Schlagwort-Archiv: April

Tjipandak, 20 April 1893

The ground for the Banteng hunt today was considerably farther away than the one the day before. Only after a three hour march did we reach our destination. The ride during which we had, like the day before, to cross the river multiple times lead almost continuously through Alang grass without the need to overcome any especially difficult terrain obstacles. Only one time there was a very steep gorge to pass which seemed impassable for horses but which our local nags overcame in a truly admirable way, as they slided and glided, sitting on their rear legs, down into the gorge without accident and then climbing almost vertically up out of the deep again while we on foot were only getting across with difficulties over the stone plates and the smooth clay underground.

During our ride I saw on a hill in the distance the head of a deer rise out of the tall grass. The attempt to sneak up to the shy game was unsuccessful.

This time too the drive pushed towards forests down in the valley but the hunting positions were taken up along a ridge. Mr. Kerkhoven first positioned me at the lowest level and had the intention to put one of my gentlemen in the closest upward position. By a mistake of the native who Mr. Kerkhoven had sent back with the order of this arrangement it was Mr. Borrel and not one of my gentlemen who took up position next to me. I sat under a tree and had to suffer during the three hours of the drive much exposure to heat as the tree offered no shade, even more so as it deemed necessary in the interest of the hunt to keep very quiet. Thus I could only sit quietly and envy the legions of ants that were running up and down unimpressed by the heat. The open space around the position was very limited.

After the lifting shot I heard a strong breaking that could only be the result of large game but soon everything was quiet again. Some time afterwards my neighbor fired a shot then I saw and heard nothing more than the monotonous rattles of the drivers in the defensive line.

Finally at the end of the drive, Mr. Borrel approached me and apologized vividly that he had shot a Banteng bull, convinced that the piece would not come into the range of my rifle. How correct this was I could not assess. In any way, I was not much pleased that neither I nor one of my gentlemen had had hunter’s luck and looked with much shooter’s envy upon the capital bull that distinguished itself by its remarkable size and strength.

Much taller than our strongest cattle the Banteng stands on high legs. Its mighty head is ornamented with upward pointing crooked horns. The top skin is glittering black. The extremities below the knee are white as snow. When a Banteng moves through the thicket, one can hear from afar the breaking and crackle of the branches that are crushed by the animals. In the forests which we were passing through today we found everywhere large quantities of broken and dry bamboo sticks — apparent marks of the mighty Bantengs.

Mr. Kerkhoven who stood there somewhat annoyed that the bull had been killed not by me but Mr. Borrel had seen a Banteng cow in the distance. Wurmbrand too saw three animals that crossed at a great distance. Even though there was time to continue the hunt, the retreat was sounded because a heavy storm was brewing on the horizon and our hunting master feared that a heavy rain would make crossing the river impossible. But the storm cleared up and we only were touched by a few rain drops.

As hunters, drivers and dogs were already lost and thus the hunt was over for today, we wanted to use the remaining time after the return to the camp to fish in the river. It was not an especially beautiful way of fishing that we were practising. We namely used dynamite which all of our rational fishermen would have found abhorrent, but we wanted mostly to know whether there were any fishes in the river and if so of what species. Here too the natives had claimed that the river contained crocodiles. Thus dynamite was the quickest and safest means to answer these questions.

The river was closed off a few hundred paces downstream with a net. Then the Dutch gentlemen started adjusting the dynamite cartridges while my hunter as a former NCO of the engineer corps had to provide them with help and advice.  With the greatest calm they were handling dynamite and fuses in our dining hut After they had prepared everything without causing a rightfully feared explosion, the cartridges were hurled into the river after their fuses had been lighted. The explosion followed soon afterwards but for the present without the desired success as no fish appeared on the water surface.

We, I and some of the gentlemen, had in the mean time gained control of a vehicle composed out of two canoes bound together by bamboo and were expecting to find some fishes. As we took it upon ourselves to guide the vehicle with bamboo sticks, we played a miserable role as our double boat either was turning in a circle or with a loud crash hit the shore, so that we attracted the attention of the natives who had remained on land and generated general merriment. We did not catch any fishes but instead Clam fell head first into the water at a very deep spot while in the midst of busy rowing and touched the underside of a canoe with his head but was rescued out of the river by a united effort.

After this intermezzo we considered it advisable to desist from testing our nautical skills further but disembarked in order to observe the next effects of the exploder on land. As for quite some time no aquatic animal became visible in the river, we finally returned home.  Half an hour later, a native brought us a basket filled with dead fishes and told us that many hundreds of fishes were being washed down the river without a possibility to catch them as the people with the nets had already gone away. My knowledge in ichthyology were unfortunately insufficient to determine the specimens precisely that had become victims of the dynamite. One of the fishes with a remarkable red coloring of the scales could be possibly classified as a barbel.


  • Location: Tji Pandak, Indonesia
  • ANNO – on 20.04.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „De Widerspänstige“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Carmen“.

Sindangbarang to Tjipandak, 19 April 1893

A consequence of the unwelcome Ramelan feast was that we, unfortunately, were absolutely unable to get our horses in the morning and neither horse keepers nor coolies nor village elders could be found. Everybody was still at rest after the joys of the day before and we were finally  starting to move towards 6 o’clock in Sindangbarang, despite being ready for departure since half past 4 o’clock. Sleepily the caravan moved towards the sea.

The ride in the soft sand of the dune was very attractive as the prescribed route led almost all alongside the coast and we had the wide blue sea with its mighty waves crashing into the shore to our right and the green coastal hills on the left. The morning before sunrise was agreeably cool and the fine water mist of the crashing waves was refreshing us and the horses. After two hours the tide increased more and more and the outliers of the waves were splashing under the feet of our horses. The crashing waves on the Southern coast of Java that approach in giant waves from the open sea only to foamingly break against the insurmountable wall is one of the noble sights of nature which the eye never tires to look at, which the memory will forever preserve. Enormous, boundless, holy is the power of the elements; how small and weak is man in comparison!

Thousands of crabs were running back and forth on the warm sand in which we found large pieces of pumice which the sea has disgorged and which are said to come from the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883.

Near a cadaver of a dead horse I observed a sea eagle with a fully white breast and head in the same color. Later I saw a second specimen sitting on a barren palm tree.

At one place rocks were barring the way to the beach so that we had to take a detour deep into the shore land- Even there we were faced with many obstacles, especially the rather wide Tji Udjong (Oedjong) that lay in such turns that we had to cross it three times in a very short distance. The first time on an improvised raft on which the horses were loaded too. the other two times wading across whereas we were submerged rather deeply in the water. An especially stubborn pony jumped from the raft into the river and swam happily to the other shore so that this intermezzo had no other disadvantage than the fact that the rider of that pony had to sit on a water-soaked saddle.

The wading of the river offered a pretty view due to the depth of the water: In front rode always our local guide, then followed I on my white mare which by the way behaved very sensibly in the water, then the other gentlemen and at the end the hunting baggage train on ponies which advanced partly swimming partly splashing and sometimes only keeping the head above the water.

We became in fact completely wet during each crossing but considered this an agreeable bath as the heat was intense. The sun mean very well, it sent its vertical hot rays down upon us. The temperature was today for once suitable for an equatorial zone!

Again at the beach we finally turned after a ride of 20 km to the north and stood after a short while in front of the camp in Tjipandak which we would occupy during the next few days. Something more habitable and cosy one could not find. With loud shouts of joy and appreciation we greeted Mr. Borrel, a  friend of Kerkhoven, who had rushed ahead a few days before to create this camp here. At the shore of the glittering blue Tji Pandak that rushes similar to a mountain river were huts between green trees, built airily completely out of bamboo while  palm leaves formed the walls and the roof. In the center of the camp stood some kind of platform on poles under a palm leaves roof which was to serve as our dining room. To the right was my accommodation, to the left those of my entourage. In the background were huts intended for Hodek and the servants. For the horses there were provided open barns. In front of the camp there was a small hut in the water to allow taking a bath or sunning oneself without the danger of catching a sunstroke.

This was all but just the right kind for a camp in the jungle. Mr. Borrel had fully taken into consideration the climatic and local relations and left out every unnecessary comfort; one could thus live completely out in the open but was protected against the sun and enjoyed the agreeable refreshing night thanks to the river nearby.

Thus we intend to live truly in an Arcadian way in our small valley cut off from the world. The hours not devoted to hunting we wanted to spend in conversation and rest in the dining hut, dive from time to time into the water of the mountain river whose clear cool water offers a delicious bath and would refresh us. No mail, no telegraph, no steaming locomotive would interrupt the pleasant calm. I greet you, virginal nature that surrounds us here in such a lovely manner! Today still, a hunt was planned. The result of my desires namely should be to bag a Banteng and bring its splendidly horned head back as a trophy.  Bantengs (Bos sondaicus) which live in herds are truly the largest wild cattle of the present era in the Indian islands, Siam and Burma. Mr. Borrel reported that all was ready and placed himself as a guide on a Sandelhout pony  at the front of the column. Close to the camp fresh tracks of Bantengs had been found and thus two drives were to be undertaken from there. The ride to the place was again very tiring for the horses as we had to pass over very steep ridges and the river had to be waded across three times. The first two crossings went rather well, at the last one we had to go so deep into the rapidly flowing water that the small ponies came across only with difficulties.

The ground we wanted to hunt in had a different character than the areas we had up to now crossed. The formation, however, was the same, but here the highlands cut by valleys and filled with gorges was not covered equally with woods anymore but had extended green areas  with Alang grass between patches of woods. Apparently large forest fires had raged here some time ago and laid bare the ground in numerous places.

This spot was the favorite place of the Bantengs that stay in the thickets of the woods during the day and venture out towards evening to those spots where the Alang grass offers saplings for grazing.  The only possible art of hunting Bantengs here is the drive, a chase through the impenetrable thickets is not possible. After the end of the rainy season, that is the beginning of May,  the natives ignite the dry Alang areas so that then the game can be easily discovered in forest clusters and confirmed. Drives can then be immediately undertaken. Unfortunately my presence on Java was still during the rainy season, which made hunting extremely difficult due to the tall and still green Alang grass. The discovery of game was nearly impossible and even game that emerged out of a thicket was only visible from a few paces away in the tall dense grass — The Alang grass was in many places so high that not even a horse could be seen in it, the points of the grass stalks could even rise higher than the head of a rider.

Hunting Bantengs is performed in the current era in the following matter: The drivers surround a clearing and defend it in creating great noise with bamboo rattles after the lifting shot, while individual hunters enter into the clearing and as soon as they have found a track, send out the dogs that will bark as soon as they discover the game. If this method is unsuccessful, all are ordered to advance into the clearing if this is possible but usually without much success due to the hunting methods used everywhere in the southern regions.

Disorder, carelessness and waste of time by the drivers was very noticeable today. In a systematic and correct drive it should not have been too difficult in my opinion to bag some Bantengs. But then this rare species would soon go extinct. Apparently it is only due to the deficiency of the hunting organization that this mighty wild cows had not yet been eradicated.

As our chief hunter served a Mohammedan preacher (Haji) who was considered the best authority on hunting matters here and forcefully took charge of the affair.

The first drive ended completely without a result. Originally it was intended to follow-up the first drive with a second drive but Mr. Kerkhoven believed to desist as the drive had made all game escape so that there was no hope to achieve better results in the second attempt. Thus we returned, crossing the river three times again, to our palm huts where a meal cooked by a Javanese cooking artist was awaiting us. After the conclusion of the meal we went to rest at an early hour of the night.

I was already sleeping when a loud noise woke me as close to my rest an animal voice was heard. I jumped up and soon noticed the animal whose sounds had awoken me so abruptly. It was a gecko, one of these large lizards whose loud screams might mislead a novice to  think that it was a large animal. The light of a few matches which I had quickly ignited chased away the intruder that did not appear again during the night.


  • Location: Tji Pandak, Indonesia
  • ANNO – on 19.04.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Das Heiratsnest“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Der fliegende Holländer“.

Tanggeng to Sindangbarang, 18 April 1893

Today, the first of the month Sawal after the end of the fasting month Ramelan (Ramasan) or Pasa, was the Javanese feast of Idul-Fitr. This day — Garebeg Puwasa day — is considered the start of the new year by the natives which became apparent to us during the ride when the small settlements we passed through were all filled with music and a festive air.

After a long refreshing sleep we departed to first climb a mountain along our route whose steepness was in no way less demanding than one of our own mountain trails. The sky had completely cleared up, the sun stood high and we enjoyed a wonderful view upon the countless mountain peaks and volcanoes during our way up and on the way down upon the mountain ranges and surrounding valleys. A large part of the Preang residency lay in front of our eyes and feet, a splendid piece of West Java.

The full enjoyment of these enchanting panoramic views suffered from the care demanded by the difficult terrain so that we had to attend to our horses, as the rain of the last few days had made the steps cut into the steepest parts of the mountain trail very smooth and slippery so that our horses had great difficulty in climbing. Finally, with great effort we reached the top which marked the divide between the districts Djampang wetan and Tjidamar. There we were greeted by the district chief of Tjidamar with many bows.

Our very tired horses required a short rest and then the route descended on relatively good trails only to go up again. The scenery surpassed in beauty even that seen the day before which had enchanted us so much. This was true tropical forest in which one picturesque view displaced the next one; each, however, was enchanting and unique. Here giant trees are lining the trail that was thickly covered with grass. There emerges rampantly growing brushwood in a clearing, Then we are enclosed for miles by a thick high forest which provided cover for game that was unreachable for the hunters. Whether it was a tree, a bush, a herb or moss, every plant was luxurious and beautiful, the diversity of the plants decorating the ground seemed inexhaustible. Thus the trunk of a dead tree provided the seeding space and root bed for twenty of the most different plant species. We all agreed that the vegetation of Java surpassed the splendid plant variety of Ceylon by far, to say nothing about the other floral kingdoms of India.

The poverty of the variety of birds was noticed by us as, apart from some Columbidae as well as some small nectarines, I only saw a single large hornbill.

Starting at a settlement where the horses were switched, the trail descended steeply towards the Southern coast of Java as well as towards Sindangbarangab which was situated close to the sea coast. Now we saw between the trees deep down below us the glittering wide blue sea and were able to distinguish clearly the white line of the strong breaking waves.

The descent happened mostly on foot with us leading the horses by the reins. Then we crossed the deep river Sadea, which went very quickly despite the small bamboo barges we used that could only carry one horse at a time.

After 7,5 km in plain terrain along the river shore we reached the small rest lodge of the district village of Sindangbarang,  which was surrounded by a settlement and lay in the shadow of mighty trees and was to serve us as our much desired accommodation after a long ride. Our horses too seemed to appreciate the rest. They had covered 28 km of very demanding terrain so that they had to be pushed at the end of the ride and were stumbling constantly.

Despite Sindangbarang’s location about 20 minutes from the sea coast, one could still hear the booming sea in the rest lodge. Towards evening I went to the beach with the gentlemen of my entourage in order to bag some ornithological catches. We enjoyed the view of the powerful breakwater that expands over the totally flat sand  just like at Ostend or Helgoland. But just the view of the salty water did not provide sufficient entertainment and thus Clam and I ran without a plan into the man-high waves and took a gorgeous refreshing bath. The other gentlemen soon followed our example and now we were standing in the most diverse costumes on the beach and let the foaming waves splash around us which was very agreeable after the heat of the day. Our clothes which we had not taken off were however considerably damaged so that we  returned to the rest lodge all happy and entertained but in very deficient clothing.

To honor the great Ramelan feast there was a common spectacle in the village so that I made an extended tour to learn more about the customs and manners on Java, but it did not offer much that was new or remarkable. Some native women were beating again in time with bamboo sticks upon a hollowed out tree trunk, singing or actually howling, while nearby large crowds were packed around a Wajang. This Wajang, which reminded me vividly of a Javanese version of a „Punch and Judy theater“,  was similar to a shadow play which we had seen in Garut.

Until late in the night one could hear the monotonous beats of the gong and melancholic music of the Gamelang which didn’t help to catch some sleep that was so necessary for all and led not to words of appreciation but rather to expressions of displeasure.


  • Location: Sindangbarang, Indonesia
  • ANNO – on 18.04.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Die Journalisten“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Robert der Teufel“.

Cianjur to Tanggeng, 17 April 1893

Today starts our hunting expedition to Cipandak which will take us across the jungles of Preang. Already at 5 o’clock in the morning, reveille was called and soon afterwards the special train departed which took us within half an hour to Tjibeber. Here it was time to say good-bye to our travel companions and the resident and entrust us to the guidance of Mr. Kerkhoven and Baron van Heeckeren van Walien, the two main organizers of the hunts who were expecting us with horses that we should use. After examining the saddling and bridles, the caravan set off, the necessary baggage having been sent ahead the day before, carried by coolies.

Our cavalcade was quite strangely composed and would have made many European spectators smile. In front of the column rode a native official with two village councilors on very small ponies. Then followed I and the gentlemen of my entourage, all in the most „tropical“ costume on excellent horses provided by the two planters. The end of the column was formed by our servants many of whom were riding a horse for the first time and were comical to look at on their fidgeting Sandelhout ponies, as well as Hodek and his assistant, furthermore a large number of village elders with gold laced hats and in half Dutch, half Javanese clothes.

In very beautiful and relatively not hot weather we advanced one behind the other towards the mountains. As we were at first riding through a small plain I would have preferred to proceed at a canter but  Mr Kerkhoven made me aware that the undulating terrain we would soon enter would only permit to ride all day in trot. This perspective did not meet my approval as we had to cover a large distance of 47 km. Truly after a short time the road began to ascend steeply up the mountains. The road was filled with stones and very difficult for our horses.

During the day we found ample compensation for the uninterrupted ride at a trot in the beauty of the countryside we were passing through. The monotonous rice paddies of the plains ended and the vegetation changed its character. Where there were no coffee or cinchona plantations, gorgeous jungle was rising high. Behind us lay culture in front of us nature! There stood on both sides of the road sky high Rasamala trees (Altingia excelsa, part of the family of Hamamelideae), whose trunks would grow up to 45 m and were the best wood for carpentry next to the teak tree; bananas and banians; Urostigma species (Urostigma religiosum, altissimum); all kinds of low jungle trees such as Ficus valida, obovata, javanica and Myristica species; thick groups of Bambusaceae etc. In between all kinds of herb- or treelike ferns were growing most luxuriously and orchids in full bloom and in hundreds of forms, called Angrek in Malay. Here I saw those plants grow for the first time in open air and enjoyed the sight of the rich variety of enchantingly beautiful flowers.

The road was meandering without break soon up over hills, ridges and saddles, down into green valleys and soon up steeply to cragged mountains. The road seems to be never driven in despite its width but only used by riders and pedestrians. The upkeep of the road is extraordinarily difficult due to the considerable slopes and the strong downpours in this zone. Every 4 m to 5 m stood a numbered stone that marked the road which had to be maintained by work groups from the inhabitants of the closest villages.

From time to time one sees small villages made completely out of bamboo, especially where two plantations are close together. The villages  look nice and friendly and are almost all built upon poles due to the copious rain. Despite being in the jungle, elements of culture had already reached these villages. A proof was supplied by finding a Singer sewing machine in one of the houses!

The population in this area seemed to be even more submissive than those in the northern part; as already at a great distance they took up their squatting position with downcast head and eyes as a sign of respect as if nobody was deemed worthy enough to look us in the face.

I rode on this tour on an old white horse named „Ratu“ that had been imported from Australia that took me despite its advanced age at to the cinchona plantations in Sukanagara (Soekanagara) in a kind of fast trot of 4,5 hours. Here the administrator, Mr Vlooten, invited me to a breakfast in his nicely decorated one story house. With great pleasure I accepted the friendly offer and stayed half an hour in the gentleman’s house at Sukanagara, where I also found a stove to my surprise. Answering my question Mr Vlooten explained that at an altitude of 877 m above the sea level it was very cool in the morning in August so that he had to heat. So close to the equator I would not have thought this possible!

Again in the saddle we entered the jungle, leaving behind the extended plantation dedicated entirely to the cultivation of cinchona. We had switched horses in Sukanagara and I now rode a delicate thoroughbred mare raised by Baron van Heeckeren that had earlier won many prizes on the racing course.

Just in the woods we were reminded about the still active rainy season by a heavy downpour; first heavy drops were falling and finally a heavy storm came down on us whose force made within half an hour all the streams and rivers rise so highly that we could only pass with difficulties two rivers that would otherwise have been easy. The first water course named Tji Djampang could be still passed by riding across, even though the high waves were breaking nearly above us and our horses. At the second river named Tji Lumut, riding across was impossible. We had to use a bamboo raft while the horses swam across led by the bridle.

I noticed here two large black monkeys of the kind which are called in Java Budeng (Semnopithecus maurus) in the branches of a tall tree where even the long-tailed four handed animal had sought shelter from the storm.

The downpours softened the road, the clay ground became very smooth and difficult for the horses so that we advanced very slowly. The jungle had ended in some places and given way to ridges and mountain slopes without trees but covered densely with alang.

Towards evening we passed over the Tji Buni (Boeni) through a high covered bridge. The river was foamingly roaring over the rocks like one of our local mountain rivers and finally went out of sight at a chasm. On the opposite shore, in the midst of all the green scenery, the small village of Tanggeng was greeting us where we would spend the night in a government bungalow, in Malay Passang Rahal, a lodge for government officials. Gamelang music was heard at the entrance to the village while a couple of the village belles expressed their joy about our arrival by smiling and singing while beating bamboo sticks on a wood block which thus produced a dull tune.

This lodge too had been built out of bamboo only and had just enough room for six among us — me, Wurmbrand, Prònay. Clam, Kerkhoven and Heeckeren — while the rest had to sleep on the veranda. Behind the lodge there were simple barns for the horses.

We exchanged our completely wet clothes for dry ones, took a frugal meal and smoking sat together for a short time on the veranda while out in the distance one could hear the sound of the Gamelang which reminded me about our Southern Slavic music. Then we went to bed as we had completed an intense march. The monotonous chirping of a Javanese locust and the tiny whirring of countless beetles, butterflies and other insects that all  had taken refuge in the house from the rain swayed us into a refreshing well earned slumber.


  • Location: Tanggeng, Indonesia
  • ANNO – on 17.04.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Die neue Zeit“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the ballet „Cavalleria Rusticana“.

Cianjur, 16 April 1893

This regent too wanted me to enjoy a hunt. He therefore invited me to a deer hunt in his favorite private hunting ground Panoembangan. Cianjur was still asleep when we left the small town. Only here and there a Chinese was visible who was just opening his shop. But the tireless escort was already in the square and accompanied us at a brisk gallop which again put some of the gentlemen in a tough situation. After only a few Paals (1 Paal = 1506.9 m), their up to then considerable number of riders had reduced itself to a minimum as some had been separated from their horses and others did not manage to guide their horses past the houses along the road.

This time we did not use the large government carriage as in earlier occasions but a very light hunting wagon with a roof which was much faster but had the big disadvantage of being built only for the short legs of the natives and we thus were sitting in a very uncomfortable position.

First the road led across the plain through a valley of many villages and numerous rice paddies. Then we turned to the north-east and reached a mountainous terrain which contained besides a few plantation mostly savannah of alang and forests.

In this mountainous terrain we advanced naturally much slower than in the valley below despite the exertions of our ponies. Some inclines could only be conquered with the assistance of an army of coolies who pushed behind each wagon, heaving and dragging while the coachmen were shouting and cracking their whips.

Strange were the numerous bamboo bridges of the roads we drove through. At a glance these filigrane constructions seemed not to look very trustworthy, as the trusses were only about 30 cm strong bamboo poles while the cross beams are even thinner. There are no pillars, the bridge hangs freely over the valley or river on bamboo ropes that are tied on both sides to trees.  Solid bridge fillings is missing too. It is replaced by woven bamboo fibers that resemble a mat. If a wagon is driving over such a bridge, the whole construction is swinging and creaking alarmingly even though the elastic material is said to have great lifting power. The Dutch resident seemed to be of a different opinion and not have much trust in the bridges in his residency as he asked us repeatedly to leave the carriage and pass the bridge on foot. Very naive was the behavior of the coolies: In the opinion to reduce the strains upon the bridge, about fifty guys carried the wagons across.

After a drive of three hours we finally arrived with our horses completely spent at the regent’s delicate hunting lodge built out of bamboo. The friendly owner offered us first a snack and use the time it took to eat to make final preparations with the hunters.

On a mountain ledge we saw an immense crowd of drivers who were beautifully assembled from the valley up to the top of the mountain.

The hunting ground was this time a mountain range without trees, completely covered in tall thick alang grass through which the drivers were to march towards us. Along a foot path on the ledge we were assigned raised stands all made out of bamboo that offered a view upon the grass jungle. The brave people had decorated my raised stand with crossed flags in black-yellow and red-white. As much as I appreciated the attention, I still asked to remove the flags as it would chase away the game.

I took up position at the outward right flank; next to me were the other gentlemen of my entourage. At a sign from the regent the drive started with the terrible noise of the drivers who advanced concentrically from the hills toward our position.They happily used their bamboo rattles which jumped up and down the whole line like platoon fire. Strangely the drive advanced in complete order even if at a very slow pace.

Just at the start of the hunt I saw an animal and a a calf cross at a large distance; after a while they came a bit closer in full flight and I managed to kill the animal. When the drivers had approached to about 800 paces, a strong animal and a spike became visible that collapsed after fleeing from my shots and died. Finally — the drivers were already close to the dais — a good deer escaped out of a bamboo thicket and fled just in my direction. Hit by my fire, it collapsed.

The other shooters had not killed anything; Wurmbrand shot in vain at long distance at an animal while one of the other gentlemen saw the game flee before he had even arrived at his hunting position.

The six-ender antler of the deer I killed was still in velvet. The deer on Java as well as those in India seem not to have a season for casting the antlers as at the same time there are deer with totally used up antlers, deer in velvet and those that had cast off their antlers.

Questioned about the reasons for the meager result of the hunt the native hunter explained that the current time period was not very favorable for a deer hunt as the abundant rain had led to very tall grass which made the finding of game and the hunt much more difficult.

By the way, the big game has already been mostly killed in the whole of Java. Hunting is free, the Javanese nobles are eager hunters and everywhere everything is mercilessly hunted that comes into view. The quantity of game that the island originally had may be assessed by the following:  When 25 years ago a Dutch resident visited one of the provinces of central Java, the native regent organized a hunt in which 1200 pieces of game were killed on a single day.This fact was reported to me by an eye witness who also said that the area was foul for weeks afterwards as the killed game could not be removed due to a lack of manpower but left behind on the spot.

At the end of the hunt all the drivers, more than 2000 men in numbers, streamed to my dais and started upon the sign of the chief hunter, a small old man, into a deafening cheer that nearly made the air tremble. The four bagged pieces were laid out beside the dais and soon I was standing in a a downpour of hats as the densely packed crowd had thrown their straw or bamboo hats into the air in order to applaud again.

Even more original was the procession to the hunting lodge. This procession was led by uniformed minor officials who performed a jig in front of the game carried on poles like King David did in front of the ark of the covenant. Then followed  the 2000 drivers, in whose midst I was quasi wedged in, all of them shouting and crying and making noise with bamboo rattles. A stranger who encountered this procession would think that a legion of madmen had escaped out of the madhouse and was enjoying their regained freedom. At the hunting lodge, the exaltation fortunately stopped.


  • Location: Cianjur, Indonesia
  • ANNO – on 16.04.1893 in Austria’s newspapers. The Wiener Salonblatt mentions that FF has set course for Java from Singapore on 11 April 1894.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Das Heiratsnest“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Margarethe (Faust)“.

Garut to Cianjur, 15 April 1893

A mountain range densely covered in alang and close to Garut, about an hour’s drive distant from here, contained numerous wild boars. The regent, a keen friend of the hunt, had arranged a boar hunt in that mountain range, anticipating my intentions. According to the program, there was to be a hunt there.

Thus we drove at the earliest and as fast as possible our four pony team was able to run to the spot where the riding horses were ready to take us to the hunting ground. Here too we found heavily undulating terrain so that once again the coolies had to push the carriage in steep places or brake it in order to ease the burden of drawing the carriage for our bravely galoping small horses. Arriving in a very deep cut valley I noticed with astonishment the presence of many hundreds of people who had all come with kin and children and occupied the surrounding heights in picturesque groups in order to observe the spectacle of a princely hunt.

Everyone was in their Sunday best, the local hat on the head. Clever merchants had created a whole bazaar in which they sold food and drinks to the people. On a ledge of the valley, a bamboo house had been built which was richly decorated with flags in our and the Dutch colors as well as flowers and  garlands. On the dais on the first floor I should take a seat on a fauteuil in green velvet and send my shots at the boars from there as if I was an ancient Roman emperor who had set his mind to hunt in utmost comfort. The impression that this was an imperial hunting ceremony was reinforced my the decoration of the approach road to the house; this road had been most splendidly decorated as a via triumphalis with an honor portal, flag staffs and groups of flowers. In the side rooms of the house, cup-bearers were doing their duty but it was not Falernian wine but sparkling champaign that was flowing in streams. A music band out of our sight played during the hunt and performed our anthem in fortissimo.

The valley and the ledge opposite us had been cleared and surrounded with a thick bamboo fence which led up to the house so that the boar hunt was apparently limited to an arranged killing and thus not a true hunting enterprise but more of a popular feast that amused me greatly by the comic preparations and the pretension of calling this a hunt. Drivers in great numbers led by a native dignitary were waiting on the opposite ledge for the signal to start the hunt and as soon as it was given entered with infernal cries and shouts into the tall grass where they released a pack of about forty hounds of all kinds of breeds. Immediately the spectacle started as the dogs had soon found the boars and barking, were chasing around in the undergrowth. The undergrowth was despite the clearing activities still so thickly filled with tall grass, bamboo trees and ferns that we could see even the strong boars only for a few moments. Every now and then a boar stood its ground and defeated many dogs that returned wailfully to their masters.

The first victim of my rifle was a brash young boar which I discovered on the other ledge and shot like a chamois. Actually the shots were interesting and in no way easy as the game was very flighty and only visible for a few moments on the steep ledge or in the deep valley. The young boars were no larger than hares and offered at a distance of 100 paces opportunities for beautiful shots.

Extremely entertaining were the incredible fear of the drivers and their leaders about the harmless boars. If a boar came close to a hero or, pursued by the dogs, tried to break the line, the drivers and the dignitaries were quickly up on the trees. It was an overwhelmingly comical sight when a dignitary wearing all the glittering insignia of his office was fleeing from a crying young boar and in his already funny uniform climbed up a slim palm tree as fast as a monkey, so that the palm was bending under the unexpected load. If there was no danger, the drivers advanced in true oriental manner without order and plan in the area. The dignitaries followed with swords drawn. The dogs were entertaining themselves in some corner to hunt for young boars and naturally bite them so that many could be bagged only in the pieces that remained.

In total I shot 21 pieces, but among them only one good boar. The boars were of a completely different type than ours; they are smaller, have a completely naked rind and only around the snout it had a kind of whiskers with thick bristles as well as very pronounced cheekbones and a much longer pointed snout. The teeth were fitting to the body size much smaller. The natives distinguish two types: the field and the woodland boar  (Sus verrucosus and Sus vittatus); but I could not see much difference in their main attributes.

A young boar was captured in a large wood pile. We bound the animal’s feet together and sent it in a rucksack directly to the ship in the harbor of Tandjong Priok where it would probably display its special ferocity and would be a hard test for the taming powers of my animal  keeper Biaggio.

The hunt had ended, the people started cheering in an unarticulated way and I left the scene of this funny boar hunt in some sort of ceremonial procession. During the drive back to Garut — the cloudy sky at the beginning of the hunt ha fully cleared —  I enjoyed the splendid sight upon the crater of Papandayan.

In the afternoon we said good-bye to the friendly Garut and drove the same evening to Cianjur where I was very hospitably received in his house by the regent, a kind man who carried the title and name of  Raden Adipatti Prawira dij redja. The palace was festively illuminated. To illuminate the inescapable bamboo sticks were used, grouped in bundles and decorating the triumphal portal and facades to great effect. The hollow bamboo sticks were filled with oil in which a burning wick was swimming. Such a stick will burn for hours.

The regent seems to be a passionate hunter too as he showed his rifles with pride as well as the heads of his bagged deer  (Cervus hippelaphus), of Bantengs, the wild cow of the Indian islands, and of rhinoceroses. As a living piece of booty of a Banteng hunt, there was a tame Banteng bull captured as a small calf and now enjoying his life that seemed to be the special favorite of the regent who personally was feeding it every day.

A second passion of this dignitary is painting. But his success in this pursuit are rather not outstanding and the outcome of his art of such a quality that even a jury of the Salon des refuses in Cianjur would have to shake their heads. Nevertheless the noble born master from Cianjur has sent some of his works to the exhibition in Chicago.

The world exhibition at Lake Michigan seems to have gone to the head of this brave Javanese. Everywhere it was said that he had sent this or that to the distant America. Mr. Kerkhoven has even sent a whole Javanese village there in which gracious Javanese girls will sell tea from their master’s plantation.

To the black coffee after the dinner appeared a whole flock of dancers, one uglier than the other, all fervently masticating betel and making us so tired by their boring rhythmical dance that I quickly went to our bed.


  • Location: Cianjur, Indonesia
  • ANNO – on 15.04.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Der Hüttenbesitzer“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Merlin“.

Garut, 14 April 1893

Travelling in the typical volcano country of Java I could not resist to ascend a still active volcano, all the more so as the known Papandayan, one of the peaks of the South-eastern mountain range of Preang, is easily accessible from Garut. So we started very early in the morning and reached the foot of Papandayan after a drive of about three hours.The route is very difficult. It is very steep and the road goes continuously up and down which is the case of all roads in Java. The roads are generally very good, have a firm base, good water drain systems, firm bridges and other installations. The layout, however, is quite primitive as usually a straight line is chosen over hills and valleys and serpentines and similar technical solutions to ascend heights seemed unknown to the builders of Java’s roads or at least are not used by them.

Our carriage was drawn by four Javanese ponies that marched at a fast pace. They were driven by the coachman as well as additionally two boys with whips who stood on the rear axle of the carriage and jumped from time to time from the carriage, ran in front and urged the ponies on. All inclines were surpassed at full speed. The three persons beat the four ponies in unison and the peak was quickly reached. If the inclines proved too much or would have taken too long to surpass, two strong bulls were yoked to the carriage too so that we were driving with a six animal team. As carriage brakes or wheel spikes were unknown here, the Javanese use a primitive method to prevent the rapid descent of a carriage in hilly terrain. In such a case the carriage is fastened with rope which is held by about twenty coolies who are charged with the task of slowing down the speed of the descending carriage by the counterweight of their bodies.

On the whole tour to the Papandayan we were protected by escorts in which Wedanas or Demangs (district chiefs) and Djaros (Dessa chiefs or village chairmen) besides an number of the village elders and other local dignitaries rode along. These escorts offered, if this was possible, an even more comical look that the riders in Bandung and Garut. The fast speed of our drive seemed to be unfamiliar to the gentlemen and certainly too fast as many times a dignitary was separated from his horse or was carried nolens volens by the animal during the ride through of a village into the next barn.

We passed numerous Kampongs or Dessas, as the native villages are called. The leave their dwellings and assemble along the road to greet us. The civilized settled Javanese are characterized by their gentleness, calm and sense of order. Their main occupation was agriculture to which they tend much more industriously than the inhabitants of continental India. As the most numerous tribe of the Malay race, the Javanese generally are slim, well proportioned, of small stature with a light brown, bronze skin. Beard growth is very meager.  The long hair is carried in an intertwined knot at the back of the head. The women, much smaller than their men are also of well proportioned stature.

The clothing is very simple: the men usually wear a calico jacket (Badju) that reaches the hip and some kind of female skirt called Bebed. On the head they carry a turban-like wrapped cloth whose ends West Javanese let hang out  from the head; the women wear a sarong (Kain), slung around the waist as well as a breast cloth which covers the upper body knotted in the manner of a Scottish plaid. Above this the wear a calico jacket (Kabaya). The coolies often wear but a loin cloth while the children are most of the times completely nude.

Of jewelry there is little to be seen among the people. Instead in every man’s belt is his favorite weapon, the kris or duwong, a dagger-like sharply honed knife whose  sheath is ornamented more or less richly according to the wealth of the owner.

The poor Javanese lives together with but one wife; the rich one, however, arranges his household, according to the rules of Islam, as a polygamy. In all cases, the women who carry the burden of most of the work are completely subordinate to the men. The way the Javanese mothers carry their babies is strange. The baby, wrapped in a cloth, is carried above the waist.

The general impression of the Javanese I received is very favorable. This judgment is based on two special moments: the agreeable cleanliness of the Javanese dwellings and the respectful and at the same time friendly manner towards foreigners.

At the foot of the volcano, riding ponies were awaiting us next to a house of a government official. The ponies were to carry us up the steep path after a short break.

On the open space in front of the government building multiple Gamelangs were posted whose combined play made an ear-shattering noise. Here I could closely examine the different instruments that the Javanese musicians use. Especially the Rebab with its two metal strings, a sort of slim violin with a crooked bow; then the Gendeer, a combination of upright bamboo tubes that are beaten with small hammers and produce different sounds according to their size. Furthermore the Gambang kaju, an instrument similar to our xylophone that consists of a box in which are wood and metal plates which are beat with wooden sticks.The different Bonongs, metal bowls that are hung between bamboo poles as well as large gongs, kettledrums and  drum-like instruments that complete the Gamelang.

Finally we had seen everything; we mounted the ponies and now we advanced at a trot towards the peak of the Papandayan. The path led through gardens, coffee and cinchona plantations; then came open areas covered with alang and finally virgin jungle that accompanied us nearly up to the crater. The ride in the middle of this tropical luxurious forest with its countless clear streams and sources was gorgeous. The path ascended at a more and more steep grade and was so smooth in the darkness of the forest that our small ponies could climb up only with great effort.

At a distance of 1 km from the crater, the character of the landscape changes. The tall trees, the tree ferns and palms recede and bush-like myrtle takes their place. Along the path one already finds lava and pieces of sulphur; the sources emerging out of the ground are hot and contain much iron and sulphur. The atmosphere lets one expect the presence of a crater. At the turn of the path, suddenly all vegetation ceases. We are in the midst of a sea of stones. White stones crossed by sulphurous veins are surrounding us. Large naked rocks lay around in wild disorder; Naked, the stones of both mountain sides limiting this desert are shimmering. No bird, no butterfly, no insect. Everything is dead and monotonous. In some distance one can already see the fog-like vapors of the crater rise. We are at the spot where the last eruption has created an eternally bare debris field and thus has left indelible marks.

Once the volcano Papandayan had a height of up to 3000 m; but about 50 years ago there was such an extraordinary eruption that a vast stone mass sent destruction down the mountain to the valleys, so that the actual crater now is at an altitude of only 2634 m above sea level.

There was still a very steep stretch to cover; our horses climbed like goats over the stones, then we stood at the edge of the crater. Papandayan is one of the few volcanoes whose crater one can climb and thus permits to examine the subterranean forces at work really closely.

The crater has the shape of a cone that is covered all over with burnt pumice stone as well as yellow glittering sulphurous crystals and sulphur pieces of the strangest shape. These sulphur products are created out of the slowly cooling vapors that escaping out of numerous small openings with a hissing sound fill the atmosphere with foul-smelling suffocating air. The volcano also throws out boiling water and out of many openings and cuts hot springs emerge. We pushed poles that we had taken along into these opening and threw stones into them which were thrown out again in a hot state. We also tried to open the ground at multiple spots. We had barely pierced a few centimeters when boiling water was gushing out or whizzing pieces of stone were sent flying into the air, driven by sulphur gas. The cone of the crater is totally hollow. Everywhere it resounded and echoed. In many spots it is even dangerous to walk as the fragile crust will split all to easily and crumble. Only recently a Malay had disappeared in such a crack and was never seen again. The booming, hissing and whizzing, the pungent and burning vapors nearly intoxicated us so that we could only breathe freely many hundred paces from the crater. Unfortunately we noticed that all golden objects we were carrying had turned black.

Still within the range of the crater, the government had built a bamboo hut for my visit in which a rich breakfast was served. But I must admit that other meals tasted better as in this atmosphere all dishes seemed to be spiked with the ingredients of this witch’s kitchen. There was music here too at this altitude. Without interruption, the monotonous sounds of the bamboo instruments were played while we were at the top of the volcano.

After I had collected some stone samples I left the strange volcano after a too short stay which sent after us a thundering last salute of departure.

At the location where our carriages were ready, the natives arranged a ram fight which the animals executed with grim determination. This spectacle differed from similar ones seen which we had seen in India by the fact that the people here let the rams fight to the end until one of the two combatants gave up and beaten, fled the field.

The regent who had heard about my passion of collecting was so kind to arrange an ethnographic exhibition after our return to the place in front of his palace. I could then select the suitable objects for my collection. There were all kinds of instruments that the natives used to cultivate the ground as well as use in their homes. Furthermore tools for artisans as smiths, potters etc. Some music instruments  and complete Gamelangs; weapons, mostly arrows, bows and kris.

In the evening we again enjoyed a performance of a Wajang, namely this time a Wajang Kulit, in which colorfully painted leather puppets were moved behind a white paper screen as shadow figures. As in the other Wajangs music was played and out of the background a nasal voice narrated the story which had a tiring effect.

At the conclusion of the performance the comely pair, the regent and his court lady, again amused us with a dance. This one was performed, apparently due to the success of the dancers the evening before, with even much more vigor and ended with the enhanced detail that not only a Ganymede appeared but three Wedanas who offered champaign.


  • Location: Garut, Indonesia
  • ANNO – on 14.04.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Das Heiratsnest“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Gringoire“.

Buitenzorg to Garut, 13 April 1893

As the special train which was to take us to some interesting points in the interior of the country was set to depart at half past 6 o’clock, I made a very early morning tour of Buitenzorg. It only had begun to dawn; many of the winged singers were awake and sang their songs in the tree tops of the botanical garden. In the Chinese quarter its industrious inhabitants started their daily work. Across a splendid forest in which were many Malay villages and on across many rice paddies we entered a deep valley to arrive at the bathing place Soekaradja which was populated by a great number of bathing men and women who performed their ritual washings.

The European houses in this valley form their own quarter that like the European quarter in  Batavia is characterized by its niceness, cosiness and the splendor of its numerous gardens. From the barracks and the obelisk honoring a governor runs an alley of slim very tall trees — I guess they might be at least 14 m to 18 m — to the train station of Buitenzorg. To my great surprise I learned that these trees had reached this height within four years. This must be the fastest growing trees in the world!

Soon our train departed for Garoet. The railway leads from Buitenzorg in a southern direction and enters at Tjitjoeroeg station into the Preang residence where it turns east. The drive to the destination Garoet was very attractive. The landscape is lovely. The traveler imagines himself to be in a park with tropical vegetation with attractive views upon hills and mountain ranges but especially upon the spiky cones of many volcanoes of which there are so many in Java. In deeply cut valleys and gorges flow rivers and streams with almost vertically descending shores. We only detected them when we arrived at the edge of the shore. The railway director who accompanied me  as a polite Cicerone answered all my questions and was not a little proud about his mountain railway which extends trough the country in frequent turns and crosses over valleys and gorges with their watercourses on audacious bridges the highest of which leads over Tji Taroem.

Just beyond Buitenzorg the land in the valleys and on the mountainsides along the railway line is intensively cultivated. Here, sugar cane, coffee, tea, cinchona bark and especially rice is grown which is the main staple of the native population. The rice paddies are not adding to the beauty and variety of the landscape due to their monotonous impression upon the spectator. It merits to observe how skilfully the Javanese manage to transform the ground into terraces necessary for the irrigation of the fields. The land seems to be built up in stacked layers like upon a relief map.

Where too large distances from the villages or the composition of the soil have prevented the creation of fields, the train is driving through completely tropical jungle or over large areas that are covered with no other plant than the reed-like blady grass which displaces any other plant and stands so densely that it it nearly impenetrable for humans.

Who else than a specialist researching the flora of Java might describe the luxuriousness and beauty, the variety and strangeness of the plants adequately which this island favored by a constant stream of warm ocean air and rainfall to its low-lying tropical plain, its subtropical virgin mountain land in which the higher regions of the volcanic mountain ranges are covered with numerous European plants!

Tropical evergreen forests, palm trees — among them, the nipa palm (Nipa fructicans), whose leaves are used for the production of cigarettes (Rokos), while the juice provides brown sugar and palm wine — bamboo, pandanus ornament the plains covered by the alang savannah; yew-like pinewoods, oak and teak trees, flower rich Zingiberaceae, broad leaved Musaceae, furthermore tall fern trees covered in orchids and Lycopodia, overgrown by moss and ferns, fill  the jungles and gorges at medium altitude. Horsetails, blackberries,  pinewoods reminding of cypresses, bushes and herbs of a temperate zone rise just up to the green slopes of the craters on whose edges a strange flora is prospering.

Thus even the autochthonous plants of Java are numbered in the thousands of families of which only around 7000 have been cataloged botanically, a range of plants which can be used as food, condiments, woods, weaving material, medicine, all kinds of fruits, juices and resins supply the natives with all they need and which seems to be sufficient for the planters and merchants. And still the never resting long-term oriented and innovation seeking business sense of the Europeans has covered the Javanese areas with plant commodities for trade which make up now, despite being immigrants, justly the first rank of the agricultural products of Java. Africa sent coffee trees, South Asia sugar cane, tea, cinnamon, cotton, China rice, America cacao, cinchona, vanilla, tobacco — plants which are the most important export goods of Java.

At the station of the small town Tjiandjoer the seat of the native regent, I was received by him and the Dutch resident of Preang who was to accompany me on the coming tour. A native musical band squatting on the ground in the local manner played our anthem on the Gamelang which sounded quite nice in the soft accords of the tuned cymbals and the kettle-like instruments. As it had become well known that I collected ornithological objects, the natives brought a large number of living birds of which I selected some.

After a stop of ten minutes the train continued and only stopped again in Bandoeng. Here in the residency of Preang I was offered breakfast by the resident in his palace, an invitation I accepted gladly. A large crowd consisting mostly of natives but also of Europeans had assembled at the station. A four horse team, almost antediluvian wagon took us to the government building which was built in the Javanese style, of one story and was located in a very well tended clean garden.

Very funny did the Javanese escort look that was rushing around in front and behind the wagon. Local mayors and city councilors, they were our honor guard, wearing a mixtum compositum of Dutch and local clothing on very small Javanese ponies. The riders had yellow lacquered broad hats, Dutch blue coats with golden or yellow laces — of the kind our court band singers are wearing and probably in the possession of the gentlemen for quite some years,  a short sarong a police scimitar en bandoulière and white pants. The riders were barefoot and desperately held the stirrups together with their big toes. The horse-gear of many consisted solely of strings. As the small ponies often balked, many of the city fathers found themselves in critical situations which vividly exercised my laugh muscles but this did not irritate or offend the members of this motley crew at all as they themselves laughed out loud in such cases in a Homeric smile so that the drive ended in a common merry mood.

In the streets stood the densely packed natives, not all from the city but also from the surrounding areas and showed their respect by squatting and looking down upon the approach of the carriage. The natives never look at the face of the person they are greeting in this strange but very common way of greeting. Sometimes they even turn away from the person greeted and higher class Javanese, especially regents and officials complement the salute by clapping their hands above their front. I often observed that Javanese regents and even native princes, if they are spoken to by the governor general or by one of the residents,  will approach them only in a crouching manner and remain squatting or kneeling with their eyes cast down in front of the dignitary. As it was known in the areas that we were passing through that I used the special train and the locomotive was decorated with flags, the country-side population was squatting on command in the fields or villages when our trains was flying past which made a very strange impression.

Between Bandoeng and Garoet, the latter one we were now getting close to, the railway journey offered a special view upon the valley of Garoet. The train had now climbed still higher up the mountain, having passed over some high bridges and viaducts, until we could suddenly see, the luxurious, water rich valley of Garoet enclosed by mighty mountain peaks and volcanic cones. Everywhere there were rivers and stream meandering like silver threads in the gorgeous green in the evening sunshine. This valley offered an enchanting view with its rich water veins, common in all of Java.

In Garoet the reception was organized similarly as in Bandung: the antediluvian wagon with a dark colored coachman in a laced red coat with a lacquered top-hat who reminded me involuntarily about an actor in a monkey comedy; the wild riders (Banderium), the crowds and — even here a fast photographer!

I put up at a very clean and comfortable hotel consisting of multiple pavilions which was located in the middle of a garden in whose bushes and trees numerous singing birds were giving a funny concert every morning and evening.

After I had walked up and down the streets of the small city for a while and observed a couple of megabats that were all flying in the same direction to their resting places, it was time to eat. Then again a Wajang was performed in the house of the regent.

The regents are natives, most are descendants of earlier princes and thus of noble birth which carry the titles of Raden Adipatti (lieutenant colonel) or Raden (Mas) Tomenggung (major). These regents who command a whole army of officials are responsible for the political administration and the collection of taxes in their territory, the regency. They are subordinate to the Dutch resident whose wishes and orders they normally execute with utmost compliance. The office of regent can not be inherited; rather the regents are appointed on a case by case basis by the government. A practice that has proven its worth as a regent deemed not fully suitable by the government can simply be stripped of his office and the appointment given to another native nobleman. Of the 22 residencies into which all of Java is divided, 19 are regencies, in turn split into districts etc. Two of the residencies are the vassal states of Surakarta (Solo empire) und Djokjakarta (sultanate) that are independent in appearance only. These and the residency of Batavia are not organized as regencies.

As an exterior sign of dignity every regent carries a richly laced Dutch coat, a golden kris with the name of the ruler of the Netherlands an finally a richly gilt sun screen called Pajung that is carried by a servant behind the dignitary everywhere. In all of Java this sun screen fastened to a long staff serves as a sign of the most noble grandeur. Such a screen was following both the governor general as well as each resident and higher official and even I was not spared this honor. At every occasion as if it were my own shadow this golden roof was held behind and over my head. The grade of a rank is distinguished by larger or smaller amounts of gold as well as differences in colors on the screen.

The Wajang performance that the regent of Garoet had organized to honor us resembled the performance seen the day before in Buitenzorg completely with the only difference being that the pas and gestures of the dancers were even more grotesque and the performance took much longer so that the unhappy daughter of the king only acquired a groom after two hours.

Completely new was the dance which the regent performed personally at the end of the feast and which made me pull together my whole moral force in order not to burst out laughing. The regent, a rather old man, had wrapped a sky-blue band around his government uniform whose ends he was carrying with grace in his hands. He appeared in the company of a young Malay woman which was part of this court but whose actual social position I could not be determine. This lady of the court was wearing an airy dress suitable to the hot climate and started the dance by first singing the verses of a song in daring soprano and then started turning  rhythmically around her own axis. Now the regent developed his choreographic activities with his eyes chastely cast down by turning funnily around his partner and performing a grotesque dance which was a mix between a  pas of a prima ballerina and the comportment of a blackcock in full mating season. As soon as the dancer approached the lady with delicate jumps, she answered these with flight-like escape so that the dance turned into a danced game of catch which was not lacking in comic and original behavior.

When finally the power of the old man started to be exhausted, a lower civil servant approached by solemn bounces and poured the tired artist sparkling champaign. The regent continued to dance around the sparkling goblet for a while and then grasped and emptied with visible delight while the lady of the court who had received nothing dried her sweat upon her front with a corner of her scanty costume.

After this exquisite feast I returned to my hotel. Between the palm trees in the garden hundreds of fireflies were whirring through the mild tropical night.


  • Location: Garut, Indonesia
  • ANNO – on 13.04.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Das Heiratsnest“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Der Freischütz“.

Batavia to Buitenzorg, 12 April 1893

The desire to visit the museum of Batavia as well a the other sights of the city made me delay the drive to Buitenzorg, which was intended according to the program for the evening of the day before, to the afternoon of this day in order to make a tour of Batavia and its suburbs to which we departed early in the morning.

The foundation of Batavia can be traced back to 1614. At that time the Dutch governor general Pieter Both erected a fortified factory on a small parcel on the eastern shore of the Tji Liwung, which he had bought in the year 1611 for 3000 Dutch guilders from the chief of Dja-Karta, a vassal of the kingdom of Bantam. This factory was called „Nassau“ and owned by the Dutch East India company, that both commercially and politically powerful trading company,  founded in  1602 and terminated at the end of the former century after many glorious decades. It formed the point of origin of Batavia.

Protected by the Kasteel and inhabited by as hard-working as smart citizens, within a few decades a promising urban community developed under the guidance of a long-term oriented government. Since 1619 officially carrying the name of Batavia, the capital city of Dutch India developed so rapidly that it became without a doubt the most important harbor in South East Asia at the beginning of the 19th century. Since the rise of Singapore, Batavia has experienced a major setback in its commercial activities but it remains even today thanks to the reforms and care of the Dutch government undeniably a very important center of trade for all colonial products. Besides the already mentioned 27.279 Chinese, Batavia counts 8613 Europeans, 2622 Arabs, 104 other Orientals and 76.246 natives.

The harbor Tandjong Priok certainly contains only a much smaller number of trading ships than the other centers of world trade; only the dense population of Java, the intensive cultivation of the very fertile ground that provides valuable products, the developments of the transportation system and especially the financial acumen of the Dutch assure this blooming agricultural colony, the most beautiful of the Malaysian islands, a continued prosperous future.

The traffic and urban life in Batavia are strange. In the European quarters there is a certain somnolence on the exterior. Below the slumbering surface  the goal-oriented, determined and active national character of the Dutch is active. The Europeans live in the southern suburbs Noordwijk and Rijswijk, as well as in Weltevreden to the South-east of those; the higher southern parts of the city are the most healthy, the business districts closest to the sea have to suffer the most from the humid climate of Batavia. The homes of the Europeans are all characterised by their niceness, cleanliness and cosiness. Between the well tended gardens with rich flower decorations rise one story buildings that due to their quasi transparent construction style permit the free circulation of air. On the veranda, without which a house here would be almost unimaginable, almost all the domestic life takes place; here, between the walls ornamented with images and blooming orchids, the family members who are not shackled by their profession to the old town hold their refreshing siesta on chaises longues and fauteuils during the hot hours of the day caused by the climate The men, however, drive early in the morning to the old town, the center of the business world to pursue their affairs up to 4 or 5 o’clock in the afternoon. At that time they return after their well performed work to their villas fanned by fresh air and spend the evening most of the time with their families as the Dutch appreciate cosy domestic life very much. Then one sees all these cosy verandas clearly illuminated and the many lights are joyfully mirrored in the small canals of the city.

The main squares of Weltevreden are „Waterloo-Plein“ and „Konings-Plein“. On the first one is the government palace, a mighty two story building, the military casino Concordia and the statue of the governor general Jan Pieterszoon Koen. who is wrongly identified as the founder of Batavia.

Konings-Plein is an extended green square of 4 hectares deliminated by Tamarind alleys. On the exterior side of these alleys we could see the new governor general’s palace, then the one of the resident, churches, the museum, the railway station Konings-Plein and other public buildings. As beautiful are the surroundings of the place, the place itself without any trees and poor grass offers little. In the agreeable shadow of the alleys, the whole society of Batavia is mingling towards evening, breathing in the fresh air in the most varied vehicles. There are also large numbers of pedestrians and even individual riders venture around.

During my drive to Weltevreden I met Dutch soldiers on the move, namely an infantry battalion and a squadron of cavalry, the latter one all on very small Javanese ponies. The riders wear a not very fashionable blue-yellow uniform and sit in the saddle with very short set stirrups and carry their carbines in such a way that it has been fastened to the saddle above the right leg — a method I do not deem practical.

While the European quarter is characterised by their relative calm, there is much more activity in the Chinese quarter. There they are continuously negotiating and working. No garden interrupts the long row of houses. There, as everything is set out to be practical and everything is based on profit, a decorative garden would only be a superfluous luxury. The queue carrying people sit in front of their workshops, develop an almost febrile activity and transfer, as soon as they have gained something, part of their profits to the opium dens and gambling houses. My tour led me from the living to the dead Chinese. Their cemeteries lies in the east of the city, mostly in the quarters called Pagansan and Sentiong; there, under palm and banana trees, also rest the sons of the Heavenly Kingdom who became victims of the population’s hate during the earlier century. The graves draw the eye by their strange construction. Very many of them have already decayed and fully covered by climbing plants or have been converted into fields and palm groves.

Close to these cemeteries one can find beside the old church of the old town the house of Pieter Erberveld, the traitor of Batavia, who has been executed in the year 1722; a stone plate above which rises a stone skull pierced by a lance which carries the inscription with the description of the events and the order that in this location nothing may be built in all eternity.

The quarter inhabited by the natives of Java covers a large area and has the character of villages that seem to be fully hidden under palm and banana trees. These villages too, called Kampongs or Dessas, are noticeable by their cleanliness and niceness, a welcome difference between the homes of the Javanese and the foul smelling, neglected houses of the Hindus in British India. The individual huts are mostly made out of bamboo. The roof and the side walls consist either out of bamboo or blady grass trellis work or simply out of dried palm leaves which by their size and great resistance provide good and cheap building material. Very often the huts are built on piles. The roof provides shade for small galleries or verandas and often extends both to the front and the back.

The interior design of these huts is very simple as the whole family is living in one large room. Long bamboo banks covered with straw mats serve as beds. Other furniture are a crude table and at best some bamboo stools. But the natives mostly sit squatting on the floor with their legs crossed under their body. The cooking equipment is equally simple and mostly made out of bamboo. Even though the houses are densely occupied given that the natives are very blessed with children,  they display the highest cleanliness and order.

The Javanese possess a special love for animals; therefore in nearly every house hang woven bird cages on walls, usually pigeons. The domestic animals are well kept, the cows and bulls are well nourished and diligently cared for. Out of every hut jump most lovely bleating dwarf goats and outside the doors large chicken are scratching.

Around most houses are small kitchen gardens surrounded by delicately woven bamboo fences in which are planted pisang, pepper, vegetables and fruit. Everywhere one sees coconut palm trees which are providing an important benefit especially close to Batavia as a strong tree will produced an annual revenue of about 10 fl. in Austrian currency. As the resident assured me, the people use specially trained monkeys to collect the coconuts. They climb up the smooth tall trees and throw down the ripe fruits. If the monkey tries to harvest a still unripe fruit, it is jerked by a string which makes it cease that activity and select a ripe fruit. A well trained monkey can be an important source of revenue for its owner as such an animal is often hired out to the owner of coconut tree plantations.

Besides the cleanliness another aspect is appreciated by a traveller coming from British India to Java — the great calm with which the Malays perform everything so that one can often walk past a Kampong hidden by trees and not notice its existence if the eye would not discover the huts between the trees. The ear, especially if it has lost some of its sensitivity for noises by the ear-splitting overpowering noise, the peculiar crying and howls in the land of the Hindus, is unable to perceive anything exceptional even close to the Kampong.

From the Malay quarter where the natural state of affairs is still active in an unclouded way, we figuratively made a big jump, to visit the place where in the fall of 1893 a miniature world exhibition was bound to display its treasures. Thus exhibition fever has even taken hold among the calm inhabitants of Java! Not without pride the resident presented the preparations which were still in an early stage; some scaffolding, however, did not forebode much of the intended future splendor. At least the vast contrast can be be felt. There in the Kampong, the life of the people that expresses itself by a continuity of a thousand years; here the preparations to complete one of those ideas where the cultural life of the peoples are demonstrated in their most modern way!

I then had the opportunity to observe the Javanese ponies, small animals, at the most 12 hands high, that draw the ugly local carriages through the streets at a fast trot. These ponies come mostly from the Sunda islands of Sumbawa and Sumba (Sandelhout). Apart from the products of the local horse breeding among which especially those of the residences of Kedu and Preang are considered excellent, one uses on Java also horses from the Sunda islands too as well as Australian carriage horses.

The then visited museum is owned by a private society  — the society of arts and science — which receives subsidies from the government. Also the government is continuously at work to complete the ethnographic collections of the museums with objects  from the Sunda islands.

A bronze elephant, a present of the king of Siam who visited Java in the year 1870 stands in front of the large building. In the entrance hall lie ancient stone figures as well as multiple cannons and carved wall screens from the time of the East India company. To the left is the e numismatic collection which contains rich material from all the countries of the world, among them also a collection of Austrian paper money and coins; the most valuable Austrian coin must be a Sigismund ducat dating from the year 1388.

The archaeological collection that follows has been developed only in recent times as there was not much interest earlier in Java for the ancient times. Some researchers have earned much merit by researching the old monuments of the island which revealed that the style of the Javanese temples, despite some deviations, resembles vividly those of continental India. This revelation can be explained naturally by the fact that in ancient times Brahminism was very common in the Malasian archipelago until it was almost completely displaced in the 13th century by the expansion of Islam. Some exceptions apart, all Javanese are of the Muslim faith while the religion of the mountain peoples continues to culminate in their ancestral gods and ghost rites.

The correctness of this dating which leads to the conclusion to speak of a Java-Hindu style is made apparent by a number of photographies of temples from middle Java. These temples surpass in terms of richness of the architectural and ornamental motives and especially in the artistic execution of the statues and the reliefs the continental Indian buildings. Among the statues and the reliefs we found many illustrations that were well known to us from India such as Shiva, the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, the holy bull Nandi, those of the goddesses Lakshmi and Käli as well as the elephant god Ganesha in all possible positions. Furthermore there were to be seen multiple Ungams, urns in various sizes,  pedestals of pillars etc.

A collection of found or excavated metal objects is very remarkable. Here too one meets the various gods of the Brahmin theogony, designed in bronze, silver or gold — some of these representations are artistic master works — furthermore there are various temple instruments, especially bells, gongs, sacrificial cauldrons, as well as small lamps and jewellery.

The main attraction and at the same time the most valuable part of the museum are the ethnographic collections presented in long large halls, which represents not only Java, but also the complete islands of the Asiatic and Australian archipelago and is characterised by it uncommon richness. The close examination of all objects which the different cultural levels of the Malay peoples, from the cannibals up to the rather highly developed Javanese would take days even weeks.

Thus one can see first models of different dwellings, cave-like bamboo huts from Borneo and beautiful woven houses from Java, furthermore all instruments used by different tribes for hunting and fishing. Countless strange weapons are installed on the walls. Not for all tribes whose creations here speak for or against them have replaced the stone age for the iron age. Thus there are various spear and lance heads as well as axes made out of very hard stone or wood. Some of the weapons have been impregnated with fast.-acting poison. From the lands of the Dajaks on Borneo come blow pipes with poison darts.

With great perseverance all kinds of clothes have been assembled that are used by the island peoples. The presentation of the wardrobe of some of these tribes did not offer much effort or difficulties. The costume is sometimes rather scanty and has been most exactly handed down from that of our original ancestors in paradise. On the other hand one finds from Java dancing costumes, bridal gowns and samples of Kains, woven clothes that represent a considerable value. At their side stand Pajungs (screen of distinction) and masks in large numbers for the Topeng dance, as well as Wajang figures and musical instruments in adventurous forms for the  Gamelang, the Javanese orchestra, among them huge gongs, cymbal-like instruments and a very strangely designed instrument called Anklont, consisting of tuned bamboo tubes which are made to sound by shaking them.

The most original part of the treasures assembled here is the large number of fetishes and idols as well as the cannibal’s jewellery of the Papuas, the Dajaks and the Battas. These fetishes and idols represent themselves as very realistically imagined hideous faces. Some are painted and decorated with hair or covered with shells.

The jewellery is in fantastic way constructed out of bird feathers, shells and animal bones or teeth. sometimes even out of the remains of human bodies. Thus one could see here skulls, some bones or bushels of hair similar to the Indian scalps and as a neck ornament  colliers made of human teeth on a string. This material, if I may be permitted to call it so,  was supplied for the production of the jewellery by the bodies of the slain enemies of the cannibals. On Borneo, Sumatra etc. there exists the horrible custom that a young man is only declared a grown man by the elders of the tribe after he has been able to present a certain number of skulls of slain humans — a requirement which is demanded from the youth in choosing a bride, at certain feasts or the death of a chief. The crudeness with which this custom deeply violates our sentiments may hint at the fact that those head hunts were collected not only in fights but also by assassination.

A special room, the gold chamber which is protected against theft by armor plates contains the most valuable objects, so weapons and jewellery inlaid with gold and silver, the imperial regalia of the inheritance of sultan Bandjermasing and valuable objects from the Netherlands that date back to the era of the East India company.

Many hours I spent visiting the museum and then I gave some orders and did some shopping until the departure to Buitenzorg, set for 4 o’clock in the afternoon.

The way from Batavia to Buitenzorg, which we covered in a one and a half hour drive, leads through mostly cultivated land, especially rice paddies. It offers many scenic attractions as it presents without interruption a beautiful view of the Northern slope of the mountains in the distance of this city and of the tropical nature of the outland.

In Buitenzorg, which is at a much higher altitude than Batavia, an agreeable air cooled down by one of the daily storms was waving. The Sanssouci of Batavia — Buitenzorg means „without trouble“ — is the healthcare resort of the Javanese capital and the favorite spot for the villas of the richer classes of Batavia. The first impression of it that we received was very agreeable and we soon understood how attractive a longer stay in this lovely resort at the foot of a mountain and surrounded by an evergreen luxurious vegetation must be.

Like in Batavia we find here too a European quarter of villas as well as Malay and Chinese Kampongs,  with the only difference that the Europeans are even more predominant here than there. Also one experiences here the same cleanliness and niceness, the same jovial air, the same customs and habits. I arrived towards the evening when the inhabitants of Buitenzorg were strolling around under the large trees of the main road to the sound of a military band and had the opportunity to admire the many especially pretty Dutch women. Eurasians who are a mixed breed of Europeans and natives who dress like Europeans but whose face color and type still have predominant Malay features were present in large numbers.

The life and activity in the streets of Buitenzorg is very colorful from the morning to the evening as the city lies on the main road to Preang. Besides heavy carts drawn by oxen, there are lighter carriages drawn by small fast ponies that constitute the wagon traffic. Whole caravans of half-naked coolies who carry local products on their shoulders march along. There one sees coolies that are burdened heavily with rice stalks, with packets of palm sugar, with other  food products or with fresh grass for the livestock. All this is very skilfully and cleanly packaged. The package may be in the form of staffs, fibers or baskets, all made out of bamboo, because this plant plays in Java the role of a universal material that the natives simply use for everything. Even water is carried in hollowed out bamboo sticks.

The largest and most impressive building is the residence of the governor general which is located in a large park that is notable for its beautiful tree groves, its ponds and meadows. Here stands a whole herd of semi-tamed chitals that does not shy away at all from the driving carriage or even pedestrians. The soldiers guarding the park kill their long monotonous time in attracting and feeding these animals with bread.

At Mr. and Mrs. Pynacker’s the dinner lasted for quite some time in the evening. After this there was a very interesting production, a Wajang. The Wajang may be called as the true Javanese theater. Four kinds of Wajang exist: Wajang Wong, in which masked actors appear; Wajang Kulit (Koelit), in which leather puppets are used. Wajang Karutjil (Karoetjil),  in which the puppets performing the action carry costumes and finally Wajang Beber, in which the role of the puppets is replaced by long painted paper scrolls with various pictorial scenes which are unscrolled and scrolled up to present the flow of the theatrical action by the appropriate scene.  The musical part of the Wajang Beber is accompanied by a violin, while in the other Wajangs the Javanese orchestra called Gamelang is used; all these performances are of a choreographic-dramatic nature. The actors in a Wajang Wong do not talk but only perform the prescribed gestures of their roles. The words that explain the pantomimes, mostly presented in verses, are spoken by a master actor called Dalang hidden from the audience. Both actor and puppet walk in timed or dancing steps called Tandak, as this augments the festive aspect of the action for the Javanese audience. The content of these around 200 plays called „Lelakon“ for the Wajangs are taken partly out of Indian poems from the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, of which the Javanese literature possesses a few highly cut translations, partly out of old Javanese romantic stories.

The story of these Lelakons uses almost always the same themes adapted from various cases: a king wants to offer the hand of his daughter under the condition to a prince that he will undertake an especially difficult and audacious deed; the prince fails to do; now an audacious and fortunate prince of a hostile dynasty appears. In the mean time, the princess is kidnapped by a giant but immediately rescued by the rival. The first candidate then challenges the rival to a duel but is defeated and the fortunate hero marries the princess with the father’s blessing.  This romantic plot is varied according to the demands of the case and elaborated. The performances take up more than half an evening. At the court of Wajang Wong in Soerakarta they may often go on for multiple days.

The Lelakon performed in our honor and written about five years ago for Wajang Wong apparently is a modernised product that only resembles in its Indian name to the old tales. The actors wear colorful fantastic costumes with masks. The kings were followed by dancing slaves. The presentation deemed us, especially as we could not understand the words, quite comical but still captivating by its strangeness. In the movements and namely the steps of the actors one could not mistake a certain grace; especially the female dancers made up the missing physical attractiveness by their graceful movements.


  • Location: Buitezorg (Bogor), Indonesia
  • ANNO – on 12.04.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Gönnerschaften“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the ballet „Die goldene Märchenwelt“.

Batavia, 11 April 1893

After 6 o’clock in the morning I had myself woken up and immediately went to the bridge as we were expected to land in Batavia in half an hour. The sky was very cloudy and the temperature on deck very agreeable. As earlier I was here too pleased to be disappointed that my fear of having to endure much heat in the tropical but especially in the equatorial regions did not manifest itself. After all, it was quite tolerable, except for the lead chambers, that is the cabins, where the temperature namely during the night were almost unbearable.

The first we saw of Java were the two extinct volcanoes Salak (2215 m) and Gede (2962 m) that are located just above Batavia or, better said, south from a spot above Buitenzorg. More and more one could distinguish the green coast and the beautiful harbor Tandjong Priok where the masts of many ships became visible. The pilot came on board and guided us into the inner harbor. At that moment the merchant ships anchored there hoisted their grand flag dressing.

Having anchored we offered the territorial salute which was answered by  a land battery. Close to us lay three Dutch warships, that is the habor guard ship „Gede“, the cruiser „Aceh“ and the armor deck corvette „Sumatra“, all officers and the crews stood on deck to watch our arrival and out of many gunports, female heads were peeking, armed with glasses and opera glasses.

First arrived our consul Dirk Fock on board and soon thereafter, sent by the governor general, lieutenant colonel Nepveu to welcome me and present the program for the stay in Java.  The discussion of that program presented the range of sights of this beautiful island and the large number of excursions one can undertake there.  As my voyage around the world had so many other locations to cover, I was forced to constrain my program in Java for the short duration  of 14 days. After long negotiations we succeeded to determine what could be managed to see during such a time span which repeatedly meant to rank the most interesting spots behind the spots most worth seeing and at the same time easily accessible.

Now it was important to be ready within an hour, having packed all baggage and given all orders as the special train to Batavia was set to depart already at 10 o’clock in the morning. Strangely, this was achieved. At a quarter to 10 o’clock we steamed to the railway station Priok where a large crowd had gathered, mostly Chinese and Malays, as well as a few Europeans. A police guard whose duty it was to guard Batavia and its surroundings lined the road.  It was a really comical company, mostly elderly Malays wearing some sort of circus uniform and a head cloth and were armed with hacking knives and lances. As a form of salute the held the lances high in front of the face and made hideous faces.

The Javanese railways fortunately have open view carriages; in one such carriage we sat down and arrived in Batavia half an hour later after a drive through a friendly land, past many canals. At the station we were received by the governor general of Dutch East India, Dr. C. Pynacker Hordijk, as well as the resident of Batavia province, Jonkheer van Schmidt auf Altenstadt, and the gentlemen assigned to me, artillery colonel De Moulin and captain Fabius.

For the drive into the city I used the four horse team of the governor in which I sat down beside him. The driver of this strange carriage, a coffee-brown Malay was wearing a white-red uniform with golden laces. The headdress of the driver made him look quite funny as he wore a very large lacquered top-hat under whose brim the stiff tails of the cloth wrapped around the head in the local manner loosely peeked out. Behind us stood two servants in a similar uniform on the rear foot board, holding a golden sunscreen on a long staff over our heads.

While my first impression of Batavia was very pleasing as we were driving in the middle of gardens and palm groves where almost everywhere there were clean settlements inhabited by Malays, I liked the city even more. Seen from the station, there were nice single story buildings enclosed by gardens on the right and left of the road. These houses are inhabited by Europeans and are built airily in conformity to the climate and had a cosy character.

Our arrival was attended by a large crow of Chinese, Malays, Javanese and Europeans in front of the houses and in the street. Colorfully intermingled they vividly showed their interest in u. I had for the first time the opportunity to see the airy outfit used, it is said, by the European women here in the whole of Java. As a dress they use the Sarong, a large piece of cloth, tied picturesquely around the waist that falls down like a gown, The upper body is veiled in a cut linen jacket. This very simple outfit fits the temperature and climatic conditions well. Especially the younger wearer of this dress look great in it and all female members of the European families use it and also the upper class society is wearing it during the day until the hour when the dress is changed for dinner. Until the 12th and 13th year, the girls make do with a baby-like camisole. As the body of a child develops faster in a tropical climate than in countries with a temperate climate, the new arrival is faced with the strange view of girls in this dress who seem to look almost like adults.

In front of the house which the government had rented for my accommodation there was a large triumphal arch made out of bamboo and blooming palm branches, decorated in our colors and those of the Dutch tricolore.

The one story house, as almost all buildings on Java as this island is prone to earthquakes, lies in a small garden on one of the most active roads in Batavia. Noisy and grinding the steam tramway rushes past from the morning to the evening, on the canal nearby small bamboo rafts are rocking melancholically. The interior of the house is also influenced by the Javanese style. Behind the large covered veranda is an extended room which serves both as a dining room and parlor and contains the entrances to the different individual chambers. The windows and doors seem not to be ever closed even during the night. Instead there are folding screens. The rooms are all high and airy. The floors are covered with straw mats, the canopy beds that provide rest are spacious, long and wide but are so hard that they recall the beds in our mountain huts. Apparently, the experience with the local hygiene forces the Dutch for whom in general nothing tops domestic comfort to spend the night only on hard beds.

The sky was cloudy, the temperature was muggy even tropical. An hour after our arrival, a storm started with a flood like rain, though without cooling the air. It only increased the air’s humidity so that the disagreeableness of humid heat was experienced even more.

We discussed the program for the next days with the resident as well as the two gentlemen assigned to me and ate breakfast which was conspicuous for its long duration. Even though we were served by no fewer than 16 old Malayan servants who were decorated with the local long-eared head cloths, the dinner seemed to go on without an end due to the slowness of the service.

Then  appeared Mr. E. J. Kerkhoven, the owner of large tee plantations in Singapore in the residence of Preang and an excellent hunter about whom I had already been informed at home and with whom we would undertake a hunting expedition of multiple days into the interior of Java.But at the start of our conversation with Mr. Kerkhoven it seemed as we had to cut this plan from our program as Mr. Kerkhoven, despite being a passionate hunter, and the governor general highlighted the difficulties of such an expedition and offered many reasons against it: bad communication. important physical exertions, cholera, malaria as well as other endemic mountain diseases etc. Our desire to visit the hunting grounds rich in game of Preang was clashing with the program that the governor general had planned for me in advance. I could not fully trace the different causes in favor and against which were mentioned during the discussion but it was nevertheless clear that each of the gentlemen had a different motive to paint the risks of this hunting expedition in the blackest of colors.

Finally I succeeded to allay all concerns, assisted by the clever and effective secretary general Sweerts de Landas, after I managed to particularly explain to the gentlemen that I was willing to abstain from all comfort in matters of hunting. Thus, an expedition of ten days to the southern parts of Preang was finally agreed upon. So Mr. Kerkhoven asked for a delay of five days to make all necessary arrangement, appoint hunters and carriers etc. This delay was granted and it was decided to use the time to visit Buitenzorg and other interesting spots in Java.

But I could already on this day pay homage to the joy of hunting  as the kind resident of Batavia had organized a crocodile hunt for the afternoon to which we started out as soon as the rain had mostly stopped. In the suburb of Weltevreden we crossed a long road which is inhabited only by Chinese. Here too in Batavia the „Yellow Flood“ is very noticeable. Among the 114.864 inhabitants are 27.279 Chinese.  Fixated on earning money like almost no other people and equipped with a subtle merchant spirit and a surprising frugality, these true Mongols have established a foothold not only in Batavia but in all other trading places on Java so that among a total population of 22,754.749 souls on Java — except for the army and the crews of the fleet — besides 46.631 Europeans, 13.995 Arabs, 2843 other Orientals and 22,449.553 natives 241.727 Chinese were counted.

The mistrustful and deceitful character of the Chinese,  their pure egoistical nature and their other traits make me abhor this even physically unsympathetic people even though I can not deny that they have their positive sides. Incredibly active and inventive in commercial affairs, very skilful in technical competences,  intelligent farmers and gardeners and where the primary extraction demands it and where it is advantageous to not shy away from heavy labor, the Chinese strive primarily to profit by any means from the competition in the exchange of goods and in financial business. Most are merchants and traders, partly as peddlers (Klontongs), shopkeepers, agents, partly as commission agents, retail merchants, government lessees, money racketeers, bankers. The remaining Chinese sustain themselves as handymen, domestic servants, clerks, coachmen, cooks until they too can, starting small first with goods bought on credit, become merchants as well and exploit their mercantile skills.

Scorned in the country and seen as enemies, as the persecutions in the prior centuries demonstrated — on a single day, 9th October 1740,  under the government of the governor general Valkenier, the agitated population had butchered over 10.000 Chinese — the Chinese have managed nevertheless in their strange tenacity to  hold their ground on Java and expand once more. The government shows them no favor but hits them with a special contribution, the queue tax, Bea Kondeh, forces them to live in segregated city districts and uses other rulings to restrict the fast growth of the Chinese on Java. Still and in spite of all this, the sons of the Heavenly Kingdom are partly as immigrants partly as natives – the latter are called Feranakan Chinese — have developed roots especially in the north of the island and even in the interior of the country.

Continuing on through the small alley we finally stood in front of the Kasteel (Fort), which today, preserved by the government in its old form, only is of historical value. It has been built by the East India company at the start of the 17th century and later been equipped with bastions, outworks, earth walls and fortification ditches that now have been levelled or filled in.

An important protection of the Kasteel during the time when it had been the citadel of Batavia was formed by the canals of the fortification system. As the Dutch had,  following the example of their homeland, in Batavia which is cut in two by the river Tji Liwung (Liwoeng) arranged a system of water canals partly to drain the city of water, partly to set up a dense network of shipping paths. Thus Batavia offers with its navigable canals and ditches, its shore constructions and the vessels which swim in the canals lined by tree alleys a view of a city where water canals are of great importance.

On one of the canals that led from the fort to the sea was a small flotilla of boats ready to take us, drawn by a steam barge, to the crocodile hunt. We sat down in the vehicle which was beautifully decorated with flowers and flags. The barge which was directed by a high government official in person started moving and we glided forward on the canal, swinging agreeably, refreshed by a glass of cooled champaign served by an uniformed servant and animated by the sights of the shore landscape that we were passing by.

A colorful packed crowd on both shores watched our journey with curiosity. Still appeared small settlements, now and then a Malay village, then fields of arrowroot (Maranta arundinacea), which provides the known nutritive flour, became visible. Swimming between these fields and low bushes we finally stopped at the mouth of a small natural side ditch which led into the midst of Tamarind and myrtle bushes and was in some way grown together with the jungle.

It looked to me as if there had been too much preparation to ease hunting crocodiles in this ditch. The bushes had been cut back, so that it did not limit our sight. Alongside the canal, barricades had been built in order to prevent crocodiles from escaping and upstream and downstream guards had been posted.

Right at the arrival at the canal I had noticed tiny points emerging out of the water, the eyes and nose ridges of some crocodiles but they quickly submerged and only some time later an especially strong specimen appeared again. I bagged the animal with a head shot. During its final convulsions it kicked out violently, sending water and dirt widely into the air until it finally turned a wheel for some minutes only to sink down dead. Now the native hunters threw a rope around its neck and drew it on land.

Then I marched up and down along the shore and soon discovered a second crocodile which had buried itself so deeply into the soft mud after my first shot had frightened it that I could only notice how the earth was moving alternating up and down. I fired by chance at the spot where I thought the animal’s head and soon a blood trail as well as the kicking around of the jagged tail in the mud showed that I had hit the crocodile. Then everything was quiet as the reptiles refrained from appearing again. They had hidden themselves under water in the deep mud and only after many people started hitting the water with long bamboo staffs and pierced the mud at the bottom of the canal, life returned to the canal.  The crocodiles were very much resented these operations and attacked the staffs snatching and biting. As soon as a head became visible I fired on the eyes and the cervical vertebra, the only vulnerable places of a crocodile, and thus managed to bag another six strong specimens, so that my total number came to eight crocodiles, each of which was longer than 2 m.

The coloring of the individual specimens was very different. It varied between black or greenish-gray and a clear yellow with black edges. What a thick and impenetrable skin and what hard skull a crocodile possesses, I could observe on a specimen that appeared at a distance of about 25 paces, while only its head was visible. I fired with my Express rifle, caliber 500, three times one shot after another upon the skull of the animal between the eyes. After each shot the crocodile dove without displaying any kind of wound, only to reappear on the surface again. The fourth shot finally hit close above the eye which made the animal turn and killed it.

After the animal had been drawn on land, I found upon close examination that the three bullets had not pierced but had bounced off the skull between the eyes like from armored plate without leaving more than a barely noticeable spot where I had hit it.

The killed crocodiles were stored in a boat that was towed by our flotilla and now we returned on the same path which we had used before driving through in the midst of the now brightly illuminated and therefore very picturesque Chinese quarter. Returned home we had to change clothes for the dinner at the governor general’s.

The governor general Dr. C. Pynacker Hordijk, whose residence is in Buitenzorg, owns in Batavia, the seat of the government, a beautiful one story palace, in which he and his wife were expecting me. In the large dining room decorated with coats of arms and the emblems of the homeland, there was unfortunately a muggy heat during the dinner that followed. I sat between the lady of the house and vice admiral Jonkheer J. A. Roell. This charming person told me all kinds of interesting things about the martial expedition of 1873 of the Dutch against the resisting and still independent kingdom of Aceh on Sumatra. At the dinner during which a military band was playing its melodies were also the commander of the Dutch East Indian army, lieutenant general A. R.W. Gey van Pittius, the secretary general Sweerts de Landas and other dignitaries among them many members of the council of India (Raad van Indie).

The dinner which was notable for its absence of toasting and circles was soon declared to be ended and so I could discuss the continuation of our voyage with the ship captain in my apartment.


  • Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
  • ANNO – on 11.04.1893 in Austria’s newspapers. Neue Freie Presse reports that FF bagged 15 tigers and 7 panthers in India.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Goldfische“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Die Rantzau“.
Franz Ferdinands Jagderfolge in Indien, Die Presse 11.4.1893

Franz Ferdinand bagged 15 tigers and 7 panthers in India, Die Presse 11.4.1893