The New Overlords

  • Leonard Y. Andaya
Part of the Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde book series (VKIV, volume 91)


The fall of Sombaopu on 24 June 1669 symbolized to many people in South Sulawesi the beginning of a new era in the affairs of the peninsula. Goa, once considered invincible by Christians and Moslems alike, lay shattered and powerless before its new conquerers: the Dutch East India Company and Arung Palakka. The unexpected overwhelming support which Arung Palakka received from the Bone and Soppeng people combined with the firepower of the Dutch proved too strong even for the mighty Goa armies. It was readily conceded by both the Dutch and the Bugis leaders that without the other, neither would have been able to achieve such startling success. Even after the fall of Sombaopu the new overlords relied heavily upon one another, believing that any weakness in one would have disastrous consequences on the other. It was this concern which helped preserve the alliance through some difficult periods in the 17th century and enabled Arung Palakka to become the most powerful prince in South Sulawesi.


Water Buffalo Company Leader Military Expedition Dutch East India Company Voluntary Surrender 
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  1. 1.
    La Tënrilai Tosenngéng was accidentally blown up by gunpowder in the defence of Tosora (L-1:67; L-3:325).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    A Bugis version of the treaty appears to give a direct translation of leen or leenman in the Dutch version. It refers to the people of Wajo as being toinrang,literally “vassals”, of the Company (L-3:331–4). A more common word for “vassal” in interstate relations among South Sulawesi states is palili’. It appears, therefore, that Wajo may have been simply given a draft treaty which was translated literally into Bugis without any proper attention to local treaty conventions.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Pammana is listed along with Gilirëng and Belawa as siding with Wajo in L-3:324.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    The Bugis word would have been passe. See Chapter I for a discussion of this concept in Bugis-Makassar society.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    These are traditional phrases of a South Sulawesi “treaty”. What is being suggested here is to have Soppeng “reminded” of its treaty with Bone. See Chapter IV.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    For a discussion of the significance of burying the stone in a treaty, see Chapter IV.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    This was the traditional manner of submitting to a conqueror. For other examples, see Noorduyn 1955:168–171, 172–3, passim.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Arung Palakka’s wife at first continued to live in Barru and refused to go to Bontoala to join Arung Palakka because she considered it “too difficult and unpleasant” (KA 1191 a:656v).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    While no mention is made of the status of the members of this band, there would have been slaves, commoners, and ordinary criminals seeking safety from traditional society and norms in “outlaw” groups in the hills. These “outlaw” groups were not uncommon, and it was to prevent their growth that there was such strict provision in interstate treaties for the return of runaway slaves. While the economic loss to their masters was a factor in attempting to destroy these bands, the loss of prestige of a ruler was perhaps as, if not more, important a reason for condemning the existence of these groups. The rise of this alternative authority was an unpleasant reminder to a local lord that he had somehow failed to provide prosperity and protection to his people, two crucial determinants of a good ruler in South Sulawesi traditions. See L. Y. Andaya 1975: 120–1.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonard Y. Andaya
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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