The Tales of the Pancurs

There are 3 kampongs in Brunei with the Pancur, one in Brunei/Muara District and the other 2 in Tutong. Last year I made the mistake of identifying Pancur Murai as in Tutong, it is in fact in Brunei/Muara District.

According to the older folks, Kampung Pancur 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.

In Tutong, two village using the word ‘pancur’ are Kampong Pancur Papan and Kampong Pancur Dulit. Both are naturally named after sources of water – spouting from a hill or any water source.

Pancur Papan gets its name from the way the villagers who stayed in the area obtained their water. In Pancur Papan, they used wooden planks (or called papan in Malay) to divert the water from the source to their houses. And hence the name of the village, Pancur Papan.

Whereas Pancur Dulit also gets its name from the way the villagers get the water into the village. In their case, they did not use wooden planks but used the bark of trees (or called kulit kayu in Malay). Hence over time, the place name became Pancur Dulit. In fact the amount of water which came from Pancur Dulit was so plentiful that the authorities in the 1950s decided to use it as the source of water for Tutong Town. It was used until the 1970s and stopped being use as a water source when Layong came into full operation.


Atul said…
"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."

I was wondering if that is where the term kambang kiapu was derived from. I've heard of people saying.. "Jangan jadi kambang kiapu ani..." And I don't know, I thought there maybe some connections here. Hehehe.

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