The Power of Storytelling: How Keong Mas Has Become a Timeless Legend in Indonesian Folklore.

The Power of Storytelling: How Keong Mas Has Become a Timeless Legend in Indonesian Folklore

Hello PikiranMedia’s Friends! It is fascinating how stories have the power to transport us to different realms and evoke emotions within us. Indonesian folklore is an excellent example of how storytelling has transcended time and is still relevant in today’s society. Among the many Indonesian folktales, the story of Keong Mas holds a special place in the hearts of many. In this article, we will delve into the legend of Keong Mas, its origins, and how it has become an enduring tale that continues to inspire and educate us.

The Origins of Keong Mas

Keong Mas or ‘The Golden Snail’ is a story that has been passed down through generations in Indonesian folklore. The tale is said to have originated from Central Java, in the reign of King Prabu Baka or Baka’s kingdom. According to the story, the king and queen had always yearned for a child, and finally, the queen gave birth to a girl. However, the child was born with a curse, and it was prophesied that she would bring destruction to the kingdom when she turned 17. To prevent this from happening, the king ordered for the child to be placed in a boat and sent out to sea.

Years later, the young girl was discovered by a fisherman who found her stuck in Keong Mas’s shell or Golden Snail. The fisherman took the shell to the king, and when it was opened, the girl emerged. The king named her Keong Mas and raised her as his own. Keong Mas grew up to be a beautiful, kind, and intelligent woman. However, when she turned 17, the curse of her birth was remembered, and the king feared for the kingdom’s safety.

The Themes in Keong Mas Story

The story of Keong Mas touches on many themes that continue to resonate with us today. It highlights the dangers of holding onto prejudices and the importance of embracing those who are different from us. Keong Mas’s birth was seen as a curse, and she was almost left to die despite being an innocent child. However, the kindness of the fisherman and the king’s decision to raise her showed the importance of inclusion and acceptance in society.

The tale also teaches us about the power of forgiveness and compassion. Keong Mas could have easily sought revenge on the family that abandoned her, but she chose to offer them grace and forgiveness. It is a reminder to us that holding onto grudges and resentment only serves to hurt us in the long run.

Keong Mas in Popular Culture

The story of Keong Mas continues to be retold in different forms of popular culture. It has been adapted into various films, TV shows, and even comic books. One of the most famous adaptations is the 1954 Indonesian film ‘Keong Mas’ directed by Usmar Ismail. The movie stayed true to the original story’s themes and presented them in a way that resonated with the audience.

The tale of Keong Mas has also been used to promote tourism in Indonesia. The country features various landmarks and tourist attractions that celebrate the tale. One such destination is the Keong Mas Park in Semarang, Central Java, where visitors can enjoy various activities such as folklore-inspired rides and replicas of the golden snail.


The story of Keong Mas is a timeless legend in Indonesian folklore that teaches us about the power of forgiveness, inclusion, and compassion. It shows us that stories have the power to transcend time and continue to inspire us in different ways. Keong Mas has become a symbol of hope and resilience, and it is heartwarming to see how the story continues to be celebrated in popular culture and used to promote tourism in Indonesia. For those of us who have not heard of Keong Mas before, we encourage you to delve deeper into the tale and discover its enduring charm for yourself.

Thank you for reading, and we hope to see you soon for another interesting article.

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