The Balinese language belongs to the same group of the Malayan class as the Javanese, Sundanese, Madurese, &c., but is as distinct from each of these as French is from Italian.
The sacred literature of the Balinese is written in the ancient Javanese or Kawi language, which appears to be better understood here than it is in Java.
Of the early history of their island the Balinese know nothing.
Among the other languages which have been reduced to writing and grammatically analysed are the Balinese, closely connected with the Javanese, the Batta (with its dialect the Toba), the Dyak and the Macassarese.
They are Mahommedans and distinct in many other respects from the Hindu Balinese, who vanquished but could not convert them.
Balinese supremacy dated from the conquest by Agong Dahuran in the beginning of the 19th century; the union under a single raja tributary to Bali dated from 1839.
In July 1894 a Dutch expedition landed at Ampanam, and advanced towards Mataram, the capital of the Balinese sultan, who had defied Dutch authority and refused to send the usual delegation to Batavia.
The objects of that expedition were to punish Mataram and to redress the grievances of the Sasaks whom the Balinese held in cruel subjection.
The old sultan of Mataram was captured, and he and other Balinese chiefs were exiled to different parts of the Malay Archipelago, whilst the sultan's heir fell at the hands of his warriors.
Disturbances between the Sasaks and the Lombok Balinese frequently occur.
The coast-villages are inhabited by a mixed Malay population, Buginese, Macassars, Balinese and other races of the archipelago.
Thus ended the Balinese domination of Lombok, and the island was placed under direct Dutch-Indian control, an assistant resident being appointed at Ampanam.
The Sasaks are estimated at 320,000, the Balinese at 50,000, Europeans number about 40, Chinese 300, and Arabs 170.