Si Pitung Folktale

Si Pitung Folktale

- in All Categories, Folktale, Culture

A-004-1 cera-pitung-1ITS–This story belongs to Betawi tribe, the native of Jakarta. As the story goes, in the Dutch colonial era there was a man called Si Pitung. He was the son of Bang Pian (Mr. Pian) and Pok Pinah (Mrs. Pinah). When he was 5 years old, his parents sent him to Rawa Belong where he learned the Koran under Mr. H. Naipin, a teacher of Koranic reading. During his vacation, his mother always asked him to stay at home and rest. But, his father always treated him hard, so that Pitung had had to help his father by working on their rice-field and tending to the goats.

One day, his father asked Pitung to sell two goats in Tanah Abang;it didn’t take a long time for Pitung to sell them as they were already quite fat.  Then he came back home. But, when he arrived at home, Pitung was very astonished as all the money from the transaction was missing. He tried to think hard what had happened. Finally, he remembered that there were some naughty boys who were playing around him in the market. They had stolen his money. Then he went back to Tanah Abang to find them. He asked them to give his money back. They refused and even challenged him to fight. It was very easy for Pitung to conquer them as he was good at traditional self-defense. He learned the arts from Mr. H. Naipin. So, he had his money back.

Rais, the leader of the naughty boys met Pitung and he asked Pitung to join their group to pickpocket. Pitung refused the idea. What was in Pitung’s mind was how to help the poor people. Then, Rais agreed with Pitung to help the poor people. To realize the idea they asked Ji’l, their neighbor to join the group. At that moment they beganto blackmail the rich people. In the dark of night, traders, landlords, creditors and those who were thought as the men of Dutch government were sought after by this mysterious group so they could rob them of their possessions. It was very difficult to identify them as they always used sarongs to cover their heads when robbing.  Over time, the native people, suffering from poverty due to Dutch colonialism, suddenly had a new hope. Poor people, indebted families and orphan children got a bag of rice and a pocket of money on front of their doors. As events such as this became more common and widespread, the colonial government grew angry and decided to catch the mysterious group of robbers. They found out that the group was lead by Pitung, a master of traditional self-defense from Rawabelong, and they swore to catch him.  Apparently, it was difficult for the Dutch colonial government to catch Pitung, so the government intimidated the people of Rawabelong to ask Pitung to surrender himself.

To avoid the chase from the Chief Police Officer Schout Heyne, Pitung’s group expanded their operation to the Jembatan Lima area and even to Marunda. Pitung was not afraid of Mr. Schout. He even bravely fought against the Dutch troops. Unfortunately, Pitung didn’t realize that the Dutch had known the secret of his magic. Finally, Pitung was shot and died. His death was wept over by the people of Rawabelong. The Mosque in Marunda, North Jakarta is name in honor of Pitung.

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