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Sejarah Sumatra (Marsden)/Bab 12

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There is no word in the languages of the island which properly and strictly signifies law; nor is there any person or class of persons among the Rejangs regularly invested with a legislative power. They are governed in their various disputes by a set of long-established customs (adat), handed down to them from their ancestors, the authority of which is founded on usage and general consent. The chiefs, in pronouncing their decisions, are not heard to say, "so the law directs," but "such is the custom." It is true that, if any case arises for which there is no precedent on record (of memory), they deliberate and agree on some mode that shall serve as a rule in future similar circumstances. If the affair be trifling that is seldom objected to; but when it is a matter of consequence the pangeran, or kalippah (in places where such are present), consults with the proattins, or lower order of chiefs, who frequently desire time to consider of it, and consult with the inhabitants of their dusun. When the point is thus determined the people voluntarily submit to observe it as an established custom; but they do not acknowledge a right in the chiefs to constitute what laws they think proper, or to repeal or alter their ancient usages, of which they are extremely tenacious and jealous. It is notwithstanding true that, by the influence of the Europeans, they have at times been prevailed on to submit to innovations in their customs; but, except when they perceived a manifest advantage from the change, they have generally seized an opportunity of reverting to the old practice.


All causes, both civil and criminal, are determined by the several chiefs of the district, assembled together at stated times for the purpose of distributing justice. These meetings are called becharo (which signifies also to discourse or debate), and among us, by an easy corruption, bechars. Their manner of settling litigations in points of property is rather a species of arbitration, each party previously binding himself to submit to the award, than the exertion of a coercive power possessed by the court for the redress of wrongs.

The want of a written criterion of the laws and the imperfect stability of traditionary usage must frequently, in the intricacies of their suits, give rise to contradictory decisions; particularly as the interests and passions of the chiefs are but too often concerned in the determination of the causes that come before them.


This evil had long been perceived by the English Residents, who, in the countries where we are settled, preside at the bechars, and, being instigated by the splendid example of the Governor-general of Bengal (Mr. Hastings), under whose direction a code of the laws of that empire was compiled (and translated by Mr. Halhed), it was resolved that the servants of the Company at each of the subordinates should, with the assistance of the ablest and most experienced of the natives, attempt to reduce to writing and form a system of the usages of the Sumatrans in their respective residencies. This was accordingly executed in some instances, and, a translation of that compiled in the residency of Laye coming into my possession, I insert it here, in the original form, as being attended with more authority and precision than any account furnished from my own memorandums could pretend to.

REJANG LAWS[sunting]

For the more regular and impartial administration of justice in the Residency of Laye, the laws and customs of the Rejangs, hitherto preserved by tradition, are now, after being discussed, amended, and ratified, in an assembly of the pangeran, pambarabs, and proattins, committed to writing in order that they may not be liable to alteration; that those deserving death or fine may meet their reward; that causes may be brought before the proper judges, and due amends made for defaults; that the compensation for murder may be fully paid; that property may be equitably divided; that what is borrowed may be restored; that gifts may become the undoubted property of the receiver; that debts may be paid and credits received agreeably to the customs that have been ever in force beneath the heavens and on the face of the earth. By the observance of the laws a country is made to flourish, and where they are neglected or violated ruin ensues.



The plaintiff and defendant first state to the bench the general circumstances of the case. If their accounts differ, and they consent to refer the matter to the decision of the proattins or bench, each party is to give a token, to the value of a suku, that he will abide by it, and to find security for the chogo, a sum stated to them, supposed to exceed the utmost probable damages.

  • If the chogo do not exceed 30 dollars the bio or fee paid by each is 1 1/4 dollars.
  • If the chogo do not exceed 30 to 50 dollars the bio or fee paid by each is 2 1/2 dollars.
  • If the chogo do not exceed 50 to 100 dollars the bio or fee paid by each is 5 dollars.
  • If the chogo do not exceed 100 dollars and upwards the bio or fee paid by each is 9 dollars.

All chiefs of dusuns, or independent tallangs, are entitled to a seat on the bench upon trials.

If the pangeran sits at the bechar he is entitled to one half of all bio, and of such fines, or shares of fines, as fall to the chiefs, the pambarabs, and other proattins dividing the remainder.

If the pangeran be not present the pambarabs have one-third, and the other proattins two-thirds of the foregoing. Though a single pambarab only sit he is equally entitled to the above one-third. Of the other proattins five are requisite to make a quorum.

No bechar, the chogo of which exceeds five dollars, to be held by the proattins, except in the presence of the Company's Resident, or his assistant.

If a person maliciously brings a false accusation and it is proved such, he is liable to pay a sum equal to that which the defendant would have incurred had his design succeeded; which sum is to be divided between the defendant and the proattins, half and half.

The fine for bearing false witness is twenty dollars and a buffalo.

The punishment of perjury is left to the superior powers (orang alus). Evidence here is not delivered on previous oath.


If the father leaves a will, or declares before witnesses his intentions relative to his effects or estate, his pleasure is to be followed in the distribution of them amongst his children.

If he dies intestate and without declaring his intentions the male children inherit, share and share alike, except that the house and pusako (heirlooms, or effects on which, from various causes, superstitious value is placed) devolve invariably to the eldest.

The mother (if by the mode of marriage termed jujur, which, with the other legal terms, will be hereafter explained) and the daughters are dependant on the sons.

If a man, married by semando, dies, leaving children, the effects remain to the wife and children. If the woman dies, the effects remain to the husband and children. If either dies leaving no children the family of the deceased is entitled to half the effects.


Any person unwilling to be answerable for the debts or actions of his son or other relation under his charge may outlaw him, by which he, from that period, relinquishes all family connexion with him, and is no longer responsible for his conduct.

The outlaw to be delivered up to the Resident or pangeran, accompanied with his writ of outlawry, in duplicate, one copy to be lodged with the Resident, and one with the outlaw's pambarab.

The person who outlaws must pay all debts to that day.

On amendment, the outlaw may be recalled to his family, they paying such debts as he may have contracted whilst outlawed, and redeeming his writ by payment of ten dollars and a goat, to be divided among the pangeran and pambarabs.

If an outlaw commits murder he is to suffer death.

If murdered, a bangun, or compensation, of fifty dollars, is to be paid for him to the pangeran.

If an outlaw wounds a person he becomes a slave to the Company or pangeran for three years. If he absconds and is afterwards killed no bangun is to be paid for him.

If an outlaw wounds a person and is killed in the scuffle no bangun is to be paid for him.

If the relations harbour an outlaw they are held willing to redeem him, and become answerable for his debts.


A person convicted of theft pays double the value of the goods stolen, with a fine of twenty dollars and a buffalo, if they exceed the value of five dollars: if under five dollars the fine is five dollars and a goat; the value of the goods still doubled.

All thefts under five dollars, and all disputes for property, or offences to that amount, may be compromised by the proattins whose dependants are concerned.

Neither assertion nor oath of the prosecutor are sufficient for conviction without token (chino) of the robbery, namely, some article recovered of the goods stolen; or evidence sufficient.

If any person, having permission to pass the night in the house of another, shall leave it before daybreak, without giving notice to the family, he shall be held accountable for any thing that may be that night missing.

If a person passing the night in the house of another does not commit his effects to the charge of the owner of it, the latter is not accountable if they are stolen during the night. If he has given them in charge, and the stranger's effects only are lost during the night, the owner of the house becomes accountable. If effects both of the owner and lodger are stolen, each is to make oath to the other that he is not concerned in the robbery, and the parties put up with their loss, or retrieve it as they can.

Oaths are usually made on the koran, or at the grave of an ancestor, according as the Mahometan religion prevails more or less. The party intended to be satisfied by the oath generally prescribes the mode and purport of it.


  • The bangun or compensation for the murder of a pambarab is 500 dollars.
  • The bangun or compensation for the murder of an inferior proattin is 250 dollars.
  • The bangun or compensation for the murder of a common person, man or boy, is 80 dollars.
  • The bangun or compensation for the murder of a common person, woman or girl, is 150 dollars.
  • The bangun or compensation for the murder of the legitimate children or wife of a pambarab is 250 dollars.

Exclusive of the above, a fine of fifty dollars and a buffalo as tippong bumi (expiation), is to be paid on the murder of a pambarab; of twenty dollars and a buffalo on the murder of any other; which goes to the pambarab and proattins.

The bangun of an outlaw is fifty dollars without tippong bumi.

No bangun is to be paid for a person killed in the commission of a robbery.

The bangun of pambarabs and proattins is to be divided between the pangeran and pambarabs one half; and the family of the deceased the other half.

The bangun of private persons is to be paid to their families; deducting the adat ulasan of ten per cent to the pambarabs and proattins.

If a man kills his slave he pays half his price as bangun to the pangeran, and the tippong bumi to the proattins.

If a man kills his wife by jujur he pays her bangun to her family, or to the proattins, according as the tali kulo subsists or not.

If a man kills or wounds his wife by semando he pays the same as for a stranger.

If a man wounds his wife by jujur slightly he pays one tail or two dollars.

If a man wounds his wife by jujur with a weapon and an apparent intention of killing her he pays a fine of twenty dollars.

If the tali kulo (tie of relationship) is broken the wife's family can no longer claim bangun or fine: they revert to the proattins.

If a pambarab wounds his wife by jujur he pays five dollars and a goat.

If a pambarab's daughter, married by jujur, is wounded by her husband he pays five dollars and a goat.

For a wound occasioning the loss of an eye or limb or imminent danger of death half the bangun is to be paid.

For a wound on the head the pampas or compensation is twenty dollars.

For other wounds the pampas from twenty dollars downwards.

If a person is carried off and sold beyond the hills the offender, if convicted, must pay the bangun. If the person has been recovered previous to the trial the offender pays half the bangun.

If a man kills his brother he pays to the proattins the tippong bumi.

If a wife kills her husband she must suffer death.

If a wife by semando wounds her husband her relations must pay what they would receive if he wounded her.



On the death of a person in debt (unless he die an outlaw, or married byambel-anak) his nearest relation becomes accountable to the creditors.

Of a person married by ambel-anak the family he married into is answerable for debts contracted during the marriage: such as were previous to it his relations must pay.

A father, or head of a family, has hitherto been in all cases liable to the debts of his sons, or younger relations under his care; but to prevent as much as possible his suffering by their extravagance it is now resolved:

That if a young unmarried man (bujang) borrows money, or purchases goods without the concurrence of his father, or of the head of his family, the parent shall not be answerable for the debt. Should the son use his father's name in borrowing it shall be at the lender's risk if the father disavows it.

If any person gives credit to the debtor of another (publicly known as such, either in the state of mengiring, when the whole of his labour belongs to the creditor, or of be-blah, when it is divided) the latter creditor can neither disturb the debtor for the sum nor oblige the former to pay it. He must either pay the first debt (membulati, consolidate) or let his claim lie over till the debtor finds means to discharge it.

Interest of money has hitherto been three fanams per dollar per month, or one hundred and fifty per cent per annum. It is now reduced to one fanam, or fifty per cent per annum, and no person is to receive more, under penalty of fine, according to the circumstances of the case.

No more than double the principal can in any case be recovered at law. A person lending money at interest, and letting it lie over beyond two years, loses the surplus.

No pepper-planter to be taken as a debtor mengiring, under penalty of forty dollars.

A planter in debt may engage in any work for hire that does not interfere with the care of his garden, but must on no account mengiring, even though his creditor offers to become answerable for the care of his garden.

If a debtor mengiring absconds from his master (or creditor, who has a right to his personal service) without leave of absence he is liable to an increase of debt at the rate of three fanams per day. Females have been hitherto charged six fanams, but are now put upon a footing the same as the men.

If a debtor mengiring, without security, runs away, his debt is liable to be doubled if he is absent above a week.

If a man takes a person mengiring, without security for the debt, should the debtor die in that predicament the creditor loses his money, having no claim on the relations for it.

If a person takes up money under promise of mengiring at a certain period, should he not perform his agreement he must pay interest for the money at one fanam per dollar per month.

If a person, security for another, is obliged to pay the debt he is entitled to demand double from the debtor; but this claim to be moderated according to circumstances.

If a person sues for a debt which is denied the onus probandi lies with the plaintiff. If he fails in proof the defendant, on making oath to the justness of his denial, shall be acquitted.

If a debtor taking care of a pepper garden, or one that gives half produce to his creditor (be-blah), neglects it, the person in whose debt he is must hire a man to do the necessary work; and the hire so paid shall be added to the debt. Previous notice shall however be given to the debtor, that he may if he pleases avoid the payment of the hire by doing the work himself.

If a person's slave, or debtor mengiring, be carried off and sold beyond the hills the offender is liable to the bangun, if a debtor, or to his price, if a slave. Should the person be recovered the offender is liable to a fine of forty dollars, of which the person that recovers him has half, and the owner or creditor the remainder. If the offender be not secured the reward shall be only five dollars to the person that brings the slave, and three dollars the debtor, if on this side the hills; if from beyond the hills the reward is doubled.


The modes of marriage prevailing hitherto have been principally by jujur, or by ambel-anak, the Malay semando being little used. The obvious ill consequences of the two former, from the debt or slavery they entailed upon the man that married, and the endless lawsuits they gave rise to, have at length induced the chiefs to concur in their being as far as possible laid aside; adopting in lieu of them the semando malayo, or mardiko, which they now strongly recommend to their dependants as free from the encumbrances of the other modes, and tending, by facilitating marriage, and the consequent increase of population, to promote the welfare of their country. Unwilling, however, to abolish arbitrarily a favourite custom of their ancestors, marriage by jujur is still permitted to take place, but under such restrictions as will, it is hoped, effectually counteract its hitherto pernicious consequences. Marriage by ambel-anak, which rendered a man and his descendants the property of the family he married into, is now prohibited, and none permitted for the future, but, by semando, or jujur, subject to the following regulations.

The jujur of a virgin (gadis) has been hitherto one hundred and twenty dollars: the adat annexed to it have been tulis-tanggil, fifteen dollars; upah daun kodo, six dollars, and tali kulo, five dollars:

The jujur of a widow, eighty dollars, without the adat; unless her children by the former marriage went with her, in which case the jujur gadis was paid in full.

It is now determined that, on a man's giving his daughter in marriage by jujur for the future, there shall, in lieu of the above, be fixed a sum not exceeding one hundred and fifty dollars, to be in full for jujur and all adat whatever. That this sum shall, when the marriage takes place, be paid upon the spot; that if credit is given for the whole, or any part, it shall not be recoverable by course of law; and as the sum includes the tali kulo, or bond of relationship, the wife thereby becomes the absolute property of the husband. The marriage by jujur being thus rendered equivalent to actual sale, and the difficulty enhanced by the necessity of paying the full price upon the spot, it is probable that the custom will in a great measure cease, and, though not positively, be virtually abolished. Nor can a lawsuit follow from any future jujur.

The adat, or custom, of the semando malayo or mardiko, to be paid by the husband to the wife's family upon the marriage taking place, is fixed at twenty dollars and a buffalo, for such as can afford it; and at ten dollars and a goat, for the poorer class of people.

Whatever may be acquired by either party during the subsistence of the marriage becomes joint property, and they are jointly liable to debts incurred, if by mutual consent. Should either contract debts without the knowledge and consent of the other the party that contracts must alone bear them in case of a divorce.

If either party insists upon, or both agree in it, a divorce must follow. No other power can separate them. The effects, debts, and credits in all cases to be equally divided. If the man insists upon the divorce he pays a charo of twenty dollars to the wife's family, if he obtained her a virgin; if a widow, ten dollars. If the woman insists on the divorce no charo is to be paid. If both agree in it the man pays half the charo.

If a man married by semando dies--Vide Inheritance.

If a man carries off a woman with her consent, and is willing either to pay her price at once by jujur, or marry her by semando, as the father or relations please, they cannot reclaim the woman, and the marriage takes place.

If a man carries off a girl under age (which is determined by her not having her ears bored and teeth filed--bulum bertinde berdabong), though with her own consent, he pays, exclusive of the adat jujur, or semando, twenty dollars if she be the daughter of a pambarab, and ten dollars for the daughter of any other, whether the marriage takes place or not.

If a risau, or person without property and character, carries off a woman (though with her own consent) and can neither pay the jujur, nor adat semando, the marriage shall not take place, but the man be fined five dollars and a goat for misdemeanour. If she be under age, his fine ten dollars and a goat.

If a man has but one daughter, whom, to keep her near him, he wishes to give in marriage by semando; should a man carry her off, he shall not be allowed to keep her by jujur, though he offer the money upon the spot. If he refuses to marry her by semando, no marriage takes place, and he incurs a fine to the father of ten dollars and a goat.

If a man carries off a woman under pretence of marriage he must lodge her immediately with some reputable family. If he carries her elsewhere, for a single night he incurs a fine of fifty dollars, payable to her parents or relations.

If a man carries off a virgin against her inclination (me-ulih) he incurs a fine of twenty dollars and a buffalo: if a widow, ten dollars and a goat, and the marriage does not take place. If he commits a rape, and the parents do not choose to give her to him in marriage, he incurs a fine of fifty dollars.

The adat libei, or custom of giving one woman in exchange for another taken in marriage, being a modification of the jujur, is still admitted of; but if the one be not deemed an equivalent for the other the necessary compensation (as the pangalappang, for nonage) must be paid upon the spot, or it is not recoverable by course of law. If a virgin is carried off (te-lari gadis) and another is given in exchange for her, by adat libei, twelve dollars must be paid with the latter as adat ka-salah.

A man married by ambel-anak may redeem himself and family on payment of the jujur and adat of a virgin before-mentioned.

The charo of a jujur marriage is twenty-five dollars. If the jujur be not yet paid in full and the man insists on a divorce he receives back what he has paid, less twenty-five dollars. If the woman insists no charo can be claimed by her relations. If the tali kulo is putus (broken) the wife is the husband's property and he may sell her if he pleases.

If a man compels a female debtor of his to cohabit with him her debt, if the fact be proved, is thereby discharged, if forty dollars and upwards: if under forty the debt is cleared and he pays the difference. If she accuses her master falsely of this offence her debt is doubled. If he cohabits with her by her consent her parents may compel him to marry her, either by jujur or semando, as they please.

If an unmarried woman proves with child the man against whom the fact is proved must marry her; and they pay to the proattins a joint fine of twenty dollars and a buffalo. This fine, if the parties agree to it, may be levied in the country by the neighbouring proattins (without bringing it before the regular court).

If a woman proves with child by a relation within the prohibited degrees they pay to the proattins a joint fine of twice fifty dollars and two buffaloes (hukum duo akup).

A marriage must not take place between relations within the third degree, or tungal nene. But there are exceptions for the descendants of females who, passing into other families, become as strangers. Of two brothers, the children may not intermarry. A sister's son may marry a brother's daughter; but a brother's son may not marry a sister's daughter.

If relations within the prohibited degrees intermarry they incur a fine of twice fifty dollars and two buffaloes, and the marriage is not valid.

On the death of a man married by jujur or purchase, any of his brothers, the eldest in preference, if he pleases, may succeed to his bed. If no brother chooses it they may give the woman in marriage to any relation on the father's side, without adat, the person who marries her replacing the deceased (mangabalu). If no relation takes her and she is given in marriage to a stranger he may be either adopted into the family to replace the deceased, without adot, or he may pay her jujur, or take her by semando, as her relations please.

If a person lies with a man's wife by force he is deserving of death; but may redeem his head by payment of the bangun, eighty dollars, to be divided between the husband and proattins.

If a man surprises his wife in the act of adultery he may put both man and woman to death upon the spot, without being liable to any bangun. If he kills the man and spares his wife he must redeem her life by payment of fifty dollars to the proattins. If the husband spares the offender, or has only information of the fact from other persons, he may not afterwards kill him, but has his remedy at law, the fine for adultery being fifty dollars, to be divided between the husband and the proattins. If he divorces his wife on this account he pays no charo.

If a younger sister be first married, the husband pays six dollars, adat pelalu, for passing over the elder.


All gaming, except cock-fighting at stated periods, is absolutely prohibited. The fine for each offence is fifty dollars. The person in whose house it is carried on, if with his knowledge, is equally liable to the fine with the gamesters. A proattin knowing of gaming in his dusun and concealing it incurs a fine of twenty dollars. One half of the fines goes to the informer, the other to the Company, to be distributed among the industrious planters at the yearly payment of the customs.

OPIUM FARM[sunting]

The fine for the retailing of opium by any other than the person who farms the license is fifty dollars for each offence: one half to the farmer, and the other to the informer.


The executive power for enforcing obedience to these laws and customs, and for preserving the peace of the country, is, with the concurrence of the pangeran and proattins, vested in the Company's Resident.

Done at Laye, in the month Rabia-al akhir, in the year of the Hejra 1193, answering to April 1779.



Having procured likewise a copy of the regulations sanctioned by the chiefs of the Passummah country assembled at Manna, I do not hesitate to insert it, not only as varying in many circumstances from the preceding, but because it may eventually prove useful to record the document.


If a person dies having children these inherit his effects in equal portions, and become answerable for the debts of the deceased. If any of his brothers survive they may be permitted to share with their nephews, but rather as matter of courtesy than of right, and only when the effects of the deceased devolved to him from his father or grandfather. If he was a man of rank it is common for the son who succeeds him in title to have a larger share. This succession is not confined to the eldest born but depends much on private agreement in the family. If the deceased person leaves no kindred behind him the tribe to which he belonged shall inherit his effects, and be answerable for his debts.


When a debt becomes due and the debtor is unable to pay his creditors, or has no effects to deposit, he shall himself, or his wife, or his children, live with the creditor as a bond-slave or slaves until redeemed by the payment of the debt.

If a debt is contracted without any promise of interest none shall be demanded, although the debt be not paid until some time after it first became due. The rate of interest is settled at twenty per cent per annum; but in all suits relating to debts on interest, how long soever they may have been outstanding, the creditor shall not be entitled to more interest than may amount to a sum equal to the capital: if the debt is recent it shall be calculated as above. If any person lends to another a sum exceeding twenty-five dollars and sues for payment before the chiefs he shall be entitled only to one year's interest on the sum lent. If money is lent to the owner of a padi-plantation, on an agreement to pay interest in grain, and after the harvest is over the borrower omits to pay the stipulated quantity, the lender shall be entitled to receive at the rate of fifteen dollars for ten lent; and if the omission should be repeated another season the lender shall be entitled to receive double the principal. In all cases of debt contested the onus probandi lies with the demandant, who must make good his claim by creditable evidence, or in default thereof the respondent may by oath clear himself from the debt. On the other hand, if the respondent allows such a debt to have existed but asserts a previous payment, it rests with him to prove such payment by proper evidence, or in defect the demandant shall by oath establish his debt.



In order to be deemed a competent and unexceptionable evidence person must be of a different family and dusun from the person in whose behalf he gives evidence, of good character, and a free man: but if the dispute be between two inhabitants of the same dusun persons of such dusun are allowed to be complete evidence. In respect to the oath taken by the principals in a dispute the hukuman (or comprehensive quality of the oath) depends on the nature of the property in dispute: if it relates to the effects of the grandfather the hukuman must extend to the descendants from the grandfather; if it relates to the effects of the father it extends to the descendants of the father, etc. If any of the parties proposed to be included in the operation of the oath refuse to subject themselves to the oath the principal in the suit loses his cause.


If any person holding a pawn or pledge such as wearing-apparel, household effects, or krises, swords, or kujur (lances), shall pledge it for a larger sum than he advanced for it, he shall be answerable to the owner for the full value of it, on payment of the sum originally advanced. If any person holding as a pledge man, woman, or child shall pledge them to any other at an advanced sum, or without the knowledge of the owner, and by these means the person pledged should be sold as a slave, he shall make good to the owner the full value of such slave, and pay a fine of twenty-eight dollars. If any person whatever holding man, woman, or child as a pawn, either with janji lalu (term expired) or not, or with or without the consent of the original owner, shall sell such person as a slave without the knowledge of the Resident and Chiefs, he shall be fined twenty-eight dollars.



All persons who keep buffaloes shall register at the godong (factory­house) their tingas or mark; and, in case any dispute shall arise about a marked buffalo, no person shall be allowed to plead a mark that is not registered. If any wild (stray) buffalo or buffaloes, unmarked, shall be taken in a kandang (staked inclosure) they shall be adjudged the property of any who takes upon himself to swear to them; and, if it should happen that two or more persons insist upon swearing to the same buffaloes, they shall be divided among them equally. If no individual will swear to the property the buffaloes are to be considered as belonging to the kalippah or magistrate of the district where they were caught. The person who takes any buffaloes in his kandang shall be entitled to a gratuity of two dollars per head. If any buffaloes get into a pepper-garden, either by day or night, the owner of the garden shall have liberty to kill them, without being answerable to the owner of the buffaloes: yet, if it shall appear on examination that the garden was not properly fenced, and from this defect suffers damage, the owner shall be liable to such fine as the Resident and Chiefs shall judge it proper to impose.


A person convicted of stealing money, wearing-apparel, household effects, arms, or the like shall pay the owner double the value of the goods stolen and be fined twenty-eight dollars. A person convicted of stealing slaves shall pay to the owner at the rate of eighty dollars per head, which is estimated to be double the value, and fined twenty­eight dollars. A person convicted of stealing betel, fowls, or coconuts shall pay the owner double the value and be fined seven dollars, half of which fine is to be received by the owner. If buffaloes are stolen they shall be valued at twelve dollars per head: padi at four bakul (baskets) for the dollar. If the stolen goods be found in the possession of a person who is not able to account satisfactorily how he came by them he shall be deemed the guilty person. If a person attempting to seize a man in the act of thieving shall get hold of any part of his clothes which are known, or his kris or siwah, this shall be deemed a sufficient token of the theft. If two witnesses can be found who saw the stolen goods in possession of a third person such person shall be deemed guilty unless he can account satisfactorily how he became possessed of the goods. The oath taken by such witnesses shall either include the descendants of their father, or simply their own descendants, according to the discretion of the chiefs who sit as judges. If several people sleep in one house, and one of them leaves the house in the night without giving notice to any of the rest, and a robbery be committed in the house that night, the person so leaving the house shall be deemed guilty of the crime, provided the owner of the stolen goods be willing to subject himself to an oath on the occasion; and provided the other persons sleeping in the house shall clear themselves by oath from being concerned in the theft: but if it should happen that a person so convicted, being really innocent, should in after time discover the person actually guilty, he shall have liberty to bring his suit and recover. If several persons are sleeping in a house and a robbery is committed that night, although none leave the house the whole shall be obliged to make oath that they had no knowledge of, or concern in, the theft, or on refusal shall be deemed guilty. In all cases of theft where only a part of the stolen goods is found the owner must ascertain upon oath the whole amount of his loss.


A person convicted of murder shall pay to the relations of the deceased a bangun of eighty-eight dollars, one suku, and seventy-five cash; to the chiefs a fine of twenty-eight dollars; the bhasa lurah, which is a buffalo and one hundred bamboos of rice; and the palantan, which is fourteen dollars. If a son kills his father, or a father his son, or a man kills his brother, he shall pay a fine of twenty-eight dollars, and the bhasa lurah as above. If a man kills his wife the relations of the deceased shall receive half a bangun: if any other kills a man's wife the husband is entitled to the bangun, but shall pay out of it to the relations of the wife ten dollars. In wounds a distinction is made in the parts of the body. A wound in any part from the hips upward is esteemed more considerable than in the lower parts. If a person wounds another with sword, kris, kujur, or other weapon, and the wound is considerable, so as to maim him, he shall pay to the person wounded a half-bangun, and to the chiefs half of the fine for murder, with half of the bhasa lurah, etc. If the wound is trifling but fetches blood he shall pay the person wounded the tepong of fourteen dollars, and be fined fourteen dollars. If a person wounds another with a stick, bamboo, etc., he shall simply pay the tepong of fourteen dollars. If in any dispute between two people krises are drawn the person who first drew his kris shall be fined fourteen dollars. If any person having a dispute assembles together his friends with arms, he shall be fined twenty-eight dollars.



There are two modes of marriage used here: one by purchase, called jujur or kulu, the other by adoption, called ambel anak. First of jujur.


When a person is desirous of marrying he deposits a sum of money in the hands of the father of the virgin, which is called the pagatan. This sum is not esteemed part of the purchase, but as an equivalent for the dandanan (paraphernalia, or ornamental apparel) of the bride, and is not fixed but varies according to the circumstances and rank of the father. The amount of the jujur is fixed at seventy dollars, including the hurup niawa (price of life), forty dollars, a kris with gold about the head and silver about the sheath, valued at ten dollars, and the meniudakan billi or putus kulo (completion of purchase) at twenty. If a young man runs away with a gadis or virgin without the consent of the father he does not act contrary to the laws of the country; but if he refuses to pay the full jujur on demand he shall be fined twenty­eight dollars. If the father, having received the pagatan of one man, marries his daughter to another before he returns the money to the first, he shall be fined fourteen dollars, and the man who marries the daughter shall also be fined fourteen dollars. In case of divorce (which may take place at the will of either party) the dandanan brought by the wife is to be valued and to be deducted from the purchase-money. If a divorce originates from the man, and before the whole purchase­money is paid, the man shall receive back what he has advanced after deducting the dandanan as above, and fourteen dollars, called penusutan. If the divorce originates with the woman the whole purchase-money shall be returned, and the children, if any, remain with the father. If a divorce originates with the man, when the whole purchase-money has been paid, or kulo sudah putus, he shall not be entitled to receive back the purchase-money, but may recall his wife whenever it shall be agreeable to him. An exact estimation is made of the value of the woman's ornaments, and what are not restored with her must be made good by the husband. If there are children they are in this case to be divided, or if there be only one the husband is to allow the woman fifteen dollars, and to take the child. Secondly, of ambel anak.

AMBEL ANAK[sunting]

When a man marries after the custom called ambel anak he pays no money to the father of the bride, but becomes one of his family, and is entirely upon the footing of a son, the father of his wife being thenceforward answerable for his debts, etc., in the same manner as for his own children. The married man becomes entirely separate from his original family, and gives up his right of inheritance. It is however in the power of the father of the wife to divorce from her his adopted son whenever he thinks proper, in which case the husband is not entitled to any of the children, nor to any effects other than simply the clothes on his back: but if the wife is willing still to live with him, and he is able to redeem her and the children by paying the father a hundred dollars, it is not at the option of the father to refuse accepting this sum; and in that case the marriage becomes a kulo or jujur, and is subject to the same rules. If any unmarried woman is convicted of incontinence, or a married woman of adultery, they shall pay to the chiefs a fine of forty dollars, or in defect thereof become slaves, and the man with whom the crime was committed shall pay a fine of thirty dollars, or in like manner become a slave; and the parties between them shall also be at the expense of a buffalo and a hundred bamboos of rice. This is called the gawe pati or panjingan. If an unmarried woman proves with child and refuses to name the man with whom she was guilty she shall pay the whole fine of seventy dollars, and furnish the buffalo, etc. If a woman after marriage brings forth a child before the due course of nature she shall be fined twenty-eight dollars. If a man keeps a young woman in his house for any length of time, and has a child by her without being regularly married, he shall be fined twenty-eight dollars, and furnish a buffalo and a hundred bamboos of rice. If a person detects the offenders in the act of adultery, and, attempting to seize the man, is obliged to kill him in self-defence, he shall not pay the bangun, nor be fined, but only pay the bhasa lurah, which is a buffalo and a hundred bamboos of rice. On the other hand, if the guilty person kills the one who attempts to seize him, he shall be deemed guilty of murder and pay the bangun and fine accordingly. If a man holding a woman as a pawn, or in the condition of mengiring shall commit fornication with her, he shall forfeit his claim to the debt, and the woman become free.


If the members of a family have suffered inconvenience from the ill conduct of any of their relations by having been rendered answerable for their debts, etc., it shall be in their power to clear themselves from all future responsibility on his account by paying to the chiefs the sum of thirty dollars, a buffalo, and a hundred bamboos of rice. This is termed buang surat. Should the person so cast out be afterwards murdered the relations have forfeited their right to the bangun, which devolves to the chiefs.

Dated at Manna, July 1807.

JOHN CRISP, Resident.