Blambangan Kingdom, East Java, Indonesia (PART 1)

You might be familiar with a folklore Damarwulan-Minakjinggo, about conflict between two kingdoms, Majapahit, the gigantic kingdom and Blambangan Kingdom, a kingdom that never bowed toward Majapahit that yielded Paregreg war.

Blambangan  is located on the east of Banyuwangi city in East Java. The eastern border of the kingdom was Bali strait. Blambangan derives from bala means people and ombo means big or numerous. Blambangan means kingdom with big number of people.

There is now certain record on how this kingdom established. Damarwulan-Minakjinggo folklore was familiar since Majapahit. Yet, there are several sources regarding Blambangan : Serat Kanda (18th century), Serat Damarwulan (1815), Serat Raja Blambangan (1774) which were written after the heyday of Blambangan Kingdom, notably on the period of Mataram Islam and Dutch colonial era in Java.

Other source regarding Blambangan kingdom existence is Pararathon. Though Blambangan was not mentioned in pararathon, but name of Arya Wiraraja and Lamajang will help us to find the early history of Blambangan kingdom.

It is difficult to trace Blambangan kingdom as the shortage of data and facts. But if we map the early history of Majaahit in the period of Sri Nata Sanggramawijaya or Raden Wijaya, then there will be a light around Blambangan history. Raden Wijaya and his crew escaped to Songeneb or Sumenep in Madura to ask for Arya WIraraja help to defeat Jayakatwang who had subverted Kertanegara in Singasari. According to Pararathon, Raden Wijaya promised if Jayakatwang can be overthrown, he would share his area with Arya Wiraraja. When Arya Wiraraja was young he was Singasari official, and he was close with Raden Wijaya who was the son in law and nephew of Kertanegara.

To be continued…