Malayan Lore, Gods, Demigods, Heroes, Symbols, and Other Famous Mythological Characters

Aftabul Ardi

A sea king. Father of Muhtabul Bahri. In some references, called Aftabul Ardi.


A king. He was said to have three regiments of fighting animals - elephants, horses and lions. Sometimes called Ali, Sheik Ali, Sheik Ali, Ali, Vali, Vali, Boe, Bous, wali, Walia-Allah, Beav or Wali.

Amir Hamza

A hero. Father of Badiu Zaman. He is said to have had many wonderful adventures. Sometimes referred to as Amir Hamza, Javanese Menak or Javanese Menak.


Son of Alexander the Great (Iskandar) and Syarul Baria. Occasionally called Arisatun.

Asmara Dewa

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A ghost of the forest. Also referred to as badang.


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Badiu Zamar

Son of Amir Hamza. He accompanied his father on many of his remarkable adventures. Called Badiu Zamar.


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Balam Bacham

The bridge leading from this world to Belet, the home of the dead. On occassion, known as Balam Bacham.

Bamboo Princess

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Batara Guru

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Batu Herem

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bela kampong

An animal ceremony to appease. The spirits and avert illness and misfortune. In some accounts, known as bela kampong.


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An epic poem telling the story of Mengindera. On occassion, referred to as Bidasari.


A grasshopper featured in folk tales. Occasionally identified as Bilalang, Pa Bilalang, Pa Bilalang, Pa Bilialang or Pa Bilialang.


The spirit of camphor. This female spirit is envisaged in the form of a cicada. On occassion, known as Bisan.


A medicine man. This type of sorcerer specialises in curing the sick by exorcising evil spirits. In some accounts, identified as bomor, bomoh, bomoh, pawang or pawang.


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A king. Father of Lela Muda and Naga Mas. He had a bird, Indera Bayu, as prime minister. Occasionally known as Budiman.

Bujang Sembelih

A demon said to cut the throats of human beings. In some lore, occasionally called Bujang Sembelih.


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Bukit Kaca

A glass mountain reaching to the sky. Also known as Bukit Kaca.

Bukit Peraja

The mountain to which Khatib and the Bamboo Princess went when they disappeared. Referred to as Bukit Peraja.

Chaya Bulan

A princess. She was the owner of the magical bird Indera Bayu. Called Chaya Bulan, Moonshade or Moonshade.


The spirit said to possess a halak. During a trance. Occasionally called chinoi.


A king of Siam. Father of Onang Kiu. He was defeated by Sulana who then married Onang Kiu. On occassion, identified as Chulan.

churchi tuboh

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Datu Jinn Hitam

A demon, king of the black jinnees. In some accounts, identified as Datu Jinn Hitam.

Dewa Laksana

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Farasul Bahri

A sea-horse, said to be the mount of Salana. In some lore, occasionally identified as Farasul Bahri, Farasi Bahari, Farasi Bahari, hippocampus, Egyptian Sabgarifiya or Greek Hippocampus.


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Golden Flute

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Golden Tortoise

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Green Demon

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Halak Ghimal

A chinoi. This supernatural being sits on Mat Chinoi's back and supervises the contents of his stomach. Also known as Halak Ghimal.

Hang Tuah

A hero. He and some of his friends are said to have repelled a fleet of pirates. He became a pupil of Adi Putra. Occasionally identified as Hang Tuah.


A ghost: a demon. These beings are said to capture humans and demand ransom. Also referred to as hantu.

Hantu Air

A Malaysian sea-god. Also known as Hantu Air, Hantu Ayer or Hantu Ayer.

Hantu Belian

A tiger-demon. Identified as Hantu Belian.

Hantu Kibor

A demon of graves. Sometimes identified as Hantu Kibor.

Hantu Pemburu

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Hantu Puteri

The ghost of a young girl. She is said to appear to young men and drive them mad. Occasionally identified as Hantu Puteri.

Hantu Ribit

A storm-demon. Occasionally known as Hantu Ribit.

Hantu Rinaba

A spirit of the deep forests. Sometimes known as Hantu Rinaba.

Harimau Kramet

Ghostly tigers. Also called Harimau Kramet.

Hikayat Bayan

A book of legends and fables. In some accounts, called Hikayat Bayan.

Hikayat Hang Tuah

The story of the life and exploits of the hero Hang Tuah. In some accounts, called Hikayat Hang Tuah.

Hikayat Pandawa Jaya

The Malay version of the Mahabharata. At times, known as Hikayat Pandawa Jaya.

Hoja Maimoon

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Indera Bayu

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Indra Puspa

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Daughter of Yak Lepeh. Wife of Tak Pern. Some say that she was Tak Pern's sister. Also known as Jalang.


A heavenly being who intercedes with god on behalf of humans. Sometimes referred to as Jewa-Jewa, Sanskrit Deva Deva or Sanskrit Deva Deva.


A king of India. Father of Syarul Baria. Sometimes known as Kaidu, Kida, Kida, Indian Puru or Indian Puru.


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Ken Tamboehan

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The Malay form of Krishna. In some references, identified as Kesna.


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The upper part of the pillar, Batu. Herem. Sometimes referred to as Lambong, Batu Herem or Batu Herem.


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Lebai Malang

Bad luck personified: a character for whom everything he does goes. Wrong. Also known as Lebai Malang.

Lela Muda

A prince. Son of Budiman. Brother of Naga Mas. In some references, referred to as Lela Muda.

Lida Bumi

A plant. It is said that, if one puts an ear close to this plant, one can hear the earth speaking, passing on knowledge. Sometimes referred to as Lida Bumi.

Mambang Kuning

An evil spirit of the sunset. Also identified as Mambang Kuning.


A psychopomp. This being escorts the souls of the good dead across the bridge Balan Bacham to Belet, the home of the dead. Also known as Mampes.


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Mat Chinoi

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A wind-spirit. One of the original nats created by Chinum Way Shun. Occasionally called Mbon.


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Moyang Engko

Consort of Moyang Melur. Sometimes identified as Moyang Engko.

Moyang Kapir

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Moyang Melur

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Muhtabul Bahri

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Naga Mas

A sea-monster. Son of Budiman. Brother of Lela Muda. In some accounts, referred to as Naga Mas.

Nila Utama

Son of Sapurba. He is said to have founded Singapore and took the name Seri Turi when he became its first ruler. Known as Nila Utama.

Onang Kiu

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Pa Pandir

A stupid character who always does the wrong thing. Sometimes known as Pa Pandir.

Palan Bah

The home of the dead. Also known as Palan Bah, Island of Fruit or Island of Fruit.


A medicine man. These sorcerers act as mediums, prophets, controllers of weather, curers of sickness and are consulted before one embarks on any new project. Also commonly known as pawang, bomor, bomor or bomoh.


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An evil spirit known as 'the sickmaker'. In some references, known as Penyakit.


A deity, companion of Karei. Also identified as Ple.


This animal is regarded as an evil. Spirit. Occasionally known as polecat.


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Pusat Tasih

The undersea home of Raja Naga. In some references, known as Pusat Tasih.

Puteri Sembaran

A giantess. She is reputed to be able to feed whole tribes from her enormous breasts. Also identified as Puteri Sembaran.

Puteri Tunjung Buih

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Raja Angin

A wind-god. In some references, called Raja Angin.

Raja Jinn Peri

King of the fairies. In some lore, occasionally identified as Raja Jinn Peri.

Raja Naga

King of the sea-serpents. Occasionally referred to as Raja Naga.


The heron. The nest of this bird is said to have the power to make one invisible. Occasionally referred to as ruwakruwak.

Sang Gala Raja Jin

The black king of the demons. Occasionally identified as Sang Gala Raja Jin, Sangkara or Sangkara.

Sejarah Melayu

A 17th C. Book of history and myths. In some accounts, called Sejarah Melayu.

Selindung Dalima

Daughter of Dewa Laksana and Seri Bunian. Also identified as Selindung Dalima.

Seri Turi

The name taken by Nila Utama when he became the first ruler of Singapore. Known as Seri Turi.

Seven Precious Stones

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Seven Sages, The

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Si Jari

A midget who outwitted a reksoso. Occasionally referred to as Si Jari, Finger Man or Finger Man.

Si Luncai

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Si Raya

In Java, Malaya, etc., the spirit which controls the seas from lowwater. Mark to the middle of the ocean. Also commonly identified as Si Raya.

Spectre Huntsman

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The soul which, it is said, wanders. Away from the body during illness. In some accounts, referred to as sumangat, semangat, semangat, tanoana, tanoana, tondi or tondi.

sumangat negari

A guardian spirit of the town. Sometimes identified as sumangat negari.

Syarul Baria

An Indian princess. Daughter of Kaidu. Wife of Iskandar. Mother of Arisatun. In some references, identified as Syarul Baria.

Tak Pern

The supreme being. Husband of Jalang. In some accounts, Jalang was his sister. Sometimes identified as Tak Pern.


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A sun-god in the Malacca peninsula. This deity is envisaged as a dragonfly. At times, known as Tnong.


Buttons made from the bill of this bird are said to detect poison. By turning black. Occasionally known as toucan.

White Deity

A sun-god, god of the noonday sun. In some lore, occasionally known as White Deity, Yellow Deity or Yellow Deity.

Yak Lepeh

Mother of Yulang. Occasionally called Yak Lepeh.

Yellow Deity

A sun-god, god of the setting sun. On occassion, referred to as Yellow Deity, White Deity or White Deity.

Yinlugen Bud

A tree-spirit. Occasionally referred to as Yinlugen Bud.
Malayan Mythology