[INDOLOGY] question about scene in Malay text from Sumatra

Tieken, H.J.H. H.J.H.Tieken at hum.leidenuniv.nl
Wed Jan 8 07:10:47 EST 2014


Dear list members,


I post the following question on behalf of a friend. It concerns the following scene from a Malay adventure story from Sumatra, the Hikayat Bahram Syah, dated in the first half of the 19th century:

On the back of a bird the hero flies across a sea of fire. To prevent the bird from falling down he feeds it with pieces of flesh from his own leg. After they have safely arrived at the other shore the bird vomits, giving up the piece of flesh which attaches itself to the hero's leg again.

The scene contains at least two elements otherwise known from India, namely the vaḍavānala at the bottom of the sea and the a hero giving his own flesh to a predator (King Śibi). What my friend wants to know if the story as a whole occurs in Indian literature.

If you wish, you may reply directly to Marije Plomp (marijeplomp at gmail.com<mailto:marijeplomp at gmail.com>.


With the best wishes, Herman Tieken


Herman Tieken
University of Leiden
The Netherlands
website: hermantieken.com<http://hermantieken.com/>
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