Soekardjo, vice Agricultural Advisor to Colonial Dutch Administration in Tabanan in the 1920-30s, wrote a monograph on Nusa Penida published in 1931. He discusses the most important issues Nusa faced during the years of crisis due to the devastating draught in 1929 and afterwards: geography, economics, people, education, agriculture etc. He opposed the system of colonial slavery or corvée labour (Heerendiensten) on the island at a time these had already been abolished on mainland Bali. Soekardjo shows great concern for the people of Nusa Penida. English translation & additional comments in square brackets by author Godi Dijkman.
A plea for the abolishment of slavery
Image right: Magazine Cover of 'Vamola', no.5, September 1931
This island, part of the subdivision (district) of Klungkung, has not always been underprivileged, certainly not judging by its natural resources, as becomes clear from the data gathered from the population. The island is said to have been densely forested, and it was deforestated for the benefit of the lime kilns. Nusa Penida seems to have been a rich source of 'sirih' lime, which the Balinese kings offered to one another as a precious gift.
More than a quarter of this island (including the smaller islands of Ceningan and Lembongan) is unsuitable for agriculture. From Kusamba, a small village on the South coast of Bali halfway between Klungkung and Padangbai, the island is easily reached by proa (vlerkprauw) i.e. a jukung with a "katier", within three hours, under normal circumstances. When conditions are good, the voyage from Toyapakeh to Kusamba takes two hours (during the months of November and December). In the months of January to March, and also in September, due to the strong winds, it is not advisable to cross the Badung Straits. I was informed, that a certain Mantri O.R. of Nusa, who had to make a payment in Badung, only arrived at his destination after a week instead of three to five hours. During the rest of the year, one does not experience any trouble in crossing the strait. The fierce currents around Nusa, in the strait between Nusa Penida and Ceningan but also between Ceningan and Lembongan, demand a very good and experienced boatsman as captain of the vessel, one who is used to crossing these straits.
References to location, surface and other geographical data on this island are to be found in the Annual Report of the Ordnance Survey of 1924, 'Notes on Nusa Penida' by A. Gertis p.101 onwards.
Images left: woman cleaning peanuts at Pelilit, March 2009
Like the North coast of Java, the North & East coast of Nusa Penida are flat, with a few exceptions (steep cliffs) and the proas find a safe anchorage there: Suana, Sampalan, Batununggul, Kutampi, Mentigi, Ped and Toyapakeh. As from 1928, instigated by Controller Haar of Klungkung, a company was established, whose objective it was to open a ferry line between Padangbai and Nusa Penida, to be precise between Mentigi and Toyapakeh. Ever since 1929, and until recently, Nusa Penida could be reached from Bali (Padangbai) in one and a half hours. In the beginning, the motorboat ferried across twice a day, but this didn't last for long. So nowadays it makes the crossing only once a day.
According to newpaper articles and the shareholders, the N.P.M. (Nederlandsche Pakket Maatschappij?), as the company is called, is about to go bankrupt because, amongst other reasons, there is hardly any control on the 'worrying contidions' of the company since its inception (see Soeloeh Rayat Indonesia 9 April 1930, volume IV). The delegated 'Volksraadlid' (Member of the People's Council?) Tjokorda Sukawati has asked questions on this matter with the government. It is to be hoped, that the Nusa Penida motorboat will stand its ground, not only because this is in the interest of the general traffic between Nusa Penida and Bali, but also since it benefits travels of the (colonial) civil servants, who otherwse would be dependant on jukungs, which depart on very irregular times given the unfavourabale weather conditions (as we speak, the N.P.M. has indeed gone bankrupt).
Formerly, a return passage to Nusa Penida was f0.75 per person, while the same ticket for travelling civil servants was f3,00. From December 1930, these fares cost respectively f0,50 and f2,- per motorboat ferry from Kusamba to Toyapakeh. Such an outrigger can contain five to ten people. Between Nusa Penida and Lombok there are proas as well (janggolan and outriggers). A janggolan is a larger proa, without the 'katier' (sail?), and it can contain much more than an outrigger. It also serves to transport cattle. The fact that they were commonly used from May to September may explained by the fact that these vessels were regularly shipwrecked. Only recently a vice Veterinarian drifted about at sea for some 25 hours without ever reaching Nusa Penida. He had already imagined his death there and then.
Image right: house at Pelilit (Godi Dijkman, March 2009)
Appearance of the island
During the dry season, the rainless months of July to October, the island assumes an ashy grey-brown look. Agricultural fields lay fallow; the grass is withered, brown and scorched. Once the rains arrive, the tegalans appear green once again. These hilly landscapes are similar to the subdistricts of East Buleleng (mainland Bali) from about Sangsit to the east. This is the impression one gets when circumnavigating this part of Nusa Penida on the K.P.M. It consists of a cone-shaped hilly landscape with a narrow plain along the north coast, interrupted here and there by deep ravines or "tukads" (rivers) towards the sea. On the island there are two highland plains, which are devided sharply one from the another. In contrast to the North and East side, on the West and South side there is no lowland. The beach areas on the South and West sides are almost perpendicular. On the border of the South and Southeast steep chalk limestone coast one finds fresh water sources. These wells contain salty water when the tide is high, and fresh water when the tide is low. Fresh water from the wells is suitable for drinking and washing. These wells, however, are hard to reach. Along the North and East coast there many wells that contain brackish water, comparable with those at Sidoarjo along the East coast of Kelurak (Java).
Economic conditions of the island
Passable roads for means of transport such as carts and other light means of transport only exists along the North coast at Toyapakeh via Telaga, Kutampi, Sampalan, Batununggul to Suana. This road is currently extended via Pajahan, Tanglad, Batukandik, Angas back to Telaga. At the three-forked road near Klumpu, the road is further extended to Sakti and Toyapakeh. These roads are, however, not accessible for normal transport. Due to the rains, some parts of the road have been washed away. Close to Banjar Waru, there is a footpath, a shorter connection between Telaga and Batukandik via Tulad, where there is a water reservoir by the B.O.W. More information on this follows later on.
Shorter connections between the banjars exists in the form of footpaths, along which cattle farmers herd their cattle towards drinking wells situated near the coast during the East dry monsoon. In the entire district of Nusa Penida, there are three passageways of importance: Toyapakeh, Sampalan and Jungutbatu. Export products such as coconut and copra are traded along there passageways, especially at Toyapakeh. When the harvest is modestly good, corn and kacang jukut are also traded here, as well as pigs and cattle. Products from Bali such as rice, petrol and cotton fabrics also see these trading routes.
To give an impression on the importance of the N.P. motorboat during its short existence, we offer the following import and export figures, taken from the ship's log. Part of the transport was done by using domestic vessels. It is not easy to deduct the quantities, as customs figures are rather untrustworthy. Ferry connections were established in 1928, during rather unfavourable times which hit without warning, one year before the onset of the general malaise. Nobody doubts the correct viability, corruption (? red) under the guidance of (...) has spoiled the rest. According to reports, in 1931 the K.P.M. perhaps will establish a three-monthly connection. This is laudable, and will mean the end of this district's isolation and will further lead to some form of progress, despite hampering natural factors.
|Copra||-||-||918 pik||397 pik|
|Rice||1449 pik||616 pik||-||-|
|Corn, husked||1194 pik||1287 pik||32 pik||8 pik|
|Sugar||32 qt.||38 qt.||-||-|
|Petroleum||266 bl.||478 bl.||-||-|
|Nuts||13 pik||83 pik||1679 pik||78 pik|
|Coconut oil||2 bl.||14 bl.||-||-|
|Candlenuts||22 baskets||57 baskets||-||-|
|Tjantjah (Flying fish, Exocoetus ssp.)||-||534 pik||-||19 pik|
Table above (p.4 & 5): Import and export from Nusa Penida according to ship's log
Income I: Means of existence
The population of Nusa Penida almost exclusively lives from agriculture. In the lower regions 'jagung' (corn) is grown in the fourth Balinese month 'kapat', coinciding with the arrival of the rains. For this reason, in Nusa Noesa a distinction is made between 'jagung kapat' and 'jagung kesange', which is mostly sown at the end of the rainy season, after the 'jagung kapat' has been harvested. In the mountainous regions, as long as the quality of the soil is good, gaga is grown as well. But jagung is the most frequently grown crop as it is Nusa's staple crop. In some areas, with the coming of the rains 'kiriman' (Javanese), "jagung blabur" is grown. Last September (1930) the blabur corn has nearly failed due to the draught, except for areas around Batumadeg. There are no irrigated sawahs on Nusa Penida, and only dry agricultural lands are found, categorised as follows. (According to 'Landrentemonografie 1926'): 1. Residential areas (all of them communally-owned); 2. Coconut plantations; 3. Mixed gardens; 4. Saltpans; 5. Annualy plantable tegalans; 7. Tegalans which are forever unplantable (also valid for 6).
1. Residential areas: these are all communally-owned (by the village administration or the desa). Planting solely consists of Dagdag-trees (Javanese: Gempol) [Nauclea purpurascens, Korth.; Neonauclea calycina; Neonauclea genus] or Kelor [Moringa oleifera; Drumstick tree], the leaves of the first serve as pig fodder, the latter for the production of 'dangan' (Javanese...), or 'jukut" (Balinese); 2. Coconut plantations: beautiful coconut plantations are found in the surroundings of Jukutbatu, Kutampi, Ped, Toyapakeh, Batununggul and Suana. Upwards in the mountainous regions, the state of the coconut plantations is less favourable. These coconut plantations also include the tegalans mentioned previously under number 5 or those under 6, but mostly those under 5; 3. Mixed gardens: these are mostly planted with a vareity of 'short-term' and perennial crops. The 'short-term' and annual crops are mostly used for sayur etc. for domestic use. Perennial crops are mangga, nangka, sirih, pinang, durian, sawoh and jeruk limo. These lie spread over the tegalans or are concentrated in the vicinity of houses or banjars; 4. Saltpans: saltpans are found along the coast or at the tegalans at Batununggul. Kuta (...); 5. Annually plantable tegalans: these can be categorised as follows. a. Tegalans, of which the larger part is planted with corn; b. Tegalans, of which the larger part is planted with gaga; c. Tegalans, of which more than half is planted with corn and the rest with gaga.
These major groups are to be subcategorised as follows: a. I. tegalan: first year: corn-corn-fallow, the following year corn-corn-fallow etc.; II. Tegalan: first year: corn-green manuring-fallow and the next year: corn-green manuring-fallow, etc.; III. Tegalan: first year: corn-corn-fallow, the next year: corn-corn-green manuring, etc.; b. I. Tegalan: first year: gaga-corn-fallow, the following year: gaga-corn-fallow, etc.; II. Tegalan: first year: gaga-corn-green manuring-fallow, the following year: gaga-corn-green manuring-fallow, etc.; c. The same subcategorisation as a and b. Non-annual plantable agricultural fields. Usually, before the major part of the corn is planted. Catetorised as follows: a. Corn-corn-fallow, after one or four years, and then the process is repeated; b. Corn-fallow-... after one to four years longer, then as before.
Image above: Appendix 4: Pengabangan (p.35)
At the time 'corn kapat' is planted, catch crops are planted as well. They include komak, kacang, labu (tahu, Bali), biaung (gembil. Jav.), sugar cane, cassave (kesela sawi, Bal.; kaspe Jav.), though these crops only take up a relatively small part of the agricultural fields, with the exception of komak, kacang jukut, which cover a larger surface. The same goes for 'corn kesange'. Because of the rocky soil, small pieces of land especially along the terraced hills, preparing the tegalans for planting requires intensive labour (The Yearly Report T.D. 1924 on p.102 gives a good picture of this: clearly to be seen are thoroughly worked terraces with walls made out of karang rocks).
7. Tegalans, which are forever unplantable: Mostly these are situated on the hill tops, sometimes non-terraced. The tops of these hills have been washed away in the past and as a result of this a hard padas layer (limestone) remains. The vegetation consists of little else than grass, or alternatively the tegalan remains barren. The parts grown over with grass serve as pastures (mostly alang-alang). The location of the above-mentioned tegalans on Nusa Penida is as follows: the ones mentioned under number 5 are situated in the valleys and at the foot of the hills; the ones under number 6 along the hills; those under number 7 on the hilltops and slopes. With regards to the value of the gardens, i.e. the annual crop yield, the 'Landrentemonografie 1926' gives the following data. A. most valuable coconut plantations and mixed gardens; B. Less well-productive coconut plantations, the saltpans and annually plantable tegalans; C. Rocky, infertile and non-plantable tegalans; D. Rocky, infertile and therefore unplantable tegalans. A is comparable to the first class of the 'landrente', B. the second class and C third class. Apart from agriculture, the population makes a living from additional activities.
Weaving is part of the local cottage industry. European yarn has been imported for the last ten years and its use is increasing, initially on the coastal villages and later on in the interior. In the interior of Nusa Penida, however, yarn is still produced. The raw materials are obtained from kapas, which only occupies a small land surface in the vicinity of Tanglad, Suana, Klumpu, Lembongan and Jungutbatu. Dyes were formerly produced locally, and at present only here and there in the interior, at a small scale. Dyes are currently imported, the so-called European 'Kesoemba'. In Tenganan (Karangasem - Bali) I was informed that the dark dye of the well-known Tenganan weft cloths was supplied by Nusa Penida in the form of the root or bark of the 'Sunti'. This tree didn't want to grow in Tenganan, and the locals were counting on Nusa Penida for their supply. On this island this bark was hampered with, so that for years the 'real' Sunti could no longer be had. Heijne [K.Heyne] nowhere mentions 'Sunti' as a source of dye from a tree. I haven't been able to trace these trees for identification. ['Soenti' = Morinda cetrifolia/tinctoria, please refer to Botany 1923-1941]
Imported cloths are becoming increasingly popular. Also the cloths produced in Sakti, Tanglad are not unknown to Bali. The opportunity to work as a labourer, as is the case in South Bali, doesn't exist here. Public works such as roadmending and the construction of water reservoirs in Tanglad and Tulad are exclusively done by colonial slaves (heerendienstplichtigen). Even private bodies such as the Nusa Penida Motorboat Company (NPM, Noesa Penida Motorboot Maatschappij) is able to enjoy the services of these slaves from the village of Kutampi. When the motorised boats arrive at Nusa Penida, at Toyapakeh and Mentigi, these heerendienstplichtigen are obliged to load and unload cargo. During my first visit to Nusa Penida in around 1930, I was told that the heerendienstplichtigen had to work for the construction of a lime kiln, which was soon to be made productive, owned by the same NPM. Rearing cattle is an additional source of income on Nusa Penida.
Cattle on Nusa Penida and both smaller islands mainly consist of cows (sapi), pigs and with the Islamic population of goats. Below list gives the amount of above-mentioned domestic animals in the year 1926 (source: 'Landrentemonografie, 1926')
|Batoemadeg||Included in Sakti||Included in Sakti||Included in Sakti|
|Sekartadji||Included in Koetampi||Included in Koetampi||Included in Koetampi|
Table above (p.9): the number of cows, pigs and goats traded in 1926 (according to Landrentemonografie)
Kerbau (water buffaloes) are not kept here. The cattle is kept by the owners themselves, or by a system called 'deelfok' (shared or communal caretaking). Cattle is used for three purposes: labour, export, and meat on Nusa Penida itself. Rearing cattle for the production of meat, however, is rare and only occurs during temple festivities and special cremations and when the third month anniversary of a child is celebrated. Labour cattle is lent out to friends, aquaintances and co-villagers disinterestedly. The person borowing the sapi, has to take care of feeding it. Finding fodder for the cows during the dry months is not easy. Much labour during these times is invested to locate suitable watering places. Man and cattle sometimes have to walk many kilometres to find fodder and water. As mentioned before, pathways are only accessible with great difficulty. Cattle destined for export is taken to Toyapakeh to be sold on to a sapi trader. The sapi traders come to Nusa Penida from Bali for that sole purpose. During the years 1922-1925, the following quantities of cattle were sold or exported from Nusa Penida (Source: 'Landrentemonografie 1926')
Table above (p.10): cattle and pigs, sold at a cost price of respectively a. f10 - f37.50 per animal; b. f2 - f22.50 per animal
Cattle is kept by either the owners themselves or by 'deelfok' (see above) or 'deelopfok' (shared or communal rearing). Communal caretaking occurs under the following conditions: the communal caretaker (deelfokker) is entitled to the first-born calf of the communally owned sapi, while the second calf is for the owner. When female calves are reared by 'deelopfok', the communal rearer (deelopfokker) can claim the right to the first-born calf, and only the third calf is for the owner. Revenue from communally reared male calves is deducted from the original capital, i.e. the money that was paid for the animal when it was still a calf, and equally devided amongst the communal rearer and owner.
Some villages keep the production cows (sapi bibit), selected by a vetarinarian to bear calves. The owner or the caretaker of such an animal is then exempted from 'heerendiensten', but not from village services. The pastures consist of harvested tegalans or fallow agricultural grounds. The animals are not put out to pasture untethered, but they are kept on a rope. Pastures alter continuously, when fodder is of short supply. From Nusa Penida, the animals are exported to Bali and Lombok (Ampenan) per janggolan. Transport costs amount to f5,- to f6,- (to Lombok) per sapi per janggolan.
Pigs, goats and horses
As is the case in Bali, pigs are kept here too. Pigs are either kept by the owners themselves, or by a system called 'deel(op)fok'. Shared or communal caretaking and rearing of pigs occurs under different conditions in different villages. Shared or communal rearing occurs under the following conditions: 1. The revenue of the sold boar is equally divided amongst the owners and the communal rearer, after the deduction of the initial capital, with which the piglet had been paid in the first place; 2. Communal rearing of female animals occurs under the following conditions: At the first litter, the owner only receives a female piglet, while the rest is for the communal rearer. At the second litter, the piglets are equally divided amongst the owners and the communal rearer (Suana). Communal caretaking of female animals occurs under the following conditions: 1. At each litter the piglets are equally distributed amongst the owner and communal caretaker (Suana); 2. At 'deelfok' of adult (female animals) the owner only gets one piglet and the rest is for the communal caretaker (Jungutbatu); 3. The communal caretaker only gets one piglet and the rest is then equally divided amongst the owners and the communal caretaker (Sakti). Here, pigs costs f20-f25,-. Piglets costs f5,-. The pigs are transported to Padangbai and Serangan (Bali) on outriggers and janggolans. The transport costs is f0,40 per animal to Padangbai. Goats are almost exclusively kept by Islamites, although they constitute a minority. Except for the above-mentioned domestic animals, on the island horses are kept as well. Horses are mostly exported, both for people and for products. Below statistics give an idea of the quantity of animals at around 1930.
Table above (p.12): numbers of cattle, pigs, horses and goats per village in 1930
As forest is nowehere to be found, the collection of forest fruits is nonexistent on Nusa. The population along the coast also lives from catching fish. Especially when the weather is good, there are many fishing proas, especially in the vicinity of Jungutbatu.
As indicated before, the population lives exclusively from agriculture. The main crops are gaga and corn. In the second or third month of the Balinese calender 'masakaro' or 'ketelu', people start to work the soil for the upcoming growing season of gaga and corn. The soil is worked twice consecutively: first, it is ploughed up, then it is harrowed. After this, the soil is left to rest for about a week or longer. The terrain is then again ploughed up and harrowed as before. When there is rainfall, the soil is ploughed up once more, directly followed by harrowing. The planting of the seeds is only done when more rain arrives. Working the soil for the corn (...), of course, occurs after the harvest of the 'kapat' corn or gaga. The planting of both corn and gaga is done with a dibble. Corn is planted (...) 60 to 80 cm. Gaga: 25 to 25 cm, with seeds from the famers' own stock.
Maintenance (weeding) & harvesting
Corn maintanance: every two days the cornfield is weeded. The kiskis serves as an instrument for tending these fields. When the jagung reaches a growth of 35 days, the field is weeded a second time using the kiskis. Weeding with a kiskis only occurs when the tani does not have a ploug, spade or cattle to do the job, or if the plots of land are too small to plough or harrow them properly (with a small harrow). Otherwise, the first weeding takes place with the 'kragat', a type of small harrow with shorter dents compared to the normal harrow, while the second weeding is done with an ordinary plough with two mouldboards. After the field has been weeded a second time, maintanance is done. Weeding and 'ridging or hilling up', in other words, comes down to the same thing. Gaga maintanance: when the gaga plants have grown to 15 days of age, it is weeded. This process is repeated when the gaga reaches the age of respectively 45 and 60 days. So generally, gaga is maintained three times. Weeding and 'ridging/hilling up' is done with a kiskis as an instrument of maintanance. After all this is done, the maintanance process is finished. In Nusa Penida, corn is harvested after 1½ to 3 months, i.e. 75-90 days. Gaga, however, is harvested much later, at an age of 4 - 4½ months or 120-145 days.
Image above: Appendix 3: Plough (p.34)
Working of the soil, maintanance, sowing and harvesting is done by the members of a family (gezinsarbeid) or through a system called 'tolong-menolong' (mutual help). The person, who helps out gets one or two meals, depending on whether he works half a day or an entire one. So paid labour doesn't exist here. Once the 'kapat' corn has been harvested (the so-called west monsoon corn), working of the soil for the coming 'kesange' corn (east monsoon corn) begins. Planting of the corn is also done on the tegalans after the harvest of the gaga. In many places, the soil, given its infertility, is left fallow during four months to four years.
Once corn has been sown, catch crops are planted on the same field. Sometimes, catch crops and corn are sown at the same time. These crops are sown directly with he corn or in between the rowns of corn. In the latter case, corn is sown at wider intervals. Catch crops are predominantly: komak (Dolichos lablab = purpureus, Indian bean), kacang (Jav. Kacang osé, peeled beans), jukut (grass?) and kara. Komak is planted with both kapat and kesange corn, and as a result harvested after 3 to 4 months; kacang jukut and kara after 4-5 months. Another type of catch crop, which serves as green manuring, is juleh (Jav. Benguk - Mucuna; Deer-eye beans) and planted together with the kapat corn, and stays on the field for at least 6 months. Other catch crops, which occur here and there with corn on the same field, are amongst others: pendis (Mucuna, Jav. Benguk), labuk or tabu, sugar cane and cassave. The result is, as it were, an entire spice shop. Cassave serves as a catch crop, but it is also planted in its own right into homogeneous fields (Telaga lamo).
It is evident that growing kesange corn depends on catch crops. Komak, therefore, serves as a nutritive crop (voedingsgewas), but also as green manuring (Balinese "anggèn beberekan tanahé = to fertilise the soil). The population of Nusa exclusively eats 'nasi jagung'. To obtain this, corn is pounded into coarse flour. With the more affluent people, meaning where the village owns a gaga field, an average meal consists of a mixture of corn and rice. With the even more affluent, a meal consists exclusively of rice, but the number of people eating only rice is restricted, and the majority of them are imported labourers (importkrachten). A third form in which corn is eaten is ketupat. In former years, corn from Nusa was exported and the variety from this island was in Bali known as Jagung Nusa, and it had a particularly good reputation. Over time, the export of Jagung Nusa decreased to virtually zero, caused by the whide-spread scarcity of food on the island. It is hard to work out to what extent soil depletion, deforestation and other factore contributed to this development. After the draught of 1929, food scarcity on Nusa was a fact.
In relation to this, export of corn from Nusa during the last few months has been prohibited. Kacang jukut was in recent years regularly exported. Currently, there is no more export (of this crop) due to the crop failure of kacang as a result of the prolongued draught. In 1930, the Agricultural Public Information Service (landbouwvoorlichtingsdienst) carried out sample checks (?) of corn and gaga. Jagung and gaga yields thus obtained were as follows: indicated yields are 'dry harvest results' where it concerns corn without 'klobat (?)' (Annexes 1 and 2). As a rule, one is able to enjoy the crop yield of one hectare tegalan, pedant (?) with two times (?) corn or one time gaga nv (?) normal harvests: The first corn yield was for example 10.700 large corncobs at f0,40 for 50 corncobs, in other words for the value of: f85,50; 1000 average corncobs at f0,20 for 50 corncobs, meaning f20,- i.e. maximum prices under favourable circumstances. Small corncobs have no value. Second crop failure is estimated at ½ of the first corn harvest at f45,-; Total: f150,60; Gaga harvest estimated normally 25 parcel (?) à f4,- = f104,-; Second corn harvest estimated at f45,-; Total f149,-
|Total||15,351.29||10,307.46, +/- 60%|
Table above (p.16): Debits (Afschrijvingen) 1929
Added to this are the yields from the coconut plantations and catch crops. In the higher regions, corn yields are better compared to the lower regions, as in the later parts there is less rainfall. The harvests in Nusa Penida depend heavily on rainfall. As a result, the harvest in 1929-1930 failed due to the dry season, and in contrast the kesange corn harvest failed due to excessive rainfall. Apart from this, corn suffered considerably of Iyer (Sclerospora javanica). Likewise, kacang jukut failed due to the draught and because of excessive rainfall. Once the tani has harvested his kapat corn, the harvest is on no accout sufficient to sustain him (and his family) for one year, wheras it normally suffices for four months. The kesange corn harvest suffices for about three months and the tani obtaines the rest of his income by additional activities. If both corn yields fail, food scarcity is a fact. It occurred, in fact, that a tani was forced to eat alternative kinds of leaves such as daun Bunut [Ficus ssp], daun kelor [Moringa oleifera; Drumstick tree], daun samuh [Enhalus acoroides?] and banana root during the food scarcity. These products are, under normal circumstances, never comsumed. Nutritional risk, therefore, is considerable. Due to crop failure in the previous year, interest paid for the usage of land (landrente) was therefore written off officially. Below record is an indication of the writing-off (debits).
At the outbreak of food scarcity, an exodus of people to Lombok and Bali took place. The majority of these emigrants returned to Nusa, others stayed away outside of Nusa Penida for a longer period. In the subdistrict Jembrana, I was told that there were a number of people from Nusa Penida. The sedahan tegal [reveiver of taxes] of Nusa told me that of the 350 people who left Nusa in 1929, only 125 returned. In comparison to the other Balinese farmers there, the people from Nusa are relatively dilligent. To my question to a number of inhabitants from the interior of Nusa Penida, as to why they preferred to stay in Nusa, I got the reply: "Tiyang ten bani mengken kepongor antuk déwané yen tiyang mepindah" which means, that there is fear of the dewas when their island was to be forsaken for ever. By the time taxes were due, as was the case on Bali, many agricultural products were traded, such as kacang and corn. When stocks are down to zero or when there is no surplus, pigs or cattle are sold. Money transfer exists in coastal villages such as Sampalan and Toyapakeh, whereas goods exchange, however, is very popular in the interior.
The total number of inhabitants of Nusa Penida is estimated at 26,000. Apart from Balinese and Javanese, there are Chinese and foreign Asians (Oosterlingen). The latter three categories carry out their businesses and own warungs and kedai. Part of these businessmen are Balinese too, who for reasons of competition and lack of employment on mailand Bali came to Nusa to find alternative means of existence; goods traded at kedai and warungs sell better on Nusa. The Balinese on the island can be subcategorised as follows: 'imported' Balinese and the native Balinese population, i.e. Nusapenidians. The first are predominantly manual labourers, and only a few are farmers. Nusapenidians are mostly farmers, and only a relatively small number are manual labourers of have other occupations, e.g. village teachers (gurudesa), perbekels and other official functionaries. All of the official administrative functionaries (perbekelans, kliyans, village school teachers / desaschoolgoeroes) are Nusapenidians. The Punggawa is an 'import' Balinese, just like the writers, with a few exceptions.
In contrast with the 'import'ed Balinese, the Nusapenidians are of slight build and look undernourished. Their language differs slightly, as they have their own dialect. Words are pronounced in a more drawn-out way. They do not, however, differ much in character compared to the Balinese. The 1920 census rersulted in 20,321 souls, amongst whom two Chinese. The 1925 census gave the following figures (source: 'Landrente monografie, 1926').
Table above (p.19): Noesa Penida census 1925
Table above (p.19): Noesa Penida census 1930
The latest census, held in 1930, resulted in the following total number of inhabitans: 26,504, amongst whom eight foreign Asians (Oosterlingen) and 718 non-Balinese. Nusa Penida, in conclusion, has a population density of 130 per km2.
Land rights and land ownership
Agricultural fields are sub-categorised as follows: I. Desa fields; II. Government fields; III. Individually owned fields by right of inheritance (Balinese: tanah sendirian; Javanese: tanah jasan). Village fields are owned and administered by the village. These can be categorised as follows: a. Temple fields; b. Communal residential areas; c. Communally owned fields as a way to benefit public institutions. The yield of the temple fields benefits the temple. The villagers have to work the fields and therefore the care of these field is in the hands of the village. These fields are sometimes given out in shared or communal agriculture (deelbouw). Communal residential areas: these cannot be sold or pawned by the inhabitants. Only the village has the right of decision in this matter. Where the houses are concerned, they can indeed be sold, whereas communal fields are owned by the community at large. Working these fields is in the hands of the village and its yield is destined entirely as village income. Alternatively, they are distributed (given out) in 'deelbouw', in which case half of the yield benefits village income. Below, there are figures of fields, which benefit public institutions and serve religious purposes.
|Village||Land surface (hectares)|
Table above (p.20): Land for public services and religious purposes (source: 'Landrente monografie, 1926')
Governement fields are rented out to farmers for the duration of three years, as is the case in Bali. Below figures indicate the surface of the government fields (source: 'Landrentemonografie, 1926'): Jungutbatu: 4.50 hectares; Ped: 17.67 hectares; Sakti: 16,87 hectares; Total: 39.04 hectares. Fields owned individually by way of inheritance can be sold or pawned. Tanah mwris (tanah pusaka), however, cannnot be sold or pawned; this is only possible with the consent of the family members for cremations etc. Land ownership on Nusa Penida is estimated at approximately 3.4 hectares. Below figures give the average land ownership for Nusa (source: 'Landrentemonografie, 1926').
|Village||Land ownership surface (h.a.)||Land owners||Average|
Table above (p.21): subdivision of land ownership 1926
|Village||0-0.5 HA||0.5 HA||1-2 HA||2-5 HA||More than 5 HA||Total number of land owners|
|Ped & Tojapakeh||30||49||79||102||78||338|
Table above (p.22a): subdivision of land ownership 1930
The total amount of landowners, in comparison to 1926, seems to have decreased, albeit modestly, namely with approximately 2,2%. Below table gives the number of non-land owners in 1930, i.e. approximately 85% of the number of inhabitants (including all women and children, also those of land owners).
|Village||Number of people||Non-landowners|
|Ped & Tojapakeh||1,709||1,371|
Table above (p.22b): inhabitants not owning land on Nusa Penida, 1930
The soil here is calcareous. The upper layer along the coast consists of sand and limestone, probably as a result from erosion from the soil in the interior highlands. Beneath this, there is a layer of clay plus a considerable amount of limestone stones the size of a fist or smaller. Underneath this second layer, there is a compact limstone mass. Towards the interior, at higher altitudes, the first layer consists of clay mixed with limestone stones the size of gravel. The layers are of various thicknesses. When the first layer is thick, gaga is grown here; when it is thin, corn is grown. Fields can, according to the 'landrente', be divided and distributed according to three classes: first, second and third class fields. One hectare of first class field equals 1. (...) hectare second tegal. One hectare second class soil equals three hectares third class tegal. The second class tegal on Nusa is comparable approximately with 4,5 of the 5th class (Subdistrict... dry soil in Klungkung - Bali). Below figures gives the state of the soil/fields in each village.
|Village||Class I (ha)||Class II (ha)||Class III (ha)||Total (ha)|
Table above (p.23): land quality, according to 'Landrentenomografie, 1926'
Renting out of fields: renting out of hereditary (erf.?) 'ind. grond' (?) does not exist here. Only governement fields are rented out for three years to the highest bidder.
'Shared or communal agriculture' (deelbouw) on tegalans also occurs on Nusa Penida. The famer gets half of the yield, and half of the yield is for the owner. Taxes (upeti) is paid 50/50% by the owner and the farmer. Sometimes, the seedlings (bibit) are provided in turns by the owner and the farmer. 'Shared or communal agriculture' in the coconut plantations also exists. The coconut famer has to take care of the maintanace of the coconut palms, for example: placing the aren [? coconut and aren are two distinctive palm species with very different products] leaves and so on to prevent theft, cleaning the field underneath the palms, the so-called "nelahin". Underneath the trees, the farmer ('nyakapper'), is allowed to grow corn and other (?) polowijo plants and the yield in this case benefits only him. "Nyilih" or the usufruct of other people's fields also occurs under the following conditions: The "nyilih" receives a plot of land, mostly bad quality land, in loan for a certain period of time. On this plot of land, he is allowed to grow polowijo and the yield is entirely his. Taxes (upeti) in this case is paid by the "nyilih". When the land after a certain amount of time is given back to the owner, or the usage is continued in the form of 'Shared or communal agriculture', half of the yield is for the owner of the land. Shared or communal farmers are at the same time land owners and non-land owners. Slaves ('heerendienstplichtigen') also work as farmers in this kind of agriculture'.
Labour & Migration
Paid labour is nonexistent on Nusa Penida. House building, contruction of stables & lumbungs (Balinese: klumpu) is carried out through a system of mutual assitance (sambat-sinambat, tolong-menolong) and kuli (labourers) are not to be found either. Construction of temples, banjars (the so-called 'balé desa') and other buildings for religious worship is done through village service (desadienst), in other words according to customary law (krama desa, krama banjar). The contruction of public facilities is carried out by colonial slaves (heerendienstplichtigen), such as school buildings, the maintanace of these, residences of civil servants (Punggawa), road mending, contruction of water reservoirs in Tulad and Tanglad and currently the construction of wells in a number of villages in South Nusa (Batukandik, Batumadeg, Klumpu). Emigration: Occurs in small numbers, as stated before.; Immigration: Mostly traders, Chinese, Javanese, 'Tambiërs' (British Indians) and also Balinese, and also Makassarese, such as fishermen and janggolan sailors from 'overseas'. The immigrants build warungs and kedaisand therefore contirbute to the system of warungs. Civil servants could also be included in this category of immigrants.
Trade, Industry & traffic
Image right (Appendix 6, p.37): Map Nusa Penida
Copra is traded as an export commodity and cattle and pigs are also exported. Formerly, considerable amounts of corn and kacang jukut were exported to Bali, and salt is offered in exchange for rice. This is also the case for palm sugar and palm leaf (ental, lontar), which is exchanged for other foodstuff; Industry: Exclusively in the form of weft and other cloths; Sakti and Tanglad are expecially renowned for their cloths, of which large quantities are sold. This industry is reclining, however, due to the import of European cloths from Bali. This is true especially for the coastal villages; Traffic: Horses provide the means of transport for greater distances. The imported primitive N.P.M. lorries as of March 1930 are no longer available and the carcasses can still be seen for those who take an interest.
Villages: These are sprawled at about one hour's distance on foot. On Nusa Penida there are in total ten villages comprising various banjars. On Lembongan, there are two villages, and the island of Ceningan falls under the village of Lembongan. The eleven village areas and their respective banjars including the number of inhabitants in brackets are:
1. Perbekel Kutampi, comprising the banjars: Kutampi (217), Caluk (52), Jurangaja (185), Petinggian (52), Telaga (73), Gelagah (83), Joerangpait (33), Semunipil (24), Bayuh (45), Ponjoh (117), Limo (61), Minggir (21), Calik (21), Salang (22), Pulangan (115), Kelemahan (136), Gepuh (46), Buyuk (23) ); 2. Perbekel Batumunggul comprising the banjars: Batumunggul (349), Batumulapan kangin (243), Batumulapan kaoh (265), Tapang kangin (84), Tapang kapuh (76), Tain Besih (124), Sampalan (220), Mentigi (137); 3. Perbekel Suana comprising the banjars: Suana (326), Ambengan (25), Calgilandak (81), Tukad Saang (22), Celagi (89), Ampel (105), Karang (135), Pupuan (38), Pengaud (68), Pejukutan (105), Pelilit (98); 4. Perbekel Tanglad comprising the banjars: Tanglad (329), Julingan (154), Soyor (23), Anta (20), Penyangcangan (42), Caruban (42), Langki (18), Bungkil (103); 5. Perbekel Sekartaji comprising the banjars: Sekartaji (127), Ramuan (73), Tabuwanan (112), Delundung (54), Penyabon (45), Sedihing (105), Wates (51); 6. Perbekel Batukandik comprising the banjars: Batukandik (125), Tulad (49), Paguyangan (38), Bangunurip (86), Batuguling (28), Belalu (25), Dungkap (135), Bingin (55), Buluh (62); 7. Perbekel Batumadeg comprising the banjars: Batumadeg (304), Penutuk (90), Sarin (84), Mawan (22), Pangkung (65), Sukun (79), Antadan (115); 8. Perbekel Klumpu comprising the banjars: Klumpu (94), Rata (73), Baledan (133), Semaga (45), Iseh (159), Tiyagan (126), Subiya (410); 9. Perbekel Ped comprising the banjars: Ped (174), Pendem (213), Sental Kawan (171), Toyapakeh (95), Serangan (108), Sening (137), Sental Kangin (229), Biyagung (173); 10. Perbekel Lembongan comprising the banjars: Lembongan (548), Banjar Kawan (459), Banjar (459), Banjar Kangin (383); 11. Perbekel Jungutbatu comprising the banjar Jungutbatu (1265); 12. Kepala kampung Toyapakeh (p.27) comprising the banjar Toyapakeh (216).
In contrast to the situation on Bali, in Nusa Penida the banjars form one single unit. Houses are made of limestone, clay and bamboo, and alang-alang is used as roofing. Occasionally, there are houses with roofs made of tiles convered with zinc. At festive occasions and sometimes at siginifanct (grave) events, the banjar members from adat villages gather for meetings.
See annexes 3,4 & 5. Endemic ploughs on Nusa are slightly different from the ones used in Bali. They are made of the "tetehan" tree (shaft of a cart, wagon) with an indentation called "manuk" (rooster, fowl, bird), plough tail "katik" (handle) and the plough itself. The plough is provided with a dubble wooden mouldboard, just like the "bruyul", and cuts at both sides. The "pengabagan" (gabag = type of harrow with openings in it), a kind of harrow, is one of the main tools. It serves to levelling out the soil and also for weeding. The plough is also used for edging up of corn. The Nusa Penida kiskis is of much heavier build compared to the one used in Bali. It serves for weeding when corn is grown, or gaga and other crops. It is also used to clean residential areas to get rid of grass and weeds. 'Propaganda' for iron ploughs would perhaps be desirable in these parts, i.e. for larger surfaces.
Image (Appendix 5, p.36): Plough?
There is education in Nusa Penida as well: schools (Volksscholen) are to be found in the villages of Jungutbatu, Sampalan, Suana, Tanglad, Batumadeg and Sakti. Next year, other schools will be opened, namely in Batukandik and Klumpu. The pupils have to travel many kilometres in order to reach schools as the banjars are sprawled at some distance. After one of two hours on foot other banjars are reached, belonging to the same village. Schools are, with the exception of Sakti and Sampalan decrepit, delapidated buildings, constructed of bamboo and alang-alang. Education was started in the year 1924 and the first school was opened in April (Sampalan). Village schools are built by the people and are subsidised by the Government. Teachers along with writing and drawing necessities are subsidised by the Government. Abtenteism in general is fairly high. If times are good, absenteism is around 6%, whereas in bad times - of food scarcity - it is higher, as is the case when agriculture and harvest is a priority (12-15%). Large distances, malaria and the lack of a 'need' for education further negatively influence absenteism.
At the government's urging, water reservoirs were constructed: one in Tanglad and one in Tulad. These reservoirs serve to gather rainwater during the rainy season and supply the people and cattle with suffient drinking water during the dry season. In Tulad, the reservoir contains 610 m3 and in Tanglad 2250 m3. The construction material was paid for by the Government, while kuli labour was carried out by colonial slaves (heerendienstplichtigen). At present, wells in the southern part of Nusa are constructed and the ones already there are reconstructed by the population (See fig.9 Annual Report T.O. 1924, p.108). These wells take the form of bottle-shaped recesses in the limestone soil with a diameter of ± 5 meters and a depth of also ± 5 meters. The opening is closed off to prevent evaporation. According to reports, such a well after the end of the rainy season could supply fresh water for about two months. Water, however, largely sinks down into the soil due to its porous nature. These wells, too, serve as a gathering place for rainwater. Building material is supplied by the Government and labour by colonial slaves (heerendienstplichtigen).
History of Nusa Penida
At the time of the Balnese Kingdoms, the Raja of Klungkung gave the people the right to cultivate the soil. Many people swarmed out to Nusa and cultivated the fields without minding the hydrological and climatological consequences, while this was a matter the Balinese rajas were concerned about, albeit in their own understandable interest. In no time, Nusa had been looted ('rabas'), as a consequence of which, presently there is no more water and the hills have lost their fertile quality, and instead the padas layers of limestone surfaced. So these grounds were exposed forever as infertile and fallow agricultural fields.When it became apparent that Nusa was facing a shortage of water after the deforestation of the island, the raja began to make changes, albeit too late, and had the island planted with trees, amongst others: ficus, nangka and mahogany. This, however, had little effect. In former years, I was informed, Nusa Penida was once one of the most fertile areas of the district of Klungkung. In those times, there was plenty of forest on Nusa Penida, where many fruit trees could be found. The late Dewa Agung of Klungkung oftentimes had fruits from Nusa exported to Klungkung, amongst others mangos of small size from Lembongan and Toyapakeh, sawo's from Batumunggul, Koetampi and other places. Except from the above-mentioned fruits, Nusa Penida is rich in fruits like banana, jackfruit, durian, jambu, oranges and others.
There are associations such as 'sekehe barong' (translated as: association; barong is a kind of popular 'sport'). Members of this 'sekehe' are exempt from paying "upah" (to be translated with 'empty') to the association when using the barong. Non-members, however, have to pay, and sometimes cook food. If the barong plays for the temple, the association only receives food. The money it receives is poored into the association's cash register, which serves for the mainantance of the barong. At "galungan", the saved sum of money is spent on buying a suckling pig and for parties. Members, who for some reason or other do not attend the performances, are fined, which are then given to the cash register. The same goes for those who fail to attend meetings. This principle holds true for other associations as well.
Colonial slavery (Corvée labour)
|1. Lembongan||400||can be exempted/bought|
|3. Sakti||500||cannot be exempted/bought|
|Total in Noesa||4300|
Table above (p.30): number of colonial slaves or corvée labourers (heerendienstplichtigen) per village
In contrast to Bali, non-commutable (colonial) slavery still exists on Nusa, with the exception of Ceningan and Lembongan, where the 'heerendiensten' can be bought off. Below table gives the number of colonial slaves (heerendienstplichtigen) per village. People forced to work according to the system of 'heerendienstplicht', generally mend roads, work as guards at a number of village teachers and other civil servants and cut grass for horses used by colonial officials. In Sampalan and T0yapakeh, they load and unload goods for the N.P.M. (ferry company between mainland Bali and Nusa). They work every three to 'fijf viet' (five?) days. Immigrants are exempt from slavery, i.e.: the 'heerendienst' can be bought off. Village officials are also exempt from slavery, but do not have to buy this off. Most of the 'heerendienstplichtigen' are communal farmers (deelbouwer), and they are not exept from performing village services. All in all, people (on Nusa Penida) who are forced to work as 'heerendienstplichtigen', face a tougher fight for life compared to other places in Bali.
To alleviate the heavy struggle for survival for these people, it is desirable that the 'heerendienst', either immediately or gradually, is abolished. Emigration on Nusa has to be promoted, especially where there are uncultivated plots of land on Bali, e.g. in Jembrana. A great deal of communal agriculture (deelbouw) would still be a possibility there, as most of recently issued and written-off forested areas in Jembrana (started in about 1917) are in the hands of absentees. Growing perennials should be stimulated as well, such as kapok, kapas and fruit trees, of which mango and orange trees are the most important. Here and there, the Agricultural Public Information Service (landbouwvoorlichtingsdienst) has started to to lay out seed-beds for kapok. Slopes have to be reforestated in view of the hydrological conditions of the island.
N.B. Most of my notes can be reguarded as additional information to a publication well worth reading contained in the Annual Report 1924 T.D., mentioned above by A.Gertis.
|Village||Bandjar||Average yield (pik./bouw)||à picol per ha|
Table above (p.33): Appendix 1: Dry rice (padi gaga) yield
|Village||Bandjar||Average yield of dry husked corn is qt. ha.||pik. lb|
|Poendoek ke Kadje||35||41|
|Poendoek ke Kelod||27||31|
Table above (p.33): Appendix 2: Corn yield
- Heyne, Karel - De Nuttige Planten van Indonesië, Parts I (p.1-1450) and II (p.1451-1660 & list of scientific names p.I-CCXII), H.Veenman & zonen, Wageningen, 1950
- Shadeg, Norbert - Balinese-English Dictionary, Tuttle Publishing, Singapore, 2007
- Soekardjo – "Noesa Penida, een misdeeld eiland", door Soekardjo, adjunct Landbouwconsulent te Tabanan (Zuid-Bali), in: Vamola, Tijdschrift uitgegeven door de Vereeniging van Ambtenaren van Middelbare opleiding bij de Landbouw- en Aanverwante Diensten, Tweede jaargang, no.5, september 1931, p.1-33