The Lokon Mountain and the Kelabat Mountain
A story from Minahasa*)
It was very long time ago that the world was full of mountains and hills.This was also the case with the Minahasa area, which consisted of high and low mountains. Among various others there were the Kelabat, the Soputan, the Lokon, the Dua Sudara, the Mahawu, the Tampusu, the Tolangko, the Kaweng, the Simbel, the Lengkoan, the Masarang and the Kawatak mountains. The mountaineous areas were among others the Lembean, Kalawiran and the Kumelembuai highlands.
The names of the mountains usualy were related to the habit or character of the respective mountains, for instance the Mahawu mountain very often produced abu which means “ash”. Sometimes the name of a mountain is related to the name of a person, such as the Soputan mountain.Another mountain again was given the name which is related to its appearance, such as the Dua Sudara mountain (“dua sudara” means two brothers or sisters)
The name of the Lokon mountain relates to its old age and big size. In the native tongue the Lokon area is named “Tua Lokon” or Tou Tua Lokon, which means: the old person.
It was said that the Lokon mountain was inhabited by Makawalang. He was very happy, because he could live there peacefully, without anybody around who could disturb him.
However one day there came somebody who thought himself to be more rightful to live at the place. This man’s name was Pinontoan and his wife named Ambilingan. Makawalang could not do anything else than to accept his fate with a sadness in his heart. Pinontoan would not listen to any reason for Makawalang to protect his site. At last with a heart full of sadness and disappointment Makawalang decided to leave the place. He walked away among the big trees going downward of the mountain to find another place.
Suddenly Makawalang stopped, because he saw a grotto, and he entered into it very deeply.
“What shall I do here ? Maybe it is better for me to make a dwelling here.”
He pushed big wooden trunks into the earth as a stronghold to prevent the earth from falling down upon himself. Besides of that he also raised wild pigs. Again, he lived hapily and free, because nobody could drive him away anymore.
Unfortunately, as was the case, the wild pigs had the habit of rubbing their fat bodies against the wooden trunks, and so causing earthquakes. The vibrations came suddenly. If a small pig would rub its back to the trunk, then the earthquake would not be strong. On the other hand if a big wildpig would rub its body the earthquake woud be strong. Very often also the pigs did not only rub their bodies, but they also had the habit to scratching the earth with their hoofs. In this case the earthquake would cause houses and bridges to collapse, or even cause earth slides or big waves at the sea.
To make the earthquake stop, people have to sound the “tong-tong”bamboo, or any other object. They also have to shout :”Wangko ! Make it stronger!” This is to tease Makawalang’s wild pigs in order to make them stop rubbing themselves.
According to stories at the beginning it was the Lokon mountain which was the highest and biggest mountain in the Minahasa , it was then named the Malesung. The distance of the top of the Lokon to the sky was only the size of a spoon’s length. There was no other mountain in the Minahasa which could compete with the Lokon.
Besides of the Lokon there was also the Kelabat mountain, which at ancient times was called Kalawat. This mountain was low. The inhabitant of the Kelabat mountain wished it to be higher than the Lokon. He went to Pinontoan and Ambilingan to ask for part of the earth to be given to the Kelabat mountain.
Because Pinontoan and Ambilingan were very friendly and besides of that not miserly, they agreed. And so it was that part of the earth of the Lokon was transported to the Kelabat mountain.
But there was a great amount of earth scattered along the road of transportation to the Kelabat mountain. The scattered earth therefore became other mountains such as the Kasehe, the Tatawiran and the Empung mountains.
Before they arrived at the Kelabat mountain still much more earth was scattered. These earth heaps formed the Batu Angus and Dua Sudara mountains.
At last the Lokon mountain became lower than the Kelabat mountain. At the moment this mountain has no peak because the Lokon erupts very often and therefore becomes less high. On the other hand it is now the Kelabat mountain which is the highest mountain in the Minahasa.
Translated by Manda Ratulangi from “Gunung Lokon dan Gunung Kelabat”, from the book “Cerita Rakyat dari Minahasa” by Aneke Sumarauw Pangkerego (Gramedia 1979)
*)The Minahasa is the most northern part of Sulawesi (the Celebes island).