Different from the belief in the Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms that saw the king as god incarnate in the world, in the Islamic kingdoms of Indonesia a king was seen as a representative of God in the world (kalifatullah fil ardhi). This became the typical character of kingdoms of that era where leader characters with intellectual and spiritual cleverness took prominance. One of the kings of that time is Sultan Hamengkubuwana V, who is seen as an ideal leader of Islamic – Javanese leaders.
“The leadership of Hamengkubuwana V should be made a reference for state administrators nowadays as he upheld noble values getting passed on by his predecessors. This perception would prevent the young generation from getting uprooted from their cultures,” said Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) archaelogist, Drs. Djoko Dwiyanto, M.Hum., during his open doctoral examination at Faculty of Cultural Sciences UGM on Saturday (30/1).
The leadership of kings of those times were perpetualised in literary works, particularly published in kingdoms or at the commission of the king in reign. In his dissertation, Djoko identified leadership characters of Sultan Hamengkubuwana V and his response to social-political situations, and ideology that is understood through the attributes being found in artifacts and symbols in words or phrases.
Generally, the term of Sultan Hamengkubuwana V was one of the most difficult reign for the Yogyakarta Sultanate due to the fall of the kingdom following the attacks by the British troops. During the fall of the Yogyakarta Sultanate (bedhah ing Ngayogyakarta), a massive looting was done by the British troops, followed by the Diponegoro War that exacerbated the situation.
Problems emerged when the social-political burdens had to be borne by Sultan Hamengkubuwana V, how he responded to the situation to return the condition back to the old order as shown by his predecessors. The fact was that he was able to make efforts to restore authority. Things he attempted included bureaucratic reforms, physical construction, returns of kingdoms’ inheritance, and production and reproduction of literary works.
Djoko obtained information from identification of archeological evidence, such as kingdom vehicles, weapons, ceremony tools, buildings, and literary works, using social archelogy theories and methods.
“Social archeology approach in this study is usable to reconstruct social behaviours of artifacts supporters and makers, especially on leadership values, so that this can be made a reference for the next generations,” he said.