National heroes, by region


Since 1959, the Indonesian government has sought to encourage patriotism by identifying 94 ‘heroes' (85 men and 9 women) who contributed in some way to Indonesian nationhood. Although an effort has been made to ensure that all regions of Indonesia are represented  amongst the designated heroes, not all provinces have a hero, and Java is most heavily represented. 10 November, the anniversary of the 1945 Battle of Surabaya is designated as Heroes' Day, though none of the official heroes was significantly involved in the fighting there. 

Further reading

Abdullah, Taufik, ‘The hero in historical perspective’, Prisma: Indonesian Journal of Social and Economic Affairs no.4 (Nov 1976), pp. 27-32.

Barnard, Timothy P., ‘Local heroes and national consciousness: the politics of historiography in Riau’, Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 153, no.4 (1997), pp. 509-526.

Charnvit Kasetsiri, 'The construction of national heroes and / or heroines', in James T. Siegel and Audrey R. Kahin, eds., Southeast Asia over three generations: essays presented to Benedict R. O'G. Anderson. Ithaca, N.Y.: Southeast Asia Program Publications, 2003. 398p. pp. 13-25.

Miksic, John N., ‘Heroes and heroines in Bagan-Period Myanmar and Early Classic Indonesia’, in Views and visions: proceedings of the views and visions conference, 18-20 December 2000. Yangon: Universities Historical Research Center, 2001, vol.1,pp. 58-71.

Schreiner, Klaus, Politischer Heldenkult in Indonesien: Tradition und moderne Praxis. Hamburg: Dietrich Reimer, 1995.

Schreiner, Klaus H., ‘'National ancestors': the ritual construction of nationhood’, in Henri Chambert-Loir and Anthony Reid, eds., The potent dead: ancestors, saints and heroes in contemporary Indonesia. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2002, pp. 183-204.

Schreiner, Klaus H., ‘The making of national heroes: guided democracy to New Order, 1959-1992’, in Henk Schulte Nordholt, ed., Outward appearances: dressing state and society in Indonesia. Leiden: KITLV, 1997, pp. 259-290.

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


Year span

1992 - 1992