Timun Mas – The Indonesian Folktale of the Golden Cucumber

Timun Mas – The Indonesian Folktale of the Golden Cucumber

Hello PikiranMedia’s Friends! Do you enjoy listening to folktales? You might have heard of several famous ones from different parts of the world. Indonesia too has many folktales that offer a glimpse into the country’s culture and traditions. One such beloved tale is ‘Timun Mas,’ which tells the story of a beautiful girl who was born from a golden cucumber.

The Origin

The tale of Timun Mas dates back to the 15th century, and it is popular among the people of Java and Bali. The origin of the story is not entirely clear and is passed on through generations. It is said that the story has some connection with Hindu mythology and has been adapted over time to reflect the local culture.

The Story

The story of Timun Mas begins with a farmer couple who finds a golden cucumber while working on their land. The couple takes the cucumber home and cuts it open, finding a baby girl inside. They take the child as their own and name her Timun Mas, which means ‘Golden Cucumber’ in Javanese.

Timun Mas grows up to be a beautiful and kind-hearted girl. However, her happy life is disturbed when she learns of the evil demon who terrorizes the villagers. The demon’s name is Tuyul, and he is known to abduct children and turn them into his slaves.

One day, as Timun Mas is playing in the fields, Tuyul appears and tries to kidnap her. However, Timun Mas manages to escape by tricking the demon. She persuades him to turn himself into a goldfish and then captures him in a jar.

Timun Mas decides to take the goldfish to her parents, who are understandably surprised. They release Tuyul, who then turns into his demon form and chases Timun Mas. The girl then takes refuge in a cave at the top of a mountain, where she meets a wise old man who agrees to help her.

The wise old man gives Timun Mas a set of magic items, including a chicken that lays eggs that roll downhill, a needle and cotton that can mend anything, and sticky rice that can cause someone to slip and fall in a puddle. He advises her to use these items to outsmart Tuyul.

Timun Mas thanks the old man and leaves to confront the demon. She uses the magic items creatively and manages to escape from Tuyul’s clutches multiple times. But the demon doesn’t give up and continues to pursue her.

In desperation, Timun Mas calls upon the gods, who hear her pleas and send a giant serpent to save her. The serpent defeats Tuyul and saves Timun Mas, who then returns to her village as a hero.

The Moral

The story of Timun Mas teaches us several lessons. It emphasizes the importance of kindness, bravery, and wit in the face of danger. The narrative shows how a young girl, armed with magic and courage, can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles and save her people.


The tale of Timun Mas is an essential part of Indonesian folklore, and it continues to delight generations of listeners. It offers a window into the country’s history and mythology, and reflects the values and beliefs of its people. So, next time, you hear the story of Timun Mas or any other folktale, remember the message it carries and take inspiration from it.

That’s all for this article. See you next time with another exciting topic! Goodbye!

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