A query about the Perak regalia by Colonel Low, 1850

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This is a description made by William George Maxwell on a Colonel Low’s query about two specific items of the Perak regalia which was published in The Journal of The Indian Archipelago(p 18) in 1850. Low described a letter written in 1814 by a Perak Raja, who was likely to be Sultan Abdul Malik Mansur Shah (1806-1825, the 19th Sultan of Perak).

In Sultan Abdul Malik Mansur’s letter to the British presence in Penang, he described himself as ‘… he who holds the royal sword and the dragon betel stand and the shell which came out of the sea which flowed from the Hill of Se Guntang’. The ‘royal sword’ in this instance is the Chura Si-Manjakini, the sword of Raja Suran which was carried by Sang Sapurba when he descended on Seguntang Mahameru in Palembang.

The ‘dragon betel stand’ is likely the Puan Naga Taru, one of two containers holding betel leaves (sirih) which were originally presented to Tok Temong by Sultan Muzaffar Shah, the first Sultan of Perak.

In the inventory of the items currently listed in the Perak regalia (please see the official website of Pejabat DYMM Sultan Perak), there is no mention of an item that resembles a ‘shell’ as described by Low. It needs to be noted that some items of the regalia have been lost, one of the times being in 1874 when the regalia was moved by Almarhum Sultan Ismail. If any of the readers of SembangKuala have any knowledge of such an item in the regalia of old resembling a sea shell, we would like to hear from you!

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