Endenese - History and Cultural Relations



Before the arrival of the Portuguese in the sixteenth century, the island of Flores already had been used as a trading port by the Javanese (especially for the sandalwood derived from Timor). The Portuguese arrived at Melaka (Malacca) in 1511 and the first bishop in Melaka sent three missionaries to Solor, a small island off the east coast of Flores. Between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Islam is said to have come to Ende. Thus, in the sixteenth century, the island of Flores was a battlefield between the Islamic forces and the Portuguese. Then in the seventeenth century, a third force came onto the scene; namely, the Dutch East India Company, which was established in 1602. In 1613, a Dutch fleet under the command of Apollonius Scot sailed through the islands in the eastern part of Indonesia. Before arriving at Kupang, Scot went to Solor and attacked the fortress there, taking it from the Portuguese. In the decades between 1610 and 1640, the Portuguese in Larantuka and the Dutch on Solor played a kind of seesaw game, which in the long run turned in favor of the Dutch. The fortress on Pulau Ende had been destroyed in the 1620s. After that incident the city of Endeh, where the raj adorn of Ende may already have formed itself, replaced Pulau Ende as a focal point in central Flores. Around this time the Portuguese influence over the area was waning. The Dutch East India Company selected Ende as a rajadom and concluded a formal contract in 1793. The company's involvement in eastern Indonesia ended in 1799 when its charter expired and was replaced by Dutch colonial rule. Prior to 1907, the Dutch principle of government had been minimal direct involvement. In 1907, military reinforcement came from Kupang, and the whole land of Flores was pacified by military force.


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