Jaka Kembangkuning

One of the most important of the Javanese PanJi cycle of tales, Jaka Kembanqkuning was a principal story in the wayang beber during the reign of King Mangkurat the Second and King Pakubuwono in Kartasura in the seventeenth century. Its plot of Jaka Kembanqkuning runs as follows:

In the kingdom of Kediri, King Brawijaya is sitting in audience, attended by the ministers Tanda Prawramantri and Harya Jasanagara along with his entire army. The king is bereaved because his daughter, Dewi Sekartaji, has disappeared. He proclaims that whoever finds his daughter, even if he be the lowest social class, will be taken as her husband. If a woman finds Dewi Sekartaji, she will be adopted as the king’s own daughter. Jaka Kembangkuning, who is in attendance, is ordered to try to f ind her. Prabu Klana Gendingpita, a foreign king, arrives and asks about the princess. When told that she has disappeared, he takes his leave.

Jaka Kembangkuning and his servant Tawangalun and Naladerma, decide to go to the market‑place at Paloamba in search of the princess. They meet three satria who wish to be taken into Jaka Kembangkuning’s service. He refuses them, suggesting that they become retainers of Raden Candarepa, a Kediri prince.

At Paloamba, a royal minister, Cona‑cani, is told by his wife that she has had a vision in which two manifestations of magic power (wahvu) have been made visible to her. one fell in her lap, the other into the ocean. All of a sudden, Princess Sekartaji arrives, and explains to them that she wishes to withdraw from society. The minister and his wife restrain her. They advise her to return to the palace, but she refuses to do so.

In the market, agroup of travelling musicians is performing. The noise of the crowd is heard in the house of Cora‑cani, and the musicians are called into his presence to cheer up the princess. The leader of the musicians, is none other than Jaka Kembangkuning. Seeing him, Sekartaji faints. He is ordered to stop playing, and retuns to Kademangan, where he tells his storu to Demang Kuning. Tawangalun is ordered to take the news to Kediri and Naladerma is instructed to give an ornate jewel box to the princess.

In the Panreburan palace the noble lady, Retna Mindaka, meets Retna Tenggaron, King Klana’s younger sister. Retna Tenggaron offers her jewels as dowry to Retna Mindaka, but they are rejected. A fingt follows; Retna Tanggaron, defeated, runs away.

In Taratebang the noble Gandarepa is meeting with the minister Sedahrama when Tawangalun arrives to convey Jaka Kembangkuning’s message. They all proceed to Kediri to appear before the King.

Brawijaya is meeting with Klana, who aspires to be taken as the king’s son‑in‑law. Gandarepa arrives, accompanied by Tawangalun and informs the king of the discovery of Sekartaji. The King is overjoyed. Klana repeats his wish to marry the princess, but the king answers that now he can only do so if he wins her through trial by combat. Klana takes his leave.

In Passanggarahan, Klana orders hisminister, Kebo Lorodan, to fight with Tawangalun. Kebo Lorodan is willing to do so, and is promised a fitting reward. Klanals sister Retna Tenggaron nexxt arrives in tears and tells her brother of her fight with Retna Mindaka. Klana, becoming angry, prepares to take revenge.

Meanwhile Demang Kuning and Jaka Kembangkuning await the messenger’s return. When Naladerma returns, Jaka Kembangkuning leaves, planning to follow Tawangalun to Kediri.

In the courtyard (alun‑alun) of the Kediri palace, Kebo Lorodan defeats Tawangalun in a battle.

Jaka Kembangkuning arrives with Naladerma, and kill Kebo Lorodan. Jaka Kembangkuning and Gandarepa are asked.to help if there is a war in Kediri. Jaka Kembangkuning is willing, but Gandarepa asks for further time to consider this request in the garden.

Cona‑cani is treating Tawangalun’s wounds when one of the king’s ministers arrives to give Tawangalun a reward of clothing and a keris. Tawangalun is ordered to take part in the war in the event that Klana attacks.

Klana now goes into the garden, distiguised as Gandarepa. Here the princess Sekartaji is with one of her retainers. she refuses to meet Klana, whose real identity she can tell by his smell. Gandarepa, arriving in the garden, immediately challenges the imposter. Klana, returning to his original form, runs away to the alun‑alun where he is met by Tawangalun. a battle ensues between the two and Klana is killed. Retna Tenggaron and all her retainers are carried off by Jaka Kembangkuning to Kediri, where he presents them to the king.

Gandarepa and Jaka Kembangkuning, reaching Kediri, inform the king of Klana’s death and of how his younger sister has been brought to Kediri. The king immediately orders preparations for the wedding of Princess Sekartaji and Jaka Kembangkuning.