Author: Kinanti Khinan Editor: Herlina Sitorus Illustrator: Maman Mantox & Purwa Gustira Translator: Ratih Soe Proofreader: Dameria Damayanti Origin: Jambi

Rangkayo Hitam or Black Rangkayo was a very famous name in the kingdom of Jambi Malay. He was a brave and powerful young man. He earned the nickname Rangkayo Hitam as a descendant of a black-skinned King. Rangkayo Hitam has an older brother named Rangkayo Pingai.

At that time, the kingdom of Jambi Malay was led by his brother, Rangkayo Pingai. Each season, the Jambi Malay was required to submit a tribute to the Kingdom of Mataram. Back then, the Jambi Malay  was still under the rule of the Kingdom of Mataram.

Rangkayo Hitam was brave enough to refuse to give tribute. One day Rangkayo Hitam blocked a group of people who were on their way to send a tribute to the Kingdom of Mataram.

“Wait! Do not send the tribute to Mataram kingdom, “Rangkayo Hitam loudly intercepted.

“But, this is our duty, Rangkayo,” said one soldier.

“How can our kingdom be prosperous, if we always send tribute to Mataram kingdom. From now on, never give in and be enslaved by another kingdom,“ said Rangkayo Hitam.

All soldiers looked down in silence.

“But, what about this one?” asked another soldier.

“Give it to the poor!” ordered Rangkayo Hitam.

Since then, the kingdom of Jambi Malay had not obeyed any other kingdom, including the Kingdom of Mataram.

Knowing the revolt of the Jambi Malay, King of Mataram got angry. Moreover, the rebellion was led by Rangkayo Hitam. Mataram King plotted an attack. The attack was called Pamalayu. Hence the king of Mataram ask somebody to make a kris to be used against Rangkayo Hitam. The news was heard by Rangkayo Hitam. Unbeknownst to anyone, Rangkayo Hitam went to the Mataram kingdom. Finally, Rangkayo Hitam met a blacksmith who was forging a kris.

“O blacksmith, whom is the kris for?” asked Rangkayo Hitam.

“I’m forging a kris for the King of Mataram. He wants to beat Rangkayo Hitam of the Jambi Malay,“ replied the blacksmith.

“Is it magical and can it beat Rangkayo Hitam?” asked Rangkayo Hitam.

“Sure it is. This kris is made of seven kinds of iron that begin with the letter ‘p’. Its power would be perfect after a bath in seven estuaries,“said the blacksmith confidently.

“Do you know how Rangkayo Hitam looks like?” asked Rangkayo Hitam.

The blacksmith shook his head and stared at the young man standing before him. Suddenly, Rangkayo Hitam darted quickly and grabbed the powerful kris from the hands of the blacksmith.

“I am Rangkayo Hitam!” exclaimed Rangkayo Hitam while displaying his martial art movements. Hence the blacksmith could not move.

After getting the powerful kris, Rangkayo Hitam returned to the Kingdom of Jambi Malay. He immediately set up a battle with the Kingdom of Mataram. He did not forget to bring the kris to seven estuaries to complete the procedure of empowering it.

Since his victory in the battle, Rangkayo Hitam had been increasingly respected throughout the kingdom and the Mataram kingdom. The Kingdom of Jambi Malay was free from the power of the Kingdom of Mataram. The people of Jambi Malay eventually prospered because of the courage of Rangkayo Hitam. The kris that had become inheritance was placed in his hair bun. So, people call it “Ginjai” which means hairpin. It is now called Keris Siginjai.


This post is also available in Bahasa Indonesia.

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