A very long time ago in West
Java, there lived a king, named Raden
Sungging Pebangkara. He was a good
ruler. He liked hunting in the forest
In the forest, there lived a she-pig,
actually a cursed goddess. One day, she
came out of her hiding place looking for
water. There, she saw a coconut shell lled
with water. Expecting it to be coconut
milk she drank it, having no suspicions
that it was the king’s urine left there the
day before when he went hunting.
The consequence was very strange.
She became pregnant. A few months
later she gave birth to a very pretty girl.
When the king was hunting again
in the forest, he saw the girl and was
attracted by her beauty. He took her to his
palace, then he called her Dayang Sumbi
and treated her as his own daughter.
Time passed and Dayang Sumbi
grew up into a beautiful girl. She was
fond of weaving.
One morning as she was weaving,
her weaving spool flew out of the
window to the eld. Because she was
very tired, she mumbled, “Whoever is
willing to help me pick up the spool,
I’ll treat her as my sister if she is a
girl. If he is a man, I’ll treat him as my
husband”. These words were heard by
a dog, called Tumang, actually a cursed
god too. He immediately picked up the
spool and gave it to Dayang Sumbi.
Seeing the dog had helped her, she
fainted. The god had decided for her to
undergo the fate. She became pregnant
and a short time afterwards she gave
birth to a healthy strong son whom she
Sangkuriang became a handsome
young man, as time went by. Like his
grandfather, he was fond of hunting in
the forest and Tumang was his faithful
friend when roaming the woods. He
didn’t realize that Tumang was actually
One day, when the dog didn’t obey
him to chase the pig, Sangkuriang was
very angry and killed the dog and cut up
his esh into pieces and took it home to
his mother. For a moment Dayang Sumbi
was speechless and took a spool and
ung it at him. This left a scar on the spot.
Then Dayang Sumbi sent him away.
Sangkuriang left and wandered
through the woods. He walked for
Finally he returned to his native
place, but did not recognise it any
longer. At the end of a vast rice eld,
he noticed a house and saw a young
girl sitting at her weaving-loom. He
approached her and was charmed by
her beauty. He was unaware that she
was his own mother. Dayang Sumbi
had been given eternal beauty by
the gods which was why she looked
young forever. She looked at him and
noticing his good looks, she promised
to marry him. They made plans for
their wedding day, but one day she
discovered the scar on his forehead.
She knew that he was her own son who
had come back to his village.
She made an effort to make him
understand that marriage between
them was impossible, but Sangkuriang
refused to accept it.
She had an idea and said to him
“All right, you shall marry me if only
you can dam up the Citarum river and
build a big vessel all in one night”.
Sangkuriang agreed and started to
work by using his magic powers and
his praying to the gods for help.
To prevent the marriage, before
Sangkuriang finished his work, she
stretched the red veil which covered
her head over the eastern side of the
plain. Through her magic powers, the
red light spread over the landscape,
giving the impression that the sun
was rising and that the time was up.
Angrily, Sangkuriang kicked the vessel
which was almost finished, upside
Some times later the vessel became
the mountain of Tangkuban Perahu on
the northern side of Bandung.
Adapted from Folk Tales from Indonesia, 1999
In pairs, answer the following questions based on the text
1. Where did the story take place?
2. Who was Raden Sungging Pebangkara?
3. How did Dayang Sumbi look like?
4. Who was Tumang?
5. Why was Sangkuriang angry with Tumang?
6. Why did Dayang Sumbi send Sangkuriang away?
7. What did Dayang Sumbi ask Sangkuriang?
8. What happened to Sangkuriang at the end of the story?
Find the paragraphs of the text that tell the following information.
1. The setting and scene of the story
2. Dayang Sumbi’s beauty
3. Tangkuban Perahu
4. The king’s characters
5. How the she-pig became pregnant
6. Why was Dayang Sumbi angry
7. Dayang Sumbi knew that Sangkuriang was her son.
8. What Sangkuriang did to fulfil Dayang Sumbi’s wish?