Indonesian Folklore (Introduction) were told orally through many generations.
The stories has not been proven to be real or not. These tales are part of their background and their daily lives. (Read More)

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The Broken-hearted Peacock

Folklore From West Nusa Tenggara

A long time ago, all animals lived peacefully. They were friends one to another. The birds lived happily. They all liked to help each other.

The most beautiful bird was the peahen. She lived in Java Island. All birds were amazed by her beauty.

The peahen did not have a mate yet. She was waiting for a handsome bird to marry her. And one day, an eagle came to her.

The eagle told her about a handsome bird living in Sumbawa Island. His name was Santoana. The eagle said that Santoana was perfect to be her husband. The peahen ignored the news. She thought Sumbawa was very far from Java. And it was very difficult for her to meet Santoana.

However, later she had the same news from the pigeon. She told peahen about Santoana who was very handsome. The pigeon also said that Santoana was the perfect husband for the peahen.

Again, the peahen ignored the news. She was still thinking about the distance she had to fly if she wanted to meet Santoana.

But she then changed her mind when she heard the parrot told her the same news. All of her friends told her about this handsome bird. And finally the peahen decided to fly to Sumbawa to meet Santoana.

The peahen flew happily. When she was tired, she stopped flying. She asked other birds where Sumbawa Island was.

"Mr Cockatoo, where is Sumbawa Island?"

"You just go straight ahead. You can find Sumbawa Island," said the cockatoo.

The peahen was happy. She continued to fly. And when she was not sure with the direction, she always asked other birds.

The answer was always the same. She just had to fly straight ahead. And finally she arrived at Sumbawa Island. Her heart beat so fast.

She landed on a beach. There was a bird there. The peahen approached the bird. The people of Sumbawa called the bird as Bongarasang.

"Excuse me, Sir. Do you know where I can meet Santoana?" asked the peahen.

Bongarasang was amazed by her beauty. He instantly fell in love with her. He had a bad plan.

"Well, I am Santoana. Why are you looking for me?" asked Bongarasang.

The peahen was so disappointed. Santoana was not as handsome as she imagined. But because she already made up her mind to marry Santoana, she decided to stay in Sumbawa Island.

Later, the peahen and Bongarasang got married. The peahen did not know that Bongarasang lied to her. Later the couple had a peachick. They were very happy. They held a party and invited all the birds
in the island. The party was almost started.

Suddenly the owl said, "Don't start the party now Santoana is not here yet. He will be here soon."
Later Santoana came to the party. He was very handsome. The feather was very beautiful. And he also had great voice.

The peahen was very sulprised! She asked Bongarasang and he finally told the truth. The peahen was very sad. She decided to go back to Java. His peachick was very ashamed. He was always hiding and avoiding other birds. The people of Sumbawa then named the peahen’s chick as Bertong.

Meanwhile, Santoana really regretted that he did not have a chance to meet the peahen earlier. He was very sad and he never flew again. Since then, he had become a wild chicken or a jungle chicken.

He was a chicken who had beautiful feather and a great voice. The peahen never came back to Sumbawa, that's why people said that until now we cannot see peafowls live in Sumbawa Island.***


Did you Know?

Peafowl are two Asiatic and one African species of flying bird in the genus Pavo of the pheasant family, Phasianidae, best known for the male's extravagant eye-spotted tail covert feathers, which it displays as part of courtship. The male is called a peacock, the female a peahen, and the offspring peachicks.

The adult female peafowl is grey and/or brown. Peachicks can be between yellow and a tawny colour with darker brown patches or light tan and ivory, also referred to as "dirty white"

The Green Peafowl, Pavo muticus (from Latin Pavo, peafowl; muticus, Mute, docked or curtailed) is a large galliform bird that is found in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. It is also known as the Java Peafowl, but this term is properly used to describe the nominate subspecies endemic to the island of Java. It is the closest relative of the Indian Peafowl or Blue Peafowl (Pavo cristatus), which is mostly found on the Indian subcontinent. (


Folklore from North Sumatra

ONCE upon a time in North Sumatra, there were three small kingdoms. They were Silou Kingdom, Tanah Djawo Kingdom, and Raya Kingdom.

Those three kingdoms lived happily and peacefully. They got aiong very well and harmoniously. They knew by sticking together they would be very strong.

Those three kingdoms lived in very fertile land. The people were prosperous. They never lacked any food. Other kingdoms were jealous with those three kingdoms. They planned to attack them. However they knew that those three kingdoms were very strong. They wanted iust to attack the kingdoms one by one.

The first kingdom that attack was Majapahit Kingdom. The kingdom tried to attack Tanah Djarvo Kingdom.

One soldier reported to the King of Tanah Diawo Kingdom.

"Your Majesty, I have a bad rrews. Majapahit Kingdom is going to attack us."

"I know Majapahit is zuch a great kingdom. We cannot fight them alone, we need to ask our best friends to help us," said the king of Tanah Djawo Kingdom.

Then he sent a message to the kings of Silou Kingdom and Raya Kingdom.

The two kings responded the request. They sent their best soldiers to help the Tanah Djawo's kingdom. They did it! The tfuee kingdoms were able to unite to fight the Majapahits. They made the Majapahit to leave their land.

Sadly, their problems did not stop. It seened that other kingdom was ready to attack. Nobody knew who they were. One thing for sure lots of soldiers were ready to attack the three kingdoms.

They did it simultaneously. They attacked the three kingdoms at one time, and that made the three kingdoms could not help each other.

They were saving their own lives! Slowly the three kingdoms lost the fight. They had to leave their places. They had to flee to find a safe place.

They found a good place. The people built houses for them to stay. They did not know when they would go back home.

Time passed by, their hiding place slowly became a small village. They have built houses, and they also had rice fields.

One of them said that he missed his hometown. He asked some people to go back home.

"l miss our hometown. Who wants to go back home with me?"

"l don't. I love this place, this is already my home. Besides that, I'm afraid our enemibs are still there."

Well, some people also wanted to go back home.

"I will join you. I miss my hometown."

Some people went back home. They brought some weapons, just in case the enemies were still there.

After spending months in the journey, they finally arrived.

Some of them were crying. Their hometown
looked completely different. There were no anyone there. The enemies already left the place. It was full of bushes.

They said, "Sima-sima nalungun." They all kept on saying that. It means the quiet place. Slordy the place was named Simalungury which is from the words sima-sima nalungun. ***

Datu Mabrur and the Swordfish

Folklore from South Kalimantan

DATU Mabrur brought a big stone to the sea. He threw the stone to.the sea, jumped, and landed on the stone.

He sat and started to meditate. Who was Datu Mabrur? Well, he was a holy man. He had an amazing supernatural power. He meditated in the sea because he wanted to ask God to give him an island for his descendants. He meditated days and nights.

He ignored the hot surL the rain, and even the storm. Datu Mabrur did not know that while he was meditating, some swordfish swam surrounding the stone. The fish would attack him!

One swordfish was flying. It attacked Datu Mabrur. Although he meditated solemnly, he knew what happened surrounding him. When the swordfish was about to attack him, he moved his hand and hit the fish back.

The fish was thrown back to the sea. Unfortunately another fish was also ready to attack him. Again, Datu Mabrur hit back and the fish was back to the sea. Later, some swordfish flew and attacked him. This time Datu Mabrur opened his eyes, stood up, and busily defended his life. It repeated several times and finally all the fish gave up.

Datu Mabrur thought the attack would stop. Well, he was wrong. There was one big swordfish was waiting. Unlike any other swordfish this swordfish was different. He was the biggest swordfish. He was also able to talk with humans. He was the king of the swordfish.

"Hey old man! Your meditation is disturbing us! You have made all the fish here restless. You have to leave the sea now!" said the swordfish king.

"Well,l'm sorry if I disturb you. By the way, may I know who
you are?"

"I'm the king of the swordfish. Your meditation has disturbed the whole kingdom. I will fight you if you don't want to leave," said the swordfish king.

"No! I'm not going to leave until I have an island for my descendants."

"You want an island? That's easy for me. Let's make a deal. We will fight. If you lose, you have to leave now. But if I lose, I will give you an island."

"You can give me an island? How?"

"That's easy for me. I will ask all the swordfish to make an island. How about that? Deal?'

"Deall" said Datu Mabrur.

Then they were fighting. The swordfish king was flying. He tried to attack Datu Mabrur. But he was ready. He used his supernatural power to fight back. He succeeded! The swordfish was flying helplessly. He lost his balance and thrown back to the sea. He was trying to fly again, but he was too weak. He gave up!

"I surrender. As I promised I will help you make an island."

The swordfish king swam back to the sea. Later a lot of swordfish dug the land in the bottom of the sea and brought it to the surface. All the fish pushed the land and they all yelled, "Sa-ijaan! Sa-ijaan ! Sa-ijaan!"

Sa-ijaan means one heart, one mind and one idea. Slowly, a new island was made. Datu Mabrur was really grateful.

He then named the island as Halimun Island which is later also named as The Sea Island or Pulau Laut because it appeared from the bottom of the sea. Now the local people use the image of swordfish and the word Sa-ijaan as the symbol and the slogan of Kotabaru county, South Kalimantan. ***

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