Wednesday, May 30, 2007

East Kalimantan History

There is evidence of human habitation on Borneo for over 50,000 years, with continuous occupation until 250 BCE. Four thousand years ago, the Proto Malay arrived via the Malay peninsula and populated the western Malay archipelago, Indonesia and the Philippines. The Proto-Malay were the ancestors to Borneo's diverse peoples today known collectively as Dayaks, and each Dayak society developed in adaptation to its particular environment. Coastal Dayaks relied on fishing as their economic base, while their neighbors in interior Borneo relied on swidden (shifting plot) agriculture and hunting and gathering. While self-sufficient, the communities interacted with each other through trade, war, inter-marriage, and head-hunting.

Based on history note, the eldest Kingdom of Hindu in Indonesia is reside in this area. This conclusion based on note of inscription that being found in 'Lembah Wahau', in north of Tenggarong that coming from 5 century. This eldest Empire of Hindu had mentioned that has done contact with India and Sriwijaya Kingdom. The substitution of this Hindu Empire is Sultanate Kutai that emerging at third century with its capital of in Tenggarong. Kutai then become the center commerce of Denting in this region and Tenggarong become the biggest and busier town in East Kalimantan, finally shifted by Samarinda and Balikpapan at 20 century.

This province known as the location of the oldest Hindu kingdom in Indonesia. The Kingdom of Kutai with its king Mulawarman. The existence of this kingdom is proved by a stone manuscript (Indonesian : Prasasti) which is now kept ini the National Museum, Jakarta. The manuscript is written in Pallawa alphabet and Sanskrit language. The replica of this manuscript can be seen in the Governor Office, Samarinda.

Trade in the South China Sea commenced as early as the second century BCE , linking Borneo to a network that extended to China and India. Animal skins, parts, precious woods, black pepper, and tree resins were traded for large Chinese porcelain pots, textiles, and glass beads from India. The arrival of Islam led to the establishment of Muslim kingdoms along Borneo's coasts, the largest of which was the sultanate of Brunei. By the end of the 1600's, the sultan of Brunei controlled most of Borneo's west coast. Coastal Islamic sultanates of Malay ethnicity gained power through maritime commerce and imposed a system of economic oppression on the Dayaks.

The arrival of Portuguese and Spanish traders, followed by the Dutch in the early 1600s and the British in 1665, signified the beginning of European intervention in East Borneo. Intent on creating a trade monopoly, the European powers wrested control from Islamic sultanates and established presences in the region. In the 1800s, the Dutch and British emerged predominant, with the former establishing a presence in the southern part of the island (Kalimantan) and the latter establishing protectorates in Sabah, Sarawak, and Brunei on the north coast. Dutch and British expansion was epitomized by violent warfare against the Dayaks and oppression of Chinese settlers who had migrated to work in the mines.

The Japanese occupation of East Borneo during World War II was also marked by brutality and violence. Japan attacked Tarakan afterwards to Balikpapan, to get kerosene. Afterwards was in charge of all of Indonesia. Indonesia gained independence from the Dutch in 1949, after four years of intense guerrilla warfare.

East Kalimantan was known as one of main oil producer area in Indonesia. The exploitation of Oilfield in this area have been done since 1897 started from delta area Mahakam River, while distillation area of oil is focused in Balikpapan. In 1913, the oil production in East Kalimantan can yield half Indonesia's production oil (when below Dutch power) and Balikpapan reach it's glorious from the abundance of oil production in this Mahakam River area. The state-owned petroleum company Pertamina has been operated in the area since it took control oil refinery from the Royal Dutch Shell company in 1965.

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