Call for papers : Southeast Asian Islam : Religious Radicalism, Democracy, and Global Trends

Call for Papers : The 2nd Studia Islamika International conference 2017 :  Southeast Asian Islam : Religious Radicalism, Democracy, and Global Trends, 8-10/08/2017, Jakarta

Deadline for abstract submission : 15/05/2017

The Center for the Study of Islam and Society (PPIM) of Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University (UIN) Jakarta will carry out an international conference in August this year. This conference is dedicated to promoting Studia Islamika, an international journal published by the Center. This is the second Studia Islamika conference, and this event is expected to be held regularly in the future. In the coming conference, scholars and students on Southeast Asian Islam are invited to present their papers, research and posters. Relevant themes and topics have been selected to accommodate different research interests of the participants.

The 2nd Studia Islamika International Conference 2017 will be held as a reflection on many different aspects related to Southeast Asia. It is to look at current political trends, religious radicalism, the development of democracy, and global trends. Southeast Asia has experienced tremendous changes since its formation until today. It achieved one of the highest economic developments in the world while faith and ethnicity still play an important role in the political field. This conference will explore these various developments in the context of globalization and democratization. Theories and new research findings on Southeast Asia will be explored and discussed during the conference. The conference features research addressing the following topics:

  • Religious Radicalism: Approaches, Trends and Methods
  • Democracy, Citizenship and Identity
  • Religious Radicalism and Education
  • Globalization and Transnational Movements: Southeast Asian Islam and ISIS
  • Contemporary Islamic Economics and Tourism
  • Philanthropy and Civil Society
  • Women, Society and Representation
  • Social Media and the Contestation of the Public Sphere
  • Challenges of Urban Life: Food, Culture and Life Style
  • The Rise of Islamic Populism? Sectarian Politics in Contemporary Indonesia

Plus d’informations sur : http://conference.ppim.uinjkt.ac.id/

Early Views of Indonesia: Drawings from the British Library

Annabel Teh Gallop, Early Views of Indonesia: Drawings from the British Library, London : The British Library, Jakarta : Yayasan Lontar, 1995, p. 132.

Annabel Gallop’s bilingual book, Early Views of Indonesia: Drawings from the British Library, is now available free online. This book is the catalogue of an exhibition held in Jakarta in 1995 to mark the presentation to the National Library of Indonesia of a complete set of facsimile reproductions of 510 archaeological drawings of Indonesia in the British Library. The presentation was a gift from the British government to the people of the Republic of Indonesia to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Indonesian independence.

A lire sur : http://library.lontar.org/flipbooks/Early Views Of Indonesia/Early Views Of Indonesia.html#/1/

Recalling a forgotten kingdom in Venice Biennale

Recalling a forgotten kingdom in Venice Biennale by Helmi Yusof, 14/04/2017, The Business Times

Zai Kuning will be showcasing Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge at the Singapore Pavilion of the 57th Venice Biennale from May 13 to Nov 26, 2017.

After18 years criss-crossing South-east Asia, Zai Kuning’s artistic journey is now going beyond the region to make a stop at the most important art event in the world: the Venice Biennale.

There, at the Singapore Pavilion in Arsenale, Zai is constructing a massive Phinisi ship out of rattan, string and beeswax. It will be 17 metres long – a metre perhaps for each year he’s spent exploring the history of Malays in South-east Asia – and it will be surrounded by 100 books that have been dipped in wax, never to be opened and read again, a metaphor for lost histories.

Since 1999, the artist has been obsessed with the meta-historical questions of: « Who am I? Where do I come from? Whom do I belong to? Whom do I answer to? » He’s less interested in issues of national identity and family genealogy than the broader field of the ethnogenesis and migration of Malays. The central figure in his research is Dapunta Hyang, the first ruler of the Srivijaya kingdom that dominated the Malay Archipelago from the 8th to the 12th century. As a Malay Buddhist, Dapunta Hyang also helped spread Buddhism throughout his kingdom.

At the Venice showcase, Zai will be putting up 30 photographic portraits of living mak yong performers on a facing wall running parallel to the ship. An audio recording of a mak yong master speaking in an ancient Malay dialect will also be played on loop.

Lire la suite sur : http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/lifestyle/arts/recalling-a-forgotten-kingdom-in-venice-biennale

Approaches to the Study of Khmer and Cham Art

Approaches to the Study of Khmer and Cham Art: a Research Workshop with Tran Ky Phuong and Soumya James, 16/05/2017, CSEAS, SOAS.

Scholarship on ancient Khmer and Cham art evolved concomitantly with the French colonial project, and has long been grounded in archaeological and epigraphic study. This workshop presents new currents of research expanding the field. Tran Ky Phuong is the leading scholar of Cham art. After a first curatorial career at the Danang Museum of Cham Sculpture, he joined the Vietnam Association of Ethnic Minorities’ Culture and Arts, where he has launched research combining ethnographic and art historical methods. Soumya James represents a new generation of Southeast Asia art historians. Her work examines the representation of the divine feminine in cultural and eco-political landscape of Angkor.

Tran Ky Phuong is a former curator of the Museum of Cham Sculpture in Da Nang (1978-98); currently he is a senior research fellow with the Vietnam Association of Ethnic Minorities’ Culture and Arts; and is a researcher of the Center for Cultural Relationship Studies in Mainland Southeast Asia (CRMA Center) of Chulachomklao Royal Military Academic, Thailand and at APSARA Authority, Siem Reap, Cambodia; from 2012 until the present he has been a consultant of UNESCO World Cultural Heritages at My Son Sanctuary. He has awarded several research fellowships to study at International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Leiden; Asia Research Institute (ARI) of National University of Singapore; Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts (CASVA), National Gallery of Arts, Washington DC.

He has published several books and articles in Vietnamese, English and Japanese, including: My Son in the History of Cham Art (1988); Vestiges of Champa Civilization (2008); Champa Iseki/Champa Ruins (co-author with Shige-eda Yutaku, 1997); The Cham of Vietnam: History, Society and Art (co-editor with Bruce Lockhart), NUS Press (2011); “The Architecture of Temple-Towers of Ancient Champa (Central Vietnam)” in Champa and the Archaeology of My Son, Vietnam (2009); “The Preservation and Management of the Monuments of Champa in Central Vietnam: The Example of My Son Sanctuary, a World Cultural Heritage Site”, in Rethinking Cultural Resource Management in Southeast Asia: Preservation, Development and Neglect (2011);“The new archaeological finds in Northeast Cambodia, Southern Laos and Central Highland of Vietnam: Considering on the significance of overland trading route and cultural interactions of the ancient kingdoms of Champa and Cambodia”, in Advancing Southeast Asian Archaeology 2013, SEAMEO SPAFA Regional Center for Archaeology and Fine Arts, Bangkok, Thailand (2015).

Soumya James is an independent Art Historian who studies premodern South and Southeast Asian art. She received her PhD in Art History from Cornell University. Her dissertation focused on the cultural and eco-political significance of the divine feminine at three Angkor period sites. Her research investigates the relationship between landscape and built form, gender and sexuality, and the art historical links between premodern South and Southeast Asia. Following her graduation, she continued her research while working as the coordinator for the Science and Society Programme at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India. She was a Postdoctoral Associate at the Franke Program in Science and the Humanities and a Fellow at the Whitney Humanities Center, both at Yale University. She is currently working on a book manuscript and planning her next fieldtrip to Cambodia.

Voir : https://www.soas.ac.uk/cseas/events/16may2017-approaches-to-the-study-of-khmer-and-cham-art-a-research-workshop-with-tran-ky-phuong-and-.html

The Chinese-Indonesian Community documents collection from Java

The Chinese-Indonesian Community documents collection from Java in ResearchWorks Archive of the University of Washington Libraries

The University of Washington Libraries collaborated with Anthropology Ph.D. student, Evi Sutrisno, who was conducting her dissertation field research on Chinese Indonesian Confucianism, to digitize the rare and fragile Sino-Malay literature owned by two temple libraries in Java. The first project was conducted in Boen Bio (Wen Miao) – a Confucian temple of Surabaya, East Java – in 2010-2011. The temple was founded in 1907 and had a collection of religious books and magazines in Chinese and Malay languages in its abandoned library. The second project was conducted in the Hok An Kiong temple, Muntilan, Central Java in 2014-2016. The temple was founded in 1898 and had became the religious, social and learning space for the Chinese in the area. As in the case of Boen Bio, the Hok An Kiong also has an abandoned library, where popular Sino-Malay novels and magazines were collected.

Between 1967 and1998 Confucian practices and Chinese identity were severely repressed under the Indonesian New Order regime, so these materials were hidden away in the corners of dark and humid storage rooms to avoid state confiscation. Due to climate conditions, biological pests, and lack of appropriate storage facilities, the collection was in great danger and in urgent need of preservation. These projects are parts of a larger effort to identify materials in all known collections belonging to temples and private collections in four cities: Jakarta/Tangerang, Bandung, Solo, and Pontianak, where the Confucian communities during the period of 1900s to 1940s were vibrant. The first project consists of about 5,000 pages scanned from the collections of the Boen Bio temple and three other private collections in Surabaya. The second digitizes about 12,500 pages from the collection of the Hok An Kiong temple in Muntilan. Each project has been done in collaboration with other scholars and the temple communities who are interested in preserving the precious documents and history of the Chinese-Indonesians. For the second project, Evi Sutrisno would like to thank Sutrisno Murtiyoso of Tarumanegara University, Jakarta, Endy Saputro of State College for Islamic Studies, Surakarta and Elizabeth Chandra of Keio University, Tokyo for their supports and collaborations. Thanks also to Laurie Sears for her decision to provide funding. For further description of the project and the importance of the materials preserved, see: Evi Sutrisno. Forgotten Confucian Periodicals in Indonesia, CORMOSEA Bulletin, no 34 (Summer 2016): 8-14.

Vous pouvez faire des recherches dans la collection et consulter la liste des deniers documents mis en ligne sur : https://digital.lib.washington.edu/researchworks/handle/1773/21474

River Cities: Water Space in Urban Development and History

River Cities: Water Space in Urban Development and History, 11-12/12/2017, Airlangga University, Surabaya, Indonesia

Supported by the Urban Knowledge Network Asia (UKNA), Airlangga University, and the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Leiden, the Netherlands

Conveners: Dr Paul Rabé, Adrian Perkasa (M.A.) and Dr Rita Padawangi

Deadline: 1 May 2017

Introduction

Cities and water can be said to have a love-hate relationship (1), and this is especially true of rivers in cities in Asia. Many Asian cities, like their cousins in the rest of the world, owe their locations to rivers and the trading opportunities and water sources these rivers provided.  In recent years, cities across China are beautifying their water fronts, and cities as diverse as Singapore and Seoul are turning their rivers into assets as part of urban redevelopment schemes or restoring them in an effort to bring nature back to the city. But many other cities in Asia have their backs turned to their rivers. Where rivers were once trading and transport arteries, nowadays many of them have suffered neglect as roads and evolving trading patterns have supplanted the rivers’ economic and social functions. Their decline has been accompanied by environmental destruction, as their waters have become polluted and serve as the dumping ground for solid waste. Moreover, riverbank settlements evolved into legally ambiguous spaces, as old settlements were detached from land formalization regimes and were subjected to environmental deterioration from the rivers. Far from being an asset, these rivers have become an eyesore—and occasionally also a threat, owing to flooding exacerbated by poor planning and a poor understanding of the place of these water bodies in the wider regional eco-system.

Symposium objectives

This symposium seeks to uncover the relationship between rivers and cities from a multi-disciplinary perspective in the humanities and the social sciences. The symposium welcomes both scholars and practitioners. It aims to contribute innovative ways of thinking about how to better integrate rivers, creeks and canals—including their environmental, historical, social, political, cultural and economic dimensions—into the fabric of contemporary cities.  The focus is on cities in Asia, but papers on other parts of the world will also be considered if they make explicit their relevance to Asian cities.

Papers are welcomed in four categories of investigation:

  1. Rivers and cities in historical perspective (history, heritage, culture, and geography)
  2. Neighborhoods and social life of riverine communities
  3. Evaluating experiences with riverfront and riverbank settlement and design interventions in Asia
  4. Urban policy perspectives and innovations

Plus d’informations sur : http://iias.asia/event/river-cities-water-space-urban-development-history

Iswadi Pratama, an auteur of Indonesian theatre

Iswadi Pratama, an auteur of Indonesian theatre by Caranissa Djatmiko, 12/04/2017, Inside Indonesia

Indonesia’s foremost theatre director, the internationally acclaimed Iswadi Pratama, staged an extraordinary eight productions in 2016.

There is no simple way of describing Iswadi Pratama. He claims to be a self-taught artist, yet his exceptional talents seem to suggest otherwise. Having spent most of his life bringing realities to the stage he insists that he only has the books he reads (stacked quite untidily at his private library) and the mentors who have guided him in the past to thank. Yet, after staging eight ambitious productions in 2016, it would be hard to dispute the fact that he has revolutionised Indonesian theatre.

The 45-year old poet and theatre director always knew that art was his true calling. He considers it to be the only space where he can express himself unapologetically, while also being a vehicle for helping others. ‘Everything that I do is motivated by an awareness that art must make people find their turning points in life,’ he says. ‘So I always choose projects based on [various] priorities: to what extent do the people involved in a certain program require my ability and capacity, and the relevance of it to my creative work and my vision regarding social transformation.’

Pratama’s plays have been showcased around the globe. His play Nostalgia di Sebuah Kota (Nostalgia in a City) was translated and performed in Germany in 2010. He has worked with some of the best artists in the world including American director Julie Taymor (Frida, The Lion King stage musical) who mentored Pratama when he became the first Indonesian to be a part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative.

Lire la suite sur : http://www.insideindonesia.org/iswadi-pratama-an-auteur-of-indonesian-theatre

The Sixth International Symposium On The Languages Of Java

The Sixth International Symposium on the Languages of Java, 18-19/05/2017, Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia

Keynote Speakers:
Zane Goebel (La Trobe University)
Hartono Samidjan (Suara Merdeka)

Co-sponsors:
Universitas Dian Nuswantoro
University of Maryland
University of Iowa
University of British Columbia

Co-organizers:
Thomas Conners, University of Maryland
William Davies, University of Iowa
Jozina Vander Klok, University of British Columbia

Programme :

Journal of Contemporary Asia, vol. 47, no. 3, July 2017

Journal of Contemporary Asia, vol. 47, no. 3, July 2017

Interpreting Communal Violence in Myanmar

Table of contents

Original articles

  • Introduction: Interpreting Communal Violence in Myanmar by Nick Cheesman
  • The Contentious Politics of Anti-Muslim Scapegoating in Myanmar by Gerry van Klinken and Su Mon Thazin Aung
  • Reconciling Contradictions: Buddhist-Muslim Violence, Narrative Making and Memory in Myanmar by Matt Schissler, Matthew J. Walton and Phyu Phyu Thi
  • Gendered Rumours and the Muslim Scapegoat in Myanmar’s Transition by Gerard McCarthy and Jacqueline Menager
  • Communal Conflict in Myanmar: The Legislature’s Response, 2012–2015 by Chit Win and Thomas Kean
  • Producing the News: Reporting on Myanmar’s Rohingya Crisis by Lisa Brooten and Yola Verbruggen
  • How in Myanmar “National Races” Came to Surpass Citizenship and Exclude Rohingya by Nick Cheesman

Book Reviews

  • Nick Cheesman, Opposing the Rule of Law: How Myanmar’s Courts Make Law and Order by Susanne Prager-Nyein
  • Melissa Crouch (ed.), Islam and the State in Myanmar: Muslim-Buddhist Relations and the Politics of Belonging by Iza R. Hussin
  • Jayde Lin Roberts, Mapping Chinese Rangoon: Place and Nation among the Sino-Burmese by Elaine L.E. Ho
  • Pia Joliffe, Learning, Migration and Intergenerational Relations: The Karen and the Gift of Education by Shirley Worland

Voir : http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rjoc20/47/3

NYT lensman wins Pulitzer for Duterte drug war story photo

A freelance lensman of The New York Times won a Pulitzer Prize in the breaking news photography category for a picture published with the a story on the war on drugs in the Philippines, 11/04/2017, GMA News Online

The announcement, which was posted on the official Pulitzer Prize Twitter account, declared freelance photographer of The New York Times Daniel Berehulak as winner of the prestigious award.

The article in the New York Times published on the 7th of December 2016 was titled « They are Slaughtering Us Like Animals. » Inside President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal anti-drug campaign in the Philippines our photojournalist documented 57 homicide victims over 35 days.

I have worked in 60 countries, covered wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and spent much of 2014 living inside West Africa’s Ebola zone, a place gripped by fear and death. What I experienced in the Philippines felt like a new level of ruthlessness: police officers’ summarily shooting anyone suspected of dealing or even using drugs, vigilantes’ taking seriously Mr. Duterte’s call to “slaughter them all.”

Citizenship and Democratization in Southeast Asia

Ward Berenschot, Henk Schulte Nordholt and Laurens Bakker (eds), Citizenship and Democratization in Southeast Asia, Brill, 2017

Ouvrage en ligne et en libre accès.

Citizenship and Democratization in Southeast Asia redirects the largely western-oriented study of citizenship to postcolonial states. Providing various fascinating first-hand accounts of how citizens interpret and realize the recognition of their property, identity, security and welfare in the context of a weak rule of law and clientelistic politics, this study highlights the importance of studying citizenship for understanding democratization processes in Southeast Asia. With case studies from Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Cambodia, this book provides a unique bottom-up perspective on the character of public life in Southeast Asia.

Table des matières 

1. Introduction: Citizenship and Democratization in Postcolonial Southeast Asia, Ward Berenschot, Henk Schulte Nordholt and Laurens Bakker

Part I: Clientelism and Citizenship
2. Citizen Participation and Decentralization in the Philippines, Emma Porio
3. Everyday Citizenship in Village Java, Takeshi Ito
4. Elections and Emerging Forms of Citizenship in Cambodia, Astrid Norén-Nilsson
5. Sosialisasi, Citizenship and Street Vendors in Yogyakarta, Sheri Lynn Gibbings

Part II: Identity and Citizenship
6. Militias, Security and Citizenship in Indonesia, Laurens Bakker
7. Custom and Citizenship in the Philippine Uplands, Oona Thommes Paredes
8. Citizenship and Islam in Malaysia and Indonesia, David Kloos and Ward Berenschot

Part III: Middle Classes Engaging the State
9. Digital Media and Malaysia’s Electoral Reform Movement, Merlyna Lim
10. Citizenship, Rights and Adversarial Legalism in Thailand, Wolfram Schaffar
11. Defending Indonesia’s Migrant Domestic Workers, Mary Austin
12. The Yellow Shirts versus the Red Shirts and the Rise of a New Middle Class in Thailand, Apichat Satitniramai

A télécharger sur : http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/books/9789004329669

Contemporary Indonesian Art: Artists, Art Spaces, and Collectors

Yvonne Spielmann, Contemporary Indonesian Art: Artists, Art Spaces, and Collectors, NUS Press, 2017

Indonesian art entered the global contemporary art world of independent curators, art fairs, and biennales in the 1990s. By the mid-2000s, Indonesian works were well-established on the Asian secondary art market, achieving record-breaking prices at auction houses in Singapore and Hong Kong. This comprehensive overview introduces Indonesian contemporary art in a fresh and stimulating manner, demonstrating how contemporary art breaks from colonial and post-colonial power structures, and grapples with issues of identity and nation-building in Indonesia. Across different media, in performance and installation, it amalgamates ethnic, cultural, and religious references in its visuals, and confidently brings together the traditional (batik, woodcut, dance, Javanese shadow puppet theater) with the contemporary (comics and manga, graffiti, advertising, pop culture).

Spielmann’s Contemporary Indonesian Art surveys the key artists, curators, institutions, and collectors in the local art scene and looks at the significance of Indonesian art in the Asian context. Through this book, originally published in German, Spielmann stakes a claim for the global relevance of Indonesian art.

Voir : https://nuspress.nus.edu.sg/collections/frontpage/products/contemporary-indonesian-art-artists-art-spaces-and-collectors

Mobile Bodies: A Long View of the Peoples and Communities of Maritime Asia

Mobile Bodies: A Long View of the Peoples and Communities of Maritime Asia, an international conference at Binghamton University, November 10-11, 2017

Submit your panel or paper proposal by May 1, 2017

Recent global upheavals have turned world attention to the plight of refugees, such as Syrians and the Rohingya of Myanmar who have chosen dangerous sea voyages to escape conflict and persecution. These dramatic images raise larger questions about the control over mobile bodies in the broader context of maritime Asia, pointing to phenomena that are by no means limited to our contemporary moment. For centuries, people have moved in and across the maritime world that stretches from the Indian Ocean to the western Pacific as refugees, slaves, and under other involuntary circumstances, as well as in the pursuit of trade, war, and religion. But this mobility has always been historically controlled, driven and regulated by larger forces. Religion, ecology, state power, and social hierarchies constrain and inform individual choices.

With a keynote lecture delivered by Amitav Ghosh, this interdisciplinary conference will explore the mobility of individuals across maritime Asia with an interest in disaggregating different types of bodies and different types of travel. What sorts of bodies endeavored to cross the water between and along the coasts of Asia in the past and more recently? What does a 20th century Somali pirate have in common with a 16th century Javanese pilgrim heading to Mecca, or the Chinese residents of Dutch Batavia with the Filipino domestic workers in Dubai? What is the role of cooperation, violence and control in historical and contemporary Asian maritime travel? How has biopolitical control over travel been effected in the past and through modern technocratic interventions? How are the material findings of nautical archaeology changing our understanding of the movements of goods and people in maritime Asia? The goal of this conference is to pair contemporary and historical experiences of travel and mobility to understand continuities and changes experienced and brought about by traveling bodies in and across maritime Asia.

We welcome papers that address a broad range of themes, with particular interest in the following topics:
*Labor flows and recruitment
*Voluntary and involuntary movement, including slave and refugee communities
*Cultural meanings and representations of maritime travel and pilgrimage
*How travelers have mobilized nautical technologies and knowledge transfer across oceans
*Uses of force across maritime Asia
*Uncertainties and vagaries of sea travel
*Shifting contours of of trade diasporas
*Identity and community formation among seafaring groups
*Geopolitics of the ocean and its frontiers

Plus d’informations sur : https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdDko81MfjecqvGgElqO8YK7nDD1YH2lLpmEvqIXizilZFzw/viewform

Payut Ngaokrachang: cartoons for the United States Information Service

Payut Ngaokrachang: cartoons for USIS, Part 1, 24/01/2017, propagandainsoutheastasia

Payut Ngaokrachang was a Thai cartoonist who worked for most of his career with the United States Information Service (USIS). He was originally from a rural background, born in Wako, in the province of Prachuap Khiri Khan. In 1955 Payut created his first animated short film, Haed Mahasajan [The Miracle Incident] in which a traffic policeman causes a pile up due to some questionable dancing on the job. According to Jonathan Clements, Payut was subsequently spotted by USIS who awarded him roughly $400 and the opportunity to spend 6 months either at the Walt Disney Studios in California or Toei in Japan. He chose the later, meaning he was in many ways there at the very start of the Japanese anime industry. His time there resulted in his first (and as it happens last) propaganda film, completed in 1957.

Hanuman in Danger

Hanuman Phachoen Phai [Hanuman in danger], takes its principal character from the Ramayana, a classic Hindu epic that is also the basis for the classic Thai text the Ramakien. Hanuman, who is the God-King of the apes, was one of major characters who fought with Rama [Phra Ram] against the Devil King Ravana [Totsapak], and is therefore highly revered. In the propaganda film, Hanuman is depicted with a white face, and is based in the countryside. The film starts with him at home as his sons watch the television. They are watching a dancing competition, commenting on the prettiness of female dancer, when her partner the screen morphs from a handsome young man into a brutal looking dictator, who begins to spout what is supposed to be Communist ideology. He instructs the audience that they no longer need to respect their mothers, fathers, religion or King Rama [Phra Ram].

Lire la suite sur : https://propagandainsoutheastasia.wordpress.com/

Sinitic Trends in Early Islamic Java (15th to 17th century)

Seated feline figures. Truc Phuong commune, Truc Ninh district. c. L 8 x H 15 cm, Nam Dinh museum, Nam Dinh Province. Late Lê dynasty. (Credit: H. Njoto)

Sinitic Trends in Early Islamic Java (15th to 17th century) by Hélène Njoto (Nalanda-Sriwijaya Center)

Note: This article is reproduced from the latest issue of NSC Highlights. For more, please see : https://goo.gl/XoyXfM

Java’s north coast is known to have had cosmopolitan and multi-religious towns where Muslim travellers and traders settled since the early 15th century. While there is scarce evidence of the presence of Muslims and foreigners in the early Islamic period, the accounts of past Muslim ruling figures, revered as holy men (wali), have persisted. These accounts have survived thanks to the fairly good conservation of the mausolea of these holy men, many of which are five to six centuries old. These mausolea, considered sacred (kramat), are visited every year by thousands of pilgrims from Java and other parts of the Malay world.

 These mausolea contain elements of a Sinitic (relating to Chinese culture) trend in early Islamic Java. Historical sources note the presence of ‘Chinese’ among the Muslims present on Java’s north coast in the 15th and 16th centuries. Local Javanese traditions and hagiographies also suggest that some of the most prominent holy men were of Chinese descent. Some are said to have come from Champa, the former Hindu-Buddhist kingdom of present-day coastal Vietnam (Manguin 2001).

 Nevertheless, the ‘sinitic’ origin of some of these holy men on the Javanese coast remains enigmatic since there is little material evidence apart from these mausolea remains. The richly decorated wooden panels that enclose these tombs on four sides, delicately sculpted, some in openwork or painted in red, are indeed vaguely reminiscent of a Sinitic culture. However, most motifs and stylisation, such as the lotus leaves in a pond, represented in a naturalistic way, had in fact already appeared during the Hindu-Buddhist period, possibly as the consequence of earlier Sinitic borrowings.

 However, the motif of the seated feline figure stands out. These feline figures, sculpted in wood or stone, were found in four religious sanctuaries such as in the mausolea of Sunan Drajat and Sunan Sendang Duwur. In these mausolea, they are represented in-the-round, in a seated hieratic position, bearded, with their maw wide open and their tongues pulled out (in Sunan Drajat). They have volutes motifs on the legs and a necklace or winged-like motif spreading from the scapula backwards. These feline figures suggest that these holy men had developed a taste for decorative features found in China and the Indo-Chinese peninsula of the same period.

Lire la suite sur : https://www.facebook.com/notes/nalanda-sriwijaya-centre/sinitic-trends-in-early-islamic-java-15th-to-17th-century-by-hélène-njoto/1368801939864852