The Legend of Minangkabau: Narrative Text with 10 essay test and key answers

The Legend of Minangkabau

In the lush highlands of Sumatra, Indonesia, lies the land of the Minangkabau people, rich with culture and steeped in legend. According to the ancient tale, the Minangkabau owe their unique societal structure to the wisdom of a water buffalo and the cunning of a princess.

Long ago, a kingdom faced a dilemma: who would inherit the throne, as the king had no sons? The answer came from a wise water buffalo, who advised the king to let his daughters rule in succession. This matriarchal system, known as adat perpatih, meaning "customary law," was born from the buffalo's counsel.

However, the king's youngest daughter, Putri Gantung, feared she would lose her status as the ruler. In a daring move, she challenged her sisters to a race to prove her worthiness. With the help of a magical flying roof tile, she won the race and secured her place as the queen, ensuring the continuation of the Minangkabau's unique matrilineal society.

Essay Questions:

  1. What is the significance of the water buffalo in the legend of Minangkabau?
  2. Describe the societal structure of the Minangkabau people as depicted in the legend.
  3. How does Putri Gantung ensure her place as the queen?
  4. What is the cultural importance of the matriarchal system in Minangkabau society?
  5. How does the legend of Minangkabau reflect the values of wisdom and cunning?
  6. Discuss the role of magical elements in the legend.
  7. Compare and contrast the Minangkabau societal structure with other cultural norms.
  8. Analyze the themes of gender equality and empowerment in the legend.
  9. How does the legend contribute to the preservation of Minangkabau culture?
  10. Reflect on the enduring legacy of the legend of Minangkabau in modern-day Indonesia.

Key Answers:

  1. The water buffalo advises the king to establish a matriarchal system, shaping the societal structure of the Minangkabau.
  2. The Minangkabau society is matrilineal, with inheritance and leadership passing through the female line.
  3. Putri Gantung wins a race against her sisters with the help of a magical flying roof tile.
  4. The matriarchal system ensures female empowerment and lineage preservation in Minangkabau culture.
  5. The legend highlights the importance of wisdom and cunning in overcoming challenges.
  6. Magical elements, like the flying roof tile, add a fantastical element to the narrative.
  7. The Minangkabau societal structure contrasts with patriarchal norms in many other cultures.
  8. Gender equality and empowerment are central themes, as Putri Gantung asserts her right to rule.
  9. The legend reinforces the cultural tradition of adat perpatih and the significance of female leadership.
  10. The legend continues to shape Minangkabau identity and pride in their unique heritage.

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