The Legend of Balik Papan

Legenda Balik Papan |Edisi Indonesia

Folklore from East Kalimantan

KING Aji Muhammad was the king of a kingdom in Tanah Pasir, East Kalimantan. He had a daughter. Her name was Princess Aji Tatin. The princess was very beautiful. She would replace her father as a queen therefore the king gave her the best education. The king sent her to the best teachers. Slowly she began to learn well how to lead a kingdom.

The princess had grown as a beautiful lady. She was not only beautiful but also smart. No wonder many men fell in love with her.

One of the men was a prince from Kutai Kingdom. He came to propose Princess Aji Tatin. He went to Tanah Pasir and talked to King Aji Muhammad.

"My daughter is grown up. This is her decision not mine," said the king.

Did the princess accept the proposal? Yes, she did. She also loved the prince and hoped that he would help her lead the kingdom when she would become the queen.

The marriage was held very extravagantly. The guests were served by delicious food. Everybody was very happy. After the wedding was done, the king came to her daughter. He had a plan to her lovely princess.

"I want you to start learning as a queen. You must lead now."

"What do you mean, Father?" asked the princess.

"I want you to live in the gulf and lead the people there. You can build a palace. For the income, you ate allowed to ask the people to pay the taxes and the tributes."

"Thank you for the opportunity, Father. I will not disappoint you," said the princess.

She was so happy that she got an opportunity to lead a small kingdom.

Princess Aji Titin and her husband then went to the gulf. The king asked some soldiers to guard them. The soldiers were led by their commander. His name was Commander Sendong. When they arrived, the people welcomed them nicely.

The queen did not have a palace yet. She lived in a temporarily palace. The soldiers led by their commander looked for some wooden-boards. They would use the boards to make the palace.

Commander Sendong and his soldiers searched the boards until they had to cross the sea. They found the boards! They brought the boards in the boats.

While they were trying to row their boats going back to the gulf, there was sea storm. It was so terrible. They could not control their boats. Their rowboats were broken! Finally the boat and the wooden-boards were turned upside down.

What happened to Commander Sendong and his crew? Unfortunately they were dead.

The princess was extremely sad. She just lost her loyal soldiers. The place was then named as
Balikpapan. Balik is to turn upside down and papan is wooden board. The remains of boat slowly became an island. The people named it as Tukung Island. Tukung is from the word tokong which means the crew of the boat. ***

Le Grandeur Hotel Balikpapan, Indonesia

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