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The Story of Awang Garang

The Story of Awang Garang
A Folklore from Riau, Indonesia

A long time ago, there was a young fisherman in Riau, Indonesia. His name was Awang Garang. His job was not only fishing but he also often helped people building a new ship. Awang Garang was very skillful, that's why people always asked for his help.

One day the Sultan of Riau asked his soldiers to make him one ship. They were working days and nights. However the ship was not finished yet. The ship was always broken. The soldiers were scared. They were worried that the Sultan would be angry. They then asked Awang Garang to help them. He knew the problem. He said,

"You have to use three different kinds of woods."

He was right! The ship was strong. All the soldiers were very eager to finish the ship. Unfortunately, an accident happened. Awang Garang's right eye was hit by a hammer. He was so angry. He cursed the ship.

"I curse you not to able to sail in the sea," cursed Awang Garang.

Then he went home. His right eye was blind. Therefore he covered his eye with a black bandage.

Finally the ship was finished. Strangely it could not go to the sea. It was still stranded on the beach. All the soldiers pushed the ship to the sea but it did not move at all. One of them remembered about Awang Garang's curse. Later they went to Awang Garang's house.

"You have to help us. You cursed the ship right? Now you have to make the ship sail in the sea!" said the soldier.

"I will help you. But I need 37 young men along with their equipment. Besides that you also have to prepare seven pregnant woman wearing different colors of clothing. And remember, you all have to close your eyes when I'm working with those 37 men."

They agreed.

Later 37 young men and seven pregnant women were standing beside the ship. Awang Garang ordered the 37 seven men to find some big trees. They cut down the trees and peeled the skin. Then they put the trees under the ship. Awang Garang asked the 37 men to be ready to push the ship. He asked the seven pregnant woman to pray.

Awang Garang then screamed,

"Everybody, on three then you all push the ship. OK, one.. two.. three.. push!"

Slowly the ship moved and it finally went to the sea. Everybody was happy. They all thanked Awang Garang.

Not long after that the seven pregnant woman delivered their baby boys. The babies grew as great soldiers. And together with Awang Garang they fought against the pirates.

Because they already helped the kingdom, then the Sultan gave titles as panglima or chief. Awang Garang became Panglima Hitam Elang and the seven soldiers had titles after the name of Awang Garang and the color of the cloth their mothers were wearing. They were Panglima Awang Merah (red), Panglima Awang Jingga (orange), Panglima Awang Kuning (yellow), Panglima Awang Ungu (purple), Panglima Awang Hijau (green), Panglima Awang Biru (blue) and Panglima Awang Nila (indigo).


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