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The National Standard

The Achievement

The Royal Badge

Emblems of State

The Armed Force

Kabupaten Bone / Bone District


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The Bugis state of Bone was founded ca.1350, when a union between the seven ancient states of Ujung, Tibojong, Ta, Tanete Riattang, Tanete Riawang, Ponceng and Macege was effected by Mata Selompu. He was invited by the advisory council of seven lords to become the first supreme ruler of the Bone federation. In 1582 Bone, together with Soppeng and Wajo, founded the Tallumpocco alliance which dominated the region for many decades. Islam became the state religion in 1608 when the Arumponi converted and adopted the personal title of Sultan.

During the next half-century the state was conquered by Gowa several times, in 1611, 1640 and finally in 1644. On the last occasion it lost its independence and became subject to Makassar. It took another twenty years before Bone regained its independence under 'Arung Palakka' in the 1660's. He developed the Bugis into a great maritime power who allied themselves with the Dutch and dominated the islands for nearly a century.

After the conquest of Makassar by the Dutch in 1669 with the help of Arung Palakka the Dutch gave him his kingdom as a heritary fief in return. This was granted by G.G. Joan Maetsuyker by an act dated 28 of February 1670. In the next century Bone became a considerable power on the island extending his sphere of influence over the neighbouring principalities

After British occupation in the early 19th century Dutch rule was restored with a military expedition in 1824. In 1825, 1859 and 1860 other military expeditions followed. When the Dutch dispatched a pacification force in 1905, the Arumponi fled into the jungles with his nobles and warriors, and prepared for war. After evading troops, he was captured, deposed and exiled to Java.

A Council of Nobles administered Bone after 1905, but self-rule was restored in 1931. La Mappanjuki Karaeng Silayar, younger son of the deposed Sultan of Gowa and a grandson of a former Arumponi succeeded. The new ruler had served with his father against the Dutch invasion in 1905 and shared his exile for several years. He proved to be no friend of the Dutch, siding with the Javanese republicans during the independence struggle. He therefore retained an honoured place during the post independence period, occupying several important offices in the provincial administration. His name is revered as one of the founders of Indonesian independence.[1]




About the emblems of the state of Boni we know relativeley much because of the preserved treasury of Bone described after a Dutch military expedition to Bone in the middle of the 19th century. A report of this expedition is written by Perelaer, M.T.H.: De Bonische expeditiën: Krijgsgebeurtenissen op Celebes in 1859 en 1860. Leiden 1872. [2] The treasury is described in the article “Inventaris van de thans aanwezige Rijksornamenten van Boni” (Inventory of the national treasures of Bone present today), also cited by Perelaer. [3]

The treasure consisted of swords and kerisses, flags and some other interesting pieces considered to be pusaka or objects legitimizing the authority of the ruler. The dating of the pieces poses problems, the flags being certainly younger than claimed.


The National Standard


The most striking piece of the treasure is the National Standard which is an all-embracing emblem of the State of Bone.

The standard, named Kasitanganga or Lima-si-attangé  was presented to the King of Bone on 16 August 1755, that is to say to King Abdul Razzaq Jalal (1749-’75). It shows:



National Standard of Bone, 1755.


1. A sun radiant, a crescent and three stars Or.

2. The cypher of the Middelburg Chamber of the United East India Company (V.O.C.) and the seal of King Abdul Razzaq Jalal.

3. A sailing vessel, being the emblem of the V.O.C..

4. An Achievement:


Emblem: A cuirass and a helmet Or, and a trophy consisting of a blue and a red ensign per chevron, and some arms: spears rifles, swords, trumpets, drums and the like  as well as two cannon pointing outwards, and their belongings, and a circular shield, all on a grassy ground.

Crown: The Royal crown of Bone Or.

This being the achievement of Bone.


ð See illustration in the head of this essay


And in between the two emblems:


5. Two clasped hands, issuing from two clouds.

6. A Motto:


1. ZOLANG DE ZON EN MAAN SCHEYNE:  ZAL DE E: COMPE MET BONI VAST VEREENIGT BLEYVE and: Salagi ada matahari dan boelan bĕrtjahaja di langit dĕmikijĕn-lagi Kompeni dan Bone akan langgar bĕrkĕkalan jang tijada bĕrtjĕre in arab script (As long as the sun and the moon will shine, the Noble Company and Bone will remain strongly united).

2. DOOR ONSE KRAGTEN BLEYVEN DE HANDEN VAST and: Dari kami ampoenja kakoewasja-an akan tangan ini tienggal berpĕgangan in arab script (By our Forces our Hands remain Steady)


The Achievement


The Celestial Bodies


Even when the celestial bodies on this standard can have a political meaning, it is more likely that they are the representation, together with the other charges on the standard, of the first motto.


The Ensigns


The two ensigns may be the light-blue Samparajae and the Uia-bal uwe, a red flag with green bordures. [4]




Samparaja is a light-blue silken banner charged with an anchor within an ornamented bordure. Its staff has a ball in the shape of a four-leaved flower, two of its leaves of gold, and the other two of iron. These two leaves are called brani which means “brave” and are turned to the enemy in battle. The ball is decorated with the hair of a killed Ceram prince.

The anchor certainly refers to the maritime power of Bone and the command of the Bone-king of the Bone navy.




In processions (or on campaign) the Bone people had to divide in three groups.

  • The first group, collected around Waromporong consisted of the peoples from Madjang, Matowanging, Bukaka, Kawarrang and Maloi. Waromporong was carried by the Matuwa of Majang.
  • The second group, collected around Tjallae-ri-atau, consisted of the peoples from Patjieng, Tanette, Lemo-lemo, Masalle, Matjege and Belawa. The banner was carried by Kadjao Tjiu.
  • The third group, collected around Tjallae-ri-abeo, consisted of the peoples from Udjung, Ponljeng, Ta, Katumping, Panda Tjanga en Madello. The banner was carried by Kadjao Arasang.

After Waromporong was lost it was replaced by Samparaja which is the royal ensign.

Tjallae-ri-atau and Tjallae-ri-abeo


Tjallae-ri-atau and Tjallae-ri-abeo are red banners, with an upper breadth of green velvet. The staffs are decorated with hair of the people from Ceram killed in war.

Both banners were, according to legend, made on command of Lasaliwu Karampeluwa, the 3rd king of Bone. On campaign they had to be displayed on both sides of Waromporong, the banner of Manurung-ri Matajang (1350-1366). Later they had to be displayed on both sides of the Samparadjae.


These banners are not in the achievement.


The Drums



The set of  ganrangs (drums) consists of the drums La-maronrong and Ta-sisompala which have a martial function. They are used together with the Samparadjae and two red flags with green chiefs called Tjallae-ri-atau and Tjallae-ri-abeo

La-maronrong and Ta-sisompala are thought to date from the time of Manurung ri Matajang. The names mean “the Alarm” and “the Irresistible” and they call up the population for war.


The Lances



Two of the lances may be Lasalaya and Laloleyang. These lances have golden decorations. Lasalaya, means “the harrow”, Laloleyang “the overthrower”.

A legend about these lances tells us:

“In the time Boni had no ruler a terrible thunderstorm shook the earth for three months. When the thunderstorm and the earthquake had come to an end a man all dressed in white was seen in the fields. Impressed, the people unanimously declared that this man was a Tumanurung, a being descended from heaven. Convinced, all people went to the man and said to him “Oh Lamarupa, we have come to you to beg you to take pity on us, and to beg you to never leave us but always to stay with us and be our king and let us to be your subjects. Ours shall be yours and only your commands will be obeyed, and be it that it was differently agreed with our children, when you disprove we will abandon it, when only you will stay with us and be our ruler.”

The man supposed to be from heaven answered: “I must admit I can not be your King because I am a slave, but, when you want to have a ruler, I know somebody who you may elect”.

Now the presumed Tumanurung conducted the crowd to kampong Matajang. On their way the thunderstorm broke out again but, appeased by their new leader nobody thought of returning. Arrived at the spot they saw the true Tumanurung. He was dressed in yellow clothing and kept the spear Lasalaya in his hand whilst his slave kept the spear Laloleyang. This man was proclaimed the first king of Bone and his name means “He who descended from Heaven in Matajan”.”

And so the two lances are thought to be from the time of the first King.


The Shield

The shield between the two cannon may be the Leengu, a silver shield with a golden medallion in the middle, usually displayed with a small keris. Nothing special is known of this piece. We may suppose that it was the royal shield or actual royal arms (in the Western sense)  and symbolized the Empire, the combination symbolizing the chief commander of the empire (of Bone).

(This, of course, should have been the centerpiece of the achievement, the cuirass-and-helmet being the crest of these arms).


The Crown


The crown is of a conical form known from the 16th century kuluk of Demak and the headdresses of the muslim rulers of Surakarta and Yogyakarta.


Royal Badges


Tadung Pulawange


This Payong was the badge of rank of the Sultan of Bone and was still in use in 1845. It consisted of a red silken screen decorated with golden bows and rings. It had a large golden ball and the pole was entirely covered with gold. [5]


Set of Drums


A second set of drums consists of the smaller drums I. Mananasie and Daeng Baine and is used for civic purposes. They are beaten when the king is in procession under his payong (umbrella) Tadung Pulawange. These drums are also thought to be from the time of Manurung ri Matajang.




The Royal Keris is decorated with a naga (snake) which is the royal badge in Buddhist political symbolism. Its sheath is covered with gold and bears a large blue precious stone called bate-bate.

A legend tells us:

“A prince of Bone called Karampeluwa, (third ruler of Bone, reigned 1398-) bathing in the Uwae Warani river of Palakka, thought to have seen a snake in the distant clear waters. Arriving on the spot the snake had disappeared but he found the keris Ula-manreli instead.”

After the death of Karampeluwa the keris was given to his successors from which it came to Arung Palakka (1634-‘98).





The Royal Pennon Lamangotong is a white cloth with a decorated bordure and narrow black breadths at the mast-end and the upper side. It is attached to a spear. Its name means “The pennon that strikes” (the enemy).

A legend tells:

“Arung Palakka was at war with Wajo and had lost his Samparaja when he had the idea of showing his kerchief, shouting that Samparaja was not the only ensign of Bone. Seeing this the men from Bone resumed their attack with such vigour that they recaptured their ensign.”


Royal Seals



Three silver seals hanging from a small silver chain. The one on the left bears the name of To-ri-Sompae Arung Palakka. On the one in the middle is an achievement which may be the first achievement of the royal government. It shows a three-quarter standing man keeping a snake in his hand. On the shield, supported by two lions or tigers, is a crown of seven leaves which is the crown of a baronet.

On the third is a figure which may be an eight leaved lotus-flower, charged with a pair of compasses and a circlet. 


State Emblems


The Banner Garuda



The banner Garuda is a white silken cloth charged with a Garuda with two snakes in his hands and standing on another snake. In the corners are four tigers.

This banner is the counterpart of the Kasitanganga.

When the Kasitanganga should be called the National Standard, the Garuda-banner is the Banner of State as it displays a Garuda who is the vehicle of the ruler and the symbol of state in Buddhist political symbolism.


The charges of the flag compose a quasi-achievement which can be blasoned:

Emblem: Garuda trampling a snake proper.

Supporters: (Four) Tigers. [6]


The tigers may be the emblem of the highest ranking warrior of Bone, thus making the achievement: “The government by the grace of the Supreme commander.”


La Makkawa


This keris, an important pusaka of the Sultanate of Bone, has the typical Sulawesi sheath with flat end, pendok (oversheath) of wrapped gold wire and hanging loop of braided gold with anchoring jeweled rosette. Its name means “a warning game, a feint”. Although documentation does not define the provenance, it was probably among the treasures of Arung Palakka.


The hilt of La Makkawa consists of a statuette of prince Dewa Mandu from the mythical kingdom of Gangsa Indera.  After many marvelous adventures he settled down on the throne of his father together with four wives he had gathered along the way. The story has been popular in Indonesia and Malaysia.

On the selut (sheath-basin) a phoenix is carved which is the emblem of the vizier or prime minister in Chinese and Muslim political symbolism. For that reason we may call this keris the Keris of State, and the badge of the Makkedangetana: “the spokesman of the land”, the most senior officer in Boni after the King and often equated with Prime Minister.

The Keris of State is preserved in Watampone.



Armed Forces


The ensigns Samparajae and Uia-bal uwe the banners Tjallae-ri-atau and Tjallae-ri-abeo etcetera described above certainly are heraldic symbols in the real sense of the definition of heraldry as they are the symbols and colours borne in war.

As such, the Achievement of Bone is a real Achievement of Arms as it is mainly composed of  armature and for that reason it is the symbol of the armed force of Bone as, in the European context, an Achievement of State was also composed of martial symbols.

The Treasure of Bone consisted mainly of such armature and we are informed about eleven swords and kerisses, two spears, two blowing pipes and a shield, thus bearing witness to the martial tradition of Bone.

One of this pieces deserves special attention.




Latea-ri-duni is a sonri or sonre (short sword) its sheath decorated with gold wire wrapping, on its toli-toli (loop) a large piece of mas-urung (nugget).

A legend about this sonrie tells us:


Latea-ri-duni belonged to a prince called Arung Alita. In his will he decided that it should be buried with him after his death.

Of course his relatives did as he had wished but the next day Late-ri-duni had come out of the coffin and was laying on his grave.

The relatives, to obey his command buried the sonrie for a second time but some days later it was again found on the grave of the prince.

Then, the arms were presented to the ruler of Bone who concluded  from the story the relatives told him that it was the desire of the Lord that the sword should not be buried but had to be preserved for ever as a relic in the royal treasury.


If anything, this sword could have been the Sword of State and for that reason can be compared with the famous European Swords of State like the French Joyeuze, the swords of the German Empire or the Polish Szerbice. Last but not least we also have to think to the muslim Dhu-‘l Fakar, the sword of the Prophet Mohammed.

Latea-ri-duni is not the royal arms (which are the Ula manreli or the Leengu) but it is, in fact, the arms of the supreme commander, an office not necessarily held by the king. 











Latea-ri-duni ð

Once part of the pusaka of  Bone, 17th century.

74 Í 11 cm. State collection Watampone.  [7]


Kabupaten Bone / Bone District





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© Hubert de Vries 2010-11-17


[1] ) After: Christopher Buyers, Royal Ark. (edited)

[2] ) From which the numbered pictures are taken.

[3] ) Tijdschrift voor Indische Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde. Deel XV. Den Haag, 1865, pp. 190-204.

[4] ) Perelaer, op.cit no’s 29, 34.

[5] ) An other payong is said to have been captured in a war.

[6] ) The tiger is the badge of a military officer of the third rank in Chinese Ming and  Qing military hierarchy. In 1664  it was degraded to the fourth rank.

[7] ) Ibbitson Jessup, Helen: Court Arts of Indonesia. The Asia Society Galleries. New York, 1990.

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