Author: Dzikry el Han Editor: Tethy Ezokanzo Illustrator: Maman Mantox, Rizky Adeliasari, Purwa Gustira Translator: Ratih Soe Proofreader: Sari Nursita Origin: Papua

Manarbew was a cheerful boy. He was around eight years old. His mother’s name was Insoraki, and his grandfather was a commander named Rumbarak. They lived peacefully in a village on the Wundi island.

For the past several months Manarbew had been restless. He often wondered about his father, whom he had never met since birth. Manarbew was disappointed because his mother couldn’t give him a clear answer.

He then ventured to speak to his grandfather. “Grandpa, I want to know who my dad is. Will you help me find my dad, Grandpa?“ said Manarbew.

Commander Rumbarak looked at his grandson with affection. “All right, Manarbew. I will hold a dance party. You must identify your father by yourself, because your mother and I have never known who your father is.“

“Why is that?”

“It all started with a miracle. When your mother was bathing on the beach, she touched a mars fruit floating nearby. Then your mother got pregnant.”

“Am I a descendant of mars fruit?”

“I do not know, Manarbew. We should throw a party to find out.“

A big party was held.  All men in the village were invited. They beat drums and sang wor. Commander Rumbarak grouped his guests based on age.

The first group consisted of single young men. Accompanied by his mother and grandfather, Manarbew perused them one by one.

“My father is not in this group,” said Manarbew.

He then went to the second group, namely the married men. Manarbew watched them carefully, but he still couldn’t find his father.

There was only one group left.  The third group consisted of elderly men. Manarbew watched them one by one.

“Grandpa, Mom, look at that guy over there. He is my father,“ said Manarbew excitedly.

“Which one is he, Manarbew?” asked Insoraki, worried but curious.

“That one, the old man whose body is full of mange. He’s carrying a stick and a bundle of leaves as fly repellent. My father’s name is Manarmakeri. “

Manarbew knew that his mother and grandfather were really disappointed to hear the answer. So did all the villagers. They couldn’t accept the fact that the beautiful Insoraki had gotten herself an old husband—and a smelly one, no less, as scabies gnawed around his body.

The dance party turned chaotic. Manarbew watched all the villagers leave by boat. They did not like to see Insoraki marry Manarmakeri. Even Commander Rumbarak was leaving, taking all his stuff with him. No boats were left behind. The village had became quiet. The only inhabitants left were Manarbew and his parents.

Since then Manarbew had always seen his mother gloomy and very sad. Then one afternoon his father called Manarbew.

“Take care of your mother, Manarbew. I will go for a while. Stay here until I’m back.”

“I will, Dad.”

Manarbew then played by himself in the yard, while his mother sat staring off into space. They didn’t say anything to each other until it was nearly dark. Manarbew stopped playing when he saw a stout man in the distance.  The man smiled and walked towards him.

“Are you my father?” asked Manarbew when they got near. Manarbew could still recognize his father’s stick, although his father’s body and face had changed.

“Yes, Manarbew. I am your father.”

“How did you change your look?”

“It is a secret of life, Manarbew. I went to a place named Kaweri.  I made fire from a pile of ironwood there. Then I burned the scabies all over my body with the fire.”

“I’ll tell Mom that you have turned into a dashing and handsome man.”

After Manarbew told her the story, his mother was still grieving. Manarbew could not do anything else.  He just listened to the conversation of his parents.

“Why did you wait so long to reveal your handsome look?” asked Insoraki to her husband.

“Don’t you like it?” Manarmakeri asked.

“There is no point anymore. Everyone has left. I’ve lost my family and friends.”

“Do not worry, Insoraki. We’ll catch up with them,“ said Manarmakeri.

Then, Manarbew saw his father scratch his stick on the sand. He drew a magnificent kurares boat. The picture then transformed into an actual boat. They sailed to the island of Yapen, following the trail of the family and the rest of the villagers.

Apparently, the presence of Manarbew and his parents did not make people happy. Even Commander Rumbarak also rejected their visit. Manarbew saw his mother getting more upset.

However, his father was good at soothing her grief. They continued sailing until they arrived on Numfor island.

“Dad, the air here is very hot. I can’t stand it,” said Manarbew.

“I know.  We need fresh air.”

Manarbew saw his father throw a poiru rock into the distance. And then came another miracle. The poiru stone turned into a beautiful island with a cool weather. The island was then named Poiru Island.

Manarbew was very happy. He helped his father planting four new trees on Poiru Island. Of the four trees then grew the four great clans of the village, namely: Anggraidifu, Rumansara, Rumberpon, and Rumberpur. They had been living in peace ever since.

***

 

This post is also available in Bahasa Indonesia.

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One Response so far.

  1. Sari Nursita says:

    OH MY, this part of the story sent me into a giggling fit:

    “It all started with a miracle. When your mother was bathing on the beach, she touched a mars fruit floating nearby. Then your mother got pregnant.”

    “Am I a descendant of mars fruit?”

    😀 😀 😀

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