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lumutlunting - Animals/Nature

'*Legend of Piolongan & Lumut Lunting*'


There are two islands on Brunei bay which are more interesting than all others. One is called Palau Pilong-Piolongan, and the other very much smaller, more like a raised sandbank called Lumut Lunting.

Both islands have been associated with old legend that stretcher back in time to more than 500 years ago.

The story was said to have taken place in the early days of the first Sultanate of Awang Alak Betatar around the 14th century. In those days, Brunei Darussalam was still a vassal state of the Majapahit empire.

Awang Alak Betatar was the first ruler of the new Brunei Sultanate and the vassal state. Brunei pays an annual tribute to the King of Majapahit. The tribute was made up of 40 ships laden with camphor to be paid to the Majapahit empire from Brunei. Brunei's emperor was considered to be among the best in the region thow. Though some legends talk about much smaller amount of 40 kati (roughly equal to about 24 kilograms).

During that time a rooster named Mutiara owned by Awang Senuai, an nephew of Awang Alak Betatar was know for its ability to win all the cock fights that it competed against.

This came to the attention of Raden Angsuka Dewa who also owned another rooster named Asmara which is said to be equal to Mutiara. Asmara was well taken care of by his owner, eating from a golden plate that hung high and given a special coop. Asmara was said to be strong, smart and possesed a special power. When he crowed upon entering Brunei, the local cocks were so terrified that they did not crow for several days.

The King Majapahit dictated that should he lose, he will give the 40 ships laden with goods to Brunei, but should he win, he will gain more territories of Brunei which it owns and control them. Another version talked about should Brunei lose, it will continue to be a vassal state of Majapahit.

Both Asmara and Mutiara were both meticulously trained for the cockfight in front of the Sultan's palace.

One day of the fight, many people came to watch it. The fight commanced with roosters pounching, pecking, attacking and kicking each other citeered on by the excited spectators. Sudenly Asmare flow out of the ring followed by Mutiard. Asmara had been stabbed during the fight and was seriously injured. Asmara fled out of sight and suclumbing to his wound, fell down into the sea turning into a rock becoming an island (Pulau Pilong-Piolongan).

Mutiara who tried to give chase, fell into the river cursed by the King Majapahit. He turned into a rock and become an island (Lumut Lunting).

It has been said among the elders in Kampong Ayer dwellers that Lumut Lunting will never be under water, no matter how high the water level rises. If it does, than that signals a bad omen such as the death of a King or the occurrence of an untoward incident.

Source, The Brunei Times, 2007

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