In Brunei, Malaysia, Sabah, Singapore and Sarawak, 19th - 20ᵗʰ century, a unit of capacity, = 1 imperial gallon (about 4.56 liters or 1.2 U.S. gallons)1,2. link to a table showing relationships between units of capacity in the Straits Settlments Other sources, however, say that in the Straits Settlement a gantang was 32 imperial gallons.

Brunei reported to the FAO that the gantang, when used for measuring paddy, was a unit of dry capacity, about 4.5461 liters.³

1. United Nations, 1966.

2. Technical Factors..., 1972, Singapore, page 301.

3. Technical Factors..., 1972, page 103.

gantang. I. A measure of capacity; a vessel representing that measure of capacity … Gantang is also a measure of weight for gold equal to one bongkal.

Wilkinson, 1902, page 576.


In Malaysia, a gantang of rough rice is a mass of about 2.54 kilograms (about 5.60 pounds).¹

1. J. L. Maclean, D. C. Dawe, B. Hardy and G. P. Hettel.
Rice Almanac. 3rd edition.
Oxon, UK: CABI Publishing, 2002.


In Sabah, and Sarawak, 20ᵗʰ century, a unit of mass, = 5¹⁄₃ pounds av. (approximately 2.419 kilograms).

United Nations, 1966.


In Brunei, 20ᵗʰ century, a unit of mass used for rice, = 8 pounds avoirdupois (approximately 3.63 kilograms), unless the rice being weighed is paddy, in which case the gantang is a unit of dry capacity and that amount of paddy will weigh 5¹⁄₃ pounds avoirdupois (approximately 2.419 kilograms).

United Nations, 1966.


In Indonesia, 20ᵗʰ century – present (UN 1966), a unit of capacity used for rice, approximately 8.5766 liters.


In the Netherlands East Indies, 19ᵗʰ – early 20ᵗʰ centuries, two units:

1. The Netherlands Indies.
Buitenzorg, Java: Div. of Commerce, Dept. of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce, no date, 1928 (?).

2. E. J. Blockhuys.
Vade-Mecum of Modern Metrical Units. 17th edition, revised and enlarged.
Tokyo: Dobunkwan, 1924.

Page 49.



[As a unit of capacity: three versions]
(d.w.) Gantang = 468 Rjnl. kub. dm. [duim, not decimeters], 8,3805 L.
Kоjan rijst (Batavia) = 27 pikol = 253 gantang, 1272 L
pikol = 47,1 L; gantang = 5 L.
Batok = 1/8 gantang = 1/80 pikol, 1,5 L
gantang = 12 L; pikol = 120 L

[As a unit of mass]
Кatti = 1/100 pikol = 1,25 Amst. pond, 0,6176 kg
Gantang- (midden Java) = 10 katti = 12,5 Amst.pd, 6,1761 kg; (oosteljk Java): 5 katti.
Pikol = 10 gantang = 80 batok = 100 katti = 125 Amst. pond., 61,76125 kg
batok = 0.772 kg
Kojang (Batavia): Rijst = 27 pikol = 253 gantang = 3375 Amst. pond, 1667,5537 kg
Zout = 30 pikol =3750 Amst. pd., 1852,8375 kg

W. C. H. Staring.
Staring's Lijst von all Binnen- en Buitenlandsche Maten, Gewichten und Munten… 3rd ed.
Schoonhoven: & W. N. Van Nooten, 1885.
Pages 14 and 19.


Coins and Measures.-The currency in most parts of the country, as in Sooloo, is the Chinese kangan, a piece of coarse cloth, thinly woven, 19 inches broad, and six yards long; the value at Sooloo is 10 dollars for a bundle of 25, sealed up, and at Magindanao much the same: but here Spanish dollan are scarce. These bundles are called gandangs [sic], rolled up in cylindrical form. They have also as a currency cousongs, a kind of nankeen, died black; and kompow, a strong white Chinese linen, made of flax.

In the bazar, or market, the immediate currency is paly; 10 gantangs [sic] of about 4 lbs. each, make 1 battell, and 8 battells (a cylindrical measure, 13½ inches high, the same in diameter) about 120 1bs., are commonly sold for a kangan. Speaking of the value of things here and at Sooloo, they say such a horse, proa, &c. is worth so many slaves, the old valuation being one slave for 30 kangans.

William Milburn.
Thomas Thornton, revisor.
Oriental Commerce
London: Kingsbury, Parbury, and Allen, 1825.
Page 427 (writing of Mindinao in the Philippines).

The battell would be about 31.67 liters, making a gantang 3.1 liters.


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