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Book Review

05 mei 2010 00:07

Mengenal Pelalawan Aneka Istilah Budaya, Permainan Rakyat, Peralatan, Makanan Khas, Flora dan Fauna

Mengenal Pelalawan Aneka Istilah Budaya, Permainan Rakyat, Peralatan, Makanan Khas, Flora dan Fauna

Title :
Mengenal Pelalawan Aneka Istilah Budaya, Permainan Rakyat, Peralatan, Makanan Khas, Flora dan Fauna
Bahasa Indonesia
Publisher Team
Balai Kajian dan Pengembangan Budaya Melayu (BKPBM),   Yogyakarta
First, October 2004
vii + 94 pages
0.4 x 22.7 cm

This book contains brief information about cultural terms, traditional games, appliances, special food, flora and fauna of Pelalawan Regency, Riau Province. Although written in the form of encyclopedia complemented with photos and brief and simple information, the book provides quite enough knowledge about the culture and natural environment of Pelalawan.

With its typical encyclopedia writing, this book will certainly be a good collection for government tourism agencies, musea, tourim object offices, and also tourists to know the culture of Pelalawan. This book would perhaps be better if rewritten with more information. Besides, for readers to understand easily there should be a distinction between terms of equipments and terms of performance in Pelalawan traditional ceremony part. In this book, those groups of terms are intermixed, for instance, terms of performance mandi balimau (p. 5), sunat rosul (p. 7), and ziarah kubur (p. 9) are put in the same part with equipments.

The Greatness of Pelalawan Culture

Pelalawan is one of many areas having historical traces of Malay culture. The traces are remnants of a big kingdom that once ruled the area i.e. Pelalawan Kingdom whose center was at the bank of Kampar river. Pelalawan Kingdom was the successor of Kampar Kingdom. And the name Pelalawan is derived from the kingdom’s name.

Pelalawan Kingdom was set up in 1725 and started to be widely known during the reign of Sultan Syed Abdurrahman, also known as Assyaidis Syarif Abdurrahman Fachrudin (1811–1822). The last king of Pelalawan was Tengku Said Haroen, entitled Assyaidis Syarif Haroen bin Hasyin Fachrudin Tengku Besar Kerajaaan Pelalawan, who ruled the kingdom (1940 – 1945).

Soon after Indonesia gained independence, precisely on October 20th 1945, Tengku Said Haroes along with dignitaries of Pelalawan Kingdom gave a statement of allegiance and coalescence with the Republic of Indonesia. Tengku Said Haroen passed away on November 21st 1959 at his palace in Pelalawan. Over his service to his people and nation, by Musyawarah Orang-orang Besar Kerajaan (Assembly of Royal Dignitaries), he was bestowed the title Marhum Setia Negara.

Pelalawan people at that time were Malay people divided into two traditional territories, namely the people of Malay Coastal traditions and people of Malay Petalangan traditions. The latter were the majority of Pelalawan population. However, over time, Pelalawan people have now varied. There are people of West Sumatra, North Sumatra, Aceh, Java, and so on. According to the official website of the regency, Pelalawan population number adds up to 208.373 (

Pelalawan is a new regency in Riau Province, broken up on October 12th 1999 from Kampar Regency. Nowadays, Pelalawan spans up to approximately 12.490,42 km˛, covering twelve districts, namely Pangkalan Kerinci, Langgam, Pangkalan Kuras, Pelalawan, Bunut, Ukui, Pangkalan Lesung, Kerumutan, Teluk Miranti, Kuala Kampar, Bandar Sikijang, and Bandar Petalangan.

With a territory so wide, Pelalawan has rich culture and nature, starting from the language (terms), traditional games, traditional appliances, plantation, and animals. This abundant wealth is well preserved, managed by the regencial government in cooperation with government tourism agency. One of the preserved areas is Kerumutan Wildlife Reserve situated in Kerumutan Village.

Kerumutan Reserve can be reached by land transportation from either Pangkalan Kerinci or Pekanbaru in approximately 2 hours. The reserve is a jungle as wide as ± 93.222.20 Ha. In it live various kinds of protected plantation and animals, such as Meranti (Shorea sp), Punak (Tetrameriota Glabra mig), Perupuk (Solena permum javanicum), Nipah (Nypa fructicons), Rengas (Gluta rengas), and Pandan (Pandanus sp).

As for the animals living in the jungle are Harimau Sumatra (Panthera tigris sumatraensis), Harimau Dahan (Neovoles nebulosa), Beruang Madu (Helarctos malayanus), Enggang (Buceros rhinoceros), Monyet (Mocacafa scicularis), Kuntul Putih (Egretta intermedia), Ikan Arwana (Slhleropoges formasus), Owa (Hylobutes moloch), dan Itik Liar (Cairina scutulata).

Aside from the ample jungle, Pelalawan is also rich of traditions and arts. There are still practiced title awarding for dignitaries as well as other awardings inherited from the ceremonial activities of the former Sultans. Many art activities are flourishing and preserved by the people, such as literature (nyanyian panjang, pantun, bidal, and menumbai), music (gambus, kompang, gendang, nafiri, ketobang, and gambang), and dance (zapin, joget, bagendong, belian, badewo, and silat Payung). There are also handicraft products such as wood carving, emboridery, and also plait works made of pandanus leaves, daun kopau, and bamboo.

Yusuf Efendy

Translation by Reza Daffi (trans/15/04-10)

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