Arena Wati as a Ship Captain: A Textual Analysis of Memoir Arena Wati Enda Gulingku

  • Sohaimi Abdul Aziz Universiti Sains Malaysia
  • Fatiha Che Mat Universiti Sains Malaysia


Arena Wati (1925-2009), is well-known by the Award of Malaysian National Laureate, which he received in 1988 for his outstanding contributions to the development of Malay literature. However he was also the captain of a sailing ship. His familial origins as sailors of Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia have greatly influenced his writings. This article is a scrutiny of a work by Arena Wati in his capacity as a ship captain in relation to two functions, namely "as a trader" and "as a navigator". The approach to the text is through a qualitative content analysis, that is, interpretation and evaluation of messages associated with the text under study, namely, Arena Wati's memoir entitled Memoir Arena Wati Enda Gulingku (1991). Based on his successful implementation of both the functions mentioned, the analysis reveals that Arena Wati is an accomplished navigator. His knowledge of the maritime trade and the navigation he practiced establishes that Arena Wati's greatness as a ship captain is equal to his greatness as a fiction writer.

Keywords: ship captain, sailor, trader, maritime, navigator

Author Biographies

Sohaimi Abdul Aziz, Universiti Sains Malaysia

School of Humanities

Fatiha Che Mat, Universiti Sains Malaysia

School of Humanities


Ammarell, Gene, 1999. Bugis Navigation. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Southeas Asia Studies.

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Arena Wati, 1991. Memoir Arena Wati: Enda Gulingku. Bangi: Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Press.

Marwati Djoened Poesponegoro and Nugroho Notosusanto, 2008. Sejarah Nasional Indonesia: Zaman Pertumbuhan dan Perkembangan Kerajaan Islam di Indonesia. Jakarta: Balai Pustaka.

Shaffer, Lynda Norene, 1996. Maritime Southeast Asia to 1500. Armonk New York: M. E. Sharpe.

Winslow, Donald J., 1995. Life-Writing. A Glossary of Terms in Biography, Autobiography, and Related Forms. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press.
How to Cite
ABDUL AZIZ, Sohaimi; CHE MAT, Fatiha. Arena Wati as a Ship Captain: A Textual Analysis of Memoir Arena Wati Enda Gulingku. Malay Literature, [S.l.], v. 27, n. 2, p. 262-283, dec. 2014. ISSN 2682-8030. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 24 feb. 2024. doi: