Surapati

Surapati

 

Died 1706. National hero of Indonesia; leader of the anti-Dutch movement in Java.

In his childhood and youth, Surapati was a slave of a Dutch merchant in Jakarta. In the early 1680’s he fled to the region of Preanger in western Java, where he led an anti-Dutch guerrilla detachment. Later he worked for the Dutch East India Company but soon fled once more to the jungle. In 1685, Surapati went to Mataram, where he was taken into the service of Amangkurat II.

In Kartasura, the capital of Mataram, Surapati defeated a Dutch detachment that had been dispatched to turn him over to the Dutch authorities. He firmly established power in eastern Java, creating an independent state that was formally considered a vassalage of Mataram. In 1705 he supported Amangkurat III against the Dutch-supported Paku Buwono I in the struggle for the throne in Mataram and entered into a war against the Dutch. In 1706 he was mortally wounded while defending the fortress of the Bangil state in eastern Java; under the command of Surapati’s sons, the fortress resisted the Dutch until 1719. After the state fell to the Dutch, Surapati’s descendants continued the guerrilla struggle in eastern Java until the 1760’s.

REFERENCE

Muis, A. Surapati. Moscow, 1956. (Translated from Indonesian.)

V. A. TIURIN

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The name Surapati evokes a warrior of mythic stature in Indonesian historiography.
Surapati Pramanik and the referees for their valuable comments and suggestions.
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It was the language in which Melati van Java created her portrait of Surapati as a noble warrior struggling against Dutch aggression.