The Orang Pendek

Orang Pendek ( Indonesian for “short person”) is the most common name given to a cryptid, or cryptozoological animal, that reportedly inhabits remote, mountainous forests on the island of Sumatra.

Aka : Batutut, Atu, Sedapa, Mawa (Malay).

Folklore : Natives of Sumatra have generally accepted the Orang-Pendek as a genuine animal for centuries, and because they believe it to be a gentle creature that only attacks small animals for food, they regard it with tolerance and respect, rather than fear.

Place: Sumatra (the Taman National Kerinci Seblat and bordering forest), the Sarawak/Kalimantan border in central Borneo, and presumably other islands in Indonesia and Malaysia.

The animal has allegedly been seen and documented for at least one hundred years by forest tribes, local villagers, Dutch colonists, and Western scientists and travelers.

Consensus among witnesses is that the animal is a ground-dwelling, bipedal primate standing about two and a half to five feet tall, with human and ape characteristics evidently not lacking in strength, speed and agility.

The creature is said to have a pinkish-brown skin covered by a short, dark fur with a mane of long hair around the face that flows down the back.

The Orang-Pendek is said to walk mostly upright and to possess relatively short arms. It is said to walk upright at incredible speeds, does not brachiate, although it has been seen sitting in or hugging trees. Pint-sized footprints about six inches long, shaped very much like human footprints except for being proportionately rather broad and having a divergent toe, have been presented as evidence of the creature.

Debbie Martyr, a prominent Orang Pendek researcher who has worked in the area for over 15 years, has interviewed hundreds of witnesses, and alleges to have seen the animal personally on several occasions.

    …usually no more than 85 or 90cm in height — although occasionally as large as 1m 20cm. The body is covered in a coat of dark grey or black flecked with grey hair. But it is the sheer physical power of the orang pendek that most impresses the Kerinci villagers. They speak in awe, of its broad shoulders, huge chest and upper abdomen and powerful aims [sic]. The animal is so strong, the villagers would whisper that it can uproot small trees and even break rattan vines. The legs, in comparison, are short and slim, the feet neat and small, usually turned out at an angle of up to 45 degrees. The head slopes back to a distinct crest — similar to the gorilla — and there appears to be a bony ridge above the eyes. But the mouth is small and neat, the eyes are set wide apart and the nose is distinctly humanoid. When frightened, the animal exposes its teeth — revealing oddly broad incisors and prominent, long canine teeth.