Indigenous Record on Krakatau Blast Discovered
An Indonesian researcher has found a native record of the Krakatau volcanic eruption that took place between Aug. 26 and 28, 1883.
Suryadi, a philologist and researcher at Leiden University, said he discovered the documentation, probably the only native record of the event, after two years of research.
Suryadi said the author of the record, Muhammad Saleh, printed and published four stories about the eruption in Singapore in stone-prints (lithographs) in 1883 and 1884.
“Muhammad Saleh claimed that he was in Tanjung Karang, Lampung, when the natural disaster happened. It is probable that he was among the victims of the eruption who fled to Singapore, taking the catastrophic memories with him,” Suryadi said, as quoted by Kompas.com on Sunday.
According to Suryadi, the stories, written in Malay using Malay- Arabic letters, describe the aftermath of the disaster, the damage in the area and the people who survived.
The stories were titled “Poems of the Lampung Land that went under Water and Dust Rain”, “These are the Poems of the Lampung Land that went under Seawater”, “Poems of the Submerged Anyer Land” and “These are the Poems of the Submerged Anyer Land”.
The Krakatau blast was a major eruption culminating in a series of massive explosions and was among the most violent volcanic events in modern times. The remains of Krakatau formed a group of volcanic islands in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra.
The eruption produced a 70-kilometer high cloud of burning dust and a 40-meter high tsunami, killing around 36,000 people.