Philippine Folk Tales
Compiled and Annotated
Mabel Cook Cole
Illustrations from Photographs by
A.C. McClurg & Co.
From time to time since the American occupation of the Islands, Philippine folk-tales have appeared in scientific publications, but never, so far as the writer is aware, has there been an attempt to offer to the general public a comprehensive popular collection of this material. It is my earnest hope that this collection of tales will give those who are interested opportunity to learn something of the magic, superstitions, and weird customs of the Filipinos, and to feel the charm of their wonder-world as it is pictured by these dark-skinned inhabitants of our Island possessions.
In company with my husband, who was engaged in ethnological work for the Field Museum of Natural History, it was my good fortune to spend four years among the wild tribes of the Philippines, During this time we frequently heard these stories, either related by the people in their homes and around the camp fires or chanted by the pagan priests in communion with the spirits. The tales are now published in this little volume, with the addition of a few folk-legends that have appeared in the Journal of American Folk-Lore and in scientific publications, here retold with some additions made by native story-tellers.
I have endeavored to select typical tales from tribes widely separated and varying in culture from savagery to a rather high degree of development. The stories [vi]are therefore divided into five groups, as follows: Tinguian, Igorot, the Wild Tribes of Mindanao, Moro, and Christian,
The first two groups, Tinguian and Igorot, are from natives who inhabit the rugged mountain region of northwestern Luzon. From time immemorial they have been zealous head-hunters, and the stories teem with references to customs and superstitions connected with their savage practices. By far the largest number belong to the Tinguian group. In order to appreciate these tales to the fullest extent, we must understand the point of view of the Tinguian. To him they embody all the known traditions of “the first times”—of the people who inhabited the earth before the present race appeared, of the ancient heroes and their powers and achievements. In them he finds an explanation of and reason for many of his present laws and customs.
A careful study of the whole body of Tinguian mythology points to the conclusion that the chief characters of these tales are not celestial beings but typical, generalized heroes of former ages, whose deeds have been magnified in the telling by many generations of their descendants. These people of “the first times” practiced magic. They talked with jars, created human beings out of betel-nuts, raised the dead, and had the power of changing themselves into other forms. This, however, does not seem strange or impossible to the Tinguian of today, for even now they talk with jars, perform certain rites to bring sickness and death to their foes, and are warned by omens received [vii]through the medium of birds, thunder and lightning, or the condition of the liver of a slaughtered animal. They still converse freely with certain spirits who during religious ceremonies are believed to use the bodies of men or women as mediums for the purpose of advising and instructing the people.
Several of the characters appear in story after story. Sometimes they go under different names, but in the minds of the story-tellers their personality and relationships are definitely established. Thus Ini-init of the first tale becomes Kadayadawan in the second, Aponitolau in the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth, and Ligi in the seventh. Kanag, the son of Aponitolau and Aponibolinayen, in the fifth tale is called Dumalawi.
These heroes had most unusual relations with the heavenly bodies, all of which seem to have been regarded as animate beings. In the fourth tale Aponitolau marries Gaygayoma, the star maiden who is the daughter of the big star and the moon. In the first story the same character under the name of Ini-init seems to be a sun-god: we are told that he is “the sun,” and again “a round stone which rolls.” Thereupon we might conclude that he is a true solar being; yet in the other tales of this collection and in many more known to the Tinguian he reveals no celestial qualities. Even in the first story he abandons his place in the sky and goes to live on earth.
In the first eight stories we read of many customs of “the first times” which differ radically from those of the present. But a careful analysis of all the known [viii]lore of this people points to the belief that many of these accounts depict a period when similar customs did exist among the people, or else were practiced by emigrants who generations ago became amalgamated with the Tinguian and whose strange customs finally became attributed to the people of the tales. The stories numbered nine to sixteen are of a somewhat different type, and in them the Tinguian finds an explanation of many things, such as, how the people learned to plant, and to cure diseases, where they secured the valuable jars and beads, and why the moon has spots on its face. All these stories are fully believed, the beads and jars are considered precious, and the places mentioned are definitely known. While the accounts seem to be of fairly recent origin they conflict neither with the fundamental ideas and traditions of “the first times” nor with the beliefs of today.
Stories seventeen to twenty-three are regarded as fables and are told to amuse the children or to while away the midday hours when the people seek shaded spots to lounge or stop on the trail to rest. Most of them are known to the Christianized tribes throughout the Islands and show great similarity to the tales found in the islands to the south and, in some cases, in Europe. In many of them the chief incidents are identical with those found elsewhere, but the story-tellers, by introducing old customs and beliefs, have moulded and colored them until they reflect the common ideas of the Tinguian.
The third group includes stories from several wild tribes who dwell in the large island of Mindanao. [ix]Here are people who work in brass and steel, build good dwellings, and wear hemp clothing elaborately decorated with beads, shell disks, and embroidery, but who still practice many savage customs, including slavery and human sacrifice.
The fourth division gives two tales from the Moro (hardy Malayan warriors whose ancestors early became converts to the faith of Mohammed). Their teachers were the Arabian traders who, about 1400, succeeded in converting many of the Malay Islanders to the faith of the prophet.
The last group contains the stories of the Christianized natives—those who accepted the rule of Spain and with it the Catholic religion. Their tales, while full of local color, nevertheless show the influence of the European tutors. They furnish an excellent opportunity to contrast the literature of the savage head-hunters with that of the Moro and Christian tribes and to observe how various recent influences have modified the beliefs of people who not many centuries ago were doubtless of a uniform grade of culture. It is interesting, too, to note that European tales brought into the Islands by Mohammedan and Christian rulers and traders have been worked over until, at first glance, they now appear indigenous.
Owing to local coloring, these tales have various forms. Still we find many incidents which are held in common by all the tribes of the Archipelago and even by the people of Borneo, Java, Sumatra, and India. Some of these similarities and parallelisms are indicated in the foot-notes throughout the book.[xi]
Group I: Tinguian
Aponibolinayen and the Sun6
Gawigawen of Adasen25
The Story of Gaygayoma Who Lives up Above37
The Story of Dumalawi44
The Story of Kanag50
The Story of Tikgi56
The Story of Sayen60
The Sun and the Moon65
How the Tinguian Learned to Plant66
The Tree with the Agate Beads71
The Striped Blanket73
The Alan and the Hunters74
The Man and the Alan77
The Mistaken Gifts82
The Boy Who Became a Stone84
The Turtle and the Lizard86
The Man with the Cocoanuts88
The Carabao and the Shell89
The Alligator’s Fruit90
Group II: Igorot
The Flood Story102[xii]
Lumawig on Earth105
How the First Head Was Taken111
The Serpent Eagle113
The Tattooed Men115
Tilin, the Rice Bird117
Group III: The Wild Tribes of Mindanao
How the Moon and Stars Came to Be124
The Flood Story125
How Children Became Monkeys130
Bulanawan and Aguio131
The Story of the Creation139
In the Beginning141
The Children of the Limokon143
The Sun and the Moon145
The Widow’s Son147[xiii]
Group IV: Moro
Mythology of Mindanao157
The Story of Bantugan163
Group V: The Christianized Tribes
The Monkey and the Turtle176
The Poor Fisherman and His Wife179
The Presidente Who Had Horns181
The Story of a Monkey183
The White Squash185
The Creation Story187
The Story of Benito189
The Adventures of Juan196
Juan Gathers Guavas200
The Sun and the Moon201
The First Monkey202
The Virtue of the Cocoanut204
Why Dogs Wag Their Tails210
The Hawk and the Hen212
The Spider and the Fly214
The Battle of the Crabs215
Pronunciation of Philippine Names217
A Tinguian gentlemanfrontispiece
Returning from the hunt26
Hunting with the blowgun27
Sugar cane press40
Vats for boiling sugar cane juice40
Making a harrow41
Elevated living rooms reached by ladders56
Cocoanut trees tower above the homes56
Section of a Tinguian village57
A settlement in the mountains57
The talking jars68
Playing the nose flute68
Tinguian potters at work69
Seeding and combing cotton69
Rice terraces in the mountains91
A rice field91
Type of Mandaya tree house124
Swinging bridge over Padada river125
A net maker160
Bringing water from the stream160
Bagobos, Davao, Mindanao161
A rice granary196
Methods of transportation197
A store in a Christianized village197
The dim light of stars filtered through the leafy canopy above us, and the shadowy form of our guide once more appeared at my horse’s head. It was only for an instant, however, and then we were plunged again into the inky darkness of a tropical jungle.
We had planned to reach the distant Tinguian village in the late afternoon, but had failed to reckon with the deliberateness of native carriers. It was only by urging our horses that we were able to ford the broad Abra ere the last rays of the sun dropped behind the mountains. And then, in this land of no twilights, night had settled quickly over us.
We had made our way up the mountain-side, through the thick jungle, only to find that the trail, long imperceptible to us, had escaped even the keen eyes of our guide. For several hours we wandered about, lost in the darkness.
On and on we went, through narrow paths, steep in places, and made rough and dangerous by sharp rocks as well as by those long creepers of the jungle whose thorny fingers are ever ready to seize horse or rider. Occasionally we came out of the forest, only to cross rocky mountain streams; or perhaps it was the same stream that we crossed many times. Our horses, becoming weary and uncertain of foot, grew more and more reluctant to plunge into the dark, swiftly flowing water. And our patience was nearly exhausted when we at last caught sight of dim lights in the valley below. Half an hour later we rode into Manabo.
I shall never forget that first picture. It was a weird spectacle. Coming out of the darkness, we were almost convinced that we had entered a new world. Against the blackness of the night, grass-roofed houses stood outlined in the dim light of a bonfire; and squatting around that fire, unclad save for gay blankets wrapped about their shoulders, were brown-skinned men smoking long pipes, while women bedecked with bright beads were spinning cotton. As they worked in the flickering light, they stretched their distaffs at arm’s length into the air like witches waving their wands; and with that the elfland picture was complete.
In the stillness of the night a single voice could be heard reciting some tale in a singsong tone, which was interrupted only when peals of laughter burst forth from the listeners, or when a scrawny dog rose to bark at an imaginary noise until the shouts of the men quieted him and he returned to his bed in the warm ashes. Later we learned that these were the regular social gatherings of the Tinguian, and every night during the dry season one or more of these bonfires were to be seen in the village.
After we had attained to the footing of welcome guests in these circles, we found that a good story-teller was always present, and, while the men smoked, the women spun, and the dogs slept, he entertained us with tales of heroes who knew the magic of the betel-nut, or with stories of spirits and their power over the lives of men.
The following are some of the tales heard first around the camp fire of the distant mountain village.
Aponibolinayen and the Sun
One day Aponibolinayen and her sister-in-law went out to gather greens. They walked to the woods to the place where the siksiklat grew, for the tender leaves of this vine are very good to eat. Suddenly while searching about in the underbrush, Aponibolinayen cried out with joy, for she had found the vine, and she started to pick the leaves. Pull as hard as she would, however, the leaves did not come loose, and all at once the vine wound itself around her body and began carrying her upward.1
Far up through the air she went until she reached the sky, and there the vine set her down under a tree. Aponibolinayen was so surprised to find herself in the sky that for some time she just sat and looked around, and then, hearing a rooster crow, she arose to see if she could find it. Not far from where she had sat was a beautiful spring surrounded by tall betel-nut trees whose tops were pure gold. Rare beads were the sands of the spring, and the place where the women set their jars when they came to dip water was a large golden plate. As Aponibolinayen stood admiring the beauties of this spring, she beheld a small house nearby, and she was filled with fear lest the owner should find her there. She looked about for some means of escape and finally climbed to the top of a betel-nut tree and hid.
Now the owner of this house was Ini-init,2 the Sun, but he was never at home in the daylight, for it was his duty to shine in the sky and give light to all the world. At the close of the day when the Big Star took his place in the sky to shine through the night, Ini-init returned to his house, but early the next morning he was always off again.
From her place in the top of the betel-nut tree, Aponibolinayen saw the Sun when he came home at evening time, and again the next morning she saw him leave. When she was sure that he was out of sight she climbed down and entered his dwelling, for she was very hungry. She cooked rice, and into a pot of boiling water she dropped a stick which immediately became fish,3 so that she had all she wished to eat. When she was no longer hungry, she lay down on the bed to sleep.
Now late in the afternoon Ini-init returned from his work and went to fish in the river near his house, and he caught a big fish. While he sat on the bank cleaning his catch, he happened to look up toward his house and was startled to see that it appeared to be on fire.4 He hurried home, but when he reached the house he saw that it was not burning at all, and he entered. On his bed he beheld what looked like a flame of fire, but upon going closer he found that it was a beautiful woman fast asleep.
Ini-init stood for some time wondering what he should do, and then he decided to cook some food and invite this lovely creature to eat with him. He put rice over the fire to boil and cut into pieces the fish he had caught. The noise of this awakened Aponibolinayen, and she slipped out of the house and back to the top of the betel-nut tree. The Sun did not see her leave, and when the food was prepared he called her, but the bed was empty and he had to eat alone. That night Ini-init could not sleep well, for all the time he wondered who the beautiful woman could be. The next morning, however, he rose as usual and set forth to shine in the sky, for that was his work.
That day Aponibolinayen stole again to the house of the Sun and cooked food, and when she returned to the betel-nut tree she left rice and fish ready for the Sun when he came home. Late in the afternoon Ini-init went into his home, and when he found pots of hot rice and fish over the fire he was greatly troubled. After he had eaten he walked a long time in the fresh air. “Perhaps it is done by the lovely woman who looks like a flame of fire,” he said. “If she comes again I will try to catch her.”
The next day the Sun shone in the sky as before, and when the afternoon grew late he called to the Big Star to hurry to take his place, for he was impatient to reach home. As he drew near the house he saw that it again looked as if it was on fire. He crept quietly up the ladder, and when he had reached the top he sprang in and shut the door behind him.
Aponibolinayen, who was cooking rice over the fire, was surprised and angry that she had been caught; but the Sun gave her betel-nut5 which was covered with gold, and they chewed together and told each other their names. Then Aponibolinayen took up the rice and fish, and as they ate they talked together and became acquainted.
After some time Aponibolinayen and the Sun were married, and every morning the Sun went to shine in the sky, and upon his return at night he found his supper ready for him. He began to be troubled, however, to know where the food came from, for though he brought home a fine fish every night, Aponibolinayen always refused to cook it.
One night he watched her prepare their meal, and he saw that, instead of using the nice fish he had brought, she only dropped a stick into the pot of boiling water.
“Why do you try to cook a stick?” asked Ini-init in surprise.
“So that we can have fish to eat,” answered his wife.
“If you cook that stick for a month, it will not be soft,” said Ini-init. “Take this fish that I caught in the net, for it will be good.”
But Aponibolinayen only laughed at him, and when they were ready to eat she took the cover off the pot and there was plenty of nice soft fish. The next night and the next, Aponibolinayen cooked the stick, and Ini-init became greatly troubled for he saw that though the stick always supplied them with fish, it never grew smaller.
Finally he asked Aponibolinayen again why it was that she cooked the stick instead of the fish he brought, and she said:
“Do you not know of the woman on earth who has magical power and can change things?”
“Yes,” answered the Sun, “and now I know that you have great power.”
“Well, then,” said his wife, “do not ask again why I cook the stick.”
And they ate their supper of rice and the fish which the stick made.
One night not long after this Aponibolinayen told her husband that she wanted to go with him the next day when he made light in the sky.
“Oh, no, you cannot,” said the Sun, “for it is very hot up there,6 and you cannot stand the heat.”
“We will take many blankets and pillows,” said the woman, “and when the heat becomes very great, I will hide under them.”
Again and again Ini-init begged her not to go, but as often she insisted on accompanying him, and early in the morning they set out, carrying with them many blankets and pillows.
First, they went to the East, and as soon as they arrived the Sun began to shine, and Aponibolinayen was with him. They traveled toward the West, but when morning had passed into noontime and they had reached the middle of the sky Aponibolinayen was so hot that she melted and became oil. Then Ini-init put her into a bottle and wrapped her in the blankets and pillows and dropped her down to earth.
Now one of the women of Aponibolinayen’s town was at the spring dipping water when she heard something fall near her. Turning to look, she beheld a bundle of beautiful blankets and pillows which she began to unroll, and inside she found the most beautiful woman she had ever seen. Frightened at her discovery, the woman ran as fast as she could to the town, where she called the people together and told them to come at once to the spring. They all hastened to the spot and there they found Aponibolinayen for whom they had been searching everywhere.
“Where have you been?” asked her father; “we have searched all over the world and we could not find you.’
“I have come from Pindayan,” answered Aponibolinayen. “Enemies of our people kept me there till I made my escape while they were asleep at night”
All were filled with joy that the lost one had returned, and they decided that at the next moon7 they would perform a ceremony for the spirits8 and invite all the relatives who were mourning for Aponibolinayen.
So they began to prepare for the ceremony, and while they were pounding rice, Aponibolinayen asked her mother to prick her little finger where it itched, and as she did so a beautiful baby boy popped out. The people were very much surprised at this, and they noticed that every time he was bathed the baby grew very fast so that, in a short time, he was able to walk. Then they were anxious to know who was the husband of Aponibolinayen, but she would not tell them, and they decided to invite everyone in the world to the ceremony that they might not overlook him.
They sent for the betel-nuts that were covered with gold,9 and when they had oiled them they commanded them to go to all the towns and compel the people to come to the ceremony.
“If anyone refuses to come, grow on his knee,” said the people, and the betel-nuts departed to do as they were bidden.
As the guests began to arrive, the people watched carefully for one who might be the husband of Aponibolinayen, but none appeared and they were greatly troubled. Finally they went to the old woman, Alokotan, who was able to talk with the spirits, and begged her to find what town had not been visited by the betel-nuts which had been sent to invite the people. After she had consulted the spirits the old woman said:
“You have invited all the people except Ini-init who lives up above. Now you must send a betel-nut to summon him. It may be that he is the husband of Aponibolinayen, for the siksiklat vine carried her up when she went to gather greens.”
So a betel-nut was called and bidden to summon Ini-init.
The betel-nut went up to the Sun, who was in his house, and said:
“Good morning, Sun. I have come to summon you to a ceremony which the father and mother of Aponibolinayen are making for the spirits. If you do not want to go, I will grow on your head.”10
“Grow on my head,” said the Sun. “I do not wish to go.”
So the betel-nut jumped upon his head and grew until it became so tall that the Sun was not able to carry it, and he was in great pain.
“Oh, grow on my pig,” begged the Sun. So the betel-nut jumped upon the pig’s head and grew, but it was so heavy that the pig could not carry it and squealed all the time. At last the Sun saw that he would have to obey the summons, and he said to the betel-nut:
“Get off my pig and I will go.”
So Ini-init came to the ceremony, and as soon as Aponibolinayen and the baby saw him, they were very happy and ran to meet him. Then the people knew that this was the husband of Aponibolinayen, and they waited eagerly for him to come up to them. As he drew near, however, they saw that he did not walk, for he was round; and then they perceived that he was not a man but a large stone. All her relatives were very angry to find that Aponibolinayen had married a stone; and they compelled her to take off her beads11 and her good clothes, for, they said, she must now dress in old clothes and go again to live with the stone.
So Aponibolinayen put on the rags that they brought her and at once set out with the stone for his home. No sooner had they arrived there, however, than he became a handsome man, and they were very happy.
Returning from the hunt
Returning from the hunt
“In one moon,” said the Sun, “we will make a ceremony for the spirits, and I will pay your father and mother the marriage price12 for you.”
This pleased Aponibolinayen very much, and they used magic so that they had many neighbors who came to pound rice13 for them and to build a large spirit house.14
Then they sent oiled betel-nuts to summon their relatives to the ceremony. The father of Aponibolinayen did not want to go, but the betel-nut threatened to grow on his knee if he did not. So he commanded all the people in the town to wash their hair and their clothes, and when all was ready they set out.
When they reached the town they were greatly surprised to find that the stone had become a man, and they chewed the magic betel-nuts to see who he might be. It was discovered that he was the son of a couple in Aponibolinayen’s own town, and the people all rejoiced that this couple had found the son whom they had thought lost. They named him Aponitolau, and his parents paid the marriage price for his wife—the spirit house nine times full of valuable jars.15
Hunting with the blowgun
Hunting with the blowgun
After that all danced and made merry for one moon, and when the people departed for their homes Ini-init and his wife went with them to live on the earth.
The most beautiful girl in all the world was Aponibolinayen of Nalpangan. Many young men had come to her brother, Aponibalagen, to ask for her hand in marriage, but he had refused them all, for he awaited one who possessed great power. Then it happened that the fame of her beauty spread over all the world till it reached even to Adasen; and in that place there lived a man of great power named Gawigawen.
Now Gawigawen, who was a handsome man, had sought among all the pretty girls but never, until he heard of the great beauty of Aponibolinayen, had he found one whom he wished to wed. Then he determined that she should be his wife; and he begged his mother to help him win her. So Dinawagen, the mother of Gawigawen, took her hat which looked like a sunbeam and set out at once for Nalpangan; and when she arrived there she was greeted by Ebang, the mother of the lovely maiden, who presently began to prepare food for them.16
She put the pot over the fire, and when the water boiled she broke up a stick and threw the pieces into the pot, and immediately they became fish. Then she brought basi17 in a large jar, and Dinawagen, counting the notches in the rim,18 perceived that the jar had been handed down through nine generations. They ate and drank together, and after they had finished the meal, Dinawagen told Aponibalagen of her son’s wishes, and asked if he was willing that his sister should marry Gawigawen. Aponibalagen, who had heard of the power of the suitor, at once gave his consent. And Dinawagen departed for home, leaving a gold cup as an engagement present.19
Gawigawen was watching at the door of his house for his mother’s return, and when she told him of her success, he was so happy that he asked all the people in the town to go with him the next day to Nalpangan to arrange the amount he must pay for his bride.20
Now the people of Nalpangan wanted a great price for this girl who was so beautiful, and the men of the two towns debated for a long time before they could come to an agreement. Finally, however, it was decided that Gawigawen should fill the spirit house eighteen times with valuable things; and when he had done this, they were all satisfied and went to the yard where they danced and beat on the copper gongs.21 All the pretty girls danced their best, and one who wore big jars about her neck made more noise than the others as she danced, and the jars sang “Kitol, kitol, kanitol; inka, inka, inkatol.”
But when Aponibolinayen, the bride of Gawigawen, came down out of the house to dance, the sunshine vanished, so beautiful was she; and as she moved about, the river came up into the town, and striped fish bit at her heels.
For three months the people remained here feasting and dancing, and then early one morning they took Aponibolinayen to her new home in Adasen. The trail that led from one town to the other had become very beautiful in the meantime: the grass and trees glistened with bright lights, and the waters of the tiny streams dazzled the eyes with their brightness as Aponibolinayen waded across. When they reached the spring of Gawigawen, they found that it, too, was more beautiful than ever before. Each grain of sand had become a bead, and the place where the women set their jars when they came to dip water had become a big dish.
Then said Aponibalagen to his people, “Go tell Gawigawen to bring an old man, for I want to make a spring for Aponibolinayen.”
So an old man was brought and Aponibalagen cut off his head and put it in the ground, and sparkling water bubbled up.22 The body he made into a tree to shade his sister when she came to dip water, and the drops of blood as they touched the ground were changed into valuable beads. Even the path from the spring to the house was covered with big plates, and everything was made beautiful for Aponibolinayen.
Now during all this time Aponibolinayen had kept her face covered so that she had never seen her husband, for although he was a handsome man, one of the pretty girls who was jealous of the bride had told her that he had three noses, and she was afraid to look at him.
After her people had all returned to their homes, she grew very unhappy, and when her mother-in-law commanded her to cook she had to feel her way around, for she would not uncover her face. Finally she became so sad that she determined to run away. One night when all were asleep, she used magical power and changed herself into oil.23 Then she slid through the bamboo floor and made her escape without anyone seeing her.
On and on she went until she came to the middle of the jungle, and then she met a wild rooster who asked her where she was going.
“I am running away from my husband,” replied Aponibolinayen, “for he has three noses and I do not want to live with him.”
“Oh,” said the rooster, “some crazy person must have told you that. Do not believe it. Gawigawen is a handsome man, for I have often seen him when he comes here to snare chickens.”24
But Aponibolinayen paid no heed to the rooster, and she went on until she reached a big tree where perched a monkey, and he also asked where she was going.
“I am running away from my husband,” answered the girl, “for he has three noses and I do not want to live with him.”
“Oh, do not believe that,” said the monkey. “Someone who told you that must have wanted to marry him herself, for he is a handsome man.”
Still Aponibolinayen went on until she came to the ocean, and then, as she could go no farther, she sat down to rest. As she sat there pondering what she should do, a carabao25 came along, and thinking that she would ride a while she climbed up on its back. No sooner had she done so than the animal plunged into the water and swam with her until they reached the other side of the great ocean.
There they came to a large orange tree, and the carabao told her to eat some of the luscious fruit while he fed on the grass nearby. As soon as he had left her, however, he ran straight to his master, Kadayadawan, and told him of the beautiful girl.
Kadayadawan was very much interested and quickly combed his hair and oiled it, put on his striped coat26 and belt, and went with the carabao to the orange tree. Aponibolinayen, looking down from her place in the tree, was surprised to see a man coming with her friend, the carabao, but as they drew near, she began talking with him, and soon they became acquainted. Before long, Kadayadawan had persuaded the girl to become his wife, and he took her to his home. From that time every night his house looked as if it was on fire, because of the beauty of his bride.
After they had been married for some time, Kadayadawan and Aponibolinayen decided to make a ceremony27 for the spirits, so they called the magic betel-nuts28 and oiled them and said to them,
“Go to all the towns and invite our relatives to come to the ceremony which we shall make. If they do not want to come, then grow on their knees until they are willing to attend.”
So the betel-nuts started in different directions and one went to Aponibalagen in Nalpangan and said,
“Kadayadawan is making a ceremony for the spirits, and I have come to summon you to attend.”
“We cannot go,” said Aponibalagen, “for we are searching for my sister who is lost”
“You must come,” replied the betel-nut, “or I shall grow on your knee,”
“Grow on my pig,” answered Aponibalagen; so the betel-nut went on to the pig’s back and grew into a tall tree, and it became so heavy that the pig could not carry it, but squealed all the time.
Then Aponibalagen, seeing that he must obey, said to the betel-nut,
“Get off my pig, and we will go.”
The betel-nut got off the pig’s back, and the people started for the ceremony. When they reached the river, Gawigawen was there waiting to cross, for the magic nuts had forced him to go also. Then Kadayadawan, seeing them, sent more betel-nuts to the river, and the people were carried across by the nuts.
As soon as they reached the town the dancing began, and while Gawigawen was dancing with Aponibolinayen he seized her and put her in his belt.29 Kadayadawan, who saw this, was so angry that he threw his spear and killed Gawigawen. Then Aponibolinayen escaped and ran into the house, and her husband brought his victim back to life, and asked him why he had seized the wife of his host. Gawigawen explained that she was his wife who had been lost, and the people were very much surprised, for they had not recognized her at first.
Then all the people discussed what should be done to bring peace between the two men, and it was finally decided that Kadayadawan must pay both Aponibalagen and Gawigawen the price that was first demanded for the beautiful girl.
After this was done all were happy; and the guardian spirit of Kadayadawan gave them a golden house in which to live.
Gawigawen of Adasen
Aponibolinayen was sick with a headache, and she lay on a mat alone in her house. Suddenly she remembered some fruit that she had heard of but had never seen, and she said to herself, “Oh, I wish I had some of the oranges of Gawigawen of Adasen.”
Now Aponibolinayen did not realize that she had spoken aloud, but Aponitolau, her husband, lying in the spirit house30 outside, heard her talking and asked what it was she said. Fearing to tell him the truth lest he should risk his life in trying to get the oranges for her, she said: “I wish I had some biw” (a fruit).
Aponitolau at once got up, and, taking a sack, went out to find some of the fruit for his wife. When he returned with the sack full, she said:
“Put it on the bamboo hanger above the fire, and when my head is better I will eat it.”
So Aponitolau put the fruit on the hanger and returned to the spirit house, but when Aponibolinayen tried to eat, the fruit made her sick and she threw it away.
“What is the matter?” called Aponitolau as he heard her drop the fruit.
“I merely dropped one,” she replied, and returned to her mat.
After a while Aponibolinayen again said:
“Oh, I wish I had some of the oranges of Gawigawen of Adasen,” and Aponitolau, who heard her from the spirit house, inquired:
“What is that you say?”
“I wish I had some fish eggs,” answered his wife; for she did not want him to know the truth.
Then Aponitolau took his net and went to the river, determined to please his wife if possible. When he had caught a nice fish he opened it with his knife and took out the eggs. Then he spat on the place he had cut, and it was healed and the fish swam away.31
Pleased that he was able to gratify his wife’s wishes, he hastened home with the eggs; and while his wife was roasting them over the fire, he returned to the spirit house. She tried to eat, but the eggs did not taste good to her, and she threw them down under the house to the dogs.
“What is the matter?” called Aponitolau. “Why are the dogs barking?”
“I dropped some of the eggs,” replied his wife, and she went back to her mat.
By and by she again said:
“I wish I had some of the oranges of Gawigawen of Adasen.”
But when her husband asked what she wished, she replied:
“I want a deer’s liver to eat”
So Aponitolau took his dogs to the mountains, where they hunted until they caught a deer, and when he had cut out its liver he spat on the wound, and it was healed so that the deer ran away.
But Aponibolinayen could not eat the liver any more than she could the fruit or the fish eggs; and when Aponitolau heard the dogs barking, he knew that she had thrown it away. Then he grew suspicious and, changing himself into a centipede,32 hid in a crack in the floor. And when his wife again wished for some of the oranges, he overheard her.
“Why did you not tell me the truth, Aponibolinayen?” he asked.
“Because,” she replied, “no one Who has gone to Adasen has ever come back, and I did not want you to risk your life.”
Nevertheless Aponitolau determined to go for the oranges, and he commanded his wife to bring him rice straw. After he had burned it he put the ashes in the water with which he washed his hair.33 Then she brought cocoanut oil and rubbed his hair, and fetched a dark clout, a fancy belt, and a head-band, and she baked cakes for him to take on the journey. Aponitolau cut a vine34 which he planted by the stove,35 and told his wife that if the leaves wilted she would know that he was dead. Then he took his spear and head-ax36 and started on the long journey.
When Aponitolau arrived at the well of a giantess, all the betel-nut trees bowed. Then the giantess shouted and all the world trembled. “How strange,” thought Aponitolau, “that all the world shakes when that woman shouts.” But he continued on his way without stopping.
As he passed the place of the old woman, Alokotan, she sent out her little dog and it bit his leg.
“Do not proceed,” said the old woman, “for ill luck awaits you. If you go on, you will never return to your home.”
Sugar cane press
Sugar cane press
Vats for boiling sugar cane juice
Vats for boiling sugar cane juice
But Aponitolau paid no attention to the old woman, and by and by he came to the home of the lightning.
“Where are you going?” asked the lightning.
“I am going to get some oranges of Gawigawen of Adasen,” replied Aponitolau.
“Go stand on that high rock that I may see what your sign is,” commanded the lightning.
So he stood on the high rock, but when the lightning flashed Aponitolau dodged.
“Do not go,” said the lightning, “for you have a bad sign, and you will never come back.”
Still Aponitolau did not heed.
Soon he arrived at the place of Silit (loud thunder),37 who also asked him:
“Where are you going, Aponitolau?”
“I am going to get oranges of Gawigawen of Adasen,” he replied.
Then the thunder commanded:
“Stand on that high stone so that I can see if you have a good sign.”
He stood on the high stone, and when the thunder made a loud noise he jumped. Whereupon Silit also advised him not to go on.
In spite of all the warnings, Aponitolau continued his journey, and upon coming to the ocean he used magical power, so that when he stepped on his head-ax it sailed away, carrying him far across the sea to the other side. Then after a short walk he came to a spring where women were dipping water, and he asked what spring it was.
Making a harrow
Making a harrow
“This is the spring of Gawigawen of Adasen,” replied the women. “And who are you that you dare come here?”
Without replying he went on toward the town, but he found that he could not go inside, for it was surrounded by a bank which reached almost to the sky.
While he stood with bowed head pondering what he should do, the chief of the spiders came up and asked why he was so sorrowful.
“I am sad,” answered Aponitolau, “because I cannot climb up this bank.”
Then the spider went to the top and spun a thread,38 and upon this Aponitolau climbed up into town.
Now Gawigawen was asleep in his spirit house, and when he awoke and saw Aponitolau sitting near, he was surprised and ran toward his house to get his spear and head-ax, but Aponitolau called to him, saying:
“Good morning, Cousin Gawigawen. Do not be angry; I only came to buy some of your oranges for my wife.”
Then Gawigawen took him to the house and brought a whole carabao39 for him to eat, and he said:
“If you cannot eat all the carabao, you cannot have the oranges for your wife.”
Aponitolau grew very sorrowful, for he knew that he could not eat all the meat, but just at that moment the chief of the ants and flies came to him and inquired what was the trouble. As soon as he was told, the chief called all the ants and flies and they ate the whole carabao. Aponitolau, greatly relieved, went then to Gawigawen and said:
“I have finished eating the food which you gave me.”
Gawigawen was greatly surprised at this, and, leading the way to the place where the oranges grew, he told Aponitolau to climb the tree and get all he wanted.
As he was about to ascend the tree Aponitolau noticed that the branches were sharp knives, so he went as carefully as he could. Nevertheless, when he had secured two oranges, he stepped on one of the knives and was cut. He quickly fastened the fruit to his spear, and immediately it flew away straight to his town and into his house.
Aponibolinayen was just going down the bamboo ladder out of the house, and hearing something drop on the floor she went back to look and found the oranges from Adasen. She eagerly ate the fruit, rejoicing that her husband had been able to reach the place where they grew. Then she thought to look at the vine, whose leaves were wilted, and she knew that her husband was dead.
Soon after this a son was born to Aponibolinayen, and she called his name Kanag. He grew rapidly, becoming a strong lad, and he was the bravest of all his companions. One day while Kanag was playing out in the yard, he spun his top and it struck the garbage pot of an old woman, who became very angry and cried:
“If you were a brave boy, you would get your father whom Gawigawen killed.”
Kanag ran to the house crying, and asked his mother what the old woman meant, for he had never heard the story of his father’s death. As soon as he learned what had happened, the boy determined to search for his father, and, try as she would, his mother could not dissuade him.
As he was departing through the gate of the town with his spear and head-ax, Kanag struck his shield and it sounded like a thousand warriors.
“How brave that boy is!” said the surprised people. “He is braver even than his father.”
When he reached the spring of the giantess, he again struck his shield and shouted so that the whole world trembled. Then the giantess said:
“I believe that someone is going to fight, and he will have success.”
As soon as Kanag reached the place where the old woman, Alokotan, lived, she sent her dog after him, but with one blow of his head-ax he cut off the dog’s head. Then Alokotan asked where he was going, and when he had told her, she said:
“Your father is dead, but I believe that you will find him, for you have a good sign.”
He hurried on and arrived at the place where lightning was, and it asked:
“Where are you going, little boy?”
“I am going to Adasen to get my father,” answered Kanag.
“Go stand on that high rock that I may see what your sign is,” said the lightning.
So he stood on the high rock, and when the bright flash came he did not move, and the lightning bade him hasten on, as he had a good sign.
The thunder, which saw him passing, also called to ask where he was going, and it commanded him to stand on the high rock. And when the thunder made a loud noise Kanag did not move, and it bade him go on, as his sign was good.
The women of Adasen were at the spring of Gawigawen dipping water, when suddenly they were startled by a great noise. They rose up, expecting to see a thousand warriors coming near; but though they looked all around they could see nothing but a young boy striking a shield.
“Good morning, women who are dipping water,” said Kanag. “Tell Gawigawen that he must prepare, for I am coming to fight him.”
So all the women ran up to the town and told Gawigawen that a strange boy was at the spring and he had come to fight.
“Go and tell him,” said Gawigawen, “that if it is true that he is brave, he will come into the town, if he can.”
When Kanag reached the high bank outside the town, he jumped like a flitting bird up the bank into the town and went straight to the spirit house of Gawigawen. He noticed that the roofs of both the dwelling and the spirit houses were of hair, and that around the town were many heads,40 and he pondered:
“This is why my father did not return. Gawigawen is a brave man, but I will kill him.”
As soon as Gawigawen saw him in the yard he said:
“How brave you are, little boy; why did you come here?”
“I came to get my father,” answered Kanag; “for you kept him when he came to get oranges for my mother. If you do not give him to me, I will kill you.”
Gawigawen laughed at this brave speech and said:
“Why, one of my fingers will fight you. You shall never go back to your town, but you shall stay here and be like your father.”
“We shall see,” said Kanag. “Bring your arms and let us fight here in the yard.”
Gawigawen was beside himself with rage at this bold speech, and he brought his spear and his head-ax which was as big as half the sky. Kanag would not throw first, for he wanted to prove himself brave, so Gawigawen took aim and threw his head-ax at the boy. Now Kanag used magical power, so that he became an ant and was not hit by the weapon. Gawigawen laughed loudly when he looked around and could not see the boy, for he thought that he had been killed. Soon, however, Kanag reappeared, standing on the head-ax, and Gawigawen, more furious than ever, threw his spear. Again Kanag disappeared, and Gawigawen was filled with surprise.
Then it was Kanag’s turn and his spear went directly through the body of the giant. He ran quickly and cut off five of the heads,41 but the sixth he spared until Gawigawen should have shown him his father.
As they went about the town together, Kanag found that the skin of his father had been used for a drum-head. His hair decorated the house, and his head was at the gate of the town, while his body was put beneath the house. After he had gathered all the parts of the body together, Kanag used magical power, and his father came to life.
“Who are you?” asked Aponitolau; “how long have I slept?”
“I am your son,” said Kanag. “You were not asleep but dead, and here is Gawigawen who kept you. Take my head-ax and cut off his remaining head.”
So Aponitolau took the head-ax, but when he struck Gawigawen it did not injure him.
“What is the matter, Father?” asked Kanag; and taking the weapon he cut off the sixth head of Gawigawen.
Then Kanag and his father used magic so that the spears and head-axes flew about, killing all the people in the town, and the heads and valuable things went to their home.
When Aponibolinayen saw all these come into her house, she ran to look at the vine by the stove, and it was green and looked like a jungle. Then she knew that her son was alive, and she was happy. And when the father and son returned, all the relatives came to their house for a great feast, and all were so happy that the whole world smiled.
The Story of Gaygayoma who Lives up Above
One day, while Aponitolau sat weaving a basket under his house, he began to feel very hungry and longed for something sweet to chew. Then he remembered that his field was still unplanted. He called to his wife who was in the room above, and said: “Come, Aponibolinayen, let us go to the field and plant some sugar-cane.”
So Aponibolinayen came down out of the house with a bamboo tube,42 and while she went to the spring to fill it with water, Aponitolau made some cuttings, and they went together to the field, which was some distance from the house.
Aponitolau loosened the earth with his long stick43 and set out the cuttings he had brought, while his wife sprinkled them with water from the bamboo tube. And when they had filled the field, they returned home, happy to think of the splendid cane they should have.
After seven days Aponitolau went back to the field to see if the plants had lived, and he found that the leaves were already long and pointed. This delighted him, and while he stood looking at it he grew impatient and determined to use his magical power so that the cane would grow very fast. In five days he again visited the field and found that the stalks were tall and ready to chew. He hurried home to tell Aponibolinayen how fast their plants had grown, and she was proud of her powerful husband.
Now about this time Gaygayoma, who was the daughter of Bagbagak, a big star, and Sinag, the moon, looked down from her home in the sky, and when she saw the tall sugar-cane growing below, she was seized with a desire to chew it. She called to her father, Bagbagak, and said:
“Oh, Father, please send the stars down to the earth to get some of the sugar-cane that I see, for I must have it to chew.”
So Bagbagak sent the stars down, and when they reached the bamboo fence that was around the field they sprang over it, and each broke a stalk of the cane and pulled some beans which Aponibolinayen had planted, and the stems of these beans were of gold. Gaygayoma was delighted with the things that the stars brought her. She cooked the beans with the golden stems and spent long hours chewing the sweet cane. When all that the stars brought was gone, however, she grew restless and called to her father, the big star:
“Come, Father, and go with me to the place where the sugar-cane grows, for I want to see it now.”
Bagbagak called many stars to accompany him, and they all followed Gaygayoma down to the place where the sugar-cane grew. Some sat on the bamboo fence, while others went to the middle of the field, and all ate as much as they wished.
The day following this, Aponitolau said to his wife:
“Aponibolinayen, I am going to the field to see if the bamboo fence is strong, for the carabao will try to get in to eat our sugar-cane.”
So he set out, and when he reached the field and began looking along the fence to see if it was strong, he kept finding the stalks that the stars had chewed, and he knew that someone had been there. He went into the middle of the field, and there on the ground was a piece of gold, and he said to himself:
“How strange this is! I believe some beautiful girl must have chewed my cane. I will watch tonight, and maybe she will return for more.”
As darkness came on he had no thought of returning home, but he made his meal of the sugar-cane, and then hid in the tall grass near the field to wait. By and by dazzling lights blinded his eyes, and when he could see again he was startled to find many stars falling from the sky, and soon he heard someone breaking the cane. Suddenly a star so large that it looked like a flame of fire fell into the field, and then a beautiful object near the fence took off her dress which looked like a star, and she appeared like the half of the rainbow.
Never had Aponitolau seen such sights; and for a while he lay shaking with fear.
“What shall I do?” he said to himself. “If I do not frighten these companions of the beautiful girl, they may eat me.”
With a great effort he jumped up and frightened the stars till they all flew up, and when the pretty girl came looking for her dress she found Aponitolau sitting on it.44 “You must forgive us,” she said, “for your sugar-cane is very sweet, and we wanted some to chew.”
“You are welcome to the sugar-cane,” answered Aponitolau. “But now we must tell our names according to our custom, for it is bad for us to talk until we know each other’s names.”
Then he gave her some betel-nut and they chewed together,45 and he said:
“Now it is our custom to tell our names.”
“Yes,” said she; “but you tell first”
“My name is Aponitolau and I am the husband of Aponibolinayen.”
“I am Gaygayoma, the daughter of Bagbagak and Sinag up in the air,” said the girl. “And now, Aponitolau, even though you have a wife, I am going to take you up to the sky, for I wish to marry you. If you are not willing to go, I shall call my companion stars to eat you.”
Aponitolau shook with fear, for he knew now that the woman was a spirit; and as he dared not refuse, he promised to go with her. Soon after that the stars dropped a basket that Gaygayoma had ordered them to make, and Aponitolau stepped in with the lovely star and was drawn quickly through the air up to the sky. They were met on their arrival by a giant star whom Gaygayoma introduced as her father, and he told Aponitolau that he had acted wisely in coming, for had he objected, the other stars would have eaten him.
After Aponitolau had lived with the stars for some time, Gaygayoma asked him to prick between her last two fingers, and as he did so a beautiful baby boy popped out. They named him Takyayen, and he grew very fast and was strong.
All this time Aponitolau had never forgotten Aponibolinayen who, he knew, was searching for him on the earth, but he had been afraid to mention her to the stars. When the boy was three months old, however, he ventured to tell Gaygayoma of his wish to return to the earth.
At first she would not listen to him, but he pleaded so hard that at last she consented to let him go for one moon46. If he did not return at the end of that time, she said, she would send the stars to eat him. Then she called for the basket again, and they were lowered to the earth. There Aponitolau got out, but Gaygayoma and the baby returned to the sky.
Aponibolinayen was filled with joy at the sight of her husband once more, for she had believed him dead, and she was very thin from not eating while he was away. Never did she tire of listening to his stories of his life among the stars, and so happy was she to have him again that when the time came for him to leave she refused to let him go.
That night many stars came to the house. Some stood in the windows, while others stayed outside by the walls; and they were so bright that the house appeared to be on fire.
Aponitolau was greatly frightened, and he cried out to his wife:
“You have done wrong to keep me when I should have gone. I feared that the stars would eat me if I did not obey their command, and now they have come. Hide me, or they will get me.”
But before Aponibolinayen could answer, Bagbagak himself called out:
“Do not hide from us, Aponitolau, for we know that you are in the corner of the house. Come out or we shall eat you.”
Trembling with fear, Aponitolau appeared, and when the stars asked him if he was willing to go with them he dared not refuse.
Now Gaygayoma had grown very fond of Aponitolau, and she had commanded the stars not to harm him if he was willing to return to her. So when he gave his consent, they put him in the basket and flew away with him, leaving Aponibolinayen very sad and lonely. After that Aponitolau made many trips to the earth, but at Gaygayoma’s command he always returned to the sky to spend part of the time with her.
One day when Takyayen was a little boy, Aponitolau took him down to the earth to see his half-brother, Kanag. The world was full of wonders to the boy from the sky, and he wanted to stay there always. But after some time while he and Kanag were playing out in the yard, big drops of water began to fall on them. Kanag ran to his mother and cried:
“Oh, Mother, it is raining, and the sun is shining brightly!”
But Aponitolau, looking out, said, “No, they are the tears of Gaygayoma, for she sees her son down below, and she weeps for him.”
Then he took Takyayen back to his mother in the sky, and she was happy again.
After that Takyayen was always glad when he was allowed to visit the earth, but each time when his mother’s tears began to fall, he returned to her. When he was old enough, Aponitolau selected a wife for him, and after that Takyayen always lived on the earth, but Gaygayoma stayed in the sky.
The Story of Dumalawi
Aponitolau and Aponibolinayen had a son whose name was Dumalawi.47 When the son had become a young man, his father one day was very angry with him, and tried to think of some way in which to destroy him. The next morning he said to Dumalawi:
“Son, sharpen your knife, and we will go to the forest to cut some bamboo.”
So Dumalawi sharpened his knife and went with his father to the place where the bamboo grew, and they cut many sticks and sharpened them like spears at the end.
Dumalawi wondered why they made them thus, but when they had finished, Aponitolau said:
“Now, Son, you throw them at me, so that we can see which is the braver.”
“No, Father,” answered Dumalawi. “You throw first, if you want to kill me.”
So Aponitolau threw the bamboo sticks one by one at his son, but he could not hit him. Then it was the son’s turn to throw, but he said:
“No, I cannot. You are my father, and I do not want to kill you.”
So they went home. But Dumalawi was very sorrowful, for he knew now that his father wanted to destroy him. When his mother called him to dinner he could not eat.
Elevated living rooms reached by ladders
Elevated living rooms reached by ladders
Cocoanut trees tower above the homes
Cocoanut trees tower above the homes
Although he had been unsuccessful in his first attempt, Aponitolau did not give up the idea of getting rid of his son, and the next day he said:
“Come, Dumalawi, we will go to our little house in the field48 and repair it, so that it will be a protection when the rainy season sets in.”
The father and son went together to the field, and when they reached the little house, Aponitolau, pointing to a certain spot in the ground, said:
“Dig there, and you will find a jar of basi49 which I buried when I was a boy. It will be very good to drink now.”
Dumalawi dug up the jar and they tasted the wine, and it was so pleasing to them that they drank three cocoanut shells full, and Dumalawi became drunk. While his son lay asleep on the ground, Aponitolau decided that this was a good time to destroy him, so he used his magical power and there arose a great storm which picked up Dumalawi in his sleep and carried him far away. And the father went home alone.
Section of a Tinguian village
Section of a Tinguian village
A settlement in the mountains
A settlement in the mountains
Now when Dumalawi awoke, he was in the middle of a field so wide that whichever way he looked, he could not see the end. There were neither trees nor houses in the field and no living thing except himself. And he felt a great loneliness.
By and by he used his magical power, and many betel-nuts grew in the field, and when they bore fruit it was covered with gold,
“This is good,” said Dumalawi, “for I will scatter these betel-nuts and they shall become people,50 who will be my neighbors.”
So in the middle of the night he cut the gold-covered betel-nuts into many small pieces which he scattered in all directions. And in the early morning, when he awoke, he heard many people talking around the house, and many roosters crowed. Then Dumalawi knew that he had companions, and upon going out he walked about where the people were warming themselves51 by fires in their yards, and he visited them all.
In one yard was a beautiful maiden, Dapilisan, and after Dumalawi had talked with her and her parents, he went on to the other yards, but she was ever in his thoughts. As soon as he had visited all the people, he returned to the house of Dapilisan and asked her parents if he might marry her. They were unwilling at first, for they feared that the parents of Dumalawi might not like it; but after he had explained that his father and mother did not want him, they gave their consent, and Dapilisan became his bride.
Soon after the marriage they decided to perform a ceremony52 for the spirits. So Dapilisan sent for the betel-nuts which were covered with gold,53 and when they were brought to her, she said:
“You betel-nuts that are covered with gold, come here and oil yourselves and go and invite all the people in the world to come to our ceremony.”
So the betel-nuts oiled themselves and went to invite the people in the different towns.
Soon after this Aponibolinayen, the mother of Dumalawi, sat alone in her house, still mourning the loss of her son, when suddenly she was seized with a desire to chew betel-nut.
“What ails me?” she said to herself; “why do I want to chew? I had not intended to eat anything while Dumalawi was away.”
So saying, she took down her basket that hung on the wall, and saw in it a betel-nut covered with gold, and when she was about to cut it, it said:
“Do not cut me, for I have come to invite you to the ceremony which Dumalawi and his wife are to make.”
Aponibolinayen was very happy, for she knew now that her son still lived, and she told all the people to wash their hair and prepare to go to the rite. So they washed their clothes and their hair and started for the home of Dumalawi; and Aponitolau, the father of the boy, followed, but he looked like a crazy man. When the people reached the river near the town, Dumalawi sent alligators to take them across, but when Aponitolau got on the alligator’s back it dived, and he was thrown back upon the bank of the river. All the others were carried safely over, and Aponitolau, who was left on the bank alone, shouted as if crazy until Dumalawi sent another alligator to carry him across.
Then Dumalawi had food brought54 and Dapilisan passed basi in a little jar that looked like a fist,55 and though each guest drank a cupful of the sweet wine the little jar was still a third full. After they had eaten and drunk, Aponibolinayen spoke, and, telling all the people that she was glad to have Dapilisan for a daughter-in-law, added:
“Now we are going to pay the marriage price56 according to our custom. We shall fill the spirit house57 nine times with different kinds of jars.”
Then she called, “You spirits58 who live in different springs, get the jars which Dumalawi must pay as a marriage price for Dapilisan,”
The spirits did as they were commanded, and when they brought the jars and had filled the spirit house nine times, Aponibolinayen said to the parents of Dapilisan:
“I think that now we have paid the price for your daughter.”
But Dalonagan, the mother of Dapilisan, was not satisfied, and said:
“No, there is still more to pay.”
“Very well,” replied Aponibolinayen. “Tell us what it is and we will pay it.”
Then Dalonagan called a pet spider and said:
“You big spider, go all around the town, and as you go spin a thread59 on which Aponibolinayen must string golden beads.” So the spider spun the thread and Aponibolinayen again called to the spirits of the springs, and they brought golden beads which they strung on the thread. Then Dalonagan hung on the thread, and when it did not break she declared that the debt was all paid.
After this the people feasted and made merry, and when at last they departed for home Dumalawi refused to go with his parents, but remained with his wife in the town he had created.
The Story of Kanag
When the rice60 had grown tall and it was near the time for it to ripen, Aponitolau and Aponibolinayen grew fearful lest the wild pigs should break in and destroy all their crop, so they sent their son, Kanag, to the field to guard the grain. Kanag willingly went to the place, but when he found that the fences were all strong so that the pigs could not get in, and he was left with nothing to do, life in the little watch-house61 grew lonely, and the boy became very unhappy.
Each day Aponitolau carried cooked rice and meat to his son in the field, but Kanag could not eat and always bade his father hang it in the watch-house until he should want it Each time Aponitolau found the food of the day before still untouched, and he began to suspect that the boy was unhappy at having to guard the grain. But he said nothing of his fears to Aponibolinayen.
One day after his father had returned home, Kanag was so lonely that he used his magical power and became a little bird and flew up into the top of a tree. The next day when Aponitolau came to the field he looked everywhere for his son, and when he could not find him he called, and from the top of a bamboo tree a little bird answered him. Realizing what had happened, the father was very sad and begged his son to come back and be a boy again, but Kanag only answered:
“I would rather be a bird62 and carry the messages of the spirits to the people.”
At last the father went home alone, and he and the boy’s mother were filled with grief that they had lost their son.
Some time after this, Aponitolau prepared to go out to fight. He took his spear and shield and head-ax and started early one morning, but when he reached the gate of the town, Kanag flew over him, giving him a bad sign, so he turned back. The next morning he started again, and this time the little bird gave him a good sign, and knowing that nothing would injure him, he went on.
After a long journey he reached a hostile town where the people said they were glad to see him, and added that because he was the first of his people who had dared to enter their town they intended to keep him there.
“Oh,” said Aponitolau, “if you say that I cannot return home, call all your people together and we will fight.”
“You are very brave,” answered his enemies, “if you wish to fight us all.”
And when the people had gathered together they laughed at him and said, “Why, one of our fingers would fight you.”
Nevertheless, Aponitolau prepared to fight, and when the bravest of the enemy threw his spear and head-ax at him he jumped and escaped. They noticed that he jumped very high, so they all ran at him, throwing their spears and trying to kill him.
But Aponitolau caught all their weapons, and then while they were unarmed he threw his own spear, and it flew about among them until it had killed them all. Then he sent his head-ax, and it cut off all the heads of the enemy; and he used magical power so that these heads went to his home in Kadalayapan.
After that Aponitolau sat down by the gate of the town to rest, and the little bird, flying over his head, called down:
“The sign that I gave you was good, Father, and you have killed all your enemies.”
“Yes,” said the man, and as he started on the home-ward journey the little bird always flew near him. When he reached home, he stuck the heads around the town,63 and commanded the people to go out all over the world and invite everyone and especially the pretty girls to come to a party in celebration of his victory.
The people came from all parts of the world, and while they played on the gongs and danced, Aponitolau called to Kanag and said:
“Come down, my son; do not stay always in the tops of the trees. Come and see the pretty girls and see which one you want to marry. Get the golden cup and give them basi to drink.”
But Kanag answered, “I would rather stay in the tops of the trees and give the signs when anyone goes to fight.”
Then the father and mother pleaded with him to become a boy once more, begging his forgiveness and promising never again to send him to guard the rice. But he would not listen to them, and only flew away.
Finding that they could not win him that way, Aponitolau and Aponibolinayen called the spirit servants, and commanded them to follow Kanag wherever he went, and to find a girl whom he would want to marry. So the spirit servants went after him, and wherever he went they followed.
By and by they stopped near a well, and there the spirit servants used magic so that all the pretty girls nearby felt very hot; and in the early morning, they came to the well to bathe. One among them was so beautiful that she looked like a flame of fire64 among the betel-nut blossoms, and when the servants saw her washing her hair they ran to Kanag and begged him to come and see her. At first he would not listen to them, but after a while he flew into the top of a betel-nut tree near by, and when he caught sight of her, he flew into the tree above her head.
“But,” said he to the servants, “what can I do if I become a man now, for I have no clothes and no head-band?”
“Do not worry about that,” said the spirit servants, “for we have everything here for you.”
So Kanag became a man and put on the clothes and head-band, and he went to speak to the girl. He gave her betel-nut, and they chewed together, and he said:
“My name is Kanag and I am the son of Aponitolau and Aponibolinayen.”
Then the girl said: “My name is Dapilisan and I am the daughter of Bangan and Dalonagan.”
When Dapilisan went home Kanag followed her, and he told her parents his name and how he had changed into a little bird. And when he had finished he asked if he might marry their daughter. Bangan and his wife were greatly pleased that Kanag wanted Dapilisan for his wife, but they were afraid that his parents might object, so they sent a messenger to invite Aponitolau and Aponibolinayen to come to visit them.
As soon as Kanag’s parents heard that their son had become a man they were very happy and started at once to go to him, carrying many fine presents. Before arrangements for the wedding could be made, it was necessary to decide on the price to be paid for the girl. A long discussion took place. Bangan and Dalonagan finally said that the spirit house must be filled nine times with different kinds of jars.
When this was done Dalonagan raised her eyebrows, and half of the jars disappeared. Aponibolinayen used her magical power and the spirit house was filled again, and then Dalonagan said to her:
“Now the web of the spider shall be put around the town and you must put gold beads on it. If it does not break, Kanag may marry Dapilisan.”
When Aponibolinayen had put the gold beads on the thread, Dalonagan hung on it to see if it would hold. As it did not break, she declared that the sign was good; and Kanag and Dapilisan were married.
Then the people played on the copper gongs, danced, and made merry for a long time, and when they returned to their homes Kanag and his bride went with Aponitolau and Aponibolinayen.
The Story of the Tikgi
“Tikgi, tikgi, tikgi, we will come to work for you. Let us cut your rice.”
Ligi65 had gone to the field to look at his growing rice, but when he heard this sound he looked up and was surprised to see some birds circling above and calling to him.
“Why, you cannot cut rice,” said Ligi. “You are birds and know only how to fly.”
But the birds insisted that they knew how to cut rice; so finally he told them to come again when the grain was ripe, and they flew away.
No sooner had the birds gone than Ligi was filled with a great desire to see them again. As he went home he wished over and over that his rice were ready to cut. As soon as Ligi left the field the tikgi birds began using magic so that the rice grew rapidly, and five days later when he returned he found the birds there ready to cut the ripened grain. Ligi showed them where to begin cutting, and then he left them.
When he was out of sight, the tikgi said to the rice cutters:
“Rice cutters, you cut the rice alone.” And to the bands which were lying nearby they said: “Bands, you tie into bundles the rice which the cutters cut”
The talking jars
The talking jars
Playing the nose flute
Playing the nose flute
And the rice cutters and the bands worked alone, doing as they were told.
When Ligi went again to the field in the afternoon, the tikgi said:
“Come, Ligi, and see what we have done, for we want to go home now.”
Ligi was amazed, for he saw five hundred bundles of rice cut. And he said:
“Oh, Tikgi, take all the rice you wish in payment, for I am very grateful to you.”
Then the tikgi each took one head of rice, saying it was all they could carry, and they flew away.
The next morning when Ligi reached the field, he found the birds already there and he said:
“Now, Tikgi, cut the rice as fast as you can, for when it is finished I will make a ceremony for the spirits, and you must come.”
“Yes,” replied the tikgi, “and now we shall begin the work, but you do not need to stay here.”
So Ligi went home and built a rice granary to hold his grain, and when he returned to the field the rice was all cut. Then the tikgi said: “We have cut all your rice, Ligi, so give us our pay, and when you go home the rice will all be in your granary.”
Ligi wondered at this, and when he reached home and saw that his granary was full of rice, he doubted if the tikgi could be real birds.
Not long after this Ligi invited all his relatives from the different towns to help him make the ceremony for the spirits.66 As soon as the people arrived, the tikgi came also; and they flew over the people’s heads and made them drink basi until they were drunk. Then they said to Ligi:
Tinguian potters at work
Tinguian potters at work
Seeding and combing cotton
Seeding and combing cotton
“We are going home now; it is not good for us to stay here, for we cannot sit among the people.”
When they started home Ligi followed them until they came to the bana-asi tree, and here he saw them take off their feathers and put them in the rice granary. Then suddenly they became one beautiful maiden.
“Are you not the tikgi who came to cut my rice?” asked Ligi. “You look to me like a beautiful maiden.”
“Yes,” she replied; “I became tikgi and cut rice for you, for otherwise you would not have found me.” Ligi took her back to his house where the people were making the ceremony, and as soon as they saw her they began chewing the magic betel-nuts to find who she might be.
The quid67 of Ebang and her husband and that of the tikgi went together, so they knew that she was their daughter who had disappeared from their house one day long ago while they were in the fields. In answer to their many questions, she told them that she had been in the bana-asi tree, where Kaboniyan68 had carried her, until the day that she changed herself into the tikgi birds and went to the field of Ligi.
Ligi was very fond of the beautiful girl and he asked her parents if he might marry her. They were very willing and decided on a price he should pay. After the wedding all the people remained at his house, feasting and dancing for three months.
The Story of Sayen69
In the depths of a dark forest where people seldom went, lived a wizened old Alan.70 The skin on her wrinkled face was as tough as a carabao hide, and her long arms with fingers pointing back from the wrist were horrible to look at. Now this frightful creature had a son whose name was Sayen, and he was as handsome as his mother was ugly. He was a brave man, also, and often went far away alone to fight.
On these journeys Sayen sometimes met beautiful girls, and though he wanted to marry, he could not decide upon one. Hearing that one Danepan was more beautiful than any other, he determined to go and ask her to be his wife.
Now Danepan was very shy, and when she heard that Sayen was coming to her house she hid behind the door and sent her servant, Laey, out to meet him. And so it happened that Sayen, not seeing Danepan, married Laey, thinking that she was her beautiful mistress. He took her away to a house he had built at the edge of the forest, for though he wished to be near his old home, he dared not allow his bride to set eyes on his ugly mother.
For some time they lived happily together here, and then one day when Sayen was making a plow under his house, he heard Laey singing softly to their baby in the room above, and this is what she sang:
“Sayen thinks I am Danepan, but Laey I am. Sayen thinks I am Danepan, but Laey I am.”
When Sayen heard this he knew that he had been deceived, and he pondered long what he should do.
The next morning he went to the field to plow, for it was near the rice-planting time. Before he left the house he called to his wife:
“When the sun is straight above, you and the baby bring food to me, for I shall be busy in the field.”
Before he began to plow, however, he cut the bamboo supports of the bridge which led to the field, so that when Laey and the baby came with his food, they had no sooner stepped on the bridge than it went down with them and they were drowned. Sayen was again free. He took his spear and his shield and head-ax and went at once to the town of Danepan, and there he began killing the people on all sides.
Terror spread through the town. No one could stop his terrible work of destruction until Danepan came down out of her house, and begged him to spare part of the people that she might have some from whom to borrow fire.71 Her great beauty amazed him and he ceased killing, and asked her to prepare some betel-nut for him to chew, as he was very tired. She did so, and when he had chewed the nut he spat on the people he had killed and they came to life again. Then he married Danepan and took her to his home.
Now it happened about this time that the people of Magosang were in great trouble. At the end of a successful hunt, while they were dividing the meat among themselves, the Komow,72 a murderous spirit that looks like a man, would come to them and ask how many they had caught. If they answered, “Two,” then he would say that he had caught two also; and when they went home, they would find two people in the town dead. As often as they went to hunt the Komow did this, and many of the people of Magosang were dead and those living were in great fear. Finally they heard of the brave man, Sayen, and they begged him to help them. Sayen listened to all they told, and then said:
“I will go with you to hunt, and while you are dividing the meat, I will hide behind the trees. When the Komow comes to ask how many deer you have, he will smell me, but you must say that you do not know where I am,”
So the people went to hunt, and when they had killed two deer, they singed them over a fire and began to divide them. Just then the Komow arrived and said:
“How many have you?”
“We have two,” replied the people.
“I have two also,” said the Komow, “but I smell Sayen.”
“We do not know where Sayen is,” answered the people; and just then he sprang out and killed the Komow, and the people were greatly relieved.
Now when Kaboniyan,73 a great spirit, heard what Sayen had done, he went to him and said:
“Sayen you are a brave man because you have killed the Komow, Tomorrow I will fight with you. You must remain on the low ground by the river, and I will go to the hill above.”
So the following day Sayen went to the low ground by the river. He had not waited long before he heard a great sound like a storm, and he knew that Kaboniyan was coming. He looked up, and there stood the great warrior, poising his spear which was as large as a big tree.
“Are you brave, Sayen?” called he in a voice like thunder as he threw the weapon.
“Yes,” answered Sayen, and he caught the spear.
This surprised Kaboniyan, and he threw his head-ax which was as large as the roof of a house, and Sayen caught that also. Then Kaboniyan saw that this was indeed a brave man, and he went down to Sayen and they fought face to face until both were tired, but neither could overcome the other.
When Kaboniyan saw that in Sayen he had found one as strong and brave even as himself, he proposed that they go together to fight the people of different towns. And they started out at once. Many people were killed by this strong pair, and why they themselves could never be captured was a great mystery. For it was not known that one was the spirit Kaboniyan, and the other the son of an Alan.
If he was surrounded in a river, Sayen would become a fish74 and hide so that people could not find him. And if he was entrapped in a town, he would become a chicken and go under the house in a chicken-coop. In this way he escaped many times.
Finally one night after he had killed many in one town, the people decided to watch him, and they saw him go to roost with the chickens. The next day they placed a fish trap under the house near the chicken-coop, and that night when Sayen went under the house he was caught in the trap and killed.
The Sun and the Moon
Once the Sun and the Moon quarreled with each other, and the Sun said:
“You are only the Moon and are not much good. If I did not give you light, you would be no good at all.”
But the Moon answered:
“You are only the Sun, and you are very hot. The women like me better, for when I shine at night, they go out doors and spin.”
These words of the Moon made the Sun so angry that he threw sand in her face, and you can still see the dark spots on the face of the Moon.
How the Tinguian Learned to Plant
In the very old times the Tinguian did not know how to plant and harvest as they now do. For food they had only the things that grew in the forests and fish from the streams. Neither did they know how to cure people who became ill or were injured by evil spirits, and many died who might otherwise have lived.75
Then Kadaklan, the Great Spirit who lives in the sky, saw that the people often were hungry and sick, and he sent one of his servants, Kaboniyan, to the earth to teach them many things. And it happened this way:
Dayapan, a woman who lived in Caalang, had been sick for seven years. One day when she went to the spring to bathe, there entered her body a spirit who had rice and sugar-cane with him, and he said to her:
“Dayapan, take these to your home and plant them in the ground, and after a while they will grow large enough to reap. Then when they are ripe, build a granary to put the rice in until you shall need it, and a sugar-press to crush the cane. And when these are finished, make the ceremony Sayung, and you will be well.”
Dayapan was filled with wonder at these strange things, but she took the rice and the sugar-cane and went home as she was commanded. While she was trying to plant them in the ground the Spirit again entered her body and showed her just what to do. Since then the Tinguian have planted crops every year, and because they do as Kaboniyan76 taught the woman they have plenty to eat.
When Dayapan had reaped the first rice and cane, she began to make the ceremony Sayung, and the Spirit came again and directed her. And when it was finished and she was cured, he told her to take a dog and a cock and go to bathe in the river as a sign that the ceremony was finished. So she went to the river and tied the dog and the cock near the water, but while she was bathing the dog ate the cock.
Dayapan wept bitterly at this and waited a long time for Kaboniyan, and when at last he came, he said:
“If the dog had not killed the cock, no person would die when you make this ceremony; but this is a sign, and now some will die and some will get well.”
Dayapan called all the people together, and told them the things that the spirit had taught her; and they could see that she had been made well. After that, when people became ill they called Dayapan to treat them. And it was as the Spirit had said; some died and others were made well.
A great many years ago some Tinguian left their little village in the valley early one morning and made their way toward the mountains. They were off on a deer hunt,77 and each carried his spear and head-ax, while one held in leash a string of lean dogs eager for the chase.
Part way up the mountainside the dogs were freed, and the men separated, going different ways in search of game. But ere long the sharp barking of a dog called all in his direction, for they believed that he had a deer at bay. As they approached the spot, however, the object did not look like a deer, and as they drew nearer they were surprised to find that it was a large jar.78
Filled with curiosity they pressed on, but the jar evaded them. Faster and faster they ran, but the object, disappearing at times and then coming into view again, always escaped them. On and on they went until at last, tired out, they sat down on a wooded hill to rest and to refresh themselves with betel-nut which they took from brass boxes attached to their belts.
As they slowly cut the nuts and wrapped them in the lime and leaf ready for chewing, they talked of nothing but the wonderful jar and the mysterious power it possessed. Then just as they were about to put the tempting morsels into their mouths they stopped, startled by a strange soft voice which seemed to be near them. They turned and listened, but could see no person.
“Find a pig which has no young,” said the voice, “and take its blood, for then you will be able to catch the jar which your dog pursued.”
The men knew then that the mysterious jar belonged to a spirit, so they hastened to do as the voice commanded, and when they had secured the blood the dog again brought the jar to bay. The hunters tried to seize it, but it entered a hole in the ground and disappeared. They followed, and found themselves in a dark cave79 where it was easy to catch the jar, for there was no outlet save by the hole through which they had entered.
Though that was many years ago, the jar still lives, and its name is Magsawi. Even now it talks; but some years ago a crack appeared in its side, and since then its language has not been understood by the Tinguian.80
Sometimes Magsawi goes on long journeys alone when he visits his wife, a jar in Ilocos Norte, or his child, a small jar in San Quintin; but he always returns to Domayco on the hillside near the cave.
The Tree with the Agate Beads
More than a hundred seasons ago, a Tinguian went one day to the mountains to hunt. Accompanied by his faithful dog, he made his way steadily up the mountain side, only halting where it was necessary to cut a path through the jungle. And the dog ran here and there searching in the thick underbrush.
On and on he went without seeing any game, and then, when he was almost at the top of the highest peak, the dog gave a sharp yelp, and out of the brush leaped a fine deer. Zip! went the man’s spear, and it pierced the animal’s side. For an instant he waited, but the deer did not fall. On it ran with unslackened speed, and a moment later it plunged into a hole in the ground with the man and dog in close pursuit.
A short distance from the entrance the cave opened out into large, spacious rooms, and before he realized it the man was hopelessly lost In the distance he could hear the baying of the dog, and with no other guide he hurried on through the darkness.
Following the sound, he went for a long time from one unfamiliar room to another, stumbling in the darkness and striking against the stone walls, and then suddenly his outstretched hands grasped a small tree on which berries grew.
Astonished at finding anything growing in this dark place, he broke off a branch, and as he did so the shrub began to talk in a strange language. Terrified, the man ran in the direction he had last heard the dog, and a moment later he found himself in the open air on the banks of the Abra River, with the dead deer at his feet.
When he examined the twig which he still held in his hand, he saw to his great surprise that the berries were agate beads of great value.81 And packing the deer on his back, he hastened home where he told his wonderful story.
The sight of the beautiful beads convinced the people that he told the truth, and a number of men at once returned with him to secure the tree.
Their quest, however, was unsuccessful, for ere they reached the spot the evil spirit had taken the tree away and on the walls of the cave it had made strange carvings which even to this day can be seen.
The Striped Blanket
Three Tinguian once went to the mountains to hunt deer. They took their blankets with them, for they expected to be gone several days, and the nights in the mountains are cold.
The blankets of two of the men were of the blue-and-white designs such as are commonly worn by the Tinguian, but that of the third was covered with red and yellow stripes like the back of a little wild pig.
At night the men rolled up in their blankets and lay down under a tree to sleep; but while the one in the striped blanket was still awake two spirits came near and saw him.
“Oh,” he heard one spirit say to the other, “here we have something to eat, for here is a little wild pig.”
Then the man quickly took the blanket off one of his sleeping companions and put his own in its place. Very soon the spirits came and ate the man under the striped blanket.
Since that time the Tinguian never sleep under that kind of a blanket if they are where the spirits can get them.
The Alan and the Hunters
Two men once went to hunt wild pig in the mountains, and after some time they speared and killed one, but they had no fire over which to singe it.
One man climbed a tree to see if there was a fire near by, and discovering smoke at some distance, he started toward it. When he reached the place, he found that the fire was in the house of an Alan,82 and he was very much afraid; but creeping up into the house, he found that the Alan and her baby were fast asleep.
He stepped on tip-toe, but nevertheless the Alan was awakened and called out:
“Epogow,83 what do you want?”
“I should like to get some fire,” said the man, “for we have killed a wild pig.”
The Alan gave him the fire, and then taking her basket she went with him to the place where the pig was.
After they had singed the animal, the Alan cut it up with her long nails and handed the liver to the man, telling him to take it to her house to feed the baby.
The man started, and on the way he ate the liver. When he reached the Alan’s house he did not know what to do. For some time he looked around, and then seeing a large caldron of hot water on the fire, he threw the baby into it and went back.
“Did the baby eat well?” asked the Alan.
“Very well,” said the man.
Then she put most of the meat into her basket and started home. As soon as she had gone, the man told his companion what he had done, and they were so frightened that they ran to hide.
When the Alan reached home and found the baby dead in the hot water, she was very angry and started back immediately to find the men, who, in the meantime, had climbed a high tree that stood near the water.
The Alan looked down into the water, and seeing the reflection of the men, she reached in her long hand with the fingers that pointed backward, but when she could not touch them, she looked up and saw them in the tall tree.
“How did you get up there?” she cried angrily.
“We climbed up feet first,” called down the men.
The Alan, determined to get them, caught hold of a vine and started up the tree feet first, but before she quite reached them, they cut the vine and she fell to the ground and was killed.84
Then the men came down and went to the Alan’s house, where they found a jar full of beads and another of gold, and these they brought with them when they returned home.
Man and the Alan
A Tinguian was once walking along a trail in the wood when he heard a strange sound in a large tree near him, and looking up he was startled to see that it was the home of the Alan—spirits who live in the wood.
He stopped and gazed for a moment at the horrible creatures, large as people, hanging from the limbs of the tree with their heads down like bats. They had wings to fly, and their toes were at the back of their feet, while their long fingers, which pointed backward, were fastened at the wrist.
“Surely,” thought the man, “these terrible beings will eat me if they can catch me. I will run away as fast as I can while they are asleep.” He tried to run but he was too frightened, and after a few steps he fell face down on the ground.
At this the Alan began to wail loudly, for they saw him fall and believed him dead And they came down out of the tree with gold and beads which they laid on him.
After a while the man gathered courage and, jumping up, he cried as loudly as he could, “Go away!”
The Alan did not move, but they looked at him and said: “Give us the one bead nagaba [a peculiar bead of double effect], and you may have the rest.” When the man refused to do this, they were angry and turned away, crying, “Then we are going to burn your house, for you are a bad man.”
Thereupon the man went home as fast as he could go, but very soon after that his house burned, for the Alan kept their word.
One day, a long time ago, some men went to the mountains to hunt deer and wild pig, and among them was one named Sogsogot.
They all went into the thick forest to look for game, but after a while Sogsogot called his dog and withdrew to an open spot near by, where he waited for the deer to come out.
While he stood there eagerly watching, a big bird85 swooped down, caught him in its claws, and carried him away. Far off over the mountains the bird soared, until finally it came to a big tree where it had its nest, and here it left the man and flew away.
Sogsogot’s first thought was to make his escape, but he found that the tree was so tall that he could not get down, and after a time he ceased his attempts to get away and began to look over his companions in the nest—two young birds and three little pigs.
By and by he became hungry, so he cut up the three little pigs, and after he had eaten all he wished he fed the two birds. When this meat was gone the mother bird brought more pigs and deer, and the man had all he could eat. Then he fed the little birds, which grew very fast and soon were able to fly. One day when they were standing on the edge of the nest Sogsogot caught hold of the birds’ legs, and they fluttered down and carried him safely to the ground.
Rice terraces in the mountains
Rice terraces in the mountains
A rice field
A rice field
He hastened home as fast as he could go and told the people of his wonderful trip. They made a ceremony for the spirits, and all the people rejoiced that the lost man had returned.
Some time after this Sogsogot went to a hostile town to fight, and while he was gone his wife died. On the way back to his town he met the spirit of his wife driving a cow and two pigs, and not knowing that she was a spirit he asked her where she was going.
“I am not a person any more,” she answered him; “I am dead.” And when he wanted to touch her hand, she gave him only her shortest finger. He begged to go with her so she said, “Go first to our home and get a white chicken; then follow the footmarks of the cow and pigs.”
He did as she commanded him, and after a while he came to a place where she was bathing in the river. She said to him:
“Now you may come with me to our spirit town.86 I shall hide you in the rice-bin and shall bring food to you every day. But at night the people in the town will want to eat you, and when they come to the bin you must take some of the feathers of the white chicken and throw at them.”
The man went with her, and when they arrived at the spirit town she hid him in the rice-bin. At night the people came to eat him, as she had said they would; but when he threw the chicken feathers at them they were frightened away.
For two weeks Sogsogot lived in this place, but when the feathers were nearly gone he was afraid to stay any longer, for every night the spirits came to eat him. He begged his wife to allow him to go, and finally she showed him the way home, giving him rice to eat on his journey.
As soon as the man arrived home and inquired for his wife, the people told him that she had died and they had buried her under the house. Then he knew that it was her spirit that had taken him to the strange town.
The Mistaken Gifts
When Siagon was about eight years old his parents began looking for a girl who would make a suitable wife. At last when they had decided on a beautiful maiden, who lived some distance from them, they sent a man to her parents to ask if they would like Siagon for a son-in-law.
Now when the man arrived at the girl’s house the people were all sitting on the floor eating periwinkle, and as they sucked the meat out of the shell, they nodded their heads. The man, looking in at the door, saw them nod, and he thought they were nodding at him. So he did not tell them his errand, but returned quickly to the boy’s parents and told them that all the people at the girl’s house were favorable to the union.
Siagon’s parents were very much pleased that their proposal had been so kindly received, and immediately prepared to go to the girl’s house to arrange for the wedding.
Finally all was ready and they started for her house, carrying with them as presents for her parents two carabao, two horses, two cows, four iron kettles, sixteen jars of basi, two blankets, and two little pigs.
The surprise of the girl’s people knew no bounds when they saw all this coming to their house, for they had not even thought of Siagon marrying their daughter.87
The Boy who Became a Stone
One day a little boy named Elonen sat out in the yard making a bird snare, and as he worked, a little bird called to him: “Tik-tik-lo-den” (come and catch me).
“I am making a snare for you,” said the boy; but the bird continued to call until the snare was finished.
Then Elonen ran and threw the snare over the bird and caught it, and he put it in a jar in his house while he went with the other boys to swim.
While he was away, his grandmother grew hungry, so she ate the bird, and when Elonen returned and found that his bird was gone, he was so sad that he wished he might go away and never come back. He went out into the forest and walked a long distance, until finally he came to a big stone and said: “Stone, open your mouth and eat me.” And the stone opened its mouth and swallowed the boy.
When his grandmother missed the boy, she went out and looked everywhere, hoping to find him. Finally she passed near the stone and it cried out, “Here he is.” Then the old woman tried to open the stone but she could not, so she called the horses to come and help her. They came and kicked it, but it would not break. Then she called the carabao and they hooked it, but they only broke their horns. She called the chickens, which pecked it, and the thunder, which shook it, but nothing could open it, and she had to go home without the boy.
The Turtle and the Lizard
A turtle and a big lizard once went to the field of Gotgotapa to steal ginger,88 When they reached the place the turtle said to the lizard:
“We must be very still or the man will hear us and come out.”
But as soon as the lizard tasted the ginger he was so pleased that he said:
“The ginger of Gotgotapa is very good.”
“Be still,” said the turtle; but the lizard paid no attention to the warning, and called louder than ever:
“The ginger of Gotgotapa is very good.”
Again and again he cried out, until finally the man heard him and came out of the house to catch the robbers.
The turtle could not run fast, so he lay very still, and the man did not see him. But the lizard ran and the man chased him. When they were out of sight, the turtle went into the house and hid under a cocoanut shell upon which the man used to sit.89
The man ran after the lizard for a long distance, but he could not catch him. After a while he came back to the house and sat down on the shell.
By and by, the turtle called, “Kook.” The man jumped up and looked all around. Unable to tell where the noise came from, he sat down again,
A second time the turtle called, and this time the man looked everywhere in the house except under the shell, but could not find the turtle. Again and again the turtle called, and finally the man, realizing that all his attempts were unsuccessful, grew so excited that he died.
Then the turtle ran out of the house, and he had not gone far before he met the lizard again. They walked along together until they saw some honey in a tree, and the turtle said:
“I will go first and get some of the honey.”
The lizard would not wait, but ran ahead, and when he seized the honey, the bees came out and stung him. So he ran back to the turtle for help.
After a while they came to a bird snare, and the turtle said:
“That is the silver wire that my grandfather wore about his neck.”
Then the lizard ran fast to get it first, but he was caught in the snare and was held until the man came and killed him. Then the wise turtle went on alone.
The Man with the Cocoanuts
One day a man who had been to gather his cocoanuts loaded his horse heavily with the fruit. On the way home he met a boy whom he asked how long it would take to reach the house.
“If you go slowly,” said the boy, looking at the load on the horse, “you will arrive very soon; but if you go fast, it will take you all day.”
The man could not believe this strange speech, so he hurried his horse. But the cocoanuts fell off and he had to stop to pick them up. Then he hurried his horse all the more to make up for lost time, but the cocoanuts fell off again. Many times he did this, and it was night when he reached home.90
The Carabao and the Shell
One very hot day, when a carabao went into the river to bathe, he met a shell and they began talking together.
“You are very slow,” said the carabao to the shell.
“Oh, no,” replied the shell. “I can beat you in a race.”
“Then let us try and see,” said the carabao.
So they went out on the bank and started to run.
After the carabao had gone a long distance he stopped and called, “Shell!”
And another shell lying by the river answered, “Here I am!”
Then the carabao, thinking that it was the same shell with which he was racing, ran on.
By and by he stopped again and called, “Shell!”
Again another shell answered, “Here I am!”
The carabao was surprised that the shell could keep up with him. But he ran on and on, and every time he stopped to call, another shell answered him. But he was determined that the shell should not beat him, so he ran until he dropped dead.91
The Alligator’s Fruit
Two women went to gather some wild fruit from a vine which belonged to the alligator.
“You must be careful not to throw the rind with your teeth marks on it where the alligator can see it,” said one of the women to the other as they sat eating the fruit.
But the other woman paid no attention and threw the rind showing teeth marks into the river, where the alligator saw it.
Thus he knew at once who had taken his fruit, and he was very angry. He went to the house of the woman and called to the people:
“Bring out the woman that I may eat her, for she has eaten my fruit”
“Very well,” answered the people. “But sit down and wait a little while.”
Then they put the iron soil-turner into the fire, and when it was red hot, they took it to the door and said to the alligator:
“Here, eat this first.”
He opened his mouth, and they pushed the red hot iron down his throat, and he died.
Dogedog had always been very lazy, and now that his father and mother were dead and he had no one to care for him, he lived very poorly. He had little to eat. His house was old and small and so poor that it had not even a floor. Still he would rather sit all day and idle away his time than to work and have more things.
One day, however, when the rainy season was near at hand, Dogedog began thinking how cold he would be when the storms came, and he felt so sorry for himself that he decided to make a floor in his house.
Wrapping some rice in a banana leaf for his dinner, he took his long knife and went to the forest to cut some bamboo. He hung the bundle of rice in a tree until he should need it; but while he was working a cat came and ate it. When the hungry man came for his dinner, there was none left. Dogedog went back to his miserable little house which looked forlorn to him even, now that he had decided to have a floor.
The next day he went again to the forest and hung his rice in the tree as he did before, but again the cat came and ate it. So the man had to go home without any dinner.
The third day he took the rice, but this time he fixed a trap in the tree, and when the cat came it was caught.
“Now I have you!” cried the man when he found the cat; “and I shall kill you for stealing my rice.”
“Oh, do not kill me,” pleaded the cat, “and I will be of some use to you.”
So Dogedog decided to spare the cat’s life, and he took it home and tied it near the door to guard the house.
Some time later when he went to look at it, he was very much surprised to find that it had become a cock.
“Now I can go to the cock-fight at Magsingal,” cried the man. And he was very happy, for he had much rather do that than work.
Thinking no more of getting wood for his floor, he started out at once for Magsingal with the cock under his arm. As he was crossing a river he met an alligator which called out to him:
“Where are you going, Dogedog?”
“To the cock-fight at Magsingal,” replied the man as he fondly stroked the rooster.
“Wait, and I will go with you,” said the alligator; and he drew himself out of the water.
The two walking along together soon entered a forest where they met a deer and it asked:
“Where are you going, Dogedog?”
“To the cock-fight at Magsingal,” said the man.
“Wait and I will go with you,” said the deer; and he also joined them.
By and by they met a mound of earth that had been raised by the ants, and they would have passed without noticing it had it not inquired:
“Where are you going, Dogedog?”
“To the cock-fight at Magsingal,” said the man once more; and the mound of earth joined them.
The company then hurried on, and just as they were leaving the forest, they passed a big tree in which was a monkey.
“Where are you going, Dogedog?” shrieked the monkey. And without waiting for an answer he scrambled down the tree and followed them.
As the party walked along they talked together, and the alligator said to Dogedog:
“If any man wants to dive into the water, I can stay under longer than he.”
Then the deer, not to be outdone, said:
“If any man wants to run, I can run faster.”
The mound of earth, anxious to show its strength, said:
“If any man wants to wrestle, I can beat him.”
And the monkey said:
“If any man wants to climb, I can go higher.”
They reached Magsingal in good time and the people were ready for the fight to begin. When Dogedog put his rooster, which had been a cat, into the pit, it killed the other cock at once, for it used its claws like a cat.
The people brought more roosters and wagered much money, but Dogedog’s cock killed all the others until there was not one left in Magsingal, and Dogedog won much money. Then they went outside the town and brought all the cocks they could find, but not one could win over that of Dogedog.
When the cocks were all dead, the people wanted some other sport, so they brought a man who could stay under water for a long time, and Dogedog made him compete with the alligator. But after a while the man had to come up first Then they brought a swift runner and he raced with the deer, but the man was left far behind. Next they looked around until they found a very large man who was willing to contend with the mound of earth, but after a hard struggle the man was thrown.
Finally they brought a man who could climb higher than anyone else, but the monkey went far above him, and he had to give up.
All these contests had brought much money to Dogedog, and now he had to buy two horses to carry his sacks of silver. As soon as he reached home, he bought the house of a very rich man and went to live in it. And he was very happy, for he did not have to work any more.92
1This incident is strikingly similar to the story in North American folk-lore of the maiden captured and carried upward by a vine. Several other points of likeness appear in the lore of Malaysia, Polynesia, and America.
2See Preface, p. vii.
3This incident is unique so far as American or European folk-lore is concerned, yet it is common in Tinguian tales, while similar stories are found among the neighboring Ilocano and Igorot tribes of the Philippines, as well as in Borneo, Java, and India.
4The belief that beauty is capable of radiating great light is not peculiar to Tinguian tales, for it is also found in the Malay legends and in those of India. It is not impossible that they had a common origin.
5The betel-nut is the nut of the areca palm. It is prepared for chewing by being cut into quarters, each piece being wrapped in betel-leaf spread with lime. It produces a blood-red spittle which greatly discolors the teeth and lips, and it is used extensively throughout the Philippines. While it appears to have been in common use among the Tinguian at the time these stories originated, it has now been displaced by tobacco, except at ceremonies when it is prepared for chewing; it is also placed on the animals offered for sacrifice to the spirits. Throughout the tales great significance is given to the chewing of betel-nuts before names are told or introductions given, while from the quids and spittle it appears to have been possible to foretell events and establish relationships.
6Compare with the story of Phæton in Bulfinch, The Age of Fable, p. 50.
7The Tinguian have no calendar, but reckon time by the recurrence of the moon.
8It is the present custom of the Tinguian to make numerous ceremonies for the spirits. These vary in length from a few hours to seventeen days. During this period animals are slaughtered, small houses are built, mediums deliver messages from the spirits, and there is much feasting and dancing.
9When ripe, the betel-nut is covered with a golden husk, and it is possibly because of this that they were said to be covered with gold. The present-day Tinguian, in place of sending the betel-nut, sends a small piece of gold to any relative or friend whom he specially wishes to induce to attend a ceremony.
10This seems to be peculiar to Tinguian folk-lore.
11Except when she is in mourning a Tinguian woman’s arms are always covered with beads placed strand above strand.
12The parents of a boy choose his bride when the children are very young. A great celebration is then held, and relatives and friends of both parties decide on the price to be paid for the girl. Partial payment is made at once, and the remainder goes over until the marriage proper takes place, when the boy and girl are about twelve or fourteen years of age. In this instance Ini-init makes the customary payment for his bride, though the marriage had already taken place.
13The friends and retainers pound rice and prepare food for all the guests who attend the ceremony.
14A spirit house is one of the small houses built during a ceremony.
15reference is probably to ancient Chinese jars.
16The custom, which still exists to a certain degree, was to offer food to a guest before any matter was discussed. In ancient times this was considered very necessary, as it still is among the Apayao who live north of the Tinguian. With them to refuse food is to refuse friendship.
17A drink made of fermented sugar-cane.
18The old jars possessed by the Tinguian today have notches broken in the rim, one for each generation through whose hands it has passed.
19When the first negotiations are made the boy’s parents offer some gift, nowadays usually a small bead. If this is accepted it signifies the willingness of the girl’s parents to consider the match.
20See note 1, p. 15.
21The music for the dances is made by beating on drums and copper gongs. A man and a woman enter the circle, each carrying a large square of cloth on outstretched arms. Keeping time to the music with their hands and feet, they move about, coming near to each other and then drawing farther apart The woman follows the movements of the man and finally places her cloth on his outstretched arms, thus ending the dance; another couple then takes their place.
22An interesting parallel to this is found in the Dayak legend of Limbang, where a tree springs from the head of a dead giant; its flowers are beads; its leaves, cloth; and the fruit, jars. See Roth, The Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo, Vol. I, p. 372.
23Throughout the Tinguian tales the characters are frequently described as changing themselves into oil, centipedes, birds, and other forms. This power is also found among the heroes of Dayak and Malay tales. See Roth, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 312; Perham, Journal Straits Branch R., Asiatic Society, No. 16, 1886; Wilkinson, Malay Beliefs, pp. 32, 59 (London, 1906).
24The Tinguian place a tame rooster in an open spot in the forest and surround him with a line to which slip nooses are attached. The crowing of this bird attracts wild ones which come to fight him and are caught in the nooses.
25The water buffalo now used as the beast of burden throughout the Philippines.
26The ordinary dress of the Tinguian man is a clout and a striped belt, in which he carries his tobacco and small articles. Some of them also possess striped cotton coats, which they wear on special occasions.
27See note 2, p. 12.
28See note 1, p. 13.
29This peculiar idea, which frequently appears in Tinguian tales, is also found in Javanese literature. See Bezemer, Volksdichtung aus Indonesien, p. 47 (Haag, 1904).
30See note 3, p. 15.
31The powerful deeds of these heroes often resemble the miraculous achievements of biblical and ancient times.
32See note 2, p. 20.
33The Tinguian of today do not possess soap, but in its place they use the ashes from rice straw, or not infrequently they soak the bark from a certain tree in the water in which they are to wash their hair.
34The lawed vine. In ancient Egypt and in India it was a common belief that friends or relatives could tell from the condition of a certain tree or vine whether the absent one was well or dead: if the vine thrived, they knew that all was well, but if it wilted they mourned for him as dead. It is interesting to find the identical belief in the northern Philippines.
35The Tinguian stove consists of a bed of ashes in which three stones are sunk, and on these the pots are placed.
36It appears that these people of ancient times possessed the same weapons as those of today. The Tinguian ordinarily wears a head-ax thrust into his belt, and when at work this is his hand tool. When on a hunt or during warfare he also carries a wooden shield and a steel-pointed spear from eight to ten feet in length. For attacks at a distance he depends on the spear, but in a close encounter he uses his head-ax and shield, the latter being oblong in shape and having two prongs at one end and three at the other. The two prongs are to be slipped about the neck of the victim while the head-ax does its work, or the three prongs may be slipped about the legs in the same way.
37From this and other incidents it is evident that these people talked with the lightning and thunder. They still have great regard for the omens derived from these forces; but it is now believed that thunder is the dog of Kadaklan, the greatest of all the spirits, and that by the barking of this dog, the god makes known his desires.
38Stories in which animals come to the assistance of human beings are found in many lands. One of those best known to Europeans is where the ants sort the grain for Cinderella.
39See note 2, p. 21.
40It was the ancient custom to place the heads of slain enemies at the gate or around the town, and this practice still prevails with some of the surrounding tribes. More recently it was the custom to expose the head at the gate of the town for three days, after which followed a great celebration when the skulls were broken and pieces were given to the guests.
41In their beliefs of today the Tinguian recognize many giants, some with more than one head. In a part of the ritual of one ceremony we read, “A man opens the door to learn the cause of the barking and he sees a man, fat and tall, with nine heads.”
42A large bamboo pole, with all but the end section cut out, serves for a water bucket.
43A long bamboo pole, in one end of which a hard-wood point is inserted. This is thrust into the ground, and in the hole thus made the grain or cuttings are planted. This old method is still in use in some sections of the mountains, but on the lowlands a primitive plow is used to break the soil.
44In European, Asiatic, African, and Malaysian lore we find stones of beings with star dresses: when they wear the dresses they are stars; when they take them off they are human. See Cox, An Introduction to Folklore, p. 121 (London, 1904.).
45note 1, p. 9.
46See note 1, p. 12.
47Preface, p. vii.
48It is the custom to have a small bamboo house built from fifteen to twenty feet from the ground near the rice fields, and in this someone watches every day during the growing season to see that nothing breaks in to destroy the grain. Often flappers are placed in different parts of the field and a connecting string leads from these to the little house, so that the watcher by pulling this string may frighten the birds away from the grain.
49See note 1, p. 18.
50Preface, p. vi.
51The nights in the mountains are cold, and it is not at all uncommon in the early morning to see groups of people with blankets wrapped tightly about them, squatting around small fires in the yards.
52See note 2, p. 12.
53See note 1, p. 13.
54See note 1, p. 17.
55Compare with the biblical story of the loaves and fishes. For similar incidents among the Igorot of the Philippines, in Borneo, and in India, see Jenks, The Bontoc Igorot, p. 202; Seidenadel, The Language of the Bontoc Igorot, pp. 491, 41 ff. (Chicago, 1909); Roth, The Natives of Sarawak and British North Borneo, Vol. I, p. 319; Tawney, Katha Sarit Sagara, Vol. II, p. 3 (Calcutta, 1880); Bezemer, Volksdichtung aus Indonesien, p. 49 (Haag, 1904).
56See note 1, p. 15.
57See note 3, p. 15.
58There appear to have been two classes of spirits, one for whom the people had the utmost respect and reverence, and another whom they looked upon as being of service to mortals.
59See note 1, p. 30.
60The word used in the original is langpadan, meaning mountain rice. This variety requires no irrigation and is planted to some extent at the present day, but the great bulk of the grain now used is grown in wonderfully terraced fields on the mountain sides, where water for irrigating is brought from distant streams through a system of flume and bamboo tubes. The fact that only the mountain rice is mentioned in the tales reflects a very ancient life before irrigated fields were known.
61See note 1, p. 45.
62The labeug is the omen bird and is believed to be the direct messenger of Kadaklan, the great spirit, to the people.
63See note 1, p. 34.
64See note 1, p. 8.
65See Preface, p. vii.
66Before the bundles of ripened rice can be put into the granary a ceremony is made for the spirits. The blood of a pig is mixed with cooked rice and put in the granary as an offering for the spirit who multiplies the grain, otherwise the crop would run out in a short time.
67See note 1, p. 9.
68The spirit who stands next in importance to Kadaklan, the great spirit. It was he who taught the people all good things, and finally he married a woman from Manabo in order to bind himself more closely to them. See “How the Tinguian Learned to Plant.”
69This story is considered by the Tinguian to be of rather recent origin. They believe that Sayen lived not so very long ago, yet the stories woven around him are very similar to the ancient ones.
70See “The Alan and the Hunters.”
71The Tinguian now use flint and steel for making a flame, but it is not at all uncommon for them to go to a neighbor’s house to borrow a burning ember to start their own fire.
72The neighboring Ilocano, a Christianized tribe, know the Komow as a fabulous bird which is invisible, yet steals people and their possessions.
73See note 1, p. 59.
74See note 2, p. 20.
75This tale is of special importance to the Tinguian since it explains how they learned two of the most important things of their present life—to plant and to cure the sick. It also shows how death came into the world.
76See note 1, p. 59.
77It is a common sight in a Tinguian village early in the morning during the dry season to see a number of men armed with spears and head-axes leaving for the mountains. They usually take with them, to assist in the chase, a string of half-starved dogs. Often a net is stretched across the runway of game, and then, while some of the hunters conceal themselves near by, others seek to drive the game into the net, where it is speared to death.
78Ancient Chinese jars are found throughout the interior of the Philippines and are very closely associated with the folk-lore of the Tinguian. Some of the jars date back to the 10th century, while many are from the 12th and 14th centuries, and evidently entered the Islands through pre-Spanish trade. They are held in great value and are generally used in part payment for a bride and for the settlement of feuds. For more details see Cole, Chinese Pottery in the Philippines, Pub. Field Museum of Nat. Hist, Vol. XII, No. 1.
79This cave is situated in the mountains midway between Patok and Santa Rosa. In this vicinity are numerous limestone caves, each of which has its traditions.
80Cabildo of Domayco, the envied owner of this jar, has refused great sums offered for its purchase, and though men from other tribes come bringing ten carabao at one time, they cannot tempt him to sell.
81These beautiful agate beads are still worn by the Tinguian women, who prize them very highly. They are rarely sold and each is worth more than a carabao.
82The Alan are supposed to be deformed spirits who live in the forests. They are as large as people, but have wings and can fly. Their toes are at the back of their feet, and their fingers point backward from their wrists.
83The name by which spirits call human beings.
84This treatment of the Alan is typical of that accorded to the less powerful of the spirits by the Tinguian today. At the ceremonies they often make fun of them and cheat them in the sacrifices.
85Known to the Tinguian as Banog. This bird occupies much the same place with the Tinguian as does the garuda in East Indian folk-lore.
86This tale gives to the Tinguian his idea of the future world. Sogsogot is supposed to have lived only a short time ago, and his experiences are well known to all the people.
87See note 1, p. 15. Practically this same tale is told by the neighboring Ilocano, from whom it may have been borrowed; but here the Tinguian custom of paying a marriage price is introduced.
88This type of story is also found farther to the south, where the cleverness of the small animal causes him to triumph over the strong.
89The Tinguian house contains neither tables nor chairs. The people usually squat on the floor, sitting on their heels; if anything is used as a seat it is a bit of cocoanut shell or a small block of wood.
90Here we have a proverbial tale, one in which the Tinguian expresses the idea, “Haste makes waste.”
91Another version of this tale is found in British North Borneo in the story of the plandok and the crab, while to European children it is known as the race between the turtle and the hare.
92The story shows the influence of the Christianized natives, among whom cock-fighting is a very popular sport. It is found only among those Tinguian who come into contact with this class.
Three or four days’ journey to the south and east of the Tinguian live the Igorot; but so difficult are the trails over the mountains and through the swift rivers that there is little intercourse between the two tribes, consequently each believes the other a people to be feared. Salt, weapons, and jars are sometimes exchanged, but the customs and beliefs are not similar. Each group leads its own life and is governed by its own spirits.
From a distance an Igorot village looks like a group of haystacks nestling among the hills; but viewed more closely, it is found to consist of houses whose board sides are almost hidden by the overhanging grass roofs. The upper part of the house is used as a storehouse, while below, on a ground floor, the family cooks and eats. In one end there is a tiny boxlike bedroom where the father, mother, and small children sleep. After they are two or three years old the girls spend the night in a dormitory, while the boys sleep in the men’s council house.
These people have splendid terraced fields on the mountain sides where water is brought from the streams through troughs and ditches. Here both men and women are busy early and late cultivating the rice, sweet potatoes, and small vegetables on which they live. The men are head-hunters and ardent warriors, each village demanding a head in payment for any taken by a hostile village.
Watching over the Igorot, controlling the winds and the rains, and providing good crops and health for the people, is the Great Spirit, Lumawig, who lives in the sky. He is believed to have created the Igorot and even to have lived among them on the earth. He no longer visits them in person, they say, but each month they perform a ceremony at which they pray to him to protect them and entreat him to favor them with health and good crops.
The following tales are told by the fathers and mothers to the children to teach them how things came to be as they are.
In the beginning there were no people on the earth. Lumawig,1 the Great Spirit, came down from the sky and cut many reeds.2 He divided these into pairs which he placed in different parts of the world, and then he said to them, “You must speak.” Immediately the reeds became people, and in each place was a man and a woman who could talk, but the language of each couple differed from that of the others.
Then Lumawig commanded each man and woman to marry, which they did. By and by there were many children, all speaking the same language as their parents. These, in turn, married and had many children. In this way there came to be many people on the earth.
Now Lumawig saw that there were several things which the people on the earth needed to use, so he set to work to supply them. He created salt, and told the inhabitants of one place to boil it down and sell it to their neighbors. But these people could not understand the directions of the Great Spirit, and the next time he visited them, they had not touched the salt.
Then he took it away from them and gave it to the people of a place called Mayinit.3 These did as he directed, and because of this he told them that they should always be owners of the salt, and that the other peoples must buy of them.
Then Lumawig went to the people of Bontoc and told them to get clay and make pots. They got the clay, but they did not understand the moulding, and the jars were not well shaped. Because of their failure, Lumawig told them that they would always have to buy their jars, and he removed the pottery to Samoki.4 When he told the people there what to do, they did just as he said, and their jars were well shaped and beautiful. Then the Great Spirit saw that they were fit owners of the pottery, and he told them that they should always make many jars to sell.
In this way Lumawig taught the people and brought to them all the things which they now have.
The Flood Story
Once upon a time, when the world was flat and there were no mountains, there lived two brothers, sons of Lumawig, the Great Spirit. The brothers were fond of hunting, and since no mountains had formed there was no good place to catch wild pig and deer, and the older brother said:
“Let us cause water to flow over all the world and cover it, and then mountains will rise up.”5
So they caused water to flow over all the earth, and when it was covered they took the head-basket6 of the town and set it for a trap. The brothers were very much pleased when they went to look at their trap, for they had caught not only many wild pigs and deer but also many people.
Now Lumawig looked down from his place in the sky and saw that his sons had flooded the earth and that in all the world there was just one spot which was not covered. And he saw that all the people in the world had been drowned except one brother and sister who lived in Pokis.
Then Lumawig descended, and he called to the boy and girl, saying:
“Oh, you are still alive.”
“Yes,” answered the boy, “we are still alive, but we are very cold.”
So Lumawig commanded his dog and deer to get fire7 for the boy and girl. The dog and the deer swam quickly away, but though Lumawig waited a long time they did not return, and all the time the boy and girl were growing colder.
Finally Lumawig himself went after the dog and the deer, and when he reached them he said:
“Why are you so long in bringing the fire to Pokis? Get ready and come quickly while I watch you, for the boy and girl are very cold.”
Then the dog and the deer took the fire and started to swim through the flood, but when they had gone only a little way the fire was put out.
Lumawig commanded them to get more fire and they did so, but they swam only a little way again when that of the deer went out, and that of the dog would have been extinguished also had not Lumawig gone quickly to him and taken it.
As soon as Lumawig reached Pokis he built a big fire which warmed the brother and sister; and the water evaporated so that the world was as it was before, except that now there were mountains. The brother and sister married and had children, and thus there came to be many people on the earth.
Lumawig on Earth
One day when Lumawig,8 the Great Spirit, looked down from his place in the sky he saw two sisters gathering beans. And he decided to go down to visit them. When he arrived at the place he asked them what they were doing. The younger, whose name was Fukan, answered:
“We are gathering beans, but it takes a long time to get enough, for my sister wants to go bathing all the time.”
Then Lumawig said to the older sister:
“Hand me a single pod of the beans.”
And when she had given it to him, he shelled it into the basket and immediately the basket was full.9 The younger sister laughed at this, and Lumawig said to her:
“Give me another pod and another basket.”
She did so, and when he had shelled the pod, that basket was full also. Then he said to the younger sister:
“Go home and get three more baskets.”
She went home, but when she asked for three more baskets her mother said that the beans were few and she could not need so many. Then Fukan told her of the young man who could fill a basket from one pod of beans, and the father, who heard her story, said:
“Go bring the young man here, for I think he must be a god.”
So Fukan took the three baskets back to Lumawig, and when he had filled them as he did the other two, he helped the girls carry them to the house. As they reached their home, he stopped outside to cool himself, but the father called to him and he went up into the house and asked for some water. The father brought him a cocoanut shell full, and before drinking Lumawig looked at it and said:
“If I stay here with you, I shall become very strong.”
The next morning Lumawig asked to see their chickens, and when they opened the chicken-coop out came a hen and many little chicks. “Are these all of your chickens?” asked Lumawig; and the father assured him that they were all. He then bade them bring rice meal that he might feed them, and as the chickens ate they all grew rapidly till they were cocks and hens.
Next Lumawig asked how many pigs they had, and the father replied that they had one with some little ones. Then Lumawig bade them fill a pail with sweet potato leaves and he fed the pigs. And as they ate they also grew to full size.
The father was so pleased with all these things that he offered his elder daughter to Lumawig for a wife. But the Great Spirit said he preferred to marry the younger; so that was arranged. Now when his brother-in-law learned that Lumawig desired a feast at his wedding, he was very angry and said:
“Where would you get food for your wedding feast? There is no rice, nor beef, nor pork, nor chicken,”
But Lumawig only answered, “I shall provide our wedding feast.”
In the morning they all set out for Lanao, for Lumawig did not care to stay any longer in the house with his brother-in-law. As soon as they arrived he sent out for some tree trunks, but the trees that the people brought in were so small that Lumawig himself went to the forest and cut two large pine trees which he hurled to Lanao.
When the people had built a fire of the trees he commanded them to bring ten kettles filled with water. Soon the water was boiling hot and the brother-in-law laughed and said:
“Where is your rice? You have the boiling water, but you do not seem to think of the rice.”
In answer to this Lumawig took a small basket of rice and passed it over five kettles and they were full. Then he called “Yishtjau,” and some deer came running out of the forest. These were not what he wanted, however, so he called again and some pigs came. He told the people that they were each to catch one and for his brother-in-law he selected the largest and best.
They all set out in pursuit of the pigs and the others quickly caught theirs, but though the brother-in-law chased his until he was very tired and hot he could not catch it Lumawig laughed at him and said:
“You chase that pig until he is thin and still you cannot catch it, though all the others have theirs.”
Thereupon he grasped the hind legs of the pig and lifted it. All the people laughed and the brother-in-law said:
“Of course you can catch it, because I chased it until it was tired.”
Lumawig then handed it to him and said, “Here, you carry it.” But no sooner had the brother-in-law put it over his shoulder than it cut loose and ran away.
“Why did you let it go?” asked Lumawig. “Do you care nothing for it, even after I caught it for you? Catch it again and bring it here.”
So the brother-in-law started out again, and he chased it up stream and down, but he could not catch it. Finally Lumawig reached down and picked up the pig and carried it to the place where the others were cooking.
After they had all eaten and drunk and made their offerings to the spirits, Lumawig said:
“Come, let us go to the mountain to consult the omen concerning the northern tribes.”
So they consulted the omen, but it was not favorable, and they were starting home when the brother-in-law asked Lumawig to create some water, as the people were hot and thirsty.
“Why do you not create water, Lumawig?” he repeated as Lumawig paid no attention to him. “You care nothing that the people are thirsty and in need of drink.”
Then they quarreled and were very angry and Lumawig said to the people, “Let us sit down and rest.”
While they rested, Lumawig struck the rock with his spear and water came out.10 The brother-in-law jumped up to get a drink first, but Lumawig held him back and said he must be the last to drink. So they all drank, and when they had finished, the brother-in-law stepped up, but Lumawig gave him a push which sent him into the rock and water came from his body.
“You must stay there,” said Lumawig, “because you have troubled me a great deal.” And they went home, leaving him in the rock.
Some time after this Lumawig decided to go back to the sky to live, but before he went he took care that his wife should have a home. He made a coffin of wood11 and placed her in it with a dog at her feet and a cock at her head. And as he set it floating on the water,12 he told it not to stop until it reached Tinglayen. Then, if the foot end struck first, the dog should bark; and if the head end was the first to strike, the cock should crow. So it floated away, and on and on, until it came to Tinglayen.
Now a widower was sharpening his ax on the bank of the river, and when he saw the coffin stop, he went to fish it out of the water. On shore he started to open it, but Fugan cried out, “Do not drive a wedge, for I am here,” So the widower opened it carefully and took Fugan up to the town, and then as he had no wife of his own, he married her.
How the First Head was Taken13
One day the Moon, who was a woman named Kabigat, sat out in the yard making a large copper pot. The copper was still soft and pliable like clay, and the woman squatted on the ground with the heavy pot against her knees while she patted and shaped it.14
Now while she was working a son of Chal-chal, the Sun, came by and stopped to watch her mould the form. Against the inside of the jar she pressed a stone, while on the outside with a wooden paddle dripping with water she pounded and slapped until she had worked down the bulges and formed a smooth surface.
The boy was greatly interested in seeing the jar grow larger, more beautiful, and smoother with each stroke, and he stood still for some time. Suddenly the Moon looked up and saw him watching her. Instantly she struck him with her paddle, cutting off his head.
Now the Sun was not near, but he knew as soon as the Moon had cut off his son’s head. And hurrying to the spot, he put the boy’s head back on, and he was alive again.
Then the Sun said to the Moon, “You cut off my son’s head, and because you did this ever after on the earth people will cut off each other’s heads.”
The Serpent Eagle15
Once there lived two boys whose mother sent them every day to the forest to get wood16 for her fires. Each morning, as they started out, she gave them some food for their trip, but it was always poor and there was little of it, and she would say:
“The wood that you brought yesterday was so poor that I cannot give you much to eat today.”
The boys tried very hard to please her, but if they brought nice pine wood she scolded them, and if they brought large dry reeds she said:
“These are no good for my fire, for they leave too much ashes in the house.”
Try as they would, they failed to satisfy her; and their bodies grew very thin from working hard all day and from want of enough to eat.
One morning when they left for the mountains the mother gave them a bit of dog meat to eat, and the boys were very sad. When they reached the forest one of them said:
“You wait here while I climb the tree and cut off some branches.”
Type of Mandaya tree house
Type of Mandaya tree house
He went up the tree and soon called down, “Here is some wood,” and the bones of his arm dropped to the ground.
“Oh,” cried his brother, “it is your arm!”
“Here is some more wood,” cried the other, and the bones of the other arm dropped to the ground.
Then he called again, and the bones of his leg fell, then those of his other leg, and so on till all the bones of his body lay on the ground.
“Take these home,” he said, “and tell the woman that here is her wood; she only wanted my bones.”
The younger boy was very sad, for he was alone, and there was no one to go down the mountain with him. He gathered up the bundle of wood, wondering meanwhile what he should do, but just as he finished a serpent eagle called down from the tree tops:
“I will go with you, Brother.”
So the boy put the bundle of wood on his shoulder, and as he was going down the mountain, his brother, who was now a serpent eagle, flew over his head. When he reached the house, he put down the bundle and said to his mother:
“Here is your wood.”
When she looked at it she was very much frightened and ran out of the house.
Then the serpent eagle circled round and round above her head and called:
“Quiukok! quiukok! quiukok! I do not need your food any more.”
Swinging bridge over Padada river
Swinging bridge over Padada river
The Tattooed Men17
Once there were two young men, very good friends, who were unhappy because neither of them had been tattooed.18 They felt that they were not as beautiful as their friends.
One day they agreed to tattoo each other. One marked the breast and back of the other, his arms and legs, and even his face. And when he had finished, he took soot off the bottom of a cooking-pot and rubbed it into all the marks; and he was tattooed beautifully.
The one who had done the work said to the other:
“Now, my friend, you are very beautiful, and you must tattoo me.”
Then the tattooed one scraped a great pile of black soot off the cooking-pots, and before the other knew what he was about, he had rubbed it all over him from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet; and he was very black and greasy. The one who was covered with soot became very angry and cried:
“Why do you treat me so when I tattooed you so carefully?”
They began to fight, but suddenly the beautifully tattooed one became a great lizard which ran away and hid in the tall grass, while the sooty one became a crow and flew away over the village.19
Tilin, The Rice Bird20
One day when a mother was pounding out rice to cook for supper, her little girl ran up to her and cried:
“Oh, Mother, give me some of the raw rice to eat.”
“No,” said the mother, “it is not good for you to eat until it is cooked. Wait for supper.”
But the little girl persisted until the mother, out of patience, cried:
“Be still. It is not good for you to talk so much!”
When she had finished pounding the rice, the woman poured it into a rice winnower and tossed it many times into the air. As soon as the chaff was removed she emptied the rice into her basket and covered it with the winnower. Then she took the jar upon her head, and started for the spring to get water.
Now the little girl was fond of going to the spring with her mother, for she loved to play in the cool water while her mother filled the jars. But this time she did not go, and as soon as the woman was out of sight, she ran to the basket of rice. She reached down to take a handful of the grain. The cover slipped so that she fell, and was covered up in the basket.
When the mother returned to the house, she heard a bird crying, “King, king, nik! nik! nik!” She listened carefully, and as the sound seemed to come from the basket, she removed the cover. To her surprise, out hopped a little brown rice bird, and as it flew away it kept calling back:
“Goodbye, Mother; goodbye, Mother. You would not give me any rice to eat.”
1Lumawig is the greatest of all spirits and now lives in the sky, though for a time his home was in the Igorot village of Bontoc, He married a Bontoc girl, and the stones of their house are still to be seen in the village. It was Lumawig who created the Igorot, and ever since he has taken a great interest in them, teaching them how to overcome the forces of nature, how to plant, to reap and, in fact, everything that they know. Once each month a ceremony is held in his honor in a sacred grove, whose trees are believed to have sprung from the graves of his children. Here prayers are offered for health, good crops, and success in battle. A close resemblance exists between Lumawig of the Igorot and Kaboniyan of the Tinguian, the former being sometimes called Kambun’yan.
2The Bukidnon of Mindanao have the following story: During a great drought Mampolompon could grow nothing on his clearing except one bamboo, and during a high wind this was broken. From this bamboo came a dog and a woman, who were the ancestors of the Moro. See “The White Squash,” note 1, p. 186.
3At the north end of the village of Mayinit are a number of brackish hot springs, and from these the people secure the salt which has made the spot famous for miles around. Stones are placed in the shallow streams flowing from these springs, and when they have become encrusted with salt (about once a month) they are washed and the water is evaporated by boiling. The salt, which is then a thick paste, is formed into cakes and baked near the fire for about half an hour, when it is ready for use. It is the only salt in this section, and is in great demand. Even hostile tribes come to a hill overlooking the town and call down, then deposit whatever they have for trade and withdraw, while the Igorot take up the salt and leave it in place of the trade articles.
4The women of Samoki are known as excellent potters, and their ware is used over a wide area. From a pit on a hillside to the north of the village they dig a reddish-brown clay, which they mix with a bluish mineral gathered on another hillside. When thoroughly mixed, this clay is placed on a board on the ground, and the potter, kneeling before it, begins her moulding. Great patience and skill are required to bring the vessel to the desired shape. When it is completed it is set in the sun to dry for two or three days, after which it is ready for the baking. The new pots are piled tier above tier on the ground and blanketed with grass tied into bundles. Then pine bark is burned beneath and around the pile for about an hour, when the ware is sufficiently fired. It is then glazed with resin and is ready to market.
5The mythology of nearly all peoples has a flood story. For the Tinguian account see note on page 103. For the Bukidnon story see p. 125.
6A bamboo basket, in which the heads of victims are kept prior to the head-taking celebration.
7The folk-lore of all countries has some story accounting for the acquisition of fire. The Tinguian tale is as follows: Once in the very old times Kaboniyan sent a flood which covered all the land. Then there was no place for the fire to stay, so it went into the bamboo, the stones, and iron. That is why one who knows how can still get fire out of bamboo and stones.
8See note 1, p. 99.
9The magical increase of food is a popular subject with the Tinguian, appearing in many of their folk-tales. See note 2, p. 48.
10Note the similarity to the story of Moses in this account of Lumawig striking the rock and water coming out. There is a possibility that this incident was added to the story after the advent of the Catholic missionaries.
11Usually one or more new coffins can be found in an Igorot village. They are made from a log split in two lengthwise, each half being hollowed out. Since their manufacture requires some days, it is necessary to prepare them ahead of time. After the body is put in, the cover is tied on with rattan and the chinks sealed with mud and lime.
12A somewhat similar idea is found among the Kulaman of southern Mindanao. Here when an important man dies he is placed in a coffin, which resembles a small boat, the coffin being then fastened on high poles near the sea. See Cole, Wild Tribes of Davao District, Mindanao, Pub. Field Museum of Nat Hist, Vol. XII, No. 2, 1913.
13This story, first recorded by Dr. A.E. Jenks, gives the origin of the custom of head-hunting, which plays such an important part in the life of the Igorot. The Igorot claim to have taken heads ever since Lumawig lived on earth and taught them to go to war, and they declare that it makes them brave and manly. The return of a successful war party is the signal for a great celebration.
14This is also the common way of making pottery.
15Here we have a story, recorded by Dr. A.E. Jenks, with a twofold value: it is told to the children as a warning against stinginess, and it also explains the origin of the serpent eagle.
16There is no jungle in the greater part of the Igorot country, the mountains being covered by cogon grass with occasional pine trees. At a distance these have a strange appearance, for only the bushy tops are left, the lower branches being cut off for fuel.
17First recorded by Dr. A.E. Jenks.
18Tattooing is a painful process, but Igorot men, women, and children willingly submit to it for the sake of beauty. The design is first drawn on the skin with an ink made of soot and water: then the skin is pricked through the pattern and the soot is rubbed into the wounds. Various designs appear on the face, arms, stomach, and other parts of the body, but the most important of all markings is that on the breast of an Igorot man. This designates him as the taker of at least one human head, and he is thus shown to be worthy of the respect of his tribe.
19This story also accounts for the origin of the crow and the lizard, both of which are common in the Igorot country.
20This story, first recorded by Dr. A.E. Jenks, while it explain the origin of the little rice bird, also points a moral, namely, that there is punishment for the disobedient child.
Wild Tribes of Mindanao
About one thousand miles to the south and east of the Tinguian and Igorot is the Island of Mindanao, which is inhabited by mortals and immortals entirely unknown to the mountain tribes of the north.
In the northern part of this great island are the Bukidnon—timid, wild people who, attacked from time to time by the Moro on one side and the Manobo on the other, have drawn back into scattered homes in the hills. Here they live in poor dwellings raised high from the ground. Some even build in trees, their sheltered and secret positions making them less subject to attack.
They are not a warlike people, and their greatest concern is for the good will of the numerous spirits who watch over their every act. At times they gather a little hemp or coffee from the hillside or along the stream bank and carry it to the coast to exchange for the bright cloth which they make into gay clothes. But they do not love work, and the most of their time is spent in resting or attending ceremonies made to gain the good will of the immortals.
In this country the belief prevails that there are spirits in the stones, in the baliti trees, in the vines, the cliffs, and even the caves. And never does a man start on a journey or make a clearing on the mountain side until he has first besought these spirits not to be angry with him but to favor him with prosperity and bring good crops.
The greatest of the spirits is Diwata Magbabaya, who is so awe-inspiring that his name is never mentioned above a whisper. He lives in the sky in a house made of coins, and there are no windows in this building, for if men should look upon him they would melt into water.
About the Gulf of Davao, in the southeastern part of this island, are a number of small tribes, each differing somewhat from the other in customs and beliefs. Of these the most influential are the Bagobo who dwell on the lower slopes of Mt. Apo, the highest peak in the Philippines. They are very industrious, forging excellent knives, casting fine articles in brass, and weaving beautiful hemp cloth which they make into elaborate garments decorated with beads and shell disks.
The men are great warriors, each gaining distinction among his people according to the number of human lives he has taken. A number of them dress in dark red suits and peculiar headbands which they are permitted to wear only after they have taken six lives. Notwithstanding their bravery in battle, these people fear and have great respect for the numerous spirits who rule over their lives.
From a great fissure in the side of Mt. Apo, clouds of sulphur fumes are constantly rising, and it is believed to be in this fissure that Mandarangan and his wife Darago live—evil beings who look after the fortunes of the warriors. These spirits are feared and great care is taken to appease them with offerings, while once a year a human sacrifice is made to them.
The following tales show something of the beliefs of these and the neighboring tribes in Mindanao.
How the Moon and the Stars Came to Be
One day in the times when the sky was close to the ground a spinster went out to pound rice.1 Before she began her work, she took off the beads from around her neck and the comb from her hair, and hung them on the sky, which at that time looked like coral rock.
Then she began working, and each time that she raised her pestle into the air it struck the sky. For some time she pounded the rice, and then she raised the pestle so high that it struck the sky very hard.
Immediately the sky began to rise,2 and it went up so far that she lost her ornaments. Never did they come down, for the comb became the moon and the beads are the stars that are scattered about.
The Flood Story
A long time ago there was a very big crab3 which crawled into the sea. And when he went in he crowded the water out so that it ran all over the earth and covered all the land.
Now about one moon before this happened, a wise man had told the people that they must build a large raft.4 They did as he commanded and cut many large trees, until they had enough to make three layers. These they bound tightly together, and when it was done they fastened the raft with a long rattan cord to a big pole in the earth.
Soon after this the floods came. White water poured out of the hills, and the sea rose and covered even the highest mountains. The people and animals on the raft were safe, but all the others drowned.
When the waters went down and the raft was again on the ground, it was near their old home, for the rattan cord had held.
But these were the only people left on the whole earth.
Magbangal was a good hunter, and he often went to a certain hill where he killed wild pigs for food. One night as it was nearing the planting season, he sat in his house thinking, and after a long time he called to his wife. She came to him, and he said:
“Tomorrow I shall go to the hill and clear the land for our planting, but I wish you to stay here.”
“Oh, let me go with you,” begged his wife, “for you have no other companion.”
“No,” said Magbangal, “I wish to go alone, and you must stay at home.”
So finally his wife agreed, and in the morning she arose early to prepare food for him. When the rice was cooked and the fish ready she called him to come and eat, but he said:
“No, I do not want to eat now, but I will return this afternoon and you must have it ready for me.”
Then he gathered up his ten hatchets and bolos,6 a sharpening stone, and a bamboo tube for water, and started for the hill. Upon reaching his land he cut some small trees to make a bench. When it was finished, he sat down on it and said to the bolos, “You bolos must sharpen yourselves on the stone.” And the bolos went to the stone and were sharpened. Then to the hatchets he said, “You hatchets must be sharpened,” and they also sharpened themselves.
When all were ready, he said: “Now you bolos cut all the small brush under the trees, and you hatchets must cut the large trees.” So the bolos and the hatchets went to work, and from his place on the bench Magbangal could see the land being cleared.
Magbangal’s wife was at work in their house weaving a skirt, but when she heard the trees continually falling she stopped to listen and thought to herself, “My husband must have found many people to help him clear our land. When he left here, he was alone, but surely he cannot cut down the trees so fast. I will see who is helping him.”
She left the house and walked rapidly toward the field, but as she drew nearer she proceeded more slowly, and finally stopped behind a tree. From her hiding-place, she could see her husband asleep on the bench, and she could also see that the bolos and hatchets were cutting the trees with no hands to guide them.
“Oh,” said she, “Magbangal is very powerful. Never before have I seen bolos and hatchets working without hands, and he never told me of his power.”
Suddenly she saw her husband jump up, and, seizing a bolo, he cut off one of his own arms. He awoke and sat up and said:
“Someone must be looking at me, for one of my arms is cut off.”
When he saw his wife he knew that she was the cause of his losing his arm, and as they went home together, he exclaimed:
“Now I am going away. It is better for me to go to the sky where I can give the sign to the people when it is time to plant; and you must go to the water and become a fish.”
Soon after he went to the sky and became the constellation Magbangal; and ever since, when the people see these stars appear in the sky, they know that it is time to plant their rice.
How Children Became Monkeys
One day a mother took her two children with her when she went to color cloth. Not far from her home was a mud hole7 where the carabao liked to wallow, and to this hole she carried her cloth, some dye pots, and two shell spoons.
After she had put the cloth into the mud to let it take up the dark color, she built a fire and put over it a pot containing water and the leaves used for dyeing. Then she sat down to wait for the water to boil, while the children played near by.
By and by when she went to stir the leaves with a shell spoon, some of the water splashed up and burned her hand, so that she jumped and cried out. This amused the children and their laughter changed them into monkeys, and the spoons became their tails.8
The nails of the monkeys are still black, because while they were children they had helped their mother dye the cloth.
Bulanawan and Aguio
Langgona and his wife had twin boys named Bulanawan and Aguio. One day, when they were about two years old, the mother took Bulanawan to the field with her when she went to pick cotton. She spread the fiber she had gathered the day before on the ground to dry near the child, and while she was getting more a great wind suddenly arose which wound the cotton around the baby and carried him away. Far away to a distant land the wind took Bulanawan, and in that place he grew up. When he was a man, he became a great warrior.9
One day while Bulanawan and his wife were walking along the seashore, they sat down to rest on a large, flat rock, and Bulanawan fell asleep. Now Aguio, the twin brother of Bulanawan, had become a great warrior also, and he went on a journey to this distant land, not knowing that his brother was there. It happened that he was walking along the seashore in his war-dress 10 on this same day, and when he saw the woman sitting on the large, flat rock, he thought her very beautiful, and he determined to steal her.
As he drew near he asked her to give him some of her husband’s betel-nut to chew, and when she refused he went forward to fight her husband, not knowing they were brothers. As soon as his wife awakened him Bulanawan sprang up, seized her, put her in the cuff of his sleeve,11 and came forth ready to fight. Aguio grew very angry at this, and they fought until their weapons were broken, and the earth trembled.
Now the two brothers of the rivals felt the earth tremble although they were far away, and each feared that his brother was in trouble. One was in the mountains and he started at once for the sea; the other was in a far land, but he set out in a boat for the scene of the trouble.
They arrived at the same time at the place of battle, and they immediately joined in it. Then the trembling of the earth increased so much that Langgona, the father of Aguio and Bulanawan, sought out the spot and tried to make peace. But he only seemed to make matters worse, and they all began fighting him. So great did the disturbance become that the earth was in danger of falling to pieces.
Then it was that the father of Langgona came and settled the trouble, and when all were at peace again they discovered that Aguio and Bulanawan were brothers and the grandsons of the peacemaker.
In the beginning there lived one man and one woman, Toglai and Toglibon. Their first children were a boy and a girl. When they were old enough, the boy and the girl went far away across the waters seeking a good place to live in. Nothing more was heard of them until their children, the Spaniards and Americans, came back. After the first boy and girl left, other children were born to the couple, but they all remained at Cibolan on Mt. Apo with their parents, until Toglai and Toglibon died and became spirits.
Soon after that there came a great drought which lasted for three years. All the waters dried up, so that there were no rivers, and no plants could live.
“Surely,” said the people, “Manama is punishing us and we must go elsewhere to find food and a place to dwell in.”
So they started out. Two went in the direction of the sunset, carrying with them stones from Cibolan River. After a long journey they reached a place where were broad fields of cogon grass and an abundance of water, and there they made their home. Their children still live in that place and are called Magindanau, because of the stones which the couple carried when they left Cibolan.
Two children of Toglai and Toglibon went to the south, seeking a home, and they carried with them women’s baskets (baraan). When they found a good spot, they settled down. Their descendants, still dwelling at that place, are called Baraan or Bilaan, because of the women’s baskets.
So two by two the children of the first couple left the land of their birth. In the place where each settled a new people developed, and thus it came about that all the tribes in the world received their names from things that the people carried out of Cibolan, or from the places where they settled.
All the children left Mt. Apo save two (a boy and a girl), whom hunger and thirst had made too weak to travel. One day when they were about to die the boy crawled out to the field to see if there was one living thing, and to his surprise he found a stalk of sugar-cane growing lustily. He eagerly cut it, and enough water came out to refresh him and his sister until the rains came. Because of this, their children are called Bagobo.12
Soon after people were created on the earth, there was born a child named Lumabet, who lived to be a very, very old man. He could talk when he was but one day old, and all his life he did wonderful things until the people came to believe that he had been sent by Manama, the Great Spirit.
When Lumabet was still a young man he had a fine dog, and he enjoyed nothing so much as taking him to the mountains to hunt. One day the dog noticed a white deer. Lumabet and his companions started in pursuit, but the deer was very swift and they could not catch it. On and on they went until they had gone around the world, and still the deer was ahead. One by one his companions dropped out of the chase, but Lumabet would not give up until he had the deer.
All the time he had but one banana and one camote (sweet potato) for food, but each night he planted the skins of these, and in the morning he found a banana tree with ripe fruit and a sweet potato large enough to eat. So he kept on until he had been around the world nine times, and he was an old man and his hair was gray. At last he caught the deer, and then he called all the people to a great feast, to see the animal.
While all were making merry, Lumabet told them to take a knife and kill his father. They were greatly surprised, but did as he commanded, and when the old man was dead, Lumabet waved his headband over him and he came to life again. Eight times they killed the old man at Lumabet’s command, and the eighth time he was small like a little boy, for each time they had cut off some of his flesh. They all wondered very much at Lumabet’s power, and they were certain that he was a god.
One morning some spirits came to talk with Lumabet, and after they had gone he called the people to come into his house.
“We cannot all come in,” said the people, “for your house is small and we are many.”
“There is plenty of room,” said he; so all went in and to their surprise it did not seem crowded.
Then he told the people that he was going on a long journey and that all who believed he had great power could go with him, while all who remained behind would be changed into animals and buso.13 He started out, many following him, and it was as he said. For those that refused to go were immediately changed into animals and buso.
He led the people far away across the ocean to a place where the earth and the sky meet. When they arrived they saw that the sky moved up and down like a man opening and closing his jaws.
“Sky, you must go up,” commanded Lumabet.
But the sky would not obey. So the people could not go through. Finally Lumabet promised the sky that if he would let all the others through, he might have the last man who tried to pass. Agreeing to this, the sky opened and the people entered. But when near the last the sky shut down so suddenly that he caught not only the last man but also the long knife of the man before.
On that same day, Lumabet’s son, who was hunting, did not know that his father had gone to the sky. When he was tired of the chase, he wanted to go to his father, so he leaned an arrow against a baliti tree and sat down on it. Slowly it began to go down and carried him to his father’s place, but when he arrived he could find no people. He looked here and there and could find nothing but a gun made of gold.14 This made him very sorrowful and he did not know what to do until some white bees which were in the house said to him:
“You must not weep, for we can take you to the sky where your father is.”
So he did as they bade, and rode on the gun, and the bees flew away with him, until in three days they reached the sky.
Now, although most of the men who followed Lumabet were content to live in the sky, there was one who was very unhappy, and all the time he kept looking down on the land below. The spirits made fun of him and wanted to take out his intestines so that he would be like them and never die, but he was afraid and always begged to be allowed to go back home.
Finally Manama told the spirits to allow him to go, so they made a chain of the leaves of the karan grass and tied it to his legs. Then they let him down slowly head first, and when he reached the ground he was no longer a man but an owl.15
The Story of the Creation16
In the very beginning there lived a being so large that he can not be compared with any known thing. His name was Melu,17 and when he sat on the clouds, which were his home, he occupied all the space above. His teeth were pure gold, and because he was very cleanly and continually rubbed himself with his hands, his skin became pure white. The dead skin which he rubbed off his body18 was placed on one side in a pile, and by and by this pile became so large that he was annoyed and set himself to consider what he could do with it.
Finally Melu decided to make the earth; so he worked very hard in putting the dead skin into shape, and when it was finished he was so pleased with it that he determined to make two beings like himself, though smaller, to live on it.
Taking the remnants of the material left after making the earth he fashioned two men but just as they were all finished except their noses, Tau Tana from below the earth appeared and wanted to help him.
Melu did not wish any assistance, and a great argument ensued. Tau Tana finally won his point and made the noses which he placed on the people upside down. When all was finished, Melu and Tau Tana whipped the forms until they moved. Then Melu went to his home above the clouds, and Tau Tana returned to his place below the earth.
All went well until one day a great rain came, and the people on the earth nearly drowned from the water which ran off their heads into their noses. Melu, from his place on the clouds, saw their danger, and he came quickly to earth and saved their lives by turning their noses the other side up.
The people were very grateful to him, and promised to do anything he should ask of them. Before he left for the sky, they told him that they were very unhappy living on the great earth all alone, so he told them to save all the hair from their heads and the dry skin from their bodies and the next time he came he would make them some companions. And in this way there came to be a great many people on the earth.
In the Beginning
In the beginning there were four beings,19 and they lived on an island no larger than a hat. On this island there were no trees or grass or any other living thing besides these four people and one bird.20 One day they sent this bird out across the waters to see what he could find, and when he returned he brought some earth, a piece of rattan, and some fruit.
Melu, the greatest of the four, took the soil and shaped it and beat it with a paddle in the same manner in which a woman shapes pots of clay, and when he finished he had made the earth. Then he planted the seeds from the fruit, and they grew until there was much rattan and many trees bearing fruit.
The four beings watched the growth for a long time and were well pleased with the work, but finally Melu said:
“Of what use is this earth and all the rattan and fruit if there are no people?”
And the others replied, “Let us make some people out of wax.”
So they took some wax and worked long, fashioning it into forms, but when they brought them to the fire the wax melted, and they saw that men could not be made in that way.
Next they decided to try to use dirt in making people, and Melu and one of his companions began working on that. All went well till they were ready to make the noses. The companion, who was working on that part, put them on upside down. Melu told him that the people would drown if he left them that way, but he refused to change them.
When his back was turned, however, Melu seized the noses, one by one, and turned them as they now are. But he was in such a hurry that he pressed his finger at the root, and it left a mark in the soft clay which you can still see on the faces of people.
The Children of the Limokon21
In the very early days before there were any people on the earth, the limokon (a kind of dove)22 were very powerful and could talk like men though they looked like birds. One limokon laid two eggs, one at the mouth of the Mayo River and one farther up its course. After some time these eggs hatched, and the one at the mouth of the river became a man, while the other became a woman.
The man lived alone on the bank of the river for a long time, but he was very lonely and wished many times for a companion. One day when he was crossing the river something was swept against his legs with such force that it nearly caused him to drown. On examining it, he found that it was a hair, and he determined to go up the river and find whence it came. He traveled up the stream, looking on both banks, until finally he found the woman, and he was very happy to think that at last he could have a companion.
They were married and had many children, who are the Mandaya still living along the Mayo River,
The Sun and the Moon
The Sun and the Moon were married, but the Sun was very ugly and quarrelsome. One day he became angry at the Moon and started to chase her. She ran very fast until she was some distance ahead of him, when she grew tired and he almost caught her. Ever since he has been chasing her, at times almost reaching her, and again falling far behind.
The first child of the Sun and Moon was a large star, and he was like a man. One time the Sun, becoming angry at the star, cut him up into small pieces and scattered him over the whole sky just as a woman scatters rice, and ever since there have been many stars.
Another child of the Sun and Moon was a gigantic crab.23 He still lives and is so powerful that every time he opens and closes his eyes there is a flash of lightning. Most of the time the crab lives in a large hole in the bottom of the sea, and when he is there we have high tide; but when he leaves the hole, the waters rush in and there is low tide. His moving about also causes great waves on the surface of the sea.
The crab is quarrelsome like his father; and he sometimes becomes so angry with his mother, the Moon, that he tries to swallow her.24 When the people on earth, who are fond of the Moon, see the crab near her, they run out of doors and shout and beat on gongs until he is frightened away, and thus the Moon is saved.
The Widow’s Son25
In a little house at the edge of a village lived a widow with her only son, and they were very happy together. The son was kind to his mother, and they made their living by growing rice in clearings on the mountain side and by hunting wild pig in the forest.
One evening when their supply of meat was low, the boy said:
“Mother, I am going to hunt pig in the morning, and I wish you would prepare rice for me before daylight.”
So the widow rose early and cooked the rice, and at dawn the boy started out with his spear and dog.
Some distance from the village, he entered the thick forest. He walked on and on, ever on the lookout for game, but none appeared. At last when he had traveled far and the sun was hot, he sat down on a rock to rest and took out his brass box26 to get a piece of betel-nut. He prepared the nut and leaf for chewing, and as he did so he wondered why it was that he had been so unsuccessful that day. But even as he pondered he heard his dog barking sharply, and cramming the betel-nut into his mouth he leaped up and ran toward the dog.
As he drew near he could see that the game was a fine large pig, all black save its four legs which were white. He lifted his spear and took aim, but before he could throw the pig started to run, and instead of going toward a water course it ran straight up the mountain. The boy went on in hot pursuit, and when the pig paused he again took aim, but before he could throw it ran on.
Six times the pig stopped just long enough for the boy to take aim, and then started on before he could throw. The seventh time, however, it halted on the top of a large flat rock and the boy succeeded in killing it.
He tied its legs together with a piece of rattan and was about to start for home with the pig on his back, when to his surprise a door in the large stone swung open and a man stepped out.
“Why have you killed my master’s pig?” asked the man.
“I did not know that this pig belonged to anyone,” replied the widow’s son. “I was hunting, as I often do, and when my dog found the pig I helped him to catch it”
“Come in and see my master,” said the man, and the boy followed him into the stone where he found himself in a large room. The ceiling and floor were covered with peculiar cloth that had seven wide stripes of red alternating with a like number of yellow stripes. When the master of the place appeared his trousers were of seven colors,27 as were also his jacket and the kerchief about his head.
The master ordered betel-nut, and when it was brought they chewed together. Then he called for wine, and it was brought in a jar so large that it had to be set on the ground under the house, and even then the top came so high above the floor that they brought a seat for the widow’s son, and it raised him just high enough to drink from the reed in the top of the jar. He drank seven cups of wine, and then they ate rice and fish and talked together.
The master did not blame the boy for killing the pig, and declared that he wished to make a brother of him. So they became friends, and the boy remained seven days in the stone. At the end of that time, he said that he must return to his mother who would be worried about him. In the early morning he left the strange house and started for home.
At first he walked briskly, but as the morning wore on he went more slowly, and finally when the sun was high he sat down on a rock to rest. Suddenly looking up, he saw before him seven men each armed with a spear, a shield, and a sword. They were dressed in different colors, and each man had eyes the same color as his clothes. The leader, who was dressed all in red with red eyes to match, spoke first, asking the boy where he was going. The boy replied that he was going home to his mother who would be looking for him, and added:
“Now I ask where you are going, all armed ready for war.”
“We are warriors,” replied the man in red. “And we go up and down the world killing whatever we see that has life. Now that we have met you, we must kill you also.”
The boy, startled by this strange speech, was about to answer when he heard a voice near him say: “Fight, for they will try to kill you,” and upon looking up he saw his spear, shield, and sword which he had left at home. Then he knew that the command came from a spirit, so he took his weapons and began to fight. For three days and nights they contended, and never before had the seven seen one man so brave. On the fourth day the leader was wounded and fell dead, and then, one by one, the other six fell.
When they were all killed, the widow’s son was so crazed with fighting that he thought no longer of returning home, but started out to find more to slay.
In his wanderings he came to the home of a great giant whose house was already full of the men he had conquered in battle, and he called up from outside:
“Is the master of the house at home? If he is, let him come out and fight.”
A net maker
A net maker
Bringing water from the stream
Bringing water from the stream
This threw the giant into a rage, and seizing his shield and his spear, the shaft of which was the trunk of a tree, he sprang to the door and leaped to the ground, not waiting to go down the notched pole which served for steps. He looked around for his antagonist, and seeing only the widow’s son he roared:
“Where is the man that wants to fight? That thing? It is only a fly!”
The boy did not stop to answer, but rushed at the giant with his knife; and for three days and nights they struggled, till the giant fell, wounded at the waist.
After that the widow’s son stopped only long enough to burn the giant’s house, and then rushed on looking for someone else to slay. Suddenly he again heard the voice which had bade him fight with the seven men, and this time it said: “Go home now, for your mother is grieved at your absence.” In a rage he sprang forward with his sword, though he could see no enemy. Then the spirit which had spoken to him made him sleep for a short time. When he awoke the rage was spent.
Again the spirit appeared, and it said: “The seven men whom you killed were sent to kill you by the spirit of the great stone, for he looked in your hand and saw that you were to marry the orphan girl whom he himself wished to wed. But you have conquered. Your enemies are dead. Go home now and prepare a great quantity of wine, for I shall bring your enemies to life again, and you will all live in peace.”
So the widow’s son went home, and his mother, who had believed him dead, was filled with joy at his coming, and all the people in the town came out to welcome him. When he had told them his story, they hastened to get wine, and all day they bore jarsful to the widow’s house.
That night there was a great feast, and the spirit of the great stone, his seven warriors, the friendly spirit, and the giant all came. The widow’s son married the orphan girl, while another beautiful woman became the wife of the spirit of the stone.
Bagobos, Davao, Mindanao
Bagobos, Davao, Mindanao
1The common way to pound rice is to place a bundle of the grain on the ground on a dried carabao hide and pound it with a pestle to loosen the heads from the straw. When they are free they are poured into a mortar and again pounded with the pestle until the grain is separated from the chaff, after which it is winnowed.
2According to the Klemantin myth (Borneo), the sky was raised when a giant named Usai accidentally struck it with his mallet while pounding rice. See Hose and McDougall, Pagan Tribes of Borneo, p. 142.
3A somewhat similar belief that a giant crab is responsible for the tides is widespread throughout Malaysia. The Batak of Palawan now believe, as also do the Mandaya of eastern Mindanao, that the tides are caused by a giant crab going in and out of his hole in the sea.
4The similarity of this to the biblical story of the Flood leads us to suppose that it has come from the neighboring Christianized or Mohammedanized people and has been worked by the Bukidnon into the mould of their own thought. However, the flood story is sometimes found in such a guise that it cannot be accounted for by Christian influence. See for example, The Flood Story as told in the folk-lore of the Igorot tribe, on p. 102.
5This celestial myth accounts for a number of constellations which are of great importance to the Bukidnon. Magbangal appears in the sky in almost dipper shape, the handle being formed by his one remaining arm. To the west and nearly above him is a V-shaped constellation which is believed to be the jaw of one of the pigs which he killed. Still farther to the west appears the hill on which he hunted, while three groups of stars which toward dawn seem to be following him are said to be his hatchet, the bamboo pole in which he carried water, and his large pet lizard. It is the appearance and position of these constellations in the sky that show the Bukidnon when it is the time to clear land for the yearly crops and to plant the grain; and since this knowledge is of the utmost importance to the people, they feel that Magbangal does them a lasting service. The hero Lafaang of a Borneo myth, who is represented by the constellation Orion, lost his arm while trying to cut down a tree in a manner different from that prescribed by his celestial wife, the constellation Pegasen. See Hose and McDougall, Pagan Tribes of Borneo, Vol. II, p. 141.
7Cloth is dyed in various colors by boiling it in water in which different kinds of leaves or roots have been steeped. But to produce a bluish-black shade the fabric is partly buried in mud until the desired color is obtained.
8Monkeys are numerous throughout the Philippines, and it is doubtless their human appearance and actions that have caused the different tribes to try to account for their origin from man. Here we have the most likely way that the Bukidnon can see for their coming.
9This is one of a series of tales dealing with mythical heroes of former times whose acts of prowess are still recounted by Bukidnon warriors.
10A heavy padded hemp coat with a kilt which is supposed to turn spears. Over the shoulder is worn a sash in which are a few peculiar stones and charms which are believed to protect its wearer. Warriors [141n]who have taken thirty human lives are permitted to wear a peculiar crown-shaped headdress with upstanding points.
11See note 1, p. 23.
12This is a good example of the way in which people at a certain stage try to account for their surroundings. Nearly all consider themselves the original people. We find the Bagobo no exception to this. In this tale, which is evidently very old, they account for themselves and their neighbors, and then, to meet present needs, they adapt the story to include the white people whom they have known for not more than two hundred years.
13These are evil spirits who have power to injure people. They are ugly to look at and go about eating anything, even dead persons. A young Bagobo described his idea of a buso as follows: “He has a long body, long feet and neck, curly hair, and black face, flat nose, and one big red or yellow eye. He has big feet and fingers, but small arms, and his two big teeth are long and pointed. Like a dog, he goes about eating anything, even dead persons.” Cole, Wild Tribes of Davao District, Field Museum Nat. Hist., Vol. XII, No. 2, p. 107.
14This is evidently an old tale in which the story-teller introduces modern ideas.
15Here, as is often the case, an origin story has been added to a tale with which it has no logical connection.
16This story is well known among the Bilaan, who are one of the tribes least influenced by the Spaniards, and yet it bears so many incidents similar to biblical accounts that there is a strong suggestion of Christian influence. It is possible that these ideas came through the Mohammedan Moro.
17The most powerful of the spirits and the one to whom the people resort in times of danger.
18A similar story is found in British North Borneo. See Evans, Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute, 1913, p. 423.
19Melu, Fiuweigh, Diwata, and Saweigh.
21An origin story of a very different type from those of the Bukidnon and Bagobo. While the others show foreign influence, this appears to be typically primitive.
22The omen bird of the Mandaya. It is believed to be a messenger from the spirit world which, by its calls, warns the people of danger or promises them success. If the coo of this bird comes from the right side, it is a good sign, but if it is on the left, in back, or in front, it is a bad sign, and the Mandaya knows that he must change his plans.
23The crab was called Tambanokano.
24An eclipse of the moon. This belief in a monster swallowing the moon and the wild efforts to frighten it away are very widespread. It is found among the Batak of Palawan and in other parts of Malaysia as well as in the South Sea, Mongol, Chinese, Siamese, and Hindoo mythology. Even in Peru we find the belief that an evil spirit in the form of a beast was eating the moon, and that in order to scare it the people shouted and yelled and beat their dogs to make them add to the noise. See Karlson, Journal of Religious Psychology, November, 1914, p. 164.
25First recorded by Emerson B. Christie.
26A brass box having three compartments, one for lime, one for the nut, and another for the betel-leaf, which is used in preparing the nut for chewing.
27The Subanun have adopted the Moro dress, which consists of long trousers and a coat. The tale shows strong Moro influence throughout. Seven is a mystic and magical number among the Malay. It is constantly used in divination and magical practices and repeatedly occurs in their folk-lore. Skeat explains its importance by referring to the seven souls which each mortal is supposed to possess. See Skeat, Malay Magic, p. 50.
About the year 1400 something happened which changed the beliefs and customs of many of the tribes of the southern Philippines and made of them a powerful and dreaded people.
It was about this time that Arabian traders and missionaries began to establish themselves in the Islands, and soon these were followed by hordes of Mohammedan converts from the islands to the south. Among the newcomers were men who became powerful rulers, and they, in time, brought together many of the settlements which formerly had been hostile to each other and united them under the faith of Islam. Those who accepted the new faith adopted the dress and many of the customs of their teachers and came to be known as Moro.
With the possession of firearms, which were introduced by the newcomers, the Moro grew very daring and were greatly feared by the other natives. And soon they began to make long trips on the sea to the north and south, carrying on trade and making many surprise attacks for loot and slaves.
At the time the Spaniards discovered the Philippines, the Moro were a terror to the other inhabitants, and they continued to be so until very recent years. They became ferocious pirates infesting the southern seas and preying upon the rich trade which the Spaniards carried on with Mexico. Stone walls and watch towers were built at advantageous points to guard against them, but bays and creeks which afforded opportunities for lurking, surprise, and attack continued to be frequented by the treacherous warriors.
Since American occupation the waters have been made practically free from their ravages, but on land they have continued to give trouble. The greater part of the Moro now live in the Sulu Archipelago and on the Island of Mindanao. They range in degree of civilization from sea “gypsies,” who wander from place to place, living for months in their rude outrigger boats, to settled communities which live by fishing and farming, and even by manufacturing some cloth, brass, and steel. Their villages are near the coast, along rivers, or about the shores of the interior lakes, the houses being raised high on poles near or over the water, for they live largely on food from the sea.
Their folk-lore, as will be seen from the following tales, shows decided influence from Arabia and India, which has filtered in through the islands to the south.1
Mythology of Mindanao2
A long, long time ago Mindanao was covered with water, and the sea extended over all the lowlands so that nothing could be seen but mountains. Then there were many people living in the country, and all the highlands were dotted with villages and settlements. For many years the people prospered, living in peace and contentment. Suddenly there appeared in the land four horrible monsters which, in a short time, had devoured every human being they could find.
Kurita, a terrible creature with many limbs, lived partly on land and partly in the sea, but its favorite haunt was the mountain where the rattan grew; and here it brought utter destruction on every living thing. The second monster, Tarabusaw, an ugly creature in the form of a man, lived on Mt. Matutun, and far and wide from that place he devoured the people, laying waste the land. The third, an enormous bird called Pah,3 was so large that when on the wing it covered the sun and brought darkness to the earth. Its egg was as large as a house. Mt. Bita was its haunt, and there the only people who escaped its voracity were those who hid in caves in the mountains. The fourth monster was a dreadful bird also, having seven heads and the power to see in all directions at the same time. Mt. Gurayn was its home and like the others it wrought havoc in its region.
So great was the death and destruction caused by these terrible animals that at length the news spread even to the most distant lands, and all nations were grieved to hear of the sad fate of Mindanao.
Now far across the sea in the land of the golden sunset was a city so great that to look at its many people would injure the eyes of man. When tidings of these great disasters reached this distant city, the heart of the king Indarapatra4 was filled with compassion, and he called his brother, Sulayman,5 begging him to save the land of Mindanao from the monsters.
Sulayman listened to the story, and as he heard he was moved with pity.
“I will go,” said he, zeal and enthusiasm adding to his strength, “and the land shall be avenged.”
King Indarapatra, proud of his brother’s courage, gave him a ring and a sword as he wished him success and safety. Then he placed a young sapling by his window6 and said to Sulayman:
“By this tree I shall know your fate from the time you depart from here, for if you live, it will live; but if you die, it will die also.”
So Sulayman departed for Mindanao, and he neither walked nor used a boat, but he went through the air and landed on the mountain where the rattan grew. There he stood on the summit and gazed about on all sides. He looked on the land and the villages, but he could see no living thing. And he was very sorrowful and cried out:
“Alas, how pitiful and dreadful is this devastation!”
No sooner had Sulayman uttered these words than the whole mountain began to move, and then shook. Suddenly out of the ground came the horrible creature, Kurita. It sprang at the man and sank its claws into his flesh. But Sulayman, knowing at once that this was the scourge of the land, drew his sword and cut the Kurita to pieces.
Encouraged by his first success, Sulayman went on to Mt. Matutun where conditions were even worse. As he stood on the heights viewing the great devastation there was a noise in the forest and a movement in the trees. With a loud yell, forth leaped Tarabusaw. For a moment they looked at each other, neither showing any fear. Then Tarabusaw threatened to devour the man, and Sulayman declared that he would kill the monster. At that the animal broke large branches off the trees and began striking at Sulayman who, in turn, fought back. For a long time the battle continued until at last the monster fell exhausted to the ground and then Sulayman killed him with his sword.
The next place visited by Sulayman was Mt. Bita. Here havoc was present everywhere, and though he passed by many homes, not a single soul was left. As he walked along, growing sadder at each moment, a sudden darkness which startled him fell over the land. As he looked toward the sky he beheld a great bird descending upon him. Immediately he struck at it, cutting off its wing with his sword, and the bird fell dead at his feet; but the wing fell on Sulayman, and he was crushed.
Now at this very time King Indarapatra was sitting at his window, and looking out he saw the little tree wither and dry up.
“Alas!” he cried, “my brother is dead”; and he wept bitterly.
Then although he was very sad, he was filled with a desire for revenge, and putting on his sword and belt he started for Mindanao in search of his brother.
He, too, traveled through the air with great speed until he came to the mountain where the rattan grew. There he looked about, awed at the great destruction, and when he saw the bones of Kurita he knew that his brother had been there and gone. He went on till he came to Matutun, and when he saw the bones of Tarabusaw he knew that this, too, was the work of Sulayman.
Still searching for his brother, he arrived at Mt. Bita where the dead bird lay on the ground, and as he lifted the severed wing he beheld the bones of Sulayman with his sword by his side. His grief now so overwhelmed Indarapatra that he wept for some time. Upon looking up he beheld a small jar of water by his side. This he knew had been sent from heaven, and he poured the water over the bones, and Sulayman came to life again. They greeted each other and talked long together. Sulayman declared that he had not been dead but asleep, and their hearts were full of joy.
After some time Sulayman returned to his distant home, but Indarapatra continued his journey to Mt. Gurayn where he killed the dreadful bird with the seven heads. After these monsters had all been destroyed and peace and safety had been restored to the land, Indarapatra began searching everywhere to see if some of the people might not be hidden in the earth still alive.
One day during his search he caught sight of a beautiful woman at a distance. When he hastened toward her she disappeared through a hole in the ground where she was standing. Disappointed and tired, he sat down on a rock to rest, when, looking about, he saw near him a pot of uncooked rice with a big fire on the ground in front of it. This revived him and he proceeded to cook the rice. As he did so, however, he heard someone laugh near by, and turning he beheld an old woman watching him. As he greeted her, she drew near and talked with him while he ate the rice.
Of all the people in the land, the old woman told him, only a very few were still alive, and they hid in a cave in the ground from whence they never ventured. As for herself and her old husband, she went on, they had hidden in a hollow tree, and this they had never dared leave until after Sulayman killed the voracious bird, Pah.
At Indarapatra’s earnest request, the old woman led him to the cave where he found the headman with his family and some of his people. They all gathered about the stranger, asking many questions, for this was the first they had heard about the death of the monsters. When they found what Indarapatra had done for them, they were filled with gratitude, and to show their appreciation the headman gave his daughter to him in marriage, and she proved to be the beautiful girl whom Indarapatra had seen at the mouth of the cave.
Then the people all came out of their hiding-place and returned to their homes where they lived in peace and happiness. And the sea withdrew from the land and gave the lowlands to the people.
The Story of Bantugan
Before the Spaniards occupied the island of Mindanao, there lived in the valley of the Rio Grande a very strong man, Bantugan, whose father was the brother of the earthquake and thunder.7
Now the Sultan of the Island8 had a beautiful daughter whom Bantugan wished to marry, but the home of the Sultan was far off, and whoever went to carry Bantugan’s proposal would have a long and hazardous journey. All the head men consulted together regarding who should be sent, and at last it was decided that Bantugan’s own son, Balatama, was the one to go. Balatama was young but he was strong and brave, and when the arms of his father were given him to wear on the long journey his heart swelled with pride. More than once on the way, however, his courage was tried, and only the thought of his brave father gave him strength to proceed.
Once he came to a wooden fence which surrounded a stone in the form of a man, and as it was directly in his path he drew his fighting knife to cut down the fence. Immediately the air became as black as night and stones rained down as large as houses. This made Balatama cry, but he protected himself with his father’s shield and prayed, calling on the winds from the homeland until they came and cleared the air again.
Thereupon Balatama encountered a great snake9 in the road, and it inquired his errand. When told, the snake said:
“You cannot go on, for I am guard of this road and no one can pass.”
The animal made a move to seize him, but with one stroke of his fighting knife the boy cut the snake into two pieces, one of which he threw into the sea and the other into the mountains.
After many days the weary lad came to a high rock in the road, which glistened in the sunlight. From the top he could look down into the city for which he was bound. It was a splendid place with ten harbors. Standing out from the other houses was one of crystal and another of pure gold. Encouraged by this sight he went on, but though it seemed but a short distance, it was some time before he at last stood at the gate of the town.
It was not long after this, however, before Balatama had made known his errand to the Sultan, and that monarch, turning to his courtiers, said:
“You, my friends, decide whether or not I shall give the hand of my daughter to Bantugan in marriage.”
The courtiers slowly shook their heads and began to offer objections.
Said one, “I do not see how Bantugan can marry the Sultan’s daughter because the first gift must be a figure of a man or woman in pure gold.”
“Well,” said the son of Bantugan, “I am here to learn what you want and to say whether or not it can be given.”
Then a second man spoke: “You must give a great yard with a floor of gold, which must be three feet thick.”
“All this can be given,” answered the boy.
And the sister of the Princess said: “The gifts must be as many as the blades of grass in our city.”
“It shall be granted,” said Balatama.
“You must give a bridge built of stone to cross the great river,” said one.
And another: “A ship of stone you must give, and you must change into gold all the cocoanuts and leaves in the Sultan’s grove.”
“All this can be done,” said Balatama. “My uncles will give all save the statue of gold, and that I shall give myself. But first I must go to my father’s town to secure it.”
At this they were angry and declared that he had made sport of them and unless he produced the statue at once they would kill him.
“If I give you the statue now,” said he, “there will come dreadful storms, rain, and darkness.”
But they only laughed at him and insisted on having the statue, so he reached in his helmet and drew it forth.
Immediately the earth began to quake. A great storm arose, and stones as large as houses rained until the Sultan called to Balatama to put back the statue lest they all be killed.
“You would not believe what I told you,” said the boy; “and now I am going to let the storm continue.”
But the Sultan begged him and promised that Bantugan might marry his daughter with no other gifts at all save the statue of gold. Balatama put back the statue into his helmet, and the air became calm again to the great relief of the Sultan and his courtiers. Then Balatama prepared to return home, promising that Bantugan would come in three months for the wedding.
All went well with the boy on the way home until he came to the fence surrounding the stone in the form of a man, and there he was detained and compelled to remain four months.
Now about this time a Spanish general heard that Bantugan was preparing to marry the Sultan’s daughter, whom he determined to wed himself. A great expedition was prepared, and he with all his brothers embarked on his large warship which was followed by ten thousand other ships. They went to the Sultan’s city, and their number was so great that they filled the harbor, frightening the people greatly.
Then the General’s brother disembarked and came to the house of the Sultan. He demanded the Princess for the General, saying that if the request were refused, the fleet would destroy the city and all its people. The Sultan and his courtiers were so frightened that they decided to give his daughter to the General, the next full moon being the date set for the wedding.
In the meantime Bantugan had been preparing everything for the marriage which he expected to take place at the appointed time. But as the days went by and Balatama did not return, they became alarmed, fearing he was dead. After three months had passed, Bantugan prepared a great expedition to go in search of his son, and the great warship was decorated with flags of gold.
As they came in sight of the Sultan’s city, they saw the Spanish fleet in the harbor, and one of his brothers advised Bantugan not to enter until the Spaniards left They then brought their ship to anchor. But all were disappointed that they could not go farther, and one said, “Why do we not go on? Even if the blades of grass turn into Spaniards we need not fear.” Another said: “Why do we fear? Even if the cannon-balls come like rain, we can always fight.” Finally some wanted to return to their homes and Bantugan said: “No, let us seek my son. Even though we must enter the harbor where the Spaniards are, let us continue our search.” So at his command the anchors were lifted, and they sailed into the harbor where the Spanish fleet lay.
Now at this very time the Spanish general and his brother were with the Sultan, intending to call upon the Princess. As the brother talked with one of the sisters of the Princess they moved toward the window, and looking down they saw Bantugan’s ships entering the harbor. They could not tell whose flags the ships bore. Neither could the Sultan when he was called. Then he sent his brother to bring his father who was a very old man, to see if he could tell. The father was kept in a little dark room by himself that he might not get hurt, and the Sultan said to his brother:
“If he is so bent with age that he cannot see, talk, or walk, tickle him in the ribs and that will make him young again; and, my Brother, carry him here yourself lest one of the slaves should let him fall and he should hurt himself.”
So the old man was brought, and when he looked out upon the ships he saw that the flags were those of the father of Bantugan who had been a great friend of his in his youth. And he told them that he and Bantugan’s father years ago had made a contract that their children and children’s children should intermarry, and now since the Sultan had promised his daughter to two people, he foresaw that great trouble would come to the land. Then the Sultan said to the General:
“Here are two claimants to my daughter’s hand. Go aboard your ships and you and Bantugan make war on each other, and the victor shall have my daughter.”
So the Spaniards opened fire upon Bantugan, and for three days the earth was so covered with smoke from the battle that neither could see his enemy. Then the Spanish general said:
“I cannot see Bantugan or the fleet anywhere, so let us go and claim the Princess.”
But the Sultan said: “We must wait until the smoke rises to make sure that Bantugan is gone.”
When the smoke rose, the ships of Bantugan were apparently unharmed and the Sultan said:
“Bantugan has surely won, for his fleet is uninjured while yours is badly damaged. You have lost.”
“No,” said the General, “we will fight it out on dry land.”
So they both landed their troops and their cannon, and a great fight took place, and soon the ground was covered with dead bodies. And the Sultan commanded them to stop, as the women and children in the city were being killed by the cannon-balls, but the General said:
“If you give your daughter to Bantugan we shall fight forever or until we die.”
Then the Sultan sent for Bantugan and said:
“We must deceive the Spaniard in order to get him to go away. Let us tell him that neither of you will marry my daughter, and then after he has gone, we shall have the wedding.”
Bantugan agreed to this, and word was sent to the Spaniards that the fighting must cease since many women and children were being killed. So it was agreed between the Spaniard and Bantugan that neither of them should marry the Princess. Then they both sailed away to their homes.
Bantugan soon returned, however, and married the Princess, and on the way back to his home they found his son and took him with them. For about a week the Spanish general sailed toward his home and then he, too, turned about to go back, planning to take the Princess by force. When he found that she had already been carried away by Bantugan, his wrath knew no bounds. He destroyed the Sultan, his city, and all its people. And then he sailed away to prepare a great expedition with which he should utterly destroy Bantugan and his country as well.
One morning Bantugan looked out and saw at the mouth of the Rio Grande the enormous fleet of the Spaniards whose numbers were so great that in no direction could the horizon be seen. His heart sank within him, for he knew that he and his country were doomed.
Though he could not hope to win in a fight against such great numbers, he called his headmen together and said:
“My Brothers, the Christian dogs have come to destroy the land. We cannot successfully oppose them, but in the defense of the fatherland we can die.”
So the great warship was again prepared, and all the soldiers of Islam embarked, and then with Bantugan standing at the bow they sailed forth to meet their fate.
The fighting was fast and furious, but soon the great warship of Bantugan filled with water until at last it sank, drawing with it hundreds of the Spanish ships. And then a strange thing happened. At the very spot where Bantugan’s warship sank, there arose from the sea a great island which you can see today not far from the mouth of the Rio Grande. It is covered with bongo palms, and deep within its mountains live Bantugan and his warriors. A Moro sailboat passing this island is always scanned by Bantugan’s watchers, and if it contains women such as he admires, they are snatched from their seats and carried deep into the heart of the mountain. For this reason Moro women fear even to sail near the island of Bongos.
When the wife of Bantugan saw that her husband was no more and that his warship had been destroyed, she gathered together the remaining warriors and set forth herself to avenge him. In a few hours her ship was also sunk, and in the place where it sank there arose the mountain of Timaco.
On this thickly wooded island are found white monkeys, the servants of the Princess, who still lives in the center of the mountain. On a quiet day high up on the mountain side one can hear the chanting and singing of the waiting-girls of the wife of Bantugan.
1No tales illustrate to better advantage the persistence of old stories and beliefs than do these of the Moro. They are permeated with incidents very similar to those still found among the pagan tribes of the Archipelago, while associated with these are the spirits and demons of Hindu mythology. Finally we find the semi-historical events recorded by the Mohammedanized Malay, the ancestors of the tellers of the tales.
2First recorded by N.M. Saleeby.
3Those great birds are doubtless derived from Indian literature in which the fabulous bird garuda played such an important part.
4A common name in Malay and Sumatran tales.
5Probably Solomon of the Old Testament, who is a great historic figure among the Malay and who plays an important part in their romances.
6See note 1, p. 28.
7In this case of a semi-historic being, whose father was said to be the brother of the earthquake and thunder, we have an interesting blending of mythological and historical facts.
8Among Malay people the sultan is the supreme ruler of a district, while petty rulers are known as datos.
9Here, as in the Tinguian lore, we find heroes conversing with animals and commanding the forces of nature to come to their aid.
When the Spaniards discovered the Philippines in the sixteenth century, they found the tribes along the coasts of the different islands already somewhat influenced by trade with China, Siam, and the islands to the south.
Under Spanish rule the coast inhabitants, with the exception of the Moro, soon became converts to Christianity and adopted the dress of their conquerors, though they retained their several dialects and many of their former customs. Then, no longer being at war with one another, they made great advances in civilization, while the hill tribes have remained isolated, retaining their old customs and beliefs.
The tales of the Christianized tribes include a great mixture of old ideas and foreign influences obtained through contact with the outside world.
The Monkey and the Turtle
A monkey, looking very sad and dejected, was walking along the bank of the river one day when he met a turtle.
“How are you?” asked the turtle, noticing that he looked sad.
The monkey replied, “Oh, my friend, I am very hungry. The squash of Mr. Farmer were all taken by the other monkeys, and now I am about to die from want of food.”
“Do not be discouraged,” said the turtle; “take a bolo and follow me and we will steal some banana plants.”
So they walked along together until they found some nice plants which they dug up, and then they looked for a place to set them. Finally the monkey climbed a tree and planted his in it, but as the turtle could not climb he dug a hole in the ground and set his there.
When their work was finished they went away, planning what they should do with their crop. The monkey said:
“When my tree bears fruit, I shall sell it and have a great deal of money.”
And the turtle said: “When my tree bears fruit, I shall sell it and buy three varas of cloth to wear in place of this cracked shell.”
A few weeks later they went back to the place to see their plants and found that that of the monkey was dead, for its roots had had no soil in the tree, but that of the turtle was tall and bearing fruit.
“I will climb to the top so that we can get the fruit,” said the monkey. And he sprang up the tree, leaving the poor turtle on the ground alone.
“Please give me some to eat,” called the turtle, but the monkey threw him only a green one and ate all the ripe ones himself.
When he had eaten all the good bananas, the monkey stretched his arms around the tree and went to sleep. The turtle, seeing this, was very angry and considered how he might punish the thief. Having decided on a scheme, he gathered some sharp bamboo which he stuck all around under the tree, and then he exclaimed:
“Crocodile is coming! Crocodile is coming!”
The monkey was so startled at the cry that he fell upon the sharp bamboo and was killed.
Then the turtle cut the dead monkey into pieces, put salt on it, and dried it in the sun. The next day, he went to the mountains and sold his meat to other monkeys who gladly gave him squash in return. As he was leaving them he called back:
“Lazy fellows, you are now eating your own body; you are now eating your own body.”
Then the monkeys ran and caught him and carried him to their own home.
“Let us take a hatchet,” said one old monkey, “and cut him into very small pieces.”
But the turtle laughed and said: “That is just what I like, I have been struck with a hatchet many times. Do you not see the black scars on my shell?”
Then one of the other monkeys said: “Let us throw him into the water,”
At this the turtle cried and begged them to spare his life, but they paid no heed to his pleadings and threw him into the water. He sank to the bottom, but very soon came up with a lobster. The monkeys were greatly surprised at this and begged him to tell them how to catch lobsters.
“I tied one end of a string around my waist,” said the turtle. “To the other end of the string I tied a stone so that I would sink.”
The monkeys immediately tied strings around themselves as the turtle said, and when all was ready they plunged into the water never to come up again.
And to this day monkeys do not like to eat meat, because they remember the ancient story.1
The Poor Fisherman and His Wife
Many, many years ago a poor fisherman and his wife lived with their three sons in a village by the sea. One day the old man set his snare in the water not far from his house, and at night when he went to look at it, he found that he had caught a great white fish. This startled the old man very much, for he had never seen a fish like this before, and it occurred to him that it was the priest of the town.
He ran to his wife as fast as he could and cried:
“My wife, I have caught the priest.”
“What?” said the old woman, terrified at the sight of her frightened husband.
“I have caught the priest,” said the old man again.
They hurried together to the river where the snare was set, and when the old woman saw the fish, she cried:
“Oh, it is not the priest but the governor.”
“No, it is the priest,” insisted the old man, and they went home trembling with fear.
That night neither of them was able to sleep for thought of the terrible thing that had happened and wondering what they should do. Now the next day was a great holiday in the town. At four o’clock in the morning cannons were fired and bells rang loudly. The old man and woman, hearing all the noise and not knowing the reason for it, thought that their crime had been discovered, and the people were searching for them to punish them, so they set out as fast as they could to hide in the woods. On and on they went, stopping only to rest so as to enable them to resume their flight.
The next morning they reached the woods near Pilar, where there also was a great holiday, and the sexton was ringing the bells to call the people to mass. As soon as the old man and woman heard the bells they thought the people there had been notified of their escape, and that they, too, were trying to catch them. So they turned and started home again.
As they reached their house, the three sons came home with their one horse and tied it to the trunk of the caramay tree. Presently the bells began to ring again, for it was twelve o’clock at noon. Not thinking what time of day it was, the old man and woman ran out of doors in terror, and seeing the horse jumped on its back with the intention of riding to the next town before anyone could catch them. When they had mounted they began to whip the horse. In their haste, they had forgotten to untie the rope which was around the trunk of the caramay tree. As the horse pulled at the rope fruit fell from the tree upon the old man and woman. Believing they were shot, they were so frightened that they died.2
The Presidente who had Horns
Once there was a presidente3 who was very unjust to his people, and one day he became so angry that he wished he had horns so that he might frighten them. No sooner had he made this rash wish, than horns began to grow on his head.
He sent for a barber who came to his house to cut his hair, and as he worked the presidente asked:
“What do you see on my head?”
“I see nothing,” answered the barber; for although he could see the horns plainly, he was afraid to say so.
Soon, however, the presidente put up his hands and felt the horns, and then when he inquired again the barber told him that he had two horns.
“If you tell anyone what you have seen, you shall be hanged,” said the presidente as the barber started away, and he was greatly frightened.
When he reached home, the barber did not intend to tell anyone, for he was afraid; but as he thought of his secret more and more, the desire to tell someone became so strong that he knew he could not keep it. Finally he went to the field and dug a hole under some bamboo, and when the hole was large enough he crawled in and whispered that the presidente had horns. He then climbed out, filled up the hole, and went home.
By and by some people came along the road on their way to market, and as they passed the bamboo they stopped in amazement, for surely a voice came from the trees, and it said that the presidente had horns. These people hastened to market and told what they had heard, and the people there went to the bamboo to listen to the strange voice. They informed others, and soon the news had spread all over the town. The councilmen were told, and they, too, went to the bamboo. When they had heard the voice, they ran to the house of the presidente. But his wife said that he was ill and they could not see him.
By this time the horns had grown until they were one foot in length, and the presidente was so ashamed that he bade his wife tell the people that he could not talk. She told this to the councilmen when they came on the following day, but they replied that they must see him, for they had heard that he had horns, and if this were true he had no right to govern the people.
She refused to let them in, so they broke down the door. They saw the horns on the head of the presidente and killed him. For, they said, he was no better than an animal.4
The Story of a Monkey
One day when a monkey was climbing a tree in the forest in which he lived, he ran a thorn into his tail. Try as he would, he could not get it out, so he went to a barber in the town and said:
“Friend Barber, I have a thorn in the end of my tail. Pull it out, and I will pay you well.”
The barber tried to pull out the thorn with his razor, but in doing so he cut off the end of the tail. The monkey was very angry and cried:
“Barber, Barber, give me back my tail, or give me your razor!”
The barber could not put back the end of the monkey’s tail, so he gave him his razor.
On the way home the monkey met an old woman who was cutting wood for fuel, and he said to her:
“Grandmother, Grandmother, that is very hard. Use this razor and then it will cut easily.”
The old woman was very pleased with the offer and began to cut with the razor, but before she had used it long it broke. Then the monkey cried:
“Grandmother, Grandmother, you have broken my razor! You must get a new one for me or else give me all the firewood.”
The old woman could not get a new razor so she gave him the firewood.
The monkey took the wood and was going back to town to sell it, when he saw a woman sitting beside the road making cakes.
“Grandmother, Grandmother,” said he, “your wood is most gone; take this of mine and bake more cakes.”
The woman took the wood and thanked him for his kindness, but when the last stick was burned, the monkey cried out:
“Grandmother, Grandmother, you have burned up all my wood! Now you must give me all your cakes to pay for it.”
The old woman could not cut more dry wood at once, so she gave him all the cakes.
The monkey took the cakes and started for the town, but on the way he met a dog which bit him so that he died. And the dog ate all the cakes.
The White Squash
In a queer little bamboo house in front of a big garden lived a man and his wife all alone. They had always been kind and good to everyone, but still they were not happy, because the child for which they longed had never come to them. Each day for many years they had prayed for a son or a daughter, but their prayers had been unanswered. Now that they were growing old they believed that they must always live alone.
In the garden near their house this couple grew fine white squash, and as the vines bore the year around, they had never been in need of food. One day, however, they discovered that no new squash had formed to take the place of those they had picked, and for the first time in many seasons they had no vegetables.
Each day they examined the vines, and though the big, yellow flowers continued to bloom and fade, no squash grew on the stems. Finally, one morning after a long wait, the woman cried out with delight, for she had discovered a little green squash. After examining it, they decided to let it ripen that they might have the seeds to plant. They eagerly watched it grow, and it became a beautiful white vegetable, but by the time it was large enough for food they were so hungry that they decided to eat it.
They brought a large knife and picked it, but scarcely had they started to open it when a voice cried out from within, “Please be careful that you do not hurt me.”
The man and woman stopped their work, for they thought that a spirit must have spoken to them. But when the voice again called and begged them to open the squash, they carefully opened it, and there inside was a nice baby boy.5 He could already stand alone and could talk. And the man and his wife were overjoyed.
Presently the woman went to the spring for a jar of water, and when she had brought it she spread a mat on the floor and began to bathe the baby. As the drops of water fell off his body, they were immediately changed to gold, so that when the bath was finished gold pieces covered the mat. The couple had been so delighted to have the baby that it had seemed as if there was nothing more to wish for, but now that the gold had come to them also they were happier than ever.
The next morning the woman gave the baby another bath, and again the water turned to gold. They now had enough money to build a large house. The third morning she brought water for his bath again, but he grew very sad and flew away. At the same time all the gold disappeared also, and the man and his wife were left poor and alone.
The Creation Story
When the world first began there was no land, but only the stea and the sky, and between them was a kite.6 One day the bird which had nowhere to light grew tired of flying about, so she stirred up the sea until it threw its waters against the sky. The sky, in order to restrain the sea, showered upon it many islands until it could no longer rise, but ran back and forth. Then the sky ordered the kite to light on one of the islands to build her nest, and to leave the sea and the sky in peace.
Now at this time the land breeze and the sea breeze were married, and they had a child which was a bamboo. One day when this bamboo was floating about on the water, it struck the feet of the kite which was on the beach. The bird, angry that anything should strike it, pecked at the bamboo, and out of one section came a man and from the other a woman.
Then the earthquake called on all the birds and fish to see what should be done with these two, and it was decided that they should marry. Many children were born to the couple, and from them came all the different races of people.
After a while the parents grew very tired of having so many idle and useless children around, and they wished to be rid of them, but they knew of no place to send them to. Time went on and the children became so numerous that the parents enjoyed no peace. One day, in desperation, the father seized a stick and began beating them on all sides.
This so frightened the children that they fled in different directions, seeking hidden rooms in the house—some concealed themselves in the walls, some ran outside, while others hid in the fireplace, and several fled to the sea.
Now it happened that those who went into the hidden rooms of the house later became the chiefs of the Islands; and those who concealed themselves in the walls became slaves. Those who ran outside were free men; and those who hid in the fireplace became negroes; while those who fled to the sea were gone many years, and when their children came back they were the white people.7
The Story of Benito
Benito was an only son who lived with his father and mother in a little village. They were very poor, and as the boy grew older and saw how hard his parents struggled for their scanty living he often dreamed of a time when he might be a help to them.
One evening when they sat eating their frugal meal of rice the father told about a young king who lived in a beautiful palace some distance from their village, and the boy became very much interested. That night when the house was dark and quiet and Benito lay on his mat trying to sleep, thoughts of the young king repeatedly came to his mind, and he wished he were a king that he and his parents might spend the rest of their lives in a beautiful palace.
The next morning he awoke with a new idea. He would go to the king and ask for work, that he might in that way be able to help his father and mother. He was a long time in persuading his parents to allow him to go, however, for it was a long journey, and they feared that the king might not be gracious. But at last they gave their consent, and the boy started out The journey proved tiresome. After he reached the palace, he was not at first permitted to see the king. But the boy being very earnest at last secured a place as a servant.
It was a new and strange world to Benito who had known only the life of a little village. The work was hard, but he was happy in thinking that now he could help his father and mother. One day the king sent for him and said:
A rice granary
A rice granary
“I want you to bring to me a beautiful princess who lives in a land across the sea. Go at once, and if you fail you shall be punished severely,”
The boy’s heart sank within him, for he did not know what to do. But he answered as bravely as possible, “I will, my lord,” and left the king’s chamber. He at once set about preparing things for a long journey, for he was determined to try at least to fulfil the command.
When all was ready Benito started. He had not gone far before he came to a thick forest, where he saw a large bird bound tightly with strings.
“Oh, my friend,” pleaded the bird, “please free me from these bonds, and I will help you whenever you call on me.”
Benito quickly released the bird, and it flew away calling back to him that its name was Sparrow-hawk.
Benito continued his journey till he came to the sea. Unable to find a way of crossing, he stopped and gazed sadly out over the waters, thinking of the king’s threat if he failed. Suddenly he saw swimming toward him the King of the Fishes who asked:
“Why are you so sad?”
“I wish to cross the sea to find the beautiful Princess,” answered the boy.
Methods of transportation
Methods of transportation
A store in a Christianized village
A store in a Christianized village
“Well, get on my back,” said the Fish, “and I will carry you across.”
So Benito stepped on his back and was carried to the other shore.
Soon he met a strange woman who inquired what it was he sought, and when he had told her she said:
“The Princess is kept in a castle guarded by giants. Take this magic sword, for it will kill instantly whatever it touches.” And she handed him the weapon.
Benito was more than grateful for her kindness and went on full of hope. As he approached the castle he could see that it was surrounded by many giants, and as soon as they saw him they ran out to seize him, but they went unarmed for they saw that he was a mere boy. As they approached he touched those in front with his sword, and one by one they fell dead. Then the others ran away in a panic, and left the castle unguarded. Benito entered, and when he had told the Princess of his errand, she was only too glad to escape from her captivity and she set out at once with him for the palace of the king.
At the seashore the King of the Fishes was waiting for them, and they had no difficulty in crossing the sea and then in journeying through the thick forest to the palace, where they were received with great rejoicing. After a time the King asked the Princess to become his wife, and she replied:
“I will, O King, if you will get the ring I lost in the sea as I was crossing it”
The King immediately thought of Benito, and sending for him he commanded him to find the ring which had been lost on the journey from the land of the giants.
It seemed a hopeless task to the boy, but, anxious to obey his master, he started out. At the seaside he stopped and gazed over the waters until, to his great delight, he saw his friend, the King of the Fishes, swimming toward him. When he had been told of the boy’s troubles, the great fish said: “I will see if I can help you,” and he summoned all his subjects to him. When they came he found that one was missing, and he sent the others in search of it. They found it under a stone so full that it could not swim, and the larger ones took it by the tail and dragged it to the King.
“Why did you not come when you were called?” inquired the King Fish.
“I have eaten so much that I cannot swim,” replied the poor fish.
Then the King Fish, suspecting the truth, ordered it cut open, and inside they found the lost ring. Benito was overjoyed at this, and expressing his great thanks, hastened with the precious ring to his master.
The King, greatly pleased, carried the ring to the Princess and said:
“Now that I have your ring will you become my wife?”
“I will be your wife,” replied the Princess, “if you will find my earring that I lost in the forest as I was journeying with Benito.”
Again the King sent for Benito, and this time he commanded him to find the earring. The boy was very weary from his long journeys, but with no complaint he started out once more. Along the road through the thick forest he searched carefully, but with no reward. At last, tired and discouraged, he sat down under a tree to rest.
Suddenly there appeared before him a mouse of great size, and he was surprised to find that it was the King of Mice.
“Why are you so sad?” asked the King Mouse.
“Because,” answered the boy, “I cannot find an earring which the Princess lost as we were going through the forest together.”
“I will help you,” said the Mouse, and he summoned all his subjects.
When they assembled it was found that one little mouse was missing, and the King sent the others to look for him. In a small hole among the bamboo trees they found him, and he begged to be left alone, for, he said, he was so full that he could not walk. Nevertheless they pulled him along to their master, who, upon finding that there was something hard inside the mouse, ordered him cut open; and inside they found the missing earring.
Benito at once forgot his weariness, and after expressing his great thanks to the King Mouse he hastened to the palace with the prize. The King eagerly seized the earring and presented it to the Princess, again asking her to be his wife.
“Oh, my King,” replied the Princess, “I have one more request to make. Only grant it and I will be your wife forever.”
The King, believing that now with the aid of Benito he could grant anything, inquired what it was she wished, and she replied:
“Get me some water from heaven and some from the lower world, and I shall ask nothing more.”
Once more the King called Benito and sent him on the hardest errand of all.
The boy went out not knowing which way to turn, and while he was in a deep study his weary feet led him to the forest. Suddenly he thought of the bird who had promised to help him, and he called, “Sparrowhawk!” There was a rustle of wings, and the bird swooped down. He told it of his troubles and it said:
“I will get the water for you.”
Then Benito made two light cups of bamboo which he fastened to the bird’s legs, and it flew away. All day the boy waited in the forest, and just as night was coming on the bird returned with both cups full. The one on his right foot, he told Benito, was from heaven, and that on his left was from the lower world. The boy unfastened the cups, and then, as he was thanking the bird, he noticed that the journey had been too much for it and that it was dying. Filled with sorrow for his winged friend, he waited and carefully buried it, and then he hastened to the palace with the precious water.
When the Princess saw that her wish had been fulfilled she asked the King to cut her in two and pour over her the water from heaven. The King was not able to do this, so she cut herself, and then as he poured the water over her he beheld her grow into the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
Eager to become handsome himself, the King then begged her to pour over him the water from the other cup. He cut himself, and she did as he requested, but immediately there arose a creature most ugly and horrible to look upon, which soon vanished out of sight. Then the Princess called Benito and told him that because he had been so faithful to his master and so kind to her, she chose him for her husband.
They were married amid great festivities and became king and queen of that broad and fertile land. During all the great rejoicing, however, Benito never forgot his parents. One of the finest portions of his kingdom he gave to them, and from that time they all lived in great happiness.8
The Adventures of Juan
Juan was always getting into trouble. He was a lazy boy, and more than that, he did not have good sense. When he tried to do things, he made such dreadful mistakes that he might better not have tried.
His family grew very impatient with him, scolding and beating him whenever he did anything wrong. One day his mother, who was almost discouraged with him, gave him a bolo9 and sent him to the forest, for she thought he could at least cut firewood. Juan walked leisurely along, contemplating some means of escape. At last he came to a tree that seemed easy to cut, and then he drew his long knife and prepared to work.
Now it happened that this was a magic tree and it said to Juan:
“If you do not cut me I will give you a goat that shakes silver from its whiskers.”
This pleased Juan wonderfully, both because he was curious to see the goat, and because he would not have to chop the wood. He agreed at once to spare the tree, whereupon the bark separated and a goat stepped out. Juan commanded it to shake its whiskers, and when the money began to drop he was so delighted that he took the animal and started home to show his treasure to his mother.
On the way he met a friend who was more cunning than Juan, and when he heard of the boy’s rich goat he decided to rob him. Knowing Juan’s fondness for tuba10, he persuaded him to drink, and while he was drunk, the friend substituted another goat for the magic one. As soon as he was sober again, Juan hastened home with the goat and told his people of the wonderful tree, but when he commanded the animal to shake its whiskers, no money fell out. The family, believing it to be another of Juan’s tricks, beat and scolded the poor boy.
He went back to the tree and threatened to cut it down for lying to him, but the tree said:
“No, do not cut me down and I will give you a net which you may cast on dry ground, or even in the tree tops, and it will return full of fish.”
So Juan spared the tree and started home with his precious net, but on the way he met the same friend who again persuaded him to drink tuba. While he was drunk, the friend replaced the magic net with a common one, so that when Juan reached home and tried to show his power, he was again the subject of ridicule.
Once more Juan went to his tree, this time determined to cut it down. But the offer of a magic pot, always full of rice and spoons which provided whatever he wished to eat with his rice, dissuaded him, and he started home happier than ever. Before reaching home, however, he met with the same fate as before, and his folks, who were becoming tired of his pranks, beat him harder than ever.
Thoroughly angered, Juan sought the tree a fourth time and was on the point of cutting it down when once more it arrested his attention. After some discussion, he consented to accept a stick to which he had only to say, “Boombye, Boomba,” and it would beat and kill anything he wished.
When he met his friend on this trip, he was asked what he had and he replied:
“Oh, it is only a stick, but if I say ‘Boombye, Boomba’ it will beat you to death.”
At the sound of the magic words the stick leaped from his hands and began beating his friend until he cried:
“Oh, stop it and I will give back everything that I stole from you.” Juan ordered the stick to stop, and then he compelled the man to lead the goat and to carry the net and the jar and spoons to his home.
There Juan commanded the goat, and it shook its whiskers until his mother and brothers had all the silver they could carry. Then they ate from the magic jar and spoons until they were filled. And this time Juan was not scolded. After they had finished Juan said:
“You have beaten me and scolded me all my life, and now you are glad to accept my good things. I am going to show you something else: ‘Boombye, Boomba’.” Immediately the stick leaped out and beat them all until they begged for mercy and promised that Juan should ever after be head of the house.
From that time Juan was rich and powerful, but he never went anywhere without his stick. One night, when some thieves came to his house, he would have been robbed and killed had it not been for the magic words “Boombye, Boomba,” which caused the death of all the robbers.
Some time after this he married a beautiful princess, and because of the kindness of the magic tree they always lived happily.11
Juan Gathers Guavas
One day Juan’s father sent him to get some ripe guavas, for a number of the neighbors had come in and he wanted to give them something to eat.
Juan went to the guava bushes and ate all the fruit he could hold, and then he decided to play a joke on his father’s guests instead of giving them a feast of guavas. A wasp’s nest hung near by. With some difficulty he succeeded in taking it down and putting it into a tight basket that he had brought for the fruit. He hastened home and gave the basket to his father, and then as he left the room where the guests were seated he closed the door and fastened it.
As soon as Juan’s father opened the basket the wasps flew over the room; and when the people found the door locked they fought to get out of the windows. After a while Juan opened the door, and when he saw the swollen faces of the people, he cried.
“What fine, rich guavas you must have had! They have made you all so fat!”.
The Sun and the Moon12
Once upon a time the Sun and the Moon were married, and they had many children who were the stars. The Sun was very fond of his children, but whenever he tried to embrace any of them, he was so hot that he burned them up. This made the Moon so angry that finally she forbade him to touch them again, and he was greatly grieved.
One day the Moon went down to the spring to do some washing, and when she left she told the Sun that he must not touch any of their children in her absence. When she returned, however, she found that he had disobeyed her, and several of the children had perished.
She was very angry, and picked up a banana tree to strike him, whereupon he threw sand in her face, and to this day you can see the dark marks on the face of the Moon.
Then the Sun started to chase her, and they have been going ever since. Sometimes he gets so near that he almost catches her, but she escapes, and by and by she is far ahead again.13
The First Monkey
Many years ago at the foot of a forest-covered hill was a small town, and just above the town on the hillside was a little house in which lived an old woman and her grandson.
The old woman, who was very industrious, earned their living by removing the seeds from cotton, and she always had near at hand a basket in which were cotton and a long stick that she used for a spindle. The boy was lazy and would not do anything to help his grandmother, but every day went down to the town and gambled.
One day, when he had been losing money, the boy went home and was cross because his supper was not ready.
“I am hurrying to get the seeds out of this cotton,” said the grandmother, “and as soon as I sell it, I will buy us some food.”
At this the boy fell into a rage, and he picked up some cocoanut shells and threw them at his grandmother. Then she became angry and began to whip him with her spindle, when suddenly he was changed into an ugly animal, and the cotton became hair which covered his body, while the stick itself became his tail.
As soon as the boy found that he had become an ugly creature he ran down into the town and began whipping his companions, the gamblers, with his tail, and immediately they were turned into animals like himself.
Then the people would no longer have them in the town, but drove them out. They went to the forest where they lived in the trees, and ever since they have been known as monkeys.14
The Virtue of the Cocoanut
One day a man took his blow-gun15and his dog and went to the forest to hunt. As he was making his way through the thick woods he chanced upon a young cocoanut tree growing in the ground.
It was the first tree of this kind that he had ever seen, and it seemed so peculiar to him that he stopped to look at it.
When he had gone some distance farther, his attention was attracted by a noisy bird in a tree, and he shot it with his blow-gun. By and by he took aim at a large monkey, which mocked him from another treetop, and that, too, fell dead at his feet.
Then he heard his dog barking furiously in the distant bushes, and hastening to it he found it biting a wild pig. After a hard struggle he killed the pig, and then, feeling satisfied with his success, he took the three animals on his back and returned to the little plant.
“I have decided to take you home with me, little plant,” he said, “for I like you and you may be of some use to me.”
He dug up the plant very carefully and started home, but he had not gone far when he noticed that the leaves had begun to wilt, and he did not know what to do, since he had no water. Finally, in despair, he cut the throat of the bird and sprinkled the blood on the cocoanut. No sooner had he done this than the plant began to revive, and he continued his journey.
Before he had gone far, however, the leaves again began to wilt, and this time he revived it with the blood of the monkey. Then he hastened on, but a third time the leaves wilted, and he was compelled to stop and revive it with the blood of the pig. This was his last animal, so he made all the haste possible to reach home before his plant died. The cocoanut began to wilt again before he reached his house, but when he planted it in the ground, it quickly revived, and grew into a tall tree.
This hunter was the first man to take the liquor called tuba16 from the cocoanut tree, and he and his friends began to drink it. After they had become very fond of it, the hunter said to his friends:
“The cocoanut tree is like the three animals whose blood gave it life when it would have died. The man who drinks three or four cups of tuba becomes like the noisy bird that I shot with my blow-gun. One who drinks more than three or four cups becomes like the big monkey that acts silly; and one who becomes drunk is like the pig that sleeps even in a mud-hole.”
One day a man said to his wife: “My wife, we are getting very poor and I must go into business to earn some money.”
“That is a good idea,” replied his wife. “How much capital have you?”
“I have twenty-five centavos,”17 answered the man; “and I am going to buy rice and carry it to the mines, for I have heard that it brings a good price there.”
So he took his twenty-five centavos and bought a half-cavan of rice which he carried on his shoulder to the mine. Arriving there he told the people that he had rice for sale, and they asked eagerly how much he wanted for it.
“Why, have you forgotten the regular price of rice?” asked the man. “It is twenty-five centavos.”
They at once bought the rice, and the man was very glad because he would not have to carry it any longer. He put the money in his belt and asked if they would like to buy any more.
“Yes,” said they, “we will buy as many cavans as you will bring.”
When the man reached home his wife asked if he had been successful.
“Oh, my wife,” he answered, “it is a very good business. I could not take the rice off my shoulder before the people came to buy it.”
“Well, that is good,” said the wife; “we shall become very rich.”
The next morning the man bought a half-cavan of rice the same as before and carried it to the mine and when they asked how much it would be, he said:
“It is the same as before—twenty-five centavos.” He received the money and went home.
“How is the business today?” asked his wife.
“Oh, it is the same as before,” he said. “I could not take the rice off my shoulder before they came for it.”
And so he went on with his business for a year, each day buying a half-cavan of rice and selling it for the price he had paid for it. Then one day his wife said that they would balance accounts, and she spread a mat on the floor and sat down on one side of it, telling her husband to sit on the opposite side. When she asked him for the money he had made during the year, he asked:
“Why, give me the money you have received,” answered his wife; “and then we can see how much you have made.”
“Oh, here it is,” said the man, and he took the twenty-five centavos out of his belt and handed it to her.
“Is that all you have received this year?” cried his wife angrily. “Haven’t you said that rice brought a good price at the mines?”
“That is all,” he replied.
“How much did you pay for the rice?”
“How much did you receive for it?”
“Oh, my husband,” cried his wife, “how can you make any gain if you sell it for just what you paid for it.”
The man leaned his head against the wall and thought. Ever since then he has been called “Mansumandig,” a man who leans back and thinks.
Then the wife said, “Give me the twenty-five centavos, and I will try to make some money.” So he handed it to her, and she said, “Now you go to the field where the people are gathering hemp and buy twenty-five centavos worth for me, and I will weave it into cloth.”
When Mansumandig returned with the hemp she spread it in the sun, and as soon as it was dry she tied it into a long thread and put it on the loom to weave. Night and day she worked on her cloth, and when it was finished she had eight varas. This she sold for twelve and a half centavos a vara, and with this money she bought more hemp. She continued weaving and selling her cloth, and her work was so good that people were glad to buy from her.
At the end of a year she again spread the mat on the floor and took her place on one side of it, while her husband sat on the opposite side. Then she poured the money out of the blanket in which she kept it upon the mat. She held aside her capital, which was twenty-five centavos, and when she counted the remainder she found that she had three hundred pesos. Mansumandig was greatly ashamed when he remembered that he had not made cent, and he leaned his head against the wall and thought After a while the woman pitied him, so she gave him the money and told him to buy carabao.
He was able to buy ten carabao and with these he plowed his fields. By raising good crops they were able to live comfortably all the rest of their lives.
Why Dogs Wag their Tails
A rich man in a certain town once owned a dog and a cat, both of which were very useful to him. The dog had served his master for many years and had become so old that he had lost his teeth and was unable to fight any more, but he was a good guide and companion to the cat who was strong and cunning.
The master had a daughter who was attending school at a convent some distance from home, and very often he sent the dog and the cat with presents to the girl.
One day he called the faithful animals and bade them carry a magic ring to his daughter.
“You are strong and brave,” he said to the cat “You may carry the ring, but you must be careful not to drop it”
And to the dog he said: “You must accompany the cat to guide her and keep her from harm.”
They promised to do their best, and started out. All went well until they came to a river. As there was neither bridge nor boat, there was no way to cross but to swim.
“Let me take the magic ring,” said the dog as they were about to plunge into the water.
“Oh, no,” replied the cat, “the master gave it to me to carry.”
“But you cannot swim well,” argued the dog. “I am strong and can take good care of it.”
But the cat refused to give up the ring until finally the dog threatened to kill her, and then she reluctantly gave it to him.
The river was wide and the water so swift that they grew very tired, and just before they reached the opposite bank the dog dropped the ring. They searched carefully, but could not find it anywhere, and after a while they turned back to tell their master of the sad loss. Just before reaching the house, however, the dog was so overcome with fear that he turned and ran away and never was seen again.
The cat went on alone, and when the master saw her coming he called out to know why she had returned so soon and what had become of her companion. The poor cat was frightened, but as well as she could she explained how the ring had been lost and how the dog had run away.
On hearing her story the master was very angry, and commanded that all his people should search for the dog, and that it should be punished by having its tail cut off.
He also ordered that all the dogs in the world should join in the search, and ever since when one dog meets another he says: “Are you the old dog that lost the magic ring? If so, your tail must be cut off.” Then immediately each shows his teeth and wags his tail to prove that he is not the guilty one.
Since then, too, cats have been afraid of water and will not swim across a river if they can avoid it.
The Hawk and the Hen
A hawk flying about in the sky one day decided that he would like to marry a hen whom he often saw on earth. He flew down and searched until he found her, and then asked her to become his wife. She at once gave her consent on the condition that he would wait until she could grow wings like his, so that she might also fly high. The hawk agreed to this and flew away, after giving her a ring as an engagement present and telling her to take good care of it.
The hen was very proud of the ring and placed it around her neck. The next day, however, she met the cock who looked at her in astonishment and said:
“Where did you get that ring? Do you not know that you promised to be my wife? You must not wear the ring of anyone else. Throw it away.”
And the hen threw away the beautiful ring.
Not long after this the hawk came down bringing beautiful feathers to dress the hen. When she saw him coming she was frightened and ran to hide behind the door, but the hawk called to her to come and see the beautiful dress he had brought her.
The hen came out, and the hawk at once saw that the ring was gone.
“Where is the ring I gave you?” he asked. “Why do you not wear it?”
The hen was frightened and ashamed to tell the truth so she answered:
“Oh, sir, yesterday when I was walking in the garden, I met a large snake and he frightened me so that I ran as fast as I could to the house. Then I missed the ring and I searched everywhere but could not find it.”
The hawk looked sharply at the hen, and he knew that she was deceiving him. Then he said to her:
“I did not believe that you could behave so badly. When you have found the ring I will come down again and make you my wife. But as a punishment for breaking your promise, you must always scratch the ground to look for the ring. And every chicken of yours that I find, I shall snatch away.”
Then he flew away, and ever since all the hens throughout the world have been scratching to find the hawk’s ring.
The Spider and the Fly
Mr. Spider wanted to marry Miss Fly. Many times he told her of his love and begged her to become his wife, but she always refused for she did not like him.
One day when she saw Mr. Spider coming again Miss Fly closed all the doors and windows of her house and made ready a pot of boiling water. Then she waited, and when Mr. Spider called, begging her to allow him to enter, she answered by throwing boiling water at him. This made Mr. Spider very angry and he cried:
“I will never forgive you for this, but I and my descendants will always despise you. We will never give you any peace.”
Mr. Spider kept his word, and even today one can see the hatred of the spider for the fly.
The Battle of the Crabs
One day the land crabs had a meeting and one of them said:
“What shall we do with the waves? They sing so loudly all the time that we cannot possibly sleep.”
“Well,” answered one of the oldest of the crabs, “I think we should make war on them.”
The others agreed to this, and it was decided that the next day all the male crabs should get ready to fight the waves. They started for the sea, as agreed, when they met a shrimp.
“Where are you going, my friends?” asked the shrimp.
“We are going to fight the waves,” answered the crabs, “for they make so much noise at night that we cannot sleep.”
“I do not think you will succeed,” said the shrimp, “for the waves are very strong and your legs are so weak that even your bodies bend almost to the ground when you walk.” Wherewith he laughed loudly.
This made the crabs very angry, and they pinched the shrimp until he promised to help them win the battle.
Then they all went to the shore. But the crabs noticed that the eyes of the shrimp were set unlike their own, so they thought his must be wrong and they laughed at him and said:
“Friend shrimp, your face is turned the wrong way. What weapon have you to fight with the waves?”
“My weapon is a spear on my head,” replied the shrimp, and just then he saw a big wave coming and ran away. The crabs did not see it, however, for they were all looking toward the shore, and they were covered with water and drowned.
By and by the wives of the crabs became worried because their husbands did not return, and they went down to the shore to see if they could help in the battle. No sooner had they reached the water, however, than the waves rushed over them and killed them.
Some time after this thousands of little crabs appeared near the shore, and the shrimp often visited them and told them of the sad fate of their parents. Even today these little crabs can be seen on the shore, continually running back and forth. They seem to rush down to fight the waves, and then, as their courage fails, they run back to the land where their forefathers lived. They neither live on dry land, as their ancestors did, nor in the sea where the other crabs are, but on the beach where the waves wash over them at high tide and try to dash them to pieces.
1This tale told by the Ilocano is well known among both the Christianized and the wild tribes of the Philippines, and also in Borneo and Java. However, the Ilocano is the only version, so far as known, which has the explanatory element: the reason is given here why monkeys do not eat meat. The turtle is accredited with extraordinary sagacity and cunning. It is another example of the type of tale showing the victory of the weak and cunning over the strong but stupid. See “The Turtle and the Lizard,” p. 86.
2All the events here given represent present-day occurrences, and the story appears to have been invented purely to amuse.
3The headman of the town.
4Here we have an excellent illustration of how a story brought in by the Spaniards has been worked over into Philippine setting. This is doubtless the classical story of Midas, but since the ass is practically unknown in the Philippines, horns (probably carabao horns) have been substituted for the ass’s ears, which grew on Midas’ head. Likewise the bamboo, which grows in abundance, takes the place of the reeds in the original tale.
5A common fancy in Malay legends is the supernatural origin of a child in some vegetable, usually a bamboo. See note 2, p. 99.
6A bird something like a hawk.
7See note 1, p. 134.
8This is undoubtedly a worked-over story, probably brought in from Europe. Kings, queens, palaces, etc., were, of course, unknown to the people before the advent of the Spaniards.
9A long knife.
10The fermented juice of the cocoanut.
11This tale bears a striking resemblance to Grimm’s “The Table, the Ass, and the Stick,” Fairy Tales.
12These Visayan tales reflect old beliefs covered with a veneer of European ideas. The Visayan still holds to many of the old superstitions, not because he has reasoned them out for himself, but because his ancestors believed them and transmitted them to him in such stories as these.
13A very old explanatory tale. In a slightly varying form it is found in other parts of the Islands.
14Here we have an old type of tale explaining where monkeys came from. See note 2, p. 130.
15The blow-gun is a Malayan weapon, which is used extensively in the Philippines. Among certain wild tribes poisoned darts are blown through it, but among the Christianized tribes a clay pellet is used.
16See note 1, p. 197.
17A Spanish coin worth half a cent.
Pronunciation of Philippine Names
The vowel sounds in the following pronunciations are those used in Webster’s dictionary.
Ilocos Norte, il-o′kos no′rte
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gbn0406211926: Mabel Cook Cole, Philippine Folk Tales. Jeroen Hellingman <[email protected]>. 1916c. 6/24/2004. ok.
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