Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Langkawi Island in Malaysia and the legend of Mahsuri

Langkawi, Malaysia

Beautiful sweeping bay at Pantai Kok.

postmarked in 2012 with two Malaysia stamps

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Langkawi, officially known as Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah is an archipelago of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea, some 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia.

The sender writes about the legend of Mahsuri that takes place on Langkawi on the back of the postcard...

Mahsuri was the daughter of a Malay couple who moved from their native Phuket to the island of Langkawi in search of a better life. She was the most beautiful in all of Langkawi and married the warrior Wan Darus. As was required of him, her husband had to go to war, leaving Mahsuri behind to fend for herself. It was during this time that Mahsuri befriended a young man named Deraman. The village chief's wife was jealous of Mahsuri's beauty. She spread a rumour that Mahsuri was unfaithful and was having an affair with Deraman in the absence of Wan Darus. Eventually the rumours grew strong enough that the villagers openly accused her of adultery. Mahsuri pleaded her innocence, but no one believed her.

Mahsuri was to be tied to a tree (or pole) and stabbed to death but it didn't work. After every execution attempt failed, Mahsuri told them to kill her with her family's kris (dagger). When she was stabbed, white blood flowed from the wound, signifying her innocence. Some birds flew above her to cover her body. With her dying breath, Mahsuri cursed Langkawi to have seven generations of bad luck. The kingdom was soon taken over by Siam. The villagers at Padang Mat Sirat burned their own paddy fields rather than let them fall into the hands of the Siamese.

Many locals of Langkawi believe the legend to be true, citing the decades of failed crops that followed Mahsuri's death. Langkawi was also attacked by Siam numerous times, the last invasion taking place in 1821. The field which was torched by the farmers is still known as Beras Terbakar or "burnt rice". It is only at the end of the 20th century, after the seven generations have supposedly come to pass, that Langkawi began to prosper as a tourist destination. The descendants of Mahsuri continue to live in Phuket, Thailand, and have on occasion returned to Langkawi to visit her tomb.
Malaysia stamp 2005 30sen
Bharata Natyam
Tarian Kathak
(both are traditional Indian Dances)
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Malaysia 20sen stamp
Spotted Dove
Streptopelia hinensis


Butterflypostcard Stamp said...

though you have put a good card, you need to put the right stamps on the image.The postmark is identical to another post.Please make the changes.

9teen87 said...

I get many many cards with the same stamps. So once I have a certain stamp scanned, that is the image I use. I add it to the postcard so people don't need to guess what the stamp looks like. If you look on the right side of this blog there is a link to my stamp blog. There you can see stamps from around the world :D

I do have to say wow to you for catching that though!

ONeal said...

I was going to ask you to change the stamps also, but I see someone beat me to it...I'm kidding!

The beach scene is beautiful, but dang, that is one heck of a gory legend.

9teen87 said...

smart aleck ;-)