Nyai Roro Kidul Picture

A legendary Javanese goddess.

Nyai Loro Kidul has many different names, which reflect the diverse stories of her origin in a lot of sagas, legends, myths and traditional folklore.
Other names include Ratu Laut Selatan ("Queen of the South Sea," meaning the Indian Ocean) and Gusti Kangjeng Ratu Kidul .


The Javanese word loro literally means two - 2 and merged into the name of the myth about the Spirit-Queen born as a beautiful girl/maiden, in Old Javanese rara, written as rårå, (also used as roro). Old-Javanese rara evolved into the New Javanese lara, written as lårå, (means ill, also grief like heartache, heart-break). Dutch orthography changed lara into loro (used here in Nyai Loro Kidul) so the word play moved the beautiful girl to a sick one - Old Javanese Nyi Rara and the New Javanese Nyai Lara.

Nyai Loro Kidul is often illustrated as a mermaid with a tail as well the lower part of the body of a snake. The mythical creatures are claimed to take the soul of any who are wished for.[5]

Sometimes Nyai Loro Kidul literally can be spoken of as a "naga", a mythical snake. This idea may have been derived from some myths concerning a princess of Pajajaran who suffered from leprosy. The skin disease mentioned in most of the myths about Nyai Loro Kidul might possibly refer to the shedding of a snake's skin.

The role of Nyai Loro Kidul as a Javanese Spirit-Queen became a popular motif in traditional Javanese folklore and palace mythologies, as well as being tied in with the beauty of Sundanese and Javanese princesses. Another aspect of her mythology was her ability to change shape several times a day.

Nyai Loro Kidul in a significant amount of the folklore that surrounds her - is in control of the violent waves of the Indian Ocean from her dwelling place in the heart of the ocean. Sometimes she is referred as one of the spiritual queens or wives of the Susuhunan of Solo/Surakarta and the Sultan of Yogyakarta. Her literal positioning is considered as corresponding to the Merapi-Kraton-South Sea axis in Solo Sultanate and Yogyakarta Sultanate. E

Another pervasive part of folklore surrounding her is the colour of green, gadhung m'lathi in Javanese, is referred to her, which is forbidden to wear along the south-coast of Java.
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