap penduduk yang ada berencana untuk mengerjakan pekerjaan yang berat-berat atau akan bepergian jauh sebaiknya diundurkan atau dibatalkan dulu sampai kira-kira pukul 02.00 siang, serta dianjurkan setiap penduduk pada hari itu sebaiknya berkumpul dan bersama-sama membaca do’a agar tersisih dari sekalian bala yang diturunkan Allah S.W.T pada hari itu.

Ada bermacam-macam cara dan pendapat mereka mengadakan upacara tolak bala tersebut.

Pada hari biasanya diadakan di ujung / batas kampung, masyarakat pergi beramai-ramai dan berkumpul di tempat upacara serta membawa makanan-makanan dan yang penting agi adlaah ketupat lepas yaitu ketupat tolak bala dan air wafak.

 Yang dimaksud dengan ketupat tolak balak yaitu ketupat yang dianyam sedemikian rupa yang mudah terlepas apabila bagian ujung dan pangkal daun yang dianyam itu ditarik. Dan ketupat ini tanpa isi.

Demikian juga Air Wafak yaitu air yang telah dicampur dengan air do’a wafak yang diambil dari ayat Al-Qur’an dan do’a ini ditulis di piring porselin yang putih bersih dengan tinta dawer dari Mekkah, kemudian piring yang bertulisan itu diisi dengan air bersih sampai tulisan itu terhapus dan bercampur dengan air tadi.

 Jika kita memerlukan lebih banyak, maka air ini boleh kita tambah sebanyak mungkin.


Pada waktu dahulu upacara ini diadakan di ujung atau perbatasan kampung, di sana mereka berkumpul tua, muda, laki-laki, permepuan setiap yang hadir telah membawa makanan-makanan, dan masing-masing membawa kerupat tolak balak yang telah disediakan masing-masing keluarga. Tetapi sekarang ini telah diadakan di masjid dan yang hadir cukup para lelaki saja, terutama bagi kepala keluarga.



  1. 1.    Sehari sebelum upacara Rabu Kasan diadakan, semua penduduk telah menyiapkan segala keperluan upacara tersebut seperti ketupat tolak balak, air wafak dan makanan untuk dimakan bersama pada hari itu.
  2. 2.  Tepat pada hari Rabu Kasan itu, kira-kira pukul 07.00 WIB semua penduduk yang akan mengikuti upacara telah hadir ke tempat upacara dengan membawa sedulang makanan, ketupat tolak bala sebanyak jumlah keluarga masing-masing. Setelah berkumpul semua sesuai dengan jadwal yang telah ditentukan baru acara segera dimulai.


  1. 1.    Pertama berdirilah seorang di depan pintu masjid dan menghadap keluar lalu mengumandangkan adzan.
  2. 2.  Lalu disusul dengan pembacaan do’a bersama-sama. Selesai berdo’a semua yang hadir menarik/melepaskan anyaman ketupat tolak balak yang terlah tersedia tadi, satu persatu menurut jumlah yang dibawa sambil menyebut nama keluarganya masing-masing.
  3. 3.  Setelah selesai acara melepaskan anyaman ketupat tolak balak tersebut baru mereka makan.
  4. 4.  Setelah makan bersama, lalu masing-masing pergi mengambil air wafak yang telah disediakan termasuk untuk semua keluarganya yang ada di rumah masing-masing.
  5. 5.  Setelah selesai acara ini mereka pulang dan bersilahturahmi ke rumah tetangga/keluarganya.
  6. 6.  Pada akhir-akhir ini banyak yang menggunakan kesempatan ini pada sore-sore harinya terutama bagi muda mudi mencari hiburan di Pantai Air Anyer. Bahkan sekarang ini makin banyak pengunjung yang datang dari luar kampung Air Anyer menyaksikan dan berlibur ke Pantai Air Anyer pada setiap tahun diadakan acara Upacara Rabu Kasan ini.


Demikianlah sinopsi Rabu Kasan ini dibuat, semoga berguna bagi kita untuk mengetahui sejarah kebudayaan yang ada di Pulau Bangka dan kita patut untuk menjaga dan kelestariannya.

Pesona Wista Pekak Liang Bangka




Palau Bangka


We went by dinghy (dinghied does not compute to the spell checker) to the village this morning to deliver a case of clothes kindly donated by Anglicare to the lady and group that Dianne met yesterday.

We included some Rid, Bushman and Insect repellent as one of their children had been suffering from considerable sandfly/bug bites.

Of course they were delighted and returned the favour with freshly cut green coconuts which are great to drink and the soft immature flesh delightful to eat – you really need to go troppo for a while to appreciate the value of the green coconut.

We went shopping at a couple of the ‘shoplets’ for eggs and a few extras and the village group wanted to see Charmar so they followed us back across the bay and came on board. It was great fun and we took and printed photos for them, which they absolutely enjoy, dined on chocolate bars and communicated well without language! Great fun.

On the way back to Charmar we had passed a fishing boat anchored only a short distance behind us and they called us over and presented us with a coconut just turning yellow, so we took them back a bottle of softdrink.

After the first visitors left they signalled they would like to come across so they have been on board for about three hours.

We have been playing with lures and fishing gear and they have taken away some spoons and lures and stainless wire and gear.

The youngest was 15 and there were three of them. They wouldn’t eat lunch but we are not sure whether they were Muslim and Ramaden they do not eat for this season as most people here are Budhist or Christian.

They really enjoyed getting off their rolly boat onto a stable platform for a while. They have a compass on their boat but the elder one and I guess the skipper was fascinated by the GPS Plotter and depthsounder! Winches and things on board generally they all wanted to check out.

There are many Chinese people in this village and one man who was visiting his brother here for holiday said to us it called China Town where we were.

 Of course relations between the Chinese and Indonesian have not always been cordial but here everyone seems to be living in harmony, and why not it is a delightful area with sandy beaches, coral reefs, surf beaches, comfortable accommodation, although the fishing village people were in stilt houses with basic huts and a common well. They were the nicest and most welcoming people.

But it is time for us to press on as Kirsty only has less than a week on her visa! So in an hour or so we will untie the boys on the prau behind us, they are still attached but are back on their boat, pull up a headsail and drift off north in the following breeze to see how far we can get overnight.

Talk to you then!

Behind the beaches
18/09/2008, Palau Bangka


This anchorage at Palau Bangka is great. There are permanent fish traps built in the sea outside this area where they put lights on at night, lower nets, take their catch. It seems people get left out on them to do the work. They are constructed of Bamboo in about 20 metres of water.

Back to the anchorage, palm tree lined beaches, shallow at about 5 metres, and interesting bays, rocky outcrops and long beaches of white sand. AND the beaches are relatively clean about as clean as most Aussie beaches, some thongs, bottles and the odd bit of flotsam but relatively clean.

Yesterday we went about 20 mins by dinghy to the local village. Not much English spoken here but a very large house on the beach and the owner took us through the house block, past the monkeys, chooks etc into the main street of the village.

People came out and spoke with us and one elderly man took us and very proudly showed us around a hotel they are building with accommodation, billiard room, cafe etc. Very interesting. From amongst this group we found out there were no markets in the village, we would have to go to the city! (Parang???) , no bemos or buses and a car was hard to get. One chap volunteered a motorcycle ride so I set off with instructions to buy fresh fruit and veges for both boats.

Off we went along first dirt roads , then bitumen track through villages and settlements across the island and sure enough 30 mins later we were in a significant town with a shopping street, market shops and a supermarket. Papaya, grapes, oranges, melon, lychees, apples, pears, etc were bought at the market shops and we visited the supermarket but didn’t buy, loaded up the scooter and headed back for the beach village.

Stopped at a roadside vendor and bought two pineapples and two cucumbers (much cheaper than the town prices) and headed off again with a very fully loaded scooter bottoming out on all the many bumps and potoholes!

We were back at the village in the hour and half. The boy who took me to town was a mechanic from Djakarta and he didn’t want anything for taking me in. Of course we did provide him a gift – it was great to top up the fruit and vege supplies and the Papaya (although expensive by local standards) are so rich and good to taste and BIG.

The village here is predominantly Budhist, but the boy who took me to town was proudly Christian. Many people appear to be of Chinese extraction. The houses are neat and tidy and well kept and furnished and it appears to be a very pretty and pleasant place to livel.

The village is a fishing village and Dianne and the others had been “talking” with the locals and making friends – we will take a suitcase of clothing back over this morning. We might also be able to buy some fish when the boats come back in this morning – goodness knows we seem to have no possibility of actually catching one here – and no wonder the way we fish is just plain lazy compared to the work they put into it.

There are maybe a hundred or so fishing boats tied up outside the village all fitted with strong lamps etc that go out fishing from here at night.

A very friendly and welcoming place.

Large fires on the island showered us with ash and soot last night which was a great shame as we were so pleased that the heavy rain squalls of a few nights ago had finally washed the last of the Darwin ash and dust off the boat! Now we are back where we started!

Time wise we could have gone up to see the Orang-u-Tans in Kalimantan but we are enjoying the easy days here and have really enjoyed this anchorage and a bit of swimming, snorkelling and exploring.

Late this afternoon we will probably head off for an overnighter to the next destination.





Fishermen and a whole community of people converted into illegal tin ore divers on the coast of Bangka Island, South of Sumatra, Indonesia.







Jalan-Jalan ke Pulau Bangka

Pagi terasa begitu menyenangkan, walaupun lelah telah menderu semalaman. Daypack pun menunggu di samping pintu kamar, tak sabar rasanya ingin lepas dari penatnya rutinitas.

Yeaay, pagi ini saya akan menuju ke Pulau Bangka. Acara tahunan kantor yang lebih dikenal dengan istilah Outing atau Kick-off Meeting.

Tak ingin mengulang kejadian tahun lalu dimana saya harus terburu-buru ditambah dengan perut melilit sepanjang perjalanan, pagi ini saya terpaksa harus berangkat lebih awal.

Di kegelapan pagi, saya bergegas menuju halte kampus UI, deretan Burung Biru siap mengantarkan saya menuju bandara. Beruntung, pak supir cukup sigap menghadapi kemacetan jalan raya. Yaaa.. walaupun telat untuk sarapan pagi bersama, setidaknya roti dan susu yang saya makan di tengah perjalanan, cukup untuk mengganjal perut sesampainya di Bangka.

10.45 CGK – PGK.



Waktu menunjukkan pukul 11.45, cuaca cukup bersahabat ketika kami tiba di

Bandara Depati Amir, Pangkal Pinang.

Rombongan kami yang berjumlah 25 orang disambut dengan hangat oleh pemandu wisata yang siap mengantarkan kami ke beberapa objek wisata di Pangkal Pinang.

Dengan menggunakan minibus, perjalanan wisata kami pun dimulai. Dian, seorang pemandu wisata yang akan memandu kami selama 2 hari kedepan mulai bercerita sepanjang perjalanan mengenai pulau Bangka. Dengan gaya bahasa yang lucu dan sedikit agak narsis,

Dian mulai menjadi sasaran empuk untuk menjadi bahan kecengan selama perjalanan. Lulusan Akuntansi Universitas Padjajaran ini lebih memilih bekerja di pemerintahan daerah dan menjadi pemandu wisata karena kecintaannya akan pulau Bangka. Hmm.. sepertinya kami memliki pemandu wisata yang mumpuni untuk mengenal lebih jauh mengenai pulau ini.

Menempuh waktu selama 30 menit dari bandara Depati Amir, akhirnya kami sampai di tujuan pertama,



 Pantai Pasir Padi.

 Pantai yang berjarak 7 Km dari Pangkal Pinang, ibu kota Propinsi Kepulauan Bangka Belitung ini merupakan tempat pertama yang kami kunjungi karena lokasinya yang masih berada di kota dan sangat mudah untuk dijangkau.

Hampir semua wisatawan yang tiba dari bandara Depati Umar, pasti mengunjungi Pasir Padi terlebih dahulu sebagai persinggahan pertama.

Keunikan Pantai Pasir Padi  adalah ombak yang tenang dan kontur pasir yang padat, putih dan halus. Kata Dian, saat air laut mengalami pasang surut, pantai ini bisa digunakan sebagai arena lomba balap motor.




Selain Pasir Padi, banyak pantai indah yang dimiliki oleh Pulau Bangka, seperti

 Pantai Parai, Tanjung Pesona, Pantai Matras, Pantai Rebo, Tanjung Ular, Tanjung Kalian, Air Anyir dan Romodong.

Waah.. bakalan nggak cukup 3 hari nih untuk menikmati semua wisata pantai. Istirahat di Pasir Padi kami manfaatkan untuk makan siang di

 Rumah Makan Biru Laut.

Setelah puas makan siang dan berfoto-foto, perjalanan pun kami lanjutkan kembali. Kali ini kami akan mengunjungi

Museum Timah.

Dalam perjalanan menuju Museum, Dian bercerita mengenai kondisi alam di Pulau Bangka yang saat ini kurang mendapat perhatian dari pemerintah daerah. Tampak oleh kami, beberapa tempat di pinggir jalan raya, banyak dijumpai bekas penambangan timah yang sepertinya ditinggal begitu saja.

Letaknya yang strategis di jalan raya Pangkal Pinang, membuat Museum Timah sangat mudah untuk ditemui, ditambah dengan kereta timah yang terpajang di depan gedung Museum, semakin menguatkan identitas dari sebuah Museum.

Sesampainya di Museum Timah, pemandu museum yang ramah dan penuh semangat menjelaskan kepada kami mengenai


sejarah penambangan timah di Pulau Bangka.

Semua peninggalan dan cerita sejarah tersimpan rapih di museum ini.







Museum yang dibuka sejak tahun 1997

ini menempati bangunan bekas rumah karasidenan zaman belanda. Sebelum menjadi museum, rumah ini merupakan rumah tempat tinggal karyawan perusahaan BTW ( Banka Tin Winning).

Dari museum ini kita bisa mengetahui kalau timah pertama kali digali di Pulau Bangka pada tahun 1709.

Pulau Bangka Belitung memang sangat terkenal dengan timahnya. Jadi, kalau anda ke pulau Bangka, anda wajib mengunjungi Museum Timah.


Tak ingin menyia-nyiakan waktu hari ini, kami meyempatkan diri mengunjungi pengrajin kain Ishadi Cual yang menjual pakaian dan kain khas Bangka. Letaknya berada di Jl. Ahmad Yani No. 46. Ishadi merupakan nama dari Isnawati dan Abdul Hadi (telah meninggal Januari 2006). Cual sendiri merupakan kain adat yang sudah berkembang sejak abad XVI di pulau Bangka, hanya saja masyarakat disini lebih mengenal songket palembang karena sebelumnya kepulauan Bangka Belitung masuk ke dalam propinsi Sumatera Selatan. Kain cual pada dasarnya adalah kain tenun seperti songket, dengan warna-warna yang cerah dan menyala, khas kain tradisional Melayu. Tak banyak yang bisa kami lakukan disini selain melihat-lihat beberapa hasil kerajinan kain cual.


Tempat berikutnya adalah

 Otak Otak Amui.

Kata Dian, disini adalah otak-otak terenak di pulau Bangka, walaupun yang saya rasakan sama aja dengan otak-otak yang saya beli di Jakarta, hanya saja variasi otak-otaknya lebih banyak. Sambil ngobrol santai dengan teman, hampir semua mengatakan “yang bikin enak sambelnya”. Yup, rasa otak-otaknya sih sama aja dengan kebanyakan otak-otak, hanya saja sambelnya yang membuat saya tidak bisa berhenti menguyah. Makan otak-otak disini belum lengkap rasanya kalu belum ditemani dengan

 es kacang merah.

 Anyway buswaaay, sepertinya ini tempat terlama yang kami kunjungi sebelum kami menuju ke hotel untuk beristirahat. Rombongan kami pun memesan otak-otak yang diantarkan di hari terakhir sebagai oleh-oleh.



Hanya 2 jam waktu yang bisa kami manfaatkan untuk beristirahat di kamar hotel.

Pada saat keluar hotel, minibus sudah siap mengantarkan kami. Kata Dian, kami akan makan malam di salah satu tempat makan yang wajib dikunjungi di pulau Bangka, namanya

 Rumah Makan Mr. Asui. 

 Mr. Asui terletak di tengah kota Pangkal Pinang, tepatnya di Yang Zubaidah. Dari plang nama yang kami lihat, kami kira rumah makan ini berada di pinggir jalan, ternyata kami harus memasuki sebuah gang untuk menuju tempat makan tersebut.

 Ada tiga rumah makan dalam satu deret rumah yang menyatu.  Mr. Asui berada di rumah kedua.


Lagi-lagi, kami disuguhi makanan laut seperti di Pasir Padi.

Hadir dihadapan saya,

buntut ikan tenggiri bakar, kepiting saus tiram dan cah kangkung. Kombinasi yang pas ditambah dengan cocolan sambal terasi khas bangka.

Makan malam di Rumah Makan Ashuy menjadi tempat wisata terakhir di hari ini. Satu kata untuk hari ini, kenyang


Malam mulai mengusik rasa ingin tahu saya mengenai kehidupan malam di kota Pangkal Pinang.

Setelah mencoba mengendap-ngendap dan mencari tahu dari beberapa pegawai hotel, akhirnya supir hotel mulai mengantarkan kami ke

 tempat karaoke di salah satu hotel

yang letaknya tidak jauh dari tempat kami menginap.

Dari luar, suasana begitu sepi. Tapi siapa sangka, begitu kami masuk, phiuuuhhh.. suara sayup-sayup musik mulai terdengar dan gadis-gadis berpakaian seksi berlalu lalang sambil menatap dengan senyuman nakal. Salah satu wanita mulai mengantarkan kami menyusuri lorong demi lorong. Wooow, belom pernah saya melihat tempat karaoke seperti ini.

Ruangannya lumayan besar dengan sofa kulit memanjang yang terlihat sobek disana sini. Beberapa lantai keramik terlihat pecah. Di pojok ruangan terdapat meja yang sepertinya mirip meja makan dengan beberapa bangku dan kamar mandinya yang jauh dari kesan terawat. Peralatan karaoke pun seadanya, televisi 50 inchi dengan monitor komputer CRT 14 inchi sebagai operator. Ya.. sudahlah.. nikmati saja.

Tidak puas kami mengunjungi Pasir Padi di hari pertama, kali ini kami akan mengunjungi


 Salah satu pantai terindah di Pulau Bangka.

Tapi sebelum menuju kesana, kami harus lebih dulu mengunjungi dua tempat wisata, yaitu

 Desa Gedong dan Phak Kak Liang.

 Perjalanan menuju Desa Gedong kami tempuh selama 2 jam dari Pangkal Pinang. Kendaraan hanya diijinkan untuk masuk sampai dengan Gapura.


Selanjutnya kami harus berjalan kaki untuk menyusuri tempat ini. Desa Gedong merupakan kampung Cina tertua di Pulau Bangka yang saat ini ditetapkan sebagai Desa Wisata.

Letaknya berada di wilayah Lumut, kecamatan Belinyu.

Warga di Desa Gedong adalah generasi penambang terakhir di Pulau Bangka. Kehidupan mereka rata-rata berdagang dan pembuat makanan khas Bangka seperti kerupuk, kemplang dan getas.


Di kampung inilah kami mengunjungi salah satu pembuat

 kerupuk getas,

makanan khas Bangka Belitung yang terbuat dari ikan tenggiri dan kerupuk kricu yang terbuat dari cumi-cumi. Sayang, kami tidak diijinkan untuk melihat langsung pembuatan kerupuk ini dengan alasan rahasia perusahaan.

Dari kampung inilah, kerupuk Getas dan Kricu didistribusikan ke seluruh Bangka. Sambil ngobrol-ngobrol dengan pemilik rumah, mulut ini sepertinya tidak mau berhenti menyicipi ‘kerupuk gratisan’. Alhasil, setiap orang  setidaknya membeli minimal 3 kerupuk untuk dijadikan oleh-oleh.



Tempat kedua yang kami kunjungi masih berhubungan dengan kebudayaan China, namanya Phak Kak Liang.




Phak Kak Liang, Belinyu



Phak Kak Liang merupakan tempat wisata yang dibangun di atas bekas penambangan timah. Lokasinya berada di kecamatan Belinyu.


Untuk menuju Phak Kak Liang, kami harus melewati penambangan timah. Di kanan kiri jalan, terlihat jelas sisa-sisa penambangan timah yang membentuk kubangan besar dan timbunan pasir yang tinggi.


Daya tarik lain bagi wisatawan disini yang tak kalah menariknya adalah ikan air tawar yang berada di danau ini. Pengunjung dapat memberi makan yang telah disediakan oleh penjaga setempat. Menurut cerita yang sampai saat ini masih diyakini, ikan-ikan yang ada di danau ini tidak boleh dipancing atau dimakan.


Perjalanan kami lanjutkan menuju pantai Parai. Perjalanan terasa begitu membosankan. Yang kami lihat sepanjang perjalanan hanya hutan, sesekali terlihat beberapa pemukiman penduduk dan penambangan timah.

 Pemandangan yang monoton membuat kami tertidur sepanjang perjalanan. Suasana yang tadinya riang dan penuh riuh canda, sekejap berubah menjadi sunyi senyap.

 Setelah satu jam kami lalui, tiba-tiba dari kejauhan terlihat pesisir pantai. Ahh.. Parai! Pantainya cukup terlihat indah dengan beberapa batuan yang menjadi tempat favorit kami untuk berfoto-foto. Parai menjadi penutup perjalanan wisata kami di pulau Bangka.





Tidak puas dengan pengalaman malam kemarin, kali ini saya mencoba menyambangi salah satu klub malam dan tempat billiard yang cukup terkenal di Pangkal Pinang. Hahaha… teteuuu. Saya dan teman-teman menghabiskan malam terakhir di tempat ini dan keesokan hari kami harus berkemas kembali dan bersiap menuju Jakarta.



Menariknya dari kegiatan ini begitu kental dengan kegiatan nilai budaya lokal dan pesona wisata yang menakjubkan di pulau Bangka. Tak kurang sekitar 500 peserta dari 31 propinsi dari seluruh Indonesia disuguhiatraksi dan keindahan bumi Sepintu Sedulang (red-sebutan untuk kabupaten Bangka).


Sejak pembukaan acara, peserta sudah disuguhi tari-tari khas daerah Bangka seperti tari Sambut Sepintu Sedulang, tabuhan Rampak Gendang Melayu, dan tari-tarian lain. Setiap hari lidah para peserta dimanjakan dengan makanan khas yang serta seafood. Bahkan ketika melakukan riset lapangan, interaksi dengan masyarakat lokal penambang, masyarakat etnis Tionghoa, dan Melayu menjadi kajian yang menarik untuk ditulis oleh para peserta.


Pengembangan pariwisata sebagai alternatif sumber penghasil selain penambangan pun ikut dicermati oleh para peserta. Lokasi penelitian untuk siswa ditempat di kawasan multi etnis dengan nilai budayalokal yang masih kental. Bahkan ibu bapak guru yang ikut mendampingi para peserta tak luput dari kegiatan workshop guru.


Workshop Guru memberikan pengalaman menarik untukpara tenaga pengajar dari seluruh Indonesia itu untuk melakukan riset sosial atau ilmu pengetahuan alam dengan lokasi di Pantai Matras, Pantai Parai Tenggiri, dan lingkungan multi etnis di perkampungan Pohin (Air Duren) Bangka.


Pantai Matras dan Pantai Parai Tenggiri menjadi representatif pantai-pantai di Bangka yang amat indah dan landai. Terletak disebelah timur laut Pulau Bangka dan berjarak sekitar 40 km dari Pangkalpinang atau 7 km dari kota Sungailiat. Pantai indah ini terkenal dengan nama Pantai Matras karena terletak di desa Matras, Kelurahan Sinar Jaya, Kecamatan Sungailiat, Kabupaten Bangka. Panjang pantai ini mencapai 3 km dan lebar 20-30 m yang dilatar belakangi pepohonan kelapa dan aliran sungai yang jernih dari daratan menuju laut. Sedangkan Pantai Parai Tenggiri karena keelokan pemandangan dan suasananya, sering menyebut pantai ini sebagai Pantai Surga.


Untuk wisata sejarah, field trip di Bangka Barat, tepatnya di Kota Muntok, tentu saja menjadi sangat menarik. Kota ini merupakan tanah tempat pengasingan para pemimpin bangsa di awal-awal kemerdekaan. Sejumlah nama seperti Ir. Soekarno, Wakil Presiden Mohammad Hatta, Sekretaris Negara Pringgodigdo, Menteri Luar Negeri Agus Salim, Menteri Pengajaran Ali Sastroamidjojo, Ketua Badan KNIP Mr Assaat,Wakil Perdana Menter iMr Moh Roem dan Kepala Staf Angkatan Udara Komodor Udara S Suryadarma pernah di tempatkan di Wisma Ranggam.


Pesanggrahan Muntok adalah nama asli Wisma Ranggam. Kata pesanggrahan diambil dari bahasa Sansekerta yang berartitempat peristirahatan atau penginapan. Wisma Ranggam dibangun pada tahun 1927 oleh Pemerintah Kolonial Belanda. Tempat ini dijadikan sebagai tempat peristirahatan pegawai perusahaan timah milik Belanda.


Didepan Wisma Ranggam berdiri kokoh sebuah tugu yang tak lekang dimakan zaman. Ditugu tersebut terdapat prasasti yang ditandatangani oleh Bung Hatta padatanggal 17 Agustus 1951. Isi tulisan tersebut adalah:

” Kenang-kenang Menoembingdi Bawah Sinar Gemerlap Terang Tjoeatja, Kenang-kenang membawa Kemenangan, Bangka, Djogdjakarta, Djakarta, Hidoep Pancasila, Bhineka Tunggal Ika”.

Lokasi berikutnya adalah sebuah pantai yang terletak di Kelurahan Tanjung,Kecamatan Mentok. Pantai ini terletak ±9 km dari Kota, di sini terdapat menaraatau Mercusuar yang dibangun pada tahun 1862. Dari puncaknya dapat disaksikan seluruh kawasan Pantai Mentok yang indah. Fungsi dari menara itu sendiri untuk melihat keluar masuknya kapal-kapal dari/ke Pelabuhan Mentok.



Bukan hanya itupara peserta pun berkesempatan untuk melihat proses peleburan timah di kawasan PELTIM muntok, bahkan beberapa kelompok berhasil mencapai puncak Menumbing. Menumbing bukan tempat asing dalam sejarah Bangsa ini. Sama seperti Wisma Ranggam, Kompleks Giri Sasana Menumbing menjadi tempat pengasingan tokoh-tokoh bangsa.

Berdasarkan informasi tertulis yang dipajang di ruang 102, Soekarno dan kawan-kawan dibawa ke tempat ini dibagi menjadi tiga kelompokatau rombongan. Rombongan pertama adalah Mohammad Hatta, Mr A.G. Pringgodigdo, Mr. Assaat, dan Komodor Udara S Suryadarma. Mereka datang ke tempat ini tanggal 22 Desember 1948 dari Yogyakarta. Rombongan kedua adalah Mr. Moh Roem dan Mr.Ali Sastroamidjojo, yang dibawa langsung oleh Belanda dari Yogyakarta ke Manumbing pada tanggal 31 Desember 1948 dan rombongan ketiga adalah Bung karnodan Agus Salim didatangkan ke Bangka pada tanggal 6 februari 1949 dari tempat pengasingannya Kota Prapat, Sumatera Utara yang berdekatan dengan Danau Toba. Mereka datang dengan pesawat Catalina yang mendarat di Muara Sungai Pangkalbalam.


Kegiatan perkemahan ilmiah yang berakhir di komplek dengan ketinggian 445 meter dari permukaan laut ini membawa berbagai macam perasaan, mulai dari rasa keperihatinan lingkungan, kekaguman, kebersamaan, dan wawasan baru tentang bumi Indonesia.


Pelabuhan Belinyu



Kapal-kapal dari luar Bangka berlabuh di Pelabuhan Belinyu sejak 2010. Sedangkan seblumnya di



palabuhan sungai Liat


Kota Sungai Liat sudah ada sejak masa hindia Belanda,saat kunjungan terakhir 2012,sempat berkunjung kesana,banyak orang oramg Tiomghoa dengan ekonomi lumayan,pekrjaan tersedia dan disini juga ada timah.Masa Pak harto dilarang tambang timah oleh rakyat, dan masa Gus Dur diizin tambang rakyat.

Tambang timah Rakyat di kota sungai Liat



Tanah disemprot dan dibuat sumur kira-kira empat meter dan ketemu pasir timah, sesudah itu disedot keatas ,dicuci baru ketemu timah dan timah diambil dan air limbah dibuang ketempat lain.

Pasir timah bias dijual pada pedagang antara, satu kg Rp.80.000.- .satu hari bias ditemukan berkisar dua puluh sampai tiga puluh kg.


Alat berat punya pemerintah dapat disewa swasta,satu jam Rp.300.000.-


Dua lelaki tanpa baju menggotong pipa paralon yang disembunyikan dari gubuk di samping kolong (lubang galian tambang). Badan kekar dan kulit coklat kehitaman yang terbakar matahari menandakan aktivitas sehari-hari mereka.

 Aktivitas tambang inkonvensional (TI) dan tambang rakyat (TR) mulai terdengar di Desa Sirna Jaya, Kecamatan Sungai Liat, Kabupaten Bangka, Provinsi Bangka Belitung.

Gemuruhnya makin terdengar ketika ekskavator dan pompa penyemprot air mulai bekerja di tempat pendulangan untuk memisahkan tanah dan menyisakan batu dan pasir timah.

Di tempat lain

di Gedung PT Timah Tbk, Pangkal Pinang,

enam perajin sibuk menggarap berbagai bentuk suvenir yang dibuat dari pewter. Ini adalah bahan olahan dari timah murni (97 persen), dicampur sedikit tembaga (2 persen) dan antimon (1 persen). Dengan alat sederhana, mulai dari gunting, kikir, solder, las, hingga mesin bubut, mereka memoles timah menjadi suvenir yang menarik.


Ke Belinyu , Melihat Kota Tua Timah

Sementara saya menampik tawaran mengunjungi Pantai Tanjung Bunga, Hutan Wisata TuaTunu, Kuburan Cina Sentosa, Katedral ST. Yosef, Kuburan Akek Bandang, Museum Timah Indonesia, Rumah Eks Residen, Perigi Pasem, Tugu Kemerdekaan, Kerhof, yang ditawarkan oleh dinas Pariwisata Bangka-Belitung lewat buklet bagi peserta Temu Sastrawan Indonesia II yang hendak melancong.

Bukan karena tempat itu tidak menarik, tapi saya ingin sesuatu yang beda.

Saya ingin mengunjungi objek wisata yang tidak terpromosikan. Berdasarkan pengalaman saya sebelumnya, tempat seperti itu kadang memiliki pesona yang tersembunyi.

Gayung bersambut!

Kebetulan ada yang  bertandang ke rumah di Belinyu.

Bersama rombongan , saya menumpangi bus Damri yang disediakan oleh dinas Pariwisata negeri Timah itu.

Selama perjalanan dari Pangkalpinang ke Belinyu, saya pergunakan untuk melihat daerah yang dilintasi dari kaca bus yang melaju dalam angin petang.

Beberapa kali saya tertegun, setiap kali melihat bekas-bekas lubang tambang timah yang ditinggalkan dan terbengkalai. Dan pohon-pohon yang tidak seramai laiknya di tepi Lintas Sumatera, berjajar rapat menatap bus yang melintas.

Duh, kegersangan yang menciptakan kesedihan. Tapi saya musti melihatnya.

Melihatnya sebagai pelancong yang hanya bisa bertanya “kenapa?” tanpa menemukan jawaban yang memuaskan. Sebab tidak ada guide dalam rombongan kami selama perjalanan di bus itu.

Diam-diam, kami seperti bersepakat menjadi guide bagi diri kami sendiri. Seperti sengaja menciptakan pertanyaan-pertanyaan bagi diri kami sendiri dan dijawab oleh diri kami sendiri.

Tak terasa lebih kurang 3 jam, bus itu mengantarkan kami ke kota kecamatan Belinyu.

Sebuah kota tua yang didirikan karena pertambangan timah.

Kami disambut deretan bangunan-bangunan tua dan ruko-ruko yang sebagian besar tutup.

Padahal baru jam 5 sore. Lagi-lagi saya didera pertanyaan “kenapa?”
Karena tidak tahan, saya pun bertanya , “Kenapa ruko-ruko di sini tutup?”

“Ternyata di sini orang-orang berdagang cuma sampai jam 4 petang,”

 Lalu ia mengajak saya masuk ke rumahnya, menyusul yang lain. Di depan pintu, saya disambut oleh Mama Sunlie yang berumur sekitar 60-an dan ramah.

 Ia Menyapa saya dalam bahasa Cina Hakka.

Saya cuma bisa memberi senyum, lantaran tidak faham bahasa Hakka itu.

“Mama saya tidak bisa ngomong dengan bahasa Indonesia,” ucap Sunlie.

Di Belinyu sekitar 30 persen penduduknya adalah Cina Hakka.

 Dalam sejarah Cina perantauan (Overseas Chinese) ke Asia Tenggara, setidaknya dikenal 5 kelompok besar yang datang dan menetap, yaitu Hokkian,Hakka, Tiochiu atau Hoklo, Kanton, dan Hailam.


Kelompok Hokkian dan Tiochiu dikenal sebagai kelompok pedagang,

 Kanton sebagai kelompok pengrajin dan tukang kayu.

Hakka sebagai pekerja tambang dan perkebunan.

Dalam sejarah, Hakka adalah kelompok terakhir yang datang ke Indonesia . Mereka datang berombongan untuk dipekerjakan sebagai kuli tambang dan perkebunan.

Kedatangan Hakka pertama adalah ke Mandor dan Montrado, pertambangan emas yang dikonsesi oleh Sultan Mempawah dan Sambas, Sekitar awal tahun 1700, mereka didatangkan dalam jumlah besar melalui Serawak.

Ketika tambang timah di Bangka di buka sekitar pertengahan tahun 1700, yang disusul kemudian di Belitung, beratus-ratus orang Hakka dikapalkan ke Bangka. Dan terus berlanjut hingga pertengahan tahun 1800. Rata-rata didatangkan dari Meixien. Mereka datang tanpa membawa istri. Ketika kontrak habis hanya ada dua pilihan, kembali ke Cina atau menetap di sekitar lokasi tambang. Bagi mereka yang tidak pulang membuka permukiman di Bangka, seperti di Belinyu.

Putusan untuk menetap diikuti dengan mengambil wanita setempat sebagai istri. Arsitektur permukiman mereka telah berbaur dengan budaya setempat. Namun yang masih terlihat menonjol adalah banyaknya tapekong (tempat pemujaan besar kecil dalam permukiman itu).

Berbagai perayaan besar dalam tradisi Cina masih mereka lakukan. Sembahyang Imlek masih dirayakan dengan ketat, seperti pantangan menyapu pada hari Imlek, saling memberi Angpau, perayaan Cengbeng atau Cingming (perayaan bersih kubur leluhur). Begitu pula dengan Cioko atau sembahyang rebut, masih dilakukan.

Yang tak kalah menarik, di Belinyu memiliki tradisi mengadakan pembakaran Taiseja. Dalam perayaan itu juga disertakan berbagai replika alat transportasi seperi kapal laut, kapal terbang, dan sebagainya. Menurut Sunlie, itu disediakan bagi arwah-arwah orang Cina yang hendak pulang ke negeri leluhur. Sayangnya, saya tidak datang pada saat perayaan itu berlangsung.

Namun, jalan-jalan melewati rumah-rumah kuno beraksitektur campuran Melayu-Cina-Belanda, pedagang buah-buahan, martabak Bangka, Sate Madura, Warung Pecel Lele, Bakso Solo, Ampera Padang, Otak-otak Bakar, Mpek-mpek, di bawah cahaya bulan malam itu menciptakan nuansa eksotis. Apalagi kelengangan memberikan kedamaian tersendiri. Jauh dari suasana kota metropolis yang hiruk-pikuk.

Kapitan Bongkap, Benteng Kutopanji, Kelenteng Liang San Phak

Merasakan malam pertama di kota Belinyu dengan listrik yang mati hingga subuh.

Karena listrik bermasalah. Sebagian jaringan Listrik dilayani PT Timah karena PLN kekurangan jaringan. PLTU Mantung dekat pelabuhan Belinyu, yang pernah dibilang terbesar di Asia Tenggara, sudah lama tidak berfungsi.

Pun PLTD di Baturusa, setali tiga uang. Sama saja.

PT Timah akhirnya menjadi pemasok listrik tanpa meteran, dengan sistem borongan. Tapi layanannya masih mengecewakan, listriknya sering padam.

“Bangun! Lihat ke bawah,” ujar Raudal membangunkan saya dari tidur.

Dari beranda lantai atas rumah Sunlie, saya melihat ke bawah. Ada bus-bus umum ngetem di depan rumah Sunlie. Bus-bus itu sangat antik. Bodinya terbuat dari kayu yang dilapisi seng. Ada tangga menuju bagasi berpagar besi di atap bus itu. Saya jadi ingat waktu kecil dulu, bus keluaran tahun 1970-an macam itu pernah saya tumpangi bersama Papa dari Padang ke Bukittingi pertengahan tahun 1980-an.

“Sungguh kota tua yang masih menyimpan masa lalunya,”

bisik saya pada pagi yang mulai menggeliat bersama pedagang-pedagang yang membuka pintu tokonya.

Pukul 10 pagi, saya beserta rombongan melancong ke luar kota dengan mobil rental kijang Inova.

Berdesakan memang, karena mobil itu dinaiki ramai-ramai Tapi suasana riang bikin yang sempit jadi lapang.

Menempuh jarak 2 kilometer dari pusat kota Belinyu, sampailah kami di

Benteng Kutopanji atau Benteng Bongkap,

terletak di kampung Kusam. Kekokohan sisa-sisa bangunan Benteng berwaran hitam keabuan—terbuat dari tanah liat yang dibakar—yang dibangun sekitar 1700 oleh Kapitan Bong atau Bong Khiung Fu , membuat saya terpesona. Meski yang saya jumpai sekarang adalah sisa-sisa dan kisah tentang Kapitan Bongkap, saudagar Cina yang kaya raya dan seorang pelarian politik.

Kami masuk ke dalam benteng, menemukan dua makam dengan arsitektur Cina di bagian paling belakang Benteng itu. Yang terbesar adalah makam Kapitan Bong bertahun 1700 dan dipugar pada tahun 1973, di belakangnya di atas tebing adalah makam pengawalnya. Namun itu adalah replika makam Kapitan Bong, tapi tetap dihormati oleh masyarakat setempat. Karena sebenarnya, Kapitan itu meninggal di Malaysia dan Benteng Kutopanji jatuh ke tangan perompak Moro, Filipina. Kemudian kami singgah ke Kelenteng Liang San Phak yang berdampingan dengan Benteng Kutopanji di sisi barat.

Kelenteng Liang San Phak, sebenarnya merupakan bagian dari Benteng Kutopanji yang juga didirikan oleh Kapitan Bong. Aroma Hio menyambut kami. Nur Zen Hae, Risa Syukria, Kedung Darma Romansah, dan Dahlia, mencoba bergantian mengadu peruntungan dan ramalan nasib dengan membakar Hio di depan patung Thai Pak Kong (Paman Besar) bernama Liang San Phak dan patung istrinya, yang dibawa langsung oleh Kapitan Bong dari negeri leluhurnya. Patung ini pada tanggal 15 bulan ketujuh penanggalan Cina, diarak mengelilingi kota Belinyu sebagai prosesi sembahyang rebut.

“Ini Klenteng Dewa Bumi atau Tapekong.

 Menurut agama Konghucu, Klenteng Tapekong ini untuk tempat bersembahyang dan meminta agar rezeki banyak dan keselamatan,” ujar Fujianto alias Afu (35), salah seorang pengurus Klenteng.

Saya ingin bertanya lebih banyak lagi pada Afu yang ramah itu. Tapi karena waktu yang tidak memungkinkan, perjalanan musti dilanjutkan.

Pha Kak Liang

Setelah melewati jalan tanah berdebu, dan sesekali bertemu pula dengan bekas tambang timah yang ditinggalkan, sampailah kami di gerbang utama Pha Kak Liang yang bernuansa Cina. Makin ke dalam, arsitektur Cina itu makin terasa. Seperti demarga, rumah peristirahatan, gazebo, semuanya berornamen Cina.
Pha Kak Liang adalah sebuah objek wisata tirta yang dibangun di atas bekas tambang timah (kolong). Terletak 10 Kilometer dari kota Belinyu.

Keheningan dan kedamaian begitu terasa di tepi telaga seluas 3,5 hektar yang ditumbuhi pohon cemara dan akasia. Pemiliknya tiga orang etnis Cina bersaudara, dan menjadikannya sebagai villa peristirahatan, yang tetap terbuka untuk umum.

Sayangnya, kurang terawatnya Pha Kak Liang membuat objek wisata degan telaga berisi ribuan ikan emas yang hidup bebas itu tampak sedikit suram.

Tapi bagi pecinta suasana sunyi, Pha Kak Liang memberikan itu. Dan semakin lama akan makin terasa. Namun, lagi-lagi perjalanan musti dilanjutkan.

Pantai Penyusuk

“Lihat pohon-pohon yang memeluk batu itu!” Kalimat Raudal yang puitis itu seperti memberi tahu bahwa kami telah memasuki gerbang pantai Penyusuk.

 Ya, di kiri-kanan jalan memasuki area pantai tampak beberapa batu besar yang di sekilingnya di tumbuhi pohon-pohon.

Hamparan pantai yang landai dan ditumbuhi batu-batu besar menyambut kami. Beberapa perahu nelayan tertambat. Ombaknya tenang karena di depannya ada pulau cukup besar yang menjadi tameng. Sedang pulau kecil di sampingnya, berdiri menara suar yang tampak sebesar pohon nyiur melambai dari tempat saya berdiri.

Amboi! Negeri rayuan pulau kelapa, alangkah eloknya.Saya tidak sabaran ingin menceburkan diri. Mandi-mandi di laut jadi kanak-kanak ria kembali. Hilang sejenak segan pada usia.Namun Risa Syukria meminta saya untuk menemani dia mengambil air wudhu. Inilah perkaranya, ternyata kamar mandi umum dikunci. Penjaganya entah kemana.

Memang pantai Penyusuk sepi, jauh dari pedagang yang mata duitan. Akhirnya, kami menemukan berbungkus-bungkus air minum tergeletak ditinggalkan pemiliknya di atas sebuah batu besar.Jadilah Risa sholat dan saya pun mandi menceburkan diri ke laut menyusul yang lain, yang telah dulu bermain dengan air garam yang jinak itu. Tak lama berselang, Risa pun menyusul.

Cuma Kedung Darma Romansah dan Pak sopir yang tidak mau membasahi tubuhnya dengan air laut di pantai yang tenang itu. Entah kenapa. Setelah puas mandi-mandi. Main pasir pantai yang putih. Duduk-duduk dari satu batu ke lain batu. Rombongan sastrawan itu memutuskan untuk pulang.

Matahari sudah mulai mendekati ubun-ubun laut, beberapa jam lagi bakal angslup. Cuaca cerah. Tentu saja sunset akan terlihat terlihat sempurna di pantai barat ini. Namun apa hendak dikata, pertemuan matahari dan laut yang menciptakan cahaya emas itu, tak bisa saya saksikan.

Kami pun pulang dengan tubuh yang belum dibilas dari air laut karena penjaga kamar mandi umum itu tidak juga datang.

Sesampai di jalan Depati Amir, saya dan Risa Syukria yang juga reporter TV Siak, memutuskan turun dari mobil. Kami ingin berjalan kaki berdua menuju rumah Sunlie di jalan Sriwijaya yang jaraknya sekitar 500 meter dari tempat kami turun. Sedang yang lain terus pulang dengan mobil.

Kami turun dari mobil itu bukan karena ngambek, tapi ingin melihat lebih dekat rumah-rumah arsitektur Belanda yang dihuni pegawai timah di bawah gelimang cahaya senja. Ya, sepanjang

 jalan Depati Amir itu berjajar bangunan-bangunan lama.

 Sayang sebagian sudah tidak terawat lagi. Padahal bangunan-bangunan itu merupakan jejak langkah dari perjalanan kota timah itu.

Menurut Ibrahim (52), salah seorang karyawan pertambangan timah yang kami temui di salah satu rumah kuno itu, dulunya rumah-rumah di kawasan jalan Depati Amir itu adalah kawasan elit yang ditempati oleh pegawai teras atas pertambangan timah, dibangun pada tahun 1928.

Sejak menipisnya cadangan timah di Belinyu, rumah-rumah itu dihuni campur aduk antara karyawan biasa dan pegawai menengah. Bahkan sebagian rumah tidak dihuni lagi dalam kondisi yang mengenaskan, pintu dan jendela yang copot, serta dindingnya kumuh penuh coretan.

“Kota yang aneh. Tidak seperti kota-kota lain yang pernah saya datangi. Selama di sini, belum pernah saya lihat ada ABG nongkrong bersama menghabiskan petang. Bagaimana ya orang-orang hidup dalam kelengangan ini?” ucap Risa, dara rancak asal Minang ini, di jalan menuju ke rumah Sunlie—selepas jalan Depati Amir.

“Kota ini membuat Ngai Oi Ngi!” ujar saya memakai sekerat bahasa Hakka yang saya pelajari dari Sunlie.

“Apa itu Ngai Oi Ngi?” tanya Risa.

“Aku Mencintaimu!”


Matras Beach

The beach is located in Matras Village, Sinar Jaya Urban Village of Sungailiat District, or at the northern east area of Bangka Island. The beach has sloppy beach with white sand beautiful panorama. The beach spand 3 km long and 20-30 m wide. The beach has palm plant background and natural river flow generally called as Heaven’s Beach and is the most visited beach in Bangka Regency.

Tanjung Pesona Beach

Located in Rambak Village, Sungailiat District about 9 km from the city of Sungailiat. The beach is located in between Teluk Uber Beach and Tikus Beach. This beach has open sea panorama over the bay and has also been completed with tourism facilities including 3 stars rated hotel.

Parai Beach Resort

The beach is located in Matras Village , Sinar Jaya Urban Village of Sungailiat District. This beach has been completed with various tourism facilities, including four stars rated hotels and other leisure facilities.

Batu Bedaun Beach

Located in Kampung Bukit Kuala, Sinar Jaya Urban Village of Sungailiat district. This beach is quite unique, situated side by side with Parai Tenggiri Beach marked with a tree grows out of rocks..

Rebo Beach

Some beautiful hills make some tourist from other side come to this beach.

Tikus Beach

Tikus beach is located in Rebo Village, Kenanga Urban Village, Sungailiat District. Tikus beach still preserve its naturality and much visited by tourism. The coast is decorated with smooth white sandand is indeed very attractive for tourist enjoy.

Teluk Uber Beach

Located in Rambak Village, Srimenanti Urban Village of Sungailiat District. The area of this beach reaches 25 ha with beautiful panorama and white sand equipped with hotel facilities.

Romodong Beach

The location is in Belinyu area , north Bangka 77 km from Sungailiat. In this beach the tourists can see a sunset fenomenal. Because this location is face to west. All beach have 4 km distance. If we go to this beach we can see white and soft sand here. this beach have a pure water like crystal.

Penyusuk Beach

The natural and sloppy beach is marked by the clarity of its water surrounded by exotic isles where sea-turtle lays its eggs. The beach is located in Bukit Ketok Village, Belinyu district, about 77 km from Sungailiat

Air Anyir Beach

This sloppy beach decorated with unique rock formation is the center Rebo Kasan Ritual, located in Air Anyir Village, Merawang District about 15 km from Sungailiat.

 the end @ copyright XDr Iwan 2012

Indonesia Colonial Govenor General Historic collections(Gunermur Jendral Kompeni)

Indonesia Colonial Gouvenor General

Historic collections

Created By

Dr Iwan suwandy,MHA

Copyright@Dr Iwan Suwandy 2012


  Gouvenuer Gebernur Jenderal Indonesia Masa Kolonial Belanda  

Koleksi bersejarah

Dibuat Oleh

Dr Iwan suwandy, MHA

Copyright @ Dr Iwan Suwandy 2012


Het Paleis het interieur van van de Gouverneur-Generaal di Nederlands Indië-di Buitenzorg

Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda

Daftar Gubernur Jenderal Hindia Belanda dan tahun-tahun pelayanan mereka

Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda mewakili pemerintahan Belanda di Hindia Belanda antara 1610 dan pengakuan Belanda kemerdekaan Indonesia pada tahun 1949.

Yang pertama Gubernur-Jenderal yang diangkat oleh Belanda East India Company (VOC). Setelah VOC resmi dibubarkan pada tahun 1800, [1] harta teritorial VOC dinasionalisasi di bawah Pemerintah Belanda sebagai Hindia Belanda, sebuah koloni Belanda. Gubernur-Jenderal ditunjuk oleh pemerintah Belanda.

Di bawah kendali Inggris periode (1811-1816), posisi setara adalah Letnan-Gubernur, di antaranya yang paling terkenal adalah Thomas Stamford Raffles. Antara 1942 dan 1945, sementara Hubertus Johannes van Mook nominal Gubernur Jenderal, daerah itu di bawah kontrol Jepang, dan diatur oleh urutan dua gubernur, di Jawa dan Sumatera. Setelah 1948 dalam negosiasi untuk kemerdekaan, posisi setara bernama Komisaris Tinggi Mahkota di Hindia Belanda.

Daftar Gubernur Jenderal
Perusahaan India Timur Belanda

Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda (1610-1709)

1610-1614: Pieter Both

Pieter Both
Artikel ini adalah tentang yang pertama Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda. Untuk gunung bernama setelah dia, melihat Pieter Both (gunung).

Pieter Both
Potret Pieter Both
1 Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda
Di kantor
19 Desember 1610 – 6 November 1614
Didahului oleh
 Tidak ada
Digantikan oleh
 Gerard Reynst
Pribadi rincian
Amersfoort, Belanda Republik
 6 Maret 1615
Samudera Hindia (dekat Mauritius)

Pieter Both (1568, Amersfoort – 6 Maret 1615, Mauritius) adalah Gubernur Jenderal-pertama dari Hindia Belanda.

Tidak banyak yang diketahui dari awal tahun. Pada 1599, Keduanya sudah menjadi admiral di Perusahaan Baru, atau Brabant. Pada tahun itu, ia melakukan perjalanan ke Hindia Timur dengan empat kapal. Ketika Belanda baru didirikan East India Company membentuk pemerintah untuk Hindia Belanda, Pieter Both diundang untuk menjadi Gubernur Jenderal. Dia memegang posisi itu dari 19 Desember 1610 to 6 November 1614. Selama periode itu ia menyimpulkan kontrak dengan Maluku, menaklukkan Timor, dan mengusir Spanyol dari Tidore.

Setelah ia melepaskan jabatannya sebagai Gubernur Jenderal Gerard Reynst, ia berangkat ke Belanda dengan empat kapal. Dua kapal itu terdampar dekat Mauritius, dan Pieter Keduanya tenggelam.

Gunung tertinggi kedua Mauritius bernama Pieter Both setelah dia.


1614-1615: Gerard Reynst

Gerard Reynst


Potret Gerard Reynst

Gerard Reynst (Amsterdam, -? Jakarta, 7 Desember 1615) adalah seorang saudagar Belanda, ayah dari seorang kurator museum, dan kemudian yang kedua Gubernur Jenderal Hindia Belanda.

Semua yang diketahui dari tahun-tahun awal adalah bahwa ia lahir di Amsterdam, putra Pieter Rijnst (1510-1574), boiler sabun, dan Sijverts Trijn. Pada 1599 ia menjadi pedagang dan pemilik kapal, serta pendiri-anggota dan administrator dari Nieuwe Compagnie atau Brabantsche yang, pada tahun 1600, menjadi Perusahaan Vereenighde Amsterdam. Perusahaan ini kemudian pada tahun 1602 bergabung ke Belanda East India Company (VOC).

Atas permintaan penatua di perguruan tinggi Heren XVII (17 pria), ia menjadi Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda pada 1613 dan meninggalkan dengan 9 kapal. Perjalanan berlangsung 18 bulan, setelah itu ia mengambil alih perintah dari Pieter Both. Dalam perjalanan, dia telah mengirimkan salah satu kapal ke Laut Merah untuk memulai hubungan perdagangan dengan orang Arab di sana. Ia meninggal lebih dari setahun setelah tiba, setelah tertangkap disentri sehingga dia bisa melakukan sedikit di sana, selain beberapa kegiatan kecil yang hanya sesekali berhasil.


1615-1619: Laurens Reael
Laurens Reael


Laurens Reael (1620 ca.)

Dr Laurens Reael (Amsterdam, 22 Oktober 1583 – Amsterdam, 21 Oktober 1637) adalah seorang karyawan dari VOC, Gubernur Jenderal Hindia Belanda pada 1616-1617 dan laksamana dari angkatan laut Belanda 1625-27.

[Sunting] Kehidupan awal
Laurens Reael adalah putra Laurens Jacobsz Reael, seorang pedagang di Amsterdam yang bernama setelah tanda atau batu atap pelana dari rumahnya / toko Di ruang Gouden Reael (“Di Real Emas”) dan seorang penyair amatir yang dikenal untuk menulis Geuzenliederen (lagu dari geuzen). Lingkungan Amsterdam Gouden Reael dinamai rumah kelahiran itu Laurens Reael, melalui gudang (1648) kemudian dari keluarga Reael pada Zandhoek yang berubah menjadi penginapan populer. Laurens Jr memiliki bakat akademis, yang mahir dalam matematika dan bahasa. Dia belajar hukum di Leiden, di mana ia tinggal di rumah Jacobus Arminius yang telah menikah kakak nya Lijsbet Reael tahun 1590. Laurens menerima gelar doktor pada 1608.

[Sunting] Hindia
Pada Mei 1611 ia meninggalkan sebagai commandeur dari empat kapal untuk Hindia Timur. Dia segera meniti karier untuk menjadi Gubernur Jenderal ketiga pada tahun 1616, di mana ia ditempatkan di kantor pusat VOC, pada waktu itu di Ternate di Maluku. Tahun itu ia secara pribadi bisa menyambut baik Joris van Spilbergen (Maret 30) dan Le Maire Schouten & (September 12) pada kedatangan masing-masing di Ternate dari Belanda melalui Selat Magellan dan Cape Horn. Dia tidak menyadari bahwa VOC telah memerintahkan kapal Le Maire Schouten & untuk menjadi disita untuk pelanggaran dugaan monopoli perdagangan ke Kepulauan Rempah.

Sudah setelah satu tahun, pada tanggal 31 Oktober 1617, Reael mengundurkan diri menyusul perselisihan dengan pimpinan VOC (XVII Lords) pada pengobatan kedua pesaing Inggris di Maluku dan orang-orang pribumi. Para ahli hukum Reael hanya akan mengambil tindakan melawan Inggris jika hukum internasional akan memungkinkan itu dan telah berulang kali memprotes terhadap serangan terhadap penduduk asli. Dia, seperti Laksamana Steven van der Haghen lokal, berpendapat bahwa tujuan VOC harus dicapai hanya melalui rute komersial dan diplomatik. Dalam laporan resmi kepada Staten Generaal dan Lords VOC XVII sekembalinya ke Belanda dia membuat poin ini lagi sangat jelas.

Ini akan mengambil bagaimanapun sampai 21 Maret 1619 sampai Jan jelas kurang damai Pieterszoon Coen akan menggantikannya sebagai Gubernur-Jenderal, sebelum waktu Reael yang telah berperang melawan Spanyol pada tahun 1617 di Teluk Manila, bahasa Inggris di Banten dan di Maluku, dan Kesultanan Mataram di Jepara di Jawa


1619-1623: Jan Pieterszoon Coen
Jan Pieterszoon Coen
Jan Pieterszoon Coen
 8 Januari 1587 (1587/01/08)
Hoorn, Belanda, Republik Belanda
 21 September 1629 (1629/09/21) (umur 42)
Batavia, Belanda India Timur
 Gubernur kolonial

Jan Pieterszoon Coen (8 Januari 1587 – 21 September 1629) adalah seorang petugas Belanda East India Company (VOC) pada awal abad ketujuh belas, memegang dua istilah sebagai Gubernur Jenderal-nya Hindia Belanda.

Dia sudah lama dianggap sebagai pahlawan nasional di Belanda, untuk memberikan dorongan yang mengatur VOC di jalan untuk dominasi di Hindia Belanda. Sebuah kutipan nya dari 1618 yang terkenal, “adalah Keputusasaan tidak, Anda tidak cadang musuh, karena Allah bersama kita”. Sejak paruh kedua abad ke-20 ia telah melihat dalam cahaya yang lebih kritis, karena beberapa orang sering melihat-Nya berarti kekerasan telah berlebihan.

Coen dikenal pada masanya pada rekening pemerintahan yang ketat dan kritik pedas dari orang-orang yang tidak berbagi pandangan, kadang-kadang diarahkan bahkan pada 17 Penguasa VOC (yang dia ditegur). Coen dikenal sangat ketat terhadap bawahan dan tanpa ampun kepada lawannya. Kesediaannya untuk menggunakan kekerasan untuk mendapatkan tujuannya adalah terlalu banyak bagi banyak orang, bahkan untuk waktu yang relatif kekerasan sejarah. Ketika Saartje Specx, seorang gadis yang telah dipercayakan untuk merawat, ditemukan di sebuah taman dalam pelukan seorang prajurit, Pieter Cortenhoeff, Coen menunjukkan belas kasihan sedikit dalam memiliki Cortenhoeff dipenggal. Specx hanya lolos dari hukuman mati karena tenggelam karena dia masih di bawah umur.

Selanjutnya tapi tindakan yang lebih luas yang dilakukan atas perintah Coen, yang diceritakan dalam seri televisi dokumenter BBC “Trail Spice” (episode 2: “Pala dan Cengkeh”) [1] Program ini juga berisi rincian tindakan nakal yang dilakukan oleh kehancuran. Belanda di kepulauan rempah-rempah Indonesia Timur, tujuan yang adalah untuk menciptakan kelangkaan hasil bumi untuk mempertahankan tingkat harga


1623-1627: Pieter de Carpentier
Pieter de Carpentier
Pieter de Carpentier (1586 atau 88 – 5 September 1659) adalah seorang administrator Belanda, atau Flemish, Perusahaan India Timur Belanda, dan yang menjabat sebagai Gubernur-Jenderal ada 1.623-1.627. Teluk Carpentaria di Australia utara yang bernama setelah dia.



Potret Pieter De Carpentier

Pieter de Carpentier lahir di Antwerp pada 1586 atau 1588, segera setelah pembentukan baru merdeka Republik Belanda (Republik Tujuh Serikat Belanda, atau Provinsi Serikat). Ia belajar filsafat di Leiden, dari 1603. Pada 1616 ia berlayar di kapal berlayar De Getrouwheid ke Indonesia. Di sana ia memiliki sejumlah fungsi, termasuk Direktur Jenderal Perdagangan, Anggota kepada Dewan Hindia, dan anggota Dewan Pertahanan. Dari 1 Februari 1623 sampai September 30, 1627 ia kelima Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda. Dia berpartisipasi dalam penaklukan Jakarta dan membantu membangun kota Batavia. Dia berbuat banyak untuk kota, termasuk mendirikan sekolah, Town Hall, dan Rumah Panti Asuhan pertama. Ia juga dirancang struktur gereja-gereja di kota itu.

Pada 12 November 1627 Pieter de Carpentier berlayar dari Hindia Timur sebagai Kepala Armada. Dia tiba di Belanda pada 3 Juni 1628, dengan lima kapal dagang kaya-sarat, dan ini, dikombinasikan dengan fakta bahwa Pemerintah baru saja berhasil melepaskan tiga kapal dari embargo dibebankan pada mereka oleh Inggris tahun sebelumnya, memimpin otoritas untuk menentukan untuk mengirim armada lain dari sebelas kapal ke Timur, yang Jenderal Jacob bintik itu untuk berlayar. Dua kapal dan kapal pesiar yang akan segera siap untuk berlayar, senat mengirim mereka ke Texel sehingga kehilangan waktu. Kapal ini adalah Batavia (di bawah Francisco Pelsaert) di Dordrecht (di bawah Isaac van Swaenswyck) dan Assendelft (di bawah Cornelis Vlack). Mereka meninggalkan Texel untuk tujuan mereka pada 28 Oktober 1628.

De Carpentier dibuat Anggota Dewan Belanda East India Company (VOC) pada Oktober 1629. Paman dari pihak ibu-Nya, Louis Delbeecque, telah menjadi salah satu penggagas VOC.

Pieter de Carpentier menikahi Maria Ravevelt di Middelburg pada tanggal 2 Maret 1630. Dia meninggal pada bulan September 1641 dan dimakamkan di dalam Westerkerk di Amsterdam. De Carpentier meninggal di Amsterdam pada tanggal 5 September 1659, dan juga dimakamkan di Westerkerk tersebut. Mereka memiliki tujuh anak.

Ketika Jan Carstenszoon (atau Carstensz) dan Willem van Coolsteerdt mendarat Pera dan Arnhem di pantai barat Semenanjung Cape York New Holland (sekarang Australia) pada tahun 1623, setelah penemuan pertama oleh Willem Janszoon di Duyfken di 1606, mereka kemudian bernama ‘Teluk Carpentaria’ setelah Gubernur Jenderal Pieter de Carpe


1627-1629: Jan Pieterszoon Coen
1629-1632: Jacques Specx
Jacques Specx


Jacques Specx

Jacques Specx (pengucapan Belanda: [ʒɑk spɛks]; Dordrecht, 1585 – Amsterdam, 22 Juli 1652). Adalah seorang saudagar Belanda, yang mendirikan perdagangan di Jepang dan Korea pada 1609 [1] [2] Jacques Specx menerima dukungan dari William Adams untuk memperoleh hak perdagangan ekstensif dari Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu pada tanggal 24 Agustus, 1609 yang memungkinkan dia untuk mendirikan sebuah pabrik perdagangan di Hirado pada tanggal 20 September 1609. Dia adalah gubernur sementara di Batavia antara 1629-1632. Ada Saartje Specx putrinya terlibat dalam skandal. Kembali ke rumah di Belanda Specx menjadi suatu seni-kolektor.

Belanda, yang, daripada “Nanban” disebut “Komo” (Jp:. “Rambut Merah” 红毛, menyala) oleh Jepang pertama tiba di Jepang pada tahun 1600, di papan ukuran rendah tersebut.

Pada 1605, dua awak Liefde yang dikirim ke Pattani oleh Tokugawa Ieyasu, untuk mengundang perdagangan Belanda ke Jepang. Para kepala pos perdagangan Belanda Pattani, Victor Sprinckel, ditolak atas dasar bahwa ia terlalu sibuk berurusan dengan oposisi Portugis di Asia Tenggara.

[Sunting] 1609 misi ke Jepang
Jacques Specx berlayar pada armada kapal yang meninggalkan sebelas Texel pada tahun 1607 di bawah komando Pieter Willemsz Verhoeff. Setelah tiba di Banten dua kapal yang dikirim untuk mendirikan hubungan dagang resmi pertama antara Belanda dan Jepang. [3]



“Perdagangan lulus” (Belanda: handelspas) yang dikeluarkan atas nama Tokugawa Ieyasu. Teks perintah: “kapal-kapal Belanda yang diizinkan untuk melakukan perjalanan ke Jepang, dan mereka dapat mendarat di pantai apapun, tanpa reserve Mulai sekarang peraturan ini harus diperhatikan, dan Belanda dibiarkan bebas untuk berlayar di mana mereka ingin seluruh Jepang Tidak ada pelanggaran.. kepada mereka akan diizinkan, seperti pada kesempatan sebelumnya “- tertanggal 24 Agustus 1609 (Keichō 14, hari 25 bulan ke-6), nb, yang goshuin (御 朱 印) mengidentifikasi ini sebagai dokumen resmi bantalan stempel merah sang shogun.

Kedua kapal Specx diperintahkan adalah De Griffioen (yang “Griffin”, 19 meriam) dan Roode Leeuw bertemu Pijlen (yang “singa merah dengan panah”, 400 ton, 26 meriam). Kapal-kapal tiba di Jepang pada tanggal 2 Juli 1609. [4]

Di antara para awak adalah pedagang Kepala Abraham van den Broeck dan Nicolaas Puyck dan di bawah-pedagang Jaques Specx.

Komposisi yang tepat dari delegasi adalah pasti, tetapi itu telah ditetapkan bahwa van den Broeck dan Puyck bepergian ke Pengadilan Shogunal, dan Melchior van Santvoort bertindak sebagai penerjemah misi. Santevoort tiba beberapa tahun sebelumnya naik kapal Belanda De Liefde. Dia telah membuktikan dirinya sebagai seorang pedagang di Nagasaki.



Kristus dalam badai di danau Genesareth; oleh Rembrandt (1633) 160 x 127cm. Pada tahun 1990 lukisan itu dicuri dari Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum dan belum pulih, melainkan milik Jacques Specx pada tahun 1651

Shogun diberikan Belanda akses ke semua port di Jepang, dan menegaskan hal ini dalam tindakan yang aman-melakukan, dicap dengan segel merah. (

Pada September 1609 Dewan kapal memutuskan untuk menyewa rumah di Hirado pulau (sebelah barat pulau utama selatan Kiushu). Jacques Specx menjadi yang pertama “Opperhoofd” (Kepala) pabrik Perusahaan yang baru. [5]

Pada 1610, Specx mengirim kapal ke Korea. [6]


1632-1636: Hendrik Brouwer
Hendrik Brouwer


Potret Hendrik Brouwer

Hendrik Brouwer (musim semi 1581 – 7 Agustus 1643) adalah seorang penjelajah Belanda, Laksamana, dan administrator kolonial baik di Jepang dan Hindia Belanda.

Ia diperkirakan untuk pertama memiliki berlayar ke Hindia Timur untuk Belanda East India Company (VOC) pada 1606. Pada tahun 1610 ia pergi lagi ke Hindia, sekarang sebagai komandan dari tiga kapal. Pada perjalanan ini ia menciptakan Rute Brouwer, rute dari Afrika Selatan ke Jawa bahwa perjalanan mengurangi durasi dari tahun ke sekitar 6 bulan dengan mengambil keuntungan dari angin barat yang kuat di Forties Roaring (garis lintang antara 40 ° dan 50 ° selatan) . Sampai titik itu, Belanda telah mengikuti rute yang disalin dari Portugis melalui pantai Afrika, Mauritius, dan Srilanka. Dengan 1617, VOC diperlukan semua kapal mereka untuk mengambil rute Brouwer. [1]

Setelah kedatangannya pada tahun 1611 di Hindia Timur, ia dikirim ke Jepang untuk menggantikan Jacques Specx sementara sebagai opperhoofd di Dejima dari 28 Agustus 1612 untuk 6 Agustus 1614. [2] Selama waktu itu ia melakukan kunjungan ke pengadilan Jepang pada Edo. Pada 1613 ia melakukan perjalanan ke Siam yang meletakkan dasar untuk perdagangan Belanda dengan Siam.

Pada awal 1632, dia adalah bagian dari delegasi yang dikirim ke London untuk menyelesaikan perselisihan perdagangan antara perusahaan-perusahaan India Timur Inggris dan Belanda. Setelah itu ia meninggalkan untuk Hindia, dan pada tanggal 18 April tahun yang sama ia diangkat Gubernur Jenderal Hindia Timur, Jacques Specx lagi berikut, posisi yang dia pegang sampai 1 Januari 1636. Anthony van Diemen adalah asistennya selama seluruh periode, dan banyak dari eksplorasi Belanda ke Pasifik dilakukan di bawah komando Van Diemen yang diusulkan secara tertulis oleh Brouwer sebelum ia pergi.

Pada tahun 1642, VOC Belanda bergabung dengan Perusahaan Hindia Barat dalam mengorganisir sebuah ekspedisi ke Chili untuk mendirikan basis untuk emas diperdagangkan pada reruntuhan ditinggalkan Valdivia. Armada berlayar dari Belanda Brasil di mana Yohanes Maurice dari Nassau memberikan mereka dengan pasokan. Sementara pembulatan Cape Horn, ekspedisi menetapkan bahwa Staten Island bukan bagian dari tanah yang tidak diketahui Selatan. Setelah mendarat di Pulau Chiloe, Brouwer membuat perjanjian dengan Mapuche (kemudian dikenal sebagai Araucanians) untuk membantu dalam membangun pemukiman di Valdivia. Namun, pada 7 Agustus 1643 Hendrik meninggal (pada usia 62) sebelum tiba, dan digantikan oleh wakil laksamana nya Elias Herckman, yang mendarat di reruntuhan Valdivia pada tanggal 24 Agustus. Brouwer dimakamkan di pemukiman baru, yang bernama Herckman Brouwershaven setelah dia. Herckman dan anak buahnya menduduki lokasi hanya sampai 28 Oktober 1643. Setelah diberitahu bahwa Belanda telah berencana untuk kembali ke lokasi, penguasa Spanyol di Peru dikirim 1000 orang dalam dua puluh kapal (dan 2000 orang dengan tanah, yang tidak pernah berhasil) pada tahun 1644 untuk memukimkan Valdivia dan membentengi itu. Para prajurit Spanyol di garnisun baru disinterred dan membakar tubuh Brouwer. [3] [4]


1636-1645: Anthony van Diemen
Anthony van Diemen

Anthony van Diemen

Potret Anthony van Diemen
Culemborg, Utrecht, Belanda Republik
 19 April 1645 (1645/4/19)
Batavia, Belanda India Timur
 Explorer, gubernur kolonial

Anthony van Diemen (juga Antonie, Antonio, Anton, Antonius) (Culemborg, 1593 – Batavia, 19 April 1645), gubernur kolonial Belanda, lahir di Culemborg di Belanda, putra Meeus Anthonisz van Diemen [1] dan Christina Hoevenaar . Pada 1616 ia pindah ke Amsterdam, dengan harapan meningkatkan kekayaannya sebagai pedagang, dalam hal ini ia gagal dan dinyatakan bangkrut. Setelah setahun ia menjadi hamba dari Perusahaan India Timur Belanda dan berlayar ke Batavia (Jakarta), ibukota Hindia Belanda. Pada perjalanan keluar, ke Timur Indiaman Mauritius dia secara tidak sengaja pergi lebih ke selatan ke sebuah pantai yang tidak diketahui Australia. [2]

Gubernur Jan Pieterszoon Coen menemukan van Diemen menjadi pejabat berbakat dan 1626 dia adalah Direktur Jenderal Perdagangan dan anggota Dewan Hindia. Pada tahun 1630 ia menikah Maria van Aelst. Setahun kemudian dia kembali ke Belanda sebagai Laksamana di Deventer kapal. Pada tahun 1632 ia kembali ke Batavia dan pada 1635 ia ditunjuk Gubernur Jenderal Hindia Belanda, pengangkatannya diberlakukan pada 1 Januari 1636.

Van Diemen yang sembilan tahun sebagai Gubernur Jenderal yang berhasil dan penting untuk kedua koloni dan keberhasilan komersial dari East India Company. Dia mencurahkan banyak energinya untuk memperluas kekuatan perusahaan di seluruh Asia. Di bawah kekuasaannya pemerintahan Belanda didirikan di Ceylon (sekarang Sri Lanka).

Van Diemen diingat adalah terbaik untuk usahanya untuk mendorong eksplorasi “Great South Tanah”, Australia, sehingga dalam “pelayaran Belanda akhir dan paling ambisius abad ini” [3] Pelayaran pertama di bawah pemerintahan energik. Dilakukan dalam waktu tiga bulan kedatangannya di Batavia, mulai dari Cape York kapal-kapalnya untuk memetakan pantai diketahui, tetapi usaha itu berakhir dengan kegagalan, ketika komandan dibunuh oleh penduduk asli di New Guinea, dan kapal kembali. Pada 1639 dia ditugaskan dua perjalanan ke utara, untuk mencari “Kepulauan Emas dan Perak” bahwa laporan Spanyol ditempatkan di Pasifik Utara ke timur Jepang, dan dikirim Maarten Gerritsz Vries untuk mengeksplorasi pantai Korea dan “Tartaria”; ini, dua kembali tanpa hasil [4]. terpengaruh, Van Diemen ditunjuk Frans Visscher untuk menyusun rencana untuk penemuan baru. Visscher dipetakan tiga rute yang berbeda dan van Diemen memutuskan untuk mengirim Agustus 1642 Abel Janszoon Tasman, disertai dengan Visscher, mencari Tanah Great South, yang Tasman akan segera menjuluki “Nieuw Holland”.

Pada bulan November 1642, menuju ke timur dari Mauritius pada lintang 44 dan hilang pantai selatan Australia, Tasman melihat daratan (pantai barat pulau Tasmania), dan mengikuti pantai selatan memutar ke pantai timur. Tasman dikirim pesta darat di Blackman Bay, di Semenanjung Tasman, yang ditanam bendera dan ditemui beberapa penduduk asli. Percaya ia telah menemukan sebuah wilayah besar, Tasman menamakannya Tanah Van Diemen dalam menghormati pelindungnya [5]. Van Diemen juga diperingati di Van Diemen Teluk di pantai utara Australia.

Van Diemen menugaskan perjalanan jauh dari Tasman pada 1644.

Anthony van Diemen meninggal pada April 1645 di Batavia, Hindia Belanda. Perusahaan diberikan istrinya pensiun besar dan ia pensiun ke Belanda. Namanya diabadikan dalam nama titik barat Pulau Utara Selandia Baru, Cape Maria van Diemen, dinamakan dengan Tasman tahun 1643, dan oleh Maria Island di lepas pantai timur Tasmania.


1645-1650: Cornelis van der Lijn
Cornelis van der Lijn


Potret Cornelis van der Lijn [1]

Cornelis van der Lijn (1608 -? 27 Juli 1679) adalah Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda dari 1646 sampai 1650.

Awal karir
Van der Lijn lahir di Alkmaar, mungkin pada 1608. Dia pergi, pada 1627, sebagai Asisten (Belanda: asisten) ke Batavia, Hindia Belanda kapal Wapen van Hoorn. Dari 1632 to 18 Januari 1636 ia Akuntan Jenderal (Belanda: boekhouder-Generaal). Pada 1639 ia menjadi Konselor-Luar Biasa (Belanda: Raad ekstra-oridinair) kepada Dewan Hindia. Setahun kemudian ia diangkat Presiden Schepenrechtbank (pengadilan maritim, tapi dengan berbagai fungsi lainnya). Satu tahun lagi kemudian dia membuat Konselor penuh (Belanda: Raad ordinair) ia mengikuti Philips Lucasz (yang potret dilukis oleh Rembrandt [2]) sebagai Direktur-Jenderal Hindia.

Dewan Hindia
Sesaat sebelum kematiannya pada 19 April 1645, Gubernur Jenderal Antonio van Diemen dipanggil Dewan Hindia (12 April 1645) untuk membangun Cornelis van der Lijn sebagai penggantinya. Ini tidak sejalan dengan instruksi dari Seventeen Lords (XVII XVII), yang telah ditetapkan pada tahun 1617 bahwa segera setelah kematian seorang Gubernur-Jenderal, Dewan harus memilih sementara Gubernur Jenderal. Hanya setelah Seventeen Lords telah sepakat untuk pilihan akan pengangkatan mulai berlaku sebenarnya. Heren XVII pada keputusan pertama dibatalkan Van Diemen, tapi kemudian setelah itu bernama Cornelis yang sama van der Lijn sebagai penggantinya. Pada 10 Oktober 1646 ia diangkat oleh mereka sebagai Gubernur-Jenderal.




1650-1653: Carel Reyniersz
Carel Reyniersz


Potret Carel Reyniersz

Carel Reyniersz (1604-1653) adalah Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda dari 1650 sampai 1653.

Reyniersz (atau Reiniersz) lahir di Amsterdam pada tahun 1604 (atau mungkin 1602). Ia meninggalkan untuk Hindia tahun 1627 sebagai Upperbuyer (opperkoopman) pada Coromandel Belanda (Karnataka). Dia dipromosikan menjadi Gubernur Pantai Coromandel tahun 1635, meskipun ia telah dituduh terlibat dalam (dilarang) dagang swasta / pribadi. Pada tahun 1636 ia menjadi Konselor-luar biasa (extra-ordinair Raad) Dewan Hindia Belanda. Dia kembali ke Amsterdam sebagai Admiral armada kembali pada tahun 1638 dan didirikan dirinya sebagai seorang pedagang di sana. Namun, ia kehilangan seluruh kekayaannya, sehingga kiri lagi, kali ini kapal Salamander itu, untuk India pada tanggal 24 April 1645. Dia tiba di sana pada tanggal 3 Desember 1645. Tahun berikutnya, 1646, ia menjadi Konselor penuh Hindia.

Tugasnya dialokasikan adalah untuk melaksanakan kebijakan baru di Hindia. Yang paling penting, dia, sejauh mungkin untuk menghilangkan sumber-sumber persaingan. Dia mengambil tindakan terhadap perdagangan swasta dan untuk menangani dengan produksi terlalu banyak rempah-rempah dengan memiliki pohon ditebang. Reinier terjebak ketat untuk kebijakan ini, yang menyebabkan banyak konflik di Seram Barat, di mana penduduk tidak akan menerima kehancuran perkebunan mereka. Butuh waktu sampai 1658 untuk wilayah yang akan ditaklukkan.

Empat tahun setelah Reyniersz menjadi seorang Konselor, Gubernur Jenderal Cornelis van der Lijn menerima debit terhormat (sic) dan pada tanggal 26 April 1650, Reyniersz bernama penggantinya, tugas yang sangat nantikan. Empat tahun kemudian dia diberhentikan. Para gubernur dari perusahaan itu tidak senang dengan kelemahan pemerintahannya. Masih ada di Belanda surat pemecatan. Hal ini menunjukkan ia sedang dipecat karena ia tidak mampu untuk melaksanakan tugas kantor, terutama memelihara perdamaian. Surat itu tidak pernah dikirim, karena Reynier sudah ditulis ke Seventeen Lords (XVII XVII) meminta untuk dibebaskan dari kantornya dengan alasan kesehatan. Surat ini tiba tepat sebelum surat pemecatan yang akan dikirim. Para Seventeen Lords rela menyetujui permintaan, meskipun ia meninggal sebelum mereka mencapai respon dia, pada malam 18/19 Mei 1653. Ia dimakamkan di Batavia, Hindia Belanda dan berhasil sebagai Gubernur Jenderal oleh Joan Maetsuycker.


1653-1678: Joan Maetsuycker
Joan Maetsuycker


Joan Maetsuycker, Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda. Lukisan oleh Jacob Jansz. Coeman di Rijksmuseum

Joan Maetsuycker (14 Oktober 1606, Amsterdam – 24 Januari 1678, Batavia) adalah Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda 1653-1678.

Maetsuycker belajar hukum di Leuven, dan merupakan pengacara pertama di Den Haag, dan kemudian di Amsterdam. Dari 1636, ia tinggal di Hindia Belanda. Pada tahun 1646 ia menjadi Gubernur-Jendral Belanda pertama Ceylon, dan tujuh tahun kemudian, Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda. Dia tinggal di pos itu selama 25 tahun, yang merupakan periode terpanjang untuk Gubernur Jenderal. Koloni Belanda di Hindia berkembang di bawah Maetsuycker. Di bawah pemerintahannya, Portugis kehilangan Ceylon (1658), pantai Coromandel (1658) dan Malabar (1663); Makassar ditaklukkan (1667), pantai barat Sumatra diduduki, dan ekspedisi pertama ke pedalaman Jawa diadakan.





1678-1681: Rijckloff van Goens
Rijckloff van Goens


Potret Rijklof van Goens

Rijckloff van Goens (Rees, 24 Juni 1619 – Amsterdam, 14 November 1682) adalah Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda 1678-1681. Dia menulis panjang lebar tentang perjalanannya ke Sri Lanka dan India.

Tulisannya tentang kunjungan ke istana Sultan Agung dan para penerusnya referensi penting bagi sejarawan dari era Mataram di Jawa






1681-1684: Cornelis Speelman
Cornelis Speelman
Cornelis Speelman (2 Maret 1628 – 11 Januari 1684) adalah Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda 1681-1684.



Cornelis Speelman, mewakili sekitar 1800.

Cornelis Speelman Janzoon adalah putra seorang pedagang Rotterdam. Ia lahir pada tanggal 2 Maret 1628. Pada tahun ke-16, ia meninggalkan kapal Hillegersberg untuk India. Dia bekerja sebagai Asisten (asisten) dalam pelayanan Belanda East India Company (VOC). Pada tahun 1645 ia tiba di Batavia, Hindia Belanda. Dia menjadi pemegang buku (boekhouder) pada 1648 dan Underbuyer (onderkoopman) pada 1649. Dia menjadi Sekretaris (secretaris) kepada Dewan Hindia Belanda (Raad van Indië). Dia bepergian dengan duta besar Joan Cunaeus ke Persia tahun itu, dan menulis account dari perjalanan. Mereka diterima oleh Syah Abbas II dengan pesta besar. Bahkan sebelum perjalanannya berakhir, pada tahun 1652, ia dipromosikan untuk Pembeli (Koopman). Pada kedatangannya ke Batavia, ia ikut mendirikan pos di kantor pembukuan Jenderal (boekhouder-Generaal), ‘untuk siapa ia ditugasi untuk waktu yang lama, dan siapa ia berhasil tahun 1657. Sementara itu, ia telah menikah lima belas tahun Petronella Maria Wonderaer, putri ke-Receiver Umum (ontvanger-Generaal). Pada 1659 dia ditempatkan di jawab staf Perusahaan klerikal dan administrasi (kapitein de compagnie selama pennisten) di Batavia. Pada 1661, ia menjadi schepen van Batavia, (semacam anggota dewan kotapraja pasca terhubung dengan pemerintah lokal di sana).

Pada tanggal 12 Juni 1663, Cornelis Speelman diangkat Gubernur dan Direktur Belanda Coromandel, tetapi ditangguhkan oleh Seventeen Lords (XVII XVII), dituduh memiliki ilegal terlibat dalam perdagangan swasta. Dia telah membeli berlian untuk istrinya dan kemudian dijual kembali karena ia tidak menyukainya. Meskipun protes berat nya, pengadilan di Batavia ingin membuat contoh dari dia dan dia dijatuhi hukuman 15 bulan suspensi dan denda 3.000 gulden. Pada 1666, dia bernama Laksamana dan pengawas dari sebuah ekspedisi ke Makasar. Pada 18 November 1667, ia menyimpulkan Perjanjian yang disebut Bongaais. (Perjanjian Bonggaya [1]) Pada tahun yang sama, ia diangkat Komisaris (commissaris) dari Ambon, Banda dan Ternate. Akibatnya, dia menjadi Konselor-luar biasa (extra-ordinaris raad) kepada Dewan Hindia Belanda. Ia berkelana sekali lagi, pada 1669, sebagai laksamana lain ekspedisi ke Makassar di mana ia benar-benar menaklukkan kerajaan, menerima rantai emas dan medali di tahun ini pengakuan berikut.

Dia menjadi penuh Konselor Hindia pada tanggal 23 Maret 1671. Tahun berikutnya ia laksamana dari sebuah armada dikirim melawan Prancis. Pada bulan Desember 1676, dia memimpin sebuah ekspedisi ke Jawa Tengah, di mana penguasa Mataram dalam kesulitan dan ia diperlukan untuk mendukung aliansi dengan pangeran itu. Di Jawa Timur Pantai, ia pergi ke perang melawan apa yang disebut Toerana Djaja. Butuh beberapa waktu sebelum perdamaian didirikan kembali. Ia dipanggil kembali ke Batavia pada akhir 1677 dan pada 18 Januari 1678 bernama Konselor Pertama dan Direktur-Jenderal Hindia (Raad en Eerste Directeur van Indië-Generaal). Juga pada tahun itu ia diangkat Presiden dari College van Schepenen (hubungannya dengan pemerintah daerah) di Batavia. Pada 29 Oktober 1680 ia diangkat Gubernur Jenderal, sebuah pos dia mengambil pada tanggal 25 November 1681, berhasil Rijckloff van Goens.

Selama masa jabatan sebagai Gubernur Cornelis Speelman Jenderal, Sultan Ternate ditaklukkan. Dia menyerahkan semua tanahnya kerajaannya kepada Perusahaan. Speelman juga menaklukkan kota Banten. Cornelis Speelman meninggal pada 11 Januari 1684 di Istana di Batavia. Jenazahnya disertai dengan kebisingan yang besar dan kemegahan, yang tidak ada nyeri atau uang selamat. Ia dimakamkan di Kruiskerk untuk suara tembakan meriam dari 229. Dia diikuti sebagai Gubernur Jenderal oleh Johannes Camphuy


1684-1691: Johannes Camphuys
Johannes Camphuys


Potret Johannes Campuys

Johannes Camphuys (terdaftar sebagai Kamphuis, Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie) (Haarlem, 18 Juli 1634 – Batavia (Jakarta), 18 Juli 1695) adalah Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda 1684-1691 [1].

[Sunting] Jepang
Pada titik ini dalam sejarah Jepang, pos VOC tunggal (atau “pabrik”) adalah pulau Dejima terletak di di pelabuhan Nagasaki di pulau Kyushu bagian selatan. Camphuys tiga kali dikirim ke Jepang sebagai Opperhoofd atau pedagang kepala dan petugas dari pos perdagangan VOC. [2]

22 Oktober 1671-12 November 1672 [2]
29 October1673-19 Oktober 1674 [2]
7 November 1675-27 Oktober 1676 [2]
[Sunting] Legacy
Kehidupan Camphuys diperingati dalam nama jalan di lingkungan Lombok Utrecht, dan ia juga dikenang dalam nama sebuah jalan di Bezuidenhoutquarter Den Haag.


1691-1704: Willem van Outhoorn
Willem van Outhoorn


Willem van Outhoorn (4 Mei 1635 – 27 November 1720) adalah Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda 1691-1704. Ia lahir dan meninggal di Hindia Belanda.

[Sunting] Biografi
Willem van Outhoorn (atau Oudthoorn) lahir pada 4 Mei 1635 di Larike di Pulau Ambon di Indonesia. Ayahnya adalah seorang Belanda East India Company (VOC) Pembeli (Koopman) di sana. Ia dikirim ke Belanda untuk studi hukum di Universitas Leiden. Pada 28 November 1657 ia lulus dalam UU.

[Sunting] karir Pemerintah
Pada 1659 van Outhoorn kembali ke Hindia, bekerja sebagai Underbuyer (onderkoopman). Dia tetap di Timur selama sisa hidupnya. Bahkan perjalanan ke Banten dekatnya perjalanan terlalu jauh untuk dia. Pada tahun 1662 ia menjadi anggota Dewan Keadilan (Raad van Justitie) di Batavia. Pada 1672 ia menjadi Receiver Jenderal (ontvanger-Generaal), dan pada 1673 ia menjadi Wakil Presiden Dewan Kehakiman. Pada tahun 1678 dia didakwa dengan misi untuk Banten dan ia menjadi anggota luar biasa Dewan Hindia Belanda. Dia diangkat menjadi Konselor penuh, yang dikonfirmasi pada posting yang di 1681. Dia menjadi Presiden Dewan Kehakiman dalam 1682 dan pada tahun 1689 Presiden dari College van Heemraden (berurusan dengan real batas, jalan, dll). Pada tahun yang sama ia diangkat Konselor Pertama dan Direktur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda.

Het interieur van het Paleis van de Gouverneur-Generaal in Nederlands-Indië in Buitenzorg

Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies


List of Governors-General of the Dutch East Indies and their service years

The Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies represented the Dutch rule in the Dutch East Indies between 1610 and Dutch recognition of the independence of Indonesia in 1949.

The first Governors-General were appointed by the Dutch East India Company (VOC). After the VOC was formally dissolved in 1800,[1] the territorial possessions of the VOC were nationalised under the Dutch Government as the Dutch East Indies, a colony of the Netherlands. The Governors-General were appointed by the Dutch government.

Under the period of British control (1811-1816), the equivalent position was the Lieutenant-Governor, of whom the most notable is Thomas Stamford Raffles. Between 1942 and 1945, while Hubertus Johannes van Mook was the nominal Governor-General, the area was under Japanese control, and was governed by a two sequence of governors, in Java and Sumatra. After 1948 in negotiations for independence, the equivalent position was named High Commissioner of the Crown in the Dutch East Indies.

List of Governors-General

Dutch East India Company


Governors-General of the Dutch East Indies (1610–1709)

Pieter Both

This article is about the first Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. For the mountain named after him, see Pieter Both (mountain).

Pieter Both


Portrait of Pieter Both

1st Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies

In office
19 December 1610 – 6 November 1614

Preceded by


Succeeded by

Gerard Reynst

Personal details


Amersfoort, Dutch Republic


6 March 1615
Indian Ocean (near Mauritius)

Pieter Both (1568, Amersfoort – 6 March 1615, Mauritius) was the first Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies.

Not much is known of his early years. In 1599, Both was already an admiral in the New, or Brabant Company. In that year, he traveled to the East Indies with four ships. When the newly founded Dutch East India Company set up a government for the Dutch East Indies, Pieter Both was invited to become the Governor-General. He held that position from 19 December 1610 to 6 November 1614. During that period he concluded contracts with the Moluccans, conquered Timor, and drove the Spaniards out of Tidore.

After he relinquished his position as Governor-General to Gerard Reynst, he left for the Netherlands with four ships. Two of the ships were shipwrecked near Mauritius, and Pieter Both drowned.

The second highest mountain of Mauritius is named Pieter Both after him.


Gerard Reynst



Portrait of Gerard Reynst

Gerard Reynst (Amsterdam, ? – Jakarta, 7 December 1615) was a Dutch merchant, father of a museum curator, and later the second Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies.


All that is known of his early years is that he was born in Amsterdam, the son of Pieter Rijnst (1510-1574), soap boiler, and Trijn Sijverts. In 1599 he became a merchant and ship-owner, as well as a founder-member and administrator of the Nieuwe or Brabantsche Compagnie which, in 1600, became the Vereenighde Company of Amsterdam. This company then in 1602 merged into the Dutch East India Company (VOC).

On the request of his elders in the college of the Heren XVII (17 men), he became Governor-general of the Dutch East Indies in 1613 and left with 9 ships. The trip lasted 18 months, after which he took over command from Pieter Both. On the way, he had already sent one of his ships to the Red Sea to start trade relations with the Arabs there. He died more than a year after arrival, having caught dysentery so that he could do little there, besides a few minor activities that were only intermittently successful.


Laurens Reael



Laurens Reael (ca. 1620)

Dr. Laurens Reael (Amsterdam, 22 October 1583 – Amsterdam, 21 October 1637) was an employee of the VOC, Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies in 1616-1617 and an admiral of the Dutch navy from 1625-27.

[edit] Early life

Laurens Reael was the son of Laurens Jacobsz Reael, a merchant in Amsterdam named after the sign or gable stone of his house/shop In den gouden Reael (“In the Golden Real“) and an amateur poet known for writing Geuzenliederen (songs of the geuzen). The Amsterdam neighborhood Gouden Reael is named after Laurens Reael’s birth house, via a later (1648) warehouse of the Reael family on the Zandhoek that turned into a popular inn. Laurens Jr. had academic talents, excelling in math and languages. He studied law in Leiden, where he lived in the house of Jacobus Arminius who had married his older sister Lijsbet Reael in 1590. Laurens received his doctorate in 1608.

[edit] East Indies

In May 1611 he left as commandeur of four ships for the East Indies. He quickly worked his way up to become the third Governor-General in 1616, where he was stationed at the VOC headquarters, at that time on Ternate in the Moluccas. That year he could personally welcome both Joris van Spilbergen (March 30) and Schouten & Le Maire (September 12) upon their respective arrivals at Ternate from Holland via the Strait of Magellan and Cape Horn. He was unaware that the VOC had ordered Schouten & Le Maire’s ships to be confiscated for alleged infringement of its monopoly of trade to the Spice Islands.

Already after a year, on October 31 1617, Reael resigned following a dispute with the VOC’s leadership (the Lords XVII) on the treatment of both the English competitors in the Moluccas and of the native people. The jurist Reael would only take action against the English if international law would allow that and had protested repeatedly against the incursions against the natives. He, like the local admiral Steven van der Haghen, was of the opinion that the VOC’s goals should be achieved solely via commercial and diplomatic routes. In his official report to the Staten Generaal and the VOC’s Lords XVII upon his return to Holland he made these points again very clear.

It would take however until March 21, 1619 until the decidedly less pacifistic Jan Pieterszoon Coen would replace him as Governor-General, before which time Reael had fought the Spanish in 1617 in the Bay of Manila, the English at Bantam and in the Mollucas, and the Mataram Sultanate at Japara on Java


Jan Pieterszoon Coen

Jan Pieterszoon Coen



8 January 1587(1587-01-08)
Hoorn, Holland, Dutch Republic


21 September 1629(1629-09-21) (aged 42)
Batavia, Dutch East India




Colonial governor

Jan Pieterszoon Coen (8 January 1587 – 21 September 1629) was a officer of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) in the early seventeenth century, holding two terms as its Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies.

He was long considered a national hero in the Netherlands, for providing the impulse that set the VOC on the path to dominance in the Dutch East Indies. A quote of his from 1618 is well known, “Despair not, spare your enemies not, for God is with us”. Since the latter half of the 20th century he has been looked at in a more critical light, as some people view his often violent means to have been excessive.

Coen was known in his time on account of strict governance and harsh criticism of people who did not share his views, at times directed even at the 17 Lords of the VOC (for which he was reprimanded). Coen was known to be strict towards subordinates and merciless to his opponents. His willingness to use violence to obtain his ends was too much for many, even for such a relatively violent period of history. When Saartje Specx, a girl whom he had been entrusted to care for, was found in a garden in the arms of a soldier, Pieter Cortenhoeff, Coen showed little mercy in having Cortenhoeff beheaded. Specx only escaped the death penalty by drowning because she was still under aged.

Further but more extensive actions perpetrated by order of Coen, are recounted in a BBC Television documentary series “The Spice Trail” (episode 2: “Nutmeg and Cloves”).[1] The program also contains details of wanton acts of destruction committed by the Dutch in the spice islands of Eastern Indonesia, the purpose of which was to create scarcity of natural produce in order to maintain price levels


Pieter de Carpentier

Pieter de Carpentier (1586 or 88 – 5 September 1659) was a Dutch, or Flemish, administrator of the Dutch East India Company, and who served as Governor-General there from 1623–1627. The Gulf of Carpentaria in northern Australia is named after him.



Portrait of Pieter De Carpentier

Pieter de Carpentier was born in Antwerp in 1586 or 1588, shortly after the formation of the newly-independent Dutch Republic (Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, or United Provinces). He studied philosophy in Leiden, from 1603. In 1616 he sailed on board the sailing vessel De Getrouwheid to Indonesia. There he had a number of functions, including Director-General of the Trade, Member to the Council of the Indies, and member of the Council of Defence. From February 1, 1623 to September 30, 1627 he was the fifth Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. He participated in the conquest of Jakarta and helped to build the town of Batavia. He did much for the town, including setting up a school, a Town Hall, and the first Orphanage Home. He also designed the structure of the churches in the town.

On 12 November 1627 Pieter de Carpentier sailed from the East Indies as Head of the Fleet. He arrived in Holland on 3 June 1628, with five richly-laden merchant ships, and this, combined with the fact that the Government had recently succeeded in releasing three ships from an embargo laid upon them by the English a year previously, led the authorities to determine to send another fleet of eleven ships to the East, with which General Jacob Specks was to sail. Two ships and a yacht being soon ready to sail, the senate sent them to Texel so as to lose no time. These vessels were the Batavia (under Francisco Pelsaert) the Dordrecht (under Isaac van Swaenswyck) and the Assendelft (under Cornelis Vlack). They left Texel for their destination on 28 October 1628.

De Carpentier was made Member of the Board of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) in October 1629. His maternal uncle, Louis Delbeecque, had been one of the initiators of the VOC.

Pieter de Carpentier married Maria Ravevelt in Middelburg on 2 March 1630. She died in September 1641 and was buried on in the Westerkerk in Amsterdam. De Carpentier died in Amsterdam on 5 September 1659, and was also buried in the Westerkerk. They had seven children.

When Jan Carstenszoon (or Carstensz) and Willem van Coolsteerdt landed the Pera and the Arnhem on the west coast of Cape York Peninsula of New Holland (now Australia) in 1623, after the first discovery by Willem Janszoon in the Duyfken in 1606, they then named the ‘Gulf of Carpentaria‘ after the Governor-General, Pieter de Carpe


Jacques Specx



Jacques Specx

Jacques Specx (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈʒɑk ˈspɛks]; Dordrecht, 1585 – Amsterdam, 22 July 1652) was a Dutch merchant, who founded the trade on Japan and Korea in 1609.[1][2] Jacques Specx received the support of William Adams to obtain extensive trading rights from the Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu on August 24, 1609, which allowed him to establish a trading factory in Hirado on September 20, 1609. He was the interim governor in Batavia between 1629 – 1632. There his daughter Saartje Specx was involved in a scandal. Back home in Holland Specx became an art-collector.

The Dutch, who, rather than “Nanban” were called “Kōmō” (Jp:紅毛, lit. “Red Hair”) by the Japanese, first arrived in Japan in 1600, on board the Liefde.

In 1605, two of the Liefde’s crew were sent to Pattani by Tokugawa Ieyasu, to invite Dutch trade to Japan. The head of the Pattani Dutch trading post, Victor Sprinckel, refused on the ground that he was too busy dealing with Portuguese opposition in Southeast Asia.

[edit] 1609 mission to Japan

Jacques Specx sailed on a fleet of eleven ships that left Texel in 1607 under the command of Pieter Willemsz Verhoeff. After arriving in Bantam two ships which were dispatched to establish the first official trade relations between the Netherlands and Japan.[3]



The “trade pass” (Dutch: handelspas) issued in the name of Tokugawa Ieyasu. The text commands: “Dutch ships are allowed to travel to Japan, and they can disembark on any coast, without any reserve. From now on this regulation must be observed, and the Dutch left free to sail where they want throughout Japan. No offenses to them will be allowed, such as on previous occasions” – dated August 24, 1609 (Keichō 14, 25th day of the 6th month); n.b., the goshuin (御朱印) identifies this as an official document bearing the shogun’s scarlet seal.

The two ships Specx commanded were De Griffioen (the “Griffin”, 19 cannons) and Roode Leeuw met Pijlen (the “Red lion with arrows”, 400 tons, 26 cannons). The ships arrived in Japan on July 2, 1609.[4]

Among the crews were the Chief merchants Abraham van den Broeck and Nicolaas Puyck and the under-merchant Jaques Specx.

The exact composition of the delegation is uncertain; but it has been established that van den Broeck and Puyck traveled to the Shogunal Court, and Melchior van Santvoort acted as the mission’s interpreter. Santevoort had arrived a few years earlier aboard the Dutch ship De Liefde. He had established himself as a merchant in Nagasaki.



Christ in the storm on the lake Genesareth; by Rembrandt (1633) 160 x 127cm. In 1990 the painting was stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and has not been recovered; it belonged to Jacques Specx in 1651

The Shogun granted the Dutch the access to all ports in Japan, and confirmed this in an act of safe-conduct, stamped with his red seal. (

In September 1609 the ship’s Council decided to hire a house on Hirado island (west of the southern main island Kiushu). Jacques Specx became the first “Opperhoofd” (Chief) of the new Company’s factory.[5]

In 1610, Specx sent a ship to Korea.[6]


Hendrik Brouwer



Portrait of Hendrik Brouwer

Hendrik Brouwer (spring 1581 – August 7, 1643) was a Dutch explorer, admiral, and colonial administrator both in Japan and the Dutch East Indies.

He is thought to first have sailed to the East Indies for the Dutch East India Company (VOC) in 1606. In 1610 he left again to the Indies, now as commander of three ships. On this trip he devised the Brouwer Route, a route from South Africa to Java that reduced voyage duration from a year to about 6 months by taking advantage of the strong westerly winds in the Roaring Forties (the latitudes between 40° and 50° south). Up to that point, the Dutch had followed a route copied from the Portuguese via the coast of Africa, Mauritius and Ceylon. By 1617, the VOC required all their ships to take the Brouwer route.[1]

After his arrival in 1611 in the East Indies, he was sent to Japan to replace Jacques Specx temporarily as opperhoofd at Dejima from August 28, 1612 to August 6, 1614.[2] During that time he made a visit to the Japanese court at Edo. In 1613 he made a trip to Siam that laid the foundation for the Dutch trade with Siam.

Early in 1632, he was part of a delegation sent to London to solve trade disagreements between the British and Dutch East India companies. Afterwards he left for the Indies, and on April 18 of that same year he was appointed Governor-General of the East Indies, again following Jacques Specx, a position which he held until January 1, 1636. Anthony van Diemen was his assistant during this entire period, and many of the Dutch explorations into the Pacific carried out under Van Diemen’s command were suggested in writing by Brouwer before he left.

In 1642, the VOC joined the Dutch West Indies Company in organizing an expedition to Chile to establish a base for trading gold at the abandoned ruins of Valdivia. The fleet sailed from Dutch Brazil where John Maurice of Nassau provided them with supplies. While rounding Cape Horn, the expedition established that Staten Island was not part of the unknown Southern land. After landing on Chiloe Island, Brouwer made a pact with the Mapuche (then known as the Araucanians) to aid in establishing a resettlement at Valdivia. However, on August 7, 1643 Hendrik died (at the age of 62) before arriving, and was succeeded by his vice-admiral Elias Herckman, who landed at the ruins of Valdivia on August 24. Brouwer was buried in the new settlement, which Herckman named Brouwershaven after him. Herckman and his men occupied the location only until October 28, 1643. Having been told that the Dutch had plans to return to the location, the Spanish viceroy in Peru sent 1000 men in twenty ships (and 2000 men by land, who never made it) in 1644 to resettle Valdivia and fortify it. The Spanish soldiers in the new garrison disinterred and burned Brouwer’s body.[3][4]


Anthony van Diemen


Anthony van Diemen

Portrait of Anthony van Diemen


Culemborg, Utrecht, Dutch Republic


19 April 1645(1645-04-19)
Batavia, Dutch East India




Explorer, colonial governor

Anthony van Diemen (also Antonie, Antonio, Anton, Antonius) (Culemborg, 1593 – Batavia, 19 April 1645), Dutch colonial governor, was born in Culemborg in the Netherlands, the son of Meeus Anthonisz van Diemen[1] and Christina Hoevenaar. In 1616 he moved to Amsterdam, in hope of improving his fortune as a merchant; in this he failed and was declared bankrupt. After a year he became a servant of the Dutch East India Company and sailed to Batavia (Jakarta), capital of the Dutch East Indies. On the voyage out, to the East Indiaman Mauritius he inadvertently went more south to an unknown coast of Australia.[2]

Governor Jan Pieterszoon Coen found van Diemen to be a talented official and by 1626 he was Director-General of Commerce and member of the Council for the Indies. In 1630 he married Maria van Aelst. A year later he returned to the Netherlands as Admiral on the ship Deventer. In 1632 he returned to Batavia and in 1635 he was appointed Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies, his appointment taking effect on 1 January 1636.

Van Diemen’s nine years as Governor-General were successful and important for both the colony and the commercial success of the East India Company. He devoted much of his energy to expanding the power of the company throughout Asia. Under his rule Dutch power was established in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

Van Diemen is best remembered for his efforts to foster exploration of the “Great South Land”, Australia, resulting in “the final and most ambitious Dutch voyages of the century”.[3] The first voyage under his energetic administration was undertaken within three months of his arrival in Batavia; starting from Cape York its ships were to chart the unknown coasts, but the venture ended in failure, when its commander was killed by natives in New Guinea, and the ships returned. In 1639 he commissioned two voyages to the north, in search of the “Gold and Silver Islands” that Spanish reports placed in the North Pacific to the east of Japan, and sent Maarten Gerritsz Vries to explore the coasts of Korea and “Tartaria“; these, two returned fruitlessly.[4] Undeterred, Van Diemen appointed Frans Visscher to draw up a plan for new discoveries. Visscher mapped out three different routes and van Diemen decided in August 1642 to send Abel Janszoon Tasman, accompanied by Visscher, in search of the Great South Land, which Tasman would soon dub “Nieuw Holland“.

In November 1642, headed east from Mauritius on latitude 44 and missing the south coast of Australia, Tasman sighted land (the west coast of the island of Tasmania), and followed the southern coastline around to the east coast. Tasman sent a party ashore at Blackman Bay, on the Tasman Peninsula, who planted a flag and encountered a few of the native inhabitants. Believing he had found a large territory, Tasman named it Van Diemen’s Land in honour of his patron.[5] Van Diemen is also commemorated in Van Diemen Gulf on the coast of northern Australia.

Van Diemen commissioned a further voyage from Tasman in 1644.

Anthony van Diemen died in April 1645 in Batavia, Dutch East Indies. The company granted his wife a large pension and she retired to the Netherlands. Her name is perpetuated in the name of the westernmost point of the North Island of New Zealand, Cape Maria van Diemen, named by Tasman in 1643, and by Maria Island off the east coast of Tasmania.


Cornelis van der Lijn



Portrait of Cornelis van der Lijn [1]

Cornelis van der Lijn (1608? – 27 July 1679) was Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1646 until 1650.

Early career

Van der Lijn was born in Alkmaar, possibly in 1608. He went, in 1627, as Assistant (Dutch: assistent) to Batavia, Dutch East Indies aboard the Wapen van Hoorn. From 1632 to 18 January 1636 he was Accountant-General (Dutch: boekhouder-generaal). In 1639 he became Counsellor-Extraordinary (Dutch: Raad extra-oridinair) to the Council of the Indies. A year later he was appointed President of the Schepenrechtbank (a maritime court, but with various other functions). One further year later he was made a full Counsellor (Dutch: Raad ordinair) he followed Philips Lucasz (whose portrait was painted by Rembrandt [2]) as Director-General of the Indies.

Council of the Indies

Shortly before his death on 19 April 1645, Governor-General Antonio van Diemen called upon the Council of the Indies (12 April 1645) to establish Cornelis van der Lijn as his successor. This was not in line with the instructions of the Seventeen Lords (Heren XVII), who has laid down in 1617 that immediately after the death of a Governor-General, the Council should choose a provisional Governor-General. Only once the Seventeen Lords had agreed to the choice would the appointment come into actual force. The Heren XVII at first cancelled Van Diemen’s decision, but then afterwards named the very same Cornelis van der Lijn as his successor. On 10 October 1646 he was named by them as Governor-General.




Carel Reyniersz



Portrait of Carel Reyniersz

Carel Reyniersz (1604–1653) was Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1650 until 1653.

Reyniersz (or Reiniersz) was born in Amsterdam in 1604 (or perhaps 1602). He left for the Indies in 1627 as Upperbuyer (opperkoopman) on the Dutch Coromandel (Karnataka). He was promoted to Governor of the Coromandel Coast in 1635, even though he had been accused of engaging in (forbidden) private/personal trading. In 1636 he became Counsellor-extraordinary (Raad extra-ordinair) of the Dutch Council of the Indies. He returned to Amsterdam as Admiral of the returning fleet in 1638 and established himself as a merchant there. However, he lost his entire fortune, so left again, this time aboard the Salamander, for India on 24 April 1645. He arrived there on 3 December 1645. The following year, 1646, he became a full Counsellor of the Indies.

His allocated task was to carry out a new policy in the Indies. Most importantly, he was, as far as possible to eliminate sources of competition. He was to take action against private trading and to deal with too much production of spices by having trees cut down. Reinier stuck strictly to this policy, which lead to much conflict in West Ceram, where the population would not accept the destruction of their plantations. It took until 1658 for the area to be pacified.

Four years after Reyniersz become a Counsellor, Governor-General Cornelis van der Lijn received an honorable discharge (sic) and on 26 April 1650, Reyniersz was named his successor, a task he very much looked forward to. Four years later he was dismissed. The governors of the company were not pleased by the weakness of his rule. There still exists in the Netherlands his letter of dismissal. It indicates he was being dismissed because he had been unable to carry out the duties of his office, particularly maintaining peace. The letter was never sent, because Reynier had already written to the Seventeen Lords (Heren XVII) asking to be relieved of his office on health grounds. This letter arrived just before his dismissal letter was to be sent. The Seventeen Lords willingly agreed to his request, though he died before their response reached him, on the night of 18/19 May 1653. He was buried in Batavia, Dutch East Indies and was succeed as Governor-General by Joan Maetsuycker.


Joan Maetsuycker



Joan Maetsuycker, Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. Painting by Jacob Jansz. Coeman in the Rijksmuseum

Joan Maetsuycker (October 14, 1606, Amsterdam – January 24, 1678, Batavia) was Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1653 to 1678.

Maetsuycker studied law in Leuven, and was a lawyer first in The Hague, and later in Amsterdam. From 1636, he lived in the Dutch East Indies. In 1646 he became the first Dutch Governor-General of Ceylon, and seven years later, the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. He stayed on that post for 25 years, which is the longest period for any Governor-General. The Dutch colony in the Indies flourished under Maetsuycker. Under his rule, the Portuguese lost Ceylon (1658), the coast of Coromandel (1658) and Malabar (1663); Makassar was conquered (1667), the west coast of Sumatra was occupied, and the first expedition to the interior of Java was held.





Rijckloff van Goens



Portrait of Rijklof van Goens

Rijckloff van Goens (Rees, June 24, 1619 – Amsterdam, November 14, 1682) was Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1678-1681. He wrote extensively about his travels to Ceylon and India.

His writing about visits to the palaces of Sultan Agung and his successors are important references for historians of the Mataram era in Java






Cornelis Speelman

Cornelis Speelman (2 March 1628 – 11 January 1684) was Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1681 to 1684.



Cornelis Speelman, represented around 1800.

Cornelis Janzoon Speelman was the son of a Rotterdam merchant. He was born on 2 March 1628. In his 16th year, he left aboard the Hillegersberg for the India. He was employed as an Assistant (assistent) in the service of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). In 1645 he arrived in Batavia, Dutch East Indies. He became Bookkeeper (boekhouder) in 1648 and Underbuyer (onderkoopman) in 1649. He became Secretary (secretaris) to the Dutch Council of the Indies (Raad van Indië). He travelled with the ambassador Joan Cunaeus to Persia that year, and wrote an account of the voyage. They were received by the Shah Abbas II with great festivity. Even before his voyage came to an end, in 1652,he was promoted to Buyer (koopman). On his return to Batavia, he took up a post in the office of the Bookkeeper-General (boekhouder-generaal), ‘for whom he deputised for a long time, and whom he succeeded in 1657. Meanwhile, he had married the fifteen year-old Petronella Maria Wonderaer, daughter to the Receiver-General (ontvanger-generaal). In 1659 he was placed in charge of the Company’s clerical and administrative staff (kapitein over de compagnie pennisten) in Batavia. In 1661, he became schepen van Batavia, ( a sort of alderman post connected with local government there).

On 12 June 1663, Cornelis Speelman was appointed Governor and Director of Dutch Coromandel, but was suspended by the Seventeen Lords (Heren XVII), being accused of having illegally engaged in private trading. He had bought a diamond for his wife and later re-sold it because she had not liked it. Despite his strenuous protests, the court in Batavia wanted to make an example of him and he was sentenced to a 15 months suspension and a fine of 3,000 guilders. In 1666, he was named admiral and superintendent of an expedition to Makasar. On 18 November 1667, he concluded the so-called Bongaais Treaty. (Treaty of Bonggaya[1]) In the same year, he was named Commissioner (commissaris) of Amboina, Banda and Ternate. Consequently, he became Counsellor-extraordinary (raad extra-ordinaris) to the Dutch Council of the Indies. He travelled once again, in 1669, as admiral of another expedition to Makassar where he completely subjugated the kingdom, receiving a gold chain and medallion in recognition of this the following year.

He became a full Counsellor of the Indies on 23 March 1671. The following year he was admiral of a fleet sent against the French. In December 1676, he led an expedition to Central Java, where the ruler of Mataram was in difficulties and he needed to support the alliance with that prince. On Java’s East Coast, he went to war against the so-called Toerana Djaja. It took some time before peace was re-established. He was called back to Batavia at the end of 1677 and on 18 January 1678 named First Counsellor and Director-General of the Indies (Eerste Raad en Directeur-Generaal van Indië). Also in that year he was appointed President of the College van Schepenen (to do with local government) in Batavia. On 29 October 1680 he was named Governor-General, a post he took up on 25 November 1681, succeeding Rijckloff van Goens.

During the term of office of Cornelis Speelman as Governor-General, the Sultan of Ternate was conquered. He ceded all his lands of his kingdom to the Company. Speelman also subdued the city of Bantam. Cornelis Speelman died on 11 January 1684 in the Castle at Batavia. His funeral was accompanied with great noise and splendour, for which no pains or monies were spared. He was buried in the Kruiskerk to the noise of 229 cannon shots. He was followed as Governor-General by Johannes Camphuy


Johannes Camphuys



Portrait of Johannes Campuys

Johannes Camphuys (registered as Kamphuis, Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie) (Haarlem, July 18 1634 – Batavia (Jakarta), July 18 1695) was the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1684 to 1691.[1]

[edit] Japan

At this point in Japanese history, the sole VOC outpost (or “factory”) was situated on Dejima island in the harbor of Nagasaki on the southern island of Kyushu. Camphuys was three times sent to Japan as Opperhoofd or chief negotiant and officer of the VOC trading post.[2]

  • 22 October 1671–12 November 1672[2]
  • 29 October1673–19 October 1674[2]
  • 7 November 1675–27 October 1676[2]

[edit] Legacy

The life of Camphuys is commemorated in the name of a street in the Lombok neighbourhood of Utrecht; and he is also remembered in the name of a street in the Bezuidenhoutquarter of The Hague.

Willem van Outhoorn (4 Mei 1635 – 27 November 1720) adalah Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda 1691-1704. Ia lahir dan meninggal di Hindia Belanda.

[Sunting] Biografi
Willem van Outhoorn (atau Oudthoorn) lahir pada 4 Mei 1635 di Larike di Pulau Ambon di Indonesia. Ayahnya adalah seorang Belanda East India Company (VOC) Pembeli (Koopman) di sana. Ia dikirim ke Belanda untuk studi hukum di Universitas Leiden. Pada 28 November 1657 ia lulus dalam UU.

[Sunting] karir Pemerintah
Pada 1659 van Outhoorn kembali ke Hindia, bekerja sebagai Underbuyer (onderkoopman). Dia tetap di Timur selama sisa hidupnya. Bahkan perjalanan ke Banten dekatnya perjalanan terlalu jauh untuk dia. Pada tahun 1662 ia menjadi anggota Dewan Keadilan (Raad van Justitie) di Batavia. Pada 1672 ia menjadi Receiver Jenderal (ontvanger-Generaal), dan pada 1673 ia menjadi Wakil Presiden Dewan Kehakiman. Pada tahun 1678 dia didakwa dengan misi untuk Banten dan ia menjadi anggota luar biasa Dewan Hindia Belanda. Dia diangkat menjadi Konselor penuh, yang dikonfirmasi pada posting yang di 1681. Dia menjadi Presiden Dewan Kehakiman dalam 1682 dan pada tahun 1689 Presiden dari College van Heemraden (berurusan dengan real batas, jalan, dll). Pada tahun yang sama ia diangkat Konselor Pertama dan Direktur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda.

Pada 17 Desember 1690 van Outhoorn diangkat Gubernur Jenderal Hindia Belanda, mengambil alih dari Johannes Camphuys pada tanggal 24 September 1691. Setelah sepuluh tahun, Seventeen Lords (XVII XVII) yang diberikan keinginannya untuk menjadi terhormat dibebaskan dari tugas-tugasnya, tapi itu 15 Agustus 1704 sebelum dia bisa menyerahkan semua fungsi resmi ke penggantinya, Joan van Hoorn.

Dia meminta agar dia diizinkan untuk tetap berada di real nya hanya di luar Batavia. Permintaan seperti itu umumnya tidak diperbolehkan, karena takut akan mengganggu gubernur pensiun dengan karya penerus mereka. Namun, karena dia berada dalam kesehatan yang buruk dan lebih dari 70, dia diperbolehkan untuk tinggal. Ia meninggal pada usia 85 pada tanggal 27 November 1720.

Masa jabatannya tidak ditandai oleh perkembangan penting atau peristiwa. Pada akhir masa jabatannya, Amangkurat II Sultan Mataram meninggal. Karena VOC tidak mengakui anaknya sebagai penggantinya, perang panjang pecah sebelum Van Outshoorn meninggalkan kantor. Pada 1693 Perancis menyerbu Pondicherry. Selama waktu itu, berbagai upaya dilakukan untuk membangun penanaman kopi di Jawa. Panen pertama gagal karena banjir, tetapi panen berikutnya lebih berhasil.

Van Outhoorn bukan penguasa yang sangat kuat. Korupsi dan nepotisme, di mana dia juga terlibat, menjadi lebih mencolok selama waktu. Anak-di-hukum-Nya Joan van Hoorn, menikah dengan putrinya Susanna, mengikutinya sebagai Gubernur-Jenderal


1704-1709: Joan van Hoorn
Joan van Hoorn


Zijn portret pintu Cornelis de Bruijn.

Joan van Hoorn (1653-1711) adalah Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda dari 1704 sampai 1709.

Joan (atau Johan) van Hoorn lahir pada tanggal 16 November 1653, anak ke produsen mesiu Amsterdam kaya, Pieter van Hoorn Janszn dan istrinya Sara Bessels, cucu Gerard Reynst. Sebagai perdagangan mesiu tidak lagi melakukannya dengan baik, teman yang berpengaruh punya dia disebut sebagai Konselor-luar biasa (Raad extraordinair) kepada Dewan Hindia Belanda. Seluruh keluarga berangkat ke Hindia tahun 1663, termasuk Joan.

Pada tahun 1665, ketika ia masih hanya 12 tahun, Joan van Hoorn sudah U-asisten (Onder-asisten) di Perusahaan India Timur Belanda (VOC). Dari Juli 1666 sampai Januari 1668, ia menemani ayahnya di sebuah misi ke Cina, di mana ia diterima oleh Kaisar Kangxi. Setelah itu, Van Hoorn membuat kemajuan pesat dalam karirnya. Dia menjadi Asisten (asisten) pada 1671, Underbuyer (onderkoopman) pada tahun 1673, Pembeli (Koopman) dan Panitera Pertama untuk fungsi sekretaris umum di 1676. Dia dibuat Sekretaris Pemerintah Tinggi (Hoge Regering) Hindia pada 1678. Pada 11 Agustus 1682 dia menjadi Konselor-luar biasa Dewan Hindia. Pada tahun yang sama ia dikirim pada kunjungan ke Banten. Dia juga bernama Presiden Weeskamer tersebut (mengawasi perkebunan anak yatim, dll). Pada 1684, ia menjadi Presiden dari College van Heemraden (mencari setelah batas tanah, jalan, dll). Kunjungan lebih lanjut untuk Banten terjadi pada 1685, berikut ini yang dia bernama Konselor penuh (Raad ordinair) Hindia.

Pada 1691 Van Hoorn menikah Anna Struis. Mereka memiliki seorang putri, Petronella Wilhelmina. Dia kemudian menikah Jan Trip, anak Walikota. Sebuah pernikahan kemudian melihat Petronella menikah dengan Adolf Lubbert sangat kaya Torck, Tuhan Roozendael.

Van Hoorn menjadi Direktur Jenderal pada tahun 1691. Dalam posting ini, ia benar-benar menata ulang administrasi Perusahaan. Setelah kematian istrinya, ia menikah lagi, pada 1692, kali ini ke Susanna, putri kemudian Gubernur Jenderal van Outhoorn Willem. Dia sendiri bernama, pada tanggal 20 September 1701, sebagai Gubernur-Jenderal dalam suksesi kepada ayah mertuanya. Namun, ia menolak untuk menerima jabatan sampai tiga pejabat tinggi lainnya (Mattheus de Haan, Hendrick Zwaardecroon dan de Roo), dicalonkan oleh dia, dirawat di Pemerintah Agung Hindia. Dia melakukan ini karena ia tidak memiliki iman yang ada di Dewan. Para Seventeen Lords (XVII XVII) menyetujui permintaan ini dan pada tanggal 15 Agustus 1704, Joan van Hoorn menerima jabatan Gubernur Jenderal.

Tahun-tahun awal dari istilah Joan van Hoorn di kantor ditandai oleh perang kemudian mengamuk – Perang Suksesi Jawa Pertama (1704-1708). Pada awalnya Perusahaan ingin tetap keluar dari konflik, tetapi akhirnya mereka harus mengambil sisi. Pada tahun 1705, Joan van Hoorn menyimpulkan perjanjian dengan Mataram, yang menyerahkan Jawa Barat kepada Perusahaan. Joan van Hoorn bereksperimen dengan perkebunan kopi. Harga ditentukan oleh pedagang di Mocha sehingga untuk melakukan sesuatu tentang hal ini, Perusahaan mencoba penanaman kopi di daerah lain. Selanjutnya, ada ekspansi besar kopi tumbuh, terutama di dataran tinggi Priangan di dekat Batavia.

Pada tanggal 16 November 1706, setelah kematian Susanna, Van Hoorn kembali menikah, kali ini untuk Joanna Maria van Riebeeck, putri tertua maka Direktur Jenderal van Riebeeck Abraham. Dia juga janda dari Gerard de Heere, yang telah Konselor Hindia dan Gubernur Ceylon. Seorang putra lahir pada 2 Februari 1708, tapi dia meninggal tak lama sesudahnya.

Pada 2 Maret 1708, permintaan Joan van Hoorn untuk meninggalkan pos diberikan. Pada tanggal 30 Oktober 1709, ia menyerahkan posting untuk ayah mertuanya Abraham van Riebeeck nya. Meskipun permintaan lebih lanjut untuk tetap di Hindia, ia dipanggil kembali ke Belanda, sebagai Komandan armada kembali. Dia membeli sebuah rumah yang sangat menyenangkan di Herengracht di Amsterdam. Heren XVII disajikan dengan rantai emas dan medali. Dia meninggal enam bulan setelah kembali pada tanggal 21 Februari 1711. Ia dikuburkan di malam hari, karena kemudian fashion.


1709-1713: Abraham van Riebeeck
Abraham van Riebeeck (18 Oktober 1653 – 17 November 1713) adalah seorang Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda. Dia lahir di Cape Colony di Afrika Selatan, dan merupakan anak dari Jan van Riebeeck. Salah satu anak Abraham adalah Johanna Maria van Riebeeck (1679-1759), yang telah menikah pendahulunya Gubernur Jenderal, Joan van Hoorn. [1] Setelah ia menyelesaikan studi di Belanda pada 1676, ia masuk Belanda East India Company sebagai pedagang.
Dari 1709 sampai kematiannya pada tahun 1713, ia adalah Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda. Dia adalah seorang penjelajah yang tajam, yang melakukan lebih kecil dan lebih besar beberapa pelayaran di Hindia

1713-1718: Christoffel van Swol
Christoffel van Swoll
Christoffel van Swoll (1663-12 November 1718) adalah Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda dari 17 November 1713 sampai kematiannya.

Ia lahir tahun 1663 di Amsterdam. Pada tanggal 19 Desember 1683, ia berangkat ke Batavia pada papan Anna Juffrouw sebagai asisten dalam pelayanan Perusahaan India Timur Belanda. Dia tiba di Batavia pada tanggal 19 Juni 1664 dan mulai bekerja di Sekretariat Jenderal. Dia dipromosikan secara teratur. Pada 1686 ia dipromosikan menjadi Akuntan, pada tahun 1690 untuk Clerk Pertama kepada Sekretariat Jenderal, dan di 1691 untuk Pembeli. Pada 1696, ia diangkat sebagai Sekretaris kepada Pemerintah Tinggi (de Hoge Regering). Pada 1700 ia menjadi ekstra-ordinair Raad (Atase luar biasa) dan Presiden dari College van Weesmeesteren (orpanage suatu). Pada 1701 dia bernama Raad van Indië ordinair (Atase Penuh Hindia). Pada tanggal 3 Mei 1703 ia menjadi Presiden dari College van Schepenen (anggota dewan) di Batavia. Setelah kematian Gubernur Jenderal Abraham van Riebeeck, Dewan (Raad) memilih van Swoll, oleh mayoritas tipis, sebagai Gubernur-Jenderal (pada tanggal 17 November 1713). Proposal ini dikirim ke 17 Penguasa Hindia (de Heren XVII) pada 18 Mei 1714 yang menegaskan janji di 1715, meskipun karakter kesulitannya. Kejujuran adalah faktor penentu dalam waktu-waktu korupsi dan maladministrasi.

Sebagai Gubernur Jenderal, ia menempatkan banyak energi ke dalam berurusan dengan perdagangan, swasta, atau tidak resmi. Dalam hal ini ia tidak benar-benar berhasil. Secara umum, tidak ada yang sangat luar biasa tentang waktunya di kantor. Dia tidak promotor besar pembangunan, seperti memperluas pertanian kopi. Dia juga terhadap memperluas wilayah Perseroan, karena ia pikir itu kemudian akan menjadi ungovernable.He tiba-tiba menjatuhkan harga Cina punya untuk teh oleh sepertiga. Hasilnya adalah bahwa perdagangan dalam teh (dan porselen) runtuh selama bertahun-tahun.

Empat tahun setelah penunjukan sementara sebagai Gubernur Jenderal, ia meninggal di Batavia pada tanggal 12 November 1718. Ia dimakamkan di Gereja Salib Suci (Kruiskerk). Penggantinya disebut sebagai Hendrick Zwaardecroon.



1718-1725: Hendrick Zwaardecroon
Hendrick Zwaardecroon
Hendrick Zwaardecroon atau Henricus (26 Januari 1667, Rotterdam – 12 Agustus 1728, Batavia, Hindia Belanda) adalah Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda dari 1718 sampai 1725.

[Sunting] Awal karir
Zwaardecroon kiri untuk Hindia Timur sebagai kadet kapal Purmer pada Desember 1684 dan tiba di Batavia pada bulan Oktober 1685. Selama perjalanan ia beberapa kali telah digunakan sebagai sekretaris Komisaris Jenderal Van Rheede, yang memungkinkan dia untuk membuat kemajuan cepat dalam karirnya dengan Belanda East India Company (VOC). Pada 1686 ia menjadi pemegang buku (boekhouder) dan kemudian Underbuyer (onderkoopman). Pada 1694, ia dipromosikan untuk Pembeli (Koopman) dan pada 1694 untuk Pembeli Senior (opperkoopman). Pada tahun yang sama ia diangkat menjadi Komandan (commandeur) di Jafnapatham di Ceylon. Dia Komisaris (commissaris) di Pantai Malabar dan bertindak Gubernur Ceylon pada 1697. Dia menjadi, pada tahun 1703, Sekretaris Pemerintah Hindia Tinggi (Hoge Regering) di Batavia, dan pada 1704, melalui pengaruh dari Gubernur Jenderal, Joan van Hoorn, anggota luar biasa Dewan Hindia Belanda (Raad van de Indië). Melalui keanggotaan itu, dan kemudian karena Gubernur Jenderal Christoffel van Swoll telah mencoba membuatnya dihapus dari Dewan, lebih disukai dengan promosi di tempat lain, butuh waktu sampai 1715 sebelum Seventeen Lords (XVII XVII) menamainya sebagai anggota penuh (gewoon tutup ).

[Sunting] Gubernur Jenderal Hindia Belanda
Hari setelah kematian Christoffel van Swoll, pada tanggal 12 November 1718, bernama Zwaardecroon Gubernur-Jenderal. Hanya pada tanggal 10 September 1720, dia menegaskan di posting ini. Pemberhentian Nya, oleh keinginannya sendiri, datang pada tanggal 16 Oktober 1724, meskipun ia menyerahkan kantor sebenarnya untuk Mattheus de Haan hanya pada tanggal 8 Juli 1725.

Selama masa jabatannya, Zwaardecroon harus berurusan dengan banyak kerusuhan di Batavia, termasuk pembakaran di dermaga dan serangan terhadap toko-toko mesiu. Ini Pieter kaya Eberveld, telah mewarisi beberapa tanah dari ayahnya. Pemerintah mengklaim bagian dari perkebunan ini. Eberveld merencanakan serangan terhadap Belanda tetapi beberapa budaknya memperingatkan pemerintah dan serangan itu digagalkan. Dia mengaku di rak dan dijatuhi hukuman mati, bersama dengan anggota komplotan lainnya. Rumahnya dihancurkan dan tembok didirikan di sekitar tempat itu berdiri [1] Kepalanya terjebak pada. Tombak dan melekat pada dinding. Sebuah batu dengan prasasti didirikan, menunjukkan bahwa tidak pernah lagi akan apa pun dibangun di tempat itu. [2] Hal itu hanya dihapus selama pendudukan Jepang (Perang Dunia II).

Zwaardecrood selalu memiliki minat besar dalam mengembangkan produk baru. Dia mendorong penanaman kopi di Priangan di Jawa sehingga produksi kopi tumbuh dengan cepat. Dari 1723, seluruh hasil panen harus diserahkan kepada Perusahaan. Kemudian Zwaardecroon memperkenalkan produksi sutera ke Jawa serta produksi pewarna sayuran. Produksi sutra tidak begitu sukses. Pada 1772 ia mendirikan kembali perdagangan teh Cina, yang telah terganggu.

Pada 1719, Paku Buwono I dari Kartasura di Jawa Timur meninggal dan digantikan oleh putranya, Amangkurat IV. Dua dari saudara-saudaranya tidak mengakui suksesi dan bangkit dalam pemberontakan, menyerang Kartasura. Ini adalah jijik oleh pasukan pendudukan Belanda, tetapi Zwaardecroon merasa dirinya terpaksa untuk mengirim lebih banyak pasukan ke Jawa Timur. Pemberontakan ditumpas oleh 1723, tapi butuh sampai 1752 sampai perdamaian dipulihkan nyata di daerah tersebut. (Perang Suksesi Jawa Kedua 1719-1723 [3]). Zwaardecroon mengambil tindakan terhadap pedagang swasta, dan dengan demikian mendapat hubungan yang lebih baik dengan pemegang saham atas Perusahaan lokal (Bewindhouders). Pada 1726, ia memiliki pelayan Perusahaan 26 dibawa ke Batavia pada tuduhan korupsi.

Zwaardecroon meninggal pada 12 Agustus 1738 di real di Kaduang dekat Batavia. Dia mengatakan dia merasa lebih di rumah dengan warga kota biasa, dan atas permintaannya ia tidak dikuburkan dengan pendahulunya sebagai Gubernur-Jenderal, tetapi di pemakaman Gereja Portugis Luar Tembok di Batavia (Portugis Buitenkerk) di Batavia, di mana nya makam masih dapat dikunjungi


1725-1729: Mattheus de Haan
Mattheus de Haan
Mattheus de Haan (1663 – 1729) adalah Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda 1725-1729. (Potret-Nya dapat dilihat di [1]).

Ia lahir di Dordrecht pada tahun 1663. Pada tanggal 26 Oktober 1671 ia meninggalkan untuk Hindia, di mana ayahnya telah appoined sebagai Underbuyer (onderkoopman) di Belanda East India Company (VOC). Dia kemudian cepat-cepat pergi melalui posting di tingkat lebih rendah dari organisasi yang dalam bahasa Belanda Suratte. Ada, pada 1676, ia diangkat menjadi Asisten Sementara (provisioneel asisten), dan pada 1681 ia menjadi asisten. Dia menjadi pemegang buku (boekhouder) pada 1683, dan, pada 1685, onderkoopman (Underbuyer / Undermerchant). Sepuluh tahun kemudian, pada 1695, ia dipromosikan untuk Pembeli / Merchant (Koopman). Tahun berikutnya ia harus pindah ke Batavia, untuk mengambil posting Pembeli Senior Kedua (Tweede opperkoopman) di kantor pusat Perseroan di sana. Dua tahun kemudian, pada tahun 1698, ia dipromosikan menjadi Senior Pembeli Pertama (Eerste opperkoopman). Dia menjadi Sekretaris (secretaris) kepada Pemerintah Tinggi Hindia pada tahun 1700 dan, pada 1702, Wakil Presiden Dewan Kehakiman. Dia membuat Konselor-luar biasa (Raad extraordinair) Dewan Hindia Belanda pada 1704. Dia kemudian ditunjuk sebagai Presiden College van Schepenen tahun 1705. Lima tahun kemudian, ia diangkat menjadi Konselor penuh Hindia dan pada tahun 1722 ia menjadi Direktur Jenderal. Pada 16 Oktober 1724 ia dinominasikan Gubernur Jenderal, mengambil alih dari Henrick Zwaardecroon pada tanggal 8 Juli 1725.

Karakteristik besar waktunya di kantor adalah dorongan oposisi Zwaardecroon nya budidaya sutra. Produksi kopi di wilayah Priangan de (fr Priangan: dataran tinggi Priangan di selatan Batavia) pergi sangat baik dan de Haan merasa bahwa ini akan mengakibatkan penurunan harga kopi di Eropa, sehingga ia menurunkan harga yang dibayarkan kepada para petani kopi . Tanggapan mereka adalah menebang beberapa perkebunan kopi. Ini bukanlah apa yang dimaksudkan, dan De Haan melarangnya. Sementara itu, ada kerusakan lebih lanjut berat untuk produksi kopi. Kopi dari Jawa pergi terutama ke Eropa. Mereka tidak pernah berhasil masuk ke pasar Asia. Kopi dari Mocha melepas sana, seperti halnya kopi Arab dari Inggris. Tidak ada tindakan yang diambil terhadap ini. Orang Inggris juga mulai memainkan peran yang lebih penting dalam kapas dan perdagangan teh.

Setelah istilah yang sangat biasa-biasa saja di kantor (De Haan memiliki semua hidupnya lebih tertarik pada istirahat dari dalam tindakan), Gubernur Jenderal meninggal, setelah terbaring sakit selama tiga hari, pada tanggal 1 Juni 1729. Ia dimakamkan di Batavia dan diikuti sebagai Gubernur-Jenderal oleh Diederik Durven.


1729-1732: Diederik Durven
Diederik Durven


Diederik Durven

Diederik Durven (lahir Delft, 1676, meninggal 26 Februari 1740) adalah Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda dari 1 Juni 1729 sampai 28 Mei 1732

Durven belajar hukum di Universitas Leiden di mana dia lulus pada 19 Juli 1702. Ia menjadi pembela di Delft pada 1704. Pada 1705, ia dinominasikan sebagai anggota Dewan Hakim di Batavia di Hindia. Dia berangkat ke Batavia pada “Grimmestein” pada 4 Januari 1706. Pada tahun 1706, ia tiba di Batavia. Setelah janji itu pada tahun 1720 kepada Dewan Hindia, ia dikirim, pada tahun 1722 dan 1723, untuk mengawasi emas dan perak-tambang di provinsi Parang. Selanjutnya, ia menjadi (tahun 1723) ketua College van Heemraden (yaitu papan drainase, sebanding dengan papan polder di Republik Belanda), yang bertanggung jawab untuk pengelolaan lahan di luar kota, termasuk pengawasan batas. Ia kemudian menjadi Presiden Dewan Kehakiman – pengadilan tertinggi Belanda di Asia. Pada 1729, Mattheus de Haan meninggal. Diederik Durven menggantikannya sebagai Gubernur-Jenderal sementara. Ini tidak berlangsung lama, sebagai Direksi Perusahaan India Timur sangat tidak sabar dari kecepatan perubahan di sana. Setelah kenakalan keuangan diduga, meskipun lebih mungkin sebagai kambing hitam, dia diberhentikan pada tanggal 9 Oktober 1731. Diederik Durven meninggal di Belanda pada tanggal 26 Februari 1740. Ia digantikan oleh Dirck van Cloon.


1732-1735: Dirk van Cloon
Dirck van Cloon


Dirck van Cloon sebagai Gubernur Jenderal Hindia

Dirck van Cloon (1684 – 10 Maret 1735) adalah Eurasia Gubernur Jenderal Hindia Belanda. Dia meninggal karena malaria pada usia 46.

Ia lahir di Batavia sekitar tahun 1684. Untuk pendidikan dan pelatihan ia dikirim ke Belanda. Dia lulus pada Hukum di Universitas Leiden pada tanggal 1 April 1707.

Dia kembali ia ke Batavia pada clipper ‘Donkervliet’ dan menghabiskan beberapa waktu di Belanda Coromandel. Dia antara lain menjadi penilik kabupaten di Sadraspatnam. Dia terlibat perkelahian dengan Gubernur Coromandel, Adriaan de Visser, yang menuduh Van Cloon memberikan barang-barang berkualitas buruk. Pemerintah di Batavia mengirim Van Cloon kembali ke Belanda, tetapi dia membujuk Direksi Belanda East India Company bahwa de Visser tidak bisa dipercaya. Van Cloon itu kembali dan ia berangkat ke Hindia pada 4 November 1719 di papan tulis ‘de van Huis te Assenburg’ sebagai Supercargo. Pada 1720, ia menjadi kepala distrik di Negapatnam. Pada 1723, ia menjadi Gubernur Coromandel Belanda. Pada 1724, ia kembali ke Batavia untuk memberikan nasihat kepada Gubernur Jenderal dan pada tahun 1730, ia menjadi “Raad-ordinair” (penasihat) dari Hindia.

Pada 9 Oktober 1731 Direksi Perusahaan India Timur Belanda yang bernama van Cloon Dirck Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia, yang dia sukses pada tanggal 28 Mei 1732, setelah Diederik Durven aib. Dengan 20 Desember 1733 van Cloon meminta untuk mengundurkan diri karena sakit. Dia meninggal di pos, bagaimanapun, dan itu tidak sampai setelah dia meninggal penggantinya mengambil alih. Van Cloon terlibat dalam off berdiri dengan Perusahaan India Timur baru lahir Swedia, tetapi ia diselesaikan itu secara damai. Kurang bahagia adalah sebuah pemberontakan dari pengangguran pekerja perkebunan gula Cina. Hal ini disebabkan oleh runtuhnya pasar gula, karena over-produksi dan penanganan pemerintah.


1735-1737: Abraham Patras
Abraham Patras


Gubernur Jenderal Abraham Patras

Abraham Patras (22 Mei 1671 – 3 Mei 1737) adalah Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda dari 11 Maret 1735 sampai 3 Mei 1737. Dia lahir di Grenoble dari keluarga Huguenot pengungsi Prancis. Pada 1685, keluarganya melarikan diri ke Belanda.

[Sunting] Awal karir
Patras pertama mengambil pekerjaan di kantor seorang pedagang di Amsterdam yang bernama Nathaniel Gauthier (a Huguenot sesama), tapi ia meninggalkan untuk Hindia kapal Hobree pada 4 Januari 1690, di mana ia digambarkan sebagai seorang prajurit dalam menggunakan cabang Enkhuizen dari Belanda East India Company. Pada 1691, ia mencari perubahan karir dan mendapat posting sementara sebagai agen di Batavia. Pada 1695 ia menjadi asisten / sekretaris administrasi perkebunan-manajemen Cina di Pulau Ambon. Pada 1698 ia dimasukkan ke dalam biaya anak-anak dan hal-hal perkawinan. Dia menikah pada tahun 1699 dengan putri seorang pejabat Dewan Yudisial di Ambon. Istrinya meninggal pada tanggal 16 Desember 1700. Putri satu-satunya juga meninggal muda.

[Sunting] Meningkatnya melalui jajaran
Patras dinominasikan untuk Dewan Kehakiman pada tahun 1700, dan pada tahun 1703, ia pergi untuk bekerja sebagai di bawah sekretaris (onderkoopman) untuk Gubernur Kepulauan Maluku. Pada 1707, ia menjadi Kepala (opperhoofd) dari pos perdagangan di Jambi, di mana markas besarnya diserang. Meskipun terluka parah di bagian belakang, ia selamat. Dia pedagang, kemudian Faktor Kepala di Palembang pada 1711. Pada 1717, ia dipromosikan menjadi Kepala Merchant (opperkoopman) dan pemegang Kantor (gezaghebber) dari pantai barat Sumatera. Itu adalah 1720 yang melihat dia dipromosikan menjadi Inspektur Jenderal Account untuk Hindia Belanda (visitateur-Generaal van Nederlands-Indië). Pada 1721, ia dikirim sebagai utusan ke Jambi. Pada 1722, ia diangkat deputee-pengawas barang masuk dan keluar dari kastil di Batavia. Pada 1724, ia mendapat posting yang sangat menguntungkan Kepala pos perdagangan Belanda Bengal. Pada 1731, ia diangkat sebagai anggota luar biasa (yaitu terkooptasi) dari Dewan Hindia.

[Sunting] Gubernur Jenderal
Pada 10 Maret 1735 pada kematian Gubernur Jenderal van Dirck Cloon, Patras sangat mengejutkan dinominasikan Gubernur Jenderal. Dia tidak pernah menjadi anggota penuh dari Dewan Hindia, jadi ini adalah pertama, dan itu disebabkan oleh dia tergelincir melalui sebagai calon kompromi menyusul kebuntuan dalam pemungutan suara. Dia tidak ingin mengambil posting dalam keadaan ini, tetapi setuju untuk melakukannya sampai calon yang lebih baik dapat ditemukan. Pada 11 Maret 1735 ia dinominasikan sementara Gubernur Jenderal, sebuah keputusan yang disetujui oleh Direksi dari Perusahaan India Timur.

Selama periode jabatannya yang singkat, tidak ada keputusan signifikan yang dibuat. Meskipun ia adalah seorang pemimpin yang kompeten dan telah membangun banyak pengetahuan praktis dari wilayah, usianya (pada 64) mungkin memastikan bahwa ia tidak sangat kuat Gubernur Jenderal.

Dia meninggal dua tahun setelah janji itu pada malam tanggal 3 Mei 1737. Ia dimakamkan di Batavia pada tanggal 6 Mei 1737. Dia adalah orang saleh dan baik hati yang telah menjalani kehidupan yang sangat sederhana. Gubernur-jenderal diambil alih oleh Adriaan Valckenier. \ \




1737-1741: Adriaan Valckenier
Adriaan Valckenier


Adriaan Valckenier

Adriaan Valckenier (6 Juni 1695, Amsterdam – 20 Juni 1751, Batavia, Hindia Belanda), adalah Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda dari 3 Mei 1737 sampai 6 November 1741 dan terlibat dalam Pembantaian Cina 1740. Valckenier meninggal di penjara di Batavia.

[Sunting] Biografi
Ayah Valckenier, seorang anggota dewan kotapraja dan sekretaris di Amsterdam, adalah pejabat dari Perusahaan India Timur Belanda yang berbasis di Amsterdam. Ia adalah putra untuk Gillis Valckenier, salah satu bupati yang besar Amsterdam selama Golden Age kemudian Belanda. Pada tanggal 22 Oktober 1714, Adriaan kiri pada papan ‘Linschoten’ untuk menjadi asisten pembeli (onderkoopman) di Hindia Belanda, di mana ia tiba di 21 Juni, 1715 di Batavia.

Pada 1726, ia menjadi pedagang dan pembeli kepala (opperkoopman); pada tahun 1727 ia “Akuntan Umum” (boekhouder-Generaal) di Hindia Belanda, pada tahun 1730, ia pertama kali diangkat ke Dewan Hindia (Raad ekstra-oridinair) , dan, tahun 1733, sebagai “Penasehat” penuh. Pada 1736, ia membuat “Konselor Pertama” dan “Direktur Jenderal”, tetapi dipukuli sampai jabatan Gubernur Jenderal oleh Abraham Patras. Pada kematian terakhir itu, ia diangkat oleh Gubernur Jenderal Dewan Hindia pada tanggal 3 Mei 1737.

[Sunting] Pembantaian Cina 1740
Artikel utama: 1740 Batavia pembantaian

Ia selama Adriaan Valckenier aturan bahwa pembantaian terkenal Cina terjadi di Batavia (Pembantaian yang disebut Cina). Seorang Gubernur Jenderal sebelumnya (Henricus Zwaardecroon) telah mendorong banyak orang Cina untuk datang ke Batavia. Sesuatu antara 20% dan 50% dari populasi orang Cina. Mereka bekerja dalam pembangunan rumah dan benteng Batavia dan di perkebunan gula di luar kota. Banyak pedagang Cina juga mengambil, terkemuka jika (dari sudut pandang Belanda) ilegal, peran dalam perdagangan dengan Cina. Dari perdagangan gula 1725 mulai runtuh (sebagian karena persaingan dari Brazil). [Kutipan diperlukan] Pengangguran di pedesaan tumbuh, dan bersama dengan itu, kerusuhan. Ini menyebar ke Batavia sebagai pengangguran Cina meninggalkan desa untuk mencari pekerjaan atau bantuan makanan di sana. Pihak berwenang khawatir ini dan mulai mengeluarkan izin tinggal, dan membutuhkan orang-orang dengan izin untuk tinggal di daerah tertentu. Kerusuhan tumbuh pemberontakan skala penuh di pedesaan pada September 1740, ketika Belanda telah mengusulkan mengangkut menganggur Cina untuk koloni Belanda lainnya di Ceylon dan Afrika Selatan. Sebuah menyebarkan rumor bahwa mereka semua akan dibuang ke laut en rute, dan kerusuhan di pedesaan meledak

Pihak berwenang Belanda takut bahwa Cina dalam Batavia berkolaborasi dengan pemberontakan itu dan, selama 9 Oktober dan 10, pencarian brutal terbuat dari wilayah Cina, di mana ribuan tewas, seringkali setelah ditangkap. Ini “pembantaian” berlangsung tiga hari, diikuti oleh hari lebih banyak penjarahan dan pembakaran, tanpa upaya yang jelas pada bagian pemerintah untuk menghentikan kekerasan. Salah satu perkiraan adalah bahwa antara 5.000 dan 10.000 Cina (pria, wanita dan anak-anak) tewas secara total


1741-1743: Johannes Thedens
Johannes Thedens


Johannes Thedens (1680, Friedrichstadt – 19 Maret 1748, Batavia) adalah Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda dari 6 November 1741 sampai 28 Mei 1743.

Thedens, lahir di sebuah pemukiman besar Belanda di Schleswig-Holstein, berlayar pada 17 Desember 1697 sebagai seorang prajurit kapal””’Unie’ ke Hindia Belanda. Pada 1702 ia diangkat ke pos”’Asisten”’ di Perusahaan India Timur Belanda dan pada 1719, untuk”’Pembeli”’ (”’Koopman”’). Dia kemudian berkembang (antara 1723 dan 1725) atas melalui jajaran untuk”’Pembeli Kepala”’ (”’opperkoopman”’) kemudian”’Kepala Pos”’ (opperhoofd) di Deshima di Jepang. [ 1]

Pada 1731, ia dikooptasi untuk Dewan Hindia dan di 1736, ia menjadi anggota penuh (”’Raad-ordinair Indie”’). Pada 1740 ia diangkat oleh Direksi sebagai ‘Konselor Pertama dan Direktur Jenderal”’ a”Hindia. Pada tanggal 6 November 1741, setelah pemecatan Adriaan Valckenier, (yang ia ditangkap dan ditempatkan di penjara di kastil di Batavia), ia menjadi”’interim”’ Gubernur Jenderal. Dia melanjutkan di kantor sampai dengan 28 Mei 1743, dan mampu mengatasi pemberontakan Cina dan menempatkan perdagangan gula pada pijakan yang lebih baik. Ia digantikan oleh Gustaaf Willem Baron van Imhoff.


1743-1750: Gustaaf Willem baron van Imhoff
Gustaaf Willem van Imhoff


Gustaaf Willem van Imhoff

Gustaaf Willem, Baron van Imhoff (8 Agustus 1705 Leer-November 1, 1750) adalah Gubernur Ceylon dan kemudian Hindia Belanda bagi Belanda East India Company (VOC Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie-).

[Sunting] Awal tahun
Van Imhoff dilahirkan dalam sebuah keluarga aristokrat Frisian Timur. Ayahnya, Heinrich Wilhelm Freiherr von Imhoff, datang dari kota Leer di barat laut Jerman, beberapa kilometer dari perbatasan Belanda.

Pada 1725, Van Imhoff masuk ke dalam pelayanan Perusahaan India Timur Belanda di Batavia (Jakarta zaman modern), maka modal kolonial Hindia Belanda. Van Imhoff dipromosikan beberapa kali dalam perusahaan sebelum diangkat gubernur kolonial di Ceylon (modern-hari Sri Lanka) pada tanggal 23 Juli 1736.

[Sunting] Sri Lanka
Masa Van Imhoff sebagai Gubernur Ceylon mengakhiri kekacauan yang telah merasuki pemerintahan sebelumnya. Dia menjalin hubungan yang konstruktif dengan raja Kandy, Vira Narendra Sinha.

Raja Narendra menikah dengan seorang putri Tamil Madurai (Tamil Nadu, India), dan anak mereka, Sri Vijaya Rajasinha yang menggantikannya setelah kematian Narendra itu pada 24 Mei 1739, dipandang Tamil lebih dari Sinhala (kelompok etnis mayoritas di Ceylon). Imhoff prihatin tentang suksesi ini karena kontak yang lebih dekat antara orang Tamil dari Sri Lanka, di bawah Sri Vijaya Rajasinha, dan Tamil dari India Selatan mungkin membahayakan monopoli komersial Belanda East India Company. Dalam surat-suratnya, Van Imhoff menyatakan terkejut bahwa orang-orang Sinhala telah menerima seperti seorang raja, mengingat sikap angkuh mereka terhadap orang Tamil dari India. Namun, Van Imhoff melihat kesempatan yang menarik dalam peristiwa pergantian. Dia mengusulkan untuk Lords Seventeen (Heeren XVII, para direktur VOC) bahwa kerajaan Ceylon dibagi dalam dua, tetapi mereka menolak proposisi: perang akan terlalu mahal.

Meskipun produksi rempah-rempah yang menguntungkan, koloni itu selalu dalam keadaan defisit, karena keuntungannya yang dialokasikan untuk VOC pada umumnya, bukan untuk koloni itu sendiri. Praktek ini mencegah Gubernur dari menjadi terlalu boros dalam kebiasaan mereka, seperti yang terjadi di koloni lain.

[Sunting] Batavia
Pada tanggal 12 Maret 1740, Willem Mauritiz Bruininck diganti Van Imhoff sebagai Gubernur Ceylon dan Imhoff kembali ke Batavia, yang ia temukan dalam situasi genting. Gubernur Jenderal Adriaan Valckenier-percaya bahwa populasi Cina di Batavia daerah sekitarnya tumbuh terlalu besar. Dia berusaha untuk merelokasi penduduk ke Ceylon dan Cape Colony (Afrika Selatan), tetapi desas-desus menyatakan bahwa Belanda berencana untuk melemparkan orang-orang Cina kapal di tengah lautan memulai pemberontakan melawan VOC. Vackenier menanggapi dengan membantai sekitar 5000 Cina. Imhoff diperebutkan kebijakan yang brutal, yang menyebabkan penangkapan dan deportasi ke Belanda. Setelah kedatangannya, Lord Seventeen menamainya Gubernur Jenderal Hindia Belanda dan mengirimnya kembali ke Batavia.

En rute ke Batavia, Imhoff mengunjungi koloni Belanda di Cape Town, di Cape Colony, di mana ia menemukan bahwa warga menembus semakin jauh ke pedalaman dan kehilangan kontak dengan VOC. Imhoff diusulkan untuk meningkatkan pendidikan dan pekerjaan Gereja Protestan di koloni.

Pada bulan Mei 1743, Imhoff mulai masa jabatannya di Batavia yang berada di tengah-tengah perang. Para pangeran Jawa mengambil keuntungan dari situasi kacau berikut tindakan Valckenier untuk memulai perang melawan VOC. Imhoff berhasil membangun kembali perdamaian dan mulai beberapa reformasi. Ia mendirikan sebuah sekolah Latin, kantor pos pertama di Hindia Belanda, rumah sakit dan surat kabar. Dia juga mendirikan kota Buitenzorg dan menekan perdagangan opium. Pada 1746, Imhoff memulai tur Jawa untuk memeriksa kepemilikan perusahaan dan memutuskan beberapa reformasi kelembagaan.

Imhoff masa itu juga ditandai dengan bencana. Sebuah kapal, Hofwegen, disambar petir dan meledak di pelabuhan Batavia bersama dengan enam ton perak, berjumlah sekitar 600.000 florin Belanda.

Pada akhirnya, kebijakan progresif Imhoff membuatnya banyak musuh. Yang Imhoff ingin diplomasi dan kurangnya penghormatan terhadap adat setempat menyebabkan koloni untuk menjadi terlibat dalam perang ketiga suksesi Jawa. Dimasukkan ke dalam posisi tidak bisa dipertahankan oleh musuh-musuhnya, Imhoff ingin mengundurkan diri dari jabatannya, tetapi VOC tidak akan mengizinkannya. Imhoff dipaksa untuk tetap di kantor sampai kematiannya pada tahun 1750, yang datang untuk percaya bahwa sebagian besar karyanya telah dilakukan sia-sia.

Selama tinggal di Batavia, Imhoff tinggal di sebuah rumah kelas tinggi sekarang dikenal sebagai Toko Merah. [1


1750-1761: Yakub Mossel
Yakub Mossel


Yakub Mossel

Yakub Mossel (28 November 1704 – 15 Mei 1761) berubah dari seorang pelaut umum untuk menjadi Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda 1750-1761.

Dia kelahiran mulia, lahir di Enkhuizen. Ketika ia 15 ia meninggalkan sebagai pelaut berbadan sehat atas sebuah Fluyt (sejenis kapal kargo berlayar Belanda) disebut de Haringthuyn, menuju Hindia. Seperti keluarganya memiliki lambang, ia mampu memperoleh posisi istimewa, melalui Dirk van Cloon, dan dikirim ke Coromandel Belanda (1721). Pada 30 Maret 1730, ia menikah Adriana Appels, yang anak tiri empat belas tahun dari Adriaan van Pla, Gubernur Belanda Coromandel. Yakub Mossel bekerja dirinya akhirnya kepada Gubernur dan Direktur Belanda Coromandel.



Willem van Outhoorn



Willem van Outhoorn (4 May 1635 – 27 November 1720) was Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1691 to 1704. He was born and died in the Dutch East Indies.

[edit] Biography

Willem van Outhoorn (or Oudthoorn) was born on 4 May 1635 at Larike on Ambon Island in Indonesia. His father was a Dutch East India Company (VOC) Buyer (koopman) there. He was sent to the Netherlands to study Law at the University of Leiden. On 28 November 1657 he graduated in Law.

[edit] Government career

In 1659 van Outhoorn returned to the Indies, employed as Underbuyer (onderkoopman). He was to remain in the East for the rest of his life. Even a journey to nearby Bantam was a journey too far for him. In 1662 he became a member of the Council of Justice (Raad van Justitie) in Batavia. In 1672 he became Receiver-General (ontvanger-generaal), and in 1673 he became Vice-President of the Council of Justice. In 1678 he was charged with a mission to Bantam and he became an extraordinary member of the Dutch Council of the Indies. He was named a full Counsellor, being confirmed in that post in 1681. He became President of the Council of Justice in 1682 and in 1689 President of the College van Heemraden (dealing with estate boundaries, roads, etc.). That same year he was appointed First Counsellor and Director-General of the Dutch East Indies.

On 17 December 1690 van Outhoorn was appointed Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies, taking over from Johannes Camphuys on 24 September 1691. After ten years, the Seventeen Lords (Heren XVII) granted his wish to be honourably relieved of his duties, but it was 15 August 1704 before he could hand over all his official functions to his successor, Joan van Hoorn.

He requested that he be allowed to remain on his estate just outside Batavia. Such requests were generally not allowed, for fear that retired governors would interfere with the work of their successors. However, because he was in ill-health and was over 70, he was allowed to stay. He died at age 85 on 27 November 1720.

His term of office was not marked by many important developments or events. At the end of his term, Amangkurat II Sultan of Mataram died. As the VOC did not recognise his son as successor, a long war broke out just before Van Outshoorn left office. In 1693 the French overran Pondicherry. During his time, efforts were made to establish coffee growing in Java. The first harvest failed because of flooding, but the next harvest had more success.

Van Outhoorn was not a very strong ruler. Corruption and nepotism, in which he was also involved, became more blatant during his time. His son-in-law Joan van Hoorn, married to his daughter Susanna, followed him as Governor-General


Joan van Hoorn



Zijn portret door Cornelis de Bruijn.

Joan van Hoorn (1653–1711) was Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1704 until 1709.

Joan (or Johan) van Hoorn was born on 16 November 1653, son to the wealthy Amsterdam gunpowder manufacturer, Pieter Janszn van Hoorn and his wife Sara Bessels, a grandchild of Gerard Reynst. As the gunpowder trade was no longer doing so well, his influential friends got him named as Counsellor-extraordinary (Raad extraordinair) to the Dutch Council of the Indies. The whole family left for the Indies in 1663, including Joan.

In 1665, when he was still only 12 years old, Joan van Hoorn was already Under-assistant (onder-assistant) in the Dutch East India Company (VOC). From July 1666 until January 1668, he accompanied his father on a mission to China, where he was received by the Kangxi Emperor. Thereafter, Van Hoorn made rapid progress in his career. He became Assistant (assistent) in 1671, Underbuyer (onderkoopman) in 1673, Buyer (koopman) and First Clerk to the general secretarial function in 1676. He was made Secretary to the High Government (Hoge Regering) of the Indies in 1678. On 11 August 1682 he became Counsellor-extraordinary to the Council of the Indies. In that same year he was sent on a visit to Bantam. He was also named President of the Weeskamer (overseeing the estates of orphans, etc.). In 1684, he became President of the College van Heemraden (looking after land boundaries, roads, etc.). A further visit to Bantam took place in 1685, following which he was named full Counsellor (Raad ordinair) of the Indies.

In 1691 Van Hoorn married Anna Struis. They had a daughter, Petronella Wilhelmina. She later married Jan Trip, the Mayor’s son. A later marriage saw Petronella married to the extremely wealthy Lubbert Adolf Torck, Lord of Roozendael.

Van Hoorn became Director-General in 1691. In this post, he completely reorganised the Company’s administration. Following the death of his wife, he remarried, in 1692, this time to Susanna, the daughter of the then Governor-General Willem van Outhoorn. He himself was named, on 20 September 1701, as Governor-General in succession to his father-in-law. However, he declined to accept the post until three other high officials (Mattheus de Haan, Hendrick Zwaardecroon and de Roo), nominated by him, were admitted to the High Government of the Indies. He did this as he had no faith in the existing Council. The Seventeen Lords (Heren XVII) acceded to this demand and on 15 August 1704, Joan van Hoorn accepted the post of Governor General.

The early years of Joan van Hoorn’s term of office were marked by the war then raging – the First Javanese War of Succession (1704 – 1708) . At first the Company wanted to stay out of the conflict, but eventually they had to take sides. In 1705, Joan van Hoorn concluded an agreement with Mataram, which ceded West Java to the Company. Joan van Hoorn experimented with coffee plantation. Prices were determined by the merchants at Mocha so to do something about this, the Company tried growing coffee in other regions. Subsequently, there was great expansion of coffee growing, especially in the Priangan uplands near Batavia.

On 16 November 1706, following the death of Susanna, Van Hoorn re-married, this time to Joanna Maria van Riebeeck, oldest daughter of the then Director-General Abraham van Riebeeck. She was also the widow of Gerard de Heere, who had been Counsellor of the Indies and Governor of Ceylon. A son was born on 2 February 1708, but he died shortly afterwards.

On 2 March 1708, Joan van Hoorn’s request to leave post was granted. On 30 October 1709, he handed over the post to his father-in-law Abraham van Riebeeck. Despite his further request to remain in the Indies, he was recalled to the Netherlands, as Commander of the returning fleet. He bought a very pleasant house on the Herengracht in Amsterdam. The Heren XVII presented him with a gold chain and medallion. He died six months following his return on 21 February 1711. He was buried in the evening, as was then the fashion.



Christoffel van Swoll

Christoffel van Swoll (1663 – 12 November 1718) was Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 17 November 1713 until his death.

He was born in 1663 in Amsterdam. On 19 December 1683, he left for Batavia on board the Juffrouw Anna as an assistant in the service of the Dutch East India Company. He arrived in Batavia on 19 June 1664 and began working in the General Secretariat. He was regularly promoted. In 1686 he was promoted to Accountant, in 1690 to First Clerk to the General Secretariat, and in 1691 to Buyer. In 1696, he was appointed as Secretary to the High Government (de Hoge Regering). In 1700 he became Raad extra-ordinair (Counsellor extraordinary) and President of the College van Weesmeesteren (an orpanage). In 1701 he was named Raad ordinair van Indië (Full Counsellor of the Indies). On 3 May 1703 he became President of the College van Schepenen (Aldermen) at Batavia. Following the death of Governor-General Abraham van Riebeeck, the Council (Raad) chose van Swoll, by a slim majority, as Governor-General (on 17 November 1713). This proposal was sent to the 17 Lords of the Indies (de Heren XVII) on 18 May 1714 who confirmed his appointment in 1715, despite his difficulty character. His honesty was the deciding factor in those times of corruption and maladministration.

As Governor-General, he put a lot of energy into dealing with the private, or unofficial, trade. In this he was not really successful. In general, there was nothing particularly remarkable about his time in office. He was no great promoter of development, such as extending coffee farming. He was also against extending the territory of the Company, because he thought it would then become ungovernable.He suddenly dropped the price the Chinese got for tea by a third. The result was that the trade in tea (and porcelain) collapsed for years.

Four years after his provisional appointment as Governor-General, he died in Batavia on 12 November 1718. He was buried in the Church of the Holy Cross (Kruiskerk). His successor was named as Hendrick Zwaardecroon.



Hendrick Zwaardecroon

Hendrick or Henricus Zwaardecroon (26 January 1667, Rotterdam – 12 August 1728, Batavia, Dutch East Indies) was Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1718 until 1725.

[edit] Early career

Zwaardecroon left for the East Indies as a midshipman aboard the Purmer in December 1684 and arrived in Batavia in October 1685. During the trip he had several times been employed as secretary to Commissioner-General Van Rheede, which enabled him to make quick progress in his career with the Dutch East India Company (VOC). In 1686 he became Bookkeeper (boekhouder) and subsequently Underbuyer (onderkoopman). In 1694, he was promoted to Buyer (koopman) and in 1694 to Senior Buyer (opperkoopman). In the same year he was appointed Commander (commandeur) in Jafnapatham in Ceylon. He was Commissioner (commissaris) on the Malabar Coast and acting Governor of Ceylon in 1697. He became, in 1703, Secretary to the High Government of the Indies (Hoge Regering) in Batavia, and in 1704, through the influence of the Governor-General, Joan van Hoorn, an extraordinary member of the Dutch Council of the Indies (Raad van de Indië). Through that membership, and later because the Governor-General Christoffel van Swoll had been trying to get him removed from the Council, preferably by promotion elsewhere, it took until 1715 before the Seventeen Lords (Heren XVII) named him as full member (gewoon lid).

[edit] Governor-general of the Dutch East Indies

The day after the death of Christoffel van Swoll, on 12 November 1718, Zwaardecroon was named Governor-General. Only on 10 September 1720, was he confirmed in this post. His dismissal, by his own desire, came on 16 October 1724, though he handed the actual office to Mattheus de Haan only on 8 July 1725.

During his term of office, Zwaardecroon had to deal with a lot of unrest in Batavia, including arson in the dockyards and an attack on the gunpowder stores. The wealthy Pieter Eberveld, had inherited some land from his father. The government laid claim to a part of this estate. Eberveld planned an attack on the Dutchmen but some of his slaves warned the government and the attack was thwarted. He confessed on the rack and was condemned to death, along with other plotters. His house was destroyed and a wall erected around where it had stood.[1] His head was stuck on a lance and attached to the wall. A stone with an inscription was erected, indicating that never again would anything be built on that spot. [2] It was only removed during the Japanese occupation (World War II).

Zwaardecrood had always had a great interest in developing new products. He encouraged coffee-planting in Priangan in Java so that coffee production grew quickly. From 1723, the whole of the harvest had to be delivered to the Company. Then Zwaardecroon introduced silk production into Java as well as the production of vegetable dyes. Silk production was not so successful. In 1772 he re-established the Chinese tea trade, which had been disrupted.

In 1719, Pakubuwono I of Kartasura in East Java died and was succeeded by his son, Amangkurat IV. Two of his brothers did not recognise his succession and rose in revolt, attacking Kartasura. This was repulsed by the Dutch occupying troops, but Zwaardecroon felt himself compelled to send more troops to East Java. The revolt was put down by 1723, but it took until 1752 until real peace was restored in the area. (Second Javanese War of Succession 1719 – 1723 [3]). Zwaardecroon took action against private traders, and thus got better relations with local Company top shareholders (Bewindhouders). In 1726, he had 26 Company servants brought to Batavia on charges of corruption.

Zwaardecroon died on 12 August 1738 in his estate at Kaduang near Batavia. He said he felt more at home with ordinary townsfolk, and so at his request he was not buried with his predecessors as Governor-General, but in the graveyard of the Portuguese Church Outside the Walls at Batavia (Portuguese Buitenkerk) in Batavia, where his grave can still be visited


Mattheus de Haan

Mattheus de Haan (1663 – 1729) was Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1725 to 1729. (His portrait can be seen at [1]).

He was born in Dordrecht in 1663. On 26 October 1671 he left for the Indies, where his father had been appoined as Underbuyer (onderkoopman) in the Dutch East India Company (VOC). He then quickly went through posts in the lower levels of that organisation in Dutch Suratte. There, in 1676, he was made Provisional Assistant (provisioneel assistent), and in 1681 he became assistent. He became Bookkeeper (boekhouder) in 1683, and, in 1685, onderkoopman (Underbuyer/Undermerchant). Ten years later, in 1695, he was promoted to Buyer/Merchant (koopman). The next year he had to move to Batavia, to take up the post of Second Senior Buyer (tweede opperkoopman) in the Company’s headquarters there. Two years later, in 1698, he was promoted to First Senior Buyer (eerste opperkoopman). He became Secretary (secretaris) to the High Government of the Indies in 1700 and, in 1702, Vice-President of the Council of Justice. He was made a Counsellor-extraordinary (Raad extraordinair) of the Dutch Council of the Indies in 1704. He was then appointed President of the College van Schepenen in 1705. Five years later, he was made full Counsellor of the Indies and in 1722 he became Director-General. On 16 October 1724 he was nominated Governor-General, taking over from Henrick Zwaardecroon on 8 July 1725.

Characteristic of his time in office was his opposition Zwaardecroon’s encouragement of silk cultivation. Coffee production in the de Preanger region (the Priangan fr:Priangan uplands to the south of Batavia) went enormously well and de Haan felt that this would lead to a decline in coffee prices in Europe, so he lowered the prices paid to the coffee farmers. Their response was to chop down some of the coffee plantations. This was not what was intended, and De Haan forbade it. Meanwhile, there was further heavy damage to the production of coffee. Coffee from Java went mainly to Europe. They never managed to get into the Asian market. Coffee from Mocha took off there, as did the Arabic coffee of the English. No action was taken against this. The English also began to play a more important role in the cotton and tea trade.

Following a very unremarkable term in office (De Haan had all his life been more interested in repose than in action), the Governor-General died, after lying ill for three days, on 1 June 1729. He was buried in Batavia and was followed as Governor-General by Diederik Durven.


Diederik Durven



Diederik Durven

Diederik Durven (born Delft, 1676, died 26 February 1740) was Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1 June 1729 until 28 May 1732

Durven studied Law at Leiden University where he graduated in 19 July 1702. He became an advocate in Delft in 1704. In 1705, he was nominated as a member of the Council of Justice at Batavia in the Indies. He left for Batavia on the “Grimmestein” on the 4 January 1706. In 1706, he arrived in Batavia. After his appointment in 1720 to the Council of the Indies, he was sent, in 1722 and 1723, to supervise the gold- and silver-mines in Parang province. Subsequently, he became(in 1723) chairman of the College van Heemraden (i.e. drainage board, comparable to a polder board in the Dutch Republic), which was responsible for the management of land outside the city, including supervision of boundaries. He later become President of the Council of Justice – the supreme court of Dutch Asia. In 1729, Mattheus de Haan died. Diederik Durven succeeded him as provisional Governor-General. This did not last long, as the Directors of the East India Company were very impatient of the speed of change there. Following alleged financial misbehaviour, though more probably as a scapegoat, he was dismissed on 9 October 1731. Diederik Durven died in the Netherlands on 26 February 1740. He was succeeded by Dirck van Cloon.


Dirck van Cloon



Dirck van Cloon as Governor General of the Indies

Dirck van Cloon (1684 – 10 March 1735) was Eurasian Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. He died of malaria at the age of 46.

He was born in Batavia sometime in 1684. For his education and training he was sent to the Netherlands. He graduated in Law at Leiden University on 1 April 1707.

He returned he to Batavia on the clipperDonkervliet’ and spent some time in Dutch Coromandel. He was among other things a district overseer in Sadraspatnam. He got into a fight with the governor of Coromandel, Adriaan de Visser, who accused Van Cloon of delivering bad quality goods. The government in Batavia sent Van Cloon back to the Netherlands, but he persuaded the Directors of the Dutch East India Company that de Visser was not to be trusted. Van Cloon was reinstated and he left for the Indies on 4 November 1719 on board the ‘van de Huis te Assenburg’ as Supercargo. In 1720, he became district chief at Negapatnam. In 1723, he became Governor of Dutch Coromandel. In 1724, he returned to Batavia to advise the Governor-General and in 1730, he became “Raad-ordinair” (chief advisor) of the Indies.

On the 9th of October 1731 the Directors of the Dutch East India Company named Dirck van Cloon Governor-General of the Indies, to which he succeed on 28 May 1732, following the disgrace of Diederik Durven. By 20 December 1733 van Cloon was asking to resign because of sickness. He died in post, however, and it was not until after he had died that his successor took over. Van Cloon was involved in a stand-off with the nascent Swedish East India Company, but he resolved it amicably. Less happy was an insurrection of unemployed Chinese sugar plantation workers. This was caused by the collapse of the sugar market, due to over-production and government mishandling.


Abraham Patras



Governor General Abraham Patras

Abraham Patras (22 May 1671 – 3 May 1737) was Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 11 March 1735 until 3 May 1737. He was born in Grenoble of a refugee French Huguenot family. In 1685, his family fled to the Netherlands.

[edit] Early career

Patras first took a job in the offices of an Amsterdam merchant named Nathaniël Gauthier (a fellow Huguenot), but he left for the Indies aboard the Hobree on 4 January 1690, where he is described as a soldier in the employ of the Enkhuizen branch of the Dutch East India Company. In 1691, he sought a change of career and got a temporary post as an agent in Batavia. In 1695 he became assistant/secretary to the Chinese estates-management administration in Ambon Island. In 1698 he was put in charge of children and matrimonial matters. He married in 1699 to a daughter of an official of the Judicial Council in Ambon. His wife died on the 16 December 1700. His only daughter also died young.

[edit] Rising through the ranks

Patras was nominated to the Council of Justice in 1700, and in 1703, he went to work as under-secretary (onderkoopman) for the Governor of the Moluccas Islands. In 1707, he became the Head (opperhoofd) of the trading post at Jambi, where his headquarters were attacked. Although severely wounded in the back, he survived. He was merchant, then Chief Factor in Palembang in 1711. In 1717, he was promoted to Chief Merchant (opperkoopman) and Office holder (gezaghebber) of the west coast of Sumatra. It was 1720 that saw him promoted to Inspector General of Accounts for the Dutch East Indies (visitateur-generaal van Nederlands-Indië). In 1721, he was sent as an envoy to Jambi. In 1722, he was appointed deputee-overseer of goods coming in and out of the castle at Batavia. In 1724, he got the very lucrative post of Head of the Dutch Bengal trading post. In 1731, he was appointed as extraordinary (i.e. co-opted) member of the Council of the Indies.

[edit] Governor-General

On the 10 March 1735 on the death of Governor-General Dirck van Cloon, Patras very surprisingly was nominated Governor-General. He had never been a full member of the Council of the Indies, so this was a first, and was caused by him slipping through as a compromise candidate following a stalemate in the voting. He was not keen to take on the post in these circumstances, but agreed to do so until a better candidate could be found. On 11 March 1735 he was nominated interim Governor-General, a decision which was approved by the Directors of the East India Company.

During his short period of office, no significant decisions were made. Although he was a competent leader and had built up a great deal of practical knowledge of the territories, his age (at 64) probably ensured that he was not a very powerful Governor-General.

He died two years after his appointment during the night of 3 May 1737. He was buried in Batavia on 6 May 1737. He was a pious and good-hearted man who had lived a very modest life. The governor-generalship was taken over by Adriaan Valckenier.\\




Adriaan Valckenier



Adriaan Valckenier

Adriaan Valckenier (6 June 1695, Amsterdam – 20 June 1751, Batavia, Dutch East Indies), was Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 3 May 1737 until 6 November 1741 and involved in the Chinese Massacre of 1740. Valckenier died in a prison in Batavia.

[edit] Biography

Valckenier’s father, an alderman and secretary in Amsterdam, was an official of the Dutch East India Company based in Amsterdam. He was the son to Gillis Valckenier, one of the great regents of Amsterdam during the later Dutch Golden Age. On 22 October 1714, Adriaan left on board the ‘Linschoten’ to be assistant buyer (onderkoopman) in the Dutch East Indies, where he arrived on 21 June 1715 at Batavia.

In 1726, he became merchant and chief buyer (opperkoopman); in 1727 he was “Accountant General” (boekhouder-generaal) of the Dutch Indies; in 1730, he was first appointed to the Council of the Indies (Raad extra-oridinair), and, in 1733, as a full “Councillor”. In 1736, he was made “First Councillor” and “Director-General”, but was beaten to the post of Governor General by Abraham Patras. On the latter’s death, he was named Governor General by the Council of the Indies on 3 May 1737.

[edit] The Chinese Massacre of 1740

Main article: 1740 Batavia massacre

It was during the rule of Adriaan Valckenier that the notorious slaughter of Chinese took place in Batavia (the so-called Chinese Massacre). A previous Governor General (Henricus Zwaardecroon) had encouraged many Chinese to come to Batavia. Something between 20% and 50% of the population were Chinese. They worked in the construction of the houses and fortifications of Batavia and on the sugar plantations outside the city. Many Chinese merchants also took a leading, if (from the Dutch point of view) illegal, role in the trade with China. From 1725 the sugar trade began to collapse (partly because of competition from Brazil).[citation needed] Unemployment in the countryside grew, and along with that, unrest. This spread to Batavia as unemployed Chinese left the countryside to seek work or food relief there. The authorities were alarmed at this and began issuing residence permits, and requiring those with permits to live in specific areas. Unrest grew to a full scale insurrection in the countryside in September 1740, when the Dutch had suggested transporting unemployed Chinese to other Dutch colonies in Ceylon and South Africa. A rumour spread that they would all be thrown overboard en route, and riots in the countryside exploded

The Dutch authorities were afraid that the Chinese within Batavia were collaborating with the insurrection and, over the 9 and 10 October, brutal searches were made of Chinese areas, in which many thousands were killed, often after having been arrested. This “massacre” lasted three days, followed by many more days of looting and arson, with no obvious attempt on the government’s part to stop the violence. One estimate is that between 5,000 and 10,000 Chinese (men, women and children) were killed in total


Johannes Thedens



Johannes Thedens (1680, Friedrichstadt – 19 March 1748, Batavia) was Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 6 November 1741 until 28 May 1743.

Thedens, born in a largely Dutch settlement in Schleswig-Holstein, sailed on 17 December 1697 as a soldier aboard the ‘’’Unie’’’ to the Dutch East Indies. In 1702 he was appointed to the post of ‘’’Assistant’’’ in the Dutch East India Company and in 1719, to ‘’’Buyer’’’ (‘’’koopman’’’). He then progressed (between 1723 and 1725) up through the ranks to ‘’’Chief Buyer’’’ (‘’’opperkoopman’’’) then ‘’’Head of Post’’’ (opperhoofd) at Deshima in Japan.[1]

In 1731, he was co-opted to the Council of the Indies and in 1736, he was made a full member (‘’’Raad-ordinair of Indie’’’). In 1740 he was appointed by the Directors as a ‘’’First Councillor and Director General’’’ of the Indies. On 6 November 1741, following the dismissal of Adriaan Valckenier, (whom he had arrested and placed in prison in the castle at Batavia), he became ‘’’interim’’’ Governor General . He continued in office up to 28 May 1743, and was able to overcome the Chinese insurrection and put the sugar trade on a better footing. He was succeeded by Gustaaf Willem baron van Imhoff.


Gustaaf Willem van Imhoff



Gustaaf Willem van Imhoff

Gustaaf Willem, Baron van Imhoff (August 8, 1705 Leer–November 1, 1750) was the governor of Ceylon and then the Dutch East Indies for the Dutch East India Company (VOC-Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie).

[edit] Early years

Van Imhoff was born into an East Frisian aristocratic family. His father, Wilhelm Heinrich Freiherr von Imhoff, came from the town of Leer in northwestern Germany, a few kilometers from the Dutch border.

In 1725, Van Imhoff entered into the service of the Dutch East India Company in Batavia (modern-day Jakarta), then colonial capital of the Dutch East Indies. Van Imhoff was promoted several times within the company before being appointed colonial governor in Ceylon (Modern-day Sri Lanka) on July 23, 1736.

[edit] Ceylon

Van Imhoff’s tenure as governor of Ceylon put an end to the chaos that had pervaded the previous administration. He established constructive relations with the king of Kandy, Vira Narendra Sinha.

King Narendra was married to a Tamil princess of Madurai (Tamil Nadu, India), and their child, Sri Vijaya Rajasinha who succeeded him after Narendra’s death on May 24, 1739, was seen to be more Tamil than Sinhalese (the majority ethnic group in Ceylon). Imhoff was concerned about this succession because closer contact between the Tamils of Ceylon, under Sri Vijaya Rajasinha, and the Tamils of south India might endanger the Dutch East India Company’s commercial monopoly. In his letters, Van Imhoff expressed his surprise that the Sinhalese people had accepted such a king, considering their haughty attitude towards the Tamils of India. However, Van Imhoff saw an interesting opportunity in this turn of events. He proposed to the Lords Seventeen (Heeren XVII, the directors of the VOC) that the kingdom of Ceylon be divided in two, but they rejected the proposition: a war would be too costly.

Despite the profitable production of spices, the colony was always in a state of deficit because its profits were allotted to the VOC in general, not to the colony itself. This practice prevented the Governors from becoming too extravagant in their habits, as was the case in other colonies.

[edit] Batavia

On March 12, 1740, Willem Mauritiz Bruininck replaced Van Imhoff as governor of Ceylon and Imhoff returned to Batavia, which he found in a precarious situation. Governor-General Adriaan Valckenier believed that the Chinese population in the area surrounding Batavia had grown too large. He attempted to relocate the population to Ceylon and the Cape Colony (South Africa), but a rumor alleging that the Dutch were planning to throw Chinese people overboard in the middle of the ocean started an insurrection against the VOC. Vackenier responded by massacring approximately 5000 Chinese. Imhoff contested this brutal policy, which led to his arrest and deportation to the Netherlands. Upon his arrival, the Lords Seventeen named him governor-general of the Dutch East Indies and sent him back to Batavia.

En route to Batavia, Imhoff visited the Dutch colony in Cape Town, in the Cape Colony, where he discovered that the citizens were penetrating farther and farther into the interior and were losing contact with the VOC. Imhoff proposed to improve education and the work of the Protestant Church in the colony.

In May 1743, Imhoff began his tenure in Batavia which was in the midst of a war. The Javanese princes took advantage of the chaotic situation following Valckenier’s actions to begin a war against the VOC. Imhoff succeeded in reestablishing the peace and began several reforms. He founded a Latin school, the first post offices in the Dutch East Indies, a hospital and a newspaper. He also founded the city of Buitenzorg and suppressed the opium trade. In 1746, Imhoff embarked on a tour of Java to inspect the company’s holdings and decided on several institutional reforms.

Imhoff’s tenure was also marked by catastrophe. A ship, the Hofwegen, was struck by lightning and exploded in the port of Batavia along with six tons of silver, totalling around 600,000 Dutch florins.

Ultimately, Imhoff’s progressive policies made him many enemies. Imhoff’s want of diplomacy and his lack of respect for local customs caused the colony to become embroiled in the third war of Javanese succession. Put in an untenable position by his enemies, Imhoff wanted to resign from his post, but the VOC would not allow it. Imhoff was forced to remain in office until his death in 1750, having come to believe that most of his work had been done in vain.

During his stay in Batavia, Imhoff stayed in a high-class residence today known as Toko Merah.[1


Jacob Mossel



Jacob Mossel

Jacob Mossel (28 November 1704 – 15 May 1761) went from being a common sailor to become Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1750 to 1761.

He was of noble birth, born in Enkhuizen. When he was 15 he left as an able-bodied seaman aboard a Fluyt (a type of Dutch sailing cargo vessel) called de Haringthuyn, bound for the Indies. As his family had a coat of arms, he was able to obtain a privileged position, through Dirk van Cloon, and was sent to the Dutch Coromandel (1721). On the 30th of March 1730, he married Adriana Appels, the fourteen-year old stepdaughter of Adriaan van Pla, Governor of Dutch Coromandel. Jacob Mossel worked himself up finally to Governor and Director of Dutch Coromandel. In 1740 he got the title of Counsellor-extraordinary of the Indies and in 1742 he became a member of the Dutch Council of the Indies (Raad van Indië) in Batavia/Jakarta. In 1745, he became the first Director of the Amfioensociëteit, which tried to regulate its monopoly of the trade in opium. In 1747, he was named as the Director-General (the second highest post in the Dutch East Indies). When in 1750, Gustaaf Willem van Imhoff died, Mossel succeeded him as Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. He remained in post until his own death in 1761.

Jacob Mossel ruled the Indies during a period in which things got steadily worse for the Dutch East India Company. He made may economies and he ended the war in Bantam Province,recognising that his predecessor had handled things badly. The Dutch were threatened by the expansion of the British East India Company. In the battle for Bengal, Mossel lost to the British. Mossel was a supporter of the policy to allow private entrepreneurs to trade for themselves in the territory of the Indies. This concerned small scale trading in which the Company could make no profit. Following that, Batavia/Jakarta underwent a period of growth, which, because of his successors tax regulations, came to nothing. The Company was plagued by corruption and self-interest among its office holders. Jacob Mossel was also involved in this. His great fortune could not in any case have been put together from his official salary. The initiatives he took against corruption were not very effective. To curb exaggerated displays of wealth, in 1754 he brought in a so-called “Regulation against pomp and splendour“, which tried to lay down exactly what wealth an officer could display. These details went from the number of buttonholes they could have to the size of their houses. Of course, the regulations did not apply to himself, and there was great feasting at his daughter’s wedding. After his death at Batavia/Jakarta, from a wasting disease, he was given a magnificent funeral



Petrus Albertus van der Parra

Petrus Albertus van der Parra (29 September 1714 – 28 December 1775) was Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 15 May 1761 to 28 December 1775. (See portrait at [1])

[edit] Biography

Petrus Albertus van der Parra was born in Colombo, the son of a Secretary to the government of Ceylon. His great-grandfather had come to India and the family had lived there ever since. In 1728, he began his career at fourteen years old. As everyone had to start as a soldier, he began as a “soldaat van de penne“, then became an “assistent” in 1731, and “boekhouder” (bookkeeper) in 1732. He had to move house in 1736 to take up a new job as “onderkoopman” (underbuyer/undermerchant), and at the same time “collectionist” (collector) and “boekhouder” to the General Secretary at Batavia/Jakarta. He became “koopman” (buyer/merchant) and “geheimschrijver” (secrets secretary) in 1739. He became Second Secretary to the High Government (Hoge Regering), becoming First Secretary in 1747. He became Counsellor-extraordinary of the Indies later that year (November) and in 1751 became a regular Counsellor. In 1752 he became President of the College van Heemraden (in charge of estate boundaries, roads, etc.). He was later a member of the “Schepenbank” (the local government and court in Batavia), a Regent (a board member) of the hospital and in 1755 he became First Counsellor and Director-General (Eerste Raad en Directeur-Generaal)

On 15 May 1761, following the death of Jacob Mossel he became Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. Confirmation of his appointment by the Heren XVII (the Seventeen Lords, who controlled the Dutch East India Company) came in 1762. He held a lavish inauguration on his birthday on 29 September. Subsequently, his birthday was a national holiday in the Indies. During his time as Governor-General, he overthrew the Prince of Kandy, in Ceylon, though with difficulty, and he conquered the sultanate of Siak in Sumatra. Contracts were entered into with various regional leaders in Bima, Soembawa, Dompo, Tambora, Sangar and Papekat. Apart from that, the rule of Van der Parra can be called weak. He favoured his friends and gave out well-paid posts if he could get anything in return for them. It was said he was a typical colonial ruler, idle, grumpy but generous to those who fawned upon him and recognised his greatness. It was a golden time for the preachers in Batavia, who got gifts, translations of the New Testament and scholarships from Van der Parra. They worshipped and eulogised him. Although the Heren XVII knew about his behaviour, as five Counsellors had written to them about his pretentions to kingly behaviour, they did nothing about it.

In 1770, Captain James Cook had to ask for his help to proceed on his journeys on HMS Endeavour (See s:Captain Cook’s Journal, First Voyage/Chapter 9). At the end of the 19th Century, a steamship, trading to the Indies, was named after him. ([2])

After over fourteen years in power, he died on 28 September 1775 in Weltevreden, the imposing palace built for him outside Batavia/Jakarta. (See images at [3] and [4]). He apparently left a great deal of his fortune to the widows of Colombo and a smaller part to the poor of Batavia ([5]) He was followed as Governor by Jeremias van Riemsdijk



Petrus Albertus van der Parra
Petrus Albertus van der Parra (29 September 1714 – 28 Desember 1775) adalah Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda dari 15 Mei 1761 to 28 Desember 1775. (Lihat foto di [1])

[Sunting] Biografi
Petrus Albertus van der Parra lahir di Kolombo, anak seorang Sekretaris kepada pemerintah Srilanka. Kakek buyutnya datang ke India dan keluarga pernah tinggal di sana sejak itu. Pada 1728, ia memulai karirnya di empat belas tahun. Seperti semua orang harus mulai sebagai seorang prajurit, ia mulai sebagai “van de penne soldaat”, kemudian menjadi “asisten” di 1731, dan “boekhouder” (pembukuan) pada 1732. Dia harus pindah rumah tahun 1736 untuk mengambil pekerjaan baru sebagai “onderkoopman” (underbuyer / undermerchant), dan pada saat yang sama “collectionist” (kolektor) dan “boekhouder” kepada Sekretaris Jenderal di Batavia / Jakarta. Ia menjadi “Koopman” (pembeli / pedagang) dan “geheimschrijver” (rahasia sekretaris) pada 1739. Dia menjadi Sekretaris Kedua kepada Pemerintah Tinggi (Hoge Regering), menjadi Sekretaris Pertama pada tahun 1747. Dia menjadi Konselor-luar biasa Hindia akhir tahun (November) dan pada 1751 menjadi Konselor biasa. Pada 1752 ia menjadi Presiden dari College van Heemraden (yang bertanggung jawab atas batas-batas perkebunan, jalan, dll). Ia kemudian menjadi anggota dari “Schepenbank” (pemerintah daerah dan pengadilan di Batavia), Bupati (anggota dewan) dari rumah sakit dan pada tahun 1755 ia menjadi Konselor Pertama dan Direktur Jenderal (Eerste Raad en Directeur-Generaal)

Pada tanggal 15 Mei 1761, setelah kematian Yakub Mossel ia menjadi Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda. Konfirmasi pengangkatannya oleh Heren XVII (yang Seventeen Lords, yang menguasai Belanda East India Company) datang pada tahun 1762. Dia mengadakan pelantikan mewah pada hari ulang tahunnya pada tanggal 29 September. Selanjutnya, ulang tahunnya adalah hari libur nasional di Hindia. Selama waktunya sebagai Gubernur Jenderal, ia menggulingkan Pangeran Kandy, di Ceylon, meskipun dengan kesulitan, dan ia menaklukkan Kesultanan Siak di Sumatra. Kontrak yang dimasukkan ke dalam dengan para pemimpin berbagai daerah di Bima, Soembawa, Dompo, Tambora, Sangar dan Papekat. Selain itu, aturan Van der Parra dapat disebut lemah. Dia disukai teman-temannya dan memberi tahu bergaji posting jika ia bisa mendapatkan imbalan apa pun untuk mereka. Konon ia adalah penguasa kolonial yang khas, menganggur, galak tapi murah hati kepada orang-orang yang fawned kepadanya dan diakui kebesarannya. Ini adalah waktu emas bagi para pengkhotbah di Batavia, yang mendapat hadiah, terjemahan Perjanjian Baru dan beasiswa dari Van der Parra. Mereka menyembah dan memuji dia. Meskipun Heren XVII tahu tentang perilaku, seperti lima Konselor telah ditulis untuk mereka tentang pretensi untuk raja perilaku, mereka tidak melakukan apa pun tentang hal itu.

Pada tahun 1770, Kapten James Cook harus meminta bantuan untuk melanjutkan pada perjalanan pada HMS Endeavour (Lihat s: Journal Kapten Cook, Voyage Pertama / Bab 9). Pada akhir abad ke-19, kapal uap, perdagangan ke Hindia, bernama setelah dia. ([2])

Setelah lebih dari empat belas tahun berkuasa, ia meninggal pada tanggal 28 September 1775 di Weltevreden, istana megah dibangun untuknya di luar Batavia / Jakarta. (Lihat gambar di [3] dan [4]). Ia tampaknya meninggalkan banyak kekayaannya untuk para janda dari Kolombo dan bagian yang lebih kecil kepada orang miskin Batavia ([5]) Dia diikuti sebagai Gubernur Jeremias van Riemsdijk oleh

1775-1777: Jeremias van Riemsdijk
Jeremias van Riemsdijk
Jeremias van Riemsdijk (18 Oktober 1712 – 3 Oktober 1777) adalah Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda, dari 28 Desember 1775 to 3 Oktober 1777.

Jeremias van Riemsdijk lahir pada 18 Oktober 1712 di Utrecht, putra untuk Scipio van Riemsdijk, menteri Bunnik dekat Houten, dan Johanna Bogaert. Ia masuk ke dalam layanan dengan Perusahaan India Timur Belanda sebagai seorang sersan meninggalkan untuk Hindia, kapal van de Proostwijk, pada 25 Februari 1735. Sangat lama setelah kedatangannya di Batavia / Jakarta pada tanggal 14 September 1735, ia masuk dinas (sebagai lawan dari militer) sipil. Jeremias adalah kemenakan masa depan Gubernur Jenderal Adriaan Valckenier-(1737-1741), yang pada waktu itu masih menjadi anggota Dewan Hindia. H karena itu bisa berharap untuk membuat kemajuan pesat dalam karirnya. Pada tahun 1736 ia menjadi onderkoopman (underbuyer / undermerchant), pada tahun 1738 Koopman (pembeli / pedagang), tahun 1740 Tweede opperkoopman (upperbuyer kedua / uppermerchant) dan di 1742 Eerste opperkoopman (upperbuyer pertama / uppermerchant) di markas kastil di Batavia / Jakarta. Pada 1743 ia menjadi kepala (kapitein) dari perusahaan staf administrasi / menulis (pennisten) dan pada bulan Oktober Jeremias van Riemsdijk bernama Konselor-luar biasa (extra-ordinaier Raad) kepada Dewan Hindia. Pada 1759 ia diangkat Presiden van Sekolah Weesmeesters (berurusan dengan urusan anak yatim, anak di bawah umur, dll). Pada 15 Oktober 1760 ia diangkat Konselor biasa (Raad ordinair) dan pada 17 Agustus 1764 Direktur Jenderal.

Pada tanggal 28 Desember 1775, setelah kematian Petrus Albertus van der Parra, Van Riemsdijk dipilih sebagai Gubernur Jenderal. Dia punya pada saat lima pernikahan, untuk wanita Eurasia terkemuka. Dia telah belajar banyak dari sebelas tahun dia telah bekerja dengan pendahulunya, yang besar nafsu untuk uang yang telah diperoleh. Selama masa jabatannya di kantor, ada kekurangan kapal dan personil kapal. Masalah ini dipecahkan dengan bantuan dari tanah air. Namun, tak lama setelah gubernur telah dimulai, Jeremias van Riemsdijk meninggal di Batavia / Jakarta. Dia diikuti sebagai Gubernur-Jenderal oleh Reynier de Klerck

1777-1780: Reinier de Klerk
Reynier de Klerck
Reynier de Klerck (atau Reinier de Klerck) (1710-1780) adalah Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda dari 9 Oktober 1778 sampai 1 September 1780.

Tanggal de Klerk yang lahir tidak diketahui tetapi ia dibaptis pada 19 November 1710 di Middelburg. Dia bekerja sebagai taruna kapal Kamer van Zeeland, kapal perang, yang tugasnya adalah untuk melindungi kapal kargo rute pulang terikat. Dia membuat dua perjalanan ke India sebagai pelaut dalam pelayanan Perusahaan India Timur Belanda. Pada bulan Desember 1730, ia meninggalkan secara permanen untuk India kapal t Vliegend Hert.

Antara 1735 dan 1737 ia adalah pilot atas sebuah kapal kecil yang diperdagangkan ke sana kemari antara Batavia dan Padang. Pada 1737 ia menjadi seorang akuntan (boekhouder) dengan Perusahaan India Timur Belanda, dan begitu mulai baginya kehidupan di darat. Pada tahun 1738, ia onderkoopman dan penduduk (underbuyer / undermerchant dan penduduk) di Lampung. Pada 1741 dia adalah seorang sekretaris dengan tentara di Jawa. Pada 1742 ia menjadi Kepala di Surabaya dan pada 1744 administrateur en koopmand Eerste (pembeli / pedagang dan administrator pertama) di Semarang. Pada 1747, dia bernama opperkoopmand en Tweede bestuurder (upperbuyer / uppermerchant dan kedua bertanggung jawab) dari Pantai Timur Laut Jawa. Pada 1748 ia menjadi Gubernur dan Direktur Banda. Dia pindah ke Batavia / Jakarta pada 1754 ketika ia menjadi presiden dari College van der Boedelmeesteren en Andere Chinesche onchristelijke sterfhuizen (yang tampak setelah Cina dan lainnya non-Kristen fasilitas pemakaman) untuk Batavia. Pada bulan Oktober 1754, Reynier de Klerck dipasang sebagai Konselor-luar biasa dari Hindia, dan pada tahun 1762 diangkat sebagai Konselor di Dewan Hindia Belanda. Pada 1775 ia menjadi Direktur Jenderal bertindak, yang bernama aktual Direktur Jenderal pada tahun 1776.

Pada tanggal 4 Oktober 1777, sehari setelah kematian Gubernur Jenderal Jeremias van Riemsdijk, ia dengan suara bulat terpilih sebagai Gubernur Jenderal. Dia mengambil fungsi resmi pasca satu tahun kemudian, 9 Oktober 1778. Reynier de Klerck adalah seorang gubernur pekerja keras. Dia adalah seorang pembaharu yang kuat, yang bagaimanapun tidak bisa menyadari semua ide-idenya. Dia sangat berkomitmen untuk membawa kebudayaan Belanda ke Hindia. Jadi ia ingin mengganti Portugueseand Melayu dengan Belanda dalam sistem pendidikan. Namun upaya itu gagal karena penduduk setempat tidak menginginkan ini. Selama masa jabatannya, kejadian penting yang terjadi. Sebuah konflik di Sulawesi dibawa ke Gowa berakhir dengan pendudukan, sementara Sultan Banten Landak dan Batjan memberi jalan kepada Perusahaan India Timur Belanda. Untuk melestarikan monopoli rempah-rempah, para Pangeran Tidore dan Batjan yang dicopot dan dikirim ke pengasingan ke Batavia. Mereka digantikan oleh boneka Perusahaan.

Masa jabatan van de Klerck Reynier tidak berlangsung lama, karena ia meninggal pada 1 September 1780 di Molenvliet dekat Batavia. Dia diikuti sebagai gubernur Arnold oleh Willem Alting.

Rumah Reynier de Klerck di Batavia lama masih dapat dilihat, sebagai Museum Arsip Nasional di Jalan Gajah Mada, Jakarta.

1780-1796: Willem Arnold Alting
Willem Arnold Alting

Portret van Willem Alting uit (Tischbein, 1788)

Willem Arnold Alting (1724 – 1800) adalah Gubernur-Jenderal Hindia Belanda dari 1780 sampai 1797.

Alting lahir di Groningen pada 11 November 1724. Ia belajar di kota kelahirannya dan lulus dalam hukum.

Dia meninggalkan pada 18 Oktober 1750 untuk Hindia di papan Middelburg de sebagai onderkoopman (underbuyer / undermerchant) untuk Belanda East India Company (VOC). Ia menghabiskan sisa hidupnya di Hindia. Pada 1754 ia menjadi Koopman (pembeli / pedagang) dan Sekretaris Pertama 1759 kepada pemerintah. Pada tahun 1763 ia menjadi Konselor-luar biasa (Buitengewoon Raad) dan pada tahun 1772 Konselor penuh (Raad ordinaris). Pada 1777 ia menjadi Pertama Konselor (Eerste Raad) bernama Direktur Jenderal.

Dari Maret 1780 ia bertindak Gubernur Jenderal, karena penyakit dari pendahulunya, Reynier de Klerck. Setelah kematian de Klerck, pada 1 September 1780 ia dipilih oleh Dewan Hindia Belanda sebagai Gubernur-Jenderal sementara. Dia membawa pada fungsi ini selama tujuh belas tahun.

De Klerck yang ingin membawa penggunaan Belanda ke dalam sistem pendidikan, tetapi Alting dicabut ini pada 1786, sehingga Melayu dan Portugis sekali lagi digunakan. Jangka Alting dari kantor ditandai dengan penurunan tajam dari Perusahaan India Timur Belanda dan kekuasaan di Hindia. Tiga bulan setelah dia posting, Belanda berperang dengan Inggris (1780 – 1784) dan sebagian besar wilayah Perusahaan India Timur Belanda diduduki oleh Inggris. Pemerintah di Batavia / Jakarta tidak, secara keseluruhan, menawarkan banyak perlawanan. Dengan Damai Paris (1784), Inggris memperoleh hak untuk perdagangan tanpa hambatan di Hindia Timur. Belanda harus menyerahkan Negapatam di India kepada Inggris. Citra Belanda di mata para penguasa lokal secara menyeluruh hancur.

Dari Belanda, tiga Komisaris Jenderal yang dikirim untuk bekerja dengan Alting untuk membenahi. Di perjalanan, salah satu dari mereka meninggal dan Alting berhasil mendapatkan anak-dalam-hukum-Nya Yohanes Siberg untuk mengambil tempatnya. Para Alting / Siberg duo didominasi Komisi dan, dari laporan dari salah satu Komisaris lainnya, tampaknya mereka bekerja sangat keras dalam kepentingan mereka sendiri. Komisi biaya banyak uang, tetapi membawa perbaikan. Pada 1795, menjadi dikenal di Batavia / Jakarta bahwa tanah air mereka (sementara itu telah menjadi Republik Batavia) sekali lagi berperang dengan Inggris.

Pada 17 Februari 1797, Willem Arnold Alting mengundurkan diri sebagai Gubernur-Jenderal dan Komisaris Jenderal dan menyerahkan pos kepada Pieter Gerardus van Overstraten. Alting tetap sebagai warga negara biasa, tanpa posisi resmi, tinggal di tanah miliknya di Kampung Melajoe dekat Batavia / Jakarta. Ia meninggal di sana pada 7 Juni 1800


Jeremias van Riemsdijk

Jeremias van Riemsdijk (18 October 1712 – 3 October 1777) was Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies, from 28 December 1775 to 3 October 1777.

Jeremias van Riemsdijk was born on 18 October 1712 in Utrecht, the son to Scipio van Riemsdijk, the minister of Bunnik near Houten, and Johanna Bogaert. He entered into service with the Dutch East India Company as a sergeant left for the Indies, aboard the van de Proostwijk, on 25 February 1735. Very shortly after his arrival in Batavia/Jakarta on 14 September 1735, he entered the civil (as opposed to military) service. Jeremias was the nephew of the future Governor-General Adriaan Valckenier (1737-1741), who at the time was still a member of the Council of the Indies. H could therefore expect to make rapid progress in his career. In 1736 he became onderkoopman (underbuyer/undermerchant), in 1738 koopman (buyer/merchant), in 1740 tweede opperkoopman (second upperbuyer/uppermerchant) and in 1742 eerste opperkoopman (first upperbuyer/uppermerchant) in the castle headquarters at Batavia/Jakarta. In 1743 he became the chief (kapitein) of the company of clerical/writing staff (pennisten) and in October Jeremias van Riemsdijk was named Counsellor-extraordinary (Raad extra-ordinaier) to the Council of the Indies. In 1759 he was appointed President of the College van Weesmeesters (dealing with the affairs of orphans, minors, etc.). On 15 October 1760 he was named ordinary Counsellor (Raad ordinair) and on 17 August 1764 Director-General.

On 28 December 1775, following the death of Petrus Albertus van der Parra, Van Riemsdijk was chosen as Governor-General. He had had at the time five marriages, to leading Eurasian ladies. He had learned a lot from the eleven years he had worked with his predecessor, whose great appetite for money he had acquired. During his term in office, there was a shortage of ships and ship personnel. This problem was solved with help from the homeland. However, shortly after his governorship had begun, Jeremias van Riemsdijk died in Batavia/Jakarta. He was followed as Governor-General by Reynier de Klerck


Reynier de Klerck

Reynier de Klerck (or Reinier de Klerck) (1710 – 1780) was Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 9 October 1778 until 1 September 1780.

De Klerk’s date of birth is not known but he was baptised on 19 November 1710 in Middelburg. He worked as midshipman aboard the Kamer van Zeeland, a warship, whose duty was to protect the routes of homeward bound cargo ships. He made two trips to India as a sailor in the service of the Dutch East India Company. In December 1730, he left permanently for India aboard the t Vliegend Hert.

Between 1735 and 1737 he was the pilot aboard a small ship which traded to and fro between Batavia and Padang. In 1737 he became an accountant (boekhouder) with the Dutch East India Company, and so began for him a life on land. In 1738, he was onderkoopman and resident (underbuyer/undermerchant and resident) in Lampung. In 1741 he was a secretary with the army on Java. In 1742 he became Chief in Surabaya and in 1744 koopmand en eerste administrateur (buyer/merchant and first administrator) in Semarang. In 1747, he was named opperkoopmand en tweede bestuurder (upperbuyer/uppermerchant and second in charge) of Java’s Northeast Coast. In 1748 he became Governor and Director of Banda. He moved to Batavia/Jakarta in 1754 when he was made president of the College van Boedelmeesteren der Chinesche en andere onchristelijke sterfhuizen (which looked after Chinese and other non-Christian burial facilities) for Batavia. In October 1754, Reynier de Klerck was installed as Counsellor-extraordinary of the Indies, and in 1762 was appointed as Counsellor in the Dutch Council of the Indies. In 1775 he became acting Director-General, being named actual Director-General in 1776.

On 4 October 1777, the day after the death of Governor-General Jeremias van Riemsdijk, he was unanimously chosen as Governor-General. He took up the official functions of the post one year later, 9 October 1778. Reynier de Klerck was a hardworking governor. He was a powerful reformer, who however could not realise all his ideas. He was very committed to bringing Dutch culture to the Indies. Thus he wanted to replace Portugueseand Malay with Dutch in the education system. His endeavours failed however because the local population did not want this. During his term of office, few important happenings occurred. A conflict in the Celebes was brought to an end by occupying Gowa, while the Sultan of Bantam Landak and Batjan gave way to the Dutch East India Company. To preserve the spice monopoly, the Princes of Tidore and Batjan were deposed and sent into exile to Batavia. They were replaced by puppets of the Company.

The term of office of van Reynier de Klerck did not last long, for he died on 1 September 1780 in Molenvliet near Batavia. He was followed as governor by Willem Arnold Alting.

Reynier de Klerck’s house in old Batavia can still be seen, as the National Archives Museum on Jalan Gajah Mada, Jakarta.


Willem Arnold Alting



Portret van Willem Alting uit (Tischbein, 1788)

Willem Arnold Alting (1724 – 1800) was Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1780 until 1797.

Alting was born in Groningen on 11 November 1724. He studied in his hometown and graduated in law.

He left on 18 October 1750 for the Indies on board the de Middelburg as an onderkoopman (underbuyer/undermerchant) for the Dutch East India Company (VOC). He spent the rest of his life in the Indies. In 1754 he became koopman (buyer/merchant) and in 1759 First Secretary to the government. In 1763 he became Counsellor-extraordinary (Buitengewoon Raad) and in 1772 full Counsellor (Raad ordinaris). In 1777 he became First Counsellor (Eerste Raad) was named Director-General.

From March 1780 he was acting Governor-General, because of the sickness of his predecessor, Reynier de Klerck. Following the death of de Klerck, on 1 September 1780 he was chosen by the Dutch Council of the Indies as provisional Governor-General. He carried on this function for seventeen years.

De Klerck had wanted to bring the use of Dutch into the educational system, but Alting revoked this in 1786, so that Malay and Portuguese were once again used. Alting’s term of office was marked by a steep decline of the Dutch East India Company and its power in the Indies. Three months after he took up post, the Netherlands went to war with Britain (1780 – 1784) and a great part of the territory of the Dutch East India Company was occupied by the British. The government in Batavia/Jakarta did not, on the whole, offer much resistance. By the Peace of Paris (1784), Britain obtained the right to unhindered trade in the East Indies. The Dutch had to cede Negapatam in India to the British. The image of the Dutch in the eyes of the local rulers was thoroughly shattered.

From the Netherlands, three Commissioners-General were sent to work with Alting to reorganise. On the way there, one of them died and Alting managed to get his son-in-law Johannes Siberg to take his place. The Alting/Siberg duo dominated the Commission and, from the reports of one of the other Commissioners, it seems they worked very hard in their own interests. The Commission cost a lot of money but brought no improvement. In 1795, it became known in Batavia/Jakarta that their homeland (in the meantime having become the Batavian Republic) was once again at war with Britain.

On 17 February 1797, Willem Arnold Alting resigned as Governor-General and Commissioner-General and handed the post over to Pieter Gerardus van Overstraten. Alting remained as an ordinary citizen, without official position, living on his estate at Kampong Melajoe near Batavia/Jakarta. He died there on 7 June 1800

the end @copyright dr Iwan suwandy 2012


The Myanmar  historic



Created by

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Business Line Pagodas for miles: Ruins at the ancient Buddhist site of Bagan in Myanmar. – Photo: Aditi De

the land of the golden smile.

At the heart of Myanmar lies a golden smile. Last month, we glimpsed it on the glorious Buddha images across the land. But the smile equally lit up our young guide in Yangon, as it did children at play among the famed Bagan ruins.

The days since our return have been packed with positive political news from Myanmar. Cause for celebration? Not yet. Because sub-texts shadowed our six days in the country, yet unspoilt by mass tourism, making it difficult to share our experience in high-definition black-and-white.

Burma (renamed Myanmar in 1989) shares borders with China, Laos, India, Bangladesh and Thailand. It has been my dream destination since I was a child. I’d read of fabled royalty decked in rubies and jade, of the Mon civilisation, of the Bagan kingdom dating back to 1057. I knew Myanmar had natural resources such as petroleum, timber, lead and coal.

I was aware of how the military junta had ruled since a 1962 military coup. But since March 2011, Myanmar has been a unitary presidential republic, led by former general Thein Sein. Its administrative capital shifted from Yangon to Naypyidaw, 320 km north, in November 2005.

We fly into Yangon from India. The first impressions are clean streets, disciplined people, and crumbling colonial buildings reminiscent of north Kolkata. Right-hand driven, ancient Nissans and Toyotas rattle past our bus. We see little evidence of littering, road rage, or the traffic chaos of Bengaluru.

What’s Yangon’s population? Few at bustling Bogyoke Aung San Market know for sure. Myanmar’s last official census was held in 1983. Guesstimates say 16 million live in the former capital, out of 58-80 million across Myanmar.

In the footsteps of karma-driven locals, we seek solace at the 2,500-year-old golden Shwedagon pagoda, which soars almost 100 metres above Yangon. Its history? Burmese merchants Tapussa and Bhallika visited the Buddha shortly after he attained enlightenment. He gave them eight hairs from his head, which they gifted to their king at Okkalapa (now Yangon.) He enshrined these relics in a 20-metre pagoda. Since the 14th century, the pagoda had been rebuilt several times. It dazzles at night with a ceremonial vane and bud, bejewelled with 3,154 golden bells and 79,569 diamonds.

Monks chant, drums roll, lamps flare and dim as a procession winds past various lamp-lit shrines, heralding the full moon. Smiling gently, beatific worshippers offer lotus blossoms and squares of gold leaf with reverence.

It was at the Shwedagon that Aung San Suu Kyi, the global face of Myanmar, made her first public speech on August 26, 1988, to an audience estimated at between 30,000 and a million, catapulting her into history. Standing by its monument to martyred students from 1988, I tune into another tale — of a struggle for a three-year Myanmar passport.

Amidst the smiling Buddhas, tucking into green tea salad, or learning of age-old thanaka cosmetic paste, we cue in to proliferating child trafficking and human rights abuses. Our bus cannot pause for a moment outside 54 University Avenue, Nobel laureate Suu Kyi’s residence. We are forbidden to record images of the army or the police.

Do shadows constantly mask facts? It is tough to tell in this nation of 85 per cent Therawada Buddhists. In historic 41 sq km Bagan in central Myanmar, on the banks of the Ayeyarwaddy river, 500 km north of Yangon, we glimpse the ancient capital of Burman and Mon rulers between the 10th and 13th centuries.

Bagan’s green landscape is dotted with 2,217 temples, pagodas, stupas and ruins, the largest Buddhist site globally. Following a devastating earthquake in 1975, UNESCO has restored over 200 monuments. India sent in over $20 million worth of conservation aid. But UNESCO has refused to recognise Bagan as a world heritage site, citing government restoration as unscientific.

Ananda Phaya, built in 1105 AD by King Kyanzittha, is one of Bagan’s four surviving temples. At its entrance, vendors sell local crafts — including lacquerware, sand paintings, and woven longyis. They include children of four or six, peddling their own drawings on ruled notebook pages. “Only $1,” they plead, hungry-eyed, “only 1,000 kyat.” The temple houses four giant gold-covered Buddhas facing the cardinal directions, architecturally fusing Mon and Indian styles. Eight monks, locals say, told their king of how they meditated in the Himalayan Nandamula Cave temple. With the aid of Indian artisans, they replicated the symmetry of Bengal and Orissa architecture. Later, the king executed the monks to ensure no future copies. Within the temple, niches celebrate Buddha’s life in stone. Jataka scenes are embossed on terracotta tiles. In the plains around, hardy Israeli desert trees ensure that bird droppings do not ruin the restoration.

But post-dusk in wondrous Bagan, its buggies drawn by horses of Assamese origin, pitch darkness falls over the local town of Nyaung-U and its 12,000 inhabitants. Though our hotel has 24/7 air-conditioning and dial-up Internet access, reality bites. A small village nearby has just three LED lights. The town’s lone hospital, constructed by the Russians decades ago, boasts of two doctors and a dentist. Monks ensure justice, in lieu of its single lawyer. The elderly refuse hospitalisation, fearing that the generator heralds the god of death. Around Bagan, most people — whether scholars, waiters or puppeteers — earn daily wages, according to reliable sources.

But some are visibly more equal than others. A general’s son-in-law has built a dissonant convention centre amidst the ruins, while another general has constructed a ‘duplicate’ palace to perpetuate his own glory. All because Bagan was once the ‘Land of Victory.’

These truths, however, blur on the idyllic freshwater Inle Lake in Shan State, 22 km long, 11 km wide, and 1,328 metres above sea level. Birds skim the water at shoulder-level as our five-seater motorised boat propels us towards our hotel on stilts. Over 254 recorded bird species thrive in these protected wetlands.

From the 18 surrounding villages, traditional fishermen bypass weeds and water hyacinth to snare carp. They stand upright on one leg, the other wrapped around an oar. Floating gardens of lake-bottom weeds, anchored by bamboo poles, bob with the tide, rich with tomatoes. Often crouched twenty to a boat, villagers paddle by.

Whether Intha, Shan or other ethnicities, smiles greet us. At the Five Buddha Temple with its gold-leaf wrapped, feature-blurred statues. At the world’s only lotus silk handloom centre. At the floating market where flexi-tailed lucky fish ear-rings are a good bargain. At the once submerged Inn Dein pagoda complex. Or even from the briefly glimpsed brass-hooped, long-necked Padaung tribal women.

Reflecting on Myanmar as we glide over Inle, I wind back to a chance encounter on a Yangon Airways flight. With Eindra, a young woman of Burmese origin, whose family relocated to the US three generations ago. Her US-born 50-plus parents, both professionals, now yearn to return to Myanmar, to spend their golden years with their extended family.

Perhaps their lens on Myanmar is double-faced. Like the south-facing Kassapa Buddha at the Ananda Phaya. Solemnly meditative from one angle; from another, he smiles, reassuring worshippers that all sadness must pass. He seems in sync with the beautiful, tolerant people of Myanmar. For theirs is indisputably the land of the golden smile.



  1. 1.     The Golden Hinta Flag tiin ko ai, kum 1300 an 1500
  2. 2.     tian lo hmang ii.


2. Flag of Third Burmese Empire under Konbaung dynasty tiin ko ai,

 kumpibawipa Kung Bawng san ai hmanghnak thantar ii. (1752 – 1885)


3. Flag of British Burma as a colony of British India tiin ko ai,

British acuzah in kawlram khiah lo uk teng lai fangin,

British India acuzah kuthnia ah a umh teng, (1824 – 1939) kum sawng hmanghnak thantar ii.


4. Flag of British Burma, as a separate colony tiin ko ai, British

acuzah in Kawlram khiah a tumce niuin a kuthnia ah a uk teng, (1939 – 1943)

tian hmanghnak thantar ii.


5. Flag of the State of Burma tiin ko ai, 1943 an 1945

tian hmanghnak thantar ii.


6. Simplified flag of the State of Burma tiin ko ai, 1945

kum ah hmanghnak thantar ii.


7. Flag of British Burma tiin ko ai, 1945 an 1948

tian hmanghnak thantar ii.


8. Flag of the Union of Burma tiin ko ai, 1948 an 1974

 tian hmanghnak thantar ii.



9. 1974 an 1988

 tian khiah, Flag of the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma tiin ko ai, 1988 an 2010 tian khiah Flag of the Union of Myanmar tiin kohnak thantar ii.


10. October 21, 2010

 fangin, Kawlram acuzah in thantar a thar thlenghnak ii.



Changing face of Myanmar

This year — December 2: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton concludes a 3-day visit to Myanmar, where she met both Aung San Syu Kyi and General Thein Sein. She carried letters to both from President Barack Obama. This is the first major US political move in a country isolated for over 50 years.

November 18: Suu Kyi-led National League for Democracy (NLD) decides to contest all 48 seats in the forthcoming by-elections.

November 17: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) clears Myanmar to chair the bloc in 2014, as a reward for recent reforms.

November 16: Suu Kyi meets President Thein Sein to press for the release of 6,300 political dissidents as promised by the State media. Only 200 are set free.

2010 — Military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) wins the first election in 20 years. The National League for Democracy, headed by Suu Kyi, boycotts poll.

November 6: Suu Kyi released from house arrest. The Nobel peace laureate has spent 15 years and 19 days of the last two decades in detention.

2007 — Military junta crushes peaceful demonstrations led by monks and students. Thousands imprisoned.

1988 — Over 3,000 shot dead during student demonstrations in Rangoon. Thousands arrested.

1962 — General Ne Win stages a coup. Myanmar has been under various types of military rule since then.

1948 — Burma gains independence from the British.

July 19, 1947 — Bogyoke Aung San (Suu Kyi’s father) assassinated in the Yangon Secretariat, along with six other ministers.

Fast facts

Tourist season: November to February

Currency: Kyats. Approximately $100 = 76,000 kyat. A local meal costs about 3,000 kyats (less than Rs 200).

Internal airlines: Yangon Airways, Air Bagan, Air Mandalay, among others. Airport security lax. But good in-flight service.

Local special foods: Green tea salad. Mohinga (fish soup).

Main tourist sites: Yangon, Mandalay, Inle Lake, Bagan, Pindaya caves.

Tested travel agency: Mya Thiri Travels, Yangon.

Warning: Credit cards, Internet and international mobiles do not work. Local handsets/ SIM cards can be hired at the airport for $50 each








History of Myanmar

While both the names Bama and Myanma

historically referred only to the main ethnic Burmese group, the Burmese governments in the post-independence period instituted a difference in meaning between Myanmar and Bamar in the official Burmese language.

The name Myanma/Myanmar was expanded to include all citizens of the country, while the name Bama/Bamar kept its original meaning, referring to the Burmese people. Both are in widespread use colloquially.

 Most people still use Bamar/Myanmar interchangeably to refer to the country, depending on the context. But officially the country is now called Myanmar.

the key historical dates.

The earliest archaeological evidence of civilisation in the Irrawaddy valley dates to about 1500 BC. People in the region were turning copper into bronze, growing rice, and domesticating chickens and pigs; they were among the first people in the world to do so.

Prehistory of Burma

Various human species had lived in the region now known as Burma as early as 750,000 years ago. They were replaced by or probably mixed with[1] Homo sapiens—the only surviving human species today.[2] However, evidences for the earliest human settlements in Burma are not yet discovered. Current archeological evidence dates the settlements at about 11,000 BC in the caves of Padah-Lin, which depicts Neolithic culture.[3] They further advanced to Bronze Age and to Iron age around 1,200 BC. These indigenous people, together with later migrating peoples formed mainstream of present day Burmese civilization.

The more recent migrations occurred during the third or fourth millennium BCE to last millennium BC.[4] Pyu, Mon, Rakhine came from various parts of South Asia. They brought cultural diffusions among indigenous people and resided in different parts of Burma—with Pyu at the center, Mon at the South, and Rakhine at the west.

By about 1500 BC, ironworks were in existence in the Irrawaddy Valley followed by Iron age which began around 1200 BC.[5] About 500 BC, a rice-growing population was living in a densely settled various systems of small cities and large villages in the valleys of Upper Myanmar.[3] But Urban age probably did not emerge till the last century BC when advances in irrigation systems and the building of canals allowed for year long agriculture and the consolidation of settlements.[5] From the 2nd century BC to founding of Pagan Dynasty in 11th century AD, these peoples traded with India and dynasities of China including Han and Qin. These trades brought Buddhism and coinage which further spread to other South East Asian countries.[4]



Homo Erectus

Pre-migration preiod

Homo erectus began to settle in Burma in 75,000 BC before the arrival of Homo sapiens from Africa. However, archaeological evidences of Homo sapiens before the 11th millennium are not yet discovered. The pre-migration period of Burma, spans from 11,000 BC to 4,000 BC before the mass migrations of Pyu, Mon and Arakanese people from India and Tibet. This era is characterized by Stone age culture which later advanced to Bronze and Iron age cultures. The cave ritual system, which later used for Buddhist caves, is believed to have rooted in earliest civilization of this era. The effect can be seen today in many Buddhism ritual caves across Burma.[4]




750,000- 275,000 years B.P.

Lower Palaeolithic men of early Anyathian culture (Homo erectus) lived along the bank of the Ayeyawaddy river.

275,000-25,000 years B.P.

Lower Palaeolithic men of late Anyathian culture

11,000 BC

Upper Palaeolithic men (Homo Sapiens) live in Badah-lin caves which situated in Ywagan township in southern Shan States.

7,000 – 2,000 BC

Neolithic men live in central Myanmar, Kachin State, Shan States, Mon State, Taninthayi Region, and along the bank of the Chindwin and Ayeyarwaddy rivers.

1500 BC

Earliest evidence of copper and bronze works, rice growing, domesticating chickens and pigs in Irrawaddy valley[6]

500 BC

Iron-working settlements south of present day Mandalay[6]

100 BC

Pyu people enter the Irrawaddy valley from north



Mesolithic blade in Shinma-daung Area Central Myanmar



Neolithic paintings found inside Padah-Lin Caves. Radiocarbon dated up to 13,000 years ago

Mesolithic age

Roughly polished stone implements of various sizes are often found in the Shan States of eastern Burma.[4][7] Pebble tools, including choppers and chopping tools, are found in the Pleistocene terrace deposits of the Irrawaddy Valley of Upper Myanmar.[4] These complexes are collectively known as the Anyathians, thus, the culture is called the Anyathian culture. The Early Anyathian is characterized by single-edged core implements made on natural fragments of fossil wood and silicified tuff, which are associated with crude flake implements. However, domestications and polishing of stones, which are possible signs of Neolithic culture, are not known until the discovery of Padah Lin caves in Southern Shan State.[8]

Neolithic age

Three caves located near Taunggyi at the edge of the Shan Plateau, depict the Neolithic age when farming, domestication, and polished stone tools first appeared. [4]

They are dated between 11,000 to 6,000 BC.

 The most significant of these is the Padah-Lin cave where over 1,600 of stones and cave paintings have been uncovered.[9] These paintings lie from ten to twelve feet above the floor level depicting figures in red ochre of two human hands, a fish, bulls, bisons, a deer and probably the hind of an elephant.[10] The paintings indicate that the cave was probably used for religious ritual. If so, these caves could be one of the earliest sites used for worshiping in Burma. The use of caves for religious purposes continued into later periods. Thus, Buddhist Burmese use of cave worshiping originates from the earlier Animist period.[4]

Bronze age



Tool transitions from late Stone age to early Bronze Age, and finally to Iron age

The finding of bronze axes at Nyaunggan located in Shwebo township

suggests that Bronze Age of Burma began around 1500 BC in parallel with the earlier stages of Southeast Asian bronze production.[11]


 This period spans from 1500 to 1000 BC

 during which knowledge of the smelting and casting of copper and tin seems to have spread rapidly along the Neolithic exchange routes.[12]

Another site is the area of Taungthaman,

 near Irrawaddy River within the walls of the 18th century capital, Amarapura, was occupied from the late Neolithic through the early iron age, around the middle of the first millennium BC.[4] Small trades, barters as well as Animism had already begun in this age.

Iron age

Bronze and iron age cultures were found to be overlapping in Burma.[4] In this era, wealth was accumulating due to agriculture and to access to the copper resources of the Shan hills, the semi-precious stone and iron resources of the Mount Popa Plateau, and the salt resources of Halin. This wealth is evident in grave items bought from Chinese kingdoms.[3] A notable characteristics of the people of this era is that they buried their dead together with decorative ceramics and common household objects such as bowls and spoons.

The ruins lies some 20 km west of Taungdwingyi is not easily recognized by casual passers-by but the elderly local people remember that the fort walls stood much higher than now about half a century ago before the bricks were quarried for building roads and rail tracks. The excavations, though limited to twenty-five selected sites during six open seasons, reveal that the cultural equipment of the site is essentially Pyu in character.

Masonry structures with massive walls constructed of large sized bricks, un-inscribed silver coins bearing symbols of prosperity and good-luck, burial urns of plain and exquisite designs, beads of clay and semi precious stones, decorated domestic pottery, iron nails and bosses are among the finds which reveal convincing cultural links between Beikthano and the established Pyu site of Srikshetra. The burial urns are definite evidence of cultural relationship between Beikthano on the one hand and Srikshetra and Hanlin on the other. Innumerable urns unearthed at Srikshetra are of the same character as those from Beikthano as regards the contents and manner of burials. The antiquity of Beikthano is vouched by the recovery of un-inscribed coins or medals known Pyu coins. Though the number recovered by excavation is quite few, surface finds were also made by the local people from time to time. From these specimens it appears that not only the predominant type found at Srikshetra but also the type peculiar to Hanlin occurs at this site. In Myanmar these types of un-inscribed coins could be definitely attributed as one of the chief characteristics of Pyu culture.

An ancient site where Pyu culture flourished as early as the 2nd century A.D. It is located 17 km southeast of Shwebo. The located residents after coming across objects of antiquarian interest such as gold, silver and bronze objects, utensils, mirrors, coins and ornaments, which are usually melted down. Unlike Srikshetra or Beikthano where Hindu or Buddhist religions influenced with image worship, no traces could be found at Hanlin. Another interesting factor that prevailed at Hanlin indicates the practice of burial of corporeal remains as also burial of cremated remains in urns was in vogue. The brick-walled city complex is two miles long and a mile wide.

The Glass Palace Chronicle says that Myanmar history starts in Tagaung, some 300 years before the birth of Buddha [850 BC]. Situates 200 km up river north of Mandalay. But then it is quite a civilized period, with cities, kings, farmers, workers and festivals. Tagaung still exit as a big village and can be reached by river way from Mandalay.

The ancient site of Srikestra lies 8 km north-east of Pyay in the village of Hmawza. It dates to the early Pyu kingdom that ruled the surrounding area from the 5th to 9th century AD. By the old palace site stands a small museum and a map of the area. Inside the museum is a collection of artifacts colleted from Thayekhittaya excavations, including royal funerary urns, stone relief’s, a couple of bodhisattvas, statues of the Hindu deities Tara Devi, Vishnu and Lakshmi and several 6th century Buddha images, tile fragments, terracotta votive tablets and silver coins minted in the kingdom etc.

Padalin Cave
Situates in the Panlaung reserved forest area in Ywangan township in Taunggyi district at precisely latitude 21º61½´N and longitude 96º18´E. The distance to Padahlin from Nyaunggyat village is four miles whereas from Yebok it is only a mile away. The caves lie in the jungle-clad mountains and are situated at a height of 1000 ft above sea level. The terrain is rough and rugged. Being limestone caves the interior abounds in stalagmites and stalactites.

The excavation at Padhlin yielded a horde of artifacts and other finds. Innumerable stone implements, hundreds of animal bone fragments, a few human fossils, shells of land mollusks, charcoal pieces, mounds of clay, etc were discovered. The stone implements and the fauna remains testify the age of Padahlin to be Neolithic. Together with these priceless treasures several cave paintings from the depths of prehistory were also brought to light. Let us take a glimpse at these paintings found on the walls of Padahlin.

The mural paintings done in a linear and compact fashion adorn the walls of Padahlin. They were drawn at a height of 10 to 12 feet above floor level in the smaller eastern cave. They were painted in the middle part of the wall which divides the rocks. The drawings of these cave dwellers numbered about a dozen images. They were all done in red ochre circles in the open palm, a huge fish, a deer, bisons, bulls followed at their heels by a calf, a human skull? and probably the rear part of an elephant. On the high cavern ceiling they drew the sun between two converging irregular lines.

From the few paintings found at Padahlin one might well argue that the artist had a fine eye for detail. They also had a gifted hand and creative capacity. These paintings seem to have been their act of lateral thinking. Otherwise stated it must never been the outward manifestation of their thoughts- a feat rather rare for their time. They were remarkably talented souls.

Like the paintings at Padahlin the cave drawings at Lascaux in France, (which has been called “the Sistine chaple of prehistoric art)” and Altamira in Spain also portrayed human hands and more or less similar animals. Painted handprints of early men are also seen on the walls of the Cosquer cave on the French Riviera. Again images of human hands, some in red, others in black pigment were found recently in the Chauvet limestone cave near Avignon, France.

Unlike the Padahlin and Lascaux cave paintings, the Paleolithic cave drawing at Chauvet pullulates with images of predatory and dangerous species such as cave bears, panthers, lions, wooly rhinoceroses and hyenas. But like the Laxcaux and Cyhauvet cavern images the preponderance of animal figures over human form is discernible at Padahlin.

Though open to conjecture the general consensus is that the legacy of cave paintings at Padahlin must surely have been more than what was found in 1968. It might be surmised that the elements, the deposition of calcium carbonate on the walls and the acid smoke emitted from the fire used for cooking and warming themselves must have obliterated and destroyed a great part of the treasure trove.

Whatever the case may be it is evident that our forebears of Pakahlin and the prehistoric ancestors of Europe had used the large cave walls of their time as big doodling sheets. On these vast expanses they had left their visual reflections. It was most thoughtful of them to leave their art in permanent places – the walls of their respective caverns. Despite the similarities and differences in representing art, these Homo Sapiens had definitely left their prehistoric possessions in the sands of time.

The Bronze-Age culture heritage site is located near Nyaunggan Village, Budalin Township, Sagaing Division, about 50 km from Monywar. The site is situated on a crater of a dormant volcano, which is about 4 miles northeast of the famous Twintaung. There are 5 excavation sites so far, where you can find burial mounds of our ancestors. In these excavation sites human skeletal remains were found together with pots of various size and shapes, stone rings, beads, socket bronze axes and some animal bones. This is an extraordinary prehistoric culture, which was found as the missing link between Stone Age and Iron Age culture, and the first discovery of a Bronze-age Burial site in Myanmar.

By 500 BCE,

iron-working settlements emerged in an area south of present-day Mandalay.

Bronze-decorated coffins and burial sites filled with earthenware remains have been excavated. Archaeological evidence at Samon Valley south of Mandalay suggests rice-growing settlements that traded with China between 500 BC and 200 CE

Chapter I: Prehistoric and Animist Periods


A. Prehistoric Sites


1. Introduction


As infrequent archaeological excavations have slowly revealed pieces of Burma’s past, a better but still incomplete understanding of Burma’s prehistory has slowly emerged.  Scant archaeological evidence suggests that cultures existed in Burma as early as 11,000 BC,

long before the more recent Burmese migrations that occurred after the 8th century AD. 

The conventional western divisions of prehistory into the Old Stone Age, New Stone Age

and the Iron or Metal Age are difficult to apply in Burma because there is considerable overlap between these periods.

 In Burma,

most indications of early settlement have been found in the central dry zone, where scattered sites appear in close proximity to the Irrawaddy River. Surprisingly, the artifacts from these early cultures resemble those from neighboring areas in Southeast Asia as well as India. Although these sites are situated in fertile areas, archaeological evidence indicates that these early people were not yet familiar with agricultural methods.


The Anyathian, Burma’s Stone Age, existed at a time thought to parallel the lower

and middle Paleolithic in Europe.

At least six  kinds of stone hand tools have been discovered in the fourteen sites associated with this period. 

This assemblage of stone tools in conjunction with additional archaeological evidence indicates that these people lived by hunting animals and gathering wild fruits, vegetables and root crops.


The Neolithic or New Stone Age,

when plants and animals were first domesticated and polished stone tools appeared, is evidenced in Burma by three caves located near Taunggyi at the edge of the Shan plateau that are dated to 10000 to 6000 BC. 

The most complex of these, the Padhalin cave, contains wall paintings of animals,

not unlike those found in the Neolithic caves at Altimira, Spain or Lascaux, France.

These paintings may be interpreted as an indication that the cave was used as a site for religious ritual. Thus, caves were among the earliest sites used for Buddhist worship in Burma.

This is of importance because the use of caves for religious purposes continued into later periods and may be seen as a “bridge” between the earlier non-Burmese, Animist period

and the later Buddhist period.

Numerous caves around the ancient city of Pagan have been outfitted with Buddha images or have been incorporated into early temples such as Kyauk Ku Umin or Thamiwhet and Hmyatha Umin.



Thamiwhet Umin, Nyaung-o, Pagan


Buddha image erected inside Thamiwet Umin


A Buddhist temple is referred to as a cave, whether it is naturally formed or,

as is most often the case, architecturally constructed.

The Burmese word for cave is “gu” and has been continually used to refer to Buddhist temples.  It is frequently incorporated into the name of a temple, for example

 Shwe Gu Kyi or Penatha Gu. Also, until the twelfth century, temple interiors were intentionally dimly lit. This effect was achieved by installing permanent stone or brick lattices in all the relatively small windows. (The Burmese ethnic group has been credited with building their temples with larger, unobstructed windows and thereby creating more brightly-lit interiors – a transition that is seen in the temples of the Pagan Period).


By the second half of the first millennium BC a new developmental phase

began in the dry zone of Burma. Referred to as the early Bronze – Iron Age,

 these cultures shared practices and methods of production with various neighboring areas. 

Burial methods

 resemble those of Thailand and Cambodia. 

Iron working technology most likely came from India or other parts of Southeast Asia, and ceramic forms and decoration correspond to those of the bronze –

iron Age levels at Ban Chiang in northern Thailand and at Samrong Sen in Cambodia.  Numerous beads have been recovered that stylistically resemble those imported from Andrha Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in India.


2. Prehistoric: Early man at Taungthaman


The site of Taungthaman is located near the 19th century city of Mandalay,

 on an alluvial terrace of the Irrawaddy River within the walls of

the 18th century capital, Amarapura, and was occupied from the late Neolithic

through the early iron age, around the middle of the first millennium BC.

Many artifacts have been uncovered at Taungthaman such as sophisticated stone tools, intricate ceramic wares, and primitive iron metallurgy. 

Many of these objects would have been acquired from the prosperity gained through industrious farming and trade. 

When burying their dead, their new affluence encouraged these people to include

among the grave goods fine decorative ceramics produced by specialized potter artisans as well as the more common household objects such as bowls and spoons. 

Human and animal figures discovered at Taungthaman in the 1970’s are thought to have been used for religious practices. If this is so, these artifacts represent the oldest of their kind found in Burma. Although no building in permanent material was discovered at Taungthaman, the excavations uncovered a pattern of post-holes that are the results of buildings having been supported on wooden pilings.



The mighty bend in the Irrawaddy inhabited since prehistoric times


Capitols of Burma


Taugthaman area in annual flood


Stone bracelet from Taungthaman


Stone hoe? from Taungthaman







My insatiable thirst for ancient ornamental crafts keeps me traveling to various parts of the country to visit ancient sites and likely sources, looking happily over this little thing and that. It was on one such trip to Mandalay checking up a source that I first noticed a small, dice- shaped bead among other artifacts. At first, my attention was drawn to the other, more familiar items but when my eyes fell on the unusual bead I was startled. It was a rectangular, hollow gold piece with auspicious Pyu symbols measuring 8.10 x 8.76 x 11.77 mm and weighing 1.5 gm.
















When I looked closer, I found boreholes in each of the center of a lotus blossom on opposite sides, formed with repousee and chasing work. On the remaining four sides are the symbols of Srivasta (The Holy House), Bhaddha- pith a (The Throne), Sankha (The conch shell), and the twin-fish. The symbols are set within decorative designs, so they stood out from other representations of the symbols. From what I could find out the origin of the bead was Halin, an ancient Pyu city in Upper Myanmar.

I was fascinated with this bead, and from then on, I started looking out for more of the same style. I gathered that a few others have been unearthed but there are not many around. I also tried to find references to the dice-shaped beads in archaeology journals and papers, particularly those with symbols. No such references have been found. I made a vow to myself, there and then, that someday I would write about these fascinating beads.

The gold dice bead with symbols of conch shell, twin-
fish, Sirivatsa, and Bhaddapitha.

The gold dice bead with symbols of conch shell, Sirivatsa,
twin fish and other auspicious symbols.

Therefore, I started look- ing for more dice beads on my .survey trips. It was not until months later that I came across another one, from Myinmu. It is similar to the first one in shape and use of symbols but slightly bigger. The setting of the symbols is also different but both can definitely be identified as Pyu origin. The third bead found from Halin is similar to the first two in style but a bit smaller. Here, the wheel replaced the twin-fish symbol. It is also a little heavier since more gold was used, It could be termed as semi-solid.

The gold dice bead with symbols of conch shell, Srivatsa,
Bhaddapitha, and twin fish.

I began to wonder whether there would be any other variations in style since the three were quite similar. To my delight, a collector friend happened to find a gilded dice bead from Hmaw Zar, ! measuring 7.86 x 7.56 x 10.26 mm and weighing 3.4 gm. Hmaw Zar used to be part of srikestra, the famous ancient Pyu kingdom. This bead is gilded bronze. Engraved in single lines on the four faces are the symbols, srivasta, Bhaddhapitha, the twin-fish, and the swastika. Some flat gold beads were also un- earthed from the area. Most of them are rectangular with the usual Pyu symbols fabri- cated with gold wire and granulation.

Apart from the gold dice beads with symbols, some with images of animals such as elephants, lions, bulls, horse, and the garuda bird, have been found from Halin, Ayardaw near Halin, and Hmawzar in Sriksetra.


From that time on dice beads started coming my way. My collector friends informed me whenever they got hold of what they called my “babies”, A friend from Mawlamyaing luckily managed to obtain some solid gold beads with Pyu symbols, Srivasta, Bhaddhapitha, conch shell, swast\ka, or the twin fish from the Suvanabhummi site, Suvanabhummi is the early Mon kingdom contemporary to that of the Pyu. In addition to the usual symbols, new ones are seen such as a cross and dots, a human figure, wheel, and an auspicious symbol that resembles a zedi surrounded by dots. Compared with those found in Upper Myanmar, they are very small. However, up to that time, I assumed from the use of Pyu symbols that dice beads were Pyu innovations. The said symbols might have an auspicious significance and they are somewhat like Pyu symbols on most of the deco- rative ornaments, coins, personal items, and even pottery. Coins and other personal items bearing Pyu marks are known to have spread to as far as Oc-Eo in Southern Vietnam.




It was fortunate in a way that I was somewhat too busy with my other obligations to get around to writing about these exotic beads until 2003. Had I been able to do so, I would have provided faulty information. I was flabbergasted when in 2003 an incredible found was made in Taung-tha-man Neolithic site: a terracotta dice bead. This bead is about 8 x 6 x 6 cm with boreholes through the center of a lotus blossom on opposite sides. On the other four sides are the images of a seated male, a seated female; a male lion, and a female lion.

The designs were most probably punched into the clay. It dawned upon me that these prehistoric people must be the innovators of the dice beads that fascinate me no end and that the Pyu people were the modifiers. This find of a terracotta dice bead left me in awe and wonder at the unique expressions of aesthetic notions, creativity, and resourcefulness of our ancestors.


Thauangthaman Village

After you cross U Bein’s bridge you will come to the village of Taungtaman. Here it seemed like the main industry was cutting and drying palm leaves and bamboo. There are also a few boat drivers. I didn’t see any weaving mills as the area has a lot of them but the people probably walk to Amarapura if they hold one of those jobs. There are some old Payas that were being rebuilt in the area too.



3. Transition to Pre-Pagan Period


From the limited information available at present, the evolution of these early prehistoric cultures into the later Mon and Pyu societies is not well understood,

although the late Iron Age coincided with the rise of Pyu culture and

 the creation of the first cities in Burma. 

 However, there is ample evidence that by the fifth century AD,

the Mon as well as the Pyu peoples had adopted the Indianized cultural life then widely practiced throughout mainland Southeast Asia which included elements of both Hinduism (Brahamanism) as well as aspects of Theravada, Mahayana, and Tantric Buddhism.


Bibliography- Prehistoric Period


Aung Thaw,

‘The “Neolithic Culture of the Padah-lin Caves”, Asian Perspectives, 14 (1971), pp. 123-133.


Ba Maw, “Research on Early Man in Myanmar”, Myanmar Historical Research Journal, no.1 (November 1995), pp. 213-220.


Bob Hudson, “The Nyaungyan ‘Goddesses': Some Unusual Bronze Grave Goods from Upper Burma”, TAASA Review, vol 10, no 2 (June 2002), pp. 4 –7.


William Solheim, “New Light on a Forgotten Past”, National Geographic, vol 139, No. 3 (March 1971), pp. 330-339.


B. Animism and the Arts


1. Animism


Animism is a generic term used to describe the myriad religious beliefs and practices that have been utilized in small-scale human societies since the beginning of the prehistoric era and is the earliest identifiable form of religion found in Burma.  This is not an unexpected occurrence because animist beliefs and practices have been found among early human societies in almost every country of the world.  Animism is a belief that spirits exist and may live in all things, sentient and non-sentient. The world is thought to be animated by all sorts of spirits that may intervene negatively or positively in the affairs of men.  Although spirits may live in all things, every object does not harbor a spirit.   If there were a spirit in everything, the daily activities of mankind would be seriously disrupted because a spirit would have to be addressed or placated at every step in a day’s activities.  Spirits by their very nature are thought to be normally invisible and to assume visible form only on rare occasion. Therefore, it is a challenge for anyone to contact a specific spirit and be absolutely sure that the correct spirit was contacted and was present. Therefore, throughout the world, spirits are often assigned a contact point where they may be enticed for consultation.  Salient features of the landscape often become the “home” of a spirit by assignment.  Spirits are thought to live, for example, on the highest peak in a mountain range or at the odd bend in the creek but not in every stone or drop of water. If a landscape is devoid of a salient feature, such as is the case with a flat rice field, one is created by assignment such as building a simple shrine in the northeast corner of the field. That the spirits have a recognized “home” is important since the relevant spirit or spirits must be located and consulted before important decisions are made or an activity undertaken.  Location as well as “presence” is of vital importance in animism because the spirit must be agreeably enticed to the location so that the request will meet with a positive response. A home or locus for consulting ancestor spirits is often created in animist societies by carving a generic but gendered human image and wrapping it in a garment or with possessions identified with the deceased. Gifts of all kinds, often of luxury goods, are ritually presented to the image when it may be wrapped in any of the deceased individual’s possessions.


In virtually all societies that practice animism, there are three broad categories of spirits: Spirits of the Ancestors, Spirits of the Locale or Environment (often referred to as genie of the soil) and Spirits of Nature or Natural Phenomenon. Those individuals who were important in this life, such as patriarchs, matriarchs, clan leaders, political leaders, or chiefs, are honored after their death because it is believed that if they were powerful in this life then they will be powerful in the afterlife and consequently they should be consulted. Security for the living is achieved and maintained by consulting these important ancestor spirits to receive advice on major decisions and assistance to bring them to fruition.


Spirits of the locale or environment include, for example, the spirit of the mountain, the waterfall, the great tree or of each plot of land. In inhabited areas in Burma and especially within villages or towns, almost every large tree has a spirit shelf on which food and drink is placed to please the spirit and thus assure its blessings. The small wayside shrines, typically containing no images that are found along thoroughfares as well as in remote locations throughout Burma are dedicated to the spirit(s) of that area, that tract of land or that city plot.


The Spirits of Natural Phenomenon are consulted as needed. These include the sun, moon, storms, hurricanes, typhoons, winds and earthquakes. These spirits represent the uncertainty of the world; that which is beyond the understanding and complete control of the living.


Animism is typically practiced through rituals that are performed by a specially trained practitioner who serves as an intermediary between a person or group and the spirit to be consulted. The term shaman – the word used for such an individual in tribes living along the American Northwest Coast – is today widely employed by academics to identify such individuals wherever they appear in the world. This practitioner is called to perform a ritual at an auspicious location in which he entices the appropriate spirit or spirits to appear and cooperate by flatteringly calling them by name, performing their favorite music or songs, recounting their good deeds and offering them the things that they enjoyed when alive, such as food, drink (frequently alcohol), or things that have an appealing fragrance such as flowers or incense. These “objects of enticement” are considered by outsiders to be the Arts of Animism. Since animist rituals often do not require an image, these arts frequently consist of the objects used for enticement such as fine textiles, fine basketry or fine ceramics. Typically these items are the best available, expensive, newly made for the ceremony, or at least refurbished since it would be offensive to offer old clothing or stale food to a respected individual. Once the shaman is convinced the desired spirit is present and in an agreeable mood, he goes into trance and consults with the spirit concerning the critical matter at hand.  He then comes out of trance and shares the wishes of the spirit(s) with his client(s).


There are typically three categories of questions that are asked: those that involve the security of the group or person; the fertility of humans, livestock and crops; and the health of the group or the individual.  All three categories of questions have to do with everyday life, the here and now, and unlike the “Great Religions”, little attention is focused on the afterlife.


The practitioners of animism, the shaman or mediums, do not belong to an organized clergy but, instead, learn the rituals and the practices of animism by having been an apprentice or an acolyte to another shaman.  The specialized task of the shaman requires them to communicate with spirits, whether male or female, while in a trance. Consequently, an individual of ambiguous gender is well suited to speak intimately with spirits of either gender. Therefore, shaman tends to be either effeminate males or masculine females who at their will are capable of going into trance.


In Burma, animism has developed into the cult of the Thirty-Seven Nats or spirits. Its spirit practitioners, known as nat ka daws, are almost always of ambiguous gender, and are thought to be married to a particular spirit or nat.  Despite their physical appearance and costume, however, they may be heterosexual with a wife and family, heterosexual transvestites, or homosexual. Being a shaman is most often a well-respected profession because the shaman performs the functions of both a doctor and a minister, is often paid in gold or cash, and is often unmarried with the time and money to care for their aging parents. Shamans who combine their profession with prostitution lose the respect of their clients – a universal conflict and outcome.  The reputation of Burmese nat-ka-daws has been generally damaged by this conflict.



Nat images in Nat shrine, Shwezigon Stupa, Pagan


Nat images in Nat shrine, Shwezigon Stupa, Pagan


Animism, a generic term for the Small Religions, is a substratum of beliefs out of which the Great Religions have developed. It is a useful term to describe all of the small religions that vary greatly in the specifics of their practice.  However, there are general characteristics that are easily recognized.  Since animism is based upon the worship of individuals who once lived in addition to spirits that dwell in specific environmental locations, there are a myriad number of spirits. These spirits change in name and function in different physical environments. Consequently, the names of the spirits change from valley to valley, from one village to another or from one small group to the next.  The worship of numerous spirits differs markedly from the great religions, which usually have one all encompassing god or a limited pantheon of gods. By comparison, in Burma and Thailand there is a spirit attached to every parcel of land.


Since Animism is typically practiced by non-literate groups of people, a written record of their theology or literature doesn’t exist.  Practices or beliefs are passed down orally from shaman to apprentice.  Since it is important for the shaman to preserve the correct order in which chants and genealogies must be recited, shaman in several societies have independently invented what scholars have come to refer to as “memory boards”. These are boards on which there are a series of symbols or marks that assist in proper recollection and recitation. These boards have been found in many small-scale societies including those in Southeast Asia, particularly in Borneo and as far away as Easter Island. These boards, although often undecipherable to the uninitiated, are important because they are examples of the first form of writing.


Art objects used in animism are typically made of perishable materials. The images are often of wood, cane, feathers, leather, and other materials such as unfired clay that easily disintegrate.  Due to humidity, bacteria, and the foraging of animals and insects, these art forms do not last for long periods. Art forms made of perishable materials are suitable for animist ritual since the animist aesthetic places importance on the new and beautiful because the end goal is to please and attract the spirits.  The sentiment here is that attractive gifts should be new and not secondhand. Therefore, old images that have been used previously are frequently repainted, re-dressed or made anew.  At times, the “art objects” are discarded after a ritual since the objects have served their purpose of attracting the spirit and the spirit by its very nature of being a spirit can not take the objects away.


Animist art obects are created in almost any form. The images may be anthropomorphic, or just an uncut slab of rock. The object may be adorned or unadorned.


In Burma, the major Animist spirits were transformed into the Pantheon of the 37 Nats during the Pagan Period. The earliest known images of the brother and sister nats, Min Mahagiri and his Sister, who lead the pantheon, were painted on two planks hewn from a their sacred tree that had been thrown into the Irrawaddy and had floated down the Irrawaddy to Pagan.



Min Mahagiri in nat shrine, Shwezigon, Pagan


Mahagiri’s Sister, Shwemyethna, Princess Golden Face in nat shrine, Shwezigon Stupa, Pagan


2. Bronze Drums – An Animist Art Form


The use and manufacture of bronze drums is the oldest continuous art tradition in Southeast Asia. It began some time before the 6th century BC in northern Vietnam and later spread to other areas such as Burma, Thailand, Indonesia and China. The Karen adopted the use of bronze drums at some time prior to their 8th century migration from Yunnan into Burma where they settled and continue to live in the low mountains along the Burma – Thailand border. During a long period of adoption and transfer, the drum type was progressively altered from that found in northern Vietnam (Dong Son or Heger Type I) to produce a separate Karen type (Heger Type III). In 1904, Franz Heger developed a categorization for the four types of bronze drums found in Southeast Asia that is still in use today.



Heger’s four drum types


The Karen Drum Type or Heger Type III


The vibrating tympanum is made of bronze and is cast as a continuous piece with the cylinder.  Distinguishing features of the Karen type include a less bulbous cylinder so that the cylinder profile is continuous rather than being divided into three distinct parts. Type III has a markedly protruding lip, unlike the earlier Dong Son drums. The decoration of the tympanum continues the tradition of the Dong Son drums in having a star shaped motif at its center with concentric circles of small, two-dimensional motifs extending to the outer perimeter.



Tympanum of a Karen Bronze Drum


Complete Tympanum of a Karen Drum


Detail of Tympanum of a Karen Drum


Detail of Tympanum of a Karen Drum


In Burma the drums are known as frog drums (pha-si), after the images of frogs that invariably appear at four equidistant points around the circumference of the tympanum.



Frog on Tympanum of a Karen Drum


A Karen innovation was the addition of three-dimensional figures to one side of the cylinder so that insects and animals, but never humans, are often represented descending the trunk of a stylized tree.



Stylized tree with snails and elephants


Detail of stylized tree with snails and elephants


Detail showing a complex arrangement of snails, elephants, trees squirrels and other animals.


The frogs on the tympanum vary from one to three and, when appearing in multiples, are stacked atop each other. The number of frogs in each stack on the tympanum usually corresponds to the number of figures on the cylinder such as elephants or snails. The numerous changes of motif in the two- and three-dimensional ornamentation of the drums have been used to establish a relative chronology for the development of the Karen drum type over approximately one thousand years.

The Karens speak several languages that linguists have had difficulty classifying.  Karen groups often speak different languages, some of which are not mutually intelligible.  Hence, the Karen peoples are an exception to the basic assumption that an ethnic group can be defined by the fact that all its members can converse in a single tongue. There are at least three major cultural and linguistic divisions among the Karen: the Karreni or the Red Karen, who cast the bronze drums, the Pwo Karen, and the Sgaw Karen, as well as a number of other splinter groups who have scattered into the mountains below the Shan Plateau.



Two Red Karen Women


A Sgaw Woman


Two Sgaw Karen couples


These hillside people practice swidden or slash-and-burn agriculture and speak a language that is very different than that of the lowland Burmese.  The practice of slash-and-burn agriculture consists of burning the forests and then using the ashes from the burnt timber as fertilizer for the fields.



A swidden field ready for planting


Broadcasting rice in swidden field



The fertilizer lasts for only several years, never more than six, and at that time the Karen must pack and move everything to a new site where a different section of the forest is burned.  A number of hillside groups practice slash-and-burn agriculture and periodically move through each other’s hereditary territory to new lands.  These people move back and forth across the Thai border with little regard for the national boundary.  Slash-and-burn agriculture is perilous in that after the forest is burned, seeds must be planted and then rains must occur quickly and consistently until the plants are well established.  If this does not happen, the plants will wither and die or insects and animals will eat the seeds.  It is not unusual for the Karen to be forced to plant four times in order to reap a single harvest.  For the Karen, the bronze drums perform a vital service in inducing the spirits to bring the rains. When there is a drought, the Karens take the drums into the fields where they are played to make the frogs croak because the Karens believe that if the frogs croak, it is sign that rain will surely fall. Therefore, the drums are also known as “Karen Rain Drums”


Bronze drums were used among the Karen as a device to assure prosperity by inducing the spirits to bring rain, by taking the spirit of the dead into the after-fife and by assembling groups including the ancestor spirits for funerals, marriages and house-entering ceremonies. The drums were used to entice the spirits of the ancestors to attend important occasions and during some rituals the drums were the loci or seat of the spirit.


It appears that the oldest use of the drums by the Karen was to accompany the protracted funeral rituals performed for important individuals. The drums were played during the various funeral events and then, among some groups, small bits of the drum were cut away and placed in the hand of the deceased to accompany the spirit into the afterlife.  It appears that the drums were never used as containers for secondary burial because there is no instance where Type III drums have been unearthed or found with human remains inside. The drums are considered so potent and powerful that they would disrupt the daily activities of a household so when not in use, they were placed in the forest or in caves, away from human habitation.  They were also kept in rice barns where when turned upside down they became containers for seed rice; a practice that was thought to improve the fertility of the rice. Also, since the drums are made of bronze, they helped to deter predations by scavengers such as rats or mice.


When played, the drums were strung up by a cord to a tree limb or a house beam so that the tympanum hung at approximately a forty-five degree angle.



Karen drum being played


The musician placed his big toe in the lower set of lugs to stabilize the drum while striking the tympanum with a padded mallet. Three different tones may be produced if the tympanum is struck at the center, edge, and midpoint.  The cylinder was also struck but with long strips of stiff bamboo that produces a sound like a snare drum. The drums were not tuned to a single scale but had individualized sounds, hence they could be used effectively as a signal to summon a specific group to assemble. It is said that a good drum when struck could be heard for up to ten miles in the mountains. The drums were played continuously for long periods of time since the Karen believe that the tonal quality of a drum cannot be properly judged until it is played for several hours.


The drums were a form of currency that could be traded for slaves, goods or services and were often used in marriage exchanges. They were also a symbol of status, and no Karen could be considered wealthy without one.  By the late nineteenth century, some important families owned as many as thirty. The failure to return a borrowed drum often led to internecine disputes among the Karen.


a. Animist Drums and Buddhism


Although the drums were cast primarily for use by groups of non-Buddhist hill people, they were used by the Buddhist kings of Burma and Thailand as musical instruments to be played at court and as appropriate gifts to Buddhist temples and monasteries. The first known record of the Karen drum in Burma is found in an inscription of the Mon king Manuha at Thaton, dated 1056 AD.  The word for drum in this inscription occurs in a list of musical instruments played at court and is the compound  pham klo: pham is Mon while klo is Karen.  The ritual use of Karen drums in lowland royal courts and monasteries continued during the centuries that followed and is an important instance of inversion of the direction in which cultural influences usually flow from the lowlands to the hills.


b. Casting the drums


The town of Nwe Daung, 15 km south of Loikaw, capital of Kayah (formerly Karenni) State, is the only recorded casting site in Burma. Shan craftsmen made drums there for the Karens from approximately 1820 until the town burned in 1889.  Karen drums were cast by the lost wax technique; a characteritic that sets them apart from the other bronze drum types that were made with moulds. A five metal formula was used to create the alloy consisting of copper, tin, zinc, silver and gold. Most of the material in the drums is tin and copper with only traces of silver and gold. The Karen made several attempts in the first quarter of the twentieth century to revive the casting of drums but none were successful.



Karen drums casting – 1923


During the late 19th century, non-Karen hill people, attracted to the area by the prospect of work with British teak loggers, bought large numbers of Karen drums and transported them to Thailand and Laos. Consequently, their owners frequently incorrectly identify their drums as being indigenous to these countries.


Bibliography – Animism and the Arts


F. Heger,  Alte Metalltromeln aus Sudest-Asie (Leipzig, 1902).


H. I. Marshall, The Karen People of Burma: A Study in Anthropology and Ethnology (Columbus, 1922).


H. I. Marshall, “Karen Bronze Drums”, Journal of the Burma Research Society, xix (1929), pp. 1-14.


Richard M. Cooler, “The Use of Karen Bronze Drums in the Royal Courts and Buddhist Temples of Burma and Thailand: A Continuing Mon Tradition?”, Papers from a Conference on Thai Studies in Honor of William J. Gedney  (Michigan Papers on South and Southeast Asia, No 25, Ann Arbor, 1986) pp. 107-20.


Richard M. Cooler, The Karen Bronze Drums of Burma: Types, Iconography, Manufacture, and Use (Leiden, 1994).




Main article: Migration period of ancient Burma

Thayekhittaya (Sri Ksetra

The mass migrations occurred during

the third or fourth millennium BCE to last millennium BC.

[4] Pyu, Mon, Rakhine came from various parts of South Asia. They brought cultural diffusions

among indigenous people and resided in different parts of Burma—with

Pyu at the center,

 Mon at the South, and Rakhine at the west.



As early as 6th century,

Early civilisation in Myanmar dates back to the 1st century

with archaeological evidence of

 Pyu (a Tibetan ethnic group) Kingdoms in

, Beithano (Visnu)

and Hanlin


The Pyu went on to found settlements

 throughout the plains region centered around the confluence of the Irrawaddy

and Chindwin rivers that has been inhabited since the Paleolithic age.[13]


 another people called the Mon began to enter the present-day Lower Burma

from the Mon kingdoms of Haribhunjaya and Dvaravati in modern-day Thailand.

 By the mid 9th century,

 the Mon had founded at least two small kingdoms (or large city-states) centered around Pegu and Thaton.

Pre-Pagan period

The Pre-Pagan period is the era when recent immigrants began to mix with indigenous peoples. This era is characterized by Urban age when the city states began to be established. Most notable ancient cities were founded by Pyu and Mons during this era.



Main article: Pyu city states

Pyu city states’ (Burmese: ပျူ မြို့ပြ နိုင်ငံများ) were a group of city-states that existed from c. 2nd century BCE to late 9th century CE in present-day Upper Burma (Myanmar). The city-states were founded as part of the southward migration by the Tibeto-Burman-speaking Pyu, the earliest inhabitants of Burma of whom records are extant.[14] The thousand-year period, often referred to as the Pyu millennium, linked the bronze age to the beginning of the classical states period when the Pagan Dynasty emerged in the late 9th century.

The city-states—five major walled cities and several smaller towns have been excavated—were all located in the three main irrigated regions of Upper Burma: the Mu valley, the Kyaukse plains and Minbu region, around the confluence of the Irrawaddy and Chindwin rivers. Part of an overland trade route between China and India, the Pyu realm gradually expanded south. Halin, founded in the 1st century CE at the northern edge of Upper Burma, was the largest and most important city until around the 7th or 8th century when it was superseded by Sri Ksetra (near modern Pyay) at the southern edge. Twice as large as Halin, Sri Ksetra was the largest and most influential Pyu center.[14]

The Pyu culture was heavily influenced by trade with India, importing Buddhism as well as other cultural, architectural and political concepts, which would have an enduring influence on later Burmese culture and political organization.[15] The Pyu calendar, based on the Buddhist calendar, later became the Burmese calendar. Latest scholarship, though yet not settled, suggests that the Pyu script, based on the Indian Brahmi script, may have been the source of the Burmese script.

The millennium-old civilization came crashing down in the 9th century when the city-states were destroyed by repeated invasions from the Kingdom of Nanzhao. The Mranma (Burmans), who came down with the Nanzhao, set up a garrison town at Pagan (Bagan) at the confluence of Irrawaddy and Chindwin. Pyu settlements remained in Upper Burma for the next three centuries but the Pyu gradually were absorbed into the expanding Pagan Empire. The Pyu language still existed until the late 12th century. By the 13th century, the Pyu had assumed the Burman ethnicity. The histories/legends of the Pyu were also incorporated to those of the Burmans.[15]

[edit] Mon

Main article: Mon kingdoms

The earliest external reference to a Mon kingdom in Lower Burma was in 844-848 by Arab geographers.[16] The Mon practiced Theravada Buddhism. The kingdoms were prosperous from trade. The Kingdom of Thaton is widely considered to be the fabled kingdom of Suvarnabhumi (or Golden Land), referred to by the tradesmen of Indian Ocean.

Pagan Kingdom

The Burmans who had come down with the early 9th Nanzhao raids of the Pyu states remained in Upper Burma. Trickles of Burman migrations into the upper Irrawaddy valley might have begun as early as the 7th century.[17] More recent research indicates that the people of Nanzhao were Tibeto-Burman, and that the Burmans entered the Irrawaddy valley en masse in the 830s.) In 849, fourteen years after the last Nanzhao raid, Pagan was founded as a fortified settlement along a strategic location on the Irrawaddy near the confluence of the Irrawaddy and its main tributary the Chindwin.[18] It may have been designed to help the Nanzhao pacify the surrounding country side.[19] Over the next two hundred years, the small principality gradually grew to include its immediate surrounding areas— to about 200 miles north to south and 80 miles from east to west by Anawrahta‘s ascension in 1044.[20]



 As early as the 6th century,

people called the Mon began to enter from the Mon kingdoms of Haribhunjaya and Dvaravati in modern-day Myanmar. By the mid 9th century, the Mon had founded at least two small kingdoms (or

large city-states) centred around Pegu and Thaton.

In the 11th Century,

the First Empire was founded by King Anawrahta as the Bagan Empire,

 which lasted until the late 13th century when the Mongols invaded them. After the fall of Bagan, the Mongols left the hot Irrawaddy valley but the Kingdom was irreparably broken up into several small kingdoms.



Ancient Pagodas of Bagan

By the mid-14th century,

 the country had become organised along four major power centres: Upper Myanmar, Lower Myanmar, the Shan States and Arakan. There were the Ava Kingdom (1364–1555), the Hanthawaddy Pegu Kingdom (1287–1539) founded by King Bayintnaung, the Shan States (1287–1557) and the Arakan (1287–1784). Hanthawaddy was the most powerful and prosperous kingdom of all post-Pagan kingdoms. Under a string of gifted monarchs, the kingdom enjoyed a long golden age, profiting from foreign commerce. The kingdom, with a flourishing Mon language and culture, became a centre of commerce and Theravada Buddhism.

The Toungoo Dynasty

Toungoo, led by its ambitious king Tabinshwehti and General Bayinnaung, reunified the small kingdoms that had existed since the fall of the Bagan Empire, and founded the largest empire in the history of Southeast Asia. However the overextended empire unravelled soon after Bayinnaung’s death in 1581. Siam declared independence in 1584 and went to war with Burma until 1605. Bayinnaung’s son, Nyaungyan, immediately began the reunification effort, successfully restoring central authority over Upper Burma and Shan States by 1605. Except for a few occasional rebellions and an external war – Burma defeated Siam’s attempt to take Lan Na and Martaban in 1662–64 – the kingdom was largely at peace for the rest of the 17th century. The kingdom entered a gradual decline, and the authority of the “palace kings” deteriorated rapidly in the 1720s.




The Konbaung Dynasty


was founded by

king Alaungpaya.



Burma british colonial

In 1885

the British captured the country to develop its empire. They give Burma full independence in 1948. The military took over power in 1962.

The Burma Unique Collections”

April 15, 2010 by uniquecollection

@cpyright Dr Iwan S.2010.










During this time Burma was the province ogf British Clony India, that is why British India stamps and revenue used at Burma.
The revenue sheet collections were during King Edward and king George, please the native Burma help me to translate the ccument because were writing in native language.
The Bristh India stamps used in Burma, was found nly from three city, Rangon, Moulmen and Mutiyana from Queen Victria until King George
(Mutiyana in Burma , Nepal other country ? please comment, during this time als used in anther country like Tibet,Nepal,Bhutan, and Aden, the cllectors wh have this stamps please share with us via comment)







(1) British Colony Burma flag


(2) Vintage Military Picture


(3) Vintage Native Picture


(1) Dr iwan S.collections

(2) Mr Konrad collections




b) Union of Burma postally used Cover


new info the collections of Mr Konrad


1.Dai Nippon Occupation Burma Postal History

He told that he was in god health and asking about his children. His wife stayed at Soerabaja, During Dai Nippon Occupation the Indonesian citizen who merried expatriat didnot put in the POW camp.
Look at two very rare collections :
(1) Dai Nippon Moulmein POW Card sent to Batavia(Jakarta)
(2) His wife Dai Nippon Java ID issued by Dai Nippon Military government at Soerabia.


Moulmein POW Camp


Moulmein POW Card


POW card caption



Health info


Mr Romeijn handsigned


Front of POW card





DaiNipponBurmaPOW wife ID


Dai Nippon POW Card


Ex POW Burma collections



The POW at Moulmein Camp



The Movies Poster 1957

this famous bridge later became at theme of the very popular film with the famous song theme the Elephent Walk and also look at the picture of the POW camp..


The Bridge Of River Kwai

The bridge of river Kwai stamps

AND 1944


Dai Nippon Burma 1943


Dai Nippon Burma 1944





Ba Maw




Aung San

Union of Burma in native language overprint the British colony Burma stamps, revenue sheet and definif stamps.



UoBurma Rev.Sheet 1960



U Nu


UOB flag



UnionOfBurma stamps



Saw Muang



Gen. Ne Win



Vintage A.S.Syuu Kyi



Postal Used Union of Myanmar


@copyright Dr Iwan S.2010

A.The Ancient Burma
Burma was a Buddhist Mnarchy in the Middle age
1.1st century BC
The Pyu arrived in Burma
2.6th Century AD
The Mon Kingdom of Dvaravati
3. 9th Century AD
The Bamr(Burman) people migrated from the China-Tibet brder region into the valley of Ayeyarwady.
4. Small Kingdom in Burma between 11th -14th century AD
(1) The Kingdom of Pagan (1044-1287)
(2) The Shan state at Arakan (1287-1539)
(3) The kingdom of Ava (1364-1555)
5. The Kingdomof Toungod(1531-1752)
6. The Konbuang Dinasty (1752-1885)

B. British In Burma
1. 1824
Britain Through three wars gained lower Burma 1n this year.
(1)In this year Upper Burma also gained by Britain and administered them as part of India .
(2) During Burma as the province of India with capital Rangoon, the British Colony India Stamps were used in Burma :
(a) 19th century
l the Queen Victoria stamps of British colony India were used with CDS Rangoon and Moulmein . (look at the Map where that famous city situated)
(b)20th century
The King Edward and The King George stamps of British Colony India were used in Burma , CDS Rangoon and Mutiyana ( Burma or other countries city ? please India collectors comment)
(this collections found at Padang west sumatra and Jakarta)

3. 1936,
The second University student strike in this year was triggered by the expulsin of Aung San ,leader of RUSU(Ragn University Student Union)

(1)The British separated Burma from India and Granted the British Colony Burma and Burma became a self-governing under the British Commenwealth. and Ba Maw was pointed to be the first prime Menistry.

(2) the British Colony Burma stamps issued in this year, overprint Burma on British colony India King Edward Stamps (look at the illustration.)

In this year ‘The 1300 year Revlution’(named by the Burmese calender year) led by the Buddish Monk, a wafe of strike and protest that started frm the oil fields of central Burma. In Rangoon Student protest were charged by the British mounted Police Wielding Baton and killing a Rangon University student called Aung Kyaw in Mandalay and Plice shoot int a crowded of protester.

(1)Aung San cofounded the PRP(People Revolutionary Party) and he als instrumental in founding the Freedm Clc by forginf aan Alliance of the Dobama(Plitically active monk), and Ba Maw Poor Man Party.
After the Dobama organization called for a National uprising, an arrest warrant was issue formany of the organization leader including Aung san , he escaped to China.
(2) Ba Maw succeeded by Prime menistry U Saw until 1940.
(3) The British Colony Burma issued the Burma King George Stamps.(look at the illustration)
(4) The king Edward and King George of The British colony India revenue sheet without verprint still used in Rangoon Burma in 1939 and 1940.
(5) The rare postally homemade cover send from Malacca (straits settlement with King Edward stamps to Rangoon Burma, and then used as document with native Burma language handswritten document (Please the native Burma collectors help to translate)
(All the Burma cover and revenue sheet were found at Kunming South China in 2007-including the Dai Nippon revenue sheet )

C. Burma During Pacific War (WW II)

(1)January 1942
(a)Prime Menister U Saw was arrest by British Burma Government for communicated with Dai Nippon Milutary Administration in South East Asia and Aung San announced the formation of BIa-Burma Independent Army in order to anticipation of the Dai Nippon invasin of Burma in this year.
(b) In 1942 te Dai Nippon had win large territoriest in Asia in small cost. also in Burma they had strategic , The Dai Nippon Military administration had promise eventual ‘Independence’ to Burma only if this country became co-operative satellite states. Japanese attamps to win over the mass of Burmese people same with ther Asia people to support the war against against their frmer colonial masters was almost totally a failure. The great majrity of he ordinary people did not see the conflict as their war.

(2) Simultaneous with the invation of Malaya, another Dai Nippon Army crossed from Thailand in to Burma and by the end of April 1942 hade driven the weak British Forces into India and
Burma was overrun by Dai Nippon Military Administration.

(3)September 1942
The first Prisoner Of War (POW) arrived at THanbyuzayat (65 kmm from Moulmein), via Molemein . (known as The Dai Nippon Burma Moulmein POW Camp) and established as a POW base camp.
From this POW camp the Prisoner sent to Nong Platuh ,359 km suth of Thanbyuzwat , where the build the famous bridge across the Mae Kong river from Nong Platuh Burma to Tamarakan Thailand because in 1957 , made the film base on the original story The Bridge on The River Kwai (the rename of the Mae kong River in 1960)
The Bridge on the Rver Tamarakan was the Train Crossing wooden bridge which spanned the mae Kong River (rename Kwai Yai River in 1960), the building of the bridge begun in October 1942 using prisoner of War labour .
Please look the collections related with this Moulmen POW Camp and the Bridge on the river Kwai (Moulmen POW card from te Dutch Soldier to his wife in Surania via Batavia Indonesia, and the Dai Nippon ID card of His wife issued by The Dai Nippon Surabaia -Shi.)

(4)The Rare Dai Nippon Burma Collections 1942
(a)The rare Burma Revenue sheet collections with the Burma emblem two Swords used in Burma with the native Burma language handwritten (please native Burma collectors to translate this rare dcument)
(b)The Postally used cover with Dai Nippon Native Burma Bird emblem overprint the king George of British Colony Burma CDS special comemorative stamped in japanese kaji character date 8.12.2602(1942). send from Japanese Special Service Post Burma to Mr Thanan Clark office of BDOM Military camp Rangoon Burma( I think this original CTO-phillatelic cretions covers)
Also look at the off cover of the same stamps collections.
(The very rare Prison of War from Moulmen Camp Burma card was send by the Dutch Soldier to his Wife via his family at Batavia (Jakarta) and the Dai Nippon Soerabaia -Shi ID card of his wife (the complete infrmation read below, and look at illustrations of that very rare cllections)

2. 1943

The Bride of River kwai was completed and operational by early February 1943.
(2) Dai Nippon Military Postal Office issued Engraved printing Dai Nippon Burma definitif stamps (look the illustrations)

(3)In this year,when the Japanese declared, in theory ‘Independent’ , the BDA was renamed BNA-Burma National Army, the Ba Maw declared head of State, and his Cabinet included Aung San as War Menister.

3. 1944
(1)Aung San began negtiation with Thakin (communist leader) and Bi Swe(Socialist leader) for the Formatin of the AFO-anti Frascis Peple Freedm Leaguae.
Thakin and Tin Swe made contact with the exile Colonial Government in Simla India. There were infrmal contact between AFO and the Allies between 1944 and 1945.

4. 1945
(1) March,27th 1945
In this day, BNA rose up in a countryside rebellion against the Dai Nippon Army (this day celebrated as The Resistance Day). then Aung San and other subsequence began negtiation with the commender in Chief British allied forces Lord Munbatten and officially join the Allies as PDF-Patriotic Burmese Forces.
(2) June 1945
Both the wooden and the adjescent steel bridge of River Kwai were subjected to numerous air raids between Jan and June 1945. POW labour was used to repaired the woden bridge in each occassion.Tamarakan is 50 km north of Nong Platuh, 5km north of Kanchanabuty, and 359 km south of THanbyuzwat were the Dai Nippon Moulmein POW camp was located.
Total grave at the Thanbyuzayat or moulmein Camp 3771, 15o8 British including 27 unknwn grave, 1335 Australian and 621 Dutch.May be one of the grave was the Dutch soldier who sent the Moulmei PW card to his wife,who knows I never vist this area (I have a tobacco metal box with the incised of the Moulmen camp,may be the owner as the POW labour in the bridge of River Kwai, I didnot installed the illustrations because I am afraid smeone will made repro, the rare box was found in Jakarta in 1995 , this one of the POW who still alive back to Indonesia and after he died his tobacco box was threw ut by his familily because they didnot understand the meaning f incised info on tha box the date and year he insiced from batavia,singapore and Moulmein POW – and back to Batavia, may be one day I will made an exhibitions of this rae collection together with the pOW Card and the DN ID card -dr Iwan S.)

(3)July 1945
British Troops were fighting in Burma and the Japanese were fanatically resisting the advance of Americans on the Island approached to their homeland. The war was expected to last many mre monts,unitil the atmic bomb in August 1945 reveald its awesome power and unexpectedly ended the fighting

(I have found The very rare collection of Dai Nippon Military administrations Collections related with the Dai nippon military administration java indonesia in 1943. This collection belong of The Native Indonesian who stayed at Surabaya (found at Jakarta) consist two very rare collections :
(a) The Imperial Japanese Army Prisorner of War at Camp War Prisoner Camp at Moulmein Burma postcard send by military courier without stamps, from the Dutch POW Romeyn M(AX) nationality Nederlander,rank Landstorm Soldaat to his wife Mevr.(MRS) E.F.C Romeyn adress P/A Fam L.Linn Salimba 15 B Batavia Centrum Java, Mrs Romey live at Soerabaja-look her Dai nippon ID card.
(b) Dai Nippon yellow ID Card of Mrs EFC Romeyn with handstamped revenue F 80.- (for women, for Man F100.-)
The Form in Japanese and Indonesian Language.
(b1)The front side :
(aa) Name: Nj.Romeyn-Berrety,Emma Frederike Clementine ( I think she was Java Indonesia-Euro race
(bb) Adress: Kaliboetoeh 183, Serabaja Shi (city)
(cc) status : have merried with four children
(b2) The Backside in Japanese and Indonesian language with Dai Nippon Official red double circle stamped Pendaftaran Rakjat Soerabaia-Shi.

Orang jang terseboet diatas dinjatakan, bahwa telah bersoempah kesetiaan pada tentara Nippon, serta soedah masoek daftar penduduk bangsa asing
1.Soerat Keterangan ini haroes senatiasa dibawa, oentoek memboektikan, bahwa ia telah bersoempah kesetiaan pada tentara Nippon,serta soedah masoek daftar pendoedoek bangsa asing.
2.Soerat keterangan ini soepaja dijaga djangan sampai kotor atau hilang, sebab serat keterangan adalah perloe boeat psir ataupoen partikelir.
3.Djikalau ada perbahan apa-apa tentang hal jang tertoelisn disoerat keterangan ite haroes dengan segera memberi tahe tentang perobahan ite kepada kantor jang memberi soerat keterangan itoe.
4.Momer,tanggal dan tempat keterangan ite haroes ditjatat agar moedah dioeresnja kalau serat keterangan hares diberikan lagi atau lain-lain.
5.Djikalau soerat keterangan itoe hilang haroes segera memberi tahoe hal itoe kepada kantor jang doelooe memberikan soerat keterangan terseboet dan minta soerat keterangan baroe dengan membajar ongkos jang soedah ditetapkan.)

D. Burma After the WW II

1. 1947
(1)January,27th 1947
The negotiation for Burmese Independent which were concluded succeesfully in Londn as the Aung San-Atlee Agreement.
(2) April 1947
The popularity of The AFPFL now dominated by Aung San and the Socialist was eventually confirmed when it won overhelm Victory in the April 1947 constituent Assembly Election.
(3) July,9th.1947
U Saw , a conservative pre war prime Menister of Burma,engineer the ASSASINATION OF AUNG SAN and several members f his cabinet this day (later this day commenorative as the Martyr Days)

(1)In January,4th.1948 Union of Burma became Independent outside the Commnwealth by treaty and a member of the UN in this year.
The constitution which went into effect in 1948 created a parliamentary democracy
(2)No sooner after had independence come to Burma,than internal disruption threatened to plunge the country into chaos, The British had left behind a demcratic constitution modelled on Westminster, which proved unsuitable for a country so under-develped and so disorganised. At the time of Independence, Burma was led by U Nu,an oustanding plitician who manage to maintain constitrutional democracy intact fr ten years until 1958.
(3) Union Of Burma Postal ffice in this year issue the Overprint Union of Burma in native language on British Colony Burma stamps
(look at the stamps illustratin, only overprint on King Goerge British colony Burma 2 rupee Stamps,( I have the highest value 10 rupee but I keep on the bank deposit box afraid will broken if made the picture.)

In this year the film :The bridge n The River Kwai was produced by the film directr David Lean, and this film have seven academy award including the best Actr Alec Guiness, best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenply, and Best Cinematography.(lok at the poster of that film)

Union of Burma provided for nationalization of certain industries and in this year political crisis, Gen. Ne Win tookover the Government from Premier U Nu.

Election were held in this year and the union party headed by U NU won a large majority, he again became premier in April 1960.

(1)Political and economic problems continiu and the government was again taken over by Gen. Ne Win.
(2) March,2nd.1962
Gen.Ne Win set up a revolutionary Council with himself as chief of state.

5. 1972
Gen. Ne Win setting aside the constitution in this year and he became premier. The Ne Win government pursued a socialistic program and Nationalized nearlly all f Industry and trade which had been controlled by Indian and China minorities. It continued a neutralist foreign policy and isolated the nation from most freign policy.

On January,4th,1974 a new constiturion aimed making Burma a Socialist Republic under one party rule, was adptred, Ne Win continuede as premier.

Recurrent problems facing the governmentvhave been the need to stimulate production,rebellions staged by Chinese-backed Communist frces and pressures from groups seeking greater autonomy for local ethnic groups. Communist guerillas ecame more active after the communist victories in Indochina in 1975.

8. 1987
The patient peple of Burma, who a suffered for twenty-five years from the Burmese road to socialism, began to give vent to their frustrations in largely studen led riots in Rangoon in September 1987.

9. 1988
The seventy year old General Ne Win decided to mve to the sidelines and resigned in this year amid signs of military disaffection. Reform were promised, it looked as if Burma would more out of her-self imposed isolation and darkness. But just a month later, in September 1988, the military took over and general Saw Maung emerged at the head of a junta. The restoration of law and order marked the beginnings of a repression against students and dissidents, brutal even by Burmese standards.

(1)In this year the name of Burma was changed to Myanmar, a transliteration of the English’Burma’ into Burmese.
(2) In this year , placed under house arrest the most likely leaders of any oppsition, including Aung San Suu Kyi, the daughter of Aung San (who played a crucial role at the birth of the Burmese independence) and wife of an English Lectrured at Oxford. Syuu Kyi had returned in her native land to lead a new party,the Natinal League for Democracy. It was her criticim of Ne Win and her call for justice and democracy that led to her arrest.

11. 1990
But to the chagrin of the junta, which had fielded its own front party , the National Unity party, the National League dor democracy gained aclear and outright victory at 1990 election.winning a huge majority in the Assembly. The military junta had no intention of bowing to this verdict.

12. 1991
In this year, Aung San Suu Kyi remained under arrest, and the military declared that they would release her only if she leaves the country and her adherence in her principles she was awarded the Noble Peace Price in this year. (still until now during the junta leader Tan Swee, she still under house arrest, why ? I donnot understand.look at Ta Swee and Suu Kyi. vintage photo 1989)

The Laos historic and Modern Collections




 Dr Iwan Suwandy

Private limites E-Book in CD-ROM Edition

Copyright @ Dr Iwan suwandy 2011


 When I visit Laos in 2011, very difficult to get the Laos Hsitoric and modern Informations, after seeking everywhere i have found some info,and when back to Jakarta I am starting to seeking more info to write some articles about Laos such as Pathet Lao Historic Collections,Laos during Indochina,now other info will put in this E-BOOK

This is onle the sample ,If you want to geet the complete info please subscribed as premiuj member via comment

Jakarta Janary 2012

Dr Iwan suwandy

Note: be patient the info still on upload processing

 I write this E-Book special for traveler and someone who interest about Laos


 After my arrival in Laos my perception of South East Asia would be changed forever, as would my way of thinking and seeing the broader world.

4 days in Bangkok had left me a tad overawed as to what I had got myself into (a 6 month project travelling the length and breadth of Laos); I was not the type of person who wanted to be thrown into the deep end in an ever changing fast paced metropolitan society. 

As the Laos Airways ATR-72 (2nd hand from Vietnam Air I was assured?!) descended through the sparse cloud covering into Luang Prabang I was left wondering as to the whereabouts of town. As far as I could see it was large rolling hills covered in lush green rainforest and red soil. It was at this stage I regretted not researching more about Laos. A check and US$30 handed to customs later I had my first (of six) Laos visas stuck into my passport. Upon stepping out of the airport I became very confused very quickly, what I had become accustomed to in Bangkok, the constant touting of anyone slightly tourist looking, was completely absent. It then struck me, how would I get to where I was going without a tuk-tuk? I quickly spied the tuk-tuk rank 100m away from the entrance I made my way over where I discovered it was more like an impromptu siesta stop. After finding one tuk-tuk driver that was willing to take me into town I took a deep breath, threw my back pack on the tray of the tuk-tuk and had one of those ‘well here goes nothing’ moments.  

After one month of getting used to the lifestyle in Laos it was time to get out and explore what this magnificent country had to offer. Of the six months I was in Laos I was travelling / exploring for four of them both on public transport and an old brown land cruiser which I named Piripi. I had a couple of guide books which I promptly threw out as information held within these tomes was often different from what was on the ground or even obsolete. The locals of Laos are by far the best guides as they will always take you that step further to some amazing off the beaten path places.  

Slowly getting accustomed to Laos is the only thing you can do. And slowly (read Lazy) is the most apt way to explain how things get done in Laos. This is by far from a negative though, as it provides respite from what can often be seen as the blur and fury of activity of South East Asia. So with a lack of tourist infrastructure and this laid back nature you get one of the most charming and generous countries you will ever visit as well as one of the final bastions of true explorative travel.

A view from Laos

Why Laos

Laos is a country that people know little about and they often ask why they should go. The main reason is that Laos has not been exposed to tourism and western culture (and often many other local cultures) for so long. This gives Laos a very undiscovered and natural fell to it, uncommon in large parts of South East Asia. In 1975 the country became communist and tourism was stopped and it was not until the mid 90’s that the government allowed people into the country, even then it was only Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng and Vientiane that people were allowed to visit. This is why 90% of travellers will only travel this route as it is all that is well know (really taking the emphasis out of a unique Lao adventure). It reminds me of a quote from Alex Garland (who wrote The Beach): “everyone tries to do something different, but you always wind up doing the same thing.” The countries south opened up in the early 2000’s and is now becoming a more popular tourist destination and as a gateway to Cambodia and Vietnam as well now drawing travellers to this region. However, it is the unknown that keeps drawing voyagers to Laos.

Culture Identity and Protection

I decided to write this section before any other information as keeping Laos the way it is now will be the only way to sustain it as the jewel of the Mekong (people are always saying this is what Thailand was like before the tourists arrived!). Like the rest of South East Asia many people can see that a flood of tourists could potentially do more harm than good. There are a number of actions that you as travellers can do to protect these ideals.  Firstly, is to learn the cultural do’s and don’ts of Laos, this as a bare minimum will help to maintain the local culture, you can find these at the Tourism Laos website.

Secondly, where you can you should support local markets and goods as this puts money back into the community and keeps the real ‘old world’ feel about Laos. Supporting local and government backed projects are also a really good way to help out the local communities (Laos is consistently rated as one of the poorer countries in the world). One of the better and karma inducing projects is the Big Brother Mouse Group. Picking up a bunch of these books and giving them out to local children is far better than handing out money as the former often encourages begging.

Monks in Luang Prabang


Much like the rest of South East Asia, Laos can be divided up into two main seasons, wet and dry. 

The wet season usually lasts from May through to August. The dry season is November through to March. In between the seasons there are shoulder months which can go either way depending on weather patterns. The busiest season to travel in Laos is definitely the high season but often the better season is the wet season owing to fewer travellers. Also, the rain rejuvenates the rainforest bringing out the full flourish of the flora and fauna. The rain is always a welcome relief for the hot weather as well! 

As a general rule any mountainous regions north of Luang Prabang can get quite cool during the winter (as low as 5 degrees) so be prepared for that if you are considering trekking and down the south during summer can see the temperature pushing 40 degrees centigrade with almost 100% humidity.


I decided to just write about the main points that I know here otherwise I would just be paraphrasing a majority of information from other well-known publications.

The history of Laos is long and varied. So long and varied that I don’t want to repeat most of it here so I will just talk about the main points. Laos, as a country has been the site and often centre for many of South East Asia’s conflicts for the past 600 years or so and this could be the reason for the dozens of different cultural groups which are present all through Laos and what gives it the patchwork like ethnic and social make up it has to this very day.

Laos was once known as Lan Xang, the land of a million elephants and it was the cultural centre of South East Asia. Since the mid fifteen-hundreds Laos has been fought over and the one time capital Luang Prabang used to be the capital of a larger South East Asian region. It was also home to the famed emerald Buddha which now resides (after stolen by the Siamese) in Bangkok. Throughout the last 500 years Laos has been the site of many a battle and a few wars. The latest leaving the longest and largest scars on the people and the Landscape. During the Vietnam war Laos (under the Geneva Convention) declared itself neutral, but this did not stop both sides (Vietnamese and USA) courting the Laos government with aid and all sorts of other gifts. At one stage the USA even gifted the Laos government enough concrete to build an international airport runway which the Laos people then went and used to build a large national memorial with. After the Vietnamese war ended the Pathet Laos took over the government restricted tourism to virtually nothing until the mid nineties giving Laos, today, its old school charm.

History of Laos


Previous, during and after my travel to Laos I have heard some really good stories from people about their visas for Laos. One of the most common stories is that people only receive 15 days for Laos on entry. This is not true.  Most visas are (at the time of writing) 35 USD for 30 days. You can get these visas at your local Laotian embassy or the much easier option is to get them on entry to Laos. It doesn’t matter whether you come by bus, train, boat or plane all visas are for 30 days. Be aware the relaxed Laos customs workers don’t like working on weekends so you will be charged 1 USD extra for entering Laos.


Transport in Laos can often be worrying and bordering on death defying but does not need to be. There are three main ways of travelling between local centres, flying, boat and bussing. All of these have there positives and negatives and I will try and lay them out below


There are three international airports in Laos – Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Pakse. For these airports most of a South East Asia’s main hubs can be reached from these airports. You can also reach many of the smaller centres internally by flight as well. It’s definitely the quickest way to get from one place to another in Laos (a very un-Lao way of getting around) but with few airlines operating in and out of Laos this means flying is expensive.  The worst part about flying in Laos is the fact that you will miss out on all the amazing things in between towns which you fly over.


The river systems in Laos are often the next best way of getting around locally in Laos. For some really amazing places this is frequently the only way to get these places. During dry season some of the boat routes may not be passable due to low river levels. However, the Mekong River and its main tributaries are navigable almost all year round many people will get a 2 day long boat from Huay Xai in the North West to Luang Prabang. This journey (as with public busses) often has a 50% success rate. What I mean here is that 50% of the people that you talk to have said they thought the boat was a good idea, 50% said sitting on a small wooden slat for two days rated as one of the worst experiences they ever had. A quicker speed boat which travels the same route but only takes only takes one day is available; this is definitely a very dangerous way to travel. I have done this once which resulted in a minor boat accident that resulted in me using my backpack as a flotation device.


Public busses most common form of transport within Laos. Again, if you have a group of people standing in front of you, as with the boats about 50% of them will say they had an ok time and 50% would say they had a horrible experience and never do it again. Busses are commonly divided into three groups – express, Bus and VIP. The good thing about these busses is that they are cheap. But that’s about where the good ends. 

A common occurrence is busses not leaving until they are full and timetables changing minute before busses leave. The worst I found was the fact that they were point-to-point direct busses, stopping once along the way for a combined food and toilet stop. This means missing out on some amazing stuff along the way. The busses are large and on small windy roads this does nothing for motion sickness. It should also be noted that almost all Bus stations are out of town and you will have to pay for a tuk-tuk to your guest house or other destination. The smaller minivans are definitely the better way to travel. Unfortunately for anyone over 182cm in height they aren’t that great as the mini in minivan really means that – Laotian minivans built for Laotian sized people.

There are a number of private tours you can do with fixed itinerary and guides with companies such as Intrepid, Gap, Kamuka and Exetissimo through the main destinations. A flexible, guided, hop-on hop-off style bus (Stray Asia) has also recently started operating through Thailand, Laos and Cambodia which seems like the best way to visit some out of the tourist limelight destinations and it’s something that I would really recommend. 


Most towns will offer up the option of motorbike/scooter hire. This is often a popular option for day trips and multi-day trips should only be experienced by experienced riders as the roads (and sometimes trails) in some parts could be described by the phrase ‘poor at best’.

A Laosation boat

Places to Visit – Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang is a UNESCO world heritage area famed for its blend of beautiful old Buddhist temples and nineteenth century French architecture. This town quickly becomes a favourite in most people’s eyes throughout the entire globe. From the daily alms ceremony at dawn every morning to the morning meat markets which follow just south east of town on the main road (Pothisalath) to the stunning waterfalls and Asiatic Black Bear at Kuang Si this town can easily waste away your days and weeks. 

Phou Si Mountain is a great place to invest in locally produced goods and just to see what the ladies bring in from in villages all around Luang Prabang. This market springs up around dusk every day. Another thing to check out while in Luang Prabang is the myriad of villages accessed by boat both up and down the Mekong River. Aptly named examples such as the Paper making village and Whisky village can be reached by the boat jetty near the amazing Wat Xieng Thong (well worth two hours walking around and exploring in itself). Be careful when touting a boat ride that your captain gives you a fair price (ask around other captains and travel agencies in town) and is not drunk. 

This reminds me as well about the tuk-tuk mafia. These guys are all around town and sit around the main tourist haunts. While these guys can give you a really good price for a trip out to Kuang Si waterfall park they are less than ideal for getting about town. For getting about town I would recommend using the New York City Taxi approach and just flag one down on the side of the road.   

Luang Prabang is where I spent a majority of my time and every time I returned I was able to be entertained by something different. If heading out of town try and find a restaurant in Ban Khoy. Here you can try and catch your fish for dinner in the ponds at the rear of the building then try your hand at on of the fiercest Petang (the national sport, similar to Pentanque or Boules) courts in all of Laos. 

Most things you may wish to do in Laos can be done in Luang Prabang or at least accessed from here any way. Another popular attraction is Phou Si Mountain. A rather large hill (the highest point) in the idle of town, this can be climbed (for around 20,000 Kip) and is well worth the view. However, everybody knows about this place and consequently goes there at sunset. 

If you are going to get up for the morning Alms ceremony with the monks, get up about half an hour earlier and head up here for sunrise, all to your self. The food in Luang Prabang can be either western based (I say this with a word of caution, nothing will be quite the same as home) or local. The best local fares are to be had down a side alley of the night market. Always fresh and cooked on the spot you can eat whatever you want and like a king. 

For a more restaurant style of food check the restaurants at the Phou Vao end of Manomai (particularly the amazing Lao BBQ) and for desert you have to hit up my best bud old man crepes, who sells crepes from his mobile kitchen here most nights.

Luang Prabang, Laos

Where to from here?

You can get Nong Khiaw or Phonsovan from Luang Prabang but beyond here in the northeast you will most likely struggle to find consistent and safe public transport to the amazingly isolated towns of Vieng Xai, Sam Neua, Vieng Thong and Muang Khoun. These places really are the heart of Laos and are not really geared up for tourism (except for Phonsovan) so are truly eye opening and humbling to any regular backpacker.

Most people come down the river from Huay Xai via Long boat but miss the amazing North West of Laos. Huay Xai is home to the original Gibbon Experience and although you may not necessersarily get to see them you will get to hear what David Attenborough describes as the voice of the jungle. 

However, they will miss out on the amazing country that is there. Up here is the highest (reported) diversity of ethnic groups (numbers range from 30-130) which makes this place the best for any trekking to hill tribes in Laos.  You may also want to access Phongsali, from Odoumxai which again is a very secluded beautiful mountainous area exploding with home stay and trekking opportunities.

Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng definitely knows what it is. It is the most Thai like of any of the towns in Laos. If you haven’t already heard about tubing there then you probably haven’t heard much about Laos. It was this tubing attraction that initially attracted tourist here in the early 2000’s (with some getting a tubing trip with out any bars?!). 

Basically the main attraction in town is a 2km section of the Nam Song River. After surrendering around 100,000 kip you will be given a tube and a tuk-tuk ride to the Bar 2. Here starts a very vibrant and sometimes hazy trip down a river. During this two kilometre section of river there are a dozen bars in which you should expect to find buckets, beers, loud music, mud football, mud volleyball, slides, jumps, and a lot of partying. Just remember if you get to the red bridge you need to get out of the river as it’s quite a long float back into town.

There are many other things to do in Vang Vieng now thanks to the tourism. Rock Climbing, kayaking, rafting, trekking, hot air ballooning, motorbike hire or even just checking out one of the many caves to the west of the town. 

When walking down the main street of town you will grow accustomed to the sound of canned laughter as constant reruns of Friends, The Simpsons and Family Guy echo down the road. One also needs to be acutely aware of the word ‘happy’ prefixing a meal or drink choice as this normally leads to a mind altering experience. A beautiful place to relax during the day  is the north end of  Don Khang but this is will quickly turn into a Thai style party area come nightfall.

If you want to avoid all this then it is very easy to do by crossing the permanent bridge just south of town towards the west where you will find a number of small, cosy and most importantly quiet, guest houses.

Vang Vieng, Laos

Where to from here?

It’s either north or south from Vang Vieng as Route 13 is the only road that services it. To the north lies Luang Prabang and just before this lies the turn off for Phonsovan and the amazing heritage rich north east area along Routes, 7, 6 and 1C. Have your cameras ready along this route though as it winds it way up through stunning kaarst landscape. South lies the capital Vientiane as well as the large man made lake of Nam Ngum Dam.


The 450 year old Lao capital that sits on the side of the Mekong isn’t exactly the most exciting prospect on the face of it, however, a little delving and there are some fairly interesting things that can be done in and around this city. 

Vientiane and Luang Prabang both pay homage to the French Indochina time period, Luang Prabang has retained a lot of the buildings where Vientiane has retained a large portion of the Culture. To get in and out of Laos to Thailand from Nong Khai (from the train) requires about a 20 min tuk-tuk ride. Most overnight busses from Thailand will take you to the bus station in Vientiane. 

A few things that are a must to check out and do in Vientiane are Xieng Khuan (the Buddha Park), Patuxai, That Dam, Pha That Luang, Thong Khan Kham Market and the Mekong night food markets.

Xieng Khuan is one two Buddha parks the other is on the opposite side of the Mekong river) built in the 1950’s. A crash course in the Lao Buddhist culture and Buddhism statues in general for the uninitiated. 

Patuxai is the national memorial built of concrete that was intended to be an airport runway. It harks back to the French influenced times. 

That Dam is one of the oldest standing stupa in the city. It provides a stark contrast to that of the busy motorcycle filled roads of the capital. 

Pha That Luang on the other hand is a more modern and far larger complex. It consists of a number of large golden temples as well as one of the largest stupa you will ever lay your eyes on. As you walk in to your left you will see a large open concrete area that most likely used to be a runway at some point. 

Thong Khan Kham market is a large local market with just about everything under the sun in it. Particularly interesting for its live food fare which (not for the squeamish) can often be prepared for you right on the spot. 

There is no better way to finish of a day in Vientiane than going down to the Mekong waterfront in the centre of town and chowing down on some local fare on the sand then cruising up to the 3rd story bar Bor Pen Yang for a cool, refreshing Beerlao. The old sector of town just back from Bor Pen Yang is also a really cool little hideaway from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Some street food

Where to from here?

I have travelled to some amazing places outside of Vientiane. Two of them lie to the east and I tried desperately to reach them on public transport (twice!) proved impossible so I had to make a trip back with my trusty Land Cruiser. The first spot is nestled in the Phu Khao Khuay national protected area, a little spot called Tad Leuk. It’s a really cool little waterfall campsite with a few little treks around the area. Stunningly peaceful during the dry season and powerfully forceful during the wet season makes this waterfall a real pleasure to visit. 

Just down the road from Tad Leuk but also in the Phu Khao Khuay national park is the well known village Ban Na. The locals have constructed a large tree top platform with cooking and sleeping facilities cool enough by itself, but when the local elephants come to taste the salt lick it becomes incredible. It should be noted that of the two times I visited I only saw the elephants once.  Its nature, nobody can control it. 

The second area that I was astounded by was Kong Lor. This translates to something like 7km cave and the locals don’t lie. This huge cave structure (7 km long fondly enough) has a large cathedral like open area in the middle. For a fee of around 50,000 kip the local boat man can take you through the cave, have a feed with the local tribe on the other side then take you back through. Truly an amazing experience.


Pakse is really just a gate way to some of the most amazing sites in Laos. It is quite far removed from the tourist hub of the north. The Mekong is the life and soul of this town and it winds its way through the centre. Most people consider Pakse a transit point for Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand but there are definitely a few things you must check out while around the region. 

The Wat Phou complex is Laos’ second UNESCO world heritage area and dates back 1,500 years. It is rarely visited as again it’s off the track where most travellers fail to visit but you can get there by boat from Pakse or further south at Muang. I heard that the Lao were building a bridge across the Mekong down so access may become a lot easier. 

The Bolaven Plateau is also has a really good few days in it with some cool spots to check out along the way. My favourite place to reside while here is either the quaint dusty road settlement of Tad Lo or the more upmarket places hidden amongst the jungles around Tad Fan. Tad Lo is home to a constantly flowing water fall, thanks to a dam further up stream and an elephant ride through the waterfall always feels really good. In the middle of Tad Fan and Tad Lo are plantations of some of the strongest coffee beans on the planet. These bad boys will have you seeing straight and true for kilometres and there are a few plantations where you can join a tour that lets you pick your own beans and take them through the entire roasting process right up to the drinking the coffee itself. 

For those tea people out there many of the coffee plantations also have tea trees growing on site and for those of you that don’t enjoy hot drinks a cold Beerlao is never far away. As well as the plantations there are a few interesting villages along the way, one which slightly escapes my mind but I have a feeling they worship the dead (maybe) and some other villages that produce some really nice textiles and weaves and such.

The best place close to Pakse however is Si Pha Don or in English, the four thousand islands. This area of the Mekong is up to four kilometres wide in sections and during the dry season there really are four thousand islands.  There are three main islands that you can stay on (read; dry all year round), the well structured and larger of the three Don Khong, and Don Det and Don Khon which are connected by an old French bridge. The former two have much older world charm to the and better access the dolphin spotting areas as well as the Li Phi and Koh Phapeng water falls. The people here are so laid back it’s really refreshing. These islands are a perfect place to relax as well with almost every guest house having access to a hammock over looking the Mekong. The highlight of this area is the presence of the Irrawaddy river dolphins. These dolphins are super rare and you can take sight seeing trips from most of the islands. Again, it is nature so it’s not guaranteed that you will see them but if you are there between the months of November and March you have the best chance due to the lower water levels.  Another awesome thing to do down here is hire a boat guide to take you and your mates fishing in the afternoon, then after getting enough for a feed he can take you to your own island, you can sit back and relax while dinner is prepared and cooked with a satisfying Beerlao and then watch the sun go down on the way home. 

Boating on the Mekong

Where to from here?

From Pakse you can easily get into Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Remember for Thai visas you need to present your transport out of Thailand to get in, Cambodian visas are best applied for in advance however you can get them on entry into Cambodia as well. Vietnam requires you must have a tourist visa prior to entry so that must be applied for before you start travelling.


 The legend of Wan Hu, whose tale seems a particularly fine jump off point for an alternate history story.

One account by Herbert Zim in 1945 claims that “Early in the sixteenth century, Wan decided to take advantage of China’s advanced rocket and fireworks technology to launch himself into outer space. He supposedly had a chair built with forty-seven rockets attached. On the day of lift-off, Wan, splendidly attired, climbed into his rocket chair and forty seven servants lit the fuses and then hastily ran for cover. There was a huge explosion. When the smoke cleared, Wan and the chair were gone, and was said never to have been seen again.”
Wan Hu was a minor official of the Ming Dynasty believed to have died around 1500 CE or what would have been the Lao year 2043. It would be interesting to examine how different history would have been if he had succeeded.Depending on who you turn to in China, Wan Hu possibly managed to lift himself a foot using rockets. In most Chinese accounts though, he is considered just an unfortunate pioneer of space travel who burned to death or was blown to pieces because of the explosion caused by the rockets, and didn’t really succeed in becoming the first astronaut in history.Still, he gets credit for having the nerve to try.

From a Lao point of view, if 1500 is accurate,
Victory gate of Lan Xang
In Lan Xang,
this is the transition period between Somphou, who reigned between 1495-1500 and Visunarath who reigned between 1500-1520.
Lan Xang is approximately 150 years old, and 141 years away from first contact with the Dutch.
A few years earlier, Wan Hu would have been alive as Laasaenthai, the sixth son of King Sai Tia Kaphut, ruled. Crowned in 1491, Laasaenthai enjoyed peaceful relations with his neighbours in Annam and cultivated good relations with Ayudhya, “spending much of his time contemplating religious and legal matters, furthering the spread of Buddhism and building monuments.” Sompou, who succeeds Laasaenthai, is his only son, according to historic records.I imagine they all would have been very interested in the inquiries of Wan Hu. Even today, Lao celebrate our rocket festivals with great enthusiasm. What support might they have given him, what ventures might they have taken up on their own? And to be fair to Wan Hu’s own experience, what misadventures?

For reference sake, this was also the era of the Hongzhi Emperor, Zhu Youcheng, who reigned between 1470-1505, and just a few years after Columbus reached the Americas in 1492, while Henry VII rules England. Ramathibodhi II rules Autthaya and Sukhothai. In Cambodia, they are ruled by Thommareachea I in the Charktomok era.


The ancient Khmer religious complex of Wat Phu is one of the highlights of any trip to Laos. Stretching 1400 m up to the lower slopes of the Phu Pasak range (also known more colloquially as Phu Khuai or Mt Penis), Wat Phu is small compared with the monumental Angkor-era sites near Siem Reap in Cambodia. But the tumbledown pavilions, ornate Shiva-lingam sanctuary, enigmatic crocodile stone and tall trees that shroud much of the site in soothing shade give Wat Phu an almost mystical atmosphere. These, and a site layout that is unique in Khmer architecture, led to Unesco declaring the Wat Phu complex a World Heritage Site in 2001.

Sanskrit inscriptions and Chinese sources confirm the site has been worshiped since the mid 5th century. The temple complex was designed as a worldly imitation of heaven and fitted into a larger plan that evolved to include a network of roads, cities, settlement and other temples. What you see today is the product of centuries of building, rebuilding, alteration and addition, with the most recent structures dating from the late Angkorian period.

At its height the temple and nearby city formed the most important economic and political center in the region. But despite its historic importance, the 84 ha site remains in considerable danger from the elements. Detailed studies reveal that water erosion is pressuring the site and without a systematic water management plan the buildings will eventually collapse. Italian and Japanese funded the projects have helped stabilize the southern of two ancient canals built to channel water away from the central structures. However, the equally important northern side of the site. To see it, compare the relatively intact terraced steps and pavilions on the south of the site with those on the north, With about 1 million needed to repaired the northern canal and terrace, Wat Phu’s future is by no means secure.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Years of work by the Italian Archaeological Mission and the inimitable Dr Patrizia Zolese, the leading expert on Wat Phu who has been working at the site since 1990, have resulted in the first detailed map on the site and surrounding 400 sq km, revealing much about way the ancients lived. During the last two years the local and falang archaeologists have restored the ceremonial causeway, replacing slabs and re-erecting stone makers that had been scattered across the site. Restoration of the Nandi Hall is underway and is expected to be finished in 2009.

Don’t miss the museum ( 8am – 4.30 pm) beside the ticket office. Extensive cataloging work has recently been completed on the dozens of lintels, nagas (mythical water serpents), Buddhas and other stone work from Wat Phu and it associated sites. Descriptions are in English.


Under the palm trees and rice paddies 4km south of Champasak town is the remains of a city
that was about 1500 years ago, the capital of the Mon-Khmer Chenla kingdom. The site is known today as Muang Kao (Old City), but scholars believe It was called Shreitapura.

Aerial photographs show the remains of rectangular city measuring by 2.3km bay 1.8 km, surrounded bay double earthen walls on three sides and protected on the east by the Mekong river. Other traces of the old city include small baray, stone implements and ceramics. The sum of all this is an extremely rare example of an ancient urban settlement in the southeast Asia, one whose design reveals how important religious belief was in the workings of everyday life.
The original of the city remained a mystery until Southeast Asia’s oldest Sankrit inscription was discovered here. The 5th century stele stated the city was founded by king Devanika and was called Kuruksetra and also mentions the auspicious Sri Lingaparvata nearby, A clear reference to the mountain near Wat Phu Champasak. The “Honoured since antiquity” the mountain was believed to be the residence or the manifestation of the Hindu god Shiva, and even today local people honoured the mountain as the place of Phi Intha (the soul of protecting spirit of the mountain)
By the end of the 5th century the city was thriving. It continues as a major regional center until at least the 7th century, as showed by two Nandi Pedestal ( Shiva’s bull mount ) sculptures discovered in 1994-1995 bearing inscriptions by king Citrasena- Mahendaravarman, the conqueror who later shifted the kingdom’s capital to Sambor Prei Kuk in northeast Cambodia. Archaelogical material suggest the city was inhabited until the 16th century.

On going research bay Dr Zolese and her team has reveal that a second city was built near the Wat Phu after the 9th century. She believes the Nang Sida temple was at the centre of this city, which was probably Lingapura, a place mentioned in many ancient inscriptions but which has not been categorically identified by modern scholars.




Laos Travel GuidePakse

Pakse sits a the confluence of the Mekong River and the SeDon ( Don River ) and is the capital of Champasak province. The town has grown quickly since the Lao –Japanese Bridge across the Mekong was opened in 2002, facilitating brisk trade with Thailand. Its position on the way to Si Phan Don in the far south, the Bolaven Plateau and remote provinces to the east, and Thailand to the west means anyone choosing to travel in the south will almost certainly spend time in Pakse.

The centre of Pakse retains the sort of Mekong river – town lethargy found in Savanakhet and Tha Khaek futher north. Fewer conolial – era buildings remain, though do look for the Franco – Chinese – style Chinese society building on Th 10 in the centre of town.

The vast Talat Dao Heung ( new market ) near the Lao – Japanese Bridge is one of the biggest in the country. Famous for its selection of fresh produce of coffee from the fertile Bolaven Plateau. Short day trips from the Pakse can made to Ban Saphai and Don Kho weaving centres 15 km north of town.


Champasak historical Heritage

Has a few artifacts and a lot of boring documents chronicling history of the province. Once you get past the Lao and communist hammer – and – sickle flags at the entrance you are in the best part of the museum – three very old Dong Son bronze drums and striking 7th –century sandstone lintels found at Uo Moung (Tomo Temple). The simple textile and jewellery collection from the Nyaheun, Suay, and Laven groups is also interesting for its large iron ankle bracelets and ivory ear plugs since these are rarely worn nowadays.

Also on the ground floor are musical instruments, stelae in the Tham script dating from the 15th to 18th centuries, a water jar from the 11th or 12th century, a small lingam ( Shiva phallus ), plus a model of Wat Phu Champasak.

One you head upstairs you’ll be beginning you last five minutes in the museum. Apart a small collection of Buddha images and forlorn – looking American weaponry. It’s all headshots of party members.

There are about 20 wats in the city, of which Wat Luang and Wat Tham Fai ( both founded in 1935 ) are the largest.

A monastic school at Wat Luang features ornate concrete pillars whimsy departs from canonical art without losing the traditional effect. Behind the sim is a monk’s school in an original wooden building. A thaat on the ground contains the ashes of
Khamtay Loun Sasothit,a former prime minister in the Royal Lao Government.

Wat Tham Fai, near the Champasak Palace Hotel is undistinguished except for its spacious ground, making it a prime site for temple festival. It’s also known as Wat Pha Baht because there is a small Buddha footprint shrine. The stupas and Pepsi billboard near Rte 13 make good photos in the afternoon.

It will be 21 years before Magellan reaches the Philippines and 11 years before Malacca is conquered by Portugal, ending almost 100 years of the Malacca sultanate, which at the time was led by the sultan Mahmud Shah. Mahmud Shah is connected with the Malay legend of Puteri Gunung Ledang, which is about his failed courtship of a fairy princess.

In the century before, movable type printing has also been developed in Asia. Under the rule of Yongle Emperor, the Ming Dynasty territory reaches its pinnacle, the Forbidden City is built and Zhenghe has been commanded to explore the world overseas. Tamerlane established a major empire in the Middle East and Central Asia, in order to revive the Mongolian Empire. Also, the Inca Empire has risen to prominence in South America.


Possible steampunk or alternate history directions could be: What if Wan Hu didn’t make it to the moon, but made it to Lan Xang. (Or made it to the moon and found a way back to earth, landing in Lan Xang?) Or perhaps, what happens if Wan Hu’s experiment is still a failure but news of it inspires others to try, and perhaps someone in Lan Xang figures it out. Or thinks of something more interesting to do than try to go to the moon.

As the old saying goes, “Aim for the moon, hit the cow.”

“Court forms of dance theatre were established as Lao kings copied customs of powerful neighboring monarchs. Tradition holds that Cambodian (Khmer) court dance, along with the Ramayana and Jataka repertoire were introduced to Laos by Prince Fa Nguan in 1353. During the 14th century the Lao kingdom of Lan Sang (‘Million Elephants’) was established and in this time the Khmer monarchs with their troupe of female wives-dancers were the epitome of potent kingship in the region. Keeping up with the Khmer meant establishing female court dance with movement and repertoire modeled on Khmer practice. The Lao kings were never as rich as the rulers of Angkor. Nor could the Lao compete later in the 15th century with Thai rulers who, first at Ayutthaya and later in Bangkok, emulated Khmer practice… Just as Lan Sang in the early period aped Angkor, the small courts established by partition in 1700- Luang Prabang, Wiangjun and Chapassak – imitated Thai models: Thai female court dance LAKON FAI NAI, male masked dance drama KHON and shadow play NANG yai were taught and performed at court. The Lao chose not to alter the forms: the Royal Lao Ballet of the 1960s in Luang Prabang included only female dancers, the best of whom had trained in Bangkok. Rather than staging full dance dramas like the Thai and Cambodians, this smaller court favoured solo and small group dances” (Brandon, 191)

 It has been 123 years since the Dutch first came to visit Laos in 1641, but they have never really had much contact with Europe since. It is approaching 60 years since Lan Xang splintered into three kingdoms. Ong Long is nearing the end of his reign in Vientiane, which is a vassal state to Burma, and will be succeeded by Ong Bun. In Champassak, Sayakumane is in the middle of his reign (1737-1791). In Luang Prabang, Sotika-Kuomane is the ruler, and also approaching the end of his 19-year reign (1749-1768) but by 1765 they will also be a vassal state to Burma.

Because of this, we should make note of Hsinbyushin, the Burmese monarch, who has just started his reign in 1763. He will go on to be recognized as the most militaristic king of his dynasty, and will successfully repel 4 Chinese invasions and end the Ayutthaya Dynasty, at the time led by Somdet Phra Chao Ekkathat, who would die in 1767.With the end of the Ayutthaya Dynasty, their kingdom descends into chaos as provinces proclaimed independence under generals, rogue monks, and various members of the royal family. King Taksin would eventually rise from this to try and reunite the kingdom.Cambodia is in the middle of its Dark Ages, while the Nguyen Lords are in charge of what we would today consider South Vietnam, notably Nguyen Phuc Koat, who is approaching the last year of his reign, and will be succeeded by Nguyen Phuc Thuan VERY briefly. Trinh Doanh of the Trinh Lords is nearing the end of his reign (1767).

Malacca, or what we know as Malaysia, is under Dutch control, with a recent transition in power from David Boelen to Thomas Schippers. The Dutch have ruled for 123 years now, after ousting the Portuguese in 1641.

To the north, in China, we see the reign of the Qianlong Emperor, Hongli, who ruled between 1735–1796, during the height of the Qing Dynasty’s power as they ruled over 13 million square kilometers of territory. In 1755, or nine years earlier, the tallest wodden Bodhisattva statue in the world has been erected at the Puning Temple in Chengde.

Historically, in 1764, the new Ottoman Sultan Mustafa IIIhas just risen to power. Over the course of his reign he would not be considered very good at selecting his councilors and commanders. History regarded him as a headstrong and hasty man, which further compounded the effects of his poor decisions. However, historians consider him very industrious and talented, and that he was dedicated to promoting the interests of the Ottoman Empire. Recognizing he was not very good at war, he did what he could to avoid it.Catherine the II of Russiahas been on the throne just 2 years, and will eventually annex the Crimea from the Ottoman Empire. Interestingly, in 1765, she will also authorize a new way to prepare vodka. Notably, in 1766, Ivan Polzunov will invent a two-cylinder engine. Might an earlier version emerge elsewhere in Asia?

In Japan, the 117th emperor is the Empress Go-Sakuramachi. She is two years into her reign as regent after her brother, the Emperor Momozono abdicated in 1762 and died later that year at the age of 21. 

Korea is known at the time as Joseon and, the ruler of this era is Jeongjo of Joseon who will become widely regarded as one of the most visionary of the rulers of Joseon.


Meanwhile in 1764, historically, we see the Battle of Buxar, where the British East India Company defeats the combined armies of Mir Kasim, the Nawab of Bengal, the Nawab of Awadh, and Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II. King George the III rules Britain and is dealing with some rascal colonists abroad talking about liberty and other notions. Among European nations, muzzle-loaded flintlock muskets are the primary firearms used in conflicts at this time (and will be until approximately 1840.) 

Louis XVis the king of France and currently paving the road to the French Revolution with awful financial policies, unpopular wars and disgraceful debauchery.Clement XIII has been the pope for 6 years at the Vatican, notably getting embroiled in issues with the Jesuits.
I would also take into account that the Spanish, under the rule of Charles III, have just ended the 7 Years War that resulted in them losing significant territory. 
If steampunk technologies and social philosophies were prominent in this era, what would be the technologies people want, and what about the lives of the regular people living within each of these nations? Some very interesting questions indeed, and I can see why one might opt for 1764 as an interesting start off point for an alternate history story.
So, in our ongoing research and expansion of our understanding of the supernatural traditions in Southeast Asia, for a few weeks we’ll look at different phi and other creatures connected or likely to be connected to the region.In Thailand, one of the many Phi is the Phi Hai, also known as a Phi Tay Hong. The same term is used in Laos.This type of spirit inhabits places or areas where someone has died an unanutural or violent death. You’ll be able to identify them because they’re easily offended and like to possess a victim for any reason, if they’re given the excuse and opportunity. They are usually hungry and amoral according to the more common accounts.Most folklore suggests they can be tempted to give up the host they’re possessing in exchange for an offering of some sort. If the Phi Hai is being stubborn, an exorcism with incantations and lustral water can be used, and in more extreme cases, whipping apparently is enough to set things back to normal.Although you had best be prepared to explain to everyone why you were whipping someone if it goes that far.What are stories you’ve heard or remember about phi hai?

Lao theater: Court Forms

In 1993, James R. Brandon’s The Cambridge Guide to Asian Theatre discussed the different forms of Lao theater, noting that there were three key forms: proto-theatrical indigenous forms, court forms that emulated Khmer-Thai models, and modern popular genres from the 20th century combining folk forms and popular Thai theatre elements such as the likay. Lao American theater is taking some different directions and inspiration. It will be interesting to see what the next forms will be when these communities get an opportunity to connect for an extended period of time with adequate resources to create a meaningful exchange.

This entry is obviously approaching 20 years old, but it’s an interesting start to consider how we discuss the journey of Lao theater and where we might see it go in the years ahead.

Geopolitics of 1764
A big thanks to Silver Goggles for pointing out a new example of Filipino Steampunk, High Society, and its write-up at Tinamats.

So, their framing setup is a big what-if regarding the Spanish being repelled from the walled city of Manila in 1764. It’s not a bad proposal, and I find myself wondering what a Lao experience and perspective would be in 1764. Would it be an interesting year to start from?
For the Lao, historically, this is the year 2307. (But for simplicity sake, we’ll use the Western calendar for the rest of this post.) What is the world like for them?



after 1893 when Vientiane and Champassak had been bundled together with Luang Prabang to create a state that was a French protectorate called Laos, and a Lao narrator who worked often enough with the falang that he might reasonably refer to it as Laos. For stories set earlier than 1893, we have to be even more aware of anachronisms that take us out of a story, that suspension of disbelief.


In fiction, when we write place names, do we employ French or US/English romanization to keep it authentic?  It’s not always cut and dry. For a historical example, many Americans secretly stationed in Laos during the civil war in the 1960s commonly referred to the Plain of Jars as the PDJ, an abbreviation of Plaines des Jarres.

When we’re using an ethnic Lao narrator, one might argue, it may not matter and you could even use a non-standard romanization instead of Long Tieng (Long Cheng), or Luang Prabang (Luang Phrabang).

Radically, there could be great power in this: Lao names and geography written by Lao the way Lao themselves feel it should be spelled, and not just the way some falang missionary or policy wonk decided we should write the names of our cities and landmarks.  That would be significant step towards decolonization.

But we also need to decolonize time. Not everyone uses the solar calendar, after all.

LAOS  Culinary arts

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I found myself discussing the UNESCO Creative Cities Network that is designating various cities as model examples of different art forms, and also had a fun twitter conversation on what Southeast Asian Steampunk cuisine would look like.Addressing the UNESCO Creative Cities network concept, what we saw were the usual forms you’d expect: Literature, film, music, crafts and folk art, design, media arts, and what I thought was particularly interesting, gastronomy.Before we go too much further, I should note that I’m also a fan of cryptogastronomy: the consideration of hypothetical recipes for mythic, theoretical and extinct species of flora and fauna. How might you pair a good wine with a 18th century Triceratops filet in the Lost World, for example?




1. Lao American Speculative Arts Anthology


 Approaching 40 years in the US, we know Lao Americans love science fiction, fantasy, horror, myths and legends. Now we’re looking your stories and art for the first full-length anthology of Lao American speculative art and literature.

Whether it’s a story of Lao astronauts in a distant future, nak or phi in ancient Lan Xang, the missing adventures of Sithong or Xieng Mieng, or wild weretigers and kinnali in Laotown, we want to hear about it! Tales of time-traveling silapin, Lao cyborgs and superheroes, or visitors to haunted villages are all encouraged and welcomed.

Send us your best original stories between 250 to 5,555 words in length. We also accept up to 10 poems, up to 255 words per poem. For longer or shorter works, please inquire. We are also looking for examples of visual art: painting, illustrations, textiles, mixed media, photography. Visual artists can submit between 5 to 10 pieces.

All genres and sub-genres such as steampunk are welcomed, but no “fan fiction” or use of characters and settings you do not have the rights to. No glittering vampires. Work should have a reasonably clear Lao connection.

This anthology is requesting one-time electronic and print rights, after which further publication rights revert to the creator. A physical contributor’s copy and e-book copy are provided.

To Submit: 
We accept RTF files by e-mail only. Put the words: LAO ANTHOLOGY in the subject line with your name. Double spaced manuscript in Times New Roman. Use italics, not underlines when necessary. Use of Laoglish is fine and encouraged, but absolutely NO italicizing Lao words. Have your contact information of the first page of the manuscript including e-mail address. Good grammar and spelling appreciated. No simultaneous submissions.

 Visual art submissions should be able to be reproduced well in black and white and sent as a digital file at 600 dpi or higher. Portrait orientation preferred, but landscape orientation accepted.


The fourth anniversary issues of CHA has arrived.

It’s hard to believe it’s been four years already, but a big congratulations to all of them in Hong Kong. This issue was guest edited by Robert E. Wood (poetry) and Royston Tester (prose).

 This issue, they have poetry from Christopher Barnes, Robert Masterson, John McKernan, Tristan Coleshaw, Chris Santiago, Sonia Saikaley, DeWitt Clinton, Kenneth Alewine, Dena Rash Guzman, Samuel Arizpe, Judith Toler, Rheea Mukherjee, David W. Landrum, W.F. Lantry, Mia Ayumi Malhotra, Anuradha Vijayakrishnan, Nicholas Y.B. Wong, Bernard Henrie, Mike Ladd, and Louis Marvin.

 In Fiction, they have pieces from Alzo David-West, Gun G. Ayurzana, Matthew Davis, John David Harding, Sharon Hashimoto, Shivani Sivagurunathan, and Genevieve Yim.

They are accepting submissions for Issue #16, which is scheduled for February 2012. Ankur Agarwal (poetry) and Mag Tan (prose) will act as guest editors and read the submissions with them. Deadline is set at 15 December.


Lao American Steampunk:

 Decolonizing Space and Time

Silver Goggles recently posted a great commentary on the need to decolonize geography within Steampunk literature, and I would argue we should do so within both historical fiction and speculative literature as well.As an applied example, when I wrote my Lovecraftian historical horror story “What Hides and What Returns,” there were questions I had to address as a writer in order to bring a reader into Laos, minimizing confusion with a minimum of compromise.For Lao, the year 2011 is mostly 2554, at least since April (Deuane Si or Mesa), depending on the system we’re using. These days, we’re following a system that figures 543 BC as Year 1.The Lao calendar has elements of Sino-Vietnamese and Thai-Khmer calendars, and are based on a solar-lunar mix.Lao years are reckoned by solar phases, but our months are determined by lunar phases. This is different from European and American calendars where the months are also determined by the sun. There is also reportedly an earlier Lao system in which year one would correspond with the year 638 BC, just to complicate things.

It’s not just a case of calibrating a time machine by simply setting a dial + or – 534 years.As a further example of the complicated nature of Time, especially in a decolonized Steampunk setting, bear in mind the traditional Chinese time-keeping system. Here we see the hours associated with different creatures of the zodiac. Chinese hours are actually about two Western hours:

23:00 – 01:00: 子 Rat
01:00 – 03:00: 丑 Ox
03:00 – 05:00: 寅 Tiger
05:00 – 07:00: 卯 Rabbit
07:00 – 09:00: 辰 Dragon
09:00 – 11:00: 巳 Snake
11:00 – 13:00: 午 Horse
13:00 – 15:00: 未 Goat
15:00 – 17:00: 申 Monkey
17:00 – 19:00: 酉 Rooster
19:00 – 21:00: 戌 Dog
21:00 – 23:00: 亥 Pig

Talking about time in a truly multicultural Steampunk world should take this into account. Time travel a la H.G. Wells’ classic ‘The Time Machine’ now becomes interestingly complicated when we consider whose sense of time applies. The visitor, or the visited?

But let’s look at an additional challenge for the role of time in Lao fiction: In Laos, we can run into big headaches because time is not homogeneous among the 100+ cultures who live within its frequently shifting borders.

To elaborate on the importance of this question, consider that in the mountains and jungles of Laos, highlanders such as the Hmong used time as the measure of distance. “It’s two days of walking to the next village.” Miles, kilometers, etc. are very abstract concepts to them in the old days, let alone 20,000 leagues under a sea to people born in a landlocked nation.

This is, of course, just the tip of the temporal iceberg, but I think it opens up some very intriguing questions for better Steampunk set among Southeast Asian cultures. And I hope it raises the bar for anyone who decides to use a English protagonist using a modified Mayan time travel device to visit ancient Mayao in the highlands of Annam to discover the secret to immortality or some other fantastic scenario.

Today we’re taking a quick look at the phi known as the phi kra-hang, which is a nocturnal spirit.According to most accounts, the phi kra-hang has the appearance of a flying man with two rice trays for wings with a pestle for tail. Some less common accounts say it is a feathered flying man with a bird-like tail who should NOT be confused with the kinnali or kinnon.Some believe it to be someone who has become skilled in the use of magic and can now grow wings and fly.  Others think it is someone who wronged a teacher, especially by breaking a promise to one. Another possible method is from eating certain gourds or walking under a bridge, but this isn’t considered a very common way to become a phi kra-hang.Upon finishing his transformation, according to the more common accounts, he now uses two circular, normally used for sifting rice, as his wings, and a small pestle as his tail held between his legs. You can see one depicted in the classic Thai light bulb commercial:


The preferred diet of the phi kra-hang is filth, but other than that, little is know of its ecology and habits. Some say it’s touchy about people touching his behind, for fear of his true nature being discovered if you see his stump of a tail. There are some accounts that connect him to the krasue, but this may be a stretch. A few claim these beings are restricted to central Thailand for the most part.

There is some dispute as to whether he hurts people, or is merely ambivalent towards them. Most consider it a phi to avoid in any case. There are accounts that at night, he gives off a glowing aura. But of course, it might be a different phi in the shape of a phi kra-hang. You never can be too certain with this sort of thing.

What stories do you know about the phi kra-hang?

On a lighter note, today we look at the Phi Kee of Southeast Asia, especially Laos and Thailand. This one is arguably one of the more helpful of the spirits, or at least ambivalent towards humans. It is encountered when you go to the toilet, following a nightmare.Folklore suggests you should politely ask your excrement to go peacefully before flushing so that the Phi Kee will also take away any bad luck with it on its way out. No one seems to have any accounts of the consequences if you’re rude or demanding about it, although given its domain, it seems something you really shouldn’t push. But what are some of the stories and advice you’ve heard regarding this spirit?


Fungi Horror Anthology coming


The Innsmouth Free Press has announced plans for a horror anthology centered on fungi!

Naturally, for a Lovecraftian anthology, there’s all manner of potential angles you can approach with this one. William Hope Hodgson’s “The Voice in the Night”, and its Japanese film adaptation, Matango have already been cited as inspirations, and naturally, “The Fungi from Yuggoth”. But let’s see some stories and works that really go beyond with this one.

I would add the advice that the editors really appreciate non-traditional perspectives and settings. Take them places we’ve never been as readers. They’re also interested in steampunk entries involving fungi if you have them. Good luck! They want to release it by October 2012, so keep an eye out for more details!


Laos is proceeding with the potentially environmentally disastrous Xayaburi Dam. Studies calculate it will “block fish migration on the Mekong, threaten between 23 and 200 fish species, have damaging effects on sediment flows and put unpredictable pressures on ecosystems around the river. More than 60 million people live in the river basin of the lower Mekong and about two-thirds of those depend on fishing for all or part of their livelihood.” What’s not to love?

Laos and the World Bank celebrated 50 years of “partnership”. Said one official, “Today we can take pride in the achievements of our enduring partnership. Laos has seen remarkable success in lifting millions of people out of poverty and improving their lives. In less than a generation, the incidence of poverty in Laos has dropped from about 50 per cent to just a little over 25 per cent.”

Laos faces challenges in creating productive jobs, said an expert from the International Labour Organization at a national workshop in Vientiane to discuss the Rural Employment Strategy for Poverty Reduction. With a population of 6.3 million, and 60 percent of the population is under 25 years old, Laos has opportunities but also challenges.

Meanwhile, Lao officials have been urged to actively lead local people in undertaking commercial ventures, so they can find their way out of poverty, saying “the growing of crops and livestock rearing should tie in with local needs.”

Air America veteran Richard O’Hara of Northville, Michigan and his service in Laos were discussed in the Observer & Eccentric.

In West Virginia, the story of Master Sergeant  Edward Ziobron’s bravery in Laos was discussed.

In the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Lee Hines shared his experiences in Laos in “Lessons we must learn again.”

The mayor of Frisco, Bill Pelham shared his story as a Forward Air Controller near the Laotian border in the Summit Daily.

The Gilroy Patch has an article on Joe Kline, who served in Vietnam and a mission in Laos to fly South Vietnamese troops in to cut off the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

Bill Flittie was profiled in the Shoreview Press. Flittie was in the navy and later joined International Volunteer Services, stationed in Savannakhet.

Newsweek has a story on “What Made the Spooks Disappear,” covering CIA operatives like Tony Poe who served in Laos with the Hmong.

USAID has a press release on 80-year old Hal Freeman, who was an education Foreign Service Officer with service around the world including Laos with the Hmong.

Thailand and Laos have officially opened a new Friendship Bridge.

And, Justin Bieber is auctioning off his snake to help a charity that builds schools in Laos, Nicaragua and Guatemala. His baby boa constrictor, Johnson.

“The Last War Poem” originally appeared in the 2002 anthology, Bamboo Among the Oaksfrom the Minnesota Historical Society Press.

The Last War Poem

I tell you, this is the last word for this war.
This little side war we were the center of.
 There is no justice from poetry-
 Any veteran can tell you that.

They want their land, their lives
Their livestock back.

Grenade fishing in the aftermath of Phou Pha Thi
Has lost its novelty
To the man with a bullet fragment rattling
In his body, slowly tearing him apart.

Write, they tell me. Write what?

We lost, we were forgotten, we are ghosts.
We are victims of fat tigers and foreign policy.

There is no Valhalla, only memories of Spectre gunships
There is no Elysium, only pleas for asylum.

This jungle was filthy.

There was shit. There was blood.
There were refugees
Who to this day can not explain why they were the enemy
When the war came.

Their sons fought. Their brothers died.

Their uncles, maimed, were hauled screaming into the shadows of the PDJ.

Write, they tell me, so people won’t forget.
So someone will know.

Lift the broken bodies with my words, bring them out
And say ‘we did not die in vain’.

For every bullet hole, let there be a word to stand as a monument.

For every lost limb let there be a sonnet to stitch the truth back together.

For every eye gone blind, let there be something to take its place.
Something. Anything.

How can you not have words for the war of whispers?

How can you not shout, now that the whispering is done?

And I swear, each time I break this promise, that the next time
Will be the last word I write about this damn war.



Saymoukda Vongsay a 2011 Changemaker


Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay is the Lao American author of No Regrets, a collection of poetry and haikus published by Baby Rabbit Publishing.

Her work has been published by Altra Magazine, the Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement, and Bakka Literary Journal, to name a few. A Minnesota-based spoken word poet, she has performed and taught creative writing workshops nationally across the United States and internationally in Italy and Japan.

She has worked with the Anchorage Urban League of Young Professionals lecturing and performing at the university-level and local high schools to urge voter registration and civic engagement and also served as liaison between local government and the Southeast Asian community regarding public policy.

Vongsay is a co-founding member of The Unit, a collective of emerging playwrights of color. Her short plays are staged at The Playwrights Center. Her piece, Yellowtail Sashimi, was part of the 2010 MN Fringe Festival. She was a co-chair of the first Lao American Writers Summit in Minnesota and has worked actively to support the work of Lao women writers and artists across the country to celebrate heritage, diversity and community development.


A multidisciplinary, multicultural arts center, Intermedia Arts supports a broad spectrum of artists, with a particular focus on voices you are unlikely to hear anywhere else. They were gracious hosts to the groundbreaking Legacies of War: Refugee Nation exhibit we held in Minnesota in 2010.


Their Queer Voices reading series is the longest running GLBT literary series in the nation. Their multimedia festival, B-Girl Be: A Celebration of Women in Hip-Hop, is the first of its kind worldwide, showcasing and celebrating the contributions of women to a revolutionary art form. Their annual performance series, Indigenous Voices, (co-presented with Pangea World Theater), explores First Nation issues of identity and human rights; and their youth media programs allow at-risk youth to create films and TV shows about issues in their lives and communities.

Intermedia Arts is a nationally recognized leader in empowering artists and community leaders to use arts-based approaches to solve community issues. Their leadership program, The Creative Community Leadership Institute, is one of only a few programs in the country to provide comprehensive, professional-level training and support for local community-engaged artists and community developers. Led by a core faculty of four of the leading thinkers in the field of community cultural development, Intermedia Arts’ Creative Community Leadership Institute has trained over 62 of the Twin Cities’ most active community artists, organizers and developers.

Again, a big congratulations to Saymoukda Vongsay for her much deserved recognition, and here’s to many more great things ahead from both her and Intermedia Arts!


The New Yorker has new piece by Daniel Mendelsohn contemplating a slimmer, faster Iliad, based on Stephen Mitchell’s new translation, which, among other things, completely cuts out Chapter 10, or the Doloneia. The abstract is extremely truncated, but the actual article is filled with some very interesting observations that would also apply for Lao American writers as we wrestle with our own literary traditions, for epics such as that of Sinxay.

We can spend so much time focused on the preservation and historicity of the classical Lao texts that we forget to make them living, breathing texts for ourselves. But that’s for a larger discussion in the years ahead, I suppose.


“Indochina’s Vicious Swamp Demons”

Author Brad Steiger, in his 1999 work, The Werewolf Book, notes a curious 1940 account in Ed Bodin’s Scare Me! A Symposium on Ghosts and Black Magic. In Steiger’s entry “Indochina’s Vicious Swamp Demons,” he retells Bodin’s story of a Colonel Marchand supposedly sent in 1923 to a French military colony. It isn’t clear which part of Indochina, but he brought his daughter Yvonne Marchand with him.A native thief,  faced between the choice of turning himself in to the authorities or crossing a haunted swamp, chose to surrender to the French.Colonel Marchand, amused by the superstition, ordered the thief cast into the middle of the swamp. The thief begged for lenience and threw himself at the feet of Yvonne Marchand, but to no avail. He was marched into the swamp at bayonet point.However, later that evening, he came back to the French camp and carried off the colonel’s daughter to the swamp.A search party was organized and they found the thief bleeding to death, covered in severe bites and scratches, his jugular torn open. With his dying breath, the thief claimed Yvonne did this horrible thing to him.Pressing further into the swamp, the men found Yvonne, “naked except for a strip of cloth about her thighs. The searchlights caught the streaks of blood on her body, but her father was more horrified by the fiendish grin that parted her lips. Yvonne stood there before them, her teeth flashing as if she were some wild thing waiting for prey to fall within reach of her claws and fangs. To the astonishment of the entire search party, the girl rushed the nearest soldier, ready to gouge and bite.”They subdue her, but when Yvonne comes to her senses, she describes her capture. When they stopped in the swamp, hideous, fanged demonic faces bobbed all around the pair.She described the strange sensations that came over her that drove her to kill the thief, remarking “I gloried in tearing away his flesh, in hearing him scream, in seeing him drop to the ground and crawl away. Then the faces summoned me on into the swamp. I tore off my clothes and began to bite myself. The faces laughed at me, and I laughed too.”Bodin’s account is difficult to corroborate.

I haven’t found any resources highlighting the service of a Colonel Marchand being stationed in Indochina around this time, but that does not wholly rule out the possibility. Proper, serious research of Southeast Asian metaphysics and the supernatural was not extensive among Europeans at the time, so we can only speculate what exactly they had encountered.

The floating fanged faces could have been any number of phi, including krasue, but there may be other possibilities. What do you think?

In Christopher Robbins’ 1987 book, The Ravens, there is a brief passage in Chapter 10:”Oddjob-the original Raven orphan, was long gone-officially adopted by an Air Force mechanic and taken back to the States…”If anyone happens to know what happened to him, I’d be very interested in finding out.


40 years ago in 1971, the secret airbase of Long Tieng in Laos was attacked on Valentine’s Day. Christopher Robbins’ wrote about the incident in his 1987 book The Ravens, Chapter 10, “Valentine”. Here is an excerpt that illustrates many of the lingering issues we’ve been discussing over the years:
The F-4 went in, but instead of returning to make multiple passes the pilot took the lazy course and pickled off his entire load of six CBU [Cluster Bomb Unit] canisters at once. Shep, his leg hastily bandaged, was outside with Burr Smith and a platoon of Meo [sic] guerrillas when the plane screamed over. Shep looked up and saw the CBU pods come off the aircraft and then watched in horrified fascination as the clamshells flew apart and the bomblets were spewed out. He yelled to his companions and hit the gorund. When he raised his head, after the CBU had passed beyond him, Burr Smith, himself, and a single Meo survived.
The exploding CBU tore through the village like a hurricane. Huts, trees, and telephone poles disintegrated before the Ravens’ eyes. “You’re dropping on the friendlies! Swedberg yelled into his radio. “You’re dropping on the friendlies!”
A wall of destructive flame raced toward the Raven hootch. “You sorry-assed son of a bitch,” Duehring shouted, and dived for the floor.
It was even worse than Swedberg feared. The pilot had misunderstood his instructions regarding the tracer and exactly reversed them-he had not dropped the deadly load where the tracers were ricocheting, but on the friendly machine gun itself.
Those in the hootch had hit the floor and were squirming on their bellies to get under the bed or behind some sort of cover. The CBU broke over building, peeling back the roof. It set the operations shack on fire, along with the Company sleeping quarters, the Air America hostel, and the Raven dining room, blasting the pool table into fragments. The CIA bar took a direct hit and burned to the ground. But the wily bears survived the holocaust by pressing themselves against the rock wall at the rear of their cage, which was built out from a cave.
It was obvious that the F-4 had dropped CBU, and from a great enough height for it to have a large pattern, (Clamshell CBU explodes in a doughnut patter, creating a circle of fire around a hollow. What looked to the Ravens like a solid wall of fire approaching them was actually a circle surrounding them-and the .50 caliber machine gun was directly in the center of it.)
With the building burning down around their ears, the Americans prepared to move back to the bunker, where a series of sporadic explosions made them think they were under renewed attack. It then dawned on them that the continuing explosions were their own ordnance. “Christ,” somebody groaned, “some of that shit is time delayed.”
“Confirm CBU-24,” Swedberg radioed Cricket. 
“CBU-24 confirmed,” Cricket responded. There was a pause. “Also CBU-49 mixed in there.”
CBU-49 was a canister of time-delayed, baseball-sized bomblets that, according to the book, went off randomly over a thirty minute period, each one blasting out 250 white-hot ball bearings. In reality, they often continued to explode for as long as two hours, and now they were littered throughout the compound.”

From The Night They Burned The Mountain, by Dr. Thomas A. Dooley (1960) in the village of Muong Sing in Northwest Laos:
“Frequently at night we show a movie on the wall of our house. Some 1,000 people sit on the grass and watch in wonder. Little Guntar loves the movies. I think movies have just as much therapeutic value as antibiotics. Walt Disney gave me a 16 mm. version of Dumbo. Dumbo has enchanted North Laos, and the children watch for him every time we show this movie. They never seem to tire of it. “What a wonderful land America must be,” they say. “They have huge elephants and the elephants are pink and green and blue and purple. And some of these elephants have ears so big that they can fly through the air.” Dumbo is winning friends in the ten-year-old bracket for sure.” 



Lydia Laube’s Lost in Laos
It’s an encouraging sign that people now are expecting a lot more out of stories by falang trampling all over Muang Lao.
Over 3,500 mail order brides were rescued  from Laos who were victims of human trafficking

Lao Civet Coffee?

A few weeks ago we talked about the growing range of Lao coffees being offered to the market. Lao forests are facing significant reduction by a wide range of development projects and illegal lumber harvesting reducing the habitat for any number of creatures, including civets.We often associate civet coffee with islands such as the Phillipines, or Sumatra and Vietnam where a pound can cost as much as $600. But these little guys are certainly plentiful in Laos, too, and maybe we should pay a little more attention to its choice in Lao coffee berries. 
Personally, I’m not in that much of a hurry to drink civet coffee, but there are certainly many others in the world who are, and this approach might be more ecologically sound than, say, making a massive hydroelectric dam without taking anyone else’s opinion into consideration. But it’s just a thought. 

Lao farmers need an alternative to opiumaccording to Irin News. Antinarcotics efforts slashed opium production from 26,800 hectares to 1,500 hectares between 1998 and 2006. Since 2007 opium farming has doubled to 3,000 hectares and the upward trend is still continuing, according to the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Sychan Vakongxiong, a Hmong opium farmer is interviewed, as is Edna Legaspi and Khamen Phomally, deputy district governor of Xay District in Oudomxay and chairman of the local committee on drug control.

Lao are apparently involved in smuggling exotic animal parts. Members of an international syndicate allegedly use Thai prostitutes to ‘hunt’ and export South African rhino horn and also lion bones to supply the “Vichai Company” which it turns out is actually Xaysavang Trading Export/Import and its owner in Laos is said to be a man known as Vixay Keosavang. It’s stuff like this that seriously makes me want to start rumors that other things besides animal parts are effective “natural viagra.”


Dedicated to Mr Jim Brown

The Creation of Vietnam

Pre-Dynastic era

The area now known as Vietnam has been inhabited since Paleolithic times, and some archaeological sites in Thanh Hóa Province purportedly date back several thousand years. Archaeologists link the beginnings of Vietnamese civilization to the late Neolithic, Early Bronze Age, Phung Nguyen culture, which was centered in Vĩnh Phúc Province of contemporary Vietnam from about 2000 to 1400 BCE.

By about 1200 BCE, the development of wet-rice cultivation and bronze casting in the Ma River and Red River plains led to the development of the Dong Son culture, notable for its elaborate bronze drums. The bronze weapons, tools, and drums of Dong-Sonian sites show a Southeast Asian influence that indicates an indigenous origin for the bronze-casting technology.

Many small, ancient copper mine sites have been found in northern Vietnam. Some of the similarities between the Dong-Sonian sites and other Southeast Asian sites include the presence of boat-shaped coffins and burial jars, stilt dwellings, and evidence of the customs of betel-nut-chewing and teeth-blackening.

Dynastic era

The legendary Hồng Bàng Dynasty of the Hùng kings is considered by many Vietnamese as the first Vietnamese state, known as Văn Lang. In 257 BCE, the last Hùng king lost to Thục Phán, who consolidated the Lạc Việt tribes with his Âu Việt tribes, forming Âu Lạc and proclaiming himself An Dương Vương. In 207 BCE, a Chinese general named Zhao Tuo defeated An Dương Vương and consolidated Âu Lạc into Nanyue. In 111 BCE, the Chinese Han Dynasty consolidated Nanyue into their empire.

For the next thousand years, Vietnam was mostly under Chinese rule. Early independence movements such as those of the Trưng Sisters and of Lady Triệu were only briefly successful. It was independent as Vạn Xuân under the Anterior Lý Dynasty between 544 and 602. By the early 10th century, Vietnam had gained autonomy, but not independence, under the Khúc family.

In 938 CE, a Vietnamese lord named Ngô Quyền defeated Chinese forces at the Bạch Đằng River and regained independence after a millennium under Chinese control. Renamed as Đại Việt (Great Viet), the nation went through a golden era during the and Trần Dynasties. During the rule of the Trần Dynasty, Đại Việt repelled three Mongol invasions. Buddhism flourished and became the state religion.

Following the brief Hồ Dynasty, Vietnamese independence was momentarily interrupted by the Chinese Ming Dynasty, but was restored by Lê Lợi, the founder of the Lê Dynasty. Vietnam reached its zenith in the Lê Dynasty of the 15th century, especially during the reign of Emperor Lê Thánh Tông (1460–1497). Between the 11th and 18th centuries, Vietnam expanded southward in a process known as nam tiến (southward expansion),[10] and it eventually conquered the kingdom of Champa and part of the Khmer Empire.

From the 16th century onwards, civil strife and frequent infighting engulfed much of Vietnam. First, the Chinese-supported Mạc Dynasty challenged the Lê Dynasty’s power. After the Mạc Dynasty was defeated, the Lê Dynasty was reinstalled, but with no actual power. Power was divided between the Trịnh Lords in the North and the Nguyễn Lords in the South, who engaged in a civil war for more than four decades before a truce was called in the 1670s. During this time, the Nguyễn expanded southern Vietnam into the Mekong Delta, annexing the Champa in the central highlands and the Khmer land in the Mekong.

The division of the country ended a century later when the Tây Sơn brothers defeated both and established their new dynasty. However, their rule did not last long and they were defeated by the remnants of the Nguyễn Lords led by Nguyễn Ánh with the help of the French. Nguyễn Ánh unified Vietnam, and established the Nguyễn Dynasty, ruling under the name Gia Long.


The history of Vietnam begins around 2,700 years ago. Successive dynasties based in China ruled Vietnam directly for most of the period from 207 BC until 938 when Vietnam regained its independence.Vietnam remained a tributary state to its larger neighbor China for much of its history but repelled invasions by the Chinese as well as three invasions by the Mongols between 1255 and 1285.Emperor Trần Nhân Tông later diplomatically submitted Vietnam to a tributary of the Yuan to avoid further conflicts. The independent period temporarily ended in the middle to late 19th century, when the country was colonized by France (see French Indochina). During World War II, Imperial Japan expelled the French to occupy Vietnam, though they retained French administrators during their occupation. After the war, France attempted to re-establish its colonial rule but ultimately failed in the First Indochina War. The Geneva Accords partitioned the country in two with a promise of democratic election to reunite the country.

However, rather than peaceful reunification, partition led to the Vietnam War. During this time, the People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union supported the North while the United States supported the South. After millions of Vietnamese deaths, the war ended with the fall of Saigon to the North in April 1975. The reunified Vietnam suffered further internal repression and was isolated internationally due to the continuing Cold War and the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia. In 1986, the Communist Party of Vietnam changed its economic policy and began reforms of the private sector similar to those in China. Since the mid-1980s, Vietnam has enjoyed substantial economic growth and some reduction in political repression, though reports of corruption have also risen.

History of Vietnam
Hồng Bàng Dynasty prior to 257 BC
Thục Dynasty 257–207 BC
First Chinese domination 207 BC–39 AD
Triệu Dynasty 207–111 BC
Trưng Sisters 40–43
Second Chinese domination 43–544
Lady Triệu’s Rebellion 248
Early Lý Dynasty 544–602
Triệu Việt Vương  
Third Chinese domination 602–905
Mai Hắc Đế 722
Phùng Hưng 791–798
Autonomy 905–938
Khúc Family 906–930
Dương Đình Nghệ 931–937
Kiều Công Tiễn 937–938
Ngô Dynasty 939–967
The 12 Lords Rebellion 966–968
Đinh Dynasty 968–980
Early Lê Dynasty 980–1009
Lý Dynasty 1009–1225
Trần Dynasty 1225–1400
Hồ Dynasty 1400–1407
Fourth Chinese domination 1407–1427
Later Trần Dynasty 1407–1413
• Lam Sơn Rebellion 1418–1427
Later Lê Dynasty 1428–1788
• Early Lê 1428–1527
• Restored Lê 1533–1788
Mạc Dynasty 1527–1592
Southern and
 Northern Dynasties
TrịnhNguyễn War 1627–1673
Tây Sơn Dynasty 1778–1802
Nguyễn Dynasty 1802–1945
Western imperialism 1887–1945
Empire of Vietnam 1945
Indochina Wars 1945–1975
Partition of Vietnam 1954
Democratic Republic
 of Vietnam
State of Vietnam 1949–1955
Republic of Vietnam 1955–1975
Provisional Revolutionary
Socialist Republic of Vietnam from 1976

Map of Vietnam showing the conquest of the south (the Nam tiến, 1069-1757). Orange: Before the 11th century. Yellow: 11th century. Light Green: 15th century. Dark Green: 16th century. Purple: 18th century. Lai Chau and Dien Bien (the Northwest): 19th century.

Map of Vietnam showing (roughly) the areas controlled by the Trịnh, Nguyễn, Mac, and Champa about the year 1640. Brown: Trịnh Territory. Yellow: Nguyễn Territory. Green: Champa (under Nguyễn overlordship). Pink (Cao Bang): Mạc Territory.


Map of Văn Lang, 500 BC.
Southeast Asia circa 1010 AD. Đại Việt lands in yellow, Champa in green and Khmer Empire in purple
Trần royal battle standard.

Early kingdoms

Evidence of the earliest established society other than the prehistoric Iron Age Đông Sơn culture in Northern Vietnam was found in Cổ Loa, an ancient city situated near present-day Hà Nội.

According to myth, the first Vietnamese people were descended from the Dragon Lord Lạc Long Quân and the Immortal Fairy Âu Cơ. Lạc Long Quân and Âu Cơ had 100 sons before deciding to part ways. 50 of the children went with their mother to the mountains, and the other 50 went with their father to the sea. The eldest son became the first in a line of early Vietnamese kings, collectively known as the Hùng kings (Hùng Vương or the Hồng Bàng Dynasty). The Hùng kings called their country, located on the Red River delta in present-day northern Vietnam, Văn Lang. The people of Văn Lang were known as the Lạc Việt.

Văn Lang is thought to have been a matriarchal society, similar to many other matriarchal societies common in Southeast Asia and in the Pacific islands at the time. Various archaeological sites in northern Vietnam, such as Đông Sơn have yielded metal weapons and tools from this age. Most famous of these artifacts are large bronze drums, probably made for ceremonial purposes, with sophisticated engravings on the surface, depicting life scenes with warriors, boats, houses, birds and animals in concentric circles around a radiating sun at the center.

Many legends from this period offer a glimpse into the life of the people. The Legend of the Rice Cakes is about a prince who won a culinary contest; he then wins the throne because his creations, the rice cakes, reflect his deep understanding of the land’s vital economy: rice farming. The Legend of Giong about a youth going to war to save the country, wearing iron armor, riding an armored horse, and wielding an iron staff, showed that metalworking was sophisticated. The Legend of the Magic Crossbow, about a crossbow that can deliver thousands of arrows, showed extensive use of archery in warfare.

Recent research has unlocked the discovery of artificial circular earthworks in the areas of present day southern Vietnam and overlapping to the borders of Cambodia. These archaeological remains are estimated to be economic, social and cultural entities from the 1st millennium BC

By the 3rd century BC, another Viet group, the Âu Việt, emigrated from present-day southern China to the Red River delta and mixed with the indigenous Văn Lang population. In 258 BC, a new kingdom, Âu Lạc, emerged as the union of the Âu Việt and the Lạc Việt, with Thục Phán proclaiming himself “King An Dương Vương”. At his capital Cổ Loa, he built many concentric walls around the city for defensive purposes. These walls, together with skilled Âu Lạc archers, kept the capital safe from invaders for a while. However, it also gave rise to the first recorded case of espionage in Vietnamese history, resulting in the downfall of King An Dương Vương.

In 207 BC, an ambitious Chinese warlord named Triệu Đà (Chinese: Zhao Tuo) defeated King An Dương Vương by having his son Trọng Thủy (Chinese: Zhong Shi) act as a spy after marrying An Dương Vương’s daughter. Triệu Đà annexed Âu Lạc into his domain located in present-day Guangdong, southern China, then proclaimed himself king of a new independent kingdom, Nam Việt (Chinese: 南越, Nan Yue). Trọng Thủy, the supposed crown prince, drowned himself in Cổ Loa out of remorse for the death of his wife in the war.

Some Vietnamese consider Triệu‘s rule a period of Chinese domination, since Triệu Đà was a former Qin general. Others consider it an era of Việt independence as the Triệu family in Nam Việt were assimilated to local culture. They ruled independently of what then constituted China’s (Han Dynasty). At one point, Triệu Đà even declared himself Emperor, equal to the Chinese Han Emperor in the north.

Period of Chinese domination (111 BC – 938 AD)

In 111 BC, Chinese troops invaded Nam Việt and established new territories, dividing Vietnam into Giao Chỉ (Chinese: 交趾 pinyin: Jiaozhi, now the Red River delta); Cửu Chân from modern-day Thanh Hoá to Hà Tĩnh; and Nhật Nam, from modern-day Quảng Bình to Huế. While the Chinese were governors and top officials, the original Vietnamese nobles (Lạc Hầu, Lạc Tướng) still managed some highlands.

In 40 AD, a successful revolt against harsh rule by Han Governor Tô Định (蘇定 pinyin: Sū Dìng), led by the noblewoman Trưng Trắc and her sister Trưng Nhị, recaptured 65 states (include modern Guangxi), and Trưng Trắc became the Queen (Trưng Nữ Vương). In 42 AD, Emperor Guangwu of Han sent his famous general Mã Viện (Chinese: Ma Yuan) to quell the revolt. After a torturous campaign, Ma Yuan defeated the Trưng Queen, who committed suicide. To this day, the Trưng Sisters are revered in Vietnam as the national symbol of Vietnamese women. Learning a lesson from the Trưng revolt, the Han and other successful Chinese dynasties took measures to eliminate the power of the Vietnamese nobles. The Vietnamese elites would be coerced to assimilate into Chinese culture and politics. However, in 225 AD, another woman, Triệu Thị Trinh, popularly known as Lady Triệu (Bà Triệu), led another revolt which lasted until 248 AD.

During the Tang dynasty, Vietnam was called Annam (Giao Châu), until the early 10th century AD. Giao Chỉ (with its capital around modern Bắc Ninh province) became a flourishing trading outpost receiving goods from the southern seas. The “History of Later Han” (Hậu Hán Thư, Hou Hanshu) recorded that in 166 AD the first envoy from the Roman Empire to China arrived by this route, and merchants were soon to follow. The 3rd-century “Tales of Wei” (Ngụy Lục, Weilue) mentioned a “water route” (the Red River) from Jiaozhi into what is now southern Yunnan. From there, goods were taken overland to the rest of China via the regions of modern Kunming and Chengdu.

At the same time, in present-day central Vietnam, there was a successful revolt of Cham nations. Chinese dynasties called it Lin-Yi (Lin village). It later became a powerful kingdom, Champa, stretching from Quảng Bình to Phan Thiết (Bình Thuận).

In the period between the beginning of the Chinese Age of Fragmentation to the end of the Tang Dynasty, several revolts against Chinese rule took place, such as those of Lý Bôn and his general and heir Triệu Quang Phục; and those of Mai Thúc Loan and Phùng Hưng. All of them ultimately failed, yet most notable were Lý Bôn and Triệu Quang Phục, whose Anterior Lý Dynasty ruled for almost half a century (544 AD to 602 AD) before the Chinese Sui Dynasty reconquered their kingdom Vạn Xuân.

Early independence (938 AD – 1009 AD)

Early in the 10th century, as China became politically fragmented, successive lords from the Khúc family, followed by Dương Đình Nghệ, ruled Giao Châu autonomously under the Tang title of Tiết Độ Sứ, Virtuous Lord, but stopping short of proclaiming themselves kings.

In 938, Southern Han sent troops to conquer autonomous Giao Châu. Ngô Quyền, Dương Đình Nghệ’s son-in-law, defeated the Southern Han fleet at the Battle of Bạch Đằng River (938). He then proclaimed himself King Ngô and effectively began the age of independence for Vietnam.

Ngô Quyền’s untimely death after a short reign resulted in a power struggle for the throne, the country’s first major civil war, The upheavals of Twelve warlords (Loạn Thập Nhị Sứ Quân). The war lasted from 945 AD to 967 AD when the clan led by Đinh Bộ Lĩnh defeated the other warlords, unifying the country. Dinh founded the Đinh Dynasty and proclaimed himself First Emperor (Tiên Hoàng) of Đại Cồ Việt (Hán tự: ; literally “Great Viet Land”), with its capital in Hoa Lư (modern day Ninh Bình). However, the Chinese Song Dynasty only officially recognized him as Prince of Jiaozhi (Giao Chỉ Quận Vương). Emperor Đinh introduced strict penal codes to prevent chaos from happening again. He tried to form alliances by granting the title of Queen to five women from the five most influential families.

In 979 AD, Emperor Đinh Bộ Lĩnh and his crown prince Đinh Liễn were assassinated, leaving his lone surviving son, the 6-year-old Đinh Toàn, to assume the throne. Taking advantage of the situation, the Chinese Song Dynasty invaded Đại Cồ Việt. Facing such a grave threat to national independence, the court’s Commander of the Ten Armies (Thập Đạo Tướng Quân) Lê Hoàn took the throne, founding the Former Lê Dynasty. A capable military tactician, Lê Hoan realized the risks of engaging the mighty Chinese troops head on; thus he tricked the invading army into Chi Lăng Pass, then ambushed and killed their commander, quickly ending the threat to his young nation in 981 AD. The Song Dynasty withdrew their troops yet would not recognize Lê Hoàn as Prince of Jiaozhi until 12 years later; nevertheless, he is referred to in his realm as Đại Hành Emperor (Đại Hành Hoàng Đế). Emperor Lê Hoàn was also the first Vietnamese monarch who began the southward expansion process against the kingdom of Champa.

Emperor Lê Hoàn’s death in 1005 AD resulted in infighting for the throne amongst his sons. The eventual winner, Lê Long Đĩnh, became the most notorious tyrant in Vietnamese history. He devised sadistic punishments of prisoners for his own entertainment and indulged in deviant sexual activities. Toward the end of his short life – he died at 24 – Lê Long Đĩnh became so ill that he had to lie down when meeting with his officials in court.

Independent period of Đại Việt (1010 AD – 1527 AD)

When the king Lê Long Đĩnh died in 1009 AD, a Palace Guard Commander named Lý Công Uẩn was nominated by the court to take over the throne, and founded the Lý dynasty. This event is regarded as the beginning of a golden era in Vietnamese history, with great following dynasties. The way Lý Công Uẩn ascended to the throne was rather uncommon in Vietnamese history. As a high-ranking military commander residing in the capital, he had all opportunities to seize power during the tumultuous years after Emperor Lê Hoàn’s death, yet preferring not to do so out of his sense of duty. He was in a way being “elected” by the court after some debate before a consensus was reached.

Lý Công Uẩn, posthumously referred as Lý Thái Tổ, changed the country’s name to Đại Việt (Hán tự: ; literally “Great Viet”). The Lý Dynasty is credited for laying down a concrete foundation, with strategic vision, for the nation of Vietnam. Leaving Hoa Lư, a natural fortification surrounded by mountains and rivers, Lý Công Uẩn moved his court to the new capital in present-day Hanoi and called it Thăng Long (Ascending Dragon). Lý Công Uẩn thus departed from the militarily defensive mentality of his predecessors and envisioned a strong economy as the key to national survival. Successive Lý kings continued to accomplish far-reaching feats: building a dike system to protect the rice producing area; founding Quốc Tử Giám, the first noble university; holding regular examinations to select capable commoners for government positions once every three years; organizing a new system of taxation; establishing humane treatment of prisoners. Women were holding important roles in Lý society as the court ladies were in charge of tax collection. The Lý Dynasty also promoted Buddhism, yet maintained a pluralistic attitude toward the three main philosophical systems of the time: Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. During the Lý Dynasty, the Chinese Song Dynasty officially recognized the Đại Việt monarch as King of Giao Chỉ (Giao Chỉ Quận Vương).

The Lý Dynasty had two major wars with Song China, and a few conquests against neighboring Champa in the south. The most notable battle took place on Chinese territory in 1075 AD. Upon learning that a Song invasion was imminent, the Lý army and navy totalling about 100,000 men under the command of Lý Thường Kiệt, Tông Đản used amphibious operations to preemptively destroy three Song military installations at Yong Zhou, Qin Zhou, and Lian Zhou in present-day Guangdong and Guangxi, and killed 100,000 Chinese. The Song Dynasty took revenge and invaded Đại Việt in 1076, but the Song troops were held back at the Battle of Như Nguyệt River commonly known as the Cầu river, now in Bắc Ninh province about 40 km from the current capital, Hanoi. Neither side was able to force a victory, so the Lý Dynasty proposed a truce, which the Song Dynasty accepted.

Toward the end of the Lý Dynasty, a powerful court minister named Trần Thủ Độ forced king Lý Huệ Tông to become a Buddhist monk and Lý Chiêu Hoàng, Huệ Tông’s young daughter, to become queen. Trần Thủ Độ then arranged the marriage of Chiêu Hoàng to his nephew Trần Cảnh and eventually had the throne transferred to Trần Cảnh, thus begun the Trần Dynasty. Trần Thủ Độ viciously purged members of the Lý nobility; some Lý princes escaped to Korea, including Lý Long Tường.

After the purge most Trần kings ruled the country in similar manner to the Lý kings. Noted Trần Dynasty accomplishments include the creation of a system of population records based at the village level, the compilation of a formal 30-volume history of Đại Việt (Đại Việt Sử Ký) by Lê Văn Hưu, and the rising in status of the Nôm script, a system of writing for Vietnamese language. The Trần Dynasty also adopted a unique way to train new kings: as a king aged, he would relinquish the throne to his crown prince, yet holding a title of August Higher Emperor (Thái Thượng Hoàng), acting as a mentor to the new Emperor.

Mongol invasions

During the Trần Dynasty, the armies of the Mongol Empire under Mongke Khan and Kublai Khan, the founder of the Yuan dynasty invaded Vietnam in 1257 AD, 1284 AD, and 1288 AD. Đại Việt repelled all attacks of the Yuan during the reign of Kublai Khan. The key to Đại Việt’s successes was to avoid the Mongols’ strength in open field battles and city sieges – the Trần court abandoned the capital and the cities. The Mongols were then countered decisively at their weak points, which were battles in swampy areas such as Chương Dương, Hàm Tử, Vạn Kiếp and on rivers such as Vân Đồn and Bạch Đằng. The Mongols also suffered from tropical diseases and loss of supplies to Trần army’s raids. The Yuan-Trần war reached its climax when the retreating Yuan fleet was decimated at the Battle of Bạch Đằng (1288). The military architect behind Đại Việt’s victories was Commander Trần Quốc Tuấn, more popularly known as Trần Hưng Đạo. In order to avoid disastrous campaigns, the Tran and Champa acknowledged Mongol supremacy.


It was also during this period that the Trần kings waged many wars against the southern kingdom of Champa, continuing the Viets’ long history of southern expansion (known as Nam Tiến) that had begun shortly after gaining independence from China. Often, they encountered strong resistance from the Chams. Champa troops led by king Chế Bồng Nga (Cham: Po Binasuor or Che Bonguar) killed king Trần Duệ Tông in battle and even laid siege to Đại Việt’s capital Thăng Long in 1377 AD and again in 1383 AD. However, the Trần Dynasty was successful in gaining two Champa provinces, located around present-day Huế, through the peaceful means of the political marriage of Princess Huyền Trân to a Cham king.

Ming occupation and the rise of the Lê Dynasty

The Trần dynasty was in turn overthrown by one of its own court officials, Hồ Quý Ly. Hồ Quý Ly forced the last Trần king to resign and assumed the throne in 1400. He changed the country name to Đại Ngu (Hán tự: ) and moved the capital to Tây Đô, Western Capital, now Thanh Hóa. Thăng Long was renamed Đông Đô, Eastern Capital. Although widely blamed for causing national disunity and losing the country later to the Chinese Ming Dynasty, Hồ Quý Ly’s reign actually introduced a lot of progressive, ambitious reforms, including the addition of mathematics to the national examinations, the open critique of Confucian philosophy, the use of paper currency in place of coins, investment in building large warships and cannon, and land reform. He ceded the throne to his son, Hồ Hán Thương, in 1401 and assumed the title Thái Thượng Hoàng, in similar manner to the Trần kings.

In 1407, under the pretext of helping to restore the Trần Dynasty, Chinese Ming troops invaded Đại Ngu and captured Hồ Quý Ly and Hồ Hán Thương. The Hồ Dynasty came to an end after only 7 years in power. The Ming occupying force annexed Đại Ngu into the Ming Empire after claiming that there was no heir to Trần throne. Almost immediately, Trần loyalists started a resistance war. The resistance, under the leadership of Trần Quĩ at first gained some advances, yet as Trần Quĩ executed two top commanders out of suspicion, a rift widened within his ranks and resulted in his defeat in 1413.

In 1418, a wealthy farmer, Lê Lợi, led the Lam son revolution against the Ming from his base of Lam Sơn (Thanh Hóa province). Overcoming many early setbacks and with strategic advices from Nguyễn Trãi, Lê Lợi’s movement finally gathered momentum, marched northward, and launched a siege at Đông Quan (now Hanoi), the capital of the Ming occupation. The Ming Emperor sent a reinforcement force, but Lê Lợi staged an ambush and killed the Ming commander, Liễu Thăng (Chinese: Liu Sheng), in Chi Lăng. Ming troops at Đông Quan surrendered. The Lam son revolution killed 300,000 Ming soldiers. In 1428, Lê Lợi ascended to the throne and began the Hậu Lê dynasty (Posterior or Later Lê). Lê Lợi renamed the country back to Đại Việt and moved the capital back to Thăng Long.

he Lê Dynasty carried out land reforms to revitalize the economy after the war. Unlike the Lý and Trần kings, who were more influenced by Buddhism, the Lê kings leaned toward Confucianism. A comprehensive set of laws, the Hồng Đức code was introduced with some strong Confucian elements, yet also included some progressive rules, such as the rights of women. Art and architecture during the Lê Dynasty also became more influenced by Chinese styles than during the Lý and Trần Dynasty. The Lê Dynasty commissioned the drawing of national maps and had Ngô Sĩ Liên continue the task of writing Đại Việt’s history up to the time of Lê Lợi. King Lê Thánh Tông opened hospitals and had officials distribute medicines to areas affected with epidemics.

In 1471, Le troops led by king Lê Thánh Tông invaded Champa and captured its capital Vijaya. This event effectively ended Champa as a powerful kingdom, although some smaller surviving Cham kingdoms still lasted for a few centuries more. It initiated the dispersal of the Cham people across Southeast Asia. With the kingdom of Champa mostly destroyed and the Cham people exiled or suppressed, Vietnamese colonization of what is now central Vietnam proceeded without substantial resistance. However, despite becoming greatly outnumbered by Kinh (Việt) settlers and the integration of formerly Cham territory into the Vietnamese nation, the majority of Cham people nevertheless remained in Vietnam and they are now considered one of the key minorities in modern Vietnam. The city of Huế, founded in 1600 lies close to where the Champa capital of Indrapura once stood. In 1479, King Lê Thánh Tông also campaigned against Laos and captured its capital Luang Prabang. He made further incursions westwards into the Irrawaddy River region in modern-day Burma before withdrawing.

Divided period (1528–1802)

The Lê dynasty was overthrown by its general named Mạc Đăng Dung in 1527. He killed the Lê emperor and proclaimed himself emperor, starting the Mạc Dynasty. After defeating many revolutions for two years, Mạc Đăng Dung adopted the Trần Dynasty’s practice and ceded the throne to his son, Mạc Đăng Doanh, who became Thái Thượng Hoàng.

Meanwhile, Nguyễn Kim, a former official in the Lê court, revolted against the Mạc and helped king Lê Trang Tông restore the Lê court in the Thanh Hóa area. Thus a civil war began between the Northern Court (Mạc) and the Southern Court (Restored Lê). Nguyễn Kim’s side controlled the southern part of Đại Việt (from Thanhhoa to the south), leaving the north (including Đông Kinh-Hanoi) under Mạc control. When Nguyễn Kim was assassinated in 1545, military power fell into the hands of his son-in-law, Trịnh Kiểm. In 1558, Nguyễn Kim’s son, Nguyễn Hoàng, suspecting that Trịnh Kiểm might kill him as he had done to his brother to secure power, asked to be governor of the far south provinces around present-day Quảng Bình to Bình Định. Hoang pretended to be insane, so Kiem was fooled into thinking that sending Hoang south was a good move as Hoang would be quickly killed in the lawless border regions. However, Hoang governed the south effectively while Trịnh Kiểm, and then his son Trịnh Tùng, carried on the war against the Mạc. Nguyễn Hoàng sent money and soldiers north to help the war but gradually he became more and more independent, transforming their realm’s economic fortunes by turning it into an international trading post.

The civil war between the Lê/Trịnh and Mạc dynasties ended in 1592, when the army of Trịnh Tùng conquered Hanoi and executed king Mạc Mậu Hợp. Survivors of the Mạc royal family fled to the northern mountains in the province of Cao Bằng and continued to rule there until 1667 when Trịnh Tạc conquered this last Mạc territory. The Lê kings, ever since Nguyễn Kim’s restoration, only acted as figureheads. After the fall of the Mạc Dynasty, all real power in the north belonged to the Trịnh Lords.

In the year 1600, Nguyễn Hoàng also declared himself Lord (officially “Vương”, popularly “Chúa”) and refused to send more money or soldiers to help the Trịnh. He also moved his capital to Phú Xuân, modern-day Huế. Nguyễn Hoàng died in 1613 after having ruled the south for 55 years. He was succeeded by his 6th son, Nguyễn Phúc Nguyên, who likewise refused to acknowledge the power of the Trịnh, yet still pledged allegiance to the Lê king.

Trịnh Tráng succeeded Trịnh Tùng, his father, upon his death in 1623. Tráng ordered Nguyễn Phúc Nguyên to submit to his authority. The order was refused twice. In 1627, Trịnh Tráng sent 150,000 troops southward in an unsuccessful military campaign. The Trịnh were much stronger, with a larger population, economy and army, but they were unable to vanquish the Nguyễn, who had built two defensive stone walls and invested in Portuguese artillery.

The Trịnh-Nguyễn War lasted from 1627 until 1672. The Trịnh army staged at least seven offensives, all of which failed to capture Phú Xuân. For a time, starting in 1651, the Nguyễn themselves went on the offensive and attacked parts of Trịnh territory. However, the Trịnh, under a new leader, Trịnh Tạc, forced the Nguyễn back by 1655. After one last offensive in 1672, Trịnh Tạc agreed to a truce with the Nguyễn Lord Nguyễn Phúc Tần. The country was effectively divided in two.

The Trịnh and the Nguyễn maintained a relative peace for the next hundred years, during which both sides made significant accomplishments. The Trịnh created centralized government offices in charge of state budget and producing currency, unified the weight units into a decimal system, established printing shops to reduce the need to import printed materials from China, opened a military academy, and compiled history books.

Meanwhile, the Nguyễn Lords continued the southward expansion by the conquest of the remaining Cham land. Việt settlers also arrived in the sparsely populated area known as “Water Chenla”, which was the lower Mekong Delta portion of Chenla (present-day Cambodia). Between the mid-17th century to mid-18th century, as Chenla was weakened by internal strife and Siamese invasions, the Nguyễn Lords used various means, political marriage, diplomatic pressure, political and military favors,… to gain the area around present day Saigon and the Mekong Delta. The Nguyễn army at times also clashed with the Siamese army to establish influence over Chenla.

In 1771, the Tây Sơn revolution broke out in Quynhơn, which was under the control of the Nguyễn. The leaders of this revolution were three brothers named Nguyễn Nhạc, Nguyễn Lữ, and Nguyễn Huệ, not related to the Nguyễn lords. By 1776, the Tây Sơn had occupied all of the Nguyễn Lord’s land and killed almost the entire royal family. The surviving prince Nguyễn Phúc Ánh (often called Nguyễn Ánh) fled to Siam, and obtained military support from the Siamese king. Nguyễn Ánh came back with 50000 Siamese troops to regain power, but was defeated at the Battle of Rạch Gầm–Xoài Mút and almost killed. Nguyễn Ánh fled Vietnam, but he did not give up.

The Tây Sơn army commanded by Nguyễn Huệ marched north in 1786 to fight the Trịnh Lord, Trịnh Khải. The Trịnh army failed and Trịnh Khải committed suicide. The Tây Sơn army captured the capital in less than two months. The last Lê emperor, Lê Chiêu Thống, fled to China and petitioned the Chinese Qing Emperor for help. The Qing emperor Qianlong supplied Lê Chiêu Thống with a massive army of around 200,000 troops to regain his throne from the usurper. Nguyễn Huệ proclaimed himself Emperor Quang Trung and defeated the Qing troops with 100,000 men in a surprise 7 day campaign during the lunar new year (Tết). During his reign, Quang Trung envisioned many reforms but died by unknown reason on the way march south in 1792, at the age of 40.

During the reign of Emperor Quang Trung, Đại Việt was actually divided into 3 political entities. The Tây Sơn leader, Nguyễn Nhạc, ruled the centre of the country from his capital Qui Nhơn. Emperor Quang Trung ruled the north from the capital Phú Xuân Huế. In the South, Nguyễn Ánh, assisted by many talented recruits from the South, captured Gia Định (present day Saigon) in 1788 and established a strong base for his force.

After Quang Trung’s death, the Tây Sơn Dynasty became unstable as the remaining brothers fought against each other and against the people who were loyal to Nguyễn Huệ‘s infant son. Nguyễn Ánh sailed north in 1799, capturing Tây Sơn’s stronghold Qui Nhơn. In 1801, his force took Phú Xuân, the Tây Sơn capital. Nguyễn Ánh finally won the war in 1802, when he sieged Thăng Long (Hanoi) and executed Nguyễn Huệ’s son, Nguyễn Quang Toản, along with many Tây Sơn generals and officials. Nguyễn Ánh ascended the throne and called himself Emperor Gia Long. Gia is for Gia Định, the old name of Saigon; Long is for Thăng Long, the old name of Hanoi. Hence Gia Long implied the unification of the country. The Nguyễn dynasty lasted until Bảo Đại‘s abdication in 1945. As China for centuries had referred to Đại Việt as Annam, Gia Long asked the Chinese Qing emperor to rename the country, from Annam to Nam Việt. To prevent any confusion of Gia Long’s kingdom with Triệu Đà‘s ancient kingdom, the Chinese emperor reversed the order of the two words to Việt Nam. The name Vietnam is thus known to be used since Emperor Gia Long’s reign. Recently historians have found that this name had existed in older books in which Vietnamese referred to their country as Vietnam.

The Period of Division with its many tragedies and dramatic historical developments inspired many poets and gave rise to some Vietnamese masterpieces in verse such as the epic poem The Tale of Kieu (Truyện Kiều) by Nguyễn Du, Song of a Soldier’s Wife (Chinh Phụ Ngâm) by Đặng Trần Côn and Đoàn Thị Điểm, and a collection of satirical, erotically charged poems by the female poet Hồ Xuân Hương.

19th century and French colonization

The West‘s exposure in Vietnam and Vietnam’s exposure to Westerners dated back to 166 BC with the arrival of merchants from the Roman Empire, to 1292 with the visit of Marco Polo, and the early 1500s with the arrival of Portuguese and other European traders and missionaries.[citation needed] Alexandre de Rhodes, a French Jesuit priest, improved on earlier work by Portuguese missionaries and developed the Vietnamese romanized alphabet Quốc Ngữ in Dictionarium Annamiticum Lusitanam et Latinum in 1651.

Between 1627 and 1775, two powerful families had partitioned the country: the Nguyễn Lords ruled the South and the Trịnh Lords ruled the North. The Trịnh-Nguyễn War gave European traders the opportunities to support each side with weapons and technology: the Portuguese assisted the Nguyễnin the South while the Dutch helped the Trịnh in the North.

Main articles: Gia Long and Minh Mạng

In 1784, during the conflict between Nguyễn Ánh, the surviving heir of the Nguyễn Lords, and the Tây Sơn Dynasty, a French Catholic Bishop, Pigneaux de Behaine, sailed to France to seek military backing for Nguyễn Ánh. At Louis XVI‘s court, Pigneaux brokered the Little Treaty of Versailles which promised French military aid in return for Vietnamese concessions. The French Revolution broke out and Pigneaux’s plan failed to materialize. Undaunted, Pigneaux went to the French territory of Pondicherry, India. He secured two ships, a regiment of Indian troops, and a handful of volunteers and returned to Vietnam in 1788. One of Pigneaux’s volunteers, Jean-Marie Dayot, reorganized Nguyễn Ánh’s navy along European lines and defeated the Tây Sơn at Qui Nhơn in 1792. A few years later, Nguyễn Ánh’s forces captured Saigon, where Pigneaux died in 1799. Another volunteer, Victor Olivier de Puymanel would later build the Gia Định fort in central Saigon.

After Nguyễn Ánh established the Nguyễn Dynasty in 1802, he tolerated Catholicism and employed some Europeans in his court as advisors. However, he and his successors were conservative Confucians who resisted Westernization. The next Nguyễn emperors, Ming Mạng, Thiệu Trị, and Tự Đức brutally suppressed Catholicism and pursued a ‘closed door’ policy, perceiving the Westerners as a threat, following events such as the Lê Văn Khôi revolt when a French missionary Joseph Marchand encouraged local Catholics to revolt in an attempt to install a Catholic emperor. Tens of thousands of Vietnamese and foreign-born Christians were persecuted and trade with the West slowed during this period. There were frequent uprisings against the Nguyễns, with hundreds of such events being recorded in the annals. These acts were soon being used as excuses for France to invade Vietnam. The early Nguyễn Dynasty had engaged in many of the constructive activities of its predecessors, building roads, digging canals, issuing a legal code, holding examinations, sponsoring care facilities for the sick, compiling maps and history books, and exerting influence over Cambodia and Laos. However, those feats were not enough of an improvement in the new age of science, technology, industrialization, and international trade and politics, especially when faced with technologically superior European forces exerting strong influence over the region. The Nguyễn Dynasty is usually blamed for failing to modernize the country in time to prevent French colonization in the late 19th century.

the end @ copyright Dr Iwan suwandy 2011



Goal of 625 Posts Completed.Congratulation!


Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you. — Marsha Norman


the structure of Sukhothai architecture which is the same as Siamese temple and royal palace even Siamese traditional house.
Sukhothai begin 1238-1583
Sukhothai temple

Siamese Thai house

Siamese can pass their culture and wisdom to their offspring although that stone structure left only pole

The Varman dynasty was abolished by a slave revolt
The Varman and their people, the ancient Khmer, were referred to by the local people (mostly slaves) at Angkor back then as Siamese.
When the local people were successful in killing/expelling the Siamese off Angkor they re-named the city as Siamreap, meaning Extinction of Siamese.
The Varman relatives fled Angkor to establish Sri Ayodhaya, which later became the capital of the kingdom of Siam.

I will try to support the proposed theories with evidences, reasons, historical contexts as well as common senses.

1) The Varman dynasty had been ruling the magnificent Angkor Empire for around 500 years (since around 900 AD.) but it had disappeared abruptly in 1336 AD.

2) The new king after that was “Trosok Pream” which in Cambodian means “sweet melon.” The traditional suffix “Varman” has never appeared in Cambodian kings’ names again ever since.

3) A most accepted theory for the disappearance of Angkor has been that of its sacking by the invading Siamese Army. Little is known that the spiritual destruction of Angkor had preceded its physical destruction long before that — and it began in 1336 AD. , the year of the killing field in a sweet melon plantation. This article will propose a new theory and will propose further that Cambodians are not the same group of people as the ancient Khmer who built Angkor.

4) According to the first Chronicle of Cambodia, authored by one of the greatest kings of Cambodia “Nak-Ang-Eng” or Narairacha III (around 1800 AD) –purely Cambodian in his conduct –without as yet any influence of France–Cambodia’s ancestors are this King Sweet-Melon and his son named Nippean-bot.

5) King Sweet-Melon, according to the Chronicle, was formerly a farmer in the royal palace. He grew such a sweet melon that the king gave him a sacred spear in order to fend off thieves who might come to steal the precious melon. One night, the king had been so craving for the melon that he walked onto the melon field to pick one for himself. Mr. Sweet-melon mistook the king for a thief and speared him to death. After that, he took the princess as his wife and ascended the throne.

6) Later Chronicles that were influenced by the ruling French Colony had extended the Cambodian origin up to that of the Varman itself, the Varman whom the Cambodian legendary forefather had erased from the face of Angkor’s history. The extensions were of interest to the French colonialism which was expanding to take more and more territory from Siam, by claiming that these lands were historically linked to the Khmer-Varman empire.

7) Meanwhile sometime later than 1336 AD. at SriAyodhya, along the rim of the Chaophraya river in nowadays Thailand, King U-thong had been busying building his capital from scratches. This city would later become one of the greatest cities on earth, superseding Angkor and even Paris and London, at least in terms of numbers of population.

8) There had been numerous theories proposing the origin of this legendary King of nowadays Thailand. Among others are: He was a son of a Chinese Emperor, He was a rich Chinese merchant from Petchaburi province (Van Vlit’s Chronicles), He was a son of a king from ChiangSaen, A Sultan from Malaya, etc. In this article I am proposing yet another theory that: He was the leader of the Siamese people who were fleeing the “killing field” at Angkor. The killing field ensued from a revolt by the slaves who formed a huge majority at Angkor. And the leader of the slaves was Trosok Pream.

9) The city of Angkor has long been referred to by the Cambodians as “Seamreab”, meaning “annihilation of the Siamese people”. (Seam = siam, reab = flat, no more in existence) This insult ironically and indirectly becomes a strong evidence that the Siamese must have once heavily populated Angkor. ..they were killed and/or expelled away by the dominant slaves in 1336 AD., led by King Sweet Melon, in accordance with the 1st Cambodian Chronicle.

10) According to the record of the now-famous Zhou Da Guan, a China’s commercial envoy member, in 1296 AD., only 40 year before the killing field incident, the city of Angkor was dominated by “slaves”. ……“Most families have more than 100 slaves, some have 20, only the poorest families have none” , he wrote. It is not hard to estimate then that, out of about 1 million population of Angkor, 7 out of 10 were slaves. The rest of them were the King and his royal families, nobles, officials and their families, soldiers and their families, priests, Chinese merchants.

11) SriAyodhya was completed in 1350 AD., 14 years after the killing field incident. This was a very reasonable time span to build a city to accommodate around 2-300 thousand population. (This number was estimated by numerous scholars from various historical evidences and in my opinion is credible on historical contexts, for example in 1352 AD., only 2 years afterward, U-thong invaded Angkor; he must have had a large population base to form his army to fight the huge Cambodian army back then.)

12) The most relevant question to be asked is that: where did these 2-300 thousands come from? The most popular theory which held that they migrated from the nearby city of U-thong has now proved to be flawed since the city had been voided 2-300 hundred years before that. Even if so, U-thong city would have been too small to accommodate 300,000 population. In fact there was no other cities in the vicinity of 300 kilometers of SriAyodhya to have such number of population, except Angkor.

13) Zhou Da Guan writes further that the local people speak a “different language” from those of officials and scholars; …their skins are very dark but you can find people whose skins are as white as jade among the nobles; …they don’t know how to produce silk; ..nor do they know how to stitch and darn with a needle and thread.

14) Let’s pause and think — How could the majority of people who did not know how to weave elaborated clothing with a loom, did not know how to stitch and darn with a needle and thread, would know how to dig, move and carve immense stones to erect the magnificent Angkor? The only logical answer is that the stone temple of Angkor was designed and managed by another tribe of people who held more advanced technology. And within the vicinity around Angkor there were only the Chamese and the Siamese.

15) Given that the Chamese were traditional enemy and that Angkor Wat, Bapuan, Bayon were built in the same style as Phimai castle in Phimai which was completed some 50 years before Angkor. I am now proposing a new theory that: the people who conceived, designed and managed all the building of the stone temples of Angkor was the Siamese from Phimai (who had been blamed by most western scholars as, ironically, the one who demolished the greatness of Angkor.)

16) But these Siamese then were not totally the same people as the present day Thai. In fact they were referred to by the northern Thais as Khom. But apparently the Cambodian people of Ankor back then called them by the name of Siam (pronounced as seam in single syllable).

17) Zhou Da Guan, continued on his record: “The Siamese women did know how to weave silk with loom as well as stitch and darn with a needle. They brought silk worms and mulberry trees from the land of Siam.”

18) The Siamese had not been well known to be keen on mercantilism . But why did they appear at Angkor in such a number, so many so that Zhou had noticed their weaving ability? The answer is perhaps that they went there to accompany their families who were the ruling elites of Angkor, officials, scholars, soldiers and perhaps even some merchants. Some of them were also ‘as white as jade’ since the Siamese, then as is now, were of mixed races.

19) The connections of the ruling elites at Angkor and the Siamese are numerous, indicating that Lopburi, Pimai and Angkor were related not only by interests but also by blood. To mention just a few:

19.1 Suryavarman I is believed to be a Buddhist . Where did he get Buddhism idea from, other than Phimai? His origin was unknown either. But he had fought hard in battle for some years for the throne. It is very possible that Phimai, a predominantly Buddhist culture, sent an armed forces to establish him as a buddhist king? That was why he built Phimai castle at Pimai, not at Angkor.

19.2 Chayavarman VI is now widely accepted as coming from the Korat plateau’s city of Pimai. He built a 220 kilometer super-highway which linked Pimai and Angkor. He also finished the building of Pimai stone temple which was initiated by S-I.

19.3 Most important thing in connection with C-6 is that he claimed to have descended from his mythical father named “Kambhu Svayambhuva” and a mother named “Mera.” These two words, one was his first name and the second was his second name, had perhaps been transformed into two of the most confusing words, namely, those of Kambhuja and Syam (Siam)

19.4 Svayambhuva, was in fact another name for Bhraman. Morever this name had appeared in Pallava, Sanskrit, Pali -stone inscriptions all over the “Land Zhenla” area from wat Pu to Ubonrajatani to Srithep since about the 6th AD. I am thus inclined to believe that C-6 had ascended the throne with the help of Pimai’s army. Phimai troops must have remained in Angkor for a long time to assure stability, so much so that families members from Pimai came to accompany them, bringing silk weaving technology along with them (Pimai has been famous for her supreme silk weaving technology even nowadays.) To accommodate the extreme hardship of family migrations then C-6 ordered the building of the super-highway. The Pimai soldiers and their families were then honorably referred to by the local people as the “Swayam” (descendants of Swayambhuva) which later shortened to “Syam” and later as “Seam” to suit the tongues of the local Cambodians.

19.5 Some analyst even conclude that C-6 spent most of his time at Pimai, not at Angkor.

19.6 Suryavarman II is believed to have come from Lopburi. His name and suffix “II” indicates some relations to S-I, hence Phimai. The fact that he is the only Varman king to worship Vishnu rather than Shiva is still a puzzle to historians. IMO this, too, could be linked to the influence of Lopburi’s and Phimai’s Buddhism. S-I had testified before him that Buddhism would not work out well in the predominantly hindu society, so S-II learned from S-I’s mistakes and employed a new subtle tactic. One should realize that the Buddha was also believed by the Hindu to be the 9th reincarnation of Vishnu. So by adopting Vishnu S-II could win over the minds of both beliefs and that was what making him one of Angkor’s greatest kings, second perhaps only to Chayavarman VII.

20) Here comes accounts of the greatest king of them all—Chayavarman VII. Inscriptions about his origin were vague. Some speculated that he spent his early life in Champa; but I beg to be different for I think that he was from Pimai. The evidences for this are numerous, mostly contextual:

20.1He came from nowhere to expel away the Cham invaders who had occupied Angkor for 4 years. Had he come from Champa, where would he recruit his huge army to recapture Angkor in 4 years?; from the Cham itself?

20.2Only logical answer is : he came from Pimai. As in the case of C-6, Pimai , again, helped him to expel Champa , most likely with support from Lopburi, as is evident by the bas relief on Angkor walls, depicting Lopburi and “Syam Kuk” soldiers side by side.

20.3Do not forget also that C6, S2 and C7 are linked by blood through the Mahendhrapura dynasty and that the founder is C6 who was from Phimai.

20.4 C-7 became a most devout Buddhist. Whose influence was that?, Champa? No way. Because Champa’s culture back then was dominantly hinduistic with some initial Islamic influences. It was impossible for C-7 to have been nurtured in such environments and later became a devout Buddhist.

20.5 After his ascent to greatness, he rewarded Phimai with a renovation of the super-highway, several hundreds of mini-hospitals and rest areas (arokaya-sala) were erected along the highway. His stone monuments were found deep under grounds, not surprisingly in both Angkor and Pimai. These renovations were to facilitate more migration of the Svayamese from Pimai to reunite with their relatives (soldiers, officers, nobles) in Angkor.

20.6 All of the mentioned evidences point to the fact that C-7 was from Pimai. He was also a grand son of the great forefather “Svayam”.

21) One of the most amazing thing that have been hitherto looked over is that the Cambodian people today still count their numbers the same way as recorded by Zhou Da Guan: They count only to 5. For 6 they pronounce it as 5-1, 7 as 5-2 and so on. Counting system and its pronunciation, in my opinion, is the strongest evidence of a cultural linkage. The fact that the ancient Varman and the U-thong people of Ayodhaya used the same counting system and the alphabets from 1-10 were exactly the same, based on a base 10 numerals, at least confirms that they were of different tribes from the Cambodian.

22) The Dhevaraja (God-King) concept is the most prominent feature of the Varman dynasty. King Sweet-Melon , being ascended from a slave class by killing off the Varman, certainly wouldn’t dare claim to be one of such a highly prestigious origin. Turning a crisis into an opportunity, he established himself as a new truly Cambodian king who is “in touch” with the people. That was why he was highly regarded as the legendary forefather of the Cambodia race, as later chronicled by King Nag-Ong-Eng.

23) The dhevaraja traditions, however, had been long rooted in Khmer culture and should not be as easily abolished by a mere spearing of a Varman king. Its seed had been brought to and sprouted again at SriAyodhya. The royal name for King U-Thong is “Rama-I” who was “King of Ayodhya”. According to the Ramayana Epic of India, Rama was none other than the 8th reincarnation of Vishnu, a mythical king of a mythical heavenly city named Ayodhya.

24) Raja-supth (The royal language) is required for any Thai to address their King. This tradition has not been changed much since the time of early SriAyodhya. The language is very refined: mostly a mixture of Sanskrit and Khom (ancient Khmer ). This is another strong evidence that king U-Thong was from Angkor. He was a Khom (ancient khmer), what other languages would we expect him to speak to his people? So he spoke Khom to them. Later, the language was used by the court as the sacred language of the dhevaraja; this was a good strategy in governing the kingdom.

25) Early SriAyudhya literatures had been recorded with a mixture of Thai, Khom, Pali, Sanskrit. These are evident in the books of “Ong-karn-Chaeng-Nam” and the “Li-lit-yuan-paii”, for examples. These are additional evidences that the early Ayodhayians were originally from Angkor but later mixed with the affluence of the Thai- (and mon-, and laos-) speaking people and transform into the present-day Thai people.

26) The first Westerner to discover the ruin of Angkor were not the French, but the Portuguese, in around 1600 AD. They recorded that the local people testified that Angkor had been built by foreigners and the Portuguese concluded that these foreigners were the ones who built SriAyodhya.

27) The naming of the various Prasats at Angkor are very interesting for they are very Siamese; signifying that the kings who named them must have had strong links with the Siamese or perhaps the Siamese themselves.

1 First of all Angkor Wat: Angkor is a variation of Nakara in Sanskrit but Wat is simply “temple” in Siamese. Angkor Wat is then “temple city.”
2 Angkor Thom: most scholars translate Thom as ‘big’; but I think Thom here is rather a variation of Tham, a siamese rendition of Dhamma in Pali. So Angkor Thom is really “the city of Dhamma.” It is unthinkable that a Dhammic king like C-7 who built such a magnificent city would have named his city by a ‘little’ name such as ‘big city.” Moreover, the spelling of Thom is also exactly the same spelling of Tham in Pali. (note that only the Siamese used Pali.)
3 NeakPean (NakPan in Siamese) : It means “coiled by Naka (a mythical snake)” The shortening of Sanskrit words such as Naka into “Nak” was a typical Siamese style founded all over in their language. (Raja= Raj, Rama=Ram, Kasatriya=Kasat, Parama= Borom, etc.)
4 PhimeanAkas: (PimanAkas in Siamese ) the word Piman was a pali rendition of Vimana in Sanskrit. Akas was also a shortening of a formerly longer word (perhaps Akasa : thin air, heaven ). The change of V in Sanskrit to P was also unique in Siamese—a Pali influence.
5 Prea….. (Phra… in Siamese): Here again the word Phra is uniquely very Siamese: a prefix for something sacred. This was a Siamese rendition of Vra in Sanskrit. There are so many prasarts beginning with Phra such as PreaKand, PreaPalilay, PreaRup – some are understood readily in Siamese.
6 Ta…(Ancestor, or Eye) : such as TaProm, TaKeaw
7 PakSiJamKrong: (Bird in cage) : Paksi is bird in Sanskrit but JamKrong is Siamese.
8 TepPanom (Respecting Angel): very Siamese, especially Tep is a siamese rendition of Teva in Sanskrit. Here we have both the shortening style and the P in place of V style.
9 ChauSayTevada (Linage of angel): all Siamese
10 Even Bayon might be related since Ba is Learned One in Isan-siamese and Yon is Looking. So Bayon could mean LearnedOne Looking. LearnedOne here is the Buddha whose 216 giant stone faces are Looking all over.
11 Most names of the prasarts at Angkor wat and Angkor thom are very related to Siamese language. Only a few are not readily discernable; like panom-bakeng, Thomanon.

There are still several more evidences in recorded history, contexts, archaeological artifacts, arts, cultures, languages as well as plain common senses to help us to conclude that the ancient Khmer people who built the great Angkor stone temples are not of the same tribe as the present day Cambodians (2011 AD). Quite to the opposite, these mysterious group of people were evidently exterminated by the revolting slaves who formed the majority in Angkor population by a margin of 7:3. I am certain that there would be many more evidences to support my proposed theory coming forth in the future as our minds are no longer blocked by a curtain of pre-conception.

I am also well aware that it is difficult to accept this new theory about Angkor’s past because the French scholastic machine, sponsored by her colonial wealth, had planted quite a strong scholastic root that already grew so deep.

As to the Cambodian people I do not mean to insult their pride; but historical facts sometimes are hard to swallow. We should learn from it constructively in order to not repeating its past cruelty in our present time.

bangkok nakhom pnthom

, there are ancient destinations too proximate and too grand to ignore, such as Nakhom Pathom, which is merely 56 kilometers west of Bangkok or an hour away by bus. this oldest city in Thailand is an opportunity to get amazed by the 127-meter Phra Pathom Chedi, the world’s tallest Buddhist monument.

The comparative of  Khmer architecture and culture
 Khmer Angkor with Siamese

Siamese architecture

Your Apsara

Simese Thai

Your god’s face

Sukhothai Buddha face

See the different?

Khmer is Siam’s territory for many hundred year it ‘s Siam to teach your siamese culture after Angkor fall.


is another worthy catch.Only 80 kilometers north or two hours away by bus, a day stroll along the ruins of this golden city can give you glimpse of how illustrious this city once was. For over 400 years, it was once the country’s capital, starting in 1351 when King Ramathibodi I founded the kingdom of Ayutthaya in an island in the middle of Chao Phraya, and ending in 1767 when it was sacked by the Burmese.

At the zenith of its glory days, Ayutthaya was the most fabulous city in the orient. A series of magnificent palaces, gilded Buddhist temples and pagodas, and towering Buddha statues were placed all over the kingdom. Hundreds of thousands of people lived and worshipped within its protected sphere. After more than 200 years since it was abandoned, and after its structures were exposed to unforgiving elements of nature and endless pillaging of dastardly humans, the ruins of these great artistic and engineering feats are now the only mute witnesses to remind humanity that there once was, in the early dawn of civilization, a kingdom so strong and powerful, and a community of rulers and people so devoted to a faith.

In Ayutthaya, you must visit Wat Maha That (Temple of the Great Relic) built between 1374 and 1395. It has a sitting Buddha with his hands in the bhumisparsha, or “calling the earth to witness” position. Wat Thammikkarat (Temple of the Pious Monarch) and its stone lions; Wat Rarburana (Temple of the Royal Restoration); the huge reclining buddha of the Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon (Temple of the Great Victory); the three stupas of Wat Phra Si Sanphet, where remains of King Ramathibodhi II and some of his family members are interred; and the large Buddha statue of Wat Monkhon Bophit (Tempple of Auspicious Kings)

The Kingdom of Siam in Ayutthaya, which gave troubled Chiang Mai
for centuries, was eventually destroyed by the Burmese

The history of Chiang Mai can be traced back to 1296, when King Mangrai established his new capital there. It was in fact the third time he built a capital, having founded Chiang Rai and Wiang Kum Kam in 1262 and 1288 respectively.

The choice of site for Chiang Mai was not done by chance. The king delved into geomancy and mysticism to find the most auspicious site. Before selecting where to place his capital, he spent many nights camped out in the fields “seeking a dream”. The place was inhabited by the Lawa tribe. One day, he saw two hog-deer confronting a pack of hunting dogs (or in some documents, wolves). The shamans from the Lawa tribe told him to take that as an auspicious sign. With that in consideration, King Mangrai decided upon the location of his new capital. The site in question is said to be somewhere around present-day Wat Chiang Man.

To plan out his capital, King Mangrai roped in his pals, King Ramkamhaeng of Sukhothai and King Ngam Muang of Phayao, with whom he had formed alliances. They advised him on the dimension he should built, but Mangrai wanted it on a grander scale. Eventually he settled upon a rectangular fortress city measuring 1000 wa by 400 wa, which corresponds to 2000 meters by 800 meters. This measurement, as chronicled in historical records, bears no resemblence to the medieval walls of Chiang Mai, which measures 1800 meters by 2000 meters. So far, there is no explanation available for the glaring difference.

The site chosen for Chiang Mai is deemed to be auspicious for many reasons, some of which related to water supply. The Ping river was to the east, allowing for ease of transportation, drainage and irrigation. The hills to the west are regarded as sacred and believed to be the dwelling of the Amithaba Buddha. Today there are a few forest wats here.

The city itself was planned to align almost exactly to the cardinal directions, albeit slightly off. In this regard, it follows the layout similar to that of Angkor Thom, which was built by King Jayavarman VII in 1811. The positioning of the royal palace in the northern part of the city also followed that of Angkor Thom while the placement of lak muang, or city pillar, at the centre of Chiang Mai, to represent Mount Meru, the centre of the universe, also had a precedent in Angkor Thom, where the temple of Bayon, also representing Mount Meru, is sited at the very heart of Angkor Thom.

With Chiang Mai as his capital, King Mangrai ruled over a kingdom known as Lanna, which translates variously as “a thousand rice fields”, “ten thousand rice fields”, and “a million rice fields”. By 1298, the year King Ramkamhaeng of Sukhothai died, the Lanna Kingdom had included Lampang, Lamphun, Tak, Pai Valley in the west, Muang Nai, Keng Tung and Jing Hong. With the death of King Ramkamhaeng, Sukhothai went into decline, and before long, the town of Phayao, previously controlled by Sukhothai, passed to Lanna.

King Mangrai died suddenly in 1317, causing a succession dispute for his throne. His second son, Prince Chai Songkhram, ascended the throne briefly. Then he went into retirement in Chiang Rai, and passed the throne to his son, Prince Saen Phu, in 1318. King Mangrai’s youngest son wanted the throne for himself. When his father died, he was a ruler of Muang Nai. Now he returned and seized the throne from his nephew, forcing King Saen Phu to join his father in retirement in Chiang Rai. The usurper ruled for three years before being ousted by King Saen Phu’s brother, Prince Nam Thuam. King Saen Phu then returned to rule for another decade, until he died in 1334.

Succeeding King Saen Phu was his son Prince Kham Fu, who ruled for only three years before he too died, and passed the throne to his son, Pha Yu. King Pha Yu moved the capital to Chiang Rai, where it stayed for just about three years, before being moved back to Chiang Mai, this time for good.

The founding of the Kingdom of Siam in 1347 spelled trouble for Chiang Mai. This new and aggressive kingdom, with its capital in Ayutthaya wasted no time in acquire new land. Within a few short years, most of the Malay peninsula was under its rule. In 1349, Sukhothai became a vassal state to Ayutthaya, and was formally annexed in 1438. From 1380s onwards, Chiang Mai was suffering from repeated attacks from the Siamese. And as if one was not enough, along came confrontation from Burma as well. Despite the political headache, Chiang Mai continued to prosper during that time.

The Lanna Kingdom reached its cultural golden age when King Tilokaraj ascended the throne in 1441. He managed to push back Siamese forces, capturing Nan in 1449, Si Satchanalai in 1459 and Sukhothai in 1461. With this mighty show of force, King Tilokaraj managed to hold back Ayutthaya aggression for the following three decades.

Within a few years of King Tilokaraj’s death in 1487, Chiang Mai was back on the battlefield with Siam. This time, Ayutthaya pushed north as far as Lampang. However, the aggressiveness of Siam soon proved disastrous, not only for Chiang Mai, but for Ayutthaya itself. At that time, the southern Burmese Kingdom of Pegu (present-day Bago) was growing powerful. When Ayutthaya challenge it, Pegu responded forcefully. And Chiang Mai found itself caught in the middle.

Another round of succession dispute again weakened Chiang Mai. It began in 1538 when King Chettarat was deposed by his son. He got back the throne in 1543, only to be assassinated two years later. To fill the power vacuum, Prince Setthathirat of Luang Prabang was invited over to be king. He reigned for just two year when the death of his father compelled him to return to Luang Prabang, plunging Chiang Mai into a civil war. When the Burmese decided to attack, Chiang Mai was in no position to fend for itself. By 1558, Chiang Mai as well as the whole of Lanna was under Burmese suzerainty. Being under Burmese occupation was no bed of roses, for the Burmese used Chiang Mai as the base to attack Ayutthaya.

In 1578, the Mangrai dynasty came to an end with the death of Princess Wishutthithewi. The Burmese king installed his son on the Chiang Mai throne. In 1598, it was captured by Ayutthaya, but when Chiang Rai launched a rebellion against the Burmese, Burma sent an offensive that captured not only Chiang Rai, but Chiang Mai as well. This time Burmese aggression moved south towards Ayutthaya. In 1767, under the powerful King Alaungpaya, the Burmese ransacked Ayutthaya, burning it to the ground.

The Siamese fled Ayutthaya and regrouped downriver, in Thonburi, and then, having stabilized their position, started building their new capital in Bangkok. Under King Rama I, the Siamese launched a counterattack on Burma, defeating them in 1774 in Lampang. Siamese offensive continued northwards, capturing Chiang Mai in 1776 and Chiang Rai in 1786. Chiang Saen was the last Lanna city to fall under the Siamese, in 1804. No independence came to Lanna; just as the Burmese were thrown out, they were replaced by the Siamese. After all those years of warfare, Chiang Mai had become nothing more than a broken down city. The Siamese installed Prince Chao Kawila of Lampang as the ruler of Chiang Mai. To expedite the city’s recovery, Chao Kawila raided nearby villages and forced their population to resettle in Chiang Mai. So through forced resettlement, the towns of Lanna Kingdom were given a new lease of life, Chiang Mai in 1796,

The Kingdom of Siam,

 The Art of Central Thailand,

1350 – 1800

The Kingdom of Siam: The Art of Central Thailand, 1350–1800 is the world’s first major exhibition of art from Thailand’s lost kingdom of Ayutthaya, which outlived China’s Ming dynasty and shone with similar brilliance.

The exhibition, featuring rare artworks borrowed from collections in Thailand, Europe, and the United States, showcases the superb but little known arts of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya—one of the largest and most important kingdoms in Southeast Asia. The art works—many on view for the first time in the West—include stone and bronze Buddha images, sculptures of Hindu deities, figural and decorative wood carvings, temple furnishings, illuminated manuscripts, jewelry and textiles. Among the highlights are gold ceremonial objects from a temple crypt sealed in 1424; a full-sized temple pediment; and sections of royally-commissioned temple doors with inlaid mother of pearl. .

While nearly all aspects of the art of culture of China, Japan, and India have been extensively studied, notably less research currently exists on the cultural contributions of Southeast Asia.

The kingdom of Ayutthaya, founded in 1351,

flourished for more than 400 years—longer than China’s Ming dynasty. It was a major trading center with diplomatic ties with China, Japan, Persia, the Ryukyu kingdom (Okinawa), and, from the 17th century on, with Great Britain, France, Holland, and Portugal. In contrast to neighboring kingdoms, including perpetual rival Burma, Ayutthaya was cosmopolitan and outward–looking. The 1600s and early 1700s were a period of great prosperity and cultural accomplishment for the kingdom.


Despite its strengths, increasing pressures from Burma eventually weakened the kingdom, and it was devastated by a Burmese invasion in 1767. As a result, many of Ayutthaya artifacts, especially those made of fragile materials, were destroyed.

The Kingdom of Siam will provide  audiences with the unique opportunity to see some of the finest surviving works.

‘Kingdom of Siam’ reveals a culture absorbed with Buddha’s path to perfection


  • Metal head is one of several representing the Buddha?s previous lives. Photo courtesy of the Asian Art Museum
    Metal head is one of several representing the Buddha?s previous lives. Photo courtesy of the Asian Art Museum

Recent events give added immediacy to several objects in “The Kingdom of Siam: the Art of Central Thailand, 1350-1800″

A 16th century

 copper Buddha stands with both hands raised waist high, palms forward, in a symbolic gesture or mudra known as “restraining the ocean. ” It evokes the legend that the Buddha Shakyamuni once turned back encroaching flood waters by spiritual force alone.

Alas, no such gesture, or anything else, availed against the tsunami that hit South Asia in December, claiming an estimated 8,000 lives in Thailand. That knowledge may enable us who felt none of the tsunami’s direct effects to connect with this show of relics — the first of its kind — from a distant and long-gone culture

The Kingdom of Siam

The Kingdom of Siam: The Art of Central Thailand, 1350–1800 and its accompanying catalogue will make an important contribution to the body of knowledge in the field of Southeast Asian art—especially the crucial period of 1400 to 1800.














  19.  Hermit, from a set of figures representing the Buddha in his previous lives, probably 1458; copper alloy with traces of gilding.  Click here for description under Wat Phra Si Sanphet.
  20.  Head of a brahman, from a set of figures representing the Buddha in his previous lives, probably 1458; bronzeThe significance of the four incised horizontal lines on the forehead of this object is uncertain. In India, worshipers of Shiva sometimes paint three horizontal lines on their foreheads, but it is not known if a reference to this tradition is intended here.A brahman is a member of the priestly caste of India. The Buddha took many forms in his previous lives, including that of a brahman. National Museum, Bangkok,
  21.  Crowned head, from a set of figures representing the Buddha in his previous lives, probably 1458; copper alloyChao Sam Phraya National Museum, Ayutthaya, 11/06
  22.  Crowned head, from a set of figures representing the Buddha in his previous lives, probably 1458; copper alloyThe meaning of the half-circular motif on the forehead of this figure is not known.Chao Sam Phraya National Museum, Ayutthaya,
  23. Crowned head, from a set of figures representing the Buddha in his previous lives, probably 1458; copper alloyChao Sam Phraya National Museum, Ayutthaya,
  24.  Crowned head, from a set of figures representing the Buddha in his previous lives, probably 1458; copper alloyClick here for description under Wat Phra Si Sanphet.
  6.  Seated Buddha, approx. 1400–1450; wood with traces of lacquer and gildingThis sculpture, carved from a single piece of wood, is one of the most elaborate and complete wooden sculptures surviving from early Ayutthaya.An unusual feature is the pair of parrot-like birds at the sides of the arch. No other examples of Buddha images from Thailand with a pair of birds positioned in this way are known, and in fact birds are seldom associated with Buddha images.  Rather similar pairs of birds do, however, appear in a few other contexts, such as on a ceramic roof ornament from Sukhothai, and a mural painting in the crypt of Wat Ratchaburana. Given the extreme rarity of pairs of birds being shown on the arch over the head of a Buddha image, it is startling to note their appearance on the U-shaped arch of a Buddha image from Sri Lanka found in the crypt of Wat Ratchaburana.  It appears that the pair of birds (together, perhaps, with the U-shaped arch) are another of the motifs adopted in Ayutthaya from Sri Lanka. (See the discussion in M. L. Pattaratorn’s catalog essay of the likely presence in Ayutthaya in about 1424 of Sri Lankan, Thai, and Cambodian Buddhist monks who had recently arrived from Sri Lanka.)   But few other Sri Lankan sculptures seem to have such birds, so their parentage is not easy to trace. The ultimate source must be the art of the ancient Buddhist kingdom of Gandhara in today’s Pakistan.



Artistic styles in Ayutthaya were a complex mix. The images below suggest the range of styles and geographically distributed influences shaping the arts of Ayutthaya.

19 20 21 22 23 24

19. through 24. Images of the Buddha-to-be in his previous lives  (see below for individual descriptions)

The stories of the five hundred or more previous lives of the Buddha to- be – the jatakas – were well known and important in much of the Buddhist world. In 1458 Ayutthaya’s King Borommatrailokkanat (Supreme Lord of the Three Worlds) commissioned a set of bronze figures to represent them, showing the Buddha-to-be in such guises as a hermit, a prince, or a deer. What strikes the eye immediately is how varied in style they are. Three representative crowned heads, cat. nos. 21, 22, and 24, are so different in their modeling, their proportions, and the treatment of their crowns, that it may be difficult to imagine their being made for the same project. It nevertheless seems likely that they were.

The best explanation seems to be that casting five hundred or more bronze figures was a big task, and must have been divided among workshops in various cities of the kingdom. If this is the case, no so-called national style had developed (as used to be suggested) in Siam in the mid-fifteenth century, and various regional traditions continued strong. Some work shops would have worked in styles recalling those of Angkor (nos. 23 and 24), and others in styles recalling those of Sukhothai (no. 22). This variation in styles must not have been unacceptable to the king.

The king’s motivation probably had to do with the arrival of the year 2000 of the Buddhist era. Old prophecies suggested that humankind’s understanding of the Buddha’s teachings would decay over time, and the arrival of a millennial anniversary would bring further grievous losses. A great Buddhist king would take steps to halt or reverse the decay by building temples, supporting the monkhood, commissioning didactic artworks such as the jataka statues, and perhaps even entering the monkhood himself – all of which Borommatrailokkanat is said to have done. 1 Several whole figures and more than thirty heads almost surely from the king’s jataka set have survived. 2 One figure and five heads are included in the exhibition.

1 The history of Borommatrailokkanat’s period, his possible motivations, the significance of the jatakas in Ayutthaya, and the sculptures representing them are discussed at lengthin McGill, “Jatakas, Universal Monarchs.”

2 In addition to the article mentioned in note 1, see Woodward, Sacred Sculpture

  19.  Hermit, from a set of figures representing the Buddha in his previous lives, probably 1458; copper alloy with traces of gilding.  Click here for description under Wat Phra Si Sanphet.
  20.  Head of a brahman, from a set of figures representing the Buddha in his previous lives, probably 1458; bronzeThe significance of the four incised horizontal lines on the forehead of this object is uncertain. In India, worshipers of Shiva sometimes paint three horizontal lines on their foreheads, but it is not known if a reference to this tradition is intended here.A brahman is a member of the priestly caste of India. The Buddha took many forms in his previous lives, including that of a brahman. National Museum, Bangkok,
  21.  Crowned head, from a set of figures representing the Buddha in his previous lives, probably 1458; copper alloyChao Sam Phraya National Museum, Ayutthaya, 11/06
  22.  Crowned head, from a set of figures representing the Buddha in his previous lives, probably 1458; copper alloyThe meaning of the half-circular motif on the forehead of this figure is not known.Chao Sam Phraya National Museum, Ayutthaya,
  23. Crowned head, from a set of figures representing the Buddha in his previous lives, probably 1458; copper alloyChao Sam Phraya National Museum, Ayutthaya,


  24.  Crowned head, from a set of figures representing the Buddha in his previous lives, probably 1458; copper alloyClick here for description under Wat Phra Si Sanphet.
  6.  Seated Buddha, approx. 1400–1450; wood with traces of lacquer and gildingThis sculpture, carved from a single piece of wood, is one of the most elaborate and complete wooden sculptures surviving from early Ayutthaya.An unusual feature is the pair of parrot-like birds at the sides of the arch. No other examples of Buddha images from Thailand with a pair of birds positioned in this way are known, and in fact birds are seldom associated with Buddha images.  Rather similar pairs of birds do, however, appear in a few other contexts, such as on a ceramic roof ornament from Sukhothai, and a mural painting in the crypt of Wat Ratchaburana. Given the extreme rarity of pairs of birds being shown on the arch over the head of a Buddha image, it is startling to note their appearance on the U-shaped arch of a Buddha image from Sri Lanka found in the crypt of Wat Ratchaburana.  It appears that the pair of birds (together, perhaps, with the U-shaped arch) are another of the motifs adopted in Ayutthaya from Sri Lanka. (See the discussion in M. L. Pattaratorn’s catalog essay of the likely presence in Ayutthaya in about 1424 of Sri Lankan, Thai, and Cambodian Buddhist monks who had recently arrived from Sri Lanka.)   But few other Sri Lankan sculptures seem to have such birds, so their parentage is not easy to trace. The ultimate source must be the art of the ancient Buddhist kingdom of Gandhara in today’s Pakistan. National Museum, Bangkok

The Buddha itself relates to other early Ayutthaya Buddha images of the oval-faced type such as cat. nos. 4 and 5 and fig. 117. 1 Its surrounding, a U-shaped arch above which rises a tree with symmetrically down-curving branches, recalls that of votive tablets like those found in the 1424 crypt of Wat Ratchaburana. 2 Cat. no. 10 is a similar example, although it may not be not from that location.

Some of the decorative motifs of this sculpture, such as the row of rosettes with bars in the base and the triangular pendants below the capitals of the pilasters on either side of the Buddha have been discussed by Dr. Santi in the context of the evolution of such motifs in the early Ayutthaya period. 3

1 See Woodward, Sacred Sculpture, 176–177.

2 See also Phraphuttharup lae phraphim, figs. 278, 279, 284, 294, 299, 306, 357.

3 Santi, Early Ayudhya Period, figs. 125, 282.


  7.  Head of a Buddha image, approx. 1400–1450; copper alloyThis head, with its sense of gravity and meditative repose, embodies many of the ideals of Ayutthaya’s early sculpture. It would have been part of an image approximately like no. 5 on the Wat Rachaburana page.. As postulated by Hiram Woodward, generally similar images were made simultaneously in two modes. 1 One mode hearkened back to the Cambodian-related traditions of Lopburi and had a rather square face and straight hairline; the other, the more oval face and widow’s peak common in Sukhothai and later Thai traditions. 1 Woodward, Sacred Sculpture, 176–177.Chao Sam Phraya National Museum, Ayutthaya, 16/14CH 
  38. A Hindu deity, probably Parvati (Uma), the wife of Shiva, approx. 1500–1600; copper alloy with gildingThis image has a number of features that relate it to the sculpture of South India. Among these are:

  • its gently swaying posture. Siamese sculptured figures of the Buddha and Hindu deities usually stand upright and straight.
  • its tall hairdress and the lengths of hair (or garlands) along its shoulders. Siamese sculptures almost never have such arrangements of the hair.
  • its large, round earplugs. Ear ornaments, if any, on Siamese sculptures are usually in the form of heavy pendants hanging from the lobes.
  • the disk-shaped ornament projecting from the back of the head. This type of ornament is common in South Indian sculptures but hardly ever used in Siamese sculpture.
  • the proportions of its body. In Siamese sculptures there is rarely such a marked contrast between the narrow waist and swelling hips.

Many other features of the sculpture, however, especially the modeling of the face and feet, make clear that it was created in Siam rather than imported.

National Museum, Bangkok,

Jean Boisselier, the renowned French scholar of Southeast Asian art, proclaimed this bronze image of Uma (Parvati), wife of the Hindu god Shiva, the finest of its kind: “a work of genuine artistry” that “stands out distinctly from the rest of Ayutthaya sculpture.” 1

Why a Siamese artist would have given this sculpture such a recognizably South Indian appearance is not known. Some guesses can be made. While the overwhelming majority of Siamese were Buddhists, images of Hindu deities were commissioned by kings for use in royal ceremonies. Brahmans were sometimes hired from India to officiate at these ceremonies. Perhaps an Indian brahman brought with him a South Indian statuette of a goddess, and he and the king agreed that sculptors should be directed to make a large copy of it.

The remarkably South Indian appearance of this sculpture – reflected in the swaying posture, style of dress, tall rounded headdress, and large circular ear ornaments, for example – is what makes it unique among Ayutthaya’s bronzes. That there must have been an Indian model, whether directly or indirectly available to the artist, seems to be beyond doubt. The gentle outward thrust of Uma’s right hip, her relaxed left leg, and her extended right arm are all features associated with the classic posture known in India as the tribhanga, or triple-bend, pose. Few other bronze sculptures from the Ayutthaya period, or earlier, make use of this particular stance. 2 Instead, most depict the deities standing or sitting in a rigidly frontal pose, with arms – frequently holding attributes – extended in front of the body or to the sides. 3

The Indian bronze traditions among which this image finds its closest parallels are those associated with the late Chola and Vijayanagara empires, which effectively encompassed much of southern India from the eleventh through the mid-sixteenth centuries. 4 That no more precise identification of the stylistic source can be made indicates the long duration of certain iconographic types in South Indian ritual bronze traditions as well as the transformative abilities of, in this case, Siamese artists. The process by which Southeast Asian artists received and translated foreign forms into ones uniquely their own is a vexing one. Of the numerous sculptures found in Southeast Asia that indicate some contact with Indian artistic and architectural forms, many appear so thoroughly localized in appearance that their exact Indian sources remain speculative.

South Indian images were known in the peninsular area of Thailand from perhaps as early as the fi fth century. 5 A long history of contact with South Indian artistic forms is indicated by such finds as the three eighth- to ninth-century Hindu sculptures from Takua Pa, 6 two tenth- to eleventh century sculptures, one of Vishnu and one of Shiva, discovered at Wiang Sa, 7 and, as late as the seventeenth to eighteenth century, a small bronze statue, identified as Uma, which was found at a Hindu shrine in Nakhon Si Thammarat. 8

The images from Takua Pa are stylistically close to South Indian images of the Pallava dynasty (early fourth to late ninth century), whose power was centered in the region of South India now known as Tamil Nadu state. So close is it, in fact, that Stanley O’Connor suggested “we may assume either that it was made in India, or that it was made at Takuapa by an Indian artist.” 9 Whether the Wiang Sa sculptures were made in India, or in Thailand by an Indian or Southeast Asian artist, is equally unclear. The bronze Uma, now in the Nakhon Si Thammarat Museum, is thought to have been made in Thailand though it is virtually indistinguishable from contemporary South Indian bronzes. 10 Was an earlier image of this type – imported into the Ayutthaya kingdom from India or produced in Thailand by an Indian artist – used as a model for the National Museum’s South Indian-style bronze goddess?

The sheer size of this sculpture, which stands over five feet tall, indicates that it was made for an important – probably royal – patron. That it should depict a Hindu deity is not surprising as Hindu-derived rituals played a vital role in Thai royal ceremonies and continue to do so today. Historical records of various dates indicate the presence at the Thai court of Hindu brahmans able to perform these important services. 11 A family that became prominent among Ayut thaya’s nobility in the late seventeenth century traced its lineage to an Indian brahman who had arrived in Siam during the reign of King Prasat Thong (reigned 1629–1656). 12 It is not known if he came from South India, but other Hindu ritual specialists did. In the early nineteenth century, a priest at the so-called Brahman Temple in Bangkok is reported to have informed a member of the British embassy that he was the fifth-generation descendent of a brahman who originally came from the pilgrimage center of Rameshvaram, in the present-day Indian state of Tamil Nadu. 13

No large bronzes comparable to this one, with its numerous South Indian-style features, are known from the Ayutthaya period. However, a bronze Buddha image cat. no. 42, dedicated in the year 1541, is stylistically similar in the treatment of the facial features and may provide an approximate date for its manufacture. 14 Other large Hindu bronzes were certainly made in the Ayutthaya kingdom, as indicated by an impressive group of fourteen images from the Brahman Temple in Bangkok that have been documented by Prince Subhadradis. None – especially the single goddess image in the group – is close to this sculpture in appearance. 15

The goddess in the exhibition has a curvaceous shape – accentuated by a small waist and full, rounded breasts – that recall late Chola and Vijayanagara period bronzes (fig. 157). 16 The sensuous figure of the image is quite different from the Brahman Temple Uma, which is thicker through the waist and has smaller, flatter breasts. Clothing and ornament are also dramatically different. The lower garment clings to the legs of this goddess in a fashion quite unlike that of the heavy flared skirt worn by the Brahman Temple Uma and, indeed, by most other Ayutthaya Hindu bronzes. 17 This clinging drapery, with the fluttering panels along the sides of the skirt, again finds parallels in South Indian bronzes of the Chola period and later. The sweeping tiered panels along the front length of the skirt seem to be an Ayutthaya innovation, encountered in various permutations across a range of sculptures. The ornamental designs on the waistband, headband, necklace, and skirt are found on several other Ayutthaya-period bronzes. 18

The wheel-like attachment behind the head of the goddess is certainly derived from South India, where these halo devices also served an ornamental function, concealing the knot of the headband. 19 No other Hindu bronzes of the Ayutthaya period have this disk. Other features that appear in South Indian sources include the large round earrings, which are unlike the heavy pendants typically encountered in the Ayutthaya period. 20 The wavy extensions of hair indicated along the shoulders and upper arm are also found on several Chola- and Vijayanagara-period bronzes, as is the tall, rounded headdress. The latter is a marked departure from the flaring diadem and peaked crown of the Angkor-related headdress more commonly encountered on Ayutthaya images.

Nothing is known about the origins of this image and very little is known of its history. Even its identification is not certain; the image has been thought by some to represent Lakshmi, consort of the Hindu god Vishnu. 21 In Chola- and Vijayanagara-period bronzes, which provide the closest models, long-established visual conventions were used to distinguish among deities. When depicted individually, Lakshmi and Uma can appear rather similar in appearance. Lakshmi, however, almost always wears a breastband and is thus differentiated from her Shaivite counterpart. Uma is not the only Hindu goddess to be depicted without a breastband in South Indian bronzes, but of these goddesses – including Bhudevi and Sita – she was the one most frequently depicted in Thailand. For lack of an identifying inscription or companion image, and due to the fact that specific Indian iconographic features may not always have been followed in Southeast Asia, the identification of this sculpture remains tentative. 22 Nonetheless, within the corpus of known Ayutthaya period bronzes, it is another remarkable reminder of the diverse sources that were brought to bear on the art of the Ayutthaya kingdom.

1 Boisselier, Heritage, 178. 2 Two bronze images of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi that were published in the nineteenth century by Lucien Fournereau stand in the swaying posture with their right arms similarly extended along the sides of their bodies. They differ, however, in several details from this bronze image. (Fournereau, Le Siam ancien, pls. XVIII, XXIX.) 3 Some bronze sculptures of Hindu goddesses, while adhering to such frontality, are depicted with one arm extended downward in a manner similar to this image. Perhaps the most well-known of these is the large Uma in the National Museum, Bangkok (SK 17), discussed later in this entry as part of the so-called Brahman Temple group.

4 The Chola empire was founded in the ninth century and ended in 1279. After a period during which competing groups claimed power, the Vijayanagara empire was established and lasted from approximately 1350 to 1565.

5 Stanley J. O’Connor was the first to suggest that a well-known image of the Hindu god Vishnu, found in Chaiya in peninsular Thailand, has its closest parallels in third- to fourth-century sculptures from the region of South India corresponding to present-day Andhra Pradesh state. Previously thought to be an eighth-century work, the South Indian material suggested to O’Connor that the Chaiya Vishnu dated from as early as 400 CE (Hindu Gods of Peninsular Siam, 37–39, fig. 1). Although several scholars have questioned O’Connor’s dating, the Chaiya Vishnu and other sculptures clearly indicate a long pattern of contact between South India and Thailand. (For an alternate opinion about the dating of the Chaiya image, see Woodward, Review, 210–211.) The artistic and cultural links between India and Southeast Asia have been a subject of academic interest for the past several decades. For a consideration of early artistic relationships between Cambodia and India, including South India, see Bénisti’s Rapports. Studies investigating the connections between early mainland Southeast Asia and South India, specifically, include Filliozat’s Kailasaparampara and Wright’s Sacred Gable.

6 O’Connor, Hindu Gods of Peninsular Siam, 52–55, fi gs. 28–31.

7 O’Connor, Hindu Gods of Peninsular Siam, 60–63, fi gs. 32–33.

8 Natthapatra and Saengchan, eds., Nakhon Si Th ammarat National Museum, 95. As discussed later in this entry, the fact that this image wears a breastband indicates that it may not, in fact, represent the goddess Uma, who is conventionally depicted without a breastband in South Indian bronzes.

9 O’Connor, Hindu Gods of Peninsular Siam, 55.

10 Piriya Krairiksh identifies this Uma (13/2515) as a product of peninsular Thailand showing southern Indian influence (Baep sinlapa, 188). The Nakhon Si Thammarat National Museum Visitor’s Guide credits it to the “Southern school of art under Southern Indian influence” (Natthapatra and Saengchan, eds., Nakhon Si Thammarat National Museum, 95).

11 For example, mention of brahman participation in various ceremonies is scattered throughout the Ayutthayan Royal Chronicles; see, to highlight only a few references to brahmans performing ritual and ceremonial functions, Cushman, Royal Chronicles, 6, 8, 10, 21, 26, 59, 92–93, 101–102.

12 Wyatt, Thailand, 129; see also, idem, “Family Politics in Nineteenth-Century Thailand,” in Studies in Thai History, 106–130.

13 Crawfurd, Journal of an Embassy, 119.

14 This Buddha image was discussed by Prince Subhadradis in his Hindu Gods, 104–106, figs. 57A–57B; and his “Dated Crowned Buddha Image.” The bronze Uma was not considered in either work.

15 Most of the fourteen sculptures are close in size to this bronze Uma. Four are larger, and of those, two are considerably larger (Subhadradis, Hindu Gods, figs. 1–14, illustrated on a foldout between pp. 5 and 6). Subhadradis first published his study of these bronzes in a Thai publication of 1966.

16 Identifying a narrower range of possible source imagery is difficult. A number of innovations were steadily introduced into the South Indian bronze tradition, though many images show a conscious continuation of earlier types. Compare, for instance, a pre-Chola period image of the Hindu goddess Durga (Sivaramamurti, South Indian Bronzes, fig. 11b) with examples of the tenth century and thirteenth century (Dehejia, The Sensuous and the Sacred, 134–137, cat. nos. 19–20). With respect to Uma images, which are more pertinent to this discussion, compare the following bronzes: tenth century (Sivaramamurti, South Indian Bronzes, fi g. 17a), twelfth century (Sivaramamurti, South Indian Bronzes, fi g. 26), fourteenth century (Pal, Indian Subcontinent, 233, cat. no. 170d), and sixteenth century (Sivaramamurti, South Indian Bronzes, fi g. 80a).

17 Compare, for instance, the clinging drapery of this figure to the dress of the Hindu bronzes illustrated in Subhadradis’s Hindu Gods and Fournerou’s Le Siam Ancien.

18 Listopad, Phra Narai, 428–429.

19 Dehejia, The Sensuous and the Sacred, 92.

20 The image of Satyabhama, wife of the Hindu god Krishna, in fig. 157, does not wear rounded earrings of this type. However, heavy round earrings are documented in numerous surviving male and female bronzes of the Chola and Vijayanagara periods.

21 The National Museum identifies the goddess as Lakshmi, as did Boisselier, who used the goddess’s alternate appellation, Shri (Heritage, 178).

22 The bronze image of Satyabhama (fi g. 157) is part of a group of images that were intended to form a set. Had the bronze been found without these accompanying figures, it could easily be misidentified as an image of another female – such as Uma or Bhudevi – for whom the same figural, clothing, and headdress conventions are used. 


  8.  Walking Buddha, probably 1375; stoneThe walking Buddha is often associated with the kingdom of Sukhothai, where sculptors produced a number of superb examples. Walking Buddhas appear fairly frequently in the arts of Ayutthaya as well, however, though seeming to become rarer century by century. Hiram Woodward has pointed out that the walking Buddha is found in central Thailand by the thirteenth or fourteenth century. 1 The crypt of Wat Ratchaburana in Ayutthaya, sealed in 1424, held dozens of the type – mostly in relief on votive tablets, but also in the round, and even painted on a wall. 2 Also, a number of temple buildings in central Thailand that have been attributed to the late fourteenth or fifteenth centuries have representations of the walking Buddha in stucco relief. 3 The representation of the walking Buddha in this exhibition is extremely unusual because it is carved in high relief in stone. 4 Stone sculptures in the round (at least Buddha images) 5 were common in early Ayutthaya, but stone reliefs seem to have been rare.The characteristics of this walking Buddha are similar enough to those of a freestanding bronze example from the crypt of Wat Ratchaburana to suggest a fourteenth- or fifteenth-century date. 6 The pointed frame around the head of the Buddha in the stone relief, with its upcurving flourishes at the shoulders, can be compared to related frames in stucco reliefs mentioned earlier. 7 The nose of the sculpture has been inexpertly restored.Chantharakasem National Museum, Ayutthaya,

The image had long ago been fixed against a wall in one of the museum’s storerooms. When the image was removed to be prepared for inclusion in this exhibition, a twenty-line inscription was noticed on the back. In June 2004, the Thai Inscription Survey Department of the National Library of Thailand recorded, deciphered, and registered the inscription. According to Kong­kaew Weeraprachak, “the Buddha image and the inscription were likely carved about the same time.”

She continues: “The inscription begins with a date: 1918 of the Bud­dhist Era (1375 CE). Khun Soramut, his wife and children, and others made donations to support the construction of monks’ dwellings, a preaching hall, and Buddha images. They also planted bo trees and demarcated the temple grounds. The inscription ends with Bud­dhist blessings for those who made merit through these donations, and indicates their hope to be reborn in the era of the future Buddha, Mai­treya. The inscription notes that those attempting to obstruct these donations are bound for hell with no hope of seeing the Buddha.

“A study of the shapes of the letters in the inscription suggests that they belong to the Thai-Ayutthaya form of the twentieth century of the Buddhist Era (1358–1457 CE) and had evolved out of the Thai-Sukhothai form. . . .

“Knowledge gained from this inscription will shed new light on other Thai inscription studies. Very few inscriptions have been recovered that contain Thai-Ayutthaya letter shapes, especially from the early Ayutthaya period. Thus, the discov­ery of the dated inscription on the back of the walking Buddha image is an invaluable discovery for histo­rians of this time period. Before this finding, researchers had compiled an incomplete alphabet of the Thai-Ayutthaya letter shapes. Thanks to this finding they now have the complete Thai-Ayutthaya alphabet. This finding also helps to verify the accuracy of the existing identification system of Thai-Ayutthaya letters from the late fourteenth century CE.”

(Adapted from a translation by Chureekamol Onsuwan Eyre)

1 Woodward, Sacred Sculpture, 138.

2 For votive tablets, see Bowie, ed., Sculpture of Thailand, cat. no. 56; and Phraphuttharup lae phraphim, for example, figs. 137–154, 219–237; for images in the round, see Piriya, Sacred Image, 196–197; for painting, see Chittrakam lae sinlapawatthu, 9.

3 Buildings at Wat Kai Tia, Suphanburi; Wat Mahathat, Lopburi; and Wat Song Phinong, Chinat, all illustrated in Santi, Early Ayudhya Period, 192–193; southeast corner stupa at Wat Phra Ram, Ayutthaya, illustrated in No. Na Paknam, Lai punpan, fig. 57 (mislabeled Wat Mahathat, Ayutthaya).

4 Only one other large stone relief of the walking Buddha from central or north-central Thailand is known, and its proportions and style are quite diff erent from the example in this exhibition; see Stratton and Scott, Sukhothai, fig. 61.

5 For a discussion of the head of this image in relation to a number of other Ayutthaya stone heads, see Prathip, “Baep phraphak,” 83–86.

6 See note 2 above. For possible examples of sixteenth-century Ayutthaya representations of the walking Buddha, see Woodward, Sacred Sculpture, 244–245.

7 Especially those of Wat Kai Tia, Suphanburi; see note 3 above. Another such frame surrounded the head of a standing Buddha in relief on the prang of Wat Phra Ram, Ayutthaya; No. Na Paknam, Ha duan, 170.


  51.  Miniature temple building, approx. 1700–1800; terrsa cotta; aid to have been found at Wat BuaThis miniature building may have served as a “spirit house,” a little shrine for offerings to the spirits of the land.  Large rectangular windows such as those on this miniature building are usually thought to have become common in Siamese architecture during the reign of King Narai (reigned 1656–1688) probably due to Western influence.Its large rectangular windows suggest a date later than that of cat. no. 50. Details such as its half-cylindrical tiles covering the roof and the brackets projecting from the side walls to support the eaves (which would be of elaborately carved wood on a real building) are painstakingly represented.Chao Sam Phraya National Museum, Ayutthaya,


  52.  Miniature pavilion, approx. 1700–1800; wood with paint, lacquer, gilding, and mirror inlay The upper corners of the roof of this miniature building would have been decorated with gracefully curved projecting elements; only stubs of these now remain. Along the roof ridge would have been a full row of decorative spines, only some of which have survived. These decorative elements would have given a real building the prickly silhouette characteristic of later Ayutthaya period architecture.Chao Sam Phraya National Museum, Ayutthaya, 243/2542

The Thailand Historic Collections 1686-1939



Goal of 625 Posts Completed.Congratulation!


Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you. — Marsha Norman

Thai king Rama

native costum


 The embassy

Depiction of the Siamese embassy in Versailles, in a 1687 French almanac.

Kosa Pan presents King Narai’s letter to Louis XIV at Versailles, September 1, 1686

The embassy with Louis XIV.

The embassy left for France in 1686, accompanying the return of the 1685 French embassy to Siam of Chevalier de Chaumont and François-Timoléon de Choisy on two French ships.[2] The embassy was bringing a proposal for an eternal alliance between France and Siam and stayed in France from June 1686 to March 1687. Kosa Pan was accompanied by two other Siamese ambassadors, Ok-luang Kanlaya Ratchamaitri and Ok-khun Sisawan Wacha,[3] and by the Jesuit Father Guy Tachard.

Kosa Pan’s embassy was met with a rapturous reception and caused a sensation in the courts and society of Europe. The mission landed at the French port of Brest before continuing its journey to Versailles, constantly surrounded by crowds of curious onlookers.

The “exotic” clothes as well as manners of the envoys (including their kowtowing to Louis XIV during their visit to him on September 1, 1686), together with a special “machine” that was used to carry King Narai’s missive to the French monarch caused much comment in French high society. Kosa Pan’s great interest in French maps and images was commented upon in a contemporary issue of the Mercure Galant.[4]


The embassy brought vast amounts of present to Louis XIV. Among them were gold, tortoise shells, fabrics, carpets, more than 1,500 pieces of porcelain, as well as lacquer furniture.[5] Two silver Siamese cannons were given as present to Louis XIV, and by a strange twist of fate these cannons would be seized by French revolutionaries in 1789 to be used in the Storming of the Bastille.[6]


The embassy ordered vast amounts of French products to be shipped to the Siamese court: 4,264 mirrors similar to those of the Galerie des Glaces were ordered to decorate Narai’s palace, through Colbert to the factory of Saint Gobain. Among other orders were 160 French cannons, telescopes, glasses, clocks and various velvet pieces and crystal decorative elements. They also ordered two geographical globes, inscribed in Thai by French artisans, as well as seven carpets from the Savonnerie manufactory.[7]


Siamoise flammée textile, derived from Thai Ikat, French manufacture, 18th century.

Woman in dress made of Siamoise (“Siamese”) textile, 1687.

The Siamese Embassy to France in 1686 had brought to the Court samples of multicolor Thai Ikat textiles. These were enthusistically adopted by the French nobility to become Toiles flammées or Siamoises de Rouen often with checkered blue-and-white designs.[8] After the French Revolution and its dislike for foreign luxury, the textiles were named “Toiles des Charentes” or cottons of Provence.[9]

A fragmentary Siamese account of the mission compiled by Kosa Pan was re-discovered in Paris in the 1980s.[10] The embassy’s encounter with Louis XIV is depicted in numerous paintings of the period.

The embassy of Kosa Pan was soon followed by another one, led by Ok-khun Chamnan in 1688.


The 1686 Siamese embassy, accompanied by their translator, Abbot Artus de Lionne. Painted by Jacques Vigouroux Duplessis (c.1680-1732).



22. The sage Vidhura
approx. 1700– 1750
Pigments on cloth
H: 31.4 cm; W: 24.8 cm
Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, Gift of Dr. Sarah Bekker, F2002.8.3
AAM Siam 72

The sage Vidhura is carried through the air holding the tail of a demon’s flying horse;
a scene from one of the last ten previous lives of the Buddha.
Photograph by Kaz Tsuruta

Manuscript chest with mythical animals
approx. 1650–1700
Lacquered and gilded wood with iron handle
H: 57 cm; W: 74.5
National Museum, Bangkok, NCH709
AAM Siam 59

Photograph by Kaz Tsuruta


the Asian Art Museum showcases EMERALD CITIES:

Arts of Siam and Burma, 1775–1950,

the first exhibition of its kind to use a systematic approach to present artworks from this region and period. The exhibition features more than 140 artworks drawn exclusively from the museum’s collection, which is one of the largest and most important collections of nineteenth-century Siamese and Burmese art outside of Southeast Asia. On view are ornately carved furniture, lavishly decorated miniature shrines, gilded statues, elaborately illustrated manuscripts, colorfully detailed paintings, and mirrored and bejeweled ritual objects. The Asian Art Museum organized Emerald Citiesand serves as the exhibition’s exclusive venue.


The museum’s holdings in Southeast Asian art increased dramatically in 2002 from a generous donation of artworks – including many rare sculptures, paintings, and decorative arts – from Doris Duke’s Southeast Asian Art Collection. Before being distributed to organizations such as the Asian Art Museum, Doris Duke’s Southeast Asian Art Collection included more than 400 museum-quality objects and 1,800 other items. Together, these objects have represented one of the most important collections of later Southeast Asian art outside Asia. The collection was housed at Duke Farms – Doris Duke’s principal residence in Hillsborough, New Jersey – where for many years it remained largely unknown both to the public and specialists. Over two-thirds of the artworks on view in Emerald Cities are from this collection. The museum spent more than five years to complete an extensive conservation project to preserve and stabilize these very fragile artworks. Emerald Cities provides the opportunity for their public debut.


“All of the artworks on view in Emerald Cities originate from the museum’s extensive collection, demonstrating the quality and depth of the museum’s holdings from Thailand and Burma,” says Jay Xu, Director of the Asian Art Museum. “Through the efforts of Forrest McGill, the museum’s Chief Curator, and M.L. Pattaratorn Chirapravati, co-curator of the exhibition, Emerald Cities and its accompanying catalogue contribute both to scholarship and public appreciation of the rich and varied artistic traditions of Southeast Asia.”

“A feast for the eyes awaits visitors to Emerald Cities,” says Forrest McGill. “The writings and religious thought at the time emphasized the gorgeous, flowering, bejeweled, heavenly city of the gods. This view of a luxurious and fantastical Eden is evident through the artworks on view in the galleries which originate from the three great cities of the time—Bangkok, Mandalay and Rangoon.”


The artworks in Emerald Cities are presented by region, divided into three distinctive geographical areas: Burma; the highlands of Northern Thailand and Shan State, Burma; and Central Thailand. Within each geographical region, artworks are further categorized by their functions: Religious Art – including Buddhist manuscripts, sculpture, and objects for ritual use such as offering containers and ceremonial begging bowls; Mythology – including theatrical masks, costumes and puppets used for the dramatic productions of the epic of Rama; and Luxury Goods – including gold and silver vessels, furniture, and textiles.


The exhibition opens in Lee Gallery with three videos introducing important facets of the exhibition: Doris Duke and her Southeast Asian art collection; the conservation efforts undertaken in preparation for the exhibition; and a general introduction to Siam and Burma.
Artworks are presented in Hambrecht Gallery with the focus on Burmese art. One of the highlights is a lacquered and gilded Buddhist manuscript depicting scenes from the life of the Buddha (catalogue #3). This type of manuscript was often given to a monastery at the time when a family relation was preparing to enter the monkhood. Even up to the present day, it is customary for young men to become monks for as little as three months in order to bestow merit on their families. The manuscript on view depicts the scene of Prince Siddhartha (the Buddha-to-be) leaving his family to embark on his spiritual pursuit, a seemingly appropriate subject for the circumstances. The scene is placed in what would have been a contemporary Burmese royal court, with added embellishments that give it a fantastical quality.


Another highlight in the Burmese section is a rare, sequined, nearly-six-meter-long hanging that portrays the scenes of the legend of Rama (catalogue #19). Although its purpose is unknown, one explanation is that this narrative textile may have served as a backdrop for puppet performances. The royal costumes portrayed in this artwork are echoed throughout the exhibition, through actual costumes and those that appear on puppets and in other paintings. Hambrecht Gallery also features artworks from Northern Thailand and Shan State, Burma. One of the first of these is a lavishly decorated miniature shrine almost two meters high from the highlands of Northern Thailand (catalogue #34). Made of lacquered and gilded wood, the shrine is adorned with mirrored glass and topped by several tiers of tapering roofs with prickly finials and a tiered parasol finial. Its structure is based on architectural forms of the time and demonstrates the tendency towards the elaborate and ornate.


The exhibition continues in Osher Gallery with a section devoted to artworks solely from Central Thailand, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the artworks on view in the exhibition. On the wall to the left of the gallery is a head of a Buddha image in stucco (catalogue #45) displayed alongside other Buddha images. In the 1790s the first monarch of the new kingdom of Siam had hundreds of Buddha images from other parts of his realm brought to Wat Phra Chettuphon, a new temple built in Bangkok under his reign. To make the styles of the images uniform, he had them covered with layers of stucco coated in gilded lacquer. In the 1950s when this style had gone out of fashion, the stucco was removed from these temple images and most fragments were presumably discarded. The stucco Buddha image on view is only one of two that was known to survive.

On an opposite wall in the gallery, a complete set of thirteen paintings – each reflecting one of the thirteen chapters that recount the next-to-last story of the previous lives of the Buddha (catalogue #71-83) – is on display. This sacred story is often recited at religious festivals. In each painting a chapter of the sacred story is depicted in the middle of the composition with other narratives depicted along the edges.  The stories often add soap operatic visual elements depicting everyday dramas that perhaps kept the story interesting and relevant to the audience. A complete set of thirteen paintings telling this story is extremely rare. Having served its purpose, a set of such paintings after a recitation at a festival may have been put away with no provisions in place for their preservation, or dispersed individually or in smaller sets.


A popular wedding gift from the royal Thai family was a gold bowl (catalogue #121). The ornate example on view in Emerald Cities was presented to the daughter of Hamilton King, a U.S. diplomat in Siam, by Rama VI on the occasion of her wedding in 1921. It was personally delivered by a Siamese envoy to the King family in the U.S. It is decorated with three alternating motifs: a mythical eagle with human attributes, stylized foliage, and a celestial being with the hand gesture of adoration. The presentation of a traditional Siamese gift to a westerner indicates a strong sense of national identity and pride.

Emerald Cities closes by showcasing shadow puppets used for the enactment of the Rama epic, head dresses worn by dancers portraying Rama and Sita in classical Siamese dance, and wooden statues of mythical creatures that are half-bird, half human and inhabited an Eden-like forest in Buddha legend. Of these, the opulent and bejeweled head dresses particularly reinforce the sumptuous aesthetic found in artworks from Siam and Burma around the 19th century. This aesthetic in different variations is echoed throughout most of the artworks on view in Emerald Cities.




Isan (Isarn/Isaan/Esan) and Lanna Kingdom?Isan was dominated by the Lao LanXang Kingdom in the 13th thru 17th century.

The conflicts between LaneXang and Siam in the 18th thru 19th century;



When the Portuguese arrived in what was then the Kingdom of Ayudhya (the predecessor to the Kingdom of Siam, which is Thailand now) in the early 1800′s, they brought with them many culinary techniques that would remain until today in Thai cuisine. Perhaps the strongest influence was in dessert making, where Foy Thong, Thong Yip, Thong Yod, and other desserts made with egg yolks cured or cooked in syrup remain in the forms recognizable even in today’s traditional desserts in Portugal and some parts of Spain.

Playing Cards in Thailand

Officially the Kingdom of Thailand and formerly known as Siam

The Portuguese were the first Westerners to trade with Ayutthaya in Thailand in the 16th century. Thus European playing cards could have been used alongside any locally produced cards and hybrid varieties evolved. Traders also arrived from India, Japan, the Arab world, England, Holland as well as France and often they had their own quarters or village communities. Chinese Money cards are produced in Thailand with Thai indices. The cultural heritage resulting from the presence of foreign cultures in Thailand still exists nowadays.

During the nineteenth century Belgian manufacturers (eg Brepols, Van Genechten) produced “Chinese” cards for South-East Asian countries including Java, the Celebes, Thailand and possibly China as well. Van Genechten was the first to print this kind of playing card in Turnhout: he was also one of the last, having managed to keep a firm hold on his markets. It is recorded that 111 tons of playing cards were exported from Belgium to Thailand in 1938.

Chinese cards exported to Far Eastern countries by Belgian manufacturers

Left: typical example of ‘Chinese’ cards exported to Far Eastern countries by Belgian manufacturers.

For a story about gambling in Thailand, click here.

The state-controlled Thai Playing Cards Manufacturing Factory, Bangkok, produces about 400,000 decks per month, including cards similar to the ones shown left   more →


“Learn Thai” Playing Cards, 2009

A set of cards aimed at the foreign adult learner of the Thai language is published by Lanna Innovation Co. Ltd. Their website states that “Adults learn language differently than children and adolescents. Our approach is one of engaged, problem-driven learning which seeks to leverage effective language learning tools and teaching methods.”

Learn Thai playing cards

Above: cards from 44-card “Learn Thai” cards, described as an easy to use innovative system to learn faster through visual memory. Published by Lanna Innovation Co. Ltd, 2009. Instructions to using the cards



Chiang Rai in 1844 and Chiang Saen in 1881.

By the late 19th century, Siam had to deal with a new aggression – colonial powers in the form of the British in Burma and French in Indochina. The Siamese dealt with the British by allowing them to trade in teak. This resulted in the import of Burmese laborers from British-occupied Burma into the main cities of Lanna Kingdom. With the French, Siam had to part with two large pieces of land which were formerly part of Lanna Kingdom: a section on the east bank of the Mekong, in 1893, and another on the west bank, in 1893

Franco-Siamese treaties of 1893, 1904 and 1907; made Isan a final frontier between Laos and Siam. Isan covers 62,000 square miles (160,000 square km) from Mekong river to Khorat plateau. Today, there are more than 22 million Lao Isan people in Thailand (In 1997, Isan’s population was 21,086,501 million people, about 1/3 of Thailand’s total population) and most of the population is of Lao origin. The main spoken language of the region is Lao Isan language which is similar to Lao.


Siamese Cat Appearance In Ancient Illustrations

In the late 1700’s, in Russia, engravings of a cat that looked very similar to the Siamese cat were found. Illustrations of the Siamese cats among others were also present in an ancient text called the Cat-Book Poems. These are the earliest recorded Siamese cat history writings in the world.

Siamese Cat History

Siamese Beginnings In The United Kingdom

Siamese cat history became clearer when in the year 1884 a British Consul general brought home a pair of Siamese cats from Siam. Legend has it that the pair of breeding cats that the British Consul General Gould brought with him was a gift from the royal family of Siam. The pair of cats gave birth to 3 kittens, which when displayed in the United Kingdom they captured the hearts of many. Their fame brought about the importation of several other pairs of Siamese cats and the rest is Siamese cat history.



Two Main Kinds Of Siamese Cats 


Today, there are two kinds of Siamese cat breeds, the traditional and the modern. The traditional breed has upheld the old characteristics and traits of the original cats brought from Siam while the modern Siamese breed has elongated the build of the cat and made it more svelte with longer legs and a smaller head. Siamese cat history now has two different breeds to take note of. 


The traditional breed is less popular than the modern breed but many traditional breed fanciers still strive to maintain and uphold the original standards. Other traits that modern Siamese breeds have gotten rid of are the usually kinks on the tail of the cats and their tendency to have a cross-eyed appearance. The story relating to the kinks on the cats’ tails is among the many legends associated with Siamese cat history. 


The many variations of the Siamese cat colors and length of coat has also made the breed very diverse and the only common things among the breeds are the points in the extremities and the blue color of the cat’s eyes.




KINGDOM OF SIAM (Thailand), Rama V (Phra Maha Chulalongkorn, 1868 – 1910), ATT, 1890. 5.65g, 19mm, Bronze. Y# 22. Red & Brown Uncirculated. Splendid example.


Siam: Tax in Time and Labor

Library of Congress Prints and Photos Collection
1895, by William Henry Jackson

Up until 1899, the Kingdom of Siam (now Thailand) used to tax its peasants through a system of corvee labor. Each farmer had to spend three months of the year or more working for the king, rather than earning money for his own family.

At the turn of the last century, Siam’s elites realized that this forced labor system was causing political unrest. They decided to allow the peasants to work for themselves all year, and levy income taxes in money instead.


Source: Tarling, Nicholas. The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia, Vol. 2, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000


King Rama VII, the last absolute ruler of Siam, was the first ever Siamese king to visit Lanna.


When a coup in 1931 ended the absolute monarchy, Chiang Mai was reduced to become a province of present-day Thailand, and the Kingdom of Lanna which King Mangrai founded over six hundred years earlier, was swept into the pages of history


Bangkok’s Democracy Monument, commissioned in 1939 to commemorate the 1932 Siamese coup d’état which led to the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in what was then the Kingdom of Siam.

the end @ copyright dr Iwan Suwandy 2012