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

First Version of the Batin IX’s Origin

(Asal Usul Suku Anak Dalam Batin IX)

One of the ancient Hindu temple remnants in the area where the Batin IX were said to have originated. "Gedong II Temple"

An ancient Hindu temple remnant in the area where the Batin IX were said to have originated.
“Gedong II Temple”

The below legend was an oral story we obtained about the origin of the Batin IX ethnic group located in the Jambi Province of Indonesia. According to this legend the Batin IX was created during the 1400s, during the ancient Melayu Jambi Kingdom. The area in which the story was said to have transpired is in the area that was at that time called Aur Duri. That same location today is called Muaro Jambi, where the famous Hindu / Buddhist temples are located.

The 1st Version of this Legend

(Read a second version of the Batin IX’s origin by clicking this link.)

In this first version of the Batin IX’s origin, their ancestors were said to have originated from the Island of Java, and specifically from a descendant from one of the Mataram Kingdom’s sons; Mahorum Sunsangrumo, who in this legend was called Maruhn.

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When Maruhn, the King of Jambi was traveling down the Batanghari River, he turned off onto the Batang Tembesi River, and there he saw a beautiful young lady whom he was very much attracted to. The name of this young lady was Bayan Lais (a descendant from Pagaruyung).

The king eventually married Bayang Lais, and from this marriage Raden Ontar was born. After Raden Ontar was married he had a son whom he named Raden Nagasari. Raden Nagasari then had nine children; eight sons and one daughter. For their inheritance, each child was allowed to select an area in the kingdom along a river. All the sons of Raden Nagasari chose areas around the Batanghari, Batang Tembesi, and the Lalan Rivers, in the villages of:

  1. Sungai Burung Hantu
  2. Telisa (Kelisak)
  3. Sekamis
  4. Pemusiran (Semusir)
  5. Jangga
  6. Jebak
  7. Muara Bulian (Bathin Semak)
  8. Bahar

The one daughter chose the area west of the Batanghari River, namely the village of:

…..9. Sungai Singoan

As these 9 areas developed they grew and became the Suku Batin IX, or as some say, Orang Dalam (the people within—the jungles). The government refers to them as Suku Anak Dalam Batin IX, relating them to the Suku Anak Dalam ethnic group.

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The Batin IX Today

Fish trap in the middle of the Tabir River. The large trap is called a sukam.

Fish trap in the middle of a river. The large trap is called a sukam.

Today many of the Batin IX obtain their livelihood through employment on rubber and palm oil plantations, as well as other products they can harvest from the forests. Even though they work in the forests, they still have a lot of interaction with people on the outside.

During the Dutch occupation the Dutch were doing a lot of oil exploration in the area where the Batin IX lived. Due to this exploration there were a lot of small roads built. The opening of these roads made the area more accessible and immigrants from other areas of Indonesia came and took up residence. This led to increased interaction between the Batin IX and outsiders.

Due to the opening of the region with roads, the Batin IX spread out and formed the following 18 villages:

  1. Naga Sari—(from the character in the legend named: Raden Nagasari.
  2. Pelempang
  3. Nyogan
  4. Tanjung Pauh 39
  5. Merkanding (Markanding)
  6. Tanjung Lebar
  7. Ladang Peris
  8. Kilangan
  9. Sengkawang
  10. Pompa Air
  11. Bungku
  12. Jebak
  13. Jangga Aur
  14. Muara Singoan
  15. Pemusiran
  16. Lubuk Napal
  17. Lamban Sigatal, and
  18. Sepintun

The Batin IX communities are said to be quite different from the Anak Dalam ethnic group, in that they want to live in permanent fixed housing, whereas the Anak Dalam prefer to maintain a nomadic way of life.

The total population of the Batin IX is impossible to calculate because they have already spread out and intermarried with other ethnic groups that have immigrated into the area many years ago, immigrants such as the Javanese and Batak.

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