The History and Myth of Tengger Name Origin

If you ask where Tengger name comes from, usually people will tell about story of Rara Anteng and Jaka Seger, and that Tengger derives from their name Teng (from Rara Anteng) and Ger (from Jaka Seger).

According ro Raffles (1978:332), Tengger name derived from an oral story he received from Tenggeres when he visited there. The story was about a tramp from Mataram who walked through mountain and valleys finally arrived on highest spot. From there he could see mesmerizing landscape, and the beauty made him ‘anjengger’ means ‘memmerized’. From that moment on, the area was called as Tengger.

Other version said that Tengger was the name of Tenggerese ancestor, Kek Umah and Nek Umah or later known as Ki Tengger and Ni Tengger. According to this version Ne Tengger and Ki Tengger had 25 children and their youngest son name was also Raden Kusuma just like Rara Anteng and Jaka Seger version. This version is not really popular for Tenggerese.

Other version said that Tengger derives from TENGGERING BUDI LUHUR (Javanese) means sign or reflection of good behavior. For Tenggerese, good behavior is a wealth that is pricelessto avoid disaster/ walat. Walat is something that will happen if they ignore or disobey local value. For instance Tenggerese is prohibited to steal. Tenggerese has a local value ‘dom sijimengko mbaleken prekul’ or ‘taking one needle should return an axe’. Means if they do something bad, worse thing will happen to them. There are still many local values that are still maintained until today.