Rencong
Surat Ulu
Kerinci Rencong id.png
Script type
Time period
c. 13th–present
Directionleft-to-right Edit this on Wikidata
LanguagesMalay, Besemah, Kerinci, Lampung, Rejang, Serawai, and others
Related scripts
Parent systems
Child systems
Rejang, Lampung, Kerinci, Serawai
Sister systems
Balinese
Batak
Baybayin scripts
Javanese
Lontara
Makasar
Old Sundanese
[a] The Semitic origin of the Brahmic scripts is not universally agreed upon.
 This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and ⟨ ⟩, see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.

The Rencong script, locally known as Surat Ulu ('upstream script'), is a writing system found in central and south Sumatra, in the regions of Kerinci, Bengkulu, Palembang and Lampung, Indonesia.[1] The script lasted until the 18th century, when the Dutch colonized Indonesia. It was used to write manuscripts in Sumatran languages and Malay, such as the Tanjung Tanah Code of Law. The Malay writing was gradually replaced by the Jawi script, a localized version of the Arabic script.

Rencong script was often written on tree bark, bamboo, horns and palmyra-palm leaves. Many of the Rencong alphabets are also known as "Surat Ulu", or "upriver scripts", given their prevalence away from a coastline.

The term "Rencong" is often confused with "Rejang", which refers to a specific Rencong alphabet that was used to write various dialects of the Rejang language and for writing Malay in the region.

This map below shows the distribution of various Rencong alphabets in South Sumatra:

Map showing distribution of Rencong scripts.
Map showing distribution of Rencong scripts.
Detail of a Kerinci Rencong manuscript (KITLV Or. 239). The text reads (Voorhoeve's spelling): "haku manangis ma / njaru ka'u ka'u di / saru tijada da / tang [hitu hadik sa]", which is translated by Voorhoeve as: "I am weeping, calling you; though called, you do not come" (hitu adik sa- is the rest of 4th line
Detail of a Kerinci Rencong manuscript (KITLV Or. 239). The text reads (Voorhoeve's spelling): "haku manangis ma / njaru ka'u ka'u di / saru tijada da / tang [hitu hadik sa]", which is translated by Voorhoeve as: "I am weeping, calling you; though called, you do not come" (hitu adik sa- is the rest of 4th line

Unicode

Main article: Rejang (Unicode block)

Following are the code points for the letters of the Rencong script:

Rencong block
ꤿ
U+A930 KA U+A931 GA U+A932 NGA U+A933 TA U+A934 DA U+A935 NA U+A936 PA U+A937 BA U+A938 MA U+A939 CA U+A93A JA U+A93B NYA U+A93C SA U+A93D RA U+A93E LA U+A93F YA
U+A940 WA U+A941 HA U+A942 MBA U+A943 NGGA U+A944 NDA U+A945 NYJA
◌ꥇ ◌ꥈ ◌ꥉ ◌ꥊ ◌ꥋ ◌ꥌ ◌ꥍ ◌ꥎ ◌ꥏ ◌ꥐ ◌ꥑ ◌ꥒ ◌꥓
U+A946 A U+A947 I U+A948 U U+A949 E U+A94A AI U+A94B O U+A94C AU U+A94D EU U+A94E EA U+A94F -NG U+A950 -N U+A951 -R U+A952 -H [ʔ] U+A953 (no vowel)

See also

References