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Open Access 5. Drummers of the Sultan of Buton: The Lasting Influence of the Dutch East India Company on Local Music Traditions

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5. Drummers of the Sultan of Buton: The Lasting Influence of the Dutch East India Company on Local Music Traditions

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on several historical encounters with the music and musicians of Buton, starting with the first interactions between the Dutch East Asia Trading Company (VOC) and the inhabitants of the island in the sixteenth century, moving on to the account of Swedish ethnographer Walter Kaudern, who in 1927 wrote a book on the musical culture of Sulawesi. In his book Kaudern also briefly touches upon the 'Drummers of the Sultan of Boeton'. Furthermore, in 1937 government linguist Van den Berg described some of Buton's musical richness, making explicit mention of the very same drummers of the Sultan and the flag his guards carried along in procession, which resembled the splendour and might of the former VOC. The chapter focuses more specifically on the tamburu drum, which is mainly played during (military) processions, and can be considered the most obvious foreign influence on the island.

Keywords: Butonese dancers; Dutch East Asia Trading Company (VOC); musical culture; tamburu drum; Walter Kaudern

10.1163/9789004258594_006
/content/books/b9789004258594_006
dcterms_subject,pub_keyword
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