The Indonesian Isles
The numerous Indonesian Isles is home to numerous groups and tribes all dominated by the two main islands of Java and Sumatra. These islands were the staging ground for two ancient Hindu civilizations, the Sri Vijaya and Majapahit empires and a co-existing Buddhist civilization which created Borobudur.
Islam was introduced by the Arab traders who converted the natives and smaller Moslem kingdoms later arose. The current two kratons (palaces) at Yogya and Solo, both located on Java, are the vestigial foci of these smaller kingdoms.
The island of Bali continued to retain its largely Hindu religion and culture. Nowhere else on this planet has there been such a well-spring of dedicated performance art as part of daily ritual. The various musical arrangements and dances are some of the most complex and refined choreography ever encountered.
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