WHERE HISTORY MEETS PILGRIMAGE: The Graves of Sheikh Yusuf Al-Maqassari and Prince Dipanagara in Madura

George Quinn


This paper focuses on two pilgrimage sites in eastern Madura, the supposed graves of Sheikh Yusuf Al-Maqassari and Prince Dipanagara. It contrasts the scholarly history of these two figures with the stories that have grown up around them in eastern Madura. The Madurese stories of the two figures have shown remarkable resilience in the face of radically different stories that draw their authority from modern scholarship and Indonesian nationalism. The “true” burial places of the two figures are in the city of Makassar, but their “alternative” graves in Madura are sites of vibrant stories that give expression to local history, local story-telling conventions, local nationalist aspirations and the authority of Islam. The vitality of the alternative graves with their alternative origin stories raises several interesting questions about the connection between sites of religious importance and the construction of local identity and history.


Pilgrimage; local history; authority of Islam; nationalist credentials

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DOI: 10.15642/JIIS.2009.3.2.249-266


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