The 12 Batin Nations of Jambi

or

The 12 Batin Tribes / Clans

(Suku Bangsa Dua Belas / Bangsa XII)

Batin Girl

Girl from the Batin V Association of Villages

For several years we’ve been attempting to make sense out of the 12 Batin Tribes. We’ve finally come to the conclusion that all existing documentation originated from oral information handed down over multiple centuries. The several documents that attempt to describe these 12 Batin Tribes are insufficient. We’ve found no evidence that would give us firm footing to trust any of the extant information.

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This is a legend we translated from the Jambi Province

The Batin II’s Legendary Origin

By: M. Saleh Hafiz and A. Mutalib

Translated by: C.S.

Swinging bridge in the Village of Teluk Kecimbung, where parts of this legend took place.

Swinging bridge in the Village of Teluk Kecimbung, where parts of this legend took place.

During the age of the ancient Mataram Kingdom, the king sent four of his children to the Island of Sumatra in an effort to extend the size of his realm. His four children were composed of three sons and one daughter. The names of the sons were:

  • Raja Shili
  • Raja Ipang
  • Raja Alip

The name of the one daughter was:

  • Puti Seliput Alam

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

The Village of Koto Rayo

and the 20 Scouts

The dense section of jungle which is said to be the former location of the village Koto Rayo

The dense section of jungle which is said to be the original Village of Koto Rayo


Though not in a well-developed story form, this legend gives information about the formation of the area around Rantau Panjang. This legend is also linked with the Batin 5 (sometimes spelled “Bathin”) people who live in the following five villages along the Tabir River: 1) Desa Tanjung Muara Semayu; 2) Desa Seling 3) Desa Kapuk; 4) Desa Pulau Aro; and 5) Desa Muara Jernih.

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

Legendary Origin of the Batin V (5)

A young Batin woman and her baby.

A young Batin woman and her baby.

The below legend is one version of the Batin V people. Other legends of the Batin V’s origin can be accessed by clicking the following three links:

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

Legends of the Batin V

A Batin Man

A Batin Man

Below is one of the often repeated stories of the Batin V people. We discovered three other legends associated with the Batin V and they accessed by clicking the following three links:

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

The Invisible Village of Koto Rayo

Centipede in Kota Rayo. When touched with a stick, the centipedes will roll up.

Centipede in Kota Rayo
When touched with a stick, the centipedes will roll up.

This legend, which many of the Batin V believe to be their genuine history (a fact), illustrates their ingrained belief in the paranormal and the powers possessed by their shaman (dukun).

Elderly Batin V men explained to us, how originally, all the people who now make up the five Batin V villages originally came from one village, and its name was Koto Rayo. The location where the ancient village was said to be located is now a very dense, untouched jungle, about 6 acres in size. It is surrounded on three sides by a palm oil plantation, with the fourth side being the Tabir River. This section of jungle is considered sacred by the Batin V people and is forbidden to be cleared for any reason whatsoever. The reason is explained in the legend below. (This legend is similar in some respects to Brigadoon—the invisible town in the famous musical with the same name.)

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The History and

Social Order of the Batin V

Batin woman with a traditional head covering, which they call a takuluk.

Batin woman with a traditional head covering, which they call a takuluk.


Batin V

According to oral history, the Batin V association of villages were said to have originated from 60 families that moved from the ancient Village of Koto Rayo. The original Village of Koto Rayo is located 7 kilometers downstream on the Tabir River from the Village of Rantau Limau Manis. Because the ancient Village of Koto Rayo is uninhabited, its name was transferred to another village just north of Rantau Panjang several years ago. Koto Rayo’s current location can be seen with this link.

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