23 Juli 2008

International Seminar of Sriwijaya Civilization



Nanang Saptono, Nurul Laili, & Octaviadi Abrianto

Until today there wasn’t any information about a center of power in the Lampung area accept for a note from Chinese Liang’s dynasty about an envoy from To-lang P’o-hwang came several times to China between 430 and 475 AD. According to G. Ferrand To-lang P’o-hwang was Tulangbawang, Poerbatjaraka also think that it’s the same as a kingdom once located at the Tulangbawang river area in Lampung. That was the only entry in Liang’s dynasty note about To-lang P’o-hwang, so maybe, some time in history this kingdom was conquered by others (Sumadio, 1990: 79).

After Tulangbawang, Lampung came under power of Srivijaya Kingdom, based on some inscription such as Bungkuk, Palas Pasemah (Purwanti, 1995: 98), and Batubedil (Soekmono, 1985: 49-50). Palas Pasemah inscription which was found in Way (river) Pisang basin contains notes about conquest of Lampung by Srivijaya, in it there’s also a phrase about Bhumi Jawa that didn’t obey or yield to Srivijaya, note about Bhumi Jawa can also found in Kota Kapur inscription. In term of palaeographic the inscriptions come from 7th century AD (Boechari, 1979: 19-40).

Kota Kapur inscriptions found at Menduk River basin in Bangka Island contain curses to whom that done evil and not loyal to the king, there’s also notes about Srivijaya expedition to conquer Bhumi Jawa. According to P. V. van Stein Callenfels “jawa” in the inscription means outside, thus the inscription was to commemorated Srivijaya conquering expedition (Sumadio, 1990: 58-59). About this subject Boechari (1986: 33-56) had other opinion, he think the inscription was about Srivijaya conquering Lampung, thus Bhumi Jawa location can be found in Lampung area not on Java Island.

Result from contemporary research done at Batujaya suggest that Bhumi Jawa is indeed Java Island but there’s an area in Lampung that also named Bumijawa habituated by ingenious people of Lampung. There were also probabilities that Bhumi Jawa in Palas Pasemah and Kota Kapur inscription revering to that particular area in Lampung.

Bumijawa Settlement Sites
There are two places named Bumijawa in Lampung, one is at Sukadana District on East Lampung (Saptono, 2000: 109-110) and the other is at Sukau District on West Lampung (Tim Penelitian, 2006). Bumijawa in East Lampung located west from the city of Sukadana and lived by Nuban people from Abung Siwa Mega Clan which was descendant of Ratu Dipuncak, an early Lampung ruler.

In family record belong to Mr. Efendi Gelar Sutan Pangeran Junjungan Nuban, a prominent Bumijawa’s. Ratu Dipuncak is 11th in a long line of names starting with Tali Tunggal. Some of these names are Ratu Sang Balaikang, Minak Sang Bujuang Ratu, Tuan Baliksyah, Minak Pengawo Bumi, Gajah Dalam, Minak Nyeringgem etc. Sutan Junjungan Pangran Nuban himself is number 29th in line.

Nuban Family came from Bukit Pesagi, West Lampung, before that they lived at area known as Martapura todays. These people migrated from time to time and every area that they lived on had Bumijawa as a name. After Bukit Pesagi, Nuban Family moved to Raman Indra village on Way Seputih river basin and then to Gedongdalem on Way Batanghari river basin before finally stays at the current Bumijawa village.

Settlement remains of Bumijawa communities in East Lampung still can be seen at Gedongdalam sites, located north of Batang Hari River at 5o03’ South and 105o25’ East. The site is about 2000 square metres, and to east and west of the area there’s moat act as settlement border. The sites now is a corn field with shards of china and pottery scattered on the ground, people who works on the land often found Chinese coins.

On the west moat there were three dirt mounds with north – south orientation. The south most mounds is 2 m high and around 3 m in diameters known as the tomb of Midah, wife of Minak Nyaringgem, it’s covered by shrubs and didn’t have stone of wood as a sign. 8 meters to the north there’s another tomb, this one belong to Putri Bagus –the daughter of Menak Nyaringgem-. The 1 m high and 2 m diameters mound is also covered by grass and shrubs. The last tomb with 2 m high and 4 m in diameters belong to Menak Nyaringgem himself, this mound is covered with bamboo groove. On top of it there are some stone on the ground.

Bumijawa in West Lampung is a small hamlet in Pekon (village) Tapak Siring, Sukau District. Peoples who live there are Buay Nyerupa communities from Pak Sekalabrak. One source says that Buay Nyerupa kingdom was begin at 1420 with Tapak Siring in Sukau as center of government consisting Sukau, Liwa, and Ulu Krui. At Dalom Piekulun reign the kingdom reach its golden era with coffee, cinnamons, and vegetables trade as main source of income, planted on the slopes of Gunung (mount) Seminung, Way Jangkar, Ulu Krui and Penggawa Lima. The kingdom have trade relation was with Bantam, Palembang, and Atceh Sultanates.

Tapak Siring site located at Bukit (hill) Katai in Kunayan hamlet, Tapak Siring village. It’s on a hilltop with cliff and moat as the border with north – south orientation, on it there are two stone –called katai by the locals-. The first stone is 0.7 by 0.7 by 1 m in dimensions and the second one is 0.25, 0.6 by 0.8 m. The first one located on the south side of the hilltop and the second one is north of it. Chicken feet and Buffalo hoofs impressions are one the first stone, on the ground around the stones also can be found fragments of ceramics from Song Dynasty.

Toms of Adipati Sebrak Bumi and his spouse located also on the slope of Bukit Katai, he’s considered as one of ancestor of the Buay Nyerupa. Sebrak in Lampung language means expanse and bumi means land, so the name literally means broad land/expanse land belong to Adipati Sebrak Bumi.

Toms of Sebrak Bumi is square in shape with 5.5 by 5.5 m in dimensions and was finished in 2003. It got North West – South east orientation and has head stone 0.29 m long, 0.20 m wide and 0.18 m in depth, the South east stone is 0.34 m long, 0.12 m wide and 0.22 m in dept. Distance between both stone are 2 m, the tomb is covered in ceramics with overall dimension of 2.4 by 0.60 by 0.35 m.

Wife of Adipati Sebrak Bumi tomb located west of his, have same orientation and marked with head stones, 0.28 by 0.13 and 0.2 cm and 0.17 by 0.10 and 0.07 cm. Distance between the stones are 1.6 m, covered in ceramics with overall dimension of 2 by 0.40 and 0.35 m.

Family in Lampung Communities
Bumijawa is connected with Marga Nuban and Buay Nyerupa communities, Marga Nuban is one of the family belong to Abung Siwa Mega Clan and Buay Nyerupa is one of “buay” (a community within one family) in Paksi Pak Sekalabrak. Traditional rules in form of “marga” (family) according to Ahmad Kesuma Yudha, quoting J. W. Naarding (Yudha, 1996: 3) was known after the fall of Tulangbawang. Vacant position of a ruler in Lampung was use by Srivijaya to rule the area and introduce “marga” traditional governing system that continually used until Bantam taking over as ruler of Lampung.

Research by Hilman Hadikusuma in 1989 (1989: 157) come up with a slightly different result he said “marga” system was begins in 17th or 18th century. Before that traditional government in Lampung known as keratuan, several of this “keratuan” in 17th or 18th century form an organization based on buay (relatives) known as paksi (several buays or clan) and marga, (part of buays in form of villages)

Another research was done by Mintosih (1993: 42 – 45) had result as follows; marga system was introduced and used by Srivijaya as means to control areas under its rule. The system is more birocrathic and more suitable to be use in a big and complex’s communities’ compares to more authoritarian rules of keratuan system in which the ruler is chosen and elected by a higher authority. A marga is form according to Simbur Cahaya law, a codification of laws and rules in Srivijaya Kingdom done in 17th century by Ratu Sinuhun Semabing, the wife of Sultan Sending Kenayan who ruled between 1629 and 1636.

According to oral history there were four rulers from “keratuan” system in Lampung, Empu Canggih titled Datu Dipuncak, Empu Serunting titled Ratu Pugung, Empu Rakihan titled Ratu Balaw, and Empu Aji Saka titled Ratu Pemanggilan (Soebing, 1988: 5 – 7; Hadikusuma, 1989: 44 – 47; Warganegara, 1994: 2 – 4). Around 14th century the small area suffer from over population which in turn makes peoples to migrated to other places in Lampung.

Datu Dipuncak moved from Sekalabrak to Canguk Gaccak, at the new place more people join him make a quiet large settlement at that place. According to Soebing (1988: 20) these people make Abung Saiwa Mega clan consisting of nine families; Nunyai, Unyi, Nuban, Bulan, Beliuk, Kunang, Selagai and Anak Tuha. After some times Buay Bulan family join the Mega Pak clan and its position was replaced by Buay Nyerupa family (Warganegara, 1994: 19). This Buay Nyerupa is a part of Buay Nyerupa family in Sakau, West Lampung which in turn also a part of Paksi Pak Sekalabrak. Bumijawa communities in East Lampung including Nuban Family all begin from Sekalabrak area.

Paksi Pak Sekalabrak itself begin with Empu Rakihan or Ratu Balaw, from his marriage with Puteri Sindi he had four sons; Empu Belunguh, Empu Nyerupa, Empu Parenong, and Empu Bejalan Di Wai. They formed the Paksi Pak Sekalabrak clan and lived around Bukit Pasagi and Ranau lakes (Sekalabrak).

Some Thought on Bumijawa
Bumi jawa in Lampung can be connected to Gedong Dalem sites in East Lampung and Tapak Siring site in West Lampung. Gedong Dalem located at Way Batanghari river basin, and based on artifacts found there the settlement was bordered by the river. At the site we can find tomb of Menak Nyaringgem, Midah and Putri Bagus which were considered as ancestors by the local communities. The tombs located outside of the settlement areas in the shape of mounds and didn’t have real orientation.

This mounds shape (tumulus) also can be found at Bentengsari site at Jabung District. At the site the mounds located inside the dirt walls which can also be found old tombs and “batu dakon” (Laili, 2008). By comparing the two sites and the existence of “batu dakon”, conclusion that came up is both the sites came from pre Islamic era.

As for Tapak Siring site, it’s also bordered by dirt walls and manmade moats. In this site megalithic cultures can also seen from stones that had manmade depression and marks on its surface, the stone known as “batu katai” by locals.

Megalithic remains can also be found in West Lampung, such as at Tapak Siring site and others sites around Ranau Lake. Those remains are in form of menhirs, Flat Stone, Carved Stone, Stone Enclosure, Dolmens, and Carved Dolmens. Shards of ceramics and pottery also had been found at those sites.

Experts like Geldern (1945), Heekeren (1958), and Soejono (1981) believes that the term megalithic is not revering to a certain era or cultures but more like a tradition that evolved from Neolithic era thru steel and copper era up until now at some places (Prasetyo, 2004: 95). Megalithic tradition were universal, it’s found all over the world accept for Australia (Bellwood, 1975: 281-380; Soejono, 1984: 242)

Etymologically megalithic came from Greek words Mega which mean big and Lithos which mean stone thus megalithic mean a tradition that use and made big stone objects. In the other hand, objects found at the fields often didn’t correspond with that term. As F. A. Wagner said, megalithic concepts were not revering to big stones in particular as small stone or no stone at all can be said to had megalithic characteristics but more to divine ways to worships ancestors (Wagner, 1962: 72).

For some experts megalithic cultures was identified with ancestor worships, like Geldern that said a megalithic structure can be linked with the underworld, to ensure safe journey for the death and safe and prosperous life for the living (Geldern, 1945: 149). Influence of this tradition can be seen by the way societies look at the ways of live can effects live after death (Soejono, 1977: 195).

Initially Bhumi Jawa in some of Srivijaya inscription was considered as settlement of Javanese migrants in Lampung, but knows it’s known that Bumijawa in Sukadana area in lived by ingenious peoples of Lampung. The settlement of Bumijawa in Sukadana begin at around 14th century AD and as the Kota Kapus and Palas Pasemah inscriptions came from 7th century AD there’s hardly any connections. But Bumijawa communities in Sukadana were migrants and always take their settlement name to the new area had to came into considerations.

Based on ethno historic Bumijawa communities came from Bukit Pesagi and before that area around Martapura, these areas know known as Sekalabrak which span around Lake Ranau areas. The area was already a settlement for a long time as we can found a temple from classical era at Jepara, by its type the temple dated from early classic era and had same ornaments as temples in Central and East Java from around 9th and 10th century AD.

In Bawang area there is an inscription knows as Hujung Langit which according to Damais (1962) came from 919 C or 997 AD and Javanese influence can be seen in its dating method. Furthermore Damais connect the Javanese dating method in the inscriptions with Javanese’s expedition to Srivijaya which according to Chinese sources happened in 992 – 993 AD. His conclusion was that the Javanese influence found at the inscriptions was proof of Javanese occupation in Lampung in accordance with Chinese sources (Guillot, et al, 1996: 116).

According to Kota Kapur inscription there’s no Javanese influence in Ranau Lake area, but opinions that the area already was settled for a long time before Hujung Langit inscription and Jepara Temple can be accepted if there’s enough data to back it up. Hypothesis that said Bhumi Jawa was located in Lampung still need more data to verify which maybe can be found at Ranau Lake, Martapura or South Sumatra, but surely not in Lampung.


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