Legend of Gunung Silabur Caves

Legend has it that the Gunung Silabur Caves were once a settlement of three longhouses.

By D’Drift Team

Don’t mistreat your guests; don’t laugh at the dogs, otherwise you will be turned to stone.

This is the moral lesson of the legend surrounding the formation of Gunung Silabur Caves where a three-longhouse community had turned into a cave system overnight to become the present Gunung Silabur Caves which is also known as the Jade Caves due to its greenish hue.

Collin Marasang Nyawun, the chairman of Kampung Lobang Batu Bird’s Nest Entrepreneur Association was serious about every detail of the legend and strongly believes that the story should not be wrongly told.

Marasang inviting Sarawakians to visit Gunung Silabur Caves, Serian.

Long ago, Kampung Bi Sitria-uh which consisted of two longhouses was becoming prosperous and needed extension. Their headman, Orang Kaya Bunga mang (father of) Iron who was known as Babeh Legam decided to build a third longhouse.

When the construction of the longhouse was completed, the headman suggested for a shaman to be invited from a nearby village to come and conduct a miring ceremony, which the villagers unanimously supported.

With the blessing of the whole village, Orang Kaya Bunga proceeded to invite his friend who had the same name as his, Bunga mang Laman who hailed from Kampung Daha, to come and conduct the miring celebration.

Bunga mang Laman arrived and the celebration started smoothly and successfully as the villagers gave full co-orperation to the shaman.

That night, Bunga mang Laman held a miring ceremony until midnight. The whole village participated with much enthusiasm as there was an unlimited amount of tuak being offered. All were drunk including Bunga mang Laman who was so drunk that he passed out.

While the shaman was sleeping, his grandson, Sok was still partying with the rest of the villagers.

Sok was offered a bowl of kasam (preserved meat) and he liked it so much he finished it fast. He was offered another portion of kasam which took him no time to finish. More portions of kasam were served and Sok never failed to finish them. The villagers however, got fed up of serving him.

The villagers then decided that they should serve Sok some kasam mixed with some rubber.

When Sok ate the kasam, he found himself unable to swallow the kasam as it was so tough! The boy woke up Bunga mang Laman and asked his grandfather to cut the kasam for him.

The awakened Bunga mang Laman tried to cut the kasam with a knife but to no avail.

“This is not pork kasam but kasam made of rubber,” he said.

He was dismayed that the villagers gave his grandson something that could not be eaten while he was asleep.

“While I was drunk, this is the horrible food the villagers gave to my grandson,” he thought. He decided that the whole village which had repaid his service and kindness with mean deed should be punished.

With his mind made up, Bunga mang Laman told the villagers to start beating the gong as he wanted to “bilanggi” (dance). He then asked for a sarung which he used it to wrap around his puppy, Biruaang. After that, he tied a bell on one of Biruang’s legs.

Bunga mang Laman released the puppy to let it roam freely among the villagers. They laughed when they saw the comical state of the puppy.

Meanwhile, the shaman carried Sok in his arms and quickly left the village. It was then 4 in the morning. When they reached a resting place, he chanted and cast a spell.

At Kampung Bi Sitria-uh, it started to rain heavily. Then the rain turned into rocks, sas did the land which slowly rose from the ground.

“The rock will rise from the ground to reach the sky,” a loud voice was heard saying.

There were villagers who tried to avoid the curse by escaping from the village through the river. However, the river water was so cold that they could not stay on for long and were forced to go back to the land. Once they reached the land, they immediately found themselves to be wrapped up by rocks and slowly turned into stones. Some of them were called “Daya” while others “Pampung”, and “Mad” as well as other different names.

For the villagers who did not laugh at the dressed-up puppy, they escaped the devastating effect of the curse and remained safe.

Dawn came, the rocks stopped growing.

Nearby, villagers of Kampung Siturib opened their windows and saw Kampung Bi Sitira-uh turned into a rocky mountain overnight. They were shocked.

As the villagers of Kampung Siturib were not invited to participate in the celebration, they were not sympathetic of what happened to the villagers of Kampung Bi Sitira-uh.—DayakDaily

“Serve you right for not inviting us,” they said.