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The Legend of Maninjau Lake

The Legend of Maninjau Lake
A Folklore from West Sumatra, Indonesia

Long time ago, there was a village in the foot of Tinjau Mountain. The villagers lived happily. Among the villagers there lived bujang Sembilan or nine young men. People called them bujang sembilan because they were nine brothers. Kukuban was the oldest. Their parents died a long time ago. Bujang sembilan had a youngest sister. Her name was Sani.

The head of the village was Datuk Lambatang. He was a kind and wise leader. He always took care of the villagers, especially bujang sembilan and their sister. He often visited them with his wife and his son, Giran.

Giran never missed joining his father to visit bujang sembilan's house. he wanted to meet Sani. He fell in love with her. Fortunately, Sani also loved him.

Giran told his parents. He said that he wanted to marry Sani. Datuk Limbang agreed. He would talk to bujang semnbilan about the marriage after the harvest.

Meanwhile, Sani also talked to her brothers about Giran. They all agreed. And they also knew Datuk Limbatang would propose her after the harvest.

Later, harvest was coming. All the villagers were happy. They had a habit. The celebrated harvest by having pencak silat competition. It is traditional martial art. Each family sent a young man to join the competition. Kukuban was the representative from his family and Giran represented his family.

Kukuban first had a match with a young man. Kukuban won the match. He then had a match with another man. Again he won. He always won. And it was time for Giran.

Later, the two of them had an amazing match. Both of them were very skillful. At the first Kukuban underestimated Giran. He was much younger than Kukuban. But he was wrong. Giran could beat him. Kukuban lost the match!

Kukuban was very upset. He though that Giran would give up. Especially that Giran would marry his sister. He felt that Giran humiliated him. He was waiting for the right time to revenge!

As agreed, Datuk Limbatang and his family came to bujang sebilan's house. He wanted to propose Sani to be Giran's wife.

Surprisingly, Kukuban rejected the proposal.

"No, I will not let Giran marry my sister. He was not a good man. I have a proof. In the pencak silat match, he attacked me brutally", said Kukuban.

"But it was only a game. I don't think he attacked you brutally. Many people watch the match and I'm sure they all agreed with me," said Dauk Limbatang.

Unfortunately, Kukuban had made up his mind. He rejected the proposal. Sani and Giran were very sad.

However both of them still met secretly.

Kukuban finally found out. He and his brothers send them to the traditional court. He accused them having a sinful relationship. And they were punished. They would be thrown to the crater of Tinjau Mountain.

"We are innocent. We never do anything wrong," said Giran. Then he prayed.

"God, when we are wrong, please destroy our body in the crater. But if we are innocent, make this mountain erupt and change bujang sembilan as fish."

Then they were thrown into crater.

Not long after that, the mountain erupted. People saved their lives. Amazingly, bujang sembilan slowly turned into fish. And the crater was getting bigger. It finally became a lake. People named it as Maninjau Lake.


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