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Page 11

Beware There’s Magic in Bali

beware there’s magic in Bali

be careful of the night

for there’s leyaks, those witches that fly

and myriads of demons are watching

to catch you unaware

bewitching girls will beguile you

as they dance in the black velvet night

beware there’s magic in Bali

a heady perfume of paradise sweet

breathe it in deeply

aha taken captive once more

there’s promise and yearning and laughter

and handsome brown people

with warm smiling eyes

say ke mana - ke mana wherever you go

beware there’s magic in Bali

the breeze sighs in the trees

at the incoming dawn

see the bustle of man as the new day begins

beware there’s magic in Bali

for contentment reigns supreme

 

Only Balinese can see leyaks those witches that fly in the night. These witches are the spirits of living people given over to black magic or the magic of the ‘left’. Leyaks are shy of outsiders and will not reveal themselves to foreigners. Balinese hold leyaks responsible for most of the evil that affects Bali. They suck the blood of sleeping people and are particularly fond of the entrails of unborn children. Frequently, leyaks can be seen in cemeteries as blue lights, flitting from grave to grave looking for fresh corpses to feed on. Sometimes they appear to children during the night taking on an invisible form as they go about their evil business. Often children become ill and die after one of these nocturnal visits.

Leyaks can take the form of beautiful mute maidens who haunt lonely roads late at night. They try to entice single men with lurid suggestions. These frightening witches congregate in cemeteries and are particularly attracted to certain trees. One of these trees is the male papaya; in whose shadows they like to devour their victims in an orgy of blood. The Balinese never allow the male papaya to be grown within the vicinity of the village limits.

Rangda, is the queen of leyaks, a bloodthirsty child eating witch, mistress of black magic and all that is evil. She is represented in Balinese dramas as a hag, a monstrous old widow woman with long hanging breasts. Leyaks, like all witches, fly naked over housetops at night, hold orgies and black masses. Consequently, the Balinese fear the night and will not go out after dark without a companion.

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