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The Á Bao A Qu or Abang Aku

Updated on May 24, 2015

Overview and History

Á Bao A Qu is a creature which may have been created by Jorge Borges, as the source he cites is difficult to find, or does not exist at all. This source is a supposedly 1937 book called On Malay Witchcraft and is written by a C.C. Iturvuru. Even so, all creatures begin somewhere, and so the Á Bao A Qu will be discussed as one of the many mythological creatures in existence, even if it only exists in imagination. Borges will be considered the major source for this information, as he is the earliest source for information on the Á Bao A Qu, and all others so far have looked back to him for their information.

In sum, the Á Bao A Qu is an amorphous blob-like creature that glows blue, and sits at the bottom of the Tower of Victory. It awaits the pilgrim who wishes to ascend the tower, and it follows them during their journey. It does not interact with the pilgrim at all, and its only goal seems to be to achieve perfection by reaching the top with the pilgrim. If the pilgrim does not make it to the top of the Tower of Victory, than the Á Bao A Qu also cannot reach the top.

Etymology

Á Bao A Qu is thought to be pronounced like “Abang Aku”, which would mean “My Elder Brother”. How it acquired this meaning is unclear.

Appearance

The Á Bao A Qu glows with an inward light when it is awoken. Its skin is translucent, and seems to ripple when awoken. Its form changes with its advancements up the steps of the Tower of Victory (always following after a pilgrim). Its color grows more intense, the light from within shines brighter and becomes blue, and its form becomes more “perfect”. It reaches its perfect form at the top of the steps.

Its form then reverts to what it once was when the pilgrim descends the steps again, and it goes back to sleep.

The creature can be fully “seen” at the midpoint on the steps, when the light does not obscure its features. It is described as having extensions on its body, which has been taken to mean tentacles. These extensions help it to climb the stairway. The Á Bao A Qu sees with its entire body, so no eyes are ever mentioned. It is likely an amorphous glob of reaching extensions, glowing blue. It is not slimy like a glob, though. Rather, the body is covered in a slight fuzz that makes the creature feel like a peach when touched.

It is thought that the Á Bao A Qu has reached its perfect state only once, and it can be safely assumed that this happened when Siddhartha Gautama reached Enlightenment.

Purpose

The purpose of the Á Bao A Qu appears only to be to follow a pilgrim on their journey. It likely has a goal to reach perfection, as it cries out in pain when it is unable to do so and is paralyzed mid-way on the staircase. Considering it also loses this perfection, it is unclear what this perfection does for the Á Bao A Qu.

The Á Bao A Qu does not appear to harm the pilgrim on their journey, whether or not they achieve perfection. It is not benign nor malign.

Weaknesses

No known weakness for the Á Bao A Qu is recorded.

Strengths

The Á Bao A Qu is recorded as being able to see with its entire body, so it has a vast range of sight.

The Á Bao A Qu also seems to be immortal, or else it is very long-lived. It is also capable of reaching a “perfected” stated, but only after following a pilgrim who reaches perfection.

Tower of Victory

An image of the Tower of Victory at Chittorgarh, India.
An image of the Tower of Victory at Chittorgarh, India. | Source

Location

The Á Bao A Qu is found at the base of the Tower of Victory. This tower is believed to be in Chitor, India (which may more accurately be Chittorgarh, Rajasthan, India).

Although the creature is believed to reside there, it is considered to be a creature of Malaysian mythology.

Numbers

There appears to only be one Á Bao A Qu.

Modern Day Uses

  • In Mobile Suit Gundam, there is space fortress called A Baoa Qu, which may have been named after the Á Bao A Qu.
  • Japanese band Boris has a song titled “Á Bao A Qu”. It was released as a single, and there is a music video for it. This was released in 2005.
  • Á Bao A Qu is also the name of an album by Virginia Astley, released in 1982.

Sources

Borges, Jorge Luis. Book of Imaginary Beings. Trans. Andrew Hurley. New York: Penguin, 2006. Print.

Rose, Carol. Giants, Monsters, and Dragons: an Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend, and Myth. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2000. Print.

“Vijay Stambha, Chittorgarh, Indian Monument”. India Netzone. Updated on June 28, 2014. Jupiter Infomedia LTD, 2008. Web.

© 2015 Krystal

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