R. Suwandi

This book is a remarkable study of a contemporary Javanese millenarian community based on a careful and nuanced exposition of the ideas of this community and its leader, Embah Wali, who looked to the coming of the Just King (Ratu Adil) in the person of the Sultan of Yogya. In the Blitar region (East Java), where the community is centred, Embah Wali and his followers created a world in which wayang functioned as the basis for an interpretation of living and being in the world.
Adept in linguistic manipulation of the Javanese language, Embah Wali and his disciples created a world of meaning that was unique to their community.
The author tells the story of Embah Wali and his followers, describes the phases of their movement and relates these developments to the turbulent social and political events that have occured in Java over more than a half century from the 1930s through the 1980s. This first-hand study of a Javanese messianistic movement contributes to our understanding of Javanese rural culture and politics. As a Javanese from Blitar, Raharjo Suwandi was fortunately positioned to be able able to study and interpret this movement in the midst of its most lively period and then to follow its development to the death of its founder.