Boomtown or bust!

PATTANI: With bombings in the Deep South regrettably virtually a day by day prevalence, it comes as little surprise that some might check with the region as a “boomtown”.
In truth, the Deep South is also in the middle of its personal little “gold rush”, although the item of the hopeful prospectors desire isn’t gold, however a mysterious black ore thought to have magical health-giving powers.
Some people are saying that the rock is definitely lek lai, a legendary metal that melts when held over a candle flame and confers invulnerability upon its owner – not a foul thing to own in the Deep South nowadays.
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 found the roads lined with automobiles, motorcycles and three-wheeled pig transporters.
The village was filled with individuals of all ages – from teenagers to grandparents – all lugging spades, pickaxes and buckets up to the hills where the rocks were to be found.
At the bottom of the trail to the hills, teams of diggers were sitting round selling what they had found and discussing costs. Some had polished their specimens and were promoting them as stones to embed in rings. Glittering black examples sold for 1,000 to 10,000 baht, matte black specimens had been fetching between a hundred and 800 baht and tea-colored rocks went for 100 to 500 baht.
Raw, unpolished rocks fetched between 50 and a pair of,000 baht, whereas massive rocks infused with the mysterious black substance were selling for up to 15,000 baht.
Local rubber plantation owner Stapa Waesa, fifty six, mentioned that the “rock” had first been found by Ma-ae Yusoh, one other rubber plantation owner, about seven months ago.
Ma-ae, a member of Khuan Nori Tambon Administration Organization (OrBorTor), dreamed of an previous man who advised him to go and dig within the hills and then distribute what he discovered among the villagers, K. Stapa stated.
“After the dream, Ma-ae and four relations went to dig in the hills, where they found rocks different to on a regular basis rocks. Ma-ae then went and gave them out to native villagers, telling them that an ancestor had appeared in his dream telling him in regards to the rocks.
“I stored my share of the rocks and had a run of fine luck, finding they might remedy illnesses including stomachache, toothache and fever. If Try before you buy soak the rock in water then rub the water on the part that hurts for about half an hour, it gets better,” K. Stapa stated.
Some unbelieving villagers threw their stones away, however others polished them and bought them to traders out there for more than 1,000 baht every. As word of the stones unfold, villagers began to go and dig for them themselves, K. Stapa said.
In the primary month following their discovery, the stones were plentiful and especially beautiful, he mentioned. Now, some days as many as 1,000 individuals come to search for the rocks.
People aren’t certain exactly what the rocks are, however there are many theories, K. Stapa stated. Some are saying it is manganese, whereas others believe it to be a type 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 road.
Jintadi Phithamaethakul, Head of the Pattani Provincial Natural Resources and Environment Office, stated he knew that the villagers had been digging for a type of rock but couldn’t yet say what the rock was, though it was prone to be manganese.
He has ordered for samples to be despatched for examination in Songkhla..

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