Ebu Gogo - Appearance in Nage Folklore

Appearance in Nage Folklore

The legends relating to the Ebu Gogo were traditionally, according to the journal Nature, attributed to monkeys.

The Nage people believe that the Ebu Gogo were alive at the time of the arrival of Portuguese trading ships in the 17th century, and some hold that they survived as recently as the 20th century, but are now no longer seen. The Ebu Gogo are believed to have been hunted to extinction by the human inhabitants of Flores. They believe that the extermination, which culminated around seven generations ago, was undertaken because the Ebu Gogo stole food from human dwellings, and kidnapped children.

An article in New Scientist (Vol. 186, No. 2504) gives the following account of folklore on Flores surrounding the Ebu Gogo: The Nage people of central Flores tell how, in the 18th century, villagers disposed of the Ebu Gogo by tricking them into accepting gifts of palm fiber to make clothes. When the Ebu Gogo took the fiber into their cave, the villagers threw in a firebrand to set it alight. The story goes that all the occupants were killed, except perhaps for one pair, who fled into the deepest forest, and whose descendants may be living there still.

There are also legends about the Ebu Gogo kidnapping human children, hoping to learn from them how to cook. The children always easily outwit the Ebu Gogo in the tales.

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