The Past in the Present

Architecture in Indonesia

Edited by Peter J.M. Nas

The Philippines through European Lenses

Late 19th-Century Photographs from the Meerkamp van Embden Collection

Otto van den Muijzenberg

Photographs of the Philippines during the nineteenth century have increasingly become accessible to the public through exhibits and publications. This present collection was made by P.K.A. Meerkamp van Embden, a Dutch businessman who later served as honorary consul of the Netherlands from 1889 to 1927. The years covered by his photographs witnessed the increasing integration of the Philippines into the world economy, the 1896 Revolution and the violent change of sovereignty from Spanish to American. The photographs are thus significant as a Dutchman’s perspective on a watershed period in Philippine history. The subjects are varied: the people, streets and homes of Ermita, where Meerkamp resided; the abaca trade; Romblon and Cebu. An added bonus are photographs of the peoples of the Cordillera by Dr. Alexander Schadenberg. The text that ties together the ensemble was written by Dr. Otto van den Muijzenberg, a Dutch anthropologist who has spent years doing fieldwork in the Philippines and has a deep knowledge of its culture and history.

Met ons alles goed

Brieven en films uit Nederlands-Indië

Edited by Fridus Steijlen and Eric Willems

De manier waarop wij communiceren en de veranderingen daarin gaan zo snel dat het lijkt alsof er in de voorliggende decennia niets is gebeurd op dat gebied. Niets is echter minder waar. De veranderingen gingen dan wel niet zo snel, maar destijds waren ze op zijn zachtst gezegd revolutionair. Telex, fax, snellere schepen, radio, telefoon en vliegverkeer betekenden steeds een gigantische tijdswinst en hadden een enorme impact op het dagelijks leven van onze voorouders.
Een unieke bron die verschillende ontwikkelingen in de communicatie bij elkaar brengt wordt gevormd door de correspondentie en de films van de familie Kuyck, die tussen 1924 en 1930 in Indië verbleef. De brieven geven een buitengewoon mooi beeld van de koloniale verhoudingen, de sociale beslommeringen en de voorbereidingen op de thuiskeer. De correspondentie heeft een extra dimensie omdat het ook gaat over het contact met het thuisfront en hoe dat wordt beïnvloed door de ontdekking van de mogelijkheden om met film te communiceren, de komst van de radio (waar de echtgenoot bij betrokken is), telefoon en de vliegverbinding. De correspondentie en de films zijn op zichzelf al de moeite waard, maar gecombineerd leveren zij een ongekende meerwaarde op. In het boek en de bijbehorende documentaire op DVD worden de woorden die Rien Kuyck destijds schreef na een kleine 80 jaar verbonden aan de filmbeelden van haar man Gerhard.
De Indische Bibliotheek richt zich op de uitgave van ego-documenten op het gebied van de Indisch/Indonesisch-Nederlandse geschiedenis.

Nowadays, changes in the way we communicate occur at a high pace. This creates the faulty impression that preceding decades saw little changes in that regard. In the past, changes may not have been as swift, but to earlier generations they appeared revolutionary nonetheless. Telex, fax, faster ships, radio, telephone and aviation resulted in enormous savings in time and had a huge impact on daily life.
A unique example of such influences, tying together various developments in the field of communication, can be found in the correspondence and home movies of the Kuyk family, who stayed in the Dutch East Indies between 1924 and 1930. The letters provide sharp images of colonial society, the social interactions and the preparations for the home journey. This correspondence has an additional dimension because it portrays the ways in which contacts were maintained with the home front, and in what ways this communication was influenced by the use of home movies, the arrival of the radio (in which the husband is actively involved), telephone and aviation services.
The correspondence and movies are interesting in and by themselves, but combined they have substantial additional value. The book and the accompanying documentary on DVD provide a connection to explore the words of Rien Kuyk to her husband Gerhard (‘Met ons alles goed’) 80 years after they were entrusted to paper.
The publication opens with an essay on the history of communication between the Dutch East Indies and the Netherlands. The introduction examines the correspondence of the Kuyk family in detail. Extensive excerpts from Rien Kuyk’s letters are presented, together with stills from Gerhard’s movies and photographs from the family archives.
The “Indische Bibliotheek” is a series of published ego documents, deriving from the history of the Dutch East Indies.

Edited by P. Boomgaard

The study of health and illness in Indonesia has long been an expanding field for scholars with a medical or social science background, both in Indonesia and abroad. European interest in this topic has increased considerably during recent decades. The articles presented in this volume highlight the cultural, political, economic, and social framework within which theory and practice of health care in Java operate at present and in the past.

Roots of Violence in Indonesia

Contemporary Violence in Historical Perspective

Series:

Edited by Freek Colombijn and J.Th. Lindblad

Jakarta, Sambas, Poso, the Moluccas, West Papua. These simple, geographical names have recently obtained strong associations with mass killing, just as Aceh and East Timor, where large-scale violence has flared up again. Lethal incidents between adjacent villages, or between a petty criminal and the crowd, take place throughout Indonesia. Indonesia is a violent country. Many Indonesia-watchers, both scholars and journalists, explain the violence in terms of the loss of the monopoly on the means of violence by the state since the beginning of the Reformasi in 1998. Others point at the omnipresent remnants of the New Order state (1966-1998), former President Suharto's clan or the army in particular, as the evil genius behind the present bloodshed.
The authors in this volume try to explain violence in Indonesia by looking at it in historical perspective.

The Philippines through European Lenses

Late 19th-Century Photographs from the Meerkamp van Embden Collection

Otto van den Muijzenberg

KITLV Press congratulates book designer Karl Frederick M. Castro and Ateneo de Manila University Press for winning the 2009 Philippines National Book Award in the category Book Design with The Philippines Through European Lenses.
Photographs of the Philippines during the nineteenth century have increasingly become accessible to the public through exhibits and publications. This present collection was made by P.K.A. Meerkamp van Embden, a Dutch businessman who later served as honorary consul of the Netherlands from 1889 to 1927. The years covered by his photographs witnessed the increasing integration of the Philippines into the world economy, the 1896 Revolution and the violent change of sovereignty from Spanish to American. The photographs are thus significant as a Dutchman’s perspective on a watershed period in Philippine history. The subjects are varied: the people, streets and homes of Ermita, where Meerkamp resided; the abaca trade; Romblon and Cebu. An added bonus are photographs of the peoples of the Cordillera by Dr. Alexander Schadenberg.
The text that ties together the ensemble was written by Dr. Otto van den Muijzenberg, a Dutch anthropologist who has spent years doing fieldwork in the Philippines and has a deep knowledge of its culture and history.
Also available in paperback.
Co-published with Ateneo de Manila University Press

Gold Cloths of Sumatra

Indonesia’s Songkets from Ceremony to Commodity

S. Rodgers

Songket textiles are gleaming prestige cloths created when hand-loom weavers add metal-wrapped threads across the weft to build up intricate motif bands of geometric and botanical designs. The supplementary wefts are gold-wrapped silk or fine cotton yarns; silver-wrapped threads are also found in some of Indonesia’s old songket weaving regions. Employing a weaving technique that is hundreds of years old in Malaysia, Sumatra, coastal Kalimantan, and east Bali and nearby islands, songket artistry is a thriving, living, even expanding art form, asthis textile type captures the attention of new markets in an Indonesian public culture that is both tradition-minded and obsessed with modernity and middle class success.

Gold Cloths of Sumatra combines the interpretive approaches of textile scholarship and cultural anthropology to explore songket aesthetics, as this remarkable shining gold cloth moves beyond ceremonial contexts to become a “hot item” as a marketable commodity, for sale as heritage textile and collectible. Chapters focus on contemporary songket craft by Minangkabau, Palembang, and Jambi weavers, set against a background of nineteenth-century songket weaving excellence. As commodities, present-day Sumatran songkets show high levels of weaving creativity and technical brilliance, making songkets a resilient art.

A. v.d. Kraan

Murder and Mayhem in Seventeenth-Century Cambodia: Anthony van Diemen vs King Ramadhipati I tells the fascinating story of the origins, course, and consequences of the conflict in the 1630s and ’40s between Cambodia and the Dutch East India Company (VOC), a confrontation that has the dubious distinction of being history’s first between a mainland Southeast Asian state and a European power. Apart from its appeal as an extraordinary tale in its own right, this historical narrative affords a rare glimpse into a largely unknown period in Cambodian history, namely, the period between the fall of Angkor in the mid-fifteenth century and the arrival of the French in the late nineteenth century.

Based for the most part on unpublished Dutch archival sources, this monograph examines the relations between Cambodia and the Dutch East India Company over the years 1636 to 1645. It considers what led Anthony van Diemen, the newly appointed Dutch Governor-General at Batavia (present-day Jakarta), in 1636, to establish a new trading post in Cambodia and the concurrent rise to power of King Ramadhipati I. It examines the deterioration of relations between the king and Van Diemen and the circumstances that may have led the king to order the wholesale massacre of the Dutch embassy to Cambodia. The book recounts the preparations for the punitive 1644 military expedition in alliance with Siam and narrates the course of the expedition. Based on a rare contemporary map drawn on Japanese rice paper, it reconstructs the battle of June 12, 1644, at Phnom Penh. In closing, the author speculates on what might have happened if Van Diemen had not died prematurely in 1645.

Co-published with Silkworm Books

India Maior

Congratulatory Volume Presented to J. Gonda

Edited by Ensink and Gaeffke

Comprehensive Security in Asia

Views from Asia and the West on a Changing Security Environment

Edited by Kurt W. Radtke and Raymond Feddema

The term ‘comprehensive security’ was first used by the late Japanese prime minister Ohira, but the concept as such can be traced back to Japanese thinking on security during the fifties. Its meaning goes far beyond requirements of military defence against a particular ‘enemy’, and stresses the need to take into account other aspects vital to national stability; food, energy, environment, communication and social security.
While not denying the importance of military security, it explicitly encompasses a wide range of other aspects: the search for environmental security, for instance, which requires cooperation with other countries (including hypothetical ‘enemies’). The concept stresses the need for confidence building methods as a requirement for its attainment and pertains to issues such as preventive diplomacy, energy security, second order cybernetics, greater transparancy of international financial markets as means to enhance overall stability. It is a notion that goes beyond simplifications such as ‘us’ and ‘them’.
Since the word has been first coined in Japan, it has caught on in other Asian countries as well. It has become clear that the concept is particularly suited for a continent where large and powerful countries such as China, Korea, Japan and Indonesia are unlikely to enter into close cooperation along the model of the European Union.
In short, in this volume a team of scholars from Asia, Europe and the United States provide clear analyses of issues vital to Asian politics: an important contribution to one of the key issues of contemporary (Asian) politics.