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Jakarta Post

Martha Christina Tiahahu: The 'kabaressi' heroine of Maluku

Jakarta   /   Sun, April 27 2008   /  12:48 pm

A statue of Martha Christina Tiahahu stands 8 meters tall atop a monument dedicated to the freedom fighter in Ambon, Maluku. (JP/M. Aziz Tunny) While Raden Ajeng Kartini is known as a heroine of women's emancipation, other national heroines were freedom fighters, such as Cut Nyak Dien of Aceh. In Maluku, a brave young woman took up arms along with her male peers against colonizers of the Dutch era. She was Martha Christina Tiahahu. Christina was born in Abubu village, Nusalaut Island, on Jan. 24, 1800. At the age of 17, she joined the guerrilla unit commanded by her father, Kapitan Paulus Tiahahu, in the resistance movement on Nusalaut Island. Their unit also backed Kapitan Pattimura, who led the People's Army on Saparua Island in the Waisisil War against the Dutch. Christina fought in several battles, including the one on Saparua Island in which Dutch commander Ric...