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January 3, 2007: In August 2006 an interesting new Malay manuscript was acquired by Leiden University Library. It contains the Sejarah Patani. On 7 December 2006 the Leiden library issued a press release on the acquisition of this new acquisition.
MS Leiden Or. 26.541. Malay manuscript; text written on thick, dark-coloured, skin (kulit) probably of a large animal (a karbau?); 48 ff. (unnumbered); structure: 24 single bifolia each separately sewn together constituting the book block; size: c. 23.5 x 16.2 cm; South-East Asian naskh script (jawi script), on the average 27 lines to the page, black ink with rubrics; entire text set within gold and red-and-gold frames (c. 20 x 13 cm); double illuminated opening page; illuminated conical lay-out on the last page ( f. 48a); double page illuminated tree-like silsila`s (genealogies) on ff. 28b-29a (title: Silsila raja2 Patani raja seri wangsa) and ff. 40b-41a (title: Silsila raja Patani keturunan Kelantan ilah Teungku Muhammad teungku besar raja Patani); first (f. 1a) and last (f. 48b) leaves pasted to the inside of the boards; the outer boards are covered with a leather-like material, which looks like the skin of a large reptile; on closer inspection, however, it seems to be a material made from impregnated vegetable fibres; on the back of the binding the sewing of the biofolia is shown externally.
The manuscript contains the Sejarah Patani, the `History of Patani` title on f. 2a. The relationship of this prose text with the Hikayat Patani (Hikayat Patani. The story of Patani, edited with translation […] by A. Teeuw and D.K. Wyatt, The Hague, 2 vols., 1970) still needs to be investigated.
There is no indication of date or origin, and the MS may well, as the press release of Leiden University Library by the Leiden curator Dr. M.O. Scalliet suggests, be of recent date, that is from the twentieth century. There does not seem to be an indication in the MS, however, that it actually originates from Patani itself. It may be noted here that MS A of the edition and translation by Teeuw and Wyatt of the Hikayat Patani (MS Washington, Library of Congress) was copied by the famous Munshi Abdullah in Singapore in 1839 showing that a work about Patani does not necessarily always originate from Patani. A photograph of the Washington MS is kept in the Leiden library as Or. 11.876 (not described in the catalogue by T. Iskandar). It has been said in Leiden University Library`s press release on the present manuscript that the writing material is parchment. From the strictly technical point of view this is correct, as the animal skin which was used as writing material has evidently not undergone a process of tanning. Yet using the term parchment in connection with the present MS is somewhat confusing, as the thickness of the skin used here is not usually seen in parchment. As a writing material in South-East Asia it is quite rare and the MS makes a decidedly archaic impression.
The manuscript was purchased by the Leiden library in August 2006 from the collection of Mr. Tuan Azahar Wan in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, through the intermediary of Ms. Adone Mohd Sarip in Leiden, The Netherlands.Source: extracted from a press release by Leiden University Library dated 7 December 2006, with additional information obtained from the manuscript itself.