The Legend of Sawunggaling from Surabaya City

Babad Tanah Surabaya dari Kisah Legenda Pertarungan Jaka Jumput Melawan Jaka Truna
Prajurit petarung berlaga mengamankan wilayah kerajaan.

The Jombang Taste is here to greet you again through articles of East Java folk tales. Surabaya is the capital of East Java and has a legend of Sawunggaling. Who is Sawunggaling and how did his life begin? Once upon a time there was a child named Jaka berek. Every day he was always teased and said to be illegitimate by his friends because he did not have another father.

One day he just came home from playing with his friends. His heart is angry, curious not absurd. Arriving at Jaka Berek’s house, he immediately met his mother. At that time his mother was gathered with his grandparents,

“Mother, I can’t take it anymore?” said Jaka Berek.

“What’s the matter, my son? Why is your face so sullen” asked Jaka Berek’s mother, Dewi Sangkrah.

“Biyung must explain, who really is my father? When he is dead, where is his grave so I can send a prayer in his tomb, and if he is still alive, let mother show me his place!” Jaka Berek whined to his mother.

Dewi Sangkrah’s heart was pounding. Mrs. Jaka Berek had expected this to happen. Sometime after growing up, his son Jaka Berek will definitely ask who his father is. He had to answer it clearly. This East Java folklore still continues with the conversation between Jaka Berek and his mother.

“My son Jaka Berek, since you are an adult, it is appropriate that you ask about your father. Please know my son, your father is a Duke of Surabaya. His name is Adipati Jayengrana. If you want to meet him, come there.”

Jaka Berek immediately found out his origins. Armed with what he had, Jaka Berek left for the Surabaya Kadipaten to meet his father. When about to enter the gate of the duchy, Jaka Berek was stopped by a soldier who was on guard.

“Stop you!” shouted the soldier. “What do you want to dare to come to this duchy?”

“I want to meet the Duke!” said Jaka Berek with his innocent face as innocent as most village youths.

“Young man, please know that I am a soldier on guard. You cannot enter the duchy. You must get out of here before I get kicked out!” snapped the soldier.

“I didn’t want to go before I met the Duke of Surabaya, named Adipati Jayengrana,” said Jaka Berek.

The soldier at the gate was annoyed to see Jaka Berek who didn’t want to leave the duchy. So he immediately attacked Jaka Berek so that Jaka Berek would leave. But Jaka Berek did not leave, but fought bravely.

Fortunately, the two sons of Adipati Jayengrana named Sawungsari and Sawunggrana discovered the fight. By them the fight was broken. The soldier who was fighting with Jaka Berek was immediately asked.

“Sorry, Prince, this young man was about to force his way into the duchy. I prevented him, but he was even charming”, reported the soldier. Hearing the report from his soldiers, the two Adipati Jayengrana children immediately asked Jaka Berek.

“Excuse me, who are you and what is the need to force your way into the duchy?” asked Sawungrana.

“I want to go to Duke Jayengrana. I have something to convey to him.”

“No outsiders can see my father. Should you just go home or should I force you to come home?” Sawungsari said.

“I remain in my stance, want to meet Adipati Jayengrana!” said Jaka Berek.

Seeing Jaka Berek’s recklessness, the two sons of Adipati Jayengrana immediately ganged up on Jaka Berek. Deftly, Jaka Berek served Sawungrana and Sawungsari.

Not long ago the fight took place, Adipati Jayengrana saw it. The Duke of Surabaya immediately approached those who were fighting. “Hey, stop this fight!” he shouted.

After the fighting stopped, Adipati Jayengrana immediately asked about the fight. The two sons explained in detail.

“You are named Jaka Berek who wants to see me. Now tell me what do you need?” asked the Duke.

“I just want to find my father who is a Duke here, his name is Adipati Jayengrana. If it’s you, of course you are my father!” said Jaka Berek.

“Later. What is your mother’s name, and what evidence is there that you are my son?” asked the Duke.

“Servant is the son of Biyung Dewi Sangkrah. As proof that I am indeed the son of Dewi Sangkrah, my mother gave me this Cinde Puspita scarf!” replied Jaka Berek.

Jaka Berek took out the Cinde Puspita shawl from the package he was carrying. It turned out that it was true that the scarf was the Cinde Puspita shawl that Adipati Jayengrana had previously given to Dewi Sangkrah who she loved.

“Then you are my son!” said the Duke with emotion.

Duke Jayengrana embraced Jaka Berek. Likewise Jaka Berek, he tightly embraced his father who he had not seen for a long time. Then Jaka Berek was introduced to his brother, Sawungrana and Sawungsari. Jaka Berek was told to live in the duchy and his name was changed to Sawunggaling. That is the origin of the name Jaka Berek which changed to Sawunggaling. Sawunggaling lives in the duchy of Surabaya with his father who is a Duke.

The Sawunggaling fairy tale continues. One day the Duchy of Surabaya arrived the Dutch company led by Captain Knol who brought a letter from General De Boor which said that the position of duke in Surabaya would be revoked because Adipati Jayengrana did not want to cooperate with the Dutch company.

But at that time there was an announcement that in Kartasura Square there would be a sodoran competition. Sodoran is a sparring war for horsemen armed with spears and shooting banners named Umbul-Umbul Tunggul Yuda.

Adipati Jayengrana, who had been fired, also told her two children to be active in training to participate in the competition. The winner of the competition will be appointed duke in Surabaya.

On the day the competition was held without informing Sawunggaling, Jayengrana and his two sons went to Kartasura. Without their knowledge, Sawunggaling also went to Kartasura secretly. Before leaving, Sawunggaling returned to the village asking for blessings from his mother, grandfather and grandmother.

The archery contest was only followed by Sawungrana and Sawungsari. But both of them failed, unable to drop the Juda stumps that had been installed between the Galah Towers.

Since there was no winner, Sosro Adiningrat, who acted as the organizing committee for the competition, immediately held another registration. At that moment a young man appeared who raised his hand. It turned out that he was Sawunggaling.

This sawunggaling was precisely what brought down Umbul-Umbul Tunggul Yuda. With this victory, besides being appointed as Adipati in Surabaya, Sawunggaling also received a gift from Amangkurat Agung’s daughter in Kartasura named Nini Sekar Kedaton.

Sawunggaling’s success has led to the jealousy of his two brothers, namely Sawungrana and Sawungsari. Both want to harm Sawunggaling. During a massive party celebrating Sawunggaling’s appointment as duke in Surabaya, Sawungrana and Sawungsari secretly put poison powder into Sawunggaling’s drinking glass.

However, Adipati Cakraningrat from Madura discovered that action. When the poisonous drink was handed over to Sawunggaling, Adipati Cakraningrat pretended to hit Sawungrana which resulted in the dropping of the glass containing the drink that had been poisoned. Seeing this, Sawungrana was very angry.

“Dinda Sawunggaling, look at the duke of Madura. He doesn’t respect you because he dropped the drink I offered to you. This is an insult!” said Sawungrana.

Sawunggaling’s blood boils due to being insulted by Adipati Cakraningrat. He quickly grabbed Adipati Cakraningrat’s hand and pulled him out of the duchy.

“Why is Uncle Duke Cakraningrat insulting me in front of the guests. Will you be challenging me to a fight?” asked Sawunggaling.

“Calm down, my son, know that the drink you were about to drink earlier has actually been poisoned by Sawungrana. I saw it. Therefore I immediately took action to save your life!” said Cakraningrat calmly.

Sawunggaling regretted that he had hastily accused Adipati Cakraningrat of being absurd. “And all that was planned by the rotten Dutch companies, my son. Your two brothers have joined the Dutch company because they want to be Adipati in Surabaya!” explained Duke Cakraningrat.

“Oh, Uncle …” Sawunggaling felt regretful. “Forgive my carelessness.”

Since then Sawunggaling hated the Dutch Company. With a strong heart he was determined to fight the Dutch. He always increased the strength of his troops to expel the Dutch. Fighting raged across the Surabaya area.

In a fierce battle Sawunggaling managed to kill General De Boor. Finally, due to severe illness, Sawunggaling died in the Kupang area and was buried in the Lidah Wetan area, Surabaya.

The moral message contained in the legend of Sawunggaling is that every human being should not give up in his life. Continue to try to improve the fate for the better. The mandate of this East Java folklore is that kindness will give good to the perpetrator. On the other hand, evil behavior will lead the perpetrator to bad life. Hopefully this East Java folklore article can add to your insight. See you in the next article The Jombang Taste.


Hidayat, Kidh 2008. Dongeng Rakyat Se-Nusantara. Jakarta: Pustaka Indonesia.

Lubis, Pangaduan Z. 1996. Cerita Rakyat dari Simalungun (Sumatera Utara). Jakarta: Grasindo.

Rahimsyah. 2001. Kumpulan Cerita Rakyat dan Sejarah Nasional. Surabaya: Terbit terang.

Reza, Marina Asril. 2008. Cerita Terbaik Asli Nusantara. Jakarta: Visimedia.

Tim Optima Pictures. 2010. Cerita Nusantara Kumpulan Dongeng, Epos, Fabel, Legenda, Mitos dan Sejarah. Jakarta: TransMedia.

Sumardiyanto, Anwar dan Eka Katminingsih. 2011. Cerita Rakyat. Sidoarjo: Dunia Ilmu.