The Legend of Komodo Dragon

Folklore from East Nusa Tenggara

NAJO had a daughter named Epa who was awaiting the birth of her first child. By the tradition at Kampung Najo, the birth of a child should not be through the normal birth process, but must go through the process of 'surgical operation' by using a knife made of bamboo. The tradition was carried out by local people to avoid the risk of maternal death.

Later, Epa stomach cut open by a midwife. She gave birth to twins. Strangely, one baby was a male, while the other was a baby lizard.

Epa and her husband, Wake, named their baby boy as Gerong while the baby lizard named Ora. Ora in the local language means lizard.

The different form of the twin brothers was grown with love and care of their parents. However, in  the growth process, Ora slowly show aggressive and violent nature.

Begin with the habit of eating rice 'rampi' which made from Gebang fruit trees, Ora character and appetite was slowly changing. He became malignant and often prey on people's pets.

All villagers expelled Ora due to the increasingly its dangerous attitude. He went and settled in the forest.

Though exiled from home, Ora still came to the village to meet its twin brother, Gerong. Until now, the relationship between the Komodo dragon with locals still intimate and emotionally felt very close.

The feeling is so strong and almost impossible perceived by outsiders or people who visit the village of Komodo. However, for the people of Komodo, the ancient animals are treated like siblings. They are not hostile to each other, instead, they respect each other.

Komodo may come in and roam freely in the village and could stay under the stage of the houses without being disturbed by the bustle of local residents. Locals also never feel disturbed or concerned the existence of ancient animal in their midst.

The local people considered the Komodo dragons as their ancestors and they honor them every year with a special ritual called 'aru gele' by pounding the gebang fruit.

The traditional ceremony 'aru gele' was a symbol for recalling Ora and Gerong’s parents who once had to feed their children with gebang fruits.



Did you know?

The Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), also known as the Komodo monitor, is a large species of lizard found in the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang, and Padar.

The Komodo dragon is also known as the Komodo monitor or the Komodo Island monitor in scientific literature, although this is not very common. To the natives of Komodo Island, it is referred to as ora, buaya darat (land crocodile), or biawak raksasa (giant monitor).


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. (

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