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Musical Journeys in Sumatra$
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Margaret Kartomi

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036712

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036712.001.0001

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The Island of Bangka

The Island of Bangka

(p.204) 9 The Island of Bangka
Musical Journeys in Sumatra

Margaret Kartomi

University of Illinois Press

This chapter focuses on the performing arts of four main musico-lingual groups in Bangka, South Sumatra: the Malays, the Suku Lom forest-dwellers, the Suku Sekak sea-boat-dwellers, and the Chinese Indonesians. According to some performing artists and community elders, today's Malay people are descendants of former Bangka Malay chiefdoms, while the Suku Mapur or Suku Lom people are animists who prefer to live in relative isolation in the forests. The Suku Sekak people are also animists who prefer to live in boats at sea when the weather permits. The Bangka Malays, the Suku Lom, and the Suku Sekak speak varieties of Malay, while the Chinese Indonesians normally speak varieties of Hakka or Hokkien in addition to Malay. To understand how Bangka's four musico-lingual subgroups came into being as well as their musical arts, the chapter examines the history of foreign exploitation of their tin and cash crops by the sultans of Palembang (seventeenth–eighteenth centuries), Britain (1812–1816), Holland (ca. 1817–World War II), and Indonesia (1949 to present).

Keywords:   performing arts, musico-lingual groups, Bangka, South Sumatra, Malay people, Suku Lom people, Chinese Indonesians, Suku Sekak people, musical arts, Palembang

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