Legend of a secrete poison of the Co tu ethnic people

By TRAN HOAN |

(QNO) - The Co tu community living in the western region of Quang Nam and Thua Thien-Hue provinces is the owner of  Bhoyl - a secrete poison for human beings as well as  animals…

A Co tu young man with his bow and arrows for daily hunting.
A Co tu young man with his bow and arrows for daily hunting.

Only a light touch, human and animal will be died at once without any bleeding. But, this secrete poison is a precious thing and a kind of weapons of the Co tu people  to conquer wild and beat any enemies to  safeguard their life and land.

Legend of bhoyh fighting against enemies to defend villages

A story said that when the French colonialists and American army came to Vietnam, the Co tu people in Asau, Ta Ra, Dut  villages of Aluoi district (Thua Thien-Hue province) organised many guerilla units to fight against the invaders.

At the beginning, their main weapon was only the bows and Bhoyh- poisoned arrows. The guerillas often stood on the tall trees or hid in the bushes to wait for enemy. The guerillas recognised their enemies by no backpack but squares on the shoulders. Many French soldiers were killed by Bhoyl poisoned arrows without any blood drop, the survivors were in a very great fear and ran out of the villages.

In the war of resisstance against French colonialists, the Bhoyl poisoned arrow traps were hung on the tall trees killed many invaders when they operated across Aluoi, Nam Dong, Tay Giang regions. Once, the French army operated into Ta Ra village. They destroyed many houses and killed many local innocent people by cannons just for discovering the secrete of the Bhoyh poison…

After putting the arrows into a basin of thick black poison, Mr Quynh Huong, a resident of Ta Ra village, said: “Only the old and prestigious persons in a family may be given the method for making up Bhoyh poison. All people who go hunting with this poison have to go to the forest when other people are still sleeping and go back home only in the late afternoon.”

At present, no one can explain what Bhoyl poison is, but the legends about this guardian angel will live forever in the stories told in the Ruou Can (wine drunk out of a jar by bamboo pipes) parties by the Co tu people. And the victories of the Co tu ethnic group in two great wars of resistance against the French and American invaders have become unforgettable parts in the history of Vietnamese peoples.

Mysterious Bhlih

Bhlih and Melangy are  two other  kinds of poison  of the Co tu people. With high toxin, Bhlih is used to kill big wild animals, particularly tiger and panther. It is processed from white latex of Bhlih tree bark.

Before going hunting, the Co tu people go to deep forests to seek Bhlih tree bark. After processing, they pour Bhlih poison into a lo o bamboo tube. In the next morning, the hunters add some slaver into the tube to increase the Bhilh toxic which  can kill wild animals in just a moment. According to many old men living in Hung Nguyen, the way of hunting of the Co tu people expresses the strength of conquering nature. The Bhilh poison linked with many legends in the wars between the Co tu peoples and other ethnic communities.

In the wars for territories or water resources in the past, the Co tu people often used this poison to kill their rivals. The Bhilh poison has two kinds: one for killing big animals and the other with  low toxic for killing smaller ones .

Chpoor - a secrete poison

As a small but very dangerous weapon, Chpoor not only helps the Co tu people to exist in the wild forests and dominate wild animals but also (to) beats their enemies in the wars  against invaders.

According to a legend, Chpoor poison with the highest toxic is the crystallization of the creative process of the Co tu people’s ancestor. Only good, talented and reliable persons of the Co tu people are handed down to the method for making up this poison. This poison processing formula is a marvelous creation of the  Co tu people.

Living in the high, difficult mountainous regions and harsh climate since the old time, the Co tu people have to face to many dangers. Therefore, they have made many dangerous weapons to save their lives and beloved villages.

By TRAN HOAN