A Philippine Leaf
Sulat sa Tansô

Hector Santos's Translation

by Hector Santos
© 1995-96 by Hector Santos
All rights reserved.

Since I first started studying this document in 1994, I have developed some ideas that are different from those first reported by Antoon Postma. Of course, my conclusions were only made possible by his pioneering work, the initial breakthrough in our understanding of the LCI.

Unlike traditional scholars, I divided the text into phrases, not lines, as indicated by the stop marks, large dots used by the ancients like our comma and period of today. (See LCI graphic.) I tried to make each phrase a logical division of the structure, able to stand apart from the others.

The three major differences from Postma's translation derive from my following conclusions:

  1. I believe that anakda dang hwan namwaran refers to both Angkatan and Bukah, i.e. they are children of Namwaran. The phrase lawan denganña sanak barngaran si bukah can be literally translated as "together with her counterpart relative named Bukah." If Angkatan were Namwaran's wife, the important relationship would certainly have been made clear in the document as is customary. In the absence of such a mention, anak should be taken as a plural (same form as singular) and therefore applies to both Angkatan and Bukah.
  2. I am convinced that ganashakti and bishruta are not proper names as Postma believes. If they were, they would either be directly preceded by personal markers such as si or pu, or by titles. Instead, they are preceded by a verb which indicates that their literal meanings should be used in the translation.
  3. I think barjadi simply represents the verb "to be." Postma struggled with this word in his early translations, switching from "representing" to "represented by" and back again. There are problems with "representing" that has something to do with correct hierarchies of the officials. Since we are not showing his early translations here, we will not discuss it further. In his latest December 1992 translation, he gives inconsistent meanings to barjadi.

Literal Translation

We begin with a literal translation which attempts to maintain the same word order while trying to make the English text still readable.

Phrase 1:
Blessings, Shaka-related year 822, Waisakha month, by astronomy.

Phrase 2:
Fourth day of dark half of the moon, Monday, there at that time Lady Angkatan together with her relative named Bukah, children of the honorable Namwaran are given a wish, a gift of full clearance document by the chief, commander-in-chief at Tundun, who is the honorable minister lord Pailah, Jayadewa.

Phrase 3:
By order, the honorable Namwaran through the scribe is cleared and forgiven of his debt and his arrears of 1 kati and 8 suwarnas in front of the honorable minister lord Puliran, Ka Sumuran.

Phrase 4:
The honorable minister lord Pailah is source of authority.

Phrase 5:
The honorable minister lord Binwangan, who is famous, looked attentively at all his (Namwaran's) living relatives all gotten by chief Dewata, who is chief Medang, on account of his devotion as subject of the chief.

Phrase 6:
Yes, therefore all living descendants of the honorable Namwaran are cleared, yes, of all debts of the honorable Namwaran to the chief Dewata.

Phrase 7:
This, in case who will say in future day, sometime, there will perhaps be a man who says not yet cleared is debt of the honorable ...

Free Translation

This is easier to understand because it freely translates the original text, making it more readable in English.

Phrase 1:
Greetings! Shaka year 822, month of Waisakha, according to the stars.

Phrase 2:
On the fourth day of the waning moon, Monday, Lady Angkatan and her brother Bukah, children of the Honorable Namwaran, were given a gift of their wish, this document of full forgiveness by the Commander-in-Chief of Tundun, represented by the Honorable Lord Minister of Pailah, Jayadewa.

Phrase 3:
By this order through the scribe, the Honorable Namwaran is cleared and forgiven of his debt and his arrears of 1 kati and 8 suwarnas as witnessed by the Honorable Lord Minister of Puliran, Ka Sumuran.

Phrase 4:
The Honorable Lord Minister of Pailah was the source of authority.

Phrase 5:
On account of Namwaran's devotion as a subject of the chief, the Honorable Lord Minister of Binwangan, who is known in many places, identified all of Namwaran's living relatives who were taken by the Chief of Dewata, represented by the Chief of Medang.

Phrase 6:
As a consequence, all living descendants of the Honorable Namwaran are also cleared of all debts that the Honorable Namwaran owed the Chief of Dewata.

Phrase 7:
This document is issued in case there is someone in the future who will allege that the debt has not been cleared yet by the Honorable ...


To cite:
Santos, Hector. "Hector Santos's Translation" in A Philippine Leaf at http://www.bibingka.com/dahon/lci/santostr.htm. US, October 26, 1996.
Sushi Dog
Please send me your comments. I would love to hear from you.
Hector Santos <hectorsan@bibingka.com> Los Angeles
Last modified: Wednesday, July 28, 1999