THE KAMPONG BELANTU IN BELITUNG

Photo: https://pixabay.com/en/fantasy-warfare-battle-heavens-3745016/
There was once a married couple who lived in Nanga village near Beluru Mountain.  Pak Inda (husband) and Bu Tumina (wife) didn’t have kid but they lived happily and earned their living by cultivating their land for farming. They grew upland rice, vegetables, maize, carrots, etc. Pak Inda was a hardworking man and he often went to the seashore to fish.

When the harvest came, Pak inda told his wife to dry the rice in the sun by herself, because he wanted to go to take a look at his fish trap.

It was low tide when he reached the seashore and he stumbled over a bamboo cane. He picked up the cane and threw it away with all his strength. While he was walking closer to his fish trap, he felt that something touched his foot. He saw it was the bamboo cane that he had thrown away. As he didn’t need any bamboo, he left it behind and started doing his work. It was full of fish in his fish trap. He fastened all the fish with rattans and put them in his big basket. As his basket was full, he had to carry some of his fish on his shoulders.

While he was walking home, he saw that bamboo cane again. He felt rather surprised as it hadn’t been drifted out to sea. He thought it should be an extraordinary one and something miraculous was about to happen. He took and used it to carry the fish on his shoulders.

At lunch time, Pak Inda told his wife that he had got a strange bamboo cane. His wife left the cane in the yard. She needed the bamboo cane on the mat while she was working, so the mat wouldn’t be blown away by the wind.

There wasn’t any strange thing happened with the bamboo cane in a few days. Everything was fine. Bu Tumina let the bamboo cane lie on the ground after finishing her work.

While Pak Inda was lying on his bed one afternoon, he heard a big explosion followed by a baby’s cry. The explosion happened in the yard where his wife put the strange bamboo cane.

He saw a new born baby lying among the broken pieces of the bamboo. A bright aura surrounded the baby and the air was filled with fragrance. Bu Tumina took the baby and helped her bathe, and then she covered the baby with a blanket and let her sleep. The fortunate couple then named the baby Putri Pinang Gading.

Many years later, Putri Pinang Gading had grown up and became an archer. She often asked her father to make arrows for her. She could shoot the targets with her arrows accurately.

She became a top archer when she was 15 years old, and always brought rabbits or deer while she was back from hunting. She was a cheerful girl and always friendly to everyone. She was well liked by her parents, friends and neighbors.

There was an evil giant bird that spelled a serious disaster at the neighboring village. The villagers lived in fear and were worried that they would lose their lives sooner or later.

The evil giant bird that came from Bita Mountain always preyed on people in Remban village after every harvest. The villagers who lived there became fewer and fewer, some were preyed and others moved to another village or lived in the caves. The villagers called the giant bird Burung Gerude. Some said that the wild and vicious bird had seven heads.

The people living in other villages were very scared after hearing what had happened to their neighboring village. They were afraid that they would get the turn afterwards.

Putri Pinang Gading was 21 years old and she had made up her mind to kill that bird. The village headman then held a meeting and appointed her the terminator because she was the best archer.

Putri Pinang Gading was very glad to help the villagers. She made a killer arrow and soaked it in various kinds of poisonous liquid.

A few days later, the vicious bird flew to Remban village to disturb and prey on villagers. Putri Pinang Gading took her bow and poisonous arrow and prepared to shoot. She had long been waiting for the evil bird at a strategic corner.

An old man was walking on the road to tempt the giant bird. Not long after that, the bird came and tried to hurt him. At the very moment, a poisonous arrow was released and shot in the long neck of the evil bird. It fell down and fluttered.

As the arrow was very deadly, the bird died in a few seconds. Seven different colors of water flowed out of each of the heads of the giant bird. The arrow which stuck in the ground then grew into a bamboo tree.

No one dared to cut down the poisonous bamboo tree after it had grown taller and bigger. The deadly poison would hurt anyone who came closer to it. The villagers called the bamboo tree Buluh Hantu (Ghost Bamboo).

Afterwards, the words Buluh Hantu were abbreviated to Belantu and it becomes the name of that region.

Putri Pinang Gading became very famous after she had killed the giant evil bird. She died when she had reached her old age. She was buried in a small village at the foot of Beluru Mountain in Membalong district. Nowadays, it is still considered to be a sacred grave by the villagers.

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