Kesuma, The Legend of Mount Bromo

Kesuma, Legenda Gunung Bromo | Edisi Indonesia

Folklore from East Java

DID you read the edition entitled Watu Singa? The story told us about a husband and a wife named Joko Seger and Roro Anteng. They had been married for years and they did not have any children yet.

They wanted to have children, they prayed to gods every day. And finally Joko Seger had a vision. His wife would be pregnant if he meditated in a cave. However, a lion lived in the cave. Joko Seger fought with the lion. He won! Later he meditated in the cave. Now, do you want to know if Joko Seger and Roro really had some children? Read on! Joko Seger was meditating.Later, he heard a voice.

"Joko Seger, all the Gods agreed to give you children, lots of children."

"Really? Thank you very much," said Joko Seger happily.

"But there is one condition you have to do."

"Say it. I will do anything as long as you give me lots of children," said Joko Seger.

"You will have 25 children. But you have to sacrifice one of them when they are adult."

"l agree," said Joko Seger without any doubts.

He was so happy that Gods would give them 25 children. He thought sacrificing one of them would not be a problem. He would still have 24 children.

At home, ]oko Seger told his wife about his conversation with the god. And Roro Anteng could not say anything. After all, her husband had promised to Gods. She just hoped that they would never have to sacrifice one child.

Later, Roro Anteng was pregnant. They had a baby! Joko Seger and Roro Anteng were very happy. The first baby was followed by other babies. Sometimes, the babies were born twins and other times the babies were born triplets. And the couple finally had 25 children! They were extremely happy.

And when the children were grown up, Joko Seger had a dream. He talked to the God.

"Joko Seger, remember your promise. I want you to bring one of your children to the crater of Bromo Mountain. Sacrifice your child there. If you don't keep your promise, the mountain will erupt and destroy everything."

Joko Seger woke up from his sleep. He was restless. He then talked to all his children about his promise.

"No, Father, I don't want to die," said the oldest.

"I don't either, Father," said another child.

All the children refused to be sacrificed. Joko Seger did not have the heart to force them. He loved all his children. Suddenly, the youngest child talked. His name was Kesuma.

"Please let me do it, Father. I love our family and the people of Tengger. But please, commemorate my sacrifice. Every year, please hold a ceremony and provide some offerings to the crater of Bromo Mountain," said Kesuma.

Kesuma was a very good son. He was obedient to his parents and very kind to other people. All the villagers loved him. He was kind and always helped other people.

Kesuma went to the crater. He jumped and he was swallowed by fire. Everybody was sad. And they all were very thankful to Kesuma. Because of him, their place was safe from the eruption of Bromo Mountain.

Until now, once a year the people of Tenggel always hold a ceremony to commemorate Kesuma. They bring offerings to the crater of Bromo Mountain. ***

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