Smithsonian Institute seal

(Publication 3734)

City of Washington
Published by the Smithsonian Institution
August 5, 1943



Geography 1
Climate 2
Disease 3
Animal life 3
Population 4
Racial stocks 5
Temperamental qualities 6
History 7
Main divisions and peoples 11
  Sumatra 11
  Java 14
  Borneo 16
  Celebes 19
  The Lesser Sunda Islands 21
  The Moluccas 24
Language and writing 31
Economic organization 31
Settlements and housing 34
Clothing and adornment 36
Weapons 37
Travel and transportation 38
Handicrafts 38
Drama, dancing, and music 39
Social and political organization 40
Property, class, and caste 44
Native warfare 45
Religion 46
Dutch administration 49
Education 53
Missionary activity 54
Europeans and Americans 55
The Chinese 56
The half-castes 57
Export production and trade 58
Selected bibliography 62
1. Balinese beauty 1
2. Upper, Bromo crater in eastern Java 4
  Lower, Landscape in Bali 4
3. Upper, Crocodile captured in Sibolga, Sumatra 4
  Lower, Orang-utan, Borneo 4
4. Upper, Javanese children 4
  Lower, Batak women and girls, Sumatra 4
5. Left, Javanese girls in working clothes 4
  Right, Native of Kupang, Timor 4
6. Left, Native of Larantuka, Flores, in festive attire 20
  Right, Karo Batak girls, Sumatra 20
7. Upper, Seti of central Ceram doing a war dance 20
  Lower, Mentawei women fishing 20
8. Upper, Dyak group, western Borneo 20
  Lower, Bahau Dyak group, Borneo 20
9. Left, Balinese beauty 20
  Right, Balinese girls 20
10. Left, Batak "hot dog" stand, Sumatra 36
  Right, Entrance to Batak village, Sumatra 36
11. Upper, Minangkabau longhouse, Sumatra 36
  Lower, Toba Batak village, Sumatra 36
12. Upper, Balinese temple gateway 36
  Lower, Houses in Nias 36
13. Upper, Mentawei longhouse 36
  Lower, One of the various types of Borneo longhouses 36
14. Left, Man of Nias in ceremonial costume 48
  Right, Javanese couple 48
15. Upper, Balinese dancers in performing costumes 48
  Lower, Minangkabau of Sumatra in ceremonial costumes 48
16. Left, Mentawei girl 48
  Right, Toradja woman, Celebes 48
17. Left, Bahau Dyak, Borneo 48
  Right, Mentawei man 48
18. Upper, Balinese dancers 60
  Lower, Mentawei dancers 60
19. Upper, Sadang burial caves, Celebes 60
  Lower, Stone tombs, Sumba 60
20. Upper, Palace of the Sultan of Siak, eastern Sumatra 60
  Lower, Catholic missionaries in the plaza of a central Flores village 60
21. Upper, Workers in a Javanese batik shop 60
  Lower, Street scene in Batavia, Java 60
1. The East Indies 2
2. Peoples of Sumatra 12
3. Peoples of Java 15
4. Peoples of Borneo 17
5. Peoples of Celebes 20
6. Islands and peoples of the Lesser Sundas 22
7. Islands and peoples of the Moluccas 25


Plate 1--Balinese beauty
Plate 1--Balinese beauty




Associate Professor of Sociology
Yale University

(With 21 Plates)


The largest archipelago in the world lies 13,000 miles from New York, halfway around the globe. The East Indies, or Indonesia, are a chain of islands numbering in the thousands and extending 3,000 miles along the Equator from their western extremity at the northern tip of Sumatra to their eastern limit in New Guinea.

Most of this enormous insular area was owned by the Netherlands, until seized by the Japanese in the early months of 1942. Two parts of the islands, northern Borneo and eastern Timor, were under the control, respectively, of Great Britain and Portugal.

The Indies lie directly on the Equator, which bisects the two largest islands, Sumatra and Borneo. The westernmost island, Sumatra, is situated just south of the Malay Peninsula, from which it is separated by the narrow Straits of Malacca. Borneo and Celebes, the northernmost islands, reach up close to the Philippines, while Timor, on the southern border, is only 400 miles across the Arafura Sea from Australia. The eastern border of Dutch territory cuts directly north and south through the center of New Guinea. Beyond it lie the Australian and British sections of the latter island. Thus the entire archipelago occupies the seas between southeastern Asia and Australia. Formerly regarded as "the Malay barrier" protecting Australia from Japanese aggression southward, the Indies now, unfortunately, represent an enemy defensive line against Allied reconquest northward. From a strategical viewpoint, therefore, the islands are of crucial importance in the present Pacific war.

From east to west Indonesia is almost 1,000 miles wider than the United States; from north to south it extends for a distance equivalent to that from the Canadian border to central Texas. Its actual land area is approximately the same as that of the United States east of the Mississippi--about 750,000 square miles. Borneo is the third largest island in


the world, covering 290,000 square miles (equaling Texas and Oklahoma combined). The Dutch half of New Guinea, with its 150,000 square miles, and Sumatra, with 160,000 square miles, approximate California in size. Celebes, measuring 70,000 square miles, is comparable to New England plus New Jersey; and Java, the remaining large island, has an area of 50,000 square miles, almost the same as New York State.

Three of the four large western islands--Sumatra, Borneo, and Java-- lie on the Asiatic land shelf and were once connected with the continental mainland. The seas separating them from Asia are very shallow, and much of their coastland consists of tidal swamps extending far inland. New Guinea and adjacent islands rest on the Australian land shelf and formerly constituted a part of Australia itself. The central islands of Indonesia, however, including Celebes, the Lesser Sunda Islands, and the Moluccas, rise out of the deep ocean, in what was once a wide strait separating Asia from Australia.

The topography of Indonesia is one of strong contrasts. The only extensive dry flatlands occur in Java and parts of Sumatra. Elsewhere level plains are infrequent and restricted in area, and most of the islands consist of either rolling hills and steep mountains or soggy marshes. Highlands and swamps both are clothed in dense forest except where hillsides have been cleared for cultivation by human effort. Predominantly, therefore, the Indies are a region of swamps, mountains, and jungles.

Over a hundred of the Indonesian mountains are active or recently active volcanoes. Wherever volcanism occurs, population is densest, for volcanic ash makes fertile soil. Java, the most volcanic of all the islands, has the greatest concentration of population; Borneo and New Guinea, the least volcanic regions, are the most sparsely peopled.


Lying along the Equator, the Indies have a hot and moist climate; but the average temperature decreases about 1° Fahrenheit for each 300 feet of altitude. Consequently, the mountainous districts offer cool relief from the oppressive lowlands. Dwellers in coastal Batavia, where the mean annual temperature is 80°, welcome every opportunity to visit Handung. a mountain city with a yearly average of only 73°, The high humidity makes the tropical heat even more uncomfortable.

Rainfall is heavy in nearly all parts of the islands and increases with altitude. Some mountainous sections are drenched with 12 feet of rain annually. Although the temperature varies only slightly throughout the year, the monsoonal winds cause a seasonal change in rainfall. In most


Fig. 1--The East Indies
Fig. 1.--The East Indies

of Indonesia, the west is the "wet" monsoon and prevails during the months of our northern winter. In parts of eastern Indonesia, however, the seasons are reversed, and the east monsoon brings most rainfall.


While heat and dampness cause discomfort, the numerous local diseases are a source of constant danger. Because of the ever present disease parasites, great care is necessary that drinking water be boiled and all vegetables and fruits peeled and preferably cooked, in order to avoid typhoid, dysentery, and cholera. More difficult to prevent is malaria, the curse of the island. Mosquito nets help and are indispensable, but quinine is the best preventative. It need not be used in every district, for several parts of the islands are naturally free of malaria-carrying mosquitoes. The more repulsive tropical diseases such as elephantiasis and leprosy claim many native victims but seldom attack whites.

The Dutch medical service has made amazing progress in disease prevention and control with the result that many parts of the Indies, particularly Java and sections of Sumatra, have become fairly healthy places by tropical standards. The dreaded afflictions of former years, such as plague and blackwater fever, have been brought under control, and devastating epidemics of cholera, typhoid, and smallpox no longer occur. But the white man must still exercise constant vigilance on what he eats and drinks, undergo periodic inoculations, and keep his quinine handy in order to insure good health in the islands. Carelessness carries heavy penalties, frequently death. This is especially true in the remoter districts, where the government health service has not yet extended its activities, and where medical care is not available.


Probably the most annoying kinds of animal life are the smallest ones. Ants, termites, spiders, scorpions, and a host of insects marvelous in their variety swarm everywhere, and flies and mosquitoes especially are constant and disagreeable companions. The latter particularly are infuriating pests, and freedom from their insistent attacks is perhaps the greatest single relief one feels in getting away from the Indies. Travel in forested districts brings unpleasant encounters with the abundant leeches, which suck blood until swollen to cigaret size.

The western islands have Asiatic types of animals, such as the tiger, elephant, rhinoceros, wild cattle, and orang-utan; but these are absent


in the eastern part of the archipelago, where Australian fauna predominates, including numerous kinds of marsupials. Although a wide variety of snakes are found in the Indies, and several kinds, such as cobras and certain water snakes, are poisonous, the most dangerous reptiles are the crocodiles. It is wise to reconnoitre every stream with extreme care before bathing, laundering, or attempting a crossing.


The enormous population of the Indies--about 70,0000,000 by the latest estimate--is concentrated mainly in one island, Java. Here, in an area equivalent to that of New York State, live over 40,000,000 people, an average of more than 800 per square mile. It is the mostly densely populated country in the world. Sumatra, almost four times the size of Java, has only 8,000,000 inhabitants; while Borneo, largest island of all, is very sparsely peopled by 2,500,000. Celebes, with 4,000,000, has most of these concentrated in the extreme northern and southwestern peninsulas. Bali, a small island east of Java, support a population of over a million, and Lombok, adjacent to it, 600,000; but eastern Indonesia, including New Guinea, is for the most part thinly settled. Thus, while the total population is large, only a few sections of the Indies are densely inhabited: Java, certain districts of Sumatra, two restricted parts of Celebes, Bali, and Lombok.

Java, from the viewpoint of population, is not only a phenomenon; it is a perplexing problem. The Javanese have doubled their numbers in 60 years, and show no signs of slackening their Increase. With native warfare suppressed and disease no longer the devastating check it formerly was, this island has very nearly reached the point of human saturation. The Dutch have tried to ease the strain by encouraging and subsidizing emigration to other parts of Indonesia, principally Sumatra. But while emigrants were being shipped off by hundreds, the Javanese were increasing by thousands. The problem remains unsolved.

The white population of the Indies, including persons of mixed blood, before the present war totaled only about 250,000. The largest non-native group were the Chinese, numbering approximately 1,200,000. All other "alien Asiatics" together, mostly Arabians and Hindus, totaled 115,000. The Japanese, incidentally, were poorly represented, with only a few thousand. Because of legal technicalities, they were classed as "Europeans." In all, then, the non-Indonesian population of the islands was relatively small, only about 2 percent of the total.


Plate 2

Plate 2

Above: The enormous Bromo crater in eastern Java. The Bromo and the Smeru in background are sacred mountains of the Tenggerese highlanders, who formerly hurled human sacrifices into the smoking volcano.

Below: Landscape in Bali.

Plate 2

Plate 3

Plate 3

Above: Crocodile captured in Sibolga, Sumatra. Length 16 feet, weight 1,100 pounds.

Below: Orang-utan, Borneo. These great apes are found nowhere in the world except Sumatra and Borneo.

Plate 3

Plate 4

Plate 4

Above: The Javanese are the champion breeders of the world and love their plentiful children. This photograph symbolizes an apparently insoluble population problem.

Below: Batak women and girls, Sumatra, showing the proto-Malay (Caucasoid) physical type.

Plate 4

Plate 5

Plate 5

Above: Javanese girls in working clothes. The physical types show proto-Malay (Caucasoid) and deutero-Malay (Mongoloid) mixture.

Below: Native of Kupang, Timor, showing the Melanesian physical type, with Negroid features, and wooly hair. A half cylinder is used to fashion the pompon coiffure. Courtesy Netherlands Information Bureau.

Plate 5


The Indies are the homeland of the Malay branch of the Mongoloid, or yellow, race. The Malay type, in general, is characterized by very short stature (5 feet 2 or 3 inches for males), brown skin, straight or wavy black hair, a flat face with wide nose and lips of medium thickness, and a slender build. There is little growth of hair on face or body. Most of Indonesia, with the exception of the extreme eastern islands and certain isolated sections elsewhere, is inhabited by peoples of the Malay race, which also spreads up into the Philippines and the Malay Peninsula.

Two subdivisions of the Malay stock can be distinguished in the islands. The interior districts, mostly highlands, of Java, Sumatra, Borneo, and Celebes, as well as the chain of island stretching from Bali to Timor, are peopled mainly by tribes of the so-called proto-Malay type. They represent the earlier Malay immigration into Indonesia from southeastern Asia and have a much less Mongoloid appearance than the coastal dwellers., The seacoast population of the large western islands is mostly of the deutero-Malay racial type. They are descended form the later Malay settlers in Indonesia and show more Mongoloid traits. The principal differences between the two Malay subraces may be summarized as follows: the proto-Malay is shorter and has a darker skin, wavier hair, and stockier physique than the deutero-Malay, and his facial features lack the characteristic Mongoloid slanting eye with inside fold on the upper eyelid, as well as the prominent cheekbones of the deutero-Malay.

The reason for this interesting division is that originally southeastern Asia, the ancient homeland of the Indonesians, was inhabited by tribes who were dark and distant outliers of the European peoples. The proto-Malays, with their Caucasoid features, show evidence of this "white" ancestry. They left the Asiatic mainland before an ever increasing movement of Mongoloid peoples from the north invaded southeastern Asia, and, mixing with the old inhabitants there, gradually changed the racial type from dark Caucasoid to predominantly Mongoloid. The later arrivals in the Indies from this region were progressively more Mongolized, and their living descendants show this in their wider faces, higher cheekbones, straighter hair, and more slanting eyes. The later Malays pushed the earlier ones back into the interior districts, where the proto-Malay type still prevails, and occupied the coastal lands themselves.

Long before the Malay race spread down into the islands, other human stocks had settled there. The earliest of these archaic races was probably the Australoid. Traces of the Australoid type, with its coarse features, beetling brows, and hairy body, can still be detected in the Indies,


particularly in the islands nearest Australia, the present home of this ancient race. Two branches of the Negroid race also lived in Indonesia in prehistoric times. One, the rather tall, spare-framed, bushy-haired Melanesian or Oceanic Negroid type, has now disappeared from most of the islands; but in the Timor-Flores zone of eastern Indonesia certain tribes still preserve relatively pure Melanesian traits. The center of Melanesian Negroid habitation has long since moved eastward, beyond New Guinea, to the Solomons, the New Hebrides, the Fijis, and New Caledonia. The other Negroid type, the so-called Negrito or dwarf Negro, still survives in sections of eastern Sumatra, Timor, Alor, and the mountains of New Guinea. Other Negrito groups are found in the Andaman Islands, Malaya, and the Philippines. One more archaic racial type of the Indies is, like the Negrito, dwarfish and frail. This so-called Veddoid strain has brown skin, wavy hair, and a prognathous face with receding chin. It appears to be a stunted hybrid of Malay and Australoid. Remnants of the Veddoid race inhabit the east Sumatra swamplands, parts of Borneo and Celebes, and certain islands of eastern Indonesia, notably Ceram. Other Veddoid peoples are found in Ceylon, Malaya, and the Philippines.

While most of Indonesia is peopled by tribes of the Malay race, with interspersed remnants of the archaic stocks just mentioned, the most easterly sections were never reached by the main Malay migrations. Here, in New Guinea and neighboring islands, the Papuan stock prevails. It looks like a hybrid of Australoid and Melanesian Negroid, being characterized by a lanky and long-limbed body, dark skin, and a narrow and angular face, with thin lips and a long nose, the latter often full-fleshed and hooked at the tip. The body is hairy, the face frequently bearded, and the head hair frizzy. Indeed, papua means "frizzy-haired" in the Malay language. In the Moluccas, between Celebes and New Guinea, intermixture of the Papuan and proto-Malay types has produced the so-called Alfur hybrid, with medium to tall stature, slender physique, medium to dark brown skin, straight to wavy hair, a relatively hairy body, and features varying from the broad-faced, flat-nosed proto-Malay norm to the narrow-faced, "semitic"-nosed Papuan conformation.


The marked racial difference between western Indonesia, which is almost solidly Malay in population, and the eastern islands, inhabited by the Papuan stock, is paralleled by a contrast in human temperament. The Malays are very sedate and reserved, while the Papuans are excitable and vociferous. The former are phlegmatic and retiring, the latter volatile


and aggressive. Voyaging eastward from Java, one can see the change in character becoming progressively more marked, just as the physical traits gradually vary from the Malay toward the Papuan. The natives become less restrained, louder, and more loquacious, until in New Guinea the "human atmosphere" reaches almost an opposite extreme from the land of the serene Malays and Javanese. Although the temperamental difference accompanies a shift in race, it is probably not biologically determined, but rather a result of divergent training and rules of behavior.

The Malay peoples are, in general, remarkably friendly and polite, not only to one another, but to strangers as well. The Papuans, on the other hand, are likely to make a contrary impression, and indeed they are prevailingly rough in manner and unfriendly, often openly hostile, to outsiders. The Malay tribes of interior Borneo, Celebes, and Sumatra, also, are still suspicious of whites, and lack the cordiality of the more advanced groups. But among about 90 percent of the Indonesian peoples, one encounters an easy graciousness and charm of manner unsurpassed anywhere else in the world. This applies to all levels of society, and the poorest Javanese, receiving a stranger in his miserable hut, acts the courteous gentleman naturally and effortlessly.

The beauty of the small-boned, smooth-skinned Malay body is enhanced by a most impressive poise and dignity. Movements are calm, unhurried, and graceful, and even conversation is easy and soft-spoken. The quiet and repose of the Malay temperament do not signify a dull mentality, however. The white man is apt to confuse bustle with business, a forceful manner with a sharp mind. But anyone who has come to know the Indonesian people intimately, who speaks their language and has worked and lived among them, would never rate them low in intelligence. All unbiased evidence indicates clearly that they are, on the average, quite equal in mental capacity to whites or any other race. Whatever differences exist are due to inequalities in training and education.


The recorded history of Indonesia begins in the fifth century A.D. Scattered inscriptions on stone discovered in Java and Borneo indicate that at this time the islands were being colonized by Hindu traders and adventurers from India. These earliest records consist of short, disconnected references to the rulers of Hindu colonial states on the coasts of the large western islands. The travel notes of two Chinese Buddhist pilgrims, Fa-Hsien and I-Tsing, in the fifth and seventh centuries, tell of the Hindu states they visited in Java and Sumatra. The coastal populations of these


islands were already largely converted to Hindu religion, either Brahman-ism or Buddhism, or, more commonly, combinations of both.

After the eighth century, stone inscriptions become more plentiful and detailed, and by the eleventh century the scribes and poets of the Javanese royal courts were writing chronicles in connected narrative style. Indian and Chinese travelers were recording their impressions of the archipelago, and regular communication and trade had been established throughout western Indonesia. The small Hinduized states were gradually being merged into two powerful empires: Shrivijaya in southern Sumatra and Singosari in eastern Java. Shrivijaya extended its realm up into the Malay Peninsula, and even engaged in a series of wars with the states of southern India and Ceylon in the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. Singosari became so strong as to challenge the preeminence of Kublai Khan in the southern Orient, and in 1294 its armies defeated a great Chinese invasion force that landed on the coast of Java.

Indonesia reached its "golden age" in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, when after a long struggle for supremacy the Javanese empire of Modjopahit, successor to Singosari, subjugated Shrivijaya and extended its rule over most of the Indies, the Philippines, and southeastern Asia.

The medieval Hindu-Javanese civilization has left a deep impress on the present culture of the Indies. The ruins of great cities and temple complexes can still be seen in Sumatra and Java; but more important and lasting have been the Hindu influences on social organization, technology, religion, and language. Old Indian alphabets are still used in several parts of the islands. The Hindus have also left their mark on the physical type of the people of Indonesia, but this is true mainly in the coastal districts of Java and Sumatra, and principally among the higher social classes. The royal families of the native states especially show their partial Indian ancestry in taller stature, longer limbs, narrower heads, and finer features than the general run of common folk.

The decline of the Modjopahit empire occurred coincidentally with the spread of Mohammedanism over western Indonesia. Islam, brought from India to Malaya and Sumatra in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, swiftly expanded over the vassal principalities of Modjopahit in Sumatra and western Java. Rebellions against the Hinduist overlord in eastern Java increased in extent and violence, until, late in the fifteenth century, the last stronghold of the old regime fell before the attacks of the Islamized rebels.

Mohammedanism thus replaced Hinduism as the dominant religion of the Indies. In only one place, the island of Bali, has the old cult survived.


Today Bali is a kind of museum piece, a living replica of fourteenth-century Java.

The downfall of Modjopahit also marked the end of whatever political unity had been attained in the islands. In place of the single empire with its vassal principalities, most of the archipelago was split up into scores of petty states, all Mohammedan in religion, but engaged in constant war and intrigue one against another. Consequently, when Europeans first appeared in the Indies, they found there no single strong power, but merely the broken fragments of the former empire. It was relatively easy for the newcomers, therefore, to subjugate these weak states one by one or, as frequently happened, ally themselves with one ruler against another, eventually subjugating both. Indonesia, disunited, thus fell easy prey to the imperialistic designs of the whites, who, indeed, spent more effort in fighting among themselves than against the native states.

The Portuguese came in first, establishing themselves in Malacca, on the Malay Peninsula, in 1510. Operating out of this base and sailing under the direction of Malay pilots who knew the seas of the Indies, they succeeded by 1521 in setting up trading posts in the Moluccas or Spice Islands at Tidore, Ternate, and Banda. In 1580 Portugal was united with Spain, and the Spanish took over the Portuguese holdings in the Moluccas, adding them to the Philippine colonies.

Spain's sea power was doomed by the defeat of the Great Armada in 1588, and the British and Dutch became rivals for control of the Indies. By 1650, the Dutch were virtual masters of the islands, and British trade was restricted to certain native states in western Indonesia with which the English East India Company had commercial contracts. The Spanish had retreated to the Philippines; the Portuguese held only a remnant of their former territory in the eastern half of Timor.

From 1650 to 1910 the Dutch methodically went about the business of extending and solidifying their control over the Indies, until by the latter date all organized native resistance had been overcome. The policy of the Netherlands East India Company was not to depose native rulers unless they were stubbornly intractable, but rather to rule through them. The Hollanders were interested in trading rights rather than governing duties and were willing to allow any potentate to stay in power provided that he granted them commercial privileges. This system of indirect rule through native princes, as we shall see, has remained a dominant element in Dutch colonial administration.

Despite their reluctance, however, the Netherlanders were forced to interfere more and more in local government in order to insure their monopoly of trade. This increasing embroilment in politics and internal


warfare eventually undermined the financial stability of the East India Company, and a series of trade losses weakened it even further. Finally, wars with England in 1780 and 1795, the latter blockading the Java trade, sealed the doom of the Company; and in 1798 it was dissolved, bankrupt.

Hardly had the Dutch begun to reorganize the administration of the islands when, in 1806, Holland itself was occupied by the French under Napoleon. To ensure that the Indies also should not. fall to France, and with the consent and encouragement of the exiled Dutch King in England, British Far Eastern forces seized the whole archipelago in 1811.

The British occupation ended in 1818, and a treaty of 1824 defined the territories of England and Holland in southern Asia and the islands. The Dutch surrendered all claims to the Malay Peninsula, while the British in turn relinquished their few remaining holdings in Sumatra. Holland was to have a free hand in the islands, Britain full rights on the Asiatic mainland.

When the Dutch returned to the Indies in 1818, they started immediately on the task of bringing efficient order to their island realm. The job took almost a hundred years, and involved them in a long series of local wars and expeditions to the far reaches of the archipelago. All through the nineteenth century hardly a year passed without warfare in some part of the Indies.

The Hollanders faced two types of situation among the native groups with whom they had to deal. The coastal districts of all or most of the islands were dominated by native states, while the interior regions, especially in the larger islands, were inhabited by independent, loosely organized tribes, with no centralized governing power. In its dealings with the native princes, the Netherlands Government followed the pattern set by the old East India Company. In every state an attempt was made to keep the reigning sovereign in power and to rule through him. Only when a sultan or radja proved treacherous or uncooperative were military means employed to depose him and either install a suitable substitute or put the territory under direct administration. Even in the latter event, however, the lesser chiefs of districts and villages were usually retained and paid salaries by the Dutch. In the interior tribal areas, where no state organization existed, direct rule was introduced immediately after incorporation of a region into the colonial system. Here again, as far as possible, the native chieftains were kept in power over their people, being required only to prove their loyalty to the new administration.

By 1910 the long labor of conquest and organization was virtually completed, and all parts of the Indies were under Dutch control. For 30 years thereafter, peace reigned in the islands, until in 1941 war on a


vaster scale than ever before swept over them, leaving the Japanese in power throughout the entire area from Sumatra to New Guinea.


In discussing primitive areas of the world, it is customary to refer to the larger social groupings as tribes. In all, about 130 separate East Indian tribes could be enumerated, but many of them are so large that they might better be designated as nations or peoples. In the following synopsis of the principal areas and peoples, the population figures are based upon the 1930 census of the Indies. The Japanese invasion interfered with the publication of detailed statistics for 1940. The accompanying maps show the locations of the various islands and peoples mentioned in the text.

The Indies are divided geographically into four main sections:

  1. The Greater Sunda Islands, including Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and Celebes.
  2. The Lesser Sunda Islands, including those extending east from Bali to Timor.
  3. The Moluccas, including the scattered islands and island groups lying between Celebes and Timor to the west and New Guinea to the east.
  4. Dutch New Guinea.1

Sumatra.--This island, westernmost of the Indies, has an area of about 180,000 square miles, including the smaller adjacent islands off the east and west coasts. Sumatra is approximately the size of California and roughly similar in shape. The western half consists of a mountain chain that runs from one end to the other. One great lake, Toba, and several smaller ones lie in the folds of the mountains, and some of the finest agricultural land of the island is found in the highland valleys and plateaus. Twenty-five volcanic peaks in various phases of activity rise along the great Sumatran cordillera. The mountains crowd the narrow coastland on the western side of the island, but their eastern slopes are more gradual, and here they give way first to foothills and then, especially in southern Sumatra, to vast stretches of impenetrable marshland. Swamps make much of the eastern half of the island virtually uninhabitable.

Excellent roads connect the main towns of Sumatra, and it is possible to travel by motorcar from the northern tip to the southern extremity. The only poor stretches on the north-south highway are just south of the center, where the road has only recently been opened to normal traffic. Three unconnected railway lines are, or were, in operation. One extends


Fig. 2--Peoples of Sumatra
Fig. 2.--Peoples of Sumatra


along the northeast coast from the northern tip to a point about one-third of the way down the coast. Another line runs from the port of Emmahaven, on the west coast, inland for a short distance into the highlands. The third railway system connects Palembang, in south Sumatra, with the interior and with the port of Telokbetong on the southern extremity of the island. The three main cities of Sumatra--Medan, Padang, and Palembang --are located, respectively, on the east coast, west coast, and southern railways.

The population of Sumatra and adjacent islands totals approximately 8,000,000. On the island proper, there are seven main tribal groups. The most primitive are the nomadic Kubu tribes of the eastern and southeastern marshlands. They are of Veddoid stock, and together their population does not exceed 25,000. On an "intermediate" level of culture stand the three proto-Malay tribal complexes of the interior highlands. The southernmost of these is the Redjang-Lampong complex, whose combined population totals about 500,000. Most of these tribes have been Mohammedanized, but their general culture still retains many ancient elements. The Batak of middle Sumatra live in the lofty country centering on the great lake of Toba. They total fully 1,000,000. Formerly cannibals, they still hold to most of their traditional culture, despite the fact that thousands of them have been converted to Christianity. They never accepted Islam, and most of them remain pagan in religion. The third of the proto-Malay highland peoples are the Gayo-Alas tribes of the interior of northern Sumatra, who number about 50,000. More isolated than the Batak, they have nevertheless been converted to Mohammedanism. In other respects their culture is quite primitive.

The three most advanced peoples of Sumatra are the deutero-Malay Atjehnese and Coastal Malays, and the mixed proto- and deutero-Malay Minangkabau. The fanatically Mohammedan Atjehnese inhabit the coast-land of northern Sumatra on both eastern and western sides. They number approximately 750,000. These were the last natives to be subjugated by the Dutch, after a desperate struggle lasting from 1873 to 1910. They still hate the Hollanders and are among the very few peoples in Indonesia from whom outright disloyalty could be expected. The Coastal Malays are the largest native group in Sumatra, totaling 3,500,000. Their territory covers the entire eastern coastland from the border of Atjeh to the Lampong Districts in the extreme south. The Malays of British Malaya, across the Malacca Straits, belong to the same general group as the Sumatra Malays. Great numbers of the latter have settled the coastal sultanates of Borneo and numerous other sections of the Indies. They are the most widespread of all the Indonesian peoples, and their language has become


the general lingua franca throughout the archipelago. Like the Atjehnese, they are Mohammedan, though much less serious about their religion than the north Sumatra fanatics. The Minangkabau, living in the central highlands south of the Batak, number about 2,000,000. They are an enterprising people, with an advanced culture that nevertheless retains many ancient elements, such as the so-called "mother family," in which descent, inheritance, and succession to chieftainship follow the female line. They are Mohammedans, and among the most active agitators for self-government in the Indies.

Nias, the Mentawei Islands, and Engano, isolated islands off the west coast of Sumatra, are inhabited by primitive proto-Malays with very archaic types of culture. Except for the Niassans, who are partially Christianized, all these tribes remain pagan. The population of Nias is about 200,000; Mentawei, 10,000; and Engano, 300. The Enganese are among the few tribes of Indonesia whose numbers have declined since first contact with whites. Fierce epidemics of imported diseases have been the principal cause of the decrease.

The east Sumatra coastland and the opposite shore of Malaya are the primary zone of distribution of a remarkable group of maritime nomads who spend most of their lives in their boats. Called the Orang Laut or "Sea Gypsies," they are also encountered in other parts of the Indies as far east as the Moluccas. Their total population in all of Indonesia probably does not exceed 10,000.

Java.--Although it is the smallest of the Greater Sunda Islands, Java, with adjacent Madura, is the most important part of the Indies. It is the heart of the islands, the center of government, trade, and population. Its area of 50,000 square miles is roughly equivalent to that of New York State; but its population reached the astounding total of 40,000,000 in 1930, and by now has probably increased to nearly 50,000,000.

The topography of Java is similar to that of Sumatra. The southern half is a continuous mountain chain; the northern half consists of foothills and plains. But the valleys are wider, the plains more extensive, the mountain slopes more gradual, and there is much less swampy wasteland than in Sumatra. Consequently a far greater proportion of the area is useful for habitation and cultivation. Indeed, Java is one of the most fertile and productive regions in the entire world. The soil is largely of volcanic origin, and 35 of the mountain peaks are volcanoes in various stages of activity.

An excellent network of highways and railroads covers the island, and virtually every section is easily accessible. Only in the southwestern corner and the far eastern extremity is travel difficult, and even in these


Fig. 3--Peoples of Java
Fig. 3.--Peoples of Java


districts the principal centers of population are linked by roads. Batavia, capital and largest city of the Indies, has a population of over 450,000; and most of the other large cities of the archipelago are located in Java, among them Surabaya, Semarang, Cheribon, and Bandung.

The greatest concentration of foreign groups occurs in this island, where 80 percent of all the white population of the Indies and half of the Chinese lived in 1940. But the number of outsiders pales to insignificance in the face of the enormous native population. The largest indigenous group are the true Javanese, who inhabit nearly all of the eastern and central districts, and extend all along the northwestern coastland. They total almost 27,000,000. The Sundanese, who dwell in the highlands of southwestern Java, number 8,500,000. The Madurese, whose homeland is the island of Madura, have spread over large sections of the northeast coast of Java. Their population is approximately 4,500,000. Two other very small tribes live secluded in remote highland sections of the island: the Tenggerese, totaling 10,000, in eastern Java, and the Badui, a mere 1,200, in the western part. Whereas the three main groups are Mohammedan, these two isolated peoples still retain an ancient religion which is a composite of Hinduism and primitive animism. The lines of racial distinction do not coincide with tribal divisions in Java; but in the coastal districts the physical type is predominantly deutero-Malay, while the interior regions show a much higher frequency of the proto-Malay stock. Thus the true Javanese and Madurese belong mainly to the more Mongoloid later Malay type, while the Sundanese, Tenggerese, and Badui have a high frequency of the dark Caucasoid earlier Malay physical traits.

Borneo.--One of the least developed parts of the Indies, this enormous island is very sparsely inhabited. Its area of 290,000 square miles supports a population of only 2,500,000. In size it is comparable to Texas and Oklahoma combined.

Most of the coastland on all sides consists of vast, impenetrable swamps which extend far inland to the foothills of the central highlands. The interior is hilly and in some sections mountainous, but there are few really high peaks and no volcanoes at all. The absence of volcanism accounts in large part for the infertility of the soil. Spurs of the central range extend almost to the seacoast in a few places, but the general contours of Borneo approximate the appearance of a low-crowned hat with a wide brim, the latter representing the soggy marshland that rings the central elevation on all sides.

The northwestern coastal area comprises the territory of the semi-dependent states of Sarawak and Brunei, both under British control until the Japanese invasion. Sarawak, by far the larger, was ruled by the Brooke


Fig. 4--Peoples of Borneo
Fig. 4.--Peoples of Borneo


dynasty of English radjas; while the little sultanate of Brunei had a native ruler of Malay ancestry. The northern extremity of the island, known as British North Borneo, was the only territory in the world still administered by a chartered company, the British North Borneo Company. For all practical purposes, all three of these regions functioned as British colonies, under the jurisdiction of the High Commissioner of Malaya. The remaining three-fourths of the island is Dutch territory.

The only railroad in Borneo, except for a few private narrow-gauge lines, runs for a distance of slightly over 100 miles along the coast of British North Borneo on the western side. Roads also are almost nonexistent in the island. There are a few stretches of highway in certain parts of the coastal districts, but they extend for short distances only, and are widely disconnected one from another. The principal routes of travel and transportation, therefore, lie along the vast network of navigable rivers. The only city of appreciable size in the entire island is Bandjermasin, at the mouth of the Barito, "the Mississippi of Borneo," on the southeast coast.

The peoples of Borneo fall into two large divisions: the deutero-Malay coastal population, numbering about 1,000,000, a mixture of Malays, Javanese, Buginese, and other intrusive groups from elsewhere in the Indies; and the proto-Malay aborigines, who are often lumped together under the name "Dyak." The hundreds of bands and tribes may be grouped in six tribal complexes, within each of which the culture is similar. In the deep interior wander bands of nomads belonging to the Punan complex, numbering in all about 50,000. They are hunters and gatherers of wild products, and few of them ever settle down long enough to plant crops or build permanent dwellings. The Bahau tribes of central and eastern Borneo have a total population of approximately 300,000, the two principal tribes being the Kayan and the Kenya. These are the builders of the famed Borneo longhouses, hundreds of feet in length, a single one of which may accommodate a whole subtribal group. The Ngadju tribal complex of south Borneo, numbering about 400,000, includes such tribes as the Ot Danom, Maanyan, Lawangan, and Biadju. The Land Dyak complex of southwestern Borneo (Landak, Tayan, etc.) has a total population of 200,000; the Klamantan group of northeastern Borneo (Murut, Dusun, Milanau, etc.), 300,000; the Iban or "Sea Dyak" of Sarawak, 200,000. All the aboriginal tribes, with exception of the Punan, are settled agriculturists, living mainly by the cultivation of dry rice, with subsidiary hunting and fishing. They are all pagan in religion, primitive in general culture, and formerly ranked among the most notorious head hunters in the world.


Celebes.--This strangely shaped island to the east of Borneo has an area of 70,000 square miles and a population of about 4,000,000. For the most part, Celebes is simply a mass of mountains, wildly tumbled together in a landscape all steep angles and jagged profiles; here even the coastal swamps are lacking or very narrow. All the active or recently active volcanoes in the island, 16 in number, are located at the tip of the northern peninsula and on the adjacent islands. Except for this area, the only really fertile and well-populated section of Celebes is the southwestern peninsula, which has no active volcanoes but does possess volcanic soil.

There are no railroads in Celebes, and few highways except in the extreme southwestern and extreme northern parts, where roads radiate from the only two cities worthy of the name, Macassar and Menado. Elsewhere short stretches of roadway have been built in a few districts, but they are not interconnected. With no good navigable rivers either, travel in the interior of Celebes is extremely arduous, and must be done either afoot or on horseback over narrow mountain trails.

There are seven tribal complexes in the island. The Toala, a single small tribe, have not been investigated since discovered some 40 years ago. At that time they numbered only about 100, and were living in caves and small huts in a remote mountain valley of southwestern Celebes. A government report of 1913 states that most of them had by that year moved down out of their highland retreat and were dwelling near a Buginese settlement. They are Veddoid in stock, and very primitive in culture--the only true "cave men" ever discovered in the Indies. The central part of Celebes and the lower section of the northern peninsula are inhabited by the Toradja tribes (Palu, Napu, Poso, etc.), numbering 200,000. South of the Toradja country, in the upper part of the southwestern peninsula, dwell the Sadang peoples, sometimes called Southern Toradja (Sadang, Seko, Rongkong, etc.). Their population totals 500,000. The southeastern peninsula, with adjacent islands, is the home of the Mori-Laki tribes (Mori, Laki, Muna, etc.), with a population of 200,000. The eastern peninsula and neighboring islands are inhabited by the Loinang tribes (Loinang, Wana, Banggai, etc.), with a population of 200,000. All four of these tribal complexes have related cultures. Their racial type is proto-Malay, with Veddoid elements appearing especially among the Loinang and Mori-Laki groups. A submerged Negrito strain has been detected in certain western Toradja tribes. Formerly head hunters, these primitive interior groups of Celebes have been converted in great numbers to Christianity, although the majority still remain pagan.


Fig. 5--Peoples of Celebes
Fig. 5.--Peoples of Celebes

Plate 6

Plate 6

Above: Native of Larantuka, Flores, in festive attire. The physical type shows a mixture of Melanesian Negroid and Papuan racial traits (e.g., the nose, though wide and flat, has a somewhat depressed and fleshy tip). Photograph by J. Kinst.

Below: Karo Batak girls, Sumatra, de-lousing each other's hair. This is a common sight in the Indies. Photograph by E. E. Muhs.

Plate 6

Plate 7

Plate 7

Above: Seti of central Ceram doing a war dance. The physical type is the so-called Alfur, the proto-Malay and Papuan hybrid characteristic of the Moluccas. Courtesy Bataviaasch Genootschap.

Below: Mentawei women fishing, showing leaf clothing. These people cannot weave, but make their garments of either bark cloth or leaves.

Plate 7

Plate 8

Plate 8

Above: Dyak group, western Borneo, showing weapons and waist rings of brass and rattan worn by women.

Below: Bahau Dyak group, Borneo, showing distended ear lobes, and, center rear, panther-tooth ear ornaments which may be worn only by successful head hunters.

Plate 8

Plate 9

Plate 9

Above: Balinese beauty.

Below: Balinese girls. In the center, an ikat (tie-dyed) sarong; the other sarongs are batik.

Plate 9

The most advanced peoples of the island are the proto-Malay tribes of the Minahasa-Gorontalo complex in the northern peninsula and the deutero-Malay Macassarese-Buginese in southwestern Celebes. The Minahasa are almost entirely Christian in religion but retain much of their ancient culture in other respects. The other tribes of the northern complex are either Mohammedan (Gorontalo) or pagan (Bolaang Mongondou, Sangirese, Talaut). The total population of the Minahasa-Gorontalo peoples is 500,000. The Macassarese and Buginese, numbering 2,500,000, form the largest population group, and are the dominant people of the island. Most of the coastal districts and much of the interior were formerly under the rule of their radjas. They are Mohammedan in religion.

The Lesser Sunda Islands.--With a total land area of 35,000 square miles and a combined population of 3,500,000 this chain of islands extends eastward along the southern border of the Indies from Bali to Timor. The terrain throughout is almost entirely mountainous, with 28 active or recently active volcanoes, 17 of them in the island of Flores alone. Good highways traverse parts of Bali and Lombok, but large sections are accessible only by mountain trails. To the east one finds a few stretches of fair road in Sumbawa, Sumba, Flores, and Timor; but Savu, Roti, and the Alor-Solor Islands have almost no real roads. Indeed, east of Bali the interior districts of all the islands are still almost completely undeveloped and have been visited only rarely by outsiders. The only towns of even moderate size in the Lesser Sundas are Singaradja and Den Pasar in Bali, Mataram in Lombok, Ende in Flores, and Kupang and Dilly in Timor. None of these attains a population of 20,000.

Bali, a volcanic, mountainous island, is the most fertile and most densely settled part of the Lesser Sundas, with a population of 1,200,000, and an area of 2,300 square miles. With the exception of a few thousand so-called Bali Aga, who dwell in remote interior villages and still retain much of the pagan pre-Hindu culture of the island, all the Balinese are Hinduist in religion. Bali, indeed, is a kind of museum piece, a living survival of fourteenth-century Java. Many of its noble and high-caste families are descended from refugees who fled Java when the old empire of Modjopahit collapsed. Aside from such deutero-Malay accretions, the Balinese belong to the dark Caucasoid proto-Malay racial stock.

Lombok, a high, volcanic island of 2,000 square miles with a population of 700,000, is the home of three different cultural groups. The western coastal districts are occupied by Balinese, little different from their relatives across the Lombok Straits. The remainder of the island is inhabited by the Sasak, a Mohammedan people who were formerly subject


Fig. 6.--Islands and peoples of the Lesser Sundas.
Fig. 6.--Islands and peoples of the Lesser Sundas


to Balinese princes. Tucked in among the Sasak, however, are several thousand Bodha, still largely pagan in religion and quite primitive in general culture. All three of these groups are predominantly proto-Malay in physical type, although Veddoid traits appear among both Sasak and Bodha.

Sumbawa is a partially volcanic, mountainous island 5,000 square miles in area, with a population of 300,000. It is divided into four sultanates: Sumbawa, Sanggau, Dompo, and Bima; all the inhabitants, with the exception of the pagan Do Donggo in the mountains of Bima, are Mohammedan. The predominant racial stock is proto-Malay.

Sumba, a non-volcanic island of low mountains and plateaus, has an area of 5,500 square miles and a proto-Malay population of 100,000. The natives are mostly pagan.

Savu and Roti are small islands with low-lying coasts and hilly interiors. The area of Savu is 200 square miles; that of Roti, 650 square miles. Their populations total 30,000 and 60,000 respectively. The proto-Malay inhabitants include large numbers of Christian converts, although paganism retains its hold over the majority.

Flores, a mountainous and extremely volcanic island, has an area of 5,600 square miles and a population of 500,000. It is divided into five tribal sections: Manggarai, Ngada, Sika, Ende, and Larantuka. The inhabitants of the western districts are mainly proto-Malay in physical type; but moving toward the east one encounters a bewildering mixture of racial stocks in which proto-Malay, Melanesian Negroid, Papuan, and even Australoid strains are clearly apparent. Wide noses, dark skins, and fuzzy hair predominate among the people of eastern Flores. Although Christianity has made some inroads and many of the coastal dwellers profess Islam, the great majority of the Florenese are pagan.

Timor, largest of the Lesser Sundas, is a mountainous, non-volcanic island 9,000 square miles in area. The eastern half and a small enclave on the northwest coast are Portuguese territory. Three tribal groups inhabit Timor: the Kupangese, in the southwestern extremity; the Atoni, in the western and central parts of the Dutch section; and the Belu, extending from central Dutch Timor eastward over the remainder of the island, including all of Portuguese Timor. The Portuguese territory is the only place in the whole of Indonesia, except for a few remote interior regions, where Malay is not used as a lingua franca. Here the Tetum dialect of Belu is the official trade language. The racial composition of the Timorese population, which totals 700,000, is the most mixed in the Indies. In addition to proto- and deutero-Malay elements, Melanesian Negroid, Papuan, Negrito, and Australoid types all occur, in


varying proportions in different districts. Nearly every racial stock that ever lived in Indonesia is represented in this one island. A fair proportion of the natives have been Christianized or Islamized, but the great bulk of the Timorese are pagan.

The Alor-Solor Islands--Solor, Adonara, Lomblem, Pantar, and Alor-- have a combined area of 2,000 square miles and a population of 150,000. They are mountainous, five of the peaks being active volcanoes. Next to New Guinea, these are probably the least-known islands in the entire Indies. Until very recently almost no reports were available concerning the inhabitants. The principal racial elements are Melanesian Negroid and Papuan; but in Pantar lives a remarkable, heavily bearded type that may be an Australoid survival, while in eastern Alor there are some dwarf tribes of apparently pure Negrito stock.

The Moluccas.--These islands occupy the seas between Celebes and Timor on the west and New Guinea on the east. There are hundreds of them, mostly small, but they include two large ones--Ceram and Halmahera--and several of intermediate size. The combined land area of all the Moluccas is 35,000 square miles, and their total population is 425,000. Although most of the islands are mountainous, some, such as the Aru group, have such low elevation that they consist mainly of continuous swampland. Roads are virtually nonexistent in the Moluccas, and interior travel and transportation are very difficult. Consequently, except in the larger islands, most of the native settlements are situated on the coasts, and communication is principally by boat. Each of the major island groups has at least one town which is the focus of trade and the port-of-call for steamships. But most of these commercial centers are small and insignificant except as gateways for export and import. The only truly urban community in the whole of the Moluccas is Amboina, in the Ambon Islands south of Ceram. Ternate, on an island of the same name west of Halmahera; Tidore, just south of Ternate on another small island; and Bandaneira, in the Banda Islands, are three secondary centers whose importance has declined greatly since the golden days of the spice trade, when the Moluccas, or "Spice Islands," were the richest commercial region in the Indies. Most of the islands are either decadent or still in a primitive state of development. Nevertheless, the Moluccas are of vital strategical significance, for they guard the shortest sea and air lanes north from Australia to the Philippines and Japan. The Dutch had their second largest naval base in the Indies at Amboina.

Wetar, off the northern coast of Portuguese Timor, is a little-known island of 1,200 square miles with a population of only 7,500. The terrain is hilly and the soil infertile. The racial stock of the natives is a mixture


Fig. 7.--Islands and peoples of the Moluccas.
Fig. 7.--Islands and peoples of the Moluccas.


of proto-Malay and Papuan. Certain tribes are reported to be extremely warlike, given to head hunting, and hostile to outsiders. So isolated and primitive is this island that, except for a few Mohammedans and even fewer Christians, all the inhabitants are still pagan.

Kisar, east of Wetar, is a small island of 50 square miles, which, despite infertile soil, supports a population of 9,000. The terrain is hilly, and almost bare of trees. The natives are of proto-Malay stock, but one district is inhabited by a group of about 200 half-breeds, products of the mating of soldiers with Kisarese over a hundred years ago, when an East India Company fort was maintained on the island. They have Dutch names and do not intermarry with the natives, but they have forgotten the Dutch language entirely. About 10 percent of the people of Kisar are Christian.

The Leti Islands (Leti, Moa, and Lakor), east of Kisar, have a combined area of 350 square miles and a population of 15,000. They are non-volcanic and relatively infertile. Leti and Moa are hilly, Lakor quite flat. The proto-Malay natives are about 50 percent Christianized.

The Luang Islands (Luang and Sermata), adjacent to the Leti group, are hilly and non-volcanic, with an area of 150 square miles and a population of 5,000. About half of the Luang people profess Christianity; the Sermatans are still mostly pagan. The racial stock is predominantly proto-Malay.

The Babar Islands, six in number, lie east of Luang. Their combined area is 250 square miles; that of the largest island 220 square miles. They are non-volcanic, with a high and rugged terrain. The very primitive natives are almost completely pagan and formerly practiced head hunting. They are of the so-called Alfur hybrid physical type, a cross of proto-Malay and Papuan. Whereas Kisar and the Leti and Luang Islands are relatively "civilized," Babar, like Wetar, has remained virtually untouched by outside influences.

The Roma Islands (Roma and Damar) lie north of Babar, and together have an area of 200 square miles. Both are mountainous and of volcanic origin. One of the peaks on Damar is still active. The sparse population of 3,000 is thoroughly isolated, primitive in culture, and pagan in religion. The racial stock is Alfur hybrid.

The Nila Islands (Nila, Teun, and Serua) stretch northeast of Damar into the open waters of the Banda Sea. Each of the three islands is an active volcano, and on the slopes of these dwell about 3,000 natives of Alfur physical type, almost completely secluded from the outside world and still pagan. The total area is about 100 square miles.

The Tanimbar Islands, with an area of 2,150 square miles, are 66 in number, but only seven are inhabited. One of them, Yamdena, is by far


the largest, and on its southern coast is situated the main town of Saumlaki, a regular port-of-call for steamships. All the islands are non-volcanic and low-lying, the elevation rarely exceeding 200 meters; much of the terrain consists of impenetrable swamps. The 25,000 natives are of the mixed Alfur type, with a preponderance of Papuan characteristics, including dark skin and frizzy hair. They are very primitive and formerly fought savagely among themselves, taking heads and eating parts of the bodies of slain enemies. They have a long record of hostility to whites also, but since 1907, when the Dutch strengthened the police force in the islands, disturbances have been checked. They still retain their traditional culture and are mostly pagan.

The Kei Islands, northeast of Tanimbar, under the coast of New Guinea, have an area of 575 square miles distributed over three large islands and innumerable small ones. They are non-volcanic. Great Kei, the largest, is extremely mountainous, but the others are much lower, the second largest one, Nuhuroa, consisting largely of swampland. They are all densely forested. The principal town is Tual, the center of trade and shipping. The population of 30,000 is Alfur in physical type. Although still primitive in general culture, only about one-third of the Keians remain pagan. The remainder are equally divided between Islam and Christianity. The prevailing attitude toward outsiders is friendly, although bloody internal warfare was only recently checked by the Dutch.

The Am Islands, far to the east, lie close to New Guinea. They number over a hundred, but only five are large. The entire group is close-packed, with narrow water divisions between its parts. The terrain is flat and low, consisting largely of extensive marshes broken by low hills. Virgin forest covers most of Aru. The area of 3,350 square miles supports a population of 20,000 of mixed Alfur stock, similar to the Tanimbarese. Dobo, the main town, and a regular port-of-call for ships, is on the western island of Wamar. This is one of the few places in the Indies where Japanese were numerous before 1941. They engaged principally in the pearl-fishing business. Some parts of Aru are still unexplored, and in interior Wokam live nomadic tribes who have never been seen by white men and who seldom come in contact with the other natives. The Arunese are quite primitive, and mostly pagan; but friendly and obedient. Even among themselves they have rarely indulged in warfare.

The Watubela Islands, six in number, lie northwest of. Kei. Only three are inhabited, the total population being 2,500. The area is about 150 square miles, and the terrain consists mostly of low hills. The islands are isolated and unimportant. A few of the natives, of Alfur type, profess Islam, but the majority are pagan.


The Goram Islands, north of Watubela, with an area of approximately 200 square miles, are six in number, but only three are inhabited. They are hilly and thickly wooded. The total population of mixed Alfur stock is 6,000. Although these islands are off the regular shipping routes, the natives have had considerable contact with outsiders, and Islam now claims nearly all of them. The Dutch had much difficulty with piracy and slave-raiding here until the latter part of the nineteenth century, but in recent years conditions have been peaceful.

The Ceramlaut Islands, off the southeastern tip of Ceram, number 12, 6 of them inhabited. The area is approximately 100 square miles; the population, 6,000. They are low, infertile coral clusters. About 1,000 of the inhabitants are of alien origin, including Chinese, Arabs, and Indonesians from other parts of the Indies. Formerly troublesome pirates, the natives are almost entirely Mohammedan.

The Banda Islands, in the center of the Banda Sea south of Ceram, have an area of 100 square miles. The 11 islands have lost their aboriginal population and are now inhabited by a mixture of Javanese, Buginese, Macassarese, and other immigrants, totaling 6,000. Hilly and volcanic, the Banda group was formerly a prosperous center of spice cultivation. The days of wealth have now passed, and a general atmosphere of decadence pervades the region, despite the fact that the principal town, Bandaneira, has one of the finest harbors in the Indies, and several of the islands have fair roadways.

The Ambon Islands, the commercial and administrative center of the Moluccas, are a group of four located off the southwest coast of Ceram. The total area is 500 square miles, Amboina, the main island, comprising over 300 of these. The islands are of volcanic origin, and although activity long ago ended, hot springs and sulfur beds are common and earthquakes frequent. Mountain ranges traverse the entire group. The city of Amboina, with 10,000 population, is the largest community in eastern Indonesia and was the second most important naval base of the Dutch. The 60,000 natives, of mixed Alfur stock, are mostly Christian, although a fair number profess Islam; they have been among the friendliest of all Indonesians toward the Netherlands Government. Strong, intelligent, obedient, and brave, they supplied a large proportion of the troops of the colonial army and were prominent in government clerical service, as teachers, and as foremen of native workers. Trade has been handled mainly by outsiders: Europeans, Chinese, Arabs, and immigrants from elsewhere in Indonesia; and the alien population is very large. In the city of Amboina, for instance, there lived in 1940 almost 1,000 Europeans and several hundred Arabs and Chinese.


Ceram, largest of the Moluccas, has an area of 6,700 square miles. The island is predominantly mountainous but non-volcanic, with a peak 3,055 meters high in the very center. The eastern part, however, is either hilly or very low and swampy. Most of the land is densely wooded. The rivers are almost useless for navigation, and there are no roads; consequently land travel is entirely by means of mere trails. There are no large towns and few harbors. The natives, numbering 60,000, are in general quite primitive, despite the fact that about 12,000 profess Christianity and 16,000 are Mohammedan. Most of these converts live in the coastal districts, where considerable intermixture with aliens has occurred; but the wild interior is still almost untouched by cultural influence from the outer world. The mountain people of western Ceram are tall, excitable, dark-skinned folk of Papuan and Melanesian Negroid stock. They have been among the most ferocious head hunters in the Indies, and their warlike activities have given the Dutch much trouble. They are known as Patasiwa Hitam. The central districts are inhabited by mixed Alfur tribes, of a more peaceable disposition: the Patasiwa Putih, Patalima, and Seti. The hills and marshes of eastern Ceram shelter a Veddoid people, the Bonfia, who are shy, unwarlike, and very primitive in culture.

Bum, west of Ceram, is an oval-shaped island with an area of 3,400 square miles. It is mostly a mass of non-volcanic mountains, but large parts of the coast are flat and marshy. Only one river is navigable for small boats, and there are no roads. The population of 20,000 is divided between the pagan Gebmelia of the interior, predominantly of proto-Malay stock, and the mixed folk of the coastland, the Gebmasin, who have been partially Christianized or Mohammedanized. Most of Buru has only recently been explored, but the natives are peaceable.

The Sula Islands, lying between Buru and Celebes have an area of about 5,000 square miles. There are three large islands and innumerable smaller ones. They are non-volcanic, hilly in the interior sections, with low-lying swampy coasts. The population of 15,000 is mainly of proto-Malay stock, with submerged Papuan and Veddoid strains. Sula is one of the least-known parts of the Indies; and the pagan natives are quite primitive, many of them still living a nomadic existence.

Halmahera, northernmost of the Moluccas, is a grotesquely shaped island about 200 miles long, with an area of 6,500 square miles, including smaller satellite islands. The four long peninsulas are high, densely forested mountain chains which tumble together in the center. The northern peninsula is volcanic, with three active and two semiquiescent peaks; the other sections are non-volcanic. With no good navigable rivers, and a


total absence of roads, travel in the interior is exceedingly arduous. Much of Halmahera is virtually uninhabited, the total population being 50,000 or an average of less than eight per square mile. The natives, many of them nomads, are of the hybrid Alfur stock, and extremely primitive in culture. They are grouped in more than 30 distinct tribes, most of which have been very little investigated. Western civilization has scarcely touched this island, except for the labor of a few missionaries, who estimate the number of their converts at almost 10,000, perhaps an exaggeration. The number of Mohammedans is not known. In any case, the great majority of the Halmaherans are still pagan in religion.

Ternate, off the west coast of Halmahera, is a small island occupied almost entirely by a lofty, active volcano. The total area is 25 square miles, most of it densely wooded. The principal town, Ternate, is a shipping center, with a fine harbor. The population of 10,000 is basically of Alfur stock, but so much intermixture with outsiders has occurred that the original type has been obscured. Ternate, next to Amboina, is the largest town of eastern Indonesia; and was formerly the capital of the most powerful sultanate east of Macassar. The natives of this island are entirely Mohammedan.

Tidore, a mile south of Ternate, is also a small, mountainous island, but its volcano is no longer active. It has an area of 25 square miles and a population of 15,000. The natives, originally of Alfur stock, have intermixed considerably with aliens. The main town, Tidore, has a good harbor, and was formerly the seat of a sultanate that rivaled Ternate in power. The Tidorese are all Mohammedans.

The Makian Islands--Moti, Makian, and Kayoa--lie south of Tidore. They have a combined area of about 50 square miles, and a population of about 10,000. Makian is built around an active volcano; the other islands are of volcanic origin, and hilly. The Alfur natives have all been Mohammedanized.

The Batjan Islands, off the southwest coast of Halmahera, number about 80, but only 3 are of large size. The total area is 1,000 square miles; the population, 10,000. The islands are of volcanic origin, hilly, and covered with forests. The sultanate of Batjan was formerly rather powerful, but today the region is of little importance. The Alfur natives are mostly Mohammedan, but there are a few hundred Christians.

The Obi Islands, south of Batjan, are a group of six, but only one is large. The total area is 1,000 square miles. The islands are mountainous, non-volcanic, and densely wooded. The aboriginal inhabitants have disappeared, and most of the population today is of a "floating" character, coming in temporarily to fish, dive for pearls, cut sago, and collect forest


products. A fair estimate of the number of relatively stable settlers would not exceed 2,000.


All the peoples of the Indies speak languages belonging to a single linguistic stock, the Malayo-Polynesian, with the exception of the tribes of northern Halmahera in the Moluccas and of Alor in the Lesser Sundas. These groups possess languages that are generally referred to as Papuan, a category in which the tongues of New Guinea also fall. They have never been properly studied or classified; but they are clearly different from the Malayo-Polynesian languages. The latter form one of the most widespread linguistic families in the world, with hundreds of branches extending all the way from Madagascar, off the southeast coast of Africa, through the East Indies and the Philippines to Formosa on the north, up through the Malay Peninsula to the borders of Burma and Siam, and clear across the Pacific from Indonesia through Melanesia and Micronesia to the distant outposts of Hawaii and Easter Island.

The scores of Indonesian languages, although nearly all of them belong to this single stock, are mutually incomprehensible--the range of variation being comparable to that within the Indo-European languages of Europe. But the linguistic problem in the Indies is simplified by the fact that there exists a kind of "basic Malay," a simplified version of Sumatran Malay, which is understood throughout most of the islands. This language, which can be acquired by a few months of steady practice, is indispensable for verbal communication with natives, almost none of whom can speak English, Dutch, or any other non-Indonesian tongue.

Although over 90 percent of the natives are illiterate, writing, introduced by the Hindus, has been known in the western islands of the Indies for over a thousand years. The ancient Hindu-derived scripts are rapidly passing out of use but still survive in parts of Sumatra and Celebes, in Bali, Flores, and Sumbawa, and even to some extent in Java. The Arabic alphabet, and recently the Roman, have displaced this archaic type of writing in most of the advanced areas. Paper is now in general use, but the traditional way of writing is to scratch the letters on the shiny surface of bamboo strips or palm leaves, which are then tied together in books. Accordion-like books made of long strips of thin bark folded together between wooden covers are used by the Batak of Sumatra.


Most of the Indonesians are agriculturists, and rice is by all odds the mainstay of native subsistence. The more primitive method of cultivation


is to clear and burn the natural growth and plant the grains with digging sticks in the ash-fertilized soil. Irrigated rice cultivation, either on flooded flatlands or on artificially constructed hillside terraces, is limited to the more advanced areas, notably Java, Sumatra, Bali, and southwestern Celebes. Wet-rice agriculture was introduced into the Indies at a much later date than the "burn and plant" system and has not yet spread to the remoter regions. Wherever it is introduced, the yield of grain increases tremendously, and population. rises with miraculous speed. Year-round wet-rice cultivation on terraced hills, in fertile volcanic soil, is the secret of Java's ability to support its enormous population.

The western islands are the main rice area of the archipelago. Rice has never been introduced, or has come in only recently, throughout most of eastern Indonesia and among certain very primitive tribes of the western region. Yams and taro, tuberous vegetables, and sago, a tapioca-like meal which is beaten and washed from the pith of a kind of palm tree, are the staples in Nias, Mentawei, and Engano, isolated islands off Sumatra's west coast, and in Banggai, off the eastern point of Celebes. Two other western Indonesian groups, the nomadic Kubu of Sumatra and Punan of Borneo, subsist by hunting and collecting the wild products of the jungle. In eastern Indonesia, rice is replaced as the main crop by either maize (corn) or sago. The former predominates in the Lesser Sundas east of Lombok, while sago meal is the principal food throughout most of the Moluccas. Thus, with minor exceptions, one can map out three main agricultural regions in the archipelago: the western rice area, the central maize section, and the eastern sago zone. f

Vegetable food predominates in the diet of the Indonesians. Customarily, however, they supplement their rice, corn, or sago dishes with bits of meat and fish, principally the latter. Fishing, indeed, is the second most important source of food in native economy. Nets, lines, a wide variety of ingenious dams and traps, and stupefying drugs are all used in fishing.

Hunting holds a subsidiary place in native economic life except among the nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes of Sumatra, Borneo, and some of the larger eastern islands. Wild pigs, deer, monkeys, and wild fowl are the principal kinds of game. The more advanced peoples have guns; but among the remoter tribes, where hunting is still important, spears, the bow and arrow, and the blowpipe with poisoned darts are used. Also, the wide variety of Indonesian fish traps is matched by those used for game. Noose-traps and stationary spring-spears, operating on the principle of the bow and arrow, are suitable for small animals, while for larger ones deadfalls and heavily weighted suspended spears are employed.


Domesticated animals include dogs, cats, chickens, pigs, water buffalo, cattle, horses, goats, and sheep. Hardly a group can be found, even the primitive forest nomads, who do not have dogs. Cats are not nearly so numerous, which is unfortunate, for the Indies are infested with rats and mice. All Indonesian peoples, except the wandering savages of the jungle, keep chickens. Until 500 years ago pigs were raised in nearly every part of the archipelago. Since then their numbers have been continually decreasing, for with each advance of Islam the pork taboo makes the people get rid of them. It is easy to distinguish Mohammedan from Christian or pagan villages by the absence or presence of pigs.

The gigantic water buffalo, or carabao, is the principal work and draft animal of the islands, and despite the importation of motorcars, most of the heavy transport is still done by buffalo cart. These animals are sometimes slaughtered and eaten, but fish is generally preferred to meat, except for pork in non-Mohammedan areas. Buffalo are found only in the more accessible regions; they have never been introduced into interior Borneo or some of the eastern islands. Cattle, either the humpbacked Indian variety or recently imported European breeds, are not nearly so numerous or widespread as carabao. The horses of the islands are very small, not much bigger than ponies, and were apparently first imported into the Indies by Hindus. They are used as pack or riding animals and in towns to draw little two-wheeled hire-carriages in which driver and passenger ride back to back. Goats are raised in nearly all the islands, mainly for meat and to a lesser extent for milk. Indonesians, like most Orientals, do not care much for milk, butter, or cheese. Sheep were first introduced by Europeans and are still of minor importance in native economy.

Whatever their means of livelihood, most Indonesians are independent workers. Over 70 percent work for themselves, while only 30 percent are wage earners, generally in the employ of European companies. Sixty percent are farmers, 5 percent merchants, 3 percent cattle raisers, hunters, or fishermen, and 1 percent in the professions. Thus the great majority live in the "closed economy" of their native communities, which are almost entirely self-sufficient, producing all they consume, with little left over to sell for cash.

The Indonesians are also poor, not only in money, but in food and possessions as well. Their houses are mostly mere bamboo and thatch huts, their clothes simple and few. Food, especially in overpopulated Java, is not plentiful, but fortunately they require very little. Two bowls of rice, with small servings of fish and vegetables on the side, are sufficient for daily needs. As for money, income tax statistics show that 95 percent of the natives earned less than $50 a year; and only 0.05 percent


received over $450 a year. Europeans, comprising only 0.4 percent of the population, paid 50 percent of the income tax receipts; while alien Asiatics, mostly Chinese, constituting 2 percent of the population, paid 30 percent. These figures demonstrate clearly the general economic structure of the Indies: the natives work mostly to produce food for themselves; the foreigners work for money profits.


The majority of the Indonesians live in small villages, but there are some exceptions. The Kubu of Sumatra, the Punan of Borneo, and some of the primitive tribes of the eastern islands have no set habitations, but wander constantly in small bands searching for food. Their camps are clusters of simple shelters made of sticks and leaves. The sea nomads, or Orang Laut, spend most of their lives in small boats with rude mat coverings over one section.

The other peoples of the Indies have fixed settlements that are more or less permanent. Where the "burn and plant" method of agriculture prevails, the soil is exhausted after a few years, and the people must move their houses to a fresh location. Also, since this type of cultivation is not very productive, a single settlement can never be large. Where irrigated rice is grown, however, the soil retains its fertility and yields abundantly year after year. In such regions the villages are permanent and often rather large. Inland Borneo and Java exemplify this contrast between wet- and dry-rice sections.

Throughout the archipelago housing is generally very simple. The usual building materials are bamboo and leaf or fiber thatch. In most of Indonesia the ground plan of the dwellings is rectangular; but some groups build their houses directly on the earth, while others raise them up on piles or stone platforms. The pile dwelling is the more ancient type and occurs in the remoter districts. Although most of the Indonesian houses are small, some tribes build enormous structures accommodating scores and even hundreds of people. The extreme development of the longhouse occurs in the interior districts of Borneo, where a single building may shelter an entire village population. Even more archaic house forms than the rectangular pile dwelling are encountered in some islands. These oval-shaped or round structures occur in a part of Nias, in Engano, in the Land Dyak section of western Borneo, in the Lesser Sunda islands of Timor, Flores, Lomblem, and Savu, and in the northern part of Halmahera in the Moluccas. Balinese houses differ from all others in Indonesia. A whole group of closely related families dwell within a walled enclosure, in a cluster of small, clay-sided, thatch-roofed structures.


Even today in regions where the government's authority has not penetrated sufficiently to ensure internal peace, the native settlements are protected by ingenious fortifications. Formerly most villages had them. In flat country the clusters of houses are surrounded by earthen walls, sometimes with a dry moat on the outside, the entire breastwork being thickly planted with thorny bamboo very difficult to penetrate. Narrow passageways, easily blocked, are the only means of entrance. In mountain districts a village is preferably located on the top of a high hill and can be reached only by a narrow path, parts of it so steep that ladders must be used. In time of war these ladders can be pulled up. The set defenses are often supplemented by concealed pitfalls, trigger-spears, and hidden bamboo spikes, sometimes poisoned at the tip, which impede the progress of barefoot attackers. Under the peaceful conditions of the recent past, the ancient fortifications have been leveled in most regions, and most of the hilltop people have come down out of their lofty strongholds to lower land. Also, settlements formerly closely clustered for better defense have become more dispersed.

Stone architecture, flourishing in Java and Sumatra during the medieval Hindu period, is now a dead art except in Nias and among the Balinese, whose exquisite temples and shrines are among the wonders of the world. . In Nias, megalithic art of a pre-Hindu type reaches a peak which is truly astounding among a people otherwise so primitive. The massive walls, majestic stone stairways, bathing pools, and huge sculptured monuments of the Nias people, though not nearly so widely publicized as the great stone faces of Easter Island in the Pacific, are actually much more impressive. The Batak of Sumatra, the Minahasa of Celebes, and the Sumbanese of the Lesser Sunda Islands are the only other peoples of Indonesia who do stone sculpturing, principally in the form of mausoleums for dead chieftains.

The village pavilion, used for ceremonials and council meetings, is characteristic of Indonesia. Where no separate buildings are devoted to such purposes, as in parts of Borneo and Celebes, the chief's home or his section of the longhouse includes a portion which serves as a communal meeting place. In some regions--notably Mentawei, parts of Borneo and Celebes, and most of eastern Indonesia--the council houses also function as the temples of pagan cults; while in other places the villages have separate temple buildings, formerly adorned with the skulls or scalps of slain enemies and human sacrifices. The community pavilion in many tribes is the men's clubhouse, where they congregate in the daytime and sleep at night. Here guests are accommodated also.


In Mohammedan regions the mosque takes the place of the ancient pagan temple. Smaller communities have mosques constructed of wood, bamboo, and thatch; but in larger centers the Islamic church is often a large edifice, built in Byzantine style with cement walls and metal roof.


The daily dress of the Indonesians is as simple as most of their houses. Where weaving is known, or imported cloth available, the usual attire is a cotton blouse and batik sarong for women, and a shirt and sarong or trousers for men. Women drape over one shoulder a long strip of cloth which can be used to carry bundles and babies or as a head shawl. Men wear either cloth turbans or fezzes, a white fez being the mark of one who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca. The natives seldom wear shoes. The semi-Europeanized city dwellers are taking more and more to the white man's style of dress, including shoes; but this occurs seldom among women. Indeed, it is almost literally true that the only native women who dress in European fashion are prostitutes. In rural districts, both men and women remove their blouses when working; in Bali and parts of Borneo women regularly go naked above the waist. While daily dress is simple, the festive garments of the Indonesians are very elaborate, made of the finest batik and specially woven cloth intricately brocaded with silk and gold thread.

A few remote tribes still have no knowledge of weaving and seldom come in contact with traders who sell imported textiles. These primitive groups make their garments of bark cloth, beaten out of the inner bark of certain trees. Even where woven textiles are in use, the natives often make their working clothes--kilts for women and loincloths for men-- of this material. The most elaborate development of bark-cloth garments is found among the Toradja mountain tribes of Celebes. The women of a few isolated islands--Mentawei and Engano off the west coast of Sumatra, and Buru, Aru, and Ceram in the Moluccas--still wear leaf and plaited-fiber skirts occasionally.

Body ornaments include a wide variety of earrings and disks, head decorations, necklaces and neck pendants, arm and leg bracelets, belts and corselets, and miscellaneous jewelry such as finger rings, pins and brooches, buckles and buttons. The primitive tribes make their ornaments principally of flowers, feathers, wood, bone, and shell; metal decorations of gold, silver, brass, tin, and copper predominate in the more advanced regions. A general rule is that the most primitive and the most civilized peoples wear fewest ornaments; while those on "intermediate" levels of culture specialize in elaborate adornment.


Plate 10

Plate 10

Above: Batak "hot dog" stand, Sumatra. The vendors are selling pieces of roasted dog meat in a marketplace.

Below: Entrance to a Batak village, Sumatra, showing earthen fortifications.

Photographs by E.E. Muhs.

Plate 10

Plate 11

Plate 11

Above: Minangkabau longhouse, Sumatra. All Minangkabau buildings have graceful saddle-shaped roofs. Courtesy Netherlands Information Bureau.

Below: Toba Batak village, Sumatra, showing the sloping gables of the houses of this subtribe. Photograph by E. E. Muhs.

Plate 11

Plate 12

Plate 12

Above: Balinese temple gateway with carved wooden doors.

Below: Houses in Nias with massive timbers, carved and painted gables, and hooded roofs. Sculptured stone monuments dedicated to ancestors, in foreground, on paved village plaza. Courtesy Netherlands Information Bureau.

Plate 12

Plate 13

Plate 13

Above: Mentawei longhouse.

Below: One of the various types of Borneo longhouses.

Plate 13

The Indonesians also exercise their decorative fancy on the flesh of the body itself. Virtually every people in the islands pierce the ears for the insertion of rings or disks. The custom is declining among men of the more advanced groups, but it is almost universal among women. Generally, the extreme types of ear mutilation--greatly distended lobes and multiple incisions--are found among the more backward tribes. Filing of the front teeth--to points, down in an even line (in many cases to the gums), or with concave grooves on the outer surface--is a very general practice, and was formerly universal in the archipelago. In some places, as in Engano and among the Toradja of Celebes, teeth may be simply broken off or knocked out by the roots. The genital organs are another part of the body subjected to mutilation, including supercision, circumcision, and female incision. The latter two operations are practiced almost exclusively in Mohammedanized areas.

Tattooing, formerly a general custom in most of Indonesia, is still practiced widely in the more backward districts of nearly every island, excepting Java, Sumatra, Bali, and Lombok. Borneo is probably the greatest tattooing center in the world. Perhaps because tattooing is so general, body painting is rather rare. A variation on mere painting is employed by the western Toradja of Celebes, who stipple the face and hands with resin in dot-and-line designs. A substitute for tattooing in a few remote parts of Celebes, in Nias, and in some of the Moluccas is burning or cutting cicatrices in the flesh. Only three tribes--the Klamantan Milanau of Borneo, the Gorontalese of Celebes, and the Redjang of Sumatra--compress the heads of infants to give them an admired flatness of forehead and occiput. The natives of Kei, Babar, and Tanimbar in the Moluccas bleach their hair with lime. Nose mutilation is encountered nowhere in the islands west of New Guinea.


With the increasing displacement of hunting by agriculture and the decrease in native warfare, the importance of weapons has declined. Most Javanese, for instance, have no weapons except ornamental krisses kept as heirlooms, while in Borneo the old head-chopping ax is disappearing for lack of use. The most important weapons in the Indies are the sword, spear, blowgun, bow, and shield. Swords, spears, and shields are used throughout all the islands; but the blowgun is predominantly a western Indonesian weapon, while the bow is found mainly in the eastern part of the archipelago. Slings and clubs are rare, as are throwing sticks. Poisons made from tree sap are smeared on blowgun darts, and, in some


tribes, on arrows as well. The blowguns themselves are of wood or bamboo. The latter are easy to make, as bamboo is hollow; but the wooden pipes require careful workmanship. Some are made by lashing two grooved sticks together so that the longitudinal grooves combine to form a circular passage. The other method is to drill a hole down through a long piece of wood in the manner of a gunsmith boring a rifle. Iron tools are needed for making such blowguns.


The importation of motorcars and the extension of good roads are revolutionizing travel and transportation in Indonesia, but where roads have not been built the ancient methods survive. Buffalo carts and pack horses are used to a considerable extent, but most travel is on foot and most transportation by human porters, women as well as men. In the more remote districts, the principal carrying device is the back basket, with tumpline passing over the forehead or shoulder straps, or, for heavy loads, both. Porters in coastal regions use balance poles, which rest on the shoulders and have the load suspended from both ends.

The coastal peoples are expert seafarers, and before the coming of the steamship most of the water commerce was carried by their big sailing praus, with or without outriggers. The smaller boats are usually dugout canoes hewn from a single log and provided with outriggers. On inland lakes and rivers the boats are generally devoid of external floats. Nearly all the dugouts of the Indies have double outriggers supported by two booms passing across the vessel. Sometimes, to make them more seaworthy, the dugouts have their sides built up with planks attached to the log keel by lashing or wooden pegs.


Two manufacturing accomplishments are common to all groups in the islands: woodworking and the plaiting of mats and baskets. Pottery making is somewhat more limited in spread, and several groups, notably in the eastern Indies, appear never to have learned the technique. Indonesian pottery is generally poor in quality, scantily decorated, and un-glazed. The potter's wheel is almost never used, the vessels being made by scooping and patting into shape a lump of clay.

The two arts of handicraft in which Indonesians excel are textile weaving and metal work. The latter is far more widespread than the former and apparently is much more ancient in the archipelago. Many tribes of Celebes and the eastern islands have never advanced beyond the bark-


cloth level of textile development, but very few peoples lack the knowledge of metal manufacture. Most of the iron is bought from traders in the form of bars, but some tribes mine and smelt local ore. A piston bellows with bamboo cylinders and wadded plungers is used in smelting and forging, and the product is tempered by plunging it red hot into cold water. Copper, brass, gold, and silver artifacts are made by beating or by the * lost-wax" method of molding.

Weavers work with two kinds of looms. The more primitive type has the warp threads tied at one end to a fixed horizontal stick and at the other to a bar which passes behind the small of the back of the weaver. The more complex looms have set frames. Textiles are decorated either by brocading with colored or gold or silver thread, or by dyeing. The locally made coloring materials are disappearing since the importation of aniline dyes. For simple cloths whole-dyed threads may be woven directly, but far more complicated methods are also used. They all come under the general heading of "resist dyeing," in which certain parts of the cloth or thread are covered with wax, leaves, or fibers, so that when the dye is applied it does not color these places. In this way a design is produced. For multicolor dyeing, the sections already tinted are covered and a different color is applied to the remainder of the cloth. Ikat ("tie") dyeing is done on the threads before weaving, and when these threads are woven, so carefully have the colors been applied that the desired design appears in the finished fabric. Plangi ("rainbow") cloths are dyed by covering certain parts of the textile with leaves or other resistant substances, and then tying these sections into small bundles, so that when dipped they do not take the color. By successive tyings and dippings multicolor designs can be produced. Batik cloths are colored by smearing wax over the parts which are not to be tinted and then applying the dye. The wax is later removed by boiling. Here again, several colors can be produced on a single cloth by repeated waxing and dipping.


The artistic talents of the Indonesians are not confined solely to handicrafts. In the so-called fine arts, their creative abilities appear to special advantage in dancing, music, and drama. The more primitive tribes use gongs and drums principally, although they have some rude wind and stringed instruments. The dancing of the interior tribes, like their music, is also rather simple, running largely to pantomime. The highest development of these arts is found in Java and Bali, where Indian influence has enriched the aboriginal patterns. The music of the great gamelan


orchestras is related to that of the backward tribes in much the same way that European symphonies are related to peasant folksongs. And the elaborate posturing dances and beautifully synchronized group performances of the Javanese and Balinese troupes offer a similar degree of comparison with the pantomimic animal and war dances of the jungle peoples as, in the Western tradition, the Russian ballet with folkdancing. In both instances, the old rhythms and motifs have contributed to the more sophisticated patterns, which are, indeed, lineal descendants of the ancient forms.

The gamelan orchestras have as their principal instruments copper-bowl xylophones, which carry the burden of the music; while the violins, flutes, clarinets, and trumpets embroider the basic pattern, and the big drums and gongs keep up a running undertone of complicated rhythms. Indonesian dancers move their feet very little, and most of the meaning of their performance is expressed by intricate, highly symbolic posturing with the body, arms, and hands. Similarly, while the face of the dancer remains an immobile and expressionless mask, the movements of the head and eyes are significant.

The dramatic art of the islands, which among the more remote tribes consists mainly of the pantomimic dances just mentioned and some religious pageant-like performances, also attains a peak of development in Java and Bali. The stories are largely derived from the Indian epic poems Mahabharata and Ramayana, but some of the dramas are based upon traditional native tales. Wayang is the generic term for drama, and there are several kinds of plays. One is performed by human actors, usually masked, who speak the lines. Another, and perhaps the most ancient kind, consists in the unrolling of a long scroll on which the scenes of the play are painted. A monologist recites the lines. All the other types of wayang are puppet shows, the figures being made of various kinds of material. Most popular of all is the shadow play with flat leather puppets manipulated from beneath the stage by thin stick attachments.

European and American music apparently has made little appeal to Indonesians; and they are frankly shocked by the Western bisexual, close-contact ballroom dancing. But the cinema has taken hold with them to the extent that it threatens the survival of the traditional drama wherever movie theaters have come in. "Westerns" and animated cartoons are their favorites.


The social organization of the Indonesian peoples shows three levels of development. The first is represented by the small proportion of natives


who live in the few modern cities: Batavia, Bandung, and Surabaya in Java; Medan and Palembang in Sumatra; Macassar and Menado in Celebes; and Bandjermasin and Pontianak in Borneo. Among these the traditional social groupings have been largely forgotten, and their type of community life is a product of Western influence.

The second level is that of the native states, still semi-independent, although geared in with the Dutch colonial administration. This type of organization is restricted to Java and the coastal regions of other islands, and came into Indonesia about 1,500 years ago as an imported Hindu element. Before that, the social system of the Indies had never developed beyond the tribal or village community stage. Like the modernized city organization, the native states represent a superimposition on the ancient tribal and village groupings; and even now only a minority of the people are directly concerned with these petty principalities. They are survivals of the Hindu imperialism that preceded the European version of the same thing.

Despite successive conquests, underneath the shifting alien dominations the native communities have gone their traditional ways relatively undisturbed. The third and deepest level of social organization, represented by the masses of the native Indonesians in their countless tribes and settlements, has been left essentially untouched by foreign governmental systems. This is actually and potentially the most important social stratum in the islands, for upon its firm foundation must rise the future democratic state of Indonesia, after the imperialistic superimpositions have been stripped away.

The tribal groupings, many of them so large that they might more appropriately be termed nations, are mostly nongovernmental units. They are cultural areas, within each of which the customs and language are the same and the people remember an ancient bond of relationship. But there are no central tribal governments, and the largest administrative units on the native level are clusters of villages which have combined to form districts, with district chiefs and councils. This is the typical stage of development in the more advanced areas, such as Java and most of Sumatra. In regions of simpler culture, as in the interior parts of Borneo and Celebes, each settlement is virtually independent, and district organization is absent.

Throughout the Indies, even in places where villages are grouped in district federations, the most important functional unit, socially and politically, is the community. The native communities are not only typically democratic; they are also to a high degree communalistic. The


chief and his assistants are chosen by vote of the villagers, although the offices tend to become hereditary. All or nearly all the adult males in the settlement have a voice in the direction of community affairs. Descendants of slaves, newcomers to the village, and persons of a traditionally inferior class may be either entirely disfranchised or given limited political privileges, but the prevailing tendency is democratic. The officials are subject to control in their decisions by the council, and they must never violate the adat, or traditional rules, of the community. With these checks on them, they have little chance to indulge any, inclinations toward dictatorship. Wherever despotism has developed in the Indies, it has been imported from outside. But even in such cases, the wiser administrators have generally refrained from much interference in the local communities, demanding only peace and taxes, and a limited amount of personal and military service.

The Indonesians lay great emphasis on genealogy and reckon relationships far beyond the immediate family. These extended systems of kinship are important functionally, for upon them are based marriage rules, regulations concerning place of residence, obligations of blood vengeance, and property laws. Some of the tribes stress descent in the female line, while others emphasize male descent. These unilateral schemes of social organization are confined mostly to Sumatra and certain parts of eastern Indonesia. Patrilineal descent is characteristic of most of the mountain peoples of Sumatra and the vast majority of groups in the eastern islands, from Bali to New Guinea. Matrilineal descent occurs only among the Minangkabau and one or two other tribes of Sumatra, and in restricted enclaves in some of the Lesser Sundas and Moluccas. In the whole central part of the archipelago, bilateral kinship systems are the rule--in Borneo, Celebes, and Java particularly--and here relationship is reckoned on both father's and mother's sides, as in America.

The rules governing marriage depend upon the manner of tracing descent. Among peoples with bilateral systems, choice of a spouse is restricted only by incest rules, which prohibit marriage with close relatives on either side of the family, usually extending to first cousins only. Where patrilineal kinship prevails, relatives on the father's side are tabooed, sometimes to very distant degrees of relationship; while maternal kinsmen, even those closely linked by blood, may marry. The reverse rules apply in a matrilineal society.

In certain parts of Sumatra and in some areas of eastern Indonesia the patrilineal and matrilineal systems of reckoning kinship become vastly elaborated by the development of clans. Where this occurs in a patrilineal tribe, a person is forbidden to marry all members of the father's clan, no


matter how distant the relationship may be. In groups with matrilineal clans the prohibition is applied to all members of the mother's clan. The situation is similar to what would happen if we in America were to taboo marriages between all persons with the same surname. The idea behind these rules is that all persons with the same clan name are descended from a common ancestor, who founded the clan. The clan-marriage taboo is just as stringently enforced as incest regulations, and the penalty for transgression, as in the case of real incest, used to be death.

The mode of reckoning kinship influences the place of residence of a couple after marriage. Almost invariably, where descent is matrilineal, residence is matrilocal, that is, with the wife's people; whereas, where the male blood tie is the test of relationship, residence is patrilocal, with the husband's kinsmen. In areas where bilateral kinship prevails, usually a man and his wife may reside where they choose, but in many places this is not so. For instance, among the interior tribes of Borneo and Celebes, although relationship on both sides is reckoned equally, a married couple go to live in the village or longhouse of the wife. Some authorities believe that this is a survival of a former system of tracing descent in the female line only.

In certain respects the rules governing sex and marriage in Indonesia appear somewhat lax to Europeans and Americans. Premarital sexual relations, especially in the less civilized tribes, are not regarded as wicked, but rather as quite normal. If an unmarried girl becomes pregnant, however, the boy involved is usually required to marry her. Moreover, the period of freedom is short, as marriages generally occur soon after puberty, at the age of about 16 for girls and a year or two later for boys.

Once married, strict faithfulness is expected of a woman, although extramarital amours on the part of husbands are not considered to be so serious. According to traditional native law in many tribes, the punishment for adultery was death; in others, heavy fines were the rule. The Dutch have long since abolished the death penalty for this offense. Just as a husband's adultery is more lightly regarded than a wife's, so also can a man obtain a divorce more easily than a woman among most Indonesian peoples.

In nearly all tribes, a man may marry as many wives as he can support; and although Mohammedan canon law restricts the number of legal wives to four, it sets no limit on the number of concubines a man may have. Many of the native radjas and sultans support whole squads of concubines, in addition to their four status wives, and the offspring of the various women are ranked according to the position of their mothers in the royal household. But the great majority of Indonesians can afford


only one wife apiece. The factor of expense applies not only to mere support of the woman, but to her "purchase price" as well, for throughout most of the islands a man has to pay for his wife. The bride price usually varies according to the social rank of the girl's family, which tends to keep the poor from marrying above their station. Although polygyny, possession of multiple wives, is relatively rare, despite its legality, divorce occurs very frequently. It is not uncommon for both men and women to marry and divorce several times in the course of their marital careers. Generally the first marriage is arranged by the parents, with or without consulting the desires of the prospective bride and groom, but subsequent unions are matters of personal choice.


The democratic political functioning of the native communities in most of Indonesia is complemented by a prevailing communalism of property. Individual property is largely restricted to movable and personal articles, such as clothes and weapons. Houses are generally regarded as collective family property; and land belongs to the whole community. Exclusive private possession of land is an idea strange to most Indonesians. Each individual or family gets a share of the communal land, and such shares may not be sold because they are not the property of their holders. With the consent of the whole community, parcels of land may be leased, even to outsiders; but complete alienation is impossible. The Dutch wisely reinforced traditional law on this point by statutory enactments; and no one may buy land from Indonesians or native communities. The great plantations of the Indies, therefore, occupied leased land, and the companies paid rent to the native owners.

This ancient system of true communalism in land property has been undergoing steady alteration, and the tendency has been toward a kind of "permanent family leasehold." This change has followed the spread of wet-rice agriculture, and the reason is that irrigated fields represent a capital investment in the form of ditches, sluice gates, dams, and terraces. Such improvements are inseparable from the land itself. But if a family which has obtained virtually permanent tenure of a parcel of land by such investment then moves away from the village, its holding reverts to the community. Absentee ownership is forbidden by the adat, or native traditional law.

In the same way that the primitive communalism of Indonesian villages has been modified in areas where improved methods of cultivation have introduced permanent capital investment in land, so also can a


correlation be noted between decline in the pure democracy of native society and the spread of "higher" culture. Social stratification tends to develop and become rigid in the more advanced areas. Where Hindu culture, for instance, never penetrated, there complete social democracy prevails; while on the borderline of civilization, so to speak, intermediate grades of stratification have developed, with distinctions of varying rigidity drawn between noble, common, and slave classes. Exclusive hereditary nobilities, linked in most cases with dynastic state governments and despotic systems of feudalism, exist, or did until recently, in all the more advanced regions. Even in areas where social stratification prevails, however, the great mass of natives are still untouched by imported ideas of superior and inferior classes of men. Forms of address and etiquette may vary for different ranks of society, but in daily life and community administration all stand pretty much on the same level. One exception must be made to the statement that Indonesian native society is fundamentally democratic. Slavery prevailed until recent years in nearly all parts of the islands, the slaves being mostly war captives or descendants of conquered peoples. The status was hereditary and usually involved no inhumane treatment; although in certain tribes slaves were occasionally used for human sacrifice.


Before the establishment of European rule, intermittent feuds between villages, divisions of tribes, and whole tribal groups kept the islands in a state of continual internal strife. Even today, in remote districts, native wars break out intermittently. Boundary disputes, revenge for injuries inflicted by members of another group, and, in some cases, the pressing need for more land to support increasing population are among the causes of hostilities. But above all, head hunting has been the principal impulse to warfare in the Indies.

In ancient times virtually all the peoples of Indonesia were head hunters, and the practice has not yet died out completely despite the strong efforts of the government to stop it. The reasons for this peculiar custom seem on the surface to be mainly desire for war prestige and revenge for previous raids. Also, in many tribes a youth is not considered a proper man or fully qualified for marriage until he has captured a head. But underlying these superficial reasons are the ideas of the Indonesians concerning the magical power of human heads. A community which has been suffering from epidemics, crop failures, or infertility of women and domestic animals, in trying to fathom the cause of this ill luck, may arrive at the characteristically Indonesian notion that the group is suffering from a


deficiency of magical power. One of the best direct means of getting the needed spiritual "juice" is to capture a new batch of heads from some other village, for magical energy is most richly concentrated in human heads. Feuds thus started may go on for generations, because a settlement which has lost a number of heads will explain subsequent misfortunes as consequences of this theft of vital energy, and will try to restore the "balance of heads" by making a return raid. Head hunting, therefore, is in one sense a grand and grisly game, with the score kept in heads; while in a deeper sense it is a serious religious duty, performed with pride for the spiritual benefit of a man's own people.

Being such valuable objects, heads are also obtained for funeral feasts and other sacrificial ceremonies. They are the best of all possible offerings. Moreover, the ancestral ghosts, once head hunters themselves, are likely to withdraw their supernatural favors from their descendants if they do not perform the sacred duty of replenishing the magical stock of the group by capturing heads. The idea that the head is a very holy part of the body is widespread in Indonesia, even in regions where head hunting is a thing of the past. The greatest breach of etiquette is to touch another's head without good reason. Many a white man has lost his life because he did not know how natives regard their heads.

Head hunting is linked with partial cannibalism in most areas where it occurs. The head snatchers eat bits of the flesh of their trophies, especially the brains, to invigorate themselves spiritually. Aside from this form of cannibalism, which is a kind of magical "communion" service, man eating is not condoned by any Indonesian tribe except, formerly, by the Batak of Sumatra. Even the Batak, however, seldom or never ate human beings except for specifically defined reasons: to inflict the utmost revenge on slain enemies, or to impose the most extreme kind of punishment imaginable upon criminals.


The great majority of Indonesians--about 90 percent--are nominally Mohammedans; approximately 2,500,000 profess Christianity; and the million Balinese are avowedly Hinduist in religion. But the kind of Mohammedanism, Christianity, and Hinduism practiced is hardly of the "pure" sort in any instance; the vital religions of the islands are the old ghost, spirit, and ancestor cults, which have persisted all through the centuries despite surface changes. The Javanese, for instance, are almost 100 percent Mohammedan; but their fundamental beliefs about spirits, life after death, magic, and the like are really pagan. The Javanese or


Balinese village has at the very basis of its religious system worship of the local spirits and of the ancestral ghosts of the community, for whom ancient altars serve as offering places.

The pagan substratum is the most important element in the whole superimposed system of religious beliefs and practices, and it gives the tone to the later layers. The great masses are heathen at heart, despite their superficial affiliation with the great world religions.

The true type of Indonesian religion, which still survives relatively untouched by outside influence in the interior districts of Sumatra, Borneo, and Celebes, and in many of the isolated smaller islands, rests basically upon beliefs and practices concerned with magic, spirits, and the ghosts of the dead. The magical concepts, as already mentioned, emerge in the headhunting complex. They imbue other aspects of religious life as well; for the people believe that a vast store of magical power permeates the universe, and that it can be "tapped" for human purposes by certain methods. Some persons are adept in getting at supernatural energy, and they can be hired to do this delicate and dangerous work. The purpose is usually a good one--healing the sick, helping the crops, and the like; but black magic may be used against enemies. Every tribe and village has its specialists in this field; but common folk also, by prescribed ritual incantations and actions, can turn magic to their uses. Whole communities may hold ceremonies calculated to get spiritual energy for the entire group, as among the Toradja of central Celebes. Here, at the high point of a week-long ceremony, the women of the village put themselves into a kind of trance, "send their souls" up to the sky, where the great spirits have a vast store of magical power, and draw upon this mighty source for the benefit of the whole community.

The belief in spirits is different from that in generalized magical force, and the activities connected with the spirit cult are more specific in their intention and formalization. This is because in this sphere the people know with what they have to deal, and the rituals can be "aimed" at a certain spirit or spirits. Also, the ideas concerning these supernatural beings are more concrete than in the case of magic. Every Indonesian people believes in the existence of hosts of spirits, widely variable in kind and power. Some are good, others bad; and the main purpose of the spirit cult is to obtain the aid of the former in combating the malevolent influence of the latter. There are earth, air, and water spirits, and a great number of celestial beings who appear as leaders of the lesser ones. The central Borneo tribes try to discover the will of the heavenly deities by observing the flight of birds, who are under the direction of the air spirits, the latter in turn following the orders of their superiors in the


celestial realm. The Batak of Sumatra believe that they can imprison certain kinds of spirits in little figurines of wood or stone, which are then set outside the village to protect the inhabitants from the hordes of evil creatures who prowl the earth. There are all sorts of sickness spirits; and in eastern Indonesia particularly, when an epidemic is raging the people make a little boat, lure the evil spirits of illness aboard it, and tow the "scapeboat" out to sea, where it is abandoned. Many localities have their own special spirits. Indonesians climbing a mountain may make offerings not only to the deities of the mountain itself, but also to the spirits of rocks and streams on the way up. Passing a headland known to house a supernatural being, Malay sailors will lie flat in their vessel, perfectly quiet, while the helmsman steers a gingerly course by the dread spot.

Powerful though the beliefs in magic and the spirits are, probably the most important cult in Indonesia has to do with the ghosts of the dead and the ancestors. In few other places in the world do funeral ceremonies involve so much time, energy, and sacrifice. In many tribes the dead receive not only one, but two and even three successive funerals, at each of which the bones of the deceased are exhumed or removed from their tombs for cleaning, blessing, and redisposal. The ways of disposing of mortal remains are extremely varied. In the island of Sumatra alone, for instance, the different tribes bury, cremate, entomb, abandon, conceal in caves, and seal in trees the bodies of their dead. Even within the same tribe, diverse methods of disposal may be employed, depending upon the age, rank, sex, and manner of death of the deceased.

This obsession with death and the dead reaches its culmination in the all-important ancestor cult. The ancestors have passed beyond, to the realm of the spirits, and, if kept satisfied, are in an excellent position to aid the living. Therefore they receive endless sacrifices, and the people dread offending them in any way. This, indeed, is a great reason for the conservatism of the Indonesians, as the ancestors are likely to be angered by any alteration in the ways they were used to on earth.

The ancestor cult is universal throughout the Indies, and is the most important single feature of native religion. Linked with it is a widespread use of spiritualistic seances for the purpose of getting in contact with the ghosts of the dead and discovering their will. The shaman, or medium, goes into a state of trance induced by such devices as incantations and wild dancing to the accompaniment of steady drum-beating, and gulping in great clouds of incense. While in the trance, the medium's body becomes the host of an ancestral ghost, who speaks through the mouth of the shaman.


Plate 14

Plate 14

Above: Man of Nias in ceremonial costume, including the warrior's neck emblem and elaborate headgear. The poster is printed in the Nias language, which was never written until recently.

Below: Javanese couple, the man in semi-European style clothing.

Plate 14

Plate 15

Plate 15

Above: Balinese dancers in performing costumes. The metal headresses are so finely worked that they look like starched lace.

Below: Minangkabau of Sumatra in ceremonial costume. These richly brocaded garments are heirlooms.

Plate 15

Plate 16

Plate 16

Above: Mentawei girl with teeth filed to points.

Below: Toradia woman, Celebes, with resin stippling on her face.

Plate 16

Plate `7

Plate 17

Above: Bahau Dyak, Borneo, showing distension of the ear lobes.

Below: Mentawei man, with bow and poisoned arrows.

Plate 17

The native Indonesian religions, then, are varying mixtures of paganism with later infusions of Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity. "Conversion" merely means taking on new names for old things; and the supernatural beings, beliefs, and practices introduced from outside are simply added on and fitted into the ancient cults. Purely pagan tribes are still found in the islands off the west coast of Sumatra* in certain remote parts of the latter island itself, in central Borneo and Celebes, and in many of the islands between Java and New Guinea. Hinduism, mixed with pre-Hindu elements, survives only in Bali, although 600 years ago it was the universal religion of all Java and most of Sumatra. Mohammedanism, also by no means "pure," has now spread over nearly all of Sumatra, Java, and the coastal districts of Borneo and Celebes. It is steadily making converts in the eastern islands, some of which--Lombok and Sumbawa, for instance--are almost completely Islamized.

Christianity has never been able to gain headway in Mohammedan areas. In Java, for instance, there are at most 200,000 Christians--probably not more than half of these natives--and this despite centuries of missionary effort. The Christian religion has found its best field among the pagan tribes, notably the Batak of Sumatra, the Toradja and Minahasa of Celebes, and the Ambonese of the Moluccas. The latter two groups are almost entirely "Christian." Islam, however, seems to harden its followers against conversion, and throughout the history of missionary enterprise in the Indies the zones of Christianity and Mohammedanism have been mutually exclusive.


Unlike the Americans in the Philippines, who after expelling the Spanish immediately started a general reform of government, education, and social life, the Dutch have been extremely cautious about introducing changes in the administration of the Indies. They have retained as far as possible the traditional forms of government, tried scrupulously to avoid interference in native life, and until recently have done little to promote native education.

The old East India Company, a commercial body operating under the aegis of the Netherlands Government, actually was the colonial administration until its dissolution in 1798. It kept the native sultans in power, ruling through them, and demanding only a monopoly of trading rights and exploitation of natural resources. When the Company collapsed, the Government merely stepped into its place and operated in the time-honored manner, becoming in considerable degree a commercial organization itself. Around 1900 the Government gave up its business activities--with the


exception of a few enterprises and monopolies--and opened the Indies to exploitation by private companies, turning itself completely to the task of colonial administration. It pledged itself to a "liberal" policy of rule: on the one hand to keep native customs and institutions intact as far as possible, and on the other to extend education and participation in government to Indonesians as rapidly as possible. In the former, complete success was achieved, for it has always been the policy of the Dutch to refrain from interference in native life except when absolutely necessary. The latter aim, however, was never achieved, except very partially, with the result that only a very small proportion of the natives ever attended school and even fewer ever voted. Thus the main emphasis has been upon maintaining the status quo and only slowly opening educational and political privileges to the Indonesians. The whole policy is well termed one of extreme gradualism.

By Dutch definition the Indies were not a colony, but rather an integral part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, like Holland itself, Surinam, and Curasao. The islands had their own government, to handle internal affairs, under the 'guidance" of the mother country, and the latter controlled their relations with foreign states. Legislation concerning matters of broad and fundamental import for the Indies went through the parliament in Holland, while questions having only local application were handled by the governor-general and the organs of government in Batavia.

The governor-general, appointed by the Crown, was directly assisted by an advisory body of five, chosen by the Dutch ruler and cabinet, called the Council of the Indies, and by a cabinet of eight. The governor-general named six of the ministers; the Netherlands Crown and cabinet selected the ministers of war and the navy. The central government at Batavia had one other branch, potentially the most important of all. This was the parliament, or Volksraad, the "People's Council." Created in 1916 as a purely advisory body, it slowly gained in power, until, after 1929, it came to function almost as a true legislative assembly. Members could introduce bills on their own initiative, and the Volksraad could amend bills presented to it by the governor-general. The latter had to present every bill he advocated to the Volksraad for a vote. If a budget bill were not approved, the Netherlands parliament decided the issue; in case of disagreement on other ordinances the conflict was resolved by a royal decree. The governor-general, in case of emergency, might proclaim an executive order having the power of law immediately; but if the Volksraad at its next meeting questioned his action the Crown was called upon to arbitrate the dispute.

The partially democratic nature of this near-parliamentary body is further demonstrated by the way its members were chosen. The chairman


was appointed by the Crown and cabinet of the Netherlands. The remaining 60 members were partly elected and partly appointed by the governor-general in the following manner: of the 30 Indonesian delegates, 20 were elected and 10 appointed; of the 25 Europeans, 15 were elected and 10 appointed; and of the 5 "alien Asiatic" deputies, 3 were elected and 2 appointed. Thus 38 of the members were elected and 22 appointed. The term of office was 4 years. To ensure proportional sectional representation among the native members, the islands were divided into twelve electoral areas. If this had not been done, the Javanese, with two-thirds of the total Indonesian population, would have held nearly all the seats in the Volksraad. The method of election was indirect, only members of the various local councils--provincial, regency, and municipal--voting for delegates. These local councilmen in turn were partly appointed and partly elected by the people of their district, in most places voting by village units. The whole process was complex and cumbersome, but, according to the Dutch, it was designed to give all groups proper representation.

Outside the central government, there were three main systems of administration: the Civil Service, the native rulers, and various kinds of district councils.

The Civil Service consisted of several grades of officials. The highest were the governors of the eight main divisions of the Indies. Then came the residents, assistant residents, and controleurs, in charge of progressively smaller districts. Most of the officers thus far down the list were Dutchmen, although a minority were half-castes who had gone to school in Holland. The lower grades of the Service included thousands of native officials. Indeed, the entire staff had only about 30,000 European members as against 180,000 natives, most of the latter in such relatively minor capacities as clerks and messengers. Also, a large proportion of the "European" employees were half-castes in subordinate positions. Candidates for all posts from controleur upward were selected by an examining committee from graduates of high schools in Holland and the Indies. Successful applicants were sent to either Leiden or Utrecht University, where they were partially supported by government scholarships. The course took 5 years, and when the young "aspirant controleurs" were ready to leave for the Indies they had acquired a thorough knowledge of Indonesian history and law, the ethnology of the native peoples, and the languages of the archipelago. There is no doubt that the Dutch civil officers in the Indies were the best colonial administrators in the world, and the reason for this lay in the rigid standards of selection of candidates and in the admirable course of training they received.


The second type of regional administration was that of the native rulers, mostly hereditary in the higher ranks. The system of retaining the traditional governmental organization to the greatest possible degree had been characteristic of the Dutch ever since the days of the old East India Company. This method of colonial administration is called "indirect rule," which is a precise term, for each of the native potentates had at his side a Dutch civil officer who "advised" him--in other words, actually "ruled through" him. Of the total area of Java, 7 percent was under the jurisdiction of 4 sultans, and most of the remainder of the island was divided into 70 "regencies," each ruled by a hereditary native potentate. Outside Java, 60 percent of the dominions were ruled indirectly through local princes, mostly hereditary. In all the 340 native states and regencies the rulers merely went through the motions of administration, and their powers were entirely subordinated to those of the Indies government. The finances, especially, were strictly controlled, although the monetary allowances made to the princes were very liberal in most instances. Each ruler of a native state had under him district and assistant district chiefs, generally of the lesser nobility of the region. The lowest unit in the hierarchy of native regional government was the village community, ruled by a chief, sometimes hereditary and sometimes elective, who was assisted by certain other officials. Typically also, there were a village assembly, to which all adult males in good civil standing were eligible, and a council of elders, a kind of senate drawn from the assembly. These village communities were the main centers of Indonesian native government. Only a small proportion of the common folk ever had anything to do with either the higher native officials or the Dutch administrators. Their political horizon ended at the borders of their own community. The village governments ran in traditional grooves sanctified by usage extending back beyond memory; and the successive conquerors of the Indies have been satisfied to leave them alone, going on generation after generation in accordance with ancient customs and laws.

The third type of regional administration was a recent development, although the groundwork for it had been laid as far back as 1903, with the first "decentralization" law. The plan was to develop in every section of the Indies a complete local government to handle internal affairs. Each of the major administrative divisions--provinces, regencies, and municipalities--was to have not only its executive Civil Service staff and its native rulers, but also a council, partly appointed and partly elective. Tribal divisions were to be given a controlling voice in their own affairs by setting up tribal or "community" councils. The system, if carried through completely, would have worked out into a scheme similar to the


American federal type of government, with its State legislatures, county boards, and city councils. By 1941 the new decentralized plan was already in partial operation. Six provincial, 70 regency, 15 municipality, and 2 "community" or tribal councils had been established and were functioning. In most of these, about half of the members--European, native, and "alien Asiatic"--were appointed by the executive of the region; for the elective deputies only taxpayers, in general, were allowed to vote. Thus the franchise extended to only a minute proportion of the natives, but as the plan developed and as economic and educational standards rose, more and more of the Indonesians would have been brought within the voting group. Legislation passed by the various councils was subject to veto by the Dutch governor or other official in charge of the district; but an appeal could be made to the governor-general, who made the final decision.


The Dutch did little to open the minds of the Indonesian masses to broad world perspectives through education. Only 5 to 10 percent of the government expenditures were for education, as against 25 percent in the Philippines. The underlying philosophy seems to have been that too rapid education among the natives would have produced social disorganization and discontent, along with imposing a heavy drain on the government budget.

The system of schooling was organized on a dual basis, depending upon whether the Dutch or native language was used in teaching. Standard Malay was the language in most of the latter type of schools; but where knowledge of Malay had never penetrated, the local vernacular was the medium of instruction, and Malay was taught as a subject. The great bulk of the native pupils, about 1,700,000 out of 2,000,000, never got beyond the lowest unit, the village school, whose course covered three grades only. Education was neither compulsory nor free, although some scholarships were provided for poor but able students.

Above the primary level, which rose to six grades, Indonesian students had their choice of going on in the native-language school system to trade, agricultural, or normal secondary schools, or passing over into the white secondary school system by attending "link schools" where they learned the Dutch language. This sounds as though the Dutch segregated children by race in primary, though not in secondary, schools. This is not true, however, for the criterion of separation was language, not race, and Indonesian or Chinese children who spoke Dutch could enter the European primary schools along with the whites. For Chinese students, the type of


primary school attended depended upon what language they knew; although the majority went to special "Dutch-Chinese" schools, where Dutch was taught through the medium of Malay. In addition to public schools, private and missionary institutions were subsidized by the Government, and almost 20 percent of all pupils in the Indies attended these. They included nonsectarian private, Chinese private, Catholic and Protestant missionary, and Mohammedan parochial schools.

The highest education offered was that of the five colleges of Java: the technical institute at Bandung, and the schools of law, medicine, agriculture, and literature at Batavia. The Japanese war interrupted plans for uniting these institutions in a University of the Netherlands East Indies. An infinitesimal proportion of the natives who started in the primary school system ever attained university education; indeed, very few-- about 15 percent--even got beyond the third elementary grade.


Every missionary group in the Indies operated under a license in which the area of activity was strictly delimited and the procedure minutely prescribed. These licenses were subject to immediate cancellation if the missionaries overstepped the bounds of their stated privileges, or if the government found that the natives were opposed to their presence. Some districts were virtually closed to missionaries, notably the strongly Mohammedan areas of Atjeh in Sumatra and Bantam in western Java, and the Hinduist island of Bali. Even where missionaries had been active for centuries, however, their efforts to convert the natives were largely unsuccessful. Undoubtedly the neutral attitude of the government was partly responsible for this, but the religious situation in Indonesia would have been unfavorable to Christianity in any case. Since 90 percent of the natives are Mohammedan, and Mohammedans the world over are notoriously hard to convert, the little success of the missionaries would be explainable even though the government had strongly encouraged them.

As mentioned above, largest results have been attained by the missions in previously pagan regions. Of approximately 2,000,000 Christians in the Indies (only 3 percent of the total population), 500,000 were in Sumatra, largely among the pagan Batak, and an equal number in Celebes, mostly in the non-Mohammedanized Toradja and Minahasa districts. Five percent of the Indonesians were still pagan in 1940, and the missionaries were competing with Islam--which spreads automatically, largely by way of intermarriage between Mohammedan traders and pagan women--to


get control of these virgin fields before they were irretrievably lost to the religion of Allah. Thus, even if it won most of the yet unexploited districts, the best the Christian church could hope for would be conversion of less than 10 percent of the native population of the Indies.


In 1940 there were almost 250,000 people classed as Europeans living in the Netherlands East Indies. A sizable proportion of these were persons with varying degrees of native blood, but sufficiently white to be included in the general European category. Dutch citizens composed the vast majority, totaling around 220,000. Germans numbered about 7,000; Japanese (for legal reasons classed as Europeans), 7,000; British, 2,500; Swiss, 800; Americans, 650; and Belgians, 625. Fully 200,000, or 80 percent, of the whites lived in Java; and of the 50,000 in the other islands, 30,000 were concentrated in Sumatra. The Europeans have tended to cluster in urban centers, and almost half of them in 1940 were found in seven cities. In Java these were: Batavia (40,000), Surabaya (30,000), Bandung (20,000), and Semarang (15,000); in Sumatra: Medan (4,000) and Padang (3,500); and in Celebes: Macassar (3,500). The number of Europeans and Americans in the Indies was formerly much smaller than in recent years. During East India Company control and throughout most of the nineteenth century, private businesses were not welcomed by the government, which monopolized nearly all the commercial enterprises. In 1870 there were only 35,000 whites in the islands; by 1900, after the government had relaxed its restrictions, the total had risen to 90,000; and the last 40 years increased this figure by almost 300 percent.

The white population fell into three main categories: the plantation operators and employees; the urban business and professional classes; and the government workers, including administrative and military personnel and teachers. The latter two composed about 80 percent of the total, and lived principally in the larger communities. Here living conditions were excellent, with fine houses, elegant clubs, a variety of entertainment facilities, and an abundance of cheap and pleasant native servants. Life in the back country--on plantations, in mission centers, oil fields, and government posts--was generally rather dull, the days running on routine, with little to do but work. The comforts of the cities--electricity, good roads, modern stores, and the rest--were lacking. Nearly all the whites lived in anticipation of the periodic furloughs in Europe, usually triennial;


and intended, when their days of service were over and their hoped-for fortunes accumulated, to retire on pensions to their home countries.


Much more numerous than the Europeans were the Chinese, totaling about 1,200,000, or almost 2 percent of the Indies population. In 1940 approximately one-third of them had been born in China; but among the remainder a large proportion were descendants of immigrants to the islands many generations ago. In every respect the Chinese occupied an intermediate status between Indonesians and whites. They were much more literate than the natives, over 50 percent of the men and about 15 percent of the women being able to read and write. Most of them were middle-class merchants, operating nearly all the retail businesses and a fair number of the small wholesale houses. The others were concentrated principally in the tobacco districts of northeastern Sumatra and the tin-mining islands of Banka and Billiton; in both areas they worked mostly as coolies. Half of the Chinese, 600,000, lived in Java; 500,000 in Sumatra, a little less than 100,000 in Borneo; and around 30,000 scattered over the other islands. Thus they were more evenly distributed than the Europeans.

The Chinese, however long their families may have lived in the islands, have kept themselves a separate group, retaining their own customs and preserving a lively interest in the home country. Since there have never been many Chinese women in the Indies, much intermarriage with natives has occurred. But the families, no matter how much Indonesian blood they may have absorbed, have remained Chinese in customs and sentiments. They have had their own temples, associations, and even schools; and have kept up the family and ancestor cult of China even though many generations separated them from the motherland.

In the past the Chinese were subjected to numerous discriminatory laws, being confined to "ghetto" sections of towns and required to obtain passes to travel outside. Hardly a trace of these legal disabilities survived in 1940. The Chinese had freedom of movement and residence; their legal status was carefully defined, with full consideration for their special requirements; there were Dutch-Chinese schools; and subsidies were granted to Chinese private schools. Where enough Chinese lived, they were given proportional representation in local and provincial councils; and in the Volksraad three to five seats were reserved for them. Since the Netherlands and China have been on the same side in the present world conflict, the loyalty of the Indonesian Chinese has suffered no split. They, with the half-castes, are bound to constitute an important middle-class element in the future reconstruction and reorganization of the Indies.



One of the most striking differences between British and Dutch colonies appeared in the treatment of half-castes. To the British, these people had an inferior status; and they seldom rose high in governmental or business positions, nor were they admitted to white clubs and social circles. In the Indies, however, they were classed as Europeans, met a minimum of discrimination in jobs, and were accepted everywhere as equals. Persons of mixed blood held some of the highest posts in government, and no impediment, social or legal, stood in the way of a Dutchman wishing to marry one of them. Nearly all of them spoke Dutch, for they attended the Dutch language schools. For the most part they occupied a middle-class status, working as minor officials, as school teachers, and in clerical positions. Some discrimination did exist, but their lot in the Dutch islands was better than in any other colonial area in the world.

Temperamentally, the mixed-blood people were much better balanced than their fellow Eurasians elsewhere in the Orient. They did not display the combination of servility and aggressiveness attributed to British half-castes, because their personalities were not warped by galling discriminations. They were a living disproof of the outmoded theory that mixed-bloods inherit the worst traits of both parental groups. On the contrary, they demonstrated clearly the truth that the bad reputation of half-castes in other parts of the world is due to their treatment and not to their biological heredity.

Miscegenation between Europeans and natives was more frequent in earlier times than recently, for it has declined as the number of white women in the islands has increased. Interracial matings were formerly encouraged by the Dutch authorities, for they saw in them a good means of cementing friendly relations between themselves and the Indonesian people through the creation of a mixed-blood intermediary group. The native ideas of sex in this part of the world are quite liberal, and a girl is not condemned, among most groups, for living with a white man. The attitudes of the Dutch and the Indonesians were well suited, therefore, and the production of half-castes went on smoothly generation after generation.

Despite a marked decrease in the frequency of miscegenation during recent decades, it persisted as a regular feature of white colonial life. Its two main centers were the army barracks and the plantations. Although subjected to a constant barrage of criticism, the army continued to allow Dutch soldiers in the islands to have their dusky mistresses, mostly on the ground that this temporary monogamous system reduced venereal infection. Unmarried white overseers on plantations employed native


housekeepers, and although not all of these became concubines of their masters, a fair proportion of them undoubtedly did. In addition to blood, mixture by way of concubinage, occasionally legal marriages occurred between Europeans and natives, but most of the half-caste population originated from extramarital unions.

The Dutch have done well to treat the children of mixed matings fairly. In them they have had a generally loyal intermediary group, appreciative of the consideration shown them. Except for the Chinese, the half-castes have been the only middle-class element in the whole Indies. In this intermediate position they have possessed an intimate knowledge of both Dutch and native society. When the Indies arise from the desolation of the present war, the intelligent, well-educated, temperamentally sound Eurasians will surely take their place among the leaders of the reconstruction.


Indonesia has been the most profitable colonial possession of its size in the world. In an average recent year, 1938, British India, long famed for its richness, two and one-half times the size of the Indies and with a population six times as large, had only twice as much export and import trade. The amazing wealth of the archipelago can be attributed to three things: the fertility of the soil, augmented by little seasonal change and a wide range of crop possibilities; the mineral deposits in the subsoil; and the cheapness and tractability of the native labor supply.

The soil of the islands varies, but a large proportion is exceedingly productive, particularly in the volcanic areas. The volcanic ash is an excellent fertilizing agent, provided that it is seeped into the earth by sufficient rain, and Indonesia has plentiful rainfall. Crops can be grown 12 months in the year in most regions, for seasonal variations are slight. The islands are a natural hothouse, continually putting forth plant life in great abundance. Nearly every island includes land varying from steaming coastlands to very high mountains, while in between are hills and valleys of all intermediate elevations. Consequently the variety of crops is phenomenal. The greatest staple is rice, which flourishes at all levels and furnishes the principal food supply. The abundant rain and the numerous streams make irrigation possible in most of the archipelago. Maize, vegetables, and fruits are raised in considerable variety. Thus, despite its large population, Indonesia can feed itself. No greater testimony to the richness of the soil could be presented than the fact that the Javanese, packed more than 800 to the square mile, live almost entirely on the products of their own land.


In addition to the bountiful and continuous harvest for native consumption, the islands produced a vast store of crops for export. These exports made Holland one of the richest countries in the world.

The leading commercial crop during recent times was rubber, and for many years it was the main export commodity. Until 1940 the Indies were the second largest rubber-producing area in the world, being slightly surpassed by British Malaya; but in that year t}ie islands forged ahead, with 49 percent of the total world yield, as against 41 percent for Malaya. During normal years Indonesia supplied between 35 and 40 percent of all the rubber used in the world. Sumatra was the principal rubber-producing region of the islands; and here, especially on the east coast, vast plantations covered areas as large as many of our States. The trees were lined up with geometrical precision, so that, looking through a rubber plantation from any angle, the rows extended straight out as far as the eye could see, like the pillars of a great cathedral. Each tree had its little metal cup, and every morning a coolie would come and make a fresh diagonal slash in its bark to start the sap running.

Sugar ranked next to rubber among the commercial agricultural commodities of the Indies. Most of it was grown in Java, where it constituted the main export crop. Recently, however, sugar fell upon evil days, for the world markets were glutted and prices dropped close to the cost of production. Tea, in normal years, was almost as important a commercial crop as sugar. Copra, from which coconut oil is made, and palm oil were also supplied by the Indies in considerable quantity. The remaining principal agricultural commodities fell into two classes: those in which the Indies had a virtual world monopoly, and those which other areas produced in large quantities. To the former category belonged quinine, pepper, and kapok fiber, of which Indonesia supplied, respectively, 90, 85, and 75 percent of the world export total. To the latter class belonged coffee, and agave and sisal fiber, used for making twine.

The mineral wealth of the islands has hardly been tapped, and the vast hinterlands of Borneo and New Guinea hold promise of great future development. Even the abundant production of oil for two decades has scarcely begun to draw upon the abundant reserves in the subsoil. Although petroleum with its byproducts ranked next to rubber as the principal export of the Indies during the past 5 years, the archipelago supplied only 3 percent of the world's total production, standing fifth among the oil-yielding countries. Tin was the second most important mineral export, and, while the amount of production varied from year to year, Indonesia consistently ranked next to Malaya, the world's main source of this metal. Most of the tin came from government-owned locations in Banka, Billiton,


and Singkep, islands situated between Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula. The government also operated coal and gold mines in western Sumatra, but the amounts produced were never large. Most of the coal was used within the islands for ships and railways. Bauxite, the aluminum ore, was increasing in production in 1940, when 230,000 tons were exported.

In addition to production for export, the Dutch drew profits from handling the trade and transportation of the Indies. A Dutch shipping company, the Koninklijke Paketvaart Maatschappij, had a virtual monopoly of the extremely profitable interisland trade, and the railroads were owned by the government. But the big returns came from investments in plantation agriculture, mining and oil production, and commercial banking. Of the total 2 billion dollars of European and American capital invested in the Indies, the Dutch held three-fourths. The British share was almost 14 percent; Franco-Belgian companies had 5 percent; American investments accounted for 3 percent; and German and Japanese, 1 percent each.

The human stake of the big companies is the third of the reasons given above for the profitable nature of the Indies. The native labor supply was phenomenally cheap and tractable. Whether openly stated or not, the interest of the commercial corporations lay in keeping the working masses both cheap and docile. Lest this be taken as too severe an indictment, it must be stressed that there was no "plot" on the part of the business interests to "enslave the masses." They pointed to the obvious fact that the majority of the Indonesians were quite contented with their way of life, and raised the question whether it might have been unwise, even cruel, to infect them with the devastating germ of ambition.

Certainly the system worked for many centuries, and was working when the islands fell to the invaders in 1942. Fully 70 percent of the Indonesians worked for themselves, mostly on little rice plots, from which they drew enough sustenance to keep themselves alive. The other 30 percent represented a good proportion of the profit-making capital of the Indies. They were the wage earners, laboring on the plantations and in the mines and oil fields for exceedingly low pay. Ten dollars a month was an excellent wage for a native worker; and on it he was able to keep well and even happy, because his wants were so modest. The great majority of them had a per capita income of less than $50 a year. By contrast, the bulk of European salaries fell between $2,000 and $80,000 a year; while the alien Asiatics, mostly Chinese, had incomes clustering in the range from $160 to $2,000.

Despite the fact that Indonesians received so small a share of the income, in the past 40 years they made marked progress as independent producers of agricultural commodities for export. In 1898 their share in this market


Plate 18

Plate 18

Above: Balinese dancers, with gamelan orchestra.

Below: Mentawei dancers doing an animal pantomime.

Plate 18

Plate 19

Plate 19

Above: Sadang burial caves, Celebes, chiseled in the face of a cliff. They have wooden doors and carved guardian images.

Below: Stone tombs, Sumba.

Courtesy Netherlands Information Bureau.

Plate 19

Plate 20

Plate 20

Above: Palace of the Sultan if Siak, eastern Sumatra. Siak is one of the scores of native states which the Dutch ruled "indirectly," retaining the hereditary princes in office.

Below: Catholic missionaries in the plaza of a central Flores village. The conical structures are fetish houses of the pagan ancestor cult. Photograph by Rev. R.N. Geldens.

Plate 20

Plate 21

Plate 21

Above: Workers in a Javanese batik shop. Their skilled labor brings them a wage of about 20 cents a day.

Below: Street scene in Batavia, capital of the Indies, showing unique steam tramcars. Photographs by E.E. Muhs.

Plate 21

was only 10 percent of the total; in 1913, 24 percent; in 1930, 31 percent; and in 1937, 46 percent. Their principal product was rubber, of which they supplied 50 percent. As in all other types of commercial agriculture, however, most of the native plantations were small, and there were few Indonesian big businessmen. Some crops for export were grown almost exclusively by natives, such as pepper (100 percent), copra (98 percent), kapok (90 percent), tapioca (80 percent), and coffee (70 percent). Their share of the tea market was 15 percent; and of the tobacco sales, 8 percent. They had no part, except as laborers, in the production of sugar, palm oil, and quinine; and also no petroleum or tin investments. Much of the profits from native-grown products went to the export companies, mostly Dutch, for the Indonesians had no way of selling their goods on the world market and had to dispose of them through middlemen. Still, the striking rise in native commercial agriculture from nearly nothing 40 years ago to almost half of the total in 1937 is a good augury for the future of the Indonesians in this type of independent enterprise.

Industrialism was virtually nonexistent in the Indies. Probably the main reason was that the islands were so eminently suited to agricultural enterprise, and paid such handsome profits on this alone, that no strong stimulus to industrialization was ever felt. Statistics on occupations for 1938 show that 1,670,000 Indonesians were classified as industrial workers. But 670,000, or over 40 percent, were home producers, mostly women occupied in such handicrafts as spinning, weaving, sewing, and batik-printing. Another 840,000, or slightly more than 50 percent, were employed in very small plants, such as the sarong workshops of central Java. Only 120,000, or less than 10 percent, worked in large factories, including textile mills, oil refineries, sugar mills, armories, and automobile assembly plants. In 1939 the Dutch, foreseeing the strong probability of a German invasion of Holland, started an intensive program of industrial expansion in the Indies. Plans were drawn up for rapid construction of more oil refineries, textile mills, iron smelters, chemical plants, and armament works. The scheme was barely under way when the Japanese invaded the islands.

The Indies are a rich prize for any conqueror. Particularly is this so for Japan, with a dense population, an insufficient food supply, a high degree of industrialization, and a shortage of domestic minerals and other raw materials. Such a country needs a hinterland where there are no factories, but only fertile soil, abundant mineral deposits, and cheap labor inured to subservience. Indonesia is made to order on all these points. With the islands completely under her control, Japan would gain what she has lacked during the 50 years of her rise to power--namely, a balanced and


self-sufficient economy. Here are oil, coal, and metals; here are food and other agricultural products, such as rubber; and the lack of precisely these things has constituted Japan's greatest weakness. Looking back from the vantage point of 1943, it now seems almost inevitable that the Japanese would pursue the course they have. The reason for the prevalent belief that they would not go after the Indies was that the archipelago lay at such a great distance that, despite its rich store of needed supplies, the difficulties of transportation to Japan over an enemy-threatened sea route would make the conquest unprofitable. This, indeed, is one of the most vulnerable points of Japan at present. On the 4,000 miles distance between Batavia and Tokyo may rest the fate of the Pacific war.


Most of the sources of information on the East Indies are in the Dutch language. Since few persons outside the Netherlands can read this language, and since only four or five of the largest American libraries possess adequate collections of Indonesian literature in Dutch, the following list of references is restricted to books in English. The present volume is based largely upon, and is in part an adaptation of, the author's recent book The Ageless Indies (The John Day Co., New York, 1942).

Alder, W. F. 1923. Men of the inner jungle. London.

Banner, H. S. 1927. Romantic Java. London.

Baum, V. 1937. A tale of Bali. Garden City.

Beaufort, L. F. de. 1929. Science in the Netherlands East Indies. Amsterdam.

Bickmore, A. S. 1868. Travels in the East Indian Archipelago. London.

Bijlmer, H. T. 1929. Outlines of the anthropology of the Timor Archipelago. Weltevreden.

Bock, C. A. 1881. The head-hunters of Borneo. London.

Boeke, J. H. 1942. The structure of Netherlands Indian economy. New York.

Bousquet, G. H. 1940. A French view of the Netherlands Indies. New York.

Boyle, F. 1865. Adventures among the Dyaks of Borneo. London.

Broek, J. O. M. 1942. Economic development of the Netherlands East Indies. New York.

Brown, J. M. 1914. The Dutch East. London.


Campbell, D. M. 1915. Java: past and present. London.

Carpenter, F. G. 1943. Java and the East Indies. New York.

Cator, D. 1905. Everyday life among the head-hunters. London.

Cator, W. J. 1936. The economic position of the Chinese in the Netherlands Indies. Chicago.

Clune, F. 1942. Isles of Spice. New York.

Coenen Torchiana, H. A. van. 1921. Tropical Holland. Chicago.

Collins, G. E. P. 1937. East monsoon. London.
          1937. Makassar sailing. London.

Coomaraswami, A. K. 1927. History of Indian and Indonesian art. London.

Couperus, L. 1924. Eastward. London.

Covarrubias, M. 1938. The Island of Bali. New York.

Day, C. 1904. The policy and administration of the Dutch in Java. New York.

Embree, E. R., Simon, M. S., and Mumford, W. B. 1934. Island India goes to school. Chicago.

Emerson, R. 1937. Malaysia: a study in direct and indirect rule. New York.
          1942. The Netherlands Indies and the United States. New York.

Emerson, R., Mills, L. A., and Thompson, V. 1942. Government and nationalism in Southeast Asia. New York.

Evans, I. H. N. 1922. Among primitive peoples in Borneo. London.
          1923. Studies in religion, folklore and custom in British North Borneo and the Malay Peninsula. Cambridge.

Forbes, H. O. 1885. A naturalist's wanderings in the Eastern Archipelago. London.

Furness, W. H. 1902. The home-life of Borneo head-hunters. Philadelphia.

Furnivall, J. S. 1939. Netherlands India: A study of plural economy. Cambridge.

Gelderen, J. van. 1939. The recent development of economic foreign policy in the Netherlands East Indies. New York.

Gomes, E. H. 1911. Seventeen years among the Sea Dyaks of Borneo. London.

Great Britain, Admiralty, Naval Intelligence Division, Geographical Section. 1920. A manual of Netherlands India. London.


Handbook of the Netherlands East Indies. 1930. Buitenzorg.

Hart, G. H. C. 1943. Towards economic democracy in the Netherlands Indies. New York.

Hiss, P. H. 1941. Bali. New York.

Holt, C. 1939. Dance quest in Celebes. London.

Hoop, A. N. J. T. A T. van der. 1932. Megalithic remains in South Sumatra. Zutphen.

Hose, C. 1900. In the heart of Borneo. London.
          1926. Natural man, a record from Borneo. London.
          1927. Fifty years of romance and research. London.

Hose, C. and McDougall, W. 1912. The pagan tribes of Borneo. London.

Hyma, A. 1942. The Dutch in the Far East. Ann Arbor.

Institute of Pacific Relations. 1943. War and peace in the Pacific. New York.

Josselin de Jong, J. P. B. de. 1937. Oirata, a Timorese settlement on Kisar. Amsterdam.

Kat Angelino, A. D. A. de. 1931. Colonial policy. The Hague.

Kaudern, W. 1925-1938. Ethnographical studies in Celebes. Goteborg.

Keith, A. M. 1940. Land below the wind. New York.

Kleen, T. A. 1936. The temple dances in Bali. Stockholm.
          1937. Wayang (Javanese theatre). Stockholm.

Kleiweg de Zwaan, J. P. 1923. Physical anthropology in the Indian Archipelago and adjacent regions. Amsterdam.

Klerck, E. S. de. 1938. History of the Netherlands East Indies. Rotterdam.

Koninklijk Nederlandsch Aardri jkskundig Genootschap. 1938. Atlas van Tropisch Nederland. Batavia.

Krom, N. J. 1927. Barabudur: archaeological description. The Hague.

KUNST, J. 1937. The music of Java. Amsterdam.

Loeb, E. M., and Heine-Geldern, R. 1935. Sumatra. Vienna.

Low, H. 1848. Sarawak. London.

Lumholtz, C. 1920. Through Central Borneo. New York.


McGuire, P. 1942. Westward the course! New York.

Marsden, W. 1783. The history of Sumatra. London.

Mjoberg, E. G. 1930. Forest life and adventures in the Malay Archipelago. London.

Moss, R. L. B. 1925. The life after death in Oceania and the Malay Archipelago. Oxford.

Nyessen, D. J. H. 1929. The races of Java. Weltevreden.

Perry, W. J. 1918. The megalithic culture of Indonesia. London.

Pleyte, C. M. 1901. Indonesian art. The Hague.

Ponder, H. W. 1934. Java pageant. London.

Powell, H. 1930. The last paradise. New York.

Raffles, T. S. 1817. The history of Java. London.

Roth, H. L. 1896. The natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo. London.

Rutter, O. 1922. British North Borneo. London.
          1929. The pagans of North Borneo. London.

St. John, H. 1883. The Indian Archipelago. London.

St. John, S. 1862. Life in the forests of the Far East. London.

Sarkar, H. B. 1934. Indian influences on the literature of Java and Bali. Calcutta.

Scheltema, J. F. 1912. Monumental Java. London.

Schnitger, F. M. 1938. Forgotten kingdoms in Sumatra. Leiden.

Schrieke, B. 1929. The effect of Western influence on native civilizations in the Malay Archipelago. Batavia.

Snouck Hurgronje, C. 1906. The Achehnese. Leiden.

Stutterheim, W. F. 1929. Indian influences in the lands of the Pacific. Weltevreden.
          1929. A Javanese period in Sumatran history. Soerakarta.

Vandenbosch, A. 1941. The Dutch East Indies. Berkeley.

Walcott, A. S. 1914. Java and her neighbors. New York.


Wallace, A. R. 1872. The Malay Archipelago. London.

Wit, A. de. 1906. Java, facts and fancies. Philadelphia.
          1923. Island-India. New Haven.

Zoete, B. de, and Spies, W. 1939. Dance and drama in Bali. New York.


Transcribed and formatted by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation