Hikayat Syah Mardan
text notes
list of words



Hikayat Syah Mardan


Zabedah Abdullah (ed.), Hikayat Syah Mardan, Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, 2002.  Siri Warisan Sastera Klasik.


Or. 851, Cambridge University Library.


text:  ±1700-1736 (Braginsky);    manuscript:  <1871, collected by T.J. Chamberlaine.


text:  unknown;    manuscript:  ? Labuan or Singapore.


31081 words, including 10 verses.


to the pages (1-150) of the manuscript, and the approximated lines on each page.

Editorial notes and bibliography
Zabedah Abdullah, Hikayat Syah Mardan, pp.x-xi:
Naskhah Hikayat Syah Mardan ini merupakan naskhah yang popu-lar kerana terdapat banyak versi yang berjaya dikumpulkan. Tidak kurang daripada dua puluh versi naskhah yang ditemui tersimpan di beberapa buah pusat pengumpulan koleksi utama.
Menurut Liaw Yock Fang, Hikayat Syah Mardan merupakan satu hikayat yang popular. Naskhahnya banyak terdapat di beberapa perpustakaan di Jakarta, Leiden, dan London. Salah satu naskhah Leiden (Cod. Or. 1919) menyebut seorang yang bernama Syeikh Mohammad Asyiq Abd. al-Faqr sebagai pengarangnya. Isi naskhah-naskhah ini sama saja, yang berbeza hanya nama orang dan tempat ditulis. R.O. Winstedt pernah membuat ringkasan yang panjang daripada suatu naskhah yang tercetak di Weltevreden pada tahun 1916.
Braginsky, The Heritage of Traditional Malay Literature, pp.717-78, summarises the plot:
After the usual description of the prince’s merits, there follows an account of the arrival in Dar al-Khatan of a wise brahman from the land of Dar al-Kiam (Arab. Qiyam), who knows the tongue of birds and who teaches Syah Mardan both this tongue and the art of transmigrating his soul into various bodies and objects.
Having completed his training with the brahman, Syah Mardan goes out to see his teacher off when he suddenly loses sight of him and realizes that he has become lost in a dense forest. After wandering in the woods for a while, Syah Mardan happens upon a palace in which he finds princess Rakna Kemala Dewi, a captive of a demon (raksasa) who has abducted her from her parents' beautiful garden. The princess brings Syah Mardan some water and later becomes his wife. However, he refuses to slay the raksasa and soon abandons Rakna Kemala Dewi so that he can go on with his search for the teacher. Moreover, Syah Mardan resolutely refuses to take his wife with him, thereby incurring her anger and punishment - the princess turns him into a parrot.
Disguised as a parrot, Syah Mardan flies to the country Dar al-Khiyam, where he finds himself at the palace of princess Siti Dewi, beautiful as a ‘red flower on a golden tray, lit with radiant sun-beams’. The princess is enraptured by the bird’s seven-hued plumage. She stretches out her hand towards the parrot, which at once perches on her palm, though previously it has evaded similar overtures from the princess's maids. Siti Dewi orders a golden cage for the parrot and afterwards never lets it out of her sight. One night the bird assumes a human form and becomes the princess's lover. The ruler of the country finds out that his daughter has been taken advantage of and, unable to find the guilty party, is about to kill the parrot in a fit of rage. However, as soon as he knows that the ‘parrot’ is in fact prince Syah Mardan, his wrath is assuaged and he gives his daughter in marriage to the prince. Syah Mardan does not stay with his wife for long, however, presently resuming his wanderings under the name of Indrajaya.
•  Liaw Yock Fang, Sejarah Kesusasteraan Klassik, rev. ed., Singapura: Pustaka Nasional, 1982, pp.124-25.
•  R.O. Winstedt, A History of Classical Malay Literature, 2nd ed., Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1969, pp.79-80.
•  V.I. Braginsky, The Heritage of Traditional Malay Literature: a historical survey of genres, writings and literary views, Leiden: KITLV Press, 2004. Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 214.
The printed edition was scanned in Canberra by the MCP using Abbyy™ Finereader OCR.