The Magic Traditional Drum

Drum Tradisional Ajaib | Edisi Indonesia

Folklore from Riau

ONCE upon a time in Pelalawan Kingdom, Riau, there lived a poor fisherman with his wife and children. The fisherman had a special ability. He could cure sick people. People liked him very much. The fisherman was kind and helpful. He never asked for anything when he healed the sick people.

How did the fisherman cure the sick people? Well, he used a magic traditional drum. He spelled some magic words and then hit the magic drum harmoniously. And it always worked! The sick people were always cured after they heard the rhythm of the drum.

The fisherman got the skills from his teacher. His teacher said that the magic drum could do anything even brought back the dead people to life. However he was not allowed to do that, he could only cure sick people. If he used the drum to bring back the dead, the fisherman would die!

The fisherman was so famous. Everyday sick people always came to his house to ask for his help. Although he became very famous, the fisherman was still humble. He always did his job as a fisherman.

One day a soldier came to the fisherman's house. "The king wants to see you now," said the soldier. The fisherman then followed the soldier to go to the palace.

"How can I help you, Your Majesty?" asked the fisherman to the king. "I heard you have a magic drum that can cure sick people. I wan you to do something for me," said the king.

"What do you want me to do, Your Majesty?"

The king took a deep breath. He looked at the fisherman closely then said, "My daughter just died. I love her very much and I don't want to lose her. I want you to use your drum to bring my daughter back to life."

The fisherman was so shocked when he heard the king's order! "I cannot do that, Your Majesty. I am not allowed to do that " said the fisherman nervously.

"I don't care! If you don't help me, I will hang you and all your family!" yelled the king.

The fisherman was speechless. He was in great dilemma. He loved his family and he did not want them to die.

"All right, Your Majesty... I will help you," said the fisherman weakly.

The king brought the fisherman to his daughter's bedroom. She was lying on the bed. The fisherman was sitting on her side. He spelled some magic words and started to hit the drum harmoniously. After a while, the princess moved her hands. Yes, the king's daughter was back to life! The king was extremely happy. He hugged his daughter.

The fisherman secretly left the palace. He went to his house and talked to his family about the dead princess.

 "I have already broken my teacher's advice and I will not see you anymore."

"Can we meet you again?" asked the wife sadly.

"Yes, you can. During rain, please go to Selempaya River and you can see me again there," said the fisherman.

He then brought his drum. He went to the river and rowed his sampan.

At the river, he dropped his drum and it was sinking. Slowly the fisherman disappeared. .

Days later it was raining. The fisherman's wife and her children went to the river. From a distance
they saw the image of the fisherman playing and hitting the drum. They were so happy, at least for a moment they could see him.

Until now people still believe that the fisherman still 'lives', in Selempaya river. They often hear the sound of the drum being played when rain falls down. ***


Did You know?

Gendang and  Marwas  is a musical instrument of Riau that one of its main functions to set the rhythm. This instrument played by hands.

Marwas is a traditional musical instrument which smaller than a drum. It made of goat leather, jackfruit wood and rattan as a binder. Marwas is one of the traditional musical instruments used for Zapin dance. (source)



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