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Showing papers in "Indonesia and The Malay World in 2004"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: With the article ‘Islam and local traditions: syncretic ideas and practices’ by the late Lode Frank Brakel (1940•1981) the Editorial Board of Indonesia and the Malay World introduces to the journal...
Abstract: With the article ‘Islam and local traditions: syncretic ideas and practices’ by the late Lode Frank Brakel (1940‐1981) the Editorial Board of Indonesia and the Malay World introduces to the journal...

41 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The first publication of the group of earliest locally produced tombstones from the polity of Samudera-Pasai is presented in this article. But the work in this paper is limited to the first half of the 19th century.
Abstract: Indonesia is currently the largest Muslim nation in the world; however, the understanding of when and especially how, Islam first reached maritime Southeast Asia is still far from clear. Written sources are sparse and often unreliable, archaeology is still in its infancy and the physical conditions in any case are not favourable to material survival. This article contributes to this debate by highlighting rich but unexploited epigraphic material found in a Colonial period archive in the University of Leiden. The archive is an extensive photographic documentation of the Islamic cemeteries of Aceh in north Sumatra, the location of some of the earliest Muslim mercantile polities in the region. The article is the first publication of the group of earliest locally produced tombstones from the polity of Samudera-Pasai. The article provides readings of these early epitaphs as well as exploring their material, manufacture and design, and the insights these provide into the multiple cultural traditions active in the area at the time. The article breaks new grounds in seeing these tombstones not simply as text – the dominant approach since the 19th century - but as “whole objects” within which the epigraphic and material data hold equal importance. The research was funded by a grant from the Committee for South East Asian Studies (British Academy) and a Tweedie Exploration Fellowship from the University of Edinburgh; work was also done during a period as an Affiliated Fellow of the International Institute of Asian Studies (Leiden). This work is being further developed for a future book on the material culture of death in Islamic Southeast Asia.

34 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors argue that the implementation of shari a by a Muslim state is more of a political issue than a religious one, and that it has been argued that Muslim rulers have employed shari as a symbol to acquire political legitimacy from their Muslim citizens and political influence with other Muslim countries.
Abstract: Introduction Discussions of shari a and politics have often proposed that the former is manipulated by the latter. It has been argued that Muslim rulers have employed shari a as a symbol to acquire political legitimacy from their Muslim citizens and political influence with other Muslim countries (Schumann, 1999). In addition, it has been argued that the codification of shari a by Muslim regimes is intended in the interests of legal unification in order to produce political stability (Mawardi, 2003). All of this suggests that the implementation of shari a by a Muslim state is more of a political issue than a religious one. With regard to the state’s interests which commonly underlie the implementation of shari a, this sort of argument is generally acceptable. Yet how do we account for the current rising demand for the implementation of shari a among Muslim groups? Are they politically motivated as well? Bassam Tibi (2001:147,166) has argued that this demand is:

33 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the author asks how a person knows that another person is a Jew: did they give each other signals, or are there secret signs, or w.r.t.
Abstract: ‘Tell me,’ he says. ‘I’ve often wondered how you know … how you recognize one another. I mean, how did you know that [he] was a Jew? Did you give each other signals, or are there secret signs, or w...

33 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The highland-lowland nexus has been one of the staples of historical and anthropological analysis of mainland Southeast Asian studies as discussed by the authors, and it is a topic of great interest to us.
Abstract: The highland–lowland nexus has been one of the staples of historical and anthropological analysis of mainland Southeast Asian studies. At the risk of greatly oversimplifying the situation, it is po...

29 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that human behaviour is to some extent structured by the urban form, and that the built environment restricts human behaviour to a certain extent in the form of a social product.
Abstract: Urban space is a social product (Lefebvre 1974). People give cities their physical form. Conversely, human behaviour is to some extent structured by the urban form. The built environment restricts ...

16 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Although there are as yet no specific histories of either elephants or horses in Southeast Asia, references to these animals crop up frequently, and a few general texts illuminate the outlines of t...
Abstract: Although there are as yet no specific histories of either elephants or horses in Southeast Asia, references to these animals crop up frequently, and a few general texts illuminate the outlines of t...

15 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Tirya-veda (the science of women; V.B.) is a tempestuous sea and a shoreless ocean, and no wise man has ever managed to sound it with his intellect as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: The Tirya-veda (the science of women; V.B.) is a tempestuous sea and a shoreless ocean, and no wise man has ever managed to sound it with his intellect. But fear you not: we shall solve this proble...

14 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: From a theological point of view, history is the manifestation of a Divine Plan as discussed by the authors, which is the absolute Creator who knows everything about His creatures in the past, the present and the future.
Abstract: From a theological point of view, history is the manifestation of a Divine Plan.2 God is the absolute Creator who knows everything about His creatures in the past, the present and the future. The D...

12 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors focus on the vivid exchange practices that form part of social life in Sarijati village in Central Java and argue that exchanges here make up a social domain that articulates gender ideology and the reasoning of local morality.
Abstract: The concept of exchange has been on the anthropological agenda since Marcel Mauss published his book Essai sur le Don in 1925. The nature of gift-giving and exchange practices has since in different ways been developed and criticised (e.g. Bloch and Perry 1989; Bourdieu 1977; Derrida 1992; Dumont 1986; Levi-Strauss 1950; Sahlins 1974). However, exchanges are social practices that continue to puzzle and arouse curiosity within anthropology and related fields. The present article focuses on the vivid exchange practices that form part of social life in Sarijati village in Central Java.2 I will argue that exchanges here make up a social domain that articulates gender ideology and the reasoning of local morality. Sarijati is a pseudonym. this article is based on a research project sponsored by the danish research council for the humanities. fieldwork was carried out in central java in 1996–97 and in 1998.

9 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The construction of vernacular houses that with regard to their design, choice of building materials and function conform to traditional patterns has become a rarity among the Minangkabau in west Singapore as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: The construction of vernacular houses that with regard to their design, choice of building materials and function conform to traditional patterns has become a rarity among the Minangkabau in west S...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Hikayat Negeri Jambi (henceforth HNJ) as discussed by the authors is the most consistent and full in terms of a Malay historical narrative, since it narrated the history of the sultanate from its beginning up to its end or, in the case where the ruler of the state is still in power, up to the time of the composition of the narrative.
Abstract: The territory in East Sumatra known as Jambi has a rich history: an early Hindu kingdom, it became a wealthy and powerful sultanate, gradually came under European control, and now constitutes a part, in every sense provincial, of modern Indonesia. We know little about the early history of Jambi, but the period from the beginning of the seventeenth century onwards is described in detail in several studies based mainly on European sources. Indeed, Malay written texts from Jambi are scarce; those that are known were composed in the second half of the nineteenth century, and most of the information they provide can hardly be deemed historical by the standards of modern historiography. At the same time these texts provide a unique opportunity, enabling us to take a look at the history of Jambi through the eyes of the nineteenth-century local scholar who believed that his account of the events was true, just as modern scholars assign the same value to the reconstructions they compose mainly on the basis of European records. The sources of a Malay traditional scholar were various—including the Qur’an and Traditions, the ultimate source of any knowledge for a Muslim, and, as regards historical narrative, including some existing Malay or foreign works as a model, and local tradition as a source of stateor region-relevant information. Of these texts the Hikayat Negeri Jambi (henceforth HNJ) is the most consistent and full in terms of a Malay historical narrative, since it narrates the history of the sultanate from its beginning up to its end or, in the case where the ruler of the state is still in power, up to the time of the composition of the narrative. There are two manuscripts of the HNJ extant—Leiden Cod. Or. 2013 and Cod. Or. 12182—both of which originate from the second half of the nineteenth century, by which time the Dutch had already extended their power over Jambi, forcing the Sultan to flee upstream from the capital and establishing one of his relatives as a puppet ruler. Like Sejarah Melayu, which was composed after the fall of Malacca in order to preserve its glorious history for succeeding generations and to explain the defeat of the once powerful state, the HNJ reflects the views and attitudes of its composer to the history of Jambi, which competed with mighty but equal rivals, Palembang and Johor, but eventually fell into the hands of Europeans. The text of the HNJ can be divided into several parts, on the basis of the main characters and their relations to the natural and political environment. These parts are marked as such in both manuscripts, but there is some confusion in designation: there are three parts, called the Hikayat Tun Telanai, the Hikayat Orang Kaya Hitam, and the Hikayat Pangeran Rengas Pendek, and after the end of the latter there are two further parts, called fasal and numbered fourth and fifth (the third hikayat is also called fasal at the beginning, but has no number).

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Seno's Wisanggeni Sang Buronan as discussed by the authors is a counter-discourse work that uses the wayang comics of R. A. Kosasih and Danarto's fine line-drawings of the world to counter the New Order regime.
Abstract: The Wisanggeni legend as counter-discourse In a recent review of Seno Gumira Ajidarma’s Wisanggeni Sang Buronan (Wisanggeni the Outlaw) (Ajidarma, 2000), Radhar Panca Dahana comments that Seno’s work is not only ‘racy like martial arts, full of wisdom like a book of philosophy, easy-reading like entertainment’ but also ‘humorous like comedy, lyrical like poetry’ (Dahana, 2000: 92). Seno’s vivid literary poetics are modelled on a number of different sources, including the wayang comics of R. A. Kosasih, the ancient court texts of Central Javanese palace scribes, the improvisation of jazz musicians, and, most importantly in the case of Wisanggeni Sang Buronan, Danarto’s fine line-drawings of the wayang world. When Seno first wrote the novel, which was as a series of narratives in 1984 in a now defunct current affairs magazine, Zaman, he wrote it in response to Danarto’s sketches (Ajidarma, 2000: v-ix). Seno felt that each of Danarto’s finely wrought ‘masterpieces’ brought the wayang characters and their world to life, humanising and exoticising them at the same time. Emphasising the radical nature of Danarto’s sketches, Dahana labels them as ‘life-like, contemporary, and going against the pakem, (Dahana, 2000: 92). Whilst these drawings play a significant role in the novel, their greatest impact lies in their counter-hegemonic ideological stance, a stance most obviously displayed in the way that they simultaneously embrace the Javanese wayang shadow theatre tradition whilst reinventing it, with a twist. Consequently, Seno’s novel shares much in common with what Helen Tiffin refers to as the postcolonial project of ‘canonical counter-discourse’ (Tiffin, 1987: 22). This is a process whereby, in the words of Helen Gilbert and Joanne Tompkins, ‘the post-colonial writer unveils and dismantles the basic assumptions of a specific canonical text by developing a ‘counter’ text that preserves many of the identifying signifiers of the original while altering, often allegorically, its structures of power’ (Gilbert & Tompkins, 1996: 16). Seno is not alone in his desire to borrow, appropriate and humanise Wisanggeni and his world as a means of ‘writing back’ to the New Order regime. Arya ‘Aji’ Dipayana, the script-writer of Wisanggeni Berkelabat (Wisanggeni Away) (Dipayana, 2000), a theatre production presented by Teater Tetas in Solo in October 2000 and in Jakarta in April 2001, also uses the characters and plots of the wayang, and the Wisanggeni legend in particular, to ‘counter’ the New Order regime. Aji, like Seno before him, wrote an earlier version of his text in the 1980s, only to resurrect it over a decade later in the aftermath of the New Order. Ayu Utami’s highly acclaimed novel of 1998, Saman, also draws upon the character of Wisanggeni, and it too entails a critical re-writing project that is both revisionist, counter-discursive and highly political.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The close links that existed between Aceh and Turkey during the 16th century were forged mainly during the reigns of Sultan Alauddin Riayat Syah al-Kahar of Aceh (r.1537?-1571) and of the Ottoman r...
Abstract: The close links that existed between Aceh and Turkey during the 16th century were forged mainly during the reigns of Sultan Alauddin Riayat Syah al-Kahar of Aceh (r.1537?–1571) and of the Ottoman r...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is a significant tenet of the Islamist world-view that the meaning and modalities of both Islam in general and Islamic-state activism in particular are subject to serious, indeed sinister, distortion by Western commentary as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: A new Malay politics It is a significant tenet of the Islamist world-view that the meaning and modalities of both Islam in general and Islamic-state activism in particular are subject to serious, indeed sinister, distortion by Western commentary. So pervasive is this perception now, that it may probably be judged to have become a factor in its own right for Islamist recruitment and solidarity. It certainly distracts Islamist attention from the fact that much anti-Islamist propaganda is ‘home-grown’ in the hothouse of national politics, and is then fed to Western opinion by the local ‘repressive’ or ‘apostate’ regimes as part of their own political survival plan. Be this as it may as a feature of Islamist perceptions in general, it does seem difficult to argue that Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the recently retired national leader of Malaysia, has been an intellectual puppet of the former colonial regime and thus a mere mimic of its prejudices. Dr Mahathir’s Malay nationalism has appeared totally resilient, alongside his tireless ridicule of Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS) for deviating from true Islam as well as from nationalism, because it is ‘other-worldly’ and reputedly against the modernisation of Muslims. At least, few will disagree with the proposition that Dr Mahathir has incited anti-British feeling on occasion, as a way not only to galvanise the Malays but also to consolidate Malaysian national identity – in a post-colonial era where British power in the region operates in rather intangible ways. The two most strident occasions may be judged to have been the ‘Buy British Last’ campaign (1981–83), and a total boycott of British

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Many studies of 17th-century theological works by Sumatran Muslim scholars were carried out during the course of the 20th century as discussed by the authors, which made an important contribution to orientalist philologists.
Abstract: Many studies of 17th-century theological works by Sumatran Muslim scholars were carried out during the course of the 20th century. Earlier generations of orientalist philologists made an important ...