Southeast Asian Mythology (Thai, Indonesian, Malaysian)

Thai Mythology is influenced by Buddhist, Hindu, and animistic beliefs, reflecting Thailand’s rich cultural tapestry.

Major Deities and Figures
  • Phra Phrom (Brahma): Revered in Thai culture, often associated with creation.
  • Phra Narai (Vishnu): Seen as a protector and preserver of the universe.
  • Nang Tani and Nang Takian: Female spirits associated with specific types of trees in Thai folklore.
Folk Tales and Legends
  • The Ramakien: The Thai version of the Indian epic Ramayana, with unique adaptations.
  • The Legend of Mae Nak: A famous ghost story about a woman’s undying love for her husband.

Indonesian Mythology


Indonesian Mythology, particularly from the islands of Java and Bali, is a blend of animistic, Hindu-Buddhist, and Islamic influences.

Major Deities and Spirits
  • Dewi Sri: The rice goddess, important in agrarian societies.
  • Barong and Rangda: Representing the eternal battle between good and evil in Balinese Hinduism.
Creation Myths and Tales
  • The Javanese creation myth: Involving the cosmic egg and the origin of the island of Java.
  • Wayang Kulit: Traditional shadow puppet theater, often depicting mythological stories.

Malaysian Mythology


Malaysian Mythology encompasses the beliefs of the Malay people, influenced by Islamic, Hindu, and animistic traditions.

Spirits and Legendary Figures
  • Orang Bunian: Invisible beings similar to elves or fairies in Malay folklore.
  • Harimau Jadian: A were-tiger in Malay folklore, a human who can transform into a tiger.
Folk Tales and Legends
  • Sang Kancil stories: Tales of a clever mouse deer outwitting other animals, popular in Malay folklore.
  • Puteri Gunung Ledang: A legendary princess associated with Mount Ledang.

Cultural and Artistic Influence

  • Southeast Asian mythology influences the region’s arts, dance, theatre (like Indonesian Wayang), and festivals.
  • These mythologies provide a window into the diverse cultural, religious, and historical landscapes of Southeast Asia.

Tibetan Mythology

Filipino Mythology