Cape Malays…

and their Heritage

Lest ye Forget!

Posted by tahirfarrath on September 23, 2009

Columbus arrived in Central America on Oct 12, 1492 and proceeded to make a number of misassumptions. He believed he was in the East Indies (Indonesia) because that was where he set out for to develop a short cut for the spice trade. Then Portuguese and Spanish came and divided the world between them in the sixteenth century.
The Portuguese arrived in India in 1498 (Vasco de Gama), and from Goa, their principal base in India, they established in the early sixteenth century a Portuguese commercial empire with important centres in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Malacca and the East Indies.
A strong Muslim empire had developed with its centre at Malacca on the Malay Peninsula. Its influence was shortlived and it fell to the Portuguese in 1511. The Dutch displaced the Portuguese and began making inroads into Indonesia.
Malacca was contolled as a colony of the VOC. The Dutch preferred Batavia (present day Jakarta) as their economic and administrative center in the region and their hold in Malacca was to prevent the loss of the city to other European powers.
European traders first arrived in the early sixteenth century seeking to monopolize the sources of nutmeg, cloves, and cubeb pepper in the Moluccas.
Jepara was an important port in early 1513. The Son of the King of Demak Sultanate, Pati Unus led an attack against Portuguese Malacca. His force is said to have been made up of one hundred ships and 5000 men from Jepara and Palembang but was defeated.
Magellan did not discover the Philippines but arrived in the Philippines in 1521. The country was named after King Philip II of Spain in 1543, twenty-two years before Spain established a permanent colonial presence.
In 1596, the first Dutch ships arrived in Indonesia. The Dutch seized the important port city of Jakarta on Java. They drove out all other Europeans and began to take control of other islands. The archipelago became a Dutch colony and was known as the Dutch East Indies.
To acquire control of the nutmeg trade, in 1619 the ruthless 31 year old Dutch Governor-General Jan Pieterszoon Coen exterminated Banda’s indigenous population.
One of the worlds oldest and most famous shipwrecks that was lost without trace, was the ‘Batavia’ of the VOC (Dutch East India Company), on her maiden voyage to the Spice Islands in 1629.
The legendary Sultan Kudarat of Maguindanao maintained a stronghold in Lamitan town until the Spaniards under the command of Governor General Sebastián Hurtado de Corcuera crushed it in 1637. Jesuit missionaries arrived a few years later.
The next great chapter in the spread of coffee around the globe was driven by the Dutch East India Company in 1652, which obtained seedlings and started cultivation in their Batavia colony (now Java, Indonesia).
VOC established a refreshment post for passing ships at the southern most tip of Africa, calling it the “Cape of Good Hope” in 1652.
By the early seventeenth century, Dutch accounts of Sulawesi record the presence of large numbers of Bajau around Makassar. Following Makassar’s defeat by Dutch and Bugis forces in 1669, many of these communities are said to have dispersed to other islands in eastern Indonesia.
In the early 17th century, Kalimantan became a scene of conflict between the British and the Dutch colonial empires, which led to the present day division of Borneo between Indonesia and Malaysia.
Since the Dutch had introduced coffee to Indonesia, the French took coffee plants with them to Martinique and the Spanish established plantations in the Caribbean, Central America and Brazil.
Soybeans first grew in the United States in 1765 and were introduced in Korea, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, Nepal, and northern India.
During the early 18th century, many secular Jews from the Netherlands arrived and became merchants and shop-owners. There were approximately 25000 Jews in Indonesia by 1770,as a result of persecution in parts of Europe.
In 1799, the VOC shamefully collapsed due to mismanagement and corruption, was declared bankrupt and dissolved.
In the 17th century, Malacca ceased to be an important port, the Johor Sultanate became the dominant local power in the region, due to the opening of its ports and the alliance with the Dutch.
The war between Acehnese and Dutch, which began in 1873, is striking in the war that wages today between Acehnese and the Indonesian army.
In the early part of the seventeenth century, the English came to power in Indonesia. The English abandoned Indonesia in 1824, and shifted their interest to Singapore since their conflict with the Dutch in Malacca.

Retelling the story…

A Timeline (of Greed)

The expedition Dias undertook in 1486 turned back upon reaching Southern Africa. Then  Columbus reached Central America on Oct 12, 1492 and proceeded to make a number of misassumptions. He believed that he was in the East Indies (Indonesia) since setting out to create a short cut for the spice trade. By the sixteenth century, the Portuguese and Spanish arrived and divided that part of the world between themselves.

Vasco  de Gama sailed to India around Southern Africa during 1498. The Portuguese from Goa – their principal base in India,  established a Portuguese commercial empire with important centres in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Malacca and the East Indies in the early sixteenth century.

By the time Marco Polo visited North Sumatra at the end of the 13th century, the first Islamic states were already established there. Thus, a strong Muslim empire had developed with its centre at Malacca on the Malay Peninsula. Its influence was shortlived and it fell to the Portuguese in 1511. The Dutch displaced the Portuguese and began making inroads into Indonesia.

Malacca was contolled as a colony of the VOC (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie). The Dutch preferred Batavia (present day Jakarta) as their economic and administrative center in the region and their hold in Malacca was to prevent the loss of the city to other European powers.

European traders first arrived in the early sixteenth century seeking to monopolize the sources of nutmeg, cloves, and cubeb pepper in the Moluccas.

Jepara was an important port in early 1513. The Son of the King of Demak Sultanate, Pati Unus led an attack against the then Portuguese Malacca. His force is said to have been made up of one hundred ships and 5000 men from Jepara and Palembang but was defeated.

Magellan did not discover the Philippines but arrived in the Philippines in 1521. The country was named after King Philip II of Spain in 1543, twenty-two years before Spain established a permanent colonial presence.

In 1596, the first Dutch ships arrived in Indonesia. The Dutch seized the important port city of Jakarta on Java. They drove out all other Europeans and began to take control of other islands. The archipelago became a Dutch colony and was known as the Dutch East Indies.

To acquire control of the nutmeg trade, in 1619 the ruthless 31 year old Dutch Governor-General Jan Pieterszoon Coen exterminated Banda’s indigenous population.

One of the worlds oldest and most famous shipwrecks that was lost without trace, was the ‘Batavia’ of the VOC (Dutch East India Company), on her maiden voyage to the Spice Islands in 1629.

The legendary Sultan Kudarat of Maguindanao maintained a stronghold in Lamitan town until the Spaniards under the command of Governor General Sebastián Hurtado de Corcuera crushed it in 1637. Jesuit missionaries arrived a few years later.

The next great chapter in the spread of coffee around the globe was driven by the Dutch East India Company in 1652, which obtained seedlings and started cultivation in their Batavia colony (now Java, Indonesia).

VOC established a refreshment post between Europe and Batavia for passing ships at the southern most tip of Africa, calling it the “Cape of Good Hope” in 1652.

By the early seventeenth century, Dutch accounts of Sulawesi record the presence of large numbers of Bajau around Makassar. Following Makassar’s defeat by Dutch and Bugis forces in 1669, many of these communities are said to have dispersed to other islands in eastern Indonesia.

In the early 17th century, Kalimantan became a scene of conflict between the British and the Dutch colonial empires, which led to the present day division of Borneo between Indonesia and Malaysia.

Since the Dutch had introduced coffee to Indonesia, the French took coffee plants with them to Martinique and the Spanish established plantations in the Caribbean, Central America and Brazil.

Soybeans first grew in the United States in 1765 and were introduced in Korea, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, Nepal, and northern India.

During the early 18th century, many secular Jews from the Netherlands arrived and became merchants and shop-owners. There were approximately 25000 Jews in Indonesia by 1770, as a result of persecution in parts of Europe.

In 1799, the VOC shamefully collapsed due to mismanagement and corruption, was declared bankrupt and dissolved.

In the 17th century, Malacca ceased to be an important port, the Johor Sultanate became the dominant local power in the region, due to the opening of its ports and the alliance with the Dutch.

The war between Acehnese and Dutch, which began in 1873, is striking in the war that wages today between Acehnese and the Indonesian army.

In the early part of the seventeenth century, the English came to power in Indonesia. The English abandoned Indonesia in 1824, and shifted their interest to Singapore since their conflict with the Dutch in Malacca.

http://www.google.co.nz/search?q=early+history+indonesia&hl=en&sa=X&tbo=p&num=20&tbs=tl:1,tll:1700,tlh:1799&ei=WXW5SvucEpTe7APg_PSdAg&oi=timeline_histogram_nav&ct=timeline-histogram&cd=10

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2 Responses to “Lest ye Forget!”

  1. Mogamat Kammie KAMEDIEN said

    The Cape Malay question – Part 1
    18 09 2009

    I’ve often been asked to explain the term ‘Cape Malay’, its origins and the people so referenced. This is probably one of the most misunderstood elements of Cape heritage.

    Originally it represented an authentic Creole sub-culture which was later manipulated into a socially constructed identity and presented in racial-ethnic terms. It was often and erroneously used interchangeably to refer to Cape Muslims.

    http://cape-slavery-heritage.iblog.co.za/2009/09/18/the-cape-malay-question-part-1/

    The Cape Malay question – Part 2
    20 09 2009

    In the first part of this series I shared some perspectives on faith and slavery at the Cape, and particularly the Muslim faith and how it took root in the Cape colony. I examined the pivotal role played by the Indonesian political-religious exiles in converting slaves to Islam at the Cape, and established that most slaves arriving at the Cape were not initially of the Muslim or Christian faith. It was pointed out that because of this strong influence one of the fundamental contributories to the ‘Cape Malay’ social construct became the Muslim faith. It was further established that the term ‘Cape Malay’ had very little to do with modern day Malaysia or Indonesia, but was derived from the linguistic dialect used in the eastern slave and commercial trade –‘Portuguese-Melayu’.

    • Toyer said

      Thanks for offering another perspective in the search for meaning and trying to make sense of the world in which we live.

      While many people associate Creoles solely with French ancestory, there were actually German Creoles, Irish Creoles and other colonizers. Hence, the existence of a substantial population of Creoles of colour, incorporating the San and Khoikhoi people of the Cape, whose authentic lives were tied to their places of origin. This is also true for the Cape Malays without whom their present form of Islaam would not have existed. They are inevitably the Cape Malays, and no doubt, the so called Coloureds have not adopted this identity for themselves.

      Without the institution of slavery, Creoles of colour would not have been associated so closely with their European ancestors, and there would have been no Creole of subculture with rural subcultures. Even if the Creoles of colour are thrown out by a dominant society, subcultures would still be treated as second class citizens and the conflict of identities would remain. At another level, cultural identity is not seen as synonymous with identity politics and diasporic citizenship.

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