Charalokach Mountain (1)

IMG_0601My name is Neuy Nhok. I am 65 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 uncle and my grandparents and I usually tell it to young people as well. The story is as follows:

The location of Charalokach is at Pou Treng village, Dak Dam commune, O’Raing district, Mondulkiri province. You have to spend 30 minute by riding a motorbike from the town of Dak Dam to get to that mountain. It is a wide and but flat mountain and the top of it has a grass square in the middle, which is surrounded by forest. Once upon a time, an ancestor called Lochra was looking after Charalokach for a long time. At that time, grandmother Mei Prich was married to grandfather Pou Preach Seut and they had children and grandchildren with the following names: Preuch, Preach, Ach Klang, Litreltreul and Peuk Ang Preach the father of Ang Brang. The grandparents divided their land individually between each child and grandchild. Some of them were living at Pou Chri village, some were at Pou Brang, Pour Rales and some were at Pou Treng village and everybody who was born, they were all the relatives of Lochra who looked after Charalokach. Since that time, the forest around their places was very important and sacred and those places became taboo and forbidden areas. No one was allowed to cut trees, dig grass and the soil there. If people didn’t respect the taboo places and continued to destroy the forest, the village would end up in turmoil- normal people would kill the witch in the village and if people dig grass or soil there, it would cause the witch in village to die. In addition, if the grass on the square in the middle of Charalokach grew into trees or forest, all people, without exception, would transform into witches. Anyway, life takes its turns. The human lives are changing over time, from small to big and from young to old and older until pepple finally die. After grandmother Mei Prich and grandfather Pou Preach Seut passed away, their corpses were buried at the Charalokach Mountain. Since then, the place became even more taboo and sacred. A long time after grandmother Mei Prich and grandfather Pou Preach Seut died, there was a flood. All the territories were under water except the Charalokach Mountain, which had still a square of the size of a buffalo’s excrement(1) left on top that was not covered by water. As well some other sacred mountains were not completely covered by water, for example Nam Long Mountain, that had a square of the size of a kite’s wing(2) left, Nam Yang Mountain with a square of the size of the palm of a hand(3) and Ayal Pri Mountain with a square of the size of a Raloung Jar(4). Since that time, Charalokach became a very important and taboo place. Unfortunately, some Khmer and Korean companies have been there these days, they destroyed the forest and grabbed the land without respecting that it is a taboo place. I would like to make a suggestion that “Please stop destroying and grabbing the forest and land at that mountain because it is a spiritual and sacred place.”

(1) (2) (3) (4) is the comparative meaning to refer to the size of land, which is around 1 hectar.

 

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