History of the Kutai Kingdom

General / 09 October 2019

The Kingdom of Kutai Martadipura is one of the Hindu-style Kingdoms which was founded around the 4th century and is located in the District of Muara Kaman, precisely upstream of the Mahakam river, East Kalimantan. The name of the Kingdom of Kutai itself is not clearly mentioned in any of the inscriptions, and is the name given by experts. The name Kutai was used based on where the inscription was found that showed the existence of the kingdom, because indeed very little information could be obtained due to the lack of historical sources of the Kingdom of Kutai.

History Through Yupa
Information was obtained by historians from yupa used in sacrifice ceremonies from the 4th century. To interpret the History of the Kingdom of Kutai itself, experts make seven yupa pieces as the main source. From one of the yupa studied, it is known that the king who ruled the Kutai Kingdom at that time was named Mulawarman, who was noted for his generosity towards the Brahmins by giving them 20,000 cows.


The origin of the Kutai Kingdom was started by its founder, Kudungga and continued by his son, Aswawarman. According to the Yupa inscription found, when Aswawarman descended and was replaced by his son, Mulawarman, only then did Kutai reach their glorious era. Even so, after the Mulawarman era ended, the story of the Kingdom of Kutai Martadipura ended as if they no longer existed. This is due to the lack of communication from parties within the Kingdom with the outside world, causing very few people to have heard the name of this Kingdom.

Social, Economic and Religious Life of the Kutai Kingdom
The location of the Kutai kingdom located in the trade routes of China and India made buying and selling activities one of the main livelihoods of the people of Kutai. Not only serving domestic trade in the Java Sea and East Indonesia, they also serve international trade and sell domestically sought-after goods out there.

The Kingdom of Kutai tells of its people living in an orderly and orderly life. Just like India, people in the Kingdom of Kutai are also divided into several castes because from the translation of the inscriptions many evidence is found that in the Kutai society there are Brahmins. Apart from the Brahmins, there was also a group of knights consisting of the king and his close relatives. There is also a story that says that Kudungga's children and grandchildren performed the Vratyastima ceremony to purify themselves as a condition for entering the Knight caste. This is evidenced by the existence of the word "warman" in almost every king's name. The word "warman" itself is a word that was added through the coronation ceremony of the king in Hinduism.

The Late Era of Kutai Martadipura
At the beginning of the 13th century, in an area called Tepian batu or Kutai Lama, a Kingdom was named after the Kingdom of Kutai Kartanegara with its first king, Raja Aji Batara Agung Dewa Sakti. With the emergence of a new Kingdom which also stood in the Mahakam River region, problems began to arise between the two until the 16th century, a great battle broke out between the two Kingdoms of Kutai.

The great war that took place with Kutai Kartanegara was led by the 13th king named Aji Pangeran Sinum Panji which finally closed the history of the Kutai Martadipura Kingdom. The king at that time, Maharaja Dharma Setia, was killed at the hands of his enemy and marked the defeat of Kutai Martadipura's troops. After that event, the Kingdom of Kutai Kartanegara succeeded in controlling the entire territory of the Kingdom of Kutai Martadipura and changed the name of their Kingdom to the Kingdom of Kutai Kartanegara ing Martadipura. This kingdom of Kutai Kartanegara is referred to in Javanese literature as Negarakertagama.

Era of Kutai Kartanegara Kingdom
In the 17th century, Islam began to enter the Kingdom of Kutai through Tuan Gunggang Parangan and was received quite well by Aji Raja Mahkota Mulia Alam. Because the Kutai Kingdom began to embrace the teachings of Islam, the title Raja was also replaced by the Sultan, and Sultan Aji Muhammad Idris was his first sultan to have an Islamic name. This change also created a change in the name of the kingdom that was once named the Kingdom of Kutai Kartanegara ing Martadipura changed to the Sultanate of Kutai Kartanegara ing Martadipura. This event opened a new beginning in the history of the kingdom of Kutai.

The Sultanate of Kutai Kartanegara remained alive during the period of foreign occupation in Indonesia. In the Dutch era around 1636, the Sultanate was recognized by the Banjar Sultanate as one of its vows. In 1787, Sultan Banjar Sunan Nata Alam made the Banjar Sultanate a VOC protectorate area. While during the Japanese occupation in 1942, Sultan Kutai was forced to submit to Tenno Heika who was the Emperor of Japan, and was given the honorary title Koo, and the royal name was also changed to Kooti.

Era of Elimination of the Sultanate
In 1947, the Kutai Sultanate with the status of the Swapraja Region entered the Federation of East Kalimantan along with other sultanate regions by forming the Sultanate Council, and finally joined the United Republic of Indonesia on December 27, 1949. The Kutai Swapraja area was later changed to the Kutai Special Region which was an area of the Kutai Special Region autonomous based on Emergency Law No. 3 in 1953.

On January 21, 1960 at the Sultan Kutai Palace Hall which is located in the Tenggarong area, a session of the Regional Parliament of Kutai was held. This event was the handover of power from Sultan Aji Muhammad Parikesit who was the Head of the Kutai Special Region to Aji Raden Padmo as Head Regent, Captain Soedjono as Mayor of Samarinda, and A.R. Sayid Mohammad as Mayor of Balikpapan. This marks the end of the Kutai Sultanate which also means ending the history of the Kutai Kingdom. Even so, in 1999 the Regent of Kutai Kartanegara revived the Sultanate of Kutai Kertanegara as an effort to preserve its historical and cultural heritage considering the Kingdom of Kutai was one of the oldest kingdoms in Indonesia.


Read More :