Podcaster: Avivah Yamani

Title: Folklore Series: Venus, The Morning Star: The Story of Manarmakeri

Organization: langitselatan

Link :

Description: This is a legend from Papua, about Sampari, the morning star (or Venus).

Bio: Avivah Yamani is a an astronomy communicator from Indonesia.

Today’s sponsor: This episode of “365 Days of Astronomy” is sponsored by — no one. We still need sponsors for many days in 2017, so please consider sponsoring a day or two. Just click on the “Donate” button on the lower left side of this webpage, or contact us at

Hi! Welcome to the 365 Days of Astronomy. I’m Avivah your host today. I’m going to share a folklore from Papua, Indonesia about Venus, The Morning Star: The Story of Manarmakeri

This is a legend from Papua, about Sampari, the morning star (or Venus).

Manarmakeri was an old man in Sopen Village, on Biak Numfor Island, Papua. His body was full of mange. Because of this, he had often been mistreated. Thus he travelled to many places in search of peace. 

One day, Manarmakeri reached Meokbundi. He was going to do his favorite work, tapping the palm tree. He asked Sokani’s people for coconuts, but no one gave him any. Then Manarmakeri took a sprouted coconut and planted it. The coconut that he planted was miraculous, it grew into a tree that was big and ready to be tapped.

Time passed by and one day, he saw a palm tree that had been tapped by theives and no one admitted to the theft. He was given no choice. He watched the tree to catch the thief. After two days, it was still the same. The thief still tapped the palm. Manarmakeri wondered how the thief stole the palm wine.

On the third night, curious and furious, Manarmakeri climbed up the tree and hid in the middle of the branches and coconut leaves, and stayed patiently awake all night. Approaching dawn, the thief came down from the sky heading to the top of the coconut tree. Manarmakeri caught the thief and a hard fight occurred. The thief was none other than Makmeser or Sampari (the morning star). 

“Let me go, the daylight is only a moment away!” said Sampari. Manarmakeri wouldn’t want to let him go until Sampari gave him what he wanted all this time – ‘koreri syeben’, a clean, beautiful, bright, and prosperous village, a magical world that was full of freedom, no hunger and poverty.

“Because the sun has risen, your wish I have granted and now you have the koreri. And if Insoraki, the daughter of Warrior Rumbrak, goes to the beach and bathes with her friends, approach her and pick up a fruit of bintanggur, the Mars tree, and throw it to the sea. Then you will see what happened to Insoraki and it will be koreri,” Sampari said.

After few days, Manarmakeri saw a few girls going to the beach. He immediately went and hid behind a bintanggur tree. He paid attention to the girls, one by one, and there appeared a beautiful girl, Insoraki.

He picked some of the fruit of bintanggur and threw them at sea. The fruit sank and touched the swimming Insoraki’s breast. Insoraki was shocked and took the fruit and threw them back to the beach. This happened 3 times in row. After that, Insoraki felt something different in herself. 

Her parents were shocked when they learned that their daughter was pregnant. They asked the local people of Meokbundi, but none of them knew what had happened. Insoraki also wondered what had happened to her. After a time, a boy was born. 

Because the son was born and it was felt that he brought changes and peace, so they named him Manarbeu (Peace Keeper).

One day, at a traditional festival, Manarbeu had to determine who his father was. Manarmakeri was queuing in the last row, was still full of mange and his hand was holding a stick. In fact, Manarbeu was soon pointed Manarmakeri and said, “Mother, that is my father!”  

When the child wanted to hug his father, Insoraki held him back because she was afraid of the mange in Manarmakeri’s body. Manarbeu managed to run from his mother and met his father. But, Manarmakeri was being humiliated and exiled by the people. Finally, Insoraki joined her son and they went together with Manarmakeri and left the village headed toward the west.

On his journey, Manarbeu suddenly wanted to play with the sand on an island with white sand, that had suddenly emerged before them. After Manarbeu was satisfied with his playing, they sailed away leaving the Yapen Island, passing Supiori Island which was toward the northwest. 

On that journey, suddenly an island emerged on top of the water surface and was getting bigger and bigger. Manarbeu wanted again to play with the sand. Since he was crying and begging to play, the boat was forced to land so that Manarbeu could play on that sand.

The journey then continued, reached a big island that had no humans at all. Manarmakeri took four sticks, embedded them in the sand and then cast some magic spells. After casting the spells, the four sticks turned into the four origin tribes on that island, which then was known as Numfor Island. 

Manarmakeri warned them if one of them died, they must not cry over them for they would be resurrected. If they obeyed the request, then they would live in peace, harmony, and abundance.

In fact, they did not obey. That event upset him and made him feel that his presence was not appreciated. He recalled his experiences in Sopen Village, then Meobundi Island, in Krawi Village and now Numfor. He felt uncomfortable and decided to leave looking for a safe and quiet place. He had gotten the secret of eternal life and he wanted to cherish it with others.

Unfortunately, the people did not want to understand. Manarmakeri  decided to go away for some time and would come back to bring a new eternally prosperous and peaceful life, like the promise of the Sampari’s display. 

He left a few messages for the people: don’t kill each other, don’t take others rights and belongings, and prepare a big house to receive the richness that would be coming from the west. 

After leaving those messages, Manarmakeri with Insoraki, went on a boat to leave that place. However, Manarbeu was still enjoying playing with the white sand. When Manarmakeri asked him to come, Manarbeu would not go with them. 

So Manarmakeri threw a wooden stick to the shore, a stick that magically turned into a snake. Manarbeu was scared and quickly jumped into the boat. Since then, the snake had broods on Numfor Island which was also known as Snake Island.

Manarmakeri had to leave his people. The boat soon left Numfor Island headed to the West. It crossed straits and oceans. He came upon a group of islands called Raja Ampat. After staying some time and spreading his teaching, he continued his westward journey. 

He hasn’t come back to this day. According to his messages, he would come back in time to bring peace, richness, and abundance of food. “When I get back, Sampari will be displaying from one edge of the island to the other edge of the island”.

Thank you for listening. This is 365 days Of Astronomy.

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