Author: Nelfi Syafrina Editor: Tethy Ezokanzo Illustrator: Translator: Rini Lasman Proofreader: Ratih Soe Origin: West Sumatera

Once upon a time, the troops of Majapahit Kingdom planned to attack the Pagaruyung Kingdom in West Sumatera. They wanted to expand their kingdom. The King of Pagaruyung Kingdom heard this and immediately gathered his servants in the castle to listen to their opinion.

“My fellow men, as we have known, the troops of Majapahit has reached Kiliran Jawo. They have set up tents and has made Kiliran Jawo their command post . As the King, I don’t want any bloodshed in my kingdom. What should we do?” asked the king.

Theroom stuffed with some men became silent. The menwerepondering.

“I’ll suggest that we fight them with our elephants and horses soldiers, Your Majesty,” suggested one of the commanders.

“War is our last option. Do you have other suggestions? I want peace. But I don’t think they want it,” said the king touching his forehead. He was also thinking very hard.

“Forgive me, Your Majesty. What if we ask the women in this kingdom to meet them? We assign the princess as their leader,” suggested the king’s advisor.

“Their task is to negotiate peace. Hopefully, the Majapahit troops would accept them.  Because, I think they are reluctant to fight against women troops,” the king’s advisor added.

The King smiled and said, “that’s a great idea, counsellor.” He was certained that this plan would work. Or at least it might postpone the war for a few days. If it didn’t work, then the King would have to figure outanother way to avoid war.

“Guard, please ask Puti Datuk Tantejo Garhano to come before me!” The King commanded his guard. One of the guards immediately ran to the princess’s chamber and asked the princess to meet the King in the meeting chamber.

“Alright,” the Princess answered. She rushed to the meeting chamber to see her father.

“My dearest daughter, would you lead some of the women and meet  the Majapahit troops to negotiate peace?” the King asked after he had explained the plan.

“Yes, I would, Father,” the princess answered firmly.

The following day, the women troops led by Puti Datuk Tantejo Garhano reached Kiliran Jawo. It was the border between Pagaruyung and Majapahit Kingdom. The princess took several servants and her royal relatives. They brought some delicious meals as gifts.

The Majapahit war commander was surprised to see the arrival of the women troops.

“Why does the Pagaruyung King ask their women to go to war?” the Majapahit King wondered. Not willing to be bothered by it too long, the commander welcomed the princess.

“Forgive me, My Lord. We are here to negotiate peace,” Puti Datuk Tantejo explained the reason of their coming.

At the end of the negotiation, the princess said, “thus our intention to come before you is that we would like My Lord to consider a water buffalo race instead of war.”

The Majapahit King was silent for a moment. Then he asked time to deliberate with his men. A while later, the Majapahit King made his decision.

“Very well. We accept your King’s challenge. If our water buffalo wins then the Pagaruyung Kingdom will be ours. If we lose then we will leave the Pagaruyung Kingdom.”

Puti Datuk Tantejo Garhano was pleased to hear that. They arranged the time and place for the water bufallo fight. They however didn’t talk about the type of water buffalo that would join the race.

Then the women troops headed back to the Pagaruyung Kingdom. They reported to the king. The king immediately commanded his guards to find a calfwhich was still breastfeeding.

It was the day of the race. Almost all of the people in the Pagaruyung Kingdom came to watch the race. So were the Majapahit troops. They brought a big and strong water buffalo into the arena. They were certain that their buffalo would win the race.

The Pagaruyung war commander also brought the best water buffalo. A calf that he had let starve before the race. All of the spectators were surprised to see the size of the water buffalo that the commander had brought.

“Why would the commander bring that small calf? Does the King want us to loose?” some of the spectators grumbled.

Entering the arena, the calf raged because it was starving. The commander and some soldiers were having difficulties calming the calf down.

A long whistle was blown as a sign the start of the race. The Pagaruyung commander released the starving calf. It immediately ran towards the big water buffalo from the Majapahit Kingdom. The calf thought that it was its mother. He immediately tried to find milk on the big water buffalo’s stomach. The big water buffalo was confused and started to move around to attack the calves. Exhausted from all of the turning and moving around, the big water buffalo fell into the ground.

The people of Pagaruyung Kingdom bursted into cheers as they won the challenge. They shouted, “Manang Kabau! Manang Kabau!”(Manang = wins; Kabau = water buffalo)

Ever since that time, the Pagaruyung Kingdom and the area surrounding it was known as ‘Nagari Minang Kabau” (Nagari= village ; Minang=wins; Kabau= waterbuffalo).


This post is also available in Bahasa Indonesia.

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