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Sutan Pangurabaan rewrites Sumatran language landscapes: The political possibilities of commercial print in the late colonial Indies

Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde. 2012;168(1):26-54


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde

ISSN: 0006-2294 (Print); 2213-4379 (Online)

Publisher: BRILL

Society/Institution: Vereniging KITLV (NL)

LCC Subject Category: History (General) and history of Europe: History of Oceania (South Seas) | Language and Literature: Languages and literature of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania

Country of publisher: Netherlands

Language of fulltext: Dutch, English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML



Susan Rodgers


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 20 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

An exploration of the exuberant publishing activities and circa 1930s texts by a largely unknown Sumatran vernacular writer, Sutan Pangurabaan Pane, father of the better-known authors Armijn and Sanusi Pane. Sutan P’s schoolbooks, how-to guides, and antiquarian volumes used Angkola Batak and Indonesian to promote a robust vision of Batak linguistic and cultural excellence. Flying under the radar of Dutch governmental censorship, Sutan P’s many works both mimicked and interrogated European textual forms, in sometimes anxious, ambiguous ways.