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Java Medieval Unit Pack (Majapahit) 2016-10-05

Java Medieval Unit Pack (Majapahit)

  1. Bakuel
    Majapahit Info:
    Spoiler :
    Majapahit lasted from 1293 to the 1500s and was arguably the greatest Hindu empire that ever arose in the archipelago. It covered much of the territory of the modern state of Indonesia, from the Melaka straits, to West Papua. Majapahit can also be thought of as the last great Hindu-Buddhist empire to arise in the archipelago. Though small Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms still existed in Java, Bali, the Philippines, as well as elsewhere into the 1600s, they would not be nearly as powerful. While Majapahit's reach throughout Indonesia is notable, it is also managed to unite most of the island of Java stronger then Mataram had ever managed to.

    Majapahit was funded in 1293 it's predecessor states must be briefly gone over to cover the period from the fall of Mataram to the funding of Majapahit. In 1006 the kingdom of Mataram would be destroyed, either due to a rebellion or a invasion by Srivijaya or both, historians disagree. What is known is that Airlangga, the nephew of the last king of Mataram, escaped the slaughter of the royal family. Airlangga went into a self-imposed exile at a hermitage. In 1019 he returned, rallied elites loyal to the dynasty, and begun to re-unite areas of Mataram. He called his realm Kahuirpan and at it's height it stretched from central Java to Bali. He made peace with Srivijaya and, though favoring Hinduism, was known for his religious tolerance. Airlangga was the first to truly unite the port cities on the north coast of Java with the agricultural centers. The north coast of Java started to become important centers of trade under his leadership. He also was known for helping develop East Java, damming the Brantas River and building irrigation works to increase the agricultural output of the region. The future kingdom of Majapahit would rely on the ground-work laid by Airlangga.

    Airlangga's kingdom of Kahuirpan, however, would not survive. Late in his life he was plagued with problems of succession. His original choice, the princess Sanggramawijaya, did not want to role as queen regent after his death and instead became a Buddhist monk. Airlangga now had to choose between his two sons, the half-brothers Janggala and Panjalu. It seems like the half-brothers had a rocky relationship with each other and both had considerable political power and legitimacy. Probably to stop civil war, he divided his kingdom between the two sons in 1045 and the great king retired, returning to the life of a hermit. The kingdom was divided, the east part went to Janggala and the west to Panjalu. Sadly the war that he wanted to avoid happened anyway. After his death in 1049, his two sons went to war.
    The records of the civil war and the next eras before Majapahit are more obscure. Few records exist for this period. It is known that the western half of the kingdom managed to absorb the eastern and became united as the kingdom of Kadiri. In 1222, Kadiri was overthrown by the newly established kingdom of Singhasari based in Eastern Java, the direct predecessor to Majapahit. The rulers of the kingdom, the Rajasa dynasty, would become the single most important dynasty in Java, ruling Majapahit as well. Singhasari attempted to spread it's influence throughout the archipelago. It brought Bali and parts of Sumatra under it's control. It is notable for being the first Javanese kingdom to really take a direct interest in other islands in the archipelago other then Bali.

    Singhasari gained the attention of the expansionist Yuan dynasty. Around 1283, Kubli Khan sent out emissaries into the archipelago and they demanded tribute from Java as well. The king of Singhasari, Kertanegara, refused them. Instead he branded the emissaries' faces like they were common criminals and sent them back. Needless to say, the Yuan began gathering a invasion army. When the Mongol army landed in 1293, after ten years of planning and logistics, they were unaware of the dynastic change in the island.

    The Singhasari king that had branded the emissaries had been killed by his vassal, Jayakatwang of Kediri, who took the throne for himself. Jayakatwang was not very popular for this and hated by the royal family and elites. The son-in-law of the deceased Kertanegara, Raden Wijaya, founded a city in the Tarik timberland around this time in East Java. He called it Majapahit, after (supposedly) the bitter maja fruit which grew in the forest. Soon after the Mongols landed, Raden Wijaya approached them with his followers and submitted to them and offered himself as a guide. Raden Wijaya tricked the Yuan forces into destroying the rebel Jayakatwang and then turned on the Mongols and defeated them in an ambush. This humiliating defeat would be the last Yuan invasion ordered by Kublai Khan, along with the failure of the second invasion of Vietnam, Yuan power would began to wane. However Raden Wijaya's realm of Majapahit would endure. Raden Wijaya married all four of the assassinated Kertanegara's daughters, increasing his legitimacy.

    Majapahit reached it's zenith during the reign of Hayam Wuruk (r.1350-1389). The Javanese hero Gajah Mada was prime minister and his power and prestige grew. He led the navies into the eastern parts of the archipelago and the empire reached it's greatest extant during this time. The region of Wanin (Western New Guinea) was a tributary. During Majapahit's zenith, outsider interest in the archipelago grew considerably. The Vijayanagara Empire in India was consolidating it's hold in Southern India and was the source of many Indian merchants. Islam was becoming more popular in the archipelago as numbers of Islamic Indian and Middle Eastern traders poured into the region. Further west, the Egyptian Mamluks tightened their control on the Red Sea region and gained control of both the Arabian and African coasts of it. Against Papal interest, Venice signed a trade agreement with Mamluk Egypt, Spices from the Maluku Islands reached Venice via Mamluk Egypt and it was the height of the Italian-Egyptian spice trade. This trade enriched the realm and catapulted Majapahit into a superpower. Finishing the ground work laid by Airlangga, Majapahit had close control over both the northern and eastern coast ports of Java as well as the agricultural areas. The Majapahit monarch paid equal attention to the maritime trade and vassals on other islands as well as the inner workings of Java. The spice merchants and sailors on the northern coast were so close to the king that they were considered the king's "trade agents". Java's trade network grew considerably. Kings were paid for the use of ports and they controlled the bullion and luxury goods that came in, and they received a share of the profits from the sale for all products both local and foreign.
    After Hayam Wuruk's death, the realm started to wane. There are many theories on the fall of Majapahit. Some say that that too many other powers were becoming interested in the archipelago and the trade grew in such large volume that one power could not possibly control it. Rival ports began to grow such as the Melaka Empire in the 15th century which enjoyed both Islamic and Chinese trade and patronage. The religious landscape of the archipelago was changing and Islam was starting to be favored by many of the merchants and elites. Even in the Majapahit capital, during the 14th century Islamic grave stones start to appear. Starting sometime in the 14th and 15th centuries the northern coast ports of Java started to become Islamic. The most important port, Demak, conquered the remnants of Majapahit under the rule of Sultan Trenggana.
    However, Hinduism still survived. Hindu Kingdoms like Blambangan on the eastern tip of Java and the kingdoms of Bali still existed. A Dutch source from 1598 states that only the northern coasts where Islamic and that "they are heathens in the interior." Though often contrasted, in time there was a blending of Islamic culture and Majapahit Hindu-Buddhist culture. This fusion culture can still seen in Java today.


    Military:
    Spoiler :
    Not much is known about the numbers and logistics of the Majapahit army. The army could probably be divided into two, the army under the direct command of the king and the soldiers led by vassals and elites. The bulk of the royal soldiers probably were from East Java, the realm under the direct control of the royal family. Vassal rulers could be called upon to aid in campaigns and they would have brought there own soldiers. Mercenaries were also used, at least in the later period, either from other islands, the mainland or further afield. During the fall of Majapahit there is a story about a group of Islamic mercenaries who were loyal to the monarch.
    For the navy more is known. The semi-independent sailors on the northern coast were paid by the monarch for their good behavior and transportation services. They were the Javanese navy, but it should be noted that they were not only called upon for war, but were also a type of merchant-maritime navy and would embark on trading expeditions. They were not, however, a national navy as a modern state would employ. They served Majapahit only as long as it remained profitable.
    Majapahit swords and keris were well known, they were exported as far west as India. These items must have been quality either in aesthetics or blade strength as India had an established world renown iron working tradition. The iron had to be imported into Java as the island lacks a major source of iron. Iron was imported from the highlands of Borneo and Sulawesi and probably China. A Borneo archeology site in the Sarawak River Delta was dated to the 14th century, it held slag estimated to forty thousand tonnes (!), obvious evidence to a major iron working industry during Majapahit's golden age. Sulawesi is famous for it's nickel rich iron ore which is used by the Javanese keris makers to give the blade the famous wave patterns. Bugis kings were probably in control of this source during the Majapahit era, it is said that they gave a portion directly to the Majapahit court as tribute.


    Sources:
    Spoiler :
    The unit's dress are a made from a blend of primary and modern anthropological sources. Most of the primary sources are the temple reliefs of the Majapahit era. Much like earlier states in Java, Majapahit government oversaw the creation of a host of temples, though none of them are as well known as Borobudur. Because of this, they do not seem to be as well kept up and visited. Thus, there are much less images and writings on the reliefs compared to the earlier eras. The reliefs are very stylistically similar to the Wayang theater of modern times, both the puppetry (Wayang Golek) as well as the painted scrolls (Wayang Beber). While aesthetically interesting, it makes trying to interpret the reliefs harder then in former times. The other available primary source for Majapahit dress is from the many terracotta statues which exist. Majapahit terracotta are pretty common, but sadly many are on the antiques market rather then in museums. Because of this, it's hard to get real academic information like dating and origin. Not to mention many are probably fakes or replicas. As a side note, Majapahit is known for the appearance of the first piggy banks. A wonderful terracotta piece which you can learn about here.
    A lot of the anthropological sources used are from the islands of Bali, Timor and Sulawesi. Most of the anthropological sources are for armor which evidence is scarce on the reliefs. Anthropologically, Sulawesi, like the Philippines, is famous for the large amount of armor which populates the museums and universities of the world. Armor production, especially from leather, rattan and textiles .etc, continued into the modern era and many pieces were collected by the early anthropologist and missionaries in the region. If the Majapahit soldiers used armor it may have looked similar.


    Units Info:

    Spoiler :
    Majapahit Spearman,

    Majapahit Crossbowman ,
    This model is based off of the common cap-figure found on the Majapahit reliefs, in fact, there has been a whole book dedicated to this, (1), (2). Caps were common in Majapahit times.

    Majapahit Archer,

    This archer is based off of these reliefs, (1) and (2). Awesome hair was commonly worn by Javanese nobles during this period. Also, while rare, the composite bow can be seen during the Majapahit era. It may have been a import from the Yuan dynasty.

    Majapahit Spearman (Rattan Armor)

    The armor on this spearman is based on the shoulder guards worn by this Bali warrior, (1). The cloth straps are based off of the straps on this Lombok dancer, (2). The cloth helmet/cap is based off of a Majaphit relief, (3). The third Vanara figure from the right is wearing a tall cap. Many terracotta figures are wearing tall caps as well, (4), (5). I cross-referenced these with a later (19th c.?) Berber Waynang scroll painting from Bali, (6), which has warriors wearing similar caps but with earflaps.

    Majapahit Pencak Silat Warrior,

    Silat is the general term for martial arts in Indonesia and Malaysia. Pencak Silat is the term given to Indonesian martial arts in particular and Pencak is the term used in central and east Java. Doubtless, like martial systems all throughout the world it was practiced by warriors with varying levels of mastery. The styles cover both weapon and unarmored combat.
    This warrior is based off a combination of this relief, (1) and the Batik patterns on this image (2) from the "Romance of Damar Wulan" (1770-1795), one of the oldest native Javanese books known. The hair style is one of the most common type found in Majapahit temples.


    Majapahit Swordsman (Fiber Armor)

    This swordsman's armor is from Sulawesi, (1). As already stated, armor would have been very rare in Majapahit, and if it existed, it was probably made from various fibers and/or rattan as this type is common throughout south-east Asia. The helmet is based off of this old print of a Javanese bodyguard, (2). Many of the reliefs of Majapahit are heavily eroded and it's often hard to tell if something is hair, a crown, a cap, or a crown, (3). For instance, what is the figure in the middle of (4) wearing on his head? Is it a tiara, a crown/helmet, or really awesome hair? Since I wanted Majapahit to have one armored infantry unit with a helmet, I went with the later fancy Javanese helmet which we can be sure probably existed and is much easier to model. The shield is based off of these examples from Lombak, (5). The sword is from this Majapahit relief, (6). Crescent-like golden pendants appear in the Majapahit relies, (7), in later times, (8), (2), (9), and also in popular media about Majapahit, (10).

    Majapahit Swordsman (Bronze Helmet),

    Majapahit Swordsman (Horn Armor),

    Majapahit Spearman (Timor Style Hide Armor),

    These three units, while very different, are all partly based off of a single relief, (1). This relief shows warriors wearing what may be a type of sleeveless "open" armor like that found in Timor (2), (3), and among the Dyak (4), (5).
    There is also a scale armor piece from Java which may be similar, (6). Sadly, the only image is a moronic close up. But from the description at the Pitt River Museum site it may be armor of a similar sort.

    The spearman follows the Timor sources closely and is wearing a loincloth. The relief (1), is damaged enough that it is hard to tell if the warriors pictured are wearing sarongs with sashes or just loincloths. The spearman goes with the loincloth possibility. There is evidence that loincloths were worn sometimes worn, (7).

    The Bronze Helmet swordsman is based off of the figure on the ground in the center, (1), he seems to be wearing a shallow helmet or cap. This is a common helmet type found in the archipelago and may be made of metal, wood, or leather.

    The Horn Armor Swordsman is based off of the metropolitan armor and a popular image of a Majapahit warrior, (8). His sword is based off of the blade from this relief, (9). The headgear is based on this picture, (10), which I believe is from a traditional Kraton Yogyakarta parade. Various tiaras appear in a lot of Majapahit art.


    Majapahit Armored Cavalry
    It is doubtful that Majapahit had armored cavalry, but according to Dutch sources later Javanese states did. It is possible that it did exist, but it is purely speculative. The real reason why this unit exists is because many mods have multiple heavy cavalry units which need flavor graphics. The armor and gold pendant are based on the same sources as the Majapahit Swordsman. The tiara is based on the same source as the Horn Armor Swordsman's, (1).


    Animations directions are in the zip.

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    2. javanesemajapahitunitspreview1_8E3.png