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Raden Samba is the son of Prabu Kresna and Dewi Jembawati. He is extremely handsome.*) Samba’s nose is up-turned (nglangak) and his voice is piercing and resonant. He is a clever talker, charming and good-humored. However, he lacks kesaktian, or supernatural power.

Samba is so clever with words that he is even able to convince his stubborn aunt, Dewi Wara Sumbadra to marry Arjuna, whom she had originally despised.

Samba is given supernatural power by a priest who tatoos the warrior’s arm. However this power is only short-lived. Samba is the reincarnation of the god Hyang Drema. Drema and his wife, Betari Dremi, have agreed to meet on earth, Betara Drema to incarnate into the son of the King of Dwarawati and Betari Dremi into Dewi Agnyanawati. However, Betari Dremi mistakenly meets with the wrong son of Kresna, Bomanarakasura, instead of Samba is prevented from meeting Dewi Agnyawati as Betara Drema and Dremi had planned, since Agnyawati is in the hands of Boma. Boma kills Samba and Samba’s body is shredded beyond recognition.
When Samba’s arm is tatooed he acquires supernatural power and is able to defeat ogres and other enemies. The gods have bestowed on him the power to fulfill his every wish. But Samba’s magic is only temporary and not true power; he is therefore an ordinary warrior. His victories are only temporary and when the effect of the tatoo wears off he returns to his previous condition. This demonstrates that man can act by exercising a false character but the fruits of his action will be limited.

Raden Samba has jaitan eyes, a pointed nose, an up-turned face (indicative of his high, clear voice). He wears the kadal-melek hair knot, decorated with the garuda in back. He wears the sekar kluwih ear ornaments, the kalung putera necklace, and anklets, bracelets and armbands. His dress is that usually worn by princes of noble blood, the bolongan putran.

(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-Samba Keris.sm_P5238893.jpg

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