A very interesting article wrote by Robert Lindsay entitled The Peopling of Indonesia can be used as a first step to further understand the diversity of Indonesia. What I am interested is that, Robert also mentioned about Melanesian and Papuan in his writing, and I am absolutely agree that the people in Indonesia little studied.
As one of several aproaches in explaining ethnicity in Papua, we can distinguish Melanesians and Papuans, see Figure below which clearly put them in separate groups. Also, Melanesian and Papuan teeth are very different from each other. New Guinean or Papuan are closer to Australian natives of Aborigines. Papuan are different from Pacific Islanders. If we go further into the differences in Papua, we will find a huge various of ethnicity inside. Politically, the idea of tribal democracy is very interesting and now Papuan people walk closely to the formation of tribal democracy by forming organization like traditional assembly. Each ethnic group in Papua has its own tribal/traditional assembly and they can chanelled their interest and needs to the democratic government.
However, the most important thing in guarding the process of democratizaton in Papua is the implementation of the concept. I only had a dream that finally all Papuan can sit together think about our bright future under the democratic system of our tradition. No more tribal war, no more OPM (Free Papua Organization), no more military operation. We should see our identity as one Indonesian Papuan and we should integrate our democracy revolution with Indonesian civil society movement and also by support from international democracy movement.
Here is the article from Robert Lindsay blog:
The prehistory of Indonesia is an interesting question, but it little studied.
Typical Indonesian men. The one on the left looks very Chinese, or Filipino. The one on the right looks a little different. Indonesians are dark, but the place is right on the equator, so this is to be expected.
Human sites have been found as far back as 33,000 years in the far east Maluku Islands (or Moluccan Islands), but these people are Melanesians. Very early man, Homo Erectus, has been found in the islands dating way back.
A multiregional theory has been suggested for the evolution of man in Indonesia, China and maybe other areas. This theory has been rejected, however there may be some continuity in China with older forms dating back 120,000 years or so. The Chinese, the Japanese and now the Indonesians all want to say they came from a different monkey.
The theory is also very popular with White Nationalists who are extremely insulted by the idea of being descended from African Blacks. In Indonesia and China, these ideas have more to do with the spread of idiotically antiscientific nationalist-based theories than anything else.
In Indonesia, the nation’s top archeologist deliberately destroyed bones of Homo Florensis recently in spite over the rejection of his pet theory, that the Homo Erectus relative that lived in modern times are just modern humans who are microencephalic. This theory seems crazy, but is making the rounds in peer-reviewed journals nevertheless.
Nationalism and science has never worked well, with some particularly gruesome results especially in the past century. Florensis is a tiny midget of an early man who is a different species from us. They may have lived up until 600 years ago but the hard evidence so far shows they lived until 13,000 years ago at the latest. I believe they lived until the arrival of the Europeans. It is possible some may yet exist to this day.
There are a lot of questions about whether or not Florensis and locals bred in. Some of the locals are very short and some even think they may have Florensis like features, though the question of inter-species breeding makes little sense. Locals say that the Little People are their ancestors.
The Little People would come to their villages and hide in the forest watching them. Locals would leave food for the Little People in baskets and the Little People would come when no one was around and take the food – they were described as very shy. It is amazing that such a primitive man could live in such proximity to modern Homo without genocidal results.
In the past, contacts between more modern civilizations and more primitive ones usually had genocidal results. Examples include Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Africa, the Americas, Siberia, and probably other places.
Before Florensis, there is Java Man, who dates back possibly to 2 million years. It is due to the prominence of Java Man that the Indonesian “scientists” have indulged in their childish and petty behavior. Actually, the Indonesian case above is more complicated than that – the destroyer of the skulls is the grand old man of Indonesian archeology and he cannot be touched.
There are a number of younger archeologists there who think the man is an old fool, which he is, but no can do a thing about him.
The question of Homo Erectus being put aside, we now turn to the development of modern Homo in Indonesia. Here, very little is known for some reason, but we do have that 33,000 yr old find in the Malukus. These people are called Melanesians for lack of a better word, but it also appears that there were cultural contacts with Australians across the straights.
Around 10-15,000 years ago, these Melanesians populate most of the Mulukus. The nature of the contacts with the Australians, genetic or otherwise, is not known, but that such early modern man had such excellent boats is stunning. Much is made by racists of the primtiveness and low IQ’s of Aborigines.
However, we should note the profound cultural achievement it took to make those boats to get to Australia in the first place. But we had great boats when we first left the African Horn at Somalia and Djibouti, went to Yemen and moved along the coast all the say to SE Asia, stopping along the way in Iran, Yemen, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Indonesia, New Guinea, Melanesia and Australia.
There is a chain of Negritos in every one of these places, probably the last remainders of the first modern men that left Africa 60-70,000 years. In Australia, the Negritos went to Aborigine Major Race; in Papua, they went to the Papuan Major Race, in Melanesia to the Melanesian Minor Race. However, recent data suggests that the Melanesian race is extremely diverse, so it may have to be re-evaluated.
Some analyses show Melanesians clustering fairly close to Papuans, yet others show Papuans as a vast major race, tied with Aborigines as the most diverse on Earth after Africans. They are also some of the furthest away from Africans.
Whites are more closely related to Africans than Papuans are, yet everyone from Afrocentrists to White Nationalists wants to say Papuans are Black people. In the North, they went on to form the early basis for all members of the Asian Macro-race today.
The standard history is that some unknown Melanesians, about which we know little, were the original habitants of Indonesia. We have no dates at all for most of this purported history, only the assertion that they lived here.
Today, only the Malukus identify as Melanesians, despite the fact that there are Melanesians on Alor and in other places. On Timor, Sumba and Flores, there are people who are at least part-Melanesian who do not really identify as Melanesian. Some of these people are up to 80% Melanesian, as in Alor.
The standard history of the rest of the islands, such as Sulawesi, Sumatra, Bali is that Austronesians came 4000 years ago and pushed the native Melanesians to the east.
Tsunami victims in Aceh on Sumatra. These people are almost purely Chinese (Taiwanese). They are quite dark as you can see, but that is probably a pigmentation process to enable females to store folic acid for pregnancy in order to give birth to viable infants. Protection against sunburn is an interesting theory, but sunburn, even melanoma, does not kill you.
The Sumba and probably all of the other Lesser Sunda Islands are inhabited by people who are a mixture between Austronesians from Taiwan and native Melanesians. Timor also has Papuans and Polynesians. Early man arrived on Timor as early as 40,000 years ago.
The Mulukus such as Babar and Ambon are inhabited by mixtures of Austronesians from Taiwan and Papuans in the case of Ambon and Melanesians in the case of Babar.
We don’t seem to have any evidence of Melanesian settlement of the Western half of Indonesia, but the consensus seems to be that folks were there. The salient even that everyone agrees on about Indonesian prehistory is the arrival of the Austronesians from Taiwan. Mostly, these were the Ami, but there is a possibility that other Taiwanese aborigines were also.
These were the Austronesians, the greatest mariners of all time, who settled Philippines, Indonesia, coastal New Guinea, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. There are even said to have moved into mainland SE Asia, particularly Malaysia. In that case, they probably went to Sumatra first and then moved across the water to Malaysia.
These Indonesian Muslim women praying look very much like Malays. It is not known where they are from. They may be members of the Malay Race found on Java and Borneo in Indonesia described at the end of the post.
They even seem to be a major component of the Vietnamese. Everywhere they went, the Austronesians brought a cultural revolution with them, often upgrading existing cultures, certainly so in the case of New Guinea.
Austronesians arrived in Indonesia at least 4000 years ago by boat, probably from the Philippines, where they already probably had a mature settlement. However, the Austronesian show up in Timor as early as 5000 years ago, so 4000 years BP may be too late. The standard history is that the Melanesians, settled throughout the islands, were displaced to the east by the Austronesians.
Next, at least on Timor, and probably throughout Indonesia, a wave of proto-Malays moved through. A group settled Bali 5000 years ago who may have been proto-Malays. Proto-Malays are also important in the settlement of the Philippines and Malaysia.
The proto-Malays who settled in the Philippines were said to be short and very hairy. The hairiness is odd for people living in a hot climate. If this description is true, I suggest that the proto-Malay may have been an Ainu-like people, the proto-NE Asians. A Southern origin is possible for the Ainu. The pre-Ainu, the Jomon, are said to have origins in Thailand 18,000 years ago. They got on boats and sailed to Japan.
These hairy proto-Malays may have been related to the pre-Jomon in Thailand long ago. Proto-Malays show up in the Philippines over 5000 years BP, before the arrival of the Austronesians. The proto-Malays who settled the Philippines and Indonesia are said to have had an origin in South China and inland SE Asia.
However, in Malaysia, the proto-Malay are said to have been created in Malaysia 3000 years ago as Austronesians bred in with existing Senoi, an Australoid or Negrito like people. The Proto-Malays are poorly understood and some of what is said about them is contradictory.
Austronesians show up in Sulawesi, Java, the Mulukus and Borneo 3,500 years ago. Austronesians moved from Borneo to Sumatra 2,500 years ago, and from there up into Malaysia to become the major component of the Malay Race.
A beautiful woman on Samosir Island on Sumatra. She may be a Toba Batak, who are part of a race close to Micronesians. Many Micronesians look a lot like this. In the background is one of the famous Toba Batak bark houses. She is in traditional dress. Note the resemblance to a Filipina.
The Austronesians are associated with a cultural revolution in Indonesia called Đông Sơn. This culture was centered in the Red River Valley of northern Vietnam and generalized throughout Indonesia, showing up about 3, 000 years ago.
Wet-rice cultivation spread throughout the islands with Đông Sơn, but the native Melanesians were already engaging in wet-rice cultivation an incredible 10,000 years ago, making Indonesia one of the earliest sites for agriculture on Earth.
The Đông Sơn kept buffaloes and pigs, fished, grew rice and, in a clue to their Austronesian nature, sailed in long dugout canoes. They utilized metallurgy to make fine bronze objects, including drums and figurines.
Đông Sơn also had elements of Dai culture from Yunnan and Laos, Khmer culture of Cambodia, Tibeto-Burman culture, and the prehistoric Plain of Jars culture in Laos. So all of these elements from mainland SE Asia and Southern China went into the stew that became Indonesian culture.
Now, Indonesians are members of either the SE Asian Major Race, the Oceanian Major Race or the Papuan Major Race. For the most part, they seem to be some sort of a mixture between Melanesians and Austronesian Chinese (Taiwanese). In the West, they are mostly Austronesian, but there are some southern-origin haplogroups there that are poorly understood. Perhaps they are the leftovers of some sort of Melanesians.
Haplogroups C, E and F in Figure 1 here, seem to have a southern origin. These strains are apparent on a minor scale in Java, Borneo and Sulawesi. But in Southern Borneo, they reach levels up to 40%. Haplogroups G, H and L are also associated with Taiwan, the Philippines and to a lesser extent South China.
L is clearly the Ami of Taiwan but G and H are less well-understood. This paper suggests that they have a southern (Melanesian) genesis, but that does not make much sense. H is present at high levels in the Taiwanese Atayal, Bunum and Paiwan and G is present at high levels in the Bunum and the Paiwan. G is at even higher levels in Javans.
On Sumatra, Indonesians are purely Chinese (Austronesians) and in Borneo they are mostly Chinese (Austronesian).
Some beautiful, typical, Indonesian women with the usual Malay, or Austronesian, phenotype. These women are best described as Chinese from Taiwan. Note the resemblance with Thais, Filipinas, and possibly Khmers.
On a principle coordinates map here (Figure 4), Indonesians cluster close to Filipinos, the Ami of Taiwan and Southern Chinese.
Indonesians today constitute several races. Papuans and Melanesians were mentioned above. The Toba Batak are Micronesians, but how they ended up in northern Sumatra is a mystery.
Indonesians on Java and northern Borneo are members of the Malay Race, also found in Malaysia. Indonesians from Sumatra, Bali and the Sea Dayak of northern Borneo, along with the Paiwan aborigines from Taiwan, are members of the Island SE Asian Race.
This clustering is odd, and suggests that the Paiwan, in addition to the Ami, may have been among the Austronesian seafarers. The Indonesians of Sulawesi, the Lesser Sundas and Borneo are members of the mainstream Indonesian Race.