Tracing the Myth of the People as a part of Life (a case study of Dampu Awang Folklore)

Nanny Sri Lestari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A community is the largest unit of the society. Society is a collection of several communities that have a common agreement. In everyday life they make a mutual agreement both oral and written in life. The agreement was made. There are mutually agreed rules, norms and values for mutual preservation among the people. One unique example is to look at a society that lives in a shared environment that then guard each other by agreeing on a common myth. Society does not object to the myth, the people accept the myth willingly without having to express likes or dislikes. An example of this is folklore about Dampu Awang. Dampu Awang story is known as a folklore in the northern coastal area of the eastern part of the island of Java or precisely in the vicinity of Rembang. Local people believe that Dampu Awang was native Javanese. According to the oral story of the local people, they believe that Dampu Awang was a nomad from Java who then succeeded in trading with the people. Dampu Awang came back to Java and landed in Lasem's big port. For the local people, Dampu Awang was very reliable and had great stories. Based on the oral story of the society, local people believe that Dampu Awang was not just a successful nomad and merchant but also someone who introduced new influences. As a wanderer and wholesaler Dampu Awang bought a lot of crops from the local community and also brought a wide variety of merchandise that could be exchanged for the produce. Trade activities conducted by Dampu Awang provide opportunities for local people to interact with the people from outside the archipelago. It is interesting that this Dampu Awang myth does not only belong to the locals but also to Chinese immigrants in Rembang. They know this story with their respective story variants. Dampu Awang is considered to have left a large relic; an enormous ship anchor placed in front of a church in Kartini park. This myth is kept around in the form of oral folklore delivered from time to time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-127
JournalInternational Review of Humanities Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Keywords: myth, character, trade, trust, oral story


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