Orang Kayo Pedataran

Jambi’s history has several notable figures. One was Orang Kayo Hitam, and legends reveal this man as having had three siblings. They are as follows:

  1. Orang Kayo Pingai (alt. spelling: Orang Kayo Pinang–1480)  He is said to have been the oldest of the siblings.
  2. Orang Kayo Pedataran (alt. spelling: Kedataran—1490)  He was said to have been a younger brother.
  3. Orang Kayo Gemuk (translated: Fat Rich Person) She was said to have been the only sister, and the youngest of the siblings.

This post is about the grave of Orang Kayo Pedataran.  Little to nothing was ever written or passed along orally about this man.

This grave is believed to be that of Orang Kayo Pedataran

The grave of Orang Kayo Pedataran is located 24 kilometers to the east of the City of Jambi, beginning from the Duren intersection. The grave is located in the village “Desa Sumber Jaya.” This village was previously three smaller villages, but because of their small populations and close proximity to one another, they were joined to form one official village with the name of “Desa Sumber Jaya.”   One of those three villages has retained its original name:   “Desa Pedataran.”

The Only Engraving on the Grave: “Keramat L. Sale” (“KERAMAT” means the grave has spiritual magic. Nobody could tell us what the letter “L” meant. The word “SALE” could be a local spelling, or a  misspelling of the word “SALEH,” which means pious, or godly.

To locate “Desa Pedataran,” we suggest you stop along the main road in Desa Sumber Jaya and ask someone to lead you to it. Road signs in rural areas are rare in Indonesia. When we saw a small shop that had “Desa Sumber Jaya” written on a sign, we stopped and asked directions. Their directions were lengthy, so we had someone take us there on their motorcycle.

To get to “Desa Pedataran,” you have to cross a bridge and go to the south side of the river from the main road. When you arrive in the village you will find there is only a foot/motorcycle path through it. The people taking us there didn’t know the location of the grave, so they took us to the home of Mr. Usman Zin (76 years old), which is located directly across the footpath from the mosque in that village. Mr. Usman Zin gave us some interesting historical information about the Dutch and Japanese occupation of Jambi. He could count to 10 in the Japanese language, and whether it was accurate or not we don’t know…but it sure sounded impressive! He was also the one who led us to the grave of Orang Kayo Pedataran. The information below originated from information received from Mr. Usman Zin.

There is no “Juru Kunci” (grave caretaker) for the grave of Orang Kayo Pedataran, and there never was. Notable graves have a caretaker who receives a small amount of money from visitors for their livelihood. People visit graves such as this to offer prayers, since its believed graves of notable individuals have more spiritual benefit than if you would merely pray in the mosque or your home.

Mr. Usman Zin indicated that the grave was renovated 10 years ago with concrete walls, a floor, and a new headstone. The original wooden headstone has been gone a long time. The new headstone has the word “keramat” (spiritual power, or blessings for people who pray there) written at the top.  Mr. Usman Zin indicated that we were the first foreigners to visit their village–ever, as well as the first foreigners to visit the grave of Orang Kayo Pedataran.

A famous Jambi historian, Mr. H. Junaidi T. Noor, indicates in his book “Mencari Jejak Sangkala,” that the grave of Orang Kayo Pedataran is indeed located in Desa Pedataran, whereas, most of the government promotional materials and websites indicate that this grave is in Desa Pemunduran, along with the graves of the mother of Orang Kayo Pedataran, Putri Selara Pinang Masak, and his sisiter, Orang Kayo Gemuk.

Below is a video we made, which has a few clips of the grave of Orang Kayo Pedataran (starting at 1:29).

The video also has clips of his mother’s grave, as well as that of his younger sister, Orang Kayo Gemuk.