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Page 28

Historical Chronology

6th Century- A travelling Chinese Buddhist monk describes the island of Po’li, some historians thought it to be Bali, was made up of 136 villages set amongst luxuriant vegetation and ruled by a king, who believed he was descended from Hindu deities.

882- Oldest dated inscription found in Bali records the first king ruling Bali as Ugrasena, founder of the islands ancient and feudal Warmadewa Dynasty.

Late 10th Century- ­ The island of Bali is conquered by the Javanese ki­ng, Dharmawangsa (989-1007). His sister Mahendrad­atta, marries the Balinese king, Udayana (Dharmoda­yana).

1001- Prince Erlangga is born. Son of Udayana and Mahendradatta. Erlangga returns to Java where he builds a powerful kingdom and rules Bali as part of his em­pire, and he lays the foundations of Javanese-Balinese political and cultural contact.

Early 12th Century- ­ Bali becomes a vassal of the eastern Javanese kingdom of Kediri.

1284- ­ The neighbouring Javanese ruler Kertanegara, reconquers and pacifies and unifies Bali under the Sin­gasari Dynasty.

1343- Gajah Mada, Supreme General and Prime Minister of the Majapahit Empire, conquers Bali and introduces the Majapahit culture and its institutions. The Balinese are very receptive and the aristocracy eagerly seek to join their family trees to the ruling ‘Wong Majapahit (Man of Majapahit).

1450- The Hinduization of Bali proceeds through waves of migration and cultural infusion from the Majapahit Empire in the eastern part of Java.

1515- The collapse of the Majapahit Empire (due to the unstoppable rise of Islam) triggers a massive cultural migration to Bali. The last prince of Majapahit and his royal court of Hindu priests, artists, scholars, nobles and soldiers flee to Bali, transporting their culture intact.

1550- Batu Renggong of the Gelgel Dynasty inherits the title Dewa Agung, (Great Deity or King), and initiates a political, military and cultural renaissance sometimes called Bali’s Golden Age. He controlled all the Balinese Rajadoms and conquered Sumbawa and Lombok. Several generations later the family dynasty moved its court to Klungkung which remains the noblest of the eight Rajadoms (or principalities) these principalities are Klungkung, Badung, Tabanan, Bangli, Gianyar, Karangasem, Buleleng and Jembrana.

1597- The Dutch trader Cornelius De Houtman arrived in Bali, searching for spices. The court at Gelgel royally entertained four men of this expedition. Two men jumped ship, and the world received fascinating reports about this beautiful tropical paradise.

1601- A Dutch expedition led by Jacob van Heemskerck, tries to open trade relations with the island. The Dewa Agung presented him with a beautiful Balinese girl, as a gift, the Dutch interpreted this as tacit approval and that it ‘bestowed special rights’ to them.

­1639- Di Made Bakung, last Dewa Agung of the ‘Golden Age’ of Gelgel Dynasty, provoked an invasion by the Javanese Empire of Mataram. He lost Sumbawa, Lombok and the allegiance of the other Balinese princes. The Gelgel court moved to Klungkung. They continued to symbolize imperial grandeur, but never again have real imperial power.

­1667­- The Rajadom of Gianyar is born with the rise of Dewa Manggis Kuning, a fourth generation of Gelgel. After some early misadventures in Badung, Dewa Manggis escaped death by being carried out of the palace wrapped in a mat, on top of a servant’s head. The fugitive prince then set up a court in Gianyar, which became prosperous and powerful southern state.

1711- The Dewa Agung’s military and political power passes to Buleleng in the north. The joint principalities of Buleleng-Mengwi flourish for the most of this century.

­1717-1717-­ There are frequent hostilities between Bali and the Javanese Empire of Mataram, which climax in the destruction of East Java and Madura by roaming troops of Balinese. The Dutch refrained from intervening in the Balinese-Javanese wars.

1740­- The Rajadom of Karangasem rise to prominence, conquer Lombok. Raja Gusti Gede of Karangasem, famous prince in Balinese history subdues Buleleng, then Negara, dominates the political scene and stirs the populace to widespread resentment and anger.

1815­- Tambora Volcano on Sumbawa erupts. Buleleng and Singaraja, the large towns in the north, are damaged by ash and tidal waves. This is perceived as a premonition of impending disaster.

1817­- The Dutch begin agricultural trade with Bali. Singaraja and Kuta become busy ports.

1826­- First permanent Dutch agent settles in Kuta in southern Bali, is the start of modern Dutch presence on the island. Captain J.S. Wetters’ purpose is to recruit 1000 Balinese soldiers for the Dutch colonial army. The trade in opium and Balinese slaves flourish under his influence.

1830’s- Dutch traders begin to negotiate trade policies and sovereignty. The Balinese keep rigidly the traditional concept of ‘reef rights’ whereby villagers are entitled to plunder any ship that wrecks near the island, accepting the booty as gifts from the gods.

­1841- ­ The Dutch frigate Overijsset is wrecked on Kuta reef and plundered by Balinese. Amid furore and protest, a new commissioner arrives at Buleleng. A dynamic young prince, Gusti Ketut Jelantik, the great hero of mid-nineteenth century Bali, deifies him.

1846-­ Dutch-Bali wars. The first Dutch punitive expedition brings an invasion fleet of 58 vessels and 3000 armed men to defeat Jelantik’s defence force in Buleleng. Danish trader Mads Lange, who runs a shipping and trading post in Kuta, acts as intermediary between the Balinese and the Dutch.

1848- In this second punitive expedition, the brilliant military leader Gusti Jelantik fights off three attacks from the Dutch with 25 cannon and 16,000 men.

­1849­- The third and final punitive Dutch expedition arrives with 100-armed vessels. The Dutch attack the Balinese stronghold of Jagaraga. Balinese lose thousands of men, and then they advance in puputan, which is a fight to death (ritual suicide). The Dutch gain allies and troops from Lombok, which overtake the rajas of Karangasem and Buleleng. The Balinese resistance is in disarray whilst the Dutch gain strength.

1850’s- The Dutch ‘protective’ administration assumes sovereign power over northern and western Bali. Coffee plantations are introduced in the north, which are a profitable colonial enterprise. Dutch ban the Hindu practice of suttee, the burning of widowed wives with their husbands, and now take the first steps to eradicate slavery.

1868- The climax of the intermittent Gianyar-Klungkung wars, the rajadom of Gianyar (the most powerful and prosperous state of the south), smashes the army of Klungkung.

1882- Buleleng and Jembrana states are brought under direct Dutch rule. All Balinese women in that part of the island are ordered to cover their breasts.

­1885­- Dewa Manggis and his Gianyar retinue travel to Klungkung to pay homage to the Dewa Agung but are imprisoned instead; and their ranks destroyed. A rebellion of Muslim Sasak vassals of the Balinese rulers of Karangasem, east Bali, is suppressed with extreme cruelty.

1894­- The Dutch send a military expedition to Lombok and to punish the Balinese rulers, but they are massacred in the notorious ‘Lombok Treachery’ at their camp at Cakranegara. To revenge this defeat the Dutch lay waste Lombok, and raze Mataram to the ground in the process. The Balinese rulers perish in a mass rite of puputan, or ritual suicide; rather than surrender to the Dutch. Dutch-Balinese relations become increasingly strained.

1900-­ The Dutch annex Gianyar.

1904­- The Chinese schooner ‘Sri Kumala’ is wrecked near Sanur beach and plundered. The Dutch demand compensation from the Raja of Badung, who remained defiant. He is supported by the Raja’s of Klungkung and Tabanan. The last known suttee takes place in Tabanan.

1906­- A large military expedition lands at Sanur beach with troops, and march toward the royal palace at Denpasar. They are met by the raja and his entire court, dressed in splendour for the ritual of puputan. In this ghastly suicide ceremony, the entire court turn their daggers and krisses upon one another. The women tauntingly throw their jewels at the Dutch troops. The entire court died on the battle field. The puputan ritual is repeated that same afternoon in Pemecutan, a minor court of Badung; and two days later in the court of the raja of Tabanan.

1908­- Disorder and bombardment by the Dutch, around Klungkung and Gelgel leads to the final puputan of the Dewa Agung and his court at Klungkung. The Dutch then resolve to make amends, and introduces reforms under the ‘Ethical Policy’ they do not allow the presence of a Dutch colony, nor agricultural business, as in Java. Balinese farmers are protected against exploitation, and the sudden impact of outside influences. A ‘conservationist’ stance towards Balinese culture is taken in art and architecture.

1920’s-1930’s-­ Foreign artists and musicians ‘discover’ Bali. Walter Spies, Miguel Covarrubias, Rudolph Bonnet, Ari Smit, Han Snel, Vicki Baum, and anthropologis­ts Margaret Mead, Jane Belo and Gregory Bateson, are just a few of the many that came to Bali.

1942- Japanese Occupation. Japanese troops land at Sanur beach and control the island for three years, headquarters at Denpasar and Singaraja. Walter Spies, Bali’s most famous western artist, perishes when a Japanese submarine torpedoes his ship, when he was being transported to safety as a German internee.

1945­- General Sukarno, soldier and politician, rises through party ranks in Jakarta. Declares ‘Merdeka’ - Independence, for the entire Indonesian archipelago. Dutch troops drive the Japanese out of Bali and try to re-impose a Dutch civil administration.

1946- Battle for independence in Bali, climax with a young military officer, Ngurah Rai, who relies on mystical guidance; leads a suicide attack against Dutch forces and is martyred at Marga, along with 95 followers.

1949- The Hague concedes Indonesian Independence. Bali becomes part of the Republic of the United States of Indonesia, with Sukarno as President.

1956- Sukarno, President of Indonesia and ‘patron’ of Bali, builds various monuments such as the Tampaksiring Palace, Bali Beach Hotel, and the Udayana University: which is now Bali’s chief centre of higher education.

1962- A plague of rats infest Bali. This is interpreted as a sign of divine wrath and displeasure.

1963- Gunung Agung erupts, killing over 1000 people and laying waste much of the island. This occurs whilst the Balinese are celebrating Eka Desa Rudra, the most sacred of festivals, held only once each Balinese century at Pura Besakih, the mother temple, on the slopes of Gunung Agung, the most holy mountain in Bali. The eruption is seen as an evil omen.

1965- Gestapu, September 30, an abortive coup de ‘etat; five top army generals are murdered brutally by a by a clique of communist conspirators. Revulsion and a desire for vengeance promote a national bloodletting. In Bali thousands of suspected communists are killed in a matter of weeks.

1970s- Tourism develops in southern Bali, in the capital Denpasar, and in the beach resort villages of Sanur and Kuta. The Ngurah Rai International Airport is opened. The government declares tourism the new industry and launches the development of the Nusa Dua, a mega-resort, in the Bukit peninsular.

1979- The cremation of Tjokorda Gede Agung Sukawati, the high prince and designate Raja of Ubud, was given what has been called ‘ the last great cremation’ was burned in a huge black and gold bull sarcophagus.

1979- On January 31, Balinese again celebrate Eka Desa Rudra. Exactly 11 years and 11 days after the aborted festival of 1963, a massive celebration involving the most elaborate preparations and animal sacrifices ever seen. The priests announce it as successful. A true purging of the old and a blessed beginning of a century of hope to the Balinese people.

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