The Wekaburi Lake

Danau Wekaburi | Edisi Indonesia

Folklore from Papua

A long time ago, there was a village in Papua named Wekaburi. The people regularly held a party. Everyone was invited. They could come and have a good time. They could eat, drink and dance. However, there s'as one rule. The villagers were not allowed to dance with a dog, though most of them kept dogs as their pets and they really loved their dogs. They believed that dancing with a dog would make rain fall down heavily. It would flood their place.

The head of the village had just told the villagers that they would hold the party. He asked everybody to get prepared. He asked some people to prepare the place. How about the food? Well, no need to worry. All villagers willingly brought the food and the beverages to the party. Everybody was happy, including Isosi.

Isosi was a beautiful girl. She lived alone with her grandmother. Isosi was an orphan. Her parents had died when she was a baby. Isosi had a boyfriend. His name was Asya. Isosi wanted to go to the party.

"Grandma, have you heard that the head of the village just announced the upcoming party?", asked Isosi.

"I have. Why? Do you want to go there?"

"I do, but Asya cannot accompany me there. He has something to do. Will you go with me, Grandma?"

"All right, but I will bring our dog. I want the dog to protect us. Remember, the party usually ends at midnight " said the grandmother.

She really loved their dog.

"That's a good idea, Grandma," said Isosi happily.

They all went to the party, Isosi, her grandmother and also their dog. When they arrived, the party already started. They immediately joined the party. They ate delicious food. They also danced.

The dog was just watching. The grandmother asked the dog to stay a bit far from the party. The dog obeved.

Sadly, something bad happened. There was a villager who danced wildly. It seemed that he could not control himself. He accidentally stepped on the dog's tail. It made the dog scream in pain.

Isosi's grandmother was extremely angry when she knew that her beloved dog was in great pain.

The grandmother asked the man to apologize, but he refused it. Instead he blamed the dog for being around in the party. The grandmother told that the dog was already far from the party. It was the man's fault to dance uncontrollably, that's what the grandmother argued.

Because the man refused to apologize, the grandmother then did something that was forbidden. She danced with the dog! Yes, the grandmother wanted to console the dog by dancing with the dog.

Nobody knew that the grandmother just broke their tradition not to dance with their dog. All the villagers kept on having the good time.

After the grandmother finished dancing, she asked Isosi to leave the village. While they left, Asya, Isosi's boyfriend, met them. Isosi asked him to leave the village. They all went to the hill.

Later rain fell down heavily. It did not stop for weeks and slowly the village was flooded. It was so terrible that the whole village was turned into a lake. Isosi and Asya later got married. They then had children. Their descendants then lived near the lake. They named the lake as Wekaburi Lake. ***

New Guinea Singing Dog


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