The Myth of the Founding of Brunei

January 18, 2014

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According to oral legends, despite of being married for quite some time, Sang Aji  Baruwing was childless. One day while walking outside his palace, he found a giant egg and brought it back to the palace. That night, the egg hatched and a young boy by the name of I-Pai Samaring emerged from it. The young boy will soon grow up as a fine man and later married the daughter of Sang Aji. While the princess is pregnant, she craved for a tembadau (wild cow). I-Pai Samaring went hunting and managed to hit a tembadau with a spear, but it got away. But determined to pursue the tembadau that got away, I-Pai Samaring followed the bloody trail through several villages. At each village, he married the daughter of the chieftain as it was considered a great honor. He married thirteen times before he eventually found the errant tembadau.

Meanwhile, back at the palace, the princess gave birth to their son whom they names Alak Betatar.

Each of I-Pai Samirang's wives later gave birth to the brothers of Awang Alak Betatar. When Awang Alak Betatar grew up, he went in search of his brothers and brought them together. They later went in search of a new place to build a country and when they found the location at the present Kampong Ayer, their cries of baru nah -- "now we found it" -- gace Brunei its name.

This myth has become the basis of the rule of the current monarchy. Sultan Bolkiah was the son of Damang Lebar Daun, one of the fourteen (14) founding members of Brunei. He immigrated to Java and married with a local while his son returned to Brunei

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