By Alverdtekoster Anyap & Sarah Hafizah Chandra
KUCHING: The split rock or known as ‘Batu Tipire’ at Kampung Quop is one of the village’s iconic landmarks as well as pride, symbolising the culture of the Bidayuh community there.
Located roughly 25km from here, ‘Batu Tipire’ is known for its split formation as if it was cut in half by someone with a parang or something — a rare natural phenomenon.
Village committee members Simon Jaboh and Gerald Wah Onn related the story behind ‘Batu Tipire’.
“The split rock here is the reason that brought the Bidayuh community to settle here in Kampung Quop since the 1800s,” said Simon.
“There are some stories revolving around the split rock. One story was that the rock symbolised the beauty of the Quop people because there are some who are well known,” Gerald chipped in.
“For example, a doctor from this village, Dr Mosko Ruben, was the first Bidayuh neurosurgeon. Now he has retired, spending his time playing golf,” Gerald added.
The rock formation was also divided into male and female. According to Simon and Gerald, the bigger rock was the male while the smaller one, female.
“It was dreamt by Bai Rimau because he was the first person to discover the rock formation in the jungle.
“When he went deep into the jungle to hunt, suddenly rain started to fall. That’s when he looked for shelter and discovered the split rock,” explained Simon.
Gerald said there was also a story of some Chinese going to the village to worship the split rock.
“Last time they worshipped the split rock so that they would win the lottery, because they were superstitious. Now we don’t allow people to come anymore because of our Christian faith.”
They mentioned that geologists came to the village to examine the split rock and discovered that it was a volcanic rock from a long time ago.
“Actually, there are two split rocks in the village. The one in the village was cut vertically and the other one located deep in the jungle was cut horizontally.
“The second split rock is up in the mountain, but people cannot access it because of the dense vegetation,” said Simon.
Simon continued by saying that the geologists had not reached the other split rock but planned to do so in the future.
Both Simon and Gerald hoped that ‘Batu Tipire’ would attract more people to visit Kampung Quop as it holds significant cultural value to the Bidayuh community.