Indonesian Digital History Project 2.0

I created a second wordle from my edited translation of the much longer Gowa Chronicle, which has a similar sets of concerns about social relationships.

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To check these patterns I also created a wordle using the reign of a single ruler, Sultan Ala’uddin, who ruled Gowa until 1639 and famously oversaw its official conversion to Islam. The account of his reign in the chronicle is richer than most, and contains abundant historical details about conquests and other developments during this key period in Makassar’s history. Here it is:

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Still looking this over, but despite the greater richness of reportage about the events of his reign it looks at first glance as if the same concerns about social place and position dominate.

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Impromptu Indonesian History Digital Humanities Project

I created this wordle as an experiment using the text from my translation of the Talloq Chronicle, a seventeenth-century historical manuscript from the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

Talloq Chronicle wordle

One thing this visual representation does superbly is underscore the intense focus on names and titles Рkaraeng and daeng are the two main ones Рin this genre of Makassarese history. Kinship and other relationships are also important, but decidedly secondary. The prominence of nouns over verbs is also striking, and emphasizes again the genealogical nature and function of the chronicle: to locate individuals in their proper web of ancestors and relatives.

What is great about this way of representing information is that of course I knew all this already, but that’s because I spent months reading and translating this text. Someone with no familiarity with the Talloq Chronicle can at a glance gain an intuitive understanding of the social role of this important work.