Sabaka (fire demon)

Peter Wyzlic pwyzlic at UNI-BONN.DE
Tue Jun 14 22:04:44 UTC 2011

Am 14.06.2011 um 23:24 schrieb Thrasher, Allen:

> There is a film entitled Sabaka (alternate title The Hindu), about an young mahout,  an Indian General Pollegar, played by Boris Karloff, and the cult of a fire demon named Sabaka (a fraudulent commercial enterprise kept going by agents who burn the houses of people who refuse to donate).  In the film the demon's name is pronounced SabAkA, but there is also a Devanagari title SabAka, which in a modern Indo-Aryan language would presumably be pronounced SabAk.  If have looked at several of the online dictionaries in the Digital South Asia Library and found no such word in Sanskrit, Hindi, Telugu, and Tamil (it was filmed in South India), plus Burrow and Turner's comparative dictionaries.
> Has anyone heard of such a demon, or a word from which his or her name might be derived?
> I cannot comment on the value of the movie, since the disk degenerated at the third track and I sent it back to Netflix for a replacement.  

You may view or download it from the Internet Archive:
URL: <>

It seems the film is in the public domain, now.

I don't know about Sabaka. According to the credits the director and producer Frank Ferrin wrote also the screenplay. The name of the demon and the cult are perhaps an invention of the author?

All the best
Peter Wyzlic

Institut für Orient- und Asienwissenschaften
Universität Bonn
Regina-Pacis-Weg 7
53113 Bonn

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