Koleksi Raffles Dari Jawa: Bukti Dari Eropa Tentang Sebuah Peradaban
Keywords:Stamford Raffles, collecting history, art history, colonialism
AbstractStamford Raffles was promoted to Lieutenant Governor of Java when the island was taken from the Dutch by the British East India Company in 1811 as part of the Napoleonic warsin Europe. During Raffles’ years on Java, he collected substantial cultural materials,among others are; theatrical objects, musical instruments, coins and amulets, metal sculpture, and drawings of Hindu- Buddhist buildings and sculpture. European interest inantiquities explains the ancient Hindu- Buddhist material in Raffles’s collection, but thetheatrical objects were less understood easily. This essay explored Raffles’ s collecting practices, addressing the key questions of what he collected and why, as well as what were the shape of the collection can tell us about him, his ideas and beliefs, his contemporaries, and Java, including interactions between colonizers and locals. I compared the types of objects in the collections with Raffles’ writings, as well as the writings of his contemporaries on Java and Sumatra in the British Library and the Royal Asiatic Society. Raffles was one of the first people to apply the enlightenment notion of systematic collecting to cultural material, but his collections were not systematized by Javanese standards, indicating his incomplete understanding of the local culture. Instead, the objects demonstrated that Raffles chose items considered indicative of civilization according to European ideas, assembling objects to support his argument in favor of Java as a remaining of a British colony, as well as to promote his own image as a scholar- official.
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