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Notes on Event in Palembang 1389-1511 Malay Melayu Java

Notes on Event in Palembang 1389-1511 Malay Melayu Java

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Notes on Event in Palembang 1389-1511 The Everlasting Colony
Notes on Event in Palembang 1389-1511 The Everlasting Colony

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NOTESONEVENTSINPALEMBANG1389-1511THEEVERLASTINGCOLONY
by
R.
11--:
McRoberts
In1389,PalernbangwasruledbyMajapahit.Itseems,however,tohaveretaineditsthrone,thisbeinginkeepingwithlocalandAsiannotionsofempireandregality.Themainevidencethat
Palembang
retaineditsruler,despiteitsbeingruledbyMajapahitandbeing'''anestofChinesepirates'after1377",1liesinthefactthatin1389anewrulerascendedthePalernbangthrone.?HeisknowntohistoryasParames-
wara,
founderofthe
Melakan
line.Hisnameisusuallytranslated,afterWinstedt,
3
as"PrinceConsort",onemarriedtoawomanofhigherrankthanhimself.This,however,cannotbetakenasevidencethathehadnorighttoruleinPalembang:hemaynothave,buttheevidenceinthesourcesistothecontrary.Thus,the"SejarahMelayu?"alwaysreferstohimasthePadukaSriPikrarnaWira,afullyroyaltitle.Theearliestuseofthetitle"Parameswara"isintheChi-nese
records
whichusuallytransliteratethisruler'snameortitleas
"Bal-lt-mt-su-le"."
thoughthelastthreecharacterscouldatleastequallyrefertohisregnalname.andthefirsttwoperhapstoPalembang,althoughIcanthinkofnoreasonforsuchanabbrevia-tion.Perhapsitcanbededucedatthisstageonlythatthevariationsuggestedhereisasrationalasthemoreusualrenderingof
"Bai-li-mi-su-Ie"
asatransliterationof
"Parames-
wara",
Pires"
calledhim
"Paramjcura",
marriedtoanieceofBataraTamarillofMajapa-hit.PiresalsolistshisfatherastheSamAgi
Palimbaao,
andrelatesthatonhisaccession,hedidnotassumehisfather'stitle,buttheregnalnameof"Mjcura"or"Exempt",
7
aclearfndlcationofhispoliticalambitionsandintentions.Thereafter,PiresreferstothisruleronlybythetitleheusedasCrownPrince,perhapswhenhewasassociatedintheruleofhisfather,andthereforemeritedthattitle,ofParamjcura,whichWinstedtcalled
Parameswara,
EvenifWinstedt'stranslationofthistitleisaccepted,anditisarguedthatthisrulerhadnoothername,beinggrantedthenamebyhiscontemporariesonlybecauseofhismarriageto
a
nieceofBataraTamarill(andnotbecausehewasestablishedin
a
jointrulewithhisfather),suchargumentscannotbeacceptedasevidencethathehadnorighttoruleinPalembang,BataraTarnarill'sniecewasnothisonlyWife,normayshehavebeenthemotherofhisheir,asisdiscussedbelow.Woltersbaseshistheoryintheideathat
Pa-
lembangwasheirtoSrivijaya,itsrulerheirtotheMalayconsciousnessexpressedinthe
J.V.G.Mills,tr.,"Ying-yaisheng-lan,"Camb.U.P.,1970,p.99.r.n.1.
FOI
theeventsof1389-1391
and
their
implications,see
especiallyWolters,
"The
fallof
Srivi-
jaya
in
Malay
history,"
O.U.P.,
K.L.,
1970.Winstedt,"AhistoryofMaiacca,"1962,
p.
39.ForExample,
"Sejarah
Melayu",Brown'srecension
(hereafter
"SM"),62.82."Ming
She".Seealso
Wang.
"Thefirstthreerulers
of
Malacca,"
JMBRAS41
(1).
1968,
l
l~22.
Pires,"SumaOriental",HakluytSociety
(hereafter
"SO"),folio164r.SO164v.
"Jsemto"
isPires'translationofthisname.
73
 
)MBRASVOL59
memoryofSrivijaya.ItisverylikelythatthePalembangrulerssoregardedthemselves,andsuchexpressionsofself.perceptionarepotentpropaganda,especiallyinanoralsociety,asthiswas.Further,asrulersofastateundertheimperialcontrolofMajapahit,itwouldhavebeennatural,indeedcustomaryandrationalrealpolitik,forPalembang'srulerstoform
a
marriagealliancewiththepowereliteofMajapahit.
In
thissituation,theuseofthetitle"Pararneswara"wassimplytheresultofthelocalrealpolitik,inwhichtheBataraofMajapahitoutrankedtherulersofthosestateswhichformedthelocalimperium.Inthesameway,the"SejarahMelayu"recordsthattheMelakanBendaharaoutrankedtherulerofformerly.independentKedah
8
andinthepoliticalrealitiesofrelationswithAyuthiya,outrankedtherulerofPahangevenafterthelossofMelakatothePortuguese.
9
.~,ecauseoftlri~,reasons,itisprobablymorereasonabletoreferto
this
rulerbythetitleParameswaraonlyfortheperiod1389-1391,thatis,beforehisassumptionof~oler~le,l:taloneruleinhisownright.Tocontinuetorefertorumbythistitle
In
adISCUSSIonofpost·1391eventsis,asWoltersdemonstratedandasisdiscussedbelowananachronism,'Whatisbeyond1~ubt
is
thathewasstillaminor,perhapsthirteen,andcertainlynomorethanfifteen,onhisaccessiontosolerule.Hethereforeprobablydidnotrule,butmayhavebeencontrolledbytheleaderofhisadministration,whoseemstohavebeenthelocalchieforrulerofBentanintheislandsoffTumasek.ThisPremiermayhavebeengrantedBentan.asa~oldingofthePalembangthrone:orBentanmayhavebeenanolddep~ndencyretainedInthePalernbangdignity.Afinalpossibility(thereisnoevi-denceeitherway)
is
thathewasanindependentrulerwhooffered
alleaiance
to
Palem-
bang,orwhosoughttoincrease
his
powerbyserviceinPalcmbang.
o
Whatisevi~entis
his
~esiretoincreasethepowerofthestateheserved,andtherebythepowerofhisOWnposmon:for,immediatelyupontheaccessionofthenewrulerhedespatchedamissiontoChina.Perhapsthepreviousrulerhadbeenfirm
in
hi;v~ssalagetoMajapahit:withhisdemise,theMinistergraspedtheopportunityoffered
his
stateandestate
by
thepoliciesofChina'snewMingrulers.Suchamissionashedespatched,atraditionaldeviceusedby
all
thestatesofSouth-eastAsiainfurtheranceoftheirownpoliciesandeconomies,wouldhaveservedseveralalmsofthestate,andofitsgovernment.Mainly,ChinaundertheearlyMingemperorswasexpectedtoreviveChina'sinterestintheNanhaia~ea.ThisofferedthelocalstatesrenewedaccesstothatChinesepatronagea.ndtrade.(officla~~ndno~.official)whichhadalway.provensobeneficialtotheirpoli-ties,
politicalambitions
anoeconomies.RepresentingitselfascomingfromSrivijaya,whichappearedintheChineserecordsasanindependentstateinSoutheastAsiaandlongafaithfulvassalofChinathismissionwasabletosecureanimmediateresponsefromtheMinggovernment:animperialmission
8
~
10
SM
163
SM217.Thenormalagefortheinceptionof.ruler'smajoritywasfifteen,bywhichtimehenormallyhadproducedhisownheir.Mostcommentatorsalsoassumethataprincecouldbecomeaco-ruler,usuallywithIusfather,ateitherelevenorthirteenyearsofage·(theactualagevariesbetweenconuncntators,andmay
have
variedbetweenstates).
74
PART11986
wasdespatchedtoPalembang,UnfortunatelyforthemembersofthlsChinesemission,eventsweremovingapaceinPalernbang,In1391aroundthetimeoftheirarrivalinSoutheastAsia,
Parameswara
assumed
in-
dependence
in
Palernbang,andassumedtheregnalnameof"Mjcura".Also,somet~e
in
theperiod1390-1391,theBataraofMajapahitdied,leavingapowervacuum
In
~hestate.ThismayhaveprecipitatedMjcura'sassumptionofindependence,ortherelationbetweentheeventsmaybemerelycoincidental.Equally,theBatara'sdeathmaynothaveoccurreduntilafterMjcura'selevation.Thereisnowayofknowingthechronologicalorderofthetwoevents,andso,equally,thereisuncertaintyastotherelationship,ifany,betweenthem.The"SejarahMelayu"treatsatsomelengthstheeventsof1391inPalembang,assomuchofsubsequentMelakanhistorydependedthereon.Themethodishagiograpltic,ra-tional
in
viewofthepoliticalaimsofthewriterandhisroyalmaster.Byexaminingitsaccountinthislight,thehistoricaleventsarediscernible.The"SejarahMelayu"firstlyrelatesthatSriTriBuanahadtriedunsuccessfullywith"thirty-nineprincesses"toproduceanheir,butthateachofhispartnershadbeen
subse-
quentlystrickenwithchloasma.'!AcompactwasthenmadebetweenSriTriBuanaandhispremierDemangLebarDaun:thefirstpartofthiswastheestablishmentoftheMalaypolity,thetirnpadaulat,
12
Bymeansofthis,theorangkayaandtheprin.ceformedanalliance,guaranteeingthethronetoSriTriBuanaandhisdescendants,andindependencetobothpartiestotheagreement.Thiswasacalltorebellionagainstforeignrule,andaconstitutionalbasisforthesubsequentMalaystate.ThenSriTri
Buana
sleptwithWan
Sendarl,
daughterofDemangLebarDaun.Whenshewasnotstrickenwithchloasma,bothmenagreedtothedeviceofamarriagealliance'?tosealtheirpoliticalalliance.InaceremonywhichcombinedanimistandHinduritualandbeliefsandformulae,thismarriagewassolemnlsed,"Sometime"later,SriTri
Buana,
DemangLebarDaun,theentirecourtandalargefleet
f:ft
Palemba~gf~rBentanandTumasek,onthewaylosingthecrownoveIboa~~.AspremierinPalembang,theylefttheyoungerbrotherofDemangLebarDaun.InTuma~ek,eve~-tually,PadukaSriPikramaWira,sonofSriTriBuana,assumedthethroneonhisfathersdeath,andsubsequentlydiedthere.Thereareseveralpointsinthisnarrativeworthyofnote.Firstly,thestoryopenswithDemandLebarDaunasrulerinPalemba~g.~eabdicatesinfavourofSriTrlBuanawhenthelatterappearswithmiraculouslyWithhisthreebrothers,allthreebeingdescendantsofAlexandertheGreat.SriTriBuana'smajestyandsupremelordshipareproclaimedbyBath,acreaturewhomiraculouslyappearsinfoamspewed("muntahkanbueh")16bya"silverywhite"c0V:'.Bathisthean-cestoroftheMuntah
Lernbu
family,whosedutyitwastorelatethechinatthecorona-tionsofMelakanandotherMalayrulers.'?Probably,thispartofthestoryshouldbeseenonlyasthelegitimisationofthe
Mela-
II
!1
13
14
IS
16
17
SM57.Thirty-nine
is
a
primalritualnumbercomposedfromtwoimportant
prime
numbers.SM57.SM58.SM58-59,6LSM59.SM57_Secespeciallyf.n,47.Ibid
75
 
JMBRASVOL59
kanlinebyalater,post-Melakan,Muslimauthor:mostMuslimrulersclaimeddescentfromAlexander.PerhapstheinclusionofBathcanbeseenasanindicationthatacorona-tionoccurredwhichusedSrivijayan,Hinduritual.Next,itcanbeconjecturedthatwhatthe"SejarahMelayu"calls"chloasma"wasactuallyinfertility,or,rather,theinabilitytoproduceamaleheir.Mjcura'seventualhis-toricalheir,whoruledinMelakaasMegatIskanderShah,establishedaseparatecourtatMelakabetween1399and1402,thoughprobablyclosertothelaterdate/
8
andmaythereforehavebeenbornincirca1390-1391.
This
productionofanheirwouldhavesealedanycompactbetweenrulerandpremier,and,byassuringthecontinuationoftheline,therebyhavemadeplausibletheothereventsof1391.WhatisintendedintheaccountoftheweddingceremonybetweenSriTriBuanaandWanSendari,andthatofsubsequentincidentsuptotheforcedexpulsionofthePalern-bangrulerfromTurnasek?
It
canbeconjecturedthatthisSriTriBuanaandDemangLebarDaunareintendedtorepresenteitherthehistoricaloriginatorsoftheMelakanpolioty,ortheoriginalSrivijayanempire,iftheyarenottobeseenmerelyascharactersinventedbytheauthoraspartofhisaimoflegitimisingtheMelakanroyalline.Thatistosay,thereisnowayofidentifyingthesetwopositivelyastherulerandpremierinPalern-bangin1390-1391.Theincidentofthethrowingoverboardofthecrown,aseemingoversightbytheauthor,maythenrepresentthefallofSrivijaya,orthe1391flightfromitsheirofPalembang.
It
isevidentfromthisthatthefirsteighty-fourfoliosofthe"Seja-rahMelayu"needtobeexaminedwithmorecarethanhashithertobeenaccordedthem.Aspartofthis,itispossiblethatthemarriageceremonyrelatesincidentsof1391,foritcanbearguedthatthe"SejarahMelayu"accountmaskswhatWolterscallsanabhisekaceremony,andWinstedtsakti,andwhichbothagreeoccurredinPalembangin1391.
19
BothalsoareagreedthatinthisceremonytherulerofPalcmbangassumedgod-head,andaninviolaterighttoruleasheirtoSrivijaya.ThiswasapubliccalltorebellionagainstMajapahit,andinterpretedassuchbyallintheregion.Majapahit'sreactionwasswift.ItdespatchedaforcetoreconquerPalembangandtoextinguishthebidforindependencethere.Thiswasdone,andtherulerandcourtfledtoTumasekviaBentan,whichseemstraditionallytohavehadafemaleruler,theonemen-tionedinthesourcesforthistimebeingWanSri
Benian.f?
It
mayhavebeenatthisstageoftheflightfromPalembangthatthecompactwasformed,thebasisofthetimpadaulat,Thatis,theruler,orherrepresentative,orarelation,mayhavealliedthemselveswiththefugitiveMjcurainBentan.WhilstthismayappearafoolishpolicyforBentan,itmakessenseifeitherBentan,ortheBentanrepresentative,wishedindependenceforthemselves.Itshouldalsobesaidthatthismakestheeventsof1391inPalembangthesoleresponsi-bilityofMjcura.ManycommentatorswouldarguethatMjcurawasnotoldenough,ornotadeterminedenoughruler,tohavedecidedon,andcarriedthrough,suchanextremepolicy.SuchanargumentignoresthesubsequentbehaviourofMjcura,thecogencyandrationaleofwhosepolicywasalwaystheestablishmentandmaintenanceofhisindepen-dentrule.Majapahit'sdeterminationinitsreconquestofPalembangwassoextensivethatitalsoattackedtheChinesemissiontoPalernbang,whicharrivedintheareaatthistime.
1S
SO
166r.
19
Wolters,op.cit.,Winstedt,op.cit.20SM59.
76
PART11986
It
isnoteworthythatthisextremeactiondidnotlongincurthewrathofthe.Min~,whoquicklylearnedforthemselvesthatSrivijaya/Palembanghadindee~~eco~e,S10ceItslastcontactwithChina,avassalofMajapahit,thatthePalernbangadministrationhadrebelledagainstitsrightfullord,andthatthatlordretainedpoweranddete~~inationenou~h
.to
reconquerhisrebelliousvassaLPalembang'srecoursetoMalaytraditiontoassertIts
in-
dependenceresultedinthereassertionofMajapahit'simperialcontrol..YetMajapahitseemstohavebeenunabletoconsolidatethisre~onquest.WIththedeathofitspremier,thecentralauthorityofthestatedecreased,andmthecourse.oft~enextcenturyallpowerpassedfromitsgrasp,andnew,port-statesarose,especiallymnortherncentralJava.However,thememoryof,anditspretensionsto,Majapahit'scon-troloflocalpowerremained,reinforcedbyitssuccessfulcampaignagainstPalembang'srebellionof1391...,Despitethis,localruleinPalembangsoonpassedtoalargedegreeoutofMajapahitscontrol,MaHuanrecordingrulebythelocalChinesetradersintheperiod1390toatleast1424.11Thereisnoindicationoftheirroleintheevents
~f
1391,t~o~~~theywouldatleasthavebeenindependentparties,perhapsinterested10thePOSSIbIlItiesorthemselvesandtheirtrade
in
themorelocalruleofferedbyanindependentruler,perhapsfearfuloftheconsequencesoftheinstabilitythatbidforindependenceoffere~bothPa-[ernbanganditsneighbours.Despitetheassumptionthattheywouldhavebeenmtereste~partiesintheseevents,thereisnowayofknowingwhichwaytheytended,noroftheiractualroleasthereisnorecordoftheiractivitiesin1391.Inhis'sectiononthe"countryofoldhaven,"MaHuanrelatedthatintheHung-wuperiod22(1368-1402
23),
severalCantonesefledtoPalembang,amongthemoneChenZu-iwhoeventuallysethimselfupastheleaderofPalembang.Hemayhaveactedsobe-
cause
ofapowervacuumcreatedbyMajapahit'sinabilitytodemonstrateitscontrol,andthesubsequentdesireofthelargeChinesecommunityinPalernbangtoen.suresafecO.n.ditionsfortheirmercantilelivelihoods:if,ontheotherhand,hewasappointedbyMaja-pahit,thismayhavebeenanaccommodationoftheinterestsofMajapahit,~h~Chinesecommunity,and,perhaps,Chenhimself.Orthismayhavebeenanopportunisticgraba.tlocalpowerbyChen,orbytheforeigncommunitywho,atthistime,seeminglydorni-natedPalembang,andareoftencastigatedaspirates,24thoughthismaymean~nlythattheywerelevyingtaxesandimpostsontheirownauthority.Finally,itispossibleC~enwasestablishedincommand
0
f
PalembangbyMajapahit,perhapsinreturnfor
services
renderedagainstMjcura,whosebidforindependenceandaMalayconfederationm~ynothaveappealedtotheforeigntradingcommunity.Therewasadegreeofanarchy.10SoutheastAsiaintheperiod1390toatleast1410,withChina,MajapahitandAyuthiyaallpressingtheirpretensionsintheareaanda~temptingt.o.expa~dtheirccnt~ol,butwithnoneofthem,forreasonsoflogisticsandinternalPOhtICS,beingableeffectivelyto
21
22
23
YYSL,tr.Mills.p.p.
99-100.~~;~~s9i368-1398,
thereign
dates
ofHung-wu,TheYung-loperiod
co~menced
in
.14i~0~n1398-1402,
ChinawasruledbytheChien-wenemperor,Yun~10.stagingacoup
in.
Becauseof
the
natureofhisreasonsfor
staging
thatcoup,Yung-losreignstarts
at
tileendof
the
Hung-wu,andtheHung-wuiswrittenas
ending
in
1402.
Thus,seYYSL,p.99,re
Chen.
4
77

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