There are many interesting stories behind Kampung Gelang Mas’ name. Whatever the tale, they are bound to bring a smile to many visitors
SO was it named after a tree or a gold bangle? Those passing Kampung Gelang Mas, a quaint village along the old trunk road connecting Rantau Panjang and Tumpat in Kelantan, will most likely think a gold bangle has something to do with the village's name.
They are not wrong. There is an old folk tale passed down from one generation to another involving such a bangle.
But there are also those in the village of mostly padi farmerrs who believe the name was derived from another source -- the trees surrounding the village.
Former Rantau Panjang headman Fauzi Berahim, 58, who was born and bred in the village, said the tale of the missing bangle was a familiar one among village folk.
"According to the story, a woman was getting into a boat at the edge of a swamp when her gold bangle fell into the murky waters of the river," he said.
While she was searching for her precious piece of jewellery, people passed by and curious, asked her what she was doing. She told them she was searching for her missing bangle, and that apparently was how the name of the village came to be.
It is uncertain whether the bangle was found later, as the story just stops there.
Fauzi and several other villagers, however, are sceptical that the incident ever occurred at all and prefer another story which they say is more credible.
He said the village was founded by his grandfather and a small group of friends in the 1950s.
"The village was then known as Banggol Naim," he said.
Fauzi, a father of five, said the pioneers then set up a village school, or sekolah rakyat, which the original headman named Sekolah Rakyat Gelam Mas.
"The name gelam came from the gelam trees growing wild around the school while Mas was taken from Pasir Mas, the district where the school was located.
"We are still unsure how the village was eventually named Gelang Mas."
But he believed there could have been a miscommunication that resulted in the relevant authorities naming the area, the school and some of the government buildings there Gelang Mas.
He said there could have been some confusion as the Kelantanese pronounced gelang as either gele or gelam.
Another villager, Che Hussin Che Busu, 58, agreed with this version and said most villagers thought it was more credible than the one involving the missing bangle.
"Most of us here know that the present SK Gelang Mas was built on the site of the old Sekolah Rakyat Gelam Mas, which had been demolished.
"The old school was named by then headman Awang Man and most village elders know about this," said Che Hussin at a coffeeshop in the village.
He believed that the authorities preferred the name Gelang Mas as it sounded better than Gelam Mas.
Fauzi said life in Kampung Gelang Mas was good now as the community was thriving in tandem with the country's development.
"It is so different from the old days when the first settlers had to offer land at cheap prices to outsiders to get more people to live here.
"From just four houses in the beginning, there are now about 400, including new bungalows which have started replacing the old wooden homes."
He said people had more money now to build better houses as many of the children of the villagers had jobs in the government service.
He said the village was equipped with most of the basic amenities, and had schools, a police station and health clinic.
For better services and facilities, villagers only had to drive about 30 minutes to Kota Baru.