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Chinese Kids at the Tjap-Gomeh Festival in Makassar
This photograph shows Chinese children participating in the Tjap Go Meh Festival in Makassar, the largest city on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Tjap Go Meh, which takes place 15 days after Chinese New Year, was widely celebrated among Chinese immigrants in Indonesia, and became popular with the local population as well. Also known as the Lantern Festival, it involves parades and performances similar to those on the new year. The picture was taken by the studio of British photographers Walter Bentley Woodbury and James Page, who arrived in the ...
Pendopo of the Palace of the Mangkoenagoro of Surakarta
This photograph shows the pendopo of the palace of the Mangkunegaran dynasty in Surakarta. The pendopo, a large open-air pavilion built on columns, is a crucial element of Javanese architecture. It is open on all sides and provides shelter from sun and rain, but allows breezes to enter. Mangkunegara was established as a small principality with a hereditary ruler in the center of Surakarta in 1757, following the breakup of the area’s main kingdom, Mataram, as part of the divide-and-conquer policy practiced by the Dutch in Java. The photograph ...
Two Opium Smokers on Java
This carte-de-visite photograph shows two opium smokers on the island of Java. Opium smoking was introduced into Java by the Dutch, who established a major port at Batavia (present-day Jakarta) and imported Indian-grown opium for local sale and later for re-export to China. Opium smoking was at first mainly a part of social life among Javanese upper classes, but in the 19th century it increasingly spread to the laborers who served the expanding colonial economy. The photograph was taken by the firm of Woodbury & Page, which was established by the ...
The Protestant Willems Church on the King's Place in Batavia
This photograph shows the Willemskerk in Batavia (present-day Jakarta) as it appeared in the middle of the 1860s. Construction of the church began in 1834, after the Lutheran and Dutch Reformed congregations agreed to build a Protestant church in the city. Upon completion in 1839, it was named in honor of the Dutch king, Willem I, but was renamed Immanuel Church in 1948. The photograph was taken by the studio of Woodbury & Page, which was established in 1857 by the British photographers Walter Bentley Woodbury and James Page. The photograph ...
Wedono of Banjaran near Bandung with His Following in Front of His House
This photograph shows the wedono of Banjaran (a region in present-day West Java near Bandung), in front of his house, with members of his entourage. In Dutch-administered Java, a wedono was a native regional administrator. The photograph was taken by the studio of Woodbury & Page, which was established in 1857 by the British photographers Walter Bentley Woodbury and James Page. The photograph is from the collections of the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies in Leiden.
Dancer with a Group of Wandering Puppeters in Batavia
This dancer was part of a troupe of wandering entertainers who traveled through Java in the late 19th century, performing dances and puppet shows. Indonesian shadow puppetry, known as wayang kulit, is one of the world’s oldest storytelling traditions. Traditional Javanese dance began as a court ritual, but over time the dances incorporated many of the stories and traditions performed in the puppet theater. The photograph was taken by the studio of Woodbury & Page, which was established in 1857 by the British photographers Walter Bentley Woodbury and James Page ...
Aide-de-Camp to the Ambassador of Siam to Batavia
The young man depicted in this carte-de-visite photograph was the aide-de-camp to the ambassador of the Kingdom of Siam in the Dutch colonial capital of Batavia (present-day Jakarta). Siam established diplomatic relations with the Dutch East India Company as early as 1609, and the relationship continued after the government of the Netherlands took over governing the Dutch East Indies from the company. The photograph was taken by the studio of Woodbury & Page, which was established in 1857 by the British photographers Walter Bentley Woodbury and James Page. The photograph is ...
Chinese Bride in Batavia
This photograph shows a Chinese bride in Batavia (present-day Jakarta) in her wedding dress. The commercial development of Batavia under the Dutch created numerous opportunities for immigrants from China, who became a favored minority and helped to support Dutch colonial rule. While many Chinese immigrants and their descendants adopted Dutch lifestyles by the late 19th century, others continued to identify with China and maintained Chinese customs and traditional dress. The photograph was taken by the studio of Woodbury & Page, which was established in 1857 by the British photographers Walter Bentley ...
Arab Hajji, Probably in Batavia
This carte-de-visite photograph depicts an Arab in the Dutch colonial capital of Batavia (present-day Jakarta) preparing for the hajj. The Arabs in Southeast Asia generally were from the area of Hadramaut in the southern part of Arabia. During the 19th century, the number of Arabs immigrating to Asia increased, but they remained tied to their homeland and often used the wealth acquired in their new homes to finance projects in Arabia. Despite sharing their Muslim faith with native Indonesians, Arabs maintained separate communities, particularly during the colonial period. The photograph ...