International Tales : Indonesia, 2

Participation from Indonesia, by Walidil Afi

Afi – 21 years old, lives in Pamekasan, at the east of Java and studies English language and Literature – follow him on instagram @walidil.a

The legend of Eternal Fire “Dhângka”

That’s the story of the eternal fire in the village of Larangan Tokol. This fire can still burn and can be found today. Apart from being used by local people for cooking, its uniqueness has attracted the interest of tourists. Meanwhile, the hot springs are no longer on at this time. Legend said it stopped streaming because villagers exploited it massively and made guard angry and mope.

Once upon a time, there was a famous cleric from Larangan Tokol Village. He was Kè Moko who was really respected by villagers since he was kind and loved to help. He loved fishing, but every time he obtained fish, he always shared the fish to his students and local people. He only took the fish eyes which he stored in bamboo slats.

One day, while fishing, he suddenly saw a ship stranded right in front of him. The ship turned out to belong to a trader from Palembang. The merchant explained that he had been tossed about by a storm in the middle of the sea for several days. His food supplies disappeared into the waves.

Hearing this explanation, Kè Moko took the merchant and his entourage to his pesantren or Islamic boarding house (where moslem people live and study religion). They were served food and asked to rest while waiting for the ship to be repaired by Kè Moko’s students. After the ship was repaired, the merchant left and said goodbye to Kè Moko to continue his journey to Palembang to sell their wares. Kè Moko reluctantly let go of those who had lived at his Islamic boarding house for about a week.

The ties of brotherhood between them were getting closer. The merchant felt very indebted to Kè Moko because thanks to his help, he was able to survive. Apart from that, his trading business experienced rapid development. The merchandise, whether sent to Palembang or originating from Palembang, always sold well. The merchant never forgot to fulfil Kè Moko’s request to always stop by his Islamic boarding house.

One day, the merchant stopped by the Kè Moko’s Islamic boarding house. He brought news that the daughter of the King of Palembang was seriously ill. The royal physicians were unable to cure his daughter’s illness. Until finally the King held a competition. The king promised, “whoever is able to cure Princess Dewi Suminten’s illness will be made the King of Palembang’s son-in-law if by chance the helper is a man, but if it is a woman, he will be made an adopted daughter.”

Hearing this news, Kè Moko felt sorry. He was very concerned about the suffering experienced by the daughter of the King of Palembang. Kè Moko remembered and valued his friendship with the King of Palembang. Kè Moko sent his son to Palembang, “My son, heal the daughter of the King of Palembang.”

“Bu… but… Dad, in what way can I help with her recovery? I’m not a healer, and none of the healers are capable,” answered Kè Moko’s son full of doubt.

“With Allah SWT’s (God of moslem) permission, my son. With His permission, you will definitely be able to cure him,” said Kè Moko full of confidence. “How can this be possible only with Allah’s permission, father?” asked Kè Moko’s son, not understanding.

”Believe me my son, nothing in this world happens without His permission. “As long as you believe in His greatness, you can do it,” said Kè Moko, reassuring his son.
“But……” Before his son had finished speaking, Kè Moko had already interrupted him.
“I will equip you with aji-aji (magic spell or formula) so you can heal Dewi Suminten.”
“Thank you, Dad,” said Kè Moko’s son.
”But remember, this aji-aji is meaningless without Allah’s permission. So, you must remain confident in His greatness. “This aji-aji is just a means, Allah is the one who will heal him,” said Ki Moko reminding his son.
“Okay father. When should I leave?” asked his son.
“Just as soon as possible, poor Dewi Suminten,” answered Ki Moko.
“Oh yes, my son. Bring these bamboo tubes containing fish eyes and hand them over to the King of Palembang.”
”Okay, father. “I will carry it well so that it reaches His Majesty the King of Palembang in good condition,” promised Ki Moko’s son.
“Remember, my son, never open the bamboo roof except in front of the King of Palembang,”
ordered Kè Moko.
“I promise that I will carry out your father’s message well. If so, I beg you to say goodbye and ask for your father’s prayers,” said Kè Moko’s son.
“Okay, my son. Be careful and remember my message,” answered Kè Moko.

Without his son’s knowing, Kè Moko secretly accompanied his son on his journey to Palembang by riding a coconut tree frond across the open sea. After several days of travel, Kè Moko’s son finally arrived in the kingdom of Palembang. On the way to the palace, all the people of Palembang looked gloomy. They were sorry for the illness of their king’s daughter who was not getting better..

The competition began. Many crown princes from overseas kingdoms took part in the competition. The shamans and powerful healers were not left behind. However, not a single participant succeeded in curing Dewi Suminten’s illness. The king became increasingly worried. He couldn’t bear to see his daughter lying limp.

On that occasion, Kè Moko’s son faced the King of Palembang. He explained the purpose of his visit. ”Your Majesty, I have come from afar to take part in this competition. I’m not a prince, I’m just an ordinary person. Allow me to help cure the princess’s illness,” said Kè Moko’s son while offering his prayers. “It doesn’t matter, young man. I don’t care about your origins, the important thing is that you can cure my daughter. Immediately check and cure my daughter. Oh, my poor daughter,” His Majesty replied while lamenting remembering the condition of his beloved daughter. Kè Moko’s son stepped towards Dewi Suminten’s room. In a very spacious room, Dewi Suminten laid down accompanied by her ladies-in-waiting. His body was emaciated. A skin disease that resembled ulcers spread all over his body. The situation was truly pathetic. Only the rays of her beautiful eyes were still able to radiate her beauty.

Kè Moko’s son immediately took out some equipment and medicine he had brought from Madura (an Island where he came from). Several chants and prayers were read for the princess’ recovery. But strangely, the medicines, chants and prayers he read did not produce any reaction. Kè Moko’s son started to break out in a cold sweat. He was worried that his business would fail. Kè Moko observed his son’s movements and just smiled at his son’s worry. Without his son’s knowledge, Kè Moko blew the ultimate aji he had onto the princess’s body. Immediately a miracle happened. The disease that covered the princess’s skin gradually peeled off. Her skin returned to its original state, smooth and olive. Ki Moko’s son was amazed to see the beautiful princess standing in front of him. Dewi Suminten faced her father and said, “Father, look. Look at your father. My skin is back to normal. There are no scars, and I don’t feel pain anymore.”

“Oh, my daughter. It’s true… it’s true… are you really healed? Oh, is it true that you’re back to normal, my child,” asked His Majesty the King while observing his daughter with a radiant face amazed with joy and almost couldn’t believe it.

“That’s right, father. I no longer feel pain, my skin is smooth again, there are no scars. This is all thanks to the help of that young man, father,” said the princess, showing her hand. His majesty was very delighted to see his daughter’s recovery. The king called the young man who had helped his daughter. The king asked who the young man really was, “O young man, I am truly grateful to you. You have succeeded in healing my daughter. You are certainly not an ordinary young man. Who really are you? ” His Majesty asked, amazed and curious.

The young man explained that he was the son of Kè Moko from a foreign land, specifically Madura, who had been deliberately sent by his father to heal the king’s daughter. “Father also ordered me to present this to Your Majesty,” answered Kè Moko’s son as he handed over the bamboo tubes. The King of Palembang immediately opened it to see what was inside. When the tube cover was opened, sparkling light comes out from inside. The King of Palembang, Kè Moko’s son, and all the attendees in the palace hall were very surprised to see a large number of sparkling diamonds coming out of the bamboo tube. That was the token given by Kè Moko to propose to the King of Palembang’s daughter as his son-in-law.

Dewi Suminten’s marriage to Ki Moko’s son immediately took place. The wedding party was held with great fanfare. Gendings (traditional music) and dances from several subordinate regions also enlivened the atmosphere. The people of Palembang were truly rejoicing. His Majesty the King was very happy because his daughter’s illness had healed, and she had found a soul mate with a very powerful and kind young man. Kè Moko planned to hold an event to invite his in-laws so he immediately returned to Madura to prepare it. However, Kè Moko suddenly felt sad because he remembered that in the village where he lived it was very difficult to get clean water and firewood. In fact, to hold a party he needed quite a lot of water and firewood. Apart from that, he must provide a river for boat traffic when guests visited his place.

For several days Kè Moko thought, asking Allah SWT for help. One night, he got a clue. He walked northwest of his Islamic boarding house. In an area that was quite hilly and had cracked ground, he stuck his fishing rod in and prayed, “O Allah, with Your power, bring out from this fishing pole an inexhaustible source of fire so that my family and my community can cook anything in this place..” Not long after, by the will of Allah Swf, a burst of fire came out from the socket. Kè Moko was very happy to see him. He prostrated himself in gratitude and prayed that the fire would become a fire that would never be extinguished. Kè Moko’s prayer was answered by Allah SWT (the fire has never been extinguished to this day and the people of Pamekasan usually call this everlasting fire Dhângkah)). After that, Kè Moko walked again to the southwest. For the second time he stuck his fishing rod in while begging for a hot spring to come out that could be used to cook rice. The second miracle happened. From the former fishing rod, a very large hot spring suddenly overflowed. The water smells slightly of sulphur. Kè Moko’s worries are now starting to diminish.

Now there was only one issue left that had not been resolved, namely the problem of water traffic if the guests would dock near the hamlet. Because, if the guests only anchored in the waters of the Madura Strait in Branta Coastal, the guests still had to travel overland. In fact, the one who would attend the party is the Maha King of Palembang himself. Kè Moko stuck his fishing rod into the ground again. The trail started near the hot springs. Accompanied by prayer, Kè Moko carved the pole towards the beach. Strange things happened again, the marks left by the fishing rod suddenly turned into a fairly wide river. The river connects the Kè Moko hamlet with the Branta Pesisir Harbor. After that, Kè Moko asked Allah to turn his hamlet into magnificent palaces resembling the palaces in the kingdom of Palembang.

The invitation to the in-laws was carried out according to Ki Moko’s wishes. After forty days of the party, things gradually returned to normal. Kè Moko’s Palace changed to its original form, a small hamlet with huts occupied by students. Dewi Suminten and Ki Moko’s son were amazed to see the change. Kè Moko advised his son that nothing was eternal in this world. Several years after Dewi Suminten and her husband settled in the Ki Moko hamlet, the King of Palembang finally called them back to Palembang to take his place in leading the people of Palembang. Kè Moko’s son, then, was crowned King of Palembang.


Citer ce billet
noaderycke (2023, 11 décembre). International Tales : Indonesia, 2. Festival Transversales. Consulté le 25 avril 2024, à l’adresse

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