Leyden: Late E.J. Brill, 1906. First English Language Edition. Paperback. First English Edition. NOTE: This is VOL I ONLY of a two-volume set. Numerous Photographs. Three foldouts, of which the last two are multi-colored: 1 (opposite p. 16, app. 48 cm. x 32 cm.), is a schematic of an Achenese Dwelling House; 2 (opposite p. 32, app. 38 cm. x 23 cm.) is a map of Great Acheh and the Neighboring Littoral States; and 3 (opposite p. 64, app. 57 cm. x 40 cm. is a map of Acheh and Its Dependencies).
439 pp. Just a bit of discoloration to rear cover, some wrinkling and ridging to spine, a crease to the edge and very minor corner-thumbing to front. The majority of pages in this book are still uncut, unread, as issued by bindery. Near Fine. Item #68763
Originally published in Dutch as De Atjèhers, 2 vol. 1893–94) ), THE ACHEHNESE is an ethnographic account of the people of northern Sumatra, and has became a standard reference work.
Translated by A. W.S. O'Sullivan, and indexed by R.J. Wilkinson, and issued in English in 1906.
Acheh (Aceh) is an area located at the northern end of Sumatra, separated from several East Indian Islands by the Andaman Sea. Historically, Acheh is considered the epicenter of the spread of Islam in Southeast Asia, and as well, perhaps due to its remote location, is known for its strong sense of independence, resistance to outside influences, etc.
Volume I* describes the geography, populace, Culture (Dress, Food, Luxuries, Dwellings, Household Equipment), Governmental structure, Muslim law in the everyday life of the people, leadership, language (and prohitibed language), sense of time, the seasons (based on Lunar conjunctions) figuring in a central manner in the livelihood-seeking, agriculure, etc. life-cycle events, etc
Volume II, NOT PRESENT, deals more specifically with the religious life of the people.
In 1891, the author was instructed by the Netherlands-India Government to study the effects of "Mohammedan fanaticism" upon "the obstinate resistance of the Achehnese to Dutch rule", found more time and breadth of observation/study of the influence of Islam upon the political social and domestic life of the Achehnese was required, and undertook that work between 1891-1893.
Snouck Hurgronje, fluent in Arabic, was one of the first Western scholars to travel to Mecca and study Islam in that Holy City of Islamic pilgrimage, and indeed, eventually converted to Islam himself. It is to be noted that Hurgronje's intimate knowledge of the language, religion and cultural details (he went on to twice marry native women) put him in an ideal position to help crush the native Achehnese and he figured heavily in the final Dutch conquest of Acheh.
The author explains in his introduction, that shortly after publication the Dutch conquered Acheh and after deliberating whether to reissue the book, or rewrite at very least the first chapter of Volume I,
he and the translator (widely-separated now due to the exigencies of war and official service) decided to leave most of the material as it then stood, only changing what was grossly essential. Interestingly the author admits rather freely that given the volatile political situation within Acheh, changing as it was from day-to-day, perhaps the entire scope of the book, in an ideal world, had to be reconfigured/rewritten.