text notes
list of words
list of rhyme words



Syair Sultan Nur Peri


Klinkert 140, University of Leiden Library.


text:  about 1850;    manuscript:  before about 1865.


text & manuscript:  Riau.


11669 words, comprising 2762 verses.


to the pages (2-77) of the manuscript, and to the stanzas on each page.


This text was kindly provided by Mulaika Hijjas

Editorial notes and bibliography
Dr Hijjas provides the following synopsis of the syair:
    Raja Nur Peri, the king of Indera Pura, is married to his cousin Puteri Gemala Puspa. They spend their time pleasantly, until RNP decides to go on a hunting trip, taking his wife. No animals are to be found. A huge storm blows up and carries off the princess and six handmaidens. RNP goes in search of them. PGP and her followers, lost in the wilderness, make their way to the edge of the sea. They encounter talking animals (including a slow loris). Two ships appear, carrying two women dressed as merchants. Although PGP and her followers are initially terrified of the people whom they assume to be men, they soon discover that the merchants are Puteri Puspa Indera, PGP's cousin, and PPI's mother. These two have set out in search of their "saudara"--possibly PGP, but this is not clear. PPI goes by the name Juragan Putera. PGP adopts the name Juragan Muda, and the two sail away.
    Meanwhile, RNP arrives in Beranta Seri, where his nenda, Betara Maharupa, is performing austerities. BM tells RNP that he cannot reveal the whereabouts of the princess because the dewa do not wish it. However, he advises RNP to bertapa, and gives him and his companions magical gifts. RNP changes his name to Usul Mengerna Danta. They arrive in the kingdom of Sutera Loka, where the raja has a daughter. RNP's party ransacks the countryside, apparently in order to draw the raja's attention to themselves. Using his magical powers, RNP easily defeats his opponents and wins the admiration of the king. RNP declines to marry the princess, saying he is under a pantang.
    Meanwhile, Juragan Putera and Juragan Muda arrive in Sutera Loka. Hearing of Usul Mengerna Danta's doings, they realise he must be none other than RNP. The two juragan present themselves to the raja, but refrain from revealing their true identities to RNP. JP is persuaded to marry the princess of Sutera Loka, but tells her on the wedding night that "he" is under a pantang and will not consummate the marriage.
    All live happily at the court until the arrival of a ship bearing Raja Indera Puspa, a cousin? of RNP, under the name Indera Putera. They carry on enjoying themselves, until JP and JM decide to depart, taking RIP, RNP and the princess of Sutera Loka with them. Aboard ship, everyone's true identity is revealed. The princess of SL is very ashamed and upset, but eventually marries RIP.
    The syair ends very abruptly, with the death of the king and queen of Sutera Loka.
•  Ph.S. van Ronkel, Supplement-Catalogus der Maleische en Minangkabausche Handschriften in de Leidsche Universiteits-Bibliotheek, Leiden: Brill, 1921, p.73-74, #174: misdescribed as "Sja`ir Radja Mengindera".
•  Mulaika Hijjas, "Desire in disguise: three syairs from Riau", PhD thesis, School of Oriental and African Studies, London.
Added:  July 2007
A digital text was provided by Dr Hijjas, and adapted to the MCP format.