Unsolved Mystery Of Batu Nabau
The existence of a boulder shaped like a huge snake is nothing new to the residents of Nyalau Muang longhouse. The boulder known as Batu Nabau is located in Bukong which is about 50 metres from the longhouse. The Batu Nabau measures more than nine metres in length and two metres in diameter. It straddles Sungai Bukong at a place called Batu Lintang. The tale regarding Batu Nabau resurfaces after a Siamese man from Kuala Lumpur made a claim on the existence of a huge snake that turned into stone as he doubled his efforts to locate it. With the assistance of the local residents in the Sri Aman District, he located Batu Nabau as dreamt. Together with the local residents, he painted the boulder and cleared the areas around it. The man’s tale was published in the local newspaper.
The tale did not end there as Jawi-like alphabets were said to have been found in the central portion of Batu Nabau. The alleged Jawi alphabets of alif, lam, nun, mim and sin were said to have been arranged in a reverse order and separated from one another. The discovery was made by one of the local residents who had visited the area after reading an article about Batu Nabau in the local newspaper. As Batu Nabau has become a public attraction, the Lubok Antu District Council (MDLA) plans to develop the area as one of the tourist destinations. It also proposes to conduct a detailed study on the existence of Batu Nabau which will be documented for public information. (Last Update: 30 March, 2010)
The Fascinating Nabau Stone
The existence of a big boulder of rock resembling a giant snake close to the Nyalau Longhouse is an attraction to visitors who came to the small town of Engkilili. The residents in the longhouse area are used to the rock which they call the Nabau stone or the Snake Stone located only 50 metres from the longhouse. With a length of more than nine metres and two metres diameter, the stone is located across the Sungai Bukong. It is also known as Batu Lintang among the residents of the Bukong Longhouse.
The Nabau Stone became the talk of town when it received media coverage back in 1996 and the story about the stone was published in the following years in a local Mandarin newspaper. This was when; one of the Lubuk Antu District Council (MDLA) members, Crispin Limin proposed that the area where the stone is located should be developed as a tourist attraction. The proposal received a positive feedback from the Lubuk Antu District Officer, Nelson Mujah Girie. Nelson proposed that a detailed study on the stone should be carried out and later published for the public viewing.
As a result of the proposal, several representatives were sent to monitor and scrutinise the potential of the area in becoming a tourist attraction in addition to learning about the story behind the stone's existence. MDLA hopes that the location of the Nabau stone could later developed as a tourist's spot in the Engkilili small district. Visitors who wish to see the Nabau stone must be cautious and adhere to the instructions posted at the entrance to the area. (Last Update: 28 September 2009)
Beauty Of Wong Ajong And Gawai’s Gaiety
Two reasons can be accorded for Engkilili becoming the focus of visitors. Firstly, it is due to the nature’s beauty and secondly, the residents and their cultures. The Wong Ajong Waterfall is about four kilometres from Pekan Engkilili. Visitors will have to traverse through the jungle and large trees for two kilometres. Most often, the visitors and local residents will head for the waterfalls during the school holidays. Aside from the cold and clear waters, the surrounding area is adorned with numerous types of trees that are unique and beautiful, an enchanting sight to behold. The joy and happiness of the visitors and students from Engkilili can clearly be seen as they come on a tour or camp overnight.
Besides that, the Paddy Harvest Festival or Gawai which is celebrated on a large scale by the Ibans at Engkilili is another potential tourism product. The visitors will be able to witness the religious ceremony perform by the Ibans as they worship the trees, rocks and more as symbol of their gratification for the year-long bountiful harvest. Besides that, the Ibans also celebrate the Gawai Burung, Gawai Batu, Gawai Kenyalang, and Gawai Antu Day as well as perform the Ngajat Dance with the accompaniment of musical instruments such as drums, tawak, bebedai and kerumung. Both the visitors and local residents participate in the merriment and consume the “tuak” drink together. The latter is made from yeast and rice.
As a matter of fact, the Ibans or Dayak Laut is the largest ethnic group in Sarawak. They live in long houses which are an asset to tourism especially the long house at Ulu Sungai Skrang and Sungai Lemanak, Engkilili. Apart from enjoying the beauty of nature, the visitors can stay in the long houses with the Ibans and learn about their ways of communication, customary lifestyle, prohibitions and taboos, brotherhood spirit, compromises and more. Although most of the Ibans are steadfast in their customs and belief in animism, a few have chosen to become Christians.