Boomtown or bust!

PATTANI: With bombings in the Deep South regrettably nearly a every day prevalence, it comes as little surprise that some might check with the region as a “boomtown”.
In reality, the Deep South can be in the course of its own little “gold rush”, although the item of the hopeful prospectors need isn’t gold, but a mysterious black ore thought to have magical health-giving powers.
Some individuals are saying that the rock is actually lek lai, a legendary metal that melts when held over a candle flame and confers invulnerability upon its owner – not a nasty thing to own within the Deep South these days.
The discovery was made within the village of Phru Jud, in Tambon Khuan Nori of Khok Pho district. When journalists arrived on November 1, they discovered the roads lined with automobiles, bikes and three-wheeled pig transporters.
The village was crammed with folks of all ages – from teenagers to grandparents – all lugging spades, pickaxes and buckets up to the hills where the rocks have been to be found.
At the bottom of the path to the hills, groups of diggers have been sitting around promoting what they’d discovered and discussing prices. Some had polished their specimens and have been promoting them as stones to embed in rings. Glittering black examples bought for 1,000 to 10,000 baht, matte black specimens have been fetching between a hundred and 800 baht and tea-colored rocks went for one hundred to 500 baht.
Raw, unpolished rocks fetched between 50 and a couple of,000 baht, whereas massive rocks infused with the mysterious black substance have been selling for up to 15,000 baht.
Local rubber plantation owner Stapa Waesa, fifty six, stated that the “rock” had first been discovered by Ma-ae Yusoh, another rubber plantation owner, about seven months ago.
Ma-ae, a member of Khuan Nori Tambon Administration Organization (OrBorTor), dreamed of an outdated man who advised him to go and dig within the hills and then distribute what he found among the villagers, K. Stapa said.
“After the dream, Ma-ae and four relatives went to dig within the hills, where they found rocks completely different to on an everyday basis rocks. Ma-ae then went and gave them out to local villagers, telling them that an ancestor had appeared in his dream telling him concerning the rocks.
Nest egg stored my share of the rocks and had a run of good luck, finding they could treatment ailments together with stomachache, toothache and fever. If you soak the rock in water then rub the water on the half that hurts for about half an hour, it gets better,” K. Stapa stated.
Some unbelieving villagers threw their stones away, but others polished them and sold them to merchants out there for greater than 1,000 baht each. As word of the stones spread, villagers began to go and dig for them themselves, K. Stapa said.
In the primary month following their discovery, the stones had been plentiful and especially beautiful, he stated. Now, some days as many as 1,000 people come to look for the rocks.
People usually are not certain exactly what the rocks are, however there are many theories, K. Stapa mentioned. Some are saying it is manganese, whereas others imagine it to be a sort of lek lai. Some villagers have made the rock into amulets to protect them; others keep them of their automobiles to guard them while on the street.
Jintadi Phithamaethakul, Head of the Pattani Provincial Natural Resources and Environment Office, said he knew that the villagers have been digging for a sort of rock but couldn’t but say what the rock was, although it was likely to be manganese.
He has ordered for samples to be despatched for examination in Songkhla..

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