Mixed Bloods in a Plural Society: Recovering the Place of Hybridized ‘Chinese’ in Indonesia’s Port Communities

Oiyan Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


In the late 1930s, J. S. Furnivall described the colonial population in the Netherlands East Indies as a plural society where Europeans, Chinese, and indigenous inhabitants lived side by side without mingling with one another. This portrayal of the Dutch colonial society was in line with racial segregation policies that were institutionalized in the nineteenth century. Although colonial narratives presented Chinese people as clearly distinguishable from non-Chinese peoples, I argue that such depictions did not conform with social reality at the time. Based on a study of statistical methodologies and travel accounts, this article shows that people who were labeled as ‘Chinese’ included people of mixed heritage and people of indigenous backgrounds. Taking a long-term historical perspective, this article shows that the history of mixedness developed in tandem with maritime trade, and continued to exist despite the presumed institutional disappearance of mixedness.

英國殖民官兼學者 J. S. Furnivall 在 1930 年代提出荷屬東印度的殖民社會 是「多民族社會」。歐洲人、華人和原住民等在各自設定的範圍活動,互不交 集和混合,而華人社會與其他民族更有明顯的分野。但據史料的考證,本研究 發現「多民族社會」的概念與事實並不相符,民族界線並非壁壘分明。從長遠 的歷史角度而言,華人與印尼群島向來有著密切的關係,種族互動和混血後裔 更是社會長期出現的形態,卻因殖民時期提倡「多民族社會」的方針,導致混 血社會被邊緣化。本研究將探討本土華裔混血如何透過海上貿易在印尼歷史上 扮演重要和持續性的角色。
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-663
Number of pages39
JournalJournal of Social Sciences and Philosophy=人文及社會科學集刊
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

User-Defined Keywords

  • mixed-race Chinese
  • overseas Chinese
  • plural society
  • colonial governance
  • port community
  • 混血華裔
  • 海外華人
  • 多民族社會
  • 殖民統治
  • 港口社會


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