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Mytos@Johor National Parks

The Old Man Of Endau

Peaceful days did not last forever. It was not long after the eagle was vanquished that news reached the Endau valley that the Bugis from an island south of Johor were at war with the people of the coast. Reports of wars where hundreds and thou­sands of people were killed brought anxiety and concern to the hearts of the peaceful people of the Endau valley.

Everyone in the valley was jittery and watchful for any sign of possible attack. However, although they waited apprehensively, no Bugis ever came to attack the valley.

The giant, Datuk Sang Kelamai and his wife went out fishing and hunting one day. It was a successful day. Datuk Sang Kelamai had speared an elephant, which he cut into pieces and placed in his boat. He had also caught some Kelesa fish and had scaled and cleaned them ready for dinner. In the process of scaling the fish, two large fish scales lodged in his eyes impairing his vision.

As they rowed home upriver, the coconut shell used for bailing knocked about m the bottom of the boat with the rocking motion of row­ing. In the quiet of the evening, Datuk Sang Kelamai thought he heard the war drums of the Bugis approaching. Through the fish scales he had the impression that the water in the dis­tance was churned up by thousands of rowing boats.

In alarm, Datuk Sang Kelamai shouted to his wife to row upriver for their lives. His wife seeing nothing and not being alarmed by the knock­ing of the empty coconut shell did not understand what Datuk Sang Kelamai’s excitement was all about. In the confusion, Datuk Sang Kelamai rowed with all his might while his wife used all her strength to keep the boat where it was. As a result the boat broke into two. 

Datuk Sang Kelamai in his half of the boat shot upriver scattenng the pieces of elephant along the way. The elephant’s head forms the rock that can be seen along the river between Kampung Peta and Kam­pung Punan. The midsection of the elephant can be seen at Kuala Kenu up the Sungai Endau.

In his flight, Datuk Sang Kelamai rowed right up to the source of the Endau and hid himself as a rock at the bottom of the cliff. Today if you travel up to the source of the Endau at the foot of Gunung Besar, you can see Datuk Sang Kelamai in the form of a huge rock. There the water of the Sungai Endau enters his mouth and leaves below the base of the rock. The waters of the Sungai Endau are thus considered the gift of Datuk Sang Kelamai, who is also known as the Old Man Of the Endau.


Johor National Parks

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