Lokki 1997 and now
The Air Bersih Lokki Foundation
started in 1997 as a work
group of Perkumpulan anak-anak Lokki ( or PAL: the organization for childrenof
Lokki in The Netherlands ). The "Pal" has been existence for
more than 40 years as a common interest organization. Among other activities
it raised funds for donation to the people still living in Lokki.
The Air Bersih Lokki Foundation has taken over this work, thereby allowing
young people who are not members of the PAL to participate.
The goal of the foundation is to help the village to build and maintain
critical basic infrastructure, such as facilities for the provision of
||The village Lokki is located on the coast
of the Huamual peninsula on Seram (Ceram) island. In 1997 Lokki had approximately
2000 inhabitants, along an area of roughly 2 km at the beach..
The ground is fertile and owned by the local population, which consist of
both families native to Lokki as well as more recent immigrants from other
parts of Indonesia. Although ownership of substantial portions of the land
is now in the hand of migrants, relations between the original inhabitans
and the migrants were always good.
The primary agricultural products are sago; bananas, durian and other fruits;
and cloves, nutmeg and other spices.
The healthcare facilities were very basic, with the nearest hospital at
a distance of 50 km and one nurse who travelled between a number of different
villages by motor scooter.
In August 1998 the village was destroyed and the inhabitants were forced
to seek refuge in Piru ( 293 families ), Ambon ( 95 families ), and other
places such as Jakarta, and Merauke.
Although it has not been possible for the inhabitants to stay together
( in refuge ), they still hope one day to be able to return to their village,
remains of the house of Th. Sitania that was burned. The
fondaments are used for houses in Wailisa, whom are not yet evailible
for Lokki people.
Although our knowledge about the history of Lokki is limited and may
be imperfect, we are providing this attempt at a summary. Any further
information or correction with respect to the history of Lokki that you,
as visitor to this site, can provide will be gratefully received.
at Loki 1652
text at leftside:
A Our fort Dwingeland
B The soldiers who marching on for the attack
C the eleven fortress of the enemy
D Our ships
Our little native boats
F The river that past our fort
G The water that our people had to ford
eigen noot: H The village Lokki with baileo behind
the wall, rests of this wall are
still there on the hill .
To quote an article in the Marinjo addressing the celebration of
the 400 year anniversary of the VOC ( our translation ):
".......his full name was Arnold van Outshoorn, his was governor
of Ambon from 1647 to1650 , and thereafter promoted to superintendent.
During those years, as head of a group of soldiers and hongi* ,
he attackted the Seramese peninsula Hoamoal on a regular basis......."
In "Kruidnagel en Cristenen"(Foris publications, 1987) Gerrit
Knaap wrote about this as follows : ".......In this last conflict,
the offensife actions of the VOC were typified by their mercilessness.
On the evening before the attack on Loki the VOC soldiers were instructed
to "cut down " anything capable of baring arms, with the exception
of women, children and old men, an order that was well followed. During
the attack, 100 persons were killed. Many more managed to escape, but
many of those were later killed in the fighting around the fortress......"
Drawing showing how a kora-kora would have looked at the
time of the hongi ( taken from the book "Oud
en Nieuw Oost-Indien,"by Valentijn).
( from the concise encyclopaedia of the Dutch Indies,1921 our translation
): In the Molukken islands, an inland war fleet, consisting of a number
of outrigger canoes or other boats in which the men are heavely armed for
conflict, with the objective of plunder, murder and destruction. Previously,
hongi expeditions, that were led by Dutch East Indie Compagny (EIC) officers,
were sent to eradicate spice trees ( to prevent competition against the
EIO monopoly ).
Extract from "my life among the Headhunters"
written in 1921 by the missionary M. Birkhoff ( our translation
He begins his missionary work for the Protestant Church in 1886 in Lettie.
The year 1887 is also named before he goes to Lokki- Seram. Sometime thereafter
he is assigned to Lokki - Seram, where he remains until 1896.
He was greeted in Lokki with music of harmonicas, flutes and tifa (traditional
drums). He rented a comfortable house from the tribal leader.
Translated quote"....... The compound Loki lies in a healthy area,
even though there are pools and ponds. ( look at page "water"
about the description of the spring ).The local church was a very sad
construction in the East-Indies style. It looked more like a Javanese
rice shed than a house of worship.
Since it was totally unsuitable for its purpose and in a very poor state
of repair, I chose to build a new church, assuming the support of the
people. The community was plaqued by feuds and drunkenness, men of ill-temper
that pointed their loaded weapons at their neighbours in their drunkenness.
Slowly the situation improved. The population was industrious in fishing,
hunting and agriculture. They were strong and free of disease, with the
exception of fever. They were diligent churchgoers........"
church Lokki 1900
church Lokki 1998
destroyed in 1999
Birkhoff advised the planting
of plantations (nutmeg, coconut, cloves), but the people did not dare
because in earlier times the IOC had eradicated the trees.
" ......some began the work, but not without fear......"
Little Ceram was rich in wood types: sago, ironwood, goldwood goudhout-,
man-iwood, lingua-,kenari-, lasi-, breadwood, mangawood, kazuaritrees,
Sago was used for food, roofing, walls, rope, brooms, gutters, and as
firewood. Older men did small jobs in the village. Older women took care
of the children. Young women tended gardens. Young men hunted with dogs,
fished and guarded against head hunters (alifoeren).
".........At the turn of the century, the life of these Ceram Christians
was anything but enviable. People understood that deadh and decay surrounded
that fertile paradise........"
" .... It was a sad sight to see the young men leave at night with
their weapon to take their posts. There were men among them with a strong
craving to wash their hands in head hunting blood. Those were the Damieten.
Their wish was ot fulfilled......"
"........It was following such a faerful time that our new church
was build. What beautiful wood the men brought to the village. It is a
strong building, that will last a long time. The Europeans that see it
are in wonder that such a simple people could take the initiative for
such a building and bring it to completion. We hade the pleasure of having
geology professor Dr. Martin from Leiden visit the church. He did me the
pleasure of informing me in 1914 that my successor, Mr. Krayer van Aalst,
expanded the church building to accommodate the swelling number of parishioners........"
Dr. M. Birkhoff worked in the East Indies for 30 years,
with two leaves of absence to visit The Netherlands.
Over the years, the Kumpulan Lokki in The Netherlands gave money
to the people of Lokki to restore and maintain the church (see photo).
Unfortunately, the church was completely destroyed in 1999.
Lokki during the Second World War.
the war, the Dutch Forest Administration commissioned of planting of plantations
in vicinity of Lokki and the people of Lokki lived comfortably on profits
from their lands. During the Japanese occupation, the plantations were
confiscated and levelled and the Lokkinese were forced to raise food for
the Japanese troops.
At some point during
the war, the people were forced to flee the village and take refuge in
the forest because the Japanese found a forbidden radio sender on the
mountain that had been sending messages to the Austalian troops.
After the war, Lokki was used as a concentration camp for Japanese
prisoners of war.The Lokinese people forced to move to the other side
of the bay.
Sometimes later, the plantations were restored by the Dutch Forest Administration,
under the responsibility of Mr. de Gooyer, and the people were allowed
to return to the village.
you are interested in more information about the foundation and its
projects, then please view the following pages or send us an e-mail
photo ± 1900 Lokki. Source KITLV Leiden
( unknown village Hoamoal )