A brief history of the existence of spices in South Kalimantan, Indonesia

10 Jun 2022

In the seventeenth century, Tabanio and its surroundings were areas with high economic potential. In this area there are pepper plantations with great potential and marine fisheries. In the area around Pelaihari, which is to the southeast of Tabanio, there are gold mines. The Mataram army had also landed on Tabanio Beach, in the context of diplomatic negotiations and breaking the pepper monopoly by European traders in the Banjar Kingdom.

To the east of Tabanio Beach there is an area called Jaratan (now Panjaratan). In this area there is a gathering place for pepper which is traded outside the island via the Java Sea. The areas targeted as marketing areas are mainly Java and Sumatra. In this area there is also a robber's base whose operations include the Java Sea Coast, Laut Island, Pamukan Bay, Pasir, Barito River Estuary, and even to the Kahayan River Estuary. The targets for robbery included pepper, gold, and weapons, both belonging to native and local traders. Because it has a fairly high economic potential, the Tabanio area has become the target of foreign traders. To secure this area, both from robbers and the target of foreign traders, the Banjar Kingdom felt the need to conduct surveillance to the Tanah Laut area.

When the VOC came they made an agreement with the Banjar Kingdom, one of which was regarding the establishment of a fort in Tabanio. The agreement was stated in the Banjersch contract van den 6 July 1779 chapter 7. In 1789 Loji/Fort Tabaniouw (Fort Tabanio) was established in the context of a monopoly on pepper and other businesses. The establishment of the fort was also intended for surveillance and protection from various possible political and trade threats. The existence of this fort is also mentioned in later contracts, namely January 1, 1817 Case Five, Contract May 14 1826, and Concession April 30, 1856.

During the Banjar War which began on April 28, 1859, Tabanio Fort was also the target of attacks. The attack was led by Haji Buyasin, Demang Leman, and Kyai Langlang. The incident of the attack was contained in Colonel Andersson's letter to the governor general, namely Letter B No. 25 neer geheim May 16, 1859.

In August 1859 Banjar fighters again attacked the fort, and even managed to occupy it. The leader of the Dutch army (gezadhebber) Mauritz was killed in the battle. Dutch troops tried to retake the fort by directing the warship Bone, but failed. It was only in the second attack that they managed to reclaim the fort and expel the Banjar fighters to the interior.

After the abolition of the existence of the Banjar Kingdom on June 11, 1860 and the end of the Banjar war in the early 20th century, Tabanio Fort was never used again. The fort was then abandoned because it was damaged and also because there was no more war. After being abandoned, the parts of the fort were then used by the community for the construction of mosques, langgars and wells. Thus the damage and destruction of the fort was caused by three things, namely war, natural processes, and human activities.

The Tabanio Fort site is geographically located on the coast of the Java Sea, close to the Tabanio River, at the western base of Tanjung Selatan which sailors call Tanjung Silat. This site is administratively included in the area of Kampung Tabanio, Tabanio Village, Kec. Takisung, Kab. Tanah Laut, South Kalimantan. From Banjarmasin the site is located 96 km to the southeast, which can be reached via Kota Pelaihari and Takisung.

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