Jumat, 13 Januari 2017

Lords of The Land, Lords of The Sea

Lords of The Land, Lords of The Sea, Conflict and adaptation in early colonial Timor, 1600-1800
Hans Hägerdal
KITLV Press Leiden
Tahun Cetak
978-90-6718- 378- 9

The aim of this book is to fill a historiographical void by studying how local people on Timor fought, traded, negotiated and mixed with foreigners during two eventful centuries, from 1600 to 1800. The subject is not entirely new, for many good historians have taken up their pen and delved into the intricate history of the island. What is still needed, however, and what this book tries to achieve, is a comprehensive discussion that takes into account the entire island – what is today known as Indonesian Timor or Timor Leste. An account that traces both indigenous as well as colonial interests; a study which fully uses the rich archival sources that are available; a text that traces not only the exploitative and oppressive features accompanying the European presence and ensuing forms of resistance, but also the forms of co-operation, partnership and mutual dependence that subsequently evolved.

When using general textbooks to study the history of Indonesia, it is apparent that a non-literate and low-technological culture like that of the Timorese does not feature heavily. The same goes for works that survey Portuguese expansion overseas, where Timor is a footnote appended to discussions about Goa, Malacca and Macao. The extended arc of islands known as Nusa Tenggara, which stretches out some 1,000 kilometres from west to east, is by no means devoid of interest for the modern scholar. The islands harbour a remarkable ethnic and linguistic diversity. They are characterized by small-scale polities, a strong belief in the role of ancestors, ritual-spatial location, and marital exchange patterns between lineages. All this has engendered excellent scholarship, but scholarship that tends to sit within the field of anthropology rather than history. This is matched by the public discourse of modern Indonesia, where the central, principally Javanese, narration of Indonesia’s long history has been predominant. Powerful physical symbols, such as the Javanese kraton and temples and the Balinese religious sites, stand out in textbooks and tourist guides alike. Unsurprisingly, much of the official six-volume textbook Sejarah nasional Indonesia (Marwati Djoenad Poesponegoro and Nugroho Notosusanto 1975) is devoted to the geographical centre, although there are also a few sections on Sumatra, Kalimantan and South Sulawesi, especially in reference to anti-colonial rebellions, perhaps illustrative of modern nationalist sentiment. Coverage of Timor is restricted to a few scattered mentions in volumes I and III.

Tidak ada komentar:

Posting Komentar

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...