Friday, May 8, 2009

Orang Bunian


Orang Bunian are supernatural beings in Malay legends, similar to elves.

They are said to exist in large communities, mimicking human social structures, with families and clans. Orang Bunian are said to inhabit the deep forests, far from human contact, but they are also known to live near human communities, and are even said to share the same houses as human families. Some hauntings are attributed to orang bunian.

Orang bunian possess great supernatural powers, and have been known to befriend and assist humans, in particular pawangs or bomohs (malay shamans). Orang bunian are known to abduct human children, and are often blamed for leading people astray in the deep forest.

As orang bunian are very similar to human beings (except for the fact that they are usually 'ghaib' or 'halimunan', i.e. invisible and have supernatural powers) it is not unknown for them to intermarry with humans. Orang bunian live far longer than human beings. Stories are recounted of men who married orang bunian, but pining for their families they left behind, decided to leave the orang bunian. Upon their return to human society, they found that everyone they once knew has died, and that many years have passed- similar to the tale of Rip Van Winkle.

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