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Expansion and internalization of modes of warfare in pre-colonial Bali
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences. (Postcolonial Forum; Concurrences)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4758-191X
2018 (English)In: Warring Societies of Pre-colonial Southeast Asia: Local Cultures of Conflict Within a Regional Context / [ed] Michael W. Charney, Kathryn Wellen, Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2018, p. 129-153Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Among the fifteen or so polities of some consequence in early-modern insular Southeast Asia, Bali was unique in being non-Muslim. While no full explanation for this fact has been offered so far, it is at a minimum clear that the Balinese developed military skills which made them well-known even outside their modest-sized island. Balinese modes of warfare over the centuries can be followed sketchily from archival materials, in the first hand Dutch sources. External views are also offered by Javanese, Sasak and Sumbawan sources. Balinese historical traditions are obsessed with warfare, although the relatively late and stereotypical portrayals of war offer problems in interpretation. What is clear from the extant records is that the period 1500-1800 included periods of strong military expansion which was able to temporarily hold back major central polities such as Mataram. This can be attributed to both internal dynamics, such as political and demographic conditions, and external factors such as the vacuum created by the defeat of several Muslim polities at the hands of the VOC. From the second half of the 18th century Balinese warfare tended to be internalized as the area of activity of the Balinese was confined to Bali itself (together with the previously subdued Lombok). Internal warfare tended to grow more intense towards the late 19th century, paving the way for the definite colonial subjugation in 1906-08. The essay traces the changes in the mode of warfare over a period of about 400 years, relating it to technological and political developments in the Southeast Asian neighbourhood region.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2018. p. 129-153
Series
Nordic Institute of Asian Studies. Studies on Asian topics ; 62
Keyword [en]
Bali, Indonesia, warfare
National Category
History
Research subject
Humanities, History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-69628ISBN: 978-87-7694-228-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-69628DiVA: diva2:1171955
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Concurrences
Available from: 2018-01-08 Created: 2018-01-08 Last updated: 2018-01-23

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Hägerdal, Hans

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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Language
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Output format
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