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King of Jambi, the Pirau Ghost`s Vanquisher

Jambi - Indonesia
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When the Land of Jambi was being under commotion since the existence of the Pirau Ghost, all people began to worry about it. They could not earn for a living outside of their homes anymore. There was only one man who was capable of dissolving the commotion; it was the King of Jambi Land.

The King of Jambi Land was the first king of Jambi originating from Kerling, India. Such a problem was the impulsion for the king to save his people from the ghost. So, why did the king defeat the ghost? Just read the entire part of this story about the King of Jambi, the Pirau Ghost`s Vanquisher.


Once upon a time in the Land of Jambi, there was a king with supernatural powers. He was the first king ruling the Land of Jambi. He came from Kerling, a region in India. He was known as a wise and prudent king who took great care on his people`s welfare. For that reason, his people felt safe to earn a living everyday.

At a time, such a comfortable condition was in trouble since the coming of the Pirau Ghost. The ghost used to frighten every single child who was playing outside of home. Even more, babies who were sleeping quietly were felt unsafe with the ghost`s existence as well. They were scare of the ghost`s cackling laugh.

However, the Pirau Ghost did not want to scare children who were having times with their parents. The parents were forced willy-nilly to be with their children at all times. They had no time to earn for a living outside of homes anymore. They felt unsafe for leaving their children at homes, alone.

One day, three village leaders, each named Dubalang Tujuh, Dubalang Sembilan, and Dubalang Duo Belas, coming from Tujuh Koto, Sembilan Koto, and Batin Duo Belas villages made a gathering to discuss about the best way to chase away the ghost.

They agreed to chase the ghost away by their own. They tried to recite hundreds of mantras, but failed. Worse, the ghost`s acts became more out of control.

“We have done all the way out, but the ghost is still alive. What should we do now?” Dubalang Tujuh surrendered.

“How about reporting such a condition to our honoured king?” Dubalang Sembilan said.

“Ok, I`m in. He has supernatural powers, hasn`t he?” Dubalang Duo Belas replied.

“Ok if it`s that so! Let`s move to the kingdom and report this to the king,” Dubalang Tujuh asked them to go to the kingdom soon.

After coming into one term after intense deliberation, they went to the Jambi Palace, where the King of Jambi was settling in. Soon after entering the palace and met the king, they reported the recent situation to the king.

“Our honoured king, we are going to report you that our village is under commotion since the existence of the Pirau Ghost who ceaselessly frighten our children and babies,” Dubalang Duo Belas reported.

“Really? So far, what have you done to expel it?” the king asked curiously.

“Our honoured king, we have tried to exorcise the ghost but all were nothing. The ghost keeps on terrorizing our children when they are playing outside of homes,” Dubalang Sembilan said.

How does it look? Have you seen the ghost? The king asked.

“Our honoured king, we never see the ghost`s physical appearance. We just heard the ghost`s cackling laugh when our children are crying because of frightening,” Dubalang Duo Belas answered.

Hearing those village leaders` reports, the king just smiled thinly. He walked back and forth thinking for the best solution for this. He thought for a while, looking for a way out. After all he got up from his throne and suggested….

“Get back to your native lands now. Summon them to make lukah (fish-trap that is made of plaited bamboo sheets and used in shallow water). Make sure each of your people has a lukah,” the king adjured.

“Our honoured king, why should we make it? It is not a good season to fish-trapping, isn`t it?” Dubalang Duo Belas was eager to know.

“That`s enough. Just follow what I`ve just recently summoned you. And don`t forget to put them on the hill. Set them firmly on trunks. Check them at dawn and evening,” the king explained.

No one was brave enough to ask the reason why they had to make lukah. They asked for permission from the king to leave the palace.

During the way back home, they kept muttering the king`s order. They really wanted to know the king`s motive in ordering his people to make lukah.

“How come a lukah be used to catch the Pirau Ghost?” Dubalang Tujuh asked the others.

Soon after arriving at their homes, they called every single person to make lukah. Similarly, their people, likewise, confused about such an order. People began to ask to the village leaders, but no one could answer it.

That was the king`s order thus no one could deny it. Consequently, people began to make lukah, and put them on the hill nearby their villages.

At dawn and evening, they checked the lukah in turn. On the first three days, they found nothing. There was no ghost caught in the lukah. Such a condition went on until the sixth day. On the seventh day, when Dubalang Duo Belas had an order to check the lukah on the hill, he was totally shocked to find something strange in a lukah.

He found a dwarf was laying and shouting within a lukah. Its physical appearance was almost the same as a child, but smaller than a child in common. He ensured himself that it was the Pirau Ghost as he was familiar with the voice coming out of the lukah.

“Wait..! It doesn`t seem so strange for me. It seems like the Pirau Ghost`s voice?” Dubalang Duo Belas ensured himself.

Since then, he went to the palace to report it after all. 

“Our honoured king, I have just come down from the hill located nearby my village. I found a strange creature that its physical appearance is almost the same as a child, but smaller than a child in common. Is that the Pirau Ghost?” Dubalang Duo Belas asked the king.

 “Really? So, what you have just seen before was the Pirau Ghost. Bring it to the palace immediately!” the king ordered.

“With pleasure, our honoured king,” he replied.

Before leading to the hill, he called two others, Dubalang Tujuh and Dubalang Sembilan, to accompany him. They went to the hill and took out the lukah from a trunk on the hill. They brought the lukah to the palace and gave it to the king.

“Have you all known that this is the Pirau Ghost?” the king asked.

“Yes, we have, our honoured king. Now we all know that this is the Pirau Ghost,” they answered together.

The king`s plan had been successfully conducted by his people. At the time the Pirau Ghost had been caught thus they hoped that they would have been safe to ear for a living outside of home again.

However, the king would not kill the ghost. He actually had another plan.

“Servant! Give me a sharp parang! I`ll cut this one into pieces,” the king`s remarks.

The king`s plan made the ghost afraid. Since then the ghost asking for forgiveness from the king.

“Pardon me the King of Jambi Land! Don`t kill me! If you want to release me, I will give you whatever you want. You are a wise king, aren`t you?” the ghost tried to bargain.

“Alright if you want it. But you have to promise me that you will fulfil whatever I want,” the king said.

“Yes I will,” the ghost replied.

“I just want two things from you; leave the land after I release you, and give the ring of pinto-pinto to me,” the king said.

The ring of pinto-pinto was a ring that was able to fulfil someone`s needs, whatever it is. Therefore, everyone would certainly want to have it from the Pirau Ghost. However, only few who knew the existence of the ring. One of them was the King of Jambi Land.

The Pirau Ghost had no choice anymore. He gave the ring to the King of Jambi Land. And after all, he had to leave the Jambi Land forever.

Since the time, the Jambi Land`s inhabitants could earn for a living outside of home again without being afraid of the Pirau Ghost anymore. The land could be safe, peace, and tranquil again after all.

Several years after the Pirau Ghost`s gone; the King of Jambi Land, once, thought to prove the efficacies of the ring of pinto-pinto. However, he did not want his people know his intention. He, therefore, declared that he would leave the Jambi Land. He wanted to be back to his native land in Kerling, India.

In a short, after arriving at Kerling, India, the king looked into the ring`s efficacies.

“Hi the ring of pinto-pinto! Alter the city of Bombay into a prosperous city at a moment!” the king said.

After all, the city of Bombay changed to a city that was full of diamonds, golds, and precious stones. The ring`s efficacies had been proven at all.

The king was so excited to know such drastic changes in the city. The city of Bombay offered beautiful promises since the efficacies of the pinto-pinto ring. Hence, the king did not want to be back to the Jambi Land anymore.

Several years later, the king mandated his son named Sultan Baring to rule the Jambi Land. Soon after receiving that order, Sultan Baring then moved to the Jambi Land and declared that he got an order to be the next ruler in the Jambi Land, replacing the reign of his father.

Similarly, the Sultan`s characteristic was almost the same as his father who was known as a wise and prudent king. The Jambi Land`s inhabitants, therefore, were able to receive the authoritative powers of Sultan Baring in their land, Jambi.

There is a historical record stating that Sultan Baring`s reign was the origin of the Jambi Sultanate. Some of his descendants that have ever ruled the Jambi Sultanate were Sultan Taha Saifudin and Raden Ino Kartopati.


Here this the story of the King of Jambi Land, the Pirau Ghost`s Vanquisher. The story was originated from Jambi Province, Indonesia. It is a locally traditional legend that is still available amongst the inhabitants of Jambi Province at this time.

The story bears, at least, two moralistic messages. The first message is emphasizing careful deliberation to come into one term. Dubalang Tujuh, Dubalang Sembilan, and Dubalang Duo Belas held a gathering to discuss about the best way in chasing the ghost away. Their intense deliberation to report the recent situation of their villages is another example of deliberation to come into one term.

Amongst the Malay people, deliberation to come into one term is highly shouldered. All the hard things will be much weightier when those hard things are shouldered collectively. All people own the same rights to speak on their ideas to solve a certain problem. Tunjuk Ajar Melayu (the Malay Guidance) says:

apa tanda hidup berilmu,
manfaat mufakat ianya tahu
duduk berunding bersanding bahu
sebelum melangkah memberi tahu
sebelum terlanjur mencari guru
sebelum menyalah bertanya dahulu

Another message that can be drawn from the story is the importance of knowledge for human being. No one can live without any knowledge. It is the best solution for kinds of problems faced by every single person in the world. Therefore, every one is obliged to gained as much as knowledge during his life.

Amongst the old Malay people, knowledge will not solely bring abundant advantages for personal, but also for society. That is why, in Malay culture, gaining knowledge is obliged to everyone, no exception at all. In Tunjuk Ajar Melayu, it is said that:

wahai ananda dengarlah pesan,
menuntut ilmu engkau utamakan
banyakan amal kuatkan iman
supaya dirimu dikasihi Tuhan

bertuah parang karena hulunya,
bulu dikepal elok terasa
bertuah orang karena ilmunya
ilmu diamalkan hidup sentosa

(Samsuni /sas/101/09-08)

Translated by Irfan Nugroho (ter/11/10-08)


  • Adapted from Kaslani. 1998. Cerita Rakyat Dari Jambi 2. Jakarta: Grasindo.
  • Anonymous. “Jambi” (http://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jambi, retrieved on September 29th, 2008).
  • Effendy, Tenas. 2006. Tunjuk Ajar Melayu. Yogyakarta: the Center for Research and Development of Malay Culture in cooperation with AdiCita Karya Nusa Publisher.
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