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Ebu Gogo
A reconstruction of a Homo floresiensis, formerly thought to be what inspired the Ebu Gogo before it was revealed that the species went extinct before humans arrived on Flores.
Flores Map
Map of Flores
Type Hairy humanoid
First Sighting Antiquity
Last Sighting 20th century?
Country Indonesia
Habitat Caves
Possible Population Extinct or small

The Ebu Gogo are a group of humanoid creatures that appear in Flores Mythology, In the Nage language of central Flores, ebu means "grandmother" and gogo means "he who eats anything".

The Nage people of Flores, Indonesia describe the Ebu Gogo as having been able walkers and fast runners around 1.5m tall. They reportedly had wide and flat noses, broad faces with large mouths and hairy bodies. The females also had "long, pendulous breasts". They were said to have murmured in what was assumed to be their own language and could reportedly repeat what was said to them in a parrot-like fashion.

The legends relating to the Ebu Gogo were traditionally, according to the journal Nature, attributed to monkeys.

The Nage people believe that the Ebu Gogo were alive at the time of the arrival of Portuguese trading ships in the 17th century, and some hold that they survived as recently as the 20th century, but are now no longer seen. The Ebu Gogo are believed to have been hunted to extinction by the human inhabitants of Flores. They believe that the extermination, which culminated around seven generations ago, was undertaken because the Ebu Gogo stole food from human dwellings, and kidnapped children.

It is important to note that the name "Ebu Gogo" is only used by people near the Bajawa area, other names may include Ine Weu and Poti Wolo.

An article in New Scientist (Vol. 186, No. 2504) gives the following account of folklore on Flores surrounding the Ebu Gogo: The Nage people of central Flores tell how, in the 18th century, villagers disposed of the Ebu Gogo by tricking them into accepting gifts of palm fiber to make clothes. When the Ebu Gogo took the fiber into their cave, the villagers threw in a firebrand to set it alight. The story goes that all the occupants were killed, except perhaps for one pair, who fled into the deepest forest, and whose descendants may be living there still.

Ebu gogo

Comparison with skull

Gregory Forth, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Alberta, Canada has stated that "wildman" myths are prevalent in Southeast Asia and has investigated their linguistic and ritual roots, speculating that H. floresiensis (alive at least as recently as 13.000 years ago) may be evidence that the folktales of Ebu Gogo and similar creatures such as the Orang Pendek on Sumatra may be rooted in fact. This proposal has little mainstream support, especially after the dating of the extinction of Homo floresiensis which initially was assumed to have occurred at c. 12,000 BP was revised to 50,000 BP.

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