Friday, September 6, 2013

The Keris Taming Sari is a legendary kris in Malay culture, said to grant physical invulnerability to its wielder. According to folklore it was originally owned by a pendekar from Majapahit named Taming Sari, from which the weapon derives its name.[1] The Melakan admiral Hang Tuah eventually won it in a duel to the death.
According to legend, Hang Tuah gave the kris to Tun Mamat to be returned to Sultan Mahmud Shah when he failed to bring back the princess from Gunung Ledang. Hang Tuah then disappeared and was never seen or heard of again. Another version of the legend has it that Hang Tuah had thrown the keris into the river, saying that he would return when the keris re-appeared.
It is told that that it is made of twenty-one different types of metal. It was said that Taming Sari could do Hang Tuah's fighting for him - if Hang Tuah was menaced or in any danger, the keris would leap out of its sheath, fly through the air and attack the assailant. The whole of the sampir and batang are covered in gold leaf. The keris is classified as a keris gabus or keris terapang.
The kris still exists today and is part of the royal regalia of Sultan Azlan Shah, the Sultan of Perak,Malaysia.
Before the Taming Sari became part of the Perak Royalty's regalia, it is believed to have been a hereditary article of the family of the laksamana (admiral) who for generations, through succession, ruled as the territorial chief of Hilir Perak.
It is believed that the last territorial chief who had the famed keris in his possession was Laksamana Mohd Amin Alang Duakap. In 1876, he was arrested alongside many other rich aristocrats of his time for the alleged involvement in the murder of the first British ResidentJames W.W. Birch. Together with Datuk Shahbandar Uda Kediti (the territorial chief of Kerian), Sutan Abdullah (the reigning Perak monarch of the time) and Menteri Paduka Ngah Ibrahim (the famous administrator of tin-rich Larut), Laksamana Mohd Amin was banished to the Seychelles.
The legendary "kris" (a dagger worn by Malay warriors) said in the Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals) to have belonged to a Javanese warrior, Taming Sari from the court of Majapahit. The kris had changed hands when the famous Malay warrior, Hang Tuah, defeated and killed Taming Sari in a display of strength when the former was sent as an envoy by the Sultan of Malacca to Majapahit.
The "kris" was brought back to Malacca by Hang Tuah and presented to the ruling Sultan. In later years it passed on to the Rulers of Kampar in Sumatra. The 'keris' is now said to be in the possession of the Perak court.
The Taming Sari peregrinations could very well symbolise the various strands of migrations to Malaysia not only from Java and Sumatra but also from other parts of Indonesia. One strand now being studied is focused on the story of a well-known Javanese Muslim general from the court of Solo, Raden Mas Wijoyo-Kesumo.
From the records it could be confirmed that Raden Mas Wijoyo-Kesumo was sent to Sumatra to do battle alongside the Dutch forces in the Paderi Wars (1821-1838), also known as the Minangkabau Wars. Once in Sumatra, Raden Mas changed sides to join the ulama led by Imam Bonjol and emerged victorious. From marriage with Bungo Setangkai, one family line and their succeeding generations could be traced to where they are living today in different parts of Malaysia.
From material provided by courtesy of members of the family of Nilam and Mohamed, a marriage between cousins, a relationship could be traced through one family scion, that of the marriage between Raden Mas of Java and Bungo Setangkai of Sumatra.
From the family tree of the Mohamed-Nilam marriage, it emerged that Mohamed was the son of Abdullah after marriage to Fatimah, his third wife. (Fatimah the daughter of Haji Munah, was the granddaughter of Sakdiah and a great granddaughter of Bungo Setangkai, the wife of Raden Mas Wijoyo-Kesumo).
Nilam was a sixth-generation scion of the Raden Mas-Bungo Setangkai marriage through her father Suki, a great grandson of Jala, who was one of the four children of Raden Mas and Bungo Setangkai that included Sakdiah (who has a granddaughter Fatimah, who married Abdullah, Mohamed's father as stated above).
Further the connecting elements in the family tree came from Mohamed's father, Abdullah, the son of Dato Baginda Alam of Sumatra who settled in Gombak and Nilam's grand uncle, Khatib Koyan who moved from Sumatra and stayed in Kampung Baru, in Kuala Lumpur. It was Khatib Koyan who brought Nilam with him during one of his frequent trips to Kuala Lumpur in 1927. Mohamed and Nilam were married in 1931 and resided in Kampung Baru from the 1920s to the 1980s.The other critical factor in the relationship was that of Jala (on Nilam's side) and Sakdiah (on Mohamed's side). Both Jala and Sakdiah were children of Raden Mas and Bungo Setangkai.
Dr. Ahzari Karim

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