The Samin are an Indonesian customary community living in the region Bojonegoro in East Java , amid a forest of teak . It is also found in the kabupaten of Blora in central Java , on the other side of the Solo River .

The Samin descend from Surosentiko Samin’s disciples. Samin was a farmer who in the 1890s preached resistance to the colonial power Dutch 1 . He reacted to the grabbing of teak forests by the authorities. These banned access to the villagers, declaring them Dutch property.

Samin wanted people to access the resources of the teak forests. It was a communist pacifist movement . Rather than organizing a violent uprising, Samin preached peaceful forms of resistance, such as refusing to pay taxes to the colonial government, and continue to take the teak forests as the population was always 2 . The colonial authorities refused them this access.

Samin emphasized the structure of the village community, mysticism and sexuality. His message was also a protest movement against both the traditional chiefs, the bupati prefects chosen from the Javanese nobility , and the colonial authorities of the Dutch East Indies .

The movement survived until the 1960s 3 .

The Samin, while declaring themselves Muslims , do not practice many rites, such as fasting and regular prayer. They insitent instead on aspects spirit of Islam and moral principles like honesty, modesty and simplicity 4 . In this sense, they are similar to other followers of the traditional Javanese religion .

Notes and references

  1. ↑ The Malayan Archipelago , 1890
  2. ↑ Lee, Nancy, Rich Forests, Poor People – Resource Control and Resistance in Java , University of California Press, 1992
  3. ↑ Turner, Peter, Lonely Planet , 1997
  4. ↑ Takashi Shiraishi, Dangir’s Testimony: Saminism Reconsidered , Cornell University, 1990