CERAMICS ALONG THE SPICE TRADE ROUTE IN THE INDONESIAN ARCHIPELAGO IN THE 16th-19th CENTURY*

Naniek Harkantiningsih

Abstract


Perdagangan rempah-rempah, merupakan aktivitas komersial yang telah berlangsung sejak masa lampau. Wilayah Nusantara sebagai salah satu penghasil rempah-rempah telah terkait dengan jaringan perdagangan ini khususnya pada abad ke 17 - 18. Munculnya bandar-bandar besar sebagai pelabuhan utama niaga, yang saling terkoneksi satu dengan yang lain, menandai puncak lancarnya perdagangan rempah-rempah jarak jauh, baik antara India, Timur Tengah, Cina, maupun Eropa. Aktivitas ini juga ditandai dengan keberadaan komunitas asing di Nusantara, untuk mencari komoditi itu. Keberadaan komunitas tersebut, berdampak pada variabilitas komoditas yang mereka bawa dari tempat asalnya, salah satunya adalah keramik. Keramik menjadi kunci penting sejarah pelayaran dan perdagangan, karena kita tidak hanya mengenal perdagangan rempah-rempah hanya dari berbagai sumber tertulis, tetapi bersamaan dengan keberadaan keramik, kita menemukan bukti-bukti yang meyakinkan untuk lebih memperjelas gambaran tentang proses perdagangan itu. Dalam konteks kapal karam, keramik dan hasil alam, merupakan bagian dari muatannya. Melalui bukti-bukti komoditi itu kita dapat mengetahui darimana dan bagaimana jaringan antarkomoditas itu terjadi. Tulisan ini, secara khusus akan mengamati jejak aktivitas perdagangan rempah-rempah yang berdampak pada keberadaan barang komoditi lain, yaitu keramik. Keberadaan keramik dan sumber rempah-rempah di Nusantara, dapat dikaitkan sebagai bukti adanya jaringan perdagangan antara negara produsen dan konsumen. Paling tidak pembuktian ini dapat ditelusuri melalui penelitian arkeologi.

The spice trade was one of the worlds ancient commercial activities. The Indonesian Archipelago (Nusantara), as spice producer, was crucial in this trade network, particularly in the 17th 18th century. The emergence of big ports as the main trade harbours marks the peak of the thriving long distance spice trade connecting India, the Middle East, China, and Europe. The trade was also marked by the existence of foreign communities in the archipelago in their search for spice. The presence of foreigners influenced the types of commodities that they brought from their homelands, among which is ceramics. Ceramics were key to the history of sea navigation and trade. The presence of ceramics offered additional detail of the spice trade and evidence of reciprocal relations between spice producers and their consumers. For example, in shipwrecks, we find ceramics and natural product in their cargo and these commodities prove the reciprocal trade relations that took place. This article will particularly discuss the spice trade, which had an impact on the existence of other types of commodities, including ceramics. This can be carried out by means of archaeological investigations.This mode of research can be viewed as one of the regionalinterregional studies to be used as a foundation to reconstruct the ancient trade network.


Keywords


Pelayaran, Perdagangan, Rempah-Rempah, Keramik

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*Dipresentasikan dalam bentuk powerpoint di Symposium on Ancient Silk Trade Routes-Cross Cultural Exchange and Legency in Southeast Asia, 27-28 October 2011, Singapore




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24832/fa.v26i1.62

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