The History of the Betawi Legend of Si Pitung which is still a puzzle


Jakarta

Si Pitung is known as a legendary Betawi figure. But apparently until today there are still many puzzles that surround the figure.

detikTravel visited Si Pitung’s house in Marunda, North some time ago. The house is a place where tourists usually go to commemorate its existence.

There, detikTravel met a guide named Tama. Tama tells that the house of Si Pitung does not actually belong to the character, but belongs to Haji Saifuddin.

Haji Saifuddin is a merchant from South Sulawesi who migrated to Marunda. The house itself is estimated to have stood since the 1880s.

In the 1890s, Pitung reportedly stopped at Haji Saifuddin’s house. However, the reason for Pitung’s arrival is not so clear. There is a version that says he came with the aim of hiding from the Dutch.

However, Margreet van Till’s version in Banditry in West Java: 1869-1942 states that Pitung and his five friends committed a robbery at Haji Saifuddin’s house. The incident was written on July 30, 1892.

Si Pitung's house is closed for maintenancePitung’s house. Photo: Pradita Utama/detikcom

This house was then purchased by the DKI Provincial Government in 1970 during the time of Governor Ali Sadikin. The house is considered fit to be used as a cultural heritage.

“This house meets the requirements that one of them is over 50 years old. The provincial government negotiates with the heirs to buy it and make it a cultural heritage. Then find out to the elders of this house what history? Pitung to attract visitors,” said Tama.

Talking about Si Pitung, Tama said that the existence of this figure is still being questioned. Some believe Si Pitung is a real character. But there are also those who think that Si Pitung is a fictional character who lives as a myth.

“The history of Pitung is a history that has many versions. So some say Pitung is one person, another school says there are 3 people in Pitung, and another one school that really doesn’t believe in Pitung exists. Pitung is just folklore,” he said. .

“You can say Pitung doesn’t exist but is there, it’s said to be there but it’s not there. It’s said not to exist but the evidence is that the story is there, the film is there, until the early 1900’s newspaper there was a Dutch who wrote the news that Si Pitung had been arrested. It’s in the national archives,” he added. .

Si Pitung's house is closed for maintenancePitung’s house. Photo: Pradita Utama/detikcom

For people who do not believe that Si Pitung is real, they question the location of the tomb which is still unknown.

“Why do many people not believe that Pitung exists, it can’t be blamed either because until now we don’t know where his grave is. We don’t know whose descendants are. We don’t know where his real home is,” he said.

“But, according to historians, there is also a reason why there was no original house, no descendants, because at that time those associated with Si Pitung would have been beaten by the Dutch,” he said.


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