Thu, 02 Oct 2003

Synopsys of 'La Galigo' to be performed next year

In the cosmology of the Buginese, there are three worlds: the upper world, the lower world and the middle world. Deities dwell in the upper and lower worlds while human beings live in the middle. One day, the deities agreed to send their children to occupy the middle world.

As the story goes, Batara Guru, the son of Patotoge, the ruler of the upper world, descended from the sky in a bamboo stem along with thunderclaps and the rainbow. Meanwhile, We Nyiliq Timo, the daughter of Guri ri Selleng, the ruler of the lower world, emerged, riding the waves of the sea. The two got married and become the first rulers of Luwuq, the center of the middle world. The deities from the upper and lower worlds also sent to the middle world their men and their servants as well as their children.

The story really begins with the birth of the twin grandchildren of Batara Guru and We Nyiliq Timoq - Sawerigading and We Tenriabeng. Raised separately, Sawerigading grows up to be a brave nobleman, while We Tenriabeng is a wise and contemplative girl.

It had previously been predicted that the twins would embark on an incestuous love affair. As predicted, Sawerigading falls in love with We Tenriabeng, who tries to warn him away from the forbidden relationship.

To prevent Sawerigading from realizing the incestuous relationship, We Tenriabeng suggests that he commences a journey to find his cousin, We Cudaiq, a princess of a Chinese kingdom. This girl looks like We Tenriabeng. So, Sawerigading sails to China and vows he will never return to Luwuq.

I La Galigo, a son, was born from the marriage between Sawerigading and We Cudaiq. However, La Galigo does not act like a person of nobility. He is stubborn and enjoys gambling, sailing and womanizing. Also, he is remarkably fond of cock fighting. One day, he sails to Luwuq and learns that the noble descendants of the deities will come together in a family reunion. He breaks this news to his father.

As he misses his family, Sawerigading breaks his own vow. He sails to Luwuq. Meanwhile, the deities announce that the middle world must be cleansed. All descendants of the deities must return to the upper and lower worlds. So, Sawerigading and We Cudaiq return to the lower world, while We Tenriabeng and her husband to the upper world to become rulers.

Now that the descendants of the deities have left the middle world, this world becomes chaotic. Finally, seven years later, the deities decide to send to the middle world the daughter of Sawerigading, who was born in the lower world, and the son of We Tenriabeng, who was born in the upper world. They become the rulers of the middle world and enforce laws to return the world to order. Meanwhile, the gate that links the middle, lower and upper worlds is closed forever. Sawerigading's daughter and We Tenriabeng's son begin their life as the rulers of the middle world and no longer have a direct link with the deities.

--Andi Hajramurni