Monday, September 10, 2018

Her Weretiger Grandmother (她的祖母是人虎)

This story is told by Aminah, a friend who believed herself is from a bloodline of weretigers. In Malay belief, weretiger is just like werewolf in Western culture but obviously much, much powerful. I have not come across one as yet but here is the story:

My grandma was a midwife in my village. She was the only midwife in my kampung before a new government sponsored clinic was setup. Other than that. villagers also sough after the services of two other bomohs.

However, it has been a taboo that grandma cannot become her daughter's midwife somehow. Once my mother was pregnant and about to give labor, my father was on his way to other kampung to fetch another midwife, Mak Din but the midwife has not arrived yet, grandma was forced to take care of my mother temporary.

Mother was in pain and grandma massaged my mother's stomach and said: "Indeed it is time."
It was raining heavily, the other midwife still not in sight.

Looks like grandma was forced to break her own taboo. As usual, such urgent matter cannot be avoided. Like it or not, grandma has to assist in the delivery process. This is how I was born.
As soon as I was born, grandma felt bewildered as I didn't cry as other babies do. Both of my arms were held together as if in prayer's position and they seemed to be bonded together.

It was during this time that the midwife of next kampong arrived. She asked: "Who was the midwife?"

Grandma replied in a weak manner: "I was. I have broken my taboo and I must leave this place or big problems will be fallen to them..."

Then father proceed to get one of the bomohs, Pat Mat from the village and about one hour later, both of them arrived.

At this moment, Pak Mat looked at my grandma and said: "You better make your move if you don't want to hurt anyone."

Grandmother nodded and said in a very low voice: "I shall make my move tomorrow."

Then Pak Mat looked at me and recited some prayers while Mak Din used some herbal water to wash my hand and body. It took her a long while to part my hands. 

After staying in my house for an hour or so, both Pak Mat and Mak Din excused themselves. As my father escorted them out, Mak Din suddenly said: "May peace be with your family, your child has been appointed as heir of your in-law's knowledge. Take very well care of her. She will come back for the child when she has grown up..."

My life has been very peaceful until fairly recently after a hiking trip to Gunung Ledang... I started to hear tiger's roar at night. In one of my strange dreams, I saw a tiger came to me greeted me as 'cucu' (grandchild). Perhaps it was my grandmother? Only time will tell.


  1. This is a fascinating story Mr. Liew. That very notion of a weretiger begs the question, where did the origins of the weretiger come from, and who is the very first one of the weretiger? Maybe the entities (spirits/djinns/lwas) of that area and God Almighty himself would know.

    1. I believe the believe in weretigher can be traced back to pre-Islam animism. Perhaps related to Shaivism. There is a book titled 'Malay Magic' has a detailed explanation.