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Saturday, November 3, 2012
Legend Of Sumatera King Crocs
South of Sumatera is a district covered by swamps and rivers
hence it is not surprising that the population of crocodiles are plenty; until
there is a belief of were-crocodiles amongst local residents. These were-crocs
will turn into actual crocodiles after they are dead. There are tales begin
with woman gave birth to white crocodile and subsequently the crocodile is
released into the river mouth together with the offering of white chickens and
pop rice. Periodically, the white crocs will revisit the river bank to meet
their kin. These kin usually prepare some food for the white croc and at the
same time, request the croc to bestow skills such as shamanic and treatment
techniques. The most popular request was to request the white croc to give them
bezoar stones tucked in the mouths of the white crocs.
There are many legends told throughout generations concerning
crocodiles along the banks of Musi River in Palembang; amongst many is the
legend of the white crocodiles. There are a few rivers said to have seen white
crocodiles such as: Ogan River, especially under the bridge of Ogan River,
Kertapati in Palembang and along the upstream of Ogan River. The sighting of a
white crocodile is always taken as an omen that a natural disaster will take
place in Sumsel or in Indonesia.
Similarly people in Pemulutan, Kabupaten Ogan Ilir, sumsel
also believe in legends concerning crocodiles. Local natives believe that their
ancestors are crocodiles. So crocodile magic are very prevalent in Pemulutan
and many people become crocodile shamans. It is said that many people in
Pemulutan, especially the bandits can turn themselves into crocodiles if they
go into a river or swamps.
According to a 16th century Palembang legend, the
king of Palembang was having headache on controlling the number of crocodiles
in Musi River. These crocs were threatening the lives of Palembang people at
that time. So the king of Palembang hired a croc shaman from India.
Consequently the Indian shaman was successfully in taming all of the crocs in
the river and the king gave the shaman many valuable presents.
After that, the king of Palembang invited the Indian shaman
to croc infested inland to tame all of the crocs there. Again the shaman has
successfully completed his task. So the king told the shaman: “Try to make the
crocs to become violent once more. I want to know how marvel is your power?”
The Indian shaman was so indulged in the praises by praises
from the king so made the crocs violent again. Then chickens and livestock were
thrown into the river and all were quickly consumed by the crocs. At this time,
a Palembang soldier invited lured the Indian shaman into the crocs horde. It
was surefire that the shaman also being consumed by the crocs.
It was said the location where the Indian shaman was killed
to be along the eastern costal of Southern Sumatera, such as Pulaurimau or in
Pemulutan. So it is not a surprise that the crocs in Musi River have different
characters with the crocs in the districts of inlands of Southern Sumatera. There
were no violent crocs in Musi River but all the crocs in the inlands are
notorious of their fierceness.