Sultanate of Bacan / Island of Bacan – Prov. Maluku Utara

The Sultanate of Bacan is already know in the 14 century. Is located on the island of Bacan, district of Halmahera, prov. Maluku Utara. The first King of Bacan who embraced Islam was King Zainulabidin who took the shahada in 1521. Even though he was in Maluku, his territory was wide enough to extend to West Papua. Many tribal chiefs in the Waigeo region, Misool located in Raja Ampat and several other areas under the administration of the Bacan kingdom.

Location island of Bacan

Location of Bacan, Tidore and Ternate

1 bacan helemaal

* Foto sultanate of Bacan: link
* Foto palace sultan Bacan: link
* Foto installation Sultan Bacan november 2010: link
* Video ritual Arungi Nusa kesultanan Bacan: link
* Video installation Sultan, 2010: link


About the sultan

Present Sultan of Bacan (installed 2010): Sultan Dede Muhammad Gary Ridwan Sjah.

19 november 2010
A man of Indonesian origin was coronated as the 21th Sultan of Bacan; an Indonesian island group in the North-Moluccans.: Sultan Dede Muhammad Gary Ridwan Sjah.
His father Sultan Alhaji Dede Muhammad Gahral Adian Sjah was sultan of bacan from 1983 until he died 21-9-2009. He was also the districtchief (Bupati) of Central-Halmaherah.
The son of this sultan already went at a young age to the USA and could make there a quite succesfull career as an computer specialist; now living in the state of Ohio.

History of the sultanate of Bacan

Google translation !

There are 5 kingdoms in North Maluku: Ternate, Tidore, Bacan, Jailolo dan Loloda.
Bacan (often written as Bachian, Bachan or Batjan) already existed since 1322.

From early times, Bacan was one of the four kingdoms of Maluku together with Ternate, Tidore and Jailolo. The ruling elite converted to Islam in about the late 15th century.
In 1513, the first Portuguese trading fleet to reach the Moluccas set up a trading post on Bacan which at the time was tied to the Sultan of Ternate by dynastic marriages.

In 1557, Father Antonio Vaz converted Bacan’s sultan and court members to Catholicism. The king was married to a daughter of Sultan Hairun of Ternate. Fleets from Ternate invaded the islands in 1570 and later and the king apostatized in 1575, though he was nevertheless poisoned in 1578.

Following the 1575 Ternatan invasion, Bacan become subservient to Ternate for periods, which was sealed through marriages. A sister and a daughter of Sultan Saidi Berkat of Ternate married Bacan rulers in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.

A Spanish fort was built in 1606. By this time the seat of the sultan had been moved from Kasiruta to Bacan Island. Once the Dutch East India Company established hegemony in 1609, the Netherlands’ power on Bacan was based in Fort Barnaveld.

In 1705, the sergeant in charge of the fort and the sultan captured the English explorer William Dampier, seized his ship, looted its cargo, and threatened all aboard with execution. It is thought that this was in response to Dampier violating the trade monopoly. When the sergeant’s Dutch superiors heard of the incident, Dampier was released, his ship restored and the English provided with sumptuous hospitality in Ternate. The chief town at the time, also known as Bachian, was Amasing or Amasingkota on the island’s isthmus.

Ternate and Bacan were the only places in the northern Moluccas that had a Dutch curriculum school and a Protestant minister in the late 19th century. The majority of Bacan’s Roman Catholics became Protestants during the Dutch colonial period.[citation needed] These Sirani wore semi-European dress and celebrated Sundays with dancing and music. The Sultanate of Bacan was treated as a Dutch protectorate; it was replaced by a council of chiefs under a Dutch contrôleur in 1889. A sultan with much reduced powers was eventually appointed in 1900. What independence remained was lost with the Japanese occupation during and Indonesian independence after World War II. The most significant modern town is Labuha on the west coast. Bacan has more recently been in the news due to violence between Christian and Muslim inhabitants of the island.


Sultan of Bacan, 1900

List of kings  (Kolano Madehe)

* 1660 – 1706:  Sultan Alauddin II
* 1706 – 2 Jan 1715:  Sultan Musa Malikuddin
* 1715 – 17 Feb 1732:  Sultan Kie Nasiruddin
* 1732 – 1741:  Sultan Hamza Tarafan Nur
* 1741 – 1780:  Sultan Muhammad Sahadin

* 1780 – 1788:  Sultan Skander Alam
* 1788 – 1787:  Sultan Muhammad Badaruddin
* 1797 – 1826:  Sultan Kamarullah
* 1826 – 19 Jul 1861:  Sultan Muhammad Hayatuddin Kornabei Syah Putera
* 14 May 1862 – 27 Feb 1889:  Sultan Muhammad Sadik Syah

* 1889 – 1899:  Regency council (three members)
* 28 Aug 1899 – 24 Apr 1935:  Sultan Muhammad Usman Syah
* 1935 – 1983:  Sultan Muhammad Muhsin Syah
* 1983 – 21 Sep 2009:  Sultan Gahral Aydan Syah
* 19 Nov 2010:  installed: Sultan Al-Abd-Al-Rahim Gary ibn Gahral (Gary Ridwan Syah).

Sultan of Bacan, march 2020

The Palace

The palace of the Sultan Bacan is located in the middle of Labuha City, precisely on Jl. Usmansyah. The current palace was originally the residence of Sultan Muksin Syah. The old palace was destroyed by World War II. The current palace was renovated in 2003 by replacing the roof of the house. The yellow color that dominates the Kedaton symbolizes the sultanate.

* Foto palace of Bacan: link


The old palace, destroyed after World War II


– History Bacan Islands: link
List of kings:

– Sultan of Bacan died (2009): link
New Sultan of Bacan (2010): link

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