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Scariest Story

What was the scariest moment in Indonesian history before 1945? by Julius Galih

Answer by Julius Galih:

There was no Indonesia yet before 1945, but there were abundance of dark moment in the Before- Indonesia archipelago. I may suggest a moment which highly related with the reason of existence of Indonesia, The Banda Massacre. [1]

Newly appointed VOC governor-general Jan Pieterszoon Coen set about enforcing Dutch monopoly over the Banda’s spice trade. In 1621 well-armed soldiers were landed on Bandaneira Island and within a few days they had also occupied neighbouring and larger Lontar.

The orang kaya were forced at gunpoint to sign an unfeasibly arduous treaty, one that was in fact impossible to keep, thus providing Coen an excuse to use superior Dutch force against the Bandanese. The Dutch quickly noted a number of alleged violations of the new treaty, in response to which Coen launched a punitive massacre. Japanese mercenaries were hired to deal with the orang kaya, forty of whom were beheaded with their heads impaled and displayed on bamboo spears.

The butchering and beheadings were carried out by the Japanese for the Dutch. The islanders were also tortured by the Dutch. The Bandanese chiefs were tortured by the Dutch and Japanese. The Dutch carved 68 parcels out of the islands after the enslavement and slaughter of the natives.

The Banda conquest marked the start of the first overt colonial rule in Indonesia albeit under the auspices of the VOC.

The actual numbers of Bandanese who were killed, forcibly expelled or fled the islands in 1621, around 14, 000 people.

Having nearly eradicated the islands’ native population, Coen divided the productive land of approximately half a million nutmeg trees into sixty-eight 1.2-hectare perken. These land parcels were then handed to Dutch planters known as perkeniers of which 34 were on Lontar, 31 on Ai and 3 on Neira. With few Bandanese left to work them, slaves from elsewhere were brought in.

Footnotes

[1] Banda Islands

What was the scariest moment in Indonesian history before 1945?

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This entry was posted on September 27, 2016 by in Review.
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