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Jaipongan, also known as Jaipong, is a popular traditional dance of Sundanese people, West Java, Indonesia. The dance was created by Gugum Gumbira, based on traditional Sundanese Ketuk Tilu music and Pencak Silat movements.

Jaipongan, also known as jaipong, is a musical performance genre of the Sundanese people in the Sundanese language of West Java, Indonesia. Jaipongan includes revived indigenous arts, like gamelan, but it also did not ignore Western music completely despite the ban on rock and roll. It used its sensuality and the sensuality found in a traditional village music and dance, ketuk tilu. However, many believe it is something purely Indonesian or Sundanese in origin and style. It is developed predominately from rural folk forms and traditions as a purely indigenous form. The rise of cassettes and films has led to the popularity of the musical form of jaipongan. It has spread from its home in West Java’s Sunda, to greater Java and Indonesia. It can be seen as many regional varieties of gong-chime performance found through much of Indonesia. As also an urban dance form, it is based primarily on the village forms of ketuk tilu and on the Indonesian martial arts, pencak silat. The musical genre is largely influenced from ketuk tilu with traces of the masked theater dance, topeng banjet and the wayang golek puppet theater. Ketuk tilu is its biggest influence, as a traditional Sudanese musical entertainment form.

Gong-chime performance is characterized by such features as: use of an ensemble dominated by idiophones, metallophones and knobbed gongs. It is a stratified polyphony, with lower-pitch instruments playing parts of lesser density and all parts are structured colotomically around time-cycles. This can be found in traditional Indonesian gamelan. There is improvisation on certain instruments. The modes used are grouped into two broad types: slendro and pelog.

Ketuk tilu was a musical genre based off ritual and celebration in the villages of the Sundanese people, meaning three kettle gongs. It was known for complex drumming coordinated with equally dynamic solo female dancers. The music was performed for planting and harvesting rituals and later celebrated village life, circumcision and marriage, expressed fertility, and displayed sensuality, eroticism and even sometimes “socially accepted prostitution.” Ketuk tilu was very popular in the Sundanese villages, but the urban Sundanese considered it unrefined and inappropriate because the music involved males and females dancing together suggestively, or mixed dancing between men and ronggeng, or prostitutes. Ronggeng probably has existed in Java since ancient time, the bas reliefs in Karmawibhanga section on Borobudur displays the scene of travelling entertainment troupe with musicians and female dancers.

Jaipong is less strictly associated with ceremonial functions, but performances are common in the Rayagung festival month, and with circumcisions and marriages. The performances now have the character of secular social functions, attended by young and old, primarily for entertainment and socializing. Public performance is now extremely frequent especially in clubs or street performances.

The cassette industry and its boom in Indonesia helped popularize jaipongan greatly and promoted regional styles rather than hurt them. Many learned the dance through cassette rather than the performance. The mass media have made jaipong ubiquitous. It has created competition in the styles of the drummers among ensembles. It has also helped to bring about many dance schools, altering dance and its label on females in West Java.

The song repertoire of jaipongan is varied, and that is why it is better understood as an intertwined performance style of music and dance. Many songs are associated with ketuk tilu or other wide reaching regional varieties, not traditional gamelan. It consists of songs of more recent origin often composed for jaipongan. Song topics vary, encompassing amatory, moralistic, bawdy, topical and spiritual subjects, often emphasizing grass roots culture.
Reog is a traditional Indonesian dance form. There are many types of Reogs in Indonesia, but the most notable ones are Reog Ponorogo (East Java) and Reog Sunda (West Java). Although both share a similar name, there is no connection nor similar theme among these traditions. Reog Ponorogo seems to be the kind of dance that demonstrate physical strength and extravagant lion-peafowl mask and costumes, while Reog Sunda is a lot more like a traditional musical comedy and dance.

Reog is a traditional dance that become the main identity for Ponorogo Regency. Reog National Festival is held every years along the anniversary of Ponorogo regency and Grebeg Suro celebration. Reog dance is also staged full moon nightly in paseban, Ponorogo town square. Reog told about the struggle for a prince who will propose to a beautiful princess. Reog Ponorogo tells the story of a mythical battle between the King of Ponorogo and the magical lion-like creature called Singa Barong. Singa Barong is a large mask usually made of tiger's or leopard's head skin, upon the mask attached a large fan adorned with peafowl feathers. The Singa Barong mask was notoriously heavy, the dancer of Singo Barong bear the mask about 30 – 40 kg weight and supported by the strength of their teeth.

The leading figures in Reog Ponorogo performance includes:

  • Klono Sewandono, A men in regal attire wearing mask in proud and pompous dance, play the role as the King of Ponorogo
  • Bujang Anom, rough youthful men wearing red mask, they performed acrobatic dances and sometimes also involved trance.
  • Jatil, the youthful handsome horsemen riding horses made of weaved bamboo, similar to Kuda Lumping dance. Today Jatil usually performed by female dancers.
  • Warok, played as Singa Barong, the mythical creature. The one that allowed to performed this mask dance is called warok. A warok is the hororary title of local hero or strongman of the village that possessed both exceptional spiritual and phyisical strength. The dance itself is demonstration of phyisical strength of the dancers.

Reog Ponorogo usually consists of three sets of dances; each dance is performed by several dancers:

  • The first dance is the opening dance, performed by Bujang Anom, male dancers wearing black costumes. The costume describe rough men with intimidating moustache and other masculinity symbols.
  • The second dance is the Jaran Kepang dance performed by Jatil; it is originally performed by a gemblak, a handsome and youthful teenage boy wearing colourful costumes. Today the female dancers were usually played this role.
  • The third dance is the main attraction of the show; it is performed by all the Reog dancers. The warok as the main male dancer, wearing a large and heavy lion mask, dances in the centre of the stage while the other dancers dance around him. To demonstrate the warok's extraordinary strength Jatil or female dancers riding on top of lion mask and being carried around.

Culture and traditions of Reog Ponorogo

The dance describe Klono Sewandono the king of Ponorogo on his journey to Kediri to seek the hands of Princess Songgo Langit. On his journey he was attacked by a vicious monster called Singa Barong, a mythical lion with peacock on its head. Historians trace the origin of Reog Ponorogo as the satire on the incompetence of Majapahit rulers during the end of the empire. It describe the innate Ponorogo liberty and its opposition on centralist Majapahit rule. The lion represent the king of Majapahit while the peafowl represent the queen, it was suggested that the king was incompetent and always being controlled by his queen. The beautiful, youthful and almost effeminate horsemen describe the Majapahit cavalry that have lost their manliness.

Reog Sunda is very different than Ponorogo one, reog Sunda did not incorporate a large lion mask adorned with peafowl feathers like Reog Ponorogo, and did not incorporate trance state. The Reog Sunda performance combines comedy, joke, music, and funny comical movements and dances of the performers. The performers usually consist of four personnel, one called dalang directing the shows, similar to dalang in wayang performance, one called wakil or vice-dalang, the other two were the performers that interact and do the order of the dalang. Each performers carying and using musical instruments such as dogdog, beungbreung, gudubrag (types of traditional drums), and kecrek (similar to maraca) or tambourine, other instruments such as kendang, gong, kacapi might also used. The performance usually took one hour to one and half hour of music, dance and jokes, filled with social messages or religious wisdom.
The titan arum grows in the wild only in the equatorial rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia. It was first scientifically described in 1878 by Italian botanist Odoardo Beccari. The plant flowers only infrequently in the wild and even more rarely when cultivated. It first flowered in cultivation at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London, in 1889, with over 100 cultivated blossoms since then. The first documented flowerings in the United States were at New York Botanical Garden in 1937 and 1939. This flowering also inspired the designation of the titan arum as the official flower of the Bronx in 1939, only to be replaced in 2000 by the day lily. The number of cultivated plants has increased in recent years, and it is not uncommon for there to be five or more flowering events in gardens around the world in a single year. The titan arum is more commonly available to the advanced gardener due to pollination techniques.

The popular name 'Titan arum' was invented by the broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough, for his BBC series 'The Private Life of Plants,' in which the flowering and pollination of the plant were filmed for the first time. Attenborough felt that constantly referring to the plant as Amorphophallus on a popular TV documentary would be inappropriate.

In 2003, the tallest bloom in cultivation, some 2.74 m (8 ft. 11 in.) high, was achieved at the Botanical Garden of the University of Bonn in Germany. The event was acknowledged by the Guinness Book of Records. On 20 October 2005, this record was broken at the botanical and zoological garden Wilhelma in Stuttgart, Germany. The bloom reached a height of 2.94 m (9 ft. 6 in.).
The Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is a large species of lizard found in the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang and Gili Dasami. A member of the monitor lizard family (Varanidae), it is the largest living species of lizard, growing to a maximum of length 3 metres (9.8 ft) in rare cases and weighing up to around 70 kilograms (150 lb). Their unusual size has been attributed to island gigantism, since there are no other carnivorous animals to fill the niche on the islands where they live.

However, recent research suggests that the large size of komodo dragons may be better understood as representative of a relict population of very large varanid lizards that once lived across Indonesia and Australia, most of which, along with other megafauna, died out after the Pleistocene. Fossils very similar to V. komodoensis have been found in Australia dating to greater than 3.8 million years ago, and its body size remained stable on Flores, one of the handful of Indonesian islands where it is currently found, over the last 900,000 years, "a time marked by major faunal turnovers, extinction of the island's megafauna, and the arrival of early hominids by 880 ka." and scientists believe they share an ancestry with the cretacious period man eating predator.

As a result of their size, these lizards dominate the ecosystems in which they live. Komodo dragons hunt and ambush prey including invertebrates, birds, and mammals. Their group behaviour in hunting is exceptional in the reptile world. The diet of big Komodo dragons mainly consists of deer, though they also eat considerable amounts of carrion.

Mating begins between May and August, and the eggs are laid in September. About twenty eggs are deposited in abandoned megapode nests or in a self-dug nesting hole. The eggs are incubated for seven to eight months, hatching in April, when insects are most plentiful. Young Komodo dragons are vulnerable and therefore dwell in trees, safe from predators and cannibalistic adults. They take about eight to nine years to mature, and are estimated to live for up to 30 years.

Komodo dragons were first recorded by Western scientists in 1910. Their large size and fearsome reputation make them popular zoo exhibits. In the wild their range has contracted due to human activities and they are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN. They are protected under Indonesian law, and a national park, Komodo National Park, was founded to aid protection efforts.
The Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii) is one of the two species of orangutans. Found only on the island of Sumatra, in Indonesia, it is rarer and smaller than the Bornean orangutan. The Sumatran orangutan grows to about 1.4 metres (4.6 ft) tall and 90 kilograms (200 lb) in males. Females are smaller, averaging 90 centimetres (3.0 ft) and 45 kilograms (99 lb).

Compared with the Bornean orangutan, the Sumatran orangutan tends to be more frugivorous and especially insectivorous. Preferred fruits include figs and jackfruits. It will also eat bird eggs and small vertebrates. Sumatran orangutans spend far less time feeding on the inner bark of trees.

Wild Sumatran orangutans in the Suaq Balimbing swamp have been observed using tools. An orangutan will break off a tree branch that is about a foot long, snap off the twigs and fray one end. It then will use the stick to dig in tree holes for termites. They will also use the stick to poke a bee's nest wall, move it around and catch the honey. In addition, orangutans use tools to eat fruit. When the fruit of the Neesia tree ripens, its hard, ridged husk softens until it falls open. Inside are seeds that the orangutans enjoy eating, but they are surrounded by fiberglass-like hairs that are painful if eaten. A Neesia-eating orangutan will select a five-inch stick, strip off its bark, and then carefully collect the hairs with it. Once the fruit is safe, the ape will eat the seeds using the stick or its fingers. Although similar swamps can be found in Borneo, wild Bornean orangutans have not been seen using these types of tools.

NHNZ filmed the Sumatran orangutan for its show Wild Asia: In the Realm of the Red Ape; it showed one of them using a simple tool, a twig, to pry food from difficult places. There is also a sequence of an animal using a large leaf as an umbrella in a tropical rainstorm.

The Sumatran orangutan is also more arboreal than its Bornean cousin; this could be because of the presence of large predators like the Sumatran Tiger. It moves through the trees by brachiation.
Life cycle

The Sumatran orangutan is more social than its Bornean counterpart. Groups of these orangutans gather to feed on the mass amount of fruiting on the fig trees. However adult males generally avoid contact with other adult males. Sub-adult males will try to mate with any female, though they probably mostly fail to impregnate them since mature females are easily capable of fending them off. Mature females prefer to mate with mature males.

The average interbirth rates for the Sumatran orangutan is 9.3 years – the longest reported among the great apes, including the Bornean orangutan. Infant orangutans will stay close to their mother for up to three years. Even after that, the young will still associate with their mother. Both orangutan species are likely to live several decades; estimated longevity is more than 50 years. The average of the first reproduction of P. abelii is around 15.4 years old. There is no indication of menopause.

The Sumatran orangutan is endemic to Sumatra island and is particularly restricted to the north of the island. In the wild, Sumatran orangutans survive in the province of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD), the northernmost tip of Sumatra. The primate was once more widespread, as they were found more to the south in the 19th century such as in Jambi and Padang. There are small populations in the North Sumatra province along the border with NAD, particularly in the Lake Toba forests. A survey in the Lake Toba region found only two inhabited areas, Bukit Lawang (defined as the animal sanctuary) and Gunung Leuser National Park. The species has been assessed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List since 2000. It is considered one of "The World's 25 Most Endangered Primates."

A survey in 2004 estimated that around 7,300 Sumatran orangutans still live in the wild. Some of them are being protected in five areas in Gunung Leuser National Park; others live in unprotected areas: northwest and northeast Aceh block, West Batang Toru river, East Sarulla and Sidiangkat. A successful breeding program has been established in Bukit Tiga Puluh National Park in Jambi and Riau provinces.

Nonja, thought to be the world's oldest in captivity or the wild at the time of her death, died at the Miami MetroZoo at the age of 55.

Wayang golek is a traditional form of puppetry from Sunda. Unlike the better-known leather shadow puppets (wayang kulit) found in the rest of Java and Bali, wayang golek puppets are made from wood and are three-dimensional, rather than two. They use a banana palm in which the puppets stand, behind which one puppeteer (dalang) is accompanied by his gamelan orchestra with up to 20 musicians. The gamelan uses a five-note scale as opposed to the seven-note western scale. The musicians are guided by the drummer, who in turn is guided by signals from the puppet master dalang gives to change the mood or pace required. Wayang golek are used by the Sundanese to tell the epic play "Mahabarata" and various other morality type plays.
The three main types of Sundanese bamboo ensembles are angklung, calung, and arumba. The exact features of each ensemble vary according to context, related instruments, and relative popularity.
Angklung with eight pitches

Angklung is a generic term for sets of tuned, shaken bamboo rattles. Angklung consists of a frame upon which hang several different lengths of hollow bamboo. Angklungs are played like handbells, with each instrument played to a different note. Angklung rattles are played in interlocking patterns, usually with only one or two instruments played per person. The ensemble is used in Sundanese processions, sometimes with trance or acrobatics. Performed at life-cycle rituals and feasts (hajat), angklung is believed to maintain balance and harmony in the village. In its most modern incarnation, angklung is performed in schools as an aid to learning about music.

The Angklung got more international attention when Daeng Soetigna, from Bandung, West Java, expanded the angklung notations not only to play traditional pélog or sléndro scales, but also diatonic scale in 1938. Since then, angklung is often played together with other western music instruments in an orchestra. One of the first well-known performances of angklung in an orchestra was during the Bandung Conference in 1955.

Like those in angklung, the instruments of the calung ensemble are of bamboo, but each consists of several differently tuned tubes fixed onto a piece of bamboo; the player holds the instrument in his left hand and strikes it with a beater held in his right. The highest-pitched calung has the greatest number of tubes and the densest musical activity; the lowest-pitched, with two tubes, has the least. Calung is nearly always associated with earthy humor, and is played by men.

Arumba refers to a set of diatonically tuned bamboo xylophones, often played by women. It is frequently joined by modern instruments, including a drum set, electric guitar, bass, and keyboards.
Gamelan orchestra

The musical arts of Sunda, which is an expression of the emotions of Sundanese culture, express politeness and grace of Sundanese. The music is claimed to be some of the most beautiful sounds in the world. Degung orchestra consists of Sundanese gamelan.

In addition to the Sundanese forms of Gamelan in Parahyangan, the region of Cirebon retains its own distinct musical traditions. Amongst Cirebons' varying Gamelan ensembles the two most frequently heard are Gamelan Pelog (a non-equidistant heptatonic tuning system) and Gamelan Prawa (a semi-equidistant pentatonic tuning system). Gamelan Pelog is traditionally reserved for Tayuban, Wayang Cepak, and for listening and dance music of the Kratons in Cirebon. Whereas Gamelan Prawa is traditionally reserved for Wayang Purwa.

Cirebon also retains specialized Gamelan ensembles including: Sekaten, which is played in the Kratons to mark important times in the Islamic calendar. Denggung, also a Kraton ensemble which is believed to have a number of "supernatural powers". And Renteng, an ensemble found in both Cirebon and Parahyangan that is known for its loud and energetic playing style.
According to the 2000 census, East Java has 34 million inhabitants, estimated to increase to 37.4 million in 2010, making it the second most populous Indonesian province after West Java. The inhabitants are predominantly ethnically Javanese. Native minorities include migrants from nearby Madura, and distinct Javanese ethnicities such as the Tengger people in Bromo, the Samin and the Osing people in Banyuwangi. East Java also hosts a significant population of other ethnic groups, such as Chinese, Indians, and Arabs. In addition to the national language, Indonesian, they also speak Javanese. Javanese as spoken in the western East Java is a similar dialect to the one spoken in nearby Central Java, with its hierarchy of high, medium, and low registers. In the eastern cities of Surabaya, Malang, and surrounding areas, a more egalitarian version of Javanese is spoken, with less regard for hierarchy and a richer vocabulary for vulgarity.

Madurese is spoken by around 15 million ethnic Madurese, and is concentrated in Madura Island, Kangean Islands, Masalembu Islands, eastern East Java, and East Java's larger cities.

Hinduism and Buddhism once dominated the island, however, with the arrival of Islam, Hinduism was gradually pushed out in the 14th and 15th century (see the spread of Islam in Indonesia). The last nobles and loyalists of the fallen empire of Majapahit fled from this point to Bali. Islam spread from northern cities in Java where traders from Gujarat, India brought with them Islam. The eastern part of East Java, from Surabaya to Pasuruan, and the cities along the coast, and back to Banyuwangi to Jember, is known as the "horseshoe area" in context with earlier Muslim communities living there.
The oldest human inhabitant archaeological findings in the region were unearthed in Anyer (the western coast of Java) with evidence of bronze and iron metallurgical culture dating to the first millennium AD. The prehistoric Buni (near present-day Bekasi) clay pottery were later developed with evidence found in Anyer to Cirebon. Artefacts (dated from 400 BC - AD 100) such as food and drink containers were found mostly as burial gifts. There is also archeological evidence in Batujaya Archaeological Site dating from the 2nd century,[citation needed] and according to Dr Tony Djubiantono, the head of Bandung Archeology Agency, Jiwa Temple in Batujaya, Karawang, West Java was also built around this time.

The earliest known recorded history is from the former Tarumanagara kingdom where seven fourth century stones are inscribed in Wengi letters (used in the Indian Pallava period) and in Sanskrit describing the kings of the kingdom Tarumanagara. Records of Tarumanegara's administration lasted until the sixth century, which coincides with the attack of Srivijaya as stated in the Kota Kapur inscription (AD 686).

The Sunda kingdom subsequently became the ruling power of the region, as recorded on the Kebon Kopi II inscription (AD 932).

An Ulama, Sunan Gunung Jati, settled in Banten Girang, with the intention of spreading the world of Islam in the pagan town. In the meantime, the Sultanate of Demak in central Java grew to an immediate threat against the Sunda kingdom. To defend against the threat, Prabu Surawisesa Jayaperkosa signed a treaty (known as the Luso Sundanese Treaty) with the Portuguese in 1512. In return, the Portuguese was granted an accession to build fortresses and warehouses in the area, as well as trading agreement with the kingdom. This first international treaty of West Java with the Europeans was commemorated by the placement of the Padrao stone monument at the riverbank of the Ciliwung River in 1522.

Although the treaty with Portuguese had been established, it could not come to realization. Sunda Kalapa harbour fell under the alliance of the Sultanate of Demak and the Sultanate of Cirebon (former vassal state of Sunda kingdom) in 1524 after their troops under Paletehan alias Fadillah Khan had conquered the city. In 1524/1525, their troops under Sunan Gunung Jati also seized the port of Banten and established the Sultanate of Banten which was affiliating with the Sultanate of Demak. The war between the Sunda kingdom with Demak and Cirebon sultanates then continued for five years until a peace treaty were made in 1531 between King Surawisesa and Sunan Gunung Jati. From 1567 to 1579, under the last king Raja Mulya, alias Prabu Surya Kencana, Sunda kingdom declined essentially under the pressure from the Sultanate of Banten. After 1576, the kingdom could not maintain its capital at Pakuan Pajajaran (the present-day Bogor) and gradually the Sultanate of Banten took over the former Sunda kingdom's region. The Mataram Sultanate from central Java also seized the Priangan region, the southeastern part of the kingdom.

In the sixteenth century, the Dutch and the British trading companies established their trading ships in West Java after the falldown of Sultanate of Banten. For the next three hundred years, West Java fell under the Dutch East Indies' administration. West Java was officially declared as a province of Indonesia in 1950, referring to a statement from Staatblad number 378. On October 17, 2000, as part of nationwide political decentralization, Banten was separated from West Java and made into a new province. There have been recent proposals to rename the province Pasundan ("Province of the Sundanese") after the historical name for West Java.
Java has been inhabited by humans or their ancestors (hominina) since prehistorical times. In Central Java and the adjacent territories in East Java remains known as "Java Man" were discovered in the 1890s by the Dutch anatomist and geologist Eugène Dubois. Java Man belongs to the species Homo erectus. They are believed to be about 1.7 millions years old.

Then about 40,000 years ago, Australoid peoples related to modern Australian Aboriginals and Melanesians colonised Central Java. They were assimilated or replaced by Mongoloid Austronesians by about 3000 BC, who brought with them technologies of pottery, outrigger canoes, the bow and arrow, and introduced domesticated pigs, fowls, and dogs. They also introduced cultivated rice and millet.

Recorded history began in Central Java in the 7th century AD. The writing, as well as Hinduism and Buddhism, were brought to Central Java by Indians from South Asia. Central Java was a centre of power in Java back then.

In 664 AD, the Chinese monk Hui-neng visited the Javanese port city he called Hēlíng (訶陵) or Ho-ling, where he translated various Buddhist scriptures into Chinese with the assistance of the Javanese Buddhist monk Jñānabhadra. It is not precisely known what is meant by the name Hēlíng. It used to be considered the Chinese transcription of Kalinga but it now most commonly thought of as a rendering of the name Areng. Hēlíng is believed to be located somewhere between Semarang and Jepara.

The ninth-century Buddhist monument Borobudur built by the Sailendra near the 'nail of Java'.

The ninth-century Buddhist
monument Borobudur built
by the Sailendra near the 'nail of Java'.
The first dated inscription in Central Java is the Inscription of Canggal which is from 732 AD (or 654 Saka). This inscription which hailed from Kedu, is written in Sanskrit in Pallava script. In this inscription it is written that a Shaivite king named Sri Sanjaya established a kingdom called Mataram. Under the reign of Sanjaya's dynasty several monuments such as the Prambanan temple complex were built.

In the meantime a competing dynasty arose, which adhered to Buddhism. This was the Sailendra dynasty, also from Kedu, which built the Borobudur temple.

After 820 there is no more mention of Hēlíng in Chinese records. This fact coincides with the overthrow of the Sailendras by the Sanjayas who restored Shaivism as the dominant religion. Then in the middle of the 10th century, for unknown reason, the centre of power moved to Eastern Java.

A few centuries later, after the destruction of the great Hindu Majapahit Empire in the 15th - 16th centuries by the Central Javanese Muslim kingdom of Demak, the Javanese centre of power moved back to Central Java. In the meanwhile European traders began to frequent Central Javanese ports. The Dutch established a presence in the region through their East India Company.

After Demak itself collapsed, a new kingdom on the Kedu Plain emerged. This new kingdom, which was also a sultanate, bore the old name of Mataram. Under the reign of Sultan Agung, Mataram was able to conquer almost all of Java and beyond by the 17th century, but internal disputes and Dutch intrigues forced Mataram to cede more and more land to the Dutch. These cessions finally led to several partitions of Mataram. The first partition was after the 1755 Treaty of Giyanti. This treaty divided the old kingdom in two, the Sultanate of Surakarta and the Sultanate of Yogyakarta. Then few years later Surakarta was divided again with the establishment of the Mangkunegaran after the Treaty of Salatiga (March 17, 1757).

During the Napoleonic Wars in Europe, Central Java, as part of the Netherlands East-Indies, a Dutch colony, was handed over to the British. In 1813, the Sultanate of Yogyakarta was also divided with the establishment of the Pakualamanan.

The shattered kingdom, Mataram in 1830, after the Java War.

After the British left, the Dutch came back, as decided by the Congress of Vienna. Between 1825 - 1830 the Java War ravaged Central Java. The result of the war was a consolidation of the Dutch power. The power and the territories of the divided kingdom of Mataram were greatly reduced.

However Dutch rule brought modernization to Central Java. In the 1900s the modern province of Central Java, the predecessor of the current one was created. It consisted of five regions or gewesten in Dutch. Surakarta and Yogyakarta were autonomous regions called Vorstenlanden (literally "princely states"). Then after the Indonesian independence the province of Central Java was formalized on August 15, 1950, excluding Yogyakarta but including Surakarta Since then there have been no (major) changes in the administrative division of Central Java.

After the 30 September Movement's abortive coup of 1965, an anti-communist purge took place in Central Java, in which Communists and leftists (both actual and alleged) killed by the army and community vigilante groups. Others were interned in concentration camps, the most infamous of which was on the isle of Buru in the Moluccas (first used as a place of political exile by the Dutch). Many were executed years later but most were released in 1979.

In 1998, preluding the downfall of president Suharto, anti Chinese violence broke out in Surakarta (Solo) and surrounding areas. Much Chinese property and other buildings were burnt down. In 1999, public buildings in Surakarta were burnt again by supporters of Megawati Soekarnoputri after the Indonesia parliament chose Abdurrahman Wahid instead of Soekarnoputri. They carried out 'sweeping actions' against Western foreigners who reside in this city after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The May 2006 Java earthquake in the south and Yogyakarta devastated many buildings and caused thousands of deaths and more than 37,000 injuries. Today, some areas are still under reconstruction.