Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Jenglot

One of the regular topics of discussion here is the ancient and admirable history of the gaff.   They've been created and displayed for centuries, in forms as diverse as the Christian relics of Europe or the temple mummies of Japan.  Marco Polo was even the first skeptic to expose their dubious origins.  

That said, I think the Jenglot is the first example of a society incorporating gaffs as a regular part of their culture.  In Indonesia they're the remains of sorcerers rejected by the Earth for their evil deeds.  Or, possibly, the remains of holy men.  It's hard to tell, since there's a whole lot of nuance lost in the English translations of Indonesian Malay.  What's undeniable is that there are a whole lot of them in existence, of varying levels of craftsmanship.

It appears they're treated as something akin to house spirits by their owners.  Although "spirits" isn't the right word, since they're apparently alive and fed with blood.  In some cases human blood obtained legally from the Red Cross, if the Wikipedia article is to be believed.

I'd love to hear from anyone with actual knowledge of the subject. 


CoastConFan said...

Great article! Here’s something new for me to explore. Yes it does link into the running discussion on gaffs, relics, and fakes. Hopefully somebody will come forward with more information.

Anonymous said...

I would like to provide you some interesting information about jenglot, hoped this helped.

Jenglot defined as not a living creature after identifications were conducted by forensic team of a renowned hospital in Jakarta. Through X-rays, it was found that Jenglot is boneless.

There was another examination of Jenglot performed by Dr. Djaja Surya Atmaja from University of Indonesia. Surprisingly, turns out that the skin layer of Jenglot has a similar DNA with human-like primates.

However, the medical investigation of jenglot came to an end since the owner didn't allowed the specimen to be disseced because of the fear that something bad will happened.

(Source: http://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jenglot)

PS: Even though forensic team had claimed that Jenglot isn't a living creature, it was believed that Jenglot really can (slightly) move at night.