Navigation – Plan du site

AccueilNuméros98ÉtudesThe strange journey of Latawalujw...

Études

The strange journey of Latawalujwa in Java, from two pre-Islamic goddesses to an elastic term for God

L’étrange périple de Latawalujwa à Java, de deux déesses pre-Islamiques à un terme élastique pour Dieu
M. C. Ricklefs
p. 109-119

Résumés

À l’aube de l’Islam, les divinités païennes al-Lat et al-‘Uzza de la période préislamique étaient considérées comme une menace pour la nouvelle religion. Elles apparaissent dans l’un des plus anciens manuscrits javanais modernes existants, Caritanira Amir, composé vers 1629, sous la forme Lata wa-l-‘Uzza, leurs noms reliés par la conjonction arabe -wa- (« et »). Cela semble être la cause de la confusion ultérieure de ces deux noms pour un seul : Latawalujwa (ou de proches variantes). Cette méprise se trouve même dans une traduction du Coran en écriture javanaise (et non arabe), qui fait référence à une curieuse « idole nommée Latawalnguza ». Du XVIIIe jusqu’au début du XXe siècle, on trouve plusieurs exemples javanais de ce nom singulier pour indiquer une divinité unique, parfois Dieu lui-même, ou d’autres sortes de divinités. L’origine de ce nom semble avoir été totalement oubliée.

Haut de page

Texte intégral

1In the early history of Islam three pre-Islamic deities were regarded as particular threats to the new faith. These were the female goddesses al-Lat, al-‘Uzza and Manat. They are described in the Qur’an sura 53 al-Najm verses 19-23 as follows (Abdel Haleem’s translation):

  • 2 M.A.S. Abdel Haleem (transl.), The Qur’an: A new translation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004 (...)

[Disbelievers], consider al-Lat and al-‘Uzza, and the third one Manat. — Are you to have the male and He the female? That would be a most unjust distribution! — these are nothing but names you have invented yourselves, you and your forefathers. God has sent no authority for them. These people merely follow guesswork and the whims of their souls, even though guidance has come to them from their Lord.2

  • 3 J. Noorduyn, “The three palm-leaf MSS from Java in the Bodleian Library and their donors,” Journal (...)
  • 4 M. C. Ricklefs, “Bantĕn and the Dutch in 1619: Six early ‘pasar Malay’ letters,” Bulletin of the Sc (...)

2In his current research on the Caritanira Amir found in Bodleian MS Jav.b.2(R), Ben Arps has discovered what is probably the earliest surviving reference to al-Lat and al-‘Uzza in a Javanese manuscript. This has proved to be a key discovery in this tale of Latawalujwa’s origins and subsequent usages. Noorduyn established that the MS was given to the Bodleian in 1629,3 so it is clearly older than that. The MS is on palm-leaf (lontar) and written with Javanese script (anacaraka). Noorduyn found no clear evidence concerning its provenance, but its palaeography is similar to that found in examples of Javanese script written in Banten in 1619.4 Thus — in the midst of our very limited knowledge of Javanese palaeography of that era — we may reasonably say that the Bodleian MS is probably of north coast (pasisir) origin and perhaps from Banten.

  • 5 Bodleian MS Jav.b.2(R), f. 116v. I am most grateful to Ben Arps for sharing this research with me.

3In this Caritanira Amir, in a letter written in the name of the infidel emperor Nusirwan, we find reference to the two goddesses al-Lat and al-‘Uzza, written with the Arabic word wa (“and”) as Lata wa-l-‘Uzza, who are then described as the greater idol and the lesser idol.5

4There are two important points about this early Caritanira Amir reference. (1) The use of special characters for Arabic letters confirms that the writer knew that she or he was dealing with Arabic, rather than Javanese, names. The orthography of this text employs the conventional Javanese characters ngu and ja with a diacritical symbol superimposed so as to be read as Arabic ‘ain and z (zayn). These are unmistakably two infidel Arabic idols in the story, as they are in the Qur’an. (2) The writer chose to preserve the Arabic conjunction wa (“and”) rather than choosing a Javanese conjunction (karo, kaliyan, sakarone, sakaliyan). Had the writer of Caritanira Amir written Lata karo ‘Uzza, it would have been obvious to a reader who did not know Arabic that these were two separate names. It is this convention that made it possible for later Javanese literati to take Lata wa-l-‘Uzza as a single name, with wal just part of the name.

5Taking these two points into consideration, let us imagine a reader who did not know in advance that he or she should read Lata wa-l-‘Uzza as two Arabic names connected by the Arabic conjunction wa and, moreover, did not understand the significance of the diacritical marks superimposed on ngu and ja. Our hypothetical reader could then read these names as one: Latawalnguja. We may see here the start of our rather mysterious tale, the birth-origins of a singular Javanese deity named Latawalujwa, whose Quranic origin as the names of two pre-Islamic goddesses got lost over time to the Javanese literati who deployed this now-singular name.

  • 6 There are other fragments of the Qur’an in Javanese script. The first sura, the Fatiha, is often fo (...)

6But what if this hypothetical reader were to read instead the Qur’an itself in Javanese script? We may assume that a reader who read the text in Arabic script — the most usual way for a Javanese translation of the Qur’an to be written — would understand the function of the Arabic conjunction wa. But what of the reader whose access to the Qur’an was only through Javanese script? We have such an example done in Surakarta in 1905, which provides important evidence of how the two pre-Islamic goddesses were presented to a reader of that recension.6

7We will quote the passage in this 1905 Qur’an in anacaraka which is parallel to that quoted above from Abdel Haleem’s translation. This will both show how al-Lat and al-‘Uzza fared and suggest the degree of difficulty the Javanese translator had with the Arabic text:

  • 7 Kur’an Jawi, translated by Bagus Ngarpah, an abdi-dalem ngulama (a court official who was an Islami (...)

All tell how was your opinion regarding the idol named Latawalnguza? And the other three? Do they have power like the power of Allah? (no) Is it true that all of those male children are His sons, while the female child is [also] a child of Allah? Such a distribution would be most wrong, unjust. All of those who’ve been mentioned are just names; those who named them are you and your ancestors. Allah has not commanded worship of those idols and there is no true sign that those idols are objects of worship. Worshipping those idols is just to follow your imagination and the heart’s desire of those won over by the devil’s temptation. For the people of Mecca have already been admonished by Allah their Lord.7

8In this text, the parenthetical “(no)” is an intervention by the translator, editor or scribe, evidently worried that a Javanese reader was at risk of giving the wrong answer to the rhetorical question whether the idols “have power like the power of Allah”. In this Javanese-script Qur’an we see al-Lat and al-‘Uzza mentioned with the Arabic conjunction wa preserved, as was the case with the much older Caritanira Amir. So the name could be read as a singular: Latawalnguza. In this case there is no diacritical mark to indicate the ‘ain at the start of al-‘Uzza, but the z is indicated with the standard Javanese character ja with the common diacritical mark superimposed of three dots arranged as a triangle. So a reader who did not recognise the meaning of that diacritical mark could read the name as Latawalnguja.

9Readers will already have noticed in this Javanese-script Qur’an several departures from the understanding of the passage as given by Abdel Haleem. We may note particularly the disappearance of Manat, so that no reader would be led to suspect that there were three named goddesses in the Qur’an. Indeed, this version understood the Qur’an to tell of “Latawalnguza and the other three,” those three being unnamed. So no Javanese reader whose sole access to the Qur’an was via this translation, or another like it, would have reason to doubt that Latawalnguza/Latawalnguja was a single idol. Such a reader should, however, have concluded that worship of this deity was prohibited idolatry.

10Ben Arps advises that there are further references to al-Lat and al-‘Uzza in texts of the Menak tradition, romances dealing with the Prophet’s uncle Amir Hamzah. We will not pursue all these references. Instead we turn now to the time from the 18th century onward when we find Latawalujwa in other Javanese sources.

  • 8 Ricci, Ronit, “From Jewish disciple to Muslim guru: On literary and religious transformations in la (...)

11Ronit Ricci has shown how the Book of one thousand questions, known in multiple languages at least since the tenth century, was transformed in Javanese hands in the later nineteenth. Rather than a story about a Jew who converts to Islam in conversation with the Prophet, the later Javanese version became a story about a Muslim Javanese guru who sets out essential doctrines of Javanese-inflected Islam in conversation with his sons. There is neither Jew nor Prophet in that later Javanese branch of the story.8 That may seem a curious enough transition, but Latawalujwa’s adventures have even more surprising outcomes. We will find some remarkable usages below.

12We will examine these later occurrences known to me in approximate chronological order. That is not to suggest that these occurrences were sequential, each one being influenced by the preceding and leading to the next. It merely shows us that there were some Javanese authors who evidently knew — or thought they knew — what Latawalujwa meant even though the references, taken together, in fact suggest confusion. There are also undoubtedly other references not known to me in the thousands of Javanese MSS beyond the reach of my reading and modern search engines. But we will have enough examples to get some idea of what happened.

  • 9 There is some confusion about the date of Yasadipura’s death; I have suggested that the correct dat (...)
  • 10 Yasadipura I [ascribed to], Babad Giyanti (21 vols; Batawi Sentrum, 1937-9), vol. xiii, p. 58. Just (...)

13The first of the later references known to me occurs in Babad Giyanti, one of the finest Javanese chronicles and examples of macapat poetry. It was presumably written between c. 1757 (when the war it describes came to an end) and the 1803 death of the poet usually accepted as its author, Yasadipura I.9 It records a letter written c. January1753 by the lord of Madura Cakraningrat V (r. 1745-1770) to the rebel king Mangkubumi (r. 1749-1792), then contemplating an attack on Surabaya. The letter aimed to cajole Mangkubumi into changing his intentions. It was written in the fashion of an admiring subject to a king, flattering the recipient. The letter said, inter alia, that the lords of Java all wished that Mangkubumi should “be made successful by Hyang Latawalujwa.” It goes on to pray also for his success as a defender of the Qur’an.10 The word Hyang, which precedes Latawalujwa here, is an appellation for a divine being or God. The important points to note are that (1) this reference is solidly within the Islamic tradition; (2) it would appear to be a reference to God, who might bless Mangkubumi with success; (3) clearly the meaning of Latawalujwa was expected to be understood by Mangkubumi and (4) it also made sense to the compiler of Babad Giyanti.

  • 11 Yasadipura I, Menak Cina (5 vols; Jakarta: Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, Proyek Penerbitan (...)

14Yasadipura I is also credited with a text called Menak Cina. In the printed edition, we find a reference to a deity described as Kaki Andhol Hong Ti Te along with Hyang Latawalujwa. I lack the expertise to identify Hong Ti Te (elsewhere in the work written Hong Ting Te) but wonder whether this could refer to the Jade Emperor, a Daoist deity known (among other designations) as Huang Da Di. Nor is it entirely clear to me whether he and Hyang Latawalujwa are meant to be one and the same. There are also two other references to Hyang Latawalujwa in this work.11 Whatever the uncertainty, it seems likely that here Latawalujwa is meant to be a Chinese deity.

  • 12 Purwadi, Pakeliran padat: Lakon Babad Lokapala (Yogyakarta: Pendidikan Bahasa Daerah, Fakultas Baha (...)
  • 13 See Poerbatjaraka, Kapustakan Djawi (Djakarta/Amsterdam: Penerbit Djambatan, 1952), pp. 149-50, who (...)
  • 14 Purwadi, Pakeliran padat, p. 8.

15The third reference known to me, in chronological order, is in a Romanised text entitled Sĕrat Lokapala. The version under discussion here12 is dated Tuesday-Paing, 27 Jumadilawal, wuku Julungpujut, Jimawal wiku misik swara tunggil [AJ 1757] and AH 1245, equivalent to 24 November 1829. This is said to be by the poet Sindusastra.13 The text opens with Adam, who gave birth to the Prophet Sis, after which follow several generations of “begats” reaching to Pakubuwana IV of Surakarta (r. 1788-1820). In a later canto, the text tells of the supernatural figure Sang Hyang Tunggal who was “wandering about under the sea. Having become extremely weary, he slept upon a stone. There it was as if Sang Hyang Tunggal was picked up by Hyang Latawalujwa and dropped in the palace.”14 A few lines later, the poet toys with the idea that Latawalujwa consists of two elements, implicitly connected by the Arabic wa’l. He reverses the order of the two elements – still, however, apparently referring to a single being – as Hyang Ujwalati. Lata is lati here metri causa, for /i/ is required for the final vowel in the second line of a verse in Pangkur metre.

16So in this Lokapala text dated 1829, we see Hyang Latawalujwa again as some sort of deity. Sindusastra appears to have suspected that the name was of Arabic origin and two elements, combined by the conjunction wa’l.

  • 15 M. C. Ricklefs, “The perils of hybridity in 19th-century Java: Ronggawarsita’s reputation, animated (...)
  • 16 Poerbatjaraka, Kapustakan Djawi, pp. 151-4, 157.

17Our next example takes us to the man conventionally regarded as the last of Java’s great poets, Ronggawarsita (1802–73), descended from the Yasadipura line. He was the author of poetry that is still revered in Java, but also of the curious pseudo-historical works Pustakaraja Purwa (“The book of kings of ancient times”) and its prologue Paramayoga (“The exalted age”?) which covered the mythical past of Java, beginning with Adam and Indian gods and ending in the year 730. The contents present themselves as if they were the result of serious research but are in fact mainly (I would say wholly except that I’ve not read all of these works) made-up-as-you-go nonsense. Ronggawarsita was the target of considerable, and evidently distressing, public condemnation by some of his contemporaries.15 We don’t know for certain when these grand pseudo-historical books were written but there are grounds for thinking that it may have been in the 1850s. A hundred years after that, the formidable scholar Poerbatjaraka wrote that the sources that Ronggawarsita cited for Paramayoga had never existed, nor had the made-up dating system that Ronggawarsita employed. Poerbatjaraka’s condemnation of Pustakaraja Purwa was equally strong, dismissing it as “empty prattle” (omong-kosong).16

  • 17 Ronggawarsita. Sĕrat Paramayoga: Anyariosakĕn lalampahanipun Kangjĕng Nabi Adam akaliyan lalampahan (...)

18In Paramayoga, we see the most flamboyant of all attempts to make sense of the name Latawalujwa, as one would expect of Ronggawarsita. In the edition of the text edited by the 20th-century literary scholar Padmasusastra, we again find the name Latawalujwa broken into two bits. Now, however, they appear as the names of twin children of Adam, the 15th such in order by age, an incestuous pair named Sayid Lata and Siti Walngujya or just Ngujya. They were — Ronggawarsita tells us — among the children of Adam who resisted the will of their father. Lata and Ngujya travelled to China. Then they were in Africa, where they practised asceticism by the Nile and taught one Sayid Anwar the mystical science of being watchful (ilmu kawaspadan).17

19This typically idiosyncratic Ronggawarsita version of the mysterious name tells us two things of relevance. First, the twins Sayid Lata and Siti Walngujya are depicted within an Islamic framework, as is shown by their proposed descent from Adam and the title Sayid (Arabic sayyid for a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad). Second, the idiosyncrasy remained Ronggawarsita’s alone; the further examples we will see below make no reference to these curious twins.

20If we are correct to assume that Paramayoga was a work of the 1850s, then the next examples come from the Javanese newspaper Bramartani (during 1864-11 Aug.1870 entitled Jurumartani). In 1868 our mysterious name Latawalujwa showed up twice there. This was in the context of a feisty exchange between two readers, one calling himself Pak Nugi or Kewus Nendar (also Kewun Nendar, in either case a rather strange name, probably a nom de plume) and a person who describes himself as a student of the government school in Surakarta, using his own pseudonym of Gunawan. The subject matter was words used in the Banyumas and Bagelen dialects of Javanese, not itself of interest to us here. In a letter published on 21 May 1868, Gunawan exclaimed “I ya Latawaluja!” In the issue of 18 June, Kewus Nendar replied that anyone who used that expression — which is printed in this case as “I la Yatawaluja” — must be a Hindu and not a Muslim like the Javanese.

  • 18 I am grateful to Dr Achmad Sunjayadi of the Department of History, University of Indonesia, for sca (...)

21Thus, it seems that, at least for this one correspondent in 1868, Latawaluja was a Hindu term and anyone who used it was not a Muslim. This 1868 exchange, and the Menak Cina reference above, suggest that Latawalujwa might appear in different religious contexts. But perhaps it was more the case that for literate Javanese — or at least for Pak Nugi alias Mas Kewus Nendar — the name was a mystery.18 If Gunawan replied to this charge, his response is lost in the issues of the newspaper which are missing from the Indonesian National Library collection.

22Again in 1878 and in 1887, Latawalujwa appeared in Bramartani. In the issue of 14 March 1878, we find the name in a passage from a verse (macapat) story where it is unmistakeably a reference to God: “Hyang Latawalujwa, who temporarily loans life and death to all the people of the world.” Because this is said to be a poetic (macapat) tale translated into Javanese from Chinese, however, it is reasonable to think that Latawalujwa here was once more a Chinese deity. The Bramartani issue of 28 July 1887 contains the start of a serialised version of the Bayan Budiman myth, which is located clearly in an Islamic context, where Latawalujwa is mentioned as the divinity who has made something forbidden (karam, Arabic haram).

  • 19 G.W.J. Drewes, “The struggle between Javanism and Islam as illustrated by the Sěrat Děrmagandhul,” (...)
  • 20 These books are discussed in M. C. Ricklefs, Polarising Javanese society: Islamic and other visions (...)

23This takes us to other later 19th-century examples, which we find in anti-Islamic books written in Kediri in the 1870s, Babad Kĕdhiri, Suluk Gatholoco and Sĕrat (or Suluk) Dĕrmagandhul. These are closely related to each other and, as Drewes put it, they “breathe rejection of Islam as being a religion foreign to Java and the Javanese; moreover, a religion which had come to power as a result of the utterly reprehensible conduct of the walis.”19 This theme runs throughout all three books.20

24In the edition and translation of Babad Kĕdhiri by Van den Broek, we find a discussion between Brawijaya, the last king of Hindu-Buddhist Majapahit, who has converted to Islam, and his supernatural companion Sěbdapalon Nayagenggong (who soon turns out to be Sĕmar, the most powerful of Java’s god-clowns), who refuses to join the king in converting. He denies that Islam is the true faith and says,

  • 21 P.W. van den Broek (ed. & transl.), De geschiedenis van het rijk Kědiri, opgeteekend in het jaar 18 (...)

Those who call that true are those who are of that religion themselves, who are devoted to it. But I call it not yet the truth and I am not yet devoted. I am devoted to the old religion, the Buda religion. The meaning of the Buda religion is the religion of budi. The meaning of budi is the being of Yang Latawaluja, who envelops my human body, who has the power to move the world. The duty of humans is to be faithful to their budi, which is true, bright and clear.21

25Van den Broek adds a footnote to the Javanese textual reference to Latawaluja, in which he speculates that it is “probably the same description as Hyang Jagadwasesa [the divine governor of the world] = the name of the supreme god of the Buddhists in Java.” That is a large leap of imagination and not, alas, of much help in our discussion here. In the Dutch translation he misspells the name as “Jang Wåtåwal-oedjå.” Over a decade ago, this was the first time I had encountered the name Latawaluja and in Polarising Javanese Society (p. 187) I could only add my own helpless footnote saying, “Presumably a term for God, but I know of no other source and see no obvious meaning in it.”

26We find another reference in the closely related work Sĕrat Dĕrmagandhul. This is in the edition published c. 1920 in Yogyakarta by the publisher H. Buning – but not, I believe, in the parallel section of the 1921 edition brought out by Tan Khoen Swie in Kediri. In the Buning edition, Butalocaya, a clearly pre-Islamic figure found also in Babad Kĕdhiri, where he is described as the king of all the spirits who lived in a cave, has a disputation with one of the original saints (walis) of Islam in Java, Sunan Bonang. The latter is thoroughly denounced in this source for his unprovoked destructiveness. Bonang says that he has attacked pre-Islamic statues in order to prevent people worshipping them in the heretical fashion of kapirs (infidels). Ki Butalocaya says, “Javanese people already know that stone statues have no power; it is different with Latawalujwa. Therefore he is honoured, given offerings and incense.”22

  • 23 Darusuprapta et al. (ed. and transl.), Ajaran moral dalam susastra suluk (Jakarta: Departemen Pendi (...)

27A parallel passage is found in a MS said to be from the MSS collection of Gadjah Mada University and published by Darusuprapta et al. Prior to that reference is another part of the Sunan Bonang tale, where he angrily alters the course of the River Brantas and thereby does great harm to ordinary folk. In this context, the text refers to “the teachings of Latawaluja, which originate from the word of god (tuwan).”23

  • 24 See Ricklefs, Polarising Javanese society, particularly chapter 7.

28Ambiguity lurks in these references. Here we encounter the word-play of the later 19th-early 20th centuries between Buda (pre-Islamic religion) and budi. The latter term is difficult to translate, but in general can be taken as a very positive concept which had to do with intellect, elevated culture and character, and striving. The idea of an identity between Buda and budi was crucial among anti-Islamic Javanese of that era. It was a common idea among that group that modern, scientific European learning, represented most immediately by Dutch colonial educational initiatives, was budi and that was the key to the future. And because Buda and budi were really one, this was also the key to reviving a more authentically Javanese, pre-Islamic past.24

29Thus, in these anti-Islamic works of the later 19th century, Latawalujwa appears to be (a) an anti-Islamic deity and (b) possibly assimilated with ideas which associated pre-Islamic Javanese identity and authenticity (Buda) with modern European learning (budi). Yet in 1887, we saw Latawalujwa back in the Islamic context of the Bayan Budiman story in Bramartani.

  • 25 She is listed among the sixth Sultan’s children in K.R.T Mandoyokusumo, Serat Raja Putra Ngayogyaka (...)
  • 26 Menak Branta (translit. Adi Triyono and Tukidjo; Jakarta: Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan Proy (...)

30This takes us to our final example, the dating of which is not entirely clear. The text is entitled Menak Branta. It is a mythical account of events in the Middle East. The opening claims that a daughter of the Yogyakarta Sultan Hamengkubuwana VI (r. 1855-77) named Ratu Sasi25 ordered the writing of this story. But the text itself is dated in both Javanese and Western dating systems to 22 September 1936. So it seems that we have a story from the later 19th century, here presented in a copy or version of the 1930s. Latawaluja appears twice as a divine figure with the predicate Hyang.26 Latawaluja’s religious affiliation is unclear to me.

31Conclusions

32We are thus left with the impression that for several Javanese writers, Latawalujwa or Latawaluja was a term for the highest divinity, one that was rarely used but in most cases was located within an Islamic frame of reference. It was a name whose blessing one might invoke in a letter to a Javanese monarch, an about-to-become Sultan, wishing that he should “be made successful by Hyang Latawalujwa” and remain a defender of the Qur’an. In 1829, in his Lokapala text, Sindusastra depicted Hyang Latawalujwa again as some sort of deity and seems to have thought that the name was of Arabic (i.e Islamic) origin. When Ronggawarsita produced his own extravagant reinterpretation of the term in his Paramayoga, he still placed those incestuous twins, the rebellious children of Adam named Sayid Lata and Siti Walngujya (or just Ngujya), within an Islamic framework.

33Yasadipura I’s Menak Cina, however, appears to have made Latawalujwa a Chinese deity. In the Bramartani exchange of 1868, too, it seems that our elusive spirit had become non-Islamic in the eyes of one correspondent. When we get to the anti-Islamic books of the 1870s, Latawaluja is either a clearly pre-Islamic spiritual force or, at least, probably such. But it may have been more complicated than that. For if, as Babad Kĕdhiri has it, “the meaning of budi is the being of Yang Latawaluja,” then Latawaluja would appear to have been assimilated — in the minds of the anti-Islamic authors of those Kediri texts — with budi, implying the liberating power of modern European knowledge. Nevertheless, in Bramartani of 1878, Latawalujwa is clearly the supreme deity who bestows life and death on humankind, but with no clear religious designation. In the newspaper edition in 1887, Latawalujwa is mentioned in the Bayan Budiman tale, which is situated unmistakeably in Islamic mythical history. Our final example, from Menak Branta, is of ambiguous religious allegiance.

34Latawalujwa’s odyssey was thus a long and complicated one, taking the name far from the two pre-Islamic goddesses of the Qur’an. Later ignorance of the Quranic origin of the name made it possible for Javanese writers to employ Latawalujwa in multiple religious contexts. The only consistency among them was that this was clearly a term for divinity. Except, of course, for Ronggawarsita’s flight of fancy in imagining two incestuous children of Adam.

35Whatever individual Javanese writers or readers made of Latawalujwa in a work of literature or correspondence in a newspaper, in most of the cases consulted here they would have had no reason to think of al-Lat and al-‘Uzza of the Qur’an. Those two pre-Islamic goddesses had been lost in translation, even in the 1905 Javanese-script Qur’an itself.

36Abbreviation

37BKI Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde

Haut de page

Notes

2 M.A.S. Abdel Haleem (transl.), The Qur’an: A new translation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 347-8. Regarding the “unjust distribution”, Abdel Haleem comments in a note to p. 347, “Because the pagan Arabs regarded daughters as a humiliation, the Qur’an argues with them according to their own logic that it was particularly illogical of them to attribute daughters to God.” I am grateful to Samer Akkach for directing me to the Quranic reference. He adds that al-Lat and al-‘Uzza “are also mentioned in a well-known exchange between Talha and Abu Bakr, which ended in the conversion of the former to Islam”; Samer Akkach email 8 March 2019. The revelation concerning these idols was followed by the famous so-called “Satanic verses,” which generated profound controversy in Islam. See Shahab Ahmed, “Satanic Verses,” in Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān (ed. Jane Dammen McAuliffe), accessed online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQSIM_00372.

3 J. Noorduyn, “The three palm-leaf MSS from Java in the Bodleian Library and their donors,” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1985, no. 1, pp. 68–64.

4 M. C. Ricklefs, “Bantĕn and the Dutch in 1619: Six early ‘pasar Malay’ letters,” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, vol. 39, pt. 1 (1976), pp. 128–136.

5 Bodleian MS Jav.b.2(R), f. 116v. I am most grateful to Ben Arps for sharing this research with me.

6 There are other fragments of the Qur’an in Javanese script. The first sura, the Fatiha, is often found. Such MSS are described in Theodore G. Th. Pigeaud, Literature of Java: Catalogue raisonné of Javanese manuscripts in the library of the University of Leiden and other public collections in the Netherlands (4 vols; The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff; Leiden: Bibliotheca Universitatis Lugduni Batavorum; Leiden: Leiden University Press, 1967-80), vol. ii, p. 439 (LOr 7465); Nancy K. Florida, Javanese literature in Surakarta manuscripts (3 vols. Ithaca, NY: Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University, 1993-2012), vol. i, p. 264 (KS 481.22-23); and vol. ii, p. 191 (MN 300, possibly by Ronggawarsita); T.E. Behrend (ed.), Katalog Induk Naskah-Naskah Nusantara, vol. 1: Museum Sonobudoyo Yogyakarta (Jakarta: Penerbit Djambatan, 1990), pp. 549 (116-17) and 563 (145).

7 Kur’an Jawi, translated by Bagus Ngarpah, an abdi-dalem ngulama (a court official who was an Islamic scholar) with editorial assistance of Ngabei Wirapustaka, copied by Ranasubaya, dated in Surakarta, [CE] 1905; 3 vols.; Radya Pustaka MSS 340, 341, 342; vol. 3, p. 1305. See Florida, Javanese Literature in Surakarta Manuscripts, vol. iii, p. 248. I am most grateful to Oman Fathurahman for bringing the MS to my attention and to his colleague Adi Deswijaya for providing a photograph of the relevant page. The text is transcribed by Adi Deswijaya at https://www.sastra.org/agama-dan-kepercayaan/kitab-suci/870-kuran-jawi-bagus-ngarpah-1905-1885-bagian-27.

8 Ricci, Ronit, “From Jewish disciple to Muslim guru: On literary and religious transformations in late nineteenth century Java”; pp. 68-85 in R. Michael Feener and Terenjit Sevea (eds), Islamic Connections: Muslim societies in South and Southeast Asia (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2009).

9 There is some confusion about the date of Yasadipura’s death; I have suggested that the correct date must be Monday-Kliwon, 20 Dulkangidah, Wawu 1729, equivalent to 14 March 1803; see my article “The Yasadipura problem,” BKI vol. 153, no. 2 (1997), p. 275.

10 Yasadipura I [ascribed to], Babad Giyanti (21 vols; Batawi Sentrum, 1937-9), vol. xiii, p. 58. Just after this, on ibid., pp. 59-60, is found the date Mulud, Je [1678], equivalent to the period 6 January-4 February 1753.

11 Yasadipura I, Menak Cina (5 vols; Jakarta: Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, Proyek Penerbitan Buku Sastra Indonesia dan Daerah, 1982), pp. 34, 37, 110. The reference to Hong Ting Te is found on p. 126.

12 Purwadi, Pakeliran padat: Lakon Babad Lokapala (Yogyakarta: Pendidikan Bahasa Daerah, Fakultas Bahasa dan Seni, Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta, October 2010), pp. 6-9. Also at file:///F:/Lakon%20babad%20lokapala.pdf.

13 See Poerbatjaraka, Kapustakan Djawi (Djakarta/Amsterdam: Penerbit Djambatan, 1952), pp. 149-50, who describes Sindusastra as a contemporary of Yasadipura I and II and scribe to the prince who became the Surakarta Susuhunan Pakubuwana VII (r. 1830-58)

14 Purwadi, Pakeliran padat, p. 8.

15 M. C. Ricklefs, “The perils of hybridity in 19th-century Java: Ronggawarsita’s reputation, animated debates in Bramartani, and the probable origins of Javanese acrostics; with a postscript on Purwalĕlana,” Archipel no. 96 (2018), pp. 103-27; Nancy Florida, “Living in a time of madness: The last days of Java’s last prophetic poet,” forthcoming in History and Theory.

16 Poerbatjaraka, Kapustakan Djawi, pp. 151-4, 157.

17 Ronggawarsita. Sĕrat Paramayoga: Anyariosakĕn lalampahanipun Kangjĕng Nabi Adam akaliyan lalampahan sarta tĕrah-tumĕrahipun para dewa ingkang akahyangan ing tanah Hindhustan; Anggitanipun Raden Ngabei Ronggawarsita, Pujongga Agĕng ing Karaton Nagari Surakarta (ed. Ki Padmasusastra; 6th printing; Yogyakarta: Kolĕf Buning [Kolff-Buning], 1934), pp. 9,11, 21.

18 I am grateful to Dr Achmad Sunjayadi of the Department of History, University of Indonesia, for scanning the original issues of Bramartani/Jurumartani in the Indonesian National Library so that I could check the orthography of these references. Transcriptions of Bramartani — which are not free of errors — may be found at http://lampje.leidenuniv.nl/KITLV-docs/open/TS/Bramartani/bramartani.html. In this exchange there are also references to the 1866-1867 controversy about Ronggawarsita that is the subject of my previous article “Perils of hybridity.”

19 G.W.J. Drewes, “The struggle between Javanism and Islam as illustrated by the Sěrat Děrmagandhul,” BKI vol. 122 (1966), no. 3, p. 310.

20 These books are discussed in M. C. Ricklefs, Polarising Javanese society: Islamic and other visions c. 1830-1930 (Singapore: Singapore University Press; Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press; Leiden: KITLV Press, 2007), chapter 7.

21 P.W. van den Broek (ed. & transl.), De geschiedenis van het rijk Kědiri, opgeteekend in het jaar 1873 door Mas Soemå-Sěntikå, gepensioneerd Wědånå van het district Lèngkong (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1902), text p. 133, transl. pp. 108-109.

22 Consulted via the transcription at https://www.sastra.org/agama-dan-kepercayaan/kebatinan-dan-mistik/1266-darmagandhul-h-buning-c-1920-437-pupuh-01-06.

23 Darusuprapta et al. (ed. and transl.), Ajaran moral dalam susastra suluk (Jakarta: Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, 1990), pp. 75, 78. Also available at http://repositori.kemdikbud.go.id/1374/1/Ajaran%20Moral%20Susastra%20Suluk%20%281990%29.pdf.

24 See Ricklefs, Polarising Javanese society, particularly chapter 7.

25 She is listed among the sixth Sultan’s children in K.R.T Mandoyokusumo, Serat Raja Putra Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat (3rd printing; [Yogyakarta:] Bebadan Museum Keraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat, 1976), p. 49, as the 15th child of the Sultan.

26 Menak Branta (translit. Adi Triyono and Tukidjo; Jakarta: Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan Proyek Penerbitan Buku Sastra, [1985]), pp. 76, 257.

Haut de page

Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

M. C. Ricklefs, « The strange journey of Latawalujwa in Java, from two pre-Islamic goddesses to an elastic term for God »Archipel, 98 | 2019, 109-119.

Référence électronique

M. C. Ricklefs, « The strange journey of Latawalujwa in Java, from two pre-Islamic goddesses to an elastic term for God »Archipel [En ligne], 98 | 2019, mis en ligne le 11 décembre 2019, consulté le 04 juillet 2022. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/archipel/1337 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/archipel.1337

Haut de page

Auteur

M. C. Ricklefs

Professor Emeritus, the Australian National University and Monash University

Haut de page

Droits d’auteur

Tous droits réservés

Haut de page
Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search