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

Raden Panjang

““““The Name of the Dutch Cannon Located in the Village of Kedotan

Dutch Cannon

Dutch Cannon
Currently on display in the front yard of SD N 119 (Elementary School #119)

The Village of Kedotan proudly displays a cannon which dates back to the Dutch occupation of Jambi.

This cannon is currently located in the front yard of Elementary School #119 (SD Negeri 119 / IX).

From interviews with people in the village, and teachers at the elementary school, no information about the cannon’s origin, nor a date for when it was brought to the village could be determined. We did, however, find one elderly man, Pak (Mr.) Abdullah, who told us the following story (legend) about the cannon’s origin:

The Legend of Raden Panjang

There lived in the Village of Kedotan a very large and powerful man who despised the oppressive occupation of the Dutch. To do what he could to oppose them, he decided to travel to the City of Jambi where the Dutch had a fort. His plan was to break into the fort and steal one of their cannons.

C. standing in front of Raden Panjang, along with staff and students at Elementary School #119

C. standing in front of the cannon, along with staff and students at Elementary School #119

One the day he had planned, this powerful man from Kedotan traveled to Jambi and followed through with his plans. He easily overcame the few Dutch soldiers that were guarding the front gate of the fort and he then entered and went to the first cannon he saw.

Arriving at the cannon, the man from Kedotan simply inserted his arm into the cannon’s mouth and lifted it up and ran away with it. On his way back to his village, carrying his prize and symbol of power over the Dutch with him, he came upon the Batanghari River. The river across from the Village of Kedotan is approximately 1/2 mile wide, and to get his cannon to the other side, this powerful man gave it one huge swing and threw it over to the other side of the river. Upon landing on the bank of the river the cannon hit a rock, which broke the back side of the cannon. The backside of that cannon is still broken till this day.

The dock at the Village of Kedotan.Land travel to this village is very difficult. There are roads, but they are often impassable.

The Dock at the Village of Kedotan
Land travel to this village is very difficult. There are dirt roads, but they are often impassable.

Ever since then Raden Panjang (the cannon) has been kept in the Village of Kedotan as a symbol of their opposition to Dutch colonialism.

…………………………………………

Cannon Caretaker

Pak (Mr.) Abdullah, the one who told us the above story, also told us that it was his father that had overseen and taken care of that cannon for many years. He said that the cannon had been kept along the bank of the river for many years, but around the year 1903-4 it was moved to its current location, in front of Elementary School #119.

Teachers from the school told us that 8 men tried to lift the cannon and bring it from the river bank to its current location, but they were unable to. They then had a dukun (shaman) repeat some mantras, and they were then given the supernatural powers to lift and move the cannon.

Other things to Do and See in the

Village of Kedotan

See the sacred grave of Moyang Suduto

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

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

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