Kingdom of Salawati / Prov. Papua Barat – Kab. Raja Empat

The kingdom of Salawati (Arfan clan) was a kingdom in the region Raja Empat, province of West Papua.

Island of Salawati

pulau salawati

* Foto kings on Papua today: link
* Foto kings on Papua in the past: link
* Foto old sites on Papua: link
* Foto peoples of Papua: link

* Video history Papua, century-2 AD until today: link


History of the kingdom

Muhammad Aminuddin Arfan was a Muslim leader from the Salawati Islamic Kingdom, who helped accompany the arrival of O.C. Ottow and G.J. Geissler-someone from the church-on Mansinam Island; he was exiled to Maros for opposing the Dutch colonization and died there.
Muhammad Aminuddin Arfan was an important person in the Salawati Kingdom. He was the younger brother of the king of Salawati. At that time the kingdom of Salawati was part of the Islamic kingdom of Ternate.
According to the procedures of the region, every guest who wanted to visit Papua, had to ask permission to the regional authorities in Salawati, which was part of Ternate. While carrying two German missionaries, Ottow and Geissler in a special white ship, the messenger of Ternate Kingdom asked permission of the ruler of the kingdom of Salawati, as well as asking some people to accompany the missionary, who wanted to perform evangelistic tasks on the island Mansinam, Manukwari.
Mansinam Island was chosen, because it was considered still inhabited by the majority of Animism. After two months of “introducing” Ottow and Geisler to the adat chiefs, Muhammad Aminuddin Arfan returned to Salawati. Muhammad Aminuddin Arfan, who was anti Dutch, was arrested and exiled to Maros. He was not allowed to go home, and was left there until his death.

Rukunuddin Arfan, oldest grandson of last king of Salawati

List of kings of Salawati

• Abd al-Kasim (1873-1890)
• Muhammad Amin (1900-1918)
• Bahar ad-Din Arfan (1918-1935)
• Abu’l-Kasim Arfan (1935-?)


King of Salawati ca 1915

History of the kingdoms in Raja Empat

Google translation

In the archipelago of Raja Ampatwere 5 traditional kingdoms:
* kerajaan Waigama
* kerajaan Waigeo, with the centre in Wewayai, island of Waigeo;
* kerajaan Salawati, with the centre in Samate, island of north Salawati
* kerajaan Sailolof with the centre in Sailolof, island of south Salawati
* kerajaan Misool, with the centre in Lilinta, island of Misool.

The origin of the name Raja Ampat according to the myth of the local community comes from a woman, who found seven eggs.
Four of them became princes and and each of the four became ruler of Waigeo, Salawati, Misool East and Misool West. Meanwhile, three other eggs became ghosts, a woman, and a stone.
The eggs were stored in the noken (bag) and brought home, and stored in the room.
At night they heard the sound of whispers, they were shocked when they saw in the room, that the five eggs had hatched in the form of four boys and one daughter, all dressed in clothing showing that they were the descendants of the king. Until now it is unclear, who gave names to the children, but then it is known that each child was named:

* War became king of Waigeo,
* Betani became king of Salawati,
* Dohar became king of Lilinta (Misool),
* Mohamad became king of Waigama.

While a girl (named Pintolee), was pregnant and by her siblings Pintolee placed in a large bia (shell) skin then washed away to be stranded on Numfor Island.
One more egg did not hatch and became a stone named Kapatnai and was treated as a king and even given a room, where residing complete with two stones, that served as a bodyguard at either side of the entrance and even annually bathed and splashed water to the community as a babtisan for the tribe Kawe. Not every time the stone could be seen except once a year when bathed.
Because the community is very respectful of the existence of these eggs, they built a house on the edge of the Waikeo River as a place to stay and until now it is still object of public worship. (Source: Korneles Mambrasar).

Raja Ampat Islands was in the 15th century part of the Tidore Sultanate, a large empire based in the Maluku Islands.
To run his government, the Tidore Sultanate appointed 4 local kings to rule on the islands of Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati and Misool, which were the 4 largest islands in the Raja Ampat archipelago to date. The term of the 4 Kings in the reign of the archipelago is the beginning of the name of Raja Ampat.

Kingdoms on Prov. West Papua

1) District Kaimana

Kerajaan Kaimana
Kerajaan Aiduma
Kerajaan Kowiai/kerajaan Namatota

2) District Fak Fak

Kerajaan Fatagar (marga Uswanas)
Kerajaan Rumbati (marga Bauw)
Kerajaan Atiati (marga Kerewaindżai)
Kerajaan Patipi
Kerajaan Sekar (marga Rumgesan)
Kerajaan Wertuar (marga Heremba)
Kerajaan Arguni

3) District Raja Empat

Kerajaan Waigeo
Kerajaan Misool/Lilinta (marga Dekamboe)
Kerajaan Salawati (marga Arfan)
Kerajaan Sailolof/Waigama (marga Tafalas)
Kerajaan Waigama

The history of the kingdoms of Prov. West Papua

Google translation

According to Kakawin Nagarakretagama written between September-October 1365, Wwanin / Onin (Fakfak District) was an area of ​​influence of Majala Majapahit Kingdom, this region may be part of the Hindu kingdom colonies in the Maluku Islands recognized by Majapahit conquest.

In his book “Neiuw Guinea”, WC. Klein also explained the early facts of the influence of the Bacan kingdom on Papua. There he writes: in 1569 Papuan leaders visited the kingdom of Bacan. According to the oral history of the Biak people, there was a relationship and marriage between their tribal chiefs and the sultans of Tidore. The Biak tribe was the largest Melanesian tribe that spreads on the northern coast of Papua, therefore the Biak language is also the most widely used and considered as the language of Papuan unity. Due to the relation of coastal areas of Papua to the Sultan-Sultan of Maluku there were several local kingdoms (pertuanan), which indicate the entry of feudalism system which is not the original culture of ethnic Papua.

In the Raja Ampat Islands located off the coast of Papua there are 4 traditional kingdoms belonging to the mandala territory of Bacan and the sultanate of Ternate, each of which was the kingdom of Waigeo, with its central power in Wewayai, Waigeo island; Salawati kingdom, with a power center in Samate, the island of Salawati Utara; the Sailolof empire with the center of power in Sailolof, South Salawati island, and the kingdom of Misol, with the center of power in Lilinta, Misol island.

In 1660, the VOC had signed an agreement with the Tidore sultan in which Tidore recognized the Dutch protectorate of the people of West Irian. This agreement clearly covered the inhabitants of the islands between Maluku and Irian. Obviously, Tidore never actually controlled Irian. So the Dutch protectorate is just a legal fiction.

Tidore considered himself the superior of Biak. At that time, Malay traders began to visit the island of Irian. It is precisely this view of Tidore which is the reason the Dutch consider the western part of the island is part of the Dutch East Indies.

Since the 16th century, in addition to the Raja Ampat Islands belonging to the Sultan of Bacan and the Sultan of Ternate, other areas of Papua are the coastal areas of Papua from the island of Biak (as well as the Biak distribution areas) until Mimika is part of the mandala territory of Tidore Sultanate, a a large empire adjacent to the territory of Papua.
In 1826 Pieter Merkus, the Dutch governor of Maluku, heard rumors that England began to enter the coast of Irian in the east of the Aru Islands. He decided the group to explore the beach until Dolak Island. Two years later, the Dutch built the Fort Du Bus, which is now the city of Lobo, with the ultimate goal of blocking other European powers landed in western Irian. Fort Du Bus was abandoned in 1836.
In 1872, Tidore recognized the authority of the Kingdom of the Netherlands upon him.

The Dutch returned to Irian in 1898. Irian was divided between the Netherlands, Germany (northern part of eastern Irian) and England (southern part of eastern Irian). The arc line 141 is recognized as the eastern boundary of western Irian. In 1898 – 1949, western Papua was known as Dutch New Guinea.

Source (only indon. language)

– Sejarah kerajaaan Salawati:

Sejarah Raja Empat:

– Sejarah kerajaan2 Papua Barat:
– Kerajaan2 Islam di Papua:
– Kerajaan2 di Semenanjung Onin:
– Sistem kerajaan2 tradisional di Papua:
– Sejarah kerajaan2 di Papua Barat:
– Kerajaan2 di Semenanjung Bomberai:
– Kerajaan2 di kepulauan Raja empat:
– Sejarah kepulauan Raja empat:

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