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

The Villages of Air Hitam and Jernih

In the Jambi Province, specifically in the Sarolangun Region, there are two villages that are named  Air Hitam (black water) and Jernih (clear; with the meaning of—clear water).  A well known ethnic group in that area, the Anak Dalam, had frequently debated about black water and clear water. Some of the people believed that black water, which they called air kopi (coffee water), was a little heavier than clear water. Others believed that clear water was heavier than black water. To overcome the debate that had always taken place over the differences of opinions, the two parties conducted a test to see which water was actually the heavier.

To give validity to the test, they invited a man by the name of Datuk Temenggung Merah Mato, to supervise the test. Datuk Temenggung Merah Mato lived at the peak of Hill Twelve (Puncak Bukit Duabelas). This man was invited to supervise the testing process because the Anak Dalam greatly honored and respected him.

To conduct the test, the first thing that was done was weighing the respective cups in which the two waters were to be poured. After this test was completed, it was certified that each of the two cups weighed exactly the same.

The cups were then filled, one with black water and the other with clear water. Datuk Temenggung Merah Mato then certified that again, the two cups weighted exactly the same.

Seeing the results of the test, Datuk Temenggung Merah Mato stated that black water and clear water weighs exactly the same. While the scales were still held in the hands of Datuk Temenggung Merah Mato, a strong wind came and shook the scales. The cup that had the clear water bounced and fell down the tall hill into the village of Jernih (clear), while the cup that contained the black water bounced and rolled down the hill and fell into the village known as Air Hitam (black water).

Since that time the Anak Dalam ethnic group believes that the village of Air Hitam and the village of Jernih obtained their names from the black and clear water that was weighed by Datuk Temenggung Merah Mato at the peak of the hill named Bukit Duabelas (Hill Twelve).

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