Folklore of Bangka Belitung: The Tale of the Kind Chopsticks and Pak Raje

Legenda Hikayat Raja Arief Imam by Hidayat Said

It is said that in ancient times in Bangka there was a young man who lived alone. His name is Chopsticks. He lives in a small house left by his parents. When he was still alive, Penyumpit’s father often owed a debt to a village head named Pak Raje. Pak Raje is a very rich man but wicked and cunning. Pak Raje is known to be very stingy and does not want to share his wealth with the poor.

Chopper’s father was caught in a blood leech. Penyumpit’s father’s debts were never paid off because Pak Raje always multiplied them. Although both of Penyumpit’s parents had passed away, Pak Raje’s father’s debts were not considered to be paid off.

Penyumpit has to pay off his father’s debt by looking after Pak Raje’s rice fields. Pak Raje has rice fields where his rice has started to turn yellow. Chopsticks must protect it day and night from wild animals that might damage it.

Penyumpit Tasked to Guard the Rice Fields

“Hey Penyumpit, be careful when you look after my rice fields. If my rice fields are damaged, I will fine you for damages to my fields. And you have to pay for all the damage.” So Pak Raje advised before Penyumpit left for the fields.

“Very well, Mr. Raje. I will carry out this task as well as possible, “replied Penyumpit politely.

Pak Raje knows that it is likely that his rice fields will still be damaged due to being entered by wild boars at night. He smiled wryly. He thought that this time the Penyumpit would not be able to fight the ferocity of the wild boar which often destroyed the crops of the people at night.

If the one task has been done by the Penyumpit, Pak Raje will give the Penyumpit a new task. So the task of Chopsticks is never ending and quite heavy. If it is afternoon he has to reap rice that is ready to harvest. At night, he has to protect the fields so that they are not damaged by wild boars. Seven days has been Penyumpit doing their job well.

Pak Raje wondered why until the seven days went on, Penyumpit was still alert to guard his rice fields. On the eighth day while Penyumpit was sitting on the hedge watching Pak Raje’s rice fields, a figure of a wild boar appeared entering Pak Raje’s rice fields. Chopper deftly threw the spear he was carrying at the wild boar. From a distance, a wild boar screamed in pain. As it turned out, the spearhead hit the boar’s leg. Chopsticks quickly ran towards the wounded boar.

Chopper Meets the Night Princess

Penyumpit continues to chase the wild boar. However, the wild boar was already out of sight. There were only blood droplets from the boar’s body that were scattered along the road. Chopsticks followed the trail of the blood droplets into the forest. He wanted to know where the wild boars were hiding.

After entering the forest for a while, Penyumpit found the wild boar he was chasing earlier. He watched carefully. How shocked he was when he found out that the pig had turned into a beautiful princess. He was silent for a moment as if he could not believe what he saw.

“O beautiful princess, were you the pig who was injured earlier?” Asked Chopper curiously.

“That’s right. I was the one who was transformed into a pig,” replied the princess.

“My name is Putri Malam,” continued the beautiful girl, moaning in pain.

“I’m sorry, Princess. I accidentally hurt you. Let me help treat the wound on your leg,” said Penyumpit offering to help.

Penyumpit carefully and slowly cleaned the wound on Putri Malam’s leg. Chopsticks help stop the blood flowing on Putri Malam’s feet. He used plants that were around the forest and had medicinal properties to heal the wounds of the princess.

The medicine works. The next day, Putri Malam was able to walk again. As a token of gratitude for the help of Penyumpit, he gave some packages containing turmeric, nyatoh fruit, simpur leaves, and jering fruit to Penyumpit.

“You can only open this package when you get home,” ordered the Night Princess to the Penyumpit.

The chopsticks finally rushed out of the forest and returned home and obeyed Princess Malam’s message. Arriving home, he immediately opened the package earlier. To his surprise, the package containing the spices turned into gold, diamonds, gems, and diamonds. The property is sold by Penyumpit to the market and the money from the sale is used to build a big house. The blowpipe is now a very rich person.

Feeling that he already had enough money to pay off his debt, Penyumpit then went to Pak Raje’s house to pay all of his late father’s debts. In addition, he hopes that the repayment of the debt will also be freed from the arbitrary actions of Pak Raje who worked him day and night.

“I hereby pay all my deceased debts. This is the money, ”said Penyumpit to Pak Raje.

Pak Raje accepted the Chopper money with incredulous eyes. Pak Raje can’t stop thinking that Penyumpit can pay off his late father’s large debts.

“Hi Chopsticks, where did you get this much money? Maybe you have stolen. I do not want to accept haram property,” said Pak Raje doubting the money given by the Chopsticks.

“Sorry sir, I have never stolen anyone’s property. I got this money lawfully. There is a beautiful princess who is kind to give this to me,” explained to Pak Raje.

“Whose daughter?” asked Pak Raje curiously.

Chopsticks then explain the events of that night. He told everything to Pak Raje until he got the package from the Night Lady whose contents had been turned into valuables. Apparently Pak Raje is interested in getting the treasure the easy way. Pak Raje thought that if poor Chopsticks could have so much wealth, surely the rich ones could get more.

Pak Raje Receives Punishment

Pak Raje secretly has the intention of imitating what Penyumpit had done. He wanted to guard his rice fields and then speared a wild boar that entered Pak Raje’s rice field and then followed the wounded pig and into the forest. In the forest he treated a wounded boar. After that he will have abundant wealth. Nothing he had fantasized about.

That night Pak Raje carried out his wish to meet Putri Malam. After dusk appeared, Pak Raje began to guard his rice fields. But because he was not used to watching the night, he was sleepy and fell asleep. It was when he fell asleep that dozens of big boars attacked him repeatedly. There were those who grabbed him from the side and some were trampling Mr. Raje’s body. Pak Raje died miserably with his body torn here and there.

The next day the news of Pak Raje’s death spread throughout the village. As the village leader, Pak Raje’s death certainly got the attention of the local population. Pak Raje’s eldest daughter told the incident to Penyumpit. Penyumpit was shocked to hear the news that Pak Raje had died tragically because he had followed his trail of spearing a wild boar. Penyumpit came to visit Pak Raje’s house. There, he saw Pak Raje’s body which was no longer intact.

Even though Pak Raje always acted badly to the blowpipes, the Penyumpit never held a grudge against him. With good intentions, Penyumpit tried to help Pak Raje by saying special prayers and mantras to ask the gods for Mr. Raje’s life again. Wonderful! Chopsticks prayer answered.

Pak Raje’s body fused by itself. Pak Raje’s wounds were healed and he came back to life. Pak Raje felt ashamed of the Penyumpit because he always did bad things.

“Hi chopsticks, kindhearted, forgive me for all my mistakes. I have wronged you and your family. As my gratitude to you, I married my son,” said Mr. Raje to Penyumpit.

A few days later Penyumpit married Pak Raje’s daughter. Now Chopsticks become rich people. He lives happily with his wife. Pak Raje was also a kind person and not arrogant. When he was getting older, Pak Raje asked the Penyumpit as the village head to replace his position.

The mandate of this fairy tale of Penyumpit and Pak Raje is that people who do evil one day will definitely get a reward in kind. The second mandate of the story is that forgiveness does not necessarily make you lower than the person you forgive. It is precisely with mutual forgiveness to forgive our lives to be happier.


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


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