1902 Encyclopedia > Java (Part 2)

(Part 2)

Mechanic Arts.—In these the Javanese are in advance of the other peoples of the archipelago. Of thirty different Crafts practised among them, the most important are those of the blacksmith or cutler, the carpenter, the kris-sheath-maker, the coppersmith, the goldsmith, and the potter. Their skill in the working of the metals is the more noteworthy as they have to import the raw materials. The most esteemed product of the blacksmith’s skill is the kris; every man and boy above the age of fourteen wears one at least as part of his ordinary dress, and men of rank two and sometimes four. In the finishing and adornment of the finer weapons no expense is spared; and ancient krises of good workmanship sometimes fetch enormous prices.2 The Javanese gold and silver work possesses con-siderable beauty, but there is nothing equal to the filigree of Sumatra; the brass musical instruments are of exceptional excellence. Both bricks and tiles are largely made, as well as a coarse unglazed pottery similar to that of Hindustan; but all the finer wares are imported from China. Cotton spinning, weaving, and dyeing are carried on for the most part as purely domestic operations by the women. The usual mode of giving variety of colour is by weaving in stripes with a succession of different-coloured yarns, but another mode is to cover with melted wax or damar the part of the cloth not intended to receive the dye. This process is naturally a slow one, and has to be repeated according to the number of colours required. As a consequence the "battiks," as the cloths thus treated are called, are in request by the wealthier classes. European imitations are easily detected, and do not pass muster ; but a more rapid process of battiking by means of hand stamps has begun to be employed both by native and Chinese workers. For the most part quiet colours are preferred. To the Javanese of the present day the ancient buildings of the Hindu periods are the work of supernatural power. Except when employed by his European master he seldom builds anything naore substantial than a bamboo or timber frame work; but in the details of such erections he exhibits both skill and taste. When Europeans first came to the island they found native vessels of large size well entitled to the name of ships ; and, though shipbuilding proper is now carried on only under the direc-tion of Europeans, boat-building is a very extensive native industry along the whole of the north coast—the boats sometimes reaching a burden of 50 tons.

The only one of the higher arts which the Javanese have carried to any degree of perfection is music ; and in regard to the value of their efforts in this direction Europeans differ greatly. The orchestra (gamelan) consists of wind, string, and percussion instruments, the latter being in preponderancy to the other two. (Details on the instruments will be found in Raffles, and a description of a perform-ance in the Tour du Monde, 1880.) In connexion with this attention way be called to the wayangs or puppet plays, in which grotesque figures of gilded leather are moved by the performer, who recites the appropriate speeches, and as occasion demands plays the part of chorus. At least one Javanese, Raden Saleb, has attained emi-nonce as a painter.

Population.—The data for tracing the increase of the population are far from satisfactory; and the returns even of the present time can only be accepted as rough approxi-mations.3 Of the following tables the first gives the totals for Java and Madura for several years, and the second the details for the individual provinces at December 31, 1878, according to the Koloniaal Verslag of 1880.


FOOTNOTES (page 604)

(1) In regard to coffee, sugar, cinchona, &c., see K. W. van Gorkom, De Ost-Indische Cultures in Betrekking tot Handel en Nijverheid, Amsterdam, 1881.

(2) The reader will find drawings of a great variety of kris blades in Raffles, Java, vol. i.

(3) In 1781 Radermacher estimatedthe population of Java at 2,029,915 souls ; in 1795 Nederburg gave it as at least three and a half millions, and Daendels in 1808-1811 as over 3,770,000. It was certainly not on the side of excess that these estimates erred. About 1815 the first real census of the population, carried out by Raffles, gave an aggre-gate of 4,615,270—Java 4,390,661, and Madura 224,609—of whom 4,499,250 were natives. According to Bleeker’s estimates (Tijdschr. voor Nederl. Indië, 1847), the total about 1845 was 9,542,045, of whom 9,373,989 were natives. The only year since 1849 in which, according to the official returns, there has been a decrease in the popu-lation is 1850, due to the famine and pestilence that prevailed in Demak and Grobogan. There appears to be about the same preponderance of male over female births in Java as in Europe.


The population has thus increased considerably since 1872, when the return showed a total of 17,291,200. The most densely peopled districts (those occupied by the Javanese proper) have a greater number of inhabitants to the square mile than Belgium; the Sunda lands,2 on the other hand, and the Madurese districts have in comparison a sparse population.

The Government returns furnish the population of only the three largest towns. At the close of 1878 Batavia (town and suburbs) contained 97,585 inhabitants, of whom 4427 were Europeans, 23,466 Chinese, 68,822 natives, and 890 Arabs, &c. ; the numbers for Sama-rang (total 79,443) were Europeans 2976, Chinese 7088, nativesi 66,691, Arabs, &c., 2688, and for Surabaya (total 118,824), Euro-peans 4471, Chinese 6293, natives 106,599, Arabs, &c., 1461. It thus appears that in respect of population Batavia is only second. The great bulk of the population is distributed over the country in villages usually called by Europeans dessas, from the Low Javanese word désá (High Javanese dusun).3 Every dessa, however small (and those containing from 100 to 1000 families are exceptionally large), forms an independent community ; and no sooner does it attain to any considerable size than it sends off a score of families or so to form a new dessa. Each lies in the midst of its own area of cultivation. The general enceinte is formed by an impervious hedge of bamboos 40 to 70 feet high. Within this lie the houses, each with its own enclosure or garth, which, even when the fields are the communal property, belongs to the individual householder. In the centre of the alun-alun or forum there is usually a giant waringin or tjaringin tree (Urostigma benjaminum), and on the west side stands the mosque. The capital of a district is only a larger dessa, and that of a regency (in Sundanese dayuh, in Low Javanese negárá, hence the familiar negerie) has the same general type, but consists of several kampongs or villages. The houses in the strictly Javanese districts are always built on the ground; in the Sunda lands they are raised on piles.

Administration.—The principal local European authority is known as the resident, who exercises judicial, financial, and administrative functions. As president of the council (landread.) and judge of the residency court he deals both with civil and with criminal cases; and he also acts as police magistrate in his more immediate district. Each of the assistant residents administers under his supervision one of the territorial departments (afdeelings) into which each residentship is divided. Next in rank is the European secretary of the resident, who, as occasion demands, acts as the resident’s substitute as president of the council, and performs a great variety of duties as recorder, notary public, registrar, &c. Subject to the assistant resident is the controller. "It is his first duty to look after the interests of the native population, and he may be con-sidered as the link that connects the European with the native functionaries." His district is of so limited an extent that be is able to make a personal inspection of every portion of it once a month, and to become intimately acquainted with all the native officials within its boundaries. There is almost nothing which can be considered as affecting either the welfare of the population or the success of the Government administration which lies beyond the scope of his supervision. At the same time he is entrusted with a very small share of executive authority; his function is to observe, to advise, to report. Under the perpetual guidance of these residents, assistant residents, and controllers, a large part of the administration of the country is carried on by the native functionaries. Of these the highest is the regent, whose rank and right of precedence is superior even to that of all European officials below the resident. Always belonging to one of the ancient noble families, he maintains the state and retinue of an independent prince, with all the elaborate environment of Oriental etiquette. He receives a large salary from the Dutch Government, possesses, in virtue of his office, a landed estate, and exercises large authority over the people of his regency. By the European officials also he is treated with full respect and consideration. But, appointed by the governor-general, he, as much as any ordinary official in the civil service, holds his office by the good-will of the Dutch Government. Insubordination is followed by dismissal ; and dismissal involves the forfeiture of all the wealth and prestige which he possessed as regent. The regent’s substitute is known as pattih. The several districts of the regency (there are usually five or six) are administered by a wedånå (wedono) or demang; and secondary subdivisions by assistant wedånås or mantris (salaried). The wedånå has also at his disposal a considerable number of volunteer mantris not officially recognized. 4

The following table shows the residentships and departments into which Java (with Madura) is divided:—

Bantam:5 Anyer, Pandeglang, Tjiringin, Lebak.

Batavia: Batavia (town and sliburbs), Meester-Cornelis, Tangerang, Bultenzorg, Krawang: two control departments.

Preanger Regencies: Bandung, Tjitjalengka, Tji Andjur (Tjandjur), Suka-bumi, Sumedang, Tasik-malaya, Limbangan, Sukapura, Sukapura-kolot.

Cheribon: Cheribon, Indramayu (Dermayu), Galuh, Madialengka, Kuningan.

Tagal: Tagal (Tegal), Brebes, Pemalang.

Pekalongan: Pekalongan, Batang.

Samarang: Samarang (Semarang), Salatiga, Ambarawa (Embah-rowo or Bahrowo), Unarang (Oenarang), Demak, Grobogan, Kendal.

Japara: Japara (Djepara), Kudus, Joints, (Juwana), Carimon Java (Karimun Djawa).

Rembang: Rembang, Tuban, Bodjo-Negoro, Blora.

Surabaya: Surabaya, Grissee (Gresik), Modjokerto, Sidoardjo, Sidayu, Leman-gan, and the island of Bawean.

Madura: Pamekasan, Madura, Sumanap (Sumenep), Sampang.

Pasuruan: Pasuruan, Malang, Bangil.

Probolingo: Probolingo, Kraksaan-(Kareksan), Lumadjang.

Besuki: Besaki, Panarukan, Bondowoso.

Banyuwangi: Banyiawan, Buleleng, and Jembrana (the last two in Bali).

Banyumas: Banyumas, Tjilatjap, Purwokerto, Purbolingo, Bandjertiegara.

Bagelen: Purworedjo, Kutoardjo, Ledok (Wonosobo), Kebumen, Karanganyer.

Kadu (Kedu): Magelang, Temanggung.

Jokjokarta: Sulans territory, with eight regencies, and Paku Alams territory, forming one regency.

Surakarta: Surakarta, Sragen, Boyolali, Klaten, Wonogiri.

Madiun: Madiun, Ngawi, Patjitan, Ponorogo, Magetan.

Kediri: Kediri, Ngrowo, Berbek, Blitar.

There are thus (excluding the goveriaor-general) 22 residents and 73 assistant residents. The normal number of controllers is 100 and of aspirant controllers 48. there being no controllers in Batavia, Jokjokarta, or Surakarta.

Chief Towns.—The principal town of the residency of Bantam is Serang (6º 6' 45" S. lat. and 106º 8' 37" E. long.), bearing the same relation to the town of Bantam (about 6 miles distant) as New Batavia bears to Old Batavia. It is only 100 feet above the sea-level, but even this elevation renders the climate much better for Europeans than that of Bantam, and it is owing to this that Serang has come to supplant the older city. For BANTAM, see vol. iii. p. 347. Anyer lies on the coast at the narrowest part of the Sunda Straits, and vessels from Europe usually receive fresh

FOOTNOTES (page 605)

(1) These areas are the result of the Government survey begun in 1854. See Havenga, Aperçu de l’oriqine et du dévelop. des reconn. mil. à Java (Bat., 1878).

(2) That is, the residencies of Bantam, Batavia, Krawang, Cheribon, and the Preanger Regencies.

(3) This is really a Sanskrit word, known also in British India in the compounds desai (i. e., desadhipati), desmukh (i. e., desa-mukha), equiva-lent to village chief. The Sundanese quasi-equivalent is lembur, and several lemburs or kampongs compose a kalurahan or lurah-ship.

(4) See further in J. W. B. Money’s Java, London 1861.

(5) The correct form of this name, Banten, is getting into use in Dutch works.

provisions and water there. Pandeglang is 787 feet above the sea; in the vicinity are sulphur springs, both hot and cold.

BATAVIA, the capital of Dutch India, has already been described in vol. iii. p. 431.1 Meester Cornelis, between 6 and 7 miles from Batavia on the way to Buitenzorg, was the seat of a fort as early as the time of Valentijn. It was there that Daendels established his great entrenched camp, and it was there that the battle was fought (in 1811) which placed Java in the hands of the British. About 14 miles from Batavia lies Tangerang, a small but busy place, with several thousand Chinese among its inhabitants. In its vicinity is Bergzicht (Berzigt), formerly famous for its indigo. For BUITENZORG, see vol. iv. pp. 514-5.

The Krawang residency is one of the least populous in the whole island. The great post road does not enter the territory ; the resident has less direct authority over his district than is enjoyed by his official compeers, and has no assistant resident. Krawang, the old capital, has lost its importance since Purwakarta became the administrative centre. This place, laid out by the commis-sioner Du Bus, has a large native and Chinese population. At Wanayasa, a considerable negårå, the first tea gardens on a large scale were attempted on the island.

The Preanger Regencies (Bandung, Tjandjur, Sumedang, Lim-bangan, Sukapura) constitute the most important of all the residencies. Bandung, the capital of the residency since 1864, is a flourishing place, with a handsome mosque, and normal school for native teachers. Tji Andfur, which was the administrative centre up to 1864, is of similar character to Bandung, though the removal of the resident and his subordinates has produced a certain decline in its importance. Tjitjalengka, in the very heart of the coffee districts, has developed greatly since the new system was introduced in 1870, and is certain to make further progress when the projected railways give it better communication with Bandung and Batavia. Sumedang is already a populous and prosperous negårå. The ancient settlement of this name lay in another part of the regencies.

Cheribon (Tjeribon) is one of the most important places in Java, though the unhealthiness of the site has caused a number of the principal Europeans to settle about 2 miles to the north at Tangkil. The church erected in 1842, the regents residence, large warehouses for coffee and salt, and a prison are among the principal buildings. The native part of the town is to some extent laid out in European style. The Chinese quarter, large and populous, possesses the finest Chinese temple in Java. Cheribon is the residence of the descend-ants of the old sultan of Cheribon. The palaces are not so exten-sive as those of Surakarta and Jokjokarta, By the mud bank at its month, the Tjeribon (Shrimp River) does more harm than good to the town. The harbour is only kept available by constant dredging, but the roadstead is very good all the year round. A strange pleasure palace of Sultan Sepuh, frequently described by travellers, lies about 2 mailes from Cheribon near Surtya Raja. Mundu, a village 4 miles south-east of Chenibon, is remarkable as the only spot on the north coast of Java which is visited by the ikan prut or belly fish, a species about as large as a cod, caught in thousands, and salted by the local fishermen. Indramayu lies on both sides of the Tji Manuk, about 8 miles from the coast. It is mentioned as Dermayo in the old Portuguese and Dutch travels. As a port for the rice of the district of Indramayu, and for the coffee of the Preanger and Cheribon, the town seemed at one time to have a great commercial future before it, but the roadstead was safe only during the east monsoon. The river has a tendency to send its waters by the channel of the Kali Rambatan, and a process of silting up is going on rapidly. In 1876 the Government began the construction of works to prevent the change of course.

Tagal has long been one of the chief towns in Java,—foreign commerce, and native trade, industry, and fisheries, being all well developed. About 1845 Dr Bleeker estimated its population at 29,536 ` and, if the growth of the town has been similar to that of the residency, the total may now be set down as about 80,000. Since 1871 the harbour has been the object of various improvements. The town is regularly and well built. The native stone-cutters, carpenters, dyers, and smiths of Tagal are particularly skilful. Pamalang is a thriving coast village, noteworthy for the quality of the oysters. Pekalongan ("abode of the kalongs") is, like Tagal, an important town. It posssesses a large mosque, a Protestant church, a fort (now used as a prison and barracks), and a large number of European houses. The Chinese ward consists of neat stone or brick buildings Dr Bleeker estimated the popula-tion at 15,000 in 1848 ; it must be now considerably more. The name of Pekalongan is associated with the smoked ducks prepared in the district. Batang is onIy 5 miles distant.

Samarang lies on the Kali Ngaran near the centre of the north coast. Round the market place are grouped the residences of the regent and his substitute, the mosque, the military hospital, the town-house (erected in 1854-1864), the Government warehouses, &c. The hospital, formerly the palace of the governor of the north-east coast, has accommodation for 550 European patients. The town was formerly surrounded by a wall and ditch, but these were removed in 1824, and it is now protected by a fort and a coast battery. The old European portion of the town is almost the exact reproduction of a Dutch town, without the slightest accommoda-tion to the exigencies of the climate. A new impulse was given to Samarang by the opening of the railway to Surakarta and Jok-jokarta (1873). As a seaport the place is unfortunately situated: the river is long since silted up; the roads are insecure during the west monsoon; it was only after many delays that in 1879 the artificial canal, commenced in 1858 as a substitute for the river became available; and in the opinion of the Government commis-sion of 1876 it would be useless to attempt the erection of works similar to those of Batavia. Demak, the chief town of a regency famous in the ancient Javanese history, lies 13 miles north-cast of Samarang. The mosque, erected by the first sultan of Demak, was rebuilt in 1845, and only a small part of the old structure has been preserved; but the tombs of several of the sultans are to be seen near at hand. Salatiga (that is, "Three Stones," with allusion to three temples now destroyed) was in early times one of the regular resting-places for ambassadors proceeding from the coast to the court of Mataram; and in the European history of Java its name is associated with the peace of 1755 and the capitulation of 1811. It is the headquarters of the only regiment of cavalry in the Dutch East Indian army. Besides the garrison, the European population numbers some 400 or 500 persons. About the same number of Europeans are settled at Ambarawa, which consists of the contiguous villages Pundjang, Ambarawa, Losari, and Kupang, and lies about a mile north of the fortress Willem I., which Van den Bosch intended to make the central point of the Javanese system of defensive works. Ungaran (1026 feet above the sea) was a place of importance as early as the time of Valentijn, and in modern times has beome known as a sanatarium.

Japara was in Valentijn’s days one of the most flourishing of the Javanese coast towns ; and it was still a place of prosperous com-merce during the British occupation ; but the harbour has greatly deteriorated, and the town is declining. Joana has a strikingly Dutch appearance ; it is often mentioned in the early narratives. Kudus is a place of more than 14,000 inhabitants. Rembang, a well-built town, contains a considerable European settlement and a num-ber of European institutions; the population exceeds 10,000.

Surabaya, as already mentioned, is the largest town in Java, and ranks next to Batavia in the variety of its religious, educational, charitable, and commercial institutions. It owes this position to the fact that its harbour is the best in the island. Since 1849 it has been the seat of Government dockyards and arsenals ; and there are also extensive barracks, a military hospital, &c. The population includes Javanese, Madurese, Indians from Bengal, Moors, and Chinese. Grissee (Gresik) has a fairly good harbour, and is of special interest in the early European history of Java. Pasuruan ranks as the fourth town in the island; it is well built, and has a considerable European settlement. Probolingo (called by the natives Banger), Besuki, and Banyuwangi are all prosperous places of from 7000 to 15,000 inhabitants. The residency of Banyuwangi is one of the least opened up of the whole island. Banyumas contains a population of about 10,000 inhabitants, but there are no objects worthy of particular notice. The name equivalent to "gold-water," was bestowed by its founder Aryå Sureng Rånå from the auriferous character of the river Serayu on which it stands. Tjilatjap, though not the capital of the residency, is a much more important and interesting place. It possesses the best harbour of all the south coast, situated at the mouth of the canal Kali Sesukan, which runs between the Serayu and the sea, and protected by the island of Nusa Kambangan ; and it has been chosen as the seat of a principal military establishment A battery was erected close to the town in 1878, and on Kambangan lie the forts Karang Bolong and Batu Njapa. The pile-villages of the Segara Anakan (as the enclosed bay is called) and the stalac-tite and mephitic caves of the island are objects of much interest. Purworedjo, the chief town of Bagelen,2 became of some import-ance during the Java war as a military establishment, and is still occupied by a considerable garrison. It is laid out in a spacious style; and both the native and the Chinese quarters are well kept. The population is large, and it is an important seat of native industry.

Very similar to each other are Surakarta and Jokjokarta, the chief towns of the independent states. The former contains the palace of the susuhunan or emperor, the residence of the independent prince Mangku Negoro, the fort of Vastenburg, a Protestant church, and a considerable number of European buildings.

Inhabitants.—Leaving out of view the Europeans and the Oriental immigrants—scarcely a seventh part of the

FOOTNOTES (page 606)

(1) A plan of the town wil~be found in Jaarboek van het Mijnwezen, Batavia, 1880.

(2) The village from which the residency takes its name is situated in the district of Tjangkreb in the Purworedjo regency. It is so called from a "linga" pillar still reverenced by the natives.

Population—the inhabitants of Java consist of the Javanese proper, the Sundanese, and the Madurese. All three belong to the Malay stock. Between Javanese and Sundanese the distinction is mainly due to the influence of the Hindus on the former and the absence of this on the latter. Be-tween Javanese and Madurese the distinction—not so deeply wrought—is rather to be ascribed to difference of natural environment. The Sundanese have best retained the Malay type, both in physique and fashion of life. They occupy the five residencies of Bantam, Batavia, Krawang, Cheribon, and the Preanger Regencies. The limits of the Madurese area are not so easily given. Be-sides the island of Madura, the residencies to the east of Surabaya and Kediri are largely occupied by them. The residencies of Tagal, Pekalongan, Banyumas, Bagelen, Kadu, Samarang, Japara, Surakarta, Jokjokarta, Rem-bang, Madiun, Kediri, and Surabaya have an almost purely Javanese population. Professor Veth estimates the number of the Sundanese at about 4,000,000, the Madurese at 1,600,000, and the Javanese at 11,500,000. The Javanese are the most civilized of the three peoples.

The colour of the skin in all three cases presents various shades of yellowish-brown with a touch of olive-green ; and it is observed that, owing perhaps to the Hindu strain, the Javanese are generally darker than the Sundanese. The eyes are always brown or black the hair of the head black, long, lank, and coarse. Neither breast nor limbs are provided with hair, and there is hardly even the suggestion of a beard. In stature the Malay is usually less than the European. The Sundanese is less than the Javanese proper, being seldom 5 feet in height ; at the same time he is more stoutlv built. The Madurese is as tall as the Javanese, and as stout as the Sundanese. The eye is usually set straight in the head in the Javanese and Madurese; among the Sundanese it is often oblique. The nose is generally flat and small, with wide nostrils; but among the Javanese it not unfrequently becomes aquiline. The lips are thick but well formed; the teeth are naturally white, but often filed and stained. The cheek bones are well developed, more particularly with the Madurese. In expressiveness of countenance the Javanese and Madurese are far in advance of the Sundanese. The women are not so well made as the men, and among the lower classes especially soon grow absolutely ugly. In the eyes of the Javanese a golden yellow complexion is the perfection of female beauty:—"She shone bright even in the dark" is the highest compliment of poetic adulation (compare Raffies, Java, vol. i. p. 92). To judge by their early history, the Javanese must have been a warlike and vigorous people, with somewhat of ferocity to boot. At present they are peaceable, docile, sober, simple, and industrious. The practice of running amuck is of very rare occurrence among them.

Search the Encyclopedia:

About this EncyclopediaTop ContributorsAll ContributorsToday in History
Terms of UsePrivacyContact Us

© 2005-17 1902 Encyclopedia. All Rights Reserved.

This website is the free online Encyclopedia Britannica (9th Edition and 10th Edition) with added expert translations and commentaries