Brief History of Lombok Island

Lombok’s history began with a group of animist farmers known as The Sasak, who created a little kingdom sometime before the 17th century. The Sasak made their way to Lombok long before almost all of Indonesia’s other cultural groups settled among the 13, 000 remote islands of the archipelago. It’s believed that the Sasak migrated from either Burma or northwest India, but few archaeological remains exist to confirm this theory. At the first decades, Lombok was made up of dozens of small clans, each ruled by a Sasak prince. There was constant fighting among the groups, which the Arabian Balinese princes used to their benefit when they defeated the island.


The Balinese ruled Lombok from the center of 1700 till the 1890 s, when the Dutch arrived on the scene and endorsed the indigenous Sasaks. The Balinese were pushed out following a series of bloody battles, and Lombok became part of the group of islands known as the Lesser Sunda Islands. Hefty taxes imposed by the Dutch pushed most of Lombok’s peasants to poverty and also Opened the door for Chinese people in business to exploit the commercial vacuum. Things continued in this somewhat tricky way until Indonesia declared its independence in 1945. Sukarno, the first president of Indonesia, strove To regroup Lombok to a larger cluster of islands known as Nusa Tenggara, but the History of Lombok Island team proved hard to govern.

When Sukarno was ousted in 1965, Lombok was thrust into a dark period of murder and oppression, along with some other portions of Indonesia. Anyone who is considered subversive by the new authorities, like communist and ethnic Chinese, was killed or homeless. Initially, the new president Suharto’s somewhat firm New Order plan brought stability and growth to the island until prolonged famine reached a crippling peak in 1973. The majority of the locals moved from Lombok as part of the transmigration program implemented by the authorities. With small agricultural work and several sources, Lombok fell into a silent lull until 1980 when tourism development started to catch on.

Touting itself as a more straightforward, more natural solution to Bali, the tourism industry has slowly but steadily grown. Regrettably, throughout wave of growth along Lombok’s shoreline, many traditional landowners were homeless as outside businesses took over the ground. Indonesia was thrown into political chaos through the late 1990 s, in response to widespread corruption. Lombok was caught up in civil unrest, and students in Mataram and Praya waged protests leading to a significant decline in the tourism industry. Considering that the riots in 2000, tourists have continued to arrive in Lombok. Now considered a safe and stable travel destination, Lombok is a popular choice for its developed neighbor, Bali.