Mangkunegara IV

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COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM De vorst Mangkoe Negoro IV die tussen 1853 en 1881 het gebied Mangkoe Negaram bestuurde TMnr 10001298.jpg

Mangkunegara IV (1809–1881) was the fourth ruler of Mangkunegaran, a small principality based in Surakarta, Java, ruling from 1853-1881. His title before ascending was Pangeran Adipati.

During his reign, the foundations of estate agriculture producing coffee and sugar were established. The profits from the system were reinvested in the domains, instead of being sent abroad, as happened in many colonial situations; however, as typical for a less-developed economy, the inhabitants were dependent on the world price of these cash crops. He abolished the appanage system of compensating his retainers and officials and instead paid them salaries. Nevertheless, Mangkunegara IV had to deal with the Dutch East India Company as well as the other rulers in central Java of the period. In 1857 and 1877, he was unable to reclaim land leased to European planters.[1]

Mangkunegara IV's court is especially known for its contributions to the traditional arts. He himself was a prominent poet who collaborated with Raden Ngabei Ranggawarsita (1802–1873), said to be the last of the great court poets. Mangkunegara IV's most famous poem is Wedhatama ("Exalted Wisdom"), which praises morality consistent with the mystical Islam of Java, in contrast to the more self-consciously Orthodox Islamic community.[2]

He is also credited with the composition of several ketawang, a gamelan musical form,[3] including Puspawarna, which was included in the Voyager's Golden Record sent to outer space in the 1970s.


  1. ^ M.C. Ricklefs, A History of Modern Indonesia Since c. 1300, 2nd ed., Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994, 127
  2. ^ Ricklefs, 126
  3. ^ Alec Roth, New Compositions for Javanese Gamelan, Vol. 2, Lebanon, NH: American Gamelan Institute, distributed 1998, 426
Preceded by
Mangkunegara III
Prince of Mangkunegaran
Succeeded by
Mangkunegara V