Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mak sumai : ghost in the shape of tiger

I almost forget this word, mak sumai! The local paper yesterday reported that  61 years old man in one of the village in the Municipality of  Seluma has been missing since four days ago. People in that village believe that man has been hidden by a mak sumai, a ghost in the shape of tiger.  Mak sumai is a one of old-time popular belief of the Bengkulu people. Does really mak sumai exist? 
When  I was  at my childhood, back to early seventies,  it was very popular to describe a missing person has been captured by mak sumai, taken into the jungle. People always believe that mak sumai will release his ‘hostage’ after a few days.  The missing person is often described to have diminishing orientation, or becoming a solitary, abandoning social life. When I get older, I really think that mak sumai does not really exist. The missing people is somehow get lost in the forests, and may tiredly come back after few days. It is possible that the bad experiences he or she got during the missing period changed his or her personality, becoming a solitary  and abandoning social life.     

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