Kingdom of Blambangan

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The Kingdom of Blambangan was located at the eastern tip of the Island of Java. It had a long history of its own, developing contemporaneously with the largest Hindu kingdom in Java, Majapahit (1293–1527). At the time of the collapse of Majapahit in the late fifteenth century, Blambangan stood on its own as the one solitary Hindu kingdom left in Java, controlling the larger part of Java’s Oosthoek.

For almost three centuries, Blambangan was situated between two different political factions, the Islamic state of Mataram in the west, and various Hindu realms in Bali (Gelgel, Buleleng, and Mengwi) in the east. Both neighbouring powers simultaneously contested the territory of Blambangan to appease their own political and religious ambitions.

The Balinese used Blambangan as a buffer against the Islamic expansion initiated by Muslim Mataram from the west and also found it useful to bolster the economy of Bali which was heavily overshadowed by endemic warfare. By the late sixteenth century, a few Western missionaries arrived in East Java to try to convert the local people and one century later the Dutch and British contested each other’s political and economic power in the region. Internal disputes about the succession at the court of Blambangan impaired the kingdom, making it vulnerable to foreign intervention.

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References[edit]

  1. Margana, Sri (2007). Java's last frontier : the struggle for hegemony of Blambangan, c. 1763-1813. CNWS/TANAP, Faculty of Arts, Leiden University.