Philippine Folk Tales

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Philippine Folk Tales

Transcript of Philippine Folk Tales

  • Produced by Jeroen Hellingman and the PG Distributed Proofreaders Team from scans madeavailable by the University of Michigan

    PHILIPPINE FOLK TALESCompiled and Annotated byMabel (Cook) Cole1916PREFACEFrom 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 attemptto offer to the general public a comprehensive popular collection of this material. It is my earnesthope that this collection of tales will give those who are interested opportunity to learn something ofthe 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 ofNatural 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 andaround the camp fires or chanted by the pagan priests in communion with the spirits. The tales arenow published in this little volume, with the addition of a few folk-legends that have appeared in theJournal of American Folk-Lore and in scientific publications, here retold with some additions madeby native story-tellers.

    I have endeavored to select typical tales from tribes widely separated and varying in culture fromsavagery to a rather high degree of development. The stories 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 mountainregion of northwestern Luzon. From time immemorial they have been zealous head-hunters, and thestories teem with references to customs and superstitions connected with their savage practices. Byfar the largest number belong to the Tinguian group. In order to appreciate these tales to the fullestextent, we must understand the point of view of the Tinguian. To him they embody all the knowntraditions 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 andreason for many of his present laws and customs.

    A careful study of the whole body of Tinguian mythology points to the conclusion that the chiefcharacters of these tales are not celestial beings but typical, generalized heroes of former ages, whosedeeds 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, raisedthe dead, and had the power of changing themselves into other forms. This, however, does not seemstrange or impossible to the Tinguian of today, for even now they talk with jars, perform certain ritesto bring sickness and death to their foes, and are warned by omens received through the medium ofbirds, thunder and lightning, or the condition of the liver of a slaughtered animal. They still conversefreely with certain spirits who during religious ceremonies are believed to use the bodies of men orwomen 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, butin the minds of the story-tellers their personality and relationships are definitely established. ThusIni-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 iscalled Dumalawi.

    These heroes had most unusual relations with the heavenly bodies, all of which seem to have beenregarded as animate beings. In the fourth tale Aponitolau marries Gaygayoma, the star maiden who isthe 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 andin many more known to the Tinguian he reveals no celestial qualities. Even in the first story heabandons 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 fromthose of the present. But a careful analysis of all the known lore of this people points to the belief thatmany of these accounts depict a period when similar customs did exist among the people, or elsewere practiced by emigrants who generations ago became amalgamated with the Tinguian and whosestrange customs finally became attributed to the people of the tales. The stories numbered nine tosixteen 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 jarsand beads, and why the moon has spots on its face. All these stories are fully believed, the beads andjars are considered precious, and the places mentioned are definitely known. While the accountsseem 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 towhile 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 tothe tales found in the islands to the south and, in some cases, in Europe. In many of them the chiefincidents are identical with those found elsewhere, but the story-tellers, by introducing old customsand 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 ofMindanao. Here are people who work in brass and steel, build good dwellings, and wear hempclothing elaborately decorated with beads, shell disks, and embroidery, but who still practice manysavage customs, including slavery and human sacrifice.

    The fourth division gives two tales from the Moro (hardy Malayan warriors whose ancestorsearly 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 ofSpain and with it the Catholic religion. Their tales, while full of local color, nevertheless show theinfluence of the European tutors. They furnish an excellent opportunity to contrast the literature of thesavage head-hunters with that of the Moro and Christian tribes and to observe how various recentinfluences have modified the beliefs of people who not many centuries ago were doubtless of auniform grade of culture. It is interesting, too, to note that European tales brought into the Islands byMohammedan and Christian rulers and traders have been worked over until, at first glance, they nowappear indigenous.

    Owing to local coloring, these tales have various forms. Still we find many incidents which areheld 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 thebook.

  • CONTENTSGroup I: TinguianAponibolinayen and the Sun Aponibolinayen Gawigawen of Adasen The Story of Gaygayoma

    Who Lives up Above The Story of Dumalawi The Story of Kanag The Story of Tikgi The Story ofSayen The Sun and the Moon How the Tinguian Learned to Plant Magsawi The Tree with the AgateBeads The Striped Blanket The Alan and the Hunters The Man and the Alan Sogsogot The MistakenGifts The Boy Who Became a Stone The Turtle and the Lizard The Man with the Cocoanuts TheCarabao and the Shell The Alligator's Fruit Dogedog

    Group II: IgorotThe Creation The Flood Story Lumawig on Earth How the First Head Was Taken The Serpent

    Eagle The Tattooed Men Tilin, the Rice BirdGroup III: The Wild Tribes of MindanaoBukidnonHow the Moon and Stars Came to Be The Flood Story Magbangal How Children Became

    Monkeys Bulanawan and AguioBagoboOrigin LumabetBilaanThe Story of the Creation In the BeginningMandayaThe Children of the Limokon The Sun and the MoonSubanunThe Widow's SonGroup IV: MoroMythology of Mindanao The Story of BantuganGroup V: The Christianized TribesIlocanoThe Monkey and the Turtle The Poor Fisherman and His Wife The Presidente Who Had Horns

    The Story of a Monkey The White SquashTagalogThe Creation Story The Story of Benito The Adventures of Juan Juan Gathers GuavasVisayanThe Sun and the Moon The First Monkey The Virtue of the Cocoanut Mansumandig Why Dogs

    Wag Their Tails The Hawk and the Hen The Spider and the Fly The Battle of the CrabsPronunciation of Philippine NamesTINGUIANIntroductionThe 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 wereplunged 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 reckonwith the deliberateness of native carriers. It was only by urging our horses that we were able to fordthe broad Abra ere the last rays of the sun dropped behind the mountains. And then, in this land of notwilights, night had settled quickly ove