|THE GIANT OF KINORINGAN
Borneo Legends & Myths
Text & Images Courtesy of SarawakAlive!
The Headman just stared at
LONG AGO, in the peaceful village of Kelawat in Sabah, there lived an old man
and his wife who had no children. Time after time, they prayed to Kinoringan
(God of the Dusuns) for a child.
day, when they were having lunch, a strange light suddenly filled their room. They
were terrified and crept to one corner of the room and closed their eyes tightly.
said, "Do not be afraid. I have come to help you. Kinoringan will give
you a child."
man and his wife opened their eyes slowly, thinking they would see a spirit with wings.
But they saw nothing, only the strange light. "Where....where are
you?" said the old man trembling with fear, "and....and how can we have a
"Do not ask questions, old man," said the voice again, "But
listen. You must not let the child see blood for seven weeks.
Farewell." The strange light became smaller and smaller until at last it was
months kater, a beautiful baby boy was born to the couple. Everyone was very happy
in the village. the old man, remembering what the voice had told him, took great
care to keep the baby away from blood, and the villagers, who knew about the
weeks, the baby was well looked after. On the seventh week, the people who were
looking after the baby were not so careful. While they were busy talking, one of the
guards knockesd a jug onto the floor. It smashed into little pieces near the baby.
One of the sharp bits fell on the baby boy's arm, and cut it. Blood began to
flow down his arm into a pool on the floor.
baby saw the blood on its wrist, and suddenly there was a quick flash of lightning,
followed by rolling thunder. It was so sudden that the villagers didn't know what
happened. The people who should have been guarding the baby saw the broken pieces of
the jug lying on the floor where they had left the tiny boy. The baby had gone.
A search for the baby began. The baby had seen blood-the promise to
Kinoringan had been broken and now they would be punished.
many days the people of the people of the village lived in fear. They were afraid of
Kinoringan, and how he might punish them. But, the months passed and nothing
happened, and the villagers soon forgot all about it.
day, the villagers all came to a meeting in the square. Suddenly, a man covered with
blood pushed through the crowd and ran straight to the headman. It was Talip, one of
the Headman's warriors.
Talip fell to the ground, breathing hard. "Talip! Talip!" cried the
Headman, picking him up, "What has happened? Where is your
brother? Who did this to you? Tell me, Talip."
"A giant . . . . caught Tiap. I . . . . ugh!" Talip fell back on
the arms of the Headman. He was dead. The Headman was puzzled and angry.
Talip and Tiap were his best warriors.
Next morning, twenty strong men set out with the Headman to search for the giant.
It was late in the afternoon and the men were tired after walking so many miles through
the forest. They came to a river and decided to rest.
The Headman suddenly saw a shadow. A one-eyed giant stood looking down at
them. His eye gleamed. His teeth were as big as elephants' tusks. The
body was hairy and the finger-nails were like the talons of an eagle, but much bigger.
For a moment, the Headman just stared at the giant. Then suddenly, he shouted,
"Run into the forest. Hurry!" Some of the men sprang up and ran to
the forest with the Headman, but the others were too frightened to move. The giant
swooped down and lifted four of them up-two in each hairy hand. The monster ate them
one by one.
others ran back to the village. Everyone heard how the giant had eaten four of them.
Some decided to move to another village. The Headman told his people that the
giant would kill them if they left their village. The monster was waiting outside
the villagers heard this, they stopped packing their belongings. The Headman was a
wise man. They decided to listen to his words.
As time went by, the villagers had less and less food to eat. They could not hunt in
the forest because the giant was there.
At last the Headman asked the spirit of Libabau to help them.
The spirit of Libabau heard the Headman's cry for help and came to the village.
"What help do you need from me?" asked the spirit.
The Headman told the spirit about the giant and how they needed food but were too
frightened to hunt outside the village. Then the Headman asked, "Why is the
giant here? Why won't it go away?"
The giant can only be killed when seven
arrows have been shot into its eye
"I'll tell you," said the spirit. "Kinoringan was very angry
with the people of Kelawat. They did not listen to his warning. They let the
baby boy see blood on the seventh week. He changed the baby into a giant and sent
it back to frighten the people of Kelawat. But i will help you. The giant can
only be killed when seven arrows have been shot into its eye. The tip of each arrow
must be dipped in a pot of blood seven times. The blood must come from all the
people in this village. You will find the bow and the seven arrows just outside your
the spirit of Libabau left the village. The Headman took a pot, pricked himself, and
a drop of blood fell into the pot. All the others villagers did the same.
next morning, the Headman left the village with the pot of blood. No one else was
brave enough to kill the giant, and anyway he was better at shooting with a bow and arrow
than the other villagers.
found the bow and seven arrows and walked into the forest. He came to the place
where the giant had eaten the four men. The Headman felt very, very angry again.
He decided he would not go back to the village until he had killed the giant.
He vowed to destroy the giant or die in the attempt.
the giant in the afternoon. It was even more terrible than he remembered.
Quickly dipping one of the arrows seven times into the pot of blood, the Headman shot the
arrow at the giant's eye.
giant saw the arrow coming and put out his big hairy hand to catch it. The Headman's
heart beat hard. It would be terrible if the giant caught the arrow.
arrow flew through the gaint's hand. The gaint let out a loud cry of pain as the first
arrow hit his eye.
giant saw the arrow coming and put out his big hairy hand to catch it. The Headman's heart
beat hard. It would be terrible if the giant caught the arrow.
arrow flew throught the giant hand. The giant let out a loud cry of pain as the first
arrow hit eye.
Headman dipped the second arrow seven times into the pot of blood and shot at the giant.
The giant could not stop the arrows no matter what he tried to do. The Headman saw that
these were magic arrows! When the last arrow hit the giant's eye, he let out a terrible
cry. The Headman stared. The giant was slowly getting smaller. Suddenly the giant was
slowly getting smaller. Suddenly the giant had gone.
curse of Kinoringan had been broken and the village of Kilowatt was happy again.
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