Lombok’s history began with a group of animist farmers known as the Sasak, who made a little kingdom before the 17th century. The Sasak made their way to Lombok long before most of Indonesia’s other ethnic groups settled among the 13, 000 odd History of Lombok Island of the archipelago. It’s believed that the Sasak migrated from either Burma or midsize India, but few archaeological remains exist to verify this theory. At the first years, Lombok has been made up of dozens of clans, each dominated by a Sasak prince. There was a constant fighting among the clans, which the neighbouring Balinese princes used to their benefit when they defeated the island.
The Balinese ruled Lombok from the center of the 1700 till the 1890 s, when the Dutch came on the scene and endorsed the indigenous Sasaks. The Balinese were pushed out following a series of bloody conflicts and Lombok became part of the group of islands known as the Lesser Sunda Islands. Hefty taxes levied by the Dutch pushed most of the peasants of Lombok into poverty and opened up the door for businessmen to exploit the economic vacuum. Things continued in this rather repressive way until Indonesia declared its independence in 1945. Sukarno, the first president of Indonesia, tried to regroup Lombok into a bigger cluster of islands known as Nusa Tenggara, but the island team proved difficult to govern.
When Sukarno was ousted in 1965, Lombok was thrust into a dark period of murder and oppression, along with a number of other portions of Indonesia. Anyone who is considered subversive by the new authorities, like ethnic Chinese and communists, was killed or displaced. Initially the president Suharto’s rather severe New Order plan brought stability and expansion to the island, till prolonged famine attained a crippling peak. The majority of the locals moved from Lombok as part of the transmigration program implemented by the government. With small agricultural work and sources, Lombok dropped into a quiet lull before 1980 when tourism development started to catch on.
Touting itself as a quieter, more natural alternative to Bali, the tourism industry has slowly, but steadily grown. Regrettably, throughout wave of growth along Lombok’s shoreline, many traditional landowners have been displaced as outside businesses took over the land. Indonesia was throw into political chaos throughout the late 1990 s, in response to widespread corruption. Lombok was caught up in the civil unrest, and pupils in Mataram and Praya held protests leading to a major fall in the tourism industry. Since the revolt of 2000, tourists have continued to arrive in Lombok. Now considered a Travel destination, Lombok is a popular choice to its developed neighbour.