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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

MALAYS OF COCOS (KEELING) ISLANDS

The Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean are coral islands developed over volcanic uprise. They are under Australian territory. Darwin visited the islands in 1836.

Temperature ranges between 23-27C and rainfall 2000mm/year. Coconuts are a dominant feature and hence its name Cocos.


Alexander Hare, British entreprenuer-adventurer had dealings with the sultans in Banjarmasin and Java. He left for Cape Town after business-misadventures. Later from C. Town he sailed and landed on Cocos-Keeling in 1826 along with 100 of his workers.

Van der Jagt reported in 1829 there were 36 males, 25 females and 37 children in Cocos. The presnt stock originated mainly from Malays (from Bali, Bima, Sulawesi, Madura, Sumbawa, Timor, Sumatra, Pasir-Kutai, Batawi, Cerebon, Banjarmasin, Pontianak, Tasikmalaya, Kota Waringan, Malacca, Penang) with sprinklings of Chinese, Papuan and African blood.

During the later part of WWII in 1945, a 2000 yard airstrip was built by the Allied Forces that also accomodated 8300 personnel. Thousands of coconut trees were buldozed into the sea.

In 1947 ie. after the war there 1814 inhabitants and life was desperate and food was rationed. It was made worse when Mdm Clunies-Ross and her son John Cecil (the father once managed part of Cocos and its economy) demanded repatriation for the losses during the war. Hundreds left to settle in Sabah, Singapore and  to Christmas Islands.


Now they enjoy good housing.

Fishing is one of their livelihoods.


Harvesting coconut sap from flower stalk to make syrup and sugar.

Basket weaving for own use or tourist market (R).


Quran reading and khenduri Hari Raya.
Time for wedding and dancing.









Reference: Kepulauan Cocos (Keeling): Masyarakat Melayu di Australia. Padilah Ali (penterjemah), 1993, DBP

5 comments:

  1. There is one small community living in Kampung Cocos - Lahad Datu, Sabah. Knew one family, they address themselves as "orang Cocos".

    If I am not mistaken, Datuk Reily Jeffry ex Minister from Sabah (married to Sheril Aida) is from this Kampung?

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  2. Katrina,
    The forefathers of these islanders were of different breed, adventurous if not desperados in those difficult times.

    Cocos nucifera is the botanical of coconut and sure these trees of life are abundant making the islands safer from strong winds apart providing foo, fibre, shelter and income.

    I was trying to recollect the name of the minister and he could be one of the offsprings from Cocos Islands. You seem to know them.

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  3. hi, I was wondering if you can give me more information regarding the grave of Suma? I am of his decendent and i am hopeing you might know where i can get more info? thanks

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  4. hi, I was wondering if you can give me more information regarding the grave of Suma? I am of his decendent and i am hopeing you might know where i can get more info? thanks

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    Replies
    1. I have no information at all on the matter. If I come across any information I will put in this blog. Apologies for the late reply.

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