The domain of Nyi Loro Kidul, the legendary queen of the South Seas, is Parangtritis in Central Java. Her hair is green and full of shells and seaweed, and, she holds court over sea nymphs and other creatures of the deep. She is venerated and feared by the Javanese. In fact, they never wear the colour green when entering the sea for fear of offending Nyi Loro Kidul whose hair is green!.
‘The legend of Nyi Roro Kidul herself is very popular. Before turning into a nymph,Nyai Roro Kidul was a young princess named Dewi Kandita, the daughter of King Mundangwangi and his first wife. The popularity of Dewi Kandita and her mother Dewi Rembulan was beyond doubt. They were known for their beauty, kindness and friendliness, and people loved them.
However, the misery of their lives began when Dewi Mutiara, another wife of King Mundangwangi, known locally as selir, became green with envy and grew ambitions to become the first wife, thereby deserving full affection and attention from the king.
Dewi Mutiara’s dream came true when one day she bore the son that the king had long been yearning for. Through the assistance of a witch, Dewi Mutiara made the king’s wives Dewi Rembulan and Dewi Kandita suffer from ’strange’ disease, with their bodies covered with scabies that created the odour of fish. The disease led them to be sent into exile in the forest where later Dewi Rembulan died. After a long, hard and helpless journey, the scabies-covered Dewi Kandita eventually arrived at a beach where she met a young, handsome man who promised to cure her illness.
At the request of the young man, Dewi Kandita chased after him as he ran along the beach. When she reached the water, the man disappeared and, to her surprise, all the scabies had disappeared but, strangely, she could not move her legs. Half her body, from the waist down, had turned into the body of a fish.
Since then she became a sea-nymph, and the locals believe that Nyi Roro Kidul is the manifestation of Dewi Kandita’