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

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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.

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