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Prabu Siliwangi, Myth or Reality?

Perhaps, many of you have heard about the famous name of Prabu Siliwangi as the part of Javanese history especially in Sundanese. However, who Prabu Siliwangi is since his figure is attached so strong within the mind of Sundanese people and they make him as the adorable figure in story based on the Sundanese literature. Is he just a myth or reality? No one knows but some experts believe he existed in the past with his famous story based on literature.

 

Is Prabu Siliwangi Just A Myth or Not?

The initial note about Prabu Siliwangi was recorded in the rhymes entitled Langga Larang, Haturwangi, Siliwangi and Babakcatra. The four rhymes were mentioned inside the Siksa Kandang Karesian text with Sunda Kuna as the language and also the letters in 1518 year. However, the researchers of Sundanese literature lost the initial narration because those rhymes were gone. However, the proofs are so clear for people that within the year, Prabu Siliwangi had already become the main figure inside the rhymes.

It means, some people might think that actually, Prabu Siliwangi is not just a myth or kids’ story. What makes it interesting is, Prabu Siliwangi can be found in many literatures especially about Sunda in the late of 16th century. A linguist from Dutch named Fokko Siebold Eringa who wrote the rhymes of “Loetoeng Kasaroeng” as his thesis object succeeded in collecting about 37 titles of rhymes which were so popular among Sundanese people. However, in many rhymes, Prabu Siliwangi was not placed as the main figure or main story.

In fact, in the story of Loetoeng Kasaroeng, the main role of the story was his sons such as Munding Laya Dikusuma, Guru Gantangan and Jaka Susuruh. The relation of Prabu Siliwangi in the 16th century literature with real life had been revealed by Jacobus Noorduyn who was the philology from Dutch who learned so many Sundanese literature texts, took from the text of Bujangga Manuk which contained the topography wealth of Bali, Java and also other lands in Sunda passed by Bujangga Manik, the poet from Pakuan.

The complete narration about Prabu Siliwangi can be found in some manuscripts in 19th century entitled Tjerita Prabu Anggalarang, Wawathan Tjarios Prabu Siliwangi, Babad Siliwangi and Babad Pajajaran. However, the true manuscripts lacked of history but those were more like the literature. Prabu Siliwangi didn’t onlu live in the text and also the past stories. His name is sometimes used as the political legitimate by the Sundanese nobles. In many texts, there are so many leaders of West Java who always try making the relation between their own family with Prabu Siliwangi.

In the manuscript called Carita Purwaka Caruban Nagari, a manuscript which was under the protection of Prince Arya Carbon from Cirebon and finished written in 1720, Prabu Siliwangi was mentioned as the Sunda King and the capital city was in Pakuan, Pajajaran. The information was got from different manuscripts in the middle of 19th century. However those texts never showed whether Prabu Siliwangi is just the urban myth or real person based on the history. Many people still believe that actually, Prabu Siliwangi was real but some proofs said that they never find about Prabu Siliwangi in the history of Sunda.

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