The Wekaburi Lake

Danau Wekaburi | Edisi Indonesia

Folklore from Papua

A long time ago, there was a village in Papua named Wekaburi. The people regularly held a party. Everyone was invited. They could come and have a good time. They could eat, drink and dance. However, there s'as one rule. The villagers were not allowed to dance with a dog, though most of them kept dogs as their pets and they really loved their dogs. They believed that dancing with a dog would make rain fall down heavily. It would flood their place.

The head of the village had just told the villagers that they would hold the party. He asked everybody to get prepared. He asked some people to prepare the place. How about the food? Well, no need to worry. All villagers willingly brought the food and the beverages to the party. Everybody was happy, including Isosi.

Isosi was a beautiful girl. She lived alone with her grandmother. Isosi was an orphan. Her parents had died when she was a baby. Isosi had a boyfriend. His name was Asya. Isosi wanted to go to the party.

"Grandma, have you heard that the head of the village just announced the upcoming party?", asked Isosi.

"I have. Why? Do you want to go there?"

"I do, but Asya cannot accompany me there. He has something to do. Will you go with me, Grandma?"

"All right, but I will bring our dog. I want the dog to protect us. Remember, the party usually ends at midnight " said the grandmother.

She really loved their dog.

"That's a good idea, Grandma," said Isosi happily.

They all went to the party, Isosi, her grandmother and also their dog. When they arrived, the party already started. They immediately joined the party. They ate delicious food. They also danced.

The dog was just watching. The grandmother asked the dog to stay a bit far from the party. The dog obeved.

Sadly, something bad happened. There was a villager who danced wildly. It seemed that he could not control himself. He accidentally stepped on the dog's tail. It made the dog scream in pain.

Isosi's grandmother was extremely angry when she knew that her beloved dog was in great pain.

The grandmother asked the man to apologize, but he refused it. Instead he blamed the dog for being around in the party. The grandmother told that the dog was already far from the party. It was the man's fault to dance uncontrollably, that's what the grandmother argued.

Because the man refused to apologize, the grandmother then did something that was forbidden. She danced with the dog! Yes, the grandmother wanted to console the dog by dancing with the dog.

Nobody knew that the grandmother just broke their tradition not to dance with their dog. All the villagers kept on having the good time.

After the grandmother finished dancing, she asked Isosi to leave the village. While they left, Asya, Isosi's boyfriend, met them. Isosi asked him to leave the village. They all went to the hill.

Later rain fell down heavily. It did not stop for weeks and slowly the village was flooded. It was so terrible that the whole village was turned into a lake. Isosi and Asya later got married. They then had children. Their descendants then lived near the lake. They named the lake as Wekaburi Lake. ***

New Guinea Singing Dog


The Legend of Balik Papan

Legenda Balik Papan |Edisi Indonesia

Folklore from East Kalimantan

KING Aji Muhammad was the king of a kingdom in Tanah Pasir, East Kalimantan. He had a daughter. Her name was Princess Aji Tatin. The princess was very beautiful. She would replace her father as a queen therefore the king gave her the best education. The king sent her to the best teachers. Slowly she began to learn well how to lead a kingdom.

The princess had grown as a beautiful lady. She was not only beautiful but also smart. No wonder many men fell in love with her.

One of the men was a prince from Kutai Kingdom. He came to propose Princess Aji Tatin. He went to Tanah Pasir and talked to King Aji Muhammad.

"My daughter is grown up. This is her decision not mine," said the king.

Did the princess accept the proposal? Yes, she did. She also loved the prince and hoped that he would help her lead the kingdom when she would become the queen.

The marriage was held very extravagantly. The guests were served by delicious food. Everybody was very happy. After the wedding was done, the king came to her daughter. He had a plan to her lovely princess.

"I want you to start learning as a queen. You must lead now."

"What do you mean, Father?" asked the princess.

"I want you to live in the gulf and lead the people there. You can build a palace. For the income, you ate allowed to ask the people to pay the taxes and the tributes."

"Thank you for the opportunity, Father. I will not disappoint you," said the princess.

She was so happy that she got an opportunity to lead a small kingdom.

Princess Aji Titin and her husband then went to the gulf. The king asked some soldiers to guard them. The soldiers were led by their commander. His name was Commander Sendong. When they arrived, the people welcomed them nicely.

The queen did not have a palace yet. She lived in a temporarily palace. The soldiers led by their commander looked for some wooden-boards. They would use the boards to make the palace.

Commander Sendong and his soldiers searched the boards until they had to cross the sea. They found the boards! They brought the boards in the boats.

While they were trying to row their boats going back to the gulf, there was sea storm. It was so terrible. They could not control their boats. Their rowboats were broken! Finally the boat and the wooden-boards were turned upside down.

What happened to Commander Sendong and his crew? Unfortunately they were dead.

The princess was extremely sad. She just lost her loyal soldiers. The place was then named as
Balikpapan. Balik is to turn upside down and papan is wooden board. The remains of boat slowly became an island. The people named it as Tukung Island. Tukung is from the word tokong which means the crew of the boat. ***

Le Grandeur Hotel Balikpapan, Indonesia

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