A Short History of Perkutut, the Singing Dove. By Kian.
By the time of the Hindu Majapahit Kingdom (1292-1468) the Javanese aristocrats were already raising perkutut. When Prabu Brawijaya, the last king, travelled from East Java to Yogyakarta, his perkutut, Joko Manggu escaped from the cage. The bird reappeared in front of him at his destination near Yogyakarta. His descendants, who founded the Muslim kingdom of Mataram, kept raising perkutut in their courts into today. When perkutut sings, the Javanese use the word manggung, “to sing on stage.” When other birds sing, they merely ngoceh, “chatter.” Ancient Javanese wisdom prescribes five things a Javanese man should pursue for a complete life: garwo (wife), curigo (Javanese keris dagger, weapon),wismo (house, residence), turonggo (horse, transportation) and kukilo (bird, hobby). The last requirement can only be fulfilled by owning perkutut. Prince Prabukusumo, brother of Sultan Hamengku Buwono X, told us that Sultan Hamengku Buwono VII (1877-1921) started Sanden, a perkutut listening event, in the palace. His son, Sultan Hamengku Buwono VIII (1921-1939) grew it into Lurugan Beksi Perkutut, a perkutut competition, wh ere aristocrats and the upper class would be invited to bring their perkutut. This is the precursor of the modern perkutut competition. The biggest perkutut competition today is the Sultan Cup, held in August in the Yogyakarta palace square. It is in its 21st year. It might seem like yesterday but Indonesia only grabbed their independence from the Dutch in 1945 after 350 years of brutal colonialism.