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Intercultural exchange in Southeast Asia
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Table of contents :
AcknowledgementsContributorsIntroduction: Faith, Knowledge, and Power (Tara Alberts and D.R.M. Irving)Chapter One: Immanence and Tolerance: Ruler Conversions to Islam and Christianity in Achipelagic Southeast Asia (Alan Strathern)Chapter Two: Priests, Portuguese, and Religious Change on the Periphery of Western Mainland Southeast Asia in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Michael W. Charney)Chapter Three: Priests of a Foreign God: Catholic Relgious Leadership and Sacral Authority in Seventeenth-century Tonkin and Cochinchina (Tara Alberts)Chapter Four: The Virgin of the Breadfruit Tree: The Impact of Early Modern Marian Art on Filipino Women (Marya Rosenberg Leong)Chapter Five: Global Trade and Local Knowledge: Gathering Natural Knowledge in Seventeenth-century Indonesia (Matthew Sargent)Chapter Six: 'Ask About Everything!' Clas Frednik Hornstedt in Java, 1783-4 (Christina Skott)Chapter Seven: Trading Tunes: Thomas Forrest, Malay Songs, and Musical Exchange in the Malay Archipelago, 1774-84 (D.R.M. Irving)Chapter Eight: Intercultural Exchange in the City of Malacca (Katrina Gulliver)BibliographyIndex

Citation preview

Tara Alberts is Lecturer in History at the University of York. D. R. M. Irving is Lecturer in Music at the University of Nottingham.

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Intercultur al Exchange in Southeast Asia History and Society in the Early Modern World EDITED BY Tar a Alberts and D.R.M. Irving

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Published in 2013 by I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd 6 Salem Road, London W2 4BU 175 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10010 www.ibtauris.com Distributed in the United States and Canada exclusively by Palgrave Macmillan 175 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10010 Copyright Editorial Selection and Introduction © 2013 Tara Alberts and D. R. M. Irving Copyright Individual Chapters © 2013 Alan Strathern, Michael W. Charney, Tara Alberts, Maria Rosenberg Leong, Matthew Sargent, Christina Skott, D. R. M. Irving, Katrina Gulliver The right of Tara Alberts and D. R. M. Irving to be identified as the authors of this work has been asserted by the authors in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988. All rights reserved. Except for brief quotations in a review, this book, or any part thereof, may not be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. International Library of Historical Studies, vol. 81 ISBN 978 1 84885 949 4 A full CIP record for this book is available from the British Library A full CIP record for this book is available from the Library of Congress Library of Congress catalog card: available Typeset by Newgen Publishers, Chennai Printed and bound by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon, CR0 4YY

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CONTENTS

Acknowledgements

vii

Contributors

viii

Introduction

Faith, Knowledge, and Power Tara Alberts and D. R. M. Irving

Chapter One

Immanence and Tolerance: Ruler Conversions to Islam and Christianity in Archipelagic Southeast Asia Alan Strathern

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

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Priests, Portuguese, and Religious Change on the Periphery of Western Mainland Southeast Asia in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries Michael W. Charney Priests of a Foreign God: Catholic Religious Leadership and Sacral Authority in Seventeenth-century Tonkin and Cochinchina Tara Alberts The Virgin of the Breadfruit Tree: The Impact of Early Modern Marian Art on Filipino Women Marya Rosenberg Leong

1

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84

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Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

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Global Trade and Local Knowledge: Gathering Natural Knowledge in Seventeenth-century Indonesia Matthew Sargent ‘Ask About Everything!’ Clas Fredrik Hornstedt in Java, 1783–4 Christina Skott Trading Tunes: Thomas Forrest, Malay Songs, and Musical Exchange in the Malay Archipelago, 1774–84 D. R. M. Irving Intercultural Exchange in the City of Malacca Katrina Gulliver

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161

203

236

Bibliography

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Index

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This collection of essays emerged from an interdisciplinary conference on intercultural exchange in early modern Southeast Asia, held in April 2009 at Jesus College, University of Cambridge, an event which presented an ideal opportunity for fruitful engagement with this field from the perspectives of several different disciplines. For their financial support of the conference, which planted the seeds for this book, we would like to thank a number of institutions and organisations: the Association for South-East Asian Studies in the United Kingdom (ASEASUK); Jesus College, Cambridge; Christ’s College, Cambridge; the Trevelyan Fund of the Faculty of History, University of Cambridge; and the John Stewart of Rannoch Fund of the Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge. We would like to thank Maria Marsh, Jenna Steventon, and Tomasz Hoskins of I.B.Tauris for commissioning this volume and for their support in bringing it to fruition. We are grateful to the anonymous readers of the manuscript for their helpful advice and comments, and also to Hester Higton for copy-editing. Special thanks must go to Thirza Hope, who initiated the first academic exchanges that led to this collaboration, and who has always been a great fount of support and advice. Finally, we must thank all our contributing authors for their enthusiasm, commitment, and hard work.

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CONTRIBUTORS

Tara Alberts undertook her doctoral studies at Newnham College, University of Cambridge, and held post-doctoral Research Fellowships at Jesus College, Cambridge, and on the Max Weber Programme at the European University Institute, Italy. She is currently Lecturer in History at the University of York and is researching cultures of health, healing, and spiritual cures in early modern Southeast Asia. Her book Conflict and Conversion: Catholicism in Southeast Asia c.1500–1700 is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. Michael W. Charney is Project Professor at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo, and Reader in South East Asian and Imperial History at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. He is currently conducting research on the introduction of the railways into rural Burma in the colonial period. He is the author of three monographs – Southeast Asian Warfare, 1300–1900 (Brill, 1994), Powerful Learning: Buddhist Literati and the Throne in Burma’s Last Dynasty (Centers for South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of Michigan, 2006), and A History of Modern Burma (Cambridge University Press, 2009) – as well as the co-editor for numerous volumes. Katrina Gulliver holds a doctorate in history from the University of Cambridge. She is the author of Modern Women in China and Japan: Gender, Modernity and Global Feminism Between the Wars (I.B.Tauris, 2012), and the founding editor of the journal Transnational Subjects: History, Society and Culture.

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CONTRIBUTORS

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D. R. M. Irving earned a doctorate in historical musicology at Clare College, University of Cambridge, and was subsequently a Junior Research Fellow at Christ’s College, Cambridge. After working as PostDoctoral Research Associate at King’s College London, and Director of Music and Director of Studies in Music at Downing College, Cambridge, he took up his current position as Lecturer in Music at the University of Nottingham. He is also Visiting Fellow on the collaborative project ‘Musical Transitions to European Colonialism in the Eastern Indian Ocean’, funded by the European Research Council and based at King’s College London. His published works include the monograph Colonial Counterpoint: Music in Early Modern Manila (Oxford University Press, 2010), and multiple articles and book chapters on the role of music in intercultural exchange, c.1500–c.1800. Marya Rosenberg Leong is a captain in the U.S. Army. She was recently selected for service as a Foreign Area Officer, specialising in Southeast Asia. She graduated from West Point in 2007 and went on to earn a Master of Arts degree in Asian Studies, with a regional focus on Southeast Asia, from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. Her research interests include gender studies, religious art, and the visual cultures of South and Southeast Asia. She hopes to pursue a doctorate in art history. Matthew Sargent is a doctoral candidate in history and organisational behaviour at the University of California, Berkeley. His dissertation examines the changing patterns of cross-cultural information exchange that accompanied the intensification of European–Asian trading networks during the medieval and early modern periods. Christina Skott is Fellow, Tutor, and Director of Studies in History at Wolfson College, University of Cambridge. She is also Director of Studies and College Lecturer in History at Magdalene College, Cambridge, and Affiliated Lecturer at the Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, where she teaches world history. Her research interests include European knowledge of early modern Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on anthropology and natural history.

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Alan Strathern undertook doctoral work at the University of Oxford on sixteenth-century Sri Lanka and then moved to the University of Cambridge to take up research and teaching positions. He is now a Fellow and Tutor in History at Brasenose College, Oxford, and is working on a book about the relationship between sacred kingship and religious change across the early modern world.

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Introduction: FAITH, KNOWLEDGE, AND POWER Tara Alberts and D. R. M. Irving

In 1583 the Dutch merchant and adventurer Jan Huyghen van Linschoten (1563–1611) set sail from Lisbon in the retinue of the newly appointed Archbishop of Goa, Vicente de Fonseca. For Linschoten this voyage to India was the fulfilment of a lifelong dream. From childhood he had delighted in ‘the reading of Histories, and straunge adventures’ which described distant lands and diverse cultures. He found himself ‘so much addicted to see and travaile into strange Countries, thereby to seeke some adventure’ that he was determined to quit his homeland and strive by any means possible to see for himself the strange lands of travellers’ tales.1 Unhappily for him, he never achieved his ambition of travelling from India to Japan and China, and into the pattern of islands and kingdoms which lay ‘beyond the Ganges’ (India extra gangem) – the area that we now call Southeast Asia.2 Stranded on Goan shores by the expense of such a voyage, he had to content himself with interrogating the luckier travellers who had explored these regions. Known from ancient legend as a source of riches, and possibly even the location of the biblical golden lands of Tarshish and Ophir, the ‘Further Indies’ evidently fascinated Linschoten.3 He collected written descriptions and transcribed oral reports from merchants, missionaries, and adventurers, and upon his return to Europe he used these to create his detailed account of the varied peoples and lands of Asia.

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His description of the ‘East Indies’, like many other sixteenthcentury travelogues, lingers over the wondrous variety and quantity of rich merchandise which piled into port cities, and which had long attracted merchants from Arabia, China, India, Japan, and Europe. He depicts mercantile Southeast Asian port cities as tumultuous melting pots of encounter and exchange, with an exciting confusion of merchants from every part to ‘lade and unlade, sell, buye, and barter and make great traficke out of all the Orientall countries’.4 The convergence of so many different peoples often had far-reaching consequences: through such interactions, new societies, cultures, and religions could be created. Indeed, in Linschoten’s telling, the great trading hub of Malacca (Melaka) itself emerged from the intermingling of peoples from different cultures. He asserts that the port-city was founded when fishermen from ‘Pegu, Siam and Bengal and other nations bordering upon the same’ came together and built a city.5 Linschoten’s Malacca thus arises, almost accidentally, from the hubbub of a marketplace, a zone of intercultural exchange. His apocryphal origin story differs markedly from other accounts of the creation of this city, notably the history related in the famous Malay chronicle Sejarah Melayu (1612; originally entitled Sulalatus Salatin) and the narrative presented by Tomé Pires in his Suma Oriental (1512–15), both of which describe how a ruler of Palembang, Sumatra, established a settlement at Singapore then moved up the western coast of the Malay Peninsula to found Malacca on the site where a mouse deer exhibited great courage in the face of an attack by a dog.6 All accounts agree, however, that the city soon became one of the most important centres of trade in the region, and Linschoten echoes a common theme among chroniclers when he describes the bustling hub as ‘one of the best and principallest kingdomes of all the countries thereabouts’ due to its felicitous location at the crossroads of commerce.7 The attraction of trading opportunities in the city continued to exert a universal pull on merchants around the world, strong enough to override even human instinct for self-preservation. In Malacca, Linschoten writes, the air was so deleterious to health that ‘commonlie there is not one that cometh thether, and stayeth any time, but is sure to be sicke, so that it costeth him either hyde or hayre . . . and if any

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escapeth with life from thence, it is holden for a wonder’.8 (It should be noted, however, that several centuries later Malacca was considered far healthier than other colonial outposts such as Batavia, as discussed in Chapter 8.) He went on to claim that merchants ‘lightly estéeme all dangers’ because in Malacca it was possible to prepare a ship ‘twice as richly laden with costly marchandises and Spices’ as any vessel loaded even in the entrepôts of India: the city had become a clearing-house of diverse goods from all over Asia.9 Such rich potential had excited European colonial ambitions: the city was seized by the Portuguese in 1511. As the new lords of Malacca, the Portuguese hoped to become the chief commercial operators bringing the rich goods of Asia into Europe, thus bypassing existing trading routes which brought in a trickle of expensive merchandise via Italy.10 In the words of Tomé Pires, ‘whoever is lord of Malacca has his hand on the throat of Venice’.11 Such Southeast Asian adventures would help to reorient the map of economic power in early modern Europe. Yet Linschoten was not solely interested in commercial exchange and the political repercussions of changing trade patterns. Within his account we catch glimpses of other broad consequences of encounter and exchange. His legendary founders of Malacca, for example, not only established a new city and trading hub but also formed a new culture. Drawing together the best parts of the diverse languages they spoke, the founders are said to have created a novel language, Malay, which was ‘reported to be the most courteous and séemlie speech of all the Orient’. This in turn became the basis of a new culture of ballads, poetry, and songs which were widely admired.12 Although the Malay language has much older roots and a much wider geographical spread than Linschoten realised, he appears to have recognised its enormous significance in the Malay–Indonesian Archipelago as a lingua franca, a language used for trade, literature (oral and written), and diplomacy.13 His story is apocryphal, given that Malay culture and language did not simply emerge with the founding of Malacca in c.1400, yet its narrative reflects his interest in how people of different cultures interacted and exchanged not only material goods but also intangibles: ideas, languages, religious beliefs, and knowledge.14

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The ripples caused at such moments of interaction could spread in unexpected ways. Linschoten’s accounts are filled with accidental details which illuminate the subtle and seismic changes that could occur as a result of intercultural encounters. From the conquest and conversion to Christianity of the Philippines and the spread of Islam in island Southeast Asia, to the piecemeal transfer of customs and rituals from one cultural group to another, he depicts the impact of exchange on religious cultures and the practices of faith. The effect of intercultural interactions on political hierarchies and the articulation of power can be glimpsed in his reports of the rise and fall of royal dynasties buffeted by domestic storms and by new winds from afar. We also catch sight of new communities of traders and mercenaries forming on the blurred edges of empires, leading a shadowy existence which could have repercussions on the balance of political and commercial power within the polities they bordered. Moreover, his descriptions of Portuguese India highlight the ways in which travel and intercultural exchange could result in the subtle blending of customs, or even the emergence of new identities. He recounts the habits and living arrangements of Portuguese soldiery and how married settlers had adapted to living in Asia, while at the same time depicting the emergence of mestizo cultures as diverse groups in Portuguese Asia borrowed and learned habits, rituals, and customs from each other. Adaptation and change could also arise from intercultural hostility: Linschoten declares that the Chinese would not trade with Japanese merchants as ‘they hate each other to the death’, with the latter altering all their customs, ceremonies, and manners so as to assert their cultural difference from the former.15 From this sort of comment we can see that early modern Europeans writing about Asia were beginning to develop historical perspectives on the reasons for cultural difference; on the other hand, we can see how certain perceptions emerging from their texts could also be blurred by the strong mediation of their informants. Mixing evidence drawn from myth, hearsay, his own observation, second-hand reports of acquaintances and correspondents, and details culled from other accounts of Asia, Linschoten’s account aimed at providing not only a description of the lands he had visited and heard about, but also an analysis of

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the history and society of these regions, and of the ways in which living in Asia and interacting with Asian cultures had affected the Portuguese who had settled there.16 The increasing regularity and intensity of contact between members of different cultures in this period was reflected in Europe in the proliferation of travel accounts such as Linschoten’s, and in the development of related genres of literature, which depicted the consequences of intercultural exchange and offered advice to help travellers profit from their adventures. Charles César Baudelot de Dairval (1648–1722), author of several books on how to ‘travel well’, declared that it was in man’s nature ‘to love novelty, and this inclination makes him go on voyages, which serve indubitably to perfect him’, if the traveller takes care to study closely all the new peoples he will meet.17 He argued that observation of the cultures, beliefs, history, and social practices of countries visited was essential for men of letters who wished to benefit intellectually from their voyage. Material profit required cultural knowledge: without such study, how would a merchant learn that ‘any picture or table wherein is painted a blacke trée, or a blacke bird’ painted by an ancient and cunning master (as Linschoten put it) would be a wise investment in the entrepôts of Asia, as the Japanese would ‘give whatsoever you will aske for it’?18 Obtaining such knowledge required the cultivation of networks of informants and the development of communicative strategies through which initial encounters and subsequent engagements could be mediated. Linguistic concerns were at the forefront of this endeavour: traders and religious personnel alike required certain degrees of fluency in local languages to achieve their ambitions. Whereas the exchange of material goods could be agreed by means of conversations that involved a relatively limited vocabulary, projects of colonisation and religious conversion depended on intimate knowledge of local languages, local customs, existing beliefs, and even the religious history of the region. Studies addressing all these issues were produced in great abundance by missionaries and colonialists. Just as cartographers sought to depict Southeast Asia with increasing detail and precision (see Figure 0.1, for example), these authors sought to arm their colleagues with useful maps to the histories, cultures, and societies of these lands.

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Figure 0.1 Map of Southeast Asia: ‘Indiæ orientalis nova descriptio’ (Newly described East Indies). In Gerhard Mercator, Atlas or A geographicke description of the regions, countries and kingdomes of the world, through Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, represented by new & exact maps, trans. Henry Hexham (Amsterdam, 1636–41), vol. 2, between p. 421 and p. 422. Reproduced by kind permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library.

In the Philippines, for example, missionaries made extensive use of the first printing presses in Southeast Asia to publish numerous vocabularies of major indigenous languages in multiple editions.19 Throughout the region, missionaries produced countless manuscripts of catechetical and devotional texts in local languages, and wrote detailed reports to keep their confreres informed about the cultures, beliefs, and social structures of their target audiences. The authors of these texts usually worked in collaboration with, or drawing on the information provided by, local informants. This sphere of encounter and exchange should not be overlooked: the European authors’ names on the covers of these works frequently mask a complex history of intercultural literary and intellectual collaboration.

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The themes of observing and understanding local cultures are clear in the vocabularies and dialogues produced to help Europeans speak Southeast Asian languages. In the first sample dialogue provided in Gothard Arthus’ Dialogues in the English and Malaiane Languages (London, 1614), for instance, a man enquires of his interlocutor, ‘What meaneth it, I pray you, that a certaine Elephant goeth couered with red cloath, before which drumsters and trumpeters goe?’ Informed that this is the manner in which a Malay raja’s letters to another monarch are conveyed, he is still not satisfied, asking further questions, such as: ‘But to what end are these things?’ and ‘Is this the manner of this Countrie?’20 This Dialogue thus provides the traveller with the Malay vocabulary necessary to enquire after the meaning of rituals of which he has heard. It also allows him to express his wish to experience first-hand the events described in the oral exchange: ‘I would desire to see al [sic] these things’, the curious visitor says hopefully.21 Such writings of European travellers, traders, and missionaries have long been mined by scholars seeking to illuminate the complex exchanges and interactions which occurred between c.1500 and c.1800, when commerce, religious proselytisation, international diplomacy, and political conflict gained pace in Southeast Asia.22 In the early modern period, the intensification of trade, the shifting of power relationships, and the arrival of strangers from afar had farreaching ramifications for the ways in which Southeast Asia engaged with the rest of the world, and for how the world saw Southeast Asia. These intercultural exchanges had global repercussions and resonances in terms of material culture and commerce, culinary and dietary patterns, linguistics, legal codes, political thought, and scientific inquiry. Of course, the exchange of knowledge could go both ways, especially in terms of coming to comprehend the Other: while Europeans used text, image, and sound to interpret and represent Southeast Asian cultures, Southeast Asians similarly portrayed foreigners in literature, visual arts, and the performing arts.23 Examining these interactions from Southeast Asian perspectives, scholars have challenged the cogency of categories such as ‘early modern’ and ‘Southeast Asian’: long-standing patterns of trade and

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cultural exchange between regions of Asia and between Southeast Asia and the wider world can cast doubt on the validity of these regional and chronological divisions.24 On the one hand, archaeological finds from sites such as Ban Chiang (in what is now Thailand) and Oc Eo (in what is now Vietnam) testify to the early vibrancy of trade within the region thousands of years ago and the importance of longdistance networks for the flow of trade goods, aesthetic styles, religious artefacts and beliefs, and other cultural commodities, which could be said to blur the boundaries between regions now known as Southeast Asia, India, and China.25 The continuing importance of such entanglements in the early modern period is clearly evident: Vietnamese envoys to China, for example, demonstrated their civility by imitating Chinese poetic styles, while Burmese rulers could compare themselves to celebrated royal sponsors of Buddhism in India and Sri Lanka to enhance their prestige.26 On the other hand, the coherence of ‘Southeast Asia’ as an autonomous region seems dubious in the face of local divergences: as Sanjay Subrahmanyam put it, ‘any Vietnamese voyager who found himself in Arakan in the late seventeenth century would have been as much at a loss as he would in Hughli, whereas many a Bengali found a comfortable living in the Magh court’.27 Similar boundary blurrings and internal divergences can be found in the equally fictive – if less anachronistic – construct of ‘Europe’. Yet the terms ‘Southeast Asia’ and ‘Europe’, used to describe regions united by some shared experiences of historical processes and cultural norms, could still be argued to retain some value, at least to delineate geographical boundaries of a study. Certainly for early modern Europeans, cognate terms for ‘Southeast Asia’ such as ‘the East Indies’ could bear a range of specific connotations, describing a region significantly different from the Indian, Chinese, and Japanese realms which bordered it. As Michael Arthur Aung-Thwin and Kenneth Hall argue, the choice of a geographical term such as ‘Southeast Asia’, and indeed time periods delineated by European concepts of time or significant events (c.1500–c.1800, ‘early modern’), has implications for the analysis, framing the perspective and the approach which the author and reader will take.28 Criticisms of the validity of applying the term ‘early modern’ to regions outside Europe have

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also emphasised how such concepts can grant undue agency to either Eurocentric or ‘modernity-centric’ processes and concerns.29 Yet as John F. Richards argues for South Asian historiography, in some cases the term ‘early modern’ is to be preferred over more localised terms such as ‘Mughal India’ precisely because it allows this sense of global comparison and connection: rather than being ‘Eurocentric’, the term could be understood as ‘merely an attempt to capture the reality of rapid, massive change in the way humans organized themselves and interacted with other human beings and the natural world’ between c.1500 and c.1800.30 In the context of increased European contact with Southeast Asia, and given the new patterns of proselytisation, trade, and intercultural exchange which occurred in this period, it is precisely these human interactions and encounters that linked the experiences of Southeast Asians and Europeans in a shared early modernity.31 Along with the time-frame of early modernity and geographical denomination of Southeast Asia, the use of European sources by many of the essays in this volume may be said to ‘privilege’ a certain viewpoint, giving ‘agency’ to a certain type of evidence, and by extension to the creators and the contexts of creation of this evidence.32 Yet the essays demonstrate just how many different perspectives can be teased out of the available sources, and how new interpretations and contextualisations of familiar sources – coupled with examinations of littleknown or under-explored pieces of evidence – can shed new light on both the reality and the representation of intercultural exchange. Linschoten’s account, for example, may seem at first glance to be paradigmatic of the early modern travel account, in which regions of Asia are rendered passive as their history, society, geography, and cultures are examined, described, and analysed by the (greedy and potentially imperialistic) European gaze. For Geoffrey C. Gunn, the early modern period of exchange and encounter was the prolegomenon to the era of western European post-Enlightenment imperial and economic dominance. In his analysis, while cultural and intellectual exchange could be a matter of conversation and mutual discovery, European observers in pursuit of knowledge were the (perhaps unwitting) vanguard in the fulfilment of more rapacious designs on

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Asian resources. The Foucauldian equation of knowledge and power holds true in Gunn’s analysis, as ‘European precocity led to European primacy’.33 Similarly, Mary Louise Pratt characterised the ‘contact zone’ between cultures as ‘the space in which peoples geographically and historically separated come into contact with each other and establish ongoing relations, usually involving conditions of coercion, radical inequality, and intractable conflict’.34 From this viewpoint, the exchange behind the Renaissance curiosity and the intercultural conversations of travellers like Linschoten is always fundamentally unequal, and the tools of European humanistic enquiry – and, later, ‘scientific’ enquiry – could soon be converted into weapons of imperialism.35 Indeed, some historians’ accounts of Linschoten’s voyage paint him as the vanguard of the Dutch colonial project, sent forth by a cartel of merchants with a secret mission to explore and determine which Edenic riches of the East might be ripe for plucking from Portuguese control.36 It is true that Linschoten’s gathering of knowledge seems onesided: he was an intermediary in the transmission of knowledge from Asia to Europe; he was not necessarily an agent for the dissemination of information about Europe to Asia. Further, it is true that the first part of his treatise was rushed to the presses by the publisher, Cornelis Claesz, so that it might be of use to the first Dutch fleet to sail to the Indies in April 1595.37 Yet even in Linschoten’s account we see allusions to personal interactions which underpinned his knowledge-gathering and which hint at the complexities of intercultural exchange in the context of ‘European expansion’. Discussing connections between disparate lands, he depicts the ‘conversation’ between regions in human terms: commerce was not simply a matter of trade routes and cargoes, but was played out through interpersonal relationships and communications between people.38 His account is peppered with details which hint at these daily, human realities of exchange: he describes arrangements made between foreigners and the women taken as temporary wives in Pegu; he reveals his own curiosity to visit Hindu and Muslim places of worship in India, recording the dialogues struck up between followers of different faiths; and he

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reports his discussions with Asian merchants about how decorative items such as jewellery and antiques held diverse value to people from different cultures in various parts of the world.39 Paying critical attention to these sorts of incidental details can enrich our understanding of global processes by uncovering their causes and consequences not only on a regional level, but also on a personal, individual level. As many of the essays in this collection demonstrate, European sources themselves can often be used to complicate and undermine those narratives of intercultural exchange which emphasise the agency of Europeans. Over the course of the two centuries following Linschoten’s travels, systems of knowledge-exchange were radically transformed through the relationships forged between European and Southeast Asian interlocutors. While the balance of exchange was unequal – and often tipped deliberately by Europeans in their favour – by the end of the seventeenth century we encounter natural historians such as Georg Eberhard Rumpf (1627–1702), who acknowledged his debt to indigenous knowledge and paid a poignant tribute to his Ambonese wife in his extensive botanical writings (see Chapter 5). Around a century later, we meet the remarkable and eccentric English country trader Thomas Forrest (c.1729–1802), who accumulated extensive knowledge of the Malay Archipelago over the course of several decades, and who happily performed music at the request of local rulers (Chapter 7). Thus, although this book has a largely European focus in its range of sources, indigenous agency often shines through the lines of these early modern texts, revealing the depth and breadth of interaction between individual members of different cultures. Even in lands under European colonial rule in the early modern period, the dynamics of interactions between different cultures were complex, and the balance of power could be uncertain. The exchange of ideas, beliefs, and cultural commodities was mediated through the agency of all parties and all participants in the exchange, who in turn could be altered by the experience. In recent years the very concept of exchange has been carefully deconstructed by scholars seeking to understand the dynamics of interactions between different cultures. Narratives that propose a simple binarism between the oppressor

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and the subaltern have been challenged to identify aspects of indigenous agency and collaboration in contexts of colonialism (or other situations involving imbalances of power), and to tease out the economic implications that lay behind the forging of political alliances or the conversion to a new religion.40 Felipe Fernández-Armesto’s notion of the ‘stranger-effect’, for example, entailing ‘the experience of welcome, which may even include deference of various kinds, accorded in some societies to newcomers who are not easily classifiable in the terms of the approached community’, offers a new way of thinking about the processes by which collective cultural identities were negotiated and formed in early modern Asia.41 Closer attention has also been paid to the complexities of new identities, such as those of the so-called ‘Black Portuguese’ in Malacca and Spanish mestizos in the Philippines, which emerged when the descendants of unions between men and women from contrasting backgrounds blended together cultural traits from several traditions. Such questions of ‘identity’ and the construction of cultural meaning are at the heart of attempts to understand intercultural exchange. Nicolas Standaert argues that moments of exchange are best understood when the very idea of stable or fixed identities is jettisoned and identity is instead considered as a process, something which is formed and re-formed through interaction with ‘Others’. He offers a new framework for studying moments of encounter, drawing on modern philosophers who have attempted to theorise relations between ‘self’ and ‘alterity’.42 Studies of the cultural consequences of intensified encounters should move beyond a focus on the transmission of European intellectual and religious ideas and concepts, and their reception or rejection by Asian societies: he urges us instead to consider the multifarious forms of interaction and communication between all parties involved in the moment of intercultural exchange (including ourselves as ‘observers’).43 The interaction of cultures, he argues, can be compared to the weaving of a cloth, resulting in a ‘cultural text’ which depicts the encounter. Standaert contends that his metaphor ‘has the advantage of insisting on the complexity of the diffusion, on how borrowing is often like the interweaving of many different threads and fibres’, and that it

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helps us to understand how at the same time, within the same person, or within the same geographical setting or same social group, very different reactions are possible. One person can accept certain religious ideas, while rejecting or discarding some scientific ideas and vice-versa. Similarly in the same place, some people can oppose diffusion while others support it. These can all co-exist within the same textile.44 The essays in this volume explore complex moments of exchange, and approach familiar themes of religious encounter, trade, the pursuit of knowledge, diplomacy, and political power from new perspectives. Essays by Alan Strathern, Michael Charney, Tara Alberts, and Marya Rosenberg Leong suggest varied strategies and approaches to the issue of religious faith and conversion in Southeast Asia. Alan Strathern offers a theoretical model understanding ruler conversion in early modern Southeast Asia. He emphasises the importance of local conceptions of sacrality and the nature of religious beliefs and practices in the society over which the ruler claimed authority: prior exposure to ‘transcendentalist’ religions could be the most crucial factor affecting the ruler’s decision on whether or not to convert to a monotheistic religion. Michael Charney considers the relationship between religion and political power on the peripheries, demonstrating the crucial role played in intercultural exchange by communities which existed outside the direct control of European or indigenous rulers and religious authorities. A focus on the periphery sheds new light both on the history of Buddhism in Burma and on the history of Portuguese Catholicism in Southeast Asia. Tara Alberts also examines marginal communities who were detached from centralised religious and political authority in her examination of sacral power in seventeenth-century Vietnamese Catholic churches. She highlights the agency of Vietnamese Catholics in constructing a new priestly identity and in developing a novel understanding of religious authority. Marya Rosenberg Leong’s study of representations of the Virgin Mary in the Spanish colonial Philippines reveals the complexity of the dialogue between new Catholic ideas of sanctity and pre-existing local conceptions of female sacrality. Together with the

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chapters by Matthew Sargent and Tara Alberts, Leong’s chapter reiterates the importance of women as agents of intercultural exchange and cultural adaptation, and adds to recent scholarship that has demonstrated the utility of gender as a category of analysis in Southeast Asian studies.45 Conversations and collaborations between local experts and European scholars are explored in several essays which contextualise the production and collection of knowledge against both European and Southeast Asian developments. Remarkable animals and medicinal plants from Southeast Asia captivated the scientific minds of early modern Europe. The biodiversity of the region became better understood in the nineteenth century – especially through the work of Alfred Russel Wallace (1823–1913) – but in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the systematic study of flora and fauna was already burgeoning. Early modern studies of nature made detailed use of indigenous knowledge networks, as Matthew Sargent shows in his contribution to this volume. They were spurred on by the new system of scientific inquiry devised by Carl Linnaeus (1707–78), whose disciples embarked on voyages of discovery to Southeast Asia in the late eighteenth century. One such naturalist, Clas Fredrik Hornstedt (1758–1809), is discussed in Christina Skott’s chapter, which uncovers the neglected history of Swedish intellectual interest in Southeast Asia. The desire to possess natural bounties drove the commercial and colonial policies of European powers in Southeast Asia. Katrina Gulliver examines these issues of trade and empire through the lens of urban history. The creation and recreation of the city of Malacca as a hub of trade made the city into both a site of exchange and a valuable prize fought over by a range of contenders. The city’s Portuguese fort A Famosa has been described as ‘an appropriate symbol of Portugal’s long and, in the end, fruitless struggle to maintain an official spice monopoly through the use of force’; as Gulliver demonstrates, the vagaries of the political and commercial fortunes of Malacca and, often, the ideologies of its conquerors, can be read in the architecture of the city as a whole.46 As the ‘urban pull’ of these Southeast Asian ports and their roles in holding together long-distance trade are

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analysed, the cities themselves almost become actors in the history of the region, with their own impacts on the processes of intercultural exchange.47 Recent studies of cultural production within early modern contexts of intercultural exchange have provided revelatory perspectives on the ways in which members of different cultures react to each other. Forms of creative expression such as art, literature, drama, dance, and music are all subject to the vicissitudes of cultural identity, especially when that identity is constantly redefining itself against or in dialogue with others. Cultural production is often caught in a struggle to maintain and preserve tradition or to undergo internal renewal, while also rejecting or absorbing external influences. Discourses of syncretism, hybridity, and transculturation – often linked strongly to processes of religious conversion or the forging of political and economic alliances – allow for more complex readings of the symbolism and meaning of cultural products that were influenced by patterns of intercultural exchange. Art historians, literary critics, and musicologists have all contributed to the study of intercultural ‘mixing’ and the new hybrid genres that emerged in early modern Southeast Asia.48 Some performance traditions were even ‘invented’ in the twentieth century to build on hybrid identities that were formed in the early modern period, such as the music and dance of the ‘Portuguese tribe’ in Malacca.49 Of course, the distinctive music, dance, and visual arts of Southeast Asian cultures that resisted adaptation – those from the rich court traditions of Java, for example – captivated Europeans from their early encounters with them in the sixteenth century. In the early modern period there were several episodes of intensive intercultural exchange of expressive arts: for instance, France in the 1680s was obsessed with Siamese culture, with multiple embassies travelling between the two countries, accompanied by all the requisite ceremonies, pomp, and splendour.50 In the early nineteenth century, European composers made efforts to emulate Southeast Asian music in multiple instrumental arrangements (especially for pianoforte) of Malay, Siamese, and Javanese melodies (among others); by the end of the century, Southeast Asian musicians had travelled to Europe for special performances, influencing composers including Claude

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Debussy with new timbral, tonal, and rhythmic possibilities.51 Music thus acted as a remarkable form of mediation in the context of intercultural contact: musical performances were able to cross certain cultural boundaries that were closed to other types of communicative gestures or patterns of material exchange, as D. R. M. Irving shows in his chapter on Thomas Forrest and his Malay songs. The case studies in this book offer fresh perspectives on the decisions and strategies of some of the more famous actors in the early modern period. They also highlight the roles of liminal characters on the margins of the historical record. Thus Michael Charney examines the part played by mercenaries and adventurers on the tattered edges of the Portuguese empire, and explores the interactions between individuals on the peripheries of the kingdom of Burma. Matthew Sargent and Christina Skott reveal the role of the hidden Southeast Asian experts who were fundamental to the development of European scientific knowledge. Tara Alberts considers turbulent priests and intransigent Christian converts, who evaded unwelcome centralised ecclesiastical oversight in Vietnam. Even the gods and goddesses who were displaced – violently or otherwise – by the arrival of new religious ideas could find new spaces in the interstices of intercultural contact, and could continue to play a role under new guises, as Marya Rosenberg Leong’s chapter demonstrates. Drawing on a wide range of European accounts and, increasingly, on extant sources in Southeast Asian languages, many scholars have uncovered the complexities of social and cultural interactions, collaborations, and conflicts which accompanied the rise of international trade and travel in the early modern period. Speaking to these themes, the chapters in this collection examine many dimensions of intercultural exchange, exploring the activities of a broad range of actors who often found themselves moving against the flow of standard teleologies of empire-building, the foundation of a new religion, or the consolidation of centralised control. Bringing together writers from a range of academic disciplines, at various points in their careers, this collection also demonstrates the value of ‘intercultural exchange’ between researchers themselves as they seek new ways to enter into dialogue with the Southeast Asian past.

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References 1. Jan Huyghen van Linschoten, The Voyage of John Huyghen van Linschoten to the East Indies: The First Book, Containing His Description of the East, ed. Arthur Coke Burnell, 2 vols (Cambridge, 2010), vol. 1, pp. 1–2. 2. Note that this term only became widely used following the Second World War, when the territories south of the Tropic of Capricorn were put under Louis Mountbatten’s South East Asia Command. See D. R. SarDesai, Southeast Asia, Past and Present (New Delhi, 1985), p. 3. On the value of examining Southeast Asia as a coherent region, see especially Nicholas Tarling, Imperialism in Southeast Asia: ‘A Fleeting, Passing Phase’ (London, 2001), Chapter 1 (‘Definitions’), pp. 1–20. 3. On ancient descriptions of the ‘golden’ lands, see D. G. E. Hall, A History of South-East Asia, 4th edn. (London, 1981), pp. 13–14; Paul Wheatley, The Golden Khersonese: Studies in the Historical Geography of the Malay Peninsula before A.D. 1500 (Kuala Lumpur, 1961), pp. 138–59, 177–84. By way of comparison, see W. J. van der Meulen, ‘Suvarnadvîpa and the Chrysê Chersonêsos’, Indonesia xviii (1974), pp. 1–40. 4. Linschoten, Voyage, vol. 1, p. 104. 5. Ibid., vol. 1, p. 106. 6. For a concise summary of these accounts, see Barbara Watson Andaya and Leonard Y. Andaya, A History of Malaysia, 2nd edn. (Basingstoke, 2001), pp. 33–6. For translations of the relevant texts themselves, see C. C. Brown (trans. and ed.), Sejarah Melayu or Malay Annals (Kuala Lumpur, 1970), pp. 13–49, and Tomé Pires, The Suma Oriental of Tomé Pires: An Account of the East, From the Red Sea to Japan, Written in Malacca and India in 1512–1515. The Book of Francisco Rodrigues, Rutter of a Voyage in the Red Sea, Nautical Rules, Almanack and Maps, Written and Drawn in the East Before 1515, trans. and ed. Armando Cortesão, 2 vols (London, 1944), vol. 2, pp. 229–89. 7. Linschoten, Voyage, vol. 1, p. 106. 8. Ibid., vol. 1, p. 105.

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9. Ibid. 10. The plans to wrest control of the spice trade from Venice were also promoted by Florentine and Genoese merchants based in Lisbon. See Luís Filipe F. R. Thomaz, ‘Factions, Interests and Messianism: The Politics of Portuguese Expansion in the East, 1500–1521’, Indian Economic and Social History Review xxviii/1 (1991), pp. 100–1. 11. Pires, Suma Oriental, vol. 2, p. 287. 12. Linschoten, Voyage, vol. 1, p. 106. 13. On the history of the Malay language, see James T. Collins, Malay, World Language of the Ages: A Sketch of Its History (Kuala Lumpur, 1996). 14. On the origins and emergence of Malayu culture, see Leonard Y. Andaya, Leaves of the Same Tree: Trade and Ethnicity in the Straits of Melaka (Honolulu, 2008), pp. 18–81. 15. Linschoten, Voyage, vol. 1, p. 155. 16. On Linschoten’s sources, see Ernst van Boogaart, Civil and Corrupt Asia: Image and Text in the Itinerario and the Icones of Jan Huygen van Linchoten (Chicago, 2003), p. 3. On his analysis of Portuguese intercultural encounters with Asians, see Carmen Noncentelli, ‘Discipline and Love: Linschoten and the Estado da Índia’, in Margaret R. Greer, Walter D. Mignolo, and Maureen Quilligan (eds), Rereading the Black Legend: The Discourses of Religious and Racial Difference in the Renaissance Empires (London, 2004), pp. 205–24. 17. Charles-César Baudelot de Dairval, De l’utilité des voyages, et de l’avantage que la recherche des antiquitez procure aux sçavans, 2 vols (Paris, 1686), vol. 1, p. 15. See also Charles-César Baudelot de Dairval, Mémoire de quelques observations générales, qu’on peut faire pour ne pas voyager inutilement (Brussels, 1688). 18. Linschoten, Voyage, vol. 1, pp. 158–9. 19. On the politics of translation in the Philippines between 1580 and 1705, see Vicente L. Rafael, Contracting Colonialism: Translation and Christian Conversion in Tagalog Society under Early Spanish Rule (Ithaca, 1988). 20. Gothard Arthus, Dialogues in the English and Malaiane Languages, London, 1614, facsimile edn. (Amsterdam, 1974), pp. 3–4.

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21. Ibid., p. 4. 22. See especially M. A. P. Meilink-Roelofsz, Asian Trade and European Influence in the Indonesian Archipelago Between 1500 and About 1630 (The Hague, 1962); Donald F. Lach and Edwin J. Van Kley, Asia in the Making of Europe, 3 vols in 9 parts (Chicago, 1965–93); Anthony Reid, Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce, 1450–1680, 2 vols (London, 1988–93); Anthony Reid (ed.), Southeast Asia in the Early Modern Period: Trade, Power, and Belief (Ithaca, 1993). 23. See, for instance, Vladimir Braginsky and Ben Murtagh (eds), The Portrayal of Foreigners in Indonesian and Malay Literatures: Essays of the Ethnic ‘Other’ (Lewiston, NY, Queenston, Ontario, and Lampeter, 2007). 24. For an overview of these issues, see especially Barbara Watson Andaya, ‘Review: Southeast Asia, Historical Periodization and Area Studies’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient xlv/2 (2002), pp. 268–87. 25. On ancient intercultural exchange in the region, see for example Thida ¯ Sa ¯raya ¯, (Sri) Dvaravati: The Initial Phase of Siam’s History (Bangkok, 1999); Wheatley, The Golden Khersonese; Nancy Tingley (ed.), Arts of Ancient Viet Nam: From River Plain to Open Sea (Houston and New Haven, 2009). 26. Liam C. Kelley, Beyond the Bronze Pillars: Envoy Poetry and the SinoVietnamese Relationship (Honolulu, 2005); Donald M. Stadtner, ‘A Fifteenth-Century Royal Monument in Burma and the Seven Stations in Buddhist Art’, Art Bulletin lxxiii/1 (1991), pp. 39–52. 27. Sanjay Subrahmanyam, ‘Connected Histories: Towards a Reconfiguration of Early Modern Eurasia’, Modern Asian Studies, xxxi/3 (1997), p. 743. 28. Michael Arthur Aung-Thwin and Kenneth R. Hall, ‘Introduction’, in Michael Arthur Aung-Thwin and Kenneth R. Hall (eds), New Perspectives on the History and Historiography of Southeast Asia, Continuing Explorations (Abingdon, 2011), pp. 1–13. 29. See for example Jack A. Goldstone, ‘The Problem of the “Early Modern” World’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient xli/3 (1998), pp. 249–84; Arif Dirlik, ‘Revisioning

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30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35.

36. 37. 38. 39. 40.

41.

42. 43. 44. 45.

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Modernity: Modernity in Eurasian Perspectives’, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies xii/2 (2011), p. 297. John F. Richards, ‘Early Modern India and World History’, Journal of World History viii/2 (1997), p. 197. See also Sanjay Subrahmanyam’s defence of the utility of this periodisation, ‘Connected Histories’, p. 737. Aung-Thwin and Hall, ‘Introduction’, p. 3. Geoffrey C. Gunn, First Globalization: The Eurasian Exchange, 1500–1800 (Lanham, MD, 2003), p. 2. Mary Louise Pratt, Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation (London, 1992), p. 6. See also Walter D. Mignolo, The Darker Side of the Renaissance: Literacy, Territoriality, and Colonization (Ann Arbor, 1995) and Rana Kabbani, Imperial Fictions: Europe’s Myths of Orient, rev. and expanded edn. (London, 1994). Boogaart, Civil and Corrupt Asia, p. 2. Ibid., p. 1. See, for example, Linschoten, Voyage, vol. 1, pp. 118, 155. For example, ibid., vol. 1, p. 98. See for example Barbara Watson Andaya, ‘Between Empires and Emporia: The Economics of Christianization in Early Modern Southeast Asia’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient liii/1–2 (2010), pp. 357–92. Felipe Fernández-Armesto, ‘The Stranger-Effect in Early Modern Asia’, in Leonard Blussé and Felipe Fernández-Armesto (eds), Shifting Communities and Identity Formation in Early Modern Asia (Leiden, 2003), p. 181. Nicolas Standaert, Methodology in View of Contact Between Cultures: The China Case in the 17th Century (Hong Kong, 2002), p. 46. Ibid., pp. 23–49. Ibid., pp. 45–46. Barbara Watson Andaya, The Flaming Womb: Repositioning Women in Early Modern Southeast Asia (Honolulu, 2006); Barbara Watson Andaya (ed.), Other Pasts: Women, Gender and History in Early Modern Southeast Asia (Honolulu, 2000); Carolyn Brewer,

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47.

48.

49. 50.

51.

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Shamanism, Catholicism and Gender Relations in Colonial Philippines, 1521–1685 (Aldershot and Burlington, VT, 2004). Leonard Y. Andaya, ‘Interactions with the Outside World and Adaptation in Southeast Asian Society, 1500–1800’, in Nicholas Tarling (ed.), The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia, vol. 1, pt. 2 (Cambridge, 1999), p. 19. See also Graham Irwin, ‘Malacca Fort’, Journal of Southeast Asian History iii/2 (1962), pp. 19–44. See K. N. Chaudhuri, Asia before Europe: Economy and Civilisation of the Indian Ocean from the Rise of Islam to 1750 (Cambridge, 1990), pp. 338–74; Anthony Reid, ‘The Structure of Cities in Southeast Asia, Fifteenth to Seventeenth Centuries’, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies xi/2 (1980), pp. 235–50; J. KathirithambyWells, ‘The Islamic City: Melaka to Jogjakarta, c. 1500–1800’, Modern Asian Studies xx/2 (1986), pp. 333–51; and Kernial Singh Sandhu and Paul Wheatley, ‘From Capital to Municipality’, in Kernial Singh Sandhu and Paul Wheatley (eds), Melaka: The Transformation of a Malay Capital c.1400–1980 (Kuala Lumpur, 1983), vol. 2, pp. 495–597. See, for example, D. R. M. Irving, Colonial Counterpoint: Music in Early Modern Manila (New York, 2010); Regalado Trota Jose, Simbahan: Church Art in Colonial Philippines, 1565–1898 (Makati, 1991); Bienvenido Lumbera, Tagalog Poetry 1570–1898: Tradition and Influences in its Development (Quezon City, 1986). See Margaret Sarkissian, D’Albuquerque’s Children: Performing Tradition in Malaysia’s Portuguese Settlement (Chicago, 2000). For an overview of the musical dimensions of intercultural exchange between France and Siam during this decade, see David R. M. Irving, ‘Lully in Siam: Music and Diplomacy in French–Siamese Cultural Exchanges, 1680–1690’, Early Music xl/3 (2012), pp. 393–420. For a comprehensive study of intercultural exchange between France and Siam in the early modern period, see Michel Jacq-Hergoualc’h, L’Europe et le Siam du XVIe au XVIIIe siècle: apports culturels (Paris, 1993). See for example transcriptions of six Javanese melodies and one Malay melody, with bass and chordal accompaniment added by

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William Crotch (1775–1847), in John Crawfurd, History of the Indian Archipelago: Containing an Account of the Manners, Arts, Languages, Religions, Institutions, and Commerce of its Inhabitants, 3 vols (Edinburgh, 1820), vol. 1, plates 10–13 between pp. 340 and 341. On Debussy’s exposure to Southeast Asian musicians, see Annegret Fauser, Musical Encounters at the 1889 Paris World’s Fair (Rochester, NY, and Woodbridge, 2005), pp. 165–215, and John Joyce, ‘The Globalization of Music: Expanding Spheres of Influence’, in Bruce Mazlish and Ralph Buultjens (eds), Conceptualizing Global History (Boulder, 1993), p. 210.

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CHAPTER ONE Immanence and Tolerance: RULER CONVERSIONS TO ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY IN ARCHIPELAGIC SOUTHEAST ASIA Alan Strathern

The mechanism of ‘top-down’ conversion, whereby a ruler is induced to accept a new religion and his subjects eventually follow suit, may not have been quite the most important vehicle for religious change in world history: sheer conquest probably takes that honour, and the impact of the slow seepage of ideas introduced by traders or opportunistically adopted by commoners can hardly be gainsaid.1 But in certain times and places the vexed decision of a king to adopt a foreign cult has been critical in transforming large stretches of the earth – one thinks immediately of the adoption of Christianity by the Roman Emperor Constantine I (r.306–37). Nowhere was this more the case, apparently, than in the progressive Islamisation of island Southeast Asia from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries.

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The present chapter is intended as a test case for an attempt to pursue a more general or theoretical understanding of the conditions which have determined the success or failure of ruler conversions throughout world history. A preliminary argument has already been presented in a rather abstract form elsewhere, but this is currently being substantially reworked as it is applied to examples from Africa, Japan, the Pacific, and elsewhere.2 Unfortunately there is not the space here to explore the theoretical issues in any detail, and we must be confined to a brief sketch of a few salient points. The dilemma as to whether or not to convert usually arises for a ruler when there are clear political advantages on the table: inducements of commerce and diplomacy and so on. What is more intriguing and mysterious is how a ruler is able to sell the deal to his or her subjects. A priori, one would imagine that this is unlikely to be a straightforward affair: nearly all societies legitimise rulership by reference to deeply rooted conceptions of the sacred, through divine associations and responsibilities. Might not conversion entail casting all that into epistemological jeopardy, as subjects are asked to construe their ruler’s legitimacy in terms of a cultural system to which they do not yet belong? It seems that such considerations of internal legitimacy have formed almost insuperable barriers to a royal conversion in those areas of the globe where the world religions (Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and probably Brahmanic Hinduism) have become firmly established. These religions are described as ‘transcendentalist’, in preference to the phrase ‘world religions’, because the former term refers us more precisely to what is relevant and specific about them: the way in which they have used religious impulses as a vehicle for an insistence on universal ethics, truth-realisation, and salvation-seeking.3 These qualities – which give them a specific dimension beyond the dayto-day negotiations with supernatural entities that have characterised all other ritual systems – reflect their origins in the transcendentalist philosophical breakthroughs of the first millennium bc: the period which Karl Jaspers called the ‘Axial Age’ of human history.4 Of course, all societies have called upon religious authority to provide some sense of enduring social order and cohesion, and this always makes successful ruler conversions problematic, to say the

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least. Yet once transcendentalist traditions have entwined themselves around the construction of political power, they seem to form an institutional unity that is particularly difficult to disentangle. This may be a consequence of the way in which, on an ideological level, the mundane affairs of politics are held to be ultimately subservient to a new vision of the transcendent aims of man. Rulers now typically establish their legitimacy through becoming in some way responsible for upholding the conditions in which salvation may be achieved. In societies that have not been influenced by transcendentalist systems, on the other hand, another kind of logic is more likely to rise to the fore when it comes to evaluating competing ritual techniques: how will they allow supernatural forces to be harnessed for the benefit of people in the here-and-now? This means that they may be subject to a certain ‘empiricism’: what is legitimate is what works. If it can be demonstrated that the religious activities of a foreign group will precipitate showers of boons from the supernatural sphere, then there is just a chance that the relevance of old cults may be called into question. Where salvation is the primary objective, however, then such practices may be deemed good or wicked regardless of their observable effects in this lifetime. Furthermore, rulers must now negotiate their legitimacy in relation to a literati (or clerisy), whose members can claim moral superiority because of their role as interpreters and representatives of the transcendent. They may therefore have the capacity to arbitrate the ruler’s behaviour, holding him or her to account by standards that trump mundane concerns. Whether or not they are gathered together in an expansive but centralised institution such as the Church or the Sangha, the roles that monks, ulema, and Brahmans perform through society make them seriously dangerous enemies to annoy. And nothing would be more annoying than being discarded altogether. In some contexts – most obviously in the histories of the monotheistic religions – clerisies have been able to promote religious boundaries successfully enough to allow us to speak of ‘religious identity’. Regardless of how salient such identities are, transcendentalist traditions are able to shape society into a moral community with a particularly strong sense of itself as such. The effect of such

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developments is to enhance the ways in which a ruler’s religious behaviour is constrained by his subjects.5 One clarification, at least, must be introduced here, which is that all religions have responded to humankind’s ineradicable desire for supernatural assistance in this life, for contact with immanent divinity. For all that people may recognise the authority of transcendentalist texts, clerisies, and institutions, the popular forms of religious life will always speak to desires for healing, fertility, and other kinds of tangible assistance from accessible beings.6 Sometimes, so much ground may be yielded to immanentist needs and understandings (particularly but not only when the transcendentalist religions are in the process of expanding) that the distinctive qualities of the religion in question are diminished: clerisies may be thin on the ground, for example, or lose their discipline and organisation. In other words, we need to look beyond whether any given society has been labelled ‘Christian’, ‘Muslim’, ‘Hindu’, or ‘Buddhist’, and consider how much these systems have developed or maintained the characteristic features and institutional incarnations of a transcendentalist perspective. This will be of great importance in the following analysis. Equally, many forms of kingship, particularly in the Indic world, have sought to combine proclamations of righteousness with claims to harness supernatural potency.7 Archipelagic Southeast Asia provides something more than just another case study, because the region might seem to offer a bald challenge to the model sketched above. On the one hand, we appear to have an extremely rich hunting ground for cases of ruler conversion. Perhaps only the march of Christianity in the nineteenth-century Pacific can compare to the expansion of Islam – and, to a much lesser extent, Christianity – in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Southeast Asia for the central role played by the ruler.8 Yet, on the other hand, had not the whole region of Southeast Asia already been touched by the wand of transcendentalism through its importation of Indic culture? In this context, Hinduism and Buddhism seem more crumbly than intransigent . . . There is a further puzzle in that Theravada Buddhism seems to have offered almost complete resistance in mainland Southeast Asia.

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Indeed, the original conception of the present chapter had been to draw this contrast more systematically, and to consider why the rulers of Siam, for example, resisted foreign conversion attempts in the late seventeenth century – but limitations of space militated against this.9 A major suggestion of this essay will be that the wand of transcendentalism had in fact been waved rather casually over much of the island part of Southeast Asia, and that Hinduism and Buddhism had been received in a relatively superficial manner, so that they presented few features of intransigence to conversion. Furthermore, even within the island world one can posit the following rule of thumb: along the spectrum of most to least Indianised regions, we have the same spectrum of most to least resistant to ruler conversion. Previous scholarship has sometimes approached something like this suggestion. In Anthony Reid’s work there is an underlying assumption that Indianisation offered some kind of inoculation against the appeal of Islam.10 This is so in a general sense, which is never argued explicitly, but refers to the exalted imagery of kingship that Brahmanic Hinduism offered. However, Hinduism has a somewhat ambiguous place in his schema, certainly when compared to the more decisively scriptural religions of Theravada Buddhism and Islam.11 The advantages of the latter to centralising rulers in the early modern world are certainly explicitly and compellingly laid out, from their ability to supersede the power of local spirits to the opportunities for new kinds of patronage. However, exactly why different societies should apparently vary so widely in the kind of obstacle that they present at the critical moments of ruler conversion – and in the possibility of overcoming the putative crisis of legitimacy – has not yet been systematically explored. In more general terms, as befits a provisional essay of comparative reflection rather than first-hand research, this chapter clearly owes a great debt to Reid’s work (both his analytical insights and his achievements of historical digestion) and other previous scholarship on the issue.12 Questioning what the term ‘Hindu-Buddhist’ actually entailed is therefore one way of showing how the island region may be consistent with the theoretical suggestions made above, but other terms need to be critically examined too. To what extent has voluntary ruler

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‘conversion’ been at work here, and not the military defeat or usurpation of existing dynasties? What difference does it make that we are usually considering the conversion of cosmopolitan city-states rather than large territorial kingdoms based on agrarian production? And how well does ‘conversion’ capture the gradual processes of religious change within a broadly tolerant environment?

Conversion, or Conquest and Construction? It has long been understood that the main context for the spread of Islam was the rise to pre-eminence of the port city-states that started mushrooming all along the coasts of the Southeast Asian archipelago in response to the rising demand for its spices and other products, and the growing activities of seaborne elites operating across the Indian Ocean. Just as the economic base for political power had now shifted decisively towards the seas, so the social basis of power had shifted somewhat to the foreigners borne by these waves of commerce. The most profitable trades tended to be managed by ‘a great throng of Arabs, Persians, Armenians, Jews, Malabaris, Deccanis, Bengalis, Tamils and Gujaratis’.13 Port cities lived and died by the tides of seaborne trade and their ability to resist the jealous attention of increasingly militarised and mercantilist rivals. This is why A. H. Johns emphasised the evanescence of the archipelagic port city: they are ‘discrete, appearing in response to particular combinations of needs and circumstance that might cease to exist or might be better met elsewhere, they are discontinuous and often short-lived’.14 If most port cities did endure, their trading preeminence was rather contingent. What, then, are the implications for us of this new political–economic conjuncture, which Reid has termed the ‘Age of Commerce’? Sometimes one reads that the Islamisation of Southeast Asia can be distinguished from that of South Asia by virtue of the fact that the latter was promoted by the invasion of foreign Muslim powers, whereas the former was undertaken through the conversion of existing dynasties.15 In a general sense, there is much truth in that contrast. However, it can also be a little misleading in so far as it obscures

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the fact that there were other ways in which politics mediated the expansion of Islam that lay between the two poles of military conquest and dynastic continuity. In many cases it is helpful to see the expansion of Islam as the result of the collapse of old states and the rise of new ones seeking new means of power and legitimation. First, some of the most important Islamic cities that emerged in the pasisir (coastal region) of northern Java were actually founded by foreigners.16 In 1515, the Portuguese observer Tomé Pires claimed that many rulers there ‘are not Javanese of long standing in the country, but they are descended from Chinese, from Parsees, and Kling’.17 Demak, for example, opened as a port in the late fifteenth century under a Muslim trader of Chinese ancestry who was subsequently known as Raden Patah (‘the conqueror’), while Gresik, which was to acquire lasting gravitas as an intellectual and political centre of Islam, was also founded by a Chinese immigrant. Second, the acceptance of Islam often came very early in the establishment and rise to power of the city-states. Some of the ports of the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra appear to have had some sort of past as independent entities under the rule of a ‘raja’ negotiating vassalage to Siam and China before conversion, but they only acquired real political heft and commercial clout through the adoption of Islam.18 This was the case with Melaka itself, whose story is told in detail below, while it was only with the exodus of refugees and redirection of trade from Melaka after 1511 that the likes of Patani, Johor, Pahang, and Aceh emerge from obscurity. One implication of this is that Islam inserted itself at a point of flux, the plastic environment of political genesis. The lesser stature of a town and its ‘rulers’ before Islam may sometimes be obscured by the indigenous legends about royal conversion that developed much later on – through a desire to establish the glory of Islam or a more routine failure of oral tradition to preserve transformations in political structure.19 Certainly, we know little about the pre-Islamic pasts of the likes of Minangkabau in Sumatra: when it appears in the historical record its curious tripartite kingship system, with its semi-Islamicised titles, is already in place.20 As for Aceh, it seems to have begun life as a Muslim incarnation. The area had been influenced by Islam for some time, and in 1512 Aceh’s ruler

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could still be described as just ‘a knightly man among his neighbours’.21 Only after uniting with Lamri and expelling the Portuguese from Pasai in 1524 could it come into existence as a real sultanate. In some cases, it may even be more appropriate to say that it was the acceptance of Islam which created ‘kings’ and ‘states’ in the first place – with all due respect to the difficulties in defining statehood, or deciding when an opportunistic chief, rebellious aristocrat, or egomaniacal trader can be regarded as having become a king. This point is most relevant to those parts of the eastern archipelago, such as Sulawesi and Maluku, which Indian political forms had barely reached. In these areas, just as in parts of Africa, Islamic civilisation provided a sort of pre-assembled package of statehood that could be bought off the shelf by an ambitious chieftain, including law codes, literacy, new offices as royal appointees, court ranks, and a portfolio of monarchical imagery to elevate the royal person.22 European accounts may be misleading for their tendency to represent any leader figure as a ‘prince’ or ‘king’ for all sorts of reasons, ranging from missionary self-aggrandisement to the simple inability to comprehend quite different systems of political and social organisation.23 Third, Islam was also extended by conquest and imperial ambition. A successful city-state was hardly slow to test and extend its superiority over neighbouring ports through war and diplomacy. This means that while island Southeast Asia may have suffered nothing like the imposition of Mughal imperium, its religious landscape was certainly shaped by the ascendance of indigenous Muslim powers. One aspect of this was simply that lesser states or vassals on the periphery of a rising star often sought to reflect its glory by imitating its court aesthetics, ritual procedures, literary traditions, and so on. Although in itself somewhat indebted to Srivijaya, Melaka had a powerful and lasting impact on ideas of what it was to be a great power, and provided a model that others in the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra (and beyond) were eager to adopt.24 This was the pull exerted by a glamorous centre, but it would be wrong to deny the force of the push: the more dependent these peripheral cities were upon their hegemon, the less they had the option to do anything but dance to their master’s tune. In some cases, such as Pahang and Kedah in the

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late fifteenth century, the blurry dividing line between a voluntary and a forced conversion was probably breached.25 Over the course of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, we see religion not only piggy-backing on imperial contraction and expansion but also helping to shape and propel conflicts, as the aggressive pursuit of temporal and spiritual interests by the Portuguese and the recourse to the invocation of jihad by Muslim powers served to polarise inter-state relations.26 This new scenario was opened by Portugal’s conquest of Melaka (1511) and the consequent diaspora of Muslim elites and preachers to other cities, such as Aceh. Anthony Reid in particular has emphasised the role played by conquest in the subsequent expansion of Islam, pointing to the way in which the Acehnese king waged war against the king of the Bataks after he had refused to convert, or to the decision by the kings of Gowa and Tallo’ in Sulawesi to attack the recalcitrant Bugis states shortly after their own conversion.27 Naturally, one could say that religion was simply being used here as a fig-leaf for standard expansionary ambitions, but one might equally suggest that political conquest was a way of establishing one’s status as a properly Islamic monarch among trendsetting peers.28 The line between conquest and usurpation is often a fine one. In Borneo, for example, Banjarmasin became Muslim in the following way: a prince set up a new capital further down the Barito river in opposition to the incumbent king, where he was able to draw the traders to him, cement an alliance with Demak by accepting Islam, and use his new Muslim friends to defeat his old rival.29 In one region, conquest played the leading role in the drama of Islamisation: the interior of Java. Here, it seems that the empire of Majapahit was eaten away by internal strife and the incessant pressure from the vibrant new Muslim cities of the pasisir such as Demak, Gresik, and Surabaya.30 The Hindu town of Banten fell after an Islamic scholar by the name of Sunan Gunung Jati called in the troops of Demak, who installed his son Hasanudin. By 1580 Banten had defeated its original liege, one of the last Hindu cities, Pajajaran. It was Demak under the dynamic Sultan Trenggana which defeated the remnant of Majapahit in 1527, now relocated further

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inland at Kediri, and went on to conquer most of east and central Java. But it was not, apparently, until the reign of Senapati Ingalaga (r. c.1584–1601) that lasting Islamic authority was established in the interior. A Dutch ambassador in the 1640s and 1650s was told that this military commander had embraced Islam in 1576 and immediately waged war on those of his neighbours that did not follow suit.31 He first attacked the most prosperous province of Mataram, and he ‘immediately killed with great cruelty all the royal family and their retainers . . . he thereupon introduced his newly acquired religion and made his new residence in Mataram in a new court’.32 While we shall have cause to emphasise, in a familiar fashion, the way in which later Javanese court ideologies sought to manufacture a line of continuity between Majapahit and Mataram as much as a synthesis between Hindu-Buddhism and Islam, this report reveals a violent rupture at the inception of the Islamic empire which takes us very far indeed from the image of the voluntary conversion of a reigning king.

The Nature of the Port City-State: Upon Which Moral Communities does Royal Power Depend? We have seen that top-down conversion could take place in Southeast Asia by other means than voluntary ruler conversion: by conquest and imperial intimidation, and by the foundation of states and dynasties through Islam. Where we have princes from more clearly royal dynasties who did convert, they often did so at a very early stage in the construction of state authority. This meant that the institutions and traditions of state were still being formed, but also that the ‘king’ would have had little opportunity to establish relations of moral reciprocity with any substantial population. This last point alerts us to a fundamental feature of the argument of ‘transcendentalist intransigence’: that it really centres upon the feelings of the indigenous population – or at least those elements of it that are able to exert any kind of political influence. But even where we seem to have a well-established monarchical system, we must ask: what kind of society do we imagine the ruler ruling over, what moral communities must he speak to, and how quickly could new groups demand his attention?

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The fact that we are usually dealing with city-states makes a crucial difference to the logic of ruler conversion. The nimble responsiveness of these states to trade flows was a function of their small territorial size, social openness, and cosmopolitan make-up. They were rarely encumbered by an extensive agrarian hinterland, and their claims to hegemony over interior populations were often superficial; rather, they were attuned to the flux of the sea.33 The social contract with peasant society and rural nobility must have weighed less heavily on rulers than relations with foreign-born residents, commercially minded orang kaya, traders from far away, and monarchical peers across the water. Real military assistance could come that way too, and from some impressively distant locations, to judge by Aceh’s ability to draw on Turkish mercenaries in its wars against the Batak and the Portuguese.34 A simple competitive dynamic seems to have guided the acceptance of Islam from the start: if a ruler was not inclined to present a Muslim face to the world, he would risk watching the trading ships sail past his shores and on to the sultan further down the coast who had built a mosque and was known for his patronage of scholars and holy men.35 Sacred kingship always seeks to impress various groups of significant subjects. However, as to which of these groups was the most significant politically – this could shift much more rapidly in a trade-based port-city than in a kingdom with real territorial reach and substantial population. When it comes to choosing which mask of the sacred to wear, it boils down to a simple criterion: who can you least afford to upset?

How Deeply Have These Societies Been Influenced by Indic Religion? In city-states where voluntary ruler conversion did play a role, we can see that it probably reflects the fact that new moral communities had staked a more insistent claim on the ruler’s sacred responsibilities. Nevertheless, this still leaves the question of how non-converted elites might have been expected to react. Can we imagine nobles forced to

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recognise that their own beliefs and practices no longer found reply at the centre of the state, ascetics and priests whose patronage was suddenly stripped away, a significant part of the body politic whose very conception of monarchy was now rubbished and alienated? The theory would suggest that there would be some political cost to the conversion, even if it was now deemed less expensive than the cost of alienating Muslim power-brokers. I suggested above that this cost is likely to be particularly high in societies where a ‘transcendentalist’ religion has become established. But to what extent had this happened? How deeply had the mental and ritual lives of non-Muslim elites and masses, their social norms and forms, been shaped by Hinduism and Buddhism before the arrival of the monotheistic challenge?36 The paucity of evidence seems to have left ample room for debate. Anthony Reid, for one, downplays that impact, suggesting instead that the dominant religious system of the region was formed by a stratum of animist and ancestor traditions, and he says, ‘in comparison with this popular pattern, the Brahmanic influence at many of the royal courts was very much more limited in scope, save perhaps in parts of Java’.37 At the very least, recent scholarship tends to emphasise the way in which borrowings from India were heavily reinterpreted within the framework of diverse and enduring pre-existing Southeast Asian traditions.38 The very fact that scholarship so readily employs the synthetic term ‘Hindu-Buddhist’ to describe those borrowings indicates that even the relatively soft boundaries between religious systems in South Asia tended to become worn away entirely in a Southeast Asian context. Rulers patronised a mélange of different priestly groups, different schools of Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain origin, to enhance the glamour of their respective courts.39 Many surveys of the region which seek to capture something distinctive about ‘Southeast Asian religion’ give pride of place to the world of the spirits, supernatural beings conducting their business in this plane of existence and being amenable to the manipulations and entreaties of expert mortals.40 One might remark, as I did above, that all transcendentalist traditions, and particularly Hindu and Buddhist traditions, have provided access to immanent divinity. Nowhere is

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this more so than when those religions are on the march: it is a great irony that when the world religions have expanded into ‘pagan’ society, holding aloft a vision of something radically new in their vision of the transcendent, they have often been successful in so far as they have appeared good at doing what the old cults always did – enhancing life on the ground. Having said all that, it is striking how consistently the themes of magical powers and divine assistance – of miracles and healing and amulets and holy men and graves – turn up in stories about the conversion of rulers in Southeast Asia. We see an ‘empiricist’ approach to ritual practice hard at work even in the most Indianised region of Java.41 If one of the main tasks of Javanese chronicles such as the Babad Tanah Jawi was mediating the transition from Hindu-Buddhist to Islamic modes of legitimacy, it is clear that a major part of this process was the transferral of magical potency. The chronicle tells us that ‘at that time, many Javanese wished to be taught the religion of the Prophet and to learn supernatural powers and invincibility’.42 For rulers there was usually a very concrete opportunity to test such powers in the heat of battle, and the historical record for island Southeast Asia has its fair share of Constantines, for whom religious allegiance would be decided by the outcome of war.43 The way in which military success or failure continued to act as a decisive marker of the king’s spiritual potency or divine favour is underlined by the case of Sultan Agung of Mataram (r.1613–46), whom Merle Ricklefs credits with consummating the ‘mystic synthesis’ between older Javanese traditions and Islamic ones that would define kingship on the island thereafter.44 Ricklefs tells us that Agung’s Islamic identification had been in some doubt in the 1620s, partly because of his campaigns against the cities of the pasisir which had played a leading role in the cultivation of Islam.45 When Agung failed in his attempts to drive out the Dutch by besieging Batavia, he was vulnerable to suspicions that he had lost supernatural support. This spurred a major rebellion in the Mataram heartlands in 1630, which was apparently associated with the Islamic leadership of one Shaikh Bungas. While Agung crushed this rebellion militarily, he now had to deal with its ideological implications and ensure that his rule could

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be seen as drawing on the most potent forces in the land. Thereafter, sacred kingship was given a decisively Islamic stamp: in 1633, for example, he issued a decree which abandoned the Hindu-Buddhist S´aka calendar and replaced it with a new hybrid Javano-Islamic lunar calendar. If the moment in which the new religious techniques are believed to carry a greater charge of magical power than the old ones is a very standard feature of conversion narratives throughout world history, what is unusual about the Javanese case is the sense in which the powers of the old religions and the old kings that sustained them are held to be of enduring significance. These powers remain but are harnessed in a more effective and disciplined way by Islamic piety.46 One might say that there is a strong quality of immanent divinity in some of the stories about ruler conversion: the truly transcendent is left high and dry. But all this is to speak only in very general terms. What is obvious is that there was tremendous variety in the extent of the influence of Indic traditions across the region. I shall propose that, broadly speaking, along the spectrum of most to least Indianised regions, we have the same spectrum of most to least resistance to ruler conversion. Interior Java and Bali are considered to have imbibed Indian culture most deeply.47 Strong vernacular traditions had emerged out of an ancient participation in Sanskrit culture, and Tomé Pires referred, no doubt with exaggeration, to the presence of about 50,000 ascetics (tapa), grouped in three or four orders.48 It can be no coincidence, therefore, that voluntary ruler conversion played almost no significant part in Java’s Islamisation, as we have seen.49 If interior Java had to be conquered, Bali managed to resist Islam altogether.50 The new kingdom of Gelgel took on the Hindu mantle of Majapahit, and indeed enhanced it by establishing a social order more profoundly shaped by caste and an invigorated Saivism.51 A second consequence, surely, of such relatively trenchant Indic influence was the fact that, while Islam emerged victorious in Java, it was only by bending to an unusual degree in its concessions to earlier traditions, or rather by utilising to the full the tolerant, syncretic, and monistic potential of Sufism – on the level of high culture and statesanctioned religion, that is, and not merely popular practice.52 This is particularly striking given that there was no actual dynastic line

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of continuity to preserve. Those thousands of ascetics mentioned by Pires were apparently venerated by Muslims of the pasisir. All this is surely reflected in the fact that the Javanese chronicles convey little sense of any rupture associated with the adoption of Islam. The Indic religions may have had a shallower impact in the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra, and were perhaps most significant there as royal cults.53 The first footholds gained by Islam were in the region of Pasai and Aceh, which seems to have had comparatively little contact with Hindu-Buddhism before this point.54 And it was Aceh that would come to represent a more profoundly Islamised version of exemplary Malay culture for export to the archipelagic world.55 It is worth clarifying that the presence of an Indic royal cult by itself seems to present a degree of religious intransigence, as our case study of Melaka below will suggest. But sacred kingship is most impervious to challenges where a transcendentalist system has sunk roots in wider society. Can we say that, in the pre-Islamic Malay city-states, Brahmans were not merely an adornment of court but had acquired a foundational presence as representatives of the ethical and ultimate ends of mankind? This is framed as a question in order to re-emphasise the poor quality of our evidence for both the preIslamic Malay cities and beyond, and the provisional nature of this chapter.56 But even the absence of significant hinterlands, as emphasised above, is relevant again here (that is, what would ‘wider society’ mean in this context?). For example, in the case of the conversion of the ruler of Brunei in 1514 or 1515, we clearly have a case of the conversion of a ruler of an established dynasty presiding over a revived thalassocracy, but apparently little evidence of whether the sultanate had received much Hindu culture from its one-time Javanese and Melakan overlords.57 However, it is really in the outer islands to the east that we arrive at the other end of the spectrum of Hindu-Buddhist penetration.58 Once again, it is unlikely to be a coincidence that it was in this region – where Indic influences were usually slight to non-existent – that we find rulers acquiescing to monotheistic conversion rituals with sometimes extraordinary ease. To some extent, as we have already suggested, this may be a function of the fact that state construction

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was happening at the same time: kings were not so much converting as making themselves kings by converting.59 Yet, we shall see that ruler conversions happened even in relatively well-established states such as Makassar in Sulawesi. The first royal conversions in Sulawesi fell to Catholicism in the 1540s, as the trader António de Paiva was met by the Bugis kings of Suppa and Siang who asked to be baptised in 1544, while the mission of Vicente Viegas the following year brought other lesser rulers to baptism, and even, apparently, the ruler of Tallo’.60 Even when the Portuguese subsequently neglected their royal converts, and the diplomatic advantage thereby gained had disappeared, some of these elites may have kept alive some sort of Christian commitment for a couple of decades or so afterwards.61 Yet, while the Portuguese were not able to ensure that these first steps became journeys to religious transformation, Islamic influence was altogether more sustained. After some time in which the rulers of the most important state in Sulawesi, known to outsiders as Makassar, had toyed with the prospect of Christianity, Islam won their public confessions: Karaeng Matoaya of Tallo’ (subsequently known as Sultan Abdullah) in September 1605, followed by his young co-ruler the Karaeng of Gowa and the entire royal council in 1607.62 Makassar may have started the sixteenth century in rather humble fashion, but had taken advantage of Portuguese firearms to extend its power across the south of the island and could draw on substantial agrarian resources.63 However, royal motives for conversion were again likely to be related to the desire to establish a more centralised state better able to assert itself over the flows of maritime trade.64 Reid compares this polity to interior Java, in that ‘these were the two principal cultures which adopted Islam without losing their Indicderived script, their pre-Islamic religious epics and much of the ritual associated with them’.65 However, while the script may have been Indic, these epics and rituals do not seem to have derived from a mental world suffused with Hinduism. A Dutch report from Makassar in 1607 describes what was ‘still a largely animist culture’.66 There is little to suggest the Brahmanisation of the royal court, let alone the wider population.67

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Thomas Gibson’s analysis of the establishment of Islamic authority in seventeenth-century Sulawesi describes the pre-existing principles of royal legitimisation as revolving around the rulers’ illustrious genealogy, reaching back to local supernatural beings, and their custodianship of sacred heirlooms.68 Neither needed to be jettisoned by the transformation of Makassar into a sultanate, and royal chronicles continued to indicate the divine origins of the dynasty. In Maluku we see a similar story of a false dawn for Christianity around the middle of the sixteenth century, followed by a conclusive Islamisation by the century’s end. Maluku’s leading historian, Leonard Andaya, is quite clear that it had barely been touched by either Indic or Islamic ideas before the arrival of Europeans in 1512, and its religious culture is generally subsumed under the category of ‘animism’.69 This circumstance is crucial in helping to explain why we have even an apparently Muslim ruler, in the young sultan of Ternate, expressing an interest in conversion to the Portuguese in 1512. However, the real impact of Christianity in Maluku had to await the vigorous captainship of António Galvão (1537–40) as the commander of the key fortress of Ternate, followed by the inspirational mission of Francis Xavier in 1545–6 and subsequent Jesuit activity of the 1550s and 1560s.70 Leaving aside the various reports of mass baptisms, a number of ‘royal’ conversions resulted. The king of Bacan was baptised as Dom Manuel by Antonio Vaz in 1557, out of a desire for Portuguese protection from the ruler of Ternate; the neophyte prince destroyed his mosque and then travelled round the various islands in his domain conducting baptisms.71 In the 1560s, the king of Banggai in far eastern Sulawesi was persuaded to convert, and many leading members of the court of the sultan of Tidore were baptised, as were the kings of Siau and Manado after having requested a Jesuit to come to them for that purpose.72 Leonard Andaya is surely correct to argue that ‘the perceived “fluidity” of the religious situation in the Maluku region was more an indication of political rather than religious turmoil’.73 That is to say, the political consequences of accepting Islamic or Christian identification were obvious to all concerned, whereas the religious significance was largely reinterpreted in the light of traditional Maluku concerns with capturing

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different sources of spiritual power. A few decades later, Portuguese imperial arrogance and clumsiness saw to it that the centres of power in Maluku would be given over to Islam. There is no space here to explore the Philippines in any detail, but there too one finds examples of ready acquiescence and an empiricist attitude: when Magellan arrived in Cebu in 1521, a Raja Humabon was happy to be baptised, along with 800 of his followers, having been greatly impressed by a display of Christian firepower.74 Now, these generally petty rulers or chiefs in Sulawesi or Maluku dallying with a poorly understood Catholicism may seem part of the ephemera of history, but their transience was not so much a result of internal obstacles to conversion as of the external problems of diplomacy: if the Spanish and Portuguese had managed to throw real military backing and missionary energy behind some of them, they might well have enjoyed the same ascendancy or resilience experienced by Muslim states. Here, on the most remote periphery of Asia, Christianity had finally, if only briefly, found some success among ruling elites in the early modern period. But is ‘Asia’ quite the right term for this region? The readiness with which leading figures acquiesced in monotheistic conversion rituals and subsequent missionary activity among their subjects brings to mind the rapid conversion of the Polynesian islands through the decisions of their rulers in the first half of the nineteenth century.75 It is tempting to connect this pattern with Andaya’s argument as to the analytic profit to be gained from seeing these eastern islands within a Pacific rather than an Indic paradigm.

The Meanings of ‘Conversion’: Gradualism, Cultic Eclecticism, and Tolerance Thus far I have scrutinised what may actually lie behind such terms as ‘ruler’, ‘state’, and ‘Hindu-Buddhist’, but have bandied about such terms as ‘Islamisation’ and ‘conversion’ in a rather bland and casual manner. The truth is that, in nearly all the cases that we have considered here, there is something rather deceptive about the language of conversion in so far as it implies a radical break with the past and a sloughing-off of all old forms of religion.

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The most difficult form of conversion for a ruler is always the ‘wholesale’ variety that implies an abandonment of pre-existing religious traditions. It is this abandonment, rather than the acceptance of new rites, which breaches the contract between king and people in all transcendentalist societies.76 If we now pause to consider why it should be that Islam was so much more successful than Christianity in moving beyond the boundaries of Muslim political control in the early modern period, one would then point to the way in which its agents tended to be less insistent on exclusivist conversions in the first few generations. One reason for this is that it was associated with the soft power and flexible mentality of traders and holy men rather than the hard power of Iberian imperialism and the relatively inflexible standards of missionary orders.77 Another reason is the leading role taken by members of Sufi orders, many of whom brought with them a tolerant and incorporative approach to pre-existing religions much more far-reaching than the accommodationist wing of the Jesuits ever managed. Older techniques of magical power, venerable religious truths, and long-standing forms of spiritual devotion could all be preserved in some form by virtue of the monistic doctrine and mystical aspirations promoted by many Sufis.78 Therefore many rulers who are presented as ‘converting’ were probably engaged in something rather less drastic than expunging all heathen features from the performance of sacred kingship. Instead, one might imagine a more gradual process in which quite superficial signifiers of Islam were merely added to an existing repertoire of sacrality.79 Again, more research would be required to determine quite how much each case of voluntary ruler ‘conversion’ in fact represented just one staging post in a longer process that would wear down the potential for religious resistance through the sheer passage of time. There was no doubt some variety in the extent to which such a transitional phase of co-existence was required, and, particularly by the seventeenth century, such syncretic ventures excited controversy among scholars based in the region who were by now firmly integrated into wider Muslim currents of intellectual exchange.80 The case of early seventeenth-century Makassar is instructive. Here, royal conversion was quickly translated into a robust appropriation

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of Islamic identity and learning, and we even find a relative of the Gowa princely family emerging as a pan-Islamic intellectual, Shaykh Yu ¯suf ‘Taj al-Khalwatı ¯’ al-Maqassa ¯rı ¯ (d.1699), whose mode of Sufism allowed little room for accommodation to non-Islamic practices.81 Yet, on his return to Makassar from the Holy Land in 1678, Shaykh Yu ¯suf’s intransigence did not find a welcome and he was forced to relocate to Banten, while Makassarese Islam developed in a syncretic fashion.82 The scholarship of the Malay courts has emphasised the survival of older images of kingship well past the moment of conversion, and we have already referred to the evolution of the ‘mystic synthesis’ of Java.83 The gradualist model of ruler conversion may be best exemplified, however, by the case of Melaka.84 According to Tomé Pires, Melaka’s founder was a prince by the name of Paramesvara who was expelled from Palembang in the 1390s and fled to Singapore, where he killed the local ruler, a vassal of Siam.85 He then moved further up the Melaka strait to found a new town. Beginning life as a village market, it swiftly became a significant trading centre with a largely Muslim population. While Paramesvara had set up his court at Bertam in the paddy fields some way from the port itself, as a Hindu-Buddhist centre in the old style, his successor moved the court to Melaka proper.86 There he took up the regnal name Iskandar Syah, which reflected a new claim of descent from Iskandar Zulkarnain, the hero of Muslim romances about Alexander the Great. Undoubtedly, this indicates a desire to respond to the sensibilities of the Muslim population of the port, but it need not indicate any real religious shift, let alone a denial of the Hindu past.87 According to the Sejarah Melayu (probably from the early seventeenth century), the third king first set about organising court ceremonial according to the traditions of Srivijaya, but then accepted Islam in a more formal sense and took the regnal name Muhammad Syah.88 These fluctuations seem to reflect the varying fortunes of court factions, whose disputes over issues such as succession were now overlaid by contrasts of religious allegiance. The royal conversion helped to cement diplomatic ties with the king of Pasai, whose daughter the Melakan ruler took in marriage, and was probably related to a desire to capture Javanese–Muslim trade

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now that the links with China had begun to seem less profitable.89 After the death of the third king, the regent successor led a HinduBuddhist reaction. This lasted less than two years, before a revolt by a rival faction placed a much more firmly Islamic monarch, Raja Kasim, on the throne in c.1445. According to Wake’s analysis, this act of usurpation and the assault on Hindu-Buddhist discourses of legitimacy meant that it was only by his extensive military victories (establishing Melakan hegemony over the straits of Melaka) that Raja Kasim finally established the basis for his authority.90 Even then, the religion of Melaka could hardly be recognisable as Muslim to Middle Eastern visitors, to judge by the disgusted appraisal of an Arab navigator in 1462.91 If it is true, as I have suggested, that sacred kingship is determined by the expectations of the moral communities the ruler depends on, then it would be expected to shift as the configuration of political elites shifts – and with the same degree of ambiguity or clarity as is maintained in the balance of power. This is what we see in Melaka: the piecemeal acceptance of Islamic attributes and styles in order to retain the increasingly critical affections of the Muslim groups. Indeed, in this context, the most surprising feature of this narrative is just how intransigent the Indic traditions inherited from Palembang proved to be. Melaka was a parvenu polity without any substantial hinterland, which acquired Islam at the same time that it established itself as a real political force. Moreover, almost from the start, the Hindu-Buddhist nobility seem to have been a minority in relation to the Muslim traders of the port who actually created the city’s wealth.92 And yet it took four reigns, a long phase of cultic eclecticism, and the squashing of a Hindu-Buddhist reaction for the transition to a decisively Islamic kingship to be played out.

Conclusion: Further Comparisons One further question appears particularly enticing to the comparativist: why should Islam have been so successful in early modern Southeast Asia while it remained a minority religion in South Asia, where its civilisational potential was exemplified by the Mughal

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empire?93 One explanation has been to highlight the disadvantages that resulted from Islam’s association with a foreign conquering elite, whereas the conversion of rulers in Southeast Asia meant that pre-existing dynasties and interest groups were readily accommodated.94 Undoubtedly, religious boundaries were sometimes politicised in a manner which limited Islam’s appeal in India. One notes that, while one can indeed compare Akbar’s innovative and accommodating approach to religion with Javanese kingship, the power of foreign-derived Islamic elites in India meant that they were less likely to countenance thoroughgoing cultic syncretism in the long term. However, this essay has blurred somewhat the distinction between foreign imperium and indigenous conversion by reference to local empire-building and the role of foreign elites in providing the immediate basis of or model for state-construction (although what ‘foreign’ might have meant in the diverse societies of the archipelago is not a simple matter to determine). More importantly, the contrast risks downplaying the way in which relations between Mughal rulers and Hindu elites took on a more stable and peaceable character in which new kinds of elite culture came to be shared: empires do not just promote irritable resistance but eager imitation too. If many Southeast Asian princes converted because they found themselves on the margins of glamorous centres of power and civility, the Hindu rajas existing under the carapace of Mughal power were hardly faced with a less attractive hegemon. This is underlined by recent research, which shows that, in many other ways, these Hindu courts were heavily influenced by Islamicate culture.95 Why, then, South Asian intransigence? One possible answer is to refer to the fundamental place of caste in Indian society and its far more rudimentary or non-existent form in Southeast Asia. Undoubtedly, the way in which conversion was held to destroy caste status must have been a major consideration for kings.96 I shall place this on one side, for the moment, as a promising alternative hypothesis. But the line of argument explored here would point to a different, if hardly incompatible rationale – at least for those courts of South Asia that ruled within a socio-political context more deeply structured by a form of Brahmanic Hinduism.97 One might

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conjecture that ritual empiricism could not carry all before it in societies where a demonstration of divine power was not quite the same as a demonstration of divine truth.

References I am very grateful to Peter Carey, Victor Lieberman, and Anthony Reid for reading and commenting on a draft of this essay – although none of them can be held responsible for errors of fact or interpretation – and Timothy Barnard for helpful correspondence. I am also very grateful to two anonymous readers for the press, who were generous with their expertise in correcting errors and suggesting further reading. My thanks to Anthony Reid for sending me a draft of his chapter ‘Islam in Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean Littoral, 1500–1800: Expansion, Polarisation, Synthesis’, in David Morgan and Anthony Reid (eds), New Cambridge History of Islam, Volume 3: The Eastern Islamic World, Eleventh to Eighteenth Centuries (Cambridge, 2010), pp. 427–69. The latter will now form the best account of many of the central processes. It came too late to be used systematically, but is referred to occasionally here. 1. Moreover, the latter may be required even once a ruler has converted, for religious ideas do not always flow from elites to plebeians in a rapid or inevitable manner, on which see Felicitas Becker, ‘Commoners in the Process of Islamization: Reassessing Their Role in the Light of Evidence from Southeastern Tanzania’, Journal of Global History iii/2 (2008), pp. 227–49. 2. Alan Strathern, ‘Transcendentalist Intransigence: Why Rulers Rejected Monotheism in Early Modern Southeast Asia and Beyond’, Comparative Studies in Society and History xlix/2 (2007), pp. 358–83. Indeed, this is the Southeast Asian test case that was promised in that slightly misleadingly titled paper. The argument presented there is being re-thought for a book project, Sacred Kingship and Religious Change in the Early Modern World. 3. On the history of the term ‘world religions’, see, for example, Tomoko Masuzawa, The Invention of World Religions, or, How

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4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

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European Universalism was Preserved in the Language of Pluralism (Chicago and London, 2005). All sorts of issues in defining transcendentalism have to be put on one side here. Note, however, that it does not imply simply a vision of ‘another world’, but rather another mode of being which escapes human conditioning and understanding, and in which ethical ideals are attained. Transcendentalism functions as an abstract category which obviously includes some extremely diverse philosophies and religions – indeed, its analytical worth derives precisely from the fact that it isolates some common core principles amid otherwise fundamental differences. In Strathern, ‘Transcendentalist Intransigence’, p. 359, I proposed a formula: ‘when faced with the dilemma of whether to undergo a wholesale conversion to a religion introduced from an external source, a ruler of a society shaped by established transcendentalist religion is more likely to resist conversion than a ruler of a society in which transcendentalist religion has had a superficial or negligible impact’. Note that this does not make the presence or absence of transcendentalism the key to explaining individual ruler conversion decisions, since there may be all sorts of reasons why rulers of countries where non-transcendentalism is the dominant religion may not convert. This is particularly evident from the African material that I have begun to work on. These religious cultures are ‘transcendentalist’ only to the extent that questions and institutions relating to the latter dimension of religion are nonetheless regarded as hegemonic. Elsewhere, I have referred to various ideal types of kingship: ‘righteous’ (or transcendentalist), ‘magical’, and ‘divine’ (the latter two representing contact with immanent forces). There does seem to be a general tendency for even ‘righteous’ kings to become seen as embodiments of divine power. A. C. Milner, ‘Islam and the Muslim State’, in M. B. Hooker (ed.), Islam in South-East Asia (Leiden, 1983), p. 30; Russell Jones, ‘Ten Conversion Myths from Indonesia’, in Nehemia Levtzion (ed.), Conversion to Islam (New York and London, 1979), p. 131.

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9. One mainland exception was the conversion of the Cambodian King Reameathipadei I (r.1642–58) to Islam, even if later kings reverted to Buddhism. However, the reduced Khmer polity can be compared to the island world in the critical role played by Muslim trading groups (Malay and Chams). See Carool Kersten, ‘Cambodia’s Muslim King: Khmer and Dutch Sources on the Conversion of Reameathipadei I, 1642–58’, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies xxxvii/1 (2006), pp. 1–22. 10. Anthony Reid, Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce, 1450–1680. Vol. II: Expansion and Crisis (New Haven, 1993), pp. 135, 169, 173. Merle C. Ricklefs, A History of Modern Indonesia since c. 1200 (Palo Alto, 2009), p. 16, refers to the cultural barriers mounted by Hinduism, but finds Bali’s resistance still unexplained. Barbara Watson Andaya, ‘Between Empires and Emporia: The Economics of Christianization in Early Modern Southeast Asia’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient liii/1–2 (2010), pp. 357–92, assumes ruler intransigence where world religions are embedded: ‘It was soon evident, however, that there was limited potential for success in the region we now term Southeast Asia. As representatives of the last of the world religions to arrive in the area, European missionaries encountered societies where the majority of powerful rulers were already patrons of Buddhism, Islam, or (in the case of Vietnam) Confucianism’ (p. 358). Equally, Barbara Watson Andaya and Yoneo Ishii, ‘Religious Developments in Southeast Asia, c.1500–1800’, in Nicholas Tarling (ed.), The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia, vol. 1, pt. 2 (Cambridge, 1999), p. 182, suggest that Bali was resistant owing to an inherent psychological advantage of world religions: ‘in a society which had developed a complex and culturally selfsustaining means of explaining the cosmos and man’s place in it, Islam made little headway’. It might be argued that this rests on an implicit appeal to the superiority of rationalised religion in the Weberian sense, which has received criticism of late: see Robert W. Hefner, ‘Introduction: World Building and the Rationality of Conversion’, in Robert W. Hefner (ed.),

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11.

12.

13.

14.

15. 16.

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Conversion to Christianity: Historical and Anthropological Perspectives on a Great Transformation (Berkeley, 1993), pp. 3–44. Contrast Anthony Reid, ‘The Islamization of Southeast Asia’, in Anthony Reid (ed.), Charting the Shape of Early Modern Southeast Asia (Bangkok, 1999), p. 27, on resistance offered by Brahmanic ritual, with Anthony Reid, ‘Kings, Kadis and Charisma in the Seventeenth-Century Archipelago’, in Anthony Reid (ed.), The Making of an Islamic Political Discourse in Southeast Asia (Clayton, Victoria, 1993), p. 90, on the latter’s limited, private appeal. Further, the scriptural religion of Iberian Catholicism is placed in a different category, as less attractive to rulers. Some points made here are suggestive, and would require further research to determine exactly how much they apply to each case of ruler conversion – if the evidence is there. Victor Lieberman, Strange Parallels: Southeast Asia in Global Context, c.800–1830. Volume 2: Mainland Mirrors: Europe, Japan, China, South Asia, and the Islands (Cambridge, 2009), pp. 804–5. See Sanjay Subrahmanyam, ‘Persianization and “Mercantilism” in Bay of Bengal History, 1400–1700’, in Explorations in Connected History: From the Tagus to the Ganges (New Delhi, 2005), pp. 45–79, for the important role of Iranians and Persianised elites in this period and their association with new and more mercantilist political strategies. A. H. Johns, ‘Islam in Southeast Asia: Problems of Perspective’, in C. D. Cowan and O. W. Walters (eds), Southeast Asian History and Historiography: Essays Presented to D. G. E. Hall (Ithaca, NY, 1976), p. 308. Milner, ‘Islam and the Muslim State’, p. 30; Jones, ‘Ten Conversion Myths’, p. 153; Lieberman, Strange Parallels, vol. 2, p. 819. The foundation myths of many other cities lent an important role to strangers from afar, but stranger-founder stories may arise for complex socio-cultural reasons. See Ian Caldwell and David Henley (eds), Stranger-Kings in Indonesia and Beyond, special issue of Indonesia and the Malay World xxxvi/105 (2008); Alan Strathern, ‘The Vijaya Origin Myth of Sri Lanka and the Strangeness of Kingship’, Past and Present cciii/1 (2009), pp. 3–28.

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17. Armando Cortesão (ed.), The Suma Oriental of Tomé Pires, 2 vols (London, 1944), vol. 1, p. 84. 18. See Ricklefs, A History of Modern Indonesia, p. 16, on towns in Sumatra and on the Javanese coast about which nothing is known before Islamisation. 19. This is rather the opposite conclusion to that presented by Jones, ‘Ten Conversion Myths’, whose awareness of the lateness and formulaic nature of the legends is at odds with his argument that they reflect the conversion of well-established dynasties. These stories are generally not concerned with recording the motivations of rulers but rather serve the needs of later Muslim communities – for example, in establishing some sort of direct connection to the Prophet. See C. C. Brown (trans. and ed.), Sejarah Melayu or Malay Annals (Kuala Lumpur, 1970), pp. 32, 43; Jones, ‘Ten Conversion Myths’, p. 149. In the case of the Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa, the pre-Islamic kings are used to illustrate the imbalanced and disordered nature of kingship before the adoption of Islam: see Hendrik M. J. Maier, Fragments of Reading: The Malay Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa (Alblasserdam, 1985), pp. 225–35. 20. Taufik Abdullah, ‘Adat and Islam: An Examination of Conflict in Minangkabau’, Indonesia ii (1966), p. 5. 21. B. W. Andaya and Ishii, ‘Religious Developments’, p. 74; H. J. De Graaf, ‘South-East Asian Islam to the Eighteenth Century’, in P. M. Holt et al. (eds), The Cambridge History of Islam, vol. 2A (Cambridge, 1977), p. 127. 22. Lieberman, Strange Parallels, vol. 2, p. 813, gives a good summary. 23. See B. W. Andaya and Ishii, ‘Religious Developments’, p. 73, on the inapplicability of European concepts of the state; Tony Day, Fluid Iron: State Formation in Southeast Asia (Honolulu, 2002). 24. B. W. Andaya and Ishii, ‘Religious Developments’, p. 68; Barbara Watson Andaya and Leonard Y. Andaya, A History of Malaysia, 2nd edn. (Basingstoke, 2001), p. 56; Lieberman, Strange Parallels, vol. 2, p. 816; Milner, ‘Islam and the Muslim State’, p. 45. 25. De Graaf, ‘South-East Asian Islam’, p. 126.

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26. This Christian–Muslim competition for ‘heathen’ lands is clear in a letter by Manuel Pinto, 27 November 1552, in J. Wicki (ed.), Documenta Indica, 18 vols (Rome, 1948–88), vol. 2, p. 423. 27. Reid, ‘Kings, Kadis and Charisma’, pp. 92–3; Reid, Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce, vol. 2, pp. 149, 169, 173. 28. Thomas Gibson, Islamic Narrative and Authority in Southeast Asia: From the 16th to the 21st Century (New York, 2007), p. 50. 29. Reid, ‘Islamization’, p. 29. 30. See Ricklefs, A History of Modern Indonesia, ch. 4. On the question of the continuing political and religious relevance of Majapahit, see Kenneth R. Hall, A History of Early Southeast Asia: Maritime Trade and Societal Development, 100–1500 (Lanham, MD, 2011), pp. 282–6. 31. There is therefore a conversion at the start of this story, but again it seems to occur during the first generation of state-building (the sources around Senapati’s lifetime are obscure and late), when Senapati defeated his liege lord, the sultan of Pajang. From Reid, ‘Islam in Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean Littoral’, p. 446, it is clear that we know ‘almost nothing about the nature of [Senapati’s] Islamic commitment’; that he also had to acquire royal regalia and marry into older royal lines; and that Mataram was at that time ‘a pioneering military camp in a fertile but under-populated area with most of its population forced to shift there as soldiers or captives from other areas’. 32. M. C. Ricklefs, Mystic Synthesis in Java: A History of Islamization from the Fourteenth to the Early Nineteenth Centuries (Norwalk, CT, 2006), p. 33. 33. See Reid, ‘Islamization’, pp. 23–4. 34. B. W. Andaya and Ishii, ‘Religious Developments’, pp. 176–7. 35. Reid, ‘Islamization’, p. 29; Lieberman, Strange Parallels, vol. 2, pp. 800, 811. 36. This issue, broadly speaking, is what was meant by the reference to ‘established’ religion in the formula mentioned in n.5. In cases, therefore, where the rites of a world religion are jealously kept as markers of ruling elite status, the religion has hardly become ‘established’.

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37. Reid, ‘Islamization’, p. 18. 38. See O. W. Wolters, History, Culture, and Region in Southeast Asian Perspectives, rev. edn. (Ithaca, NY, 1999). 39. Steven Collins, Nirvana and Other Buddhist Felicities: Utopias of the Pali Imaginaire (Cambridge, 1998), pp. 70, 72, refers to this as an ‘Indic model of clerical–ideological power’. The management of religious ‘unity in diversity’ in Javanese literature is well brought out by Kenneth R. Hall, ‘Traditions of Knowledge in Old Javanese Literature, c.1000–1500’, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies xxxvi/1 (2005), pp. 1–27. See also Reid, ‘Kings, Kadis and Charisma’, p. 90. 40. Andaya and Ishii, ‘Religious Developments’, pp. 146–7; Reid, ‘Islamization’, p. 26. 41. See Robert Wessing, ‘A Change in the Forest: Myth and History in West Java’, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies xxiv/1 (1993), pp. 1–17, on a (‘magical’) concept of shamanic power underlying ideas of both Hindu-Buddhist and Islamic kingship. 42. Merle C. Ricklefs, Jogjakarta under Sultan Mangkubumi, 1749– 1792: A History of the Division of Java (London, 1974), p. 5. This text, however, may be a dubious source for contemporary attitudes. 43. Reid, Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce, vol. 2, p. 153; one example is the story about the ruler of Patani in Brown (ed.), Sejarah Melayu, pp. 145–6. 44. Ricklefs, Mystic Synthesis, pp. 32–50. See also Andaya and Ishii, ‘Religious Developments’, p. 76, on how any decline in prosperity, etc., could be attributed to supernatural anger at the failings of a ruler. 45. Ricklefs, Mystic Synthesis, p. 36. 46. Mark R. Woodward, Islam in Java: Normative Piety and Mysticism in the Sultanate of Yogyakarta (Tucson, 1989), p. 232. 47. I should say that the language of ‘Indianisation’ here is not meant to imply anything about external versus internal agency, or any unidirectional mode of transmission as opposed to participation in networks and circuits. See Daud Ali, ‘Connected Histories? Regional Historiography and Theories of Cultural Contact

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48.

49. 50.

51.

52.

53.

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Between Early South and Southeast Asia’, in R. Michael Feener and Terenjit Sevea (eds), Islamic Connections: Muslim Societies in South and Southeast Asia (Singapore, 2009), pp. 1–24. Reid, ‘Kings, Kadis and Charisma’, p. 101; Ricklefs, Mystic Synthesis, p. 20. Lieberman, Strange Parallels, vol. 2, pp. 786–7, has summarised the extent to which Javanese court culture had an ‘elitist, socially-encapsulated quality’. See Jan Wisseman Christie, Theatre States and Oriental Despotisms: Early Southeast Asia in the Eyes of the West (Hull, 1985), p. 35, for rural penetration of court culture from the tenth century. Reid, Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce, vol. 2, pp. 169, 173; De Graaf, ‘South-East Asian Islam’, p. 147. See the discussion of conquest above. Anthony Reid points out that this is partly because Bali benefitted from the influx of committed Hindu refugees from Java (personal communication, 15 September 2010). On the continuing fascination for Majapahit exhibited by subsequent royal centres in Bali, see Amrit Gomperts, Arnoud Haag, and Peter Carey, ‘Rediscovering the Royal Capital of Majapahit’, International Institute of Asian Studies Newsletter liii (2010), pp. 12–13. Given that popular religion always tends to the syncretic and immanentist (see also Woodward, Islam in Java, p. 242). I owe this insight to correspondence with Victor Lieberman (personal communication, 21 March 2010). See also Peter Carey, ‘Civilization on Loan: The Making of an Upstart Polity: Mataram and its Successors, 1600–1830’, Modern Asian Studies xxxi/3 (1997), p. 714; for a helpful discussion of localisation, see R. Michael Feener, ‘Southeast Asian Localisations of Islam and Participation Within a Global Umma, c.1500–1800’, in Morgan and Reid (eds), The New Cambridge History of Islam, Volume 3, pp. 475–80. Implied by Reid, Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce, vol. 2, p. 142, who notes also that Hindu-Buddhist temples were eventually destroyed in the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra but not in Java. J. G. De Casparis and I. W. Mabbett, ‘Religion and Popular Beliefs of Southeast Asia Before c.1500’, in Nicholas Tarling (ed.), The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia, vol. 1, pt. 1

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(Cambridge, 1999) does not give much of an impression of how strong Hindu and Buddhist institutions were in the period just before Islamisation, particularly outside Java and Bali. Andaya and Andaya, A History of Malaysia, p. 16, refer to the incorporation of certain Hindu gods at the village level and the influence of Indian epics such as the Ramayana. 54. See Amirul Hadi, Islam and State in Sumatra: A Study of SeventeenthCentury Aceh (Leiden, 2004), particularly pp. 237–39; Lieberman, Strange Parallels, vol. 2, pp. 803, 848. On neighbouring Pasai, see Kenneth R. Hall, ‘Upstream and Downstream Unification in Southeast Asia’s First Islamic Polity: The Changing Sense of Community in the Fifteenth Century “Hikayat Raja-Raja Pasai” Court Chronicle’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient xliv/2 (2001), pp. 198–229, for a very useful analysis. Hall argues that the king of Pasai’s ‘conversion to Islam represented a significant break with the past tradition of local society’. The Hikayat Raja-Raja Pasai indicates the continuing relevance of certain generic archipelagic understandings of kingship (for example, the king as marked by supernatural prowess), but it does not actually mention Srivijaya. Instead, Hall refers to the evocation of the Palembang in the Sejarah Melayu, a text which has some sort of relationship to the Hikayat Raja-Raja Pasai. Hall also refers to some artistic and inscriptional evidence of continuing Buddhist connections (p. 220). See R. Michael Feener, ‘The Acehnese Past and Its Present State of Study’, in R. Michael Feener, Patrick Daly, and Anthony Reid (eds), Mapping the Acehnese Past (Leiden, 2011), pp. 1–5, for Pasai’s very early connections to South Asian Islam, from the thirteenth century. 55. See Leonard Y. Andaya, Leaves of the Same Tree: Trade and Ethnicity in the Straits of Melaka (Honolulu, 2008), pp. 129–38, on Aceh. Anthony Reid has recently begun to explore the possibility that the last major tsunami to afflict Sumatra in the fourteenth century may have had a role in creating a rupture between the Hindu-Buddhist past and the establishment of Islam there: Anthony Reid, ‘Serambi Tektonik: Aceh History in a Geological Danger Zone’, Keynote Lecture for the ninth ASEAN Seminar on Social Development, Banda Aceh, 25 May 2010.

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56. Further research would no doubt reveal more clearly the extent to which weak Hindu-Buddhist legacies played a role in each case. 57. This is to judge by the fact that no evidence on this matter is adduced in Graham E. Saunders, A History of Brunei, 2nd edn. (London, 2002). Further, Anthony Reid writes that ‘what we know from Chinese records (acknowledged only very obliquely in the Brunei record) is that there was an official Chinese imperial intervention in Brunei in the early 1400s, which may have eliminated earlier Hindu-Buddhist traces, and which was almost certainly accomplished with the help of hybrid MuslimChinese sailors and traders from Quanzhou’ (personal communication, 15 September 2010). 58. This, indeed, is where the race between Cross and Crescent for converts became most explicit: proselytisers on both sides tended to see such areas as a religious vacuum which would readily suck in new religious forms. See M. N. Pearson, ‘Conversions in South-East Asia: Evidence from the Portuguese Records’, in Portuguese Studies vi (1990), pp. 53–70. 59. Lieberman, Strange Parallels, vol. 2, p. 131; Leonard Y. Andaya, The World of Maluku: Eastern Indonesia in the Early Modern Period (Honolulu, 1993), p. 247. 60. Other ‘kingdoms’ mentioned with baptised rulers include Sião (‘Dom João’), Alieta, Machoquique (the harbour of Batjukiki, ‘ruled’ by one Lapituo [‘Lapi Tua’]), and Linta. See Wicki (ed.), Documenta Indica, vol. 2, pp. 419–23; Georg Schurhammer, Francis Xavier: His Life, His Times, trans. M. Joseph Costelloe, 4 vols (Rome, 1973–82), vol. 3, pp. 248–52; Reid, Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce, vol. 2, p. 152. Christian Pelras, ‘Religion, Tradition and the Dynamics of Islamization in South Sulawesi’, Archipel xxix (1985), p. 115, confirms the reference to the ruler of Tallo’. 61. Schurhammer, Xavier, vol. 3, p. 250, n.20. 62. Gibson, Islamic Narrative, pp. 45, 49. 63. On centralisation, see William Cummings, Making Blood White: Historical Transformations in Early Modern Makassar (Honolulu, 2002), pp. 26–32.

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64. Gibson, Islamic Narrative, p. 43; Reid, ‘Islamization’, p. 24. Pelras, ‘Religion, Tradition and the Dynamics of Islamization’, describes their conversion as in one sense rather belated when compared to their trading partners and peers. 65. Reid, ‘Kings, Kadis and Charisma’, p. 95. 66. Reid, ‘Islamization’, p. 25. 67. See Thomas Gibson, And the Sun Pursued the Moon: Symbolic Knowledge and Traditional Authority Among the Makassar (Honolulu, 2005), chs. 6–7. The Bugis kingdoms around Lake Tempe (such as Sidenreng) seem to have owed nothing to Indic models. While the influence of Majapahit on the west coast of Southern Sulawesi between 1350 and 1400 introduced a cult of Siva (Karaeng Lowé), which seems to have influenced royal cults, Gibson does not refer to Brahmanisation or the influence of salvific ideals. Pelras, ‘Religion, Tradition and the Dynamics of Islamization’, and Cummings, Making Blood White, similarly make no reference to these aspects of Indianised religion. 68. Gibson, Islamic Narrative, pp. 49, 52. 69. Andaya, The World of Maluku, pp. 247–8. Islam had actually first arrived in Ternate around 1470: see Jan Sihar Aritonang and Karel Steenbrink (eds), A History of Christianity in Indonesia (Leiden, 2008), p. 50. 70. Reid, Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce, vol. 2, p. 141; Anthony Reid, ‘Islamization and Christianization in Southeast Asia: The Critical Phase, 1550–1650’, in Anthony Reid (ed.), Southeast Asia in the Early Modern Period: Trade, Power, and Belief (Ithaca, NY, 1993), p. 153. 71. Letter of Luís Fróis, 14 November 1559, in Hubert Jacobs (ed.), Documenta Malucensia, 3 vols (Rome, 1974–84), vol. 1, pp. 289–92; Andaya, The World of Maluku, pp. 126–7; Andaya and Ishii, ‘Religious Developments’, p. 184. 72. Letter of Pero Mascarenhas, 10 February 1564, in Jacobs (ed.), Documenta Malucensia, vol. 1, p. 413; Letter of Marcos Prancudo, 12 February 1564, in ibid., pp. 422–3; Letter of Pero Mascarenhas, March–April 1564, in ibid., pp. 436–8.

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73. Andaya, The World of Maluku, p. 147. 74. Andaya, ‘Between Empires and Emporia’, p. 360; Andaya and Ishii, ‘Religious Developments’, p. 183. 75. Andaya, The World of Maluku, p. 129. 76. Only the monotheist religions tend to present exclusivist religious practice even as an ideal; Hinduism and Buddhism usually permit much more omnivorous patterns of spiritual consumption. Yet this need not necessarily imply the absence of religious boundaries, which may suddenly emerge if a ruler attempts to abandon all reference to the old ways in his or her court rituals and patronage. 77. See also Lieberman, Strange Parallels, vol. 2, p. 841. 78. The role played by Sufis in the Islamisation of Southeast Asia has long been appreciated. See A. H. Johns, ‘Islamization in Southeast Asia: Reflections and Reconsiderations with Special Reference to the Role of Sufism’, Tonan Ajia Kenkyu (Southeast Asian Studies) xxxi/1 (1993), pp. 43–61; Johns, ‘Islam in Southeast Asia’; Ricklefs, Mystic Synthesis, p. 21; Hall, ‘Upstream and Downstream Unification’, p. 221. Azyumardi Azra, Islam in the Indonesian World: An Account of Institutional Formation (Bandung, 2006), puts so much emphasis on the role of Sufis, and the immigration of large numbers of Persian ulema, as to see this as incompatible with the idea that Islam was heavily associated with the influence of Muslim traders. 79. This is explicitly brought out by the Hikayat Patani. After the King of Patani converted following miraculous healing, we are told: ‘As for the King himself it is true that he became a Muslim inasmuch as he gave up worshipping idols and eating pork; but apart from that he did not alter a single one of his heathen habits.’ Jones, ‘Ten Conversion Myths’, p. 143. 80. See Feener, ‘Southeast Asian Localisations of Islam’; Michael Laffan, The Makings of Indonesian Islam: Orientalism and the Narration of a Sufi Past (Princeton, 2011), pp. 9–24. 81. On Shaykh Yu ¯suf, see Feener, ‘Southeast Asian Localisations of Islam’; on the promotion of Islam to wider society, see Cummings, Making Blood White, pp. 156–7. Reid, Southeast Asia

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in the Age of Commerce, vol. 2, p. 151, and Reid, ‘Islamization’, p. 30, use the Makassarese conversion as an example of the harsher, more polarised atmosphere of the early seventeenth century. Pelras, ‘Religion, Tradition and the Dynamics of Islamization’, pp. 108, 123–4. Reid, ‘Islam in Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean Littoral’, p. 455, points to substantial continuity in royal cults, such that the traditional priests, transsexual bissu, continued to celebrate enthronements, weddings, and funerals. Leonard Y. Andaya, ‘Kingship-Adat Rivalry and the Role of Islam in South Sulawesi’, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies xv/1 (1984), pp. 22–42, refers to the petering out of the centralising, Islamising thrust in the face of rural local spiritual authorities. Milner, ‘Islam and the Muslim State’, pp. 32–3; A. C. Milner, ‘Islam and Malay Kingship’, in Ahmad Ibrahim et al. (eds), Readings on Islam in Southeast Asia (Singapore, 1985), p. 26; Johns, ‘Islam in Southeast Asia’, p. 310. This has been established in some detail by C. H. Wake, ‘Melaka in the Fifteenth Century: Malay Historical Traditions and the Politics of Islamization’, in Kernial Singh Sandhu and Paul Wheatley (eds), Melaka: The Transformation of a Malay Capital c.1400–1980, 2 vols (Kuala Lumpur, 1983), vol. 1, pp. 128–61, whose account is followed here. Wake refuses to take literally the claim in the mid-fifteenth-century Chinese text Ying-yai Sheng-lan that Iskandar and his subjects were strict Muslims. Compare this with the indigenous account, in Brown (ed.), Sejarah Melayu, which is also summarised in Andaya and Andaya, A History of Malaysia, pp. 34–5. See O. W. Wolters, The Fall of Srivijaya in Malay History (Ithaca, NY, 1970), for detailed work on the Srivijayan heritage. Wake, ‘Melaka in the Fifteenth Century’, p. 143. Brown (ed.), Sejarah Melayu, pp. 43–6. These traditions were then broadly Indic, but the chronicle makes no mention of explicitly religious aspects to them. Andaya and Andaya, A History of Malaysia, pp. 159–60. Wake, ‘Melaka in the Fifteenth Century’, p. 150. Lieberman, Strange Parallels, vol. 2, p. 814.

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92. See Subrahmanyam, Explorations in Connected History, p. 58, on Melakan population and revenue. 93. Woodward, Islam in Java, p. 242. 94. Woodward, Islam in Java, also emphasises the role of caste, and India’s sheer size, while Lieberman, Strange Parallels, vol. 2, pp. 818–19, refers to the fact that ‘the peaceful nature of religious change accommodated existing political prerogatives’, and to the importance of caste. 95. See David Gilmartin and Bruce Lawrence (eds), Beyond Turk and Hindu: Rethinking Religious Identities in Islamicate South Asia (Gainesville, FL, 2000). 96. The role played by anxieties over loss of caste is clear from the present author’s work on Sri Lanka: Alan Strathern, Kingship and Conversion in Sixteenth-Century Sri Lanka: Portuguese Imperialism in a Buddhist Land (Cambridge, 2007). However, exactly why conversion should have become firmly associated with loss of caste awaits a thorough explanation. 97. It has to be emphasised that placing the diverse traditions assembled under the category of ‘Hinduism’ in the category of ‘transcendentalism’ is a far from straightforward matter, which is just one reason why these final comments represent no more than preliminary conjecture. And more empirical work awaits.

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CHAPTER TWO Religious Change ON THE PERIPHERY OF WESTERN MAINLAND SOUTHEAST ASIA IN THE SIXTEENTH AND SEVENTEENTH CENTURIES Michael W. Charney

Until fairly recently, understanding early modern Southeast Asian history depended almost entirely on European travel accounts, documents in European archives, and the main chronicles of indigenous courts. Changes in the field, especially the stretched boundaries of viable historical projects afforded by interdisciplinary cooperation, have considerably broadened our perspectives on both the period and the place. These changes have also opened up a new research space for asking questions about intercultural exchange. Our richer understanding of the period allows us to revisit older understandings of the dominance of the throne and central religious organisations, whether European or indigenous, in political and religious developments in

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the region. We are also enabled to contextualise better the documents in the state archives, missionary letters, and royal chronicles, and to discern more clearly (and, in some geographical areas, for the first time) a greater significance of ‘the periphery’ in the processes of intercultural exchange, formerly confined to the court, the port, and the battlefield. Nevertheless, we remain under the shadow of the cultural brokers who shapeshifted their identities in manoeuvring the contours of overlapping peripheries. Locating their role in the interplay of culture, religion, and politics is hampered for the same reasons that made them so successful, for a time, in western mainland Southeast Asia. So long as the major political and religious institutions of early modern Southeast Asia remained independent of each other – the Portuguese and the indigenous courts, on the one hand, and the Catholic Church and the Buddhist monastic orders (to take one indigenous example), on the other – playing a multiplicity of roles was both a necessity and an advantage. The periphery as a zone of interaction was previously considered secondary to the stories of both Portuguese and indigenous political expansion. The Portuguese communities rose and fell with the fortunes of the Estado da Índia, and in their autonomy grew stronger with the decline of indigenous states. Likewise, the decline in discipline of Buddhist monastics on the frontiers would reflect the decline of the Buddhist king and his court and herald the forthcoming collapse of the kingdom and another cycle of political regeneration and purification of the Religion. In this view, this zone was not one of exchange but of alienation, the space at the furthest reach from anything else, and attention was focused instead on the points at which the contact was most obvious: in the royal centre, where Southeast Asians and Portuguese came into more visible and often official contact. In reality, however, the periphery played a primary role in intercultural exchange. The Portuguese renegade communities were often the only bridge between Europeans and indigenous populations in western mainland Southeast Asia, and their presence made the periphery central to intercultural exchange. The dissipation of influence and control exercised by political centres with greater distance from the political centre – geographically

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and socially – has long been an accepted trope of Southeast Asian historiography. The emergence and influence of nationalist historiography in the last half of the twentieth century, however, has obstructed efforts to understand how peripherality impacted on local religious and cultural dynamism. History, even of periods many centuries ago, is anachronistically framed according to contemporary political delineations and modern national cultural and religious formations. The necessary reliance on paper archives, dominated by the perspectives of political centres, has only made this obstruction more difficult to negotiate. For many historians working in these conditions, understanding the history of Buddhism in Burma meant focusing on central religious patronage patterns and monastic appointments in the royal capital. It has also been difficult to work on the history of Buddhism in Burma without accepting, at least overtly, that Burmese were as much Buddhists nine hundred years ago as they are today. This is actually untrue at both ends of this time-frame, for few Burmese would have been Buddhists in 1100 ce in the way that we understand lay practitioners today, and many Burmese today are not Buddhists, but Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and so on, though many nationalists claim otherwise. Scholarship of the last few decades on borderlands has helped to challenge this view. Nevertheless, this scholarship has mainly contributed to the image of binary oppositions, associating a different dynamic to the highlands as opposed to the lowlands, and to ethnic minorities as opposed to Burmese. From the perspective of this literature, state space is seen as internally uniform and the polar opposite of non-state space.1 As a result, such scholarship is just as unsatisfactory in its own way as the older literature that it sought to rectify for understanding the limits of the influence of political, cultural, and religious centres in mainland Southeast Asia. On its fringes, the mainland Southeast Asian Buddhist political centre was more distant, more desperate, and more tolerant of nonconformity and change (it hardly had the means to be otherwise), although this reality is rarely reflected in the hype of royal orders and state chronicles that sought to portray powerful world rulers, not weak central administrators.2 The reach of central monastic institutions

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was also weaker and their influence less entrenched, giving a great deal of room for local interests and alternatives until relatively late in the early modern period, when, even in this part of the world, states were becoming larger, their administrations more efficient, and their ability to garrison and control better. Certainly this was not the case before the late eighteenth century in Burma, especially in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Just as our focus has shifted from the centre to the periphery in the case of Buddhist kingdoms such as Burma, the status of their geographical points of contact with the Portuguese is also being reconsidered. More recent understandings of the Estado da Índia, for example, have moved beyond an older view that focused on central institutions to speak for the history of the Portuguese presence in Asia, the failures of adventurers on the mainland being seen as examples of the poorly considered projects that sought to expand the Estado da Índia. Work by such scholars as Sanjay Subrahmanyam has decentred the motivations and energies involved in these ‘frontier’ projects, stressing the crucial, and often determining character of local initiatives and private persons, inhabitants of geographical, political and social frontier zones, in influencing the changing shape of the Estado da Índia. For, if the received wisdom stresses the great ‘empire builders’ and insists on viewing the Portuguese enterprise in Asia from the top down, as well as from the centre outwards, there may be some worth [in] noting how ‘the tail wagged the dog’ – that is to say how peripheral initiatives came to dominate a system in place of a central motor.3 In this view, the Portuguese presence outside the formal boundaries of the Estado da Índia represented nothing more than the weak fringes of empire – or the ‘shadow empire’, to use one historian’s terminology.4 While attempts to see how the periphery influenced the broader Estado da Índia can be fruitful in some ways, in other contexts, such as that considered in the present chapter, this view can be misleading.

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This is in keeping with the unique position of the Iberians in sixteenth-century Southeast Asia, which was substantially different from the experiences of any other European force to enter Asian waters. Unlike the Dutch, French, and British companies and later empires that followed the Portuguese into Asia in subsequent centuries, the Portuguese crown had neither the resources nor sufficiently developed institutions in Asia (in contrast perhaps to the Americas, but not perhaps to Africa) to force a coterminous existence between the Estado da Índia and the frontiers of the Portuguese diaspora.5 As one scholar of the Portuguese in Asia has observed, one of the Portuguese leaders whom we will examine below, Filipe de Brito e Nicote, was unable to bring together under his control the Portuguese and mestizos populating coastal Burma, and this was unfortunate for the well-being of the Estado da Índia.6 It is certainly true that de Brito tempted the authorities in Goa with the possibility of gaining control of 2,500 Portuguese and mestizos living in Burma, beyond their control, who potentially would be a substantial boost to their manpower resources.7 Such dreams, however, ignored the fact that most of the Portuguese and mestizos living in Burma, at the limits of the Portuguese diaspora, were there not because they were not allowed to live within the Estado da Índia but because they chose not to. Had the Estado da Índia followed them into Burma, they would have pushed further on, to another port, island, or continent, somewhere – anywhere – else. As was the case for both the Burmese and the Portuguese in Burma, some people chose to live as far from the reach of the political centre as possible, for the freedom and opportunities that the absence of central political control provided. Thus, rather than an informal or ‘shadow’ empire in George Winius’ view, or a ‘frontier’ of empire in Subrahmanyam’s, the areas of mainland Southeast Asia populated by large communities of Portuguese and affiliates in the space between the limits of the Estado da Índia and the extent of the Portuguese diaspora are probably best considered independently of the Estado, on their own terms.8 This means not only looking at this special space from an internal perspective rather than from the perspectives of Goa or of Lisbon, but also displacing how the

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Portuguese in this special space impacted on or influenced the Estado da Índia as the primary focus of our attention. If we wished, this influence could be shown.9 Indeed, some scholars of the Portuguese empire consider the Portuguese communities in Burma only so far as they depended on Goa for help, or Goa depended upon them for access to certain markets and supplies for the empire’s formal possessions, but this sphere of activity tells us very little about these ‘renegade’ Portuguese and their interactions with indigenous societies.10 This is not to deny, of course, that this space was defined in part by the limits of formal empire, by central political and religious institutions in mainland Southeast Asia and in Goa and Lisbon, and by later historians. All of these interests portrayed these Portuguese in ways that masked their irrelevance to central designs and influences. What is most interesting is that these renegades, while seemingly erratic and contradictory in behaviour when all sources are brought together, are clearly revealed on closer scrutiny as calculating and manipulative in their representations to powerful centres. It is thus worthwhile to attempt to understand not only what motivated, but also what enabled, this Janus-like behaviour. Sometimes the motives for engagement between local leaders and the Estado da Índia or the Burmese court were political in nature; and often, in accordance with Subrahmanyam’s understanding, the energy for engagement emerged not in the centre but in what he views as the frontier of the Estado da Índia – or what others might view as the frontiers of the Burmese state. These episodes of connectivity between political centre and periphery are documented elsewhere and represent attempts by local leaders to reach out to the Estado da Índia for resources to fix temporary competitions with other local leaders rather than any effort to establish fixed coterminosity. Indeed, throughout the entire period of Portuguese adventurism in western and lower Burma, local Portuguese generally sought to keep the Estado da Índia at arm’s length, except on those few occasions when there was some commercial benefit to be had, and often such efforts did not reach fruition. Local Southeast Asians were even less interested in connections with indigenous political centres at least – with those that eventually arrived to force them, temporarily at least, into subjection.

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Religion on the Frontiers Even without the Portuguese presence, it was on the frontiers of Southeast Asian societies and states that court-defined religious orthodoxies and cults had their weakest grasp, opening the potential for change. The indigenous state during this period had weak means of monitoring local areas: while it could muster forces to dominate and watch an area closely, it could only do so for limited periods of time, and certainly the geographic space within which it could assert this temporary presence was limited. Generally, aside from dispatching monks from the centre who may or may not have been able to exert influence locally, or donating local pagodas or monasteries, the court yielded to local patronage. Framing priestly or monastic activity within the context of formal church structures tied to Lisbon and Goa, on the one hand, or Buddhist royal capitals, on the other, has also helped to make the political centre look more powerful on the periphery and more relevant on the frontier than it actually was. The autonomous role played by Buddhist monks on the frontiers of the early modern Burmese state is paralleled by the surprising degree of autonomy and influence exercised by individual Catholic priests among the Portuguese settlements in Arakan and Burma. Rather than being unusual, this was often the nature of the Catholic mission in Asia in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Catholic priests were not limited to the formal domains of one or the other of the Iberian courts; they went wherever Portuguese communities took hold, regardless of their affiliations with the Estado da Índia. Further, some Catholic priests were not limited to either of these domains. In a Portuguese overseas world that was rapidly being overfilled with priests, their monasteries placing a heavy toll on the resources of local communities, there was good reason for new priestly arrivals to organise flocks in new lands; hence the great mobility of Catholic priests in Asia during the early modern period.11 Certainly, those priests who moved beyond the Estado da Índia and the Portuguese diasporic frontier did so at great peril and usually without much success. On this frontier, fortunate Catholic priests found flocks but little material support,

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with important exceptions. Portuguese renegades or freebooters, or, from the establishment of the Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan, refugee Japanese Christians, looked to Catholic priests to administer the sacraments and to conduct important Catholic rituals that would gain them success in battle and in peace. Even so, most were not wealthy enough to provide substantial patronage. Some of the Portuguese who bridged the two worlds of the Estado da Índia and the Portuguese diasporic rimlands were enabled to seek priests out through formal channels. Indeed, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, some prominent members of the Portuguese community at Dianga, the Portuguese enclave near Chittagong, had written to the Dominican Vicar General in Lisbon for priests.12 In his first three years at Syriam, the soon-to-be ruler Felipe de Brito himself summoned no Catholic priests until after he had secured formal aid from Goa, in 1603, when he stopped at Cochin on his way back to Syriam. There the Father Provincial agreed to write to the four priests in Bengal, directing them to send two of their number to Syriam: they arrived in February 1604.13 They were given a residence and a small church and then set about their duties.14 However, much of the movement of religious clergy was around the diasporic frontier, out of the direct sight of both the Estado da Índia and the Buddhist royal courts. It is true that such priests (or Buddhist monks) could represent one link of empire, providing ‘eyes and ears to the crown’, but it was not necessarily so and to no certain degree. From the perspective of the Portuguese in Burma at least, this was not the purpose or relevance of the priests.15 It can be dizzying to follow the stationing of these priests. In 1598, the Jesuit fathers Francisco Fernandes and João André Boves were dispatched to Dianga. The following year, the priests decided between themselves that Father Fernandes should remain at Dianga, while Father André would go to Pegu. And the priests were free to make on-the-spot decisions about the viability of new missions: once reaching Burma, for example, Father André remained in the port at Syriam for what seems to have been only a few months.16 Other priestly movements were more anonymous, and priests came and went without dispatch or invitation, as in the case of the Dominican

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friar Belchior da Luz, who, according to de Brito, was a near relative of his. Once da Luz – a timely replacement for Father André – had established himself in Syriam, he sought out de Brito.17 Among the Jesuits, a series of often paired priests were present in Syriam in the years that followed, including Balthasar Sequeira (1606), while Burmese sources mention two other priests after this time who cannot be clearly identified, and who were known only crudely as ‘Kumuzayu Antony’ and ‘Aragatu’.18 By 1607, priests were circulating in tours between Syriam and Sundiva Island (today, Sandwip Island), which, under Sebastião Gonsalves y Tibão, had become the new base for the Portuguese outside Chittagong after the loss of Dianga. In 1610, the Jesuits João Maria Griego and Blasius Nuñez served on Sundiva Island, while Manoel Pires and Manoel da Fonseca, also from the Society, served at Syriam. The following year, Pires and Diogo Nunes were at Sundiva, while Griego and Fonseca served at Syriam. In 1613, when Syriam was lost to the Burmese, Fonseca and Nunes were serving there, as were Franciscans, Dominicans, and secular priests. The Dominican priest Father Manoel Ferreyra was speared to death when the town was taken, and Fonseca, Nunes, and the Dominican Father Gonçalo (known as ‘O Granço’) were all deported to upper Burma, along with the other prisoners, when the town fell. Nunes himself never made it to the Lower Chindwin, for he died on the march north.19 The circulation of these priests was neither dependent on the Estado da Índia nor random. Catholic priests circulated between clear and definite nodes (Dianga, Syriam, and Sundiva Island) in a special space that was, again, outside the Estado da Índia but that encompassed the Portuguese diasporic frontier in this part of Asia. More specifically, the different orders were competing with each other to establish themselves in the different nodes.20 As the Jesuit Father Nicholau Pimenta had written with some anxiety while at Syriam in 1602: ‘I understand that Philip de Brito will call religious of other orders, if we decline this mission.’21 Nevertheless, even while Pimenta was there and as he himself notes, in addition to the Jesuits, the Capuchin friars had already established a presence outside the town walls.22 Hence, lists of priests in these towns are incomplete

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by themselves, for they only focus on the activities of religious from particular orders. The Catholic priests at Dianga, Syriam, and Sundiva saw their main responsibilities not in conversion but in preaching to existing Christians, mainly Portuguese. This does not deny their importance to community formation, since they performed important functions that helped local communities to integrate on the basis of religious fraternity to a degree that could probably not have been achieved through any other means. At Syriam in 1599, Father André administered the sacraments and took confessions from Portuguese there. Some of his activities drew the curiosity but not, importantly, the consternation of the Buddhist rulers present there: during Holy Week, for example, he made a sepulchre which the Arakanese king and his son came to observe.23 The Dominican priests who arrived in Chittagong in 1601 had come to administer the sacraments and to teach and instruct members of the Portuguese community.24 Similarly, the two priests who came to Syriam in February 1604 mainly preached to and heard confession from Portuguese soldiers and merchants.25 The services of these priests became crucial not only to the daily life of Portuguese communities in Burma but also to their perceived performance in battle. Of the two priests at Syriam in 1605–7, one, Pires, was stationed at the church, where he ministered to the population within the walls of the fortress, teaching, preaching, and hearing confessions, while the other was nearly always embarked with the fleet for battle service. The latter priest, Father Natal Salerno, was said to have been present during all the fighting in order not only to hear confessions but also to pray for success in battle, and victories appear to have been credited to him. This activity led to his own death in battle in 1607. Afterwards, Pires went with the fleet, which refused to move without a priest, and another Jesuit, Father João Maria, took his place in the church.26

Burmese Royal Patronage on the Periphery Confusion is likely when one considers central patronage by indigenous courts of the churches or priests of local Portuguese communities.

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Buddhist courts had incentives to tolerate and even fund such Catholic activities as one means of assuring some form of political control or allegiance. Portuguese enclaves, such as that at Dianga, manipulated their distance from the Estado da Índia and their membership in the Portuguese diaspora to cause endless trouble for local rulers. Because of their maritime trade connections, and especially because of their command of firearms and skill in using them, they were too dangerous a force to ignore on the outer limits of the royal domain. But their access to and facility with firearms also made it difficult for indigenous kings to exert much authority over these frontier communities. By patronising priests established in these communities, the kings could indirectly establish influence. They did so by paying for the construction of churches and supporting the priests with their own purse, so that these priests were symbolically under royal authority; in practical terms as well, the priests had an incentive to use their own influence over the community to prevent alienation from the royal court. The best example is the simultaneous sponsorship by the Arakanese king of both the Catholic church at Dianga and the Buddhist monastic order in the royal city. The 1599 meeting between Fathers Fonseca and Fernandes with the Arakanese king had been significant. Before the end of their meeting, the king explained to them that he wanted Catholic priests in residence both at Dianga and at his capital at Mrauk-U; he would also provide them with money to support and maintain them, and this money would increase the following year.27 Other instances demonstrate the tolerance shown to Catholic communities in the Lower Chindwin from the second decade of the seventeenth century. There are fewer examples, or at least there is less evidence, of the patronage of local Buddhist monastics during this period, which provides an interesting contrast. On the basis of anecdotal evidence, the priests appear to have had some pacifying effect on the volatile communities of Portuguese renegades, traders, and outcastes. According to one source, the indigenous population, ‘accustomed not to see nor to hear among [the Portuguese] anything but fighting, grunting, and ferocity, were enchanted with these seizures of humanity and gentleness’.28 The presence of a religious clergy who could exercise such an influence

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over this kind of community would thus be welcomed so long as there was little attempt to challenge indigenous adherence to Buddhism or the respect of lay Buddhists for the religious authority of Buddhist monastics. Moreover, accepting royal patronage implied recognition that the king remained the main patron in the kingdom; Buddhist Arakanese kings had, after all, built Muslim mosques for similar reasons. As Father Sebastião Manrique observed when he accepted patronage from the Arakanese king decades later, ‘Because all those naciones believe that the Christians of these parts esteem very much the Religiosos and Padres, when the king saw that I had placed myself in his power, he was completely self-assured.’29 What the Buddhist ruler gave, he could easily take away, but, despite the portrayal of religious persecution in Western documents, such moves were deeply political. In the case of the Portuguese community at Dianga, which soon expanded to include Sundiva Island outside the port, for example, its expansion only lasted until March 1603, when a different Portuguese community at Syriam rebelled against the Arakanese. The Arakanese court retaliated by plundering the Portuguese settlements at Dianga and elsewhere, and seized control of Sundiva Island. During this attack, people were killed, churches were burned, and the Jesuit fathers André Boves and Fernandes were imprisoned; the latter died shortly after his ordeal.30 This was not, however, a general assault on Catholics, priests, or even Portuguese more widely, only on those in a particular community who seem to have been selected as an example because of some unrecorded connection with de Brito. Although the Arakanese king did eventually turn on Christians elsewhere in his kingdom two years later, seizing 5,000 of them, as well as three priests, and reportedly desecrating their crucifix, as soon as the difficult political matters had been resolved, he returned to employing many of the same Portuguese he had abused and resumed his patronage of the very church at Dianga he had so recently desecrated.31 Indeed, shortly after the attack, the king made it a condition of peace with the Portuguese that they should keep Catholic priests in Arakan; he then set about building a new church and residence for the Dominican priests there, all completed quickly, by the middle of 1603. The reason for

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the Arakanese king’s peculiar generosity to the church was that he believed that ‘peace with the Portuguese would never be stable unless they had priests with them’.32 Politics and not religion, then, motivated the Arakanese court’s interventions among the Portuguese on the periphery of the kingdom.

Filipe de Brito and the Problems of the Periphery A better example of the confusion over politics and religion in local community formation is provided by the trials and tribulations of de Brito and his followers at Syriam in lower Burma. Old chroniclers and modern historians alike have considered the failed Portuguese enclave at Syriam, from 1599 to 1613, as a key example of a cultural and religious barrier, representing either the impermeability of indigenous mainland Southeast Asian society or the failings of a poorly conceived Portuguese imperial project. An early generation of Iberian chroniclers, represented by such men as Manuel de Faria e Sousa, focused on moral decline and poor leadership as the reasons for the retraction and eclipse of the Estado da Índia after decades of seemingly huge unrealised opportunities, and this line of thinking was reflected in older and ‘naive’ secondary literature on the history of the Estado.33 Among the examples of unfortunate Portuguese projects were the activities of de Brito, mentioned above. He had been employed as a member of the Arakanese royal bodyguard in the late sixteenth century. When the Arakanese moved against Pegu, the royal seat of the crumbling First Toungoo Empire, in 1599, they placed de Brito and a Portuguese contingent, as well as a Muslim contingent, to stand guard at Syriam, overlooking the Rangoon (Yangon) River and a major passage to the sea. Since control of Syriam afforded control over rich Burmese maritime trade, the commercial prospects were huge, and the Portuguese at Syriam abandoned the Arakanese court, overthrew the Muslim garrison, and established control over the strategic port town.34 De Brito is responsible for some of the confusion about whether or not Syriam belonged within the Estado da Índia. This resulted

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from his efforts to resolve a personal rivalry and an early leadership contest between Salvador Ribeyro and de Brito, reflected in different accounts that support the claims of one man or the other. Ribeyro the Spaniard, if we trust the account of his biographer Manuel de Abreu Mousinho, shored up the Portuguese position at Syriam from 1602 to 1603 without the help of either de Brito (he was away in Goa) or the Estado da Índia.35 De Brito, however, won because he reached out to Goa and was able to negotiate material and manpower support from the viceroyalty, as well as the promise of further aid through his marriage to Dona Luiza de Saldanha, the niece of the Viceroy of Goa, and his being awarded the habito de Christo (making him a Knight of the Order of Christ, a very high honour).36 Compared to Ribeyro’s few and weary men, de Brito’s ships and men brought from Goa easily allowed him to assert control, legitimated by the backing of the Portuguese viceroy, although the latter by itself would probably have meant very little. De Brito would attempt to force passing Portuguese and other shipping to come to Syriam and pay a duty.37 This plan, despite approval from the Portuguese crown, yielded little fruit, and orders for all passing Portuguese shipping to stop at Syriam and pay de Brito did not arrive before he had been killed.38 Indeed, his relationship with Goa had little influence in the long term on the fortunes of his port city other than to secure his personal control over a rival at a key moment. Thereafter, the Estado da Índia’s help was not as important, and de Brito seems not to have sought their involvement in Syriam’s affairs, aside from circulating a few ‘feelers’ for large-scale support for a campaign against the interior of Burma. While in Goa in 1603, for example, he wrote a report detailing how, with control of Syriam, the Portuguese crown would gain control of Burma also.39 De Brito is remembered most, however, not for his relationship to the Estado da Índia, but for his zeal in developing his personal fortune at local expense. He would come to influence or control outright large parts of the Irrawaddy Delta over the years that followed, buttressed by his marriage and other kinds of alliances with indigenous rulers of important towns upriver and on the coast. One might have expected, given the way in which de Brito portrayed himself to the Estado da Índia when he needed its help,

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that encouraging large-scale conversion efforts would have been a sensible thing for him to do, in order to obtain assistance from Goa in the future. Moreover, Lower Burma would seem to have been an ideal place to engage in such an effort. For the past half-century and more, Pegu, just upriver from Syriam, had been the core of the Burmese kingdom. But the kingdom had begun to unravel from the early 1590s, until it finally collapsed in 1599. Because of war and economic collapse, perhaps hundreds of thousands from the region had sought refuge elsewhere, in particular among the new political centres that broke away from Pegu as it weakened. Peguan patronage of Buddhism and the monastic order had also collapsed. In other words, a political centre had taken on the character of what might normally be considered a periphery. Add to this the doubt and uncertainty that follows the collapse of a political, social, and religious order and one might have expected greater receptivity to a new faith championed by a new and, at least at the time, apparently more successful and promising order. Nevertheless, references to conversion in the early years of Portuguese Syriam are brief and relatively undetailed. Portuguese accounts claim that, when the Arakanese king had originally stationed the Portuguese at Syriam in 1599, they were mandated not only to garrison the spot but also to gather and protect indigenous refugees who might return from the wars; or, in other words, to foster the growth of a lively and populous port town. By October 1602, de Brito had organised the construction of settlements for these people, some 14,000 to 15,000 in total, who engaged in cultivation around the city and all of whom, we are told by Catholic sources, were disposed to be baptised.40 Certainly, the Jesuit Fernão Guerreiro argued that the main purpose of the Portuguese fortresses in the region, and hopefully of Syriam as well, was to give shelter to local populations who could then be converted to Christianity.41 In a lengthy letter written at Syriam in 1602, Pimenta observed that Lower Burma was ripe for conversion, that Buddhist monks had admitted that they were merely waiting for someone to teach them a better religion, and that these monks also came to Christian churches to venerate the images of the saints and the crucifix.42

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Despite the optimism of Pimenta and Guerreiro, reality proved very different. Missionaries found it difficult to find potential converts among the indigenous population in either Arakan or Lower Burma. When Father André arrived at Syriam in 1599, he bemoaned the fact that it was not possible to introduce Christianity there, because the recent wars had left the land a wasteland, devoid of inhabitants.43 He thus abandoned hope and left Syriam for Dianga.44 De Brito himself wrote to Pimenta in 1601 that, although priests would presumably be welcomed by the Portuguese among his followers, there was little hope of spreading Christianity so long as warfare prevailed: ‘as the country is still disturbed, it holds out no promise; but we hope with the help of God that, when it is pacified, it will yield some good fruit’.45 The two priests who arrived in February 1604 were also to preach to indigenous Christians. Moreover, they were said to have sought converts, but no indication is given as to how or how vigorously this was done. By 1605–6, however, even Guerreiro admitted that little evangelistic effort was being directed towards the indigenous population, not because of a lack of interest on the people’s part but because they were reportedly too disturbed by warfare, and the priests were therefore waiting for a period of tranquility for this work to commence. In most cases, the few baptisms that took place occurred among sick children in the vicinity of the Portuguese settlements.46 During the entire period, from de Brito’s installation at Syriam in 1599 until the end of his wars with Arakan in 1607, the failure to convert large numbers of Peguans to Christianity seems to have had little impact on his willingness or ability to recruit soldiers from among the local population. Although their role is not stressed in the Portuguese accounts, occasional references indicate that the Portuguese soldiers at Syriam and in the various expeditions dispatched by de Brito were vastly outnumbered by Peguans, who might have included some Christian converts but who were probably mostly Buddhists.47 Without conversion to Christianity – at least until after 1607, as will be discussed further below – it is unclear by what means a community of tens of thousands of Buddhist Peguans cooperated with scores to hundreds of Portuguese under de Brito’s

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leadership in the years of warfare against the Arakanese. Most of the sources for the period refer to Peguans among Portuguese forces at Syriam, but shed little light on how the little port polity functioned internally. Given later developments, however, as well as de Brito’s correspondence with the institutions of the Estado da Índia, it is fairly certain that the ‘glue’ that kept this community together was not Christianity. If we were to accept the version of de Brito presented in both the Portuguese and the Burmese literature, the question of why he did not simply attempt to convert the local population to Christianity from the beginning of his revolt against the Arakanese becomes interesting but difficult to answer. As with the Arakanese king’s approach to the Portuguese community at Dianga, it seems that de Brito’s hand was often guided by political necessity. He had stated all along that he did not think conversion was wise until he had secured his position at Syriam. This could have been because he would need to recruit locally for manpower to supplement his ship crews, build his fortress walls, and garrison his positions. If he should engage in forcible conversion before he had finally beaten off the Arakanese, he might be dealing a fatal and self-inflicted blow. On the other hand, he may simply have paid lip-service to plans for local conversion while having no longterm intentions to follow through with his promises to the church or to the crown. This may have changed, however, when his attention was turned, after many years, from the need to defend his position to a more exclusive concern with enriching himself from the local landscape, especially after plans to force Portuguese shipping to stop at Syriam and pay for a permit did not fulfil his expectations. From late 1607, de Brito seems to have felt secure enough to pursue energetically what appears only on the surface to have been service to the cross. He now began to raid local pagodas, to steal wealth donated to Buddhism, and to melt down Buddhist temple bells to cast cannon. There is ample corroboration for de Brito’s using temple bells in this way, beginning in 1608 with the temple closest to him – the Shwe Dagon Pagoda across the river – which had a bell donated by King Dhammazedi that was at the time (and still is today) the largest bell in the world. Since this bell would have obviously been

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the biggest prize in terms of metal, and because it was so close to de Brito’s fortress, it seems likely that his seizure of this bell marked the beginning of his temple desecration. In this case, he used elephants to pull the gigantic bell down to the river, loaded it onto a raft, and then lost it to the muddy depths when the raft broke close to Monkey Point near modern Rangoon; attempts to recover the gargantuan copper bell continue to the present day.48 Burmese sources also hold that de Brito sought to extract other resources from the temples as well. Gold and silver enshrined in the cetis of the temples, together with iron finials and bronze drums, were all removed to be resold overseas.49 While religious wealth was stolen, there does not appear to be any evidence of the wholesale destruction of more poorly endowed religious buildings, despite a vague assertion by U Tin in the 1930s that de Brito destroyed all Buddhist structures in Lower Burma.50 There is no evidence of anything quite so extreme, but it is true that during the early part of de Brito’s time at Syriam, abandoned temples and monasteries were occupied by Catholic priests and turned into churches, hospitals, and colleges. For example, during this period a Buddhist monastery at Syriam was made into a church for the secular clergy (under the Bishop of Cochin) and a Buddhist pagoda was assigned to the Jesuits and renamed St Paul’s Church. But there is little evidence of Buddhist monasteries being destroyed at any point.51 Burmese royal sources attempt to portray the Portuguese at Syriam at this time as engaging in what amounted to massive forced conversion and the destruction of Peguan religious culture. De Brito is said to have ordered that donations were no longer to be made to Buddhist monks, and such monks were thus forced to flee the region; only Catholics were allowed to remain within the walls of his city. Both Peguan and Burmese monks who remained accepted conversion and took to drinking alcohol and wearing woollen hats and other accoutrements of Christian priestly wear.52 According to Mei-hti Hsaya-daw, a Burmese monk writing in the 1790s, the practice of religious men wearing hats began under the rule of de Brito, whom the Burmese refer to as Nga Zinga, at Syriam (Thanlyn, in Burmese).

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Unfortunately, Mei-hti Hsaya-daw is not more detailed than this, and it is unclear what dynamics were at work here. For example, the monastic historian could mean that de Brito’s rule disrupted normal Buddhist courtly management of the religion, and hence some irregularities slipped in among Buddhist monks. Certainly, he also asserts that unorthodox practices regarding the wearing of monastic robes were introduced during this period because, it is implied, no one forced a resolution of monastic differences.53 Taken as a whole, these activities were said to have driven underground those Buddhists who remained. Some conversion must have taken place, however, for, although the Portuguese had numbered about one hundred when Syriam was besieged in 1613, before the fighting and the reported slaughter of many Portuguese had occurred, Fonseca, taken prisoner with the rest, reported in his letter of 29 December 1616 that there were 5,000 Christians among their imprisoned number. One can only assume that most of these were Peguan Christians, perhaps with groups of Indian converts.54 The testimony of the Burmese accounts, however, is suspect. Rather than local sources, these accounts draw solely upon the archives of the royal centre, at a time when Burmese armies came south and defeated de Brito. Political and economic reasons must certainly have weighed heavily in the Burmese expansion to the south, and de Brito was probably seen more as a threat to Burmese material and political wellbeing than as a threat to Buddhism in the kingdom. Both the sacrilege against Buddhist pagodas and the reportedly forced nature of religious conversion in the episode are used as examples of the misguided policies that brought about the enclave’s collapse. As a result, we are told, of his insults to Buddhism, de Brito’s fortress was besieged by angry Burmese; he was taken alive, and impaled on an iron stake. Hanging from this, he bled to death three days later. The image of a ‘skewered’ de Brito was also a symbol in the Burmese narratives of what happened to those who challenged the prevailing indigenous system of beliefs. In a similar way, one late eighteenthcentury Burmese chronicler associated residual Catholic influences after the fall of Syriam with the subsequent impurity of Buddhism in southern Burma and hence the need for northern Buddhists to purify

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it.55 Buddhist accounts thus misinterpreted what was in fact the assertion of political authority as the assertion of a central religion, misreading a political motivation as a religious one. A more nuanced interpretation of what underscored the Burmese siege and capture of Syriam in 1613 is supported by the treatment of the Portuguese captives, which was very similar to the Arakanese king’s treatment of the community at Dianga after 1603. The Buddhist royal court wanted to keep the newly captured Portuguese in a contained community as a resource under its control. The survivors among de Brito’s men, Portuguese of various origins, were dragged off to lands deep in the interior, where they became hereditary artillerymen in the Burmese royal army. Strangely, despite the religious tone of the historical accounts of the episode, from both the Portuguese and Burmese sides, the Portuguese deportees were allowed to practise their faith freely, openly ministered to by Portuguese Catholic priests. Although Nunes had died on the way to Upper Burma, the community still had the services of Gonçalo and Fonseca, a Dominican and a Jesuit respectively. Moreover, over the years, they were allowed to receive new priests dispatched by their respective orders.56 The Portuguese taken at Syriam thus appear to have been returned to a situation akin to that of their compatriots at Dianga. The Buddhist court allowed them a Catholic priest and provided patronage, and the community was maintained in a subordinate and felicitous relation with the indigenous court.

Conclusion It is difficult to determine which of the many obstacles to understanding cultural and religious change outside the political centre is the most problematic in dealing with sixteenth-century Southeast Asia. Perhaps the most serious is the straightforwardness of accounts in centrally controlled paper archives. These seem to have readymade and easily digestible answers for all of our potential questions regarding the reasons why Catholic priests were in Burma at the time, how much Portuguese communities there were a part of the Estado da Índia, and why de Brito fell. Such sources blind us to

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the need to question the paradigm of conquest and conversion, from the Portuguese side, or desecration and punishment, from the Burmese accounts. Nevertheless, despite the paucity of local sources, local realities always leave their imprint on the written records if they are examined closely enough and with a commitment on the part of the researcher to ask different kinds of questions. But it also requires looking beyond the political, religious, and economic parameters established by the scholarship of one’s own time. If one wants to understand the Portuguese in Burma within the framework of the Estado da Índia, it is fairly easy to do so, if one holds that the Estado’s boundaries moved wherever members of the Portuguese diaspora went. Local activity during the period, however, suggests otherwise, affiliations with the Estado being temporary invitations made by men who were in search of help to resolve immediate political and economic crises. As I have attempted to show in this chapter, religious conversion and patronage by both the Portuguese leadership and the Buddhist courts were often heavily guided by political and economic considerations. While political leadership often both enabled and disrupted local community formation, through religious fraternity or otherwise, it did not change local realities. Religious influence in the overlap of the frontiers of Buddhist kingdoms and the Portuguese diaspora rested more properly with the responsibility of individual Catholic priests, as it did in other areas of Burma with Buddhist monks, with the cooperation of local interests, to fashion a flock. These priests played an important role in pulling together renegade Portuguese communities through preaching, hearing confession, and conducting religious rituals. It may seem unusual that priests who wrote enthusiastic letters back to their superiors about the lucrative prospects for evangelisation proved to be rather unenthusiastic about actually initiating mass conversions of indigenous populations. Perhaps that phenomenon can be best attributed to local expediency and the place of agents of religious and cultural change in these areas where the Portuguese diaspora and Burma’s frontiers overlapped. In this zone, improvisation and cooperation between priest and renegade was an essential part of making local communities work.

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References 1. Michiel Baud and Willem van Schendel, ‘Toward a Comparative History of Borderlands’, Journal of World History viii/2 (1997), pp. 211–42; James C. Scott, The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (New Haven, 2009). 2. Michael W. Charney, Powerful Learning: Buddhist Literati and the Throne in Burma’s Last Dynasty (Ann Arbor, 2006). 3. Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Improvising Empire: Portuguese Trade and Settlement in the Bay of Bengal 1500–1700 (New Delhi, 1990), p. 139. 4. George Winius, ‘Embassies from Malacca and the “Shadow Empire”’, in Francis A. Dutra and João Camilo dos Santos (eds), Proceedings of the International Colloquium on the Portuguese and the Pacific: University of California, Santa Barbara, October 1993 (Santa Barbara, CA, 1995), pp. 170–8. 5. For a broader discussion of the Portuguese diaspora in the context of the expansion of the Portuguese empire, see Malyn Newitt, A History of Portuguese Overseas Expansion, 1400–1668 (London, 2005), pp. 98–136. 6. Sanjay Subrahmanyam, The Portuguese Empire in Asia, 1500– 1700: A Political and Economic History (London, 1993), p. 152. 7. Fernão Guerreiro, Relação anual das coisas que fizeram os padres da Companhia de Jesus nas suas missões do Japaõ: China, Cataio, Tidore, Ternate, Ambóino, Malaca, Pegu, Bengala, Bisnagá, Maduré, costa da Pescaria, Manar, Ceilão, Travancor, Malabar, Sodomala, Goa, Salcete, Lahor, Diu, Etiopia a alta ou Preste João, Monomotapa, Angola, Guiné, Serra Leoa, cabo Verde e Brasil; nos anos de 1600 a 1609, e do processo da conversão e cristandade daquelas partes: tirada das cartas que os missionários de lá escreveram, 3 vols (Coimbra, 1930–42), vol. 1, p. 293. 8. Winius, ‘Embassies from Malacca’, pp. 170–1. 9. Rila Mukherjee, ‘The Struggle for the Bay: The Life and Times of Sandwip, an Almost Unknown Portuguese Port in the Bay of Bengal in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries’, Revista da Faculdade de Letras. História, Series 3, ix (2008), p. 81.

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10. Francisco Bethencourt, ‘Political Configurations and Local Powers’, in Francisco Bethencourt and Diogo Ramada Curto (eds), Portuguese Oceanic Expansion, 1400–1800 (Cambridge, 2007), pp. 213–14. 11. A. J. R. Russell-Wood, The Portuguese Empire, 1415–1808: A World on the Move (Baltimore, 1998), p. 92. 12. Luis de Cacegas, Primeira parte da historia de S. Domingos, particular do reino e conquistas de Portugal, 3rd edn., ed. Luis de Sousa, 6 vols (Lisbon, 1866), vol. 5, p. 426; H. Hosten (trans.), ‘The Dominicans at Chittagong (1601–1603)’, Bengal Past and Present ix/1 (1914), p. 1. 13. Guerreiro, Relação anual, vol. 2, p. 138. 14. Ibid. 15. George D. Winius, ‘Early Portuguese Travel and Influence at the Corner of Asia’, no. XIII in George D. Winius, Studies on Portuguese Asia, 1495–1689 (Aldershot, 2001), p. 219. 16. Guerreiro, Relação anual, vol. 1, p. 47. 17. H. Hosten (trans.), ‘Fr. N. Pimenta, S. J., on Mogor (Goa, 1 Dec., 1600)’, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, xxiii (1927), pp. 95–6. 18. Pagan U Tin, Myan-ma-min Ok-chok-pon sa-dan, 5 vols (Rangoon, 1931–3), vol. 3, p. 160. 19. ‘Father Manoel da Fonseca, S. J., in Ava (Burma) (1613–1652)’, trans. L. Besse and ed. H. Hosten, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal xxi (1925), pp. 27–8; L. Besse and H. Hosten, ‘List of Portuguese Jesuit Missionaries in Bengal and Burma (1576–1742)’, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal vii/2 (1911), pp. 17–18. 20. Isabel dos Guimarães Sá, ‘Ecclesiastical Structures and Religious Action’, in Francisco Bethencourt and Diogo Ramada Curto (eds), Portuguese Oceanic Expansion, 1400–1800 (Cambridge, 2007), pp. 262–3. 21. H. Hosten, ‘Jesuit Letters from Bengal, Arakan and Burma (1599–1600)’, Bengal Past and Present xxx (1925), p. 76. 22. Ibid., p. 71. 23. Guerreiro, Relação anual, vol. 1, p. 47.

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24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35.

36.

37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48.

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Hosten (trans.), ‘The Dominicans at Chittagong’, p. 1. Guerreiro, Relação anual, vol. 2, p. 138. Ibid., vol. 2, pp. 141, 320, vol. 3, pp. 77, 84. Ibid., vol. 1, p. 46. Cacegas, Primeira parte da historia de S. Domingos, vol. 5, p. 427; see also Hosten (trans.), ‘The Dominicans at Chittagong’, p. 3. Sebastião Manrique, Itinerário de Sebastião Manrique, ed. Luís Silveira, 2 vols (Lisbon, 1946), vol. 1, p. 84. Guerreiro, Relação anual, vol. 2, p. 139. Ibid., vol. 2, p. 319. Hosten (trans.), ‘The Dominicans at Chittagong’, p. 5. Subrahmanyam, Improvising Empire, pp. 137–8. Guerreiro, Relação anual, vol. 1, p. 290. This account has been published as Manuel de Abreu Mousinho, Breve discurso em que se conta a conquista do Reino do Pegú, with an introduction by M. Lopes D’Almeida (Barcelos, 1936). King Philip III to the Viceroy of Goa, 2 March 1605, in Raymundo Antonio de Bulhão Pato and António da Silva Rego (eds), Documentos remetidos da India: ou, Livros das Monçoes, 8 vols (Lisbon, 1880–1977), vol. 1, pp. 23–4. Subrahmanyam, The Portuguese Empire in Asia, p. 152. Mukherjee, ‘The Struggle for the Bay’, p. 77. Guerreiro, Relação anual, vol. 1, p. 293. Ibid., vol. 1, pp. 290–2. Ibid., vol. 2, p. 317. Hosten, ‘Jesuit Letters from Bengal, Arakan and Burma’, p. 71. Guerreiro, Relação anual, vol. 1, p. 47. Ibid., vol. 1, p. 49. Hosten (trans.), ‘Fr. N. Pimenta, S. J., on Mogor’, pp. 95–6. Guerreiro, Relação anual, vol. 2, pp. 138, 320. Ibid., vol. 3, p. 82. ‘The Dhammazedi Bell: An Inauspicious Tale’, Myanmar Times (12–18 July 2010), Internet: http://www.mmtimes.com/2010/ news/531/news014.html (accessed 25 May 2012). Tin, Myan-ma-min Ok-chok-pon sa-dan, vol. 3, p. 161. Ibid.

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Hosten, ‘Jesuit Letters from Bengal, Arakan and Burma’, p. 70. Tin, Myan-ma-min Ok-chok-pon sa-dan, vol. 3, pp. 160–1. Mei-hti hsaya-daw, Vamsa Dipani (Rangoon, 1966), pp. 130–1. ‘Father Manoel da Fonseca’, p. 29. Mei-hti hsaya-daw, Vamsa Dipani, p. 130. ‘Father Manoel da Fonseca’, pp. 28 and 33.

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CHAPTER THREE Priests of a Foreign God: CATHOLIC RELIGIOUS LEADERSHIP AND SACRAL AUTHORITY IN SEVENTEENTHCENTURY TONKIN AND COCHINCHINA Tara Alberts

In 1666 a strange new priest arrived in Tonkin, bearing the news that henceforth all Catholics of the kingdom should accept the authority of a new bishop, appointed directly by the Pope. This priest, François Deydier, and his bishop, François Pallu, were not members of any of the religious orders who had previously worked the mission fields of the region. They were French secular priests, members of a new missionary organisation, the Société des Missions Étrangères de Paris (MEP), and they had come to Southeast Asia to create a ‘native’ priesthood in those countries where the faith had taken hold. The Catholics of Tonkin had been left without sacerdotal supervision for almost three years, as all European missionaries had been expelled in

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November 1663. In the absence of priests, converts relied on catechists and lay religious leaders to guide them. One of these catechists, Benoît Vaˇn Hiê`n, was among the first Christian leaders to recognise the authority of the new French missionaries and to pledge his allegiance to them. In 1668 he was sent to the new MEP seminary in Ayutthaya, Siam, where he and his companion, Giuong Vaˇn Hoe (1624–71), were ordained as Catholic priests.1 It was hoped that the ordinations of 1668 would mark the beginning of a stable, locally grounded church, staffed by priests who were rooted in the same soil as that in which they sought to sow the seeds of the faith. These first Vietnamese priests were celebrated by the French missionaries as model Catholics: they ‘gave such heroic signs of their humility, their simplicity and their poverty, of their great rationality, of their self-mortification . . . that they astonished everybody, who now considered them as further disciples of the primitive church’.2 The moment of transformation of two Vietnamese lay men into ordained Catholic priests with sacral authority over souls was seen by the MEP missionaries as a key turning point in the history of Christian evangelisation in Asia. Missionaries from Portuguese Malacca and Macau and from Spanish Manila had travelled throughout Southeast Asia since the early sixteenth century. Yet, until this time, the missionary orders serving in Southeast Asian lands under the aegis of the Portuguese and Spanish crowns had on the whole been reluctant to ordain non-Europeans as priests.3 In 1658 the Roman Congregation ‘de Propaganda Fide’ – a centralised body created in 1622 to oversee Catholic evangelisation worldwide – had appointed three new bishops, empowered as ‘Vicars Apostolic’ with authority over all missionaries in Southeast Asia and China, to correct this Iberian failure. The new French missionary society had been founded to support this endeavour.4 Back in Tonkin, these new Vietnamese priests would face hostility and rejection from their former pastors – the Jesuit priests who had overseen their conversion to the faith. Many Jesuits were alarmed that concessions had been granted to allow the ordination of men who could read Latin aloud but did not understand it. Many would agree with Jesuit Joseph Tissanier, who declared that the seven Vietnamese

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men ordained in 1670 had formerly been merely the ‘catechists and servants’ of the Jesuits and were ‘little capable of this high office’.5 Moreover, some Vietnamese Catholic converts refused to recognise these men as priests. Communities who had accepted their role as catechists repudiated their claims to sacral authority following their ordination, and chose new religious leaders to replace them. It was not only the Vietnamese priests who raised suspicions; not all Vietnamese Catholics were as convinced as Hiê`n and Hoe had been of the legitimacy of the French priests. Several groups of Catholics in Tonkin and Cochinchina chose to reject these new foreign priests, believing that only the Jesuits were capable of administering the sacraments. Considering those communities and individuals who chose to convert to Catholicism, this chapter explores how far concepts of religious leadership and sacral authority were shared between missionaries and their converts. It uncovers the extent to which ideas of religious authority were changed and adapted in the intercultural encounter between European missionary priests and Vietnamese Catholics. The chapter will foreground the lay agency which led to the creation, administration, and direction of Catholic religious life in Vietnam, and highlight the importance of lay men and women in shaping local concepts of religious leadership. Men and women could assume positions of authority within their communities, borrowing legitimacy and power from the new religion, but at the same time they sometimes rejected key concepts of priesthood and ecclesiastical hierarchy promoted by the faith’s foreign emissaries. This would provoke the crucial question for European commentators – were these converts truly Catholic? This issue was complicated by the intense disagreements between rival missionary orders and the struggle over ecclesiastical jurisdiction between various groups within the European Catholic Church. Missionaries sought to import a model of the Catholic Church that was rooted in the reforms of the Council of Trent (1545–63): the decrees of this great reforming council had asserted the centrality of the priest and the sacraments to the religious lives of all Catholics. Yet, owing to the small number of priests in Tonkin and

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Cochinchina, convert communities often existed with minimal sacerdotal contact. Autochthonous hierarchies of spiritual authority frequently developed to support newly implanted systems of beliefs and practices. On his visit to the northern provinces of Tonkin in 1648, for example, the Jesuit Francesco Montefuscoli ‘discovered’ fourteen churches which the laity had established, and was ‘consoled beyond measure by the fervour of the Christians, especially those who live in the mountains and forsaken places’.6 In these churches, converts constructed their own roles, which were invested with new forms of sacral authority, often drawing on local models and conceptions of spiritual efficacy and power. New spiritual currents coming into Southeast Asia in the early modern period could challenge existing structures of religious authority and create new foci of sacral power. Missionaries sought to displace local ritual specialists and to assert their own pre-eminence in the spiritual economy. They wished to prove that they were able to interact and have commerce with the transcendent as the only authentic priests of the ‘one true’ God, and to demonstrate that they could manipulate supernatural forces with powerful tools: the sacraments, sacramentals, and prayer. In some ways, Catholic missionaries were often successful in these aims: in Tonkin and Cochinchina they won large numbers of converts, who were reportedly persuaded by their arguments and religious texts and by their performances of rites of healing. Yet the question remains whether these converts understood the role of the priest in the same way as the missionaries did themselves.

Priests, Catechists, and Cabeças: Figures of Religious Authority Tonkin and Cochinchina had once formed a single realm under the Lê dynasty, but this old Annam had disintegrated as the Lê lost control to powerful noble factions. Throughout most of the seventeenth century two families, the Tri.nh and the Nguyê˜n, fought for supremacy, both claiming loyalty to the figurehead Lê emperor.7 In the south, the Nguyê˜n waged wars of aggression with neighbouring lands in order

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to expand their territory, pushing the boundaries of Cochinchina southwards. In Cochinchina the Nguyê˜n also sought further resources for prosecuting their wars against the Tri.nh by encouraging trade: the ports of Hô.i An and Ðà Na˘˜ng (known to Europeans as Faifo and Tourane) became important centres for merchants from all over East and Southeast Asia. The Tri.nh, promoting a more traditional Confucian model of government in Tonkin, were more wary of reliance on foreign trade, and far more sceptical about the benefits of welcoming foreign missionaries. However, access to European military technology could be valuable, and the taxing of trade could provide quick revenue.8 By welcoming Catholic missionaries, local authorities could help to secure trading links with European merchants in Macau, Malacca, and Manila. Priests were therefore periodically tolerated and granted concessions, as this suited the economic and diplomatic exigencies of the regions’ rulers. Confucian, Taoist, and Buddhist philosophies predominated in Cochinchina and Tonkin, alongside a wide range of varied beliefs in a panoply of heavenly and earthly spirits which populated the universe. Figures of religious authority included members of the Buddhist Sangha (order of monks), male and female Taoist practitioners, and a wide variety of men and women skilled in propitiating spirits and offering ritual remedies for misfortune, and prophylaxis against it.9 Yet, in times of crisis, the authority of ‘people of spiritual prowess’ (to borrow and adapt a concept from Oliver Wolters) could be called into question.10 The power of religious leaders, spiritual healers, and others to whom one would normally turn for remedies could be challenged by ongoing calamities. Religious reform, or conversion to another religion, were seen as possible solutions.11 Amid the upheavals of war and the attendant disasters of drought, pestilence, and famine that plagued seventeenth-century Vietnam, missionaries of various faiths therefore found a space in which to flourish. Cham communities, displaced by the Viet push south as Cochinchina expanded, became one of the only mainland Southeast Asian groups to convert to Islam. Meanwhile, in both Tonkin and Cochinchina, Catholic missionaries were surprised and heartened by the number of converts they managed to secure.

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The mission lands of Cochinchina and Tonkin were first penetrated by Augustinian and Franciscan friars from Macau and the Philippines in the sixteenth century. However, it was with missionaries of the Society of Jesus in the seventeenth century that a substantial Christian population was created. The arrival of the first Jesuits in Cochinchina in 1615 reflected a changing emphasis of the Society: previously, most personnel had been sent to the missions in Japan. Now, Francesco Busomi, Diogo Carvalho, Antonio Díaz, and their Japanese assistants Saito Paulo, Tsuchimochi José, and Nishi Tomé came to look after the communities of exiled Japanese Christians who had fled persecutions, and also to investigate the potential for the conversion of Cochinchina. The Jesuit mission in Tonkin was founded around a decade later. The reconnaissance missions of Gabriel de Matos and Giuliano Baldinotti in 1624 and 1626 confirmed the potential of the country as a mission land, and some of the veterans of the Cochinchina mission, Alexandre de Rhodes and Pedro Marquez, were sent to establish a Jesuit presence in 1627.12 Jesuit João Cabral asserted that, between 1627 and 1648, a remarkable 188,037 people were baptised in Tonkin alone, a figure which did not include the many who had been baptised by converts themselves but not recorded.13 From the beginning, accounts written by these missionaries were wildly optimistic about the spiritual potential of Tonkin and Cochinchina, envisaging the imminent conversion of the whole region. The Jesuits had proved effective at presenting themselves as ‘men of spiritual prowess’. They came equipped with impressive religious texts printed in Chinese (the language of the literati) and a grasp of local languages, allowing them to expound convincingly upon the mysteries of the faith; they found themselves able to cure a variety of illnesses and to perform exorcisms with their prayers and holy water. Indeed, they were successful enough to incite anxiety among the ruling elites of both Tonkin and Cochinchina, where concepts of political power, social order, and morality were inextricably entwined.14 The popularity of this new religion and its leaders could be seen as a seditious threat to legitimate authority: converts gathered together secretly for worship, entered into relationships of loyalty and deference with foreign figures of authority, and – worse – rejected or tried

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to adapt ceremonies used to honour rulers of the country, Confucius, and their ancestors. In Tonkin, the success of heterodox teachings (tà giáo) promoted by Buddhist, Taoist, and Catholic preachers all worried Confucian reformers: Catholicism especially ‘intoxicated’ the hearts of followers, leading to depravity and sedition.15 Missionary claims to special knowledge and spiritual powers could also be unsettling. One Franciscan reported that the Jesuits fell out of favour in Cochinchina because one of them, Bento de Matos, had used his almanac to predict that it would rain on a certain day, and when it did not, this ‘irritated the mandarin, and so he had them thrown out of the kingdom for this and ordered that they return no more’. The author manages a smug aside which compares the sacral powers of these hapless Jesuits to these of the ‘more effective’ Franciscans who preceded them: it was the case that the first religious who came here were Brothers Bartolomé Ruiz and Francisco Montilla, discalced Franciscan Castilian Friars, and they were so holy and of such devout prayer, that it seems that God worked many miracles through them, and thus it is thought here, as [the local people] are infidels, that all can do with God what these did.16 On several occasions, Catholic missionaries in Tonkin and Cochinchina were accused of using their powers for ill, by preventing the rain and causing famine. It seems that persuading a target audience of one’s spiritual prowess was one thing, but it was also necessary to convey the benign role of the priest. In missionary conversion narratives and accounts of evangelistic endeavours, Vietnamese converts appear to be divinely inspired in their understanding of the faith, instinctively grasping the authority and benevolent role of the priest. Alexandre de Rhodes asserted that ‘the love they have for their Faith inspires in them an incredible esteem for all the little ceremonies proper to it. They consider the Fathers who preach to them as angels, and glory in obeying them in every little thing’.17 They seemed to comprehend immediately the importance of the sacraments and the value of the sacramentals (such

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as holy images, holy water, blessed candles, and Agnus Dei). Such ‘devotion and fervour in spiritual things cannot be easily explained’, one Jesuit claimed; ‘it seems that God has renovated in this Church of Tonkin the ancient spirit of the primitive Church’.18 In such stories, the Vietnamese Christians provide an example to the European readership of perfect and proper devotion to the person of the priest, recognising his sacral authority and the importance of the sacraments. Reading missionary accounts, we should bear in mind the context of Counter-Reformation (re)formulations of priesthood. Missionaries were part of a larger project of Catholic renewal and reform from the sixteenth century, and a central concern of this project was to emphasise the centrality of the ordained priest to Catholic religious life. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, re-enacted in the sacrament of the Eucharist, was to be at the heart of devotion. The parish church was to be the principal place of worship, displacing intense and varied practices of medieval lay religiosity – of pilgrimages, local holy sites and shrines, confraternities, and private prayer – which had minimised the role of the priest.19 Against the arguments of Protestant reformers, who described a ‘priesthood of all believers’ and denied the special status of ordained clergy, the Council of Trent set out dogmas concerning the sacral role and character of a priest.20 Trent’s theologians asserted that, like all sacraments, that of ordination imprinted a ‘spiritual and indelible mark’ on the recipient’s soul. This mark was the ‘character’ of priesthood, ‘which cannot be deleted or removed’ and which set the priest apart from the laity, giving him the power to consecrate, to celebrate the sacrifice of the Eucharist, and to remit or retain sins.21 Henceforth, all Catholics were to believe that through ordination priests were permanently imbued with spiritual power by virtue of their office, filled with the Holy Spirit, and endowed with sacral authority relevant to their position in the hierarchy of the Church, which itself was ‘instituted by divine appointment’.22 In the words of the reforming Archbishop of Milan, Federico Borromeo, priests were ‘the fibres, arteries and sinews of the Holy Church’.23 Just as Counter-Reformation missionaries in Europe fought to place the priest and the sacraments at the centre of Catholic worship,

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and to replace superstition with licit devotions, in the overseas missions there was a need to fight against alternative models of sacred authority and supernatural power, ‘demonically introduced’ all over the world to confound man’s salvation. This contest is dramatised in countless missionary accounts, which depict spiritual battles between the priest and his ‘rival’: an officiant of another belief system. Typically, the two men are depicted as roughly equal in the hierarchies of their respective faith systems. They face each other in front of an expectant audience, each invested with authority in his religion and each claiming the ability to mediate with the divine or otherworldly. Both strive to demonstrate their sacral qualities and authority through a display of erudition or spiritual power: debating, healing the sick, casting out demons. Such contests could occur in the least expected places. When the French missionary Louis Chevreuil sailed to Cochinchina in 1664, for example, he was disturbed to find a small altar erected on the poop deck, upon which scented wood burned day and night to ensure the safety of the voyage. Chevreuil was pressed to contribute to the expense of these offerings, but replied that I was a priest, and servant of the true God, lord of heaven and earth, to whom I sacrificed every day, and that I also prayed to him every day to have a good wind and a good voyage, because it is he alone in whom we must place our trust, and not in their pagodas.24 The Buddhist officiants then completed their ceremonies and the wind changed for the worse. They attacked Chevreuil for ‘angering the pagodas’, but on the safe arrival of the ship in the harbour even those who had been most angry with the priest changed their tune, offering him every assistance and behaving like his ‘best friends’.25 For Chevreuil, such an occasion was a chance to prove his monopoly over spiritual power, and to deny the legitimacy of any claim to spiritual remedy offered by any non-Christian religious practitioner. In Tonkin and Cochinchina the religious authority of missionaries was also conveyed in the variety of titles used to describe them,

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which often drew a parallel between the priest and other figures of spiritual authority. Thày d-a.o (‘Master of the Law’) was a generic term which could be used for the cognoscenti of any religious or philosophical system, and was used by both converts and non-converts to refer to European missionaries. Other terms used by Christians to refer to their priests also conveyed their learning and authority: thày ca? denoted not only a ‘master’ but a senior one, while pha – a corruption of the Portuguese padre (father) – was also used as a title of spiritual filial respect.26 Yet the constant need to reiterate and demonstrate the sanctity of the clergy and the supreme value of the sacraments, together with the ceaseless drive to define and condemn ‘superstition’ against ‘right religion’, belie the suggestion that this sacramental, priest-centric concept of Catholicism always won out. This model of Catholicism was particularly difficult to impose in Tonkin and Cochinchina, where there were so few priests for such a large and growing Christian population. One solution would have been to ordain local men as priests, but this was a hotly contested issue. For those who supported the creation of a ‘native’ clergy, the ordination of non-Europeans as priests had much to recommend it.27 Not only would such men have more understanding of local languages and mores, but they would also be more able than European missionaries to operate during times of persecution. Alexandre de Rhodes felt the need to explain to the Propaganda Fide that foreign priests, even without speaking, gave themselves away in Tonkin, as ‘the locals have a physiognomy which is totally different from that of Europeans’; thus European priests would not be able to hide effectively among them.28 Indeed, he urged, there were so few European missionaries that it was a matter of absolute urgency to provide more priests to minister to converts even in times of peace.29 Moreover, in lands that were not under European dominion, appointing local priests would help overcome suspicions that missionaries were the vanguard of a colonial invasion. Indeed, as one missionary pointed out, this fear could lead to the persecution of Christians as a political threat, for ‘the pagans are not always moved to persecute the Christians due to the hatred they have for our holy faith,

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but rather only because they see the way the priests make themselves masters over new Christians’.30 Deaths under such circumstances could not be accounted martyrdoms: they were punishments for disloyalty, inflicted by rulers concerned by mundane challenges to their sovereignty. One submission to the Propaganda Fide on the issue took a global perspective to address missionary strategies towards local clergy. In areas where local men were able to lead their flocks, the faith could weather any storm: ‘we see that no persecution was enough to extinguish the name of the Catholic Faith in England, where, with the priests of the country, there had grown roots which were difficult to expose’. By contrast, persecutions had been enough to damage Catholicism fatally in both Ethiopia and Japan: all the European priests had been expelled, yet a local clergy had not been established to sustain converts in the faith.31 ‘Where the people of the country see themselves excluded from the destiny of the priesthood, they always see the faith as foreign.’ The writer exhorted Europeans to follow the examples of the Apostles: ‘Only twelve were necessary to convert the whole world, [as they were] soon ordaining local [nationali] bishops and priests in the lands where they preached the Gospel.’32 Jesuit missionaries in favour of this plan in China, Japan, Cochinchina, and Tonkin offered similar evidence from each location to support their contention that the convert populations of these lands would furnish candidates worthy of the dignity of the priesthood. They sought to demonstrate both that converts had a natural propensity to live in accordance with Catholic doctrine and that convert communities enjoyed evident signs of divine favour. This was frequently done by drawing parallels between the converts and the Christians of the early Church. Thus, in Tonkin, Alexandre de Rhodes described how numerous Christians had displayed their steadfast devotion through persecutions, and how some had even given their lives for the faith: ‘These good Christians live with such propriety that they appear like members of religious orders.’33 Later, the French missionary François Deydier in Tonkin similarly wrote of his ‘confusion in encountering, every day among the neophytes and new Christians of this mission, better souls, [who are]

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much richer in faith, in poverty, in love, and in all other Christian virtues, than I’.34 Nevertheless, opposition to the ordination of non-Europeans had been intense within both the Portuguese and Spanish patronate missions. Similarly, resistance could be met from religious superiors in Europe and India, who frequently acted against the entry of non-Europeans into their orders, even as Tertiaries. The General Chapter of the Dominicans, for example, banned mestizo and ‘native’ Catholics from joining the order in 1611 and 1615, and there was considerable resistance to non-Europeans even becoming lay brothers within the Society of Jesus.35 Race undoubtedly played a part in these machinations, but there were also jurisdictional considerations at play. Authorities in Europe were often reluctant to allow the overseas provinces to grow too rapidly, fearing an imbalance between these vast regions and the smaller provinces of Europe.36 While these debates rumbled on, missionaries resorted to creating institutes of auxiliary helpers, bound by simple vows, who could take charge of convert communities and further the interests of the Church. Men ordained as Dominican and Franciscan tertiaries were used by mendicants as catechists and mission adjutants. The Jesuits, meanwhile, developed a formal institution of catechists in Tonkin and Cochinchina, adapting a pattern which had proved successful in the Japanese and Indian missions to train likely candidates and young servants of the mission. The do¯juku of Japan and the kanakkapillei of the Fishery Coast in India were men trained in catechesis who lived lives of spirituality and asceticism designed to be recognisable and admirable to potential converts.37 Jesuit Visitor Alessandro Valignano recommended that such men should eventually take formal vows, consecrating them to the service of the mission, but he cautioned against admitting them as lay brothers to the Society of Jesus, arguing that such Christians were ‘so new in the faith’ that such a step could be detrimental to the Company.38 In Tonkin, a small number of men were accepted into the Society of Jesus as lay brothers, following a period of training in the Jesuit seminary in Macau.39 However, the majority of Vietnamese men were employed as catechists, as Valignano had recommended. They were recruited

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to devote their lives to the missions: preaching, teaching, and preparing catechumens for baptism.40 They were organised into seminaries called Domus Dei (Nhà Chúa, House of the Lord), which drew on Confucian and Buddhist communal structures and were supported by alms.41 The role, way of proceeding, and obligations of these catechists were most fully described in a series of detailed accounts sent from Jesuit missionary Gaspar de Amaral to his superior in Macau.42 Catechists were to be supported as far as possible from the alms of the Christian laity, upon whom should be impressed the nobility of the calling.43 Organised into different ranks (professos or aprovados, noviços, and coadjutores temporaes), depending on their learning and duties, they took oaths not to marry, not to own property, and to obey the Jesuits.44 In times when priests were expelled from the country, it was the responsibility of the catechists to visit communities and ensure that the faith did not die out. The first rank, the professos – professed, senior catechists – were admitted to this state with great public ceremony, and solemnly swore obedience to the missionary and head catechist.45 Catechists of this rank could be expected to go out on mission on their own, but in times of peace it would be more usual for catechists to accompany missionaries, acting as adjutants. These senior catechists had the title thày (master) or thày gia?ng (master of teaching), underlining their learning and authority and linking them to the priests, who were also addressed as thày. Their role was semi-sacerdotal: in addition to preaching, they listened to the sins of their flock and advised them on how to atone and how to pray. While they were not able to administer the sacrament of confession, they were permitted to distribute the sanctified host.46 Catechists’ dress, mode of living, and occupation set them apart from other Christians, a distinction that priests were keen to encourage. They did not necessarily originate from the communities they oversaw, meaning that, like the priests, they visited villages as outsiders, albeit familiar ones. As their role was institutionalised and defined, catechists thus became increasingly liminal, mediating between ordained clergy and lay Catholic communities, and being invested with spiritual power of their own.

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There was another layer of religious authority which needs to be considered alongside the priests and the catechists. As a result of the paucity of priests, semi-autonomous hierarchies developed in mission churches. Jesuit accounts in Tonkin in the 1620s and 1630s suggest an organic, spontaneous development of organisation among convert communities. A ‘head’ Christian would emerge, referred to in early Jesuit documents as the ‘cabeça’ of a group of Christians, and sometimes as a ‘catechist’ before the meaning of this term solidified around the ‘official’ institute of catechists. These figures were normally able to provide a space in their houses for meetings and to undertake the educational, disciplinary, and pastoral supervision of the community. They were usually of high social standing in the community: individuals who were respected for their literacy, virtue, charitable practices, or profession. Christian nobles such as a Tonkinese man referred to as Paulo ‘Senhor de Duagbuxa’, wealthy merchants, and respected figures such as Doctor Thadeo (in the village of Ke˜ Na?oé, Tonkin) naturally took on the role of directing their community. Paulo is described as building a church at his own expense, baptising many people, and using holy water to heal the sick, while Thadeo used his literacy, training in medicine, and the high esteem in which he was held in the service of Catholicism. He built an oratory where he gathered the Christians on Sundays to preach to them, and he also went on a mission to non-Christians in the surrounding area.47 A striking feature of these Tonkinese and Cochinchinese churches is how often this role was assumed by women. Considering the active role that women could play in Tonkin and Cochinchina as sponsors of Buddhist temples and teachers of the Dhamma, and as powerful specialists mediating with a range of spirits, Taoist immortals, and goddesses, this female agency is perhaps unsurprising.48 In Tonkin a noblewoman baptised as Caterina became an important figurehead for Catholicism. The Jesuit Giovanni Filippo Marini described how ‘after baptism she became an apostle: first recanting all falsity and foolishness and then preaching the true law which she had newly embraced. Many were converted in this way.’49 Highly literate and learned, she composed Christian texts in verse which also spread throughout the countryside as peasants sang her songs.50

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She also managed to convert her mother. Rhodes declares that this conversion was an essential acquisition to this nascent Church. Indeed, this woman [Caterina’s mother] had previously been such an adept of the cult of idols that the Buddhist monks called her thày – that is to say ‘master’ – due to her ability to instruct others in these matters. Changing religion, she also changed the direction of her zeal, and has applied it ever since to the instruction of a number of young women whom she trains in morals and Christian piety through her instruction.51 In an annual letter from 1630, Caterina’s mother (by then named ‘Dona Magdalena’) is described as serving as a ‘catechist’, teaching Christians who gathered in their church, and expounding on the mysteries of the faith.52 Similarly, in Cochinchina, Antonio Cardim describes Dona Ana, the wife of a provincial governor near the royal capital of Hué, who had also been baptised and who became an evangelist within the royal palaces, in the following way: Not only is she esteemed as a good Christian, but she also wants to carry out the office of preacher, principally within the Palace, where she has set herself to argue with all those women [of the palace], to the extent that there is already nobody left who will say anything against the truth, but many who have come to embrace it. And two Ladies, wives of the late King, are now ready to become Christians.53 Further away from the centres of royal power, Jesuits also frequently reported that female converts were keeping the Church going in the absence of priests and trained male catechists. In 1638, for example, Jesuit Antonio Barboza noted that the provinces of Thinh Hoa and Ké Bó had been mission lands for many years, but that pastoral visits had been few and far between. His visit and stay seem to have been managed entirely by the Christian women of the villages. When he

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arrived in the region, he looked around for somewhere suitable to stay. First, a Christian named Susanna offered him ‘a poor house and the little land which she owned’ for him to build a house or to do whatever he pleased with it. Barboza found the land inadequate for a priest’s dwelling, but another woman, Apolonia, stepped in. This ‘good and prudent’ woman, Barboza explains, ‘in the absence of catechists’ had taken charge of the Church in the region herself. Even with the installation of some new catechists, Apolonia continued to be a central pillar of the Church, ‘like another St Martha’, who sheltered and helped the large numbers of Christians who came to look for the priest.54 The development of these structures resulted in groups capable of sustaining themselves and of spreading the faith to outsiders. Alexandre de Rhodes described how, in times of persecution, the Jesuits would send letters of spiritual advice to each Christian community, who would gather together in one of these church-houses to listen to the contents of the letters ‘with as much attention and devotion as if it had fallen from heaven’.55 Lay religious leadership and involvement in evangelisation was thus the key to the successful implantation of Catholicism across the country. Yet this same lay agency, and the structures of religious organisation that it created, would also be crucial factors in the exacerbation of conflicts between missionaries. When the French priests first arrived in the 1660s, many Jesuits called into question their legitimacy: the Jesuits defended the old dispensation, under which the Catholics of Tonkin and Cochinchina came under the authority of the Portuguese Patronate bishops of Macau and Malacca, respectively; they accused the French missionaries of exercising their ministry illicitly, without proper authority. The priests they ordained were similarly illegitimate: some Jesuits warned their converts that the sacraments offered by these men would not be valid. With the arrival of the priests, then, several questions arose. How should the religious authority of the new priests be understood within this system of priests, catechists, and lay heads of Christian communities? Did the catechists now owe obedience to (and hence receive their religious authority from) the French priests? Most

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crucially, were the French missionaries truly capable, as they claimed, of transferring religious authority, and ordaining Vietnamese men as priests? Would these Vietnamese men truly be invested with religious authority and sacral power? Faced with two competing claims to religious authority, convert communities would have to decide where the truth lay.

Transferring Sacral Authority: French Priests and Vietnamese Ordinands Both Jesuit and Missions Étrangères priests speculated about what made a group of Christians decide to support one priest over another. A common explanation was that the opposition of lay groups was due to rival priests making recourse to unfair means. In 1671 François Deydier complained that Jesuit Filippo Marini insisted on referring to the new missionaries as d-â`y tó (‘servant’ or ‘disciple’, i.e. of the French bishops) rather than calling them thày like the Jesuits. Moreover, He calls me monsieur, a word which is foreign to the Tonkinese, instead of calling me thày ca˘, that is to say elder-master or father, even though all the Christians are used to so calling priests, regular or secular. . . . In saddling me with the title of monsieur, he gives the Christians to understand that I am stripped of sacerdotal dignity, or well beneath it, not having yet obtained the dignity of thày ca˘.56 Other complaints made to the Propaganda Fide alleged that the Jesuits had told Christians that their Society was superior to the Société des Missions Étrangères, and even that it had been founded by Jesus himself.57 MEP missionaries also accused the Jesuits of exploiting the fact that the priesthood had hitherto been associated with European men in order to cast doubt on whether Vietnamese men could be ordained. European priests perhaps owed some of their success to their status as exotic outsiders, an élan which local priests could not, of course, match.58 ‘It is not strange that new Christians have more respect for

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European missionaries than for priests native to their countries’, wrote the MEP missionary Benigne Vachet. ‘They believe that the former are possessed of great knowledge, of which the latter have only an inkling’, and they tended to see Vietnamese priests as ordinary individuals, overlooking their sacral character, he observed. In order to overcome such errors, he continues, ‘nothing would be more effective than if the Christians perceived that the European missionaries honoured the clergy of their country [i.e., Tonkin and Cochinchina], whether in their discourses, in their letters, or in meetings where they encounter each other’.59 Instead, however, the MEP’s opponents had allowed a schism to develop in Tonkin and Cochinchina, by inspiring in some groups of converts ‘an aversion’ to Vietnamese priests.60 MEP priests in Tonkin also repeatedly accused Jesuits of bribing Christians with material goods to win their loyalty. François Deydier reported that in the village of Bac Trach the Jesuits were resorting to a ‘ruse’ to defend themselves against accusations that they were disobedient to the orders of Rome, and to attract churches to their party: After they had won over the Christians with fine medals, Agnus Dei, [and holy] images, which they distributed widely to them, they proposed to them that they offer their churches to Jesus Christ and to the Company of Jesus, and promptly promised that if they wished to make this donation to them in writing, they would send [the documents] to the Pope in Rome, who as a reward would offer many prayers to God for them and obtain for them much prosperity in their affairs.61 This ‘ruse’ was also reported in the Journal of the following year. A Tonkinese priest, Dominique Van Haô, reported that in January 1683 the Jesuit Ferreyra went to the village of Ké Mão to attract Christians: ‘They distributed lots of medals, images etc. to them, and insinuated that the two Vicars Apostolic produced only false papers, and controversies; it must follow that they were nothing more than false bishops.’62 The Jesuits were even accused of having a Tonkinese priest expelled from his province by lavishing gifts upon the (Christian) governor.63

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Some accounts alleged that the Jesuits cultivated the support only of individuals who were ‘hot-tempered and who are usually the worst Christians, who scandalise the others’, whom they had begun to employ as wardens in all their churches. ‘The reason is evident’, concludes the author. The Jesuits prefer their advantage and their interest over the glory of God, and the requirements for the next life. They willingly make use of men with three or four wives, or those who are embarrassed in immoral marriages, public usurers, but above all drunkards; because these sorts of people act and speak very heatedly.64 Conversely, the Jesuits accused priests of the Missions Étrangères of turning Jesuit servants and catechists against them with lies and bribery. Deydier and Lambert de la Motte were accused of attempting to win over their catechists and coadjuncts with promises that they would be ordained as priests: Mr Deydier, companion of the reverend Vicar Apostolic, solicited with numerous invitations one of our Coadjunct Brothers by the name of Ignatio Martins, that he abandon the vows and habit of the Company, side with their party, bribing him with the promise that if he did so they would have him ordained as a priest, as the aforementioned Martins related in 1670, and Fuciti in 1669. The bishop of Berytus wrote with similar industry to seek to alienate all our Catechists from us, bribed with the hope of holy orders.65 Each side went as far as to allege the use of violence against converts who dared to support the other side. Of Fuciti’s partisans, it was alleged that ‘from the tongue they came to the fists’ against one Christian, ‘whom they bound one night, his arms behind his back, in the presence of Fuciti, dragging him by the hair, trampling on him with their feet and beating him with such inhumanity, that they left him half dead’.66 Fuciti responded that the accusation was nonsense, and that while it was true that Christians sometimes came to blows

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with the catechists of the Missions Étrangères, this was never in his presence or with his consent. Heated quarrels often resulted from the behaviour of Christians from the party of the Missions Étrangères, he alleged, who pretended with their cries and with all the noise they make, to let the infidels know the place where I concealed myself, and to avenge themselves in this way on me and on the head of the house where I was hidden, by obliging him to pay much money for his deliverance.67 It is perhaps unsurprising that missionaries presented the Christians who supported the opposing side as being motivated solely by material gain and ill faith. Reading between the lines of descriptions of lay participation in disputes, however, we can glimpse some other factors which influenced a community’s decision to support one priest over another. Factors including the organisational structure and hierarchy of lay communities, the role of authority figures (such as catechists and ‘heads’ of churches), and pre-existing disputes between lay groups (given a new focus by the rift between priests) had an important impact on reactions to the controversy. As respected individuals and members of a corporate body owing obedience and following the instructions of priests, the catechists would be central figures in the conflict between missionaries. Like that of other influential Christians, the attitude of these catechists could be transmitted to the communities who looked up to them. Catechists could sustain communities in their defiance by providing alternative ceremonies in order to replace rituals which could only be performed by ordained priests. In Tonkin, for example, Requiem Masses were replaced by recitation of the rosary by an assembled community in a ‘Chapelle Ardente’, presided over by a catechist.68 Some accounts suggested that Christians came to rely so much on these substitutes that they no longer appreciated the value of the sacraments, believing that an act of contrition before a holy image and the use of holy water was enough to absolve sin.69

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Jean de Maguelonne de Courtaulin’s report on the state of the Church in Cochinchina from 1678 to 1682 suggests that the acceptance of his authority as Vicar Apostolic by all the catechists of the country had resulted in a less severe schism than had occurred in Tonkin. There was no body organising the resistance to the priests, and pockets of opposition were isolated: The schism which you know to have occurred in all this Orient amongst the evangelists, has never made great trouble in this kingdom. . . . For, with the exception of some Christians who are filled with worldliness, and self-interested, and who are not properly Christians except by name, all the kingdom universally has always very faithfully followed the party of the Holy See. There are only two or three churches in the Court at the most which are still partisan, and in Faifo a Confraternity of rebels, and the Japanese, who are five or six families who are still attached to the Jesuit party due to the commerce they have with Macau. . . . All the catechists universally have taken Letters of Catechist from me.70 Even here, then, the importance of other lay Catholics is clear: despite the submission of the catechists, some groups remained loyal to the Jesuits. Such resistance as there was came from clearly defined groups – a confraternity, two or three churches in the court, the Japanese community – which would have leaders and an identity allowing their members to oppose the French priests communally. On these occasions, we can perhaps see communities following the decisions of their own influential Christians rather than the recommendations of outsider catechists. There was potential, in other words, for Christians to reject the authority of catechists, and even of priests, to follow the counsel of other respected members of their communities. The decision of influential Christians within a community to reject the authority of the French priests would often result in the entire community adopting the same position, as these respected figures passed on their message using their honed techniques of evangelisation. The head of the church in Frà Lû, Tonkin, a Christian called

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Cayus Lê, is described as exhorting his congregation to reject the French priests, delivering his reasons as he would a sermon: He assembles around one hundred Christians at his house, whom he continually exhorts to stand firm in this party, in such a manner that he never comes to hear Mass by Father Juan de la Cruz [a Dominican who sided with the MEP] who very frequently visits this church, and if any of his partisans are sick, he removes them to his house, and prevents them from confessing to the said Father, or from receiving the Sacraments from him.71 Congregations could vary in size from one or two families to almost a hundred individuals. They could encompass all the Christians in a village or only a part of them, with other churches catering to other Christian groups. Such organisation of Christians into churches could reflect familial bonds and existing social structures. In larger towns with multiple churches, we can see some indication of social stratification and long-standing community rivalries which would come to underpin partisan support for one missionary group over another. In the capital of Tonkin, Benoît Hieˆ`n reported that the division between partisans of the Jesuits and the supporters of the MEP reflected an ancient rivalry between two groups living on different sides of the ‘street of sugar-cane merchants’ in the town. Fuciti, he claimed, had revived and exploited the dormant enmity between them: To add more grist to his mill, he persuaded them to build a Church facing that which the French missionaries had built, so that the partiality which he had sown in religion renewed temporal interest, and recommenced the old quarrel which had been eased, and even entirely ended, by the former arrangement.72 One day, a Christian from one group was killed by three from the other, supposedly in revenge for some perceived slight. Hieˆ`n considered Fuciti and Ferreyra to have blood on their hands, because adding a religious dimension to such social divisions caused tensions to escalate.73

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This account implies that the formation of a separate, pro-Jesuit church was the result of the Jesuits’ meddling in the situation, with the priest persuading a group of Christians to organise themselves into a congregation. Other examples can be found of missionaries explicitly founding a church and appointing a member of the community to oversee it. This is especially true of the MEP’s missionary method and the reforms implemented in Tonkin and Cochinchina. In Tonkin, for example, Deydier reorganised the Christians of the capital by establishing five principal sites that would serve as churches and assembly points for the Christians, and appointing six people in each place, three of whom would be in charge of temporal matters, and the other three the spiritual matters of the Church.74 In many ways this was a departure from the pattern of Church organisation which had developed over the decades of the Jesuit missions. It is possible that many of the reforms of the Missions Étrangères demonstrated a desire to reduce the influence of lay Christian heads of churches, partly in order to shift the emphasis to the implantation of indigenous priests, and partly because these heads of Christian communities could be formidable adversaries if they took against the priest. The accounts of Missions Étrangères still acknowledged the importance and value of the chrétiens principaux of towns for the support of Christian communities, but for the administration of churches in the absence of priests they spoke of marguilliers (church wardens) rather than of the cabeças (heads) who had come to dominate communities under the Jesuits. Occasionally, we can glimpse the moment when communities were required to decide between contesting claims to religious authority. In 1673, for example, the Jesuit Fuciti manoeuvred Martin Mát into engaging in a public debate with him. The latter was humiliated in front of the assembled Christians, as Fuciti cast doubt on his knowledge of the faith and his ability to administer the sacrament of absolution correctly. He was chased out of the region by the converts’ hostility; a group of Christians even threatened to denounce him to the governor of the region for illegally practising as a priest.75 Fuciti had thus asserted his own claim to religious authority and sacral power at the expense of the hapless Mát in a showdown reminiscent

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of other set-piece battles that pitched missionaries against rival religious leaders. The decision to support one missionary over another seems sometimes to have been taken after some discussion among the community. The MEP missionary Charles l’Abbé’s account of the return of the Jesuit Nicolas de Fonseca to Cochinchina in 1689 gives further insight into the process of decision-making taken by influential Christian authority figures.76 Fonseca had been made ‘Vicar of Vara’ over Cochinchina by the Portuguese Governor of the See of Malacca, a dignity which would have given him far-reaching authority over the region, and which directly challenged the authority of Bishop François Perez, Vicar Apostolic of Cochinchina. Fonseca announced that he had the power to lift a ban which had been imposed on his fellow Jesuit Bartolomeu da Costa, which prevented da Costa from administering the sacraments owing to his opposition to the MEP bishops.77 The Christians of the capital grilled Fonseca on his claims to religious authority, and an assembly of Christian worthies was held to decide on a course of action: The prudent men of the Court assembled for seven or eight days in the house of a scholar, to judge for themselves the truth of Father Nicolas’ letters and of the reinstatement of Father Bartholomeu, and the outcome of their assembly was to say that . . . the letters of Father Nicolas were not at all acceptable, and that their wives must in no way confess with either [priest]. With the most reasonable and numerous party of Christians adhering to this decision, Father Bartholomeu was obliged to put his partisans on campaign to find penitents for Father Nicolas.78 The Jesuits’ catechists then solicited support from other Christians in the neighbourhood and sought out other influential Christian leaders who might sway opinion in their favour. [The catechists] were soon seen, then, two by two, three by three in the churches, murmuring and asking why it is that

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people do not do as Madam Bà Cai Vach Ðich does, and how come people do not invite the great Father Nicolas to come, to see that they [the Jesuits] would not fatigue the Christians with an infinity of interrogations like the French fathers do. . . . There was not one woman whose mouth did not water to hear so many new marvels and [even] the most restrained squirmed with the desire that Father Nicolas be invited.79 In this case, Christians in the immediate circle of Madam Bà Cai Vach Ðich (a prominent and well-born Christian) followed her lead and accepted the Jesuits, while others refused to receive sacraments from them. In the absence of l’Abbé, the Christians had to weigh up the conclusions drawn by respected figures in their community. The inducements supposedly offered by the catechists are revealing. They promised that the Jesuits would be more lenient in the confessional, promising an effective spiritual benefit which would ‘cost’ the penitent less effort. They also held up the example of a prominent Christian who had decided to accept the Jesuits, demonstrating the potential importance of such figures in persuading the laity. L’Abbé declared: ‘There was only one thing that stopped’ many Christians from following the lead of this noblewoman, and that was that ‘they feared that on my return . . . I would make a fine fuss’.80

Conclusion The organisation of churches, the training of catechists, and Jesuit attitudes to the arrival of the priests from Missions Étrangères were almost identical in Tonkin and Cochinchina. Yet depictions of the tensions in Tonkin between the two groups of priests in the 1680s paint a far bleaker picture than those describing Cochinchina at the same time. Tonkin seems on the brink of cataclysmic schism: in the Journal of 1684, Deydier quoted the Dominican Juan de la Cruz, who declared the situation so grave that he feared that Jesuit catechists would rather allow Calvinism to infect Tonkinese Christians than desist from their obdurate intransigence: ‘Because everything here contributed and combined to produce this Hydra, and we can hardly hope of any assistance except from Heaven.’81 As we have

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seen, Courtaulin in Cochinchina was more optimistic in his analysis. He merely noted that the presence of the Jesuits and the fact that they were clearly no longer on speaking terms with the priests of the Missions Étrangères caused ‘some troubles and murmurs to see that the evangelists still resent one another and never visit each other’.82 Comparing the situation in these two countries demonstrates that several factors were important for conflict to be sustained. Influential Catholics, catechists, and Jesuit priests formed mutually supportive pillars of resistance: the continued encouragement of each of these groups was needed to maintain Catholic communities in their opposition to the priests of the Missions Étrangères. The deepening of the rift in Tonkin between the MEP priests and the Jesuits was facilitated not only by repeated injunctions from the Portuguese hierarchy but also by ‘grass-roots activism’ among lay people. Catechists and prominent Catholic leaders confirmed and encouraged lay Catholics in their mistrust of the new French and Tonkinese priests. Even after the Jesuits finally accepted the authority of the new bishops and the validity of the ordinations in the late 1680s, many Vietnamese Catholics would continue to refuse to receive the sacraments from French and Vietnamese clergy. In a letter to the Propaganda Fide in Rome, lay Catholic mandarins of the Tonkinese army pleaded for Jesuit pastors, as some Christians would never agree to receive the sacraments from any others. The Christians, they wrote, had heard several ‘sinister reports’ of the French and Tonkinese priests, and so took such an aversion to them, and to the missionaries, that they no longer wished to confess to them, or to take the sacraments from them, or from the same Tonkinese priests, notwithstanding the admonitions of the catechists and of these same Jesuits, who wrote from Macau, and from Batavia.83 Even the Jesuits and their catechists could not persuade them of the religious authority of these priests, nor that sacraments received from their hands would be valid and effective. Missionaries in Tonkin and Cochinchina were, to an extent, at the mercy of the Christian communities they served. They were largely dependent on them for financial support, shelter, and protection from

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hostile local authorities. They relied on respected figures in Catholic communities and on trained catechists to disseminate the faith and also to support them in disputes. Yet the success which missionaries had had in co-opting lay men and women to organise, support, and lead communities of converts also resulted in a form of Catholicism which could be far removed from the Tridentine ideal of fixed parishes administered by resident ordained clergy. Where disputes between groups of European clergy called into question the legitimacy of their claims to religious authority, it was up to lay Catholics themselves to decide where sacral power lay. The rancour between the Jesuits, the priests of the Missions Étrangères, and various groups of converts is a reminder that the arrival of Catholicism in Southeast Asia cannot be told merely as the encounter of two ‘cultures’. Friction between missionaries underscores the plurality of early modern European Catholicism, while the variety of responses by Vietnamese Christians to the ordination of their countrymen uncovers the complexity of local conceptions of sacral power and religious authority. Above all, the stories of personal enmities and petty arguments, friendly cooperation, and grudging collaboration which pepper the missionary accounts of these events remind us of the human dimension of these wider movements of religious conversion and intercultural exchange.

References The author would like to thank the Arts and Humanities Research Council for funding the research upon which this chapter is based. She is also very grateful to her historian colleagues on the Max Weber Programme at the European University Institute for commenting on an earlier draft, and to the two anonymous readers, who offered very helpful suggestions. 1. See André Marillier, Nos pères dans la foi: notes sur la clergé catholique du Tonkin de 1666 à 1765, 3 vols (Paris, 1995), vol. 2, pp. 7–10, for biographical details on these men. 2. Pierre Lambert de la Motte, ‘Journal du Siam’, 1668, Archives des Missions Étrangères de Paris (hereafter AMEP), vol. 876 (2),

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5. 6.

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p. 564. I use the term ‘Vietnamese’ and ‘Vietnam’ here as useful if anachronistic shorthand to refer to the region that Europeans called ‘Tonkin’ and ‘Cochinchina’. ‘Vietnam’ was first used in 1804. See Roland Jacques, Portuguese Pioneers of Vietnamese Linguistics Prior to 1650 (Bangkok, 2002), pp. 14–16. On the ordination of Asian clergy in Southeast Asia, see especially C. R. Boxer, The Church Militant and Iberian Expansion 1440– 1770 (Baltimore, 1978), pp. 25–30; Luciano P. R. Santiago, The Hidden Light: The First Filipino Priests (Quezon City, Philippines, 1987); and Marillier, Nos pères dans la foi. See Jean Gennou, ‘Vigeur nouvelle aux missions d’Indochine’, in J. Metzler (ed.), Sacrae Congregationis de Propaganda Fide Memoria Rerum, vol. 1, pt. 2 (Rome, 1972), pp. 572–81; Alain Forest, Les missionnaires français au Tonkin et au Siam XVIIe–XVIIIe siècles: analyse comparée d’un relatif succès et d’un total échec, 3 vols (Paris, 1998). ‘Extrait d’une lettre de P. Tissanier de Siam’, 7 November 1670, AMEP, vol. 876, f. 835. ‘Ragguaglio della Missione del Giappone: nell’isola Hayunam Camborria, Macassar &c. Tratto dall’ultima lettera annua scritta in lingua Portoghese’, 1649, Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu, Rome (hereafter ARSI), JapSin 65, f.51r. See D. G. E. Hall, A History of South-East Asia, 4th edn. (London, 1981), pp. 219–439; Keith W. Taylor, ‘Regional Conflicts Among the Viêt Peoples Between the 13th and 19th Centuries’, in Nguyên Thê Anh and Alain Forest (eds), Guerre et paix en Asie du Sud-Est (Paris, 1998), pp. 109–33. The present study does not cover the third region formed following the breakup of the kingdom, Cao Bang. See especially Pierre-Yves Manguin, Les Nguyen, Macau et le Portugal: aspects politiques et commerciaux d’une relation privilégiée en Mer de Chine, 1773–1802 (Paris, 1984); Pierre-Yves Manguin, Les portugais sur les côtes du Viê.t-Nam et du Campa-: étude sur les routes maritimes et les relations commerciales, d’après les sources portugaises (XVIe, XVIIe, XVIIIe Siècles) (Paris, 1972); Victor Lieberman, Strange Parallels: Southeast Asia in Global Context, c. 800–1830.

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Volume 1: Integration on the Mainland (Cambridge, 2003), pp. 338–456. A detailed eighteenth-century description of spiritual beliefs and practices in Tonkin is provided by the Augustinian friar Adriano di Santa Thecla in his Opusculum de Sectis apud Sinenses et Tunkinenses (A Small Treatise on the Sects among the Chinese and Tonkinese: A Study of Religion in China and North Vietnam in the Eighteenth Century), trans. Olga Dror (Ithaca, NY, 2003). On the terms ‘men’ or ‘people of prowess’, see O. W. Wolters, History, Culture, and Region in Southeast Asian Perspectives, rev. edn. (Ithaca, NY, 1999), pp. 166–70. On Buddhist monks as ‘men of prowess’, see Charles Keyes, ‘Why the Thai are not Christians: Buddhist and Christian conversion in Thailand’, in Robert W. Hefner (ed.), Conversion to Christianity: Historical and Anthropological Perspectives on a Great Transformation (Berkeley, 1993), p. 265. On movements of reform, see Charles Wheeler, ‘Buddhism in the Re-ordering of an Early Modern World: Chinese Missions to Cochinchina in the Seventeenth Century’, Journal of Global History ii/3 (2007), pp. 303–24; Li Tana, Nguyê˜n Cochinchina: Southern Vietnam in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Ithaca, NY, 1998), pp. 102–4; and John K. Whitmore, ‘Literati culture and integration in Dai Viet, c.1430–c.1840’, Modern Asian Studies xxxi/3 (1997), pp. 665–87. A summary of the foundation and development of the Jesuit missions in Tonkin and Cochinchina is offered by J. Ruiz-deMedina, ‘Vietnam’, in Charles E. O’Neill and Joaquín Ma. Domínguez (eds), Diccionario histórico de la Compañía de Jesús: biográfico-temático, 4 vols (Rome, 2001), vol. 4, pp. 3953–68. See also Roland Jacques, De Castro Marim à Faïfo: naissance et développement du Padroado Portugais d’Orient des origines à 1659 (Lisbon, 1999). Antonio Francesco Cardim, Batalhas da Companhia de Jesus na sua gloriosa provincia do Japão, ed. Luciano Cordeiro (Lisbon, 1894), p. 149. See also Charles F. Keyes, Helen Hardacre, and Laurel Kendall, ‘Introduction: Contested Visions of Community in East and

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18. 19. 20.

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Southeast Asia’, in Charles F. Keyes, Helen Hardacre, and Laurel Kendall (eds), Asian Visions of Authority: Religion and the Modern States of East and Southeast Asia (Honolulu, 1994), pp. 4–5. Mark W. Macleod, ‘Nationalism and Religion in Vietnam: Phan Boi Chau and the Catholic Question’, International History Review xiv/4 (1992), p. 663. See also Nola Cooke, ‘Strange Brew: Global, Regional and Local Factors Behind the 1690 Prohibition of Christian Practice in Nguyê˜n Cochinchina’, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies xxxix/3 (2008), pp. 383–409. Francisco de Jesús de Escalona, ‘Relación del viaje al reino de la gran China’, in Anastasius van den Wyngaert (ed.), Sinica Franciscana volumen II: relationes et epistolas Fratrum Minorum Saeculi XVI et XVII (Florence, 1933), pp. 306–7. Alexandre de Rhodes, Divers voyages et missions du P. Alexandre de Rhodes en la Chine, & autres royaumes de l’orient, avec son retour en Europe par la Perse & l’Armenie (Paris, 1653), p. 101. Antonio Cardim, ‘Annua de Tunkim do anno de 1630’, Biblioteca da Ajuda, Lisbon (hereafter Ajuda), Jesuítas na Ásia, 49-V-31, f.30r. See Stephen Haliczer, Sexuality in the Confessional: A Sacrament Profaned (New York, 1996), pp. 14–26. On Protestant concepts of priesthood, see, for example, Paul A. Russell, Lay Theology in the Reformation: Popular Pamphleteers in Southwest Germany, 1521–1525 (Cambridge, 1986), pp. 56–79. Decrees of the Council of Trent, Session 7 (3 March 1547), ‘Canons on the Sacraments in General’, no. 7, and Session 23 (15 July 1563), ‘The True and Catholic Doctrine of the Sacrament of Order, to Condemn the Errors of Our Time’, in Norman P. Tanner (ed.), Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, 2 vols (London, 1990), vol. 2, pp. 685, 742–3. Ibid., p. 744. See decrees of the Council of Trent Session 23 (15 July 1563), in ibid., p. 742; the quotation from Borromeo is cited in Ronnie Po-Chia Hsia, The World of Catholic Renewal 1540–1770, 2nd edn. (Cambridge, 2005), p. 217. Louis Chevreuil, ‘Relation de la Cochinchine’, 1665, AMEP vol. 733, p. 72.

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25. Ibid., p. 73. 26. Marillier, Nos pères, vol. 1, p. 60. 27. I use the term ‘native’ here because it is closest to the missionaries’ own usage, given that they sought to convey the desirability of ordaining men to serve in the country in which they were born. The term is, however, problematic, not least because such priests would rarely be serving in the exact region to which they were ‘native’. The term has negative connotations: this was also true of its use in the seventeenth century, meaning that we should consider its impact in the missionaries’ rhetoric. See also Peggy Brock, who argues for what she sees as a ‘neutral’ term, ‘new Christians’, ‘as this ‘lacks the negative connotations of “native evangelists” and the political freight of “indigenous evangelists”’. Peggy Brock, ‘New Christians as Evangelists’, in Norman Etherington (ed.), Missions and Empire (Oxford, 2005), p. 132, n.3. Of course, the term ‘new Christians’ has its own baggage in the early modern period and in the Iberian context. 28. Alexandre de Rhodes to the Propaganda Fide, Paris, 14 August 1653, Archivio Storico della Congregazione ‘de Propaganda Fide’, Vatican City (hereafter APF), SOCG vol. 193, f.500v. 29. Ibid., f.500r. 30. Anonymous, ‘Se sia bene promouere à gl’ordini e dignità Ecce i naturali dell’Indie Orientali’, [1648], APF, SOCG vol. 192, IV, ff.42v–43r. 31. Anonymous, ‘Alcune considerationi sopra il dubio proposto de sia espediente concedere alli Popoli della China, Tonchino e Concincina l’uso de’ Sacramenti in altre lingua meno ignota della Latina’, APF, SC, Miscellanea 1 Documenti e Relazioni Varie, f.42v. 32. Ibid., ff.42v, 43v. 33. Alexandre de Rhodes to the Propaganda Fide, Paris, 14 August 1653, APF, SOCG vol. 193, f.500v. 34. François Deydier to a Carmelite in Paris, 8 October 1677, in ‘Extraits des letters de Messres de Bourges et Deydier’, AMEP, vol. 852, p. 123. 35. J. S. Cummins and C. R. Boxer, ‘The Dominican Mission in Japan (1602–1622) and Lopo de Vega’, in J. S. Cummins, Jesuit

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38. 39.

40. 41.

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and Friar in the Spanish Expansion to the East (London, 1986), pp. 25–6; J. López-Gay, ‘Misionología’, in O’Neill and Domínguez (eds), Diccionario histórico de la Compañía de Jesús, vol. 3, pp. 2705–6. Joseph Metzler, ‘Orientation, programme et premières décisions (1622–1649)’, in J. Metzler (ed.), Sacræ Congregationis de Propaganda Fide Memoria Rerum: 350 anni a servizio delle missioni: 1622–1972, vol. 1, pt. 1 (Rome, 1971), p. 183. J. Ruiz-de-Medina, ‘Do-juku’, in O’Neill and Domínguez (eds), Diccionario histórico de la Compañía de Jesús, vol. 2, pp. 1133–4; López-Gay, ‘Misionología’, pp. 2700–1. Alessandro Valignano to the Father General, Macau, 1 January 1593, ARSI, Jap-Sin vol. 12-I, ff.45r–6r. Roland Jacques, ‘Le premier synode du Tonkin (14 février 1670): étude historique-canonique’, unpublished Mémoire de licence (Institute Catholique de Paris, Faculté de droit canonique, 1993), p. 21. Gaspar de Amaral, ‘Annua da missão do Reyno de Anam’, 30 December 1633, Ajuda, Jesuítas na Ásia, 49-V-31, ff.267v–8r. Gaspar de Amaral, ‘Annua da missão de Tunkim’, 12 March 1637, Ajuda, Jesuítas na Ásia, 49-V-31: see section ‘Relaçam dos Catequistas’, ff.383r–9v. See also López-Gay, ‘Misionología’, p. 2701. In Ajuda, Jesuítas na Ásia, 49-V-31, ff.383r–9v and ff.391r–7v. This is a point also stressed in Amaral’s letter of 21 April 1634: Ajuda, Jesuítas na Ásia, 49-V-31, ff.303r–5r. Gaspar de Amaral to the Father General, Macau, 1645, ARSI, JapSin 80, f.34; Gaspar de Amaral, ‘Como se houverão os Padres’, 21 April 1634, Ajuda, Jesuítas na Ásia, 49-V-31, f.304. Gaspar de Amaral, ‘Annua da missão de Tunkim’, 12 March 1637, Ajuda, Jesuítas na Ásia, 49-V-31, f.384r. ‘Relacão da gloriosa morte padecerão pella confissão da feê dexpõ. nosso Senhor tres catechistas dos Padres da companhia de JESUS em o Reino de Cochinchina nos annos de 1644 e 1645’, ARSI, JapSin 70 a (II), f.5r. On Paulo, see Ajuda, Jesuítas na Ásia, 49-V-31, f.32r; on Thadeo, see Ajuda, Jesuítas na Ásia, 49-V-31, f.240.

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48. See Nhung Tuyet Tran, ‘Vietnamese Women at the Crossroads: Gender and Society in Early Modern Ða.i Viê.t’, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation (University of California, Los Angeles, 2004), and Nhung Tuyet Tran, ‘Les Amantes de la Croix: An Early Modern Vietnamese Sisterhood’, in Gisèle Bousquet and Nora Taylor (eds), Le Viê.t Nam au féminin. Viê.t Nam: Women’s Realities (Paris, 2005), pp. 51–66. See also Barbara Watson Andaya, The Flaming Womb: Repositioning Women in Early Modern Southeast Asia (Honolulu, 2006), pp. 70–103. 49. ‘Ragguaglio della Missione del Giappone: nell’isola Hayunam Camborria, Macassar &c. Tratto dall’ultima lettera annua scritta in lingua portoghese’, ARSI, JapSin 65, f.70v. 50. Alexandre de Rhodes, Histoire du royaume du Tonkin, ed. JeanPierre Duteil (Paris, 1999), p. 119. 51. Ibid. 52. Antonio Cardim, ‘Annua de Tunkim do anno de 1630’, May 1630, Ajuda, Jesuítas na Ásia, 49-V-31, f.28v. 53. Ibid., f.29r. 54. Antonio Barboza to Antonio de Fontes, Superior of the Tonkin Mission, 17 January 1639, Ajuda, Jesuítas na Asia, 49-V-31, f.438. 55. Rhodes, Histoire du royaume du Tonkin, p. 147. 56. Annotations by François Deydier on a letter by Filippo de Marini, 17 April 1671, printed in Marillier, Nos pères, vol. 1, p. 58. See also Marillier’s commentary, vol. 1, p. 60. 57. See, for example, APF, Acta CP vol. 1B, ff.61r–6r. 58. See Felipe Fernández-Armesto, ‘The Stranger-Effect in Early Modern Asia’, in Leonard Blussé and Felipe Fernández-Armesto (eds), Shifting Communities and Identity Formation in Early Modern Asia (Leiden, 2003), pp. 181–202. 59. Benigne Vachet, ‘La nécessité d’établir un clergé dans les missions’, 1699(?), AMEP, vol. 129, p. 220. 60. Ibid. 61. AMEP, vol. 656, p. 29. 62. Ibid., p. 61. 63. Ibid., p. 46.

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64. Ibid., p. 75. 65. ‘Risposta ad alcune Oppositioni fatte contro i PP. della Compagnia di Giesù’, Archivo Segreto Vaticano, Vatican City (hereafter ASV), Missioni 108, n.pag. 66. ‘Accusations formés a Rome a la Sacrée Congregation contre le P. Dominique Fuciti de la Compagnie de Jesus par les Missionnaires & Vicaires Apostoliques de la Cochinchine et du Tonkin traduites de l’original Italien par le R. P.generale & envoyé a ce pere de la part de la Sacrée Congr.’, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris (hereafter BNF), MSS Français 9773, f.33r. 67. ‘Réponse du P. Dominique Fuciti aux accusations formées contre lui par MM.res les Vicaires & missionnaire Apostoliques du Tonkin & de la Cochinchine a la Sacrée Congregation de Propaganda Fide’, BNF, MSS Français 9773, f.37v. 68. AMEP, vol. 656, p. 108. 69. Ibid., p. 112. 70. AMEP, vol. 728, pp. 3–4. By ‘letre [sic] de catechist’, Courtaulin the licence to evangelise issued to missionary workers. 71. AMEP, vol. 656, p. 24. 72. Ibid., pp. 94–5. 73. Ibid., p. 95. 74. AMEP, vol. 677, p. 11. 75. Marillier, Nos pères, vol. 2, p. 11. 76. AMEP, vol. 736, pp. 515–29. 77. See Fonseca’s letter to da Costa, 19 August 1690, reproduced in ibid., pp. 461–4. 78. Ibid., pp. 517–8. 79. Ibid., p. 518. 80. Ibid. 81. AMEP, vol. 656, p. 112. 82. AMEP, vol. 728, p. 3. 83. ASV, Fondo Carpegna 32, f.391r.

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CHAPTER FOUR The Virgin of the Breadfruit Tree: THE IMPACT OF EARLY MODERN MARIAN ART ON FILIPINO WOMEN Marya Rosenberg Leong

Spanish colonialism had a profound impact on virtually every aspect of life in the Philippines. From the arrival of Miguel López de Legazpi in 1565 to the establishment of the first Philippine Republic in 1898, the Spanish sought to refashion Filipino cultures: they wanted the Filipinos to adopt their religion, moral code, and perspectives on women and sexuality. However, they did not succeed in completely eradicating indigenous culture, and Filipino Catholicism has retained elements of earlier animist beliefs and rituals – although many of these elements have been modified to conform to Hispanic Catholic doctrine.1 In particular, indigenous perspectives on female sexuality and on the role that women should play in religious ritual have been completely transformed by centuries of intercultural exchange with European Christians. Christian Filipino devotional art of the Spanish colonial period contains a great deal of information about the ways

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in which Roman Catholic missionaries and their converts reshaped animist ideas to fit the newly introduced Christian view of the world. Many different aspects of these images – their style, their content, the materials from which they are made, and the legends that have grown up around them – exhibit the influence of pre-Christian Filipino culture; yet these elements of familiarity probably served to make it more difficult for newly converted Filipinos to reject the alien values that the images also communicated. It is difficult to make generalisations about the pre-Hispanic Philippines, owing to the great diversity of the peoples who lived there, and the relative dearth of information about many of their pre-contact practices. However, early Spanish observers – including Miguel de Loarca, Antonio de Morga, and Juan de Plasencia, among others – have left us with an extensive picture of the lives of the unconverted sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Tagalogs and Visayans. It seems that, like their contemporaries in Spain, early modern Tagalog and Visayan women could own property, succeed to the throne in the absence of a male heir, and achieve power and influence as religious leaders.2 Unlike Spanish women, however, pre-Hispanic Tagalog and Visayan women did not have to negotiate with a religious culture that idealised chaste, modest, obedient, and unassertive women, and which condemned sexuality – particularly female sexuality – in all its forms. As a result, Filipino animist women enjoyed considerably greater personal and sexual freedom than Spanish Catholic women of the same period. Without being subjected to social condemnation or state violence, women could have premarital and extramarital sexual relationships, choose their sexual partners, express their sexual preferences, and divorce their husbands more or less at will.3 Furthermore, as religious leaders, they were not restricted to a secondary role within a gynophobic male hierarchy, and their spiritual authority was not linked to their chastity and modesty. Unlike Catholic nuns, animist priestesses (catalonan in Tagalog, babaylan in Visayan) were entitled to lead the most important religious rites, and they were not condemned for dancing, for wearing bright colours and jewellery, or for taking husbands.4

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As Christianity gradually became the dominant religion among the Tagalogs and Visayans in the early modern period, women were forced to accept the curtailment of their sexual freedom and their religious authority. Women who resisted the new limitations were often treated harshly. Polygamous men were forced to renounce all but one of their wives, and women who objected to being thrown out of their homes could be beaten or placed in the stocks.5 Divorce was condemned, and women who had relationships with multiple men gradually came to be stigmatised as prostitutes.6 Animist priestesses who tried to continue their traditional practices saw their sacred objects burned and desecrated, and they themselves became subject to verbal and physical attack, and sometimes banishment from their communities.7 The contrast between early modern Spanish religious art and the few surviving pieces of pre-Hispanic Filipino art reflects the contrast between the roles of women in the two cultures: both traditions contain images of powerful, maternal women, but Spanish art couples this mother-goddess imagery with an obsession with chastity and a fear of the body that tends to promote a misogynistic worldview. Beginning in 1521, when Fernão de Magalhães (Ferdinand Magellan) presented a beautifully carved image of the infant Jesus to the queen of Cebu ‘to keep . . . in place of her idols’, religious art proved to be an extremely important tool for the transmission of Spanish Catholic values in the Philippines.8 These values included the paramount importance of female sexual purity – as the Spanish defined it – and the unbreakable link between chastity and spiritual authority. Artwork was therefore instrumental in the gradual loss of sexual freedom which Filipino women experienced as Christianity spread through the archipelago, and in the reduction of their traditional role as religious leaders. In Filipino Christian art, the Virgin Mary is the most prominent female figure, and some might argue that she is the most important figure of either sex. Gabriel Casal and Regalado Trota Jose suggest that the cult of Mary in the Philippines may even have surpassed the worship of Jesus Christ, at least in its scope and intensity.9 As early as 1580, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception was made

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the patroness of the Diocese of Manila, and Mary – rather than her son – is represented on the altar of Manila Cathedral as ‘the centre of human history’.10 Moreover, as Monina A. Mercado observes, affection for the Virgin Mary is ‘considered as the distinctive mark of Catholicism in the Philippines. She is the patroness of the country and . . . the Philippines is often called the land of Mary by the Filipinos themselves’.11 There are 50 different major shrines to Mary scattered throughout the Catholic Philippines, and a famous hymn describes the Filipinos as ‘[un] pueblo amante de Maria’ (‘a people in love with Mary’).12 Although this high degree of devotion to the Virgin is not unique to the Philippines – it is also seen in many parts of Latin America – it is an important factor to keep in mind when considering the impact of Marian art on Filipino women. The cult of Mary and its many associated images reflect the way that the central role played by women in pre-Hispanic religious ritual was reshaped during the colonial period to fit European gender norms. Like the catalonan and babaylan themselves – and, perhaps, like female spirits whom they propitiated – Mary is a powerful intercessory female figure. She embodies idealised maternity and female fertility, qualities that were probably valued highly in the pre-Hispanic period, but with the Christian twist that she, unlike any normal woman, is able to combine maternity with absolute freedom from the ‘stain’ of sexual activity. Furthermore, while pre-Hispanic female priests and shamans seem to have enjoyed a high degree of freedom and agency, Mary is often described as the embodiment of submission and obedience. Many other female saints demonstrate a higher degree of agency – for example, in their steadfast refusal to marry or to give up their Christian beliefs – but Mary is almost entirely passive, functioning in her legend primarily as ‘the pure vessel’ who conceives the Christ Child without any activity, sexual or otherwise, on her part.

The Virgin of Antipolo One of the most famous images of the Virgin in the Philippines is Nuestra Señora de la Paz y Buen Viaje (Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage), also known as the Birhen ng Antipolo, or Virgin of

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Antipolo (Figure 4.1). The image of the Virgin of Antipolo came to the Philippines from Mexico by means of the trans-Pacific galleons, which were a major conduit for early modern intercultural exchange between Asia, Europe, and the Americas. The Spanish used the Philippines as a base from which to acquire goods from China and other Asian countries, which they then brought to Europe or sold for silver in Mexico. This famous sculpture of Mary was made in Mexico

Figure 4.1 The Virgin of Antipolo (also known as Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage), c.1626, mixed materials, Church of Antipolo, Antipolo City, Philippines. Photographed by Michael P. delos Reyes. Reproduced by permission.

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by an anonymous craftsman or craftsmen; in 1626 it arrived in Manila on the galleon El Almirante, which had sailed from Acapulco. During its three-month voyage, El Almirante survived storms at sea and a fire on board, and Governor Juan Niño de Tabora, who was on the ship, attributed its eventual safe arrival in Manila to the miraculous intercession of the image. The sculpture came to be called Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage as a result of this history. It acquired the name ‘The Virgin of Antipolo’ later, after the Jesuits tried to move it from the site of the old church in Antipolo to a new church in nearby Santa Cruz. Supposedly, the image refused to be moved: no matter where the Jesuits tried to take it each day, it would always be found the following morning in a tipolo (breadfruit) tree, which grew on the site of the old church in Antipolo. As a result, the sculpture remained where it was, and the local people carved a pedestal for it out of the wood of the tree where it had been found.13 In this way, the non-Filipino image of Mary became localised and anchored to a specific site in the Philippines. Folk art links the Virgin of Antipolo to the breadfruit tree: for example, one pilgrim’s memento from the shrine, dating from the 1930s, is a photograph of the Virgin superimposed over a photograph of a tipolo tree.14 Antipolo is named after the tipolo tree, and this plant’s importance in the sculpture’s story suggests a connection to earlier animist belief systems in which trees were regarded as homes for the spirits, and sometimes revered as spirits themselves.15 Breadfruit from the tipolo tree (Artocarpus incisa) is a staple element of the diet on many Pacific islands, including the Philippines, where it is usually cooked and served with coconut and sugar. Other parts of the tree are also considered very useful: its leaves can be fed to livestock; its latex can be used as an adhesive and can help to make boats waterproof; its durable fibre was traditionally used in the Philippines to make harnesses for water buffalo; its light, hard wood can be used for many purposes (and is today in demand as a material for making surfboards); and its flowers, fruit, sap, and leaves have all been used in traditional medicine.16 In light of this history, it would be surprising if the tipolo tree had not been worshipped in pre-Hispanic animist rituals, or at least regarded as an object of great spiritual significance. The connection between

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the tree and the Virgin of Antipolo – the Virgin of the Breadfruit Tree, one might say – is therefore highly suggestive. Specifically, it seems likely that the breadfruit tree was a symbol of fertility and abundance; thus it is not difficult to imagine how it might have become associated with Mary, that most idealised of mothers. The connection between the fertile breadfruit tree and the Virgin Mary demonstrates how the significance ascribed by pre-Hispanic Filipinos to fertility and maternity changed with the introduction of Christianity: the Church continued to encourage reverence for mothers, but with the twist that the ideal mother was now also a virgin – making it physically impossible for any human woman to succeed in emulating her. As Carolyn Brewer observes, this reverence for virgins implicitly denigrates sexually active women by defining their normal, healthy sexuality as a ‘stain’ on their purity.17 One could argue that this worldview only condemns women who have extramarital sexual relations, but the example of Mary – a married woman and a mother, who was nonetheless a lifelong virgin – suggests that even married women who are entirely faithful to their husbands are not as ‘pure’ as celibate women (a view espoused by early modern Spanish religious writers such as Luis de León).18 Another connection between the Virgin of Antipolo and animism relates to her role as Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. In this capacity, as Esperanza Bunag Gatbonton suggests, she replaces the (male) animist deity Maguayen (or Macauyan), to whom people made offerings before building a boat or embarking on a voyage. In the Visayas, Maguayen was believed to be the boatman who transported souls to the other world; he was usually depicted as a man in a boat. Maguayen was also considered to be the lord of trees and plants, a role connected to his interest in ships by his particular knowledge of different types of wood.19 The connection between the Virgin of Antipolo and the breadfruit tree suggests that she may have acquired Maguayen’s association with plants, along with his dominion over the sea. The connection between boats and the Virgin is also suggestive because boats are used as symbols of fertility and increase in other parts of the Pacific, particularly eastern Indonesia, so it is not surprising that this symbolism should come to be connected with the

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Madre de Dios.20 It also makes sense that the Virgin should take over Maguayen’s role as psychopomp, since Mary is thought to intervene on behalf of deceased souls, particularly in her incarnation of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, who saves souls from purgatory. According to Gatbonton, the Christian prayers and rituals connected with the Virgin of Antipolo are similar to the ceremonies of the indigenous Maguayen cult: both types of devotees ask for ‘protection, wellbeing, and blessings’, and they both make offerings of jewels, ornaments, and flowers.21 In more recent times, it has become common for pilgrims to ask the Virgin of Antipolo to bless their new cars, just as pre-Christian Filipinos probably asked Maguayen to bless their boats.22 Besides the animist connections of the Virgin of Antipolo, the physical features of the image are worthy of discussion. Mary’s carved wooden head and hands are mounted on a triangular framework called a bastidor, and the image is lavishly decorated: she is dressed in an elaborately embroidered (labrado) gown; she wears a beautifully worked crown and earrings made of precious metals and stones; and an elaborate star-studded metal aureole, or rostrillo, appears behind her head. She appears to have real hair, and she holds a golden sceptre. According to Fernando Zóbel de Ayala, the sceptre is modelled after a Spanish field-marshal’s baton – a symbol of power not usually seen in a woman’s hand.23 Casal and Jose note that ‘the Spaniards and Filipinos initially had in common a love of decoration and ritual’; this love of decoration is certainly evident in the appearance of the Virgin of Antipolo.24 The custom of providing such elaborate decorations, including the new gowns which must periodically be made, is obviously an element of the worship of such images, and this process of making propitiatory offerings to an image recalls the offerings made to the pre-Christian deities.25 The way the sculpture is constructed, however, suggests how different colonial ideas about sexuality and the body were from preHispanic attitudes. Surviving pre-Hispanic Filipino sculptures generally show the women nude, and they are often obviously pregnant as well. This style of representation, particularly in the absence of Virgin Birth mythology, suggests a relatively positive view of female

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sexuality, at least when it is channelled into socially acceptable modes of expression. The Virgin of Antipolo, by contrast, does not even have a body – only a wire frame for displaying beautiful dresses. Even if the statue were desecrated and stripped of its clothes, it could never be naked, only incomplete. The only parts of her body that exist in any recognisable form are her carved head and hands, the parts which are socially acceptable for any Filipino woman to expose. The unpainted brown wooden ‘skin’ of the Virgin of Antipolo is another significant localising feature of the image. As Mercado remarks, some devotees refer to the image as ‘the Brown Virgin . . . and many who pray see a brown personage like themselves’.26 The Virgin of Antipolo’s brown skin is interesting because of what it suggests about the desire to localise Christian imagery: although this sculpture was not made in the Philippines, its dark skin helped to make it one of the most popular and revered Marian images in the islands. ‘We cherish this image, because it makes Our Lady look like us, generations of Filipinos have said’, writes Mercado.27 Representing Mary as an indigenous woman is potentially subversive in the context of Spanish colonialism: as Reinhard Wendt observes, the Brown Virgin’s skin tone helped to distance her from her role as the protector of the Spanish galleon trade and transform her into an indigenous patroness of the Filipino people – and, potentially, into the patroness of an independent Filipino nation.28 However, her Filipino appearance also clearly encourages indigenous people to internalise the gendered values that are bound up with the Roman Catholic faith.

‘La Naval’ Another famous image of Mary, Nuestra Señora del Rosario (Our Lady of the Rosary) or ‘La Naval’, also has a somewhat non-European appearance (Figure 4.2). This image of the Madonna and Child was commissioned in 1593 by Governor Luis Pérez Dasmariñas, and carved by a non-Christian Chinese sculptor under the direction of Don Hernando de los Ríos Coronel. Supposedly, the Chinese sculptor was miraculously converted to Christianity shortly after completing his work, and Don Hernando entered the priesthood. The sculpture itself was given

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to the Dominican Order in Manila.29 In 1646, the Protestant Dutch attempted to invade the Philippines and were defeated in a series of naval battles by a Spanish–Filipino force; the victory of the Catholic side was attributed to the miraculous intercession of Our Lady of the

Figure 4.2 La Naval de Manila (also known as Our Lady of the Rosary), c.1593, mixed materials, Church of Santo Domingo, Quezon City, Philippines. Photographed by Romain Garry Evangelista Lazaro. Reproduced by permission.

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Rosary. Consequently, she came to be known as La Naval, the protector of Catholic navies – a role which overlaps with that of the Virgin of Antipolo and, incidentally, connects La Naval with the same animist ideas about ships – and each year she is carried through Manila in a procession that commemorates the victory. In 1973 she was declared the official patroness of Manila, and in 1981, when Pope John Paul II visited the Philippines, he dedicated all of Asia to La Naval.30 Like the Virgin of Antipolo, La Naval consists of an ivory head and hands mounted on a frame of wood and stuffing, dressed in elaborate gowns and jewellery. She is said to be covered with jewels, each one presented as an offering from a worshipper. She has several different elaborate outfits, in fact, at least one of which includes a dress woven out of spun gold.31 Additionally, she wears an elaborate crown that refers to her official 1906 coronation by Rome’s Apostolic Legate, and a jewelled golden rostrillo with 24 stars on it. Her two most recent sets of crowns, both made of solid gold, contain a total of 1,721 precious stones.32 In one arm she holds the infant Jesus, who is also elaborately dressed and crowned, and in the other hand she holds a golden sceptre. Her lifelike face has a slightly Asian appearance, and the ivory out of which her face and hands are carved has turned pale brown with age. As a result, she has often been identified as an indigenous woman. The insignia of rank that La Naval and the Virgin of Antipolo wear – in particular, their royal crowns and sceptres, as well as all their other finery – present an interesting element of Marian iconography in the Philippines. As discussed above, extant Spanish colonial records suggest that women enjoyed considerable religious and temporal power in the pre-Hispanic Philippines. Brewer suggests that female shamans and male warriors may have been thought to possess similar forms of spiritual power.33 The notion that a woman might possess an intrinsic personal form of power that is both spiritual and temporal is arguably epitomised by the spectacular Filipino images of the Queen of Heaven. Queen of Heaven imagery is common in Spanish religious art, and perhaps the Filipinos embraced it wholeheartedly because it resonated with their own indigenous gender

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constructs. Certainly, these images are much more evocative of Mary’s power – suggested by her crown, sceptre, and magnificent robes – than they are of her chastity, submissiveness, or any other quality that she would not have shared with animist female deities and religious practitioners. It is also significant that La Naval holds the Christ Child in her arms, thereby combining three of the female archetypes that would have been familiar to pre-Hispanic Filipinos: the powerful spiritual leader, the queen, and the mother.

Our Lady of Peñafrancia Another very famous colonial-era image of the Virgin is the sculpture of Our Lady of Peñafrancia that is enshrined in the Basilica Minore in Naga City (Figure 4.3). Our Lady of Peñafrancia is the patron saint of the Bicol region, in southeastern Luzon; her worshippers simply call her ‘Ina’, meaning ‘Mother’.34 Every year, an enormous festival is held in her honour in Naga City; it is said to be the largest and most popular festival of this type in the Philippines, and draws millions of pilgrims to the city.35 Stylistically, the sculpture of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, which stands less than one metre high, is somewhat different from that of the Virgins of Antipolo and La Naval. Like the Virgin of Antipolo, Our Lady of Peñafrancia is carved out of dark hardwood, with the Virgin’s face mostly unpainted, so that she appears to be quite dark-skinned. Her head, body, and gown are all carved out of one solid piece of wood, which was originally unadorned; the gown was later covered with a beaten silver overlay called a plancha. In modern times, the image is dressed in one of a variety of embroidered silk mantles, which are draped over the plancha. She also wears an elaborate gold crown and jewelled rostrillo, which adds almost a foot to her height, and a sunburst-shaped halo of beaten gold surrounds her small face. Unlike many Hispanicised images of the Virgin, she does not have real hair. Her face is emphasised by the halo and by the fact that it is the only visible part of her body. Given that her face is the focal point of devotion, it is all the more significant that the wood from which her face is carved is dark brown.

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Figure 4.3 Prayer card featuring Our Lady of Peñafrancia, twentieth century. From the collection of Romain Gary Evangelista Lazaro. Reproduced by permission.

Like La Naval, Our Lady of Peñafrancia is depicted holding the infant Jesus, but the sculpture of Mary has been so lavishly embellished that only the child’s carved wooden head and golden crown are visible. This visual effect implies strongly that Mary, not Jesus, is the primary object of worship at this shrine. Furthermore, as Vitaliano

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Gorospe and René Javellana assert, ‘while most Filipino images of the Madonna . . . portray the child facing the devotee, as if Mary were a mere throne on which the divine child rested, in the Peñafrancia, the child gazes intently at the mother’s face’.36 In other words, Jesus himself becomes like one of the Virgin’s human worshippers: instead of appearing as Mary’s equal or superior, as he often does in European art, here he too gazes up at her face in awe. As with other images of Mary, the Virgin of Peñafrancia’s dark skin and close association with female archetypes that predate Christianity – that is, the mother, the queen, and the female shaman – help to explain how this image came to be adopted so wholeheartedly by Filipino devotees. Various other aspects of her origin and legend also demonstrate how the image became localised, even though it is actually a copy of a European image. The European legend of Our Lady of Peñafrancia describes how a statue of Mary and the Christ Child was discovered in Peña de Francia (literally ‘Rocky Hill of France’) by a fifteenth-century French saint named Simon. Simon had a vision of the Virgin enthroned on the hill, and she ordered him to dig into the hillside and to build a shrine on the hill for whatever he found. After several days of digging, Simon and a group of labourers are said to have found a beautiful image of the Virgin and Child concealed under an enormous rock. They were suffering from various injuries, but as soon as they lifted the rock and saw the image of Mary, they were miraculously healed.37 The Filipino version of the statue was commissioned in the early eighteenth century by a Spanish priest named Don Miguel de Cobarrubias, who had suffered from a variety of ailments since childhood, but always found relief whenever he pressed an image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia against the afflicted part of his body. He also called on his patroness when he was on board a ship that was caught in a storm, and he attributed the ship’s survival to her miraculous intercession. As a result, he vowed to build a shrine to her, and he eventually did so. When he found a suitably competent local artist, he gave the artist the miraculous picture, and the man carved a threedimensional copy out of the wood of a santol tree.38 This sculptor was a member of the Aeta (also spelled Agta or Ayta) ethnic group,

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a highland people whom the Spanish called cimarrones (wild horses) because they were so difficult to control.39 Even before the sculpture was completed, it became associated with various miracles. A dog had been killed so that its blood could be used to paint and treat the wooden sculpture, but the Virgin is said to have miraculously restored the dog to life. As soon as people in the area heard about this miracle, they flocked to the statue to beg Our Lady to help them with a variety of troubles: in particular, they came to ask that she cure their ailments and protect them from disease.40 Various elements of this story help to explain how this copy of a European image became localised and acquired its large and adoring flock of Filipino worshippers. First, it is significant that, unlike the other miraculous Virgins that I have already discussed, this image is known to have been carved by an indigenous Filipino artist, albeit an anonymous one. Second, there is the matter of the santol tree from which it was made. Like the breadfruit tree in Antipolo, the santol tree is an important natural resource in the Bicol region. Its sweet, tart fruit can be eaten raw or made into preserves; its wood tends to deteriorate when it comes in contact with moisture, but it polishes well and is easy to work and can be used for various indoor purposes; its bark is traditionally used in the Philippines to tan fishing lines; and – perhaps most interestingly – it is used extensively in traditional Filipino medicine. Fresh leaves are placed on the bodies of fever patients to induce sweating, and the patient may be bathed in a decoction of the leaves. Its bark and roots are used to treat diarrhoea and dysentery, and are included in tonics given to women after childbirth. The bark may also be used to treat ‘colic and stitch in the side’, and the root is used as a stomachic and antispasmodic.41 Because of the plant’s many medicinal uses, it seems possible that the pre-Hispanic Filipinos believed in some sort of santol tree spirit who had healing powers. It is therefore highly significant that Our Lady of Peñafrancia – represented in this santol-wood sculpture – is so closely associated with miraculous cures. Since the story suggests that Our Lady of Peñafrancia was known for her healing powers even before the sculptor chose to carve her image out of a santol tree, perhaps he chose the wood for that very reason. If it is true that the

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animist Filipinos attributed special spiritual healing powers to the santol tree, the continuing association of these healing powers with Our Lady of Peñafrancia would be an example of the survival of animist elements within the theological framework of Catholicism. Nevertheless, this story certainly demonstrates how the Church took over the social functions of animist religious practitioners, since the people who came to Our Lady of Peñafrancia for a miraculous cure would probably have gone to a shaman for the same sort of remedy if they had lived in pre-Christian times. Third, the description of the sacrifice and miraculous resurrection of the dog also sounds as though it may be an echo of an earlier animist ritual. There is no evidence that the Bicolanos ever sacrificed dogs, but the slaughter of the dog and the use of its blood in the construction of the statue still have a ritualistic quality. Animist societies across the Pacific traditionally used animal sacrifices, or human heads taken in head-hunting raids, to imbue objects or buildings with ritual potency. Usually, these ceremonies were intended to increase the fertility of the land and the people, and were consequently associated with imagery of renewal and resurrection.42 It seems possible, therefore, that the slaughter of the dog was a kind of sacrifice to Mary that was intended to ‘activate’ (or ‘animate’) the sculpture, and that the report of the dog’s subsequent resurrection relates to the narrative of fecundity and renewal traditionally associated with such sacrifices. Furthermore, the Aeta people, like many other peoples of the Philippines, use dogs extensively in hunting: the dogs are trained to drive deer and pigs into large nets, and thus play a crucial role in food production.43 Perhaps the use of the dog’s blood was intended to imbue the statue with some of the power of the living dog, particularly since the role of dogs in hunting may have meant that they, like the Virgin herself, were symbols of abundance. A number of scholars, particularly church historians, aver that the dog’s blood served a practical purpose.44 Of course, one would expect the devout Catholic writers of hagiographies to downplay the pre-Christian elements of their saint’s history. However, even if the dog’s blood was in fact needed to help treat and colour the wood, its sacrifice may still have been imbued with ritual significance.45

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A fourth element of localisation in the story of Our Lady of Peñafrancia is the fact that many local people are not familiar with the version of the legend just cited. Instead, local folklore holds that this image of the Virgin miraculously emerged from a pineapple. This story probably relates to the fact that the Spanish-derived local word for pineapple is pinya. As a result, the term ‘Our Lady of Peñafrancia’ may have suggested to local listeners that she came from the pineapples (pinyas) of a region called Francia. There is even a print, produced for the tourist trade, that depicts the Virgin emerging from a pineapple.46 The pineapple, incidentally, is not indigenous to the Philippines – it comes from the Americas and was introduced to the Philippines by the Spanish – but today the Republic of the Philippines is one of the world’s top exporters of pineapples and pineapple products.47 It could reasonably be inferred that the legend of the Virgin materialising out of a pineapple is an effective way of indigenising the image. This bit of folklore transforms her from a copy of a European statue into a native – and miraculous – Filipino woman, who originated in the Filipino earth in which pineapples seem to grow so successfully. The parallel with the Virgin of Antipolo, who is said to have been found in a breadfruit tree, is obvious. These stories, which associate different incarnations of the Virgin with local plants, also recall Filipino creation myths in which the first man and the first woman emerge from a cylinder of bamboo.48 Clearly, these botanical associations help both to indigenise the Virgin herself and to suggest that certain animist ideas survived the introduction of Catholicism.

The Virgin of Caysasay The final image of Mary to be discussed here is the miracle-working Birhen ng Caysasay (the Virgin of Caysasay), from Taal, Batangas, in southwestern Luzon (Figure 4.4). This image, which dates from the early seventeenth century, is carved out of a block of dark brown wood like Our Lady of Peñafrancia, with a mostly unpainted face, and carved wooden hair and clothes. In recent times, her worshippers have put a wig of real hair on her head and provided her with

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Figure 4.4 The Virgin of Caysasay, early seventeenth century, mixed materials, Church of Our Lady of Caysasay, Taal, Philippines. Photographed by Randy del Mundo. Reproduced by permission.

a variety of embroidered silk dresses that cover her carved wooden outfit entirely, as well as an elaborate golden crown and jewelled rostrillo. The sculpture is less than one foot in height; it depicts the Virgin alone, without her child, with her hands clasped before her in prayer. The origin of this image is mysterious, and, except for its

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approximate date, not much is known about where it came from. According to one story, in 1611 some Filipinos in Labac, Taal, saw a brilliant light and heard heavenly music coming from inside a cave. When they went into the cave, they found this statue of the Virgin, glowing ‘in resplendent glory’.49 According to another version, in 1603 a man named Juan Maningcad went fishing and, when he pulled in his net, there was the miracle-working image, ‘radiating with heavenly lustre’.50 In a third version, the Virgin is again miraculously found in a cave, but this version specifies that the cave is by a stream near the town of Caysasay.51 Whatever the statue’s origin, this stream figures prominently in the stories of Our Lady of Caysasay. Many people report having experienced miraculous cures after bathing in the stream or drinking its water. Lutgarda A. Aviado discusses the story of a nearly blind indigenous girl, Juana Tangui, who lived in the early seventeenth century and was miraculously cured of her eye disease after she bathed in the stream and had several visions of Our Lady of Caysasay. Aviado also indicates that Juana went to the stream specifically because she had heard of many people being cured by its water.52 Just like the Virgin of Antipolo, the Virgin of Caysasay is said to have made a habit of disappearing from any place where she was kept and reappearing near her sacred place – in this case, the stream.53 As a result, a church was built to house her there, and people still go to the shrine and drink and bathe in the stream, which is still believed to have miraculous curative properties. According to a recent pilgrim who described her trip to Caysasay, the stream flows through two stone arches among the rocks behind the church. The water from the arch on the right is said to cure ailments of the head, and the water from the left is said to heal the body. The pilgrim and her companions prayed by the stream and dipped their hands into it, but they were advised by local children that it would be better to drink from the taps inside the church – which were connected to the stream, but which were filtered. In her account, she goes on to quote a newspaper article describing various miracles associated with the site: for example, a woman named Leony Martinez told the newspaper that she had had a

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urinary tract infection, but that it went away after she rubbed water from the Caysasay spring on her abdomen.54 These accounts indicate that the stream was probably a sacred site for pre-Hispanic Filipinos, and that it became associated with Mary after the Spanish converted the local people to Christianity. The transformation of pre-Christian holy sites into shrines to miracleworking saints is known to have occurred in many parts of the world, including the Philippines. The history of one Tagalog shrine describes this process. In the seventeenth century, the Jesuit Francisco Colín noted in his account of the Tagalogs that the river of Manila had a rock that serve[d] as an idol of that wretched people for many years . . . until the fathers of St Augustine, who were near there, broke it, through their holy zeal, into small bits and set up a cross on its place.55 Later, a small shrine to St Nicholas of Tolentino, a miracle-working Augustinian friar, was established on that spot.56 The parallels between this story and the story of Our Lady of Caysasay are notable. In two versions of her origin story, Our Lady of Caysasay is associated with an opening in the rock near a spring, just as this Augustinian shrine to St Nicholas was associated with a sacred rock by a river. Moreover, just as the Birhen ng Caysasay is associated with healing, so St Nicholas is invoked to protect the faithful from epidemic disease.57 Even if Catholic missionaries did not deliberately convert the Caysasay site into a Marian shrine, it seems likely that newly Christianised Filipinos began to reinterpret their traditional beliefs within a Catholic framework, so that the spirit of a healing stream became the Virgin. Other aspects of this figure’s iconography suggest a connection with animism. Aviado reports that ‘the image shows the Virgin standing over a small ship; and the boat floating over the clouds’.58 Both Aviado and Gatbonton agree that this image is the earliest Filipino prototype of the Immaculate Conception figurines which were to become very popular for home altars and small church shrines; according

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to Aviado, it was modelled after Bartolomé Murillo’s seventeenthcentury painting The Immaculate Conception of the Escorial.59 The Spanish iconography of the Immaculate Conception was formally defined by Francisco Pacheco (1564–1644), a Spanish painter and censor of religious paintings. According to Pacheco, the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception should be depicted ‘encircled by the sun’s rays, crowned with stars with an overturned crescent at her feet and the head of the crushed dragon’, and she should wear the girdle of St Francis in recognition of the Franciscan community, which had worked hard to have the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception formally recognised.60 In this image, the dragon, the girdle, and the sun’s rays are not visible, but she has been given a 12-starred rostrillo and – most significantly – the crescent moon under her feet has been reinterpreted as a boat, in which she rides through the clouds. The fact that the moon has been reworked as a boat is a clear sign of indigenous influence on the work of art, and it is an interesting illustration of the complex cultural dynamics which have produced Filipino folk Catholicism and its visual culture. As noted above in discussing the Virgin of Antipolo, the motif of the ‘ship of the dead’, which is often associated with ancestor worship and with fertility, is found across the Pacific.61 A boat is depicted on one of the most famous examples of pre-Christian Filipino art, a Neolithic burial jar from Quezon known as the Manunggul jar. The lid of the jar is embellished with a crescent-shaped boat that contains two figures, one steering with an oar, and one sitting with his arms crossed over his chest – a motif which recalls the iconography of Maguayen, the deity discussed earlier. It seems clear that the man with his arms crossed, and possibly the boatman as well, represent ancestral figures: they appear to be wearing bands of cloth tied over their heads and under their jaws in a form still seen today in the burial practices of the southern Philippines, and the manner in which the arms of one man are crossed over his chest resembles the way that bodies are arranged for burial all over the archipelago.62 Ancestor cults across the Pacific are, of course, associated with fertility and renewal, and in some parts of eastern Indonesia both spirit boats and actual boats are identified with the womb, while the

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mast represents a phallus.63 It is not surprising that Mary should be associated with a symbol of fertility and of the ancestors, since Mary is herself both a symbol of fertility – the ideal mother – and an intercessory figure who is often called upon to intervene on behalf of the souls of deceased loved ones. In the Catholic context, however, this symbolic boat imagery has become part of the visual representation of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. Once again, we see how veneration of the Virgin Mary came both to incorporate and to replace pre-colonial animist tradition, while simultaneously introducing a radically new perspective on women and sexuality.

Conclusion Through symbolic alterations of the representations of religious figures, Filipino converts to Christianity made the new religion their own, and preserved within it elements of continuity with their cultural past. Despite the efforts of the Spanish to eradicate animist objects and practices, Filipino converts interpreted Catholicism and its visual culture through the lens of their existing beliefs, and many animist traditions were not so much eliminated as transformed by Christianity. Images of the Virgin Mary readily became localised through the materials from which they were made, their physical appearance, the manner in which they were worshipped, and the folktales that were told about them. The incorporation of the Queen of Heaven into local ritual may have been eased by her similarity to the strong female figures – real and mythological – of the pre-Hispanic era, and many Filipino women continue to regard the veneration of the Virgin as an empowering practice. Even so, the adoration of Mary also encouraged Filipinos to internalise a new – and profoundly negative – view of sexuality in general and female sexuality in particular. Moreover, the Virgin and her male priests took over most of the spiritual and social functions of the catalonan and babaylan, thereby relegating Filipino women to a subordinate role in the Catholic religious hierarchy. Despite the proto-feminist elements of Marian legend, the widespread adoption of a Catholic perspective on gender roles significantly reduced female freedom and agency in the early modern Philippines.

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References 1. John Leddy Phelan, The Hispanization of the Philippines: Spanish Aims and Filipino Responses, 1565–1700 (Madison, 1959), pp. 78–81. 2. Antonio de Morga, Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, trans. and ed. J. S. Cummins (Cambridge, 1971), p. 276. 3. Miguel de Loarca, ‘Captain Loarca’s Account of the Filipinos and Their Pre-Spanish Civilization (1582)’, in Gregorio F. Zaide and Sonia M. Zaide (eds), Documentary Sources of Philippine History (Manila, 1990), vol. 2, pp. 274–6, 283–5; Juan de Plasencia, ‘Plasencia’s Code on the Ancient Customs of the Tagalogs (1589)’, in Zaide and Zaide (eds), Documentary Sources of Philippine History, vol. 3, pp. 152–4; Morga, Sucesos, pp. 277–8. 4. Antonio Pigafetta, ‘First Voyage Around the World (1519–1522) by Antonio Pigafetta’, in Zaide and Zaide (eds), Documentary Sources of Philippine History, vol. 1, pp. 138–41; Plasencia, ‘Plasencia’s Code’, pp. 157–8; Francisco Colín, ‘Colin’s Account of the Filipinos and Their Pre-Spanish Civilization (1663)’, in Zaide and Zaide, Documentary Sources of Philippine History, vol. 5, p. 22. 5. Carolyn Brewer, Shamanism, Catholicism and Gender Relations in Colonial Philippines, 1521–1685 (Aldershot and Burlington, VT, 2004), pp. 64–7. 6. Barbara Watson Andaya, ‘From Temporary Wife to Prostitute: Sexuality and Economic Change in Early Modern Southeast Asia’, Journal of Women’s History ix/4 (1998), pp. 12–16. 7. Vicente de Salazar, ‘Dominican Missions, 1670–1700’, in Emma H. Blair and James A. Robertson (eds), The Philippine Islands, 1493–1898, 55 vols (Cleveland, OH, 1903–9), vol. 43, pp. 51–3; Pigafetta, ‘First Voyage’, p. 138; Brewer, Shamanism, Catholicism and Gender Relations, p. 110. 8. Pigafetta, ‘First Voyage’, p. 138. 9. Gabriel Casal and Regalado Trota Jose, ‘Colonial Artistic Expressions in the Philippines (1565–1898)’, in Gabriel Casal (ed.), The People and Art of the Philippines (Los Angeles, 1981), pp. 108–10.

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10. Ibid., p. 110; International Institute of Liturgical Art, Art Works of Manila’s Cathedral (Rome, 1958), p. 4. 11. Monina A. Mercado, Antipolo: A Shrine to Our Lady (Makati, Metro Manila, 1980), p. 16. 12. Ibid., p. 27. 13. ‘The Church’, in AntipoloCity.Com: The Commercial Web Site for Antipolo City, Philippines, Internet: http://www.antipolocity.com/ church.htm (accessed 27 May 2012). 14. Mercado, Antipolo, p. 54. 15. Reinhard Wendt, ‘Philippine Fiesta and Colonial Culture’, Philippine Studies xlvi/1 (1998), pp. 3–23. 16. Julia F. Morton, Fruits of Warm Climates, ed. Curtis F. Dowling, Jr (Miami, 1987), pp. 50–8. 17. Brewer, Shamanism, Catholicism and Gender Relations, pp. 45–7. 18. Luis de León, ‘The Perfect Wife (1583)’, in Jon Cowans (ed.), Early Modern Spain: A Documentary History (Philadelphia, 2003), p. 117. 19. Esperanza Bunag Gatbonton, A Heritage of Saints (Manila, 1979), p. 42. 20. Barbara Watson Andaya, ‘Oceans Unbounded: Transversing Asia Across “Area Studies”’, Journal of Asian Studies lxv/4 (2006), pp. 669–90. 21. Gatbonton, A Heritage of Saints, p. 42. 22. Noli, ‘New Car Blessing at Antipolo Church’, in Pinoy Travel Blog (Manila, 9 October 2006), Internet: http://www.pinoytravel blog.com/roadtrip/379/new-car-blessing-at-antipolo-church (accessed 27 May 2012). 23. Fernando Zóbel de Ayala, Philippine Religious Imagery (Manila, 1963), p. 11. 24. Casal and Jose, ‘Colonial Artistic Expressions’, p. 96. 25. Ibid. 26. Mercado, Antipolo, p. 14. 27. Ibid., p. 49. 28. Wendt, ‘Philippine Fiesta’, pp. 10–12. 29. Casal and Jose, ‘Colonial Artistic Expressions’, p. 97. 30. Ann Ball, ‘There’s Something About Mary: Our Lady of La Naval’, in Holy Spirit Interactive (2004), Internet: http://www.

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31.

32. 33. 34. 35.

36. 37.

38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44.

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holyspiritinteractive.net/features/somethingaboutmary/naval. asp (accessed 27 May 2012); Santosh Digal, ‘Manila: Feast of Our Lady of La Naval, “Helper of Christian Navies”’, Asia News (9 October 2006), Internet: http://www.asianews.it/news-en/ Manila:-feast-of-Our-Lady-of-La-Naval,-helper-of-Christiannavies-7426.html (accessed 27 May 2012). Francis Jason Diaz Perez III, ‘Carrascoso’s Ensemble – Numero II’, in La Naval de Manila Online (17 March 2008), Internet: http://lanavaldemanila.blogspot.co.uk/2008/03/carrascososensemble-numero-ii.html (accessed 27 May 2012). Zóbel de Ayala, Philippine Religious Imagery, p. 70. Brewer, Shamanism, Catholicism and Gender Relations, p. 93. Digal, ‘Manila’. For documentation of the festivities of 2004, for example, see ‘Peñafrancia Festival 2004’, Internet: http://www.naga.gov.ph/ pf/2004/ (accessed 27 May 2012). Vitaliano R. Gorospe and René B. Javellana, Virgin of Peñafrancia: Mother of Bicol (Makati, Metro Manila, 1995), p. 20. ‘History of Our Lady of Peñafrancia’, in Peñafrancia Basilica: Our Lady of Peñafrancia Basilica Website (1 December 2011), Internet: http://www.penafrancia.net/2011/12/01/history-of-our-lady-ofpenafrancia (accessed 27 May 2012). Ibid. Gorospe and Javellana, Virgin of Peñafrancia, pp. 18, 23. ‘History of Our Lady of Peñafrancia’. Morton, Fruits of Warm Climates, pp. 199–201. Waldemar Stöhr, Art of the Archaic Indonesians (Geneva, 1981), pp. 13–14. Damian Amazona, ‘Some Customs of the Aetas of the Baler Area, Philippines’, Primitive Man xxiv/2 (1951), p. 24. Gorospe and Javellana, Virgin of Peñafrancia, p. 23; Rosalio R. Imperial, Miracles and History of Our Lady of Penafrancia and the Divine Face and the Archdiocese of Caceres (Naga City, 1969), p. 11. ‘History of Our Lady of Peñafrancia’. ‘Image of Our Lady of Peñafrancia’, in Peñafrancia Basilica: Our Lady of Peñafrancia Basilica Website (1 December 2011),

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48. 49. 50.

51. 52. 53. 54.

55. 56. 57.

58. 59. 60. 61. 62.

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Internet: http://www.penafrancia.net/2011/12/01/the-image-ofour-lady-of-penafrancia/ (accessed 27 May 2012). Morton, Fruits of Warm Climates, pp. 18–28; on the current state of pineapple production in the Philippines, see L. P. Balito, ‘The Philippine Pineapple Industry’, in H. Abdullah, D. P. Bartholomew, and M. N. Latifah (eds), Proceedings of the VIIth International Pineapple Symposium (Leuven, 2011), pp. 53–62. Loarca, ‘Captain Loarca’s Account’, p. 272. Lutgarda A. Aviado, Madonnas of the Philippines (Quezon City, 1975), p. 41. ‘The Story of Our Lady of Caysasay’, in Caysasay Website (Caysasay, 2008), Internet: http://caysasay.com/Caysasay%20Home/story OfCaysasay.html (accessed 27 May 2012); Randy del Mundo, personal communication (2012). Aviado, Madonnas, p. 41. Ibid., pp. 41–3. ‘The Story of Our Lady of Caysasay’. Mary Anne Tolentino, ‘Our Lady of Caysasay, Taal (Philippines)’, in Mary Anne Tolentino, Maan’s Pilgrim Site (23 April 2007), Internet: http://maanspilgrimsite.blogspot.com/2007/04/ourlady-of-caysasay-taal-philippines.html (accessed 27 May 2012). Colín, ‘Colin’s Account’, p. 17. Ibid. ‘St. Nicholas of Tolentine’, in Augustinians of the Midwest (1999– 2007), Internet: http://www.midwestaugustinians.org/saints/s_ nicholastolentine.html (accessed 27 May 2012). Aviado, Madonnas, p. 45. Ibid.; Gatbonton, A Heritage of Saints, p. 52. Ibid., p. 104. Barbara Watson Andaya, ‘Oceans Unbounded’, p. 677. Michael Charleston B. Chua, ‘The Manunggul Jar as a Vessel of History’, Artes de las Filipinas: The Arts of the Philippines, Internet: http://www.artesdelasfilipinas.com/archives.php?page_id=50 (accessed 27 May 2012). Nico de Jonge and Toos van Dijk, Forgotten Islands of Indonesia: The Art and Culture of the Southeast Moluccas (Hong Kong, 1995), pp. 40–5.

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CHAPTER FIVE Global Trade and Local Knowledge: GATHERING NATURAL KNOWLEDGE IN SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY INDONESIA Matthew Sargent

Writing in Batavia (modern Jakarta) in the 1670s, a Dutch Calvinist minister and doctor named Hermann Buschoff (or Busschof, 1620–74) posed the following question as he reported on the use of a previously unknown Asian botanical medicine for the treatment of gout: What’s the reason, that this [medicine] hath been so many years hid from us Europeans, whereas it hath been experienced for so vast a time in those Indian kingdoms, where it is so common, and is used for the most part with great benefit?1 Buschoff’s question was inspired by his own experience. After spending sleepless nights suffering from attacks of gout in his feet and knees, he requested treatment from an Asian doctor, whose use of an unfamiliar plant medicine brought him great relief. Buschoff was so impressed

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with the therapy, which involved igniting small bundles of plant material next to the skin, that he enthusiastically recommended the medicine in his medical treatise on the disease – Het Podagra (The Gout, Amsterdam, 1675) – and advocated its use through articles in medical journals. While the treatment itself enjoyed brief popularity during the late seventeenth century, it was not a major economic or medical breakthrough. Yet the circumstances under which Buschoff came to discover the medical properties of this previously unknown herb offers a window onto the complex processes of intercultural information exchange in early modern Southeast Asia. Taking Buschoff’s question as a starting point, this chapter explores the question of how knowledge about botanical medicine was transferred across cultural boundaries during the first centuries of the European presence in Asia. Since the transfer of information was not always easy or automatic, it is crucial to explore the social structures that facilitated information exchange in seventeenth-century Indonesia under the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (Dutch East India Company), commonly known as the VOC.2 Founded in 1602, the VOC united competing Dutch trading companies as a single joint stock company with a monopoly over trade with the Spice Islands. Trade in spices – particularly pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and mace – was a lucrative business, and the VOC soon became the dominant European power in the Indian Ocean and Indonesian Archipelago. By the 1690s, the Company had more than 10,000 employees on its payroll, working in factories spreading from the Cape of Good Hope to India, Indonesia, Japan, and China. Yet, while the enormous scale of the Dutch undertaking enabled it to maintain its monopoly on Indonesian spices, the problems of supporting and supplying its far-flung outposts became increasingly difficult.

Medicine and Botany Illness and tropical disease were constant problems for Europeans in Southeast Asia. Mortality on the nine-month voyage from Europe to Asia was often as high as 10 per cent, and after arrival travellers encountered a host of unfamiliar and often lethal diseases.3 Initially

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they tried to treat these maladies with chests of medicines shipped from Europe, but, if anything, these medicines survived the journey to Asia even less well than the sailors whom they were sent to cure. The result was a constant stream of sick travellers who sought local cures, while the trading companies and merchant empires that employed them eagerly funded ways to make medical supplies cheaper and more efficient. Despite the clear demand for new cures, learning the details of indigenous botanical medicine was often a difficult problem. The medicinal properties of wild plants could not be discerned by direct observation; instead, access to this knowledge required the help of local informants. Moreover, knowledge of medicinal botany was often difficult to acquire because it consisted of several discrete pieces of information. Harvesting a specific plant in the wild required knowledge of its identifying characteristics and preferred habitats, as well as the skill to select and harvest a suitable specimen. Thereafter, the item – sometimes dried, preserved, or combined with other substances – could be put to some medical use, which required an entirely different area of expertise: a user needed to recognise a set of symptoms as a condition that the plant could (in theory) cure, and then to prepare and administer it correctly. Although each step in this process was important in its own right, practical knowledge of medicinal botany required both steps, and one could not be inferred from the other. Receiving a remedy from a local healer did not prepare one to identify the plant from which it came, any more than learning how and when to collect a certain plant might help someone understand what symptoms it would cure. The result was that accurate knowledge of botanical products was relatively hard to obtain. In India and China, these problems were mitigated by established schools of medicine that collected and codified this information, making it easier for foreigners to access. However, as the historian’s gaze follows Europeans across the Indian Ocean and into island Southeast Asia, intercultural exchanges of medicinal information become more subtle and harder to trace. The formal channels of contact that India provided – including a learned class of doctors and a common theoretical base – disappear. Indigenous Indonesian

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beliefs offered some theories of disease (distinguishing, for example, between medical conditions that were said to be caused by excess heat, such as fevers and pregnancy, and those caused by a dangerous loss of heat, such as childbirth), but no systems of teachings or shared theoretical explanations created unified schools of medical practitioners.4 While foreign theories circulated throughout the archipelago, they were not widely adopted. Indigenous beliefs commingled with Chinese theories based on complementary principles of yin (cold) and yang (hot), which could produce illness when out of balance. Medical texts drawing upon Indian traditions were translated and circulated in Java and Bali, but they were employed primarily for ceremonial rather than practical purposes.5 Thus, in contrast to India and East Asia, medicine in the Indonesian Archipelago was a body of practice rather than a codified and theoretically or theologically structured discipline. Healing in Indonesia was not the purview of formally trained or high-status academics who relied upon a shared body of theory and training. Rather, medical knowhow was based on custom and experience, and shared through apprenticeship and observation. In addition to its lack of a codified, formal structure, botanical knowledge was privileged information, which Indonesia’s healers and dukuns (shamans) did not readily share. Javanese medical texts from the period of European contact were routinely imbued with magic and ritual.6 As Theodore Pigeaud notes, the ‘lore of concocting medicines was kept secret as long as possible, being orally transmitted only to trusted pupils’.7 Indeed, even though most surviving Javanese sources on botanical medicine were compilations of notes intended for private use, plants are often referred to by special names, which differ from the names used for these plants in daily life. The result was that accurate knowledge of medicinal practices in Indonesia was difficult to develop. Evidence of the range of problems that Europeans encountered while accessing indigenous botanical knowledge is provided by a Dutch doctor, Jacobus Bontius (Jakob de Bondt, 1592–1631), who was appointed doctor, pharmacist, and Inspector of Surgeons for the VOC. Bontius arrived in Batavia in 1628, and before his death in 1631 he compiled material for four books on tropical medicine based on his experiences abroad, apparently

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hoping to secure a position on the faculty of Leiden University upon his return to Europe. His writings consisted of medical case histories, as well as descriptions of local plants and their uses. While his case histories offered detailed accounts based on his years of work in Dutch hospitals, his information on local medical products was fragmentary and incomplete. He readily described edible plants such as jackfruit, as well as local habits like betel chewing, which required no special informant or expert knowledge, yet his entries on medicinal botany reveal his difficulties accessing such information. Bontius’ writings are particularly valuable as historical sources because his descriptions of medicinal plants routinely reference the indigenous sources of his information. For example, describing a plant he names Javanese Veronica, he writes, The Malayam and the natives call it Oubat Matta, signifying eye-medicine, for the sap that can be pressed from it, is used against eye-inflammation and blindness, just as our own people use the juice, distilled from veronica, against eye afflictions.8 Europeans were quick to put the information they gained into practice. As Bontius notes, ‘the pulverized leaves of verbena are used by the natives [to cure ulcers of the leg] and by us, who learned the use from them’.9 Throughout his writings, his great respect for indigenous knowledge is clear, as evidenced by the following complaint: ‘I marvel at the carelessness of our people, who dare to call those natives barbarians, notwithstanding the fact, that their botanic knowledge . . . is far more advanced than our own.’10 Despite his recognition that Indonesians held potentially valuable knowledge, Bontius often had difficulty obtaining the information he sought. He writes that the Javanese used the pungent juice of certain red berries to cure hysteria, but he supplies few specifics about the identity of the plant that might guide later travellers or doctors. The berries, he reports, come from ‘an unknown thorny tree’ which is ‘not very high’ and which ‘bear[s] yellow flowers like the night-shade’.11 Elsewhere his information is even more fragmentary. On ‘an unknown Indian shrub’, Bontius can only offer a single line

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of description about a nameless woody plant with ‘little coupled flowers’ whose juice was used to dry ulcers.12 These lacunae in his knowledge about plants’ natural habitats and appearance are not surprising. Early European merchants were largely confined to cities and had only limited access to the countryside. As he remarks in his description of myrobalans, ‘I never saw them grow, since we did not penetrate farther into the woods in fear of the . . . robbers and wild tigers. Nor did we climb the mountains.’13 Bontius’ difficulties in gathering relevant information are encapsulated in his inquiries into tea, to which he was introduced by Chinese traders living in Batavia. In an extensive description of the product, he reports that the Chinese drank leaves steeped in water, which they called tee. He credits the concoction with a number of medicinal uses, commenting that it has ‘excellent diuretic properties’, and that it is ‘a fine remedy against bladder and kidney stones’. Yet, in spite of his interest in the plant, the Chinese could not or would not tell him where it came from, and Bontius was reduced to trying to reassemble used tea leaves to gain any information about the plant’s appearance.14 His otherwise fruitless inquiries were resolved only when a Dutch official who had served at a post in China was able to describe the plant to him. While Bontius was unimpressed with the quality of information that he gathered from these exchanges with Chinese traders, he writes favourably of the knowledge of another group – Malay women. In his discussion of medicines and practices used in childbirth, he reports that ‘every Malayan women is her own physician and an able obstetrician and (this is my firm conviction) I should prefer her skill above that of a learned doctor or arrogant surgeon’.15 Likewise, he attributes specific medicinal cures to woman healers, explaining, for example, that ‘the Malayan women use the sage [as a cure for beri-beri or palsy, and] furthermore against all troubles of the womb and nerve diseases’, and that women say that the juice of betony is an excellent remedy for snake bites.16 Bontius’ testaments to the women’s knowledge and skill in healing corroborate Pigeaud’s assertions that knowledge of medicinal herbs and other botanical substances was originally the domain of women and that, furthermore, the few surviving examples

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of Javanese medical literature that remain are collections of predominantly female knowledge assembled by male practitioners. Bontius was not the only traveller in the East Indies to remark on the medicinal knowledge of local women. Further evidence of the important intermediary function that women played is found in the travelogue of Johann Wilhelm Vogel (1657–1723), a German mining engineer hired by the VOC during the 1680s to improve the yields of a gold mine near Padang in Sumatra. After spending several years in Asia, Vogel returned to Europe, where he wrote an extensive travel narrative based on his experiences, published as Zehen-Jährige Ost-Indianische Reise-Beschreibung (Description of Ten Years of East Indian Travels, Altenburg, 1704). It is safe to say that Vogel did not look back on his first year in Indonesia with pleasure. Already sick by the time he arrived, he moved between Dutch factories in Sumatra and Java looking for a doctor who could cure him. By 1681, he reports that he was suffering from ‘red dysentery’ and ‘hardening of the spleen’, and that he was not helped by either VOC doctors (who applied plasters that made his skin raw) or Indian doctors (who ‘plied him with powders and purgatives’, which only made him feel worse). He was so sick with dropsy that he feared that he would suffocate if he lay down.17 This was a serious predicament for Vogel, who was not only ill but also unable to work, and was therefore not being paid his promised salary. Having abandoned his latest curative regime, Vogel reports that he was prepared to give up on doctors and entrust himself to God’s hands. Fate intervened, however, when a fellow German insisted that he visit a local healing woman from Bali. Vogel was initially suspicious, writing: I knew, because I had just experimented with an Indian [doctor] that when similar or other strange cures are provided by Indians who practise medicine, it is often a matter . . . of the supernatural, done through witchcraft and incantations.18 His new friend assured him that there was nothing to fear. This woman was married to a German employee of the VOC, and was a

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good Christian whose cures ‘used natural materia medica, most often roots and drinks made from the same’.19 Reassured, Vogel visited her, and later described his treatment at a house outside the walls of Batavia. The Balinese woman cared for him with a vegetable diet, including laxative fruits and herbal potions, and subjected him to frequent steam baths; following four weeks under her care, he was cured. Afterwards, he was apparently so impressed by her that he took a chest of her remedies with him to Sumatra, where he survived for the next five years. Although his story is recorded in unusual detail, Vogel’s experience was not unique. A second German miner named Elias Hesse (b.1630) wrote his own more technical memoir about his years in Asia. He also remarked that, when he was ill in Batavia in 1681, he was cured by an Indonesian woman who lived outside the city walls.20

Women as Intermediaries The episodes discussed above, although documented with sparse references, suggest that Indonesian women represented a rich source of information for these early modern European expatriates. In Indonesian culture, as in many others, women were the primary practitioners of household medicine. Writing in Malacca in 1609, the Malay-Portuguese cartographer Emanuel Godinho de Erédia (1563– 1623) noted that ‘the doctors whom the Malayos employ are for the most “Dayas” [midwives], female physicians who are excellent herbalists, having studied in . . . Java Major’.21 Cooking, another domain of predominantly female expertise, also depended on an accurate knowledge of the properties of plants and herbs. During this period, food and medicine were often closely interrelated, since many cures were based on specific changes in diet. The end result was that a great deal of medicine – in areas not demarcated by religious and mystical practices – was the domain of women. As the experiences of the German miners reveal, access to this knowledge was particularly straightforward in the Dutch colonies in Indonesia because colonial society was structured around intermarriage of Dutch men to indigenous and (later) mestizo women.

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While relationship between indigenous women and European men were common throughout Southeast Asia, formal intermarriage was especially prevalent in Dutch Indonesia. Within this system, newly arrived VOC employees were quickly found local wives, who converted to Christianity and were baptised with Western names. These marriages were intended to speed the acclimatisation of the newly arrived Europeans to the local culture, reduce their temptation to return to Europe, and prevent the rise of a local-born colonial elite, since the sons produced from these unions were ineligible to become full employees of the VOC. The consequences of these policies included the emergence of mixed households, in which Malay (rather than Dutch) was often the language of the home.22 One significant effect of this social structure was a degree of access to specialised female knowledge that would otherwise have been difficult to obtain. Discussing the problems that arose when Europeans encountered Sumatran villages during this period, Barbara Watson Andaya describes the sensitivity surrounding social contact between genders, and the perceived insults to local villagers in Sumatra when Dutch traders stared at or sat too close to women during their visits to local communities.23 Given that women were often the most knowledgeable sources of information related to healing, and given that access to them by foreign men was restricted in many contexts, intermarriage created both a bridge to this information and an effective conduit through which it could be conveyed. There were certainly frequent relationships between European men and Asian women throughout Asia, in contexts ranging from marriage to temporary and common-law wives, to liaisons with mistresses, slaves, or prostitutes, but these encounters were seldom conducive to the exchange of natural knowledge.24 While these fleeting relationships were sufficient to facilitate the exchange of language and local customs, they were less efficient channels for communicating complex knowledge concerning botanical medicine. Dutch efforts to legitimise these relationships, as illustrated by an ordinance sent from Batavia in 1641 ordering all servants of the company to give up their local women or to marry them, fostered a system in which European men and Asian women could interact

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on more stable and equitable terms.25 While informal relationships certainly persisted, the pressure in VOC entrepôts to formalise at least a fraction of them as official marriages promoted information exchanges by fostering close ties between the cultures, by promoting longer-term, higher-status relationships, and by conferring status on the women in the eyes of others, thus encouraging other members of European society to trust them. In Vogel’s narrative, for example, the fact that the Balinese doctor was a Christian was an important consideration in his decision to seek treatment from her. Moreover, the improved social standing of these women probably had the added effect of encouraging European naturalists to record their contributions in written works, allowing historians to document the role of such women in a way impossible with lower-status informants. We might suppose, for instance, that while the naturalist Georgius Everhardus Rumphius (Georg Eberhard Rumpf, 1627–1702) was willing to pay tribute to his wife in his Herbal, as we will see below, other naturalists would have been reticent to cite a slave girl as an informant.26 The social status that marriage afforded these women, coupled with a more generous opinion of women’s abilities, opened new avenues of access to scientific information for the Dutch that were unavailable to Portuguese émigrés. As Charles Ralph Boxer noted in his discussion of the social structures that emerged in Asian colonies, ‘the Iberian pioneers transported overseas the mental baggage which they had accumulated in the Peninsula. The conviction of feminine intellectual inferiority was one item in this baggage and it had the sanction of the highest and most respected authorities.’27 This cultural bias against female informants made Portuguese naturalists more likely to overlook women as a source of technical knowledge. The inability to rely on female intermediaries in Portuguese settlements is evident in the writings of Garcia da Orta (1502–68), a doctor who lived in Goa and whose compilation of information on Asian medical botany offered Europe its first extensive reference on the subject. His book Coloquios dos simples, e drogas he cousas mediçinais da India (Colloquies on the Simples and Drugs and Medical Matters of India), published in Goa in 1563, included descriptions of more than

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40 Asian plants and their medicinal and culinary uses, as well as offering European readers the first detailed accounts of opium and other drugs. Yet, while it presents novel information, the text is also indicative of the social boundaries that framed the author’s experiences. In contrast to the frequent references to female healers found in the writings of VOC employees, the only women mentioned in Coloquios are da Orta’s servants, suggesting that he lacked the desire or means to gain access to their knowledge. Moreover, his book neither includes any reference to Ayurvedic medicine, nor references the Sanskrit language among the numerous descriptions of botanical names and their etymologies. These omissions reveal that da Orta had no contact with the highcaste Brahmins who practised the Vedic tradition and who drew upon a deep corpus of Indian medical writings. Instead, his information came almost exclusively from Indian doctors who had studied the Unani school of medicine. ‘Unani’, derived from the Greek word for the coast of Anatolia, referred to a medical tradition based on the writings of the Roman physician Galen (129–217 ce), who proposed that illness was caused by imbalances in the four humours – blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile. Galenic medicine spread through the Islamic world through the writings of Ibn Sı-na- (known as Avicenna in the West) and was introduced to India by Arab traders. Upon his arrival in India, da Orta found a group of local doctors with whom he shared a common theoretical framework. While this common base enabled him to investigate certain bodies of Indian medical knowledge more easily, he still lacked a means to access a wider body of information. In contrast to the socially constrained relationships that bounded da Orta’s researches, clear evidence of the importance of women as cross-cultural intermediaries is found in the extensive natural historical writings of a VOC employee named Georg Eberhard Rumpf (1627–1702), better known by his Latinised name, Rumphius. Although he entered VOC service in a military capacity, when he arrived in Asia he was transferred to a desk job in the company’s merchant branch. Rumphius writes that he had begun a shell collection while still serving in the military, and by the time he reached a

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position as second-in-command at the trading post in Ambon – an island at the eastern end of the Indonesian Archipelago – he admitted that he had almost entirely forsaken his official duties to conduct his studies of the natural world. During his years in Ambon, Rumphius’ pace of scientific studies was remarkable. His masterwork was Het Amboinsche Kruid-boek (The Ambonese Herbal, Amsterdam, 1741–55), a seven-volume treatise on the local plants and their useful properties. In addition to this massive undertaking he also found time to compile a Malay dictionary (although it was stolen before he could finish it), sell a shell collection to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, write a history of the island of Ambon, and compose a treatise named D’Amboinsche Rariteitkamer (Ambonese Curiosity Cabinet, Amsterdam, 1705) on the remarkable shells and mineral oddities that he encountered on his island home. These accomplishments are all the more impressive because in the midst of his researches he went blind. In spite of this setback, he dictated the text of Het Amboinsche Kruidboek to his son, and relied on local intermediaries to supply him with plant specimens and botanical information. Rumphius’ search for new medicines was driven by the impossibility of supplying the outposts on the Spice Islands with drugs from Europe. As he recounted, we experience every day, and to our detriment, that the European medicaments which the company dispatches at considerable cost, are either obsolete or spoiled, or do not suffice for the large number of Europeans and their children who live in the Indies. And even if they were sent in sufficient quantities, we do not have enough competent doctors or experienced surgeons capable of applying the same.28 If VOC factories could not rely on centralised medicinal supplies, it stood to reason that Europeans would turn to local sources. Indeed, early modern medical theory suggested that local Southeast Asian drugs would be particularly well attuned to the problems of tropical disease. As Rumphius commented,

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it is furthermore quite well known that the Creator in his wisdom has provided all countries with their own medicaments, just as all countries have their particular diseases, which should be cured with native remedies. Hence, anyone who has been to the Indies must admit that a knowledge and examination of native medicaments is greatly needed.29 As he collected data on local plants and their medicinal uses, Rumphius was able to draw upon his wife, a local woman who had converted and was christened Suzanna, as a crucial intermediary and informant. Although the entries in his herbal do not describe his sources, Rumphius embedded a tribute to his wife and informant that suggests the depth of their relationship and the degree to which he relied on her for the information he recorded. Describing a particular white orchid, he writes: Since I have not been able to find either a Malay or an Ambonese name, I call it Flos Susannae in Latin, in Malay, Bonga Susanna [Susanna’s Flower], in memory of her who, when alive, was my first companion and helpmate in looking for herbs and plants, and who was also the one who first showed me this flower.30 This poignant tribute expresses the centrality of women’s roles in European projects of knowledge-acquisition as European colonialists attempted to orient themselves to the natural world of Asia. Rumphius’ description of the habitat of the flower makes clear the local experiential knowledge required to practise botany during this period. Reporting that ‘one finds it . . . in the mountains, near Fort Victoria . . . especially on the road to Reitton under low bushes, and where Caju Puti trees grow’, Rumphius’ entry displays the specific local knowledge that could be supplied by a knowledgeable informant.31 It was in this environment that Hermann Buschoff, the doctor whose story was introduced at the start of this chapter, was cured of his gout by the application of an Asian drug previously unknown to Europeans, called moxa. The story he relates about the circumstances of his cure reveals that he also benefited from the presence

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of knowledgeable women in his household. After suffering from recurrent attacks of gout, during which he spent sleepless nights ‘labour[ing] under an extraordinary pain in both my knees and feet, [and] having used in vain all those means by which I formerly had found some ease’, he relates that he was perswaded to suffer an Indian Doctress to come to me . . . (whom my Wife commonly employed for the curing of our slaves, and who had been very successful in recovering my only daughter from a certain difficulty of breathing she had been troubled with for two years together).32 Like the other writers surveyed here, Buschoff’s access to local medical knowledge was mediated by Asian women. After receiving treatment, Buschoff was clearly impressed with the cure he had received at the hands of the doctor, whom he explicitly thanked, ‘duly acknowledging the operation of this Indian woman, admiring withal the powerfulness of this remedy against so contumacious an evil, as is the Gout’.33 It was in the context of this miraculous cure that he posed the question that introduced this chapter: ‘What’s the reason, that this [medicine] hath been so many years hid from us Europeans . . .?’ His answer refers to what he perceives to be a pervasive Western bias against Asian knowledge: ‘This is to be imputed to the carelessness and conceitedness of the Europeans, because having so good an opinion of themselves, they are ashamed to learn any good thing from those Pagans.’34 But if this analysis is true, what caused European doctors like him to overcome their suspicions about indigenous medicine? The evidence discussed here reveals that it was not a decision based on logic, medical science, or moral philosophy; rather, it began at home.

References 1. Hermann Busschof and Hendrick van Roonhuyse, Two Treatises: The One Medical, of the Gout, and Its Nature More Narrowly Search’d into than Hitherto; Together with a New Way of Discharging the Same.

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2.

3.

4. 5. 6.

7.

8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

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By Herman Busschof Senior of Utrecht, Residing at Batavia in the East-Indies, in the Service of the Dutch East-India Company. The Other Partly Chirurgical, Partly Medical; Containing Some Observations and Practices Relating Both to Some Extraordinary Cases of Women in Travel; and to Some Other Uncommon Cases of Diseases in Both Sexes. By Henry Van Roonhuyse, Physitian in Ordinary at Amsterdam. Englished out of Dutch by a Careful Hand (London, 1676), p. 108. The modern term ‘Indonesia’ is used here for narrative simplicity, though its meaning is problematic when employed in a historical context. More precisely, this study examines practices and exchanges within the Indonesian Archipelago, in particular on the islands of Sumatra, Java, and Ambon, where the principal Dutch settlements were located. Dirk Schoute, Occidental Therapeutics in the Netherlands East Indies During Three Centuries of Netherlands Settlement (1600–1900) (Batavia [Jakarta], 1937), pp. 6–18. Anthony Reid, Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce, 1450–1680. Vol. I: The Lands Below the Winds (New Haven, 1988), pp. 52–3. Ibid., p. 53. This does not suggest that Indonesian medicine was ineffective; medieval and early modern European commonplace books routinely blended magic and medicinal botany as well. Moreover, as we will see, there was a clear demand for indigenous knowledge precisely because it was deemed effective by European travellers. Theodore Pigeaud, Literature of Java: Catalogue Raisonné of Javanese Manuscripts in the Library of the University of Leiden and Other Public Collections in the Netherlands, 4 vols (The Hague, 1967–80), vol. 1, p. 265. Jacobus Bontius, Tropische Geneeskunde (On Tropical Medicine) (Amsterdam, 1931), p. 367. Ibid., p. 397. Ibid., p. 367. Ibid., p. 327. Ibid., pp. 391–3. Ibid., p. 333. Myrobalans are a type of plum which have a high tannin content, and were used for their astringent and laxative properties.

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21.

22. 23. 24.

25.

26.

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Ibid., p. 293. Ibid., p. 397. Ibid., pp. 409, 391. Johann Wilhelm Vogel, Zehen-jährige Ost-Indianische Reisebeschreibung: in drey Theile abgetheilet (Altenburg, 1704), pp. 187–8. Ibid., p. 188. Ibid., p. 189. Elias Hesse, Ost-Indische Reise-Beschreibung, oder Diarum, Was bey der Reise des Churft Sächs. Raths und Berg-Commissarii, D. Benjamin Olitschens im Jahr 1680. Von Dresden aus bis in Asiam auf die Insul Sumatra, denkwürdiges vorgegangen (Lepizig, 1690), pp. 66–7. This passage is omitted in the standard edited version: Elias Hesse, Gold Mines in Sumatra 1680–1683 (The Hague, 1931). Manuel Godinho de Eredia, Eredia’s Description of Malaca, Meridional India, and Cathay, trans. J. V. Mills, with an introduction by Cheah Boon Kheng (Kuala Lumpur, 1997), p. 47. Jean Gelman Taylor, The Social World of Batavia: European and Eurasian in Dutch Asia (Madison, 1983). Barbara Watson Andaya, To Live as Brothers: Southeast Sumatra in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Honolulu, 1993), pp. 27–9. Barbara Watson Andaya, ‘From Temporary Wife to Prostitute: Sexuality and Economic Change in Early Modern Southeast Asia’, Journal of Women’s History ix/4 (1998), pp. 11–34. Dennis B. McGilvray, ‘Dutch Burghers and Portuguese Mechanics: Eurasian Ethnicity in Sri Lanka’, Comparative Studies in Society and History xxiv/2 (1982), p. 240. On the invisibility of certain types of actors in the historical record, see Steven Shapin, A Social History of Truth: Civility and Science in Seventeenth-Century England (Chicago, 1994), especially pp. 355–407; Margaret W. Rossiter, ‘The Matthew Matilda Effect in Science’, Social Studies of Science xxiii/2 (1993), pp. 325–41. C. R. Boxer, Mary and Misogyny: Women in Iberian Expansion Overseas, 1415–1815: Some Facts, Fancies and Personalities (London, 1975), p. 99. Georgius Everhardus Rumphius, Het Amboinsche Kruid-boek: dat is beschryving van de meest bekende boomen, heesters, kruiden, land- en

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29. 30.

31. 32. 33. 34.

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water-planten die men in Amboina, 6 vols (Amsterdam, 1741–50), vol. 1, Preface. Translated as Georgius Everhardus Rumphius, The Ambonese Herbal: Being a Description of the Most Noteworthy Trees, Shrubs, Herbs, Land- and Water-plants which are Found in Amboina and the Surrounding Islands According to Their Shape, Various Names, Cultivation and Use: Together with Several Insects and Animals, trans., annotated, and with an introduction by E. M. Beekman, 6 vols (New Haven, 2011), vol. 1, p. 178. Rumphius, Het Amboinsche Kruid-boek, vol. 1, Preface; Rumphius, The Ambonese Herbal, vol. 1, p. 178. Rumphius, Het Amboinsche Kruid-boek, vol. 5, p. 287; translated in Georgius Everhardus Rumphius, Rumphius’ Orchids: Orchid Texts from The Ambonese Herbal, trans., ed., and annotated by E. M. Beekman (New Haven, 2003), p. 86. Rumphius and Beekman, Rumphius’ Orchids, p. 86. Busschof and van Roonhuyse, Two Treatises, Preface. Ibid. Ibid., p. 108.

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CHAPTER SIX ‘Ask about Everything!’ CLAS FREDRIK HORNSTEDT IN JAVA, 1783–4 Christina Skott

The Kongliga Vetenskaps Academiens Nya Handlingar (Proceedings of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences) for 1785 include a contribution entitled ‘Beskrifning på en ödla, funnen och insänd från Java’ (‘Description of a Lizard, Found and Sent in from Java’). The author, Clas Fredrik Hornstedt (1758–1809), wrote in the introduction: It is not unknown to the Academy that I have chosen to learn to know the southernmost parts of the vast continent of Asia, which as far as natural history is concerned, must be among the least known places on the globe. I have started my travels on Java, an island which by the generosity of nature has been bestowed with the happiest advantages as well as the worst perils. The evergreen summer with its fertile fields of rice and flowers, the forests of coffee bushes and sugar canes, useful palm trees with wonderful fruits, bananas, pineapples and coconuts, which all make every season pleasant, while humans suffer here from the burning sun, wild tigers and baboons, voracious sharks

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and crocodiles, poisonous snakes and lizards, which overflow here [in] every place and give the mortal masters of animals no safe haven.1 The description was accompanied by an engraving that depicted the lizard, after Hornstedt’s own drawing. The actual specimen, dried and stuffed, would accompany him when he returned to Sweden a few years later, and is still preserved in the zoological collections of the University of Uppsala.2 It was part of the vast collections which Hornstedt brought back from Java; these contained not only zoological specimens but also a variety of plants, seeds, materia medica, minerals, ethnographic objects, manuscripts, and much more. Hornstedt, a Swedish physician and naturalist, had travelled to Java in 1783 to take up a post as curator for the collections of the Bataviaasch Genootschap der Kunsten en Wetenschappen (Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences), founded only a few years earlier.3 He had been recruited by his teacher at the University of Uppsala, Carl Peter Thunberg (1743–1828), who himself had visited Java a short time previously. There Thunberg had befriended the secretary of the Batavian Society, Jacob Cornelis Mattheus Radermacher (1741–83), who in 1781 wrote to Thunberg asking him to recommend a young, promising Swedish scientist to be sent out to Batavia. This was not a farfetched idea. Owing to the fame of Carl Linnaeus (1707–78, ennobled as Carl von Linné), for decades Sweden had been one of Europe’s scientific hotspots. From the small university town of Uppsala, Linnaeus not only promoted an entirely new system of classifying the natural world but also orchestrated a project of mapping and naming the flora and fauna of Sweden, Europe, and the world, relying to a great extent on his own travelling students and associates. Thunberg had been perhaps the most promising of Linnaeus’ students. He had only a few years earlier returned to Sweden after nine years of travel in Europe, Africa, and Asia, and was about to embark on what would become an unusually long teaching career in Uppsala.4 The men in Batavia were convinced that Thunberg would be able to find a qualified scientist, trained in the Linnaean system and method.

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As it transpired, Hornstedt would spend little more than a year in Java. During this time, he acquired not only objects and naturalia but a wealth of information about Java and its inhabitants. This chapter examines his acquisition of knowledge, suggesting that it was an enterprise imbued with a spirit of scientific enquiry that was uniquely Swedish in form, evolved from Linnaean taxonomy and method, with a systematic and inquisitive approach which was dependent on indigenous agency. The novelty here, I argue, was that this method was less apparent in the gathering of knowledge of Java’s natural world than in the study of its human inhabitants. From the outset, Linnaeus’ ambitions had reached beyond a mapping of the natural world. As he sent out his students (whom he liked to call his ‘apostles’) to far-flung corners of the world, his standing order was for them to ‘ask about everything’.5 Everything had to be recorded and described: plants and animals, but also peoples, languages and histories, agriculture, manufactures, customs, and ways of life. As Ann Kumar has already pointed out, Hornstedt’s systematic and detailed descriptions of the peoples of Java can provide historians of eighteenth-century Java with new empirical knowledge; however, this is not the focus here.6 As an outsider in Java, Hornstedt was both able and eager to solicit information in informal and unconventional ways. Meetings and discussions that he recorded also offer glimpses into the dialogues of mutual curiosity that had been part of Europe’s encounter with Southeast Asia for centuries but that have been relatively little studied. His encounter with Java therefore reveals a theatre of intercultural exchange that has been largely overlooked in the historiography of Southeast Asia. However, Hornstedt’s work in Java was not that of the standard Linnaean ‘apostle’. To Linnaeus, science had been a deeply patriotic enterprise; the knowledge brought back to Sweden was meant to benefit the country, as science became closely intertwined with political economy. For Hornstedt in Java, this meant a strange dual allegiance. Sent out by his Swedish mentor, Thunberg, who expected him to ‘collect for Sweden’, Hornstedt lived in Batavia as an employee of the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (the Dutch East India Company, known as the VOC), paid to promote, enhance, and

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systematise the collections of the Batavian Society. Furthermore, it is clear that his relentless pursuit of knowledge was driven by personal ambitions. Although his publications would, in the end, be limited to a few contributions to the Proceedings of the Academy in Stockholm, he wrote from Batavia that his plan was to compile a scientific publication ‘bigger than the second edition of “The System”’ (Linnaeus’ Systema Naturae).7 This project never materialised, but Hornstedt’s detailed manuscript journals and notebooks reveal much about his methods of observing and recording. Here ethnographic observation is jumbled up with lists of minerals, medicinal plants, Javanese manuscripts, and meteorological data. As Hornstedt himself wrote, Java was still perceived as one of the least-known places in Asia, and he clearly saw the opportunity to fill a gap in accurate, systematic, and unmediated knowledge of the island. At the outset, therefore, it is useful to think about Hornstedt’s year in Batavia against the background of European knowledge of Java prior to the Swede’s arrival in Batavia in August 1784.

Java The image of Java had taken on an aura of the fantastic and marvellous since the island was first mentioned in medieval accounts. Leaning heavily on classical authors, medieval mapmakers associated Java with ideas of the ‘Marvels of the East’, and Amazons and cannibals were depicted as the inhabitants of Java in early European maps, such as the Catalan Atlas (c.1375). In Sir John Mandeville’s Travels (a text which had circulated from the mid-fourteenth century), the section on Java was based on the travel account by Friar Odoric of Pordenone, describing the golden palaces of the king of Java, clearly referring to the kingdom of Majapahit. These stories were repeated by Marco Polo, who never visited Java in person but whose travel account would strongly influence Europe’s image of the East. The first Portuguese eyewitness reports from Java at the beginning of the sixteenth century describe pre-Islamic rites and cosmopolitan trading ports, but not much of this was known in Europe at the time.8 Official Portuguese chroniclers such as João de Barros (1496–1570)

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gave Java little attention, in comparison to the Spice Islands and Malacca.9 However, the demise of Majapahit gave rise to trading entrepôts on Java’s northern coasts, and it was here that, in the last years of the sixteenth century, the first Dutch and English expeditions to Asia encountered Javanese and other Asian trading communities. In an age before the establishment of organised trading companies and more closely guarded access to information, accounts of these early voyages were widely published in both Holland and England. The cosmographers Richard Hakluyt and Samuel Purchas translated Dutch accounts into English, and, owing to the scarcity of new information, these publications were quoted and recycled in cosmographies and geography books in English throughout the eighteenth century. However, these early observers provided very little information about Java and the Javanese. Instead, rivalry and conflict between European traders took centre-stage.10 Another prominent theme in these accounts was the encounter between European traders and local dignitaries, something which is illustrated in the first visualisations of Java, which appeared as illustrations to publications of the early Dutch voyages. The most famous of these was the series of engravings referred to as India Orientalis, published by the German printmakers Johann Theodor de Bry and Johann Israel de Bry.11 Here, a multitude of scenes depicting Dutch traders meeting with local rulers and their followers highlight the nature of Europe’s first encounters with Southeast Asia. Owing to the ways in which trade was carried out, European traders often dealt directly with the rulers themselves, which gave them a degree of access to royal courts that was unparalleled anywhere in the world at the time.12 Consequently, Europeans could read about commodities and prices, but were also presented with detailed accounts of the intricacies of splendid court rituals and stunning wealth. In many ways, this served to preserve the image of Java as strange and wonderful. Following the establishment of the Dutch city of Batavia in 1619, information about Java became more restricted, because the VOC was reluctant to allow publications describing its Asian possessions. During the seventeenth century, information about Java was mainly transmitted by a small number of travel accounts written by

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individuals, often non-Dutch employees of the VOC, and published outside the United Provinces.13 The most widespread of these publications was compiled by Johan Nieuhof (1618–72) and known in English as Voyages and Travels to the East-Indies, in which splendid engravings depicting the flora and fauna of the East Indies confirmed Java as a land of abundance and strange beasts.14 Nieuhof was the first European to describe and depict Java’s ethnic groups systematically, following the schematic pattern of ethnographic description which had developed in European cosmographical literature.15 Nieuhof would long remain the authority on Java. In 1709, an English cosmographer announced that gold and diamonds were said to be found in Java, ‘but as Neiuhoff [sic], who lived there, and is very particular in his account of the products, speaks not of them, we shall choose to be silent’.16 Nieuhof’s work also set the pattern for eighteenth-century travel accounts providing detailed descriptions of the city of Batavia.17 Batavia and the life of its Dutch residents were described by a number of European visitors, including Cornelis de Bruijn, JeanBaptiste Tavernier, and François Le Guat, whose accounts were quoted by cosmographers throughout Europe.18 Meanwhile, several richly illustrated series of engravings depicting Batavia appeared in the late eighteenth century. Johann Wolfgang Heydt’s Allerneuester geographisch- und topographischer Schau-Platz von Africa und Ost-Indien (Willhermsdorf, 1744) presented Batavia in lavish and detailed engravings of grand buildings, churches, canals, and warehouses, but very few inhabitants were portrayed. To a European public, Batavia appeared as a city devoid of humans. European knowledge of Java took a great leap forward with the publication between 1724 and 1726 of François Valentijn’s Oud en nieuw Oost-Indiën, in five folio volumes with extensive illustrations.19 Valentijn was a clergyman who lived in Batavia, Banda, and Amboina (Ambon), but he also served as an army chaplain during the Dutch campaign against Mataram, and was thus able to provide fresh eyewitness reports from Java beyond Batavia. He was a tireless collector of information, and was the first European after the Portuguese scholars to use indigenous chronicles as sources for the history of the

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Malay world. In terms of detail, his work would not be surpassed until well into the nineteenth century. Valentijn’s monopoly on knowledge about Java owed much to the Dutch reluctance to reveal information about their possessions in the East, something which also had an effect on Europe’s knowledge of Java’s flora and fauna. From the outset, botany had been at the forefront of inquiry, as Dutch officials, like the Portuguese in earlier times, had been asked to observe indigenous medical practices and collect medicinal plants throughout the East Indies.20 In the Indian subcontinent, this endeavour resulted in a number of publications, the most important being the 12-volume Hortus Malabaricus (Amsterdam, 1678–93), compiled by Hendrik van Reede tot Drakenstein, who lived on the Malabar Coast. Several Dutch floras of Ceylon were also published in the eighteenth century, and Linnaeus himself produced a Flora Zeylanica (Stockholm, 1747), in which he described plants mainly collected by VOC employees.21 By contrast, scientific publications on the natural world of Southeast Asia were scarce. Stories of dangerous beasts, enormous snakes, and crocodiles were standard ingredients in travel accounts, but in terms of scientific descriptions very little had been published as far as Java was concerned. Jacobus Bontius (Jakob de Bondt, 1592– 1631), whose De Medicina Indorum was published posthumously in 1642, had been a VOC physician in Batavia in the 1620s. Among the 33 Javanese animals which he described, the ‘Ourang-Outang’ stood out as the most curious. This was an animal with human feelings, Bontius observed; he also reported that the people of Java believed that the animal possessed a language, but had chosen not to speak.22 In the eighteenth century, the only systematic treatise on the botany of Southeast Asia was that by Georgius Everhardus Rumphius (Georg Eberhard Rumpf, 1627–1702), a VOC employee who in the 1680s was granted special concessions by the company to botanise and collect naturalia. After losing his sight, Rumpf lived on Ambon where, with the help of local assistants, he compiled several books on the natural world of the Moluccas. However, the publication of these works proved difficult: the manuscript for the extensive botanical work Het Amboinsche Kruidboek was sent to Holland during Rumpf’s

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lifetime, but the VOC did not allow its publication until 1741.23 Overall, Hornstedt thus had very little to rely on when it came to information about the flora and fauna of Java.24 In his notebooks he refers to both Bontius and Rumphius, but most of his information on Java would have originated from his own professor, Carl Peter Thunberg.

Sweden and Linnaean Enquiry Sweden’s emergence as one of Europe’s leading scientific nations was driven by Linnaeus, whose system for classifying the natural world according to a binominal system had first been proposed in his Systema Naturae of 1735. By the end of the eighteenth century, Linnaeus’ scientific nomenclature would be used throughout Europe. However, his project was also imbued with contemporary political thinking in Sweden, where the dominant political faction (the ‘Hat’ party) forcefully promoted a cameralist programme with strong patriotic undertones. The goal was for Sweden to become economically independent by accumulating wealth from exports and relying on its own manufactures. Within this programme, botany became a tool in the advancement of economic prosperity for the country, as botanic research would lead to the naturalisation of foreign plants and so promote import substitution and self-reliance for the country.25 The promotion of useful knowledge was also very much on the agenda of the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, founded in 1739. Moreover, this thinking characterised Sweden’s contacts with Asia, which were intensified through the activities of the Svenska Ostindiska Companiet (Swedish East India Company), established in 1731.26 From the 1740s on, Linnaeus arranged for trained naturalists, preferably his own students, to be employed as surgeons and ships’ chaplains on board the Swedish East India ships destined for Canton. This resulted in publications on Chinese farming methods, porcelain-making, and silk-weaving; the Academy in Stockholm was presented with new Chinese plants and zoological specimens, as well as Chinese machinery, farming implements, medicines, paintings, and clothing.27

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Thus Swedish knowledge of Asia focused strongly on China, but Hornstedt was not the first Swede to observe and describe Java.28 In the seventeenth century, thousands of Swedes had taken employment with the Dutch East India Company, many as ship’s surgeons, physicians, or cartographers.29 One of these was Nils Mattson Kiöping, whose travel journal Een kort beskriffning uppå trenne resor och peregrinationer (A Short Description of Three Journeys and Peregrinations) dwelt in detail on the curious and wonderful fauna of India and Southeast Asia. This work was reprinted several times, and was regarded by Linnaeus himself as a most reliable source on the East Indies.30 Although Linnaeus had spoken longingly about the prospects of getting to know ‘the delights of Java’, he himself had little direct contact with the island.31 The Swedish ships were not allowed to go to Batavia, but usually anchored in the Sunda Straits on their way to Canton. Numerous Swedes recorded how local men and women approached the ship to sell not only fruits and foodstuff but also naturalia, as it seemed well known that the Swedes were collectors of animals and plants. Naturalists on board the Swedish ships also took the opportunity to go ashore to botanise.32 The results, however, were disappointing for Linnaeus: his students Christopher Tärnström and Carl Friedrich Adler collected plants in Java, but both died during the return voyage and their collections were partly lost. Two richly illustrated East Indian journals depicting Javanese plants and animals were given to the Swedish Academy of Science, but these were never published.33 Another student, Pehr Osbeck, described his short encounter with Java in his published travel account Dagbok öfwer en Ostindisk Resa (Diary of an East Indian Journey, Stockholm, 1757): ‘In Java I squeezed my way through the forest, where only men with a screw loose in their head dared follow me, because of tigers and all kinds of wild beasts, which here frighten the inhabitants themselves.’34 As we have seen, Hornstedt would invoke this persistent image of the perils and dangers of Java’s natural world. But he had also been briefed by Thunberg about the realities of life in Java. Thunberg had been one of Linnaeus’ favourite students, and, like Linnaeus himself, had travelled to Holland to study.35 It was suggested there that he

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should attempt to make his way to Japan. He took employment as a surgeon on board a VOC ship sailing to the Cape, where he would remain for three years, travelling, collecting, and botanising. He then sailed on to Batavia, where he managed to secure the post of resident physician in Deshima, the Dutch trading post in Nagasaki Bay in Japan. Although Thunberg would stay in Japan for just one year, his description of the country made up a large portion of his four-volume travel account Resa uti Europa, Africa, Asia, förrättad åren 1770–1779 (A Journey in Europe, Africa, Asia, Undertaken in the Years 1770–1779).36 Because of the scarcity of information on Japan available in Europe, this work was soon translated into French, German, and English, and Thunberg’s Travels would remain one of the main European sources of information on Japan for many years.37 On his way back from Japan, Thunberg spent six months in Batavia. As a student of the great Linnaeus, he was welcomed with open arms by the small circle of amateur scientists active in Batavia at that time, sometimes collectively referred to as the ‘Indies Enlightenment’. The main figure in this group was Jacob Radermacher, who had long worked towards the establishment of a learned society in Batavia.38 It was not until 1778 that official support could be obtained for the founding of the Bataviaasch Genootschap der Kunsten en Wetenschappen, the first society of its kind in Asia.39 From the start, Radermacher nurtured ambitious plans for the society, and it soon became clear that its fast-growing collections needed a curator.

Hornstedt in Batavia Clas Fredrik Hornstedt matriculated at the University of Uppsala in 1777.40 He had already taken a lively interest in natural history as a schoolboy, and after completing his first degree in 1780 he embarked on a journey to Lapland, following in Linnaeus’ footsteps. Back in Uppsala he became a student of Thunberg, who was newly returned from his long travels.41 It was around this time that Thunberg received Radermacher’s request for a young scientist to be sent to Batavia. Thunberg did not have to look far, as his student Hornstedt was a man who met all the requirements for a scientific traveller

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as prescribed by Linnaeus in his dissertation Instructio Peregrinatoris (Uppsala, 1759), namely that the scientist should first have seen his own country before embarking on foreign travels, and that he should also be trained in scientific drawing and in Linnaean nomenclature and method. Thunberg later wrote that Hornstedt possessed further advantages: he was young, single, had a ‘light and flexible body’, but above all he had the ability to ‘gain the friendship of people’, an invaluable asset for a travelling scientist.42 In August 1782 Thunberg wrote to the members of the Academy in Stockholm, telling them that he had been asked by the Government of Batavia to find a scientist to be sent out to the East Indies. He announced that a suitable man, named Hornstedt, had been found, and that preparations for his departure were already underway.43 First, however, funds for the journey had to be raised. By the time that Hornstedt left Uppsala in December 1782, he had received bursaries from both the Academy and the University of Uppsala. He was also sponsored by individual amateur naturalists and collectors, and was equipped with recommendations from the king himself. The way that Hornstedt’s journey was set up and financed gives an indication of the problems of patronage which would characterise his time and work in Java. He himself wrote that the main objective of his stay in Java would be to acquire collections for Sweden, Thunberg, his sponsors, the king, and himself. To the Swedes, this was a project that largely replicated the travels of Linnaeus’ students, and thus expectations for this scientific journey to the unknown Java were high. Hornstedt had been granted free passage to the island on board a Swedish East India Company ship destined for Canton. The Swedish ships departed from the home harbour of Gothenburg in January; in early March the Maria Magdalena sighted the Cape, where the ships were allowed to anchor for provisions. During the three-week stay at the Cape, Hornstedt and the officers of the ship were well received by resident compatriot Swedes as well as by the Dutch community. This was the time of the fourth Anglo-Dutch war, and Cape Town lived in fear of British attack, but the famously intense social life of the Cape carried on undiminished. Hornstedt was taken by his hosts on excursions to estates in the interior, and he also found time to collect

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plants.44 After a few weeks of intense socialising, he found it a relief to get back on the ship and continue to his final destination. In early July the Maria Magdalena anchored off Angri (Anyer) in the Sunda Straits, and Hornstedt said farewell to his countrymen. He hired a perahu (or ‘prå’, as he writes in Swedish – a boat), which took him first to Bantam (Banten), before he continued to Batavia, where he was well received by Radermacher and his friends. He was soon called in to be presented to the Council of the Indies, ‘gentlemen in big hats’, who nodded, bade him welcome, and wished him good luck in his endeavours.45 Hornstedt seems to have set to work immediately. Shortly after the founding of the Bataviaasch Genootschap, circulars had been sent out to local governors, residents, and military commanders asking for naturalia to be sent in to the society’s secretary. This act of outreach had resulted in a flow of specimens, plants, and minerals piling up in the rooms occupied by the society. It was Hornstedt’s task to organise and catalogue these vast collections, and he seems to have done so with high ambitions. The second volume of the society’s Verhandelingen (1784) announced that the cabinet was now open for general viewing for two hours every Wednesday morning, and that a catalogue of the collections was soon to be published.46 Hornstedt set up house and bought himself a carriage. He was invited to dine every evening at the tables of Batavia’s great and good, and he seems to have thrown himself into the notoriously opulent social life of Batavia, at least initially. He reluctantly bought himself a slave, Ali, who was also contracted to instruct his master in the Malay language.47 Master and slave soon became mutually attached, to the extent that, after returning to Sweden, Hornstedt named his own son Ali. Apart from his work on cataloguing the existing collections, he was also expected to gather new material for the society. However, there is little doubt that his main concern throughout his time in Batavia was to acquire collections for his mentors in Sweden, and for himself. He made several expeditions along the coast of Java, as far as the eastern tip of Sumatra, and travelled inland up to Tangerang (Java). He also planned expeditions further afield, and wrote to Thunberg that he had gained permission from the authorities to explore the East Indies, Borneo, and Makassar, and possibly even as far as ‘Ceijlon’.48

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But Hornstedt’s enthusiasm for Java waned. Batavia was widely known as the ‘European graveyard’, and he had himself taken a keen interest in the various diseases that notoriously plagued the city’s European population.49 After a long period of illness, he began to fear that he would not survive in the unhealthy city. In August 1784 he found an excuse to leave: a Swedish ship had arrived in Batavia and was preparing to sail back to Europe.50 Hornstedt took employment as ship’s surgeon on the Concordia and left Batavia after little more than a year. He brought with him a menagerie of live animals, among them an orang-utan, four chameleons, parrots, several species of monkey, turtles, a Javanese squirrel, and two mouse deer. All of these would die during the voyage, but their bodies were carefully prepared and conserved.51 The ship made the usual stop-over at the Cape, then sailed on to the Azores, where the Swedes took part in colourful Easter celebrations.52 Hornstedt disembarked in Amsterdam and continued his travels through Holland to France and Germany, where he visited famous sights and met with fellow scientists. In 1786 he received a doctorate in medicine at the University of Greifswald, with a dissertation entitled ‘Fructus Javæ esculenti eorumque usus com diæteticus tum medicus’ (‘On the Edible Fruits of Java and Their Dietary and Medicinal Uses’).53 In early 1787 Hornstedt arrived in Stockholm, where he was welcomed as the scientist who had seen and conquered Java. Everyone was interested in the rhinoceros foetus and the by now dead and preserved orang-utan which he had brought back, and the king himself came to see Hornstedt’s collections, which, among other things, included hundreds of Chinese and Ceylonese medicinal plants and seeds (together with information on their indigenous uses), extensive collections of minerals from all over the East Indies (including gold from Makassar and Sumatra, and diamonds from Borneo), Chinese dolls, clothes, utensils, and cosmetics, costumes from Tahiti, different sorts of Japanese papers, Javanese weapons, clothing (embroidered shoes, silk shirts, boots), ornaments, and maps and manuscripts in various Asian languages.54 Apart from a small number of animals and plants, these collections have not survived. But Hornstedt also brought back notebooks

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and journals. In his ‘Dagbok på Java’ (‘Diary from Java’) he recorded ‘everything’, from encounters with people to meteorological observations. From Batavia, he also wrote letters to Thunberg in Uppsala, some of which were published in the Stockholm magazine Uppfostringssällskapets Tidningar.55 Later, Hornstedt used these letters as the basis for a travel account in the form of letters to Thunberg, clearly composed for publication and entitled ‘Resa till Ostindien’ (‘A Journey to the East Indies’). This account also exists in a further, edited version, to which is attached ‘Descriptiones Animalium’, a series of over 100 drawings of Javanese animals accompanied by descriptions in Latin.56

People Hornstedt’s collected notebooks and letters offer a wealth of information on Java’s inhabitants. Parts of this material were gleaned and copied directly from a variety of European publications, including those of Marco Polo, François Valentijn, and James Cook, as well as the Verhandelingen of the Batavian Society. In his letters to Thunberg, Hornstedt described the long hours he had spent copying existing books, sometimes translating texts into Swedish. The most remarkable of these copies is a series of 80 drawings of Japanese acupuncture and moxibustion. Hornstedt was aware that there was little knowledge of Japanese medicine in Europe at this time, and he was keen to produce a full copy of a Japanese medical work newly brought to Batavia by a VOC official.57 However, his reporting from Java mainly consists of his own observations, or records of scientific experiments which he himself carried out.58 Long sections also describe manufacturing and agriculture, such as the operation of sugar mills and methods of rice cultivation, all observed and recorded during his travels to Batavia’s hinterlands.59 Hornstedt’s descriptions of the Dutch city of Batavia – its harbour, bastions, hospitals, and official buildings – in many ways follow the pattern of European writing of the time, where close attention was paid to commodities and prices, as well as to administration and rule. Another standard ingredient in European travel accounts was a

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critical examination of colonial society and life.60 Here, Hornstedt’s tone is equally critical, pointing out the vanity, gossip, and jealousy; however, he offers a more detailed and nuanced account than most, in describing food, etiquette, and table manners, and discussing what was eaten and when. The empirical, self-lived, and humorous elements of the narrative often take centre stage, as when he concludes his elaboration on the medical disadvantages of betel-chewing by telling the reader how he once slipped in a pool of saliva spat on the dance floor, destroying his new coat in the process.61 It was not long after his arrival in Batavia that Hornstedt tired of the forced socialising and tiresome meals at the tables of the Dutch. In stark contrast to the rudeness and gossip of the famed ‘ladies of Batavia’, he greatly enjoyed the company of females outside the city walls, writing that he quickly ‘overcame the distaste for dark skin’.62 Throughout his time in Batavia, women seem to have been his informants as well as his language teachers. He writes that one of his main aims was to investigate the ‘Portuguese, Chinese, Moors, and Javanese of Java, their way of living, customs, religion, dress, language &c.’, adding ‘I have drawn all their clothing’ (see Figure 6.1).63 Like other newcomers, Hornstedt was surprised to find that the Javanese were a minority in Batavia. In his account of Batavia’s kampongs and the various ethnic groups inhabiting them, he makes an effort to follow the usual pattern of ethnographic description, but supports this with his own observations and evaluations. The result is a more positive picture than those presented by previous writers: in addition to information prescribed by early modern cosmographical praxis, such as comments on language, stature, marriage customs, dress, and so on, the Javanese are said to be lively and full of expression, ‘in their own way, polite, and curious, in particular about things that they encounter for the first time’. What generations of observers had taken to be the ‘laziness’ of the Javanese was now ‘scientifically’ explained: in this climate, inactivity and lethargy must be seen as a natural consequence of the slow circulation of the blood. Climatic theories of the shaping of human character could be observed at close range here, but Hornstedt also argues that the present state of Javanese character was determined by food and religion, which in

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Figure 6.1 Javanese woman, drawn by Clas Fredrik Hornstedt. Hornstedtiana, SLSA 31, Historiska och Litteraturhistoriska arkivet, Svenska Litteratursällskapet i Finland, Helsinki, Finland.

this case had made the inhabitants superstitious, vengeful, licentious, and jealous, but also sympathetic to others and hospitable.64 Hornstedt writes that Islam was a religion brought to Java in 1406 by a ‘Shek’ named Ebn Molana. This fact was taken from Valentijn, but, in contrast to the Dutch observer, Hornstedt maintains that the

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new religion has had profound effects on the Javanese. He asserts that Islam had, for example, brought in fatalism, which means that the Javanese live only in the present and do not concern themselves with the future. However, the lower classes, particularly in the island’s interior, were Mohammedans ‘only in name’; in reality they had no perception of God, worship, temples, or priests. This, Hornstedt is quick to point out, did not mean that these people were less pious, loving, or righteous. Instead, a Javanese farmer lived in harmony with his fellow humans and the environment: ‘His fields feed him in the bosom of a family which perpetually honours him. . . . A Javanese hut, a creek, surrounded by palm trees, makes a nobler and more delightful sight than the most splendid castles with us.’65 The necessity of learning Malay had probably been emphasised by Thunberg, who himself had taken an interest in the language during his relatively short stay in Batavia; there he had acquired a collection of Dutch and Portuguese publications concerning the Malay language, books which Hornstedt must have already seen in Uppsala.66 Hornstedt was taught Malay by his slave Ali, but he also mentions that much was learnt from his female acquaintances. The usefulness of Malay was unquestionable, since this was the lingua franca of the East Indies, essential for travel in the region. But Hornstedt also points out that it was crucial to record the history of Java through the people themselves, and in his ‘Dagbok’ we find a long list of Javanese and Malay manuscripts with titles translated into Swedish, sometimes with a short synopsis.67 Although it remains unclear how these lists were compiled, it is obvious that a serious attempt was made to solicit new information about Java’s past through indigenous histories. In his daily life, Hornstedt made the most of his newly acquired language skills. In a market he saw female dancers perform the ‘Råggings-Danser’ (ronggeng). Afterwards, he asked one of the girls to sing her song again, so that he could write it down in Malay, beginning as follows: Anolli tambang lobungar ampenandong Saijang Bindang Saleggor pulu djacatra.

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Untong kitta lobolong Sampe Tidor brigandang dua aijer matta.68 Hornstedt’s poor knowledge of Malay, coupled with his Swedish spelling, makes it difficult to make sense of this text, but he further asked a ‘Musicus’ for help in putting the music down on paper. The song was notated in Hornstedt’s journal as a simple, diatonic melody in G major, one of the first European attempts to transcribe Javanese music. It is in his detailed accounts of Batavia’s Chinese community that Hornstedt provides the most valuable information for later historians (see Figure 6.2 for his depiction of a Chinese barber in Batavia).69 Shortly after his arrival in Batavia, he wrote: The mixture of Asiatic and European which constitutes life in Batavia does not amuse me as much as living as a pure Swede,

Figure 6.2 Chinese barber in Batavia, drawn by Clas Fredrik Hornstedt. Hornstedtiana, SLSA 31, Historiska och Litteraturhistoriska arkivet, Svenska Litteratursällskapet i Finland, Helsinki, Finland.

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or an Asian. I then dress as a Chinese. I walk unknown at 8 or 9 in the evening to Kampong China. I seek the jolly company of parties of both sexes. We take our places in the great ‘Basar’ or Market place where the spectacles are performed.70 Chinese wayang theatre would become one of Hornstedt’s passions. One evening he bribed his way into the dressing room of a theatre, ‘a place where a European is never allowed’, where an actress was rehearsing her part from a manuscript. Here he addressed the actress in Malay: I spoke to her with as much sweetness at was possible for a beginner in a language where there are not many such words, in order to persuade her to sell me her manuscript. I succeeded. If you only can treat women the right way, you may get anything you want from them. In China itself something like this would never happen. These comedies are now translated into Malay by a Chinese, with whom I have become intimately acquainted. From that language I intend to translate them myself into Swedish. There are three comedies in all, which according to the actress are the most ancient and beautiful produced in China, but she could not tell me the name of the author. She spoke Malay quite rapidly, so that I could not understand all she said, but she understood my rupees the better.71 Further enquiries were made about the history and content of the plays, but it was apparent that the Chinese themselves did not understand what was being sung.72 Other forms of Chinese performance were more easily understood, as they included dances, fights, and acrobatics, all of which were carefully described in letters to Thunberg in Uppsala.73 Hornstedt also provided Thunberg with extremely detailed and intricate accounts of other Chinese ceremonies and celebrations, such as a dragon boat race and the inauguration of a new ‘ålderman’ for the Chinese Stonemasons’ guild.74 Another colourful event was the funeral of ‘Gouw Puansuij’, a member of the Chinese Council.

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Here we are informed of every intricacy of the ceremony: the mourners, costumes, animal offerings, the burning of paper images, the music played, and the food eaten (Hornstedt managed to anger his hosts by accidentally consuming food meant for the deceased).75 At the end of this passage, Hornstedt apologises to his readers for the length and detail of the account, but declares that even the slightest circumstance which can bring information about an unknown people’s customs is important for a traveller describing a foreign land, since I know that a Chinese keeps his ancestors’ customs sacred, and that he never alters them, not even when living in a foreign country.76

The Natural World From the outset, European interest in Java’s flora had been driven by utility: that is, by the search for medicinal and other useful plants. Hornstedt’s own mentor, Thunberg, had travelled in Java on the explicit orders of the Dutch authorities in order to obtain new information about indigenous uses of plants.77 It is therefore no surprise that Hornstedt’s main botanical interest in Java should have been in Javanese fruits, which combined the nutritional and the medicinal.78 Lists of almost 100 different types of fruit appear in the letters to Thunberg and in the ‘Dagbok’. Latin names are given where possible, but many fruits are identified by their Malay (or sometimes Javanese) names, in Swedish orthography, and also written in Jawi script by an untrained hand, possibly Hornstedt’s own. What is remarkable here is the variety of fruits: for example, eleven different types of edible mango are listed, names that are now largely unknown.79 Other relevant information is also carefully recorded: whether they are edible, how they are cooked and eaten, their price and taste, and also their general usage (as colour pigment, fuel for torches, and so on). Part of this information would be replicated in Hornstedt’s doctoral dissertation a few years later.80 Yet it was as a zoologist that Hornstedt intended to make his mark within the scientific community. He had had a special interest in

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zoology since he was a schoolboy, and it is apparent that he was a skilled taxidermist as well as an excellent draughtsman, prerequisites for any aspiring zoologist at the time.81 Furthermore, in early modern zoology Java was still very much a blank page. Europe’s perceptions of Java’s fauna were still imbued with images of the fantastic, which, it was felt by scientists such as Linnaeus, were remnants of medieval superstitions and ideas of the ‘marvels of the East’. However, a closer look at Europe’s knowledge of the fauna of the East Indies reveals a strange mixture of local beliefs and close observation. Knowledge was also created by circumstances in which animals were encountered. The chameleon, for example, was seen early on as a most peculiar animal, not only because of its ability to change colour but because it was also said to live on air alone.82 European travellers still reported that the fabled bird of paradise had no feet, owing to the fact that dried specimens brought to Europe had had their feet removed.83 Bontius had described the curious ‘Ourang Outang’, hiding its ability to speak from humans, and in the eighteenth century there were still reports of strange, ape-like humans whose feet were turned backwards living in the jungles of Java and the Malay Peninsula.84 In addition, stories of man-eating tigers and crocodiles promoted the image of Java as the home of dangerous beasts. Eighteenth-century cosmographies still clung to this model, claiming that ‘huge and most pestilent snakes’ were the main characteristic of Java’s fauna.85 As we have seen, Hornstedt himself made use of these Javanese images in the promotion of his own scientific publications. It seems obvious that his zoological ambitions were fuelled by the prospect of being the first scientist to order Java’s fauna into a modern scientific system, doing away with earlier ‘superstitions’ and slotting its animals into a well-defined and systematic taxonomy. On the island itself, opportunities for describing and determining new species appeared endless. But Hornstedt also seemed constantly under pressure from the many obligations he had in Sweden to supply his mentors with new specimens. Animals were the most desired objects for Europe’s cabinets of natural history, and after only a few months in Batavia he could report having managed to send off to Sweden three species of sharks, sixteen species of birds, an albatross, and a big octopus in

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a bottle. Numerous mammal crania were also waiting for transport back to one of his sponsors in Sweden.86 How then did Hornstedt acquire such vast collections in such a short time? In the Society’s collections he found numerous species not yet described, in particular birds and amphibians. He also stumbled upon two specimens of what he deemed to be an entirely new genus of mammals, ‘if genera are to be determined by the teeth’, and wrote to Thunberg that he hoped to bring one of these to Sweden.87 It can therefore be assumed that Hornstedt simply helped himself to the fast-growing collections of the Batavian Society, where he found naturalia from all over the Dutch East Indies and beyond. But he also formed his own collections, complaining to Thunberg that most of his salary was spent on buying animals, in particular fish and mammals.88 One such animal was the ‘Guinea Deer’ (mouse deer), an animal which the Swedes had been keen to see and examine since the time of Linnaeus (Figure 6.3).89 Hornstedt managed to buy a pair of

Figure 6.3 Mouse deer, drawn by Clas Fredrik Hornstedt. C. F. Hornstedt, Descriptiones Animalium, Tab. 44. Hornstedtiana, SLSA 31, Historiska och Litteraturhistoriska arkivet, Svenska Litteratursällskapet i Finland, Helsinki, Finland.

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live mouse deer, which he kept in his house, waiting for transport to Sweden. He also shot birds, which he then carefully prepared. The easiest and most manageable collections were the insects, which constitute the majority of the animals depicted in his ‘Descriptiones Animalium’ (Figure 6.4).90 These activities required constant interaction with the local population. Hornstedt seems to have had a natural skill in relating to people, but he was also helped by the fact that he was engaged in unthreatening but curious activities, as illustrated by a scene from an expedition to the ‘thousand islands’ north of Batavia. When

Figure 6.4 Insects, drawn by Clas Fredrik Hornstedt. C. F. Hornstedt, Descriptiones Animalium, Tab 5. Hornstedtiana, SLSA 31, Historiska och Litteraturhistoriska arkivet, Svenska Litteratursällskapet i Finland, Helsinki, Finland.

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Hornstedt first landed on one of the islands, he was met by a group of islanders, hands on their krises, who offered a very hostile reception, until his slave Ali stepped forward with a speech: This man is my master. He is a Tuhan Sackit (doctor) who has come a long way, from the other side of Mecca. He never harms a human being. Every day he collects roses, which he puts in between sheets of paper. He shoots birds and puts cotton wool inside them after removing the meat. He skewers flies on needles, he buys snakes and fish which he puts in arrak [alcohol] and sends them home to his king. He has now arrived here to your island to seek shelter from the sweltering midday sun.91 This instantly transformed the attitude of the islanders: within a few minutes some boys brought Hornstedt a fish of ‘Genus Chaetodon’ in a bottle, and soon the island’s youngsters had presented him with a multitude of fish and seashells, which Hornstedt duly paid for. He and his party then invited the elders of the island to join in their picnic, and all turned up in their finest clothes for an enjoyable afternoon on the beach. In addition to the multitude of animals prepared, conserved in arrak or dried and stuffed, Hornstedt kept a host of live animals. He had been brought a young mammal called ‘Anging Aijer’ (‘water dog’) and had to wait for the animal to grow teeth so that its genus could be determined according to Linnaean nomenclature.92 A pair of chameleons was kept in a glass bottle. Although they refused to eat, Hornstedt could conclude from their excrement what they had eaten – and so they evidently did not live on air. He also closely observed and recorded how the chameleons changed colour under different circumstances, but this experiment ended abruptly after Ali accidentally killed the pair by leaving the bottle outside in the sunshine one day.93 Hornstedt’s most precious live animal was an orang-utan, which he hoped to bring back to Sweden. This was an animal which had long occupied an important place in European scientific and philosophical debates about the relationship between man and beast.

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The term ‘Orang-Outang’ (orang-utan) had been introduced to Europeans by Bontius, but European debates regarding anthropoid apes and their place in the ‘great chain of being’ were in fact mostly based on the physiology and observations of the behaviour of the African chimpanzee. Hornstedt knew very well that a live East Indian orang-utan had not been seen in Europe.94 He also knew that Europeans arguing for the humanity of the orang-utan often referred to local Javanese beliefs, as reported by travellers. Two themes were prevalent in these reports: first, the fact that the orang-utan was seen as a result of a union between human females who had strayed into the jungle and over-sexualised male apes who had raped them; and second, that the orang-utan could speak, but had chosen not to, for fear of being enslaved by humans. This whole issue was, however, given a new dimension in a conversation between Hornstedt and an old man in Batavia: I visited an old Dervis who had expressed a wish to see me, as he had heard that I had collected spices and helped the sick, sciences theology and medicine which in the East Indies are in the hands of old people. I brought my Wild Man with me in my carriage, gave him my hand and led him into the bamboo hut of the old man, where he immediately took a chair, and our conversation this time was entirely about this animal, the Orang Outang.95 The man told Hornstedt that it was widely accepted that the orangutan was indeed wiser than man, that he had a language and the ability to speak. The novelty here was the old man’s insistence that the humanity of the orang-utan originated from the fact that he was representative of a whole society of humans that had been turned into apes. ‘You can read about this in the “Al Coran”’, the man said, ‘where Mahomed says in a Surat, “you know the ones among you who desecrated the Sabbath and were transformed into wild apes.”’96 Hornstedt does not seem to have given this last explanation much credence. On the contrary, this was simply confirmation that a scientist working within the Linnaean system had to discard local

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lore and indigenous beliefs in favour of scientific observation and experiment. But he found the dialogue interesting enough to write down, and exchanges of information such as this constitute some of the most interesting aspects of his acquisition of knowledge.

Knowledge Dialogues of mutual enquiry between local savants and visitors have a history that is as long as European contact with Java.97 Javanese curiosity often focused on trade and the political situation in the Islamic world, but there had always been an intense interest in European rulers as well. These topics were still on the agenda when Hornstedt visited a local dignitary in a village near Anyer: Had I been to Mecca? Why had I not passed through, since I came from beyond this Holy City? Could I not see and learn more in Mecca than in Java? Does the Turk [i.e. the Ottoman Sultan] send ships to China? Which ships have the most piasters? And when I answered [that] the Swedish [ships do], the prince exclaimed, ‘Allah! Apa nama Radja Sueca?’ (God! What is the name of the King of Sweden?) 98 The examples given above go some way to indicate the methods of Hornstedt’s frantic collection of knowledge which characterised his year in Batavia. The call to ‘ask about everything’ was indeed adhered to; the Linnaean method is most visible in the recording of Java’s population, its history, customs, music, and theatre. This systematic approach served Hornstedt well in the elaborate descriptions of Chinese rituals, as he wrote in his diary: ‘in this place you can witness things which a foreigner would never be allowed to see in China itself’.99 He was very much aware that information about China and the Chinese was valuable in this time of increasing European interest in trade opportunities in China itself. The systematic soliciting of information and attention to minute detail here give a sense of how Linnaean enquiry and method were applied to humans. The generation of scientific knowledge,

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by contrast, stands out as more complex. In botany, the emphasis was still on the practical and useful. The medicinal and nutritional properties of a great number of fruits recorded by Hornstedt originated from local informants, but his time in Java was short and his lists seem hastily compiled. A deeper penetration of indigenous knowledge systems and medicinal practices was not possible, in contrast to the sophisticated exchange of medical knowledge which took place in India.100 Hornstedt’s seeming indifference to the old wise man’s elaboration on the orang-utan is illustrative of a dismissal of native information, which had made up much of Europe’s knowledge of Java’s fauna. Linnaeus himself had seen it as one of his missions to dispel monstra and other curiosities from his ‘System’, and natural philosophers and natural historians of the day did their best to do away with old superstitions which were seen to plague European scientific knowledge of Asia.101 Sometimes this was relatively easy to do. In his important work Indian Zoology, for example, the British zoologist Thomas Pennant could finally confirm ‘from ocular demonstration’ that the bird of paradise did, in fact, have feet.102 The imperative for Hornstedt was observation, dissection, and experiment, and the insertion of Java’s fauna into Linnaean nomenclature according to pre-set and rigid rules of taxonomy. The Linnaean mission to ‘order the world for Europe’ thus had to abandon local knowledge in order to enable scientific classification, at least as far as zoology was concerned.103 Overall, the tangible results of Hornstedt’s time in Java were to a great extent steered by the potential uses of knowledge, as well as the demands of patronage and allegiance.104 It is illuminating to make comparisons with another Swedish scientist and observer of Java, Johan Arnold Stützer, another former student of Thunberg, who arrived on the island only a few years after Hornstedt. Stützer was also, in principle, committed to collect for his old professor, but he did not see himself primarily as a ‘disciple’, and was eventually commissioned by the Governor-General to explore Java’s interior. Stützer’s journals from this expedition therefore dwell on local disputes, the economic relationship between the VOC and Javanese rulers, the suitability of soil for coffee plantations, and so on.105

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Apart from an obsession with the Javanese rhinoceros (which had not yet been scientifically described), Stützer provides little information about plants and animals.106 Changes in the uses of scientific knowledge are reflected in the story of Hornstedt’s later life, which was dominated by his struggle to secure a living. He was elected a member of the Swedish Academy of Sciences, and gave his inaugural address on the inhabitants of Java. He returned to Uppsala, where he was temporarily employed to assist Thunberg in his work on a catalogue of the university’s collections. In 1787 he landed a post as acting curator for the collections of the Academy of Science in Stockholm.107 He worked diligently and presented the Academy with the first ever catalogue of its collections, which by then included some of his own Javanese birds and his rhinoceros foetus.108 However, most of his vast collections were dispersed within a few years: a great deal went to Thunberg and the university in Uppsala, his sponsors, and the royal collections. He clearly had intentions to publish both a larger zoological work and an account of Java, but neither of these plans materialised.109 In 1788 he was called out to serve as a surgeon with the Swedish navy during King Gustavus III’s war with Russia. After the war, he took up a post as a teacher in natural science at his old school in the city of Linköping, but decided in 1796 to rejoin the navy. He was taken prisoner during the Swedish–Russian war of 1808–9, and died shortly thereafter, while working as a doctor at a Russian military hospital in Finland, which was by then a Russian Grand Duchy. In the end, Hornstedt might not have been attracted by a career as a natural historian. In Sweden, the new century saw a marked decline not only in the prestige of the universities but also in the wider status of natural historians and natural history in its pure Linnaean form.110 The ambition to record and list everything with endless scientific detail which had characterised the time of Linnaeus was no longer in fashion. Botany in Sweden, along with the rest of Europe, was moving towards the new science of plant geography.111 Although Hornstedt’s journey to the East Indies would result in a few minor publications, his contribution to eighteenth-century science has remained a footnote in the literature.112

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Back in Batavia, the Bataviaasch Genootschap also experienced a rapid decline, after the short period of ‘Enlightenment’ which had emerged following the VOC’s long-time lack of interest in the development of colonial science and scholarship.113 After Hornstedt’s departure, Francisco Noroña, a botanist from Manila, briefly took over the society’s collections, but the first scientific publication of Java’s fauna appeared only in the wake of the British occupation of Java between 1811 and 1815. Zoological Researches in Java, and the Neighbouring Islands was compiled by the American zoologist Thomas Horsfield, who had initially arrived in Java in 1800, in the employ of the Dutch army.114 The short period of British presence in Java also resulted in a number of other publications in English, such as William Thorn’s Memoir of the Conquest of Java, which, among other novelties, described a Chinese funeral, depicted in a grand engraving.115 In 1817, the former Lieutenant-Governor of Java, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, published his bulky History of Java, a reflection of the frantic recording of antiquities, languages, histories, and ‘statistics’, as well as the natural world, which had been initiated by the British administration on the island.116 This was a project on a grand scale, driven by and for the expansion of empire. Following his return to Sweden, Hornstedt wrote in his diary: After having travelled through various countries and climates, and having acquainted myself with a variety of different peoples, I have become enough of a citizen of the world to find much [that is] good and beautiful outside my own country. I do not get annoyed now by everything not being as it is with us (or ours as with them). In essence, the difference lies only in a few modifications.117 Recent scholarship has tended to see Linnaean science and taxonomy as a ‘universal tool of colonialism’, and the European observer himself as unable to escape a view of the world seen through ‘imperial eyes’.118 It is not, however, difficult to see a counterweight to this view in Hornstedt’s cultural relativism and the intimate exchanges of knowledge which helped to make him a ‘citizen of the world’ (verldborgare).

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As an outsider in Batavia and a citizen of a country without imperial ambitions, he could afford to forge friendships, ask questions, and observe with a critical eye. In the end, however, the detailed journals, notebooks, and drawings which now enhance our understanding of Java in the late eighteenth century were as much the product of the unique Linnaean method of observation and recording in which he had been trained.

References 1. Clas Fredrik Hornstedt, ‘Beskrifning på en ödla, funnen och insänd från Java’, Kongliga Vetenskaps Academiens Nya Handlingar vi (Stockholm, 1785), pp. 130–1, pl. V. 2. See Clas Fredrik Hornstedt, Brev från Batavia: en resa till Ostindien 1782–1786, ed. Christina Granroth, Patricia Berg, and Maren Jonasson (Helsingfors and Stockholm, 2008), p. 196, illustration. 3. The name of the society was later changed to Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen. 4. Born in 1743, Thunberg would teach in Uppsala for almost 50 years, until his death in 1828. 5. Sverker Sörlin, ‘Scientific Travel: The Linnean Tradition’, in Tore Frängsmyr (ed.), Science in Sweden: The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, 1739–1989 (Canton, MA, 1989), pp. 96–123. See also Linnaeus’ list for the first ‘apostle’ travelling to Asia, Christopher Tärnström, in Christina Granroth, ‘Flora’s Apostles in the East Indies: Natural History, Carl Linnaeus and Swedish Travel to Asia in the 18th Century’, Review of Culture xxi (2007), p. 137. 6. Ann Kumar, ‘A Swedish View of Batavia in 1783–4: Hornstedt’s Letters’, Archipel xxxvii (1989), pp. 247–62. 7. Hornstedt, Brev från Batavia, p. 200. 8. The foremost example is the work of Tomé Pires, whose Suma Oriental, although partly used by early compilers of travel literature such as Giovanni Battista Ramusio, was not published until the twentieth century; see Tomé Pires, The Suma Oriental of Tomé Pires: An Account of the East, From the Red Sea to Japan, Written in Malacca and India in 1512–1515. The Book of Francisco Rodrigues,

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Rutter of a Voyage in the Red Sea, Nautical Rules, Almanack and Maps, Written and Drawn in the East Before 1515, trans. and ed. Armando Cortesão, 2 vols (London, 1944). See Barros’ Décadas da Ásia in João de Barros and Diogo de Couto, Da Asia de João de Barros e de Diogo de Couto, new edn., 24 vols (Lisbon, 1778–88), vols.1–8. In England, the perceived injustices inflicted by other European nations would culminate in the flurry of publications surrounding the so-called Amboina massacre in 1623, where twenty Englishmen were tortured and killed by the Dutch. Johann Theodor de Bry and Johann Israel de Bry (eds), India Orientalis, 13 vols (Frankfurt, 1597–1628), vols.3–9. In India, for example, there was much less interaction with sophisticated court culture in the early modern period. See P. J. Marshall, ‘Taming the Exotic: The British and India in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries’, in G. S. Rousseau and Roy Porter (eds), Exoticism in the Enlightenment (Manchester and New York, 1990), pp. 46–65. One example is Wouter Schouten, Wouter Schoutens Oost-Indische voyagie: vervattende veel voorname voorvallen en ongemeene oreemde geschiedenissen, bloedige zee- en landtgevechten tegen de Portugeesen en Makassaren (Amsterdam, 1676), an extremely informative account which was quickly translated into French and English. See also E. U. Kratz, ‘The Journey to the East: 17th and 18th Century German Travel Books as Sources of Study’, Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society liv/1 (1981), pp. 65–81. For the publication history of this work, see Anthony Reid’s introduction to Johan Nieuhof, Voyages and Travels to the East Indies, 1653–1670 (Singapore, 1988), pp. x–xiv. For an overview of this topic, see Margaret T. Hodgen, Early Anthropology in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Philadelphia, 1964). Herman Moll (ed.), Thesaurus Geographicus, or, the Compleat Geographer Part the Second: Being the Chorography, Topography and History of Asia, Africa and America Faithfully Extracted from the Best Modern Travellers and Most Esteem’d Historians and Illustrated with

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19.

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Maps, Fairly Engraven on Copper, According to the Modern Discoveries and Corrections by Herman Moll, 3rd edn. (London, 1709), p. 128. Nieuhof, Voyages and Travels, pp. 265–83. Cornelis de Bruyn, Travels into Muscovy, Persia, and Part of the East-Indies, 2 vols (London, 1737); François Le Guat, The Voyage of François Leguat of Bresse, to Rodriguez, Mauritius, Java, and the Cape of Good Hope, ed. Capt. Pasfield Oliver, 2 vols (London, 1891), vol. 2; Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, Travels in India by JeanBaptiste Tavernier, Baron of Aubonne, Translated from the Original French Edition of 1676 with a Biographical Sketch of the Author, Notes, Appendices, &c., by V. Ball, 2nd edn., ed. William Crooke, 2 vols (Oxford, 1925), vol. 2. Valentijn was a keen linguist, and his main preoccupation in Java had been to translate the Bible into Malay. François Valentijn, Oud en nieuw Oost-Indiën, vervattende een naaukeurige en uitvoerige verhandelinge van Nederlands mogentheyd in die gewesten, benevens eene wydluftige beschryvinge der Moluccos, Amboina, Banda, Timor, en Solor, Java, en alle de eylanden onder dezelve landbestieringen behoorende, het Nederlands comptoir op Suratte, en de levens der Groote Mogols, 5 vols (Dordrecht and Amsterdam, 1724–6), vol. 3, pt. 1. See also the introduction by Sinnappah Arasaratnam in François Valentijn, Francois Valentijn’s Description of Ceylon, trans. and ed. Sinnappah Arasaratnam (London, 1978), pp. 1–14. This resulted in the first major publication on Asian botany – Garcia da Orga, Coloquios dos simples e drogas he cousas mediçinais da India (Goa, 1563) – but it seems that this work was not widely known in northern Europe. See J. Heniger, Hendrik Adriaan van Reede tot Drakenstein (1636– 1691) and Hortus Malabaricus: A Contribution to the History of Dutch Colonial Botany (Rotterdam, 1986); Wilfrid Blunt, Carl von Linné (Stockholm, 2002), p. 165. For Bontius’ contribution to medical knowledge, see Chapter 5 in this volume. The full treatise was published as part of Willem Piso’s natural history of Brazil: Jakob de Bondt, ‘Historiæ naturalis & medicæ Indiæ Orientalis’, in Willem Piso, Gulielmi Pisonis, medici Amstelædamensis, De Indiæ utriusque re naturali et

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medica, libri quatuordecim: quorum contenta pagina sequens exhibit (Amsterdam, 1658). See also Harold J. Cook, ‘Global Economics and Local Knowledge in the East Indies: Jacobus Bontius Learns the Facts of Nature’, in Londa Schiebinger and Claudia Swan (eds), Colonial Botany: Science, Commerce, and Politics in the Early Modern World (Philadelphia, 2005), pp. 100–18. See Chapter 5 in this volume; also Georgius Everhardus Rumphius, The Ambonese Curiosity Cabinet, trans., ed., annotated, and with an introduction by E. M. Beekman (New Haven, 1999), introduction. The later eighteenth century saw the publication of a number of large British collections of travel literature, mirroring Britain’s imperial ambitions at this time. Hornstedt mentions, for example, having read A New General Collection of Voyages and Travels (London, 1745), but these works contained very little information on Java. Sven-Eric Liedman, ‘Utilitarianism and the Economy’, in Frängsmyr (ed.), Science in Sweden, pp. 23–44; Lisbet Koerner, Linnaeus: Nature and Nation (Cambridge, MA, 1999). For histories of the Swedish East India Company, see Tore Frängsmyr, Ostindiska kompaniet: Människorna, äventyret och den ekonomiska drömmen (Höganäs, 1976) and Sven T. Kjellberg, Svenska ostindiska compagnierna, 1731–1813: kryddor, te, porslin, siden (Malmö, 1974). The Company was dissolved in 1807, mainly as the result of British competition. Sten Lindroth, Kungliga Svenska Vetenskapsakademiens historia 1739–1818: Vol. 1:2 tiden intill Wargentins död (1783) (Stockholm, 1967), pp. 632–7; Kenneth Nyberg, Bilder av mittens rike: kontinuitet och förändring i svenska resenärers Kinaskildringar 1749–1912 (Göteborg, 2001), Chs. 3–5. For a general overview of Swedes in Java, see Elisabet Lind and Tommy Svensson, ‘Early Indonesian Studies in Sweden: The Linnean Tradition and the Emergence of Ethnography Before 1900’, Archipel xxxiii (1987), pp. 57–78. Carl Steenstrup, ‘Scandinavians in Asian Waters in the 17th Century: On the Sources for the History of the Participation of

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33.

34. 35.

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Scandinavians in Early Dutch Ventures into Asia’, Acta Orientalia xliii (1982), pp. 69–83; Ture J. Arne, ‘Svenska läkare och fältskärer i holländska Ostindiska kompaniets tjänst’, Lychnos: Lärdomshistoriska samfundets årsbok (1956), pp. 132–45; Ture J. Arne, ‘Svenska kartografer på Java’, Allsvensk samling xlvi/6 (1959), pp. 11–12. Nils Matsson Kiöping, Een kort beskriffning uppå trenne resor och peregrinationer, sampt konungarijket Japan (Wisingsborgh, 1667); Christina Skott, ‘The VOC and Swedish Natural History: The Transmission of Scientific Knowledge in the Eighteenth Century’, in Siegfried Huigen, Jan L. de Jong, and Elmer Kolfin (eds), The Dutch Trading Companies as Knowledge Networks (Leiden, 2010), pp. 362–4. Bref och Skrifvelser af och till Carl von Linné, utgifna och med upplysande noter försedda av Th. M Fries, vol. 1, pt. 2 (Stockholm, 1911), p. 146. The Swedes were very critical of Dutch administration in Java, poignantly illustrated in the popular travel account Min Son på Galejan (1781) by Jacob Wallenberg (1746–78); see Jacob Wallenberg, My Son on the Galley, ed. and trans. Peter Graves (Norwich, 1994). Sverker Sörlin, ‘Apostlarnas gärning: Vetenskap och offervilja i Linné-tidevarvet’, Svenska Linnésällskapets årsskrift (1990–1), pp. 75–89; Granroth, ‘Flora’s Apostles in the East Indies’, pp. 140–5; Sverker Sörlin and Otto Fagerstedt, Linné och hans apostlar (Örebro, 2004), pp. 48–57. Pehr Osbeck, Dagbok öfver en Ostindisk resa åren 1750, 1751, 1752 (Stockholm, 1969). Biographical information on Thunberg is found in Lars Wallin (ed.), Carl Peter Thunberg (1743–1828): Självbiografiska anteckningar med bibliografi (Uppsala, 1993), and Bertil Nordenstam (ed.), Carl Peter Thunberg: Linnean, resenär, naturforskare, 1743– 1828 (Stockholm, 1993). Carl Peter Thunberg, Resa uti Europea, Africa, Asia, förrättad åren 1770–1779, 4 vols (Uppsala, 1788–93). Java is dealt with in volumes 2 and 4, which have the following titles: Andra Delen,

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innehållande tvänne långa resor inåt Södra Africas Horn, och sedan til Ön Java, Åren 1773, 1774, 1775 (Uppsala, 1789); and Fjerde Delen innehållande Resan uti Kejsardömet Japan, På Java och Ceilon samt Hemresan (Uppsala, 1793). In English, Thunberg’s work was entitled Travels in Europe, Africa, and Asia: Performed Between the Years 1770 and 1779, 4 vols (London, 1793–5). Huib J. Zuidervaart and Rob H. van Gent, ‘“A Bare Outpost of Learned European Culture on the Edge of the Jungles of Java”: Johan Maurits Mohr (1716–1775) and the Emergence of Instrumental and Institutional Science in Dutch Colonial Indonesia’, Isis xcv/1 (2004), pp. 1–33. On Radermacher and the ‘Indies Enlightenment’, see Jean Gelman Taylor, The Social World of Batavia: European and Eurasian in Dutch Asia (Madison, 1983), pp. 85–7. For further biographical information on Hornstedt, see NilsErik Villstrand, ‘Clas Fredrik Hornstedt 1758–1809’, in Hornstedt, Brev från Batavia, pp. 9–27. Hornstedt graduated with a dissertation pro exercitio entitled Nova genera plantarum, which, according to the convention of the time, was authored by the teacher, Thunberg. Hornstedt, Brev från Batavia, p. 153. Christina Granroth, ‘En resa till Ostindien’, in Hornstedt, Brev från Batavia, p. 41. These plants would eventually be of greater scientific interest than those collected in Java. See Bertil Nordenstam, ‘Clas Fredrik Hornstedt som botanist’, in Hornstedt, Brev från Batavia, pp. 99–116. Hornstedt, Brev från Batavia, p. 180. Verhandelingen van het Bataviaasch Genootschap der Konsten en Wetenschappen, tweede deel (Amsterdam and Rotterdam, 1784), pp. 5–7. Hornstedt, Brev från Batavia, p. 187. Ibid., p. 179. It has, however, been argued that most of these diseases were, in fact, malaria. See Peter H. van der Brug, ‘Unhealthy Batavia

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50.

51.

52. 53.

54.

55.

56.

57.

58.

59. 60. 61.

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and the Decline of the VOC in the Eighteenth Century’, in Kees Grijns and Peter J. M. Nas (eds), Jakarta-Batavia: Socio-cultural Essays (Leiden, 2000), pp. 43–74. This was the first privately owned Swedish ship to sail to the East Indies after sailing restrictions in Sweden had been lifted, thus ending the Swedish East India Company’s monopoly on trade with Asia. The orang-utan was preserved in arrak. The skull of an orangutan said to be donated by Hornstedt is still held in the Evolutionsmuseum, Uppsala. See a photograph in Hornstedt, Brev från Batavia, p. 276. Ibid., pp. 269–74. Clas Fredrik Hornstedt, Fructus Javæ esculenti eorumque usus com diæteticus tum medicus, Diss. Diaet., Med. Praes. C. E. Weigel, pro gradu doctoris, 7 September 1786 (Gryphiæ [Greifswald], 1786). ‘Dagbok på Java’ (‘Diary from Java’) (W166), Westinska handskriftssamlingen (Westin Collection – Manuscripts), Uppsala University Library; Hornstedt, Brev från Batavia, pp. 281–2. Letters from C. F. Hornstedt (G 300.o), in C. P. Thunbergs brevsamling, Uppsala University Library; Uppfostringssällskapets Tidningar, 13 January 1785; 7 February 1785; 18 April 1785. ‘Dagbok på Java (W166) and ‘Resa till Ostindien’ (W165), Westinska handskriftssamlingen, Uppsala University Library; ‘Resa Åren 1782–1786’ and ‘Descriptiones Animalium’, in Hornstedtiana (SLSA 31), Svenska Litteratursällskapet i Finland, Helsinki (this text has been published as Hornstedt, Brev från Batavia). For a detailed examination of Hornstedt’s drawings, see Wolfgang Michel, ‘Japansk läkekonst i teckningar av Clas Fredrik Hornstedt’, in Hornstedt, Brev från Batavia, pp. 117–50. One such experiment concerned the effect of moonlight on humans, which Hornstedt tested out on himself, after observing the Javanese using parasols (in Hornstedt’s words ‘para lune’) at night. Hornstedt, Brev från Batavia, pp. 209–10. Ibid., p. 244. See Taylor, The Social World of Batavia. Hornstedt, Brev från Batavia, p. 219. Incidentally, life in Batavia at this time was uniquely depicted in a series of skilful drawings

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67.

68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75.

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by the Dutch clergyman Jan Brandes, who lived in Batavia from 1778 to 1785. See Max de Bruijn and Remco Raben (eds), The World of Jan Brandes, 1743–1808: Drawings of a Dutch Traveller in Batavia, Ceylon and Southern Africa (Zwolle and Amsterdam, 2004), pp. 146–230. Hornstedt, Brev från Batavia, p. 221. Ibid., p. 201. Ibid., pp. 237–8. Ibid., p. 238–9. Around the time of Hornstedt’s departure, Thunberg donated these books to the University of Uppsala; they are listed in Förteckning på de böcker som till Kungliga Academiens Bibliothek i Uppsala föräras av Carl Peter Thunberg 1782, Ur Bibliotekets Arkiv, Uppsala University Library. In his Travels in Europe, Africa, and Asia, Thunberg published a Malay wordlist, together with a sort of early tourist guide, in which he presented practical phrases that would help Europeans to communicate with slaves and servants, and generally to get by in Batavia. Through its English translation, Thunberg’s Travels became a standard reference work for the Malay language, and was used by British colonial officials for decades. Although Hornstedt later mentioned that he brought with him Chinese and Javanese manuscripts to Sweden, these have not been located. There are six further stanzas to this pantun; see Hornstedt, Brev från Batavia, pp. 242–3. See Kumar, ‘A Swedish View of Batavia’. Hornstedt, Brev från Batavia, p. 221. Ibid., p. 202. Ibid., p. 191. Ibid., pp. 187–92. Ibid., pp. 186–92. Ibid., pp. 203–7; Gouw Puansieu (Poansoeij) had been Lieutenant of the Chinese Council since 1772. See B. Hoetink, ‘Chineesche Officieren te Batavia onder de Compagnie’, Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde van Nederlandsch-Indië lxxviii (1922), pp. 72–6.

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76. Hornstedt, Brev från Batavia, p. 207. 77. See Thunberg, Travels in Europe, Africa, and Asia, vol. 4, pp. 139, 145–50. 78. See Nordenstam, ‘Clas Fredrik Hornstedt som botanist’. A number of Hornstedt’s plants are still preserved in the Thunberg Collection, Evolutionsmuseum, Uppsala, as well as in the Riksmuseum, Stockholm, and the Bergianska Stiftelsen, Stockholm. For Hornstedt’s contribution to Javanese botany see C. G. G. J. van Steenis, ‘Account of Javan Plants Collected by C. F. Hornstedt in 1783–1784’, Acta Horti Bergiani xv/2 (1949), pp. 39–43; C. G. G. J. van Steenis (ed.), Flora Malesiana: Being an Illustrated Systematic Account of the Malaysian Flora, series I, vol. 1 (Jakarta, 1950). 79. Information provided by Dr Jan van der Putten, Department of Malay Studies, University of Singapore. 80. Hornstedt, Fructus Javæ esculenti; Hornstedt, Brev från Batavia, pp. 222–33; Nordenstam, ‘Clas Fredrik Hornstedt som botanist’, pp. 104–16. 81. Apart from the lizard mentioned earlier, a few birds, insects, an orang-utan skull, and a fish have survived. Shortly after his return to Sweden, Hornstedt made drawings of his Javanese birds, which were engraved for the fourth and final volume of Museum Carlsonianum, a work depicting exotic birds. See Anders Sparrman, Museum Carlsonianum, in quo novas et selectas aves, coloribus ad vivum brevique descriptiones illustratas, suasu et sumtibus generosissimi possessoris, exhibet Andreas Sparrman, 4 vols (Holmiae [Stockholm], 1786–9), vol. 4; Christina Granroth and Kees Rookmaaker, ‘Han var mera egentlig zoolog än botanicus’, in Hornstedt, Brev från Batavia, pp. 89–90. See also L. C. Rookmaaker, ‘The Descriptiones Animalium (1784) Prepared by C. F. Hornstedt on a Journey to the East Indies’, Archives of Natural History xv/3 (1988), pp. 289–309. 82. Cook, ‘Global Economics and Local Knowledge’, pp. 110, 114. 83. The bird was first named by Antonio Pigafetta, the chronicler of Magellan’s circumnavigation, who had been told by local people that this bird originated from a terrestrial paradise. The bird

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85.

86. 87.

88. 89.

90.

91. 92.

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of paradise was long associated with the phoenix of the classical writers. See Thomas P. Harrison, ‘Bird of Paradise: Phoenix Redivivus’, Isis li/2 (1960), pp. 173–80. Pierre Sonnerat, A Voyage to the East-Indies and China: Performed by Order of Lewis XV, Between the Years 1774 and 1781. Containing a Description of the Manners, Religion, Arts, and Sciences, of the Indians, Chinese, Pegouins, and of the Islanders of Madagascar; also Observations on the Cape of Good Hope, the Isles of France and Bourbon, the Maldivias, Ceylon, Malacca, the Phillippines [sic], and Moluccas, trans. Francis Magnus, 3 vols (Calcutta, 1788–9), vol. 3, pp. 105–6; Thunberg retold this story, adding that ‘no European had ever seen this animal’. See Thunberg, Travels in Europe, Africa, and Asia, vol. 4, p. 220. Herman Moll (ed.), A System of Geography: Or, a New & Accurate Description of the Earth in all its Empires, Kingdoms and States. Part the Second, Containing the Description of Asia, Africa, and America (London, 1701), p. 59. Hornstedt, Brev från Batavia, pp. 179, 198. Linnaeus’ classification of mammals was based on an animal’s teeth, which meant that animals otherwise looking different had to be classified within the same genus. Hornstedt, Brev från Batavia, p. 214. Linnaeus’ student Per Osbeck had brought a pair to Sweden in the 1750s. See Sara Eliason, ‘Från Javas djungel till monter på museum: upptäckten av en ny djurart och hur en Linnétyp kan hamna på Gotland’, Gotländskt Arkiv lxxviii, special issue on Linnaeus (2006), pp. 159–64. Insects were also Thunberg’s main zoological preoccupation. See Lars Wallin, ‘Carl Peter Thunbergs insektsamling’, Svenska Linnésällskapets årsskrift (1992–3), pp. 73–84; B. O. Landin, ‘Thunberg som zoolog’, in Nordenstam (ed.), Carl Peter Thunberg. Hornstedt, Brev från Batavia, pp. 194–5. Ibid., pp. 200–1. Unknown to Hornstedt, this animal was an otter. At this time it was believed that the Javanese otter was of the species Mustela lutra, the European otter, described by Linnaeus in 1758. Ibid., p. 326, n.123.

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93. Ibid., pp. 200–1. 94. The first specimens only arrived in Europe around this time, when the Dutch physician Petrus Camper was given the opportunity to dissect five East Indian orang-utans sent to him from Batavia. Camper’s ‘Account of the Organs of Speech of the Orang Outang’ was published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London lxix (1779), pp. 139–59. 95. ‘Dagbok på Java’, July 1784, p. 96 (W166), Westinska handskriftssamlingen, Uppsala University Library. 96. Ibid. 97. See, for example, Bruyn, Travels into Muscovy, pp. 105–6. 98. Hornstedt, Brev från Batavia, pp. 253–4. 99. Ibid., pp. 191–2. See also Leonard Blussé, ‘One Hundred Weddings and Many More Funerals a Year: Chinese Civil Society in Batavia at the End of the Eighteenth Century’, in Leonard Blussé and Chen Menghong (eds), The Archives of the Kong Koan of Batavia (Leiden, 2003), pp. 8–28. 100. It has been argued that van Reede’s Hortus Malabaricus in fact mirrored medical knowledge transmitted by the Ezhavas (a Sudra caste), consciously rejecting Brahminical knowledge, which has traditionally been seen as the foundation of European knowledge of Indian medicine. See Richard Grove, ‘Indigenous Knowledge and the Significance of South-West India for Portuguese and Dutch Constructions of Tropical Nature’, Modern Asian Studies xxx/1 (1996), pp. 121–43; also Chapter 5 in this volume. 101. Linnaeus proudly declared: ‘let the Academies of Germany keep their monstra’. Lindroth, Kungliga Svenska, p. 570. 102. Thomas Pennant, Indian Zoology, 2nd edn. (London, 1790), p. 17. 103. Sverker Sörlin, ‘Ordering the World for Europe: Science as Intelligence and Information as Seen from the Northern Periphery’, Osiris, 2nd series xv (2000), pp. 51–69. 104. Comparisons can be made with Jan Splinter Stavorinus’ travel account from the East Indies, published in the 1790s, a work which became enormously popular. Stavorinus captained VOC ships in the East Indies, but was not a Company employee,

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106.

107.

108.

109. 110.

111. 112.

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and was therefore able to present a critical view of Dutch rule. See John Splinter Stavorinus, Voyages to the East-Indies, facsimile edn., trans. Samuel Wilcocke, 3 vols (London, 1969). Mason C. Hoadley and Ingvar Svanberg, ‘Hunting Rhinoceros in Java: Johan Arnold Stützer and His Journal 1786–1787’, Svenska Linnésällskapets årsskrift (1990–1), pp. 91–143. This unpublished manuscript by Johan Arnold Stützer, entitled ‘Journal von die Reise nach Cheribon und den de umliegende Gegenden’, is held in the Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, The Hague (MS 277). See Hoadly and Svanberg, ‘Hunting Rhinoceros’, p. 130; L. C. Rookmaaker, The Zoological Explorations of Southern Africa, 1650–1790 (Rotterdam, 1989), p. 136; L. C. Rookmaaker, ‘Specimens of Rhinoceros in European Collections before 1778’, Svenska Linnésällskapets årsskrift (1998–9), pp. 59–80. Hornstedt was standing in for Anders Sparrman, who had joined a British expedition to Senegal. Sparrman was a student of Linnaeus who had gained fame as one of the scientists on board the Endeavour during James Cook’s first expedition to the Pacific. Museum Regia Academiae Scientiarum Sveciae: Pars Prima, Queae Spectat Regnum Animale (1787), Archive of the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, Stockholm. However, see note 81. Karin Johannisson, ‘Naturvetenskap på reträtt: en diskussion om naturvetenskapens status under svenskt 1700-tal’, Lychnos (1979–80), pp. 109–54. Pär Eliasson, Platsens Blick: Vetenskapsakademien och den naturalhistoriska resan 1790–1840 (Umeå, 1998). Björn Dal, Sveriges zoologiska litteratur: en berättande översikt om svenska zoologer och deras tryckta verk 1483–1920 (Kjuge, 1996); Lindroth, Kungliga Svenska, p. 648; Clas Fredrik Hornstedt, ‘Beskrifning på en ny Orm från Java’, Kongliga Vetenskaps Academiens Nya Handlingar viii (Stockholm, 1787), pp. 306–8, tab. XII; Clas Fredrik Hornstedt, ‘Trigla rubicunda, en okänd och besynnerlig Fisk från Amboina’, Kongliga Vetenskaps

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113.

114.

115.

116. 117. 118.

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Academiens Nya Handlingar ix (Stockholm, 1788), pp. 49–51, tab. III. Zuidervaart and Gent, ‘“A Bare Outpost”’; C. R. Boxer, The Dutch Seaborne Empire 1600–1800 (London, 1990), p. 173; Harold J. Cook, Matters of Exchange: Commerce, Medicine, and Science in the Dutch Golden Age (New Haven, 2007), p. 338. See also Siegfried Huigen, ‘Introduction’, in Siegfried Huigen, Jan L. de Jong, and Elmer Kolfin (eds), The Dutch Trading Companies as Knowledge Networks (Leiden, 2010), p. 8. Thomas Horsfield, Zoological Researches in Java, and the Neighbouring Islands, with a memoir by John Bastin (Singapore, 1990; first published London, 1824). William Thorn, Memoir of the Conquest of Java; With the Subsequent Operations of the British Forces, in the Oriental Archipelago. To Which is Subjoined a Statistical and Historical Sketch of Java with an Account of its Dependencies (London, 1815). Thomas Stamford Raffles, The History of Java, facsimile edn., 2 vols (Kuala Lumpur, 1988). ‘Dagbok på Java’ (W166), Westinska handskriftssamlingen, Uppsala University Library. Staffan Müller-Wille, ‘Walnuts at Hudson Bay, Coral Reefs in Gotland: The Colonialism of Linnaean Botany’, in Londa Schiebinger and Claudia Swan (eds), Colonial Botany: Science, Commerce, and Politics in the Early Modern World (Philadelphia, 2005), pp. 34–48; Mary Louise Pratt, Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation (London, 1992). See also, however, Siegfried Huigen, Knowledge and Colonialism: Eighteenth-Century Travellers in South Africa (Leiden, 2009), p. 239.

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CHAPTER SEVEN Trading Tunes: THOMAS FORREST, MALAY SONGS, AND MUSICAL EXCHANGE IN THE MALAY ARCHIPELAGO, 1774–84 D. R. M. Irving

Music played a significant role in framing early modern encounters between English mariners and the inhabitants of the Malay Archipelago. The first known introduction of English music to this region was made by Sir Francis Drake (1540–96), whose consort of professional musicians provided entertainment at his meetings with local rulers, notably at Ternate and Java in 1579–80.1 In Drake’s wake, most English ships carried instrumentalists, and sailors regularly sang psalms and hymns. The first voyage of the East India Company to Sumatra, in 1602, led by Sir James Lancaster (c.1554/5–1618), demonstrated that musical performance was a powerful tool when it came to establishing relationships and negotiating agreements with local societies: in the court of Aceh, Sultan Ala’ud-din Ri’ayat Shah al-Mukammil (r.1589–1604) and his nobles sang a ‘Psalme’ to Lancaster and his men, who were then requested to return the compliment in kind.2

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On the eastern side of the archipelago, William Dampier (1651–1715) described how English sailors visiting Mindanao in 1686 engaged in reciprocal performances of dances and dance music with their local hosts.3 Throughout the early modern Malay Archipelago, the contact zone created by intercultural encounters and engagement provided temporal and spatial frames for musical exchanges.4 While most ships carried musicians who followed strict procedures and special orders in the provision of music for signalling, worship, recreation, and the reception of guests, there were among English mariners and traders some key individuals who recognised the powerful agency of music as a means of engaging with members of local societies in emotional and gestural exchanges that went beyond speech and trade. Thomas Forrest (c.1729–c.1802; Figure 7.1), a navigator who served in the Royal Navy and in the English East India Company, as well as being an independent ‘country trader’, was one such person, who seems also to have been endowed with a considerable degree of musical skill.5 Whenever possible on his multiple voyages throughout the Malay Archipelago, he would take out his flute and perform for diverse audiences. William Marsden (1754– 1836) – the Orientalist and linguist who published a prominent dictionary and grammar of Malay (1812) and who formed a famous collection of linguistic works – noted that ‘for this and other such whimsical practices, Forrest acquired amongst the Malays the title of Capitan Geela [Gila] or the “Mad Captain”’.6 Forrest also played the violin: one such instrument accompanied him on his travels, and he sometimes presented violins as gifts. He certainly possessed some degree of musical literacy, as he appears to have notated local melodies and even set indigenous verses to European music. He spoke good Malay, and by virtue of this fact was able to engage in direct dialogue with local rulers, usually unmediated by interpreters; in this language he also composed poetry and songs. Crucially, Forrest left two valuable travelogues, which detail his many travels from the Indian subcontinent and throughout the Malay Archipelago: A Voyage to New Guinea, and the Moluccas, from Balambangan: Including an Account of Magindano, Sooloo, and Other Islands (first published 1779) and A Voyage from Calcutta to the Mergui Archipelago, Lying on the East Side of the Bay of Bengal (1792).7

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Figure 7.1 Portrait of Thomas Forrest, showing his chapp of the Order of the Golden Sword. In Thomas Forrest, A Voyage from Calcutta to the Mergui Archipelago, Lying on the East Side of the Bay of Bengal (London, 1792), first plate before title page. Reproduced by kind permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library.

In examining sources such as these, and earlier voyage accounts dating back to the sixteenth century, a number of musicologists have focused on the seminal role that music played in accompanying and influencing early modern intercultural exchanges. Ian Woodfield,

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for example, has persuasively demonstrated that music on European ships and in overseas outposts was an important part of the process of colonial expansion, from initial encounters with other cultures to the systematic reproduction and spread of colonial institutions. Significantly, he has pointed out how reactions by European mariners to initial encounters with different musical cultures – along with the sustained engagement and observation that took place wherever a colony was planted – shaped and influenced European attitudes towards entire societies and polities.8 All such acts of musical exchange contributed to negotiations of power and recognitions (or contestations) of sovereignty; they also influenced commercial and diplomatic dynamics on a global scale in the nineteenth century. Yet was it always the case that musical exchanges were tied to deeper, darker motives of colonial expansion? Or did they ever represent moments of genuine intercultural empathy and fruitful interaction between musicians from different cultures? As Vanessa Agnew points out in the context of eighteenth-century musical exchanges in the Pacific Ocean, ‘it was . . . when things were given for “free,” or over and above the direct exchange of goods, that goodwill was generated’.9 The giving of musical performances – abstract, immaterial objects – created a sense of obligation to reciprocate, in consonance with Marcel Mauss’s ideas of exchange.10 Sustained contact with musics from other cultures had, of course, mixed results throughout the world: the adoption or rejection of certain practices, the emergence of hybrid styles and genres, and often the abandonment or suppression of traditions or rituals. It is undeniable, of course, that the initial conditions and parameters for many early modern musical exchanges – along with all their repercussions – were unequal, particularly when visiting musicians had commerce as their ulterior motive. This imbalance also affected perceptions of and attitudes to the musics that were being encountered.11 Thus the double meaning constituted by the word ‘trading’ in this chapter’s title is quite deliberate. Although I mean this word to act primarily as a transitive verb in the sense of tunes being traded (‘trading tunes’), the lingering sense of these tunes being intrinsically related to the act of trading (‘trading tunes’) is a crucial adjectival association that points to the fact that an unequal

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exchange was taking place, perhaps imbuing Europeans’ melodies with certain overtones of hegemonic aspirations. Dwelling on the voyages of Thomas Forrest to Aceh, Mindanao, Sulu, and New Guinea in the second half of the eighteenth century, this chapter will explore some of the conceptual issues and theoretical problems associated with the exchange of an abstract commodity, namely musical performance. It will also discuss the ways in which music’s objectification through notation and textual description facilitated a process of bartering songs and exchanging musical information across cultural boundaries, one result of which was the shifting of certain modes of musical production from an oral economy to a literate economy. The exchange of musical instruments is another dimension considered here.12 Violins and flutes were given by English mariners to local rulers and communities in Southeast Asia, and we will examine some instances of those exchanges. The case of Thomas Forrest provides an intriguing and unusual picture of a captain and musician whose creative and aesthetic impulses both complemented and conflicted with his role as an agent of the East India Company, although he also acted as an independent trader.

Musical Bartering and Patronage in Papua In his voyage of 1774–6, Forrest travelled as one of only four Europeans (one of whom was a passenger for only part of the journey) in a ‘prow’ (perahu, boat) named the Tartar Galley, which was built to a design that was popular in the Sulu Archipelago.13 His crew of 18 ‘were mostly Malays, or natives of those islands that lie east of Atchen Head [Aceh]’, and also included men from the Visayas, Mindanao, Maluku, Bengkulu, Nias, and India.14 One of Forrest’s Malay companions, the pilot Ishmael Tuan Hadjee, was a man of high rank who had made a pilgrimage to Mecca and who was a relative of the Sultan of Batchian (Bacan, Maluku). Although there was sometimes friction between Forrest and Tuan Hadjee, the latter was able to mediate between Forrest and the ship’s crew, to Forrest’s evident relief.15 Forrest frequently describes the singing of ‘Mangaio’ songs while rowing, to the accompaniment of ‘two brass timbrels’; this

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practice both inspired the rowers and increased the speed of travel, and was thus encouraged by both Tuan Hadjee and Forrest.16 The objective of Forrest’s voyage was to determine conditions for future commercial enterprises in areas beyond the control of the Dutch, and some trade took place during this voyage itself – including the bartering of music.17 In his travelogue A Voyage to New Guinea (1779), Forrest described how he bartered baftas (Indian cotton cloth) for Papuan songs. On 9 February 1775, at Dory Harbour (now Teluk Dore, or Dore Bay, south of Manokwari) in northwest West Papua, where he stayed from 27 January to 18 February, he observed how a group of local people had returned in ‘two small boats’ with sago, plantains, and other foodstuffs. As they had gathered an amount that was sufficient just for the subsistence of their families, he was unable to purchase any of these goods on that day. However, he bought several birds of paradise (whether living or dead he does not specify). In the local longhouse, Papuan women were carrying out domestic duties of weaving and pottery, and Forrest described some musical interactions that took place: Two of them were humming a tune, on which I took out a german flute,18 and played; they were exceedingly attentive, all work stopping instantly when I began. I then asked one of the women to sing, which she did. The air she sang was very melodious, and of a species much superior to Malay airs in general, which dwell long on a few notes, with little variety of rise or fall. Giving her a fathom of blue baftas, I asked another to sing: she was bashful, and refused; therefore I gave her nothing: her looks spoke her vexed, as if disappointed. Presently, she brought a large bunch of plantains, and gave it me with a smile. I then presented her with the remaining fathom of baftas, having had but two pieces with me. There being many boys and girls about us as we sat at that part of the common hall . . . I separated some of the plantains from the bunch, and distributed [them] to the children. When I had thus given away about one half, they would not permit me to part with any more; so the remainder I carried on board.19

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This short anecdote highlights some crucial differences in the understanding of the parameters of exchange. Early modern intercultural exchanges of music often involved conflict between different notions of musical ownership, musical value, and especially the definition of music itself. It seems that Forrest was acting the part of a patron according to traditional European conventions (i.e. the nobility nurturing specialist musicians in a hierarchical and stratified society), whereas the Papuan women seem to have seen the exchange of commodities as a more equitable system of bartering. It is clear from the description of food-gathering that this society was living in a subsistence economy, and that they traded only the little they had to spare. The work in the longhouse (‘common hall’) stopped when Forrest began playing his flute; he does not describe what he played, and we may wonder whether he started by imitating the melody that he heard hummed, or whether he played the first European piece that came to mind. The first woman seems to have sung in response to Forrest’s fluteplaying: this probably represented a fair and reciprocal exchange of musical performances. It is noteworthy that the second woman, who behaved shyly, refused to sing once she saw that the first woman had been ‘paid’ for her song with pieces of cloth; rather, she preferred to exchange plantains – material goods – for the baftas. Perhaps the giving of material goods by an exotic visitor following the performance of the first singer was considered an inappropriate type of exchange according to local conventions; or perhaps the giving of the baftas was not considered connected to the free act of singing, it being thought that once the exchange of music was over, trade had to begin. The ‘vexed’ look of the second woman could indicate her puzzlement at being requested to sing once trade had clearly started. The ‘large bunch of plantains’ might even have been given in partial exchange for the presentation of the baftas to the first woman, with the receipt of the second fathom of baftas being considered an addition to the first ‘downpayment’. Of course, the second woman’s reticence could have been due to some other reason, and maybe it was a simple case of shyness. It is notable that Forrest was given plantains – which the

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two small boats’ food gatherers had been ‘unwilling to dispose of’ prior to the exchange of music, since these had been collected for their families – but it is equally indicative of his personable character and his manner of integrating himself within local societies that he then proceeded to distribute the fruit among the children. Further light can be shed on this incident by the additional point that several days earlier (5 and 6 February 1775), Forrest had ‘advanced’ the people of Dory 30 pieces of Surat blue baftas and a piece of iron in exchange for provisions (to be purchased from an inland community); the woman who gave him the plantains instead of singing may have thought that this was what Forrest expected, having previously issued cloth for the future delivery of provisions. On 16 February, a week after the musical incident, when ‘the Papuan people had not yet returned with the provisions stipulated’, he ‘gave up . . . the debt’ because he wanted to take advantage of the fair winds, leaving two days later.20 This analysis includes a great deal of speculation, of course, and, while being wary of reading too much into this brief and one-sided anecdote, we should ask what inferences or conclusions remain to be drawn from this particular encounter. Was Forrest acting as a patron, or entering into a bartering relationship? If the latter, then was the music he heard endowed with a kind of exchange-value? Was he attempting to use musical exchanges to ‘sweeten’ trade, or did he engage in than simply because he enjoyed than? These are critical questions to bear in mind when examining the history of intercultural encounters and analysing the ways in which musics from one culture were received and documented by observers from another. Captain Forrest – a man, an alien visitor, and not a member of the Papuan society that he encountered – seems to have attempted to patronise a musician within a traditional society whose musical practices were formed in entirely different spheres of meaning and signification (unbeknownst to him).21 He thereby imposed a form of exchange-value – and even a price: ‘a fathom of blue baftas’ – on a type of performance that is likely to have had ritual or recreational use-value within its culture of origin. However, we unfortunately have no other documentary evidence about the song that was sung by the first woman, or the ritual or cultural significance that it may have held within that particular society; early modern travelogues certainly have their limitations.22

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Musical Exchange in Courtly Contexts Forrest continued his voyage, and from the end of April 1775 until January 1776 he sojourned in the Sultanate of Maguindanao, or Mindanao (the name Mindanao also refers to the entire island, and Maguindanao now denotes a province in the island’s west). W. G. Miller states that this long stay in Mindanao – eight months – was probably due to the simple fact that Forrest ‘enjoyed the company of the people’.23 He was highly esteemed by his hosts: in August 1775, he was invited to attend the festivities surrounding the coming-of-age ceremonies of the sultan’s granddaughter, lasting ten days, which he wrote about in vivid detail.24 In A Voyage to New Guinea he describes several types of Magindanao vocal music, such as an extraordinary salutation given by the 50 ladies in the retinue of the sultana when the wife of ‘Rajah Moodo’ (raja muda, an elected heir to the sultan) paid a visit; he also describes the night-time performance of a dance-song genre by 15 women.25 Of the men he writes that ‘in rowing . . . they have always a song as a kind of tactic, and beat on two brass timbrels to keep time . . . so cheared, they will row a whole night’; he goes on to transcribe and translate the text of a refrain and two verses of a ‘Magindano Mangaio Song’.26 Throughout his stay in Mindanao, the captain engaged in extensive interactions with raja muda Kybad Zachariel.27 In one of his visits to the raja muda, in January 1776, some significant musical exchanges took place: As he [the raja muda] is a performer on the violin, I presented him with two violins, and a German flute: he had a Bisayan, one of his guards, who played tolerably by ear on the violin. I wrote down some minuets, and Rajah Moodo submitted to be taught a little by book. Having got a slight idea of it, he applied no more; but had recourse, as before, to the ear. They wondered at my writing down, and afterwards playing with my flute, some tunes they had played on their musical gongs, called Kalintang [kulintang].28 There are many points of interest in this brief description of intercultural musical exchange. Forrest capitalised on the raja muda’s familiarity

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with the European instrumentarium by presenting him with violins and a flute; it is clear that communities in Mindanao knew these instruments through interactions with Spanish colonialists elsewhere in the Philippine Archipelago (the nearest sizeable Spanish outpost being the port city of Zamboanga, on the western peninsula of Mindanao), or through contact with the Dutch or Portuguese in the eastern parts of the Malay Archipelago. A vocabulary of the Magindanao tongue produced by Forrest in the appendix of his travelogue indicates that the local term for a (European) flute was plauta, evidently a loanword from the Spanish term flauta; the violin was known as dabel, probably derived from the Spanish word rabel, a generic term for fiddle or bowed instrument.29 These loanwords’ existence implies that such instruments were locally known and immediately recognised, while the raja muda’s apparent facility in playing them demonstrates that the host culture had absorbed them into their own cultural traditions and possessed a certain degree of empathy for newly arrived violins. The presence of a guard from the Visayas (a region in which cultures had been hispanised to a considerable degree), who may have had a relative degree of familiarity with European cultural practices (and who may have been captured as a slave), allowed for a member of the host community to play for his master and patron (i.e., the raja muda) on the musical artefacts newly given by Forrest. Of course, as Forrest pointed out, raja muda Kybad Zachariel was himself a violinist, and it appears that he was playing on this occasion as well, possibly on one of the two violins that had just been presented. Given that Forrest was also a violinist, it seems possible from the account above that he was engaging in violin duets with the raja muda, teaching the minuets that had been notated on the spot. One of the most intriguing aspects of this incident of exchange was a short lesson in European music theory, including the practice of staff notation.30 Yet the description of this musical episode comes directly after a sentence detailing how the raja muda ‘writes in Spanish, and prefers, in calculation, the Roman figures to the Arabic’.31 From Forrest’s perspective, it seems that turning to the topic of music theory was a natural conversational progression from the discussion of literary and arithmetical subjects. Nevertheless, the disjuncture between literate and oral traditions of music struck Forrest as being sufficiently significant

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for him to make a comment. It seems that he almost expected a court culture to possess the tradition and skills of notating its music. However, most early modern courts in the region preserved their musical repertoire through oral tradition – with the notable exception of Patani, where some of the music of its royal ensemble was recorded in notated form, probably in the late seventeenth century, using various phonetic renderings and mnemonics to represent the different sounds of the drum.32 Forrest appears to have found little enthusiasm in the raja muda’s response to his demonstration of European staff notation when he wrote down and played European minuets. Perhaps this is why he chose to exhibit his ability to take musical dictation of the melodies played by kulintang – although transcription of polyrhythmic kulintang music is notoriously challenging, as any modern-day ethnomusicologist knows, and it must have been a relatively uncomplicated single line that Forrest transcribed from the texture.33 We should remember, however, that it was a common ‘party trick’ of musically literate Europeans throughout early modern Asia to notate local music at one hearing and play it back; it was a practice that a century previously had had significant repercussions in the imperial court of China, in terms of arousing interest in European forms of music notation.34 It is unfortunate that Forrest’s notations of kulintang music do not seem to have survived, as they might have been able to shed further light on late eighteenth-century European reactions to Southeast Asian gong music. Nevertheless, it appears that Forrest was certainly interested in the origins of gongs and that he noted their different designs; in an earlier part of his 1779 travelogue he observed generally of the inhabitants of Mindanao that ‘they are fond of musical gongs, which come from Cheribon [Cirebon] on Java, and have round knobs on them; others without knobs, come from China’.35 In a footnote he defined the instrument in the following way: ‘A gong is an instrument of brass, somewhat like a tabor or drum, with only one head.’36 Yet Forrest was no particular fan of kulintang music (as played in his musical exchange with the raja muda), as he went on to say: These instruments had little or no variety: it was always one, two, three, four, common time; all notes being of the same

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length, and the gongs were horribly out of tune. Now and then a large gong was struck by way of bass. Their ears become corrupted by so shocking instruments. All proves mere jargon and discord; while the poor Papua people of New Guinea, who pretend to no instruments, follow nature unvitiated [unimpaired], and sing most melodiously.37 Clearly, Forrest found it difficult to appreciate the tuning system employed in kulintang, presumably being used to the chromatic scale (in unequal temperament) that he used on his flute and violin. His comment that ‘[n]ow and then a large gong was struck by way of bass’ reflects the frequent tendency of some early modern European observers to assume the necessity of opposition between treble and bass in musical performances, presupposing harmony and counterpoint as essential characteristics of music – which is in turn indicative of their own training in European music theory. As regards Forrest’s final comparative assessment, it might be recalled that he earlier expressed his preference for Papuan airs over ‘Malay airs in general’, owing to his opinion of the restricted range of pitches in the latter.38 Yet the distinction he draws between the cultivated instrumental music of a Muslim court and the musical mimesis of the Papuans, who seemed to ‘follow nature unvitiated’ without any instruments (although he was not correct on that particular point – and, in fact, he writes that on 4 February 1775 he observed the Papuans singing and playing on ‘a sort of drum’), seems almost to tap into Enlightenment debates on the origins of music, namely whether music (especially vocal music) and language arose from the imitation of nature.39 Forrest’s comment about ‘follow[ing] nature’ probably refers to the predominance of vocal genres in the music he heard during his short visits to Papuan communities, and the relatively few instruments he saw compared to the range he found in Mindanao; however, we should note that he stayed much longer in Mindanao, and he may not have had the opportunity to see the full instrumentarium of his Papuan hosts. The Papuans to whom Forrest referred lived on the western side of New Guinea, in a liminal space between the Malay-speaking cultural world and their own geocultural region

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(Melanesia); in cultural terms, they seem to have inhabited a wholly different sound world from that of the Malays, so it is not especially remarkable that Forrest considered their music to present such a great contrast to Malay traditions.40

Forrest’s Malay Songs The people of Mindanao used their own languages – Forrest lists 14 dialects spoken on the island – but many also conversed with him in Malay, the lingua franca of trade, and exchanged Malay poetic verses with him.41 As his stay in Mindanao continued, Forrest did not cease in his exchange of songs. In this same visit, he traded songs with the (only) wife of the raja muda, Potely Pyak, who was ‘daughter to the Sultan of Tukoran’; he wrote that this lady ‘spoke good Malay, and was fond of singing a Malay stanza, which I had the honour of teaching her’, going on to reproduce the text in question: Ambo jugo burra bansi, bansi, Dudu debowa batang, Ambo jugo, ma nanti, nanti, Manapo tidado datang. I play on a pipe, a pipe, Repos’d beneath a tree; I play; but the time’s not ripe: Why don’t you come to me?42 Forrest described this Malay verse as being ‘the complaint of an impatient lover’; he stated that he learned it at Fort Marlborough, Bencoolen (Bengkulu, Sumatra), and that its authorship was attributed to ‘a late governor’ of that outpost, who was apparently an admirer of Virgil’s Eclogues.43 A popular pastime of colonial administrators in the Malay Archipelago – and India – was to indulge in the manipulation of local languages and to see whether they could make them conform to models from European classical antiquity.44 Meanwhile, a favourite recreational pastime of communities throughout the Malay

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Archipelago was the spontaneous performance of poetry, as Marsden observed in the early 1780s.45 In Mindanao, Forrest was able to use this newly created song as a cultural commodity whose exchangevalue was immediately recognisable by the Malay-speaker who heard it. It is noteworthy, however, that the Malay song that Forrest taught was constructed according to European parameters of aesthetic acceptability; the author probably projected his own aesthetic sensibilities onto it. Forrest received a Malay song back from this lady in direct exchange, writing that she sang it with him.46 As he relates: [T]he Malays have some very pretty songs: the following couplet the same lady used to sing with me. Inchy piggy mandi, dekkat mulo sungy, Scio mow be-jago, scio mow be-nanty. When in the flood my fair shall glide, Her distant guardian I’ll abide.47 Given the popularity of the local practice of extemporising and exchanging verses, the entry of Forrest (and possibly the unnamed late governor of Fort Marlborough) into this tradition exhibits its capacity to embrace newcomers who were willing to engage in the creative processes and linguistic structures necessary for musicopoetic production. It seems that Forrest had accumulated enough social and cultural capital within his host community to engage in duets with the wife of a local aristocrat. His appropriation of Malay performance practices and song styles meant that he had to some extent developed a workable framework of intercultural compatibility that enabled the exchange and circulation of cultural products. Forrest transcribed the texts of several verses at different stages of his voyages (as well as notating the music for a song of ‘The Malabars, in the Masoola Boats at Madras’), and through his publications made later in London he became the conduit for the entry of these short fragments of South and Southeast Asian musical and musicopoetic output into European historiography and imagination. Conversely, his participation in these processes of

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exchange also resulted in the introduction of some aspects of European music into Southeast Asian courtly contexts, as we shall see. Forrest visited Aceh in 1764, 1775, and 1784. His second travelogue, A Voyage from Calcutta to the Mergui Archipelago, includes an engraving of his reverential gesture and posture during his audience

Figure 7.2 Thomas Forrest’s audience before the Sultan of Aceh (1764). In Forrest, A Voyage from Calcutta, second plate after p. 60. Reproduced by kind permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library.

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with Sultan Muhammad Selim Shah in 1764 (see Figure 7.2); this illustration also shows his two servants proffering gifts to the monarch.48 In 1784, on his third visit to the sultanate, he received the Order of the Golden Sword from Sultan Ala’ud-din Muhammad Shah (as shown in figure 7.1); the inscription of the gold ‘chapp’ (seal) given to him was translated by William Marsden as follows: ‘This Chapp [seal] was conferred as a mark of honor in the city of Atcheen [Aceh] belonging to the Faithfull [sic] by the hands of the Shabander (Officer of State) of Atcheen on Capt.n Tho.s Forrest.’49 Forrest was invited to converse with the sultan, and ‘went several times; but always sent first to know if his majesty was at leisure’.50 Music was sometimes involved in the visits to this monarch, as Forrest describes: In 1784 I once again visited Atcheen [Aceh], and had an audience of the king, Sultan Oola Odine [Al’aud-din], son to the former king, with much the same ceremony and presents as passed twenty years before: but this king having travelled, spoke both Malay, French and Portugueze [sic]. . . . I never saw any body sit down in the king’s presence; and I never did but when asked, and then with shoes off, left below, turning my feet as much as I could inwards: this I found a tiresome posture. I sometimes played on the German flute, at the king’s desire, which he was pleased to hear . . . And [he] liked much a Malay song I had made, and set to the Correnti [sic] Vivace of the 3rd Sonata of Corelli.51 In the travelogue, Forrest included an engraved plate of the words and music of his ‘Malay song’ (Figure 7.3).52 He implies that he is the composer of the Malay text, which appears beneath the score, together with an English translation: Anghin be[-]dinghin[,] Oogin be[-]jattoo, Scio be[-]nantee, manapo tida datang. Apo salla summo Scio, Scio, Scio, Scio, Scio, Ate rindo, chinto Scio, Jangan pitcha, Ate rindo, Scio be[-]nantee, lamo be[-]nantee,

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Figure 7.3 Thomas Forrest, ‘A Malay Song’. In Forrest, A Voyage from Calcutta, first plate after p. 60. Reproduced by kind permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library.

Anghin be[-]dinghin, Oogin be[-]jattoo, Scio be[-]nantee, nantee lamo, tappee, camo, tida datang.53 The wind is cold[,] the rain falls, I still wait, why don[’]t you come.

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What harm have I done, I, I, I, I, my heart is broke, you are my love don[’]t tear a heart that’s broke, I wait, long I wait, The wind is cold, the rain falls, I wait, long I wait, but, you, do not come. The music is adapted from the first violin part of the Corrente Vivace movement in the trio sonata in G minor Opus 4 No. 2 by Arcangelo Corelli (1653–1713); this work was first published in Rome in 1694, and was reprinted in numerous editions.54 Forrest was presumably using a later edition of Corelli’s music, with a different numbering of the trio sonatas (he refers to ‘the 3.d Sonata’). While Corelli’s music was known in many different parts of the world in the century following his death, this is the first concrete evidence of his melodies being played in Southeast Asia – and, even more significantly, being adapted as vocal music using a text in a local language.55 Corelli’s original trio sonata is in G minor, but here the melody of the first violin part has been transposed down a fourth to D minor. The first section is abridged: rather than including the full 25 bars of the first violin part as written by Corelli, Forrest ends the first section after bar 9, instructing the performer to repeat back to bar 5, presumably in order to make the music fit to the text without adding repetitions or extra lines. This truncation aside, the melody of Forrest’s ‘Malay song’ follows the first violin part of the Corelli trio sonata quite faithfully, albeit in transposition. However, Forrest omits all ties across bar lines (some 13 of them), no doubt to allow new syllables to be vocalised at the beginnings of bars. With an angular melody that frequently leaps large intervals, this piece seems more idiomatically suited to an instrument such as the violin or flute, rather than the voice; it would be relatively difficult for an untrained singer to perform it with ease. With its jagged intervallic contours, it differs markedly from Forrest’s 1779 description of ‘Malay airs in general, which dwell long on a few notes, with little variety of rise or fall’.56

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Although we have no description of the exact ways in which Forrest’s Malay song was performed in the court of Aceh, we can presume that it involved a Malay or English singer – perhaps Forrest himself – and the accompaniment of one or more of the instruments that Forrest had with him (transverse flute and possibly violin); the violin was certainly well known in late eighteenth-century Sumatra, as William Marsden noted.57 Forrest writes in A Voyage from Calcutta that he played the violin in Aceh: he mentions in a footnote that a Jewish linguist (interpreter) in the court of Aceh, a man named Abraham, ‘was fond of music, and often shed tears when I played on the violin: he said it put him so much in mind of Europe, where he was born, somewhere in Hungary’.58 Besides the vocal part and the possible addition of a treble instrument playing the melody (or another part), a bass part and chordal accompaniment might feasibly have been added by a guitar, if there was one to hand.59 This example of a transcultural composition was undoubtedly made to flatter the reigning monarch, but it also suggests that Forrest himself was deeply interested in exploring different ways to bridge European and Malay cultural practices. There were certainly precedents in place for this type of activity: many hybrid musical practices had sprung up around this region, from the sixteenth century onwards, as a result of intercultural exchange between European settlers and host communities. The song genre sikambang kapri, for instance, was a synthesis that emerged in this part of Sumatra through engagement between Portuguese and Malay cultures in the early modern period, as Margaret Kartomi has shown.60 Slave musicians also played European instruments in the houses of elite colonialists in Batavia, no doubt to recreate the ambience of Europe as well as to project locally an image of social prestige through the patronage of music and musicians; in 1689, a Dutch lady who had recently married a colonialist in Batavia wrote that she had ‘a slave orchestra which played on the harp, viol and bassoon at mealtimes’.61 Within the domestic environment of their patrons’ houses, slave musicians probably played standard genres of Western art music, especially elite dance genres; this was also a common practice in other colonial cities of the region.

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It is certainly possible that the Forrest–Corellian melody performed at Aceh entered into the local consciousness; such a hypothesis was proposed in 1866 by Carl Engel in his pioneering study of ‘national music’. Recounting the tale of Forrest’s ‘Malay song’, Engel went on to observe: This air was greatly admired by the king, and of course also by the king’s courtiers, through whom we may suppose it to have soon become popular among the common people. Thus it may possibly happen that a European hunter after national airs in Sumatra, unacquainted with Captain Forrest’s procedure, will be not a little puzzled by discovering among the natives of that distant island a tune which bears a strong resemblance with a melody occurring in one of Corelli’s Sonatas.62 Although this was pure speculation on Engel’s part, his suggestion should not be dismissed too quickly, as similar processes of crosscultural absorption and the entry of an exotic melody into traditional patterns of preservation and reproduction have been reliably observed in more recent times. For example, the ethnomusicologist Edward M. Frame reported in 1982 that when he asked a musician in a village of Sabah, Borneo, to play a traditional melody, ‘a performer played a beautiful rendition of “Oh my darling Clementine”’, an American folk ballad.63 The forms and frequency of cross-cultural musical transmissions changed drastically in the twentieth century, of course, with the proliferation of commodified sound recordings and the growth of radio broadcasts. But we can postulate that similar examples of transfer took place – albeit on a smaller scale – in the early modern period, through observation, appropriation, and reproduction.

Conclusion We have seen in this chapter some examples of the different ways in which music acted as a mediator between representatives of English and Southeast Asian cultures. Forrest’s descriptions of how his personal passion for music became an essential part of his encounters

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within a range of cultural milieux reveal many different aspects of the development of an empathetic understanding in the early modern period – something that was eventually to be quashed in succeeding centuries through colonialist hegemony, abuses of trust, and imbalances of power. Forrest is one of the most intriguing characters in early modern English–Malay musical exchanges, and his descriptions of intercultural musical encounters are certainly among the most detailed. He used Malay songs as a type of currency in the oral economy of intercultural diplomacy. By learning such songs, and by composing them himself, he gradually accumulated a stock of musical and cultural capital; moreover, by engaging in musical performances for and with members of royal families and aristocrats, he was able to increase his social and political capital. Even within West Papua, he gained entry into a world of sonic bartering through the exchange of musical performances. The apparent success of these encounters can in many ways be attributed to Forrest’s ability to adapt to local customs and not to engage imprudently in local politics; while visiting and living with Muslims in Southeast Asia, he modified his behaviour so as not to cause offence. As the historian D. K. Bassett has remarked, ‘Forrest may well engage our sympathies more than the less approachable British colonial officials who succeeded him.’64 The act of a stranger freely giving music in elite social milieux created empathy and established a base for further intercultural negotiation. These rare and noteworthy examples of intercultural exchange characterise what seems to be a relatively neutral transfer of intangible cultural capital – that is, the goodwill generated by musical performances – whether or not they were accompanied by the exchange of tangible cultural commodities, such as instruments. Musical performances allowed Forrest to ingratiate himself with local rulers in ritual settings; in Mindanao he even performed on the flute at the wedding of the raja muda’s daughter, having first asked the permission of the bride’s father.65 This episode, as recounted in A Voyage to New Guinea (1779), appears to have been considered appropriate to the interests of genteel women readers in England, since Forrest’s first-hand description was reproduced – almost immediately after

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the travelogue’s publication – in the May 1779 issue of The Lady’s Magazine.66 Such a rapid selection and reproduction of this text for the elite female readership of late eighteenth-century England appears to point to feelings of empathy emerging between these readers and their distant counterparts in Southeast Asia. Intercultural music exchanges in courtly contexts also seem to have sufficiently aroused the interest of European readers as to enter the popular imagination in works of English literature. For example, an early nineteenth-century novel entitled Naufragus (1827) makes reference to the presence of an organ and flutes in the court of the Raja of Lingin, this place-name presumably referring to or implying the island of Lingga. The protagonist and narrator, a young adventurer, goes with his captain to be received by the raja; remarking upon an organ in the room, he hears it played, and it issues a ‘villainous compound of harsh sounds’ which ‘please the Malay monarch mightily’. He is brought a European flute that belongs to the raja, and proceeds to play ‘a few notes’. He and his captain then take their leave, but they are soon asked to return to the raja’s presence, where the narrator is given the flute as a present.67 This incident is perhaps inspired by the stories of Forrest the flautist, and it reveals that musical exchange in Asian courtly contexts was understood by English readers of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries as being a key factor in establishing mutual trust and goodwill. The use of music as a direct tool of intercultural diplomacy in the many royal courts of Southeast Asia, especially in the Malay Archipelago, is a topic that invites further exploration. The evidence discussed here relates solely to English endeavours; yet this needs to be put into a wider perspective by making comparative analyses of forays by other European nations, together with those by travellers and traders from Persia and the Ottoman Empire. Southeast Asian chronicles and annals yield a great deal of enticing detail about court ceremonial and the use of music in court ritual, but the transition to European colonialism from the late eighteenth century onwards complicates the question of whether there was continuity or disjuncture in these traditions. The focus here on English actors in the theatre of intercultural exchange has demonstrated that musical

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performance in the ‘contact zone’ had a certain capacity to bridge cultural divides and to be itself an object of self-identification, desire, and exchange. By trading tunes, English mariners such as Thomas Forrest knowingly or unknowingly attempted to ‘tune’ trade.

References Research for this chapter was begun during a Junior Research Fellowship at Christ’s College, Cambridge, and continued during a postdoctoral research position at King’s College London, as part of the project ‘European Transitions to European Colonialism in the Eastern Indian Ocean’ (funded by the European Research Council). The author would like to thank the above institutions for facilitating this work. He would also like to record his gratitude to Thirza Hope for her invaluable remarks on an early draft, to the anonymous readers of the manuscript for their helpful comments on this chapter, and to Raja Iskandar bin Raja Halid, Jenny McCallum, and W. George Miller for their generous assistance with Malay texts. 1. Woodfield has noted Drake’s use of musicians as ‘shoreline ambassadors’ and has analysed the reciprocal exchange of performances that took place – mostly on board Drake’s ship, the Golden Hind – in greeting and honouring visitors. See Ian Woodfield, English Musicians in the Age of Exploration (Stuyvesant, NY, 1995), p. 99 and especially pp. 103–4. 2. Samuel Purchas, Purchas his Pilgrimes. In Five Bookes, 4 vols (London, 1625), vol. 1, pt. 1, bk. 3, p. 160. This encounter is also discussed in Woodfield, English Musicians, p. 44. For a brief summary of Lancaster’s voyage, see Kenneth R. Andrews, Trade, Plunder and Settlement: Maritime Enterprise and the Genesis of the British Empire, 1480–1630 (Cambridge, 1984), pp. 263–4, and Anthony Reid, ‘The Pre-Modern Sultanate’s View of its Place in the World’, in Anthony Reid (ed.), Verandah of Violence: The Background to the Aceh Problem (Singapore, 2006), pp. 58–9. 3. On the performances in Mindanao, see William Dampier, A New Voyage Round the World. Describing Particularly, the Isthmus of America, Several Coasts and Islands in the West Indies, the Isles of Cape

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Verd, the Passage by Terra del Fuego, the South Sea Coasts of Chili, Peru, and Mexico; the Isle of Guam, One of the Ladrones, Mindanao, and other Philippine and East-India Islands near Cambodia, China, Formosa, Luconia, Celebes &c., New Holland, Sumatra, Nicobar Isles; the Cape of Good Hope, and Santa Hellena, 2nd edn. (London, 1697), p. 361. On the idea of the ‘contact zone’, see Mary Louise Pratt, Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation (London, 1992), pp. 6–7. For a biographical study of Forrest, see D. K. Bassett, ‘Thomas Forrest, an Eighteenth-Century Mariner’, Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society xxxiv/2 (1961), pp. 106–22; D. K. Bassett, ‘Introduction’, in Thomas Forrest, A Voyage to New Guinea and the Moluccas, 1774–1776, facsimile edn. (Kuala Lumpur, 1969), pp. 1–22; and J. K. Laughton, ‘Forrest, Thomas (c.1729–c.1802)’, rev. Elizabeth Baigent, in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, Internet: http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/9891 (accessed 16 March 2011). Forrest is also discussed in a recent article by W. G. Miller, ‘English Country Traders and Their Relations with Malay Rulers in the Late Eighteenth Century’, Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society lxxxiv/1 (2011), pp. 23–45. Bassett, ‘Thomas Forrest’, p. 119, n. 95; Bassett, ‘Introduction’, p. 13. Marsden’s collection is now split up between the British Library, King’s College London, and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Thomas Forrest, A Voyage to New Guinea, and the Moluccas, from Balambangan: Including an Account of Magindano, Sooloo, and Other Islands; and Illustrated with Thirty Copperplates. Performed in the Tartar Galley, Belonging to the Honourable East India Company, During the Years 1774, 1775, and 1776, by Captain Thomas Forrest. To which is Added, a Vocabulary of the Magindano Tongue (London, 1779; another edition was published in Dublin in the same year); Thomas Forrest, A Voyage from Calcutta to the Mergui Archipelago, Lying on the East Side of the Bay of Bengal (London, 1792). The first of these appeared in a second edition in 1780: Thomas Forrest, A Voyage to New Guinea, and the Moluccas, from Balambangan:

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8. 9. 10.

11.

12.

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Including an Account of Magindano, Sooloo, and Other Islands; and Illustrated with Thirty Copperplates. Performed in the Tartar Galley, Belonging to the Honourable East India Company, During the Years 1774, 1775, and 1776, by Captain Thomas Forrest. To which is Added, a Vocabulary of the Magindano Tongue, 2nd edn. (London, 1780); in the same year, a French translation was also published in Paris: Thomas Forrest, Voyage aux Moluques et a la Nouvelle Guinée: fait sur la galere la Tartare en 1774, 1775 & 1776, par ordre de la Compagnie Angloise, par le capitaine Forrest (Paris, 1780). For a contemporaneous review of the first edition of A Voyage to New Guinea (1779), see The Monthly Review; or, Literary Journal lx (1779), pp. 264–9. See Woodfield, English Musicians. Vanessa Agnew, Enlightenment Orpheus: The Power of Music in Other Worlds (New York, 2008), p. 93. See Marcel Mauss, The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies, trans. W. D. Halls, foreword by Mary Douglas (London, 1990). On this point, see Frank L. Harrison, ‘Observation, Elucidation, Utilization: Western Attitudes to Eastern Musics, ca. 1600–ca. 1830’, in Malcolm Hamrick Brown and Roland John Wiley (eds), Slavonic and Western Music: Essays for Gerald Abraham (Oxford, 1985), pp. 5–31; also Woodfield, English Musicians, pp. 267–80. In China, Japan, and India, keyboard instruments regularly featured as costly gifts that were presented by Europeans to rulers and officials. For studies of keyboard instruments as diplomatic gifts in South Asia and East Asia (especially China and Japan), see Ian Woodfield, ‘The Keyboard Recital in Oriental Diplomacy, 1520–1620’, Journal of the Royal Musical Association cxv/1 (1990), pp. 33–62, and Joyce Lindorff, ‘Missionaries, Keyboards and Musical Exchange in the Ming and Qing Courts’, Early Music xxxii/3 (2004), pp. 403–14. There is a relative dearth of evidence concerning the presentation of keyboard instruments as a tool of intercultural diplomacy in Southeast Asia, except by the French in Siam. The Spaniards in the Philippines

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13. 14. 15. 16.

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imported and constructed multiple organs (pipe and reed), harpsichords, spinets, clavichords, and – later – pianofortes, but this phenomenon usually took place in the context of the colonial reproduction of Spanish institutions rather than as a deliberate act of gift-giving to a sovereign ruler of a foreign territory. See D. R. M. Irving, Colonial Counterpoint: Music in Early Modern Manila (New York, 2010); also David Irving, ‘Keyboard Instruments and Instrumentalists in Manila, 1581–1798’, Anuario Musical lx (2005), pp. 27–40. On the French transportation of keyboard instruments to Siam, see Michel Jacq-Hergoualc’h, L’Europe et le Siam du XVIe au XVIIIe siècle: apports culturels (Paris, 1993), pp. 102–3. For a description of the vessel, see Forrest, A Voyage to New Guinea (1779), pp. 8–10. The crew is described and listed by name in ibid., pp. 7–8, 11. Ibid., p. 8. The word ‘mangaio’ referred to cruising against an enemy, and was applied as the generic name of a fighting vessel. On the practice of ‘mangaio’ and the boats that were used in these expeditions, see ibid., pp. 301–2. Writing of his experiences on 28 November 1774, Forrest relates: ‘I found Tuan Hadjee in high spirits, cheering up the rowers with a certain Tactic song, to which a man beat time with two brass timbrels. This song was in the Mindano tongue, and is much used by Mangaio boats, not only to amuse and cheer up the mind, but to give vigour to their motions in rowing. This I encouraged, that we might soon get past the Dutch settlements of Ternate and Tidore’ (ibid., p. 27). Forrest also refers to the singing of Mangaio songs on 22 February 1775 (ibid., p. 117); his transcription and translation of the text of a ‘Magindano Mangaio Song’ is discussed later in this chapter. On the purpose of Forrest’s voyage to New Guinea and the Moluccas, see Miller, ‘English Country Traders’, p. 33. Miller also writes of this voyage that it ‘may be viewed at least in part as political involvement by a country trader. While officially it was the voyage of an EIC [East India Company] vessel under

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the command of a person who was at that time a member of the Company’s Marine, in reality it was a 20-month-long reconnaissance by a free-wheeling individual who was essentially an independent country trader in spirit, behaviour and experience’ (ibid.). ‘German flute’ implies a transverse flute as opposed to a recorder (which was often simply called ‘flute’ in early modern English texts). Forrest, A Voyage to New Guinea (1779), pp. 104–5. Ibid., pp. 103, 108. For a study of the ways in which members of a different community in New Guinea have positioned themselves in relation to their environment, their ecology, and each other through a system of sounds, see Steven Feld, Sound and Sentiment: Birds, Weeping, Poetics, and Song in Kaluli Expression, 2nd edn. (Philadelphia, 1990). Further research needs to be undertaken to explore the history of musical contact between Papuans and Europeans in the early modern period. Interestingly, in a letter of 29 May 1787 the teenage midshipman John Adolphus Pope writes that a band of slave musicians at Malacca – whom the Dutch governor of Malacca had purchased ‘from a Captain of a Dutch ship who brought them from Amboyna’ – was led by ‘a native of New Guinea’, and that these musicians played ‘remarkably well any tune with very little practice’. Anne Bulley, Free Mariner: John Adolphus Pope in the East Indies 1786–1821 (London, 1992), p. 90. Miller, ‘English Country Traders’, p. 37. Miller also observes that the empathetic relationship enjoyed between Forrest and indigenous peoples is borne out in ‘extensive and colourful detail’ in this part of A Voyage to New Guinea. See Forrest, A Voyage to New Guinea (1779), pp. 237–42. Ibid., pp. 244–5. Ibid., pp. 303–4. On the family history of Kybad Zachariel, see ibid., pp. 204–6. Ibid., p. 296. Ibid., ‘A Vocabulary of the Magindano Tongue’, pp. 4, 10.

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30. If Forrest was being truthful, his extemporary composition (or at least notation from memory) of minuets is an impressive indicator of his musical skill. It is unclear whether Forrest intended that these minuets be danced, or whether this was purely a theoretical exercise. However, it should be pointed out that several European dance genres were apparently known in Zamboanga, Mindanao, in the late eighteenth century, and some were absorbed into Islamic communities. See Irving, Colonial Counterpoint, p. 69. 31. Forrest, A Voyage to New Guinea (1779), p. 296. 32. These notations are included in the sixth part of the Hikayat Patani. Although the writing of this section is likely to have taken place before 1700, according to Teeuw and Wyatt, the earliest extant manuscript source of this hikayat was copied in 1839. For a transcription, translation, and critical commentary of this manuscript, see A. Teeuw and D. K. Wyatt, Hikayat Patani: The Story of Patani, 2 vols (The Hague, 1970), vol. 1, pp. 59–60 and p. 66 (speculation on the possible authorship of the section on music and its original date of composition); vol. 1, pp. 141–5 (a transcription of the relevant Malay text of the hikayat); vol. 2, pp. 211–6 (the English translation of the relevant Malay text); and vol. 2, pp. 283–8 (a critical discussion of the writings on music). 33. In terms of the ways in which local melodies were transcribed, Forrest’s practice was very different from the more systematic collection of Hindustani songs in the late eighteenth century (as studied by Ian Woodfield, Nicholas Cook, and other scholars) and from the collection of Javanese and Malay airs in the early nineteenth century. See some examples from Java criticised in Benjamin Brinner, ‘A Musical Time Capsule from Java’, Journal of the American Musicological Society xlvi/2 (1993), pp. 221–60. When John Crawfurd published his History of the Indian Archipelago in 1820, he included transcriptions of Javanese and Malay airs, with a bass and chordal accompaniment by the renowned English music scholar Dr William Crotch (1775– 1847). See John Crawfurd, History of the Indian Archipelago:

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35. 36. 37. 38. 39.

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Containing an Account of the Manners, Arts, Languages, Religions, Institutions, and Commerce of Its Inhabitants, 3 vols (Edinburgh, 1820), vol. 1, plates 10–13 between pp. 340 and 341. See Jean-Baptiste Du Halde, Description géographique, historique, chronologique, politique, et physique de l’empire de la Chine et de la Tartarie chinoise, 4 vols (Paris, 1735), vol. 3, p. 266. According to Du Halde, the demonstration of European notation by the Jesuit Tomás Pereira in 1679 to transcribe and repeat difficult melodies on the spot impressed the Kangxi Emperor to such a degree that he founded an Academy of Music and commissioned the writing of treatises on music, including one on European staff notation (which are extant). Forrest, A Voyage to New Guinea (1779), p. 176. Ibid., p. 176, first footnote. Ibid., pp. 296–7. Ibid., p. 105. Forrest mentions the drum in ibid., p. 103. On Enlightenment speculation on the origins of music and language, see Matthew Head, ‘Birdsong and the Origins of Music’, Journal of the Royal Musical Association cxxii/1 (1997), pp. 1–23, and Downing A. Thomas, Music and the Origins of Language: Theories from the French Enlightenment (Cambridge, 1995). For an overview of music in West Papua (Irian Jaya), see Artur Simon’s entry in Barbara B. Smith et al., ‘Melanesia’, in Stanley Sadie and John Tyrell (eds), The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd edn., vol. 16 (London, 2001), pp. 307–8. For the list of languages in Mindanao, see A Voyage to New Guinea (1779), p. 175. Ibid., p. 297. George Miller gives the following modernised rendering of the text: ‘Hamba juga bura bangsi, bangsi[,] / Duduk dibawah batang, / Hamba juga, menanti, nanti, / Mengapa tidak (da?) datang[.]’ He also gives this English translation: ‘I play on a flute, a flute, / Seated beneath a branch / I wait and wait for you, / Why don’t you come?’ See George Miller, ‘Malay Used by English Country Traders of the 18th

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43. 44.

45.

46.

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Century’, Internet: http://mcp.anu.edu.au/papers/rtm/country. html (accessed 7 May 2012). Forrest, A Voyage to New Guinea (1779), p. 298. For a discussion of a similar process undertaken by Spanish missionaries in the Philippines, see Irving, Colonial Counterpoint, pp. 85–8. Marsden writes of the Malay language and its poetry: ‘The Malay language, which is original in the peninsula of Malayo, and has from thence extended itself throughout the eastern islands, so as to become the lingua franca of that part of the globe . . . has been much celebrated, and justly, for the smoothness and sweetness of its sound, which have gained it the appellation of the Italian of the east. This is owing to the prevalence of vowels and liquids in the words, and the infrequency of any harsh combination of mute consonants. These qualities render it well adapted to poetry, which the Malays are passionately addicted to. They amuse all their leisure hours, including the greater portion of their lives, with the repetition of songs, which are, for the most part, proverbs illustrated, or figures of speech applied to the occurrences of life. Some that they rehearse, in a kind of recitative, at their bimbangs or feasts, are historical love tales, like our old English ballads, but often extempore.’ William Marsden, The History of Sumatra: Containing an Account of the Government, Laws, Customs and Manners of the Native Inhabitants, with a Description of the Natural Productions, and a Relation of the Ancient Political State of that Island, 2nd edn. (London, 1784), p. 159. Following this passage, which is essentially a description of the pantun poetic genre (as he subsequently acknowledges, spelling the term ‘pantoon’), Marsden gives an example of a pantun in Malay and in English translation, and states that ‘these little pieces are called [pantun and] the longer [are] called dendang’; he also describes how he attempted to compose his own example of a pantun (p. 160). However, Forrest does not specify whether he sang (most probable) or played the flute or violin in this collaborative performance. Forrest, A Voyage to New Guinea (1779), p. 298. This particular pantun was reproduced in James Howison, A Dictionary of the

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48. 49.

50. 51. 52. 53.

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Malay Tongue, as Spoken in the Peninsula of Malacca, the Islands of Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Pulo Pinang, &c. &c. (London, 1801), p. 35. It is printed there with a slightly altered Malay orthography in Roman script: ‘Inchy piggy mandi, dikat mulo sungy, / Seia mow be-jago, seia mow be-nanty.’ Above this text, Howison gives a different English translation from Forrest’s poetic rendering: ‘Go bathe my fair, near the bank of the river, / I will guard, I will attend you.’ He also includes a Malay version in Jawi script beneath the romanised Malay text. According to Miller, the modern orthography of this text would be: ‘Enche pergi mandi, dekat mula sungai, / Saya mau berjaga, saya mau bernanti[.]’ Miller also gives the following translation: ‘You go to bathe near the mouth of the river / I want to watch-over you, I want to wait for you.’ See Miller, ‘Malay Used by English Country Traders’. Forrest, A Voyage from Calcutta, second plate after p. 60; a description of this audience is given on pp. 49–50. On his investiture as a ‘Knight of the Golden Sword’, see ibid., pp. 54–5; see the first plate preceding this travelogue’s title page (reproduced as Figure 7.1) for the portrait of Forrest showing the ‘chapp’, with Marsden’s translation of the text in the engraving’s caption. The Jawi (Malay in Arabic script) inscription was accurately reproduced by the engraver of Forrest’s portrait; in modern romanised form it reads as follows: ‘Inilah cap dikurnia di bandar Aceh Dar al-salam dan Sahbandar [Syahbandar] Aceh akan Kapitan Thuma Faras’. Many thanks to Raja Iskandar bin Raja Halid for examining and romanising this text. Ibid., p. 54. Ibid., pp. 51, 54. Ibid., first plate after p. 60. The modern orthography of Forrest’s eighteenth-century Malay (with his original wording) would be as follows: ‘Angin berdingin, hujan berjatuh, / Saya bernanti, mengapa tidak datang. / Apa salah sama saya, / saya, saya, saya, saya, / Hati rindu, cinta saya, / Jangan pecah hati rindu, / Saya bernanti, lama bernanti, / Angin berdingin, hujan berjatuh, / Saya bernanti, nanti lama, / tetapi kamu tidak datang.’ Although this presents an archaic form of expression, and would have to be recomposed to make

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strict grammatical sense in modern Malay, it retains the flavour of Forrest’s text. A modern English translation could be as follows: ‘The wind is cold, the rain falls, / I wait; why do you not come? / What wrong have I done, / I, I, I, I, / My heart is longing, my love; / Don’t break a longing heart. / I wait, long I wait. / The wind is cold, the rain falls; / I wait a long time, / but you do not come.’ Thanks to Raja Iskandar bin Raja Halid, Jenny McCallum, and W. George Miller for their help and advice on the orthography of the Malay text and its rendering into modern English. For a standard transcription of the movement, see Arcangelo Corelli, Complete Violin Sonatas and Trio Sonatas, ed. Joseph Joachim and Friedrich Chrysander (New York, 1992), pp. 195–6. The works of Corelli remained highly popular throughout the eighteenth century in England, as in other parts of Europe; there was also a vogue for Corelli’s works among English expatriates in late eighteenth-century Calcutta, and among the musicians (mostly indigenous) of the Jesuit missions in South America. See Raymond Head, ‘Corelli in Calcutta: Colonial Music-Making in India During the 17th and 18th Centuries’, Early Music xiii/4 (1985), pp. 548–53; Ian Woodfield, Music of the Raj: A Social and Economic History of Music in Late Eighteenth-Century AngloIndian Society (New York, 2000); Leonardo J. Waisman, ‘Arcadia Meets Utopia: Corelli in the South American Wilderness’, in Gregory Barnett, Antonella D’Ovidio, and Stefano La Via (eds), Arcangelo Corelli fra mito e realtà storica: nuove prospettive d’indagine musicologica e interdisciplinare nel 350o anniversario della nascita: atti del congresso internazionale di studi, Fusignano, 11–14 settembre 2003 (Florence, 2007), vol. 2, pp. 651–85. Forrest, A Voyage to New Guinea (1779), p. 105. Marsden, The History of Sumatra, pp. 157–8. Forrest, A Voyage from Calcutta, p. 55, footnote. In his account of a later voyage, Forrest includes an entry for ‘Guitar’ in ‘A Vocabulary of the Magindano Tongue’ (in which language he lists it as ‘Guitara’, this being probably a loanword from Spanish), which makes us wonder if he may have had such

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60.

61. 62.

63. 64. 65. 66.

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an instrument with him, and if he might have taken one on his earlier voyages. Forrest, A Voyage to New Guinea (1779), ‘A Vocabulary of the Magindano Tongue’, p. 5. Margaret Kartomi, ‘A Malay–Portuguese Synthesis on the West Coast of North Sumatra’, in Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco (ed.), Portugal and the World: The Encounter of Cultures in Music (Lisbon, 1997), pp. 289–321. C. R. Boxer, The Dutch Seaborne Empire, 1600–1800 (London, 1965), p. 240. Carl Engel, An Introduction to the Study of National Music: Comprising Researches into Popular Songs, Traditions, and Customs (London, 1866), pp. 346–7. Edward M. Frame, ‘The Musical Instruments of Sabah, Malaysia’, Ethnomusicology xxvi/2 (1982), p. 258. D. K. Bassett, ‘Introduction’, p. 13. Forrest, A Voyage to New Guinea (1779), p. 287. ‘Marriage Ceremony of the Son of Moodo, Heir Apparent to the Sultan of Magindano’, The Lady’s Magazine; or Entertaining Companion, for the Fair Sex, Appropriated Solely to their Use and Amusement x (London, 1779), pp. 228–30. M. J. Horne, The Adventures of Naufragus. Written by Himself (London, 1827), pp. 20–1.

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CHAPTER EIGHT Intercultural Exchange IN THE CITY OF MALACCA Katrina Gulliver

Malacca (Melaka) offers a unique lens for comparing colonising strategies within a city site, both between the European powers that colonised the city and over time as ideas of colonisation in Europe were evolving. The structures created as part of the built environment are significant for their visual effects, and for the residents’ psychological formation of the urban space. This visual impact is the direct result of the fact that Malacca was a centre of intercultural exchange: as a trading centre it was a site of exchange in the marketplace; the city itself was exchanged between foreign powers; and finally it became the site of more profound cultural and intellectual exchanges, especially in terms of debates on ideas of governance. Its original development as a trading centre between merchants from China and around the Indian Ocean came about because of its fortunate geographical position with regard to both the patterns of the monsoon and the availability of spices and other goods traded through the Malay Archipelago. Malacca came under the control of three different European powers: first the Portuguese in 1511, then the Dutch in 1641, and

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finally the British (first temporarily in 1795, then from 1824 as part of the Anglo-Dutch Treaty, in which the city was exchanged for Bengkulu in Sumatra). It also held an important role in the European expansionist imagination. Tomé Pires’ famous remark, ‘Whoever is lord of Malacca has his hand on the throat of Venice’, reflected a widely held view on its value to the spice trade.1 Similarly, English texts from the sixteenth century onwards demonstrate a desire to capture both the port and the cultural position that its name held as a symbol of wealth and exoticism. Malacca continued to be a significant locus of exchange – symbolic, cultural, and material – under European colonial control. Within the city we can see the re-use of symbolic sites with each new ruling group; within the community, exchanges in language, culture, and religion also took place, creating distinctive ethnic and regional identities. Despite the shift in European economies away from the spice trade, the city retained a certain symbolic value, outweighing its usefulness as an economic asset to its colonial masters. In this chapter I will therefore discuss the role of the city of Malacca as both the subject and the site of exchange. The architecture of Malacca demonstrated the purpose of the city – whether as a strategic site for defence, a trading post, an image of the metropolis (including the projection of Christianity), or some combination of all three. The Portuguese focused on military defence; the Dutch planned more centrally, dictating brick sizes and drainage in civil architecture; and the British incorporated Dutch buildings into their use of the city and focused on access and transport, particularly in the late nineteenth century as Malacca became a centre for the export of rubber. In addition to colonial styles of architecture, there existed (and still exist) both Malacca-style Malay houses and Chinese shophouses. As a colonial settlement, Malacca experienced endless recycling, in the re-use and adaptation of sites and buildings. The Portuguese built a large fort (A Famosa, ‘The Famous’) and city walls that surrounded all the European buildings; these walls both insulated and segregated the Portuguese from the rest of Malacca’s society. Later, the fort and other buildings were re-employed by the Dutch, who carved their

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own reliefs into the walls to demonstrate ownership. The Catholic church of Our Lady of the Annunciation was renamed St Paul’s and used for worship by members of the Dutch Reformed Church. The city thus demonstrates similarities as well as differences in urban creation between different European powers.

Building the City The term Golden Khersonese (or Chersonese) appears in Ptolemy’s Geography, referring to what was later confirmed (or supposed) to be the Malay Peninsula.2 This term was in use during the early modern period in Europe to refer more specifically to the region, as well as in a vaguer, more mythical sense to describe it as a site of treasure. During the late fifteenth century, the city of Malacca became known in Europe, and references to it began to appear in literature. During the Portuguese period, references became increasingly common, in both factual works (such as gazettes) and literature. Gasparo Balbi’s Viaggio dell’Indie Orientali of 1590 described Malacca’s location, what was to be bought there (especially sandoli and porcellane: sandalwood and porcelain), and detailed the dates of the monsoon season between Goa and Malacca.3 The overlap in usage between Malacca and the Golden Chersonese was discussed by the Jesuit José de Acosta, whose Historia natural y moral de las Indias (also of 1590) was published in an English translation in 1604: Is it not easie to find Molaco [sic] in ancient bookes, which they called the golden Chersonese: the Cape of Comori, which was called the Promontorie of Coci; & that great & famous Iland [sic] of Sumatra, so well knowne by the ancient name of Taprobana.4 The ‘great & famous Iland’ phrase demonstrates a level of knowledge in Europe about the East Indies, but also confusion and conflation of different parts of the Indies. Nonetheless, even by this stage (the English East India Company’s first voyage took place in 1601–3) the East Indies had become part of the mental map projected from Europe.

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Histories of colonialism tend to take two major approaches to city sites: one is that European colonialists took the opportunity to create ‘ideal’ cities, often based on the Renaissance vision of the perfect city with straight streets and boulevards, and a central square: a city ordered with visual symmetry and balance. The idea of building the ideal city from scratch was appealing precisely because it was something that could not easily be done in Europe, where many of the cities had developed organically over hundreds of years without central planning. These neoclassical ideas were highly influential, for instance, in the city planning of the Spanish in the Americas.5 They were also evident in some of the towns built by the British in India, which were constructed to appeal to an aesthetic of Oriental classicism, rather than resembling architecture in Britain. The second approach to understanding colonial cities is to examine city planners’ presumed intention to replicate the European metropolis. More than simply utilising known construction techniques and plans, this vision aimed to recreate the experience of living in Europe. Kernial Singh Sandhu and Paul Wheatley argue that, as far as they could within the limitations of climate, the Portuguese attempted to ‘create within the walled enclave of Melaka the ambience of an Iberian city’.6 Anthony King’s theories of the colonial city draw on these ideas, and epitomise much of the analysis of colonial urban development. He divides the colonial city into the ‘colonial urban settlement’ (the European base) and the ‘indigenous settlement’, and argues that ‘the first characteristic of the colonial city is that it is the product of a contact situation between at least two different cultures’.7 Leaving aside the definitional distinction of ‘colonial’ in this context, and the obvious fallacy of this argument for cities such as Sydney or Montreal (in which there was negligible indigenous influence on the cities themselves), it is even open to question how much it can be applied to Malacca, which fulfils more of these criteria. King’s analysis assumes a coloniser/colonised dichotomy that does not fully hold in this multiethnic city. By extending some of the same theories – for example, the division of the settlement along ethnic lines – the Chinese in Malacca could be seen as constituting a ‘colonial town’ without the power relationship implied in the term. Precisely because of its ability to

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defy easy categorisation, this city is an example of how one site can be a crucible of intercultural exchange, resulting in a distinctive urban culture.

Under the Portuguese It is problematic to apply the notion of ‘colony’, in the sense of a settler space and its attendant philosophies, to the Portuguese expansion goals at the time of the capture of Malacca. Having taken Goa a year earlier, in 1510, Afonso de Albuquerque (1453–1515) saw the potential to profit from the lucrative spice trade of the Indian Ocean, and turned his attention towards establishing a foothold in Southeast Asia. Malacca was the seat of a wealthy sultanate and was a major trading centre for merchants from many parts of the world, from Arabia to the Philippines.8 The Portuguese did not establish a large settlement of European civilians, nor did they hold much territory beyond the borders of the city itself. While their fortifications and plans for permanence at least hinted at extending their use of the city beyond its role as a trading factory, their attitude towards the Malay Peninsula seemed ambivalent. The pre-existing town was sizeable, and was described in 1510 as containing ‘approximately ten thousand homes, which are located along the sea and river. Those who live further away from the sea are at a distance of a little more than [a] cross-bow’s shot.’9 This observation suggests a population of at least 40,000, in housing clustered close to the sea. The context of the Portuguese arrival in Malacca must also be noted. The re-conquest of Europe, when the ‘Moors’ were driven out of southern Europe (particularly the Iberian Peninsula), had only been completed in 1492 – less than 20 years before the Portuguese conquest of Malacca. Although Portugal, unlike Spain, had not been under Muslim control for several hundred years, there were obviously lingering sentiments: even today in popular language and imagery in both Iberian countries, there are idiomatic expressions referring to ‘moors’ and the time of Al-Andalus. So we should not be surprised to find that the Islamic faith of the Malays was held to be noteworthy when the Portuguese wrote about Malacca. It is worth contrasting

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this attitude with that of the English, whose first expedition in 1601–3 was not so concerned with religious conflict. The letter from Queen Elizabeth I addressed the Sultan of Aceh as a brother.10 The empires of Europe also developed different ways of declaring their dominion over new-found lands.11 These differences became part of national myth-making in commemorating and justifying colonial claims. The oft-posited idea that the Portuguese were less racist than other Europeans, and that this supported (retrospective) justification for their role in Asia, is surely relevant to those who wish to assess European expansion comparatively.12 However, at the time of their capture of Malacca, there were no other European empires with which to make comparisons (Spain’s colonies in the Americas were only newly established). Gilberto Freyre’s notion of Lusotropicalism suggested that the Portuguese were ideally suited to colonisation of the tropics because they themselves were the ‘tropicals’ of Europe, and therefore not ‘fully’ European.13 Freyre applied this notion directly to Brazil, but it could usefully be applied to Malacca as well. He writes: Unlike the activities of other Europeans in the Tropics, those of the Portuguese have nearly always been an endeavour of great depth and purpose, which had its in some ways conscious and in other ways methodical beginnings with Prince Henry . . . They were, however, conscious that this mission did not mean subjugating oriental peoples . . . [rather, it] meant a much more complex process of adaptation, contemporisation, acclimatisation and adjustment, in fact, of interpretation of values or cultures, as well as the miscegenation they nearly always practised.14 Here a comparison between colonial powers is suggested, buttressed by Freyre’s further claim that Moorish heritage gave the Portuguese a particular affinity for the tropics: In the hot countries overseas the Portuguese were to find exaggerated or intensified the colours and forms and women and

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landscapes, flavours, scents, sensations, qualities in the soil and culture values that they knew already in less intense, lively and less crude forms in the parts of Portugal most deeply marked by Moorish occupation.15 The merits of his argument lie less in the discussion of Moorish influence and more in the exceptionalism of Portuguese tropical experience, in which they did differ from some other colonisers. The fact that Malacca was left with a relatively large Portuguese Eurasian community who retained a strong community identity serves to demonstrate the success of the Portuguese in forming a society of different ethnic groups, and this became one of the key influences in Malacca’s development.16 The urban environment at Malacca was shaped by the Portuguese, most famously in their construction of the fort, which delineated how the city’s growth would be defined by this imposed structure. The fort did not replicate an existing structure in Portugal, although it used Portuguese building styles. Instead, it had a fairly organic shape, responsive to the natural geography of the hill. The lack of a grand design for the city is an indication of the intentions of the Portuguese, in that they did not know how long they would stay and that they were not creating a large settler community. Building forts was something that they tended to focus on in their colonial efforts in other parts of the world, and a clear resemblance can be seen between the fort at Malacca and those at Mombasa, Goa, and elsewhere. A Famosa was constructed with a thick, heavy wall. While obviously designed to protect the city from attack, it created a strong separation of the city from the hinterland of the surrounding regions; this was a particularly significant feature when the city was ruled by foreigners. The walled city served visually to divorce Malacca from the surrounding region, just as the cultural influences within the walls were creating a culture distinctive from that of the neighbouring regions. In purely economic terms, the city was not a great success for the Portuguese: they were unable to regain the prosperity that it had

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enjoyed when it was ruled by the sultan. They acted in accordance with their Christian expansionist plans to the extent that – on paper at least – they took steps to limit Muslim trade in the town, which in turn reduced profitability. Malacca was, in fact, sustained by Macau’s duties, paid annually to Malacca and Goa.17 The true scale of the city’s economy during this period cannot be established, since much trade and exchange was unofficial, either via networks of private individuals or on the side (illegally) by agents of the state; it is also difficult to gauge because of the loss of documents, and the fact that much of the Portuguese empire ‘was created and functioned in the prestatistical age’.18 According to Victor Savage, Malacca was in the sixteenth century what Ayutthaya was in the seventeenth, a ‘comfortable and beautiful city for Western residents’.19 But while Malacca may have been beautiful, it was not precisely a city on European lines. Savage’s description also hints at the evolving European taste for the exotic, in listing the destinations of luxury living for European residents and the ways in which the perceived desirable space shifted around Asia over time.

Under the Dutch The Dutch made a series of attempts to seize Malacca, finally capturing the city after a lengthy siege in 1641. After they took possession, they did not attempt what they had initially tried (unsuccessfully) to do in Batavia: that is, to replicate a Dutch city. Nor did they bring large numbers of civilian settlers to Malacca who could serve as citizens of a ‘European’ city or as an audience for the official performance of Dutch identity. Thus the city continued to develop as an Asian city under European jurisdiction rather than as a European city in the tropics. One of the ramifications of the siege, however, was the decimation of the population; thus there was initially little need for new housing. Direct European influence on architecture during the early Dutch period did not extend much past official buildings, although early shophouses were constructed with Dutch bricks. The city itself was also not the wealthy entrepôt that the Dutch

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had hoped for. Malacca had been brought down by years of Dutch bombardment: they had ‘killed the goose that laid the golden egg’, and the city was in ruins.20 Guillaume Raynal, in his celebrated publication L’Histoire philosophique et politique des établissements et du commerce des Européens dans les deux Indes (1770), described the Dutch capture of the town as follows: A more interesting object turned the ambitious views of the Dutch towards Malacca. These republicans, who knew the importance of this place, used their utmost efforts to make themselves masters of it. Having failed in two attempts, they had recourse at last, if we may believe a satirical writer, to an expedient which a virtuous people will never employ; but which frequently answers the purpose of a degenerate nation. They endeavoured to bribe the Portuguese governor, whom they knew to be covetous. The bargain was concluded, and he introduced the enemy into the city in 1641. The besiegers hastened to his house and massacred him, to save the payment of the 500,000 livres they had promised him. But truth obliges us to declare, for the honour of the Portuguese, that they did not surrender till after a most obstinate defence. The commander of the victorious party asked the opposite commander, in a boasting strain which is not natural to his nation, when he would come back again to the place? When your crimes are greater than [ours], replied the Portuguese gravely.21 Here the Dutch are unflatteringly portrayed: they resort to bribery, which a ‘virtuous people’ would never do, and then to murder to avoid paying the bribe. The Portuguese are no better: they are depicted as greedy and corrupt. The line ‘when your crimes are greater than ours’ is a critique of the Dutch colonising strategy, while still acknowledging that all European expansion involved crimes. The fact that such accounts were circulating in France also demonstrates how activities in far-flung imperial posts were being followed in Europe and used to evaluate the different European states.22

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Dutch construction included St John’s Fort, which was situated for inland defence rather than defence against attack from the sea. Besides demonstrating the politics involved – that there was as great a threat to the city in an overland attack by Malay neighbours as in an attack from the sea – the fort serves to imply a visual dimension of hostility to the surrounding area and to reinforce the insularity of the city. The Dutch also built the Stadthuys (the town hall, which still survives and is now a museum), other administrative edifices, and private housing. But their arrival did not signal a rapid overhaul of the city, rather a slower evolution. Their repurposing of the Portuguese fort demonstrated this continuity.23 Under the Dutch, there was a small European population with few artisans or tradesmen, which meant that the European influence on material culture was less than it was in other colonies.24 Chinese and Indian artisans were often involved in construction and design, which led to the development of a unique visual idiom and helped to give the city and its residents a particular identity. By the nineteenth century, for example, the Peranakan (local-born) Chinese had developed a distinct identity, reflected in their cuisine and costume, and a distinct aesthetic in material culture and architecture. This group was made up of the descendants of early Chinese traders and Malay women, and its syncretic culture was particular to Malacca and to urban living. Those Malacca Peranakans who later moved to Penang and Singapore would take their culture and aesthetic with them.25 Significantly, Malacca did not rely on an agrarian hinterland, owing to its ‘unusually favourable position’ for sea trade.26 This favourability depended on supplies being conveyed from outside and a certain level of trade being sustained; however, this was not always maintained under the Dutch. Nevertheless, Malacca’s economic position helped to accelerate the development of a distinctive localised urban identity, separate from the culture of the surrounding areas. Just as the city had disappointed the Portuguese, it was no more of an economic success for the Dutch, as described by Raynal: The conquerors found a strong-built fort; a very healthy climate, though hot and damp; but the trade was entirely decayed; the

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continual exactions having deterred all nations from resorting there. It has not been revived by the company, either on account of some insuperable difficulties, or the want of moderation, or the fear of injuring Batavia. The transactions at present are confined to a small quantity of opium and gold, some linens, tin, and ivory.27 The description mentions the Portuguese fort, and their notable skill in such constructions; Malacca’s lack of economic success is attributed to tax and duty impositions. In 1807, the British caretaker administration (the city was still officially Dutch) planned to destroy the fort and major buildings and evacuate the town. Britain was creating another trading port in Penang and did not want a rival, should Malacca fall into the hands of another European power. This reflected a fear of a state of ‘permanence’ that the Portuguese fort had already demonstrated. However, the local residents did not wish to leave. In the end, the boundary fort was mostly destroyed but the rest of the town saved. Visually, this changed the city entirely, breaking the division between ‘colonial’ and ‘local’ zones of the city. The period of British rule also saw the establishment of Singapore, which drew away much of Malacca’s labouring and trading population.28 The fact that the residents (who were primarily Chinese and Eurasian) did not wish to leave and relocate to Penang shows their attachment to Malacca, and that it was not just ‘another trading port’ for a sojourning community of merchants.

Under the British Whereas accounts of Malacca in the sixteenth century see it as a metropolis, demonstrating some of the elements of cosmopolitan modernity which were just beginning to shape the urban experience in Europe, the descriptions had changed by the nineteenth century to represent the city as a sleepy backwater. This image was based partly on reality, since Malacca’s importance as a trade centre had declined, and partly on the changed circumstances of colonisation. London had become the heart of a huge empire, a metropolis of which all British

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colonial cities were outposts. William Guthrie wrote of Malacca in 1801: Some missionaries pretend that it is the Golden Chersonesus or Peninsula of the ancients, and the inhabitants used to measure their riches by bars of gold. The truth is, that the excellent situation of this country admits of a trade with India; so that when it was first discovered by the Portuguese, who were afterwards expelled by the Dutch, Malacca was the richest city in the East, next to Goa and Ormus, being the key of the China, the Japan, the Moluccas, and the Sunda trade. The country, however, at present, is chiefly valuable for its trade with the Chinese. This degeneracy of the Malayans, who were formerly an industrious, ingenious people, is easily accounted for, by the tyranny of the Dutch, whose interest it is they should never recover from their present state of ignorance and slavery.29 By this stage, the mythical status of Malacca as a store of wealth was sliding somewhat, with the Dutch being blamed in this account for the city’s economic decline. It adds another layer of complication, namely the fact that colonies were used to judge other European states, both in terms of their power and in terms of their methods of conquest and rule. In Malacca, significantly, an account also exists from the Malay side, which compares the Dutch and the British from the perspective of the local residents. Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir (often called Munshi Abdullah) had grown up in Malacca and became a scribe for Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles. He wrote that, after the Treaty of Vienna of 1815, which had returned Malacca to the Dutch following a period of British ‘caretaker’ control, the majority of the Malacca folk of all races were glad that the Dutch were taking back the Settlement, for they thought they would be better off than under English rule. But they did not realize that the newcomers were leeches who would suck the very blood from their bodies.30

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The Dutch administration was different from that of the British: taxes were raised and new ones imposed, creating greater hardship for the poor. There was also a tax on house construction. Views of the British changed so swiftly that, when they returned eight years later, they were welcomed. Abdullah described his own experience of the handover: After I had been [back] in Malacca for a month the English came suddenly to take the Settlement out of the hands of the Dutch. This was in the year 1823, Malacca having been exchanged by the English for Bencoolen. Now at last I noticed that all races in Malacca were pleased, for they had tasted the bitter nastiness of Dutch rule. At the time when the Dutch had taken over Malacca from the English the majority of people had felt glad because they thought that the Dutch were much better people than the English. But they had now felt the iron hand of the Dutch and welcomed the return of English rule.31 Abdullah was closely linked to the British administration in Singapore when he wrote his memoir, so his perspective cannot be assumed to be entirely impartial. Nonetheless, his views merit consideration as an example of the reputation of the Dutch falling so spectacularly in the eyes of some residents of Malacca. One particularly useful source for urban historians seeking data on a city’s population is supplied by court records, as Radin Fernando has demonstrated in the case of Malacca. His research into criminal trials in the city has revealed instances such as a Portuguese (or perhaps Portuguese Eurasian) man who was murdered by a slave from Sumatra (who was owned by a Chinese man), with the case being prosecuted by Dutch lawyers under the British administration. Evidence of social interactions, friendships, and other informal relationships makes clear the connections across racial and ethnic lines.32 It was also under British rule that the distinctive architecture of Malacca, particularly the shophouse, developed. Typically, this kind of building has two or more storeys, with the residents generally using the ground floor for commercial purposes, such as running a

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business or practising a craft; the upper floors are reserved for private living space. The building is not free-standing but connected to several other shophouses to form a terrace or block. These blocks then make up streets and squares. A shophouse characteristically features a kaki lima (a verandahed walkway extending five feet from the frontage). This covered path typically has an arched opening connecting one house with the next, providing a continuous walkway along the façade of the shophouse block, and offering pedestrians protection from both the heat of the sun and tropical rain, as well as helping to keep the houses cool. (Stamford Raffles was so impressed with the practicality of this design that he mandated ‘five foot ways’ in the new city of Singapore.) The first shophouses were built under the Dutch, but the evolution of distinctive design motifs that have become known as Straits Baroque came into being while the city was under British control. The fact that there was no large European civilian population to exert influence on design was an important element in the development of local visual style. In fact, the influence often went in the other direction, with Malaccan structures being built by the colonial power in a reflection of the Straits Chinese idiom. This is an interesting example of colonial cultural hybridity in the built environment, perhaps parallel to the use of Indo-Saracenic architecture in British India. However, whereas the latter was a projection of an idealised Indic architecture, in tandem with the ideal of an exoticised classical city design, the use of Straits Baroque in Malacca drew on existing local architecture in the use of decorative features. At the end of the nineteenth century, hints of Malacca’s former grandeur were still common in observers’ accounts of the city and its history. For example, in one typical narrative (published 1883) of the Portuguese arrival in Malacca, the author Isabella Bird described how the port was seized: [they] sacked it, slaughtered the Moors (Mohammedans) who defended it, destroyed its twenty-five thousand houses abounding in gold, pearls, precious stones, and spices, and on its site had built a fortress with walls fifteen feet thick, out of the ruins of

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its mosques. The king, who fought upon an elephant, was badly wounded and fled. Further, on hearing of the victory, the King of Siam, from whom Malacca had been ‘usurped by the Moors’, sent to the conqueror a cup of gold, a carbuncle, and a sword inlaid with gold. This conquest was vaunted of as a great triumph of the Cross over the Crescent, and as its result, by the year 1600, nearly the whole commerce of the Straits had fallen into the hands of the Portuguese.33 From a distance, Malacca retained its image as a centre for all impressions of the mysterious and decadent East.

Conclusion Malacca’s economic decline meant that it was not faced with a rapid development in the landscape until the twentieth century. This slow acculturation of different influences helped to create the city’s hybrid community. It also contributed to the state of ‘antique modernity’ in which it found itself at the end of the nineteenth century. The survival of various elements of the colonial city thus makes it a rich resource for the historian. The British and Dutch approach to colonialism was very different from that of the Iberian powers, and there has yet to be a social theorist suggesting any affinity for tropicalism being heritable in the colonialist endeavours of Britain and the Netherlands. While Freyre’s ethnographic claims about Portuguese tropicalism may seem dubious, they do resonate as a state of mind and a sense of the colonisers’ national identity, given that behaviour in colonies was seen to exemplify the essential national characteristics of each European group (in the eyes of their observers, particularly rival European nations). In Malacca, Portuguese, Dutch, and British colonialism also contributed to the pre-existing ‘condition of racial and cultural diversity characteristic of the region’.34 The fact that this city saw rule by three European powers, each expressing their own form of cultural influence, would alone have made it distinctive – among a limited group of colonised sites that

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experienced similar kinds of multiple, overlapping transitions between colonial powers. However, the multi-ethnic population also served to exert its own cultural forces, resulting in new adaptations: languages and cultures born of these hybridities are still spoken and practised. Malacca’s unique heritage led to the symbolic use of the city for the ceremonies marking independence of the Malay states from Britain in 1957. On the very site where Europeans had gained their first foothold on the Malay Peninsula, a European flag was lowered for the last time.

References 1. Tomé Pires, The Suma Oriental of Tomé Pires: An Account of the East, From the Red Sea to Japan, Written in Malacca and India in 1512–1515. The Book of Francisco Rodrigues, Rutter of a Voyage in the Red Sea, Nautical Rules, Almanack and Maps, Written and Drawn in the East Before 1515, trans. and ed. Armando Cortesão, 2 vols (London, 1944), vol. 2, p. 287. 2. Paul Wheatley, The Golden Khersonese: Studies in the Historical Geography of the Malay Peninsula before A.D. 1500 (Kuala Lumpur, 1961), p. 138. 3. Gasparo Balbi, Viaggio dell’Indie Orientali, di Gasparo Balbi, gioielliero venetiano. Nel quale si contiene quanto egli in detto viaggio ha veduto per lo spatio di 9. anni consumati in esso dal 1579 fino al 1588. Con la relatione de i datii, pesi, & misure di tutte le città di tal viaggio, & del governo del rè del Pegù, & delle guerre fatte da lui con altri rè d’Avvà & di Sion. Con la tavola delle cose più notabili (Venice, 1590). 4. José de Acosta, The Naturall and Morall Historie of the East and West Indies: Intreating of the Remarkeable Things of Heaven, of the Elements, Mettalls, Plants and Beasts which are Proper to that Country: Together with the Manners, Ceremonies, Lawes, Governments, and Warres of the Indians, trans. E. G. (London, 1604; first published in Spanish, Seville, 1590), p. 37. 5. For a detailed study, see Richard L. Kagan, Urban Images of the Hispanic World, 1493–1793 (New Haven, 2000). 6. Kernial Singh Sandhu and Paul Wheatley, ‘From Capital to Municipality’, in Kernial Singh Sandhu and Paul Wheatley

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7.

8.

9.

10.

11. 12.

13.

14. 15. 16.

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(eds), Melaka: The Transformation of a Malay Capital c.1400–1980 (Kuala Lumpur, 1983), vol. 2, p. 531. Anthony D. King, Colonial Urban Development: Culture, Social Power and Environment (London, 1976), p. 34. See also Robbie B. H. Goh and Brenda S. A. Yeoh, ‘Urbanism and Post-Colonial Nationalities: Theorizing the Southeast Asian City’, in Robbie B. H. Goh and Brenda S. A. Yeoh (eds), Theorizing the Southeast Asian City as Text: Urban Landscapes, Cultural Documents, and Interpretative Experiences (Singapore, 2003), pp. 1–11. See C. R. Boxer, The Portuguese Seaborne Empire, 1415–1825 (London, 1969); Luís Filipe F. Reis Thomaz, Early Portuguese Malacca (Macau, 2000); and Liam Matthew Brockey, ‘Introduction: Nodes of Empire’, in Liam Matthew Brockey (ed.), Portuguese Colonial Cities in the Early Modern World (Farnham, 2008), pp. 1–14. Rui de Araujo, ‘Letter to D. Afonso de Albuquerque, Malacca, 6 February’ (1510), in M. J. Pintado (trans.), Portuguese Documents on Malacca, vol. 1 (Kuala Lumpur, 1993), p. 131. On the letter of Elizabeth I to the King (Sultan) of Aceh, see Robert Markley, ‘Riches, Power, Trade and Religion: The Far East and the English Imagination, 1600–1720’, Renaissance Studies xvii/3 (2003), pp. 497–501. See Patricia Seed, Ceremonies of Possession in Europe’s Conquest of the New World, 1492–1640 (Cambridge, 1995). Luís Madureira, ‘Tropical Sex Fantasies and the Ambassador’s Other Death: The Difference in Portuguese Colonialism’, Cultural Critique xxviii (1994), pp. 149–73. Gilberto Freyre, The Portuguese and the Tropics: Suggestions Inspired by the Portuguese Methods of Integrating Autochthonous Peoples and Cultures Differing from the European in a New, or Luso-Tropical Complex of Civilisation, trans. Helen M. D’O. Matthew and F. de Mello Moser (Lisbon, 1961). Ibid., p. 32. Ibid., p. 46. On the Portuguese in Southeast Asia, see Radin Fernando, ‘Metamorphosis of the Luso-Asian Diaspora in the Malay

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17.

18.

19. 20.

21.

22.

23. 24. 25.

253

Archipelago, 1640–1795’, in Peter Borschberg (ed.), Iberians in the Singapore–Melaka Area and Adjacent Regions (16th to 18th Century) (Wiesbaden, 2004), pp. 161–84. For a discussion of the economics of Portugal’s Asian territories, see George Bryan Souza, The Survival of Empire: Portuguese Trade and Society in China and the South China Sea 1630–1754 (Cambridge, 1986), and A. J. R. Russell-Wood, A World on the Move: The Portuguese in Africa, Asia, and America, 1415–1808 (Manchester, 1992). Stuart B. Schwartz, ‘The Economy of the Portuguese Empire’, in Francisco Bethencourt and Diogo Ramada Curto (eds), Portuguese Oceanic Expansion, 1400–1800 (Cambridge, 2007), p. 20. Victor R. Savage, Western Impressions of Nature and Landscape in Southeast Asia (Singapore, 1984), p. 282. Doreen E. Greig, The Reluctant Colonists: Netherlanders Abroad in the 17th and 18th Centuries (Assen and Wolfeboro, NH, 1987), p. 255. Abbé (Guillaume-Thomas-François) Raynal, A Philosophical and Political History of the Settlements and Trade of the Europeans in the East and West Indies. Revised, Augmented and Published in Ten Volumes by the Abbé Raynal, trans. J. O. Justamond, 8 vols (London, 1783), vol. 1, p. 289. For a clear explanation of the ways in which these narratives of Malacca’s fall to the Dutch were a coded critique of Portuguese expansion, as part of the anti-Iberian ‘Black Legend’, see Stefan Halikowski-Smith, ‘“Insolence and Pride”: Problems with the Representation of the South-East Asian Portuguese Communities in Alexander Hamilton’s “A New Account of the East Indies” (1727)’, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Series 3, xix/2 (2009), pp. 213–35. Barbara Watson Andaya, ‘Melaka Under the Dutch, 1641– 1795’, in Sandhu and Wheatley (eds), Melaka, vol. 1, p. 200. Ibid., p. 206. See Chee Beng Tan, The Baba of Melaka: Culture and Identity of a Chinese Peranakan Community in Malaysia (Petaling Jaya, 1988).

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26. M. A. P. Meilink-Roelofsz, Asian Trade and European Influence in the Indonesian Archipelago between 1500 and about 1630 (The Hague, 1962), p. 7. 27. Raynal, A Philosophical and Political History, vol. 1, pp. 289–90. 28. For Malacca’s trading role at this stage, see Nordin Hussin, Trade and Society in the Straits of Melaka: Dutch Melaka and English Penang, 1780–1830 (Copenhagen and Singapore, 2007). 29. William Guthrie, A New Geographical, Historical, and Commercial Grammar: and Present State of the Several Kingdoms of the World (London, 1801), p. 765. 30. Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir, The Hikayat Abdullah: The Autobiography of Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir, 1797–1854, trans. A. H. Hill (Singapore, 1969), p. 137. 31. Ibid., p. 242. 32. Radin Fernando, Murder Most Foul: A Panorama of Social Life in Melaka from the 1780s to the 1820s (Kuala Lumpur, 2006); for the case of the slave, Lumut, see pp. 25–34. 33. Isabella L. Bird, The Golden Chersonese and the Way Thither (London, 1883), p. 2. 34. Goh and Yeoh, ‘Urbanism and Post-Colonial Nationalities’, p. 2.

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INDEX

Abbé, Charles l’, 107–8 Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir, 247–8 Abdullah, Sultan (Karaeng Matoaya, ruler of Tallo’), 38 Acapulco, 123 Aceh, 29–30, 31, 33, 37, 53n54, 53n55, 203, 207, 217, 218, 221–2, 241 Acosta, José de, 238 Adler, Carl Friedrich, 169 Aeta people, 131, 133 Agnew, Vanessa, 206 Agung, Sultan (ruler of Mataram), 35–6 Akbar, Mughal emperor (r.1556–1605), 44 Al-Andalus, 240 Ala’ud-din Muhammad Shah, Sultan (ruler of Aceh), 218 Ala’ud-din Ri’ayat Shah al-Mukammil, Sultan (ruler of Aceh), 203, 241 Albuquerque, Afonso de, 240 Alexander the Great, 42 Ali, 177, 184 Amaral, Gaspar de, 96 Amboina. See Ambon Ambon, 155–6, 158n2, 166–7, 191n10, 229n22 Ana, 98

Albert_Index.indd Sec1:280

Anatolia, 154 ancestor cults of the Chinese in Batavia (Jakarta), 180 of the Pacific, 138–9 of Tonkin and Cochinchina, 90 Andaya, Barbara Watson, 152 Andaya, Leonard, 39, 40 Anglo-Dutch Treaty (1824), 237 Angri (Anyer), 172, 186 animals. See baboons; bird of paradise; birds; chameleon; crocodiles; dog; elephants; fish; insects; Javanese otter (‘water dog’); Javanese squirrel; lizard (from Java); monkeys; mouse deer; orang-utan; parrots; rhinoceros; sharks; snakes; tigers; turtles; water buffalo animism, 34, 38–9, 118–20, 123–5, 128–9, 133–4, 137, 139. See also Maguayen Antipolo, 123 Virgin of Antipolo, 121–6 Anyer. See Angri Arabia, 2, 240 Aragatu, 67 Arakan, 8, 65, 68, 69–75, 78 architecture, 237, 243, 245, 248–9 art drawings by J. Brandes, 196n61

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INDEX drawings by C. F. Hornstedt, 162, 174–6, 178, 182–3, 198n81 of colonial Philippines, 118–39 of pre-Hispanic Philippines, 120, 125, 138 Arthus, Gothard, 7 Augustinians, 89, 112n9, 137 Aung-Thwin, Michael Arthur, 8 Aviado, Lutgarda A., 136, 137–8 Avicenna. See Ibn Si¯na¯ Ayutthaya, 85, 243 Azores, 173 Bà Cai Vach Ðich, 108 babaylan, 119, 121, 139 baboons, 161 Bac Trach, 101 Bacan, 39, 207 baftas, 208–10 Balbi, Gasparo, 238 Baldinotti, Giuliano, 89 Bali, 36, 47n10, 52n50, 52n51, 53n53, 147 Balinese medicine, 150–1, 153 Ban Chiang, 8 Banda, 166 Banggai, 39 Bantam. See Banten Banten, 31, 42, 172 Barboza, Antonio, 98 Barros, João de, 164 Bassett, D. K., 223 Batangas, 134 Batavia. See Jakarta Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences (Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen), 162, 164, 170, 172, 174, 182, 189 bells, 75–6 Bengal, 2, 28, 66 Bengkulu, 207, 215, 237 Bertam, 42 betel chewing, 148, 175 Bible, 192n19 Bicol, 129, 132–3

Albert_Index.indd Sec1:281

281

bird of paradise, 181, 187, 198n83, 208 Bird, Isabella, 249–50 birds, 183, 188, 198n81 Bondt, Jakob de, 147–50, 167–8, 181, 185, 192n22 Bontius, Jacobus. See Bondt, Jakob de Borneo, 31, 172, 173, 222 Borromeo, Federico, 91 botany, 134, 144–57, 158n6, 167–70, 180, 187–9, 192n20 Boves, João André, 66–8, 70, 74 Boxer, Charles Ralph, 153 Brandes, Jan, 197n61 Brazil, 241, 192n22 breadfruit, 123–4 Brewer, Carolyn, 124, 128 British, 203–25, 246–50 Brito e Nicote, Filipe de, 63, 66–7, 70, 71–8 Bruijn, Cornelis de, 166 Brunei, 37, 54n57 Bry, Johann Israel de, 165 Bry, Johann Theodor de, 165 Buddhism, 8, 24, 26–7, 34, 47n9, 53n53, 56n76, 60–2, 65–6, 68–70, 73–9, 88, 92, 96–8. See also Dhamma; Hindu-Buddhism; Sangha, Buddhist Bugis, 31, 38, 55n67 Bunag Gatbonton, Esperanza, 124 Burma, 13, 16, 61–79 Buschoff, Herman, 144–5, 156–7 Busomi, Francesco, 89 Cabral, João, 89 Cambodia 47n9 Camper, Petrus, 200n94 Canton, 168, 169, 171 Cape of Good Hope, 145, 170, 171, 173 Capuchins, 67 Cardim, Antonio, 98 Carvalho, Diogo, 89 Casal, Gabriel, 120, 125

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282

INTERCULTUR AL EXCHANGE

catalonan, 119, 121, 139 catechists, 86, 95–9, 102–4, 107–10 Caterina, 97–8 Catholicism. See Christianity Caysasay, 136–7 Virgin of Caysasay (Birhen ng Caysasay), 134–7 Cebu, 40, 120 Celebes. See Sulawesi Ceylon. See Sri Lanka chameleon, 173, 181, 184 Chevreuil, Louis, 92 China, 1, 2, 29, 43, 147, 149, 169, 179, 186, 213, 227n12 trade with China, 122, 145, 146, 168, 186, 236, 247 vassalage to China, 29 Catholic mission in China, 85, 94 Chinese, 4, 126, 149, 186, 245 Chinese people in Southeast Asia, 29, 54n57, 57n84, 126, 149, 175, 178–80, 186, 189, 237, 239, 245–6, 248–9 in Batavia, 178–80, 197n75 language, 89 Chindwin, Lower, 67, 69 Chittagong, 66–8 Christianity, 23, 26, 38–40, 61, 65–71, 73–9, 84–110, 118–39, 151–3, 237 Cirebon, 213 city-states, 28–33, 37 Claesz, Cornelis, 10 clothing. See dress Cobarrubias, Miguel de, 131 Cochin, 66 Cochin, Bishopric of, 76 Cochinchina, 84–111. See also Vietnam coffee, 161, 187 Colín, Francisco, 137 colonialism, 118, 189, 224, 239, 241–2, 250 criticism of, 175, 194n32, 200n104 Confucianism, 88, 90, 96 Confucius, 90

Albert_Index.indd Sec1:282

IN

SOUTHEAST A SIA

Constantine I, emperor of Rome (r.306–37), 23, 35 contact zone, 10, 225 conversion, religious, 23–45, 73–9, 84–110 Cook, James, 174, 201n107 Corelli, Arcangelo, 218, 219–20, 222, 234n55 Costa, Bartolomeu da, 107–8 cotton. See baftas Council of Trent. See Trent, Council of Courtaulin, Jean de Maguelonne, 104 courts, 15, 34, 37–8, 42, 44, 59–60, 66, 68–9, 79, 165, 211–22 crocodiles, 162, 167, 181 Cruz, Juan de la, 105 Ðà Na˘˜ng, 88 Dairval, Charles César Baudelot de, 5 Dampier, William, 204 dance, 15, 119, 177, 179, 204, 211, 221, 230n30 Debussy, Claude, 15–16 Demak, Sultanate of, 29, 31 Deshima, 170 Deydier, François, 84, 94, 100–2, 106, 108 Dhamma, 97 Dhammazedi, 75 Dianga, 66–70, 74–5, 78 Díaz, Antonio (Jesuit), 89 dog, 2, 132–3 Dominicans, 66–8, 70, 78, 95, 105, 108, 127 Dory Harbour. See Teluk Dore Drake, Francis, 203, 225n1 Drakenstein, Hendrik van Reede tot, 167 drama. See wayang theatre drawings. See art dress (clothing), 96, 138, 168, 173, 175, 179, 184 of images in Philippines, 125–6, 128–9, 134–5 drums, 7, 76, 213–4

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INDEX Dutch East India Company (VOC), 145, 147, 150–5, 163, 165–70, 187, 189, 200n104 Dutch, 1, 10, 32, 35, 38, 127, 144–57, 163–90, 200n94, 208, 212, 221 in Malacca, 229n22, 237–8, 243–50 early modern period, definition as applied to Southeast Asia, 7–9 Ebn Molana, 176 elephants, 7, 76, 250 Elizabeth I, Queen of England, 241 Engel, Carl, 222 England, 223–4 Erédia, Emanuel Godhino de, 151 Estado da Índia, 4, 60, 62–7, 69, 71–2, 75, 78–9 Ethiopia, 94 Eurasians, 242, 246, 248. See also mestizos Eurocentricity, 9 European chronicles, 164–8 Faifo. See HÔ∙i An Famosa, A (Portuguese fort, Malacca), 14, 237, 242, 249 Faria e Sousa, Manuel de, 71 Fernandes, Francisco, 66, 69–70 Fernández-Armesto, Felipe, 12 Ferreyra, Manoel, 67 fertility, 26, 121, 124, 133, 138–9 fish, 182, 184, 198n81 flowers, 123, 125, 148–9, 156, 161 flute, 204, 208–9, 211–2, 218, 220–1, 223–4, 229n18 Fonseca, Manoel da, 67, 69, 77–8 Fonseca, Nicolas de, 107–8 Fonseca, Vicente de, 1 Forrest, Thomas, 11, 16, 203–25 Fort Marlborough (Bengkulu, Sumatra), 215, 216 Fort Victoria (Ambon), 156 Franciscans, 67, 89–90, 95, 138 Freyre, Gilberto, 241, 250

Albert_Index.indd Sec1:283

283

Fuciti, Domenico, 102–3 funerals, Chinese, 179–80, 189 Galen, 154 Galvão, António, 39 Gelgel, 36 Goa, 1, 63–5, 66, 72–3, 153, 238, 240, 242, 243, 247 Golden Khersonese, 238 Gonçalo, Father (known as O Granço), 67, 78 gongs, 211, 213–4 Gonsalves y Tibão, Sebastião, 67 Gorospe, Vitaliano, 130–1 gout, 144–5, 156–7 Gouw Puansuij, 179, 197n75 Gowa, 31, 38, 42 Greifswald, University of, 173 Gresik, Sultanate of, 29, 31 Griego, João Maria, 67, 68 Guat, François Le, 166 Guerreiro, Fernão, 73–4 Gunn, Geoffrey C., 9–10 Guthrie, William, 247 Hakluyt, Richard, 165 Hall, Kenneth, 8 Hasanudin, 31 healers and healing, 26, 35, 56n79, 87–8, 92, 132–3, 137, 146–7, 149, 152, 154. See also medicinal knowledge Henry, Prince, 241 Hesse, Elias, 151 Heydt, Johann Wolfgang, 166 Hindu-Buddhism, 27, 32, 35, 37, 40, 42–3, 52n53, 54n57 Hinduism, 10, 26–7, 31, 34, 36–8, 42, 44, 53n53, 56n76, 58n97, 61 historiography, European, 9–11, 59 HÔ∙i An (Faifo), 88, 104 Holland, 165, 167, 169, 173 holy water, 89, 91, 97, 103 Hornstedt, Clas Fredrik, 14, 161–90

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284

INTERCULTUR AL EXCHANGE

Horsfield, Thomas, 189 Hsaya-daw, Mei-hti, 76–7 Hué, 98 Humabon, 40 Hungary, 221 hybridity, cultural, 15, 36, 206, 221, 249, 251 Ibn Si¯na¯, 154 immanent divinity, 26, 34–6 India, 3–4, 8–9, 10, 44, 145, 146, 153-4, 167, 169, 187, 191n12, 200n100, 204, 234n55, 239, 249 Indian influence and trade in Southeast Asia, 27–28, 30, 34–6, 51n47, 53n53, 55n67, 58n94, 147, 236, 247 Indians in Southeast Asia, 2, 77, 207, 215, 227n12, 245 Catholic missions in India, 95 Indonesia, 3, 124, 138, 144–58. See also Aceh; Bugis; Demak; Gresik; Java; Maluku; Minangkabau; Pasai; Sulawesi; Sumatra insects, 183, 198n81, 199n90 Irrawaddy Delta, 72 Iskandar Syah. See Paramesvara Islam, 23–45, 176–7, 240. See also monism; Sufism Jakarta (Batavia), 3, 35, 109, 147, 149, 151–2, 162–7, 169–90, 196n61, 197n66, 221, 243, 246 Japan, 1, 2, 8, 24, 170, 227n12, 247 trade with Japan, 4, 5, 145 Japanese medicine, 174 Catholic mission in Japan, 66, 89, 94–5 Japanese, 4–5, 66, 89, 95, 104, 174 Jaspers, Karl, 24 Java, 15, 29, 31–8, 42–44, 51n39, 52n50, 52n53, 53n53, 144–58, 161–90. See also pasisir Javanese otter (‘water dog’), 184, 199n92 Javanese squirrel, 173

Albert_Index.indd Sec1:284

IN

SOUTHEAST A SIA

Javellana, René, 131 Jawi script, 180, 233n47, 233n49 Jesuits, 39, 41, 66–8, 70, 73, 76, 78, 85–7, 89–91, 94–110, 123, 137, 231n34, 234n55, 238 Jesus Christ, 100–1, 120, 128, 130–1 John Paul II, Pope, 128 Johns, A. H., 28 Johor, Sultanate of, 29 Jose, Regalado Trota, 120, 125 Kangxi Emperor, 231n34 Kartomi, Margaret, 221 Kasim, Raja, 43 Ké Bó, 98–9 Ké Mão, 101 Kedah, 31 King, Anthony, 239 kingship, 26–7, 29, 33, 36–7, 41–4, 46n7, 49n19, 53n54 Kiöping, Nils Mattson, 169 kulintang, 211, 213–4 Kumuzayu Anthony, 67 Kybad Zachariel, raja muda of Maguindanao, 211–13 Labac, 136 Lancaster, James, 203 language(s), 3, 5–7, 89, 93, 152, 154, 173, 237, 251 Lapland, 170 Lê dynasty, 87–8 Legazpi, Miguel López, 118 Leiden, 148 León, Luis de, 124 Lingga, 224 Linnaean system and method, 162–3, 168–71, 184–90, 199n87 Linnaeus, Carl (Carl von Linné, 1707–78), 14, 162–4, 167, 168–71, 181–2, 187–8, 190n5, 199n87, 200n101 Linné, Carl von. See Linnaeus, Carl Linschoten, Jan Huyghen van, 1–5, 9–11

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INDEX Lisbon, 1, 18n10, 63, 64, 65, 66 lizard (from Java), 161–2 Loarca, Miguel de, 119 London, 216, 246 Luz, Belchior da, 67 Luzon, 129, 134. See also Batangas; Taal Macauyan. See Maguayen Magalhães, Fernão de, 40, 120, 198n83 Magdalena, 98 Magellan, Ferdinand. See Magalhães, Fernão de Maguayen, 124–5, 138 Maguindanao, Sultanate of, 211. See also Mindanao Majapahit, 31–2, 36, 50n30, 52n51, 55n67, 164–5 Makassar, 38–9, 41–2, 55n67, 57n81, 172, 173 Malabar Coast, 167 Malacca. See Melaka malaria, 195n49 Malay Annals. See Sejarah Melayu Malay language, 3, 7, 152, 155, 172, 177, 179, 192n19, 197n66, 204, 215–6, 218, 220, 232n45 Malay songs. See songs, Malay Malays, 149, 151, 204, 207, 215, 232n45, 240, 245, 247 Malaysia. See Johor; Kedah; Melaka; Pahang; Sabah Maluku (Moluccas), 30, 39–40, 55n69, 167, 207, 228n17, 247. See also Bacan; Spice Islands; Ternate; Tidore Manado, 39 Mandeville, Sir John, 164 Manila, 85, 88, 121, 123, 127–8, 137, 189 Diocese of, 85, 121 Maningcad, Juan, 136 Manrique, Sebastião, 70 Manuel, Dom (ruler of Bacan, Maluku), 39 Manunggul jar, 138 manuscripts (Chinese, Javanese, Malay), 177, 179, 197n67

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285

Marini, Giovanni Filippo, 97 Marquez, Pedro, 89 marriage, 151–3, 175. See also weddings Marsden, William, 204, 215, 218, 221, 226n6, 232n45 Martinez, Leony, 136–7 Martins, Ignacio, 102 Mary, Virgin. See Virgin Mary Mát, Martin, 106 Mataram 32, 35–6, 50n31, 166 Matos, Bento de, 90 Matos, Gabriel de, 89 Mauss, Marcel, 206 Mecca, 184, 186, 207 medicinal knowledge, 97, 123, 132, 144–57, 167, 173–5, 180, 185, 187, 200n100 Melaka (Malacca), 2–3, 12, 14–15, 29–31, 37, 42–3, 88, 151, 165, 229n22, 236–51 stories of origin, 2–3 Diocese of, 85, 99, 107 Mengradzagyi, ruler of Arakan (r. 1592–1612), 69–71, 73, 78 MEP. See Société des Missions Étrangères de Paris (MEP) Mercado, Monina A., 121, 126 mestizos, 4, 12, 63, 95, 151 Mexico, 122 Miller, W. G., 211, 225 Minangkabau, 29 Mindanao, 204, 207, 211–16, 223, 228n16, 230n30, 231n41. See also Maguindanao, Sultanate of missionaries. See Augustinians; Dominicans; Franciscans; Jesuits; Société des Missions Étrangères de Paris (MEP) Moluccas. See Maluku Mombasa, 242 monism, 36, 41. See also Islam; Sufism monkeys, 173 monsoons, 236, 238 Montefuscoli, Francesco, 87

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286

INTERCULTUR AL EXCHANGE

Montilla, Francisco, 90 Montreal, 239 Morga, Antonio de, 119 Motte, Pierre Lambert de la, 102 mouse deer, 2, 173, 182–3 Mousinho, Manuel de Abreu, 72 moxibustion, 145, 156, 174 Mrauk-U, 69 Muhammad Selim Shah, Sultan (ruler of Aceh), 217–8 Munshi Abdullah. See Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir Murillo, Bartolomé, 138 music, 15–16, 136, 177–8, 180, 186, 203–25. See also bells; drums; flute; gongs; kulintang; music notation; musical transcription; musicans, slave; trumpet; violin music notation, 178, 211, 213. See also musical transcription musical instruments. See bells; drums; flute; gongs; kulintang; trumpet; violin musical transcription, 178, 211, 213, 216, 230n33, 231n34 musicians, slave, 221, 229n22 Muslims. See Islam Naga City, 129 Nagasaki Bay, 170 Netherlands, 250. See also Holland; United Provinces New Guinea. See Papuans; West Papua Nguyeˆ˜n, rulers of Cochinchina, 87–8 Nias, 207 Nicholas of Tolentino, Saint, 137 Nieuhof, Johan, 166 Nishi Tomé, 89 Noroña, Francisco, 189 Nunes, Diego, 67, 78 Nuñez, Blasius, 67 Oc Eo, 8 Odoric of Pordenone, 164 Ophir, 1

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SOUTHEAST A SIA

orang kaya, 33 orang-utan, 167, 173, 181, 184–5, 187, 196n51, 198n81, 200n94 ordination of non-Europeans, 85–6, 93–5, 99–102, 109–10 Ormus, 247 Orta, Garcia da, 153–4 Osbeck, Pehr, 169, 199n89 Ottomans, 33, 186, 224 Pacheco, Francisco, 138 Pacific Ocean, 26, 40, 122–4, 133, 138, 201n107, 206 Padang, Sumatra, 150 Pahang, 29, 30 Paiva, António de, 38 Pajajaran, 31 Palembang, 2, 42–3, 53n54 Pallu, François, 84 pantun, 197n68, 232n45 Papuans, 207–10, 214, 223, 229n22 Paramesvara (Iskandar Syah), 42, 57n84 parrots, 173 Pasai, 30, 37, 42, 53n54 pasisir, 29, 31, 35, 37 Patani, Sultanate of, 29, 51n43, 56n79, 213, 230n32 Pegu, 2, 10, 66, 71, 73–7 Penang, 245, 246 Pennant, Thomas, 187 Peranakan culture (in Malacca), 245 Pereira, Tomás, 231n34 Pérez Dasmariñas, Luis, 126 Perez, François, 107 periphery, 59–79 Philippines, 3, 4, 6, 12, 13, 40, 89, 118–39, 227n12, 232n44, 240 Pigafetta, Antonio, 198n83 Pigeaud, Theodore, 147, 149 Pimenta, Nicholau, 67, 73–4 pineapple, 134, 161 Pires, Manoel, 67, 68 Pires, Tomé, 2, 3, 29, 37, 42, 190n8, 237 Plasencia, Juan de, 119

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INDEX poetry, 3, 8, 204, 215–6, 232n45. See also pantun Polo, Marco, 164, 174 Pope, John Adolphus, 229n22 Portuguese, 3–5, 29–31, 33, 38–40, 59–79, 85, 95, 99, 107, 109, 151, 153, 164, 166–7, 175, 212, 221, 236–50 Portuguese Asia. See Estado da Índia Potely Pyak, 215 Pratt, Mary Louise, 10 Propaganda Fide, 85, 93–4, 100, 109 Purchas, Samuel, 165 Quanzhou, 54n57 Quezon, 138 Qur’a¯n, 185 Raden Patah, 29 Radermacher, Jacob Cornelis Mattheus, 162, 170, 172 Raffles, Thomas Stamford, 189, 247, 249 Ramayana, 53n53 Ramusio, Giovanni Battista, 190n8 Rangoon (Yangon), 71, 76 Raynal, [Guillaume-Thomas-François], abbé, 244, 245 Reameathipadei I (ruler of Cambodia, 1642–58), 47n9 Reid, Anthony, 27, 28 Reitton (Ambon), 156 religion, transcendentalist, 24–7, 34, 46nn5–6, 58n97. See also immanent divinity religious orders and organisations. See Augustinians; Capuchins; Dominicans; Franciscans; Jesuits; Société des Missions Étrangères de Paris (MEP) rhinoceros, 173, 188 Rhodes, Alexandre de, 89, 90, 93–4, 98, 99 Ribeyro, Salvador, 72 Richards, John F., 9

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287

Ricklefs, Merle, 35 Ríos Coronel, Hernando de los, 126 ronggeng, 177–8 rosary, recitation of, 103 Ruiz, Bartolomé, 90 Rumpf, Georg Eberhard. See Rumphius, Georgius Everhardus Rumphius, Georgius Everhardus, (Georg Eberhard Rumpf), 11, 153, 154–6, 167–8 Sabah, 222 sacraments, 66, 68, 86–7, 90–1, 93, 96, 99, 103, 105–9 Saito Paulo, 89 Saivism, 36 Saldanha, Dona Luiza de, 72 Salerno, Natal, 68 Sandhu, Kernial Singh, 239 Sandwip Island (Sundiva Island), 67–8, 70 Sangha, Buddhist, 25, 88 Santa Cruz, 123 santol tree, 131–3 Savage, Victor, 243 Sejarah Melayu (Sulalatus Salatin), 2, 42, 53n54 Senapati Ingalaga, 32, 50n31 Sequeira, Balthasar (Jesuit), 67 sexuality, female, 118–21, 124–6, 139 shamans, 121, 128, 131, 133, 147. See also babaylan; catalonan sharks, 161, 181 Shaykh Yu¯suf Taj al-Khalwatı¯ al-Maqassa¯rı¯ , 42 shells, 154–5, 184 shophouse, Malacca, 237, 243, 248–9 Shwe Dagon Pagaoda, 75 Siam, 2, 15, 27, 29, 42, 85, 227, 250 Siang, 38 Siau, 39 Simon, Saint, 131 Singapore, 2, 42, 245–246, 248–9 slaves, 152 – 3, 157, 172, 177, 184, 197n66, 212, 248 musicians, slave, 221, 229n22

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288

INTERCULTUR AL EXCHANGE

snakes, 149, 162, 167, 181, 184 Société des Missions Étrangères de Paris (MEP), 84–110 Society of Jesus. See Jesuits songs Malay, 3, 177–8, 215–23 Mangaio (Mindanao), 207, 211, 228n16 Papuan, 208–10, 214 Tonkinese, 97 Southeast Asia, as geographical denomination, 7–9 Spanish colonialism, 118 Sparrman, Anders, 201n107 Spice Islands, 145, 155, 165. See also Maluku spice trade, 3, 145, 236–7, 240. See also trade Sri Lanka, 8, 48n16, 58n96, 167, 172 Srivijaya, 30, 53n54 St John’s Fort, Melaka, 245 Stadthuys, Melaka, 245 Standaert, Nicolas, 12–13 Stavorinus, Jan Splinter, 200n104 Stockholm, 164, 168, 171, 173, 174, 188 Stützer, Johan Arnold, 187–8 Subrahmanyam, Sanjay, 8, 62–3, 64 Sufism, 36, 41–2, 56n78. See also Islam; monism Sulalatus Salatin. See Sejarah Melayu Sulawesi, 30–1, 38–40, 55n67 sultans Sultan Abdullah (Karaeng Matoaya, ruler of Tallo’), 38 Sultan Agung (ruler of Mataram), 35–6 Sultan Ala’ud-din Muhammad Shah (ruler of Aceh), 218 Sultan Ala’ud-din Ri’ayat Shah al-Mukammil (ruler of Aceh), 203, 241 Sultan Muhammad Selim Shah (ruler of Aceh), 217–8 Sultan Trenggana (ruler of Demak), 31

Albert_Index.indd Sec1:288

IN

SOUTHEAST A SIA

Sulu, 207 Sumatra 2, 29–30, 37, 49n18, 52n53, 53n55, 150–152, 158n2, 172, 173, 203, 215, 221–222, 237–8, 248. See also Nias; Palembang Sunan Gunung Jati, 31 Sunda 169, 172, 247 Sundiva Island. See Sandwip Island Suppa, 38 Surabaya, 31 Suzanna, 156 Sweden, 162–3, 168, 171, 172, 181–4, 186, 188, 189 Swedes, 161–90 Swedish Academy of Science, Royal, 161, 164, 168–9, 171–2, 188 Swedish East India Company, 168, 171, 193n26, 196n50 Sydney, 239 syncretism, religious, 36, 41–2, 44 Syriam, 66–8, 70–8 Taal (Batangas, Philippines), 134–6 Tabora, Juan Niño de, 123 Tahiti, 173 Tallo’, 31, 38, 54n60 Tangerang, 172 Tangui, 136 Taoism, 88, 90, 97 Taprobana, 238 Tärnström, Christopher, 169 Tarshish, 1 Tavernier, Jean-Baptiste, 166 taxonomy. See Linnaean system and method tea, 149 Teluk Dore, 208–10 Ternate, 39, 55n69, 203, 228n16 theatre. See wayang theatre Thinh Hoa, 98–9 Thorn, William, 189 Thunberg, Carl Peter, 162–3, 168–72, 174, 177, 179, 180, 182, 187, 188, 190n4, 195n41, 197n66, 199n84, 199n90

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INDEX Tidore, 39, 228n16 tigers, 149, 161, 169, 181 tipolo (breadfruit) tree, 123–4, 132, 134 Tissanier, Joseph, 85–6 Tonkin, 84–112. See also Vietnam Tourane. See Ðà Na˘˜ng trade, 2–3, 8, 209–10, 245–6 trans-Pacific galleon trade, 122, 126. See also spice trade transcendentalism. See religion, transcendentalist travel writing. See travelogues travelogues, 1–2, 150, 174–5, 193n24, 204–5 Trenggana, Sultan (ruler of Demak), 31 Trent, Council of, 86, 91 Tri.nh rulers of Tonkin, 87–8 trumpet, 7 Tsuchimochi José, 89 Tuan Hadjee, Ishmael, 207–8, 228n16 turtles, 173 U Tin, 76 ulema, 25, 56n78 United Provinces, 166. See also Holland; Netherlands Uppsala, University of, 162, 170–1, 174, 177, 179, 188, 190n4, 197n66 urban planning, 236, 239, 248–9 Vachet, Benigne, 101 Valentijn, François, 166–7, 174, 176, 192n19 Valignano, Alessandro, 95 Van Haô, Dominique, 101 Va˘n Hiê`n, Benoît, 85, 86, 105 Va˘n Hoe, Giuong, 85, 86 Vaz, Antonio, 39 Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC). See Dutch East India Company Viegas, Vicente, 38

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289

Vietnam, 8, 13, 16, 47, 84–110, 111n2. See also Cochinchina; Tonkin violin, 204, 211–2, 220–1 Virgin Mary, 13, 118–39 La Naval (Our Lady of the Rosary), 126–30 Our Lady of Peñafrancia, 129–34 Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, 120–1 Virgin of Antipolo (Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage), 121–6, 128–9, 134, 138 Virgin of Caysasay, 134–9 Visayas, 119–20, 124, 207, 212 VOC (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie). See Dutch East India Company Vogel, Johan Wilhelm, 150–1, 153 Wake, C. H., 43, 57n84 Wallace, Alfred Russel, 14 water buffalo, 123 water dog. See Javanese otter wayang theatre, 179 weddings, 223. See also marriage Wendt, Reinhard, 126 West Papua (region), 207–10, 223. See also Papuans Wheatley, Paul, 239 Winius, George, 63 Wolters, Oliver, 88 women Filipino, 118–39 intermediaries, 149–57 Tonkinese and Cochinchinese, 97–9 Woodfield, Ian, 205–6, 225n1, 230n33 Xavier, Francis, 39 Yangon. See Rangoon Zamboanga, 212, 230n30 Zóbel de Ayala, Fernando, 125 zoology, 161–2, 168, 180–9

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