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

Sacred Grave of Moyang Suduto

C. & Pak (Mr.) Paipai in front of the grave of Moyang Suduto.

C. & Pak (Mr.) Ripai standing in front of the grave of Moyang Suduto.

In the Jambi Province  Village of Kedotan there is a sacred grave (makam keramat) of the person named Moyang Suduto.* The grave has neither headstone nor indication of the deceased’s birth or death. Villagers assume this person lived several hundred years ago.

Grave of Moyang Suduto

Grave of Moyang Suduto

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Still Being Honored

Moyang Suduto is still being honored by the people in the village because it is said he was a protector and defender of the village, as well as a protector of the the area surrounding the village. This person is still because local people believe that by continuing to do so their village will continue to be protected by his spirit.

Chinese Indonesians Beautified the Grave

It isn’t understood how or why, but Chinese Indonesians came to this grave to pray a little over 12 years ago (the year 2000), and because their prayers were answered, they came back and honored the spirit by decorating the grave with tile, putting a brick wall around it, as well as covering it with a roof (pondok). They were evidently influenced by their Chinese beliefs in Buddhism and Confucianism.

Praying to the Deceased–Mystical Practices

Many Indonesians frequent graves they consider to be sacred in order to receive blessings. They believe they can make a spiritual connections with the deceased person buried there, and through that person’s spiritual power, or their closeness to God Himself, their prayers will be answered better and faster than if they would pray directly to God on their own. This is similar with Catholics who pray to Mary and to other saints.

The grave of Moyang Suduto is relatively close to the bank of the Batanghari River.

The grave of Moyang Suduto is relatively close to the bank of the Batanghari River.

We were told that if people make a vow to release an animal, or to sacrifice an animal after a blessing has been received, they must fulfill their vow or something tragic will happen to them, like the death of one of their children.

Mysterious Occurrence

While at the Village of Kedotan the local people informed us of a mysterious occurrence they experience from time to time. They said that there are times when people outside their village will hear an extremely loud explosion, like a huge bomb going off, but the people within the Village of Kedotan never hear it. They believe the spirit of Moyang Suduto, who as a protector and guardian of the village while alive, is still protecting them by preventing disturbing noises from entering their village.

Moyang Suduto Buried Alive

Another interesting story of Moyang Suduto was that due to his increased popularity and greatness, he became proud and arrogant. This caused many people in the community to resent him, and they even went so far as to take steps to kill him.

Our motorcycle being loaded onto the ketek (boat).

Our motorcycle being loaded onto the ketek (boat).

The opponents of Moyang Suduto were said to have gathered all the powerful men from their village, as well as those from the surrounding area, and they all attacked him in unison, but to their great disappointment there wasn’t any weapon that was able harm him. Seeing they weren’t able to kill him, they all rushed him, tied him up, and buried him alive in the exact location where his grave is still located to this very day.

How to Get to the Village of Kedotan

You can get to Desa Kedotan by first crossing the Aur Duri 1 Bridge. You then continue north 10.6 kilometers toward the City of Sengeti where you will find a location where barges of sand are being unloaded onto the bank of the Batanghari River. At that location there is a boat (ketek) you can take across the river (with your motorcycle), about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) to the Village of Kedotan (cost: Rp10.000—a little over $1.00 USD). You don’t really need a motorcycle in this village because the grave is only a couple hundred feet from the dock.

We Don’t Recommend Land Travel to this Village

(Especially During the Rainy Season)

We encountered this washed out bridge during our attempt to get to the Village of Kedotan with our motorcycle.

We encountered this washed out bridge during our attempt to get to the Village of Kedotan with our motorcycle. Many places were impassable.

We tried to get to this village using our motorcycle during the rainy season but we would have had to wade up to our knees in muck as we pulled our motorcycle through. During the rainy season the dirt road to this village is next to impossible to travel on. Even with a 4-wheel drive vehicle there will be challenges, if not impossible to get through. If you have a winch on your 4×4, and you’re up for an interesting challenge…… travel west through the intersection called Simpang Rimbo. From there continue several kilometers and turn north at the intersection Simpang Duren. From there the asphalt ends and you will travel on a dirt road till you [hopefully] reach the Village of Kedotan—good luck!

Pak (Mr.) Abdulah, from the Village of Kedotan, showing C. his magic sword.

Source of Information

Information about the grave of Moyang Suduto was obtained on January 21, 2013. The gentleman who provided us with most of the information was Pak (Mr.) Ripai. (ree pie ee—56 years old–he’s pictured at the top of this article). Pak Ripai lives along the sidewalk just up from the boat dock. Others from the village were also gathered around, affirming that the information he was giving us was accurate.

*The 60 year old Pak (Mr.) Abdulah, of the Village of Kedotan, informed us that it’s uncertain whether Moyang Suduto was a man or a woman.

*We found the name of Moyang Suduto spelled several different ways. This is very common in Indonesia where there are multiple languages and dialects used in the same areas, and people spell words based on their language / dialect.

  1. Moyang Suduto
  2. Moyang Seduto
  3. Moyang Sudito

Other things to Do and See in the

Village of Kedotan

See the magic sword owned by Pak (Mr.) Abdulah.

See the ancient Dutch canon named “Raden Panjang.

Learn of the magic stone that came from the canon “Raden Panjang.”

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