|The Nisnoni dynasty ruled from 1776 over the Kupang area lying in the principality of Sonbai Kecil.
Before this area was under the Rajas of the Helong people of Kupang area, but later they gave areas to the Foenay, TaEbenu, Amabi and Amarasi people, who came from the inland. Also a branch of the imperial dynasty of Sonbai received some land.
Because of f.i. problems in the Sonbai dynasty and a need for them to have a good representative in the Kupang area, where the Dutch were, there came a separate Sonbai principality here.
Before, Timor was one empire under the semi-divine Maromak Oan (based in Belu/middle Timor), who gave the sub-emperor ship over the west of west-Timor to his brother . He later made himself more independent of the paramount-Emperor.
The Sonbai dynasty became extinct at least once, so again a close family member of the Emperor of Timor was given to Sonbai to rule as sub-emperor. So the present Raja of Kupang is directly descended of the Paramount-Emperor of the whole of Timor.
The present Raja was sent to Holland in 1948 to get a good education, which was fit for the modern, more political difficult and exacting time.
He came back to Indonesia in 1956, where he tried to finish his high school in Bandung. Difficult because of the warlike atmosphere in Indonesia then (he was on a Dutch school and the New-Guinea crisis was then played high).
Back on Timor in 1958 he had some difficulty among the members of the dynasty, who saw him as too much influenced by the Dutch mind .The Dutch were then the enemy because of the New.-Guinea crisis.
After some difficulties with building up his career he could start as government official. He did that so well, that all his children could follow higher studies. And also he could begin to build on the spot ,where always the palaces of his forefathers in Bakunase had built a modern Sonaf (palace),the Sonaf KotaE Bakunase.
Now he is already pensioned but still active. When the Rajas and Sultans in Indonesia were reintroduced in the social and political system since 1999, he was also asked to become a major politician locally: chief of the local section of the Christian-Democratic party. Because of his busy life he only accepted the vice-presidency of the local section of the party.
He is however more in the charity things and so also put down that function after some years.
Because of his good international contacts with institutes and scholars he was also asked to set up a studygroup to try to reconcile the traditional Timorese-area view of the rights to the Timor sea natural resources and the like and the international accepted Australian(East-Timorese )view over it.
Like his father Raja Alfons Nisnoni (died 1992) he is a genuine nationalistic King, who stands in a not fanatic way for the right s of Indonesia to land-and sea resources. He always expressed his wish to reach that goal(also the contact with the brother-people of East-Timor)in a non-fanatic way.
Up until now he isn’t installed officially as King of Kupang (the title Liurai of Sonbai Kecil was bestowed automatically on him after the death of his father in 1992) for two reasons. First :the Kingdom of Kupang is a federation like f.i. Negri Sembilan in Malaysia.
The Nisnoni dynasty is th矰erson to be elected as King, but it isn’t automatically. Expected automatically, but not elected automatically. When the Liurai Leopold Isu Nisnoni will be elected as King/Usif Pah of Kupang,that also means a big official installation,where all the other Rajas of W.-Timor and surrounding islands had to be invited.(For Timor the Rajas and Fettors of TaEbenu, Foenay, Helong, Kupang, Amarasi, Insana, Amfoang, Malakka, Lamaknen, Beboki, Miomaffo, Amanuban, Amanatun, Mollo, Fatu Leu, Amabi and not to forget the many Rajas in the Belu -area). Not forgetting all the government officials. Because of the land reformation, much of the traditional income has been vanished for the Nisnoni-dynasty, so that such an installation had to be calculated well.
Nowadays the candidate-King of Kupang is called just Usif, which means Lord and is here used for a King without a traditional and official installation. Maybe it will be done in 2006.
In Indonesia media he is now already called the Raja of Kupang. The old Rajas of Kupang (Helong) withdrew after 1613 more and more to the island of Semau. Before 1749 they were already permanently on that island.
The Raja of Kupang tries with a lot of energy to drag his province into the international world.
In 2001 he was for 3 months in Holland and made there f.i. contact with Dutch TV, who decided to make a film about him in a series about present day kings of Indonesia. This particular film about this Timor King was so popular in Holland, that the TV network decided to make a 2nd series about the Kings of Indonesia.
In 2002 the Raja of Kupang was also the first Christian King, who attended (with his Queen Frederika) the bi-annual National Indonesian Royal Festival (Festival Keraton Nusantara III in Tenggarong/Kutai Kartanegara), which was before a merely Islamic happening.
Because of his international University contacts he also could play a role in bringing Kings into contact with scholars.
In 2004 he was back at the Festival Keraton Nusantara IV in Yogyakaarta with his Queen Frederika, his son Prince Don Carlos Nisnoni (an architect) and his family, the Fettor-Raja Gideon Amabi of Amabi and his Ratu, members of the Royal Court of Kupang, members of the Royal dynasty of Fatu Leu, members of the Princely dynasty of TalaE (Saudale-dynasty/Rote)and a cultural province group to attend.
In 2006 he will attend FKN V in Surakarta with a larger Royal Timor delegation. Much of the W.-Timor Kings wanted to attend as well, but in that year they were into the political process of returning into local politics and that cost much money, so they preferred that. Also royalty from Rote, etc. will attend.
He is the only Timor King , who can speak Dutch fluently, so that is very important in the study of the old Dutch historical documents about the area. He was asked many times by the local government and archive to advise and translate in historical projects.
Nowadays he is also vice-chairman of the West-Timorese council of Kings. The chief of this Dewan Usif2 Timor is the Raja of Insana.
Because of being the only West-Timor King,who can speak fluently Dutch, English and French, his many contact with traditional chiefs, kings and people he is much asked by international scholars to accompany them during their researches in the Timor-Flores area(province of Nusa Tenggara Timur).
That local contacts he could make during his time as government official, during which time he made contacts with much local royalty, who were functioning then as government officials in the provincial government centre.
In 2004 the publishing company Andrew Tani Co. in Jakarta made for the first time in history (order of Company Sidomuncul) a book about (semi-photobook) the Indonesian Kings of Indonesia from East to West. The principality of Kupang was the only Christian monarchy (again) in that book. (Indonesia:Land of a thousand kings/Indonesia:negeri seribu Raja).
Nowadays the King is merely;besides his fanatic(typical Indonesian)hobby tennis; occupied in charitable projects: helping the poor and needed. Building up and trying to fund new churches,etc.
He is the patron of the organisation, who wants to help talented ,but poor children with their education and to help active ,but poor housewives in their lives (Yayasan Yasap).
The King sees all human beings as creatures of God;no matter their religion. When in end 1990s there were some clashes between local people and Muslims, the King and other Kings ,traditional chiefs and church officials decided to protect the Muslims against this agony.
The mother of the King is a daughter of the most important Raja of the island of nearby Rote:Manek/Raja Johannis J.M. Amalo.
The present Queen of Kupang; Ratu Frederika Nisnoni-Lino,also descended of one of the Maneks of Termanu.The Queen tries to uphold; like the Queen-mother of nearby Amarasi; the very beautiful weaving traditions of the area in her weaving-cooperative.
All his children have studied and having good jobs: Crownprince Don Alfonsus is working in the office of a cement-factory, youngest son Don Carlos is an architect, middle daughter Donna Esther is a small scale businesswoman, oldest daughter Donna Connie has a high bank job in Jakarta, youngest daughter Donna Adeleida is a high bank official in Kupang.
Like a true Christian the King of Kupang keeps on sacrificing a part of his life for the well-being of the people, preservation of local culture and promoting the local area internationally. Or:helping anyone ,who needs help.
In him you can see the true spirit of how God wants to see a King: the first servant of his people.
In that he is a good promoter of the good aspects of (traditional) monarchy in modern time.