Author: Filumena Valensia Editor: Herlina Sitorus Illustrator: Maman Mantox & Purwa Gustira Translator: Ratih Soe Proofreader: Dameria Damayanti Origin: South Sumatera

This is a story from a hamlet called Ulak Lebar, a small village on the banks of the River Kelingi, a creek of the Batang Hari river in South Sumatra. There was a king who ruled there. King Biku, that’s his name. His Queen was named Princess Selendang Kuning.

Unfortunately, after ten years of marriage, the King and the Queen had not been blessed with a child. King Biku prayed to Lord Mantra Sakti Tujuh who descended on the peak of the Rimbo Tenang Hill. He told the King to meditate and let his soul wander to find the six-petal bullet wood flower.

After the King got the flower, Sakti Tujuh told him to make a potion.

“Drop some of the potion into your bath water, and partly into the drink of the Queen. You will get six children in accordance with the number of petals of this flower,“ said Sakti Seven.

“Oh Lord, I thank thee,” said King Biku excitedly.

“But, remember one thing. All will return to its origin, at a specified time,“ emphasized Sakti Tujuh.
The King and the Queen did what the god ordered. Shortly afterwards, the Queen became pregnant and gave birth to a son named Sebudur.

Sebudur grew into a capable and strong child. He had five sisters, namely Dayang Torek, Dayang Deruja, Dayang Deruji, Dayang Ayu, and Ireng Manis.

Over time, Sebudur and his sisters grew up. They were famous for their kindness and good looks, especially Dayang Torek. The news about her beauty spread to distant lands.

One day, King Biku was leaving for China. He advised on Sebudur,

“My son Sebudur, take care of your mother and sisters when I’m in China. If I don’t come back in the time I promised, that means something has happened to me. There is no need to come and fetch me. Stay here and take my place as the new king.“

Then King Biku departed on a ship. As it passed through the South China Sea, the ship was hit by a big storm and sank into the dark and cold ocean.

After a long wait for the king’s return, Sebudur forgot his father’s advice.  He went to China instead. He was very sad to discover his father’s ship had sunk.

While Sebudur was in China, came envoys from Palembang prince to the hamlet of Ulak Lebar. The Prince had heard about the beauty of Dayang Torek and wanted to ask for her hand in marriage, but Queen Selendang Kuning rejected him.  She wanted to seek approval from Sebudur first.

Feeling offended, the two envoys kidnapped the Princess and took her to Palembang. Sebudur was very upset when he came home and learned that her sister had been kidnapped. Sebudur immediately went to Palembang. With his power, he could penetrate the guards’ defense without difficulty.

To Sebudur’s surprise, it turned out that Dayang Torek had had a baby boy from her husband.

“Little Sister, let us return to our kingdom. Just leave your baby,“ Sebudur persuaded Dayang Torek.

“No, Big Brother. How could a mother ever leave her child!“ asserted Dayang Torek

“All right, we take your son to Ulak Lebar,” urged Sebudur.

Dayang Torek agreed. They both eventually managed to escape. When they were near Ulak Lebar, the horses they rode were exhausted. When the horses were trying to cross the river, Dayang Torek’s baby fell out of Sebudur’s arms. The poor baby was swept away and drowned.

Dayang Torek kept crying over the loss of her son. She was angry and refused to speak a word to Sebudur whom she considered careless when holding the baby.

“I’m sorry, Dayang Torek. You may be furious and hate me, but we should go home and meet Mother and our sisters. They must have been waiting for us, “ said Sebudur.

“No. You’d better go home without me! “Dayang Torek left his brother. She disappeared into the hill of Rimbo Calm.

“My sister Dayang Torek!” Sebudur called his sister in despair. However, no matter how hard he searched, Dayang Torek never returned. It was then that Sakti Tujuh appeared and told Sebudur about the  bullet wood flower and their birth.

“King Biku and Dayang Torek had kept their promise to return to their origin. In turn, your other sisters, your mother, you yourself will disappear as well,“ said Sakti Tujuh.

Sebudur went back to Ulak Lebar alone. Sakti Tujuh told him the truth. His mother and sisters  disappeared one by one. Similarly, Sebudur finally disappeared.

All was back to the origin. All was gone, like a fairy. Gone like a fairy (silampari). Since then on, the hamlet of Ulak Lebar, other hamlets around it, and Lubuk Linggau as the center of the city, has been known as Bumi Silampari.

This post is also available in Bahasa Indonesia.

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