Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Story of Mahsuri


The best known legend of Langkawi is of Mahsuri, a pretty maiden who lived during the reign of Sultan Abdullah Mukarram Shah the Second who ruled Kedah between 1762 and 1800. She died under tragic circumstances for a crime she did not commit. She died a victim of a conspiracy plotted against her out of jealousy by Mahura, her very own mother-in-law for her magnetic personality. Mahura bitterly objected to her husband's intentions of taking Mahsuri as his second wife and eventually agreed that their son, Mat Deris should seek the hand of Mahsuri in marriage. Since than, Mahura had grown bitterly jealous of Mahsuri for whom she bore much hatred.
In time, Mahsuri gave birth to a baby boy and he was named Mat Arus. This inflamed Mahura even more. Mahsuri was accused of committing adultery with Deramang, a young troubadour who she befriended. The chieftain of Langkawi, Dato Karma Jaya, her own father-in-law was so taken in by Mahura's accusation that, without a proper investigation, he sentenced Mahsuri to death.
As proof of her innocence, some people say, white blood was seen gushing out of her wound during execution at Padang Hangus. Others maintain there was the sudden appearance of white mist that enveloped the spot where she was executed, which it was believed was a sign of mourning of her innocence.
Mahsuri is best remembered for her curse on Langkawi which was uttered before she died. She had said, "For this act of injustice Langkawi shall not prosper for seven generations to come." The execution of Mahsuri was indeed a tragedy of dramatic proportions. And her curse? Myth, legend or fantasy? History tells us that within a few years of Mahsuri's death, Langkawi was devasted by the Siamese and Datuk Seri Kerma Jaya and his entire family were killed. Rice fields and granaries were completely set on fire.
To this day, grains that appear to be burnt rice grains are still to be found at Padang Matsirat. However, many believe the curse is now over with the numerous development projects undertaken on the island.

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