Maninjau Lake is a volcanic lake located in Tanjung Raya, Agam, West Sumatera. Maninjau Lake is eleventh largest lake in Indonesia. According to the story, Maninjau Lake was originally a volcano. Because of human action, that vulcano erupted and established a vast lake. What did causes that volcano erupted and turned into a lake?

Once upon a time, in a region in West Sumatra, there is a high volcano named Tinjau Mount. At its peak, there was a vast crater, and on the foot, there were several villages. It’s community lived with affluent and prosperous, because they are diligent in farming. In addition, the land Tinjau Mount was very fertile, because it often got a natural fertilizer from mountain ash.

In one of the township at the foot of Tinjau Mount lived ten brothers, consisting of nine men and one woman. Residents around the Mount usually called them by Bujang Sembilan. Those ten brothers are Kukuban, Kudun, Bayua, Malintang, Galapuang, Balok, Batang, Bayang, and the youngest man is named Kaciak. Meanwhile, their youngest sister is a woman, Siti Rasani or familiar is called by Sani. Both their parents had been died. So Kukuban as the eldest son became the head of household. All decisions was on His hands.

The ten brothers lived in a heritage homes of their parents. To satisfied theis needs, They worked on a vast agricultural land of their parents’ legacy. They were very skilled at farming. Because they were diligent in helping his father and mother when they were still alive. In addition, They also were guided by their uncle, Datuk Limbatang, who familiar called with Engku.

Datuk Limbatang were a leader in that village and has a son, Giran. On one day, when Datuk Limbatang with his wife and his son visited to the house Bujang Sembilan, inadvertently Sani looked at Giran. Apparently, they were falling in love. Theb, Giran invited Sani to met in a field by the river. With hearts pounding, Giran expressesed his feeling to Sani.

“Sani, You look beautiful and elegant, well behaved, and charitable. Would you be my lover?” Giran asked.

That question made Sani’s heart trembled rapidly. In Her heart, She also liked to Giran.

Since then, Giran and Sani established loving relationship. Then, They telled that special relationship to their families. Knowing this, Giran’s and Sani’s families felt excited and happy. Giran often visited Bujang Sembilan’s house. Indeed, He often helped Bujang Sembulan worked in the fields

When harvest season arrived, all village residents got abundant results. To celebrate these success, traditional leaders and all residents had agreed to held a stadium event, martial art fight. The youth village welcomed that ceremony. They immediately signed up to the steering committee. So also, Kukuban and Giran took in the event.

On the designated day, all partisipans gathered at a field. A moments later, the committee immediately started the competition with hit the gong. In the final match, Kukuban met Giran.

“Hei, Giran! Go if you dare!” Kukuban challenged.

“Okey, Brother! Get ready to received My attack!” Giran said.

Then, there was fierce fighting between Giran and Kukuban. Kukuban cast a hard kick to Giran. Giran deflected it with his hands.

“Ohhhh, pain…! My leg was broken, Kukuban screamed with pain.
Since then, Kukuban felt resentment and revenge to Giran because had embarrassed in public. But, grudge was buried in His heart.

A few months later, Datuk Limbatang with His Wife visited to Bujang Sembilan House. Arrival Giran’s parent want to delivered proposal to Sani.

“No! I didn’t agree with their marriage. I knew who was Giran.” Kukuban said with face was anger.

“He was arrogant youth, no manners, and gauche. He didn’t deserve Sani’s Husband”.

“Sani was My Sister. I didn’t want married Sani with u’r Son” Kukuban said.

“Okey, My Son! I will not force you. But, one day I hope this decision can be changed” Datuk Limbayang said.

Several days later, Sani and Giran met in riverside. They discussed about proposal rejection by Sani’s Brother.

“Hei, apparently you were here” Kukuban said.

“Let’s catch them! We took them to the customary court!” Kukuban commanded.

Finally, Giran and Sani were herded into the village to the courtroom. The court decided they were guilty. So as punishment, both must be discarded into the crater of Tinjau Mount.

Giran and Sani paraded toward the top of Tinjau Mount with hands tied behind. Before the punishment carried out, they were given the opportunity to speak.

“O you all, knowing! We didn’t do anything forbidden. Giran said.
After that, Giran lifted both arms to the sky while he prayed to God.

“Oh My God. Please heard and granted our prayers. If we were indeed guilty, destroyed our bodies in the water this summer mountain crater. Howeve, if We were not guilty, erupted this mount and made Bujang Sembilan became fish!”

A few moments later, that mount was shaking and suddenly was followed by very loud explosion. Volcanic eruptions Tinjau Mount was more powerful. No one who survived. Bujang Sembilan was transformed into a fish.



  1. I’ve been coming to Lake Maninjau for 18 years now. When I am there, I reside right on the lake shore and look out over the lake.
    I had heard about Bujang Sembilan years ago already, but because of a language problem I never got the story straight. Until now of course !
    I think that those legends should be recorded and kept safe for future generations. I believe too that if they are told more to the toursts, it will make a visit to Maninjau more memorable.
    Also I think that te word ‘Maninjau’ should be translated with ‘Behold’ !
    “Papa” Bob.

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