The Pacific Islands have been referred to many times as ‘the unseen world’ as much of the history and culture is not that well known to the general public. The gods, goddesses, spirits and other supernatural creatures that are native to the Pacific Islanders are not as well recognised as the deities from other cultures, such as China and ancient Greece.
The native population of the Pacific Islands are relatively newcomers in the historical sense – at the very most, they are barely seen 1000 years of human habitation. This is in contrast to the native people of Australia, the Aborigines, who seem to have occupied their lands for perhaps 65,000 years.
Despite the human occupation gaps, the Aborigines and the Pacific Islanders have much in common, mythologically speaking. One widespread idea is the notion of ancestral heroes whose deeds still remain effectual among their descendants even today.
Another strong concept shared between the two is a spiritual power that can exist in people, places, actions and objects, and all must be respected and feared. This concept is extremely strong in the Pacific Islands and Polynesia where it is called mama, but across the ocean it is known under different names according to the region.
Boru Deak Parudjar is a goddess according to the mythology of the Pacific Islands but she seems to have made a deep impact in Indonesia. She was said to be the daughter of Batara Guru, the creator god of Sumatra.
It is said that Boru Deak Parudjar jumped from the heavens and landed in the primeval waters below. When he saw that his daughter was falling, Batara Guru instructed a bird with dry soil in its beak in order to create dry land on which Boru Deak Parudjar landed on.
She was said to have married a hero and then were both sent by her father to defeat the underworld serpent, Naga Padoha. After the serpent’s destruction, Boru Deak Parudjar and her husband then created the first humans.
One scholar travelled to Indonesia where he states that “According to the tales, Batak people are the descendants of Si Raja Batak. He was born from his mother Si Boru Deak Parujar, who was the child of a god, the highest god, Debata Mula Jadi Nabolon, born to forge the world. After the world was forged, he resided in Sianjurmulamula. This village became the home of Si Raja Batak too and was located on the slopes of Mount Pasukbuhit. This, it is said, was the origin land of the Batak and the Karo”.
We do not have much information on this goddess but it is likely her myth symbolises the first human occupation of the islands when they migrated to these islands centuries ago.
Rodgers, Susan (1988) Me and Toba: A Childhood World in a Bakat Memoir, Indonesia, Southeast Asia Program Publications at Cornell University.