Saturday, July 9, 2016

Makassar Malay

Makassar’s Malay traders were key handlers of Southwest Sulawesi’s main exports (rice and slaves) and of the spices shipped from Maluku to the Straits of Malacca.

Both Portuguese and Makassar sources state that by the early 16th century, Malay Muslim traders had settled in Makassar and other places on the southwest coast of Sulawesi.

There was a theory that the Malays certainly are well known for their role in spreading Islam to Makassar. The presence of a Malay community was impetus for Tunijalloq to build the first mosque in Mangallekana and encourage Muslims to make the hajj, for example.

It was a Minangkabau Malay named Katte Tungallaq who led Karaeng Matoaya and Sultan Alauddin Tumenanga ri Gaukanna in their profession of faith in 1605.

Malay frequently served as religious officials and teachers in seventeenth-century Makassar as well.  In 1638, VOC chief merchant, Henrick Kerckerink, described how European merchants were protected by the King, and noted that the local community of Malays was held ‘in high esteem, having their houses in the settlements scattered among the houses of the Makassarese’.
Makassar Malay

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