Portfolio Muhammad 'Roel' Islam

[Comics]Cut Meutia – Mutiara Lembah Utara

Timelapse of cover colouring using Clip Studio Paint

Story, Lettering and colouring by my. Line art by Rizki Goni

Tjoet Nja Meuthia also known as Tjut Meutia (or Cut Meutia – ‘choot’ in english pronunciation), was an Indonesian national heroine. She was born in Aceh in the year 1870, three years later in 1873 the Dutch forces of 3000 strong men came in bombarded and burned the main mosques in then (the kingdom of Aceh). Cut Meutia was the daughter of Teuku Ben Daud Pirak, an Uleebalang (a nobility which ruled over the regencies of the Aceh Sultanate – The men will have Teuku in front of their names and the women will have ‘Cut’ – much like Sir and Lady/Dame in England).

Cut Meutia grew up seeing the Dutch taking over Aceh inch by inch by burning villages and committing massacres, which developed strong resentment against the Dutch occupation. That’s why she divorced her first husband Teuku Sam Searah who seemed to be in cahoots with the Dutch. Together with her second husband, Teuku Cik Tunong, she led the resistance against the Dutch colonisation. But Cut Meutia and her husband were captured in 1905, and Teuku Cik Tunong was executed in the same year, From Teuku Cik Tunong she has one son Teuku Raja Sabi. Cut Meutia was heavily pregnant at the time of the execution of Teuku Cik Tunong, which led to her losing the baby. She remarried with Pang Nanggroe who is also Teuku Cik Tunong’s right hand man, as that was her husband’s last wish before he was executed so that they continue the struggle against the Dutch. Pang Nanggroe was killed in battle on the 26 of September 1910. 

Alone, Cut Meutia and her young son led a small group of 45 men and 13 rifles and kept the fight in the jungles of Aceh, where she was nicknamed ‘Mutiara Lembah Utara – The Pearl of the Northern Valley’. Cut Nyak Meutia was found by the Dutch in September 1910 at her hideaway in Paya Cicem where she was en route to join the other resistance groups further east of Aceh. She resisted capture, wielding a rencong. She was killed when the Dutch troops shot her in the head and chest.

The Dutch impressed by her, provided a military burial in the thick jungle of Aceh, her son Teuku Raja Sabi escaped the ambush and became a symbol of resistance until his capture a couple years later. Cut Meutia’s grave was not found until the 1980s after extensive research in Dutch archive,the grave is still hard to reach these days.

On May 2, 1964 Cut Meutia  was proclaimed a National Hero of Indonesia. She is featured on the 1,000 Indonesian Rupiah note, as part of the National Heroes series.

Character Design


Process from Storyboard/initial sketch to Lettering

Published within Nusantara Warrior compilation by Liqomik