National Geographic : 1971 Jan
Elevationsin feet 0 100 STATUTEMILES DRAWNBY LEOB. ZEBARTH COMPILEDBYGUNARSJ. RUTINS GEOGRAPHIC ARTDIVISION © NATIONAL GEOGRAPHICSOCIETY Smoldering on Indonesia's lengthy spine, Java counts 61 volcanoes-17 of them ac tive. Political and cultural center of the 3,000-island archipelago and its 125,000,000 people, Java today reflects a mixed his tory of Malay, Hindu, Moslem, and Dutch influences. Monument to fiscal folly: The skeleton of a skyscraper begun under ex-President Sukarno's bankrupt regime stood rusting for four years in Djakarta, capital of Indonesia. Construction resumed in late 1970, financed by a partnership of foreign firms. KODACHROME © N.G.S. important men-statesmen, professors, gen erals-say that the Badui have mystic powers, and understand the future. Is this true?" "People sometimes come to us, believing we can help them," he conceded. "It is not proper to talk of our powers. "We were left here long ago by the Old Queen. We do not know who she was, but she taught us to live as man was meant to live. We must continue in that way." He paused, staring out into the dappled green of the sun-pierced forest. "We are simple people, living peacefully on our sacred land. But others do not understand us." Island Flavored by Many Faiths The sun crossed the top of the sky. We headed down the jungle track, through steamy foliage in which cicadas hummed their sopo rific hymn to heat, bound now for the oppo site end of the Javanese human spectrum. Three hours by foot, three by Land-Rover, and three by car would put us in Djakarta, the roiling and revealing capital of Java and of all Indonesia (map, above). Between the uneven modernity of emer gent Djakarta and the serene simplicity of the Badui village lie thousands of years of history. Malay migrations perhaps as early as 3000 B.C. brought the precursors of most of the present population. Indians came trading in the first century A.D., and by the third, Hinduism and Buddhism were taking hold in Java. For 1,200 years Hindu-Javanese princes ruled with sophistication and style. Then, in the 15th century, other traders brought Islam to Java's north-coast ports.