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Meaney
01-22-2006, 11:58 AM
I've been researching a book for several years now on the Malay legend of Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat. No documented history exists of this story, and the only sources are the 16th/17th c. manuscripts, the Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals) and the Hikayat Hang Tuah. The Sejarah Melayu is available in English in my state library, but the Hikayat Hang Tuah is extremely difficult to find in English (if indeed it exists.) Any leads or suggestions would be appreciated.

Also, any general knowledge of this period of Malaysian history would be of great interest to me.

smallthunder
01-22-2006, 12:20 PM
Hi --

I am going to Melaka in February, and would be happy to keep an eye out for references/materials on the Malay legend of Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat for you. Can you read any languages other than English? If not, would it be feasible for me to answer some of your questions should I find material written in Chinese (which I can read)?

Also -- can you give me a bit of background on Hang Tuah/HangJebat & the legend -- knowing more would assist in the search.

Meaney
01-22-2006, 12:42 PM
Hi, smallthunder. Thank you for the offer. I have just returned from Melaka for the fourth time. There is much museum-type material on the history of the Sultanate, but very little in terms of serious research into the Hang Tuah legend. The museums there do provide a synopsis of the story, but to proceed any further from my reasonably extensive research thus far I need to find a copy of the Hikayat Hang Tuah in English. I do speak a little French, but this Hikayat seems to appear in only two languages: Bahasa Malay and 17th c. Arabic. It would be more likely to appear in English than Chinese, given the British colonial presence in the 19th c. and the modest body of scholarly work by the British on the history of the peninsula and the Malay culture. Modern day Melaka is a wonderful tourist spot, but any serious research into the history would be found in the Kuala Lumpur universities and libraries.

Briefly, Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat were two warriors, best friends sworn to the allegiance of Sultan Mansur Shah. When Tuah is framed and the sultan unjustly sentences him to death, Jebat ousts the sultan. Unbeknownst to all, Tuah in fact went into hiding. The sultan learns this and pardons him, and orders him to remove the usurper from the palace. Hang Tuah duels to the death of his best friend who upheld justice for him.

Enjoy Melaka. It is one of my favourite spots in all of Malaysia.

pdr
01-23-2006, 08:20 AM
Forgive me for asking this but have you researched online at the British Museum and British Library?

You might well find secondary materials there as the legend is just the juicy sort of story likely to appeal to the Colonial mind.

smallthunder
01-24-2006, 05:00 PM
Forgive me for asking this but have you researched online at the British Museum and British Library?

You might well find secondary materials there as the legend is just the juicy sort of story likely to appeal to the Colonial mind.

Hi, PDR -- Can one search the British Library and/or British Museum and retrieve texts online ? If so, can you provide the direct URL(s)? Thanks.

pdr
01-25-2006, 04:33 AM
No. It will take many years before they can get everything online. There's a little on line, the British Library's Online Gallery is stunning, and more is promised. You can however read the catalogues and find what they have. Then you need to organise yourself to access the stuff.

The British Library: http://www.bl.uk
The British Museum: http://www.british-museum.ac.uk

Do visit the museum and library online shops as the books and resources and gifts are fantastic. Just lock up your credit card first!