Tenggara Timur (Southeastern
Islands East) is a province of Indonesia, located in the eastern portion of
the Lesser Sunda Islands, including West Timor. The provincial capital is
Kupang, located on West Timor.
Except for occasional references
found in Javanese
and Chinese sources,
the islands of Nusa Tenggara Timur were not mentioned in historical documents
in any detail until the 16th century, when the Portuguese
arrived in the area. They made Solor (an eastern island off the mainland Flores) the centre
of their trade. Repeated attacks on Solor by Javanese
seafaring traders suggest that the island had already been used as a trading
port by the Javanese of Majapahit. The small island
called Pulau Ende in the Bay of Ende seems to have served the same purpose
In 1561, the first Bishop in Malaka
sent three missionaries to Solor, where, after an attack by Javanese
Muslims, they constructed
a fortress. The Portuguese constructed also a
fortress on Pulau Ende. The two fortresses were the main scenes of the
struggle among the Portuguese, Muslims and, later on, the Dutch.
Even though the formal
transference of Flores from the Portuguese to the Dutch took place as late as
1851 and 1859 (of eastern Flores), the Portuguese began to lose their control
over this part after 1657, when the Dutch East India Company
established Fort Concordia in Kupang and the Dutch began to set a strong hold
on the area.
The Dutch East India Company’s
involvement in eastern Indonesia ended in 1796 when the Company’s charter
expired. Then came a new era of Dutch Colonial rule in the East Indies.
In 1839, the raja of Ende
(Bousou) concluded a contract with the Dutch Colonial Government. By Gouverments
Besluit of 14 Jan. 1879 no. 11. the district was divided into 4 onderafdeelingen
(subdistricts) – Larantuka, North Flores, Solor and Alor. Later the islands were united in the Residentie
Timor en Onderhoorigheden (Timor and Dependencies Residence) which also
In 1938 the
islands became a part of the Groote Oost province which, after Japanese occupation,
became the Negara
Indonesia Timoer in 1946. This state was incoporated into the Republik
Indonesia in 1950. In 1958, Nusa Tenggara Timur was created by law Undang-Undang
No. 64/1958. The province consists of about 550 islands, but is dominated by
the three main islands of Flores, Sumba, and West Timor, the western half of
the island of Timor. The eastern part of Timor is the independent country of
East Timor (Timor
Leste). Some other islands are Adonara, Alor, Komodo, Lembata,
Menipo, Raijua, Rincah, Rote Island (the southernmost island in Indonesia),
Savu, Semau, and Solor.
The province is
divided into twelve regencies.
The achievement of Nusa Tenggara Timur is:
Emblem: A harpoon per bend, charged with a komodo monitor (Varanus komodoensis - Varanidæ), in base a waringin-tree.
Crest: A five-pointed star Or.
Garland: A branch of cotton and an ear of rice.
Motto: NUSA TENGGARA TIMUR on a ribbon in chief and the date 1958 in base.
Backshield: Per bend Gules and Or.
ðSee illustration in the head of this essay.
The Komodo monitor (Varanus
komodoensis) is a large species of lizard found in the Indonesian islands
of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, and Gili Motang. A member of the monitor lizard family
(Varanidae), it is the largest living species of lizard, growing to an
average length of 2 to 3 metres and weighing around 70 kilograms. Their
unusual size has been attributed to island gigantism, since there are no
other carnivorous animals to fill the niche on the islands where they live.
The species is named after Komodo island, situated west of Flores, which is
its main habitat.
were first recorded by Western scientists in 1910. Nevertheless they have a
look- alike in the European heraldic salamander which was the personal
badge of King Francis I of France (1515-’47).
19th century captains (orang brani) on Timor and the adjacent islands were excessively dressed. Short trousers or loinclothes were simple enough but they also wore jewels of silver or ivory and had a large golden plate on their breasts. The sheath of their swords was decorated with colored goat’s hair. On their backs there were large crests made of feathers and all kinds of materials.
A captain from Timor and a
captain from Solor in full war attirement.
Early 19th century. 
After 1895 the islands were supervised by the K.N.I.L. and in WWII were administered by the Japanese Navy. After the war the Dutch Army Command Timor and Onderhoorigheden was stationed on West Timor.
Today Nusa Tenggara Barat is controlled by TNI
Arms of Troepencommando
Timor and Onderhoorigheden
Arms of Kodam IX /Udayana
The horse and horse-shoe were chosen because good carrying horses for the army were bred on Timor.
The bird in the arms of Udayana is the Sang Raja Walik from the achievement of the Republc. On its breast is a corrupted version of a viśvajra or double thunderbolt, the arms of the (tantric-buddhist) heaven, from the Acintya-sculpture in the Bali Museum.
© Hubert de Vries
 From: Temminck, C.J.: Verhandelingen over de Natuurlijke Geschiedenis der Nederlandsche overzeesche bezittingen. 1839-1847