The origins of the cendrawasih bird

Season 1 Episode 5 from Papua

Di daerah Fak-fak, tepatnya di daerah pegunungan Bumberi, hiduplah seorang perempuan tua bersama seekor anjing betinanya. Mereka berdua hidup bebas dan bahagia di alam.

Suatu hari, seperti biasanya mereka berdua ke hutan untuk mencari makanan. Setelah melalui perjalanan yang cukup lama, mereka belum juga mendapatkan makanan. Anjing itu merasa lelah karena kehabisan tenaga dan tibalah mereka berdua pada suatu tempat yang ditumbuhi pohon pandan yang penuh dengan buah.

Perempuan tua tersebut mengambil buah itu dan memberikannya kepada anjing betinanya yang langsung memakan buahnya hingga segar kembali dan kenyang.

Tiba-tiba perut anjing itu membesar karena hamil. Tidak lama kemudian lahirlah seekor anak anjing. Melihat keanehan tersebut, si Perempuan tua yang ingin memiliki seorang anak itu pun segera memungut buah pandan dan memakannya. Dia pun hamil dan melahirkan seorang bayi laki-laki yang diberi nama Kweiya. 

Perempuan tua itu membesarkan Kweiya dengan penuh kasih sayang dan Kweiya tumbuh menjadi anak yang cerdas dan berbakti kepada ibunya. 

Setelah Kweiya dewasa, dia mulai membuka hutan dan membuat kebun untuk menanam berbagai macam bahan makanan dan sayuran. Alat yang dipakai untuk menebang pohon hanyalah sebuah kapak yang terbuat dari batu, karenanya Kweiya hanya dapat menebang satu pohon setiap harinya. Ibunya ikut membantu dengan membakar daun-daun dari pohon yang telah ditebang untuk membersihkan tempat itu sehingga asap tebal mengepul ke langit. 

Ada seorang pria tua yang sedang memancing di tengah laut yang melihat asap mengepul ke langit. Karena ingin tahu asal dari asap tersebut, dia pergi mencari tempat di mana asap itu terjadi. Dengan membawa kapak besinya, dia pergi menuju ke tempat asap itu terlihat. 

Ketika tiba di tempat asap tersebut, dia melihat seorang pria tampan yang sedang bekerja keras menebang pohon dengan menggunakan sebuah kapak batu. Sang pria tua menghampiri lalu memberi salam selamat siang dan menawarkan kapak besinya kepada Kweiya untuk menebang pohon-pohon di hutan itu. Kweiya dengan mudah menebang banyak pohon dengan menggunakan kapak besi pemberian sang pria tua. 

Ibu Kweiya yang menunggu di rumah menjadi heran dan bertanya kepada anaknya, dengan alat apa dia bisa menebang banyak pohon dengan begitu cepat.

Kweiya tidak langsung menjawab pertanyaan ibunya dan dia meminta agar ibunya menyiapkan makanan. Kweiya kemudian mengajak pria tua itu untuk ikut makan di rumah mereka dan memperkenalkannya kepada ibunya. Kweiya menjelaskan bahwa pria tua itu yang memberikan kapak besi yang membantunya untuk dapat menebang pohon dengan cepat. Dia berharap agar ibunya mau menerima pria tersebut sebagai suaminya, karena pria itu telah berbuat baik terhadap mereka. Sang ibu menerima usul Kweiya, dan sejak itu mereka bertiga tinggal bahagia bersama.

Beberapa tahun kemudian, ibu Kweiya melahirkan dua anak laki-laki dan satu anak perempuan yang dianggap sebagai adik-adik kandung dari Kweiya. Kweiya menyayangi adik-adiknya, tapi adik-adik itu merasa iri terhadap Kweiya karena melihat ibunya sangat sayang pada Kweiya.

Pada suatu hari, ketika orang tua mereka sedang mencari ikan, kedua adik laki-lakinya memukul Kweiya serta melukai tubuhnya. Kweiya menyembunyikan diri di sudut rumah sambil memintal benang dari kulit pohon karena dia berusaha sabar dan tidak mengadukan perbuatan adik-adiknya ke orang tua mereka. 

Saat kedua orang tua mereka pulang, mereka bertanya dimana Kweiya berada, tetapi kedua adik laki-lakinya tidak berani menceritakan di mana Kweiya. Adik perempuan mereka yang menceritakan kepada kedua orang tuanya mengenai perkelahian itu. Mendengar cerita itu, sang ibu merasa iba terhadap Kweiya dan dia berusaha memanggil-manggil Kweiya agar datang tapi tidak terdengar jawaban.

Sang ibu hanya mendengar suara yang berbunyi : “Eek..ek,ek”. Kweiya telah menjadi seekor burung yang berbulu indah atas kuasa para dewa, yang merasa kasihan kepadanya. Karena kesabaran hatinya, Kweiya diberikan kemampuan oleh para dewa untuk menjadi seekor burung yang dapat terbang dari satu pohon ke pohon lainnya. Kweiya mengikatkan benang hasil buatannya pada kakinya lalu terbang ke dahan pohon di dekat rumah mereka.

Ibunya menangis melihat Kweiya telah berubah menjadi burung. Dia tidak tahu bahwa Kweiya selama ini diperlakukan buruk oleh adik-adiknya. Ibunya ingin menjadi burung juga untuk menemani Kweiya dan bertanya apakah masih ada benang untuknya. 

Kweiya yang telah berubah menjadi burung ajaib menjawab bahwa, benang untuk ibunya ada di sudut rumah. Ibu tua itu lalu segera mencari benang tersebut dan mengikatkan benang pada lengannya. Dia pun menjadi seekor burung yang juga berbulu indah dan menyusul Kweiya ke atas dahan sebuah pohon yang tinggi di hutan belakang rumah mereka. Keduanya berkicau dengan suara nyaring. 

Sejak itulah burung cendrawasih muncul di bumi. Terdapat perbedaan antara burung cendrawasih jantan dan betina. Burung cendrawasih jantan yang bulunya panjang disebut “siangga” sedangkan burung cendrawasih betina yang bulunya pendek disebut “hanggam tombor” dalam bahasa setempat. 

Adik-adik Kweiya yang melihat peristiwa ajaib itu merasa menyesal lalu saling menuduh siapa yang salah sehingga ditinggalkan oleh ibu dan kakak mereka. Sambil bertengkar, mereka saling melempari satu sama lain dengan abu dari tungku perapian sehingga wajah mereka menjadi hitam, kelabu dan merah. Mereka pun berubah menjadi burung-burung dengan warna masing-masing yang terbang ke hutan. Sejak itu hutan di daerah tersebut juga dipenuhi oleh burung-burung yang bulunya tidak seindah bulu burung cendrawasih.

The next one will be in English version

ENGLISH

In the Fak-fak area, specifically in the mountains of Bumberi, Papua, lived an old woman with her female dog. They lived freely and happily surrounded by nature.

One day, as usual, they both went into the forest to look for food. After a long journey, they still did not find any food. The dog felt tired with almost no strength left in her when they arrived at a place where fruit-filled pandan trees grew.

The old woman took the fruit and gave it to her female dog who immediately ate the fruit until it regained its strength and was satisfied.

Suddenly, the dog’s stomach grew larger because it became pregnant. Not long after, the dog gave birth to a puppy. Seeing that strange occurrence, the old woman who wanted to have a child of her own, quickly took the pandan fruit and ate it. She too became pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy whom she named Kweiya.

The old woman raised Kweiya lovingly and Kweiya grew up to be a smart boy who was devoted to his mother. 

After Kweiya grew up, he started to open up the forest and made a garden in which he grew various food produce and vegetables. The tool which he used to cut down the trees was only an axe made of stone, therefore Kweiya could only cut down one tree per day. His mother helped him burn the leaves from the fallen tree to clear out the area which caused thick smoke to rise up to the sky.

An old man who was fishing in the middle of the ocean saw the smoke rising up to the sky. Because he was curious as to where the smoke came from, he went to look for the place where the smoke started. With his iron axe, he went to the place where the smoke had been seen.

When he had reached the place where the smoke started, he saw a good-looking young man who was hard at work cutting down a tree using a stone axe. The old man approached him and said good day while offering his iron axe to Kweiya to cut down the trees in the forest. Kweiya then easily cut down many trees using the iron axe from the old man.

Kweiya’s mother who had been waiting at their house wondered and asked her son what was the tool that he had used so that he could cut down so many trees in a short time. 

Kweiya did not answer his mother directly and he asked his mother to prepare some food. Kweiya then asked the old man to eat at their house and introduced him to his mother. Kweiya explained that the old man was the one who had given him an iron axe which helped him to quickly cut down the trees. It was his hope that his mother would accept the man as her husband as the man had been good to them. His mother accepted Kweiya’s suggestion and since then all three of them lived happily together.

A few years later, Kweiya’s mother gave birth to two boys and one girl who were all raised as Kweiya’s younger siblings. Kweiya loved his younger siblings but they were jealous of Kweiya as they saw that their mother loved Kweiya very much.

One day, when their parents went fishing, the two younger brothers hit Kweiya and injured him. Kweiya hid himself in the corner of the house while spinning threads made from the tree barks as he tried to remain patient and not tell what his brothers had done to their parents.

When their parents arrived home, they asked where Kweiya was, but the two younger brothers did not dare to answer their parents. The youngest sister then told both their parents about the fight. Hearing what had happened, the mother felt sorry for Kweiya and she tried calling for Kweiya to come out but she received no answer.

The mother only heard a voice which sounded “Eek..ek,ek!”. Kweiya had turned into a bird with beautiful feathers through the power of the gods, who felt sorry for him.  Because of his patience, Kweiya was granted the ability by the gods to turn into a bird which could fly from one tree to another. Kweiya had tied the threads he had spun on his legs then flew to a branch of a tree near their house.

His mother cried when she saw that Kweiya had turned into a bird. She had not known that all this time Kweiya had been mistreated by his younger siblings. His mother wanted to turn into a bird as well to accompany Kweiya and asked whether there was still some threads left for her. 

Kweiya who had turned into a magical bird answered that the threads for his mother were in the corner of the house. The old mother then looked for the threads and tied the threads on her arm. She too then became a bird with beautiful feathers and followed Kweiya to a branch of a tall tree in the forest behind their home. Both of them then started to chirp loudly.

Since then, the cendrawasih bird existed on earth. The difference between a male and a female bird lies on the length of their feathers, the male cendrawasih bird with its longer feathers is called “siangga” while the female cendrawasih bird with its shorter feathers is called “hanggam tombor” in the local language.

Kweiya’s younger siblings who saw that magical occurrence regretted their actions and started to blame each other for the disappearance of their mother and older brother. While fighting, they threw ash from the furnace to each other until their faces became black, grey and red. They too then turned into birds with different colored feathers and flew into the forest. Since then, the forest in that area was also  filled with birds whose feathers were not as beautiful as the feathers of a cendrawasih bird.

New Vocabulary

Pegunungan: mountains

Betina: female

Hamil: pregnant

Buah Pandan: Pandan fruit

Asap: smoke

Mengepul: smoke blows up / smoke rises up / billow forth

Kapak batu: stone axe

Memintal: spinning threads

Nyaring: loud

Jantan: male

Tungku perapian: furnace

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.