The last years the present sultan of Cirebon-Kanoman was much in the news. He belongs to a quite nationalistic dynasty, who also had some quite strong opinions about it's position. Cirebon is one of the most early islamic kingdoms of Indonesia.Some say, that you can very good feel the traditional atmosphere of Indonesian in Cirebon. The Cirebon kings are descendants of Sunan Gunung Jati; one of the original bringers of the islam to Java. His son Hassanuddin became the first king of Banten in West-Java and from the brother of this king;Pangeran Pasarean;descends the kings of Cirebon. After the death of Pangeran Giri Laya of Cirebon in 1662 his kingdom was divided into 3 areas among his sons with a special roulating system of succesion. When king of the first branch died, than a prince of the 2nd branch became the crownprince there,etc. That system ended later. In the 18th century even a 4th branch of the dynasty began to rule. So now you had the Cirebon branches of Kanoman (2nd most important), Kasepuhan (1st one), which were both sultans. Then the pangeran branch of Kacirebonan (3rd most important) and the Panembahan branch of Kaprobonan (who only delivered 3 rulers for a relative short time, but continued to exist a a dynastic branch). In 1819 the remaining 3 branches were abolished as ruling dynasties, but continued as keepers of the traditions in all it's aspects. As such they were discovered in the independence struggle after WW II. Already before the greatgrandfather of the present sultan;Sultan Anom Raja Nurbuat (1934-1935) asked to be more recognized as a real sultan with a full title like his forefathers. It was then the time, that the Dutch East-Indish government was thinking of restoring abolished dynasties in Indonesia as the first steps to give back the government responsibilities to the local people of Indonesia. The son of Sultan Anom Raja Nurbuat;Sultan Anom Muhammad Nurus (1935-1989);even asked after WW II to be a ruling sultan again and hoped, that Cirebon would become one kingdom. His son Sultan Anom Muhammad Djalaluddin;father of the present sultan of Cirebon-Ka-noman;ruled until his death in 2002. This sultan continued the restoration of at least the cultural function of the dynasty. His oldest son of his royal wife was the later Sultan Elang Muhammad Emiruddin;born in 1973. The a few months older brother of the latter had actually a non-royal mother, so according to the traditional rules of succesion he was not the 1st eligible person to become a sultan:Pangeran Elang Muhammad Saladin. For some reasons later mentioned Prince Saladin assisted much his father in his function a sultan.His father had also symphaty for the idea, that this prince would have a chance to become a sultan. But the dynasty network thought, that it was better,that the tradition would be maintained. Sultan Anom Muhammad Djalaluddin died 18-11-2002. His brother then was temporary-sultan for a while to sort out things. Suddenly Prince Saladin let install himself as sultan in the palace (5-3-2003). One of the reasons for it was, that his close family found, that the health problems of his full-royal brother was a point of consideration, wether he could be a good sultan, or not. The day thereafter in a bigger ceremony Sultan Elang Muhammad Emiruddin was installed as 12th king of Cirebon-Kanoman. The recognition of the local government for one of the 2 royals was not immediately there. Sultan Emiruddin had after a while enough of the unharmonious atmosphere in the palace and removed his brother Saladin and his followers from the palace. In Indonesia you can see, that the government also likes to see one king only living in the palace. This present sultan of Cirebon-Kanoman is a special king actually. When he was 9 years old he got a trouble with his ears and when he was 16 his ability to hear ceased to exist. But, which is mostly the case, when a sense-organ ceased to function;other sense-organs are sharpened. The young Prince Emiruddin developped a very sharp eye for the details of the weaving - and other local culture. Espacially the local batik is his specialism. From that he could make his later work.That work and specialism had resulted in fascinating batik exhibitions he organise regulalry in his aim to preserve the true local culture. In this he is supported by his dynastic near family. The sultan married in 2000 with Sultana Ratu Dian Astuti. On 11-12-2001 the present crownprince of his branch was born:Pangeran Raja Muhammad Qodirudin. It is also hoped,that the harmony in the dynasty can be restored completely. The Kanoman dynasty is known for it's firm conviction for it's own opinion, but for his willingness to listen to people with other opinions. It is wished, that this talent will be used for the good.
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