Tribes from Sulawesi

Kera dan Ayam / Kera and the Chicken


A long time ago, there was a chicken who was friends with a monkey. But the friendship did not last long, because of the behavior of the monkey. One evening The monkey took the chicken for a walk. When it was evening the monkey began to feel hungry. Then he caught the chicken and start pulling feathers. The Chicken thrashed with a vengeance. Finally, he escaped.

He ran as fast as he could. Fortunately, not far from there was the residence of the Crab. The Crab was an old friend. When he rushed into the residence of the Crab's hole. He was greeted with joy by the crab. Then he told the crab all the events that happened, including the betrayal of the monkey.

Hearing this the Crab could not accept the treatment of the monkey. He said, "let us teach the monkey a lesson, the true meaning of friendship." Then he created a cunning and devious plan. They finally agreed to invite the monkey to go sailing to the island full with fruits. But the boat they would use was a homemade boat made out of clay.

Then the chicken invited the monkey to sail to the island opposite. With the greed of the monkey it was impossible for him to reject the invitation. A few days later, they began their journey. When the boat was in the middle of the sea, they then started. The chickens crowed "holes ho!" The Crab replied "Now!"

The chicken pecked at the bottom of the boat and the crab cut large holes on the side of the boat. Eventually the boat started to sink. The Crab dived to the seabed. The Chicken with easy flew to land. All were safe except for the monkey who thrashed in the water for help. Being unable to swim he finally drowned.

(Excerpted from Abdurrauf Tarimana, et al, "Landoke ndoke te-Manu: Monkey and Chicken," Folklore Region Southeast Sulawesi, Jakarta: Dept.. P and K, 1978, p.. 61-62)


Interesting Sidepoint

(from Wikipedia)

A bogeyman (also spelt bogieman, boogeyman or boogieman) is a monstrous imaginary figure used in threatening children. This legendary monster has no specific appearance, and conceptions of the monster can vary drastically even from household to household within the same community; in many cases, he simply has no set appearance in the mind of a child, but is just an amorphous embodiment of terror.

In Southeast Asia, the term is commonly accepted to refer to Bugis[4] or Buganese[5] pirates, ruthless seafarers of southern Sulawesi, Indonesia's third largest island. These pirates often plagued early English or Dutch trading ships, namely those of the British East India Company or Dutch East India Company. It is popularly believed that this resulted in the European sailors bringing their fear of the "bugi men" back to their home countries.


Does the story above have a connection with Sulawesi culture and the reputation that we in western culture associate with them?