This is our translation of a legend from the Jambi Province.
The Origin of the Batin IX
(Asal Usul Suku Anak Dalam Batin IX)
The below legend was an oral story we obtained about the origin of the Batin IX ethnic group located in the Jambi Province of Indonesia. According to this legend the Batin IX was created during the 1400s, during the ancient Melayu Jambi Kingdom. The area in which the story was said to have transpired is in the area that was at that time called Aur Duri. That same location today is called Muaro Jambi, where the famous Hindu / Buddhist temples are located.
A 2nd Version of this Legend
(Read about the first version by clicking this link.)
In this second version of the Batin IX’s origin, their ancestors were said to have been expelled from their home land, which was said to have been Palembang. In this legend the progenitor of the Batin IX was Puyang Semikat.
Puyang Semikat owned a number of gold mines in and around Palembang. Because these mines produced tremendous wealth, Puyang Semikat was expelled from Palembang because his wealth had exceeded that of the reigning king.
After being expelled from Palembang, Puyang Semikat travelled down the Lalan River till he reached the Bahar River in Jambi. There he met with the authority of that area named Depati Seneneng Ikan Tanah. Depati Seneneng had two daughters, and both of them were offered to Puyang Semikat in marriage. The names of these two women were Bayan Riu and her sister, Bayan Lais. This family then produced a number of children.
The descendants of this man lived in a communally and the large family eventually grew and spread out into the area along nine rivers. Those rivers are located in the area of Muaro Jambi and Sarolangun. The jungles along these rivers supplied all their needs for living.
The Batin IX Today
Today many of the Batin IX obtain their livelihood through employment on rubber and palm oil plantations, as well as other products they can harvest from the forests. Even though they work in the forests, they still have a lot of interaction with people on the outside.
During the Dutch occupation the Dutch were doing a lot of oil exploration in the area where the Batin IX lived. Due to this exploration there were a lot of small roads built. The opening of these roads made the area more accessible and immigrants from other areas of Indonesia came and took up residence. This led to increased interaction between the Batin IX and outsiders.
Due to the opening of the region with roads, the Batin IX spread out and formed 18 villages:
- Naga Sari—(from Raden Nagasari in the first legend.)
- Tanjung Pauh 39
- Merkanding (Markanding)
- Tanjung Lebar
- Ladang Peris
- Pompa Air
- Jangga Aur
- Muara Singoan
- Lubuk Napal
- Lamban Sigatal, and
The Batin IX communities are said to be quite different from the Anak Dalam ethnic group, in that they want to live in permanent fixed housing, whereas the Anak Dalam prefer to maintain a nomadic way of life.
The total population of the Batin IX is impossible to calculate because they have already spread out and intermarried with other ethnic groups who have immigrated into the area many years ago, immigrants such as the Javanese and Batak.