Indonesian Folktales for Storytelling: A Legend of The Golden Snail

The golden snail is known as Keong Mas in Bahasa Indonesia. These Indonesia folktales told about the Princess Dewi Limaran had cursed into the snail. His husband Raden Putra was sad because he lost his lovely wife. This folktale for storytelling comes from East Java of Java Island.

Prince Raden Putra has married the princess named Dewi Limaran. One day, Dewi Limaran was walking in the palace garden. She saw a snail among their lovely flower. The princess asks one of her servants picked it up and throw it away.

In fact, the snail was an old witch who had disguised herself as a snail. The witch was outraged. The witch cursed Dewi Limaran. The witch changed Dewi Limaran into a golden snail. Then the witch the snail into the river. The stream carried Dewi Limaran cursed into snail far away from the palace.

On the side of a big forest, there lived a poor widow. Her living was only fishing. One day it was a particularly worst day, as she didn't catch any fish. He has tried again and again. Then she spread her net, but nothing got caught into it.
Indonesian Folktales for Storytelling: A Legend of The Golden Snail
Indonesian Folktales for Storytelling: A Legend of The Golden Snail Picture Credit
At last, she pulled up the net to go home. Suddenly the widow saw something shining at the bottom of it. It was only a snail. She picked the snail and took it back. Its shell shone like gold. The old woman had never seen such a snail before.

The widow put it in an earthen pot placed in her home. Then, she went to bed and soon was fast asleep, as she was exhausted. In the next morning when she woke up, she found the incredible accident. The widow saw that the floor of her house had been swept clean. She also found there was some food on the table.

The widow surprised with this accident. She thought who had done all of this. The old lady thought she was dreaming. In fact, she was not sleeping. She had awake. She could not think of anybody who could have been so generous to her.

Some days passed, she then the widow has a plan. The next morning this old woman took her basket and went out as usual. Shortly the old lady returned to her hut and hid. After the widow had hidden, she heard a soft movement inside the earthen pot. She saw the snail creeping out of it.

The snail grew bigger and bigger, and in a moment a lovely young girl stood where the snail had been. The empty shell fell into the ground behind the girl. Quickly the beautiful young women swept the house floor. This girl took vegetables, eggs, rice, meat, etc. out of the pot and began cooking.

When the old woman saw this magical moment, she noticed that it was not an ordinary snail she had caught. She had caught the beautiful girl who lived under a spell. The widow realised something. She has to break the shell. The old widow knew what she had used to smash the shell.

The widow crept stealthily to the empty shell. Then the old lady took the shell. She rushed out of the hut and went to throw the shell into the river. Now she had broken only a part of the spell. The rest of it must still break before she could return to her husband.

The beautiful lady then made herself known to the widow. "I shall pray to the gods, the prince might lead to her place," said the old woman.

Many years passed by...

The king persuaded his beloved son to look for another bride. Raden Putra was the son of the king. Initially, Prince Raden Putra refused with his father request. The Prince thinks that he could not forsake his wife.

After the king had repeated his request, Raden Putra accepted his father. The prince asked his father if he could go out to find a bride. He makes one condition, his bride must look like his former wife. An old faithful servant accompanied him on his trip.

They went from town to city and from village to village to find the bride. One day when Raden Putra was travelling through a big forest, they lost and forget their way. Lastly, Raden Putra group came to a big river. They saw there are a hut not far from the river.

The group of this prince went to the small house. The ask permission to have some food and drink. The soldier and the prince were hungry and thirsty. The felt dead tired because they got lost. The old woman welcomed the group of Raden Putra and his soldier warmly. Raden Putra found the meal served by the old lady excellent.

The widow told him that her daughter had prepared the food. The prince curious whether he might meet the old woman daughter. The prince wanted to thank her daughter. The widow had no objections. Then she called her daughter to come out. The young girl appeared. The beautiful girl knelt down in from of the prince. The head of the girl bent in front of the prince.

When Raden Putra saw her, he caught his breath in great surprise. Raden Putra realised that the young lady looked exactly like his former wife. His former wife is Princess Dewi Limaran.

Raden Putra said, "You are the bride I'm looking for!" He cried out. But the girl shook her head and stated that she had made a promise. If Raden Putra wanted to marry her, he had to get the holy–gamelan (Javanese orchestra) from heaven. This musical instrument could produce the sound of music without having contacted.

Raden Putra was willing to try to get this magical device. The Prince went out into the forest. Raden Putra makes a fast and sincere meditation. After a hundred days of Raden Putra meditation, the gods heard his wish. The gods granted his hope.

On the wedding of Raden Putra and Dewi Limaran day, the holy gamelan played its heavenly music. It was so beautiful, and every person who heard it felt happier than ever. The young girl revealed her secret. She told that she was Dewi Limaran (Limaran Angel) herself. The music of gamelan had broken the evil witch's spell. The old had been invited to remain in the place. Now she had everything she wanted. The curse had left her forever.

The Commander and The Youngman: Indonesian Short Story for Children

The story of Sekunca and the Youngman is from Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam. This children stories told about the brave of the Youngman and the tricky of the Commander Sekunca. There is a moral story in this Indonesian short story for children. An honest and courageous will win against a foxy plan.

Once upon a time in Tamiang land, there was a kingdom ruled by a king and his queen. Unfortunately, they did not have a daughter. The King and the Queen have been waiting for the baby for a long time.

In their desperation, the King, and the Queen make a promise. They swore that if the queen born a little girl, they would give the baby to the King of elephants.

Not too long after their promise, the queen pregnant. After nine months, the Queen born a little girl. The king had forgotten his oath to the king of elephants. The King makes the biggest mistake he ever did.

After the baby reached the age of forty-four days, the baby must go through a traditional ceremony. The traditional ceremony usually held in the Tamiang culture. The ceremony is for the baby to step on the soil for the first time and to cut child's hair for the first time.

Unfortunately, in the middle of the ceremony, came a group of elephants from the jungle. A group of this elephant took the baby away to the dark forest, the place where the Elephant King lived.

The king remembered his poor little girls After about fifteen years later. So, he announced to all the peoples in the country.

He said,"for those who could bring the princess back to the kingdom, would become the next king and the princess as the queen."

There is a well-known commander in the country named Panglima Sekunca. Panglima means Commander. There is also a handsome Youngman took part in this contest.

Sekunca Commander always underestimated this Youngman. The Commander thought that he was the strongest man in the country. He feels that the man was nothing but he is a weak and stubborn man.

But this young man was a patient man. He ignored Sekunca insignificance words. The man followed Commander into the jungle.

Sekunca arrived in the forest first. He found the big trees fell down on the ground. When Sekunca saw this,  he felt afraid. He felt something dangerous could happen to himself. Then, he decided to wait for the Youngman.

The man arrived next to the Commander. From this location, they walked together. In the middle of their journey, finally, they found the place. They saw the elephants gathered themselves. They also saw the princess was sitting in the midst of the elephant group.

Sekunca felt so afraid seeing this situation. He wanted to run away from this place. To hide Sekunca's fear, then he asked the Youngman to go first. He asks this man to fight with the elephants first.
The Commander and The Youngman: Indonesian Short Story for Children Image Man vs Elephant Mammoth Fight Illustration Art by
Man vs Elephant Mammoth Fight Illustration Art by

This Youngman has a magical power. With all his braveness supported by his supernatural power, he fought with the elephants. This young man also had a magic sword. With his sword, he can kill the elephants including the king of elephants.

But during the Youngman's fight with the elephant, the Commander ran. He moved from the arena and left the man fighting alone.

After the big fight, the princess still sitting in the middle of the elephants' dead bodies. This Youngman saved the princess. He took her back to the kingdom.

In the middle of the Youngman and the princess' journey, they met Panglima Sekunca. Panglima Sekunca felt envious to the Youngman's successful. Sekunca could not accept this reality. He does not agree if the Youngman marry the princess.

Sekunca wanted to make an evil plan to the man. He attacked the Youngman. He pushed him into the deep pool in the middle of the jungle. In this way, Sekunca can substitute the man and brought the princess back to the Kingdom. He will proclaim himself he can kill the King of Elephant.

When Sekunca and the Princess arrived in the kingdom, the peoples and the King were so happy. The palace made some ceremony for the princess and Panglima Sekunca.

The King thought, "This is my hero, and he will become the next king for saving my beloved princess."

The King announced to his peoples that soon Panglima Sekunca will marry the princess. At the same time, in this ceremony held a coronation for Sekunca Commander.

In the coronation royal day, the princess speaks. The Princess told that Sekunca was not the person who has saved her. In fact, the person who has saved her is the young man.

The king confused. The King decided to cancel the ceremony for seven days until the Youngman could proof himself. The King will wait for the Youngman present in seven days.

In the jungle, the Youngman could save himself from the dark well. During his return to the castle, he fought with many wild animals. These wild animals are such as rhinoceroses, tigers, and lions.

Until the seventh day, the Youngman couldn't reach the palace but the next day. But when the wedding ceremony between the princess and Panglima, Sekunca arrived.

The Youngman showed himself in the middle of the crowded. This attendance of Youngman stopped the wedding ceremony. The Youngman tried to convince the King. He said that he was the real hero, but Panglima Sekunca still insisted that he was the man who saved the princess.

There is a debate between Sekunca Commandeer and the Youngman. The King stops the debate. The King announced a duel between Sekunca and the Youngman.

The fight took a whole day for three days. Finally, Panglima Sekunca lost in the fight considering he was wrong, bad-hearted, and tricky. The Youngman man won the fight because he was honest and brave.

After all, the Youngman married the princess and became a good king. They ruled his kingdom wisely, and they lived happily ever after.

Folktales From Indonesia: Jaka Tarub (East Java Fairy Tales)

Once upon a time, there was a widow who lived in Tarub village. She had a son named Jaka who is usually called Jaka Tarub. Jaka's hobby is shooting the birds.

One day Jaka Tarub went to herd the outs at the edge of the forest. Then he saw a colourful bird perching on the tree. He was excited to that bird, but when he tried to shoot the bird, it flies away to the forest.

Tarub was curious. Then he tried to chase the bird to the woods. Finally, he arrived in the middle of the woods, but he couldn't find the bird. It disappeared. He disappointed and stayed for a moment. Then he heard the laugh of women.

Jaka Tarub approached the source of that laugh. He saw seven women swimming at the river. He spied from behind a big stone and took one shawl which put on the rock.
Folktales From Indonesia: Jaka Tarub (East Java Fairy Tales)
Illustration of Jaka Tarub

Those women are seven beautiful angels from heaven. They still playing in the water. These girls unrealised the coming of Jaka at that place. But then one of them realised it and screamed,

"Look, there is a man!"

They were so surprised and soon prepare themselves to fly to the heaven by wearing their shawl. One of them, the youngest one couldn't find her shawl which taken by Jaka.

The girl was so sad because she cannot fly without that shawl. All his sisters left her alone.

Jaka then approached that girl and asking,

"Hi beautiful girl, what are you looking for?"

That girl told him what was going on and that she lost her shawl. She introduced herself and her name is Nawang Wulan.

Jaka offered his help and took her to his house. Without more consideration, Nawang Wulan accepted that offer.

Jaka's mother was so glad to meet Nawang Wulan at home. Nawang Wulan was beautiful and kind. She has great respect for her. Nawang lived with Jaka and his mother in a small house.

Jaka and Nawang loved each other and then they decided to get married. Day by day, they spent together until they have a daughter named Nawangsih.

As we know that Nawang Wulan is an angel, so she had a magical power. It was helpful in maintaining their life. Although Jaka only stayed home and had no job, they still can live sufficiently.

Jaka never goes to the rice field, but they always had the surplus of rice and vegetables. It made their neighbour amazed. They suspect there was something wrong with Jaka's wife.

The neighbours thought that Nawang had magical power. Firstly, Jaka never knew about it until one day. He feels astonished why his granary was suddenly full. But the stock of rice began to decrease although he never put the rice on it.

One day Nawang went to the river to wash up the dress. She left Jaka home and warn him not to open the pan while she was cooking the rice.

Jaka felt curious and neglect his wife's warning. Then he went to the kitchen and opened the pan. He was so surprised when he saw there's only a stalk of rice inside the pan.

At the same time, Nawang was back from the river. Nawang Wulan angry when she knew that her husband had disobeyed her warning.

"Oh my God... what are you doing? "Why do you open it?" said her.

From that moment she had no power anymore, so they had to work hard to maintain their life. Day by day the stock of rice in their granary was getting a decrease.

One day, Nawang found her angel shawl which stolen by Jaka which can bring her back to the heaven. Jaka then explained that he had taken it when Nawang and her sisters were swimming at the river. Jaka Tarub was hidden the shawl at the granary. He apologised to her for what he had done.

"That's OK, but now I have to go home," said Nawang.

Jaka tried to avoid her.

"No, you may not go, don't leave us, please!"

Nawang said, " I'm sorry but I can't stay here any longer I have to go" then she wearing her shawl. After that, she gave her last kisses for Jaka and her daughter Nawangsih. Suddenly, she got her power again and flew away to heaven leaving Jaka and Nawangsih.

Seven angels flies
Illustration of Jaka Tarub and seven angels

Nawang Wulan had disappeared behind the cloud, and there were only Jaka and his daughter. They were sad. Finally, they lived separately. Jaka lives with his daughter while Nawang Wulan lives together with her sisters in heaven.

Indonesian Fairy Tales In English: Lutung Kasarung

Illustration of Lutung Kasarung and Purbasari image from:
Once upon a time in Sunda land, there was a big beautiful kingdom named Pasir Batang. The king was Tapa Agung. He has seven adorable daughters. He still confuses to choose one of them to change his position with his Queen.

Tapa Agung discussed it every time, but there is no conclusion for this problem. The name of his seven daughters are Purbararang, Purbalaras, Purbakencana, Purbaningrat, Purbajati, Purbasekar, and the last is Purbasari Ayuwangi.

Purbasari Ayuwangi is different from all of her sister. Her appearance was not as beautiful as her six sisters. The goodness of her heart is spout from her face. She is a smart girl, and her intelligence can only compete by her first sister, Purbararang.

In the day the decision, Tapa Agung announced to Pasir Batang people. He will resign as the King of Pasir Batang Kingdom.

"To all my beloved people. From this day I will quite from my position as the King of Pasir Batang Kingdom," said Tapa Agung.

Unexpectedly, people choose Purbasari Ayuwangi to be the King of Pasir Batang Kingdom. It made her six sisters jealous, particularly Purbararang.

"I must thwart Purbasari Ayuwangi to lead this country," said Purbararang to herself.

One night, Purbararang did her evil plan. Purbararang entered to Purbasari Ayuwangi room when Purbasari was falling sleep.

Then, a tree sap in a coconut shell was rubbing to Purbasari body. The day after that, when Purbasari woke up, she shocked see her skin. Her skin becomes black like a monkey.

"Oh, my God! What happened to me, Oh no, I become a black monkey!" Purbasari Ayuwangi sighed.

At that time, all the Pasir Batang people tumultuous and the Kingdom Guard stand by in their position. They didn't know, who that black monkey is. Although Purbasari Ayuwangi tried to convince that she is not a monkey, nobody believed her.

"Chase that monkey away! I don't want to see that beast trample this castle!" Purbararang exclaim.

Purbasari was crying and begging, but nobody heard her. Than  Purbararang commanding her guard to exile Purbasari to the jungle.

In the jungle, Purbasari meets with a black monkey named Lutung Kasarung. He served Purbasari and tried to find some leave to cured Purbasari. After that leave scrub to Purbasari body, in a second Purbasari become beautiful again. Their friendship becomes closer.

One day, when Lutung Kasarung did his asceticism. Suddenly, in front of Purbasari, there stands a beautiful castle kingdom. Name of that kingdom was Cupu Mandala Ayu.

Lutung Kasarung and Purbasari moved from jungle to that castle.  Purbasari becomes the Queen of that country.

A lot of Pasir Batang people moved to Cupu Mandala Ayu. The people knows that the queen of this kingdom is Purbasari.

Purbararang as the queen of Pasir Batang is so angry. He mads because a lot of people moved to Cupu Mandala Ayu.

She said that "I must kill the Queen of Cupu Mandala Ayu!"

She tried to challenge Purbasari, but Lutung Kasarung knew her trick. Purbararang offers Purbasari to be the queen of Pasir Batang, but a condition. Purbasari should have a groom.

Lutung Kasarung offer himself to be Purbasari groom. Purbasri received Lutung Kasarung.

She said,"Yes, I do."

Thunderclap split the sky. The simple word which said by Purbasari changed God curse. Lutung Kasarung incarnate become a beautiful princess. He is Princes Guriang.

With amazement face, Purbararang said to Purbasari "Now you had had a husband. So I should hand over this kingdom to you."

Finally, Purbasari and Princes Guriang lead the Pasir Batang Kingdom. All Pasir Batang people live in peace and prosperous.

Folklore Legends and Myths From Indonesia: The Beginning of Cianjur

Once upon a time, there is the richest man lives in West Java. He is the one owner of the fields in the whole area. The villagers are just as labourers to him, so they called him as "Pak Kikir" or "Mr. Kikir" (a stingy man).

Pak Kikir has a son. His son has a different character with him. He is a humble and kind boy. He always helps the villagers.

One day, Pak Kikir celebrates a Thanksgiving party. He thinks this party can be effect to the harvest of his fields. All the villagers get invitation.

The villagers are happy because they think that they can find many delicious foods in that party. But it's out of what they already imagined. Pak Kikir just put out small food.

"Huh.... The miserly man. I can't imagine flow stingy he is."

“The Lord is never blessing him," Says some of the villagers in that party.

At the same time, there is an old woman comes to Pak Kikir. She asks for his mercy.

"Give me a plate of rice please...” Says the old woman.
“What! I must work hard to get the place of rice!” Said Pak Kikir.

"Have a mercy on me, please..."

"No....... get out of my face! The old women crying and leave the party.

However, Pak Kikir's son is sad about that. So he gives his lunch snipe at for the old woman.

After that, the old lady walks to a mountain. When she arrive at the top, she saw Pak Kikir's house. The best home in that area. She said,

"Remember this Pak Kikir! Your gluttonous will sink you! And the Lord will never bless you!"

Then the old woman jabbed her stick to the land, Then the water from the trace jabbed.

Time after time the water becomes the flood. The villagers and Kikir's Son run to save themselves to the mountain.

While they are running, Pak Kikir tries to keep his prosperity. The flood is getting fast, and Pak Kikir sinks with his money.

The villagers and the son saved. They are sad with this accident. They decided to find a new area. The villagers elected Pak Kikir's son as their leader.
Megalith Site Gunung Padang Cianjur-Indonesia
This boy teaches the villagers how to be a good farmer, how to handle the fields and water balance. Then the villagers called this boy as Anjuran (a Suggestion). The villagers obey their leader said.

Some years later, the villagers change the name to be Cianjur. It means full of water. Now, Cianjur known as the best area to produce rice in West Java Province-Indonesia.

Famous Story of Kids in English: Mouse Deer and Farmer

One of the famous story of the kid in English from Indonesia, a mouse deer. A mouse deer or Chevrotains or Tragulus javanicus or Tragulus kanchil is known as Kancil in Bahasa Indonesia.

When I was a kid, this story is famous, in my school or my daily activity. There are some stories about the cleverness of the mouse deer. This story is one of the famous stories of kids in Indonesia. The title is "A Mouse Deer and Farmer."


Mouse Deer loved to eat the fruits and roots and shoots of the forest. This animal loved something else even more. He loved the vegetables in Farmer's garden.
Famous Story of Kids in English: Mouse Deer and Farmer
Kancil (

One day, Mouse Deer went to the edge of the forest. He looked out at row after row of vegetables.

He sees a lot of cucumbers and sweet potato. Then he steps into the farmer's garden. But in crowd large group of this food, a trap attached by farmer catches its foot. He draws its foot repeatedly and tries to secede from that trap, but he cannot get away the.

The mouse deer start to fear, he feel will become the dinner food for the farmer of Later; then he sees the farmer come. The mouse deer pretend the death and make its body stiff. The farmer fin that mouse deer and he believe that that mouse deer have died.

The farmer pushes the mouse deer with its foot. The mouse deer saw stiff Farmer estimate that mouse deer have died during old ones. Then the farmer thinks this mouse deer cannot eat for dinner.

The farmer draws that mouse deer from trap later. Then that mouse deer rebel and run to the forest. Mouse deer succeed trick the farmer. He thing the farmer is smart.

A few days later, mouse deer remember with that vegetables. He intends to return. Until there he likes with the sweet gourd and sweet parsnip.

Later, then he sees something new. It looks like the human being, but its head made the than coconut. The body made the than rubber, a rice field custodian.

A mouse deer did not feel afraid. He looks down to that guard (a scarecrow). He comes near that custodian then kicks it. But its foot stuck to rice field keeper.

The guardian of rice field has some sticky rubbers from a rubber tree. Mouse deer scream to ask so that discharged by that custodian. He did non-stopped to draw his foot. So he pushes with the other foot.

A mouse deer do not stop to try to be can get out of that custodian, but he remains trapped. Then he sees the farmer comes. The farmer sees the mouse deer in his trap.

The farmer discharges that mouse deer from custodian lassoing. Then he brings the mouse deer to his house. The farmer confines the mouse deer in empty chicken hutch. The farmer tells at mouse deer that tomorrow he is his dinner.

Along the night, the mouse deer couldn't sleep. He didn't want to be a dinner! When the sun rose, Mouse Deer just lay there sadly. Then he heard something.

"Why, it's Mouse Deer! So Farmer caught you at last. It serves you right!"

It was Farmer's dog.

Mouse Deer thought fast.

"What do you mean, Dog? Farmer didn't catch me."

"Then why are you are in the coop?" said Dog.

"Because there is not enough a bed in my house. You see, Farmer is holding a feast tomorrow. And I'm the guest of Honor."

"Guest of Honor?" said the Dog.

"That's not fair! I've been his loyal friend for years, and you're just a thief. The guest of Honor should be me!"

"You know, Dog, you're right. Why don't you take my place? When Farmer sees you in here, he'll make you the guest of Honor instead."

"Really?" said Dog. "You don't mind?"

"Not at all," said Mouse Deer. "You deserve it."

"Mouse Deer, you're so kind. Thank you!" The dog lifted the latch and opened the door.

"You're welcome, Dog. Enjoy the feast."

The Mouse Deer ran for the forest. Then he watched from the woods edge. He saw Farmer comes out and stare at Dog. Then he heard Farmer yell.

"You are a stupid dog! You let the mouse deer get away!"

The Mouse Deer laughed. "Farmer will have to find a different dinner now!" Then he went off singing his song.

I'm quick and smart as I can be.

Try and try, but you can't catch me!

Famous Folklore From Indonesia: The Legend of Nyi Roro Kidul

Padjajaran Kingdom lies in the West Java from 1333 AD to 1630 AD and it was conquered by the Islamic Kingdom of Mataram from Central Java. This great kingdom was ruled by Prabu (King) Siliwangi. He had a queen, a very beautiful daughter named Dewi Kadita and also harems.
The beauty of Dewi Kadita and her mother made other harems jealous. All the harems gathered one night to built conspiracy against Dewi Kadita and her mother. The harems decided to use black magic to make their body filthy and also curse them to be so ugly and disgusting.
Description of Nyi Roro Kidul
Prabu Siliwangi turns out very angry and disappointed when he found that his queen and daughter turned out so ugly and disgusting. He was convinced by his harems that his queen and daughter were having the uncured disease and they will bring bad luck for the palace. Prabu Siliwangi was influenced by what the harems said and then he told them to seep out from the palace.
Dewi Kadita, and her mother wandered around in sorrows. Dewi Kadita cannot believe that her father listened to what the harems said. She was very upset with her father. She got more upset when her mother and she came by to every place; the people weren't friendly and welcomed them. This circumstance made Dewi Kadita's mother depressed. One day, the mother passed away and left Dewi Kadita in deep sorrows.
Dewi Kadita walked in her deep sorrows until she reach the southern shore (the shore of Indian Ocean). She sat above a rock in a stove shape and fell asleep. When she was sleeping, she had a vision that she must jump to the ocean to help herself out of the curse. Once she woke up, without second thought, Dewi Kadita jumped into the ocean. Immediately, she returned into a beautiful lady as she was. But then she realized that she was not human anymore, yet she turned -into a supernatural form of life. Since then, she ruled all the creatures in the southern coasts of Java Island and she was known as Nyi Roro Kidul.
Room 308 of Nyi Roro Kidul

The river Bengawan Solo which started from mystical mountain of Merapi in Central Java and leads to Indian Ocean was said as the tunnel used by Nyi Roro Kidul to access Java.
The legend of Nyi Roro Kidul is a well-known folklore throughout Indonesia. It is believed until now and often proved many men were missing in the southern shore, a place where 'mighty' Nyi Roro Kidul lived. Many people said that Nyi Roro Kidul often trapped and swallowed men who were walking near the shore as revenge to suffering life she had through caused by her father. People believe her hatred to men will never die.
Image source:

Fairy Tales and Folk Tales from West Java: Sangkuriang

Fairy Tales and Folk Tales from West Java: Sangkuriang
An illustration from Sangkuriang Folklore by
One of the famous fairy tales stories in Indonesia, Sangkuriang. This fairy tales and folktales come from West Java. The story is about the son (Sangkuriang) was falling in love with his mother (Dayang Sumbi).

Dayang Sumbi asked Sangkuriang to built a dam and a large boat. With his supra-natural power of Sangkuriang, the large boat almost finished, but he failed. He kicks the boat and now the boat known as the origins of one of the famous mountain in West Java.


The story begins in the jungle of the Kingdom of Padjadjaran. In this jungle, there was a woman named Dayang Sumbi has given birth to a son. The boy was handsome. Dayang Sumbi named his son Sangkuriang.

Time passed, and Sangkuriang became an adult. He was agile and an excellent hunter. Si Tumang, a dog, always accompanied Sangkuriang wherever he went hunting. Sangkuriang always brought the spoils of the hunt back to like food.

One day, Sangkuriang spotted a wild pig in the forest. The boar was his grandmother; Celeng Wayungyang. Si Tumang realized Sangkuriang, and he tried to prevent him from shooting the pig.

Sangkuriang tripped over Si Tumang, and the boar escaped. It's made Sangkuriang angry. Sangkuriang was furious with Si Tumang, and he decided to kill Si Tumang instead of the pig.

Sangkuriang had not caught any animals that day. He took a knife and cut out Si Tumang's heart and hurried home. He gave his mother the heart to be the cook.

Dayang Sumbi shocked when she realized that Si Tumang's heart was not that of a deer. 'She took a big wooden spoon. She was angry with Sangkuriang.

"Be gone, rebellious son! You do not know how to return a kindness! Si Tumang has looked after you since childhood! How dare you kill him and eat his heart!" Dayang Sumbi struck Sangkuriang with the spoon again and again.

The last blow tore his head, which begins to bleed. Sangkuriang fled into the forest, cradling his bleeding head. He climbed and over the mountain. He scared. He never saw his mother so angry.

Sangkuriang disappeared as if he had swallowed by the earth. Nothing heard of him.

From then on, Dayang Sumbi lived alone in the forest. She continued her weaving and meditation. She became a powerful wise-woman, skilled at healing. She helped many villagers who lived around the forest. She treated the sick and gave them gifts of her weaving. Her speciality was a mixture of leaves and herbs that kept her young and beautiful.

One day, a young man came to her. He asked for treatment. Every day, he came for treatment until his sickness was almost better. He began to fall in love with Dayang Sumbi. He approached her and said,

"Dayang Sumbi, you are so beautiful. Will you marry me?" Dayang Sumbi was uncomfortable with his touch on her shoulder, but she did not want to hurt his feelings. She moved away and said,

"Oh, I am too old for you, young man. I am old enough to be your mother."

"But, that's impossible! You are still young and beautiful, why do you say that you are the same age as my mother?"

"What is your name? And who is your mother?"

"I do not know. All I can remember frightened and running away as hard as I could until I passed out. When I came to, a robber was caring for the wound on my forehead. Later he adopted me as his son. He passed his supernatural powers onto me. But now my adopted father has died, and I live by myself.”

"Let me look at your head." Dayang Sumbi surprised when she recognised the scar on his head like a blow made by her big wooden spoon.

The young man did not believe that he was her son. Dayang Sumbi explained that she looked young because of her herbal medicine.

Later, she gave him two impossible conditions for marriage. First, she asked him to make a lake by damming the Citarum River. Second, she asked him to build a large boat for their house. And both of the tasks must complete before cocks crow.

When Dayang Sumbi realized that Sangkuriang had almost finished his work, she searched for a way to stop him. She took one of her weaving, a large white cloth, and hung it from her weaving platform while praying to the god. Then she asked the village girls to set fire to it. The dark sky became as bright as the dawn, and the roosters began to crow.

Dayang Sumbi went up to Sangkuriang.

"Sangkuriang, your time is up, you must give up now!"

Sangkuriang was furious. Now he would not able to marry Dayang Sumbi! And he had used many of his supra-natural powers, including calling on supra-natural beings for help. Sangkuriang was so angry that he kicked the almost-finish boat with all his might. The boat flew far into the air and landed upside down in one place.

In West Java, this legend believed to be the origin of Tangkuban Perahu Mountain. The Story of Sangkuriang has carved in relief on the walls of the crater of Tangkuban Perahu.

The Origins of The Kasada Ceremony In Tengger: Legends and Myths of Indonesia

The legends and myths of Indonesia from East Java-Indonesia. The story told about the origins of Tengger Tribes or Tenggerese. The word of "Tengger" comes from Roro AnTENG who married with Joko SeGER (Tengger).

There is a Kasada Ceremony, perform according to Javanese calendar by Tengger Tribes. This annual ceremony presented offerings. The offering is for a couple of Roro Anteng (as a wife) and Joko Seger (as a husband). This couple has sacrificed their 25th youngest son to the god, Kusuma.


Long ago, in a village near Mount Bromo, there was a couple who had just recently married. Their names were Roro Anteng and Joko Seger. According to the story, Roro Anteng's father was a god who lived in the Penanjakan Mountains. Her mother was a beautiful village girl who lived alone in the Penanjakan Mountains.

Roro Anteng was beautiful. When she was born, she was a quite baby, so her mother gave her name Roro Anteng (quite one). Also according to legend, Joko Seger was a son of an ascetic.

One day, the ascetic's wife gave birth to a boy. He was handsome, with a bright face. In fact, it said that he was the son of a holy spirit. When he was born, he could already scream. He had a strong grasp and a strong kick. He was different from other children. Because of this, his parents decided to call him Joko Seger (a strong one).

Time flies quickly. Joko Seger and Roro Anteng grew into adults. There was a lot of fuss when Roro Anteng reached a marriageable age, as many young men wanted to marry her.

Roro Anteng had already decided she was going to marry Joko Seger. After their wedding, Joko Seger and Roro Anteng lived in domestic harmony. They lived on the slopes of Mount Bromo, working their land together to meet their every need. They helped their neighbours and set a good example for the community.

The villagers consulted them about all kinds of problems, from cultivation to animal husbandry. Joko Seger and Roro Anteng were happy with their activities. They lived contentedly, thanking the Great Creator for their blessed and comfortable life.

But the years went by, and they grew old. Already the villagers had begun to call them Nyai and Kyai (means The Elder). Still, they did not have any children! When they down to the village, they would see other families with their children. This would make them sad.

"Look at that family, Nyai. They are happy with their son!"

"That's right, Kyai. Why hasn't the God given us any children?" Then they agreed that they would ask the God.

Nyai Anteng and Kyai Seger went to the foot of Mount Bromo and meditated. Every day they prayed and meditated ceaselessly. Finally, the God Brahma answered their prayer.

Nyai Anteng heard a voice telling her that she would have many children, but that she must sacrifice the youngest. She agreed. After that, Nyai Anteng began to have children.
The Kasada Ceremony In Tengger Yadnya Kasada festival tengger bromo
The Kasada Ceremony In Tengger Yadnya Kasada festival Tengger Bromo (Image: Instagram Herd89)

Less than a year after her first baby, she had a second. Until finally Nyai Anteng and Kyai Seger had twenty-five children!

Nyai Anteng and Kyai cared for their children and taught them lovingly. Their life was full of Joy and content. Later on, their family formed the basis of the community of Tengger (from Anteng and Seger).

Everyone in the community descended from Nyai Anteng and Kyai Seger.

When Kusuma, their youngest son, was born, they began to worry. They remembered their promise to Brahma. Kusuma was a good boy, strong and handsome. Every time they looked at him, they were sad.

Then one day, Nyai Anteng had the idea of moving to Mount Penanjakan, to escape from Brahma. Kyai Seger agreed. They began to prepare for the move, taking what they would need.

They heard loud noises deep in the heart of Mount Bromo before they were ready to leave for Penanjakan.  Brahma was reminding them of their promise. Smoke billowed from the top of the mountain. Nyai and Kyai were scared.

Nyai Anteng began to tremble with fear. She realised that she would soon separate from Kusuma.

Kyai Seger had no heart for the task he faced. He did not want to throw Kusuma into the volcano. He embraced his son. Kusuma began to panic in his father's arms.

All the older children upset. Their parents had already told them what must happen.

"Father, what should we do?" asked the oldest son.

When Kusuma saw how upset his family was, he grew calm. He said,"Father, Mother, promises must fulfil. Give me a white shirt and a turban. I will keep your promise."

Nyai Anteng cried and hugged her son. Kyai Seger shaken by the noble spirit and determination of his son. He looked at his handsome son and embraced him. All Kusuma's older brothers shocked to see his seriousness.

After Kusuma had finished putting on his shirt and turban, a long tongue of fire shot up from the centre of the crater. The tongue of fire snaked forward and struck Kusuma's body. Brahma had already taken Kusuma.

All the brothers cried, touched and amazed by Kusuma's courage and integrity. The rumbling from the mountain ceased. Everything became calm and returned to normal.

Nyai Anteng and Kyai Seger never forgot what happened to Kusuma. They made offerings and sacrifices to Mount Bromo, throwing them into the crater.

Once a year, Kusuma's relatives would bring offerings, continuing the tradition of their parents. Until the day, the people of Tengger, continue this tradition. They are descendants the Nyai Anteng and Kyai Seger. Every year they have an offering ceremony below Mount Bromo. This ceremony is to pay a sign of respect to Kusuma's sacrifice. They bring offerings and crops.

Legend and Myths of Prambanan Temple: Bandung Bondowoso and Roro Jonggrang

Prambanan temple known as a thousand temples, just another famous temple with Borobudur temple. A legend said that the Prambanan temple built only in one night.  Bandung Bondowoso built this temple as a purposed to marry Roro Jonggrang. Nowadays, Bondowoso was known as a regency in East Java.

Near Yogyakarta, there is a most beautiful Hinduism temple in Indonesia. The temple built in 9th A.D. The temple located in Prambanan village, thus this temple called as Prambanan temple.

There is also a famous temple called Roro Jonggrang temple. The name of the temple was from the story of Roro Jonggrang and Bandung Bondowoso.

Legend and Myths of Prambanan Temple: Bandung Bondowoso and Roro Jonggrang
The Legend of Pambanan Temple, Roron Jongrang, Bondowoso (image:

A long time ago, there was a Kingdom called Prambanan. This kingdom placed where the Prambanan Temple stands now. This nation led by Prabu Baka. Roro Jonggrang (means Slender Maiden) was the princess of the kingdom.

The people of Prambanan Kingdom were wealthy and lived in peace. This made the neighboured Pengging Kingdom envious. He tried to attack the Prambanan Kingdom. By the support from Bondowoso, the Prambanan Kingdom defeated. Then the King killed.

Bondowoso became the new King in Prambanan. Bondowoso was a strong man. The King is known as Bandung Bondowoso. He has a powerful weapon. This weapon called 'Bandung.'

It turned into a love story because Bandung Bondowoso had a crush on Roro Jonggrang and proposed to her. It was hard for her to accept or reject Bandung Bondowoso's love.

To avoid more violence, Roro Jonggrang commanded Bandung Bondowoso to build a thousand temples. A thousand temple with two deep wells in one night.

If Bandung Bondowoso could fill the command, Roro Jonggrang would accept Bondowoso's love. It seemed to be an impossible command. But Bandung Bondowoso accepted it.

Bandung Bondowoso tried to find some help from his father. His dad is a man with a supernatural power. His Bondowoso's father had a lot of supernatural armies.

Bondowoso tried to perform the task supported by the supernatural armies from his father.

When the day came, Bandung Bondowoso and his ghostly soldiers began to build the temples. They worked so fast, and after 4 o'clock in the morning, there were only five temples, which hadn't built. Besides that, the wells were almost finished.

Roro Jonggrang found out that Bandung Bondowoso almost made it. She felt confuse and tried to find the way to make those efforts failed.

Roro Jonggrang ordered the women to pound the Rice-mother. She also asked awake the roosters to announce the dawn early.

Bandung Bondowoso's armies deceived by the false dawn and they ran out. There was only one temple left, which should build by Bandung Bondowoso. Bandung Bondowoso couldn't finish it alone without help from his supernatural armies.

In the next morning, Bandung Bondowoso found his effort had failed. He enraged and frustrated. He wooed the women around Prambanan that there was no one would marry them. He also wooed Roro Jonggrang became a statue.

According to the tale, Roro Jonggrang remains in the northern chamber of the Prambanan Temple.  Roro Jonggrang remains like a statue of Shiva's consort, Durga. Until now, the place where she stays called Roro Jonggrang temple. The temples that built by Bandung Bondowoso are now called Sewu Temple or Seribu Candi (The Thousand Temples).