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THE COURT OF SURAKARTA

Author: John N. Miksic
Editor for this volume: Unggul Hermanto


Hardcover
Size: 195 x 140 mm
Pages: 148 pp
ISBN: 978-979-8926-28-0
Price: US$ 13
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Synopsis

The court of Surakarta Hadiningrat was formed in the 1740s and can trace its origins back to Javanese kingdoms of the 8th Century. It was ruled by one man from 1945 to 2004: Paku Buwono XII. As Susuhunan (the exalted one), he managed to maintain much of the ceremony associated with the traditional role of the court as a focal point of Javanese cultural identity. Being the last ruler of court in the 20th Century also put Pakubuwono XII in a special historical moment, e.g. at the forefront of efforts to find a new role for the court as a stabilizing influence in Indonesia’s search for modernity.

The Court of Surakarta chronicles this fascinating historical trajectory and condenses its complexity spanning from the early 20th century to the first years of the 21st Century. It traverses different changes and eras, from Dutch imperialism, early nationalism of newlyformed Republic of Indonesia up to the most recent times of modern, cosmopolitan Indonesia. Extracted from our stunningly successful Karaton Surakarta – a hard cover first published in 2004 and has been reprinted several times since – this compact version provides a succinct overview about one of the most culturally influential Javanese courts through the lens of the late Paku Buwono XII (reigned from 1945 to 2004).

The Court of Surakarta is the first book in the series about Javanese courts, which will be followed by future publications on the courts of Yogyakarta and Cirebon. This series is designed to be a great introduction into the cultural realm of an Indonesian heritage that links the past and the present, written in the form of a cultural case study about how an old tradition navigates itself within Indonesian modern society.