Legends & Myths from Minangkabau: Goa Si Bincik

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Minangkabau is the term or the place name for the area of West Sumatra Province, Indonesia. The capital city of Sumatera Barat is Padang city.

Legends & Myths from Minangkabau: Goa Si Bincik


Once upon a time in the land of Minangkabau, lived a rascal, which feared by the people. He was call as Bincik, since he was dwarf.

Bincik means small or little. Among the gangsters, Bincik is well known as a good gambler. He often won the gambling. Whenever there was a crowd, Bincik was there, gambled with other players.

Bincik had used to bring a little amount of money, but when he bet and put his money at the stakes. Bincik always won much money. Then his money became greater. He used it again to set another chance. He only stopped to play when the operator of the gambling asked him to stop playing.

When he lost in the gambling, Bincik robbed people and stole money from others. If the people seized him, many beat him, but it seemed that he was invulnerable. That was why then among the bandit's lie he pointed to be the leader.


Bincik got more followers from the gangster friends over the village. It made the other villages around them, experienced more robbing. People suspected Bincik and his friends who had to blame in doing such criminal deeds.

Traditional Minangkabau House by Ricky Purnadi Riqua


The villages around, hate Bincik's village. When the others faced many robbing, Bincik's village was the only safe, peaceful community. Thus, the nearby people did not want to make any contact. They refused to the deal with the people from Bincik village.

It was, of course, not a good thing for the people in Bincik village. Then the people went to meet Bincik. They asked him to stop robbing, or another village would burn their village.

Although Bincik is a bandit, he still had a healthy mind. He gathered his friends and asked them to quit from robbing people.

"My friends, I want you to stop robbing people, and front now on steal no more!" Bincik spoke before the bandits.

His friends stared each other. They could not believe what they had just heard and then laughed together.

"Is that you who've just spoken, Bincik?"

"Ha...ha...you must be kidding, don't you?" one of the robbers questioning Bincik's words.

"I say to you once more; do not rob the people again. Just stop it right now, ok? We may put our village into bigger trouble if we don't stop it." told Bincik emphatically.

All the bandits were silent. Nobody has dared to say anything. Suddenly, there was a big, solid guy rose up Bincik. Without any word he lifted Bincik up and threw him to the valley.

He was Koduk, the strongest robber that did not agree with Bincik decision.

Bincik fainted for a moment, and when he woke up, it was already dark. He did not know where exactly he was. Bincik tried to shout for help, but there was nobody down there.

Finally, he heard a voice, whispered to his ears, "I will help you, young man, if you want to do me a favour."

"Who are you? I can't see you at all?" Bincik tried to look around.

"You don't need to see me, just find my daughter. My daughter has buried under the ruins beneath the place you are standing now. If you find my little girl alive, take her as your wife, but if she has dead, you will be the next to die."

"What if I refuse your demand?"

"You will die by the wolves attack in this valley," the voice explained.

After took a little time to think about this challenge, Bincik went down to find the girl under the ruins. He dug in and found her alive. In fact, she was an extraordinarily beautiful woman.

Bincik married her. They lived together in the cave that formed by the ruins that Bincik dug in.

One day, Bincik wanted to see his parents and planned to go home to his neighbourhood. But as he arrived at the village, he found nobody in the village. The village was so quiet. Then Bincik went to the people in the next village.

He asked the next village what had happened to the Bincik village.

"Your village has left, nobody dwells in since it was attacked and robbed by Koduk, your former man. And Koduk is the leader now. He is the king of the bandits." An old man gave Bincik explanation.

After that, Bincik tried to find his parents. But he discovered that they were already dead, murdered by Koduk and his gangster. Bincik made up a promise to take revenge and to kill Koduk someday.

The bad thing happened to Bincik when he went home to his cave. He shocked to see Koduk had been there and captured his wife.

A battle fight began between Bincik and Koduk. At the end of the fight, Bincik killed Koduk. The other bandits gave up to Bincik. They promised not to rob and steal again.

A few years later, there was Paden War or Padri War (Perang Padri). The people of Minangkabau fought against the Dutch, who came as the coloniser.

The Dutch used the bandits to bring up chaos and triggered terrors to the people. Bincik that heard all the things, then he came forward with his friends and the people of Minangkabau. They altogether defend their country from the Dutch.

At that time, Bincik became a dangerous enemy for the Dutch.

One day, the Dutch besieged the cave where Bincik life. After a long searching, they failed to find Bincik. He disappeared. Even until the war had finished, nobody knew whether he had killed or still alive.

However, the people of Payakumbuh know that the cave was the place where Bincik lived with his wife. The people of Payakumbuh called that place as Ngalau Si Bincik or Goa Si Bincik (Cave of Bincik).

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