The Madurese people preserve a number of myths explaining their origins,
among them the story of Raden (Prince) Segoro. It is told that in
times long past the Javanese kingdom of Medang Kamulan was ruled by
one Prabu Gilingwesi, whose daughter, Dewi Bendoro Gung, became pregnant
as the gods had willed. The king, however, became angered and ordered
one of his ministers, Patih Pragulang, to kill her.
Obeying the command, Patih Pragulang sailed the princess out to sea
on a raft, but at the last moment was unable to carry out the deed.
Eventually the raft came to rest on the land which was to be called
Madura, which is said to stem from the words 'Madu', meaning honey,
and 'oro', open Country. Dewi Bendoro Gung later gave birth to a handsome
boy who was to be called Raden Segoro.
At the age of three the child encountered two sea-serpents which,
through the intervention of Empu Polleng ( Patih Pragulang disguised)
changed their forms and became the pusaka (heirlooms) named Alugoro
On becoming an adult, Raden Segoro served the king of Medang Kamolan
and on one occasion successfully repelled a Chinese invasion. Returning
to Madura he asked his mother about the identity of his father.
Enraged by her son's question, Dewi Bendoro Gung turned his dwelling
place into what is now the forest of Nepa and a haven for monkeys
which according to local belief are descended from the soldiers of
Raden Segoro. Nepa can be found in the district of Banyuates, 42 km
north of Sampang.
Another legend recounts the story of Jokotole, son of the Putri (princess)
Kuning, who was a grandchild of Pangeran Bukabu of Sumenep. Jokotole
and his brother Jokowedi had been conceived by way of a dream encounter
between Putri Kuning and their father Adipoday. While journeying to
Majapahit to assist his stepfather named Empu Kelleng, Jokotole met
with his uncle, Adirasa, who gave him the flying horse Si Mega and
a whip, troth of which had been entrusted to him by Adipoday.
To this day the horse Si Mega continues to live as the Regional Emblem
of Sumenep. The whip, too, is one of Madura's well known souvenirs,
and the names Jokotole and Putri Kuning (Madurese "Pottre Koneng')
can be found on the ferry boats which run between Surabaya and the
Madurese port of Kamal.
Epigraphical evidence helps to reveal the role played by Madura in
the general history of Indonesia, as well as the island's relationship
with the ancient rulers of Java. For instance, it is known that during
the period of Singosari (1222 - 1292 A.D.), the Regent of Sumenep,
one Aria Wiraraja, ruled over the whole of Madura and, together with
Raden Wijaya, helped to establish the Javanese kingdom of Majapahit
after successfully repelling the punitive force sent to Java by the
Chinese Emperor Kublai Khan in 1292 - 1293 A.D.
At the beginning of the Islamic period, the new religion was introduced
into the Madurese court circle by a crown prince of the kingdom of
Palakaran (Arosbaya, Bangkalan) named Pratanu, son of Prince Pragalbo.
A century later, during the golden period of Mataram under the leadership
of Sultan Agung, a grandson of Pratanu named Raden Praseno was given
authority over the whole of Madura, with the title Pangeran Cakraningrat
I. His seat of power was at Sampang. He in turn was succeeded by his
son Raden Undakan, who became Pangeran Cakraningrat II.
During this period the recently established Dutch East India Company
(VOC) began to exploit Mataram's internal political strife, which
resulted in the rebellion of Trunojoyo and the forced exile of Cakraningrat
II to Lodaya. When the rebellion was finally put down, Cakraningrat
II returned to rule over western Madura, with a new seat of power
at Tonjung (Bangkalan).
Cakraningrat II was succeeded by his son Cakraningrat III, whose rule
was ended abruptly by a rebellion incited by his younger brother R.T.
Suroadiningrat, who became Cakraningrat IV.
However, because he opposed the Dutch East India Company he was forced
into exile in Tanjung Harapan and his son, R.A. Secoadiningrat (Cakraningrat
V) took power. The seat of government was moved again at this time
to Sembilangan. Cakraningrat V was succeeded by his grandson, Panembahan
Adipati Cakraningrat VI, who in turn was succeeded by his uncle, Adipati
Cakraningrat VII. Since the time of the setting up of a capital at
Arosbaya in 1528, the religion of Islam spread eastward across the
island and had a profound effect upon Madurese social and political
that time until today the main historical events can be noted down
- 1624 The forces of Mataram under Sultan Agung occupied Madura.
- 1672 Trunojoyo rebelled and succeeded in ousting Sultan Agung's
- 1680 With the help of the Dutch East India Company, Mataram succeed
re-occupying the eastern part of Madura, with seats of Government
at Sumenep and Pamekasan. This part of the island, however, was
eventually ceded to Dutch (VOC). Western Madura (Bangkalan, Sampang)
was restored to the descendants of Prince Cakraningrat.
- For a further two and a half centuries the Dutch colonial administration
i creased its hold on Madura This bitter situation turned even worse
under forced labour introduced by the Japanese, who occupied Indonesia
in 19 until the declaration of Independence in 1945.