Monday, 13 July 2020 | 14:59 WIB

Folklore Tales: The Origin of Salatiga

Salatiga is located at the foot of Mount Merbabu, Central Java (twitter/mamah_hasna)

JAKARTA, NNC - In the past, the district of Semarang belonged to the Demak Sultanate. This area was governed by a Regent named Ki Ageng Pandanaran. He was a regent that was respected by his people. In addition to being wise, Ki Ageng was also rich.

However, over time he enriched himself further and started no longer caring about his people. Sunan Kalijaga, advisor to the Sultan of Demak, intended to remind the Regent of his self-enrichment ways. Dressed in rags, Sunan Kalijaga disguised himself as a grass trader. He offered grass to Ki Ageng. Ki Ageng wanted to buy the grass at a cheap price, which was declined by Sunan Kalijaga.

Finally, Ki Ageng got angry and expelled Sunan Kalijaga. Before leaving, Sunan Kalijaga said he could show Ki Ageng how to gain wealth easily. Sunan Kalijaga borrowed a hoe. He then dug the ground in front of the district. Ki Ageng was shocked when he saw gold chunks the size of buffalo heads under ground dug by Sunan Kalijaga.

Ki Ageng then watched the grass trader closely. After knowing who the grass trader was exactly—which was Sunan Kalijaga in disguise, Ki Ageng was surprised. He apologized to the advisor. He was willing to be punished for his mistakes. Sunan Kalijaga forgave Ki Ageng, and advised Ki Ageng to rule his area in the right way.

Since the incident, Ki Ageng's life became restless. He then decided to make amends. He left the office of the Regent. He wanted to follow the footsteps of Sunan Kalijaga as a religious cleric. Ki Ageng also intended to go to Jabaikat Mountain to open an Islamic boarding school there. Nyai Ageng, Ki Ageng’s wife, wanted to go with Ki Ageng. Ki Ageng allowed her wife to come along, but on condition that Nyai Ageng not bring their jewelries.

At the appointed time, Nyai Ageng was not yet ready. She was still busy arranging arrange the jewelries she intended on carrying in a bamboo stick. Ki Ageng then left first. Once ready, Nyai Ageng then followed. In the middle of the road, Nyai Ageng was intercepted by three robbers who asked for her belongings. Eventually, her jewelries were seized by the robbers.

 Nyai Ageng then followed Ki Ageng. After meeting her husband, Nyai Ageng told of the events that happened to her on her travel. Ki Ageng then said the location where his wife was robbed would be named Salatiga. Salatiga is derived from the words salah (wrong) and tiga (three) which means three guilty persons.