The Legend of Putri Mambang Linau

Folklore from Riau

BUJANG Enok was collecting fire woods in the jungle. He wanted to sell them in the market. Suddenly, a snake was in front of him. He tried to kill the snake with the woods. And he did it! The snake died. Then he heard a voice of women talking.

“The snake is dead, we are safe now.”


The voice was from the river not far from the jungle. He ignored the voice. It was noon, Bujang Enok went home. When he arrived, he saw the house was clean and neat. The food was also served! He was really confused.

On the following day, it happened again. The house was clean and he had food on the table. He wanted to know who did it. So, on the next day he was hiding in the bushes in front of his house.
After waiting, then he saw seven beautiful girls were entering his house. They all were wearing colorful shawl.

Bujang Enok was peeping through the window. He saw all the seven girls were doing the household chores. Later, they left the house. Bujang Enok followed them.

The girls went to the river, they were talking. Bujang Enok remembered the voice when he was collecting the woods. It was their voice.

The girls were taking a bath. They put their shawls on the river side. Bujang Enok took one of them. After they finished, the girls wore their shawls. However, one of them could not find her shawl.

“I’m sorry, we have to go home now. Find your shawl and go back home immediately after you find it,” said a girl.

The girl who lost the shawl was really sad. Her sisters were wearing the shawl then they were flying. They were angels.

Bujang Enok saw the girls flying and he was surprised. Then he came to the girl.

She asked, “Do you see my shawl? If you give it to me, I’ll do anything for you.”

“Yes, I do. And I will give it to you if you marry me,” said Bujang Enok. He fell in love with this beautiful angel.

“Alright, my name is Putri Mambang Linau. I will marry you, but please don’t ask me to dance. If I dance, I will leave you and I will go back home in the sky.”

After that Bujang Enok and Putri Mambang Linau were married. They had happy life, and soon Bujang Enok became a rich man. He was very generous.

He always helped the needy. He became famous. The king heard the news about Bujang Enok. He invited Bujang Enok and his wife to the palace. There was a ceremony there. In the ceremony all the women had to dance. Bujang Enok was very confused. He already promised his wife not to ask her to dance, but he had to respect the King. Then he decided to ask her to dance.

Putri Mambang Linau was sad. Actually she loved Bujang Enok, but she knew her husband really respected the king. Then Putri Mambang Linau danced. She wore her shawl. She moved her hands like an eagle fl uttering it’s wings. Slowly her body was going up. She was flying.

Everybody was surprised. The king asked Bujang Enok who she was. Bujang Enok explained all about it. The king was really touched. He was very impressed with his sacrifice. To honor him, he asked the girls to dance like Putri Mambang Linau’s dance.

Because the movement was like a flying eagle, then the dance was named elang-elang dance. Until now, people still do the dance. However, the name is gradually changed into olang-olang dance.***

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