Raja of Arguni
In Papua there is an extraordinary principality called Arguni. Strong in some aspects of it’s existance.
It’s lying on the north part of the Bomberay peninsula.
Before it was an area,where the ruler was a representative of the once very powerfull and paramount power in a part of this peninsula: the raja of Rumbati.
Like Sekar, Wertuar and Patipi this area was ruled by clans, which delived rulers not with a raja title.
Later these areas became more and more powerfull themselves and could gain some amount of independence from Rumbati.
In ca. 1865 the ruler of Rumbati received the rajatitle from the paramount ruler in this area:the sultan of Tidore.
When the Dutch East-Indish Government really obtained the influence here at the end of the 19th century the raja of Arguni became more or less totally independent.
Sekar, Arguni and probably also Wertuar were later not ashamed to acknowledge the paramount position of Rumbati in the northern part of the Bomberay peninsula.
Nearly all of the 9 principalities in this peninsula had his own influence area outside his central area;mainly on the Bird’s Head peninsula.
These influenced was reduced more and more.But strange enough only in the Arguni area this influence remained very strong.Only in 1928 a begin of a reduced influence was started (the 2 areas of Arguni then were in 2 seperate districts).
The raja of Arguni also was always known a a strong bringer of the islam religion in his influence area.
The Arguni area was known as the area of the excellent boatmakers. The Arguni boats (for business for instance) were always real bigger than the used boats in the other Bomberay principalities.
Also the pottery and the sagoproduction in Arguni is well-known in the area.
The raja dynasty has strong descent connections also with Ceram.
The businnes principalities of the Papua Bomberay peninsula were always strong in trading with the areas around them.
These activites remained strong later.The present rajas are nowadays also engaged in business, or/and are engaged in local politics.
Before Arguni was quite densely populated. Later the amount of population diminished a little.
Arguni is described in the modern time maybe not as the most richest principality in this area, but for sure one of the most remarquable principalities.
Raja Said Arobi Uswanas
One of the most important principalities of the Onin, or Fak Fak area. In the 1880-ies ca. Fatagar had for a time no raja. The eligible person went to live in Ceram, where they had familycontacts. Then the forefather of this raja was borught back and installed as raja. All the then ruling rajas of Fatagar were known as quite good rajas.
He is high politician in district Fak Fak.
Most of the principalities here are ruled by dynasties descended from Rumbati dynasty,o r made as local semi-principality (later independent) by Rumbati. Fatagar is one of the roots principalities and it’s dynasty descended from Rumbati dynasty.
Sekar-Ratu Hajjah Rustutih Rumagesan
Sekar, a little principality on the Onin-peninsula. There are 9 principalities, which were before under the sway of the Tidore Sultanate. Mostly these areas were business principalities and still the dynasties there are still strong in business.
After her father died her 3 uncles quarelled to much over the power and then the people had so enough of it, that they asked her to become the regent. And so she did. She is it now since 2007. On the Raja Ampat islands there are also 4 principalities. Other areas on Papua also have rulers with raja, etc. titles, but can not be considered as real principalities. Only to the north of Papua lies an island group with name Mappia, which also is a principality (with a sort of Polynesian blood).
Kaimana-Raja Umis Abdul Hakim Achmad Aituarauw
Kaimana is one of the 9 principality like areas of the Bomberai peninsula area of Papua.
Originally Kaimana was a part of Namatota (Namatotte) principality, but slowly but surely became effectively an area on it’s own.
Kaimana must have been already ca. 5 centuries an area on it’s own.Some centuries ago it merged with Namatota. Namatota is the Papua principality lying in the east of the above called area.
Namatota had more minor rajas under it’s rule.
When Kaimana was still an independent area, it was ruled from Adi island, but later they went to Kaimana area proper and called itself Kaimana Lamora.
Ca. at the end of the 19th century the last Raja of Adi (succesor to the raja of Kaimana Lamora) had died,but in the extensive area of the Namatota principality there was a need for representatives sometimes.Now the need was felt in the area, which is later called as Kaimana.
Ca. 1898 a sub-raja was installed with name NaroE. The dynasty now claims, that he was actually descendant of the rulers,who always had ruled Kaimana.
Such a ruler was actually called Raja Komisi,but locally they called him Rat Umis.
The last Rat Umis in Dutch colonial time was Rat Umis Achmad Muhammad Aituarauw.
First he lived in kaimana town, but to go a bit away from the pressing influence of his suzerain he made a new residence on the Kilimala island somewhere in the 1930-ies.
This ruler was known as a quite cunning man, with so much influence in Namatota,that the Dutch were seriously thinking of replacing him by another ruler to try to reestablish the power equilibre here after World War II. That was never done however.
The Rajas of Namatota and the Rats Umis of Kaimana were also quite influential in the Arguni bay area in the north of the area,but later that remained more or less a nominal influence only.
Most of all these rulers in the Bomberai/Onin area were trader dynasties, who had more interest in trade,than real rule as it was known in the west.
So the Dutch were not always fully satisfied with the intermediary function they had between the Dutch Government and the more inland living peoples.
When the last Rat Umis of the Dutch time died in 1966, his son Muhammad Achmad Aituarauw was then already a respected government official. He was made officially the Rat Umis then, but gave the day to day monarchistic rule, or functioning to his brother Muhammad Saleh Aituarauw, who was only recognized as Regent-Rat Umis.
The present monarch of Kaimana; Rat Umis Abdul Hakim Achmad Aituarauw, S.Sos; a well-know politician;is the son of Rat Umis Muhammad Achmad Aituarauw.
This ruling family was always full of ruling ambitions. So is a certain Drs. Achmad Hassan Aituarauw the present Bupati, or Districtchief of an area, which also bears the name Kaimana and the cousin of the Rat Umis(son of the former Regent) Haji Arobi Achmad Aituarauw was in 2006 a candidate for the governorship of the province of Papua. (He became 2nd).
Nowadays the Onin, or Bomberai area rajas are espacially very important in being the representatives of their area concerning the rights the local people have in protecting the ecological system of their areas.
The radjas of Namatota and the rats umis of Kaimana were not always so at the top of their power, but the people always respected them as the at least symbolic representatives of their areas to the outside world.
Or:focussing on your own local identity.
The Onin rajas were before represented to the outside world by the Raja of Rumbati and these had to make political dealings with the Raja of Misool in the Raja Ampat islands(west of Onin area),who was the representative of both areas for the N.-Moluccan sultan of Tidore,who was the suzerain of this area.
Some said before, that the power of the 9 monarchs of the Onin-area was nearly gone, but nowadays they are returning back strongly: for instance as fatherly representatives of their respective areas and keepers of the local customs and history.
This is another example,that political functioning of rulers can hardly be predicted for the full 100%.
With thanks to the Aituarauw ruling family for using the picture of the present Rat Umis, to be found as well on their own website at ttp://aituarauw-kaimana.blogspot.com
Papua Fakfak-Raja Ismail Bauw
On the 29th of november 2009 one of the most important rajas of Papua died:Raja Ismail Bauw.
Like his father Raja Ibrahim Bauw:ruled from 1946 and died 1994 , he was an important political leader in Papua.
In the begining of the 1960-ies,when there was the matter of Papua would join Indonesia finally;he tried to keep Indonesia one,so not all kind of independent states in the former Dutch East-Indies.
His son Crownprince Ismail Bauw was then the sub-district chief of the Fak Fak area.
Already soon the crownprince took over the political leadership of his father.
Raja Ismail Bauw as a young politician was in the beginning very much in favour to keep Indonesia one, But later in his more older and mild years he also could understand the ideas of Papuan people, who wished more autonomy for the area.
A big part of his life he was political active. In 1999 he was still the candidate for the local parliament.
The historical grown role of the rajas in Papua is still functioning as a part of the social system.
Before they were under the paramount rule (sometimes at least nominally) of the sultanate of Tidore in the North-Moluccans. The representative of the Tidore sultan in Papua was the raja of Lilinta on the island of Misool in the Raja Ampat islands (before the west coast of Papua).
Locally the raja of Lilinta was represented by the raja of Rumbati, who also was a paramount raja in big parts of the Onin, or Bomberai peninsula.During the course of the history several parts of the Rumbati principality became independent principalities themselves.
Raja Ismail Bauw was already sick for some time.
May his sole can take part in the eternal peace and that his succesor will be a leader with wisdom.