- “Jumanji! Jumanji! Jumanji! Jumanji! Jumanji! Jumanji! Jumanji! Jumanji! Jumanji!...”
- —Manjis chanting in the opening titles
The Manji Tribe are an indigenous, savage but intelligent tribe of warrior tribal masks and one of the main recurring inhabitant groups of Jumanji residents. Depending on their mood and customs, they are not entirely villainous but can become dangerous if offended and will attempt to hunt, cook and eat human beings who provoked them. The Manjis are "fearsome, bloodthirsty warriors who no man may call friend" led by a chief known as "Tribal Bob" used in lieu of his probably unpronounceable name, that made friends with Peter Shepherd when they first met, although the trio have been prone to angering the tribe under the wrong circumstances.
Appearance and traits
The Manjis are small and squat people that wear very large tribal mass that cover their entire torso. They speak their own unique language composed of whistles, hums, rasps and clicks akin to Zulu, which Alan Parrish and Peter Shepherd can understand and speak back, yet Judy Shepherd cannot. The language is complicated as it has several different words for death. They are good builders as they built their village from grass and wood, constructed a booby trapped temple to keep the key to Jumanji's back dooe and had a war canoe for sailing upriver.
During the Masked Identity, Peter Shepherd becomes more and more enamored with their lifestyle, and is finally invited to join them. During a weird ritual, he enters a bubbling cauldron and emerges with a mask of his own, which becomes his body when he puts it on. The longer he spends as a Manji, the less he remembers ever being a human, and can only change back if he willingly removes the mask himself. They never explain if this is a special case or if all the Manjis used to be human, but it is implied that the Manji are the results of Jumanji game players that never solved their clue or gave up trying and indeed left their world behind. Dr. Cahill considers them "little people", but people still. Another clue that makes this theory plausible is that unlike some Jumanji residents, the Manjis can be killed by Jumanji's animals like past Jumanji players Alan refers to that apparently never survived their turn, Van Pelt even having child-like and masked trophies on his wall.
Manjis are known to dislike thieves, dishonesty and screamers and kill anyone that does scream at them. Tribal Bob shows admiration for honesty and personally thanked Peter for saving him from being butted by Van Pelt when they first met. Their customs are sacred to them and demand anyone that displeases them to undo their mistake or pay for it with their lives, such as handing the Monkey Puzzle back which they claimed to be theirs or when Peter ruined their village as a giant even though he was trying to save them from an attack. Whenever humbled, Manjis drop their spears and kneel down, bowing in submitted respect. They could understandably be scared away from the terrifying presence of the Stalker, but act on their own accordance such as when the tribe united against Van Pelt, Trader Slick and Professor Ibsen to save Judy and Peter to exact revenge for the trio shoving Tribal Bob in the mud earlier. After making a successful hunt, they cook their kill over fires at night and share portions equally among the company.
Other tribes?In Brantford: The Game, the trio discover a Brantford stylised board game inside the Temple of the Skiwans, who apparently found a way out of Jumanji's realm. When the trio played Brantford: The Game, they discovered a paralleled mockery version of Brantford, where a tribe of Manjis inhabited the school, their leader in the guise of Rock (even featured on the Brantford game box's painting). They worshiped the janitors keys and behaved like typical school bullies when playing piggy in the middle with the trio, but when the keys were speared out of reach from them, the Manjis bowed in respect when Alan told them he promised to return them to the "sky gods".
In The Riddle of Alan, bizarre version of the common Manjis, known as The River Source Manjis are different Manji tribe living in a remote mountain area with face-masks fashioned after Alan's face. They are bizarre even by Jumanji standards, and nothing about them is ever explained. They are also called Manjis, but it is clear that they are not the same Manjis since their leader resembles Tribal Bob, but with brown beard and hair. They still carry spears, but are adorned with brown flocks resembling Alan's hair. Unlike the common Manjis, the River Source tribe cannot be reasoned with. Their land according to a (normal) Manji legend "holds a truth" and is surrounded by thick mist and their entrance to the show has them emerging from it.
They want to burn Alan in a volcano because they think Jumanji is an evil place, that he created Jumanji, and that killing him will bring Jumanji to an end. They may look like Alan and their sacred relic bears Alan's face, but they want to kill him, not worship him. Before sacrificing Alan, they dress him in a giant rat skin and put long claws on his hands. The common Manjis run away in fear when Alan appears in his suit.
Manjis are hunter gatherers, therefore they arm themselves when leaving their village to take on prey. They tend to carry skull topped staffs as part of their culture and often use long, powerful flint spears when hunting. When hunting, they will cooperate to bring down their prey, normally by encircling them to cut off any retreat, even if the foe is much larger than Manjis are or armed individuals like Van Pelt. The Manji have expert tracking skills as shown when Tribal Bob could follow the trail of Alan Parrish by sniffing food he had eaten.
The Manjis are also capable of healing the sick or injured by using the practise of voodoo arts, especially by the Manji witch doctor, who's doll can tend to injures and gain telekinetic control of the patient when it has a strand of the patients hair tied round its neck. However, the voodoo doll fuelled by powerful Jumanji rubies which are guarded by enormous Jumanji bees, and the voodoo will diminish if the doll does not have a ruby in its tummy. The Manji also find Mosquitos useful in medicinal purposes, as Tribal Bob planted a wooden carving in Peter's hair as a clue to help him and Judy figure out how to save Alan from the poisonous bite.
In addition, "The Plague" shows that the Manjis can be infected by human diseases and get cured with human medicine from the outside world. They believed that Dr. Cahill was an evil witch doctor who brought this curse upon them and threatened to destroy him. Peter disguised Cahill as "Wanji" witch doctor to help rid them of the disease outbreak, fortunately such a tribe as Wanjis exist when Tribal Bob acknowledges their existence.
Tribal Bob appears in the 1997 LCD Hasbro handheld game, as one of five possible dangers in the game. With his huge war mask, Bob is very scary indeed. He can be defeated by a spare or a rifle. If the players decides to roll the dice against him, the dice must match anything from a 1 up to a 7.
|Books||Novel • Film novel • Zathura|
|Media||1995 film • TV Series • Zathura: A Space Adventure • Welcome to the Jungle • Jumanji 3|
|Games||Board Game • Jigsaw • Trading Cards • LCD Game • PC Game • PS2 Game|