Monday, October 1, 2012

The Stories Of Mountain-High Flood

A number of tribes in inland Indonesia have one form of flood story or another that is free from the influence of the religions of the book. Because of that, a scholar from University of Oxford believed that the story of flood is originated from Indonesia since the Ice Age.


In this matter, Professor Stephen Oppenheimer who authored the book “Eden in The East: The Sunken Continent in Southeast Asia”. Oppenheimer has made his observations from inland of Papua to Kalimantan found out that there are many diverse stories concerning the stories of flood in Indonesia and surrounding areas compared from rest of the world.


Muslims, Christian and Jewish are not alien to the flood of Prophet Noah (Nabi Nuh) from the holy books. While from other ancient civilizations from Mesopotamia to India and Greece have individual flood story similar to the story of Prophet Noah. However the stories of flood in Indonesia and surrounding regions are quite different.


Oppenheimer has collected story such as “the mountain-high flood” from Sabang to Merauke that is not the same as the story of Noah’s flood. Part of the flood stories in Indonesia did not have the description of survival with boat.


So Oppenheimer’s guess was the inland tribes of Indonesia especially in the East of Indonesia, are the descendents from the survivors of Ice Age. Part of the fairytale told was that their ancestors climbed up to the pinnacle of the mountain to escape the flood.


There are a few animals played very important role in this natural disaster. For example according to the native of Alor in NTT, a gigantic sawfish has sunken the continent and saw it into small islands.


The community in Seram Island has story that their ancestors were saved by a sea hawk that has brought them to an island. The Toraja community also has tales regarding mountain-high flood and they save themselves by climbing into pig’s feeding container.


The Ot Danum Dayak tribe in the Southern Kalimantan also has story about massive flood that has sunken the continent except of two mountains. Their ancestors survived by hiking onto the top of the mountains. While the Dayak Iban tribes have their own version of Prophet Noah named Trow who has saved himself by climbing onto a mortar bringing his farm animals.


There are many more fairytales concerning flooding mentioned by Oppenheimer in his 814 pages book. Where undeniably that there are similarities with the story of Noah’s flood; the overall storylines are different from the great flood described in the holy books. Or in that matter, different from other ancient civiliazations.


Because of that, Oppenheimer has concluded that the flood fairytales in Nusantara region are original; much earlier than the incoming of Islam and Christianity into this area. It is also Oppenheimer’s opinion that it is most probable Indonesia and the area around Southeast Asia is the continent that sunk during the great flood at the end of Ice Age.
Do you have your own versions of great flood to share?

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