Gregory Forth's Images of the Wildman in Southeast Asia: An Anthropological PDF

By Gregory Forth

The publication examines ‘wildmen’, photos of furry humanlike creatures recognized to rural villagers and different area people in Southeast Asia and somewhere else. occasionally defined in massive element, the creatures are pronounced as nonetheless dwelling or as having survived until eventually fresh occasions. the purpose of the e-book is to find the resource of those representations and their prestige in neighborhood platforms of data, in part with regards to detailed different types of non secular beings, identified animals, and different human teams. It explores photos of the wildman from all through Southeast Asia, focusing specifically at the Indonesian islands, and past, together with the Asian mainland, Africa, North the United States, Africa, Australia, and Oceania. The ebook finds how, in Southeast Asia and in other places, ‘wildmen’ can't without problems be defined as imaginary constructs rooted in cultural values and social associations, nor as easily one other form of ‘spirit’. additionally seriously tested is a view of such figures as essentially related expressions of a pan-human psychological ‘archetype’. Forth concludes that many Asian and African figures are grounded in adventure or thoughts of anthropoid apes supplemented by means of encounters with ethnic others. Representations built between ecu immigrants (including the North American ‘sasquatch’) are, partly, equally traceable to an oblique wisdom of primates, educated through long-standing eu representations of furry people that experience colored western perspectives of non-western peoples and that may themselves originate in historical adventure of apes. even as, the e-book demonstrates how Indonesian and different Malayo-Polynesian photographs can't be defined within the related means, and explores the opportunity of those reflecting an historic adventure of non-sapiens hominins.

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Extra info for Images of the Wildman in Southeast Asia: An Anthropological Perspective

Sample text

Everyone I spoke with was certain that ebu gogo moved bipedally like humans and no one described them as possessing tails. Their posture was erect and not bent or stooped and they were strong walkers and fast runners. People frequently remarked how they must have been strong and skilful climbers to manage the steep climb to their cave. Nage often described ebu gogo looking like monkeys, especially in regard to the head and face. Others depicted them more as extremely ‘ugly’ (‘e’e’, dialectal ‘re’e’) humans.

Qxd 32 12/11/08 9:30 AM Page 32 The story of ebu gogo An equally unlikely source is modern education. Occasionally I heard ebu gogo characterized as ‘ancient humans’ (Indonesian ‘manusia purba’), an interpretation which gained some currency towards the end of the twentieth century among younger and better educated Nage. This, I should emphatically add, refers to the period before the 2004 announcement of the discovery of Homo floresiensis. 24 More to the point, older Nage, the source of most of my information on ebu gogo, had had little schooling and, according to their own testimony, while in school never learnt anything about ‘ancient humans’ or creatures resembling the local wildmen.

3 Only a few people said ebu gogo had hairy faces. Others mentioned faces mostly free of hair, while another described male ebu gogo as possessing short beards. Most informants spoke of long head hair. Commonly described as unkempt and dishevelled, the wildman’s head hair provides Nage with a standard simile; someone whose hair is uncombed and untidy and nowadays left to grow long, is thus compared to an ebu gogo (‘kau fu bhia ebu gogo’, ‘you have hair like ebu gogo’). Nage usually described both the head and body hair as ‘black’ or ‘dark’, the virtually uniform hair colour of Nage themselves.

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