La Dana and His Buffalo

La Dana dan Kerbau >> Edisi Indonesia

Folklore from South Sulawesi

IN Toraja, South Sulawesi, lived a young man. His name was La Dana. Everybody knew him. He was known for his clever ideas. He always tricked bad people. That’s why the villagers loved him.

In Toraja, there was always a ceremony when someone passed away. In the ceremony, the guests could get buffalo meat from the host of the ceremony. La Dana went to the ceremony. Before he went home, the host gave him buffalo legs.

On the way home, La Dana met Pak Kikir. He brought the whole body parts of the buffalo except the legs. Pak Kikir was a very stingy man. Nobody liked him. La Dana then had an idea to trick him.

“Pak Kikir, you have all parts of the buffalo except the legs. And I only have the legs. Why don’t we put them together and gave them back to the host. We ask him to exchange it with a living buffalo. We raise the buffalo until it is big. Do you agree?”

“That is a good idea. Let’s meet the host,” said Pak Kikir.

Together they went back to the ceremony. The host agreed with one condition. He would exchange with a young buffalo.

After they got the young buffalo, Pak Kikir and La Dana went home.

“La Dana, let me raise the buffalo,” said Pak Kikir.

He wanted to raise it by himself because he was afraid that La Dana would steal it.

“I agree, but let me visit the buffalo everyday,” said La Dana.

He was happy, his idea was running well so far. On the following day, La Dana came to Pak Kikir’s house.

“Hey! Look! The buffalo is getting fatter,” said La Dana.

“The buffalo has just been here for a day. How can you say he is getting fatter?”

“Look at the buffalo carefully. It is getting fatter. Pak Kikir, I want the legs now. They are mine, right?” said La Dana.

Pak Kikir was silent. He knew if the legs were cut, the buffalo would die.

“Don’t take the legs now. Wait for another time,” said Pak Kikir.

On the following day, La Dana again came to Pak Kikir’s house and asked for the legs. Pak Kikir said the same thing, he asked La Dana to wait.

Then La Dana came and came again. Every time he visited the buffalo, he always asked Pak Kikir to give him legs.

Finally, Pak Kikir could not hold it anymore.

“It’s enough La Dana! If you cut the legs, the buffalo would die. The buffalo is still young. We will not get a lot of meat. If you want to get the legs, here take this buffalo with you!” said Pak Kikir.

He gave the buffalo to La Dana. La Dana was happy. His plan worked! He got a living buffalo and brought it home. ***

Toraja Funeral Ceremony

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