11 April 2009

Jambi History: The Myth and Legend

Oral traditions established the roots of Jambi's relationship with Java and the founding of the kingdom and Islam within it. According to the legend, in the fifteenth century a Turkish prince, shipwrecked on the coast, met and married Princess Selaras Pinang Masak, the ruler of the coastal kingdom of Tanjung Jabung, around the lower riches of Batanghari River. The couple had four children, of whom one, Orang Kayo Hitam, became the central hero figure in Jambi Legend.

The Javanese kingdom of Mataram was demand tribute from Tanjung Jabung and when orang kayo hitam was a young man he determined to put a stop to this. He traveled in disguise to the mataram capital, where a master smith was forging a keris with which to kill him. Orang Kayo Hitam killed the smith and seized the 'keris', which he later took back to Jambi. There it becomes known as 'Keris Siginjei', the symbol of royal power in Jambi. The stories goes that the Javanese ruler, fearing the wrath of Orang Kayo Hiram, called for a truce and sealed the agreement by arranging a marriage between his daughter Ratumas Pemalang and Orang Kayo Hitam

Another legend tells the incorporation of the upriver region into the kingdom and the establishment of the Jambi capital at Tanah Pilih, or chosen land, its present site. Orang Kayo Hitam is said to have journeyed upriver into the interior where he came across a log with a lock of black hair entwined around it, the hair, he thought of a beautiful girl.

He sees off in search for her and eventually came to a village where he found her guardians. As was the norm on occasions when men with magic powers met, he was challenged to single combat. Both he and his adversary leapt, thrust and struck at each other using all the skill of pencak silat, and the fight went on for several days. Eventually, however, orang kayu hitam proved the stronger.

As his prize, he asked the girl's guardian if he could marry her, but they were extremely reluctant for this strange black man to marry Mayang Mangurai, as she was called. They set him a test, traditionally considered to be impossible to fulfill. The test was in four parts. First he must hand over a mortarful of gold, second, the hollow of a blowpipe, third the sleeve of a shit, and fourth, a measure of louse heads. He had a year and a day to perform these tasks. Orang Kayo Hitam set off to Java where he easily obtained the gold. Neither did the other requirements present him with any difficulties.

On his return, the wedding gifts were handed over and the guardians had to concede. After the wedding, the young couple set off down the river in a small covered boat, following a pair of white geese. Mayang Menguarai's father had told them that when the geese left the water and settled on the bank for two days and two nights, there they should build a city. The place was this occurred was then known as Tanah Pilih. When Orang Kayo Hitam struck the ground for the first time with his knife, he hit a gong buried in the earth. When he hit the second time he hit a cannon. Many believed these to be the parents of the girl, transformed in their graves. Others believed that they had fled into the forests rather than embrace Islam. There they became the ancestor of Kubu People (Suku Anak Dalam), the forest dwellers that have retained their animist beliefs and hunter-gatherer existence.



Others Post...

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP  

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...