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Home » Tale

A Balinese Folktale: Dewa Kuning  

by on Sunday, 17 June 2007No Comment | 887 views

A peasant of Manggis had a beautiful daughter called Ayu Manggis. She went with her father to the market at Gelgel to sell firewood. Now it came to the ears of the King Baturenggong that the smell of herurine was so delicious that even bees and bumble- bees were attracted by its fragrance. When he heard this he desired to possess her, for she must surely be of divine birth.The king commanded her father to give her to him, but he refused, for she was his only for a moment.

He made love with her while the father waited, after which he gave her back to him. And the king said: ‘if she has a daughter, let her keep the child. If it is a son, he shall come into the palace’ and she bore a son but she did not tell him who his father was, but kept him for herself. And when he grew up he asked after his father, and she said: ‘you have no father,’ and the boy said ‘how can that be? Every banana has to be planted. Whoever planted me is my father.’ So then she had to tell him. And when he heard who is his father was he went to Gelgel. And in Gelgel, under a great tree, was a stone on which the king sat when he gave audience. And the small boy sat down on the stone. In vain the courtiers tried to chase him away, he would not move. So the headman went and told the king.

And the king called the child to him and said: ‘how dare you sit upon that stone?’ whereupon he sat down beside the king and said: I am the son of Ayu Manggis, and you are my father.’ The king was delighted and took him into the palace among all his other children. And at night, when all the children were asleep the king saw one child’s head shining in the dark. But he could not see which, and when he brought a light he could no longer see the shining. So he made a mark with chalk. And next morning he saw it was his new son. And he called him Dewa Kuning.

The minister Gusti Tegehkuri went to Gelgel to ask if one of The Baturenggong’s family members would rule in Badung. And the king said he had a son called Dewa Kuning, and that he would send him. So the boy went to Badung and became the darling of all the people.

But Tegehkuri had a son too, and grew jealous of the boy, for he feared that his family might fall out of fashion. He assembled all his people and said: ‘If Dewa Kuning were to become king, none of you would ever have a chance again. I am of opinion that he should be removed before it is too late.’ So the palace was surrounded, while Dewa Kuning was in his room amusing himself with a slave-girl. And she persuaded Dewa Kuning to let her wrap him up in a mat and carried him out. And he was taken care by a Gusti (nobleman), who had very beautiful daughter, Ayu Pahang. Dewa kuning fell in love with her, and was easily persuaded to marry her.

And there was great feast made. According to the custom a present of food was sent to Tegehkuri. And when he heard about the wedding he was very angry with his vassal Pahang, and made war on him. And Kuning fled with his wife to Alas Bangkal near Gianyar, and began to make garden and a graveyard there. And because he was very popular many people settled around him, and soon a whole village sprang up, of forty households. And Ayu Pahang, while bathing, found a kris in the river bank. She washed it in the water-spout, and immediately the water dried up. And Kuning name it Thristy Giant (Raksasa Bedak).

Now Baturenggong’s brother, Sengening ruled in Klungkung. And his son went to Sukawati and built himself a palace. He had two sons called Patemon and Made. And the prince was very ill with swollen neck, but his children completely neglected him. Kuning, who was very kind-hearted, went to Sukawati to look after him, while his own children thought nothing but cockfights. And before he died Sengening said to Kuning: ‘in return to your kindness I bequeath to you my talisman, since my own children are not worthy of it.’ It was a palm leaf manuscript called Pamuter Bumi (the turning of the world). Then he died.

After the cremation his children came and took possession of all their father rice fields. But Kuning carried away the talisman to Bangkal to his house. And all people of Sukawati had much respect for him than they had for Sengening’s own sons. Kuning built a new palace on the place where a pedanda family lived. And they called it Gria Anyar (new house). Gusti Ayu Pahang had son named Dewa Manggis I and his descendants go down to the sixth generation became the King of Gianyar.

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