Siti Wan Kembang

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Siti Wan Kembang

Che Siti Wan Kembang is the legendary queen regnant over a region in the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, which is now encompassed within Kelantan state. She is believed to have ruled in the 16th century.

Che Siti was famous for her beauty and wisdom. She is descendant from the royal lineage of Champa-Kelantan-Pattani.

She was also known as a warrior princess and was said to be able to enter battle on horseback with a sword with an army of female horseriders. It was said that she and her adopted daughter, Puteri Saadong had mystical powers.

A pair of muntjacs — being the queen's favourite pet — is depicted in Kelantan's state emblem to represent her prominence in the state's rich history.[1]

Background[edit]

According to certain historical records, Che Siti Wan Kembang was born in 1585. Her parents were Raja Ahmad and Cik Banun, both of royal lineage. Raja Ahmad was crowned Ruler of Kelantan in 1584.

However, Raja Ahmad died in 1589, when the princess was only 4 years old. Therefore, Raja Hussein of Johor was made Regent of Kelantan. Che Siti Wan Kembang ascended to the throne of Kelantan in 1610 AD upon the death of Raja Hussein. She was said to have resided in Gunung Chinta Wangsa, Ulu Kelantan, located approximately 40 km from Kuala Krai.

Che Siti never married, and therefore never had children of her own. She adopted Puteri Saadong as her daughter. Puteri Saadong was the princess of the ruler of Jembal, whom Che Siti had close ties with.

Kijang Coins[edit]

Differing views are given regarding the origin of the Kijang gold coins. Kijang means "muntjac" in the Malay language and derives its name from the engravings of said animal on the coin. The Kijang coins are generally associated with Che Siti.[2]

According to Kelantanese folklore, the kijang is her favorite pet and has always fond of it since young while some stories suggest that there are once an Arab trader come to her country and seeking permission to trade presented a muntjac to the Queen as a gift. She became very fond of the muntjac and taking it as her pet to the point she ordered its image to be inscribed on the gold coins of her country.

Another version was linked to the influence of Saivite Hinduism. The connection was based on the fact that the earliest issue of Kijang coins resembled the Indian humped-back bull and the bull motif was depicted on ancient Hindu coins which were circulated in the northern Malay states.[3]

Jelasin Fort[edit]

Jelasin fort (Malay: Kota Jelasin) is situated in the southern suburbs of Kota Bharu, the state capital of Kelantan. The site is approximately 4 to 8 kilometres from the town centre, in the ward of Wakaf Che Yeh. It was built in 1563 for Cik Siti Wan Kembang, her adopted daughter Puteri Saadong and Puteri Saadong's husband, Raja Abdullah.[4]

Believed to be located on the eastern banks of the Kelantan River, the fort was made from thick wood with beautiful carvings and was very famous during the reign of Che Siti. It was used to defend Kelantan from outside attacks. According to history, Jelasin Fort was attacked by the King of Siam and Puteri Saadong disappeared after that. The condition of the fort soon deteriorated after her disappearance and the ruins of the fort is hardly noticeable nowadays as not much effort has been taken to conserve it.[5]

Succession[edit]

Legend has it that Che Siti never died but instead "disappeared" into the mystical world, and reappears from time to time. After her "disappearance", she was succeeded by her adopted daughter, Puteri Saadong, who was the youngest daughter of Raja Jembal.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2016. Kelantan state emblem
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2010. Myth of the Kijang Coins
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2010. Myth of the Kijang Coins
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2014. Jelasin Fort
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2014. Jelasin Fort