BESEMAH: FREE PEOPLE & WAR-LOVING (BRARE) AS ‘GRENSBEWAKERS’ GUARDIANS OF THE PALEMBANG STATE BORDER.

BESEMAH: FREE PEOPLE & WAR-LOVING (BRARE) AS ‘GRENSBEWAKERS’ GUARDIANS OF THE PALEMBANG STATE BORDER.

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Jan Simon Gerardus Gramberg (1865) a Dutch writer described,

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‘Whoever climbs Bukit Barisan from Bengkulu, then sets foot on the vast land of Palembang, and whoever steps from the north of Empat Lawang to the beautiful Latitude plains, so that he reaches the western foot of Mount Dempo, then it is certain he is in the land of the Besemah’. .

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Then Gramberg described the Besemah People as ‘vrijheid lievende en oorlogzuchtige bergbewoners’ or free and warlike inhabitants of the mountains.

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That was the picture of ‘foreigners/Europeans’ about Besemah at that time. Tanah Besemah is located under the foot of Mount Dempu (3,159 MDPL) in the Bukit Barisan Mountain range which separates the natural boundary of Palembang and Bengkulu (Bencoolen) in the west.

 

The Besemah had attacked England and the Netherlands while trying to conquer their country (1821-1867). The Manna District (owned by the British) in Bengkulu was once invaded by the Besemah (1825) .

 

Currently the center of Tanah Besemah is known as Pagar Alam City, which was expanded from Lahat Regency in 2001 (legal basis for Law NO. 8 of 2001). A city with cool mountain air with a stretch of Megalith sites that are widely spread in this city.

 

Dirgahayu Pagar Alam City.

Happy 20th Anniversary of Bumi Besemah, the City of Struggle.

Source: Bedur, Marzuki et al. 2005. History of Besemah: from the Megalithic Age, Lampik Mpat Mardike Duwe, Sindang Merdike to the City of Struggle. Pagar Alam City Government.

 

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