English Version_The Seventh Princess-The Origin of Dumai

Dumai was a fishermen village located in eastern coastal area of recent Riau Province, Indonesia. However, after the discovering of natural resources, now Dumai becomes a petroleum region visited by many traders. Since 1999, Dumai has become a busy harbor to which many oil tankers and vessels anchor every day. The mushroom of oil mills makes Dumai as a never-slept region. Besides its wealth on natural resources, Dumai is a rich country with various traditions. There are two main traditions developed amidst Dumai society namely the oral and written tradition. One of the popular oral traditions is the folklore which is told and inherited across generations. Until recently, Dumai still stores great deal of folklores. Those are kept and be a credit to the Dumai society. Besides, those folklores always hide significant moral meanings, thus being an alternative means for society to pass moral teaching, educate certain values and even to entertain the children. One of which is the legend of the seventh princess. The major plot of the legend is about the origin of Dumai.

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Once upon a time, in Dumai, there was a prosperous Kingdom named Seri Bungan Tanjung. It was ruled by a beautiful Queen whose name was Cik Sima. She had seven good-looking daughters. Out of seven, the youngest daughter, Mayang Sari, was the most beautiful. The Princess Mayang Sari had an ideal body shape, the flawless skin as silk, the angelic face as a full moon, the red moist lip, thick eyebrow, and the straight long hair as mayang. Therefore, she was mostly known as Mayang terurai. In short, her beauty enchanted all taking a look at her.

One day, the seven princesses took bath in Sarang Umai pool, making joke and remaining in the water for long time. While doing so, they were noticed by some guys. Those were Prince Empang and his guardsmen who were passing by the pool. They peeped at the seven princesses through shady bushes nearby the pool. The prince was amazed of seeing those beautiful ladies, but his eyes could not stoop watching the most beautiful, Princess Mayang Sari. “Gadis cantik di lubuk Umai….cantik di Umai. Ya, ya…..d`umai…d`umai….”. (Beautiful lady in Umai pool, beauty in Umai in Umai…..ya..in Umai…in Umai) mumbled Prince Empang Kuala. Seemingly, the prince felt in love with Mayang Sari. He set his heart upon marrying her.

Few days later, the Prince Empang Kuala sent an envoy to the Seri Bungan Tanjung Kindom for proposing the beautiful Princess (the youngest). Bringing tepak sirih (betel leaves box[1]), the envoy delivered the message of Prince Empang Kuala. In a lavish Kingdom ritual, the proposal was welcomed splendidly by Queen Cik Sima Queen. As a reply to the Prince, Queen Cik Sima put gambier and areca nut in the biggest combol (box) among seven combol in the tepak sirih.  While the other combol were left empty. This tradition was to show that she approved of the proposal. However, instead of the younger, it should be addressed to the oldest.

Knowing that the proposal was rejected, the envoy rode his horses back to his Kingdom in despair. There, he explained about the proposal which was rejected by the Queen. “I am sorry your Majesty, I don`t mean to disappoint you. The Kingdom of Seri Bunga Tanjung rejected your intention to ask Mayang Mengurai Princess in marriage”, explained the envoy while kneeling. Feeling embarrassed, the Prince was up in arms. Steered by his anger, the Prince ordered his Commander and soldiers to attack Seri Bunga Tanjung Kingdom. All soldiers were armed to the teeth. Then, the fierce war between them was unavoidable to happen.

During the war, Queen Cik Sima ordered his commander to take her seven daughters to the jungle, hide them in a hole covered by trees. As their food supply, the Queen asked her to bring some food for three months supply. Three months passed, the war still broke out. In the next month, the Queen was cornered and her warriors decreased in number. Therefore, the Kingdom was completely destroyed. Many died during the war. Seeing the ruins of her Palace, She put her arm on help from a genie of Hulu Sungai Umai Hill.

In a dark night, the troops of Prince Empang Kuala took some rest in downstream of Umai. They took shelter under bakau trees. A terrible incident took place to the troops. Without any preparation, the troops were attacked by thousands of bakau fruits, stabbing their heart. Less than half night, all troops of Empang Kuala were terminated. The prince was in a dead loss. In such condition, the envoy of Queen Cik Sima came to the Prince Empang Kuala.

Seeing the envoy, the Prince said “Hey people of Seri Bunga Tanjung, What brought you here?”. “I come here to deliver a message from Queen Cik Sima. It is an order for you to put an end to this prolonged war, it has brought the suffer and sorrow for the people who don`t understand the real problem. This war has contaminated the seashore of Seri Bunga Tanjung with thousands of sinless souls. Anyone came to this Kingdom with good deed, peace and luck will accompany him. On the contrary, those who came to this Kingdom with bad intention, suffer and sorrow always be on him” explained the messenger. Being startled with the words, the Prince realized what had been done toward the people, the suffer he brought to the sinless people. All resulted from his arrogance. “I shouldn`t have waged this war, I had started the war, and I must end it”, talked the Prince to himself. Thus, he ordered the remained troops to back to the Kingdom.

In the next morning, Queen Cik Sima rushed for walking to the jungle where all her daughters hid. Unfortunately, he was shocked after finding that all had died. They died of thirsty and hunger. They were lack of food, as the supply covered only three months while the war broke out more than four months.

Unable to bear the sorrow upon her seven daughters, Queen Cik Sima ailed for years and finally passed away. Till now, the immolation of seven princesses is still maintained in a lyric:

Umbut mari mayang diumbut
Mari diumbut di rumpun buluh
Jemput mari dayang dijemput
Mari dijemput turun bertujuh

Ketujuhnya berkain serong
Ketujuhnya bersubang gading
Ketujuhnya bersanggul sendeng
Ketujuhnya memakai pending

Since then, the Dumai society believed that name “Dumai” is rooted to a word “d`umai” that was once said repeatedly by Prince Empang Kuala when seeing the beauty of Princess Mayang Sari or Mayang Mengurai. In Dumai, one can also find resting place of seven princesses that located in the complex of Pertamina Dumai corporation. Besides, there are several places and factories whose names related to the legend such as Putri Tujuh Factory (Oil factory belongs to Pertamina Corporation), Bukit Jin (name of hill where the Queen asked for help from a genie). There is a special lyric as well which is composed to accompany the Pulau dance and Asyik Mayang. It is performed by tabib (a magical doctor) to heal the sick.

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