Early Indonesian contact with East Africa

Opiowade (opiowade@aol.com)
29 Nov 1994 18:05:25 -0500

A few years ago, I read an article proposing that Indonesians had not only
made contact with East Africa, but had also penetrated the interior as far
as the kingdom of Buganda. As evidence, the authors tried to compare
styles of Buganda court music with Indonesian musical instruments and
forms such as the Gamelon. I scoffed at the proposal intitially, but
after taking a closer look at Madagascar, I am beginning to entertain the

My question is, can anybody recommend any sources of articles/books
written on the contact of Indonesians with either East Africa or
Madagascar. I know that there was interaction with Madagascar as
evidenced by instruments such as the Valiha (tubular zither made from
bamboo), but I don't know at what time this contact is purported to have
taken place, by whom and to what extent. Any help would be appreciated.

Wade Patterson
Miserable Independent Anthropologist and
Performance Studies Guy
Traditional Ugandan dance and music