Mevr. J.M.C. Kloppenburg-Versteegh (1862-1948)

Mrs. J.M.C. Kloppenburg-Versteegh

Eene nabetrachting

(In retrospect)

Mrs.Kloppenburg's third and final book appeared in 1940 on the eve of the Second World War: "A retrospective on my "Hints and advice concerning the application of Indonesian plants, fruits etc... An address for so much that is good for man and animal to be found within the biological wealth of our beautiful Indie."

The disparaging critism by the western establishment on the work of Mrs.Kloppenburg caused her much anguish. With the new book she wished to defend the valuable medicinal properties of the indigeneous plant life. To this aim she chronicled a great number of the sources of her herbal knowledge. Likewise she described much of the history of the illnesses for which she had been able to play an important, if not crucial, roll in the treatment.

However, 'her' herbal knowledge was only in part accrued through personal involvement. As she herself imparted:
"The creation of this book, written at an age of 78, is primarily and publically due to the enlightment and support given to me by God. Through His hand, knowledge gained at my Mother's side and the experience of many others have allowed me to delve deeply into the world of medicinal plants etc..and has permitted me to be of use in the lightening of the suffering of my fellow human beings, and hopefully I have played some small part in the furtherence of medical science. With public reverence I wish to acclaim my debt to the Almighty who has guided my endeavours and also to those who preceeded me in my work and from whom I have learnt much."

Interspersed within the book Mrs.Kloppenburg also incorporates a narrative over 'our beautiful Indie' the Dutch colony, within which the European firmly held the strings. The Indonesian peoples with whom Mrs. Kloppenburg came in contact comprised, for the larger part, wise nature-orientated persons from whom she was able to learn much of herbal lore. According to the writer, the meaning of Nationialism was unkown to her - or she was not obliged to know.


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