Witches and sorcerers in Malaysia can bring forth a vampiric Demon through a magical ceremony that involves the body of a stillborn child or the corpse of a family member. If the Demon is male, it is called a bâjang; the female of the species is called a LANGSUIR. If the caster is strong enough, he can bind the Demon to him as a familiar that can be passed down through the generations. The witch will then keep their bâjang familiar in a specially constructed container called a tabong. It is made of bamboo that is sealed with leaves and locked with a magical charm.
The person who possesses the bâjang must personally feed it a diet of milk and eggs or else it will turn on its owner and then start eating its favourite food—children.
The bâjang can shape-shift into three different forms: a cat, a weasel, or a large lizard. In its cat form, if its mews at a baby, the child will die.
The witch will oftentimes send its familiar outto do its bidding. When it is sent out to harm a person, the bâjang will inflict upon its intended victim a mysterious disease for which there is no cure. The person will grow weak, suffering from convulsions and fainting spells until he eventually dies.
There is no known way to destroy a bâjang,but there are charms that can be made or purchased to keep it at bay. Probably the best way to deal with it would be to deal with the witch who commands it.
- Clifford, Dictionary of the Malay Language, 1 21;
- Gimlette, Malay Poisons and Charm, 47;
- Hobart, People of Bali, 116 17;
- Winstedt, Malay Magician, 25
bajang (badjang) In Malayan mythology, an evil spirit whose presence foretells disaster and brings illness. Generally, it takes the form of a polecat and disrupts the household by mewing like a great cat.
The bajang is considered very dangerous to children, who are sometimes provided with amulets of black silk threads, called bajang bracelets, which are supposed to protect them against the evil influence of the bajang. In Perak and some other parts of the Malay Peninsula, the bajang is regarded as one of several kinds of demons that can be enslaved by man and become familiar spirits.
Such familiars are handed down in certain families as heirlooms. The master of the familiar is said to keep it imprisoned in a tabong, a vessel made from a joint of bamboo closed by a stopper made from leaves. Both the case and the stopper are prepared by certain magic arts before they can be used. The familiar is fed with eggs and milk. When its master wishes to make use of it, he sends it forth to possess and prey on the vitals of anyone whom his malice may select as victim. The victim is at once seized by a deadly and unaccountable ailment that can be cured only by magic. If the bajang is neglected by its keeper and is not fed regularly, it will turn on its owner, who will thereupon fall victim to the bajang.
Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow– Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante