This is our translation of a legend from the Jambi Province.

Datuk Darah Putih

Datuk Darah Putih (White Blooded Grand-father) was a military commander from the Jambi Kingdom. He was famously known for his bravery, honesty, inner powers and cleverness. Datuk Darah Putih was commanding the military during the time when the Dutch was attempting to enter and colonize Jambi. Due to the bravery, inner powers, and brilliance of Datuk Darah Putih, the Dutch’s encroachment into the Jambi Kingdom was thwarted. How did it take place? What did Datuk Darah Putih do to defeat them? Below is his story: The Legend of Datuk Darah Putih.

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The Jambi Kingdom had a unique military commander that was named Datuk Darah Putih (White Blooded Father). He received this name due to a wound he received and it was noted that he bled white blood. This commander was famous because of his honesty, intelligence, bravery, and inner spiritual powers. The king of Jambi had tremendous respect for Datuk Darah Putih, and was blessed because of his abilities to manage all of the responsibilities that were given to him.

One day the king commanded Datuk Darah Putih to form a powerful military unit for his kingdom.

“Hey, Datuk, gather together a number of choice soldiers who possess extraordinary skills for war, and that are unswervingly loyal to me. These soldiers must be willing to sacrifice their lives if necessary for the good of my kingdom, and they must not have an inclination to complain or hesitate about anything they are ordered to do. After they are chosen, train them so that those soldiers become as formidable and honorable as yourself,” said the king.

“Yes, my king!” responded Datuk Darah Putih while giving the customary respect and honor the king deserved.

Datuk Darah Putih immediately carried out the king’s command. It wasn’t difficult for him to choose the soldiers that would make up this specialized military unit, because as a military commander, he already knew the personalities and abilities of his soldiers. In a short period of time Datuk Darah Putih had his specialized unit chosen, and during a one year time period they received additional training that made them ready for any challenge that would be presented to them. They were not only a military fighting force, they were also extremely loyal, brave, and were ready to sacrifice their lives for their kingdom, if it was required of them.

One day the king heard a report from one of his spies that the Dutch were planning an attack against his kingdom.

“This is an emergency my king!” reported the spy to the king. The Dutch forces are moving towards us at a rapid rate.

“What’s the problem, tell me again? Why are you panicking like this?” asked the king.

“My king, the Dutch will immediately attack our kingdom. They are on their way here and are coming from the sea,” reported the spy.

Hearing that report, the king remained silent, then got up from his throne and began pacing while stroking his thick bushy beard.

“Mmm… their arrival is for no other reason than they want to strip our kingdom of our wealth and use it for themselves. They have a history of attacking other places like this,” said the king.

“What must we do my Lord?” asked Datuk Darah Putih, who was also in the room when the report was given.

“Because they are coming from the sea, there is only one way for them to arrive here, and that is through the Strait of Berhala,” said the king.

“That means we must block their entrance at the island or Pulau Berhala, my Lord,” responded Datuk Darah Putih, who understood the king’s intentions.

“You are correct Datuk! Tomorrow, very early in the morning, depart and destroy them in the Strait  of Berhala. Prepare your specialized unit and several other soldiers as you see fit!” ordered the king.

“Yes king! Your command I’ll immediately carry out,” responded Datuk Darah Putih while giving the customary salute of honor.

The military commander immediately commanded his entire force to prepare all the equipment for war that would be needed, like swords, spears, and knives. They also prepared food, because the trip would take them two days, and they must arrive at the strait before the Dutch so they can build their defensive fortifications on Pulau Berhala before the Dutch arrive.

After all preparations were made, the military force departed for the battle as commanded. They wanted to arrive a little early, not only to build the defenses, but to also recover from the several day journey. The entire military couldn’t go, because some had to stay behind to guard the palace and the surrounding area, in the event an unforeseen event would develop.

Prior to their departure, while still in his home, Datuk Darah Putih entered into a conversation with his wife.

“My wife, how is our child doing?” asked Datuk Darah Putih while stroking his pregnant wife’s protruding stomach.

“Our unborn child is doing fine, my husband! I hope that soon our child will be born healthy,” responded the wife of Datuk Darah Putih.

“My wife, tomorrow I must travel with the military to the field of battle. We must oppose the Dutch’s attempts to colonize us. Please take good care of our child,” said Datuk Darah Putih to his wife.

“Certainly, my husband! I always take good care of myself and our child. If your child is a boy, I hope he will become a brave and honorable soldier just like you,” expressed the wife of Datuk Darah Putih, full of hope.

The next day, very early in the morning, Datuk Darah Putih, together with the military detachment, had everything ready and they departed for the island of Pulau Berhala with three large sailing ships. The palace family, including the wife of Datuk Darah Putih, all followed the military detachment to the port where they boarded the ships. Without seeing any sadness on the face of his wife, Datuk Darah Putih said goodby to her while standing next to the king.

The wife of Datuk Darah Putih seeing her husband’s three ships heading out to face the Dutch in battle.

“Be careful, my husband! My prayers are always with you. After you defeat the colonialists, return quickly!” ordered the wife of Datuk Darah Putih.

“Okay, my wife! I’ll return with a victory for our kingdom,” replied Datuk Darah Putih, while kissing her forehead, as well as her stomach, before he climbed aboard the ship.

After a period of time the three ships were sailing toward Pulau Berhala. From the distance the families on the pier could see the soldier’s still waving goodbye as they sailed into the distance. After the three ships could no longer be seen they all left the pier and returned to their homes.

After Datuk Darah Putih and the troops arrived at Pulau Berhala they immediately assembled their strategy and made defensive fortifications as well as a lookout tower. The three ships were hidden behind a huge rock so they wouldn’t be seen by the Dutch forces. While awaiting the arrival of the enemy, Datuk Darah Putih reviewed and finalized his strategy to defeat the Dutch.

The next day, from the lookout tower, a convoy of Dutch ships was seen entering the Strait of Berhala.

“Datuk, our enemy has arrived. They are on their way here,” reported the lookout.

Heaing the report Datuk Darah Putih immediately prepared the troops.

“Troops! Take up your positions! Now is the time when we will prove our worth to our king and our kingdom!” called out Datuk Darah Putih, while energizing his troops.

Hearing the voice of their commander, the troops of the kingdom immediately climbed aboard their three ships and took up their positions. When the Dutch convoy entered the strait the three military ships headed out in the direction of the Dutch convoy. When the Jambi ships met the Dutch ships, the Jambi soldiers jumped into the Dutch ships while wielding swords, spears and knives. The Dutch forces suddenly began to panic. They didn’t have an opportunity to use their guns. To counter the attack of the Jambi forces, they used their long swords, but it was too late for them, and they were powerless. There wasn’t a single Dutch soldier that was spared. Every last one of them perished by the sword or knife of the Jambi soldiers.

Fortunately for the Jambi soldiers, only a few of them were wounded. Before they returned to their defensive fortification on Pulau Berhala, they took all the weapons and supplies that were of value, then set the Dutch ships ablaze.

Upon their arrival back on Pulau Berhala, the forces under Datuk Darah Putih immediately began celebrating their victory with great enthusiasm.

“Datuk! We must immediately return to the palace and spread the glorious news of our victory to our king,” called out one soldier.

Datuk Darah Putih only smiled as he heard the soldiers call for their immediate return.

“You all must know, that this war of ours is not finished,” responded Datuk Darah Putih.

“What do you mean, Datuk? Didn’t we already kill all the Dutch forces?” asked the soldiers that didn’t understand.

“Yes, what you say is true!” But, that was only a small military force that the Dutch had. When the Dutch hear we defeated their first attack, they will send a larger force in the very near future,” explained Datuk Darah Putih.

“Hearing that explanation, the soldiers could only nod. In their hearts they were thinking that Datuk Darah Putih was a very cleaver military commander.

“What steps do we need to take next then, Datuk?” asked the soldiers.

“I think the Dutch will arrive in three days. Because of that, we need to be even more prepared than before, because we will face a larger and more powerful force in the near future,” said Datuk Darah Putih.

“Exactly as Datuk Darah Putih thought, in three days the lookout spotted a convoy of three huge Dutch ships heading their way. However, even though the military force was a lot larger, Datuk Darah Putih didn’t tremble one little bit. He merely started preparations that were necessary to oppose the Dutch.

“Soldiers! For our kingdom…, for the future of our grandchildren…, fight until every drop of our blood is poured out!” called out Datuk Darah Putih, as he energized his troops for the upcoming battle.

“Long live Datuk! Long live Datuk Darah Putih,” was the shouts that was heard as the soldiers, filled with enthusiasm for the battle, prepared themselves for the conflict.

After that the Jambi soldiers all got on their three ships and made way toward the Dutch ships. This time, however, the enemy was a little more powerful. The numbers of the Dutch troops was more in number than what the Jambi forces had on hand. The battle was very unbalanced, so much so that at times the Jambi soldiers had to fight two or three Dutch soldiers at the same time.

During the battle, at the bow of the ship, Datuk Darah Putih was cornered by three Dutch soldiers. Not long after that he was struck by a Dutch sword in the neck. His white blood began to flow from his neck; however, he still had power and was able to continue the fight.

“Soldier! I’ve been struck by a sword. Help me retreat, and others take my place in the battle,” cried out Datuk Darah Putih, while maintaining his defensive position against the Dutch.

Hearing the cry for help, several chosen soldiers came and helped him. In a brief moment of time the three Dutch soldiers that attacked Datuk Darah Putih were killed. Datuk Darah Putih was immediately taken back to Pulau Berhala to receive medical attention. While on the island a few of the some of the soldiers were trying to tend to his wounds. In spite of their attempts, the blood kept flowing out.

“Please look for something that will help us stop this blood flow!” commanded Datuk Darah Putih.

Quickly, one of the soldiers found what was needed and in a short period of time he returned and applied the object on the neck of Datuk Darah Putih.

Fortunately the wound was able to be closed up and Datuk Darah Putih suddenly rose up from his seat and was ready to go back to the battle.

“Thank you, soldier! Let’s go and return to the battle!” called out Datuk Darah Putih, being full of energy.

Datuk Darah Putih and his troops, engaging the Dutch in fierce hand-to-hand combat.

The soldier that helped him immediately followed him up into the ship. Although he was still wounded, Datuk Darah Putih had the ability to continue in his opposition against the enemy. He even became increasingly agile with his swordsmanship, and was able to kill many of the Dutch, even with his serious wound. Finally, the entire Dutch force was killed.

“Horeee…, horeee… we won!” was the shouts that was ringing out from the Jambi soldiers, when it was evident that they had overthrown the attacking force.

Nevertheless, in the back of their rejoicing, they were also experiencing great concern due to the condition of their leader, Datuk Darah Putih, who had received a serious wound. They returned to the defensive fortification on Pulau Berhala, carrying Datuk Darah Putih.

The next day, Datuk Darah Putih, together will all the troops, returned to the Jambi palace. When they arrived at the palace they were welcomed by the royal family, as well as all the people in the Jambi Kingdom. Many were mourning because they recognized that Datuk Darah Putih was seriously wounded. Knowing that her husband had arrived, with feelings of calmness and resilience, the wife of Datuk Darah Putih placed her baby, which was born two days earlier, on the bed next to her husband.

“My husband, our son is a boy. Look! He’s handsome like you,” said the wife of Datuk Darah Putih, as she tried to comfort him.

With all the remaining power he possessed, and with his wife, Datuk Darah Putih lifted his baby, then embraced and kissed his forehead, being full of loving concern for him. After that, he placed the baby in the lap of his wife.

“Please forgive me, my wife, please take good care of our child!” requested Datuk Darah Putih with a voice becoming increasingly slow.

After that, Datuk Darah Putih sat on the floor of his home, then laid his body down very slow. The moment his body was laid down, Datuk Darah Putih breathed his last breath. His wife merely resigned herself to his fate, being fully aware that what had happened was the will of God the Almighty.

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This has been the story of Datuk Darah Putih from the area of Jambi. This story is considered a myth that contains morals that can be applied to daily life. One moral that can be obtained from this story is that if a leader is to be chosen, it’s very important that the leader be of unquestionable character. His behavior and actions must be like that of Datuk Darah Putih, in that he had unswerving loyalty, and who himself was under authority. It is also recognized, from the character of Datuk Darah Putih, that he provided to the soldiers under him an example to be followed.

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