Nyi Ageng Serang
Raden Ajeng Kustiyah Wulaningish Retno Edhi (1752–1838), better known as Nyi Ageng Serang, is a National Heroine of Indonesia.
Nyi Ageng Serang was born under the name Raden Ajeng Kustiyah Wulaningish Retno Edhi in Serang (40 kilometres (25 mi) north of Solo), in 1752. Her father was Pangeran Natapraja (also known as Panembahan Serang), a ruler of Serang and Pangeran Mangkubumi's war commander. She was also a descendant of Sunan Kalijaga. The name Nyi Ageng Serang was given to her after her father died of disease and she took over his position.
She helped her father to fight against the Dutch colonial government, which attacked them because her father still maintained troops, in violation of the Treaty of Giyanti. After the battle, she was arrested and taken to Yogyakarta. Then, she was sent back to Serang.
At the beginning of Diponegoro War in 1825, 73-year-old Nyi Ageng Serang commanded the force on a stretcher to help Pangeran Diponegoro fighting the Dutch. During the war, she was accompanied by her son-in-law, Raden Mas Pak-pak. She also became a war advisor. She fought in several areas, including Purwodadi, Demak, Semarang, Juwana, Kudus, and Rembang. She was also assigned to defend the area of Prambanan from the Dutch. One of her best-known strategies was the use of lumbu (green taro leaves) for disguise. Her forces attached the lumbu to poles to look like a taro orchard. She stopped fighting after 3 years, although her son-in-law continued fighting. Despite fighting the Dutch, beginning in 1833 they gave her an annuity of 100 gulden per month.
Nyi Ageng Serang was awarded the title National Heroine of Indonesia through Presidential Decree number 084/TK/1974 on 13 December 1974. One of her grandsons, Raden Mas Soewardi Soerjaningrat, is also a national hero. Her name is used for the building of the Culture and Museum Office (Dinas Kebudayaan dan Permuseuman) in South Jakarta.
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