The Fanged King: Part 4 2010/06/25 By Siti Nurbaiyah Nadzmi firstname.lastname@example.org
These candis, unearthed in the
WHILE many believe some ruined forts in Kedah belonged to Raja Bersiong, and that an altar at Sungai Batu Pahat in Merbok was where his victims were killed, there is no archaeological evidence for any of it.
The Bujang Valley, a sprawling 224sq km area stretching from Merbok to Sungai Muda, is filled with hundreds of Hindu and Buddhist candi (temples), signifying a vibrant entrepot spanning more than a millennium between the third and 14th centuries before the Malaccan Sultanate emerged.
The area forms a historical complex at the
Could this be where Raja Besiong collect the blood of his victims? While many believe this is a sacrificial altar, but archeologists at the
A full view of the pillar base, believed to be the sacrificial altar.
These are tools used by the local workers to press sugarcane juice. Sugarcane molasses was used to cement the terracotta bricks, in temple constructions.
He says the locals were experts in timber structures, which would not stand the test of time as long as the terracotta, granite, and laterite temples of Lembah Bujang.
"It is difficult to prove the existence of the kings mentioned in Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa based on Lembah Bujang archeological find," he said.
Kedah and Perlis National Archive director Shafie Awang says there was no known correspondence between the ancient Kedah kingdom with others before the 17th century. “Papers, unless kept in a controlled humidity and temperature, naturally decay,” he said.
Kedah and Perlis National Archive director Shafie Awang says there was no known correspondence between the ancient Kedah kingdom with others before the 17th century.
The oldest documents archived in
At present, the oldest documents archived in
“We are continuously looking for ancient documents on ancient Kedah history,” Shafie said.
The historians have made a firm stand that Raja Besiong is but a character from an epic and a story adored by romantics, but many Kedahans believed the king’s blood runs in its people.
At her food stall tucked away in a village between Bukit Selambau and Jeniang, Mak Chu (not her real name) wipes her hands on her apron and bends down behind her counter to extract out a tightly rolled piece of paper.
It is a genealogy chart filling the breadth of ten sheets of A4 paper taped together.
“I am the seventh generation of Raja Bersiong,” said Mak Chu proudly.
Raja Besiong had at least two wives, she explains: a Malay and a Pattani. Mak Chu’s father was descended from the Malay lineage, and had travelled to Pattani as a trader.
There he had married another descendant of Raja Bersiong, of the Pattani lineage. Years later, they moved back to Kedah and raised the Fanged King’s seventh generation.
When war broke out between Kedah and
Mak Chu said they still feared repercussions if the truth be told. “It is not true that Raja Bersiong is a myth,” she said. “He was once the ruler of Kedah.”
This is the final of a four-part series.
NST pictures by Syaharim Abidin and Shahrizal Md Noor
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