Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Something About Weretiger

I think it is fair to say that if every other supernatural stuffs are obsolete in this world of science of technology; the believe of Orang Bunian and Harimau Jadian (weretighers) are still very much relevant  in South East Asia.

Harimau Jadian or Weretiger is also known as Hantu Belian. A weretiger is said to be originated from a person who has mastered the art of weretiger or it can be inherited from father to son. This type of spell enables a person to possess the ability to transform oneself into a tiger while he/she is alive or after he/she is dead. The original purpose of learning this art was for self protection. Just think of the fact that about a century ago, majority of the South East Asia areas are covered by forests. The most powerful creatures roaming about were tigers. Hmm… I hear you, but there are no lions around then.

Local folks believe that the weretigers have independent government with king, ministers, soldiers etc. It is said that the weretigers hung human hairs in front of their houses as a signature mark.

Many people believe that the weretigers are originated from Kerinchi in Sumatra. Folks over there possess the ability to turn themselves into real tigers. According to ancient stories, in order for a person to turn into a tiger, he/she must possess a piece of sarung with black and yellow stripes as if that of a tiger.

The weretigers can also give treatment to the sick, and they are sometimes called “Bomoh Belian”. These types of bomoh will craw around like a tiger and lick the patient with their tongues. Weretigers will be visited by their tiger counterparts at night especially during full moon. The visiting tigers will rub their body against the walls of weretigers’ houses to indicate their arrivals according to earlier agreement. These tigers will be fed ‘bertih’ and eggs that had been blessed by incantation.

If a person talks bad about a weretiger, then he/she will be attacked by tigers in a jungle. Malay folks at olden days avoid speaking the phrase “tiger”, instead they call the tiger by “Tok Belang”, “Tok Janggut” or “Tok Rimba” while doing business in the jungle.

A weretiger is also distinguished by its footprint that has no trace of craws or one of the footprints is larger than the others. It is said that when a Bomoh Belian dies, his body will not be buried but it will be hidden inside a tree trunk, or place on a tree branch so that his/her tiger counterparts can dismember the body and release his/her soul. The heir of a weretiger must be present before the death of the old weretiger to inherit the knowledge from his/her parents.

However if the deceased is not honored with the requested burial, then the immediate family will be attacked by the tigers. The attack is in the form of scratching noises on the wall of the family’s house and this attack can last for the whole life or until the last one in the family dies.

At one time, traces of weretigers were found in Bukit Jugra, South of Selangor. Some says that weretigers also exist in a village in Java and in Kerinchi Sumatra. But I do not have the actual statistics. If you have more information, appreciate if you can shed some lights on the weretigers.

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