Panel: Global Islamic Connection in the Early Modern Indonesian Archipelago


  • Daya Wijaya, State University of Malang, Indonesia
  • Riza Afita Surya, Jember University, Indonesia
  • Vitor Teixeira, Fernando Pessoa University, Portuga

This panel aims to discuss how the Indonesian sultanates, from Aceh to Hitu, expanded and sustained their Islamic networks globally in the early modern period. Considering the availability of Eurasian (Malay, Chinese, Javanese, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, and English) sources, we could also explore beyond the general narrative. Both formal and non-formal agents had the equal role in the Islamic networks. Those significant non-formal agents were merchants, sea men, and religious leaders). Some merchants, known as orangkaya (noblemen), had controlled the 17th century Acehnese internal politics and kept sustaining their network to the Ottoman Empire. Oranglaut (sea men) also contributed to the standing of maritime sultanates, especially Malacca and Johor. They facilitated incoming and outgoing ships, and commanded naval boats to defend their homeland during the wartime. Imam Ridjali, the Islamic priest (ulama) who authored Hikayat Tanah Hitu (the tale of Hitu kingdom), escaped to Makasar after the Dutch destroyed and fired all the Hitu land. The people of Hitu might have a connection to Makasar. Besides of having Islamic connection, the 17th century Makasar Sultanate also welcomed the Iberian merchants from Malacca and Manila. In the age of commerce (1480-1680), man and woman were equal to express their desire. Even, some women, for instance Ratu Kalinyamat of Jepara and Kemala Hayati of Aceh, led hundred ships to invade the Portuguese-Malacca.

This panel also explores the shared heritage in the Indonesian archipelago as a result from global Islamic encounter. At present, we can identify the hybrid identities in the Indonesian port-cities, as proposed by Anthony Reid. Islam and the Middle Eastern culture have determined Indonesian way of wearing their cloth, cooking their dish, producing their words, and establishing their mosques, houses, and tombstones. For further, its hybrid culture could also be seen in the toponymy of the Indonesian villages, for instance Kampung Arab (the Arabian village).

To submit a paper proposal to this panel please send an abstract of 300 words and a short biographical statement to and by 8 July 2022