"Once, the Dayaks say, there was only the sky and space. Not even earth or sea was there. One day, a spider on its silken string dropped from the sky ever so slowly, spinning its web as it descended into the emptiness. It hung there, swinging, the only living thing in space. Then a red stone fell from the sky and was caught in the web. This red coral stone grew and spread until it filled the space beneath the sky and formed a mat like a floor." And so the land of the Dayaks, a people of Borneo, emerged. This myth is one of several creation stories included in Alice Terada's collection of folktales from the islands of Indonesia. Hundreds of language and cultural groups, each with its own myths and legends, make Indonesia an unusually rich source of stories. Selected to give young readers an understanding of the Indonesian people through their folklore, twenty-nine tales reveal the islands from west to east - from the cunning of the moon in "One Sun, " a legend from Sumatra, to the kindness and wisdom of Watuwe, "The Magic Crocodile" of ancient Irian. The notes following each folktale explain the beliefs and customs mentioned in the story.
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- ID: 9780824816544
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