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Balinese Monster and Scary Creatures  

by on Wednesday, 28 November 2007One Comment | 3,472 views

Speaking about monster or scary creatures, Egyptians have their mummy, Pennsylvanians boast of their Dracula, but what do Balinese have? Since Leak is technically a human who change their shape into various other scary creatures or weird things and can assume their human form again when their time is over so it cannot be categorized as monster or scary creatures and the last choice for the equivalence of monster and scary creature in Balinese culture is Bhuta Kala.

An exorcist priest destroy Bhuta Kala and hobglobins by meditating. I Rena, Batuan (c. 1940), China ink and watercolour on paper, 25 x 38 cm. Basle, llc 16459 (E. Schlager Beguest, 1971).

Though philosophically Bhuta Kala is defined as negative force of nature not necessarily monsters or scary creatures but most Balinese believe that Bhuta Kala has scary and weird form. There are Bhuta Kalas with monstrous eyes, small heads, large stomach, flaming hairs, bald heads, some consisting of only right or left side of the body, flying head (begoong), of one arm with a face (tangan-tangan), a trunk with a face (lawean), a knee (katugtug), a leg with a face (enjek pupu) or flaying entrails (basang-basang).

A rice farmer being threatened by lightning. Ida Bagus Ketut Togog, Batuan (c. 1940), China ink on paper, 17.5 x 23 cm. Basle, llc 16680 (E. Schlager Beguest, 1971).

Apart from the Bhuta Kalas there are also spirits or spirituals beings which is believed to reside in the forest, river banks, caves, and other inhabited places. There are few species of them, Geregek Tongek or Reregek, is a kind of creature with assume a form of a very attractive girl from the front but from the back it is hollow and full of repulsive entrails. Togtogsil is a dirty dwarf with large head, protruding big eyes, and large pointed tooth. Gamang is an invisible creature with a shape similar to human, it usually reside on the river bank or along the river.

Balinese believe that this supernatural being is a civilized creature, similar to the Balinese it has a caste system in their community, palaces, temples, cities, rice fields, etc in short Bali in other dimension. Tonya is the barbaric version of Gamang, with their dirty appearance, unkempt hairs, dirty and badly smelled body, etc. Memedi is similar to Gamang except it is usually lived in the forest or near rock; it likes to abduct small children.

Unfortunately, the younger generations of Balinese know more about mummy or Dracula that their own local monsters.

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