The Legend of Toar and Lumimuut *)

Root of the Minahasa People

A very long time ago there was a beautifully shaped rock on the shore at the west side of the Wulur Mahatus mountain. This rock was not attracting much attention of the people because in fact there were not many people around by that time over there.

One day, in the dry season, the sun was shining so brightly, that the rock began to sweat. At the same time then a beautiful woman was created. Her name was Karema. She turned her head upward and spread her arms to the sky and prayed : ” O, Kasuruan opo e walian wangko! ” , which means : “O Great God if you will, say to me where I am and give me somebody to share my life with”

After saying this prayer, the beautiful rock split, and out of it appeared a beautiful young woman. Now Karema was not alone anymore and she said to the young woman : “Because you were created by a rock which was sweating I give you the name : Lumimuut. Your descendants will continue to live here and will multiply until they are as many as there are sand particles on the shore. But first you have to work very hard, and sweat.”

One day Karema instructed her daughter to face herself southward so that she may inseminate and give her descendants. Lumimuut did as was told to her by her mother, but nothing happened. Because the southern direction did not give any result, Lumimuut was said to turn herself eastward, westward and northward. This also did not result to anything.

The ceremony was was repeated again. Lumimuut was said to face herself westward from which a strong wind was blowing. Slowly after the ceremony was over Lumimuut’s body began to change. It turns ou that Lumimuut was now with child.

During pregnancy Lumimuut was very well taken care of by Karema. When the time has come Lumimuut gave birth to a baby boy who was named Toar. Toar was given all the knowledge and abilities that Karema possessed.

Toar grew up very fast. His body became strong and yet agile. In the forest, Toar was not afraid of anything and could not be defeated by any anoa, wild pig or snake.

Upon reaching Toar’s adulthood, Karema told to both Toar and Lumimuut, “Now is the time for you both to roam in the world. I have prepared two sticks which are of equal length. The stick for Toar was made of wood of the tuis tree, whilst the stick for Lumimuut was made of the tawaang tree. When traveling around you meet somebody : either female or male, you have to measure each others sticks. If the sticks turn out to be of equal length, then you have a family relation. But, when the sticks are not of the same length, then you may join to build a family. I hope this will happen to both of you, and that you might have descendants. Your descendants will live separated by mountains and forests. But there’ll always be a will to unite and to siege”

Karema’s nuwu (message) became a source of strength to Lumimuut and Toar during their roaming about in the mountains, hills,valleys and cloves. Toar went north whilst Lumimuut went southward. The tuis stick in Toar’s hands grew, whilst the tawaang stick in Lumimuut’s hands stayed the same length.

Toar & Lumimuut
Toar & Lumimuut

One night at a full moonshine, Toar met Lumimuut. According to Karema’s instructions they measured each others sticks which turned out not to be of equal length. Thus the wedding ceremony was held with the stars and the moon as witnesses. The peak of the mountain where the ceremony was held glowed like a golden sphere, and the mountain was therefore named Lolombulan.

After the wedding ceremony they went to seek for Karema, but did not succeed to find her. They later stayed at the mountainous area on which many buluh tui (small bamboo stems) grew. There theylived, had their children and their children’s children. Generation after generation were semakarua siyouw multiples of nine. Each new generation was welcomed by the cry of the wala bird which was the sign of good blessings.

*)Translated by Manda Ratulangi from the tale “Toar dan Lumimuut”, in the book titled : ” Cerita Rakyat dari Minahasa”, by Aneke Sumarauw Pangkerego from PT Gramedia Widiasarana Indonesia, Jakarta, 1993

Note:  Minahasa is the most northern part of the island Celebes (Sulawesi) of Indonesia