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  • Author or Editor: Hans Hägerdal x
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The focus of this article is the political expansion of Karangasem, one of the micro-states of Bali, in the second half of the eighteenth century. The Karangasem leadership was able to expand into Lombok and large parts of northern and central Bali, while generally avoiding confrontation with the Dutch East India Company. They encountered a range of ethnic groups and endeavoured to play out the Dutch and the British interests against each other. In spite of its regional importance, prior to 1800 Karangasem is poorly documented. The article explores ways of reading different categories of European and indigenous sources against each other. Although fragmentary, they yield information about strategic concerns, economic underpinnings of expansion, ethnicity, and cultural and ritual issues. A combination of internal and external factors, including Dutch policies in the East Indies, enabled Karangasem to pursue a successful political expansion in the shadow of the Company.

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European traders and soldiers established a foothold on Timor in the course of the seventeenth century, motivated by the quest for the commercially vital sandalwood and the intense competition between the Dutch and the Portuguese. Lords of the Land, Lords of the Sea focuses on two centuries of contacts between the indigenous polities on Timor and the early colonials, and covers the period 1600-1800. In contrast with most previous studies, the book treats Timor as a historical region in its own right, using a wide array of Dutch, Portuguese and other original sources, which are compared with the comprehensive corpus of oral tradition recorded on the island. From this rich material, a lively picture emerges of life and death in early Timorese society, the forms of trade, slavery, warfare, alliances, social life, and so forth. The investigation demonstrates that the European groups, although having a role as ordering political forces, were only part of the political landscape of Timor. They relied on alliances where the distinction between ally and vassal was moot, and led to frequent conflicts and uprisings. During a slow and complicated process, the often turbulent political conditions involving Europeans, Eurasians, and Timorese polities, paved the way for the later division of Timor into two spheres of roughly equal size.
In: Lords of the Land, Lords of the Sea
In: Lords of the Land, Lords of the Sea
In: Lords of the Land, Lords of the Sea
Open Access
In: Lords of the Land, Lords of the Sea
Open Access
In: Lords of the Land, Lords of the Sea