THE SACRED TREE OF TUYUL

Photo: https://pixabay.com/en/olive-tree-tree-olivier-old-nature-3579922/

Klaten is a little town in Central Java, Indonesia. In Klaten, there are a lot of wonderful places to visit, such as Prambanan temple, Lumbung temple, sugar factory museum, and so on. Water recreation and culinary tour also attract a great number of tourists.

It is about 562 kilometers from Jakarta. The scenery is so attractive along the way. Besides driving a car, you can go there by train, bus or airplane. If you love breathing fresh air and would like to have a different sensation, you may go by motorcycle.

There’s a 700 year-old tree in Mbero Palar, a little village in Trucuk. It is said that this old tree is the place where tuyul live together. In Malay mythology, tuyul or toyol means a small child spirit. In Thailand, a male tuyul is called koman-tong and a female one is called koman-lay. In Philippine, it is called tiyanak.

People call the old sacred tree pohon ketos or ketos tree. According to the folklore, the ketos tree is the incarnation of Eyang Bandho. He is one of Prabu Jayabaya’s grandsons. A lot of people go to worship that tree and pray for a good living.

Although it is 12 kilometers from Klaten, it doesn’t discourage people to go there. The old tree is enclosed with wall and there’s a gate for visitors to come in.

Only people with good physical and mental health deserve to visit that place. A toothless, wrinkled old lady who works as the caretaker said that her mother had also been a caretaker when she was alive.

Whoever wants to get rich by feeding a tuyul may ask the caretaker to request one from that old tree. The toothless old woman said it was easier to get a tuyul at her place.

According to the caretaker, the old sacred tree has already existed for hundreds of years before her great grandmother was born.

On a particular day, the spirit of Eyang Bondho often reveals himself in the form of a gethek. In Javanese language, gethek is a raft used for crossing a river. That’s why the locals called him Gethek Bero.

The ketos tree has never changed in shape. It’s the same as it was in hundreds of years ago. Nobody dares to take anything around there, even it is only a piece of leaf or twig. If someone dares to take something under the tree, it will be very unlucky for that person.

A local once took the branches of that sacred tree for firewood, but the branches couldn’t be burned at all. The caretaker claimed that it is the only tree in Klaten Regency.

If someone would like to have a tuyul, he or she should prepare the offerings for 7 Thursday nights in a row. The offerings consist of flowers, bananas, sweet tea and chicken in sour coconut milk. The feast is usually ended at midnight.

The sacred place will be very crowded on every Jumát and Sabtu Kliwon night of Javanese calendar. There are the visitors from different places, such as Bandung, Banten, Tegal, Kerawang, etc.

The visitors are not allowed to behave roughly or get angry for 7 Fridays. Everyone can go in through the gate, but isn’t permitted to pick any of the fruit or leaves.

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