In December 2008, I had an opportunity to accompany the Director and the Deputy Director I as well as the guest from USA, Peter Katz and Clark Grey, in Eye Witness Interviewing. When in Banda Aceh, I only standby in the Medina Hotel, Banda Aceh, to be precise in front of Zainul Abidin Hospital. This reason, they were still travelling in the territory NAD-1. Whereas beginning the date 6 to December 9 2008, I began to be actively involved in the field because they wanted descended in NAD-2. The term NAD-1 and NAD-2 was categorising of a territory in Aceh Province was based on the STAR. This is according to the EA distribution was based on the authority site office available in Aceh. When accompanying them, there was the impression that still was reminding me during was in Aceh Jaya Regency. Because beforehand, to be precise during 1998 I had gone with the Team of HAS PT. Arun NGL Co. carried out the exercise in Aceh Jaya. At that time I still could witness “the blue eyes ” that was so famous in Aceh Jaya. However, at the time of the visit this time could not have witnessed again. It seems he said, was finished was brought by the tsunami. Then, who that was acknowledged as ”The Blue Eyes”? Based on the coverage of the friend of the available journalist in PT. Arun NGL Co., Lhokseumawe, I summarize, like this:
The inheritance of the 13th century Portuguese, can be still be traced in Daya Lamno village and Kuala Jabed Lageun village in Aceh Jaya regency. The Daya Lamno village, which is 85 Km from Banda Aceh, is easily accessible. The villagers here in general have beautiful complexions and blue eyes. They have the physical postures of Europeans which make them look different from the local Acehnese. The difference in posture and appearance make most of these Portuguese descendants very bashful, particularly their girls. But they speak Acehnese and their accent is Acehnese, too.
In general they are so shy that they almost live a scluded life, especially with those who are not Lamnoese. But now they have become more aware that they are Acehnese, too, just like other Acehnese.
The blue eyes Lamnoese girls cannot get married easily to non Lamnoese men. They would get married only to men of the same village who are also of Portuguese descendant, or they might get married to other Lamnoese men, provided these men know their history background and custom.
According to old people in Lamno, Marco Polo once took ashore here to furnish provisions before they proceeded on their travel round the world (1292-1295). This is described by Marco Polo in his book Far East, in which he wrote about Indo-China, Lamno Aceh and Banda Islands of Mid-Maluku.
After Marco Polo, one Portuguese ship ran around at Wateuh Lamno, a coastal village in the Marhom Daya Kingdom. Which at that time up to Banda Aceh was ruled by Sulthan Alaidin Rihayat Syah, the son of the Sulthan Inayat Syah who reigned half of Aceh land.
The Kingdom of Marhom Daya Aceh then led to the establishment of Aceh Kingdom-Aceh Darussalam and one of its descendant was Sulthan Iskandar Muda. A written proof of the existence of Marhom Daya-AcehKingdom is inscribed on epitaph of a tombstone, in the 13 century Persian calligraphy in the cemetery complex of Marhom Daya Glee Jong in Lamno. Portuguese and Marco Polo had close relations with blue eyes Acehnese of Portuguese descendant. Conquered by King Marhom Daya. Here wars took place several times against the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British. The ruins of fortresses, old canons can still be found buried in coastal sand.
The Portuguese ship that stranded in Lamno was a merchant ship, but most of its crew were members of the navy. The fled from Singapore and sailed to Daya Aceh Kingdom. Here they bought spices and other agricultural products.
But the Daya Kingdom did not let the Portuguese land freely in Lamno. They were shot with canons and attacked by Daya army. At last their ship was sunk and the crew surrendered. Daya King allowed them to live in Wateuh Lamno. Here they learned Moslem religion, the language and the custom. They became farmers and quickly got adapted with the local people.
There are version of the “Lamno Blue Eyes.” In the first version, the Portuguese also brought with the some Portuguese women, who then got married to their own crew. Then they had off springs in Lamno, who later led to the appearance of the “Blue Eyes Lamnoese.” Another version says after being converted into Moslems, the Portuguese male and female enjoyed equal rights with the local Acehnese man and woman. If a mixed pair fell in love, and the family as well as the public figures agreed to their marriage, the Portuguese man could have an Acehnese woman as a wife.
The blue eyes Lamnoese are remainders of the past history. They just the same with the Gigieng and Lampoh Weng people of Simpang Tiga, Pidie regency. Who are descendant of Indian and Pakistan. These Indian and Pakistani descendant have aqualine noses, tall, curly hair and either fair or black skin, just like Indians and Pakistanese.
Beside the above mentioned descendant there are also people descendant from Arab-Yaman-Persia. The male Arab descendant usually have Sayed or Said as their first names, and the female have Syarifah. Generally they also have sharp noses and like the Arab.
Unlike the Portuguese Lamnoese who are usually detached, the Arabic Acehnese and those of Indian descendants are of their first name, Sayed or Said because they are still related to prophet Mohammed’s relatives. Those with Indian Pakistani blood are proud to be called “Marican Sab.”
Up to the present time Acehnese of the Arab, Pakistani progeny in Simpang Tiga, Pidie still celebrate the traditional month of “Hasan and Husen.” In this celebration they hold feast at night sing, read poetry in Acehnese and Indian languages.
We can also find those with Chinese look among Acehnese. They have rather flat noses and fair skin but they totally abandoned the Chinese custom and tradition. The diversity of the Acehnese society has made some people turned the word ACEH in an acronym that stands for, Arab, Chinese, European and Hindustan. ***