Author: Tethy Ezokanzo Editor: Aan Wulandari Illustrator: Agus Willy Christy Translator: Ratih Soe Proofreader: Dameria Damayanti Origin: North Kalimantan

“Dear Lord, please bestow on us offspring,” came the cry of a heartbreaking prayer one night.

Whose voice is that? My, that’s Ku Anyi, a man of valor. He is the highly respected chief of the Puak Ma-Afan clan.

Puak Ma-Afan is Dayak Kayan clan living by the river of Kayan. Puak Ma-Afan is wealthy. Kayan fertile soil provides bountiful harvests.

Ku Anyi lives abundantly, but his wealth could not give him happiness.  He wanted a son.  He’s worried.  Who will lead the tribe when he is gone?

“Lord, bestow on us a son to lead the Kayan region. A son who will prosper the Dayak tribe. Please grant our prayer, O Lord. “

Such prayers were continuously said by Ku Anyi and his wife.

All efforts had been made. Like that night, the brave Ku Anyi was not ashamed to cry in front of God. Would God granted his prayers?

One day, Ku Anyi went hunting in the woods. Hunting was his hobby. Besides for exercising and relieving stress, bringing home the quarry could make his family and relatives happy. Ku Anyi was known as a cunning hunter. He always brought home a lot of prey.

But that day, until late in the afternoon, Ku Anyi had not caught any animals. “How strange!  Where are the animals in this forest?” sighed Ku Anyi.

He then decided to go home. Before going home, he opened his meal pack while sitting on a tree.
When he was sitting, suddenly…

Bang!  His feet touched something in the bushes.

“What is this?” Ku Anyi uncovered the bushes. He was surprised to see a bamboo stick and an egg laying in there. “Who on earth put a bamboo stick and an egg here?”

Ku Anyi brought the egg and bamboo stick home.

“What do you have for me?” asked his wife.

Ku Anyi chuckled, holding up the bamboo and egg, “Hahaha…  I did not bring you any meat.  I only got an egg and a piece of bamboo.“

“Maybe the animals were afraid of you. That what happens if you skip a shower,” she laughed,” Hey, but, how come there were an egg and bamboo stick in the forest?“ asked his wife.

Ku Anyi shrugged, “I do not know either. How could a hen lay an egg next to a bamboo stick? I also wonder.“

“Well, okay, we have no meat, but we have an egg. We can serve it for breakfast tomorrow,“ she said as she placed the egg and bamboo stick in the kitchen.

Ku Anyi went to sleep and forgot about the egg and bamboo. That night the rain poured down. Lightning flashed repeatedly. The storm made Ku Anyi’s home crackling.


“Whoa…  whoa!”

They heard baby cries from the kitchen.

Ku Anyi and his wife were surprised. “That sounds like a baby!” shouted his wife.

They immediately got up and ran to the kitchen where the sound came from. They found two babies crying in the kitchen. Apparently, the egg and the bamboo stick had transformed into two chubby and adorable babies.

Ku Anyi and his wife were very happy. Now they had children that came from an egg and a bamboo stick. Not only one child, but a pair.

The baby boy was named Jau Iru while the baby girl was named Lamlam Suri.

Ku Anyi and his wife took care of their babies wholeheartedly. As an affluent chief, he gave his children highly nutritious food and good education.

Jau Iru grew into a mighty, intelligent and dignified young man, like his father. Likewise, Lamlam Suri grew into a beautiful and a skillful young lady.

As Ku Anyi got older, the leadership of Puak Ma-Afan was given to Jau Iru. Lamlam Suri accompanied her brother in leading the tribe.

Under the leadership of Jau Iru, Dayak Kayan thrived. Its territory expanded. Its economy grew strong and its society became well- organized.

Finally, the descendants of Jau Iru could establish a kingdom, the Bulungan Sultanate. Bulungan derived from the words bulu tengon that means a real bamboo.

Later, at the crossroads of Sengkawit and Road Jelarai, people built a monument called “A Broken Egg” monument to commemorate the origin of the Bulungan Sultanate.

This post is also available in Bahasa Indonesia.

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