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Princess Mandalika (The Story of Bau Nyale)

The Legend of Princess Mandalika: A Tale of Sacrifice and Unity

Folklore from West Nusa Tenggara

In ancient times on the island of Lombok, there lived a stunning princess named Mandalika. Her beauty was unparalleled, enchanting all who beheld her. Princes from far and wide journeyed to her kingdom, eager to win her heart and hand in marriage. Despite the numerous suitors, Princess Mandalika, with her kind and compassionate nature, could not bear to hurt anyone’s feelings by rejecting them.

One day, the king, her father, organized an archery competition at Seger Beach in Kuta, hoping to find a suitable match for his beloved daughter. The beach was filled with excitement as princes from distant lands gathered, each determined to prove their worth.

At Seger Beach

The princes lined up, bows in hand, each showcasing their exceptional skills. Arrows flew through the air, striking targets with precision. However, Princess Mandalika remained undecided, as each prince seemed equally skilled and worthy.

“May the best archer win the heart of my daughter,” the king announced, but Mandalika felt a growing unease.

Conflicts Arise

As the competition progressed, tensions escalated. Princes who once admired each other now viewed one another as rivals. Heated arguments and conflicts began to arise, threatening the harmony of the kingdom.

Princess Mandalika, seeing the strife among the suitors, felt a deep sorrow. She could not bear the thought of her beauty being the cause of such discord.

Mandalika's Decision

With a heavy heart, Princess Mandalika stepped forward and addressed the crowd, her voice clear and resolute. 

“Princes and noble men, I see the love and desire in your eyes, but I cannot be a wife to all of you,” she began. “If I choose one, the rest will be heartbroken, and I do not wish for my decision to bring pain and conflict to our lands.”

The crowd fell silent, hanging on her every word.

“I wish to be of benefit to everyone, like Nyale,” she continued. “I shall become something that brings joy to all.”

A Sacrificial Leap

Before anyone could react, Princess Mandalika made a bold decision. She ran toward the ocean and, with one final glance at her father and the gathered crowd, leaped into the boundless waves.

“No, Princess Mandalika!” cried the princes, rushing to the shore, but it was too late. The turbulent waters swallowed her, and she vanished from sight.

The Search for Mandalika

Frantic searches ensued, but the powerful currents hindered their efforts. Days turned into weeks, and hope began to fade. 

One day, as the waves receded, the people discovered numerous sea worms scattered along the shore. The king, in his wisdom, realized that his daughter had transformed into Nyale, a sea worm known for its delightful taste.

“She has become Nyale,” he said softly. “She sacrificed herself for the greater good, to bring unity and joy to all.”

The Bau Nyale Festival

To this day, the people of Lombok honor Princess Mandalika’s memory with the Bau Nyale Festival. Every year, in February or March, they gather at Seger Beach to catch the Nyale sea worms, celebrating her selfless act of sacrifice.

Princess Mandalika’s story is a timeless reminder of the power of love, unity, and the willingness to sacrifice for the greater good. Through her transformation into Nyale, she continues to bring joy and unity to the people of Lombok, her legacy living on in their hearts and traditions.

Moral Message: Sacrifice for Collective Security

The moral of Princess Mandalika's tale revolves around sacrifice for collective security. Her self-sacrifice into the sea prevented the princes from battling and disrupting peace. This extraordinary act underscores the significance of sacrifice and bravery in preserving harmony and unity. Furthermore, the story teaches that sometimes one person's sacrifice can benefit many, fostering stronger societal bonds through the spirit of selflessness.

👸🌼Princess Mandalika drawing with Colored Pencils🌼👸

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