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December's Borneo Legends & Myths

by Harun Warso

 Text & Images Courtesy of SarawakAlive!

batu punggol

On the top of this stone there was an animal
called tudoh or porcupine

Batu Punggol or Stone Stump is a stone which stands firmly and has the shape of tree trunk.  This stone is situated about 24 miles from the Sapulot airstrip.  It is about 400 feet high and has a circumference of about one mile.

    The Muruts say that once there were six brothers who had only one sister.  She was the most beautiful girl in the village at that time, and they lived her very much.  During that time, before Batu Punggol appeared in that area, there was one stone which had a similar shape as Batu Punggol, situated at the upper Sapulot river.  On the top of this stone there was an animal called tudoh or porcupine which produced a strong odour that could kill hundreds and hundreds of people who stayed near the stone.  These six brothers and their sister hated this animal so much that they planned to kill it.

     One morning, without thinking about their plan, they decided to cut the stone, but their attempt failed.  During the night their sister dreamed that they could cut the stone only by using tulang dayong, that was present in landak tunggal which lived in that area.  The next morning she told her dream to her brothers.  After they had heard their sister's story they went immediately to the forest to make a trap for catching the animal.  At first they used a big log to trap the animal but they failed.  At last they found a new method to catch the animal by using a banana tree.  This time they managed to catch the animal and slaughter it.  They ate the meat and then fixed the bones together and made them into an axe for cutting the stone.

    Before they cut down the stone they put their sister on one of the stones which were not faraway from them.  The stone which six brothers cut down fell into the Sapulot river but the stone on which they had put their sister rose taller and taller.  When they turned back to see their sister they were very surprised to see her on the top of the stone crying for help.  With angry blows they cut the stone down.  The peak of the stone broke and was believed to have been thrown all the way to Tenom Lama, and it is now called Batu Pinuto.  This stone can be found between Tenom and Pangi, and the train passes through a tunnel in the stone.

    But the six brothers could not find where their beloved sister had been thrown to.  So at last they separated in order to look for the lost sister.

Tulang dayong   -  shoulderblade
landak tunggal    -  porcupine

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