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 peacock 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 East Java

DID you read the last week's edition entitled Watu Singa? The story told us about a husband and a wife named Joko Seger and Roro Anteng. They had been married for years and they did not have any children yet.

They wanted to have children, they prayed to gods every day. And finally ]oko Seger had a vision. His wife would be pregnant if he meditated in a cave. However, a lion lived in the cave. Joko Seger fought with the lion. He won! Later he meditated in the cave. Now, do you want to know if ]oko Seger and Roro really had some children? Read on! Joko Seger was meditating.Later, he heard a voice.

"Joko Segeq, all the Cods agreed to give you children, lots of children."

"Really? Thank you very much," said Joko Seger happily.

"But there is one condition you have to do."

"Say it. I will do anything as long as you give me lots of children," said Joko Seger.

"You will have 25 children. But you have to sacrifice one of them when they are adult."

"l agree," said Joko Seger without any doubts. He was so happy that Gods would give them 25 children. He thought sacrificing one of them would 'not be a problem. He would still have 24 children.

At home, ]oko Seger told his wife about his conversation with the god. And Roro Anteng could not say anything. After all, her husband had promised to Gods. She.just hoped that they would never have to sacrifice one child.

Later, Roro Anteng was pregnant. They had a baby! Joko Seger and Roro Anteng were very happy. The first baby was followed by other babies. Sometimes, the babies were born twins and other times the babies were born triplets. And the couple.finally had 25 children! They were extremely happy.

And when the children were grown up, |oko Seger had a dream. He talked to the God.

"Joko Sege1, remember your promise. I want you to bring one of your children to the crater of Bromo Mountain. Sacrifice your child there. If you don't keep your promise, the mountain will erupt and destroy everything."

Joko Seger woke up from his sleep. He was restless. He then talked to all his children about his promise.

"No, Fathel, I don't want to die," said the oldest.

"I don't either, Father," said another child.

All the children refused to be sacrificed. ]oko Seger did not have the heart to force them. He loved all his children. Suddenly, the youngest child talked.
His name was Kesuma.

"Please let me do it, Father. I love our family and the people of Tengger. But please, commemorate my sacrifice. Every year, please hold a ceremony and provide some offerings to the crater of Bromo Mountain," said Kesuma.

Kesuma was a very good son. He was obedient to his parents and very kind to other people. All the villagers loved him. He was kind and always helped other people.

Kesuma went to the crater. He jumped and he was swallowed by fire. Everybody was sad. And they all were very thankful to Kesuma. Because of him, their place was safe from the eruption of Bromo Mountain.

Until now, once a year the people of Tenggel always hold a ceremony to commemorate Kesuma. They bring offerings to the crater of Bromo Mountain. ***

Watu Singa

Folklore from East Java

A BABY boy was born. Unlike any other babies, he cried loudly. He moved his body powerfully. He was also very cute. And when he grew up, he became a very handsome man. His parents were priests.

They were very happy when thebaby wasborn. They named himloko Seger, which means ]oko who was very healthy and strong.

Not long after Joko Seger was born, a baby girl was also born. Her father was a king. The girl was also special. When she was born, she was so quiet. She did not cry' She was very calmed. And when she grew up, she became a very beautiful girl. She was also kind. She had a good attitude. Her father named her Roro Anteng, which means Roro who was calm. When Joko Seger and Roro Anteng were adults, they fell in love.

Although they came from different kind of family, Joko Seger's parentJwere priests and Roro Anteng's father was a king, they still loved each other. )oko Seger's father tried to warn hib son about his relationship with Roro Anteng.

"You must understand, my son. Our families are different. Her father is a king, and"I am a pries!" explained his father.

"But I really love het, father' We have talked about our differences, and both of us do not see that as our problem," said |oko Seger. He then continued, "We want to get married, father. Please give us your blessing."

His father r,t as speechless. He knew his son had already made up his mind to marry Roro Anteng. He then said, "I give you my blessing, my son. Let's hope that your proposal will be accepted by the king."

]oko Seger went to the palace. He told the king that he wanted to marry Roro Anteng. The king had known their relationship for a long time. And he also knew that joko Seger was a good man. The king gave them his blessing to get married.

After the1, got married, Joko Seger and Roro Anteng moved. They did not want to live in their parents'house. They decided to build a house near Bromo Mountain. Many people followed them. They built their houses, and soon there was a community there.

They called their place as Tengge4, taken from last names of Anteng and Seger. It was so many years after Joko Seger and Roro Anteng got married and they still did not have any children yet. Every day, they prayed, And in one night JokoSeger had a STsion. His wife would be pregnant if he meditated inside Widodaren Cave.

Joko Seger told his wife about his vision.

"Please be careful. I heard a lion lives in that cave."

"Don't worry. I will be very careful."

Joko Seger went to Widodaren Cave. And when he arrived, he stopped for a moment.

He rvaited. And later the lion walked out of the cave.

The lion roared loudly. Anyone who heard the roar would be very scared. But not Joko Sege1, he was not scared. Suddenly, the lion talked! He talked like humans!

"Who are you?"

"My name is Joko Seger and I want to rneditate inside the cave."

"Ha ha ha... You have to beat me if you want to walk inside the cave."

They were fighting. The lion was not an ordinary animal and joko Seger had a bit problem in fighting the lion. Fortunately, Joko Seger won the fight. The lion gave up. Joko Seger did not have the heart to kill the lion. The lion was very grateful. To show his gratitude, the lion changed himself as a stone. We still can see the stone with the shape of a lion near Bromo Mountain. People named it as Watu Singa, it means the lion stone. It is now a favorite tourist's destination. ***

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