Nusa Canal Folktale

Nusa Canal Folktale

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A-004-3 cera-terusan nusa-5ITS–This story is a folktale of Central Kalimantan. As the story goes, there was a man called Nusa. He and his wife lived in the bank of River Kahayan. They had no child after they had been married for 10 years.

Then, the village was hit by a long dry season. People suffered from famine. They managed to find food in the fertile hinterland. So Nusa, with his wife and his brother in–law, went to the hinterland of the River Rugan. After a 3 day in journey, they finally arrived.

To support his wife and his brother in–law, Nusa went to the forest to find food. One day, he found an egg and took it home. He boiled and ate it, not knowing that it was actually a dragon egg. Not long after that, all his body itched grew full of red spots. And, slowly Nusa was changed into a dragon.

People were obviously astonished by the change. The dragon ate fish provided by his wife. As he needed to eat many fish to survive, the number of fish in the river dwindled. In addition, as it was too hot for the dragon to live in land, he asked people to put him in the river. People lifted him and laid him into the river, dammed the river. As a result, the other part of the river became dry and many fish died. Since fish were almost wiped out, the people then moved the dragon into the larger river of Kahayan. There, the number of fish decreased drastically as well.

To overcome the problem and ensure that the dragon would leave the river, Jelawatasked Seluang to evict the dragon. So, they disseminated false information that he was being challenged by another dragon named Pusai at the estuary. Hearing it, the dragon immediately moved downstream, and hid himself behind an island at the estuary to hide from his enemy. The long wait made him tired and he fell asleep. Suddenly, he was awoken as he felt something hit his head. He thought it had to be Pusai, so he attacked it quickly. He was astonished and got hurt because he actually had bitten his own tail. Apparently, beyond his awareness, while he was sleeping, fish were gnawing on his body, and his long tail hit him in the head. Both of these things caused the dragon to eventually die. The area of the river that passes by where the dragon once lay in the Kahayan River is commonly known as the Nusa Canal.

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