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Raden Seta is the eldest son of Prabu Matswapati, King of Wirata. “Seta” means white and Raden Seta has pure white skin. He is a courageous and valiant warrior, possessed of magical strength. The kingdom of Pancalaretna holds a tournament and whoever can defeat the kingdom’s champion, Bambang Malangdewa, son of the King, will win the hand of Malangdewa’s sister, Dewi Kanekawati. Raden Seta enters the arena and defeats Malangdewa and is duly rewarded with the king’s daughter.

During the Baratayuda, Seta is chosen to command the Pandawa armies. All those who approach him are forthwith disposed of, and Seta valiantly defeats Raden Rukmarata, the son of Prabu Salya. He is eventually killed in battle by Resi Bisma. Raden Seta is grieved and incensed when his two brothers are killed. After they have falled in battle he enters the field and fights “with the fury of a volcano”, in the words of the Serat Bharatayudha (“Dyan Seta umangsah, krodanira dening patine ri kalih.”)*)

Raden Seta has kedondongan eyes, a delicate nose and mouth and a moustache and beard. His hair is worn in the kadal menek [literally, climbing lizard] style. He wears waderan ear ornaments, the bulan sabit necklace, double bracelets (the square bracelet known as gelang kana), armbands and anklets. He wears the kerajaan dress.

*) Serat Bharatajuddha is an Old Javanese epic poem said to have been written by the court poets Empu Sedah and Empu Panuluh during the reign of King Jayabaya of Kediri circa 1157 A.D. Poerbatjaraka, Kapustakan Djawi, p. 24.]

(Sumber: Sejarah Wayang Purwa. Hardjowirogo. Jakarta: Perpustakaan Perguruan Kementerian P.P. dan K., 1955)

Publisher: Lontar Foundation;

Created: 2014

Source Rights: Ki Purbo Asmoro

Manuscript Code: LF-Seta.kl_P5091845.jpg

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