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Queen of the Southern Sea- A Javanese folktale

Queen of the Southern Sea- A Javanese folktale


Cited from Girl of the Southern Sea- By Michelle Kadarusman

This story has been remixed many times and may not be the official and original tale.

Before she was known as Queen of the Southern Sea, she was known as Princess of the Sun because she was so beautiful…

Princess Dewi Kadita was known as the Princess of the Sun because to gaze upon her face was like gazing upon divine light itself. The kingdom had never seen beauty like hers before.

King Munding decided to take a new wife who would give him a son, and so he married Queen Pearl, who before long produced a male heir. But seeing the king’s continued devotion to his daughter, Queen pearl began to worry that the princess would threaten her baby son’s right to the throne. Queen Pearl demanded that the king banish Dewi Kadita from the palace. The king refused, saying that anyone who dared speak ill of his daughter would themselves be thrown out of the palace. Queen Pearl then soothed the king by saying she was mistaken. She acted so sweet and kind for many days that he forgot she had ever suggested harm to his daughter.

But Queen Pearl had a plan. If the king would not banish the princess, the queen would find her own way.

One day before sunrise, Queen Pearl sent her maid into the village to fetch a powerful witch for her. When the witch arrived, the queen took the old woman to Dewi Kadita’s bedroom. And as she slept, the witch cast an evil curse upon the princess.

On that very day. The princess woke to find her entire body covered in awful blisters and boils. Her once smooth-as-silk skin was covered from head to toe with itchy scabs and ulcers that oozed puss and blood. Horrified, the princess ran to her father to show him the condition. The king ordered every healer in the kingdom to come to the palace to cure his daughter, but each and every healer failed. Queen Pearl whispered in her husband’s ear that the disease was incurable and that it would be dangerous for Dewi Kadita to remain in the palace in case she infected her son. The king, unable to look upon his daughter’s disconfigurement any longer and fearing for his son’s well-being, cast Dewi Kadita from the palace.

Poor Dewi Kadita covered herself in scarves to hide her disease. She could ask no one for help, as though who looked upon her were revolted at the sight of her affliction. Dewi wandered hopelessly and without purpose for 7 days and 7 nights. She slept alone in rice fields and ate the scraps the farmers threw to their ducks. Dewi slowly made her way to the edge of the Southern Sea. She had been to the seaside many times as a young princess and had happy memories there. She sat at the water’s edge in the moonlight with tears streaming down her once beautiful face. Something within her compelled her to enter the green waves of the ocean. A magical voice coming from the deep also encouraged her to plunge into the waters. To Dewi’s astonishment, when she surfaced from the waves her skin was totally free of the sores and boils. In the water she was as pure and as beautiful as she had once been on the land. But as soon as she set foot on the sand her skin disease returned. Dewi Kadita would need to live forever in the sea, for not only did the salty waters cure her disease, but it also granted her eternal life.

And so the Queen of the Southern Sea, as she is now called, rules her watery kingdom with all the power of the Southern Ocean. But she is forever banished to the depths below the green waves.

That’s all for this story CookyLela News Fans!


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