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The Legend of Komodo Dragon (Ora and Gerong)

Legenda Komodo >> Edisi Indonesia

Folklore from East Nusa Tenggara

Najo had a daughter named Epa who was awaiting the birth of her first child. Based on the tradition at Kampung Najo, the birth of a child should not be through the normal birth process, but must go through the'surgical operation' by using a knife made of bamboo. The tradition was carried out by local people to avoid the risk of maternal death.

Later, Epa's stomach was cut open by a midwife. She gave birth to twins. Strangely, one baby was a male, while the other was a baby lizard.

Epa and her husband, Wake, named their baby boy Gerong, while the baby lizard was named Ora. Ora, in the local language, means lizard.

The different forms of the twin brothers were grown with the love and care of their parents. However, in the growth process, Ora slowly showed her aggressive and violent nature.

Beginning with the habit of eating rice 'rampi', which is made from Gebang fruit trees, Ora's character and appetite were slowly changing. He became malignant and often preyed on people's pets.

All villagers expelled Ora due to his increasingly dangerous attitude. He went and settled in the forest.

Though exiled from home, Ora still came to the village to meet its twin brother, Gerong. Until now, the relationship between the Komodo dragon and locals was still intimate and emotionally very close.

The feeling is so strong and almost impossible to perceive by outsiders or people who visit the village of Komodo. However, for the people of Komodo, the ancient animals are treated like siblings. They are not hostile to each other; instead, they respect each other.

Komodo may come in and roam freely in the village and could stay under the stage of the houses without being disturbed by the bustle of local residents. Locals also never feel disturbed or concerned about the existence of ancient animals in their midst.

The local people considered the Komodo dragons as their ancestors, and they honored them every year with a special ritual called 'aru gele' by pounding the gebang fruit.

The traditional ceremony 'aru gele' was a symbol for recalling Ora and Gerong’s parents, who once had to feed their children with gebang fruits.



Did you know?

The Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), also known as the Komodo monitor, is a large species of lizard found in the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang, and Padar.

The Komodo dragon is also known as the Komodo monitor or the Komodo Island monitor in scientific literature, although this is not very common. To the natives of Komodo Island, it is referred to as ora, buaya darat (land crocodile), or biawak raksasa (giant monitor).


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