The Minangkabau Response to Dutch Colonial Rule Nineteenth Century

By Elizabeth E. Graves | Go to book overview

FOREWORD

Despite the considerable expansion of scholarlystudies of Minangkabau society in recent years, the paucity of historical research on West Sumatra is still notable. Especially is this so for the nineteenth century, where, apart from the new perspectives provided in Christine Dobbin’s series of articles on the Padri Wars,* virtually nothing has been published during the past decade. A significant study dealing with this period that certainly merited publication was the 1971 University of Wisconsin dissertation of Elizabeth E. Graves, which, following her revision, we are now pleased to bring out in our Monograph Series. In this revision Dr. Graves was not able to draw on Dobbin’s work and other germane material published during the last few years, but most of the data she has marshaled and analyzed cannot be found in other published sources, and there is no doubt that her monograph fills many of the extensive gaps in our knowledge of nineteenth century Minangkabau society and its interaction with Dutch political and economic power. Moreover, those familiar with Taufik Abdullah’s classic study, Schools and Politics: The Kaum Muda in West Sumatra (1927–1933), will find an excellent complement in her chapters on the development of secular education during this earlier period.

In publishing this study, the Cornell Modern Indonesia Project is confident that it provides an important addition to the regional dimension of Indonesian history and illuminating insights into the shaping of nineteenth century Minangkabau society and the way its character set the stage for better known developments in the present century.

George McT. Kahin Ithaca, N.Y. July 1981

* See, in particular, her “Islamic Revivalism in Minangkabau at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century,” Modern Asian Studies, 8, 3 (1974), pp. 319–56, and “Economic Change in Minangkabau as a Factor in the Rise of the Padri Movement, 1784–1830,” Indonesia, 23 (April 1977), pp. 1–38.

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