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 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.

Last updated: September 25, 2015