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Hijjas, Mulaika (2010) 'The Legend You Thought You Knew: Text and Screen Representations of Puteri Gunung Ledang.' South East Asia Research, 18 (2). pp. 245-270.

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Abstract

This article traces the evolution of narratives about the supernatural woman said to live on Gunung Ledang, from oral folklore to sixteenth-century courtly texts to contemporary films. In all her instantiations, the figure of Puteri Gunung Ledang can be interpreted in relation to the legitimation of the state, with the folklore preserving her most archaic incarnation as a chthonic deity essential to the maintenance of the ruling dynasty. By the time of the Sejarah Melayu and Hikayat Hang Tuah, two of the most important classical texts of Malay literature, the myth of Puteri Gunung Ledang had been desacralized. Nevertheless, a vestigial sense of her importance to the sultanate of Melaka remains. The first Malaysian film that takes her as its subject, Puteri Gunung Ledang (S. Roomai Noor, 1961), is remarkably faithful to the style and substance of the traditional texts, even as it reworks the political message to suit its own time. The second film, Puteri Gunung Ledang (Saw Teong Hin, 2004), again exemplifies the ideology of its era, depoliticizing the source material even as it purveys Barisan Nasional ideology. Keywords: myth; invention of tradition; Malay literature; Malaysian cinema

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of South East Asia
ISSN: 0967828X
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.5367/000000010791513139
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2013 09:33
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/17049
Related URLs: http://www.inge ... f4e4b34851be892 (Publisher URL)

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