Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ebu Gogo - What were they?

On the island of Flores, in Indonesia, there are many stories and tales of a small race of squat human-like cave dwelling creatures, much like the Irish leprechaun or fairies. They had similar nasty habits, such as baby-snatching and stealing food and crops. Many stories exist where small children have been stolen by them, only to have the children escape by trickery. In many ways, they seem to draw a parallel to the stories of the Irish "little people", and may represent a folk memory of the native inhabitants displaced by the current residents long ago. This is also what is suspected by many to be taking place in the Irish folk tales.

There is something else at hand. Not only do the stories exist, giving clues to a possible mysterious race of small people, but they have also found anomalous skeletal remains on this island that seem to support these stories, at least in theory.

Homo Floresiensis, or Flores Man, was found on this island in a cave in 2003. Flores Man, or "the Hobbit" as it has been nicknamed, was a diminutive subspecies of human standing only about 3 feet tall. This alternative human species was still alive 10,000 years ago, when all other human species except for modern man had long died out. The cause of their demise was said to be a nearby volcanic cataclysm.

Whether the Flores Man is the same as the Ebu Gogo, we will never know. The local stories all say the Ebu Gogo were hunted out of existence by the island's current human population, but they give a much more recent date - as recent as the 19th century.

Is it possible this ancient human ancestor survived into the world of modern man? Does he survive to this day, deep in the largely unexplored Indonesian jungle?

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