Jasmin (sumanasa) flowers


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Mpu Monaguna: (Kakawin) Sumanasantaka (1205)
(Death by Sumanasa Flower)

Taken from: Mpu Monaguna's Sumanasantaka: An Old Javanese Epic Poem, its Indian Source ... edited by Peter Worsley

Kakawin; Javaneese court love stories in which elite women take an important place. They were intended to be sung aloud. They were written on palm leaves.

Sumanasantaka, which means 'death by flower', depicts the love affair of Aja and Indumati. The death of Indumati, the queen of Aja as soon as a garland of flowers fell from heaven upon her body makes king Aja, unable to bear this grief, to hand over the kingdom to his son and to seek death in a holy stream. Both are reunited in the abode of the gods.

In this story black slaves are mentioned twice

First time during the wedding.

payun putih rwa-rwa manimbani sira

pareng lumampah tan adoh padangadeg

pujut lawan jengi raramawahiren

bangun graha rwa-rwa padanggayar wulan


Two white parasols flanked them

As they moved a short way together before coming to a halt.

The bearers were dark skinned maidens, one a Negrito and the other from Zanzibar.

They were like two planets which together accompanied the moon.


Second time by the preparation of their journey to Ayodhya after the wedding.


dewi sira mangutus aningka-ningkah I sadrwya nira pinahayu

norahala hala kalasa tinon kinajangan winalunan ahalep

akweh papiku pikul irapupul kawula dasa kaliliran ira
bondan sajuru lawan ikan pujut sajuru jengi sajuru humadan


The princess gave instructions that all her possessions were to be packed tidily.

None were unsightly on the mat for they were placed on cushions and wrapped in cloth.

Many porters gathered there, all her inherited servants –

Units of Papuans, Negritos and natives of Zanzibar standing ready.

Some pages from this manuscript.