24 April 2015
Langkawi is best known for a legendary folklore which still attracts many tourists at present to visit the Mahsuri Museum, named after a beautiful maiden who cursed the entire island for her untimely death.
A story fuelled with deep-seated jealousy, hatred and revenge, the legend tells the story of a beautiful woman named Mahsuri Binti Pandak Maya who lives in Ulu Melaka Village, Langkawi. She was said to be the most beautiful maiden in the entire island that other women became jealous of her, including her sister-in-law, Wan Mahora, wife of the island’s high ranking officer who is the older brother of Mahsuri’s husband named Wan Derus.
When Mahsuri’s husband left to join the war, she moved in to live with her parents. While staying at her parent’s house, a travelling poet named Deramang made a stopover in Langkawi. Mahsuri’s parents allowed Deramang to stay at their home to teach their daughter how to sing and write poetry. The two were said to have become close and Wan Mahora started to spread lies about an alleged affair. When Mahsuri’s pregnancy became known and Wan Hakim was born, Wan Mahora accused Mahsuri and Deramang of adultery, resulting for both to be sentenced to death.
Masuri was said to have been tied to a tree and was tortured for days until her father’s dagger was used to kill her. White blood was said to have poured out from her wound that signified Mahsuri’s innocence. But just moments before she succumbed to her death, Mahsuri said to have uttered a curse, “There shall be no peace and prosperity on this island for a period of seven generations.” According to the legend, Mahsuri’s death brought famine that engulfed the entire island, killing many of the villagers including Wan Mahora. For seven generations, Langkawi suffered from Mahsuri’s curse.
Today, the curse is long over and Langkawi has become a booming tourist hotspot of Malaysia. A cultural complex was built to remember the story of Mahsuri, complete with a gallery, paintings, artifacts, traditional Malay house, an audio-video room that tells the story of Mahsuri, and a tomb to remember the her tale.
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