Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1825 Javanese 'alim
Subject'alim rebel cleric
Culture: Javanese
Setting: Java War, colonial resistance, Mataram 19thc
Evolution1275 Singhasari warrior > 1342 Majapahit bhayankari > ... > 1746 Javanese pendekar > 1825 Javanese 'alim

Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)

* Smithies 1986 p9-10
"From 1812-25 there was increasing discontent in Central Java; Europeans interfered in court affairs, and leased lands along with the Chinese from impoverished aristocrats for plantation use, and tax collectors' demands were extortionate, harvests were poor and disease spread.  Hamengku Buwono IV (1814-22) was reportedly poisoned and the succession went to his three-year-old son, Hamengku Buwono V (1822-6, 1828-55). In this turmoil there arose a major revolt, the only one in nineteenth-century Java, led by Prince Diponegoro, the eldest son of Hamengku Buwono III.  This started in 1825 and quickly spread, causing serious problems for the Dutch as European and Chinese lands and persons were attacked.  In the midst of this the old sultan, Hamengku Buwono II, was brought back from exile and reinstated on the throne, to no effect.  The Java War lasted five years and only ended when Diponegoro agreed to enter into negotiations with the Dutch when he saw that his support was failing.  Diponegoro was inevitably arrested and exiled and resistance to the Dutch ended.  Thereafter, the Javanese courts were purely decorative.  They concentrated on the only things left to them, the arts and etiquette."

* Tropenmuseum > Nederlands-Indië 
"Java-oorlog  In 1825 brak op Java onder leiding van prins Diponegoro een opstand uit tegen het Nederlands gezag.  Diponegoro genoot onder de bevolking groot gezag als religieus moslimeider.  Hij beloofde het Ware Geloof, de islam, te laten zegevieren in een heilige oorlog tegen de ongelovigen en daarbij de Nederlanders van Java te verjagen.  In 1830 werd Diponegoro tijdens onderhandelingen door de Nederlanders gevangen genomen."

* Lapidus 1988 p757-758
"'Ulama'-led peasant resistance began with the Java wars of 1825 to 1830.  In Djokjakarta the Dutch had alienated both the nobility and the common people by a land policy which canceled leases instigated by previous Dutch administrations, and forced the rulers to pay compensation to the lessees.  These same rulers also had to lease lands to the Dutch government, which were then turned over to European cultivators.  In 1825 local resentment burst into civil war led by Prince Dipanegara, a member of the ruling family who had been passed over for succession and had devoted himself to religious studies.  The corruption of the court and its subservience to the Dutch made him a spokesman for Muslim religious virtues.  It became his mission to oppose the corruption of the aristocracy and purify Islam.  Prince Dipanegara allied with religious leaders to lead a peasant revolt that lasted for five years.  Though it was eventually put down, Dipanegara became a symbol of national resistance to foreign rule."

* Steel and magic 2020 p87
"Most of the Javanese population supported Diponegoro because they were experiencing increasing problems with an exploitative farming system that enforced fixed prices when selling to the government.  Troops from Sulawesi, as well as European mercenaries, fought on the Dutch side.  After the recapture of Yogyakarta a prolonged guerilla war ensued in which lances and edged weapons were used on a large scale.  The Dutch finally got the upper hand in 1827, but the losses among the colonial troops were so high that the colonial government brought in African recruits (Belanda Hitam, 'Black Dutchmen') to supplement VOC forces.  The losses of the Javanese, however, were several times higher."

* Tagliacozzo 2005 p121
"[E]ven by the 1880s and 1890s random violence had not been eradicated from Java, let alone the border residencies.  A series of articles in the Indische Gids makes this clear.  Even in the 1880s the Dutch were having trouble controlling the core areas of their authority on the island, as potential conflagrations sprung up all over Java, from Surabaya to Batavia.  On the eastern third of the island in 1886, an armed band of seventy men set a district head's house on fire outside of Madiun, escaping into the night: the local police patrol of twelve men hid during the incident, and only a fraction of the perpetrators were eventually caught and brought to trial.  In central Java, 'conspiratorial' religious and political meetings were taking place throughout various residencies in 1888, prompting police roundups and detentions of many Javanese, the leaders of whom were accused of inciting nativist rebellions to overthrow Dutch authority."


* Stone 1934 p384
"Prince Pakoet Alam at Djockjakarta showed me the old methods of fencing with the kris.  He said that if a man had only one kris with him he held the scabbard in his left hand with the straight part extending along his forearm and guarded with it.  If he had two krisses, he took his favorite in his right hand and the other in his left to guard with.  The left-hand kris was held against his forearm with the edge and point at the top outward.  In this position it was not only useful as a guard, but if his opponent tried to catch his arm a slight motion would cut his hand severely."

* Ponder 1988 p71 (writing in the 1930s)  
"The kris, the favourite and traditional weapon of the Javanese, was formerly worn universally throughout the island, but it has now long been prohibited except at the Sultans' Courts, whose members, down to the lowest servants, are permitted to wear it.
    ​"But although it is no longer universally worn, it is still an object of special veneration, and there are few native households that do not possess at least one, which is treasured as an heirloom, and passed down from father to son, together with the tales of great deeds it has accomplished in the hands of their ancestors.  With those stories, as often as not, there will be whispered others of the magic powers the weapon is believed to possess.  For to the Javanese the qualities of a kris are not by any means only the tangible ones of a trusty blade in an ornamented scabbard."


* Reid 1988 p82
"Everywhere, ... those who wished to demonstrate a stricter adherence to Islam, such as religious students or crusading warriors, made a point of cutting their hair.  The nineteenth-century Javanese rebel against the Dutch, Diponegoro, made his followers distinguish themselves in this way from the 'apostate' Javanese on the Dutch side." [references omitted] 


* Steel and magic 2020 p74


* Steel and magic 2020 p87
​"Goloks continued to play a role in the second Java War (1825-30).  The war had been started by Prince Diponegoro, for private and religious reasons, and was predominantly fought in Central Java."


* Maxwell 2014 p362
"In Java the costume of Yogyakarta court retainers in Yogyakarta [SIC] worn on certain ceremonial occasions includes the knee breeches and jackets of European soldiers of past centuries. ...
    "Portraits of European military officers and senior officials from the nineteenth century reveal richly embroidered formal jackets and waistcoats with elaborate gold passementerie on the collars, lapels and epaulettes.  Many of the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century photographs of the courts of central Java show Javanese aristocrats wearing similar styles of formal dress with heavily couched gold thread embroidered trim and braid ...."