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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - A Tampuan folk tale

A Tampuan folk tale

O nce upon a time, four or five generations ago, a Tampuan hunter named Khlok saw

a crocodile in a tree near the lake now known as Yeak Laom. He took out his bow

and arrow and shot the crocodile, which died and fell into the water. When he

returned to his house, he asked his wife, who was the village arak (priestess or

medium), to offer a sacrifice to the spirit of the water for killing the


The spirit came on a white elephant and took the arak away,

ordering her to close her eyes when they got close to the lake. The white

elephant then walked out on the water, which opened up. When the arak opened her

eyes a beautiful village was revealed in the lake. The arak made a sacrifice and

pulled her husband's arrow out of the crocodile, which then was revealed to be


The spirit ordered the arak to close her eyes again upon leaving

the lake, and brought her back to the village, where she told the people of the

spirit in the lake.



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