The Coronation of K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam IX

In May 26, 1999 or in Javanese calendar: month of Sapar, 10, 1932 or Wednesday Legi, the people of Yogyakarta had witnessed a rare royal occasion to remember for years or probably only once in a life time the sacred coronation of his Highness, Kanjeng Gusti Pangeran Adipati Ario / K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam IX.

Hereunder are the quotation of more important transcript received directly from the venue:
The Pendapa/open front hall Sewatama of Pakualam court palace, has been prepared with traditional decoration, it's beautiful with strong signs of ritual ceremony.

In the bright sunny morning, it seems the good nature protects the coronation of K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam IX by sending a fresh breeze to the ceremonial venue.

Some guests say the cool breeze is a blessing of all-loving God and the ancestors of Mataram and Pakualam dynasty. The honorable guests (consist of around 3000 people) including Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X and his family, the royal families of Yogyakarta and Surakarta, high ranking government officials and other respected dignitaries and people are seated in the hall and in special places erected surrounding the hall.

Sometimes before 10.00 a.m. the gamelan heirlooms of Pakualaman palace, Kyai Pengrawitsari and Kyai Tlogo-muncar play the Gending (gamelan musical melody) Sembawa to accompany the arrival in the Pendapa Sewatama from the mansion/Dalem Proboyekso of:

  1. The wife of K.P.H. Ambarkusumo
  2. The wife of the late K.G.P.A.A Paku Alam VIII, who is the mother of the K.P.H. Ambarkusumo
  3. The wives of all Pakualaman princes

Followed by the arrival of royal Pakualaman heirlooms, the spears -Kanjeng Kyai Buyu and Kyai Paku Baru and seven other spears, the umbrella-Songsong Gilap (the shinning umbrella) and then the palace Regalia (Ampilan Dalem), brought by several girls.

The gending (gamelan melody) Sekar Teja is played to accompany the arrival of K.P.H. Ambarkusumo, who shall be coronated as K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam IX, escorted by his brothers and sons. He sits on a special chair, somewhere in the middle of the hall. The audience listen to recital of Holy Qur'an, after the reading, all the heirlooms-spears 'covers' are open and the golden umbrella is also open.

Then, solemnly begins the kernel of today's ceremony, an "Undhang Jumenengan" in Javanese is read by Prof. DR. Ir. P.K. Haryosudirjo Sasraningrat, a senior prince of Pakualaman family, it says the announcement of K.P.H. Ambarkusumo, since this time declares himself as K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam IX.

And then, consecutively he put a heirloom keris on the back of K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam IX, a heirloom ring on his right ring finger and a heirloom star on his right chest. During the coronation process, the royal Pakualaman gamelans Kyai Rinding, Kyai Madu Sedana and Corobalen are being played/Gending Pakurmatan - a Honorable Melody.

In front of the hall, two compagnies of royal Pakualaman soldiers of 'Lombok Abang' and 'Dragonders' solute to the new coronated K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam IX. Immediately after his coronation, K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam IX assigns his wife to be Garwa Prameswari (official wife to Adipati/viceroy), with a new name and court rank as Kanjeng Bandara Raden Ayu/K.B.R.Ay) Paku Alam IX.

His step mother, K.R.Ay. Retnaningrum is promoted as K.B. R.Ay, Retnaningrum also his mother, K.R.Ay. Purnamaningrum, promoted as K.B.R.Ay. Purnamaningrum.

His first son (37 years old), R.M. Wijoseno Hariyo Bimo
is assigned as a crown-prince, with his name and court rank B.P.H. Suryo Dilogo. His second and third sons have also been promoted. Their court names are: B.R.M.H. Hariyo Seno and B.R.M.H. Hariyo Danardono.

In his coronation speech, K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam IX says that Kadipaten Pakualaman can not be separated from the sultanete of Yogyakarta, both are integrated to be one (Dwi Tunggal) and Kadipaten Pakualaman should never be freed from the policy of the Sultanate of Yogyakarta. He is determined to arrange again the normative value prevails in this region as previously done by the ancestors of Mataram.

A solemn pray is led by Kyai Haji R. Sanusi from Pakualaman religion office. Then followed by the performance of the sacred court dance bedaya Sapta Angronakung performed by 7 ladies. At the closing ceremony, K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam IX greets and thanks Sultan Hamengku Buwono X. After seeing Sultan Hamengku Buwono X and his entourage in front of the hall Sewatama, K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam IX, flanked by his wife warmly receive the congratulation from all guests-well-wishers. In return, smilingly, they say sympathetic gratitude to the attendance.

Grand Parade
A grand parade was organized on the coronation of K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam IX. An hour before the parade, a lot of people, young and old, men and women, were enthusiastically waiting along the routes of the parade. Those people wished to see and greet the new Paku Alam IX and his entourage, they wanted to share the joy of Pakualaman aristocrats, who have been for quite a long time never show up their royal procession. We have to thumb up the performances of 'people's culture' such as Jatilan, Reog etc along the route of the parade.

The itinerary, the parade was encircling clock-wise the palace/Puro Pakualaman. It was a 3,6 kilometers of walk. Right from the start in the yard of Puro Pakualaman, thousand of cheering people were applauding the parade. They were not only Yogyanese but also tourists, domestic and foreign. Really it was a marvelous and colorful occasion, sacred but at the same time, joyful.

In the lead the elephants formed a line, in front of the leader of the parade, Prince Indrokusumo, followed by Pakualaman ceremonial soldiers of 'Lombok Abang' -red chili, dressed in unique red.

Then the star of the parade, KGPAA. Paku Alam IX who was seated on the royal carriage Kyai Manik Kumolo (the shinning gem). Drawn by 6 horses. This carriage was a gift from Sir Thomas Raffles in 1812 to K.G.P.A.A Paku Alam I. During the parade, K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam IX smilingly waved his hands to the crowds-who give him applause.

Followed by Pakualaman princes on the royal carriage of Roro Kumenyar, drown by 4 horses. In every royal ceremony, royal Regalia (Ampilan) have to appear behind the ruler, it is a royal tradition, here the various royal Regalia were brought on the carriage Kyai Notopuro. The soldiers of dragonders and the ceremonial cavalry soldiers were escorting the parade from behind. The parade was successful, it was really a worthy entertainment to the citizens, all spectators were satisfied.

A wish of success
Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X, Ratu/king of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat, who is also concurrently the Governor of Yogyakarta Special Region, in his comments of the coronation of K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam IX wished K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam IX could continue the duties of his late father properly. Furthermore emphasized:
"I hope, he shall be able to perform his duties successfully.

Who is K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam IX?
Some say that KPH/Prince Ambarkusumo the present Paku Alam IX, was not a prominent figure in the royal family lineage of Pakualam and the people of Yogyakarta hardly heard of him before. Besides Sultan Hamengku Buwono, Pakualam has also an important role in Yogyakarta.

The charismatic aristocrat rulers of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat and Kadipaten Pakualaman, have been entrusted whole-heartedly by the people of Yogyakarta to be their official leaders in the free state of Indonesia, respectively as Governor and Vice Governor of Yogyakarta Special Region. Their commitments to the struggle of Indonesia's independence and their moral, political as well as material and financial support was a great contribution and one of the decisive factors to keep Indonesia' sovereignty.

Learning the above historical fact, the leader of Pakualam dynasty, no doubt, is very important and at the sometime strategic to the special region. In the spirit of transparant and true information, Joglosemar Online is grateful to have met with reliable sources who know the detail information of the present Sri Paku Alam IX.

Prince Ambarkusumo as a youth
Herebelow are information in brief from trustworthy sources, his class-mates in High School from 1965-1959. "Ambarkusumo or Ambar as his friends referred to him was good and sincere friend. He was a diligent student, he was not arrogant on the contrary, he was nice to everyone. He was polite to all of his colleagues and teachers, although he is a Prince, the eldest son of Sri Paku Alam VIII, the vice Governor of Yogyakarta.

His high-school, SMA Negeri I and later become SMA Teladan (1958) is a reputable public high school specializing in the study of art, culture and language (local and foreign). Since that time, Mas Ambar is able to communicate in good English and he knows well Javanese art and culture, including the tradition and rituals of Mataram kingdom.

Sometimes he invited his schoolmates to come to Puro (palace of) Pakualaman. Replying to questions from some of his schoolmates who were not royal descendants, Mas Ambar gladly and patiently explained the tradition of Pakualaman. Except court dancing and gamelan music, pencak silat (traditional self-defense), he liked to talk and discuss about traditional archery, hunting and photography.

It goes without saying that Mas Ambar knows well the above subjects. His explanation was never boring. So, it is groundless, if somebody hesitates his vast knowledge of culture.

Working in a shipping company
It is his pre-destined life, that he started to build a family and worked as a professional since his young age. Since the beginning, he has learnt and became mature from experience. Some say he is a self-made man. More than a decade of job in the cargo/log division of Samudra Indonesia big shipping company, he had visited almost all parts of Indonesia.

Prince Ambarkusumo diplomatically stated: "With Samudra Indonesia (Indonesia Ocean) I did not learn merely shipping procedures, but I learn to travel in the voyage of life".

The time in France
In 1980's, Prince Ambarkusumo was assigned to work in the company's branch office in Bordeaux, France. It was wonderful opportunity to learn more about culture, France is an ideal place. From the center of modern civilazation of Europe, from the museums and libraries in England and the Netherlands, he has excellent chances to understand deeper the history and culture of Mataram. From far away, his heart was closer and he respects more the achievement of his ancestors.

Return to Yogyakarta
In 1980, Prince Ambarkusumo was called back by his father to return in Yogyakarta, to do internal jobs in Pakualaman royal affaires. In 1987 he was assigned as R&D Director of Tarumartani Cigar manufacturing Company to this day. Oftenly he visits some villages, to discuss with farmers. That's way he is close with the villagers, the majority of the country's population. He is always ready to help them to find a solution, if there is any problem.

A dedicated family man
The friendly Sri Paku Alam IX was born in May 7, 1938. As B.R.M.H. Ambarkusumo. Prince Ambarkusumo is the eldest son of K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam VIII. His mother is K.R.Ay. Purnamaningrum. He married his high-school girl-friend, Koesoemarini, who graduated from Gajah Mada University, Faculty of letters in 1966.

The happy couple have three boys:

  1. Wijoseno Hariyo Bimo, born in 1962, Economist
  2. Hariyo Seno, born in 1972 and 3 Hariyo Danardono, born 1974, are University students.

The first son, Wijoseno Hariyo Bimo is married to Atika Purnomowati, an Economic graduate, they have two sons. The family live happily in the Pakualaman royal compound in Yogyakarta.

Suryo S. Negoro

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