Adatrechtskringen (customary law circles) in the Netherlands Indies, 1918


Although the classification of inhabitants of the Indies according to race was a constant feature of Dutch jurisprudence, the actual practice of classification varied dramatically from era to era. In VOC times, classification was mainly on the basis of religion, and the small number of Indonesian Christians enjoyed what amounted to European legal status until 1854.

Further reading

Kamerling, R.N.J., ed., Indonesiƫ toen en nu. Amsterdam: Intermediar, 1980.

Lev, Daniel S., ‘Colonial law and the genesis of the Indonesian state', Indonesia 40 (Oct 1985), 57-75.

Map number from Cribb, Historical Atlas of Indonesia (2000)


Year span

1918 - 1918