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Oral Literature

Oral Literature

Here we will find one of the oral literatures that had been known by people in Yogyakarta which tells the history of Mount Merapi excerpted from the website www.ceritarakyatnusantara.com and retold by Samsuni. Here is his story:

Behind the Creation of Mount Merapi

Mount Merapi is located in Sleman Regency, Special District Yogyakarta (DIY) and in several districts in Central Java province as Magelang, Boyolali, and Klaten Regency. According to the story from nearby villages, the area that is now occupied by the Mount Merapi was flat ground.  It is believed that when the gods had just created the Earth, the island of java was unbalanced because of the placement of Mount Jamurdipo on the end west of the island. In order to assure the balance, god has ordered the mountain to be moved to the centre of Java. But after that, Mount Jamurdipo which was just originally a regular mountain (inactive) turned into a volcanic mountain (active). What does make Mount Jamurdipa turn into a volcanic mountain after being moved? Follow the story behind the creation of Mount Merapi!

Once, the island of java was one of the five largest islands in Indonesia. It seems the location of island was not stable or sloping. Therefore, the gods in heaven intend to make it stable. In their meeting, it was decided to establish a large and high mountain in the middle of the island as a counterweight. Of this reason, they moved Mount Jamurdipa that located in the South Sea into an area of flat ground located on the border of Sleman Regency, Special District Yogyakarta (DIY), and Magelang, Boyolali, and Klaten Regency in Central Java Province.

Meanwhile, the area where the Mount Jamurdipa will be placed there were two master of armor makers, Empu Rama and Empu Permadi who have supernatural power. Therefore, the gods advised both of them to move immediately to another place so they will not be crushed by the rock that will be placed in the area. King of the gods; Batara Guru was immediately sent Batara Narada and God Penyarikan along with a number of guardians from heaven  to persuade both of them.

Upon their arrival at the place, the messenger of god directly met two masters, which were busy forging an iron bar mixed with various metals. Batara Narada and God Penyarikan were amazed watching how Empu Rama and Empu Permadi made Keris. Both masters were forging iron without hammer and metal base, but with their hands and thighs. Their fists like hammer which hard steel. Every time they hit the iron using their fists, it sparked the light.

"Excuse me, master! We both are the messenger of god wish to speak with master, "said God Penyarikan.

Both masters are immediately stopped working and then let the messenger to sit down.

"What is it, Pukulun? [1] is there something we can help?" asked Empu Rama.

"Our coming here is to convey the request from god to both masters", said Batara Narada.

"What is that request?" asked the Empu Pamadi curiously, "Hopefully we can meet that demand".

Batara Narada explained the request to both these masters. After hearing their explanation, they just froze. They feel it was too heavy for them.

"Forgive me, Pukulun! We do not intend to deny this request. But, you should know that making powerful Keris must not be done haphazardly, including moving to another place is forbidden”, explained Empu Rama.

"But master, this situation is extremely urgent. If both of you do not move from here immediately, this island will grow crooked gradually", said God Penyarikan.

"What God Penyarikan said is right, master. We are also willing to find a better place for both of you," persuaded Batara Narada.

Although he has promised a better place, but those two masters are still did not want to move from that place.

"We are really sorry, Pukulun! We cannot give that demand. If we move, while this work is not finished yet, then Keris will be not as good as we expected. Besides, there are many good lands for the location of Mount Jamurdipa in this island", said Empu Pamadi.

Seeing the courage from those both masters; Batara Narada and God Penyarikan began to lose their patience. Therefore, undertaking the request from Batara Guru, they should threaten them to move from that place immediately.

"Empu Rama and Empu Pamadi! Please do not make us to expel you from this place", said Batara Narada.

But both of masters were not afraid of their threatening because they had a duty that must be finished at that place. Because both sides remained firm on their stance, at last there was a dispute between them. The two masters remained undaunted even though they will fight with the messenger of god. With supernatural power they possessed, they are ready to fight to defend that place. No doubt, fierce battle was inevitable. Although they were fought two gods and some guardians from heaven, both of those masters were the winner in that battle.

Batara Narada and Dewa Penyarikan who lost the battle immediately flew to heaven to make report to Batara Guru.

"Have mercy, Batara Guru! We failed to persuade those two masters. They are very powerful", reported Batara Narada.

Hearing this made Batara Guru angry.

"Both of those masters are really stubborn. They must be taught a lesson", said Guru.

"God Bayu, blow that Mount Jamurdipa immediately!" said Batara Guru.

With his power, god Bayu immediately blew the mountain. It was as a blast of hurricane successfully flew it up into the sky and then fell right to those two masters. They had been crushed by the Mount Jamurdipa to death instantly. According to the story, the spirit of both these masters became the guardian of the mountain. Meanwhile, the fireplace where they make magic Keris turned into craters. Therefore, the crater was at the beginning was a fireplace. Then god gave that mountain with the name Mount Merapi. 

[1] Pukulun means lord, used for calling the god.


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