Juak is a mythical creature with supernatural powers. He is short in height and carries around a bag which contain all of his powers.
Juak carries a side bag made of deer skin. He carries it around all the time because it is the storehouse of all his powers. As per the tales, if one can possess that bag, will control the creature along with his powers. One complication here is that, Juak can not steal back the bag. It must be willingly given to him, which is unlikely to happen. Juak is a malevolent creature with supernatural powers and resembles a dwarf. He dwells in deep forest, and prefers to live near bamboo. He is quick, sure-footed and cover great distances, with rugged terrains, without much sweat. Though juak is malevolent, he seldom visits human settlement to cause trouble. It is usually the hunters who fell prey to his wrath.
Winter was approaching, and summer had not been kind to a hunter's family, and his crops failed. Their stock of food was depleting fast. To feed his family, the hunter decided to go into the forest to get venison or pork. He took his spear, bow and arrow, machete, and a small bundle of ration wrapped by the leaves of fig tree.
The forest was not kind on him either. A day had passed since he left, and there was still no sign of any animal. The second day was also the same. At the end of that day, exhausted, the hunter climbed up to his makeshift tree house and went to sleep with an empty stomach.
The night was filled with dim moonlight, and with it, the chances of hunting an animal reduced. At the dead of the night, the hunter was woken up by the smell of a strong pungent odour and a rustle nearby. The hunter was happy, because he thought it to be a boar or a deer. He took his tools and climbed down steadily, and approached towards the scent and the sound.
Yes. It was a deer, and it was the biggest he had ever seen. But there was a slight complication. It was the creature, Juak who had hunted down the animal. As bad his luck could get, he had been led straight to his lair.
The tales of his grandmother were true, the hunter thought. There it was, short and ugly, the creature feared by all. The lair of Juak was surrounded by tall bamboos as if it was some kind of fortification. Half eaten carcass, skulls and bones of deer, boar, elephant, tiger and whatnot, filled the floor of the creature's lair. Contrary to the popular belief that Juak eats human, the hunter could not find any remains as an evidence. Juak did not notice the hunter because he was too busy skinning the deer.
The hunter saw the bag of Juak laying around, and he thought that if the creature exists, then the tales of his bag must also be true. He must have gone mad with failure and the thought of his family dying with hunger, that he rammed into the creature's lair with a loud war cry, and took the bag.
Startled, Juak turned around and saw the biggest surprise of his life. The hunter had took his bag and along with it, his powers. He was now in complete control of the human and must do as he bids.
The hunter got more than he bargained for. He thought that all these adversities in his life had finally led him to this moment. Juak was his slave now, and he made him carry the deer carcass all the way to his home.
When they reached home, the hunter's family rejoiced and had a venison feast. After that, he immediately stuffed the bag with ginger. Nocte people believe that ginger wards of evil spirit.
The hunter employed Juak in the fields. Since the creature possessed supernatural powers, he worked ten times more efficiently than a human. The hunter and his family never went to bed empty stomach after that. The agricultural surplus was used to barter with other products. Whenever they wanted meat, Juak would hunt the best animal for them.
The hunter grew rich in terms of land. After years of service, Juak was treated as a human by the hunter's family, especially the wife, whom the creature addressed as mother. From time to time, Juak begged the hunter to set him free, but the latter would not. This angered him, but he could not do anything about it.
One day, the hunter had to visit the funeral of an influential person from nearby village. He decided to take some valuables as a parting gift. He took Juak to carry the burden. After reaching the village, the hunter got busy consoling the family of the deceased. Juak went home without informing his master.
When he reached home, Juak made a compelling case to the hunter's wife that her husband is asking for the bag. She was skeptical at first, and said no. Juak did not insist, and said that he is going back to his master. He returned after few hours, and told the hunter's wife the same thing. She always had a soft spot for the creature because he called her mother, and thus, she gave him the bag. Juak could not accept the bag because it was filled with ginger, and asked her to remove it. After the bag was emptied, Juak disappeared into the forest.
The hunter returned home that evening and complained about the absence of Juak to help him with the journey. After hearing this, the wife became pale with fear because she realized that she had been conned by Juak. She told her husband about what happened. The hunter could not belief his wife's stupidity, and checked the container where he kept the bag. He wailed because he knew that Juak would come back and kill them all. As if the creature heard his thought, Juak appeared before him and beat him to pulp with his wooden club. After that, he killed the hunter's wife and his children.
After killing the entire family of his former master, Juak ran back into the forest shouting that he would kill every person who belongs to the family of the hunter. In order to escape his wrath, each family must set loose a buffalo for him every year.
In Nocte mythology, the bird, kite, is associated with the spirits and as the messenger of death. Find out more about the concept of heaven and hell as per the tribe's folklore.