Sarawak: The Mystery Of Crocodile Stone (Batu Buaya or Boyak)

The land of Borneo is full of myths and legends. Today, we unearth one of the famous Crocodile stone or Batu Buaya (or Boyak in Bahasa Sarawak). 
 
Batu Boyak is located in Santubong beach till this date. The rock formation looks uncannily like a crocodile's head hence its name. There are many stories and myths about this Batu Boyak. 
 
Batu Boyak And Datu Merpati Jepang
 
Legend had it, long ago, Kampung Santubong was a small self-government area by Datu Merpati Jepang. Datu Merpati Jepang had many long legends and stories, but that is for another day. Datu Merpati Jepang was one of the princes from Majapahit. He escaped during the power struggle in Langka Putra in Jawa. After being expelled by his grandmother, he sailed to Johor. When Datu Merpati Jepang was in Johor, he married Raja Jarom's princess, the royal family of Johor at that time.
 
Not long after married, he and his wife then sail to Sukadana, Sambas and then Tanjung Datu. Legend has it that, he met and rescued Datuk Kuli (Datuk Kuali) who was stranded. As repayment for his saviour, he offered Santubong to Datu Merpati Jepang. At that time, Santubong was known as Pasir Kuning, translated from the Yellow Sand.  During that time, his wife was due to labour. She was already in the ninth month of pregnancy. Datu Merpati Jepang then sailed to Pasir Kuning and was welcomed with open arms from the villagers there. 
 
He instructed his people to set up a mosque at the beach. As he was preparing to perform his Zohar prayer, a pair of crocodile mates were mating near the mosque. These crocodiles "apparently" interrupted his prayers and Datu Merpati Jepang was furious! He swiftly took out his 'parang' and decapitated one of the crocodiles. He wasn't done with that. Datu Merpati Jepang then cursed upon the crocodile's head, and hence it became Batu Boyak till it is today. 
 
tales of batu boyak or batu buaya

The photo was taken by Tom Harrisson in 1964. Image source via Muzium Kucing, DBKU

Batu Boyak And Puteri Santubong Sejinjang
 
The infamous princess of Santubong and Sejinjang's stories also revolved around the Batu Boyak. According to legend, princess Santubong and Sejinjang together with seven other siblings were escaping from their hometown in Brunei from assassination conspiracy of their father. The princes and princesses sailed from Brunei to the shore of Santubong. They stopped to rest on a beautiful beach with a rock resembling crocodile (Batu Boyak). The brothers left the two sisters there because it is increasingly difficult to escape with two women on board. The princes advised the two princesses to hide in the mountains of Santubong while they continue to sail to Tanah Melayu. You probably know the continuation of the legend, the two beautiful princesses fall in love with the same prince and end in a tragic love story. 
The tale of Batu Boyak (Buaya)

Batu Boyak in 2015, seems like the "jaw" became bigger. Image source via Jurnal Borneo Arkhailogia

Batu Boyak And Sultan Tengah
 
If you travel to Santubong, you will notice the Tomb of Sultan Tengah. During that time in Brunei, the Sultan's younger brother, Pengiran Muda Tengah, wanted to become Sultan of Brunei by claiming himself rightful successor when his father became the Crown Prince. Sultan Abdul Jalilul Akbar, the king at that time, responded by proclaiming Pengiran Muda Tengah as Sultan of Sarawak, as at that time Sarawak was a territory administered by Brunei. Sultan Tengah is a traveller, he sailed to many places like Pahang, Johor, Sukadana, Samba, and finally returned to Sarawak. When Sultan Tengah reach Sarawak, he rested near Batu Boyak. After he fell asleep at Batu Boyak, he was assassinated by one of his followers. 
 
 
This rock definitely "special" as it surrounds itself with not one but many legends and history. Whether it is true or not, it's for another time. 

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