Folklore from Lampung: The Crocodile Slaughtering the Tulang Bawang River

Cerita legenda buaya ajaib dari Nusantara

In ancient times, in Lampung there was a very interesting story about the inhabitants of the Tulang Bawang river. The river is known to the public as a river that is haunted or frightening. Many rich merchants and poor people alike were lost while sailing across the river. Why are so many people missing and unable to return home?

It turned out that in the river there was a ferocious crocodile living at the bottom of the river. The crocodile is a resident of the Tulang Bawang river and has claimed many human victims. People living around the Tulang Bawang river must be careful and vigilant. When traveling across the Tulang Bawang River, they prepared themselves with sharp weapons.

Until one day the local people lost a beautiful girl named Aminah. All residents in the village immediately started a search. Some looked to the rice fields, prayer rooms, rivers, village halls, and including residents’ houses. However, although all the inhabitants of Tulang Bawang village have searched almost everywhere, there is not a single clue of Aminah’s existence. The girl just disappeared.

Aminah is missing and kidnapped by a crocodile

“Where did Aminah disappear? Was he eaten by a crocodile in the Tulang Bawang River, ”said one resident.

“Yes. Maybe Aminah died because she was eaten by a crocodile, “said another resident.

Meanwhile, at the same time when the residents were trying to find Aminah’s whereabouts, in a large cave far from residential areas, lay the body of a weak, helpless girl. It turned out that the girl was Aminah who just woke up from fainting. Aminah opened her eyes slowly. The room was dark with little lighting.

“Where am I?” Aminah said to herself in a very low voice.

What a surprise he found himself in a cave. After getting up, he tried to get up and walk around. His surprise grew even more, because the cave was filled with priceless treasures. There were gems, gold, diamonds, and lots of beautiful clothes.

“What is this place? Why are there so many treasures in the cave? Who owns this place? ” Aminah kept on muttering to herself.

Not yet lost his curiosity, there was a voice from the corner of the cave, there was a very large and scary crocodile. The crocodile walked over to him. Aminah is getting scared. He had never seen a crocodile that big.

“Don’t be afraid! I am a crocodile, but I am a human like you too,” said the crocodile.

The crocodile continued to say, “I am cursed for my despicable deeds. I’m called Somad. My job is robbing in the Tulang Bawang river. The treasure that I robbed is stored in this cave. Also, in this cave there is a secret tunnel that goes straight into your village. Nobody knows that tunnel. ”

In a state of shock and fear, Aminah tried to listen to all the words of the Crocodile. Without realizing it, he had heard a secret that could give him a way out.

Even though the Crocodile did good to her and always gave her gifts of jewelry, Aminah was still at home and wanted to return to her village. He hopes to leave the lonely Crocodile alone in the cave and return to his hometown soon.

In order to return home, Aminah traces back why she got in the cave. Aminah began to remember why she was in the cave with the crocodile yesterday.

At that time he was on the bank of the river to throw garbage. Suddenly something strong and large snatched up on him. He seemed to sink to the bottom of a river. He was unconscious and when he realized he was already in the cave with the Pirate Crocodile. Aminah realized that she had been kidnapped by the pirate crocodile.

Aminah Devises an Escape Strategy

Now all Aminah can do is pretend to comply with the crocodile’s wishes. He knew there was no point fighting the crocodile’s will. So he had to save his strength first. Secretly Aminah waiting for a good opportunity to escape from the dark cave. During her escape strategy, Aminah always had a sweet face to the crocodile demon.

Until one day, when the pirate crocodile fell asleep and left the cave door open. Aminah immediately took the opportunity to get out through the narrow tunnel. He entered the narrow, damp road. At first she was afraid to walk because it could be in a cave. There are snakes and other dangerous beasts that will bite it.

However, when he thought of his family back home, the fear disappeared. He wants to meet his parents at home soon. So he was determined to continue walking until he found a way out according to his expectations.

“I have to be brave. This is the only way I can go home, ”Aminah continues to encourage herself.

After walking down the dark corridor for a long time, he suddenly saw sunlight. How happy he was to get out of the cave.

“Alhamdulillah, I was able to get out of the dark cave,” said Aminah.

Aminah immediately met her father and mother at home. They welcomed Aminah with happy tears. They did not think Aminah would return alive and safe. Aminah then told a series of events at the Tulang Bawang River that brought her to meet a crocodile demon. Finally, Aminah was able to return to her home and live happily with her family.

The legend of the crocodile in the Tulang Bawang River tells us that an abundance of possessions does not guarantee a happy life. The crocodile was very rich but he was lonely and suffered the consequences of his past disgrace and harmed many people. Hopefully you can be inspired by the folklore of this archipelago.


Rahimsyah, MB. 2007. Complete collection of archipelago folklore from 33 provinces. Bintang Usaha Jaya, Surabaya.