8 results
Malaysian Tapir
This depiction of Tapirus indicus (the Malaysian or Asian tapir) is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in 1986 in the National Library of South Africa. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi people, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The artist has not been identified. He most likely was a Dutchman, born in the 17th century, who was attached in some capacity to the Dutch East India Company and possibly en route to the Dutch East ...
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National Library of South Africa
Malay Annals
Sometime around the year 1400, a prince from Sumatra named Parameswara founded a settlement at the mouth of the Melaka River on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula. One of his successors embraced Islam, and Melaka soon grew to become the greatest Islamic kingdom in Southeast Asia. A center of the spice trade that was known as the “Venice of the East,” it attracted merchants from as far away as Arabia, India, China, and Japan. The wealth of Melaka proved irresistible to the Portuguese, who were the first Europeans ...
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The British Library
Qu'ran
This exquisite illuminated Qur’an (Or 15227) dating from the 19th century originates from the east coast of the Malay Peninsula. On the basis of various codicological features, the manuscript can be attributed to the cultural zone encompassing Kelantan, on the northeast coast of Malaysia, and Patani, in southern Thailand. In many ways, the Qur’an is typical of manuscript production in Patani, with black endpapers of Thai manufacture, a cloth cover with elaborate stitched headbands, and illuminated frames with typical Patani features, such as the interlocking-wave motif. And yet ...
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The British Library
Letter from Engku Temenggung Seri Maharaja (Daing Ibrahim), Ruler of Johor, to Napoleon III, Emperor of France
This beautiful royal Malay letter from the ruler of Johor, Temenggung Daing Ibrahim, to the Emperor of France, written in Singapore in 1857, is a triumph of style over substance. Its 13 golden lines pay effusive compliments to Napoleon III but convey little else. It is hard to know what either side hoped to gain from the despatch of such a magnificent missive, for in the mid-19th century French interests in Southeast Asia were primarily focused on Indochina, while Johor’s allegiance was firmly with the British. In the letter ...
Contributed by
The British Library
Map of North Borneo
Borneo is the world’s third-largest island. Sabak and Sarawak in the north are part of Malaysia, Kalimantan in the center and south is part of Indonesia, and the Sultanate of Brunei occupies a part of the island along the northern coast. The island was known for centuries to the Indians, Chinese, Arabs, and Japanese, but came under increasing Dutch and British influence from the 17th century onward. In 1878, the Sultan of Sulu leased the northern part of the island to the British North Borneo Company. This map, drawn ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Borneo
This early-20th century map of Borneo shows infrastructure developments on the island, in large part associated with the growth of the rubber industry. Indicated on the map are railroads, overland telegraph lines, and submarine telegraph lines linking the British-controlled northern part of Borneo to Singapore and connecting the Dutch-controlled south to other parts of the Dutch East Indies, such as Java and the Celebes. The map is by Edward Stanford Ltd., a London map seller and publishing house established in 1853 by Edward Stanford (1827-1904) and known for its London ...
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Library of Congress
Journey to the East Indies and China, Undertaken at the King's Command, from 1774 until 1781: In Which the Religious Mores, Sciences, and Arts of the Indians, the Chinese, the Pegouins, and the Madegasse are Discussed.
Pierre Sonnerat (1748-1814) was a French naturalist and explorer who made several voyages to southeast Asia between 1769 and 1781. He published this two-volume account of his voyage of 1774-81 in 1782. Volume 1 deals exclusively with India, whose culture Sonnerat very much admired, and is especially noteworthy for its extended discussion of religion in India, Hinduism in particular. Volume 2 covers Sonnerat’s travels to China, Burma, Madagascar, the Maldives, Mauritius, Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka), Indonesia, and the Philippines. The book is illustrated with engravings based on Sonnerat’s ...
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Library of Congress
New Geographic Map of the Interior of Malaca
This map showing the Strait of Malacca and the interior of the Malay Peninsula is the work of Malaysian-Portuguese cartographer Emanuel Godinho de Eredia (1563-1623). At the turn of the 17th century, the Portuguese were exploring southeast Asia from their base in Malacca, searching for the “Islands of Gold” that figured prominently in Malaysian legends. Around 1602, the viceroy of Portuguese India commissioned an expedition around the islands south of Malaysia and India. Eredia served as a soldier and engineer on the mission and completed this map around the same ...
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National Library of Brazil