The Grave of Pakubuwono III

C & P at the assumed grave of
Pakubuwono III

In the Village of Lubuk Landai

One site to see in the Village of Lubuk Landai is the grave of Pakubuwono III. The tombstone gives him the title of: “Rajo Bumi Tanah Sepenggal Sri Pangeran Mangkubuwono” (The King of the Earth in Tanah Sepenggal, the Honorable Prince Mangkubuwono).

We were told that this man died when he was 38 years and 6 months old (1637 AD). The grave is located on the north side of the Tebo River, on a hill overlooking a bridge at that location.

It is also said that his wife is buried in this grave. The tombstone lists his wife as:

  • Permai = beautiful
  • Suri = wife
    • Permaisuri: both words are unusually together, but on this tombstone they are separated.
  • Her Name: Putri Srimenganti Dayang Sari Ratumas Intan
  • Her Title: Putri Sripangeran Mangkubumi Tanah Periuk
The Graves of Pakubuwono III &His Wife, and a Third Unknown Grave.

The graves of Pakubuwono III & his wife, and a third unknown grave.

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There is a third grave within the small concrete enclosure, but the name of the third grave was not listed on the tombstone, nor was there any information given about that grave.

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 From their Legends, the Village of Lubuk Landai Accredits Pakubuwono III as Being the Founder of their Village.

Pakubuwono III originated from the Mataram Kingdom from Yogyakarta on the Island of Java. He is said to have been the third descendant from the Mataram king, a nephew of Sultan Mangkubumi that lived in Tanjung Periuk.

When Pakubuwono III was 18 years old he left Surakarta and traveled by boat to the interior of the Jambi Province, specifically in the area now known as Lubuk Landai. The river that he was traveling on was the Batang Tebo River. One day Pakubuwono III saw a piece of wood floating down the river, and he noticed that it was had been burned. He thought that there must have been someone upstream that burned that wood and then threw it into the river, so he set out to explore and find the people who were living there.

The tombstone which lists Pakubuwono III and his wife as being buried at this site, but the third grave is not listed.

The tombstone which lists Pakubuwono III and his wife as being buried at this site, but the third grave is not listed.

After traveling upstream about 1.5 kilometers, he saw a cotton field. He decided to set up his residence in this cotton field and make his living harvesting the cotton, as well as harvesting the wood in the surrounding area. People in the area told him that the cotton was the property of the king, but Pakubuwono III ignored the warning, and continued his harvest of the cotton. The news reached the king of what Pakubuwono III was doing, so the king forced him to pay compensation for his losses. Pakubuwono III told the king that if he would harvest his cotton again, he would pay the king whatever compensation was appropriate. He did this so he wouldn’t have to go to prison.

On three additional occasions Pakubuwono III harvested the kings cotton and wood, and three times the king confronted him and forced him to pay for his losses. This became so normal, with Pakubuwono III always taking the king’s harvest, and him always giving reasons or excuses why he did it, Pakubuwono III was given the name (local dialect) Orang Tuo Tengka, (Bahasa Indonesia) Orang Tua Tengkar, (in English) The Old Cantankerous Man.

Pakubuwono III also followed the common custom of that age, in that he carried a magic knife (keris). This knife was believed to be able to protect him from every evil that would come against him. One day a silver piece from the keris fell down the steep bank (landai or lebak) of the river (the name of the village). The keris he carried was named Keris Singinjai.

Men from the Village of Lubuk Landai, who gave us the information contained in this post.
Front row, left to right: Pak (Mr.) Ibrahim; Pak Yahyo;
C.; Pak Muslim.
Back row, left to right: Selli; Bende; P.; Happy.

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The village was said to have been established in the year 1747 AD.

Pakubuwono III had four sons that remained in the four villages of Lubuk Landai, Candi, Rambah, and Tanah Periuk (all in one general area). These four were said to have remained in these villages and raised their families there. It is also said that the people now living in the interior regions of Jambi are descendants of that one Javanese man.

Location of the Village Lubuk Landai

Lubuk Landai is located 23 kilometers to the west of the City of Muara Bungo, from the intersection known as “Simpang Lintas Muara Bungo,” or “Simpang Tanah Tumbuh.”   The village is located in the Tanah Sepenggal Lintas (county) of the Muara Bungo Kabupaten (regency) of the Jambi Province of Indonesia.

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Source: Interview with:

  • Bapak (Mr.) Ibrahim (Ketua BPD/Ketua Adat—member of the cultural office).
  • Bapak (Mr.) Yahyo  (Pengurus BPD/lembaga adat—member of the cultural office).
  • Bapak (Mr.) Muslim (Kepala Kampung Lubuk Landai—head of one of the village neighborhoods).

Location: Village of Lubuk Landai, on Thursday, July 4, 2013

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site 2We don’t know who is actually buried in the grave at this location. After collecting and translating over 60 legends from Jambi, we know that Jambi’s “history” is saturated with legends, which often borrow bits and pieces from one another. Take the above story above for example; the magic knife that was said to be carried by Pakubuwono III has the same name as the magic knife held by all the Jambi Kings. From legends, the keris Siginjai was the one that Orang Kayo Hitam stole from the Island of Java.

The well documented character with the title of Pakubuwono III was said to have lived and died on the Island of Java, in the year 1788 AD, with no reference to him ever having gone to Sumatra. His tombstone in the Village of Lubuk Landai says he died in 1637 AD. It’s highly doubtful there could have been two men with the exact same name, who originated from the exact same location. From Wikipidia we read:

Pakubuwono III (also transliterated Pakubuwana III) (1732 – 1788) was the third Susuhunan (ruler of Surakarta). Also known as Sinuhun Paliyan Negari. He was proclaimed by the Dutch as ruler of Mataram in 1749, but when the state was divided into the states of Surakarta and Yogyakarta in 1755, he was proclaimed as the first Susuhanan of Surakarta.

The grave is positioned at the top of a hill, overlooking the Tebo River.

The grave is positioned at the top of a hill, overlooking the Tebo River.

What is certain, however, is that the history that is continually rehearsed about this man has obviously been filled with embellishments. We are very curious to know what is hoped to be gained by the incessant repetition of stories from around the Jambi Province, with men repeating them as if they were factual when they clearly are not. Our questions with this practice is:

  1. Do the men that repeat these legends as factual history really believe they are true?
  2. Have these men done a thorough search to confirm the authenticity of their stories?
  3. Would these men orchestrate riots if someone were to present evidence that what they have propagated their whole lives was not true?
  4. Are these men repeating these legends as factual history so as to under gird their customs and culture, even though they know they are not true?
  5. Or, am I wrong, and all my evidence in error?
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