Legend of Leyak

In the folklore of Bali, Indonesia, the Leyak (in Indonesian, people called it 'Leak' (le-ak) the Y is not written or spoken) is a mythological figure in the form of flying head with entrails (heart, lung, liver, etc) still attached. Leyak was a human who is practicing black magic and have cannibalistic behavior. It is said that Leyak is flying around try to find a pregnant woman in order to suck her baby's blood or a newborn child, to complete her magical skill. There are three legendary Leyak, two females and one male. Leyak with the great magic skill can transform into Rangda, queen of black magic. Leyak is said haunt the graveyards, feed on corpses, have power to change themselves into animals, she even take the form of a monkey with golden teeth or a massive rat, a ball of fire and even a bald-headed giant. It is said that she have an unusually long tongue and large fangs.

In daylight she appear as an ordinary human, but at night her head and entrails break loose from their body and flying around. Her powerful enemy is Barong, a character in the mythology of Bali. He is the king of the spirits, leader of the hosts of good. Barong and Rangda exist in the natural order of the cosmos and represent as Good and Evil. Both Barong and Rangda are cemented in Balinese legend.


The legend of Leyak in Bali refers to a horrible black magic inspired drama with the key figure of Calon Arang. The story written in a manuscript describing that during the reign of Erlangga in 11th century there was a widow called Calon Arang at the village of Girah having a beautiful daughter. Her daughter name is Ratna Manggali, who has reached her adultery, but no one among youths from the village and surrounding had the courage to approach the virgin. This is because her mother is known to have black magic knowledge, and practiced it maliciously, and with her bad attitude causing many people were dead even hatred was increasing among the people, yet this is used as a temptation to her thirsty black magic need.

Barong Dance

Her bad reputation at last reached the palace, and some soldiers took initiative and asked permission to the king to punish the widow. The soldiers headed to the village of Girah and found her sleeping. One solder drag her by her hairs, but unfortunately she awaken and once she was startled she glared with her 2 wild eyes emanating fire shooting and burnt the soldier, the other took a hundred steps of flee but again her blitz eye fires burnt them except one solder survived the malicious black magic fur. This soldier then reported his horrible experience to the king, and made the king totally upset and run out of reason to overcome the problem. Calon Arang know that the palace involved in this scandalous act of murder trial, and she become uncontrollably angry and spread her magic malicious power causing great epidemic.

The king was really made under pressure, and asked the priests to gather on the palace. The priests decided to perform a ceremony to reveal god advise. At last god Shiva gave an omen that there is a powerful priest living at Batu Tulis. His name is Mpu Bharadah who can assist the king to solve the overcoming problem. It is said that this religious figure has the ability to solve any problem in the kingdom not only relating to religion and magic, but also social nature and politic. He married twice, first wife they have a daughter named Wedawati, who was left by her mother at very young age, and always crying on her mother's tomb, and since she was insisting to stay at her mother's cemetery the priest decided to build a hermitage on the place, so he could take care of his beloved daughter while still keep the compassion with his new family of second wife.

At the other side, Calon Arang knowing the plan of the palace appeared to be more and more uncontrollable, she worship the god of the black magic, Bhagawati Goddess, and transform into Leyak in night time to complete her magical skill. She always practices her black magic by dancing at the cemetery together with her sister Larung and her students Woksirsa and Mahsisawadana. They play the corps on the cemetery, and other dirty frightening vision.

After they had the ritual at the cemetery then a victim must be taken again. Normal people see this as unreasonable death of human being, and giving more and more pressure, feeling of great scare every time the day changed into the night and at the dark places. The king sent one of important person named Kanuluhan to meet the priest which always welcome by Mpu Bharadah and in turn the priest sent his student Bahula to the palace to follow Kanuluhan. The priest proposed to the king that Bahula will request Ratna Manggali for his wife, in order to find the source of Calon Arang magical skill.

The king then prepared a team to escort Bahula visiting the village of Girah for the marriage request. The group was warmly welcome by the widow and after the discussion she become very happy, furthermore knowing that Bahula is the student of Mpu Bharadah. She even did not care about the marriage dowries, the most important that Bahula be the loyal husband of her only daughter Ratna Manggali.

After the marriage, Bahula stay in Girah with his beloved wife and having children. Yet every night he found his mother in law going out and back late morning. This is strange, and forced him to ask to his wife. Ratna Manggali then followed her mother, and found her mother with her students were making ceremony at the cemetery, practicing black magic. She run back home and reported to her husband. Knowing this, Bahula expressed his concern to his wife, and ask her to find the book that is put on her mother's room and which is on certain days given special ritual. Once his wife found it, she gave the book to him, and then Bahula showed the book to Mpu Bharadah.

The priest understood why Calon Arang practices the black magic as the book she reads is the source of black magic. But according to the priest the content of the book is good if it is dedicated to human welfare, no science is bad, it is depend on the person who understand the knowledge. Mpu Bharadah then advised Bahula to back to Girah and return the book, and the priest will follow. The priest visited Girah in the hope to advise Calon Arang to stop practicing this evil activities. The response of the widow was in contradictory, as she feel that she had been doing it and it will, unless the priest kill her.

Calon Arang insisted not to change her life style. This discussion become a high tension debate and making the widow very angry. In her furriated moment she show her talent of black magic and transform into Rangda, because she knew that the priest have more experience to deal with black magic. Mpu Bharadah with his magical skill, transform into Barong then confronts Rangda, and a battle of magical wits takes place. They fight each other with all of their magic powers.

And even with the help of her sister and her 2 students, the priest was successfully defeating Rangda. The priest did not have choice except to keep her quiet, and cremated her as a normal un-sin person. After the cremation of Calon Arang, her 2 students also surrendered and become the follower of Mpu Bharadah as nun and priest. This is the end of the story about the origin of Leyak in Bali, which is also got the strong influence from Mahayana Buddhist. The Balinese are constantly aware of the evil intensity of Leyak. If a dog whines and whimpers on a moonless night, then the Balinese know there are Leyak around. It is believed that if Leyak are not appeased in some manner, then they could even run rampant in a village causing destruction, illness and even epidemics.

Sources : Wikipedia; and http://www.baliblog.com/travel-tips/bali-travel/demons-and-spirits.html
Pic sources : http://www.indo.com/travel_agents/tunas/barong.jpg; http://your.usc.edu.au/wacana/indobase/kodak/rangda.jpg
Legend of Leyak Legend of Leyak Reviewed by Tripzibit on 16:22 Rating: 5


  1. hellow my friend...want u xlink with me??(^_^)..he..3x

  2. I guess Leyak already knows about the value of stem cells.


Powered by Blogger.