Legenda Pesut Mahakam

Season 1 Episode 3 from Mahakam – East Kalimantan

Cerita ini berawal dari sebuah keluarga yang hidup di daerah Mahakam pada zaman dahulu. Keluarga yang terdiri dari ayah, ibu, anak laki-laki dan anak perempuan itu, hidup dari hasil ladang dan kebun mereka dan mereka hidup bahagia dan berkecukupan.

Kebahagiaan itu hilang ketika ibu dari keluarga tersebut jatuh sakit, dan walaupun sudah banyak tabib yang didatangkan untuk mengobatinya, penyakitnya tidak bisa disembuhkan dan akhirnya ibu malang tersebut meninggal dunia.

Setelah kepergian sang ibu, sang ayah memutuskan untuk menikah lagi dengan wanita lain yang tidak dikenal asal usulnya dan yang baru dikenalnya dalam sebuah pesta. Kedua anak itu pun mendapatkan seorang ibu yang baru.

Ternyata wanita itu memiliki sifat yang kejam dan selalu memerintahkan kedua anak tersebut untuk menyelesaikan pekerjaan di rumah. Jika kedua anak itu terlihat berhenti bekerja maka ibu tiri ini akan memukul dan menganiaya mereka. Hanya makanan sisa yang diberikan kepada mereka. Walaupun ayah mereka mengetahui perlakuan ibu tiri ini, ia tidak melakukan tindakan apa-apa karena ia sangat sayang kepada istri barunya itu.

Suatu hari, ibu tiri itu memerintahkan kedua anak tersebut untuk pergi ke hutan mencari kayu bakar dan untuk tidak pulang sebelum mereka berhasil mengumpulkan kayu bakar yang banyak. Kedua anak itu segera berangkat ke hutan dan bekerja keras untuk mencari dan mengumpulkan kayu bakar sesuai perintah ibu tiri mereka. Setelah bekerja keras seharian, dengan takut mereka beranggapan bahwa kayu bakar yang mereka kumpulkan masih belum cukup banyak. Mereka memutuskan untuk tidak pulang tapi bermalam di hutan supaya bisa melanjutkan pencarian kayu bakar keesokan harinya.

Kedua anak itu mencari dan mengumpulkan kayu bakar lagi hingga siang hari keesokan harinya. Saat hari telah siang mereka terpaksa menghentikan usaha mereka karena mereka merasa sangat lapar. Tidak ada makanan di sekitar mereka yang bisa mereka temukan hingga akhirnya mereka berdua terbaring lemas di atas tanah.

Tiba-tiba muncul seorang kakek yang merasa iba terhadap mereka setelah mereka menceritakan nasib mereka.  Kakek itu menunjukkan arah ke tempat dimana mereka bisa menemukan banyak buah untuk mereka makan dan menghilangkan rasa lapar mereka. Kedua anak tersebut menuruti petunjuk kakek tersebut dan menemukan tempat buah-buahan tersebut. Mereka makan hingga puas dan setelah selesai memutuskan untuk pulang dengan membawa kayu bakar hasil pencarian mereka.

Mereka sangat kaget ketika tiba di rumah dan mereka tidak dapat menemukan baik ayah maupun ibu tiri mereka di sana. Ternyata ayah dan ibu tersebut telah membawa semua harta benda mereka dan pergi meninggalkan rumah itu. Tetangga yang merasa iba terhadap mereka bersedia menukarkan kayu bakar mereka dengan makanan. Berbekal makan tersebut, kedua anak itu terus berjalan untuk mencari ayah mereka.

Setelah dua hari dua malam perbekalan mereka pun habis. Sebelum mereka kelaparan, nasib baik membawa mereka ke rumah seorang kakek tua yang tidak hanya saja memberikan mereka makanan tapi juga memberitahukan kepada mereka arah mana yang harus mereka ambil untuk menemukan orang tua mereka.

Mengikuti petunjuk kakek tersebut, setelah dua hari dua malam, kedua anak tersebut sampai ke sebuah rumah dimana mereka melihat baju ayah mereka sedang dijemur di luar. Dengan sangat gembira mereka berlari masuk tapi ternyata rumah tersebut kosong. Di dapur mereka menemukan bubur yang tengah dimasak dalam sebuah periuk.

Karena kakak adik tersebut sudah kelaparan, tanpa menunggu lebih lama mereka berdua mulai memakan bubur panas yang tengah dimasak tersebut. Setelah makan bubur itu, keduanya merasakan kepanasan yang sangat hebat di seluruh tubuh mereka. Mereka berlari keluar untuk mencari sesuatu yang dapat mendinginkan tubuh mereka. Tubuh mereka sangat panas sehingga batang pohon pisang yang mereka peluk untuk mendinginkan tubuh mereka langsung layu dan kering setelah bersentuhan dengan tubuh mereka. Akhirnya mereka menemukan sebuah sungai dan segera menceburkan diri mereka ke dalam sungai itu.

Ayah dan ibu tiri kedua anak itu akhirnya kembali ke rumah itu dan kaget ketika menemukan parang milik kedua anak itu dan batang pohon pisang yang layu dan hangus, Mereka berdua segera mencari di sekeliling rumah hingga mereka sampai ke sungai tempat kedua anak itu menceburkan diri. Di sana mereka menemukan dua ikan besar  yang menyemburkan air dari kepalanya yang mirip dengan bentuk kepala manusia. Ayah tersebut sangat bingung karena ia tidak pernah melihat jenis ikan itu sebelumnya dan secara tiba-tiba istrinya juga menghilang. Akhirnya ia sadar bahwa istrinya adalah makhluk gaib yang menyebabkan ia kehilangan kedua anaknya.

Kedua ikan dengan kepala yang mirip kepala manusia itu, sekarang dikenal sebagai ikan pesut yang hidup di sungai-sungai Mahakam.

ENGLISH VERSION

This story begins with a family who lived in the Mahakam area a long time ago. The family which consisted of a father, a mother, a son and a daughter, lived off their fields and garden and they lived happily and in abundance.

That happiness was taken away when the mother of that family fell ill and although many doctors were summoned to help heal her, her illness remained incurable and the poor mother passed away at the end.

After the passing away of the mother, the father decided to remarry another woman, whose origins were not clear and whom he just met at a party. Thus, the two children gained a new mother.

The woman turned out to be cruel in nature and always ordered the two children to do the housework. If she saw them not working, this stepmother will hit and abuse them. Only leftover food were given to the children. Although the father knew about the stepmother’s mistreatment of the children, he took no action to stop it as he loved his new wife very much.

One day, the stepmother ordered the two children to go into the forest to look for firewood and to not come home before they succeeded in gathering a lot of firewood. The two children immediately went into the forest and worked hard to search and gather firewood as per their stepmother’s orders. After working hard for the whole day, they fearfully realized that the firewood that they had gathered were still not enough. They decided to not return home but to spend the night in the forest so that they can continue to search for more firewood the next day.

The two children continued to search and gather more firewood until noon the next day. When the day reached noon, they had to stop working as they were ravenously hungry. There were no food to be found around them so they both ended up laying weakly on the ground.

Suddenly, an old man appeared and felt sorry for them after they told him what had happened to them. The old man showed them the direction towards where they could find a lot of fruit to eat and satisfy their hunger. The two children followed his directions and found the said fruit.

They ate their fill and after they were finished, they decided to return home bringing the firewood that they had gathered.

They were shocked when they arrived at their house because they could not find both their father and stepmother there. It appeared that their father and stepmother had gathered all of their belongings and left the house. A neighbour who felt sorry for them, was willing to exchange their firewood with food. Bringing that food with them, the two children went to look for their father.

After two days and two nights, they ran out of their food supplies. Before they went hungry, good fortune brought them to the house of an old man who not only provided them with food but also informed them which direction they should take to find their parents.

Following the old man’s instructions, after another two days and two nights, the two children arrived at a house where they saw their father’s clothes being sun-dried outside. With great joy they ran into the house but found that the house was empty. In the kitchen, they found a pot of porridge being cooked.

Because the brother and sister were hungry, without waiting further, they both started to eat that porridge in the pot. After eating that porridge, they felt an intense heat all over their bodies. They ran outside to find something that can help cool down their bodies. Their bodies were so hot that the trunk of the banana tree which they hugged to cool down, immediately withered up and dried after touching their bodies. Finally they found a river and right away threw themselves into that river.

The father and stepmother of the two children returned to that house and was surprised when they found the cleaver belonging to the two children and the withered, burnt trunk of the banana tree. They both immediately searched around the house until they reached the river where the two children threw themselves in. There they found two big fish which sprayed water from their human-shaped heads. The father was confused as he never saw that species of fish before and then suddenly his wife also disappeared. Finally he realized that his wife was a magical being who made him lose his two children.

The two fish with the human-shaped heads are now what we know as pesut or river dolphins which until now still live in the rivers of Mahakam.

New Vocabulary

Tabib : doctor

Malang: unfortunate / poor

Ibu tiri: step mother

Iba: feel sorry / feel pity

Berbekal: bring provision

Periuk: pot made of terracotta

Menceburkan: jump into water

Ikan Pesut: river dolphin

The Indonesian language used here is in the daily-conversation format, that has influences from the local culture and custom. Should you have questions on the more formal version, please consult with your guru Bahasa Indonesia.