Mysterious Burial Site of Mahsuri in Phuket


Mysterious Burial Site of Mahsuri in Phuket
One of the earliest written record of Phuket was found in the Kedah Annals of Malaya. Though it is commonly believed the the name Phuket had originated from the Malay name, Bukit, which means Hill, it was not the original name of the island. Furthermore, its mention in Malayan literature was intriguing, since other than the Malaya names bestowed on the island, Phuket and Ujang Salang, there is no evidence of early Malay inhibitants.

Phuket had an unsavoury reputation among the sea captains, with sailing logs often complained of pirates who preyed upon their ships along its shores. It is not certain if these lanuns, as there were called, came from Phuket itself or elsewhere, as they were known as the Guardian of Mahsuri, which led some to believe that they were from Kedah, the northern part of Malay peninsular. However, the record of Captain Francis Light (1740 - 1794), the founder of the British colony of Penang, who leased the island of Penang from the Sultan of Kedah, made no mention of the pirates. It is said that they often carried the insignia of Kris of Mahsuri, as a symbol of revenge.

The Kris Was Never Retrieved From Her Body
The origins of these pirates, the Guardian of Mahsuri, have found a strand of evidence in the sailing log of Captain John Jackson, it was recorded that the body of Mahsuri, who was convicted adultery and stabbed with her own Kris (a serpentine dagger) by her fellow villagers in Langkawi, an island off the coast of Kedah, was furtively sneaked out and sailed to Phuket. The body of Mahsuri finally found its resting site at a place called Bukit. The name derived from the shape of a steep tapered hill, resembling the shape of the Kris that took her life, rising above the burial location of Mahsuri.

 The Guardian of Mahsuri believed Mahsuri was innocent and her persecution was pure jealousy and defamation. The many solid evidences are: none of the executioners' dagger could bring death to Mahsuri before using the Kris of Mahsuri herself, the white blood from her wound, and no one ever managed to pull out the Kris that stabbed Mahsuri. The Kris was never retrieved from her body, not even by her husband Wan Darus, a brave warrior. The locals believed the Guardian of Mahsuri was originally wariors under the command of Wan Darus. 

Friday The 13th
The locals, menaced by the Guardian of Mahsuri, had never told anyone about the burial. The secret was buried also for the fear of the curse of Mahsuri that denounce her death would befall on Phuket instead of Langkawi, which also explained why the local would perform a delivery ritual, on an adorned long tail boat to the waters of Langkawi, whenever the thirteenth day of the month falls on a Friday, which they believe the curse of bad luck is strongest.

This also shed the light on the residence of the Mahsuri decendants in Phuket until today. It is no wonder that the Khmers from Burma who occupied the northern region and along the southern coasts of Koh Sirey and Rawai had never return to the island since the late 18th Century.