Folk tales (Ketha, 2010)

I Dewa Nyoman Ketha Sudhiatmika, originally from Nusa Penida, in 2010 presented his university thesis at Sanatadharma University (Yogyakarta, Java), entitled 'The Other Balinese: Process of Reciprocated Alienation between the inhabitants of Nusa Penida and the people from Mainland Bali ('Orang Bali Yang Lain "Proses Saling Me-"liyan"-kan Antara orang Nusa Penida dan Bali Daratan').

ketha-01Image right: I Dewa Nyoman Ketha Sudhiatmika, Ubud, Bali July 2014 (G.Dijkman)

Ketha kindly allowed a view into a part of chapter III, encompassing three popular folk tales (satwa): the Holy Child (Anak Sakti) - the underlying principles of 'Ratu Gede Macaling' (Masiat Kapetengan) and Wichcraft (Ngeleak). The folk tales in this chapter were obtained by interviews held with people from Nusa Penida.

The folk tale 'Anak sakti' is the story of a man with exceptional mystical powers, used to cause sickness or to cure disease. Male and female twins are always the cause of children with special spiritual powers in most folk tales; the 'sakti' children nearly always change form and are personified as being fierce, cruel, or ferocious and often having tusks, fangs or canine teeth. This spiritual power often said to belong to the 'anak sakti' is the gift by a more powerful being. This gift is often found in palm leaf inspriptions, to be read and memorised if one is to become 'anak sakti'. Becoming 'anak sakti' brings heavy and dangerous risks, as there are always other 'anak sakti' who want to know their adversary's strength. Any anak sakti's srength can always be demonstrated. This demonstration of the spitiual strength of the 'anak sakti' is called 'masiat kapetengan'. The alteration in the form of a ferocious, fanged being, undergone by the 'anak sakti' at the moment of showing its spiritual strength is usally called 'ngeleak' (witchcraft).

This article is under revision.

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