View Single Post
Old 13th September 2020, 09:04 AM   #12
Mickey the Finn
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 69

I may be wrong, but I seem to recall words like "transfix" and "piercing through" in association with "penyalang". It's possible I read this in some 19th-early 20th C. journal of the Malaysian branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. It was a graphically detailed eyewitness account, written by an Englishman, of a trial conducted by Malay "chiefs" on a hill called Penyalang, and the keris execution which followed. I've only ever encountered the word "penyalang" in the context of execution by keris, or in reference to a keris panjang.
Just as an aside, Google Translator gave "crossword puzzle" as the English translation of "penyalang" from Malay.


Kamus Bahasa Melayu


[pe.nya.lang] | ڤڽالڠ

Definisi : ; keris ~ keris yg digunakan utk menyalang; tempat ~ bahagian di antara tulang selangka dgn leher (tempat menyalang). (Kamus Dewan Edisi Keempat)

The English translation of the above (according to Google Translator):
Malay Dictionary


[pe.nya.lang] | ڤڽالڠ

Definitions:; kris ~ kris used for crossing; place ~ the part between the collarbone and the neck (crossing place). (Fourth Edition Board Dictionary)

Bungtod ang Bukit Penyalang sa Malaysiya.[1] Nahimutang ni sa estado sa Melaka, sa kasadpang bahin sa nasod, 90 km sa habagatan-sidlakan sa Kuala Lumpur ang ulohan sa nasod. 53 metros ibabaw sa dagat kahaboga ang nahimutangan sa Bukit Penyalang.[saysay 1]

English translation of the above text:
Bukit Penyalang is a hill in Malaysia. [1] It is located in the state of Melaka, in the western part of the country, 90 km southeast of Kuala Lumpur the country's capital. Bukit Penyalang is located 53 meters above sea level. [Citation needed]

According to
The location of Bukit Penyalang: 2°27'4"N, 102°10'59"E

Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society
Vol. 29, No. 4 (176) (1956), p. 80
k. penyalang, "executioner's", usually straight, originally used for capital punishment in Java, Sumatra and the Peninsula states.

And finally, thanks to, the eyewitness account of a keris execution in:
Thomas John Newbold; Political and statistical account of the British settlements in the Straits of Malacca, Vol I, J. Murray, 1839. Pages 236-238.

"The last sentence of death passed by Abdul Syed (or Dholl Syed), the ex-Panghúlu, was on a Quedah man, named Sali, in 1805. This Malay had carried off from Malacca two Chinese slaves, a man and a woman; meeting some resistance from the former, he murdered him with his kris, in the forest of Londu, and proceeded with the woman to Pila, in Srimenanti, where he sold her as a slave.

The present superintendent of Naning, Mr, Westerhout, who was an eye-witness, described to me the ceremony of his trial and execution. The criminal was conducted, bound, to Bukit Penialang, or "Execution Hill," near Tabu. The Panghúlu, the Ampat Suku, the twelve Panglimas, the Bandahara, and the Makdum, were all seated in judgment, under a cluster of Tambuseh trees, on the skirt of the hill.

The witnesses were brought forward, and examined by the Panghulu himself. The evidence against the prisoner being deemed conclusive, according to the forms of the Mohammedan law, he was sentenced, agreeably to the Adat Menángkábowe, to pay one Bhar, equivalent to 24 Sp. drs. 30 cents.) or to suffer (salang) death by the kris.

Being unable to pay the fine, preparations were made for his immediate execution. The grave was dug on the spot, and he was placed, firmly bound in a sitting posture, literally on its brink. For further security, two panglimas sat on each side, while the Panglima Besar Sumun unsheathed the weapon that was to terminate the mortal existence of the trembling wretch.

On the point of the poniard, the kris panjang, the panglima carefully placed a pledget of soft cotton, which he pressed against the man's breast, a little above the right collar-bone. He then slowly passed the weapon's point through the cotton, on which he kept the fingers of his left hand firmly pressed, in a direction obliquely to the left into his body, until the projection of the hilt stopped its farther progress. The weapon was then slowly withdrawn, the panglima still retaining the cotton in its place by the pressure of his fingers, so as to staunch effectually all external effusion of blood.

The criminal, shuddering convulsively, was immediately precipitated into the grave; but on making signs for water, was raised. He had barely time to apply his lips to the cocoa-nut- shell in which it was brought, when he fell back into the grave quite dead. The earth was then hastily thrown over the body, and the assembly dispersed."
J.B. Westerhout, 1805
Mickey the Finn is offline   Reply With Quote