The Legend of Merapi Mountain


Legenda Gunung Merapi | Edisi Indonesia

Folklore from Yogyakarta

MERAPI Mountain which literally means the Fire Mountain is an active volcano. There is a legend on how the mountain was made. Do you want to know the story? Read on!

 The story happened a long time ago in Central Java. At that time, the island of Java was not balanced. The western side was higher. How could this happen? Well the gods in the heaven thought it was because there was a big mountain in western side. The name of the mountain was Jamurdipa Mountain.

The gods were planning to move the mountain to the center of the island. The head of the gods, Batara Guru, held a meeting with other gods.

"We agree to move the mountain in the center of the island. However there is one problem," said Batara Guru.

He continued, "There are two empus living in the place where we want to put the mountain."

Empu is a blacksmith, he is a person who creates objects from wrought iron or steel by forging the metal. The two empus who lived in the center of the islands were Empu Rama and Empu Pamadi. They were excellent at making keris, a traditional weapon which is believed to have magical powers. Not everybody could make great keris, only the chosen ones. Empu Rama and Empu Pamadi were the chosen ones. They mastered supernatural powers!

Batara Guru asked Batara Narada to meet and persuade the empus to move to another place. Jamurdipa Mountain wou,ld be exactly put in the empus' house.

"No! We will not move anywhere! This place is perfect for us to work. We cannot make a great keris if we do it in other place," refused Empu Rama.

"Yes, find another place!" exclaimed Empu Pamadi.

Batara Narada reported to Batara Guru that the two empus refused to be moved to another place. Batara Guru did not have any other choice. He had to remove the mountain whether the empus agreed or not.

"How stubborn they are! I have to give them a lesson!" said Batara Guru.

Batara Guru asked the god of wind, Dewa Bayu, to remove the mountain.

"Dewa Bayu, we have to remove the mountain immediately. The balance is getting worse. Use your power to remove the mountain," ordered Batara Curu.

"I will do it now, Sir" replied Dewa Bayu.

Dewa Bayu flew to the jamurdipa Mountain. With his power, Dewa Bayu used the wind to lift and move the mountain easily. And then, woooossshhh... Dewa Bayu put the mountain exactly on the empus' house. The empus were inside the house! They died instantly.

The local people believe that the spirits of Empu Rama and Empu Pamadi are still in the mountain.

Meanwhile the fireplace inside the empus' house was still working. The fire was flaming. The local people say that the fireplace changed into the crater of the mountain. The crater was burning heavily. That's why the local people named the mountain  as Gunung Merapi, which means the mountain of fire.***

Mount Merapi

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