Ongoing investigation by Briona Piglet-Choi.
The Poso-Alfures of central Celebes believe that man has three souls, the inosa, the angga and the tanoana. The inosa is the vital principle; it can be detected in the veins and arteries; it is given to man by one of the great natural phenomena, more especially the wind. The angga is the intellectual part of man; its seat is unknown; after death it goes to the under-world, and, unlike the inosa, which is believed to be dissolved into its original elements, takes possession of an immaterial body. The tanoana is the divine in man and after death returns to its lord, Poewempala boeroe. It goes forth during sleep, and all that it sees it whispers into the sleeper’s ear and then he dreams. According to another account, the tanoana is the substance by which man lives, thinks and acts; the tanoana of man, plants and animals is of the same nature. A man’s tanoana can be strengthened by those of others; when the tanoana is long away or destroyed the man dies. The tanoana seems to be the soul of which lycanthropic feats are asserted.
Among the Toradjas of central Celebes it is believed that a man’s “inside” can take the form of a cat, wild pig, ape, deer or other animal, and afterwards resume human form; it is termed lamboyo. The exact relation of the lamboyo to the tanoana does not seem to be settled; it will be seen below that the view seems to vary. According to some the power of transformation is a gift of the gods, but others hold that werwolfism is contagious and may be acquired by eating food left by a werwolf or even by leaning one’s head against the same pillar. The Todjoers hold that any one who touches blood becomes a werwolf. In accordance with this view is the belief that werwolfism can be cured; the breast and stomach of the werman must be rubbed and pinched, just as when any other witch object has to be extracted. The patient drinks medicine, and the contagion leaves the body in the form of snakes and worms. There are certain marks by which a werman can be recognized. His eyes are unsteady and sometimes green with dark shadows underneath. He does not sleep soundly and fireflies come out of his mouth. His lips remain red in spite of betel chewing, and he has a long tongue. The Todjoers add that his hair stands on end.
Some of the forms of the lamboyo are distinguishable from ordinary animals by the fact that they run about among the houses; the wer-buffalo has only one horn, and the wer-pig transforms itself into an ants’ nest, such as hangs from trees. Some say that the werman does not really take the form of an animal himself, but, like the sorcerer, only sends out a messenger. The lamboyo attacks by preference solitary individuals, for he does not like to be observed. The victim feels sleepy and loses consciousness; the lamboyo then assumes human form (his body being, however, still at home) and cuts up his victim, scattering the fragments all about. He then takes the liver and eats it, puts the body together again, licks it with his long tongue and joins it together. When the victim comes to himself again he has no idea that anything unusual has happened to him. He goes home, but soon begins to feel unwell. In a few days he dies, but before his death he is able sometimes to name the werman to whom he has fallen a victim.
From this account it might be inferred that the lamboyo was identical with the tanoana; the absence of the lamboyo seems to entail a condition of unconsciousness, and it can assume human form. In other cases, however, the lamboyo seems to be analogous to the familiar of the sorcerer. The Toradjas tell a story of how a man once came to a house and asked the woman to give him a rendezvous; it was night and she was asleep; the question was put three times before the answer was given “in the tobacco plantation.” The husband was awake, and next day followed his wife, who was irresistibly drawn thither. The werman came to meet her in human form, although his body was engaged in building a new house, and caused the woman to faint by stamping three times on the ground. Thereupon the husband attacked the werman with a piece of wood, and the latter to escape transformed himself into a leaf; this the husband put into a piece of bamboo and fastened the ends so that he could not escape. He then went back to the village and put the bamboo in the fire. The werman said “Don’t,” and as soon as it was burnt he fell dead.
In another case a woman died, and, as her death was believed to be due to the malevolence of a werwolf, her husband watched by her body. For, like Indian witches, the werwolf, for some reason, wishes to revive his victim and comes in human form to carry off the coffin. As soon as the woman was brought to life the husband attacked the werwolf, who transformed himself into a piece of wood and was burnt. The woman remained alive, but her murderer died the same night.
According to a third form of the belief, the body of the werman is itself transformed. One evening a man left the hut in which a party were preparing to pass the night; one of his companions heard a deer and fired into the darkness. Soon after the man came back and said he had been shot. Although no marks were to be seen he died a few days later.
In Central Java we meet with another kind of wer-tiger. The power of transformation is regarded as due to inheritance, to the use of spells, to fasting and will-power, to the use of charms, &c. Save when it is hungry or has just cause for revenge it is not hostile to man; in fact, it is said to take its animal form only at night and to guard the plantations from wild pigs, exactly as the balams (magicians) of Yucatan were said to guard the corn fields in animal form. Variants of this belief assert that the werman does not recognize his friends unless they call him by name, or that he goes out as a mendicant and transforms himself to take vengeance on those who refuse him alms. Somewhat similar is the belief of the Khonds; for them the tiger is friendly; he reserves his wrath for their enemies, and a man is said to take the form of a tiger in order to wreak a just vengeance.