Istiadat Ulangan Penghulu Luak Tanah Mengandung Mengadap Menjunjung Duli – November 2023

Istiadat Ulangan Penghulu Luak Tanah Mengandung Mengadap Menjunjung Duli – November 2023

PLEDGE OF OBEISANCE AND THE OATH OF ALLEGIANCE BY THE CHIEFS OF THE LUAK TANAH MENGANDUNG

This booklet serves to provide a brief insight into the rich cultural make-up of the state and this ceremony is one of the cornerstones of the modern day Negeri Sembilan. It is an extensive ceremony where the Penghulu (chieftains) of the Luak (provinces) within the Tanah Mengandung (Motherland) who pledge obeisance and swear an oath of allegiance to His Royal Highness the Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan. The ceremony spans three days.

History

Negeri Sembilan (literally translated as the Nine States) preexisted as a federation of Luak under the control of the various chieftains, with Raja Melewar becoming the first Ruler in 1773. With the signing of the treaty of 1885 between the Governor of the Straits Settlements, the Ruler (then referred to as the Yamtuan Seri Menanti) and the chieftains, Negeri Sembilan took the form as we know it today.

Negeri Sembilan consists of three broad areas:

  1. The Tanah Mengandung, which consists of Luak Ulu Muar, Luak Jempol, Luak Terachi, Luak Gunung Pasir and Luak Ineh. Seri Menanti is referred to as the Lingkungan itself.
  2. The Luak under the patronage of the Dato’- Dato’ Undang, that being Sungei Ujong, Jelebu, Johol and Rembau, and the territory under the control of the Tunku Besar of Tampin.
  3. The three smaller Luak of Gemencheh, Pesaka Air Kuning and Linggi which fell under the rule of the Yamtuan Seri Menanti.

Upon the formation of the state of Negeri Sembilan, it was agreed that His Royal Highness Tuanku Muhammad would assume the title of the Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan. The Luak that previously fell under control of the Yamtuan Seri Menanti, automatically pledged allegiance to the Yang di-Pertuan Besar.

It was decided that the Luak under the direct control of the Yang di-Pertuan should pledge obeisance and swear an oath of allegiance once every three years, in a ceremony that is called the Istiadat Ulangan Penghulu Luak Mengadap Menjunjung Duli.

The Ceremonies

The Retrieval and Installation of the Royal Regalia Ceremony

The ceremony is initiated by the procession and entrance of the Dato’-Dato’ Penghulu Luak and their Dato’-Dato’ Lembaga into the Istana Besar Seri Menanti, led in reverse precedence by the most junior Penghulu.

The Royal Regalia is retrieved and transported from its permanent display position in the Balairung Seri (Throne Hall) to the main hall of the Istana Besar Seri Menanti for inspection and subsequently moved on to the front lawn of the Istana when it is affixed and installed into predetermined positions witnessed by His Highness the Tunku Besar Seri Menanti, other members of the Royal Family, the Penghulu, and their entourage. It is ensued by a three-gun salute to mark the beginning of the three days of ceremonies.

The Royal Bathing Ceremony

It begins with Their Royal Highnesses departing from the Istana Besar Seri Menanti on the Takhta Rencana, a special throne used to carry Their Royal Highnesses to the Panca Persada which is a turreted multi – tiered platform with a royal seat drawn by the Pegawai 99 (99 Palace Officials). The procession is accompanied by an eight-gun salute.

Once Their Royal Highnesses are seated within the covered area of the Panca Persada, the Orang Empat Istana (four primary courtiers) headed by the Dato’ Seri Amar Diraja will in turn carry the Cupu Bedak Limau (a concoction of mortar, lime and water), and circumambulate the dais seven times, stopping each time for Their Royal Highnesses to dip their hands into the mixture to symbolically acknowledge the bathing ceremony.

The ceremony ends with a traditional cultural performance.

Their Royal Highnesses will then depart the Panca Persada on the same Takhta Rencana on completion of the ceremony and is accompanied by another eight-gun salute.

The Pledge of Obeisance and Oath of Allegiance by the Penghulu Luak Tanah Mengandung

The pledge of obeisance and oath of allegiance is the highlight of the three-day ceremony and is held in the Balairung Seri.

It starts with the five Penghulu Luak entering the Balairung Seri in reverse precedence, taking their place within the Seri Raja Dimuda, a specially constructed platform opposite the Singgahsana.

Their Royal Highnesses the Yang di-Pertuan Besar and the Tunku Ampuan Besar then enter the Balairung Seri accompanied by Their Highnesses the Putera Yang Empat (the Four Senior Princes).

Their Royal Highnesses take their seats on the Singgahsana, flanked by the Tunku Besar Seri Menanti on the right, and the Tunku Laxamana on the left while the Tunku Muda Serting and the Tunku Panglima Besar take their position on the outer right and left seats accordingly.

The Mufti of Negeri Sembilan will perform the doa prayers and the Dato’ Seri Amar Diraja will seek permission from the Yang di-Pertuan Besar to commence the ceremony. Once given, the Dato’ Seri Amar Diraja will proclaim the start of the ceremony in Balairung Seri.

The Penghulu of the Luak will proceed to pledge obeisance and undertake an oath of allegiance to the Yang di-Pertuan Besar in the following order:

  1. Luak Ulu Muar, led by the Dato’ Bendahara Setia Maharaja, Setia Maharaja Lela Pahlawan
  2. Luak Jempol, led by the Dato’ Lela Putra Setiawan
  3. Luak Terachi, led by the Dato’ Anjah Pahlawan
  4. Luak Gunung Pasir, led by the Dato’ Orang Kaya Mempasir Setiawan
  5. Luak Ineh, led by the Dato’ Pahlawan Lela Perkasa Walad Kuala Dioh

After the completion of the pledge of obeisance and oath of allegiance, His Royal Highness the Yang di-Pertuan Besar will deliver a royal address.

The ceremony in the Balairung Seri ends with the departure of Their Royal Highnesses, the Yang di-Pertuan Besar and the Tunku Ampuan Besar accompanied by Their Highnesses the Putera Yang Empat.

Closing the entire ceremony

The Istiadat Ulangan Penghulu Luak Tanah Mengandung Menjunjung Duli officially comes to an end when the Royal Regalia which is on display on the front lawn is moved back into the Balairung Seri in a ceremonial procession by the Pegawai 99 and installed in their permanent position next to the Singgahsana. This is a private ceremony witnessed by His Highness the Tunku Besar Seri Menanti and members of the Royal Family accompanied by a three-gun salute to mark the close of the ceremony.

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