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This paper examines the existence and role of Qur'an recitation teachers during the Dutch East Indies Government (1800-1942). Qur'an teachers in question is a teacher of Qur'an reading basics, usually conducted by those in the lowest Muslim intellectual structure. This study is important in the perception of continuity and changes in the position of Qur'an recitation teachers in their relationship with government elite, religious elites, and society. Through a socio-intellectual historical approach, this paper examines data on Qur'an teachers' incomes and their social, political, and religious roles. Qur'an teachers have a strategic role in increasing Islamic literacy at the grassroots level, even though most are at a basic level in hierarchy at the Langgar and village mosques. Despite their basic level in the hierarchy of the Islamic intellectual elite, Qur'an teachers are the "standard of reference" for fluency in reading the Qur'an, the guardians of faith, the rituals of the Qur'an and its traditions, and a reference for moral character and behavior. They also act as mediators between the Kyai and the community, and between the government and community elites.