Foreword: A sea of resistance in Eastern Indonesia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript/introductionpeer-review


The historical research for this book was triggered by brief references to Prince Nuku or Nuku Muhammad Amiruddin, the nineteenth sultan of Tidore, in Leonard Andaya’s World of Maluku (1993: 220-239) and Roy Ellen’s On the Edge of the Banda Zone (2003: 98-99), and of course by the work by Elvianus Katoppo who came across this Prince while conducting research on Papua. As Muridan writes in the Introduction, after consulting Dutch Lieutenant-General Anthonie Haga’s 1884 magnum opus Nederlandsch Nieuw Guinea en de Papoesche eilanden: Historische Bijdrage ± 1500-1883, Katoppo began to conduct archival research and became interested in finding Nuku’s grave. When Katoppo, together with the doyen of the study of Eastern Indonesia’s maritime history Professor Adrian Lapian, visited the island of Tidore to locate Nuku’s grave in the early 1950s, they learned that Sultan Nuku was known on Tidore as Jou Barakati or Tuan Barakati (‘the Blessed Lord’). Upon the publication of Katoppo’s book in 1957, Indonesian readers began to learn more about Nuku as a ‘national hero’ (pahlawan nasional), but the regional historical and cosmological dimensions of his resistance against the Dutch have been largely lost in the translation to nation-building. Now, through the research by Muridan, we can more precisely position and picture Nuku in the dynamic history of the Maluku-Papua region from the late 18th century to the early 19th century. This book does a remarkable job of describing and analyzing Nuku’s strategies of exploiting existing political and cosmological systems and building trust with the British against the violence and corporate dominance of the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC). Moreover, Muridan’s brilliant navigation of familiar and extraordinary materials in the archives in tandem with his passionate interest in Papua brings to the fore Papua as an often-neglected domain in studies of the spice trade.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe revolt of Prince Nuku
Subtitle of host publicationcross-cultural alliance-making in Maluku, c. 1780-1810
EditorsMurida S. Widjojo
Place of PublicationDepok
PublisherKomunitas Bambu
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9786237357209
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Anthropology
  • History
  • Islam
  • Sovereignty
  • Colonialism
  • Resistance
  • Indonesia


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