Window of Archipelago

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Ancient Events in the Archipelago - 250 Million Silam Years

Ilustrasi Purba
Jakarta (DreamLandLibrary) - Examining the history of the Archipelago, the more we know, that the Land of the Archipelago is an old land that exists on this earth.

Nusantara History
The history of the Archipelago in this paper is interpreted as a record of a series of events that occurred on the islands between the Asian Continent and the Australian Continent before the founding of the Republic of Indonesia.

Natural Background
The main land area of ​​the archipelago was formed from the two ends of the Pangea Superbenua in the Mesozoic Era (250 million years ago), but parts of different continental plates. These two parts move closer due to the movement of the plates, so that during the last Ice Age a large strait has formed between the Sundanese Exposure in the west and Saharan Exposure in the east. Sulawesi and surrounding islands fill the space between two opposite continents. These intermediate islands are referred to by biologists as Wallacea, an area that has a unique distribution of fauna. This geological and geographic situation has implications for the topography, climate, soil fertility, distribution of living things (especially plants and animals), and human migration in the region.

The confluence of the Eurasian Plate in the west, the Indo-Australian Plate in the south, and the Pacific Plate in the northeast become active volcanic regions that provide mineral richness to the surrounding land making it very good for agriculture, but also earthquake-prone. The meeting of these continental plates also lifts a part of the sea floor upward resulting in the formation of karst hills that are rich in caves in a number of places. Fossils of marine animals found in this region.

The archipelago is located in the tropics, which means it has warm seas and receives continuous sunlight throughout the year with high intensity. This situation encourages the formation of ecosystems that are rich in diversity of living things, both plants and animals. The sea is warm and becomes a meeting point for two large oceans. The strait between two parts of the continent (Wallacea) is part of the ocean currents from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean which is rich in marine resources. Coral reefs in this region are places with very high biodiversity. Natural wealth on land and sea colors the early culture of the inhabitants. Many of the indigenous people who live rely on marine wealth and make them understand basic navigation navigation, and later assist in the occupation of the Pacific region (Oceania).

The Australian continent and the waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans on the other hand provide an important annual climate variation factor. The archipelago is affected by the monsoon system with the result that many places experience different water availability in a year. Most areas are familiar with the dry and rainy seasons. For sailors it is known that the west wind (occurs in the rainy season) and the east wind. In the era of inter-island trade which relied on sailing ships, this wind pattern was very important in scheduling trade.

From the point of view of the distribution of living things, this region is the meeting point of two different provinces of flora and fauna, as a result of an evolutionary process that runs separately, but then converges. The Sunda Exposure section, which is always not far from the equator, has Eurasian fauna, while the Sahul Exposure area in the east has Australian type fauna. The Wallacea region forms a "bridge" for mixing these two types, but because it is rather isolated it has a distinctive type. This was realized by a number of scholars from the 19th century, such as Alfred Wallace, Max Carl Wilhelm Weber, and Richard Lydecker. In contrast to fauna, the distribution of flora (plants) in this region is more mixed, even forming a unique flora province, different from the type in India and East Asia and the arid region of Australia, which is named by botanywan as Malesia. Human migration then encouraged the further distribution of flora in this area and also the entry of foreign plants and animals from mainland Eurasia, America and Africa in historical times.

Homo erectus fossils found in several sites on Java show the possibility of population continuity from 1.7 million years (Sangiran) to 50,000 years ago (Ngandong). A long period of time indicates a change in features that results in two different subspecies (H. erectus paleojavanicus which is older than H. erectus soloensis). Swisher (1996) proposed the thesis that up to 50,000 years ago they had lived a contemporary with modern humans H. sapiens.

Migration of H. sapiens (modern humans) to return home to the archipelago is estimated to occur in the span of time between 70 000 and 60,000 years ago. Austrolomelanesoid-type people, who later became the ancestors of several indigenous tribes in the Malay Peninsula (Semang), the Philippines (Negrito), Aboriginal Australia, Papua, and Melanesia, entered the Sunda Exposure area. They then moved east. Niah Cave in Sarawak has the oldest skeletal remains that represent this community (around 60 to 50 thousand years old). Skull remains were also found in caves in karst areas in Java (Sewu Mountains). They are supporters of Paleolithic culture who are not yet familiar with crop cultivation or raising livestock and live gathering (hunt and gathering).

The discovery of a skeleton series of human-like creatures on Liang Bua, Flores Island, opens up the possibility of a third hominid species, now known as H. floresiensis.

Furthermore, about 2500 years before Christ, there was migration by Austronesian speakers from Taiwan to the Philippines, then south and Indonesia, and east to the Pacific. They are the ancestors of the tribes in the Nusantara region.

This Austronesian person understands farming, shipping and even astronomy. They also have a simple system of governance and a leader (little king). The arrival of immigrants from India in the last centuries before Christ introduced them to a more advanced system of governance (kingdom).

Proto History Period
Contact with the outside world is known from records written by the Chinese. From there it is known that there are already people who trade with them. The main objects of trade are forest products or gardens, such as various spices, such as pepper, aloes, sandalwood, nutmeg, incense, and gambier, as well as gold and silver. The points of trade have grown, led by a kind of ruler chosen by citizens or inherited from generation to generation. Chinese records say that in the first centuries AD it was discovered that there were Buddhist, Hindu and animist communities. Archaeological discoveries from several hundred years BC to the Hindu-Buddhist period show the widespread Megalithic culture, along with the Perundagian culture. Arabic records mention traders from the east sailing to the east coast of Africa. Map of Ptolemy, a resident of Alexandria, wrote Chersonesos aurea ("Golden Peninsula") for the area that was likely to be the Malay Peninsula or the Island of Sumatra.

Hindu / Buddhist kingdom
    Salakanagara Kingdom
    Kingdom of Tarumanagara
    Kingdom of Kutai
    Kingdom of Srivijaya
    Sunda Kingdom and Galuh Kingdom
    Kingdom of Kalingga
    Keritang Kingdom
    Kingdom of Mataram (Ancient Mataram)
    Royal Medang
    Kingdom of Kahuripan
    Kediri Kingdom
    Kingdom of Kanjempuan
    Janggala Kingdom
    Singasari Kingdom
    Majapahit kingdom
    The Dharmasraya Kingdom
    Pajajaran Kingdom
    Blambangan Kingdom
    Sailendra Kingdom
    Sanjaya Kingdom
    Isyana Kingdom
    Kingdom of the State of Daha
    Dipa State Kingdom
    Kingdom of Tanjung Puri
    Kingdom of Nan Sarunai
    Royal Curse
    Tulang Bawang kingdom
    Aru Kingdom
    Mengwi kingdom

Islamic Kingdom
    Testimony of Sekala Brak
    The Sultanate of Aceh
    Asahan Sultanate
    Kemuning Kingdom
    The Kingdom of the Six Inner Tribes
    Indragiri Kingdom
    Banten Sultanate
    Bima Sultanate
    Sultanate of Bulungan
    Butonese Sultanate
    Cirebon Sultanate
    Lingga-Riau Sultanate
    Sultanate of Deli
    Dompu Sultanate
    Sultanate of Demak
    Gowa Sultanate
    Jambi Sultanate
    Sultanate of Pinang City
    The Sultanate of Kutai
    Sultanate of Langkat
    Sultanate of Pajang
    Sultanate of Mataram
    Kartasura Sultanate
    The Sultanate of Pagaruyung
    Inderapura Sultanate
    Kingdom of the River Pagu
    Palembang Sultanate
    Pontianak Sultanate
    Samawa Sultanate
    The Sambas Sultanate
    Sultanate of Serdang
    Sultanate of Siak Sri Inderapura
    Kingdom of Tanjungpura
    Kingdom of Iha
    Kingdom of the Land of Hitu
    Ternate Sultanate
    Tidore Sultanate
    Butonese Sultanate
    Kingdom of Sumedang Larang
    Surakarta Sunanate
    Yogyakarta Sultanate
    Paku Alaman Duchy
    Malacca Sultanate
    Pasai Kingdom
    Sultanate of Banjarmasin
    Linge Kingdom
    The Sultanate of Perlak
    The Sultanate of Sand
    Kotawaringin Sultanate
    Pagatan Kingdom
    Tidung Kingdom
    Sambaliung Sultanate
    Sultanate of Mount Tabur
    Sultanate of Mempawah
    Sultanate of Kubu

Colonial Age

Portuguese era
The Portuguese expertise in navigation, shipbuilding and weaponry enabled them to carry out exploration and expansion expeditions. Beginning with an exploration expedition sent from Malacca that was only conquered in 1512, the Portuguese were the first Europeans to arrive in the archipelago of what is now Indonesia, and try to control the source of valuable spices and to expand Roman Catholic missionary efforts. The first attempt of the Portuguese to take control of the Indonesian archipelago was to welcome offers of cooperation from the Sunda Kingdom.

At the beginning of the 16th century, important trading ports on the north coast of Java were already controlled by the Sultanate of Demak, including two Sundanese Kingdom ports, namely Banten and Cirebon. Concerned that the role of the Sunda Kelapa port was getting weaker, the Sunda king, Sri Baduga (Prabu Siliwangi) sought help to ensure the survival of his kingdom's main port. The choice fell to the Portuguese, the ruler of Malacca. Thus, in 1512 and 1521, Sri Baduga sent his crown prince, Surawisesa, to Malacca to ask the Portuguese to sign a trade agreement, especially pepper, and give them the right to build a fort at Sunda Kelapa. 

In 1522 the Portuguese were ready to form a coalition with the Sundanese to gain access to the profitable pepper trade. The year coincided with the completion of world exploration by Magellan.

The commander of the fortress of Malacca at that time was Jorge de Albuquerque. That same year he sent a ship, São Sebastião, under the command of Captain Enrique Leme, to Sunda Kalapa accompanied by valuables to be presented to the king of Sunda. Two written sources describe the end of the agreement in detail. The first is an original Portuguese document dating from 1522 which contains the text of the treaty and the signatures of witnesses, and the second is an incident report submitted by João de Barros in his book "Da Asia", printed shortly before 1777/78.

According to these historical sources, the Sundanese king welcomed the arrival of the Portuguese warmly. At that time Prabu Surawisesa had ascended the throne to replace his father and Barros called him "king of Samio". The Sundanese king agreed to a treaty of friendship with the king of Portugal and decided to give the land at the mouth of Ciliwung as the port for Portuguese ships. In addition, the Sundanese king promised that if the construction of the fortress had begun he would donate a thousand sacks of pepper to the Portuguese. The contract documents were made in duplicate, one copy for the king of Sunda and another for the king of Portugal; both of them were signed on August 21, 1522.

In the agreement document, witnesses from the Sunda Kingdom are Padam Tumungo, Samgydepaty, e outre Benegar e easy o xabandar, meaning "Who is in Tumenggung, the Duke, Treasurer and Syahbandar Sunda Kelapa". There were eight witnesses from the Portuguese side, as reported by the Porto historian João de Barros. Witnesses from the Sunda Kingdom did not sign the document, they legalized it with customs through "salvation". Now, one copy of this agreement is stored at the National Museum of the Republic of Indonesia, Jakarta.

On the day of the signing of the agreement, several nobles of the Sunda Kingdom along with Enrique Leme and his entourage went to the land that would become a stronghold at the mouth of Ci Liwung. They established an inscription, called Luso-Sundanese padrão, in what is now the Tugu Village in North Jakarta. It was customary for the Portuguese to establish padrao when they discovered new land. The padrao is now kept in the Jakarta National Museum.

The Portuguese failed to fulfill its promise to return to Sunda Kalapa the following year to build a fortress due to problems in Goa / India.

This agreement triggered the attack of the Sultanate of Demak army into Sunda Kelapa in 1,527 AD and succeeded in expelling the Portuguese from Sunda Kelapa on 22 June 1,527 AD This date was later made the day of the founding of Jakarta.

Having failed to conquer Java, the Portuguese turned their attention eastward to Maluku. Through military conquest and alliance with local leaders, the Portuguese established trading ports, strongholds and missions in eastern Indonesia including the islands of Ternate, Ambon and Solor. However, interest in Portuguese missionary activity occurred in the mid-16th century, after the military conquest efforts in the islands ceased and their interest shifted to Japan, Macao and China; and sugar in Brazil.

Portuguese presence in Indonesia was limited to Solor, Flores and Portuguese Timor after they suffered defeat in 1.575 AD in Ternate, and after the Dutch conquest of Ambon, North Maluku and Banda. Portuguese influence on Indonesian culture is relatively small: a number of Portuguese surnames on Portuguese descent communities in Tugu, North Jakarta, keroncong music, and family names in eastern Indonesia such as da Costa, Dias, de Fretes, Gonsalves, Queljo, etc. In Indonesian there are also a number of loan words from Portuguese, such as sinyo, miss, shirt, window, soap, cheese, etc.

VOC era
Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (Union of East Indies Companies) or VOC which was established on March 20, 1602 is a Dutch company that has a monopoly for trading activities in Asia. It was called East Indies because there was also a VOC which was a trade union of the West Indies. This company is considered as the first company to issue shares distribution.

Even though the VOC is actually a trading body, but this trade body is special because it is supported by the state and given its own special facilities. For example, the VOC may have an army and may negotiate with other countries. It can be said that VOC is a state within a state.

The VOC consists of 6 Sections (Kamers) in Amsterdam, Middelburg (for Zeeland), Enkhuizen, Delft, Hoorn and Rotterdam. Delegates from this room gathered as Heeren XVII (Gentlemen XVII). Kamers contributed delegates to seventeen according to the proportion of capital they paid; Amsterdam delegations number eight.

In Indonesia the VOC has the popular name Kompeni or Kumpeni. This term is taken from the word compagnie in the company's full name in Dutch.


  • and various sources

Photo: Special

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