Yok Yao Mountain (2)

IMG_1243My name is Chran Chham. I am 81 years old and I am Bunong. My place of birth is Pou Treng village, Dak Dam commune, O’Raing district, Mondulkiri province and I am living here since I was born. I know the story of this mountain from my grandparents and I usually tell it to young people as well. Here is the story:

Yok Yao is Bunong language and means Tiger Mountain. There is a reason why people say this mountain is a taboo place. There is a tale that grandmother and grandfather, Mae Proarch and Chhoak, were living on that mountain. During the time Mae Proarch and Chhoak were living there, the mountain was not a forbidden place. Unfortunately, at that time a villager did something wrong with the spirit of her ancestor and this caused the mountain to become unexpectedly a taboo place. During the Communist period, I went to Yok Yao and I saw many small clean jars over there. It looked like each jar was being used everyday because there were no leaves, no dust and not even a puddle of water left in those jars. Instantly, I planned to take these jars home but my grandfather who accompanied me that time told me: “You should not take these jars because it is a taboo place. If you take them, you will lose the way back home and there are many tigers, around 30 to 40, that are living here; they always get out of their cavers during the day time and go back at night”.

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