The Mysterious Kampung Pancur Murai

I have written in the past about the origin of place names in Brunei Darussalam. Some place names are pretty straightforward and you can guess how the name originates. Though in my research, one place name takes the cake and win hands down the prize for the most interesting way how the place is named. The kampung is called Pancur Murai and if you have not come across it, it's located about 22 kilometers from the capital and is bounded by Kampung Batong and Kampung Wasan, in Mukim Pangakaln Batu.

According to the older folks, Kampung Pancor Murai was originally known as Pangkalan Imang. In those days, people especially local traders (called pengalu) come from the capital to the place via Sungai Imang. And Sungai Imang was not even a real river. It was just a watering hole and a villager named Kajimang dug a waterway and made it into a river. The waterway became known as Kajimang River and later as Imang River. The interesting bit is why does this name of Pangkalan Imang not stick?

Because the next story is more interesting. According to legends, the name Panchor Murai came about from the story of a Princess known as Puteri Bongsu Kembang Kiapu who had a guard named Samurai. The Princess was staying in a luagan - a small lake, and she wanted to take a bath from a pancur. A pancur is like a natural shower - water sprouting or squirting out from a natural source. So she asked Samurai to make it. So Samurai scouted around and found the place and built it as requested by the Princess. When it was completed, the Princess took her bath there. That place became so famous that it was named as Pancur Samurai which later became Pancur Murai.

So many people wanted to marry the Princess but she rejected all suitors. It was said that because she did not want to be married and so she fled to Mount Mulu in Sarawak.

Today, Kampung Pancur Murai still has many attractions such as Wasai Mandian Jin (apparently jin or 'genie' has been seen to take a bath there together with his 7 children); and Wasai Si Abdul named after many villagers dreamed that the wasai belonged to 'Si Abdul' (orang kebenaran or a fairy). There are also Telaga Lakau and Telaga Lubok Si Untong - water wells which used to be the main source of water for the village. Telaga Lakau is said to be the site of an old treasure burial grounds. At one time the villagers tried digging for it but thunder and lightning appeared as well as numerous snakes - the hole for the attempted dig remained till today.

Two more smaller lakes are also known as Luagan Bumbun and Luagan Kembang Kiapu. The Kampung also has a couple of hills with their own stories - Bukit Tenggilan and Bukit Si Madat; and an island called Pulau Durian Basing. All these places have interesting stories but this blog spot is just too short for the descriptions. So I have to stop there.

Definitely a tale worthy of the Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures.


Anonymous said…
Samurai.. nice name for a local guard, or could it be Si Murai?
Anonymous said…
Circa 1800's?
Anonymous said…
awesome. Maybe someone should make a movie out of it.
Anonymous said…
wow, interesting blog...

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