The Orang Pendek is the most famous sasquatch type or even cryptid that completely originates from the desolate, cliff infested groves on the island of Sumatra. The bipedal creature has been sighted and documented for over a hundred years by native tribe clans, villagers, and even foreigners such as the Dutch colonists.
- Ground Dweller
- Grey, brown or even reddish hair
- Typically around 90 centimeters
- Short legs with potent long arms
- Climbs trees
Suku Anak Dalam Edit
The Suku Anak Dalam ("Children of the Inner-forest")--also known as Orang Kubu, Orang Batin Simbilan, or Orang Rimba—are groups of nomadic people who have traditionally lived throughout the lowland forests of Jambi and South Sumatra. According to their legends, Orang Pendek has been a part of their world and a co-inhabitant of the forest for centuries. Benedict Allen, author of Hunting the Gugu, writes that these groups frequently leave offerings of tobacco to keep the Orang Pendek happy.
In Bukit Duabelas, the Orang Rimba speak of a creature, known as Hantu Pendek (short ghost), whose description closely matches that of Orang Pendek. However, Hantu Pendek is thought of as a ghost or demon rather than an animal. According to the Orang Rimba, the Hantu Pendek travel in groups of five or six, subsisting off wild yams and hunting animals with small axes. Accounts of the creature claim it ambushes unfortunate Orang Rimba hunters traveling alone in the forest. Along the Makekal River on the western edge of Bukit Duabelas, people recount a legend of how their ancestors outsmarted these cunning yet dim-witted creatures during a hunting trip. The legend is often used to boast of the intellect and reason of people who live along the Makekal.
Local villagers Edit
Local Indonesian villagers provide the largest source of lore and information on Orang Pendek. Hundreds of locals claim to have either seen the animal personally or can relate stories of others who have. While the conjectured physical description listed above is consistently reported by this group, other, less credible characteristics such as inverted feet or magical- or ghost-like behavior are also reported.
Dutch settlers in the early 20th century provided Westerners with their modern introduction to Orang Pendek-like animals in Sumatra. Two accounts in particular are widely reported:
- Mr. van Heerwarden, who described an encounter he had while surveying land in 1923:
- Mr. Oostingh, who saw a strange creature while walking in the forest:
Western researchers Edit
The most widely known Western researcher to have attempted to document Orang Pendek is a British woman named Debbie Martyr. Along with British photographer Jeremy Holden, she engaged in a 15-year project beginning in the early 1990s and funded by Fauna and Flora International. The scope of the project was to systematically document eye-witness accounts of the animal and to obtain photographic proof of its existence via camera-trapping methods. Debbie and Jeremy did not succeed in proving its existence (Martyr has since moved on to head TNKS's Tiger Protection and Conservation Unit), but they collected several foot print casts that appear to be from Orang Pendek and claim to have personally seen the animal on several occasions while working in the forest.