This is our translation of a legend from the Jambi Province.

Batu Panjang

(Long Stone)

Girl in the Moon

We’ve all been amused by looking up at the moon from time to time and imagining that we see a “man in the moon,” or we joke about the moon being made of green cheese. The below myth informs us why there’s a face there, and that it’s actually a girl, and not a man’s face on the moon. This story is said to have originated from the Sungai Penuh region of the Jambi Province.

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A long time ago there was a young girl that was very much loved by her family. Every night that child was always disappointed because she would always asked for fish to eat for supper, but she was never allowed to have any. Since her grandfather was a fisherman, she thought it wouldn’t be a problem to ask for such a thing to eat.

The young girl requested fish from her grandfather, but he told her to ask her grandmother. When she went to her grandmother to ask for fish, she would tell her to go and ask her father. When she went to her father and asked, he told her to go and ask her mother. When she asked her mother, she would tell her to go and ask her brother. When she would ask her brother, he would tell her to go and ask their oldest brother.

The young girl, totally discouraged, went out to the front of their home, along the edge of the jungle, and laid down on a huge long rock and started to cry and sob uncontrollably. She stared up at the full moon and wondered if she would ever be satisfied with food. She was extremely hungry.

While laying on that rock, with the moon’s rays beaming down on her, she began to sing a song. Each time she would finish a verse in the song, the long rock she was laying on would rise a little. Since she was singing for a long time, that huge rock continued to get higher and higher. She was singing about her family, something like this:

“Let my grandfather and grandmother be happy.”

Higher…and still higher that rock went;

 “Let my father and mother be happy.”

Higher…and still higher that rock went;

“Let my brothers be happy.”

Higher…and still higher that rock went;

Girl in the Moon

The young girl sang until midnight, without being aware how high that rock had rose. The rock had even reached the moon. Seeing the brightness of the moon, it was as if the moon was calling to her. She looked at where she was, and being amazed that she was actually at the moon, she slid down off that huge rock she was laying on and stepped out onto the moon. While standing on the moon she kicked the huge rock she had been laying on and it tumbled down and became a hill on the earth. The hill was then called “Batu Panjang” (long rock).

That young girl became very happy on the moon as she stood there in total peace with a huge sweet smile on her face. Now, whenever the people of Kerinci see the full moon, it would seem as though it had the smiling face of a sweet and pretty young girl. The Kerinci people would say that that face was the face of that smiling young girl, who now was separated from her family and would never again be seen by them. Her family was very sad and cried because they didn’t give her fish to eat for supper.

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