One of the riches owned by Indonesia is the variety of its tribes. In Riau, there is a tribe which is known as Talang Mamak. According to some scholars, the tribe is included in Old Malay or Proto Malay which is indigenous tribe of Indragiri namely “Tuha Tribe”, which means the first tribe who have ever come. They spread out in four sub-districts, Batang Gansal, Cenaku, Kelayang, and Rengat Barat of Indragiri Hulu district. Old Malay or Proto Malay is a group of people who came from Asia Continent, particularly from Yunan area which is included in South China. It is thought that they came to Sumatra island for about 400 years BC.
Besides in Riau, Talang Mamak Tribe also lives in Jambi province, particularly in Semarantihan, Suo-Suo village, Sumai sub district, Tebo district. However, which is known as indigenous tribe of Jambi is Kubu Tribe, well known as Anak Dalam Tribe or Orang Rimba community. According to some scholars, this tribe is included in Old Malay or Proto Malay. Generally, they live in three different areas: National Park Bukit Tiga Puluh (north area of Jambi), National Park Bukit Dua Belas, and along cross roads of Sumatra (south area of Jambi province). They still live traditionally, nomadic from one forest to other forest in Jambi province and they earn living by hunting and gathering.
In addition, the origin of Talang Mamak Tribe in Riau and Kubu Tribe in Jambi can be known from myths or stories that spread out in the region. There are several different stories about the origin of Talang Mamak Tribe and Kubu Tribe. One of the stories that is well-known is the folklore of Putri Pinang Masak. Once upon the time, in Indragiri lived seven pairs of twins. The seven sons became brave young men while the seven daughters became beautiful girls. Out of seven, there was the most beautiful princess, namely Putri Pinang Masak. One day, Putri Pinang Masak suddenly disappeared. Where`s she gone? Who had kidnapped her? Did the seven princesses succeed to find her? If you want to know the answer, let read the complete story of Puri Pinang Masak, as follow:
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In the past days, there was a story in Simbul country, Siberida, Indragiri Riau. In that country, there were seven pairs of twins. The oldest were Syam Marudum Sakti and Putri Pinang Masak, Buyung Selamat and Putri Mayang Mengurai, Sampurago and Subang Bagelan, Tonggak de Tonang and Putri Pandan Bajelo, Sapu Jagat and Putri Loyang Bunga Emas, Roger and Putri Setanggi, and the youngest were Tuntun and Putri Bungsu.
Those seven sons became brave young men whereas their twin daughters became beautiful girls. Out of those seven young men, Roger was the bravest while out of the seven girls, Putri Pinang Masak was the most beautiful.
One day, all people were shocked since Putri Pinang Masak suddenly disappeared. Her seven brothers were busy looking for her everywhere but they could not find her. The Brave Roger went to anywhere then he met Datuk Motah. From the Datuk, he got news that his sister Putri Pinang Masak was run away and married to King Dewa Sikaraba Daik by The King of Telni Talanai from Jambi.
After hearing the news and knowing where his sister was, Roger told the news to his brothers and sisters. Then they gathered and held discussion. “Hi, my brother Roger, we all know that amongst us, you are the strongest and the bravest, so only you who can escort Putri Pinang Masak in Jambi,” said Marudum Sakti. “You are right my brother! We agree to Marudum Sakti`s opinion,” added Tuntun, the youngest brother. “Yes, we all agree,” answers the others. Finally, Roger was sent to pick up Putri Pinang Masak peacefully.
One day later, Roger left for Jambi alone. Jambi country was hardly guarded since there was a dispute between King Telni Telanai and the Dutch colonialism. After negotiating with the palace`s guards, Roger was permitted to meet King Telni Telanai.
“O, Young man! Who are you and where are you from?” asked King Telni.
“Have mercy, your Majesty! I am Roger and from Indragiri,`` answered Roger without telling the king that he was the brother of Putri Pinang Masak.
“What is your reason to come here?” asked King Telni.
“Have mercy your Majesty!. If you do not mind, please let me help you to chase out the collonialists from this country,” asked Roger to King Telni.
King Telni accepted him happily while saying, ”All right, Roger! You may stay at this palace.”
Since that time, Roger lived in the Palace of Jambi. Putri Pinang Masak had known about the presence of her brother but she did not tell anyone about their relationship.
To test his bravery, King Telni often sent him to sweep robbers in Jambi waters. Because of his power, Roger always succeeded so he was appointed as the commander of the country. Not for a long time, Roger was permitted to go to the battle against the Dutch.
At night before leaving for the battle, Putri Pinang Masak silently met her brother and gave him a cindai shawl as heirloom. Because of the Cindai and his divine power, Roger succeeded to chase away the Dutch troops. All people of Jambi welcomed him as a hero. Because of his merits to the kingdom, King Telni Telana gave him title “Datuk” and appointed him “Dubalang Utama”. Now, the complete title of Roger is “Datuk Dubalang Utama Roger”.
As time went by, King Talni Telana started to get ill. Finally, he gave the power to his son, King Dewa Sikaraba Daik. However, since the kingdom was in King Dewa Sikaraba Daik`s hands, the peace and harmony in the kingdom decreased. Many rebellions happened in palace. That situation was used by the Dutch to force that young King.
After had been persuaded and forced by the commanders who became the spy of the Dutch, the weak King Dewa Sikaraba Daik signed a peace agreement with the Dutch. Datuk Roger was being captured. With hands tied, Datuk Roger was brought into the ship that would be sunk in the middle of the ocean.
However, when he would come into the ship, suddenly a mysterious tragedy happened. With the power of Allah, Roger suddenly disappeared without any signs. For a long time he had never shown so that the Dutch thought that he had already died.
After the leaving of Roger, The Dutch attacked the Jambi Kingdom. There were so many troops of King Dewa Sikaraba Daik who died. Some of them were increasingly pushed and cornered by the Dutch. In the crisis time, suddenly Roger came out. He asked the permission from King Sikaraba Daik to handle the enemy. With his power, Roger and his troops succeeded to chase the Dutch away. The traitors were being captured and killed. The Kingdom Jambi then became a safe and peace place to live. King Dewa Sikaraba Daik was able to rule people of Jambi wisely.
Looking at the safe condition in Jambi, Datuk Roger intended to go back to Indragiri. He met King Dewa Sikaraba Daik.
”Have mercy, your Majesty! It is the time for me to go home. If you need me, call me in Siambul village in Hulu Batang Gangsal, Siberida, Indragiri,” said Datuk Roger.
Knowing that his brother would go back to Indragiri, Putri Pinang Masak immediately sit with the knees bent and folded in front of his husband, King Dewa Sikaraba Daik, “Forgive me, your majesty! Actually, I am the sister of Datuk Roger. Let me go home to Indragiri with him. I will immediately come back to this palace to give birth.” King Dewa Sikaraba Daik shocked to hear Putri Pinang Masak`s words. “Is that true, Datuk Roger?” asked the king with curiosity. “that`s true, your majesty!” answered Datuk Roger clearly.
Finally, Raja Dewa Sikaraba Daik knew their relative relationship that was kept secret for a long time. However, after remembering his merits to the Jambi kingdom, the King understood it. With heavyhearted, King Dewa Sikaraba Daik permitted Putri pinang Masak to go home to Indragiri together with his brother.
One day later, before those brother and sister left, Raja Dewa Sikaraba Daik handed over a Kingdom Poster announcing that forest in Jambi area was given to his descendants from Putri Pinang Masak.
After taking a long journey, Roger and Putri Pinang Masak arrived in Indragiri. They were happily welcomed by Siambul people. To show their happiness, people hold gawai ceremony or ceremonial meal. In that happy situation, Datuk Marudum Sakti said,” Our family is reunited now. This event should be a valuable learn for us to always look after and protect our relatives.”
In line with Kingdom Poster given by King Dewa Sikaraba Daik, today the descendants of Putri Pinang Masak become Kubu Tribe and Talang Mamak Tribe who live in Jambi forest. Up to now, those two tribes still can be found in hinterland of Jambi.
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The folklore above is included to model story which contains moral values. There are two moral values that can be grabbed from that story, they are characteristic of liking to help and gratitude. Firstly, characteristic of liking to help is shown by Roger action that help Jambi to handle the Dutch. This characteristic can be properly used as model in our daily lives. For Malays, this characteristic is highly recommended. Characteristic of liking to help can improve social solidarity and bring about the true brotherhood among human being.
Secondly, characteristic of gratitude is shown by Raja Dewa Sikaraba Daik`s action who appointed Roger as “Datuk Dubalang Utama Roger” in the Jambi Kingdom. This characteristic is foremost in the live of Malayan people because it is a good and noble action. Because of that, in the lives of Malays, title “noble people” shows a noble and respectful behavior that is respected by their community. The superiority of gratitude in Malays` life often said in Tunjuk ajar Melayu, both in expression and in poet and pantun. Malay expression says:
apa tanda Melayu jati,
membalasa budi sampailah mati
In a poet, it is said:
wahai ananda ibu bermadah
membalas budi janganlah lengah
budi termakan hutang tak susah
balas olehmu karena lillah
in a pantun, it is said:
malam hari pasang pelita
apinya marak menerangi halaman
orang berbudi membalas jasa
seumur hidup jadi kenangan