The Legend of Guel Dance

Edisi Indonesia >> Legenda Tari Guel

Folklore from Aceh

TWO kids were herding some ducks at the beach. They were the sons of Sultan Johor. Their names were Muria and Segenda. They loved playing kites. So, while they were herding the ducks, they brought and played their kites.

The wind blew very strong. Their kites were blown away. The two kids were running chasing their kites. They forgot their ducks. The kites were flying away and they could not get them back. And when they returned all the ducks were missing. Muria and Segenda went back to the palace. The Sultan was angry. He asked his sons to look for the ducks and return when they could get all the ducks back.

The two kids used a sampan. They were at the sea for days and still could not find their ducks. They were tired and they did not have any food left. They were lost and stranded at Surele Kingdom in Aceh.

Some fishermen found the kids lying on the beach and brought them to the King of Surele. The king felt sorry for the kids. He adopted them.

Since Muria and Segenda lived in Surele, the kingdom became very prosperous. The people were very happy. They all felt that the kids brought them good luck. It made the King Linge become jealous. He was the king of the neighboring kingdom.

King Linge and his soldiers attacked the Surele Kindom. King Linge wanted to kill Muria and Segenda. King Surele and his soldiers fought them back. They won the battle! King Linge and his soldiers went back home. Unfortunately, Muria was killed. Segenda was sad.

Later King Surele was invited by the Sultan of Aceh. King Surele asked Segenda to accompany him. When they arrived at the palace of Sultan Aceh, Segenda was not allowed to enter the palace. It was because Segenda was not the real son of King Surele. 

Segenda was waiting outside the palace. While he was waiting he drew a picture of a white elephant. The daughter of Sultan Aceh saw the picture. She loved the picture and asked her father to find the real white elephant for her.

Sultan Aceh then asked King Surele and Segenda to find the white elephant. He would give them great rewards.

King Surele and Segenda were confused. They did not know where to find the white elephant. And in one night, Segenda had a dream. His brother, Muria, came and told him where to find the white elephant. The white elephant was at Muria's cemetery.

Segenda told King Surele about the dream. Then they went to the Muria's cemetery. After spending for many days they finally found the white elephant. It was a wild animal. They used a rope to catch the elephant. The animal was too strong. Easily, the white elephant could run away.

The king and Segenda chased the elephant. They found it under a big tree. This time they used a different method. They tried to talk to the elephant nicely. They also moved their bodies like in a dance.

The white elephant liked it. King Surele and Segenda were still dancing and they slowly approached the elephant. Amazingly, the white elephant was tamed. King Surele and Segenda then brought the elephant to Sultan Aceh.

The Sultan was very happy. And as promised, he gave them great rewards. Meanwhile, the people were amazed with the dance that the King Surele and Segenda did when they caught the white elephant. They then named the dance as Guel Dance. And now it becomes a traditional dance of people in Gayo Aceh. ***

Guel Dance (Tari Guel)

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