Title in Kulisusu: Sulutani Laelani
Told by: La Tunde
Date: March 1996
This story is the story of Sultan La Elangi.
One time, Sultan La Elangi came fishing at Malaoge. He had with him two paddlers. While they were fishing, their matches got wet. When they looked around, the only ones with fires burning were here in Kulisusu. So he sent his two paddlers to fetch fire.
When they arrived, it happened that the head of Lemo was holding festivities. The people were playing on gongs and drums and were dancing. So it was already bright morning before the two of them arrived back at the place where they had been fishing.
When they arrived, the sultan was angry with them them. While he was angry, they said, “Don’t get mad, sir,” they said, “We have something to say.” The two paddlers continued. “It was already light outside when we returned,” they said, “because when we arrived the head of Lemo was holding festivities and people were dancing. Then when they came out dancing, there was one girl. Never before has the world seen such a beauty.” “So,” said the sultan, “maybe the festivities will resume later.” “Indeed, it will be the peak of the festival,” they said. “Oh,” he said, “I will go myself in a bit.”
So when it was evening they paddled over here. When they arrived, they disembarked at Malalanda. “Ah,” said the paddlers, “What now, sir? Should we go up?” Said the sultan, “Not yet. Later when it’s a bit dark.” That’s why that place is called Malalanda (which means ‘dark’ in the Wolio language).
When it was getting a bit dark, they went up. When the sultan arrived at the festivities, they concealed themselves at the edge of the crowd. When lots of women came out dancing, there came out a particular girl, and the sultan asked, “Is that the one?” They replied, “No, it’s not.” There came another person dancing, “No, not her.”
Then as dawn was approaching, the cock's crow sounded out. As it happened, just then Waode Bilahi was coming out to dance. When she came down and was dancing, they said, “That’s the one, sir.” Then as she approached to return, about to go up to the house, they accosted her at the foot of the stairs. When she arrived there, they laid hands on her. When they grabbed her, she called out, “Don’t, sir, Sultan La Elangi.” People said to her, “Why do you call out like that, that this is our lord in Wolio?” Then it happened when they illuminated them with lamps, that it really was the sultan. Therefore right then they made arrangements, and the two of them were married.
After they had been married a month, the sultan returned to Wolio, and as it happened, Waode Bilahi was pregnant. And so there was born their child La Ode-ode, who was named La Ode-ode. Therefore La Ode-ode didn’t know his father, he only knew his mother.
Later when he and the children of others were playing, they used to say, “My mother is a knob of bamboo, my father is ruler of Banggai.” He would answer them that his mother was Waode Bilahi, but his father was unknown. When he was bigger and knew how to speak, he returned home and said, “Why do they have fathers, but I don’t?” Said his mother, “You also have a father, he is the sultan in Wolio.”
Therefore when his was grown, he assembled lots of dried-up palm fronds. That’s why this place here is named Rombo, because it was the place where he collected (morombo) dried palm fronds. He was going to go burn down the town of Wolio, if he couldn’t meet with his father.
Then he loaded the dried palm fronds and departed, and arriving at Wolio he went up with drums. Therefore the sergeants, the ones keeping watch, went and reported to the sultan saying, “On that boat already, who is that coming up with drums?” Said the sultan, “Go spy on him.” As the boat aproached, they could see it was La Ode-ode standing with arms akimbo at the base of the mast. As he advanced, they reported a second time to the sultan, “It’s a descendant of ours, sir.” “If it’s like that,” he said, “Bring him up.” They brought him up to the palace, the home of the sultan. Therefore, then and there he knew it was his son from Kulisusu.
Then he was given authority. Only, the sultanate was to remain at Wolio. So he was given authority in Kulisusu to establish the offices of sapati, kinipulu, kapita lau, lakino Kulisusu, all the officials and all the functionaries like in Wolio, only the sultanate was to be in Wolio.
After he had been given this authority, he departed. Upon arriving, he established the body of officials here. It was at that time that the kinipulu, saragenti, kapita lau and all the other ranks of government officials were established, brought by La Ode-ode, that which he had received in Wolio.
We hope you enjoyed this story. You can also listen to this story told in Kulisusu, or download a print version (pdf) which gives the story in all three languages.