Discussions Over Fate Of Mondulkiri ‘Lucky’ Ancient Stone Inscription

Mondulkiri: A stone tablet with ancient inscriptions,claimed by the Pnong people to have a magical powers, is being kept in Memang commune compound, Keo Seima district, Mondulkiri province.

Local elders claim that the stone had been found by indigenous people many years ago, and is considered to be a sacred object. They always worship and offer sacrifice every year. The plaque, about 50 cm by 70 cm in size, was found at Otang Lang point in Memang district. Keo Seima.

The director of the Department of Culture and Fine Arts of Mondulkiri province, Mr. Si Tuoch, this morning, July 14, confirmed that so far, the inscription on the sandstone has not been deciphered, nor found out what era it is from.

He added that 10 such inscriptions have been found, mostly in Kratie and Mondulkiri provinces. One feature on the rock is an anchor-shaped mark, which is called the Homkar sign, which is still used by the Cham people. However, it is not yet possible to conclude that the inscription came from a clear source.

The director of the department said that the Ministry of Culture will assign experts to study in more detail to assess the source and history of the inscription.

Regarding this inscription, Mr. Pov Borin, a member of Memang commune council, said that the people of Memang village believe that there is a curse on the stone, because during 2016, Memang commune had a drought after the inscription was stolen. Due to the intervention of the authorities at that time, the inscription was found by the people and rain returned in the area as usual.

The same commune member continued that people always hold a ceremony to ask the stone for happiness every year and currently it is kept in the commune hall.

Recently, for fear of losing the inscription, the Department of Culture is discussing with local elders to keep it at the Provincial Department of Culture. But people are still worried about natural disasters, so maybe handing them over to the Department of Culture may not be approved. Next week, the department will meet with the people again to discuss the matter. RASMEI

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