Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Tales of Old: Exploring Folklore Series 1


It is without any doubt that an image of a female spirit will always instigate our own fight or flight response. From movies such as the Ring, or, if you are born in my generation, the Exorcist--no male entity ever used in movies (or reality) is comparable to that of the female archetype.

As adults, we would often ponder--and are still fascinated-- by the stories of old: the legend of the Pontianak. For the Malay readers, this name resonates with you, for this name is borne out of the Malay folklore.

What is the single element of this creature that is so terrifying, and yet, so captivating? 

Some legend mentions the story of a woman who was murdered with her unborn child in her. And, with her dying breath, she swore to return to haunt the living, and for her murderer(s), a painful death is inevitable.

Pontianak.
The origin of the word itself: was it the name of the creature, or was the creature named after a capital city in Kalimantan, or vice versa?

Countless movies, solely in the Malay film industry, had tried to give life to this enigmatic creature. If you search on Google images, there are various pictures of this dreadful creature. On a less visual scale, we often hear stories passed down through the generations--sightings of her--normally perched in the trees, looking down on the unfortunate victim, and anyone who sees it with their naked eyes are bound to be bed-ridden for days as they succumb to the fever that ensues.

How about the strong aromatic odor of frangipani, which signals its likely close proximity to wherever one might be at. And, the shrilling laughter that penetrates the heart and causes one to cower in fear or flee in haste.

Have you any stories you want to share? Please comment below.

And do help to share this post, or we will send a Pontianak your way if you do not.

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