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Philippine Mythology
Filipino Portrait of Mangkukulam
Title: Mangkukulam
Description: Philippine witch
Gender: Male/Female
Region: Visayas
Equivalent: Witch/sorcerer

The Mangkukulam is the Filipino equivalent of a western witch or sorcerer, the name deriving from the word kulam. Another term is brujo ('bruho' for warlocks), bruja ('bruha' for witches ). The verb kulamin (/koo-lah-min/) means "to place a hex". And a curse in Filipino is a sumpa (/soom-pah/).



Mangkukulam uses “black magic” to do harm to others. He/she starts the ritual with a spell, incantations or prayer. With the use of manyika (doll or in other call are antiqrwa)this doll is said to be powerful and this is use in ancient filipino, afrikan and carraibian and needles by pricking the dolls body causes the victim to feel immense pain in the part of the body which has been pricked. To kill a victim, the mangkukulam pricks the doll in the heart or on certain vital organs. In order for a kulam to be effective, one must obtain a certain personal body parts or belongings of the person you want to cause pain to (e.g. hair).

Usually, one can get the service of a mangkukulam by bribing. Superstitious folks still attribute certain illnesses or diseases to kulam. This most often happens in the provinces, where an herbal doctor, albularyo (/al-boo-lar-yoh/), treats them. In some rural areas, people completely rely on the albularyo to reverse the witches' spell.

Sample spell

To summon rain:

Clouds will form, the sky will blacken; with the power of the three spirits the people of the earth shall wail.

to stop the rain:

"hindi na mamumuo ang ulap, liliwanag na ang kalawakan; sa kapangyarihan ng tatlong ulit na espiritu hindi na luluha ang sangkatauhan."

See also




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