Kingdom of Sonbai Kecil (Kupang) / Isl. of Timor – Prov. Nusa Tenggara Timur

The kingdom of Sonbai Kecil / Kupang is located on the island of Timor, District Kupang, provinsi Nusa Tenggara Timur. In 1657 the rulers of Sonbai were taken captive by the Portuguese, and in 1658, a sizeable part of Sonbai’s population fled to Kupang under the leadership of the executive Regent of the Oematan family, Ama Tomananu. This was the beginning of the split into two, Little Sonbai and Big Sonbai.

District Kupang


Location of Timor

* Foto kingdom of Kupang: link

* Foto kings today onTimor: link
* Foto kings of Timor in the past: link

* Foto old sites on Timor: link

* Video history Timor and NTT, century 1 AD – today: link


History of the kingdom of Sonbai Kecil / Kupang

Sonbai Besar or Greater Sonbai was an extensive princedom of West Timor, in present-day Indonesia, which existed from 1658 to 1906 and played an important role in the history of Timor.
The origins of the princedom are intimately connected with the struggle between the Dutch and the Portuguese for mastery of the island. The united Sonbai (Sonba’i, Sonnebay) realm, the traditionally most prestigious polity among the Atoni people of West Timor, allied with the Portuguese in 1649-1655, and then with the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC) in 1655-1658. After a series of defeats at the hands of the Portuguese Eurasians or Topasses in 1657-1658, Sonbai broke up in two parts: Sonbai Kecil and Sonbai Besar. One group migrated to Kupang where the Dutch had their base, where they formed the Sonbai Kecil princedom. Another group, Sonbai Besar, stayed in the inland of West Timor under Portuguese surveillance.

An attempt was made in 1776 – 1783 to unite Sonbai Kecil with its sister kingdom Sonbai Besar, which lately left the sphere of Portugal in 1749 and allied with the VOC. The attempt proved futile however, and a new dynastic branch, Nisnoni, rose as rulers of Sonbai Kecil after 1783. They remained in charge until 1917, when the Dutch let Sonbai Kecil merge with four other kingdoms to form the larger zelfbesturend landschap (self-ruling
territory) of Kupang. In the next year 1918 the old ruler of Sonbai Kecil became King of Kupang. The family governed until 1955.

Historical facts:

* 1917: Kupang state formed as a federation by the smaller states of Sonbai Kecil, Amabi, Amabi-Oefetto, Kupang-Helong, TaEbenu and Funai.
* 1955: Abolished by Indonesian government.
* 2004: Restored.

Kingdoms on Timor 1900

List of kings

* 1659 – 1672: Ama Tuan, Jr.
* 1672 – 1717: Bi Sonbai (Usi Tetu Utang) (f)
* 1717 – 1726: Bernardus de Leeuw
* 1728 – 1748: Corneo Leeuw
* 1748 – 1760: Daniel Taffy

* 1760 – 1776: Jacobus Albertus Taffy
* 1776 – 1782: Alphonsus Adrianus of Sonbai Besar
* 1782 – 1795: Baki Bena (Bernardus Nisnoni)
* 1795 – 1798: Dirk Hendrik Aulasi
* 1798 – 1821: Nube Bena (Pieter Nisnoni I)

* 1821 – 1828: Isu Baki Sonbai
* 1828 – 1833: Ote Nuben Nisnoni
* 1833 – 1839: Babkas Nube (Pieter Nisnoni II)
* 1839 – 1860: Meis Babkas Nisnoni
* 1860 – 1874: Pieter Messi Nisnoni

* 1875 – 1889: Isu Nisnoni
* 1890 – 1902: Said Meis Nisnoni
* 1905 – 1911: Baki Bastiaan Meis Nisnoni
* 1911 – 1917: Nicolaas Isu Nisnoni

In 1918 the ruler of Sonbai Kecil became king of Kerajaan Kupang.

– Source:

The Palace: Istana Sonaf Nisnoni

Old maps of Timor

For old maps of Timor 1521, 1550, 1600, 1650, 1733, 1700-an, 1762, 1900: klik here

Timor 1521

Source (only indon, language)

– Sejarah kerajaan Kupang:
– Genealogi Dinasti Nisnoni:
– Daftar raja:
Leopold Nisnoni, penjaga sejarah kerajaan Kupang:
Sejarah Kota Kupang:

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