The Role of Dutch Colonialism in the Political Life of Mataram Dynasty: A Case Study of the Manuscript of Babad Tanah Jawi

  •  Kundharu Saddhono    
  •  Siti Supeni    


This paper aims at describing the role of Dutch colonialism in the political life of Mataram Dynasty based on Javanese concept. This literature study is a qualitative descriptive study which reveals the role of Dutch colonialists within the text of History of the Land of Java (Babad Tanah Jawi). Babad Tanah Jawi narrates the ancestry of Javanese Kings initiated in the era of Prophet Adam who brings forth further prophets and gods. It also narrates the enthronement of gods in Jawa Dwipa (the land of Java) which lasted until Mataram Dynasty in Kartasura. Babad Tanah Jawi is considered having the function to legitimate the authority of Mataram Kingdom. This manuscript considers Mataram Kingdom as the official hegemony of the rulers in Java which is Majapahit. In the glorious period of Kanjeng Sultan Agung Senapati Ingalaga Ngabdurrachman in 1571, Dutch people were reported to have occupied Jayakarta. This research limits the study into the investigation of two prominent motives which are prophecy motive and mutualism political motive between Mataram Kingdom and The Dutch colonialists. The information narrated in Babad Tanah Jawi should not be considered historical. Babad Tanah Jawi should be valued as a Javanese mindset and approach in praising their Kings and motherland. For Javanese people, the interpretation of pralambang, symbols, is far more valuable than only factual reading. In conclusion, based on ‘Javaneseness’ intuitive approach, it was not Dutch colonialists who controlled the political system of Mataram Kingdom. It was Javanese politicians who were considered as the controller and actor of Javanese political scenarios.

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