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Cerita rakyat from North Sumatra

Nai Manggale

Once upon a time in Tapanuli, lived a famous sculptor named Datu Panggana. When he got an order, he went to the forest to look for the most suitable wood and carved it according to the order. One day, he got an inspiration to carve a wood he found. He worked all day in his workshop to carve the wood into a statue of a beautiful woman. Then, he put the statue in front of his house.

Later, a young merchant passed by and saw the statue. His name was Bao Partigatiga. He was very impressed by the beauty of the statue. He then put beautiful clothes and jewelries on the statue. “It’s so beautiful,” he said to himself proudly. The statue looked like a real human. Then he left Datu Panggana’s house.

After that, a priest named Datu Partoar and his wife passed by. They were also impressed by the beauty of the statue. "I want to pray to God to make her live like a real human. I want to make her as our daughter," said Datu Partoar to his wife. The couple didn’t have any children yet. The statue changed into a very beautiful girl. Datu Partoar and his wife then took the girl home. They named her Nai Manggale.

The news about Nai Manggale’s beauty spread throughout the village. All the villagers came to Datu Partoar’s house to see Nai Manggale. Among them were Datu Panggana and Bao Partigatiga. Nai Manggale honestly told the villagers that she was actually a statue which became a living woman by the grace of God.

Datu Panggana went after Datu Partoar to claim his own creation and Bao Partigatiga also claimed his right for the living statue. “It was me who carved her from a wood. So, she is mine,” said Datu Panggana. “She is wearing my clothes and jewelries. So, she should go with me,” said Bao Partigatiga. "Remember, I am the one who made her live like a human. So, she stays here," Datu Partoar also join in the argument.

Those three men were arguing. They claimed to have the rights of Nai Manggale. To calm them, an elderly of the village gave a solution. His name was Aji Bahir. "You all can have her and have a relationship with her. Datu Panggana, you’re her uncle. Bao Partigatiga, you’re her brother. And Datu Partoar, you’re her father." The three men accepted Aji Bahir's advice. And they were happy because now they were related.***