Towjatuwa and the Sacred Crocodile

Towjatuwa dan Buaya Keramat >> Edisi Indonesia

Folklore from Papua

ONCE upon a time in Papua, Towjatuwa and his wife lived by the Tami River. They were very happy. They had been waiting to have a baby and after some time, his wife got pregnant. The pregnancy was in the ninth month.

Soon, his wife would give a birth. The days passed by, but his wife was still unable to give birth. She had a problem that made her in greater pain. To help her give the birth, Towjatuma needed a sharp stone. He wanted to have an operation to help his wife.

So, he went to the river side to find a sharp stone. While busy looking for the stone, he heard a noise. He was so scared. He knew the river was full of crocodiles. Just before he left, a big crocodile was in front of him! The crocodile was different from any other crocodiles. It had feathers. The feathers were like kasuwari's. Towjatuma was ready to run, suddenly the crocodile talked.

"Don't worry. I'm not going to harm you. What are you doing here?" asked the crocodile politely.

Towjatuma was really scared. He was really amazed to see a crocodile talked like humans. After a while, he then answered.

"I'm here to find a sharp stone. My wife is pregnant and she has a problem. She cannot give birth. So, I want to do an operation," explained Towjatuma.

"I will help you. Go home now and I'll come to your house tomorrow," said the crocodile.

Towjatuma immediately went back to his house. When he arrived, he explained about the crocodile to his wife. On the following day, the crocodile came to Towjatuma's house. With his magical power, the crocodile helped her to give birth. The baby was a boy. The crocodile named him Narrowra.

"Towjatuma, I already helped you. Now I ask you to help me. Your son Narrowra will grow as a great hunter. He has great skills in hunting. He can catch many animals. However, don't hunt my friends, the crocodiles. You have to tell Narrowra not to hunt crocodiles. And not only Narrowra, all your descendants have to protect crocodiles. If they hunt and eat crocodile meat, all your descendants will die," said the crocodile.

"Yes, I understand. I will never forget your help. So I will teach my child and all my descendants to protect you and your friends," said Towjatuma. Since then, Towjatuma and his descendants promised to protect the crocodiles from other hunters. They also protected other animals that lived in the river. ***

Young papua girl in traditionnal dress


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