MYSTERY continues to surround Kampung Penan Muslim Batu 10 along the Bintulu-Miri highway in Sarawak.
Not many from outside the state know of a local legend, whose origin has been swallowed by the mists of time. But villagers are not averse to telling anyone willing to listen about the story of Batu Rasak.
The villagers believe that they are the descendants of a cursed lineage. Their forefathers had apparently defied the gods centuries ago.
Although most of the villagers have since embraced Islam, they remain fearful of the curse and would speak of it only in hushed tones.
A long time ago, it was said that their ancestors had feasted on forbidden meat. As such, calamity befell the village; everything and everyone was cursed and turned into stone.
"According to the stories, our ancestors feasted on terrapin and squirrel meat. They even compared which meat was the best and ridiculed the animals. Then all of a sudden, the clear skies turned dark. There were strong winds, lightning and thunder, and heavy rain. Not long later, everything turned into stone. The stones are now collectively called Batu Rasak," said village chief Raini Piee, 43.
The story of Batu Rasak has been passed down from one generation to the next among the Penans in the village.
The stones are located not far from the village and residents believe that they are still guarded by the old gods.
No one in the village dares to set foot near the stones nor utter a single word there as they believe it is taboo and that bad things would happen to them if they do.
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