Author: Laksmi P Manohara Editor: Herlina Sitorus Illustrator: Maman mantox & Purwa Gustira Translator: Ratih Soe Proofreader: Sari Nursita Origin: North Sulawesi

In Minahasa, North Sulawesi, there was a village called To Un Rano. In the village of To Un Rano, there lived a girl called Lintang. Her beauty was so famous throughout the village. Her voice was also very melodious. Many young men fell in love with her. Many of them asked for her hand in marriage. However, Lintang always refused them. Even the crown prince, the son of King Mongondow had to forget his wish to marry Lintang, despite the fact that he had given her a beautiful golden flute.

One day, at a youth party, a handsome and dashing young man tried to approach Lintang.

“O, Princess Lintang. I am Makasiga from the village of Kelabat Atas,“ Makasiga introduced himself.

It was quite a memorable meeting for both of them. Until one day, Makasiga tried to propose to Lintang. The beautiful girl accepted his proposal with one condition.

“Makasiga, please craft a musical instrument for me, one that sounds more melodious than my golden flute,” demanded Princess Lintang.

Makasiga immediately nodded and agreed. He was sure he could soon find the musical instrument she meant. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as easy as he had thought. He gave Lintang several musical instruments, none of which could satisfy her.

Makasiga wandered around the forest to find the right instrument. The air was very cold in there. To keep his body warm, Makasiga chopped and dried some woods. Then he collected the wood planks and threw them into a pile. They sounded sonorous when they hit the ground.

Cling… Clang… Cling…

“Hey, I think I could turn these timbers into a musical instrument. Princess Lintang would love it,“ said Makasiga excitedly.

Makasiga then lined up the planks on his feet. When he hit the pieces of wood, they alternately made a low, high, and medium pitch of sounds. Cling… Clang… Cling…

Day and night, Makasiga cut the woods into different lengths to find the right sounds.

“Princess Lintang would definitely be happy with the musical instrument I have created,” murmured Makasiga while playing with the new musical instrument. The shrill sounds broke the silence of the forest.

Two hunters heard the voice from a distance.

“That must be the sound of the forest spirits!” said one of the hunters while cowering.

“No way, ghosts don’t make a sound as loud and melodious as that,” said another hunter in disbelief.

Finally the two hunters approached the source of the sound to find out. To their surprise, the sound came from a very shabby young man. They knew him as Makasiga, a craftsman from the village of Kelabat Atas.
Yes. Makasiga had become thin and weak from trying so hard to create the melodious musical instrument. To grant the wish of the girl he adored, Makasiga often forgot to eat, drink, and rest.

“Mangemo kumolintang,” said Makasiga softly. He swayed, and then he fell down.

The two hunters immediately helped Makasiga and took him to the village of Kelabat Atas. Makasiga was too weak to be cured; he eventually died.

The news about the death of Makasiga reached Lintang. She was so devastated that she got seriously ill and finally followed Makasiga to the afterlife.

The musical instrument created by Makasiga is still played at the village of To Un Rano, now known as Tondano. The expression “mangemo kumolintang” means “let’s cling and clang”. Gradually, the term is turned into an invitation to play Kolintang.

This post is also available in Bahasa Indonesia.

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