The above city seal represent the City of Jambi’s philosophical and historical identity with the ancient Malay Kingdom, the larger geographical area, and the social-cultural aspects of Jambi. Detailed meaning of the various symbols are as follows:
IT’S SHAPE AND SIZE
The city seal has a tapered lower section, which has a green stripe, surrounded by two white stripes.
The green line that surrounds the entire seal has a wider green area at the top which contains the words “Kota Jambi’ (City of Jambi”). This phrase is located between two stars with five points each. This symbolism reflects the conditions of social life in the community, which is made up of different races and religions, though all have a belief in the one and only all powerful God.
RIFLE, GONG & GEESE
This symbolism comes from the legendary man who is credited with having started the Jambi Kingdom—Orang Kayo Hitam. After Orang Kayo Hitam married Princess Mayang Mangurai, the couple were given a pair of geese and a boat named “Kajang Lako” by the princess’ father, Temenggung Merah Mato. They were told by Temenggung Merah Mato to take the gifts he gave them and to travel downstream along the Batanghari River and find a place to establish their new kingdom.
Temenggung Merah Mato told his daughter and son-in-law to release the geese, along the Batanghari River, and the location the geese leave the river, go ashore, and make a nest and lay eggs, that is the location where they are to build their new kingdom.
After several days of travel downstream on the Batanghari river, the geese left the river in an area that today is called “Pulau Pandan.” (Other reports say the name is “Kampung Jam.” And yet another report indicates that the town at this area, when Orang Kayo Hitam arrived, was then known as “Tenadang.”) According to Temenggung Merah Mato’s directions, Orang Kayo Hitam and his wife Princess Mayang Mangurai, along with all their followers, began to build a new kingdom, which came to be known as “Tanah Pilih,” or “The Chosen Land” (land selected / chosen by the geese). Today it is known as the City of Jambi.
As the story continued, the couple, Orang Kayo Hitam and his wife, left their boats where the geese left the river, and began to clear the land for construction. When Orang Kayo Hitam was clearing the land, upon his first thrust into the ground with his shovel, he struck a a gong. Upon his second thrust into the ground he struck a gun (some accounts say a cannon). The gong and gun were named “SITIMANG” and “SIDJIMAT” respectively. The original gong and gun have since been lost (if there ever was such a thing, because these are only legends). A number of websites and blogs have cited a local newspaper (Jambi Independent, Monday May 18, 2009), which indicates that the gong and gun are being maintained at the Museum Negeri Jambi (National Jambi Museum). Our visit to that museum, in search of those two heirlooms, has proven the information from that paper to be incorrect. There probably never was a gong or gun.
According to a different version of this legend, the gong and gun have a unique place in Jambi’s history, which is intended to immortalize their ancestral beliefs. The gun was said to have been the father-in-law of Orang Kayo Hitam, in his reincarnated state. The gong is said to have been the mother-in-law of Orang Kayo Hitam. It is said that the parents of Orang Kayo Hitam’s wife were so grief ridden over their daughter moving away that they transformed themselves so they could always be with her.
Yet another legendary account, of the in-laws of Orang Kayo Hitam, indicate that after their daughter’s marriage to him, they immediately fled into the jungle rather than embrace Islam, which at that time was engulfing the entire island of Sumatra. The descendants of Orang Kayo Hitam’s in-laws are said to be the Anak Dalam ethnic group, which for hundreds of years have lived a hunter-gather, semi-nomadic existence, and have retained their animist beliefs still to this day.)
The symbol of the curved knife, or “Keris,” is the symbol of the greatness and heroism of Jambi’s first Sultan (Orang Kayo Hitam). The authority to govern the kingdom rested upon the one who possessed the keris. That name of that special keris is “Keris Siginjai.” It is said to currently be on display at the National Museum of Indonesia.
NINE BLUE LINES
The nine blue lines under the two swans represent various rivers of the expansive Jambi Kingdom, which all nine flow into a common river—the Batanghari. The names of the nine are:
1. Batang Asai
2. Batang Merangin
3. Batang Masurai
4. Batang Tabir
5. Batang Senamat
6. atang Jujuhan
7. Batang Bungo
8. Batang Tebo
9. Batang Tembesi
SIX GREEN LINES
These six lines line represents the six administrative areas (Kecamatan) of the City of Jambi, namely:
1. Kecamatan Pasar Jambi
2. Kecamatan Jambi Timur
3. Kecamatan Jambi Selatan
4. Kecamatan Telanaipura
5. Kecamatan Danau Teluk
6. Kecamatan Pelayangan
In 2002 the city of Jambi was further divided into a total of 8 districts. The two new city district are Kecamatan Kota Baru and Kecamatan Jelutung.
The Pinang, or Betel Nut Tree, is used to symbolize the the unique word “Jambi.” There are several opinions as to the origin of the word Jambi, and they are:
- Seeing that the word “jambe” is the Javanese word for the pinang tree, it is believed that the Jambi Kingdom was named after the woman Putri Selera Pinang Masak.
- The word’s former spelling was “Djambi,” with the letter “d” being silent. After modifications were made to the language, the letter “d” was dropped. You will still encounter the original spelling from time to time.
- Almost every reference to the origin of the word “Jambi” makes reference to the pinang tree, that is, with the exception of the book Mencari Jejak Sangkala, written by the Jambi historian and cultural expert, H. Junaidi T. Noor. He wrote in his book Mencari Jejak Sangkala, that the word “jambi” did not originate with Putri Selera Pinang Masak, and that the term “Jambi” had been in use, describing a settlement in the area, hundreds of years before she came on the scene. On page 21 of his book he writes: “We have become too familiar with the word ‘Jambi,’ as having originated from the Javanese word ‘jambe,’ meaning pinang, as having a direct connection with the person in Jambi’s history, named Putri Selaras Pinang Masak.”
- Geneologies of Jambi’s Kings, written by Ngebi Suto Dilago Priyayi Rajo Sari, indicates that when Tun Talanai (a legendary Jambi king) died, Jambi no longer had a king. It was then that this Putri Selera Pinang Masak, a female descendant of the king in Pagarruyung came to Jambi. Since Jambi was already being referred to with it’s current name, it indicates that there isn’t a connection between the word “Jambi,” and the Javanese word “jambe,” which means “pinang.” Purti Selaras Pinang Masak lived in the latter part of the 1400s.
MOTTO: “TANAH PILIH PESAKO BETUAH” (The Blessed Chosen Inheritance)
The gold ribbon below the seal has the City of Jambi’s motto, which is “Tanah Pilih Pesako Betuah.” Translated, the words literally mean:
Tanah: Ground, or the earth’s surface.
Pilih: Select, choose (some say the choice was made by the two legendary geese).
Pesako: A legacy, or inheritance.
Betuah: Having tremendous supernatural advantages that others do not possess.