Rakks Kukkosh

Description: It is a general word for monster, however, the informant did note that his impression of the Rakks Kukkosh is a monster with a drum on its belly which it pounds to make sounds.

Background: The informant heard about the monster from their family during their childhood.


SA: I think it has a drum on its belly that it pounds?

Me: Does it do anything? Why does it have a drum on its belly?

SA: I’m not sure, probably to attract children and eat them. Most Bengali monsters just do things to get children and eat them.

(After a while)

SA: Actually, it isn’t a specific monster, any monster can be called the Rakks Kukkosh. So it can actually be anything I guess.

My thoughts:

I guess monsters that eat children is a common trope in Bengali folklore. Although that is likely the case for most folklore monsters. The core social function of monsters in most cultures is to teach children to not be stupid and do dangerous things. So in this case it is likely supposed to teach children to not be distracted by noises and stray away from their parents. As for the later component, there are many monster names that can be generalized to mean any monster later when they become more prevalent in the culture. So while the Rakks Kukkosh could have at one point pointed at a specific monster, it’s name has likely been generalized to signify any monster.