Double Headed Bird

Mendut Fable from Central Java

At the Borobudur temple complex in Central Java, there are a number of temples. One of the temple named Mendut. In this temple there is a relief depicting a two-headed bird. The head of the upper head eats a ripe fruit, while the lower head looks limp.

This relief taken from a fable (story of animals) that describes the message about the gap and disregard of the "top" group towards the "bottom." Although the story told by animals characters, it represents the message for humanity.

It Narrated a bird with a body, a pair of wings, a pair of legs and have two heads. The upper head, because of its position, could eat fresh, ripe and delicious fruits every day. And lower head just eat the remains of the fallen from the beak of the upper head. If not, it will take what its found.

The lower head told that it also wanted to had the opportunity to get a good meal, and asked the upper head to share. The protest by the lower head had been ignored, and upper head continued to make fun with the food.

"You don't need to protest. Isn't that the fruit that I eat is also fill in the same stomach?" said the upper head.

The lower head was desperate and took what it found. Until one day, it ate a poisonous mushroom and died. So, in the end the two-headed bird died.

MORAL MESSAGE : This story illustrated the social life of human beings that portrait the gap and the attitude that unwilling to share although living in "one body" in a society. The message conveyed that if the "upper head" ignored "lower head", then we would be symbolized as two-headed bird that die together.


Burung Berkepala Dua

Dalam komplek Candi Borobudur di Jawa Tengah terdapat sejumlah candi di antaranya adalah Candi Mendut. Di candi ini terdapat sebuah relief yang menggambarkan seekor burung berkepala dua dan kepala bagian atas tengah memakan buah yang ranum, sementara kepala bawah terlihat lunglai.

Relief ini diangkat dari fabel (ceita dunia binatang) yang menggambarkan pesan tentang kesenjangan dan ketidak-pedulian kelompok "atas" terhadap kelompok "bawah." Meskipun tentang binatang, kisah yang disampaikan dalam fabel tersebut adalah tentang manusia dan pesannya ditujukan pada manusia.

Dikisahkan demikian. Seekor burung dengan badan satu, sayap sepasang, kaki sepasang dan memiliki kepala dua. Kepala yang atas, karena posisinya, setiap hari bisa memakan buah-buah yang segar, ranum dan lezat. Dan kepala yang bawah hanya memakan sisa-sisa yang terjatuh dari paruh kepala atas, itupun kalau ada. Kalau tidak, dia akan memakan apa yang ditemukan.

Kepala bawah mengajukan usul agar dia juga berkesempatan untuk mendapatkan makanan yang baik, dan meminta kepala atas untuk berbagi. Protes yang diajukan oleh kepala bawah tidak dihiraukan, dan kepala atas terus bersenang-senang dengan makanannya.

“Tidak perlu kamu protes. Bukankah buah yang aku makan juga masuk dalam perut yang sama?” kata kepala atas.

Kepala bawah yang putus asa lalu memakan apa saja yang ditemuinya. Sampai suatu kali dia memakan jamur beracun, maka matilah dia, matilah burung itu, matilah dua kepala itu.

Kisah ini menggambarkan kehidupan sosial manusia yang diwarnai kesenjangan dan sikap yang enggan berbagi, padahal hidup dalam "satu tubuh" sosial. Pesan yang disampaikan adalah jika “kepala atas” mengabaikan “kepala bawah”, maka secara sosial kita akan menjadi burung berkepala dua yang mati bersama-sama.

Editor : Sabar Subekti


The Turtle and the Eagle

Folklore from Central Java

A tong time ago, all animals lived happily and peacefully. They were able to talk to one and another. They also helped each other.

Among the animals, the turtle and the eagle were best-friends. They were very close. The eagle often visited the turtle's nest. When the eagle came to his nest, the turtle always gave the eagle lots of food.

The eagle loved his friend's food. Consequently, he often visited the turtle's nest. Fortunately, the turtle did not mind at all. He loved to share his food.

Actually, the turtle also wanted to visit the eagle's nest.

"I think I'm not polite.. You often come to my nest but I never come to yours. When do you think I can visit yours?" asked the turtle.

The eagle responded, "My nest is on the top of the tree. It's so high... You cannot climb it."

Well, the turtle understood. Since then he never asked his friend about visiting his nest and that made the eagle very happy. Why? Well, the turtle did not know that the eagle was not a good friend. He came to the turtle's nest just to enjoy the food. Every time he finished eating the food, the eagle always said something bad about the turtle.

"Ha ha ha.. the turtle is so stupid. He always gives me delicious food! I hope he will never know that  come to his nest only for his food! Ha ha ha..." laughed the eagle.

The frog heard what the eagle said. He felt sorry to the turtle. He came to the turtle's nest and told him what he heard.

"Are you serious?" asked the turtle.

"Yes, I am! I heard him very clearly. He really said that he comes to your nest only for your food," said the frog.

The frog continued, "If you really want to know what he said about you, do my plan."

"What is your plan?" asked the turtle.

"Ask the eagle to bring basket. Tell him that you will give him lots of food. In the mean time, you are hiding inside the basket. Let him bring the basket to his nest," explained the frog.

Later the turtle asked the eagle to bring a basket. The eagle was so happy and he also thought how stupid the turtle was.

The eagle came to the turtle's nest. The turtle told the eagle that he needed time to prepare the food. He also said that the food would be ready on the following day.

On the following day, the eagle came to the turtle's nest. He did not see the turtle. However, he found his basket was full of food. He was so happy.With his claws, he brought the food.

The eagle did not know that the turtle was hiding inside the basket. The eagle was laughing and talking how stupid the turtle was.

The turtle was so sad about what he heard. He heard that his best-friend was making fun of him and saying he was very stupid.

The eagle arrived at his nest. When he enjoyed the food, suddenly the turtle showed up. The eagle was shocked!

"Now I know what kind of friend You are. From now on, I don't want to be your friend anymore!" said the turtle.

The turtle was so angry and since then every time he met the eagle, the turtle was always hiding inside his shell.

Did you know?
The Javan hawk-eagle (Nisaetus bartelsi) (earlier placed in Spizaetus) is a medium-sized, approximately 60 cm long, dark brown raptor in the family Accipitridae.

An Indonesian endemic, the Javan hawk-eagle occurs in humid tropical forests of Java. Its range in East Java includes Sempu Island, Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, Meru Betiri National Park and Alas Purwo National Park. It can also be seen in captivity in zoos like Kebun Binatang Bandung.


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