September 01, 2014

Depati Parbo: A Case Study in Indigenous History

AT PRESENT (1978) in Kerinci an official campaign is underway to promote the cause of a Kerinci hero, Depati Parbo, who fought against the Dutch. The intention of the campaign is to win official recognition for him as a pahlawan nasional, a national hero.

By seeking to elevate him to ranks of other heroes such as Pangeran Diponegoro, Tuanku Imam Bonjol and Teuku Umar, the people of Kerinci hope to enhance the prestige of Kerinci and make the area more well-known throughout Indonesia.

At this official level advancing the cause of Depati Parbo can be seen as part of a more general endeavour to open up Kerinci from its relative isolation. The various improvements in the infra structure of the region: the repairing of roads, development of small hotels and the provision of adequate agriculture facilities, are all part of this general strategy to increase knowledge of Kerinci and raise the level of traffic between Kerinci and other areas in Sumatra.[]


C.W. Watson, "Depati Parbo: A Case Study in Indigenous History", Archipel, 15 (1978): 123-143.

Full text is available here.

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