"The Legend of Nakhoda Ragam" in the Malay World and Its Link to Penang's Early History

  • Jelani Harun

Abstract

The Malay World has produced many legends about extraordinary people such as rulers, nobles, warriors and the like. Patih Gajah Mada and Hang Tuah are examples of such legendary figures who possess a variety of extraordinary abilities and who are proudly regarded as idols of the community that produced them. Nevertheless, there are many other legendary figures who are not yet well known within the community but who have played no less than an important part in the history of the nation. Legends do not tell the life stories of ordinary persons; they showcase very special events associated with particular figures, which are then told and retold many times again. This article will discuss "Legenda Nakhoda Ragam" [The Legend of Nakhoda Ragam], which is well known in Brunei Darussalam, and his extraordinary adventures as a traveller in the Malay World, including his link to the founding of Pulau Pinang (Penang). Based on notes by Vaughan (1857), Nakhoda Ragam was a trader who often sailed between Lingga and Kedah. There was only one island between these two places that was attractive for him to anchor at, which he named "Pulo Ka Satu" (later Pulau Pinang or Penang). Nakhoda Ragam was also said to have founded several other places here, among them "Pulo Kindi", "Bayan Lepas", "Gerattah Sangkol", "Pulo Bittong" and "Puchut Muka", which all still exist today. This article presents evidence regarding the presence of this figure and his connection to the early history of Penang.


Keywords: Nakhoda Ragam, legends, Brunei Darussalam, Penang


Abstrak


Masyarakat Alam Melayu banyak melahirkan legenda yang telah memainkan peranan yang luar biasa selaku pemerintah, pembesar, pahlawan dan sebagainya. Nama seperti Patih Gajah Mada dan Hang Tuah merupakan sebahagian daripada legenda yang memiliki berbagai-bagai kelebihan dan kehebatan serta menjadi tokoh kebanggaan masyarakat yang melahirkannya. Walau bagaimanapun, masih banyak legenda yang belum diketengahkan kepada khalayak masyarakat tetapi telah memainkan peranan yang tidak kurang hebatnya kepada sejarah sesebuah bangsa itu. Legenda bukan mengisahkan sejarah hidup seseorang tokoh yang biasa tetapi menampilkan peristiwa-peristiwa yang sangat istimewa yang berhubungan dengan tokoh tersebut sehingga menjadi sebutan masyarakat zaman-berzaman. Makalah akan membicarakan "Legenda Nakhoda Ragam" yang terkenal di Brunei Darussalam dan kisah kehebatan Nakhoda Ragam selaku seorang pengembara di Alam Melayu, termasuk hubungannya dengan sejarah awal pembukaan Pulau Pinang.    Berdasarkan catatan Vaughan (1857), Nakhoda Ragam ialah seorang pedagang yang sering belayar di antara Lingga dan Kedah. Antara kedua-dua tempat itu, hanya ada sebuah sahaja pulau yang kelihatan sangat ketara untuk Nakhoda Ragam singgah, lalu dinamakannya sebagai "Pulo Ka Satu" (Pulau Pinang). Nakhoda Ragam juga dikatakan telah mengasaskan nama bagi beberapa tempat lain di sekitar pulau tersebut, antaranya "Pulo Kindi", "Bayan Lepas", "Gerattah Sangkol", "Pulo Bittong" dan "Puchut Muka". Semua tempat ini masih wujud sehingga hari ini. Artikel ini mengemukakan bukti-bukti yang menunjukkan keberadaan tokoh ini dan kaitannya dengan sejarah awal Pulau Pinang.


Kata kunci: Nakhoda Ragam, legenda, Brunei Darussalam, Pulau Pinang

Published
2020-12-01
How to Cite
HARUN, Jelani. "The Legend of Nakhoda Ragam" in the Malay World and Its Link to Penang's Early History. Malay Literature, [S.l.], v. 33, n. 2, p. 149-168, dec. 2020. ISSN 2682-8030. Available at: <http://jurnal.dbp.my/index.php/MalayLiterature/article/view/8037>. Date accessed: 22 apr. 2021. doi: https://doi.org/10.37052/ml33(2)No1.