top of page



This is the official STAR OF SONBAI. The Star of Sonbai is a very significant and premier award given for sustained and exemplary meritorious service to The Royal Family, The Royal House of Kupang, and the Kingdom of Kupang for years of continued service. This award is very rarely awarded. In fact, the only Honorees to receive this medal since 2015 are HRH Raja Muda Viceroy Dr. EnRico Melson, HRH Ratu Muda Chancellor Dr. Princess Karen Cantrell, HRH Raja Muda Christopher Alan Chambers and Companion of Honoree Thomas Park Clements. We honor those who honor us.


In addition to noble titles, the Royal House of Kupang grants a series of decorations to complement its award system and whose foundation, likewise, is found in the Gelaran Adat.


Collaboration in humanitarian and development projects, the practice of civic virtues, charity are the criteria that, essentially, the Royal House of Kupang considers when agreeing to award a decoration to a person.


The concept of the Dynastic Order is unknown in the Royal House of Kupang. Likewise, that of any form of chivalrous or noble corporatism. Historically, the Emperors of Sonbai and the Rajas of Kupang rewarded the military valor of their warriors on the battlefield. The bloody and endless battles against neighboring Kingdoms or the Portuguese and Dutch colonizers institutionalized this practice. Over time, these distinctions came to extend outside the military sphere, and their concession reached dignitaries and officers of the Royal House as a reward for their loyalty and service. They were even granted to Europeans.


Since the mid-19th century, due to European influence, they have been discerned as decorations to reward outstanding cases for personal merits and virtues, or services and loyalty to the Rajá, the Royal House, or the people of Kupang.


Thus, there are currently three decorations that the Royal House of Kupang can award: the Star of Sonbai, the Companions of Honor, and the Medal of Merit.


Star of Sonbai or Bintang Sonbai is the highest decoration of the Royal House of Kupang, the true pinnacle of its award system, disregarding noble titles.


Its origins must be sought in the time of the Sonbai Empire, in which the Emperor distinguished the most courageous warriors with a gold star (Bintang). From then on, they enjoyed the privilege of accompanying and protecting the person of the Emperor on a campaign, forming a posse of elite warriors.


Traditionally reserved for members of the Royal Family of Kupang, the Raja may award it in cases of exceptional personal or civic merits and virtues or equally exceptional services to the Raja, Royal House, or people of Kupang.


Testimony of its exclusivity is that there is a numerus clausus. The concessions cannot exceed the number of twenty-five living members, excluding members of the Royal Family of Kupang from the calculation.


There are no grades or classes for this award.


The insignia consists of a five-pointed white star, bordered with gold, charged in its center with a gold medallion, surrounded by azure, with the equestrian figure, saber, of a warrior of the Sonbai Empire.


On the azure crown, the name Bintang Sonbai appears in gold letters.

The Star can be stamped with the Royal Crown. It shines on the chest, on the left side.



Former gold star upon which the Sonbai Star award is based


Sonbai Star Badge



Companions of Honor of the Royal House of Kupang or Ahli Kehormatan Kraton Kupang: It is located immediately below the Star of Sonbai. Without any numerical limitation regarding its award, it is the decoration most commonly distributed by the Royal House of Kupang.


Its origins are found in the favor that the Emperors of Sonbai and the Rajas of Kupang dispensed to their courtiers, dignitaries, or representatives. As such, they honored them with the privilege of walking by their side and being part of their procession on trips or trips and Court ceremonies.

 To a lesser extent,  the Star was also awarded as a reward for military valor. Today it is awarded to reward outstanding services to the Raja, the Royal House, or the people of Kupang.


It can be discerned in several classes. First, there is a Royal Class, reserved exclusively for members of the Royal Family of Kupang. Afterward, it can be awarded in up to seven classes, numbered from 1 to 7, very much in the style of Asia.


However, usually, it is granted in the first, second, and third classes. The first is the one traditionally given to Sovereigns and Heads of Royal Houses, Heads of State and Government, outstanding personalities of the Church, the nobility, etc.


The insignia consists of a gold medallion with the arms of the Royal House of Kupang, stamped with the Royal Crown, and surrounded by a border in which the characters Kraton Kupang – Sonaf Kupang, which allude to the Royal House of Kupang, are engraved. Kupang. The frame is also gold, in the case of the Royal Class. In the rest, it is azure. It is worn around the neck, hanging from a yellow ribbon, the color of the Royal House of Kupang and the Nisnoni Dynasty.

Medal of Merit of the Royal House of Kupang: it is the decoration of the most modern creation, being instituted by Rajá Don Leopold Isu Nisnoni in 1997, based on the broad award powers granted by the Gelaran Adat.

It was created to reward civic and humanitarian behavior, for the benefit of the community in general, or that benefit Kupang, its people, or the Royal House, in particular.

There are no classes or grades, nor are there quantitative limits to their award.

The insignia consists of a gold medal bearing the Royal Arms of Kupang at its center, with a white border on which the characters Kupang Pingat Penghargaan (Kupang Medal of Merit) are engraved in saber. Stamped with the Royal Crown, it shines on the chest, on the left side, hanging from a yellow ribbon with red fillets

Antigua estrella de oro en la que se basa la condecoración de la Estrella de Sonbai.jpg

Sonbai Star Symbol

Star of Sonbai.jpeg

Insignia of the remaining classes of

the Companions of Honor

Insignia of the Royal Class of

the Companions of Honor

bottom of page