The White Rajahs of Sarawak: A Borneo Dynasty
In 1838, James Brooke left England for Southeast Asia. By 1841 he had founded the dynasty that was to become known as the White Rajahs of Sarawak. In 1838 Charles Brooke left England seeking to establish a chain of trading posts throughout Southeast Asia. Instead, he met and undertook missions for the powerful Sultan of Brunei, successfully pursuing and driving out pirates and rebel forces. As a reward, he was given Sarawak, an area in southwest Borneo, inhabited by diverse cultures, including the head-hunting Dayaks. The dynasty of the White Rajahs, which began with the installation of James in 1841 prospered for 100-plus years, ending only with the Japanese invasion of WWII, and Sarawak's subsequent cession to Britain in 1946. It remained a colony for the next 17 years.
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