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Langkawi Craft Cultural Complex

Legends and lore of long ago
As legendary as the beauty of Langkawi are the mysterious lores themselves of long ago which add to the allure of the islands.

The legend of Mahsuri and the curse of the seven generations
Mahsuri was the beautiful daughter of two Muslim Siamiese immigrants. Unjustly accused of adultery by her mother-in-law who was jealous of her beauty and popularity, Mahsuri was sentenced to death. At her execution by stabbing with a sacred ‘keris’ or dagger, the villagers were shocked to discover that the blood flowing from her body was white, signifying her innocence.

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With her dying breath, Mahsuri placed a curse on the island of Langkawi that it would not prosper for seven generations. Soon after, the village was invaded and the crops destroyed. Whether fact or fiction, it has only been recently that Langkawi has started to really prosper, after seven generations of hardship and obscurity.

The legend of Pulau Dayang Bunting
Legend has it that the waters from the lake at Pulau Dayang Bunting can bestow fertility upon barren women, making it a popular spot with visitors. This lake was supposed to have been the favourite bathing place of Putri Dayang Sari, a celestial princess. One day, an early prince, Putera Teja, chanced upon her while she was bathing and was immediately smitten.

legend03.jpg (17923 bytes)   His attempts to woo her with songs and poetry were in vain, so in desperation, he turned to a wise man for advice. He was told to wash his face with the tears of a mermaid to win the favour of the princess. His ploy worked indeed and he married the princess. She then gave birth to a baby who died, which was when she discovered that her marriage was through trickery. After burying her baby in the lake, she blessed it with magical fertility powers and returned to the heavens, never to appear again.

The legend of Mat Cincang and Mat Raya(Feud of Two Families)
These were two giants who apparently dramatically transformed the landscape of the main island. Mat Raya had planned a grand feast to celebrate the engagement of his daughter to Mat Cincang’s son.
Unfortunately, the young man was caught flirting with another maiden at the party, an indiscretion that resulted in a raging battle between the two families.

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Where the engagement ring was flung became known as ‘Tanjung Cincin’ or Cape of the Ring; the broken crockery became the village of ‘Belange Pecah’ or Broken crockery; the spilt gravy became’Kuah’ or gravy; Kisap or ‘to seep in’ became the name of the village where the gravy seeped through the land; and the Hot Springs at Air Hangat is apparently the spot where the cauldron of hot water was broken. As for the two giants, they were turned into the mountains of stone, Gunung Mat Cincang and Gunung Mat Raya, and Mat Sawar who tried to mediate between them was transformed into the hill which now separates the two mountains.

The legend of Telaga Tujuh

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The Seven Wells or Telaga Tujuh are actuarially a series of seven large tells of fairies who delight in bathing in the cool waters which are supposed to possess soothing healing properties. A mountain prince who once lived near the wells tried to capture one of these fairy maidens, but until today, they have remained elusive.






The legend of the Fiery Phoenix
It is said that in ancient times, the emperors of Rome and China arranged for their respective children to be married to forge close ties. The mythical Phoenix was opposed to the match, fearing that such a merger would mean an end to smaller kingdoms. It vowed to thwart the marriage, failing which it would banish itself from the world.

The Phoenix abducted the Chinese princess and kept her prisoner in Langkawi. It also attacked the galley carrying the Roman prince who then fell into the sea. Fortunately, the prince was washed ashore on Langkawi island and brought to the Chinese princess’s pavilion where the couple was then reunited. Realizing the union was the will of God, the Phoenix kept its vow and left the earthly world. To this day, the beautiful sunsets and rainbows on the island serve as a reminder of this beautiful creature.


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