Padri War 1821-1837

[ 1821 - 1837 ]

[also called Minangkabau War]

Since at least the 16th century a civilized Muslim people had inhabited the Minangkabau country of central-western Sumatra. In the early 1800s, three Muslim pilgrims, returning home from Mecca and passing through the northern Sumatran port of Pedir, as all pilgrims did, were fired with zeal for reforming their Minangkabau Islamic society along puritanical lines. They soon attracted many followers who became known as the "white people," or Padris, because of the white robes and turbans they wore. The Pedri-advocated reforms were forced upon many people, who were severely punished if they did not conform. The local chiefs, who inherited their lands and titles through the female line (a practice forbidden by Islamic law), became alarmed by the reformers, whom they feared would set up a form of religious government. Resorting to armed conflict to maintain their authority, the chiefs failed to defeat the Padris and then sought help from the Dutch in Java. Seeing the Mujslim reformers as a threat, the Dutch intervened, although their doing so antagonized some feudal nobles, who joined the Padris. The Padris' headquarters was in the well-fortified city of Bondjol, which withstood a 15-year siege by the Dutch. Even after the Padris surrendered in 1837, some die-hards continued to wage guerrilla warfare in the mountains.

Related Conflicts

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