Legend of Puteri Gunung Ledang
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The Legend of Gunung Ledang (Malay: Legenda Puteri Gunung Ledang; Jawi: ليڬيندا ڤوتري ڬونوڠ ليدڠ) revolves around a Majapahit Javanese-Hindu princess who allegedly lived on Mount Ophir or Gunung Ledang in Johor, Malaysia.
Conditions of marriage
The Sultan had heard of her beauty and wanted to marry her but she set seven impossible conditions for him. The conditions were:
- A golden walkway for her to walk to Malacca from the mountain,
- A silver walkway for her to return from Malacca to the mountain,
- Seven barrels of tears (specifically tears from virgin girls) for her to bathe
- Seven barrels of young beetlenut juices from Betel Tree (Areca catechu) for her to bathe
- Seven trays filled with hearts of germs,
- Seven trays filled with hearts of mosquitoes, and
- A silver bowl of the blood of the Sultan's young son.
All the conditions was set/requested on purpose by the Princess to test the Sultan's love towards her whereby she knew that he will be unable to fulfill it as most of the requests are rather ridiculous and mostly not achievable or attainable by the Sultan. The last request is rather a difficult decision for the Sultan's as the Sultan son is the only descendant left to rule Malacca next during the Malacca Sultanate.
Some versions of the legend say that the Sultan was not able to fulfill any of these requests, while others say that he was able to fulfill the first six requests (thus causing the ruin of the Malacca Sultanate) but could not fulfill the final request which would have required him to kill his son. The point of the story is that the Sultan was either too proud or too blind to realise that the conditions were the Puteri's way of turning his proposal down.
Some say that remnants of the gold and silver bridge still exist, but have been reclaimed by the forest.
And also a new discovery, further version of the story Puteri Gunung Ledang suit conditions as a result of a paranormal communication within the Malay community in the way of a dialogue that results is said Puteri Gunung Ledang never put conditions.These conditions are said to be made by Tun Mamat and Admiral Hang Tuah to make the Sultan of Malacca no longer hope for an engagement to Princess of Mount Ledang but at the same time want to insinuate himself Tun Mamat his father through his self-set conditions.
Further legend has it that the princess eventually married one Nakhoda Ragam, a hero whose name unfailingly struck terror into the hearts of those who had dared to oppose him. However, this hero was later to die at the hands of his princess-wife. Ragam was fond of tickling the Princess’s ribs. One day, in an uncontrollable burst of anger, the Princess stabbed her husband in the breast with a needle she was handling. Thereafter, the Princess returned to Mount Ophir and vowed never to set her eyes on another man. Ragam’s boat, not long after, was crushed during a storm and legend has it that the debris of the wreck was transformed into the present six islands off Malacca. It was claimed that the boat’s kitchen became Pulau Hanyut, the cake-tray Pulau Nangka, the water-jar Pulau Undan, the incense-burner Pulau Serimbun, the hen-coop Pulau Burong, and the honeymoon cabin of Ragam and the Princess became Pulau Besar.
Ancient history and myth points to the Gunung Ledang mountain being the site of rich gold deposits, luring traders from as far as Greece and China. In the 14th Century, the Chinese seafarers plying the Straits of Melaka called it ‘Kim Sua’ meaning the ‘Golden Mountain’. The mountain was named ‘Gunung Ledang’, which means ‘mount from afar’, during the period of the Majapahit empire. There even locals who claimed the Malacca did built the golden bridge connecting to the mountain, it is now buried under the ground of the site.
Adaptations in Theatre and Movie
A few adaptations of the story have been made, the theatre musical play; Puteri Gunung Ledang (musical) and two movies; 1961's Puteri Gunong Ledang (film) and 2004's Puteri Gunung Ledang (film), all produced based on the story of the legend but varies in version of story including:
- Puteri Gunong Ledang, a 1961 black-and-white Malaysian film starring Elaine Edley.
- Puteri Gunung Ledang, a 2004 lavish Malaysian film adaptation starring Tiara Jacquelina and M. Nasir.
- Puteri Gunung Ledang, a 2006 stage musical based on the 2004 film, starring Tiara Jacquelina and Stephen Rahman-Hughes.
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