PERINGATAN: BUKU BAJAKAN!
The history of Western exploration, mapping, and concomitant categorization of the world is a huge subject, one that has fascinated scholars for a very long time. There is an almost Linnaean quality to the hunger for taxonomy that Europeans brought to this work: the world existed to be conquered, surely, but it also existed to be known. Explorers, cartographers, and statesmen carried out these projects, filing away newly “discovered” lands and seas into categories that could be interpreted by imperial concerns.
In Southeast Asia, these dynamics were transregional in character, enveloping the length and breadth of this arena into a centuries-long embrace. Who were these new peoples? Where did they live, and what were their characteristics? By the mid—nineteenth century, the queries had become more covetous: Are the people on that bend of river part of your sphere of influence, or mine? How high are those mountains and do the minerals inside
them fall into your dominion, or ours?