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Type of Item
Chronicle of a Javanese Court in Yogyakarta
This illuminated page in Javanese script is from a chronicle of a Javanese court in Yogyakarta. Located in central Java, Yogyakarta was one of two main pre-colonial royal cities in Java and a center of Javanese culture. The history of local leaders and royal families was recorded in chronicles such as this one. The document is from the collections of the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies in Leiden.
Pustaha about Protection against Evil
This illuminated book made of tree bark is a pustaha, written in the script of the Batak people of Northern Sumatra. Pustahas were books describing magical practices, and were intended for use only by Batak spiritual leaders and their disciples. This pustaha describes forms of protection against evil, and is from the special collections of the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies in Leiden.
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 ...
Various Types of Surinamese
This watercolor by Arnold Borret (1848-88) consists of small sketches of different members of society and their various ethnic backgrounds in the Dutch colony of Suriname in the late 1880s. Borret was an accomplished amateur artist who was also a lawyer and a Roman Catholic priest. He studied law at the University of Leiden and practiced in Rotterdam before becoming a clerk, in 1878, to the Supreme Court in Paramaribo. He became a priest in 1883, with the intention of working with lepers in Suriname. He died of typhus in ...
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 ...
View of the Island and the City of Batavia Belonging to the Dutch, for the India Company
This hand-colored engraving of the Dutch colonial capital of Batavia (present-day Jakarta) was created by Jan Van Ryne in 1754. Van Ryne was born in the Netherlands, but spent most of his working life in London, where he specialized in producing engravings of scenes from the British and Dutch colonies. Located at the mouth of the Ciliwung River, Jakarta was the site of a settlement and port possibly going back as far as the fifth century A.D. In 1619, the Dutch captured and razed the existing city of Jayakerta ...
Get Out! The Indies Must be Liberated
This 1945 recruiting poster by the Dutch artist Nico Broekman shows a Japanese soldier being booted from the island of Bali, and the caption, “Get Out! The Indies Must Be Liberated.” During World War II, Japan occupied the Dutch East Indies in early 1942. After the surrender, a large number of Dutch submarines and some aircraft escaped to Australia and continued to fight as part of Australian units. In the course of the war, Indonesian nationalists supported by the Japanese took over parts of the country. Allied troops invaded Borneo ...
Bathing Room in the Women's Quarter of the Makassarese Village Near Master Cornelis in Batavia
This 1945 photograph shows women and children bathing at the Kampong Makassar internment camp near Batavia (present-day Jakarta) during World War II. After the Dutch East Indies fell to Japanese forces in 1942, many Dutch residents were forced into internment camps, where they stayed until the end of the war. At Kampong Makassar, which operated from January to August 1945, more than 3,600 women and children were held in a space measuring less than one square kilometer. The photograph is from the collections of the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute ...
The Volcano Smeroe (View from the Passaroeng Residence)
This colored lithograph shows Smeroe (Semeru), the largest volcano on the island of Java. Also known as Mahameru, or the Great Mountain, the volcano erupted at least once a year during the 19th century, and since 1967 has been in a state of near-constant activity. This view from the town of Pasuruan shows a plume of smoke coming from the top of mountain. The Dutch painter Abraham Salm (1801-76) spent 29 years in Indonesia, where he produced many dramatic landscape paintings. This lithograph is one of 15 views of Java ...
Gustaaf Willem Baron van Imhoff, Governor General of the Dutch East India Company
This engraving depicts Gustaaf Willem Baron van Imhoff (1705-50), who served as governor general of the Dutch East India Company from 1743 to 1750. Imhoff began working for the company in 1725, and held important posts in both Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka) and the Dutch East Indies. He attempted to institute some progressive policies in the East Indies, such as establishing a school, post office, hospital, and newspaper. The engraving is from the collections of the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies in Leiden.
A Flood on Java
This view, showing people on a raft in a flooded river in central Java's Jawa Tengah province is the work of Raden Saleh (1807-80), who is regarded by many scholars as the first modern artist from the Dutch East Indies. Saleh was born into a noble Javanese family and studied with a Belgian artist in the west Javan city of Bogor before going to study in the Netherlands. He spent 20 years in Europe before returning to his native country, where he lived for the remainder of his life ...
Ruins of Prambanan, Tjandi Sewoe, Soerakarta Residence
This photograph depicts the ruins of the temple of Prambanan in central Java, the largest Hindu temple ever built in Indonesia and one of the largest in Southeast Asia. Dedicated to the triumvirate of Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu, the temple was built around 850 A.D. by the Mataram dynasty but abandoned soon after its construction. The Mataram dynasty practiced aspects of both Hinduism and Buddhism, and the temple complex includes some of the earliest Buddhist temples in Indonesia. Prambanan was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. The ...
Raden Saleh (1814-1880), Painter in Batavia
This photograph depicts Raden Saleh (1807-80), regarded by many scholars as the first modern artist from the Dutch East Indies. Saleh was born into a noble Javanese family and studied with a Belgian artist in the West Javan city of Bogor before going to study in the Netherlands. He spent 20 years in Europe before returning to his native country, where he lived for the remainder of his life, painting landscapes, local aristocrats, and conceptions of Javanese history. Saleh’s paintings reflect the romanticism popular in Europe at the time ...
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 ...