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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Belanda Hitam: the Indo-African Communities on Java
Author:Kessel, Ineke vanISNI
Periodical:African and Asian Studies
Geographic terms:Indonesia
West Africa
black soldiers
military recruitment
External link:https://doi.org/10.1163/156920907X212222
Abstract:Most of the successive groups of African immigrants to the Indonesian archipelago have disappeared without a trace, or at least without leaving recognizable descendants. The 'Belanda Hitam' or Black Dutchmen are the one exception. 'Belanda Hitam' was the Malay name given to some 3,000 soldiers from West Africa who were recruited for the Dutch colonial army between 1831 and 1872, and to the Indo-African descendants of these African soldiers and their Indonesian wives. From the 1830s until Indonesian independence, the African soldiers, their Indonesian wives and their Indo-African off spring formed small but vibrant communities in the garrison towns of Java, mainly in Batavia, Semarang, Salatiga, Solo and Purworejo. This article, largely based on interviews with descendants now living in the Netherlands, explores life in these Indo-African communities, with a particular focus on Purworejo. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]