Muttaliku – A Synonym For Vampyre

The word “Muttaliku” added to the SA VC Dictionary of Vampyre Culture in February 2014.

A Proposal by Samael Anathan, Senator (SAVA), with contributions from Octarine Valur, Regent (SAVA).


“Through the actions of the SAVA, the South African Vampyre Community recently adopted new terminology for the Donors in the community and some other terms relating to certain aspects within the vampire community as a whole (refer to

In this light new terms for the classification of the group in its entirety might be required. This is my suggestion as laid out in this proposal.” – Samael Anathan.

” Throughout the history of the Vampyre Community, Vampyre-kind has been plagued by the stigma attached to the words ‘vampire’ and ‘vampyre’, regardless of attempts to explain away the differences between fictional and real Vampyres.

This proposal is not to “reinvent the wheel” as it were, or to replace our identification as Vampyres entirely with another term, but simply to offer an additional alternative way of looking at ourselves as individuals with vampyric needs without shining the glare of Hollywood fiction on it and muddying the issue entirely.

The intention is to encourage a mind-shift in both the VC and those outside, by adopting a convention which encourages individual participants to accept their vampyric nature, but to also look beyond the modern fictional undead archetype to the strangely more apt and fitting descriptions of the ancient past – descriptions which have not yet been tainted by fictional writings.

In so doing we will not stop being ‘Vampyres’, but we will stop resembling ‘silver-screen wannabes.'” – Octarine Valur.


The term “vampire” brings images of old folk tales pertaining to undead immortal monsters or brooding sparkly creatures seeking love and happiness while feasting on the blood of humans. The term is also applied by the media liberally and often inaccurately to killers and all manner of criminals from whom most typically our community and all those who speak responsibly for it, distances itself.

Although fiction does not always stray too far from reality, our search for community, acceptance and even love in the world – and within the confines of our community has left us and our vampyric nature wandering and searching for a ‘home’.

With this in mind – and with the recent adoption of some ancient Sumerian terminology within the South African Vampyre Community – terms which have begun to be accepted and used by our community, the addition of other Sumerian terms which are not idealized or stigmatized by fiction, or roleplay – or the mass media, is proposed for your consideration.

The word that is suggested as a partial alternative to identify our vampyric nature is “Muttaliku”.

Etymology of “Muttaliku”:

Muttaliku – pronunciation “moo-tally-koo” in South African English.

“This term was referenced ( about a century ago in Montague Summers’ ‘Vampires, their Kith and Kin’, in which it was defined as a Vampyric spirit, lost and wandering attempting to find it’s ‘home’ – feeding on the life-force and blood of the living, but without killing them.

This is a striking contrast between most modern fiction, modern criminal-reporting trends in the media and the concept of a vampyric entity that goes about its business – but does it without killing.

Although scholars contest the meaning of the word due to the lack of quoted reference to a source for this translation, and since no other mention of this word has apparently surfaced in any other ancient Sumerian texts, the word has made somewhat of an impact as a possible reference to a ancient Sumerian vampire spirit.

For us as a community and personally, I think that “a wanderer spirit, lost in the dark trying to find a place to call home, and happens to be vampyric in nature” rings true to us on a personal level as well as on the level of a new community trying to find our place in the global arena. It is a word free of the illusions, stigma and the expectations that fiction has placed upon our shoulders.

The reason I favor the term so much, is because there is an obscure reference to it 100 yrs ago – an obscure reference by a notable writer in the field of vampirology and vampire myth and lore, which although obscure, means no pre-existing fictional images, ideas, ideals or ideals are coupled to the meaning of it. It is simply a wandering vampyric spirit.

This provides a clean slate, short of inventing a new word or term altogether, a word and the concept that goes with it that can be molded to our needs.

‘Muttaliku’ is a word which we as individuals and a community can shape and make part of our image of what it truly means to be what we are. A new beginning, a rebirth of the nature.”

Other Alternatives (& Why They Won’t Work):

Previous attempts to change the “label” by which we identify, both to ourselves and to the world have been mostly unsuccessful.

  • One example is the word ‘Kindred’, which became so passe’ and cliche’d in the 1990’s when the White Wolf game “Vampire: the Masquerade” came on the scene and then suddenly all Vampyres were ‘Kindred’, even the lifestylers and posers and again the VC was stymied. Many of us still use the term ‘Kindred’, but this has devolved to evoke the image of the roleplaying gamer and lifestyler rather than the real self-identifying Vampyre or vampyric person.
  • Another Mespotamian alternative is the group of terms applied to spirit entities called ‘lilim’. While these may tie into the root of the legend of Lilith who is seen as the ‘Mother of Vampyres” this too has too many fictional connotations, especially when one refers to the White Wolf legacy which explored this angle to absurd lengths, producing some very detailed and even believable material – but tainting it with the hue of fiction and LARPing.
  • The myths of vampyric entities, called Akh’kharu and Ekkimu, described in the ancient Legend of Adapa – one being malevolent and the other benevolent towards humans, was also considered previously. Some groups in the broader VC do use Akh’kharu to describe themselves as Vampyres – however whichever of these two terms is used, the usage polarizes them as being either ‘malevolent’ or ‘benevolent’, creating an ‘us or them’ paradigm. It is my contention that this is not desirable or appropriate. We want a term which includes both yin and yang, since all of us as complete and awakened individuals are (or should be) comfortable with both light and dark sides of our nature.
  • Also, since other groups are already known to use one or the other of these terms, these alternatives do not suit our purpose in building a truly unique and ‘local is lekker’ VC culture.

This is what led my research to the term ‘Muttaliku’.

Conclusion &Implications:

The adoption of this term will NOT imply that suddenly all Vampyres in the SA VC or SAVA will have to drop all other terms and their uses, or that SA VC groups will suddenly have to change their names to replace ‘Vampyre’ with ‘Muttaliku’. No, this is not the aim of the exercise at all.

We do not want to discard our identity, or to take away from it – rather we want to add to it, enrich it, and to expand our participants minds, extend their grasp of what it means to identify as a vampyric person, as well as further developing our own unique culture here in South Africa, rather than to just follow the trends set by other communities around the world.

Usage of the term would simply enter the mainstream local VC dictionary, and general use could be anticipated within six months of release, being announced in articles, included on the Culture website, used in subsequent articles, and so forth.

A minor amount of criticism is understandable and may be expected more from a few individuals in the international arena than in the local sense.


This project and research was compiled by Samael Anathan, and edited and contributed to by Octarine Valur.


Sumerian Lexicon Version 3.0 by John A. Halloran

The Vampire: His Kith And Kin by Montague Summers

Temple of Sumer online resource.

Further Reading:

Original SAVA Proposal Document

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