Indonesia: Kittim, Khitai & Cathay

Chapter VIII

The third son born to Javan is Kitti translated solely in the plural, Kittim. There are a number of Bible verses attributed to him and his role in our civilisation is evolving as I write. A key player, growing in world affairs. A nation similar to China so-to-speak, in that it is awakening and beginning to flex its muscles.  

Israel a History of:

Kittim has been understood to refer to Cyprus. It is plausible that the Hebrew term “Ma-Kittim”, meaning “the land of Kittim”, perhaps developed into the term “Macedonia”.’

Herman Hoeh states:

‘The descendants of Kittim first settled on the island of Cyprus and then migrated into Southern Italy. This is simply proved by checking the historical fulfillment of Daniel 11:30. The “ships of Kittim” were Roman fleets* sailing from Cyprus. In modern times many Spanish and Portugese people (as well as Italians and a few Greeks) have migrated to the New World. These are the lands of Javan today.’ 

We have learned that Javan descends from Japheth and is an East Asian branch of the family tree, not European. The Latin peoples of southern Europe do not descend from Japheth. The Kittim travelled throughout the Mediterranean before their huge eastward arc towards Asia. It is not accurate to think that the Chinese were the Khitai, or called themselves by that name. The region to the west of China was known as Khitai by other peoples – becoming Cathay – as they could only migrate eastwards until they arrived upon the Khitan Empire, ruled by the Khitais. The real China was further east beyond Khitan lands. The peoples who dwelt around the Yellow River delta region would refer to themselves by the specific Dynasty during which time they lived.

Early after the flood, Kitti settled in present day Larnaca on the east coast of Cyprus, known in ancient times as Kition and in Latin, Citium. The whole Island became known as Kittim in Hebrew. The name was employed loosely in Hebrew literature, so it was often applied to all the Aegean islands and even to the West in general – especially the seafaring West.* 

Flavius Josephus circa 100 CE records in his Antiquities of the Jews that Cethimus a son of Javan possessed the island Cethima: ‘it is now called Cyprus; and from that it is that all islands, and the greatest part of the sea coasts, are named Cethim by the Hebrews…’

The expression ‘isles of Kittim’, found in the Books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel indicates that some centuries prior to Josephus, this designation had become a broad description for the Mediterranean islands. As Dr Hoeh says, this designation was further extended to apply to the Romans, Macedonians and Seleucid Greeks. The Septuagint translates the use of Kittim in the Book of Daniel 11:30 as Romans. 1 Maccabees 1:1 states that: Alexander the Great the Macedonian, had originated from the ‘land of Kittim’ – in reality, the ancient and at one time home of the Kittim. By this later time, Hoeh describes the real Kitti had long left the Mediterranean. As they were a prominent people, their legacy of territory and influence lingered in southern Europe through use of their name. 

In the War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness from the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Kittim are referred to as being of Asshur. Eleazar Sukenik argued that this reference to Asshur, refers to the Seleucid Empire which controlled the territory of the former Assyrian Empire; though his son Yigael Yadin, interpreted this phrase as a veiled reference to the Romans. Some authors have speculated that Kittim comes from an Akkadian word meaning invaders. Others have identified Kittim with the land of Hatti [Khatti] and the Hittite Empire. We will learn that neither the Romans or the Hittites are descended from Japheth.

The mediaeval rabbinic compilation Yosippon, says the Kittim camped in Campania and built a city called Posomanga, while descendants of Tubal camped in neighbouring Tuscany and built Sabino, with the Tiber river as their frontier. They soon went to war following the rape of certain sabines by the Kittim, who are equated with the Romans. The war ended when the Kittim showed the descendants of Tubal their mutual progeny. They then built cities called Porto, Albano, and Aresah. Later, their territory is occupied by Agnias, King of Carthage. This may be an accurate account if it relates to between 8500 – 6000 BCE. If later than this, then these would be European peoples living where Kitti and Tubal once did and their names have been appropriated. Possibly, the people being described with former names, are the early Romans and Etruscans.

The name Kitti in Hebrew signifies: ‘Beaters, Pulverizers’ from the verb katat, ‘to beat or hammer.’ Recall the two sons of Gomer: Riphath of Cambodia and Togarmah of North and South Korea. Their names broadly mean respectively, ‘Crusher’ and ‘Bone Breaker.’

Abarim Publications:

The name Kittim is a plural form of Kitty, although this singular doesn’t occur in Scriptures. 

The alternative plural form Kittiyyiym, occurs in Isaiah 23:12 and Jeremiah 2:10. 

The verb… means to beat or hammer, either to forge swords and ploughs and such, or to fragment and disperse of whatever is beaten. Adjective (katit) literally means beaten, but occurs only to denote a costly oil from beaten fruits. Noun (mekitta) refers to anything crushed or pulverised… Jones’ Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names… reads Subduers.’

The people of Indonesia are the modern descendants of Kittim.

The Republic of Indonesia consists of an astounding 18,108 islands; which include the larger islands of Sumatra, Java, Borneo – Kalimantan in Indonesian – Bali, Sulawesi, formerly Celebes, Flores, West Timor and New Guinea. Indonesia is the world’s largest island country and the fourteenth largest country by land area at 735,358 square miles. With 280,481,970 people, it is the world’s fourth most populated country as well as the most populous Muslim majority nation. Java is the world’s most populous island and home to over half of the country’s population. Notice the similarity between the main island of Indonesia, Java and Kitti’s father, Javan.

The country’s capital Jakarta, is the second highest urban populated area in the world. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor and the eastern part of Malaysia and despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has enormous areas of wilderness that support one of the world’s highest levels of biodiversity.

The Indonesian archipelago has been a valuable region for trade since the seventh century when Srivijaya and later Majapahit, traded with people from mainland China and the Indian subcontinent. Local rulers absorbed foreign influences and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished. Sunni traders and Sufi scholars introduced Islam, while Europeans brought Christianity through colonisation. 

The first Europeans arrived in 1512, when Portuguese traders sought to monopolise sources of nutmeg and cloves. Dutch and British traders followed and in 1602, the Dutch established the Dutch East India Company. The politically dominant Javanese, are the largest ethnic group, constituting 40.2% of the population.They are predominantly located in the central to eastern parts of Java. The country’s official language is Indonesian, a variant of Malay. Most Indonesians speak at least one of more than seven hundred local languages,often as their first language; still, Javanese is the most widely spoken.

Intermittently interrupted by the Portuguese, French and British, the Dutch were the foremost colonial power for much of their three hundred and fifty year presence in the archipelago. The country proclaimed its independence in 1945, though it was not until 1949 that the Dutch recognised Indonesia’s sovereignty following an armed and diplomatic conflict between the two nations.

In 1850, George Earl an English ethnologist, proposed the term Indunesians, though preferring Malayunesians, for the inhabitants of the Indian Archipelago. One of his students James Logan, used Indonesia as a synonym for the Indian Archipelago. Dutch writers in East Indies publications, preferred the Malay Archipelago. The name Indonesia derives from Greek Indos and the word nesos, meaning ‘Indian islands’.

The economy of Indonesia is the largest in Southeast Asia, one of the emerging market economies of the world and a member of the G20. It is the 16th largest economy in the world by nominal GDP [$1.12 trillion] and the 7th largest in terms of GDP. In 2012, Indonesia replaced India as the second fastest-growing G-20 economy, behind China.

‘The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Indonesian global shipments during 2021. 

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$45.1 billion (19.8% of total exports)
  2. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $32.8 billion (14.4%)
  3. Iron, steel: $20.9 billion (9.2%)
  4. Vehicles: $8.6 billion (3.8%)
  5. Electrical machinery, equipment: $8.5 billion (3.7%)
  6. Rubber, rubber articles: $7.1 billion (3.1%)
  7. Other chemical goods: $6.9 billion (3%)
  8. Ores, slag, ash: $6.4 billion (2.8%)
  9. Machinery including computers: $6.3 billion (2.8%)
  10. Footwear: $6.2 billion (2.7%)

Ores, slag and ash represents the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 96.3% from 2020 to 2021. That product category was galvanized by Indonesia’s higher international sales of exported copper ores and concentrates. In second place for improving export sales were the materials iron and steel via a 93.1% gain.’ 

Indonesia is a paradox as it has played a modest, back-seat role in the world economy since its independence. Its importance has been considerably less than its size, abundant natural resources and geographic location would seem to warrant. Kittim has not yet gotten into full-swing and we will likely witness a transformation of its influence on the world stage. It is one of the top four with South Korea, in the Next Eleven – 21st century economic potential – nations and as the world’s biggest Islamic Nation, a contender as the potential leader, or influencing nation of the Muslim world.

The prophet Balaam provides a future prophecy on specific nations, including Kitti.

Numbers 24:24

English Standard Version

But ships shall come from Kittim and shall afflict [H6031 – anah, meaning: to afflict, abase or humble (one self)]  Asshur and Eber; and he too shall come to utter destruction.”

Some have misleadingly translated Kittim as Cyprus or Italy. At some point, Indonesia’s military and naval power will either be formidable enough to fight Russia and Western Europe, or the verse is a veiled reference to a naval cavalcade of various nations travelling from a base in Kittim. A confederation of states linked to the King of the South, as written in the Book of Daniel^ is described. It also appears from the Hebrew word anah, that it could be the ships from Kittim that are humbled.

Isaiah gives a prophecy on Tyre and its demise in chapter 23:1, 12 NCV:

This is a message about Tyre: You trading ships [Tarshish], cry! The houses and harbor of Tyre are destroyed. This news came to the ships from the land of [Kittim].He said, “Sidon, you will not rejoice any longer, because you are destroyed. Even if you cross the sea to [Kittim], you will not find a place to rest.”

Jeremiah 2:10

King James Version

For pass over the isles of Chittim…

Ezekiel 27:6

Young’s Literal Translation

Of oaks of Bashan they made thine oars [ship building], Thy bench they have made of ivory, A branch [H1323 – bath, meaning: daughter, town, company, first] of Ashurim from isles of Chittim.

Ship building is a growing industry in Indonesia, presently in the shadow of Japan and Malaysia. Later, we will learn the significance of Bashan and ships. The second part of the verse links Kitti and seemingly a great grandson of Abraham. Most translations inaccurately translate as Asshur the second son of Shem, possibly following the relationship shown in Numbers 24:24. See Genesis 25:3 and the individual Ashurim and the Ashurites. We will discover that the descendants of Ashurim – also listed in the plural – have had an historical link with Kittim and Indonesia. The Hebrew word used in Ezekiel is not the same as the one used for Abraham’s grandson in Genesis, though it is a closer match than the Hebrew word used for Jacob’s son Asher in Genesis chapter forty-nine. Yet, Asher the son of Jacob can not be ruled out of contention, as we will learn that their close geographic location with Kitti, is an uncanny irony.

Daniel chapter Eleven^ contains the single longest prophecy in the Bible, which chronicles thousands of years and on into the future. The early part of the chapter references -somewhat confusingly – Greece or Javan; actually the Greco-Macedonian Empire and its confrontation with the existing, ruling Medo-Persian Empire. The players of north and south, subtly change over the centuries. Towards the end of the chapter the Kings of the North and South have shifted from a Mediterranean – Middle Eastern – orientation to a global power struggle. We read in Daniel 11: 15, 18, 29-30:

English Standard Version

Then the king of the north shall come… Afterward he shall turn his face to the coastlands [Javan]^and shall capture many of them… At the time appointed he shall return and come into the south, but it shall not be this time as it was before. For ships of Kittim shall come against him, and he shall be afraid and withdraw, and shall turn back and be enraged and take action against the holy covenant.

Sometimes translated unhelpfully, as ships from the west. The interlinear says: ‘For ships Chittim shall come…’ It does not include ‘of’ or ‘from’ in the Hebrew, though I consider the inference is from more than that of, Kittim. We learned in Numbers 24:24 that Kitti fights against Asshur and Eber – an alliance of Russia and Western Europe. Asshur or Assyria is revealed as a future King of the North. The King of the North attacks the coastlands of Southeast Asia. Kitti is either part of those nations amalgamated with the King of the South – a united Islamic bloc comprising the principal nations of Turkey, Iran and Pakistan, or accommodates a military and naval presence within its strategically positioned borders in southeast Asian waters.

These verses in Daniel chapter Eleven, highlight a beginning point of a specific time period, that includes actions of magnitude performed by important and specific individuals in the future. The significance of this is considerable and we shall return to it in detail when we study Shem’s son, Asshur and also Nimrod [refer Chapter XX Will the Real Assyria Stand Up: Asshur & Russia and Chapter XXI The Incredible Identity, Origin & Destiny of Nimrod].

Geneticist Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, claims there is a genetic division between Eastern Orientals and Southeast Asians and Zhou Jixu agrees, that there is a physical difference between these two populations. The complexity of the genetic data has led to serious doubt amongst scientists about the usefulness of the concept of an Asian race, as distinctive Asian features clearly represent separate lines… of the sons of Japheth.

After studying all four of Javan’s sons, it will be understood that those sons of Japheth located in Asia, such as Madai, Gomer and Javan are all divergent and distinctive lines  of descent. As there are a number of lineages from Japheth’s sons, this does not discount an overall East Asian identity. There is variety within the Asian genome, for Japheth had seven sons. We have seen already, the core Y-DNA Haplogroups for instance, being exhibited of C, K and O and in lesser degree, D and Q.

Indonesian man

Austronesian Indonesians are genetically close to southeast Asians, while the further east one travels the more inhabitants of the Indonesian islands region exhibit a Melanesian affinity. Prominent mt-DNA Haplogroups – of which we are now quite familiar – include the prevalent southeastern Asian M, F, B and also Y2 in the western regions of Indonesia, the speakers of Austronesian languages and spoken in Southeast Asia, the Pacific islands and Madagascar. In the eastern island chains of Indonesia it is mainly Haplogroups Q and P, found amongst non-Austronesian speakers. 

Indonesian woman

The Indonesian archipelago: an ancient genetic highway linking Asia and the Pacific, multiple authors, 2013 – emphasis & bold mine:

‘Indonesia, an island nation linking mainland Asia with the Pacific world, hosts a wide range of linguistic, ethnic and genetic diversity. Despite the complexity of this cultural environment, genetic studies in Indonesia remain surprisingly sparse. The haplotype diversity of communities ranged from 0.862 – 0.996, which indicates that most individuals within these groups carry unique mtDNA lineages. The most diverse communities are found in eastern parts of the archipelago (Sumba, Flores, Pantar and Alor), where both Asian and Papuan lineages occur side by side.

Haplogroup frequencies differ between western and eastern Indonesia… In the west, haplogroups B5a (12%), B4c1b3 (9%) and Y2 (10.5%) are carried by a third of individuals. These haplogroups, frequent in western Indonesia, are notable by their near absence in eastern Indonesia. In the east, haplogroups F1a4 (8.7%), Q including Q1 and Q2 (7.7%), P (2.8%) and B4a1a1a (2.3%) represent nearly a quarter of individuals. 

Correspondingly, these haplogroups are rare or absent in western Indonesia, which is expected for lineages with strong Papuan connections (P and Q), but more surprising for lineages like the Polynesian motif (B4a1a1a). The Polynesian motif is found as far west as Bali, albeit in just two individuals (0.4%). However, it was not detected in samples from the western Indonesian islands of Java, Sumatra, Nias and Mentawai, even though this region is thought to have contributed to the settlement of Madagascar where the Polynesian motif is carried by nearly a third of individuals. The prevalence of the Polynesian motif in Madagascar, and its absence from the island region where the inhabitants of Madagascar originated, has yet to be satisfactorily explained. [A subsequent article in 2015 answers the question].’**

‘We compared the distribution of Indonesian mtDNA haplogroups with those of surrounding populations… Most haplogroups are shared. The deep maternal lineages M17a, M73, M47, N21, N22, R21, R22 and R23 have patchy distributions across mainland and island southeast Asia, likely reflecting ancient maternal lineages tracing back to the first settlers in this region. Four of these lineages (M17a, N21, R22 and R23) reach higher frequencies in western compared with eastern Indonesia… Owing to proposed population origins of Austronesian language speakers in Taiwan, Indonesian links to the Philippines and indigenous Taiwanese are of especial interest. These three locations share four haplogroups (E1a1a, M7b3, M7c3c and Y2), which have previously been suggested as candidates for a mid-Holocene dispersal out of Taiwan… lineages shared with Filipinos and indigenous Taiwanese are generally more common in the east than in the west of Indonesia. The exceptions are Y2 and M7c3c…

Alternative hypotheses, such as Austronesian groups originating in and dispersing from Indonesia, remain possible, with many genetic lineages in Indonesia showing old and local connections. Models combining these two extremes may ultimately be the best predictors. We envisage some genetic contributions from Taiwan, possibly including speakers of early Austronesian languages, with a substantial biological heritage from waves of ancestral populations arriving in island southeast Asia… ancestral-derived haplotype orders are consistent with a rapid expansion from Taiwan to the Philippines and Indonesia, but population dispersals in the opposite direction are equally likely. Although we provide haplogroup dates with some reluctance, we note that relative ages are inconsistent with a simple dispersal from Taiwan to the Philippines, and thence to Indonesia. Instead, they seem a better fit to widespread population movements within island southeast Asia during the Holocene.

The Polynesian motif is also generally associated with a Taiwanese dispersal, but actually possesses an unusual geographical distribution. The ancestral form occurs widely throughout mainland and island southeast Asia. However, the Polynesian motif itself is found only at low frequency in the Philippines (0.5%) and eastern Indonesia (2.3%). Although frequencies reach as high as 7.4% on Timor, the lineage is found no further west than Bali (0.4%, or just 2 of 457 individuals). This is consistent with a proposed origin in island Melanesia, but notably conflicts with the high frequency of the Polynesian motif in Madagascar… We suggest that an inclusive framework that describes the full distribution of this unusual mtDNA lineage is still lacking. Nevertheless, an unambiguous connection with population dispersals from Taiwan during the Neolithic seems increasingly unlikely.

In comparisons with neighboring populations, Indonesia’s closest genetic connections lie toward mainland [Elishah – Malaysia] and island southeast Asia [Dodanim – Philippines] rather than Oceania [Rodanim]the only mtDNA lineage found across all Indonesian island groups is M7c3c, but this haplogroup, while also present in Taiwan and the Philippines, appears to be absent from other Austronesian-speaking populations in Oceania. Therefore, no single shared mtDNA lineage links all speakers of Austronesian languages, even if only at low frequency. Instead, Austronesian populations are characterized more by their diversity than by any shared genetic inheritance.’ 

Genetic Admixture History of Eastern Indonesia as Revealed by Y-Chromosome and Mitochondrial DNA Analysis, multiple authors, 2009 – emphasis & bold mine:

‘Eastern Indonesia possesses more linguistic diversity than any other region in Southeast Asia, with both Austronesian (AN) languages that are of East Asian origin, as well as non-Austronesian (NAN) languages of likely Melanesian origin. Here, we investigated the genetic history of human populations from seven eastern Indonesian [EI] islands, including AN and NAN speakers, as well as the relationship between languages and genes, by means of nonrecombining Y-chromosomal (NRY) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis. We found that the eastern Indonesian gene pool consists of East Asian as well as Melanesian components, as might be expected based on linguistic evidence… In addition, we noted a small fraction of the NRY and mtDNA data shared between eastern Indonesians and Australian Aborigines likely reflecting an ancient link between Asia and Australia.^^

All AN languages trace back to a common ancestral language (Proto-AN) and are thought to have spread by an expansion that started about 5,500 – 6,000 years ago in Taiwan with an assumed ultimate origin in East Asia… Furthermore, we identified at least two haplogroups (Q1 and Q2) that were previously suggested to be of Melanesian origin… whereas our new data suggest they might be of EI origin instead. Moreover, the mtDNA sequence diversity within haplogroup Q1 was very high in EI (0.967 ± 0.01) making it somewhat unlikely that this haplogroup exists in EI as a result of a recent migration from Melanesia… 

We found NRY haplogroup C-RPS4Y in surprisingly high frequency in EI, accounting for 14.2% of all EI Y-chromosomes… which is the highest frequency of any region in our current and previous data set… The RPS4YT mutation characterizing the major haplogroup C represents one of the two oldest branches of the NRY tree in Asia/Oceania (in addition to M9)… It most likely represents the oldest NRY haplogroup of Asian origin in EI. Haplogroup C-RPS4Y has not been reported in East Asia or Polynesia, is almost completely absent from Melanesia (reported so far from one male from coastal PNG and one Fijian), and is very rare in Southeast Asia (outside EI)… However, this NRY lineage was previously found at an appreciable frequency (∼10%) in northern Australian Aborigines… and also, albeit less frequently (∼1.3%), in central Australian Aborigines…^^ Extremely high frequencies of C-RPS4Y (xM38) (92%) were also previously found in males from Cibol on Flores… C-RPS4Y^ was also previously found in India, albeit in low frequency, and was used to support an ancient genetic link between India and Australia.’ [This writer considers a historical and genetic link between the Indian Dravidian and the Australian Aborigine a distinct possibility – refer Chapter VII Javan: Archipelago South East Asia & Polynesia and Chapter XIII India & Pakistan: Cush & Phut]. 

Mitochondrial DNA and the Y chromosome suggest the settlement of Madagascar by Indonesian sea nomad populations, multiple authors, 2015 – emphasis & bold mine: 

‘Linguistic, cultural and genetic characteristics of the Malagasy suggest that both Africans and Island Southeast Asians were involved in the colonization of Madagascar. 

Populations from the Indonesian archipelago played an especially important role because linguistic evidence suggests that the Malagasy language branches from the Southeast Barito language family of southern Borneo, Indonesia, with the closest language spoken today by the Ma’anyan. A combination of phylogeographic analysis of genetic distances, haplotype comparisons and inference of parental populations by linear optimization, using both maternal and paternal DNA lineages, suggests that Malagasy derive from multiple regional sources in Indonesia, with a focus on eastern Borneo, southern Sulawesi and the Lesser Sunda islands.**

Prior to the European colonial period, Austronesian-speaking populations were the most widespread of any language family. While most groups speaking Austronesian languages moved eastward, settling the Pacific Ocean, others moved westward through the Indian Ocean, reaching eastern Africa and Madagascar. Dispersing halfway around the world within the past two millennia, the Austronesian expansion is often considered the last substantial wave of migration in human prehistory.

A recent study of genome-wide SNP data suggests that the western and central regions of Indonesia (Java/Borneo/Sulawesi) have the closest genetic connections with Malagasy. This is in agreement with previous studies of uniparental markers (mtDNA and the Y chromosome), which found genetic affinity between Malagasy and western Indonesian populations. A key lineage linking Indonesia and Madagascar is the Polynesian motif (a mitochondrial DNA haplogroup, B4a1a1, characterized by the polymorphisms A14022G, T16217C, A16247G and C16261T).

More recently, it has been recognized that Malagasy carry specific point mutation variants (mtDNA nucleotides 1473 and 3423), which together have been termed the Malagasy motif. This Malagasy version of the Polynesian motif is distributed throughout Madagascar with frequencies in specific ethnic groups ranging from 11-50%. While still debated, this relatively homogenous distribution has been interpreted as supporting the first arrival of the Polynesian motif during an early phase of Madagascar’s settlement. To date, the Malagasy motif has not been found in Indonesia, or anywhere else outside Madagascar. 

Based on analysis of 96 Y chromosome binary markers… the majority of men in the Ma’anyan, Lebbo’ and Bajo carry haplogroups previously found in Southeast Asia, particularly C, K, and O… Among the haplogroups shared between Malagasy and Indonesians… four originated in Island Southeast Asia (C, O1a, O1a2, O2a1), while six have western Eurasian origins (J1, J2, J2b, T, L and R1a). The Ma’anyan and five other Indonesian groups, all located around the Sulawesi sea (east Kalimantan Dayak, Java, Bali, Mandar and Sumba), share four of these Island Southeast Asian haplogroups. Importantly, Malagasy uniquely share just one subhaplogroup (O2a1a1-M88) with Ma’anyan, and this lineage has not been discovered in other regions of Indonesia. O2a1a1 may therefore be a marker of male genetic contributions from southern Borneo to Madagascar. 

Malagasy and Indonesians share mitochondrial haplogroups B4a1a, B4a1a1 (Polynesian motif), E1a1a, F3b, M7c1a4a, M32c and Q1… Of these, B4a1a1, E1a1a and Q1 are found exclusively in eastern Indonesia. Conversely, F3b, B4a1a and M7c1a4a occur ubiquitously across both eastern and western Indonesia, and M32c has been observed in only one Javanese individual.

The Polynesian motif (B4a1a1) is considered strong evidence of Indonesian gene flow into Madagascar, where a variant is found at moderate frequency (11-50%).With the exception of Bali… B4a1a1 only occurs in eastern Indonesia. Considering the restricted geographic distribution of the Polynesian motif, it is most likely that this lineage from Madagascar traces back to eastern rather than western Indonesia.

Malagasy and Indonesians share ten haplotypes in seven haplogroups… two haplotypes each in B4a1a and B4a1a1; three haplotypes in M7c1a4a; and one haplotype in each of the other shared haplogroups… eastern Indonesian populations tend to share more haplotypes with Malagasy than western Indonesian groups. We propose that the settlement of Madagascar had an Indonesian source location around southern Sulawesi, the Lesser Sunda islands and eastern Borneo.’

What we have learned thus far, from particularly Gomer and Javan; is the high percentage levels and predominant occurrence of the key Y-DNA Haplogroups O, C, K and a lesser degree, D and Q. The peoples of Indonesia are no different and expectedly reveal a similar Haplogroup pattern. With that in mind – as we have just seen from the origin of the Polynesian element in the Madagascans – Indonesia has an extremely diverse set of peoples inhabiting its myriad island chain. Whether they be Malay, Polynesian or Melanesian. Travelling from west to east, a selection of the prominent Islands, exhibit the following major Austronesian Y-DNA Haplogroups.

Sumatra:  O2 – O1a – O1b – F – C – K – D

Java:         O1b – O1a – O2 – C – K 

Bali:          O1b – O1a – O2 – C – K – Q 

Borneo:    O2 – C – O1b – O1a – F

Sulawesi:  C – O1a – O2 – O1b – K – F 

Sumatra has a population of nearly sixty million people and its Haplogroup sequence contributes heavily to the Indonesian total. Sumatra is distinct from the other Indonesian islands and has a passing resemblance with the Filipinos.

Sumatra: O2 [39.8%] – O1a [17.5%] – O1b [14%] – F [14%] –

C [5.3%] – K [3.5%] D [1.8%]  

Java has the highest number of people in Indonesia with nearly one hundred and fifty million people, over half the Indonesian total and dominating the Indonesian Y-DNA Haplogroup pool. 

Java: O1b [41.5%] – O1a [22.6%] – O2 [22.6%] – C [1.9%] –

K [1.9%]   

Java sits in stark contrast with Sumatra and though not aligned closely, Java has a closer match with the 0.7 million people of Bali, over any other island or nation in south east Asia.

Bali: O1b [58.8%] – O1a [18.1%] – O2  [6.9%] – C  [1.8%] –

K  [1.1%] – Q [0.4%]      

Borneo with approximately twenty-five million people and Sulawesi with twenty million people also share more in common genetically, even though not closely aligned. 

Borneo:    O2 [36%] – C [22.1%] – O1b [20.9%] – O1a [9.3%] –

F [2.3%]

Sulawesi: C [22.2%] – O1a [21.4%] – O2  [16.7%] – O1b [13%] –

K  [7.4%] – F [5.6%]

The Melanesian Y-DNA Haplogroups – again travelling west to east – show the following.

Bali:                 O -C – K – M – S

Sulawesi:        O – C – K – S – M

Flores:             C1 – C – S – K – O – M

East Timor:    C1 – K – O – S – C – M

West Papua:   C1 – M – K – O

The Bali percentages for O, C and K are the same as above, with the addition of M at 0.7% and S at 0.4%. Sulawesi is again similar, with the addition of S at 5.1% and M at 1.1%. The remaining three islands in Indonesia have the following Y-DNA Haplogroups.

Flores: C1 [39.4%] – C [23.9%] – S [12.7%] – K [11.3%] –

O 8.5%] – M [2.8%] 

East Timor: C1 [35.9%] – K [17.9%] – O [17.9%] – S [12.8%] –

C [7.7%] – M [7.7%] 

West Papua: C1 [44.4%] – M [29.3%] – K [23.3%] – O [3%] 

The islands of Flores with two million people, East Timor – a separate sovereign state, outside Indonesia – with 1.5 million people and West Papua, with one million people show the Haplogroup evidence of the Melanesian component in their demographics. West Timor is part of Indonesia, with a population of two million people and shares the Island of Timor with East Timor. 

West Papua is part of Indonesian New Guinea with Papua, which has five million people and they both share the western half of New Guinea with Papua New Guinea in the eastern half, which has a population of nearly nine million people and is a separate, distinct nation. 

While the western half of New Guinea was a Dutch colony, the north-eastern region was once a German colony and the south-eastern territory a British colony. Papua New Guinea is a mineral power and the fifth biggest country in terms of natural mineral reserves; holding about $222 billion worth of reserves of bauxite, the commercial ore of Aluminum. The country is estimated to hold up to 24% of the total bauxite reserves in the world.

Bali:                 O [84%]   C  [1.8%]                       K [1.1%]     M   [0.7%]   S [0.4%]  

Sulawesi:        O [64%]   C  [11%]     C1  [11%]    K  [6%]      M    [1.1%]   S   [5%]     

Flores:             O   [9%]   C [24%]     C1 [39%]    K [11%]      M    [3%]     S [13%]    

East Timor:    O [18%]   C   [8%]     C1 [36%]    K [18%]      M    [8%]    S [13%]   

West Papua:   O   [3%]   C [44%]                         K [23%]      M [39%]  

A survey of the Melanesian Y-DNA Haplogroups shows the sharp lessening of the prime East Asian and Southeast Asian Haplogroup O and the steep increasing percentages of the typical Melanesian Haplogroups of M, S and in part, K. Haplogroup S is mainly confined to the Melanesian peoples of Indonesia [refer Chapter VII Javan: Archipelago South East Asia & Polynesia].

The specific Haplogroups for East Timor include the following, which are in bold for typically Melanesian, italicised for typically South East Asian and both for those which reflect an indigenous Eastern Indonesian origin. 

Y-DNA:  C-M38, K-M9, S-M254, M-M4, M-P34, C-RPS4Y^, O-M119 [O1a]

mtDNA: P1, Q1, R14, B, B4a, F1a, R9c, E1a, E1b, E2, Polynesian motif.

Taiwan:           O1a  [66%]   O1b  [11%]     O2a1  [11%]   C   [0.4%]

Korea:              O1a    [3%]   O1b [33%]     O2a1 [42%]   C   [13%]   K  [0.5%] 

Vietnam:         O1a    [6%]   O1b  [33%]    O2a1  [40%]  C     [4%] 

Philippines:    O1a  [28%]   O1b   [3%]     O2a1  [39%]  C     [5%]   K [20%]  

Sumatra:         O1a  [18%]   O1b  [14%]     O2a1 [40%]   C     [5%]   K   [4%] 

Malaysia:        O1a    [8%]   O1b  [32%]     O2a1 [30%]   C    [6%]   K   [8%] 

Java:                O1a  [23%]   O1b  [42%]     O2a1 [23%]   C    [2%]    K  [2%]   

Bali:                  O1a  [18%]  O1b   [59%]    O2a1    [7%]   C    [2%]    K   [1%] 

Borneo:            O1a    [9%]  O1b   [21%]    O2a1  [36%]   C   [22%] 

Sulawesi:         O1a  [21%]   O1b   [13%]    O2a1  [17%]   C   [22%]   K   [7%] 

Comparing the selected five nations from Gomer and Javan with the five regions of Kittim shows that Sumatra appears to have the closest alignment overall with the Philippines and Dodan. Borneo and Sulawesi have more in common with each other, than they they do with either Malaysia or the Philippines. Similarly, Java and Bali are more closely aligned to each other. Though, as Indonesian Haplogroups are influenced by the majority of their population living on Java; the closest affinity of the overall Indonesian or Kittim Haplogroup sequence is with Malaysia and Elishah. 

                             O     O2a1   O1a   O1b     C       D      K     Q

Sumatra             72        40       18       14        5       2       4  

Java                    88        23       23      42        2                2  

Bali                     84           7       18       59       2                 1     0.4         

Borneo               66        36         9       21      22

Sulawesi             51        17        21       13      22                7      

Indonesia          69        29       18       23      13     0.5     3     

Indonesia possesses a high percentage of Haplogroup O overall and low percentages of the other East Asian marker Y-DNA Haplogroups comprising C, K, D and Q. Java as representative of Indonesia due to its size, is high in O1a and O1b, with an average level of O2. Overall for the O Haplogroup, Java has the highest percentage. The Indonesian average at the base of the table is derived from the Haplogroup percentages of the four biggest regions and does not include Bali.

The comparison table begun in Chapter IV, with samples from Tiras, Madai, Gomer and Javan’s two sons studied thus far, now with the addition of Kitti.

                                     O     O2a1   O1a   O1b     C       D       K       Q

NA Amerindian                                                   6                          77

Cook Islands              5                                       83                 8

Kazakhstan                8                                      40                10       2

Micronesia                 9                                       19               65

Sulawesi                    51      17       21       13      22                  7      

Tonga                        60                                      23                  1

Borneo                      66      36        9       21      22

Indonesia                 69       29      18      23      13     0.5      3     

Malaysia                   70       30        8      32       6                 8

Philippines               70      39      28        3        5               20

Sumatra                    72      40      18       14        5        2        4  

Vietnam                    79      40        6      33        4        3                 7

South Korea             79      42        3      33      13     2.5    0.5       2

Bali                             84       7       18      59        2                  1    0.4         

Java                           88      23      23      42        2                 2  

Taiwan:                     88      11      66       11     0.4        

The Island of Java mirrors Taiwan for the highest percentage of combined O Haplogroups. Though for an even distribution of O1a, O1b and O2, Java stands out and is comparable only with Sulawesi by comparison. Indonesia as a whole, carries little Haplogroup K and lower levels of Haplogroup C aside from Borneo and Sulawesi. Bali has the highest O1b in Indonesia and also in East Asia; for Sumatra, it is O2 and joint second in East Asia and for Java, it is O1a, third highest in East Asia. Haplogroup D is rare in East Asia thus far and in Indonesia, found in Sumatra; while Haplogroup Q also rare in East Asia, is found in Bali. 

As a recap, Haplogroup Q is the defining marker Haplogroup for the Amerindian; for Micronesia, it is Haplogroup K, which has also been influential in the Philippines. Haplogroup C is the defining marker Haplogroup for the Cook Islands and Kazakhstan. 

Haplogroup O1b is not just the prime Haplogroup in Bali, but also in Java and Malaysia. 

Haplogroup O1a is the defining Haplogroup for the Taiwanese aborigine, as well as the Island of Sulawesi. Meanwhile, Haplogroup O2 is the defining marker Haplogroup for South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Sumatra, Borneo and the combined average for Indonesia. Looking at Indonesia as a whole, it is the nation on the table which sits half way between the other nations from South East Asia on one side and the peoples of Polynesia, Central Asia and the Americas on the other.

There is gold, and an abundance of rubies, but words of knowledge are like a precious jewel.

Proverbs 20:15 New English Translation

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).” 

Mark Twain [1835-1910]

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2 thoughts on “Indonesia: Kittim, Khitai & Cathay

  1. Professional presentation and research about Indonesia in the world today. I agree with your findings. Your style of writing keeps the reader interested and wanting to learn more. Looking forward to reading more of your work. This is a cool website.

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