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Settings of the story batu belah batu bertangkup

Settings of the story batu belah batu bertangkup

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Guest [Entry]

"The setting of the story Batu Belah Batu Bertangkup is in Sambas, West Kalimantan.  West Kalimantan is a province of Indonesia.  

Batu Belah Batu Bertangkup is a popular folktale in West Kalimantan.  A folktale is a tale or legend.  It is created and popular among the people. Folktales are part of their tradition.  They are also passed on by word of mouth rather than in written form.

I have read different ways on how Batu Belah Batu Bertangkup was told.  Since this is a folktale, it is usually passed on by word of mouth.  Changes to the story can happen depending on who was narrating it. Two versions are summarized below:

First version:


Mak Minah – the mother, a widow

Utuh - son

Ucin - son

Diang - daughter

1st Summary:

This is a story about a widow who had three children.  She had two sons and a daughter.  Everyday, Mak Minah goes to the jungle to find fire woods to sell.  Utuh, Usin, and Diang do not help her with the chores. They were lazy.  

One evening, Mak Minah was sick and tired from work.  Dinner was not yet ready and she asked helped from her children. As usual, they do not want to help her.  They only wanted to play.  

When Mak Minah managed to prepare dinner, her kids ate it.  However, they did not want to help in doing the dishes.  This made her sad because they often ignore her.  Her children do not help her with the chores.

In the morning, Mak Minah went to the riverside and found the Betangkup Stone. The Betangkup Stone is believed to have a magical power.  It could open and close its shell and talk.  Mak Minah asked the Betangkup Stone to swallow her. She said her children do not help her and ignores her.  The Betangkup Stone asked Mak Minah to get inside of it.  The stone swallowed her.  Mak Minah’s hair was left flowing outside the stone.

Meanwhile, the three children woke up and were hungry. Breakfast was not ready so they looked for their mother.  While walking, they passed by the Betangkup Stone. They saw their mother’s hair outside the stone. They begged the stone to let their mother get out.   They were crying and asking for her release.

The stone did not agree with the children. It won’t release their mother because they were not helpful and always ignored her.  The children cried and never saw their mother again.

Second version:


Mother – a widow

Melor – 11 year old daughter

Pekan – 3 year old son

2nd Summary:

The second version of this folktale is about a widow. She works hard for her children.  One day, the mother caught a fish in the river. The fish has eggs inside. She was very happy to have caught the fish eggs.  The mother told her daughter to eat the fish. She also asked Melor to save the eggs for her.

The siblings the fish given by their mother. The boy had his share but wanted more. So Melor gave him half of the fish egg. The boy still wanted more. Melor saved and hid the remaining fish egg for their mother. When Melor left, Pekan found the eggs and ate them all.  

The mother looked for the fish eggs when she came home. She found out she had nothing to eat for dinner. The mother was sad.  She really wanted to eat the fish eggs.  However, she did not show her disappointment.  Melor asked her mother if she wants other food.  The mother said no but she was really upset.

Later that night, the mother decided to walk outside. She found a big stone that was calling her name. Her children woke up and realized their mother went outside.  They both looked for their mother and saw the big stone ready to eat her.  They tried to stop the stone by pulling their mother’s hair. But, they were too late and they never saw their mother again.

The sister blamed her brother for being selfish.  If he had only left some fish eggs, their mother would not be inside the stone.

Both stories above revolved around a hard-working widow with selfish children.  The children realized they were wrong at the end. But it was too late.

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