Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Who really was the Champa Princess, the Moslem Wife of King Brawijaya V ?

Nobody is aware that the historians who studied the downfall of Majapahit in around 1400 Saka year (1478 CE) have committed an unparallel grave error. The problem originated from the failure on the identification of the Champa Princess, called Anarawati or Dwarawati (Darawati), a Moslem wife of Brawijaya V, the Majapahit King reigning in 1474-1478 CE. The Islamic tomb of the Princess of Champa can be found in Trowulan, near Mojokerto, the site of Majapahit imperial capital.
In Javanese, Champa Princess is spelled as Putri “Cempa”. Most people, included the Dutch prominent historians such as Snouck Hurgronje a), had all done wrong when they identify the princess as coming from Champa, part of what is now Cambodia-Vietnam. And the Indonesian historians have taken it for granted.

At that period of time,  the vast majority of Champ people were Buddhist and barely muslems lived there, not mentioned moslem Kings and nobles. A lady who was eligible to be the bride of a mighty King such as that of Majapahit should come from the noble or high society family, which was in fact never there until 17th century b).  However, if it was the case, there was not even a single record either in Champa or Majapahit on such an important cross-border dynastic marriage tying royal families of two different sovereign countries.
The Javanese spelling of “Cempa” is more closely to Jeumpa rather than Champa.  Jeumpa was a coastal region near Samudra Pasai (now Bireun), one of the first Islamic cities in Aceh flourished from around 7th century. This geography interpretation of Cempa  was supported by Stamford Raffles c) but surprisingly none from Indonesian historians.
Jeumpa because of its very strategic site located at the northern tip of Sumatra island, had long became an important trading and transit port of ships which would set sail to open sea from China to India, Persia or Arabic Peninsula and vise-versa.
Together with Barus, Fansur and Lamuri d), Jeumpa possessing excellent commodities such as kafur (mothballs) popularly called Kafur [from] Barus, identical with luxury enjoyed by the nobles people from civilized countries such as Arab, Persian, India and China, catapulted the region as an integral part of the civilization advancement.
Many Acehnese were the descendants of the inter-marriage between those foreign “immigrants” and the locals. During the glories of Pasai, the beauty and intelligence of Jeumpa women became a legend among people in Perlak, Pasai, Malacca, even in Java.
And Putri Cempa, named as Darawati, was one of the beautiful Jeumpa ladies whose Brawijaya V loved to marry with. When the King met with  the princess who came along with her entourage consisting of Maulana Malik Ibrahim e) and the nobles of Pasai, he was speechless because of her beauty.
It was told in Hikayat (Chronicle) Banjar dan Kotawaringin f)   that the King of Majapahit ordered his minister to propose Putri Pasai (Jeumpa) bringing  10 ships to Pasai carrying dowry [and  certainly a lot number of guard troupes]. As a leader of Islamic Sultanate, Sultan Pasai reluctantly accepted the King proposal considering the risk and danger if he refused  such proposal.
a. Snouck Hurgronje, being an Islamologist who studied Aceh certainly knew about Jeumpa close to Samudra [Pasai] as the possible origin of Putri Cempa instead of Champa (Cambodia-Vietnam). Or didn’t he?
b. Champa (Cambodia-Vietnam) during that period of time (1360-1390) was ruled by Che Bong Nga, known as The Red King, the last and most powerful King of Champa. No records that he was moslem or  related him or his royal families whatsoever with Islam.
It was true that Islam started making headway among the Cham people since the 10th century, which intensified after the 1471 invasion. However, only by the 17th century that the Royal families of Cham Lords began to turn to Islam. By the time of their final annexation by the Vietnamese, the majority of the Cham people had converted to Islam.
c. Raffles knew well about Jeumpa and Samudra Pasai, the old flourished trading and transit ports in North Aceh, which he aimed to replace with Singapura (Singapore).
d. Under the reign of the Queen Tribuwanatunggadewi, Majapahit  expanded its territory throughout Nusantara (the Archipelago). Adityawarman, his cousin, having the blood of Melayu was  sent to conquer the remaining of Sriwijaya and Melayu kingdoms. Later on he was installed as the “uparaja” (vice King) of Majapahit in Sumatra. The territorial expansion was continued under the reign of Hayam Wuruk to include Lamury in the far West and Wanin in the East. Negarakertagama clearly stated that Samudra (Jeumpa), Lamuri and Barus were  under Majapahit’s  jurisdiction.
e. He was the brother-in-law of Darawati, Putri Cempa, and the earliest of the Wali Songo (nine Islamic great preachers). He was born in Samarkan and lived for 13 years in Jeumpa beginning in 1379. He married with a Jeumpa princess, Darawati’s sister, and had two sons, one of them was Raden Rahmat, then entitled Sunan Ampel. Arriving in Ampel (now Surabaya) in 1404, Maulana engaged in small business, treated sick people in the community, introduced new technique in agriculture and accepted lower castes people outcasted by Hinduism.
f. The texts were also known as the Chronicle of Lambung Mangkurat, the end part of which was written in 1663. The detail of the story related to Majapahit was not so accurate, but at least the story was in line  with Raffles’ version that Princess Champa was from Pasai (Jeumpa), not from the region which what is now Cambodia-Vietnam. One may believe on the authenticity of the story as Banjar writers were certainly more objective than the Javanese writers (Babad Tanah Jawi, serat Kandha and serat Darmogandul) who still had an emotional attachment with Majapahit’s glory.


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