Malaca Malaca 3

melaka reign map.pngSo what is the significance of Malaca (Portuguese), or Malacca (English) or, indeed, Melaka (Bahasa Melayu)? Founded around the 1400 by Raja Parameswara, later known as Raja Iskandar Shah, the Melaka Sultanate rose to the height of its power towards the end of the 15th Century.  At this time, the Melaka suzerainty extended over most of the Malay Peninsula, the Riau Islands and parts of the Eastern coast of Sumatra. The port of Melaka, strategically located, as it is, at the mid-point of the Straits of Melaka, became one of the most important trading ports in the world. Melaka’s place in the geo-political paradigm of the day was exemplified in the oft-cited line by Portuguese explorer and apothecary Tomé Pires, “Whoever is lord of Malacca has his hand on the throat of Venice” – Venice being Europe’s centre of global trade.

While the Portuguese attained this prize in 1511, they killed the golden goose, so to speak! Other trading centers like Acheh, Banten, Bandjarmasin and Brunei arose in the Malay Archipelago and displaced the now Portuguese-controlled Melaka which was unenterprising and decidedly antagonistic to Muslim traders. Melaka never regained its place as the port of choice in the Straits of Melaka during the Colonial era. The British chose to develop Penang and Singapore and given Singapore’s astronomical ascendancy in the post-colonial era (Singapore was according to 2017 statistics the 2nd busiest port in the world), as well as Malaysia’s own development of Ports in Kelang, Johor, Tanjung Pelepas, Kuantan, Penang, Bintulu and Kemaman; Melaka has had to accept its status as a glorious historical relic of the past.

Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malacca_Sultanate

http://www.academia.edu/789550/European_Perceptions_of_Malacca

https://books.google.ca/books?id=QKgraWbb7yoC&pg=PA1516&lpg=PA1516&dq=acheh+brunei+after+fall+melaka&source=bl&ots=3YrVJcc8TU&sig=e3wPz5sPdxlOQhz4WZFWojLVxFo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi3tPu7rfLcAhWBFzQIHU9HD6UQ6AEwDnoECAYQAQ#v=onepage&q=acheh%20brunei%20after%20fall%20melaka&f=false

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_busiest_container_ports

http://www.mot.gov.my/en/maritime/ports-in-malaysia

Malaca Malaca 2

pinto.jpgIn Fernão Mendes Pinto’s Peregrinação (Pilgrimage) which was published in 1614 we find, as Rebecca  Catz notes, a highly colorful yet critical work for its time. Pinto’s work, is severely critical, albeit indirectly, of the Portuguese adventure of ‘discovery’. As Catz notes, the Portuguese “mission to conquer and convert all non-Christian peoples … was viewed, in the fiction of the work, as a false and corrupt ideal”. It is quite likely that it is for this highly advanced and reflexive critique, as much as for his conflation of autobiography with fiction, that Pinto was rewarded with the nickname Fernão, mentes? minto! (“Fernão, are you lying? I am!”). Nevertheless, Pinto’s place within the Portuguese maritime hagiography is memorialized in the gargantuan Discoveries Monument in Belem. A Koboi performance took place at this monument on the 9th of July 2018, highlighting the historical bond between Belem, the port from which the Portuguese adventurers set sail, and Malacca, their prized possession for 130 years (1511–1641) . For details please visit https://koboibalikkampung.wixsite.com/nuntengporta

Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Padr%C3%A3o_dos_Descobrimentos

Malaca Malaca 1

‘Malaca Malaca’ is the exclamation that opens the chorus of Fuasto’s ‘A Guerra é a Guerra’ which is a part of his wonderful 1982 album Por Este Rio Acima (Up this River). Fausto took as his source and point of departure for this work, the hyperbolic yet highly philosophical and critical autobiography of ” Fernão Mendes Pinto titled Peregrinação (Pilgrimage) of 1614. Pinto was a Portuguese explorer and adventurer who was stationed in Malacca in the 1530’s.

Malaca Malaca
A guerra é a guerra
No céu e na terra
Nos dentes a faca
Avanço e avanço
A guerra é a guerra
No céu e na terra
Balanço, balanço

Malacca Malacca
War is war
In heaven and on earth
Knife in teeth
On and on I go
War is war
In heaven and on earth
Swaying on and on

As part of my Koboi performances in Belem, Lisbon, I played an audio clip from this track on a megaphone. For more information please visit  https://koboibalikkampung.wixsite.com/nuntengporta/description

https://translate.google.ca/translate?hl=en&sl=pt&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Ffausto-bordalodias.blogspot.com%2F2009%2F12%2Fo-barco-vai-de-saida-1982.html&anno=2

https://www.jstor.org/stable/344173?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

 

Portuguese Melaka

This video was directed, scripted and researched by Sudirman Hj. Rosli for Muzium Negara Malaysia in 2007. It tells the story of the Fall of Melaka, the 100 year triangular wars between the Acheh Sultanate, the Johore Riau Empire and Portuguese Melaka, and the ultimate fall of Portuguese Melaka to the combined forces of the Dutch and the Johore Riau Empire.

 

Malaca Malaca

papan dijawaKoboi performance: 4.30 – 6.00pm will take place at the Alfonso De Albuquerque Square and the in Belem, Lisbon, 7th July 2018. For details please visit https://koboibalikkampung.wixsite.com/nuntengporta

The Alfonso de Albuquerque square is located in front of the Belém Palace in Belem Lisbon. Alburquerque the Second Governor of Portuguese India and the conqueror of the city of Melaka. AT the centre of the square is an impressive monument to the Governor by Silva Pinto and António Augusto da Costa Motta that was completed in 1902. The monument carries a bronze statue of Afonso de Albuquerque on a column with four reliefs on the pedestal. The four relief panels are – the defeat of the army of the king of Hormuz, the entrance of Albuquerque in Goa and the handing over of the city keys, the embassy to the king of Narcinga Lisboa and the taking of Malacca.

Jingkli Nona

The next photo-event  of the Koboi Project will be a series of street performances at the sites of various monuments to Portuguese marine adventure and imperialism in Belem, Lisbon. The performances will take place in the 2nd week of July 2018. For more information please visit https://koboibalikkampung.wixsite.com/nuntengporta

Jingli Nona is a song from a dance form know as Branyo. It epitomizes the Malacca Portuguese (Kristang) language, music and culture  … In 1511, a Portuguese fleet under the command of Alfonso de Albuquerque assaulted Malacca and annexed the Malacca sezurinty. The Portuguese then ruled Malacca for the next 130 years and in this time, to facilitate settlement, the Portuguese Crown granted freeman status and exemption from taxes to Portuguese men who married Malaccan women. According to a citation in a paper by Razaleigh Muhamat Kawangit 200 such marriages were recorded by 1604. The contemporary Kristang are their descendants. They form a small but fundamental component of Modern Malaysian society.

Listen all the way to end of the video and you will hear the Malay Joget rhythm come forth … of course, the influence goes the other way too. Interestingly, I am familiar with this song from my own Malaysian childhood. My parents grew up in Sri Lanka, and there they imbibed the Sri Lankan Portuguese musical form known as the Baila. I remember singing a version of this tune as a child, even before hearing the Kristang version.

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Razaleigh_Muhamat_Kawangit/publication/301822512_Social_Integration_of_Kristang_People_in_Malaysia/links/5729d9bb08ae057b0a076189/Social-Integration-of-Kristang-People-in-Malaysia.pdf