Rhizomatic Archipelago “Live in” Notes from Krueng Raya, Aceh.
Inong Balee Fortress, a strategic defense point, because it can look broadly towards the Gulf of Krueng Raya and the gate to the Straits of Malacca. Meanwhile, those from below / the sea could not see the position of this fortress, because it was isolated between the towering cliffs. The fort is also said to be the center of sea logistical support for the Sultanate of Aceh.
Inong, ‘woman’ and Balee, ‘widow’. Initially I heard the strength of this army during a trip with Lifepatch (2017) exploring SSMXII, who brought me together with his daughter: Lopian Sinambela. She has an army of Inong-inong connected to the Inong Balee army.
I had asked several people: was it only balee (‘widow’) who can join Inong Balee‘s army? Considering Boru Lopian was not a widow, and when she died (along with SSMXII), her age was still young.
Some people’s answer was not literal, but still ‘widow’. As in conflict condition, the men look for here and there, until there are only women in the settlement, whether it is children, younger siblings, or the wives.
Pinch answer. As if, “Ah, there’s no man, here! There is no other way, let’s fight… Us, Sis! “
Admiral Keumalahayati (founder of the Inong Balee army), it is said, had accomplished at the royal military academy long before her marriage. So, is it, really, this mother is simply mad because the invaders killed her husband and made the army of thousands of women, is the success story of the widow’s revenge … ?! So, if they acted blindly and do not have a sophisticated war strategy, the troops do not have combat skills, it is impossible that this mother, along with her army, be respected by many parties …?
Unless she has three dragons.
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