Philippine Folk-Tales
Carla Kern Bayliss, Berton L. Maxfield, W. H. Millington,

Part 4 out of 4

and when the Maganud saw it, he thought it was a mere little heap of
earth. Immediately, however, as he looked at the lowly nest, it became
a fine house with walls of gold, and pillars of ivory. The eaves were
all hung with little bells (korung-korung [127]); and the whole house
was radiantly bright, for over it forked lighting played continually.

The kingfisher took off her feather coat, and became a lovely woman,
and then she and the Malaki were married. They had bananas and
cocoanut-groves, and all things, and they became rich people.

The Woman and the Squirrel

One day a woman went out to find water. She had no water to drink,
because all the streams were dried up. As she went along, she saw
some water in a leaf. She drank it, and washed her body. As soon as
she had drunk the water, her head began to hurt. Then she went home,
spread out a mat, lay down on it, and went to sleep. She slept for
nine days. When she woke up, she took a comb and combed her hair. As
she combed it, a squirrel-baby came out from her hair. After the baby
had been in the house one week, it began to grow and jump about. It
staid up under the roof of the house.

One day the Squirrel said to his mother, "O mother! I want you to
go to the house of the Datu who is called 'sultan,' and take these
nine kamagi [128] and these nine finger-rings to pay for the sultan's
daughter, because I want to marry her."

Then the mother went to the sultan's house and remained there an
hour. The sultan said, "What do you want?"

The woman answered, "Nothing. I came for betel-nuts." Then the woman
went back home.

The Squirrel met her, and said, "Where are my nine necklaces?"

"Here they are," said the woman.

But the Squirrel was angry at his mother, and bit her with his
little teeth.

Again he said to his mother, "You go there and take the nine

So the woman started off again. When she reached the sultan's house,
she said to him, "I have come with these nine necklaces and these
nine finger-rings that my son sends to you."

"Yes," said the sultan; "but I want my house to become gold, and I want
all my plants to become gold, and everything I have to turn into gold."

But the woman left the presents to pay for the sultan's daughter. The
sultan told her that he wanted his house to be turned into gold that
very night. Then the woman went back and told all this to her son. The
Squirrel said, "That is good, my mother."

Now, when night came, the Squirrel went to the sultan's house, and
stood in the middle of the path, and called to his brother, the Mouse,
"My brother, come out! I want to see you."

Then the great Mouse came out. All the hairs of his coat were of gold,
and his eyes were of glass.

The Mouse said, "What do you want of me, my brother Squirrel?"

"I called you," answered the Squirrel, "for your gold coat. I want
some of that to turn the sultan's house into gold."

Then the Squirrel bit the skin of the Mouse, and took off some of the
gold, and left him. Then he began to turn the sultan's things into
gold. First of all, he rubbed the gold on the betel-nut trees of the
sultan; next, he rubbed all the other trees and all the plants; third,
he rubbed the house and all the things in it. Then the sultan's town
you could see as in a bright day. You would think there was no night
there--always day.

All this time, the sultan was asleep. When he woke up, he was so
frightened to see all his things, and his house, of gold, that he
died in about two hours.

Then the Squirrel and the daughter of the sultan were married. The
Squirrel staid in her father's home for one month, and then they went
to live in the house of the Squirrel's mother. And they took from
the sultan's place, a deer, a fish, and all kinds of food. After the
sultan's daughter had lived with the Squirrel for one year, he took
off his coat and became a Malaki T'oluk Waig. [129]

The Cat

Very long ago the cocoanut used to be the head of the cat. That is why
the cat loves cocoanut so much. When the Bagobo are eating cocoanut,
they let the cat jump up and have some too, because her head once
turned into a cocoanut. When the cat hears the Bagobo scraping cocoanut
in the kitchen, she runs quickly to get some to eat.

We cut off some of the fur from the tip of the cat's tail, and put the
hairs under one of the big stones (sigung) where the fire burns. This
is why the cat loves the house where she lives.

When the cat dies, her gimokud takawanan [130] goes down to Gimokudan,
where the spirits of dead people go.

Why the Bagobo Likes the Cat

An old man was fishing in the brook; but the water kept getting muddy,
and he did not know what was the matter. Then he went away, and he
walked and walked. After he had gone some distance, he saw in the mud
a big lion [131] that eats people. The Lion had been sleeping in the
mud. He said to the man, "If you'll pull me out of the mud and ride
me to my town, I will give you many things." Then the man drew the
Lion from the mud.

The Lion stood still a while, and then said, "Now you must ride on me."

So the man mounted the Lion, and rode until they came to a large
meadow, when the Lion said, "Now I am going to eat you."

The man replied, "But first let us go and ask the Carabao."

The Lion consented, and they went on until they reached the Carabao.

"This Lion wants to eat me," complained the man.

"Yes, indeed! eat him, Lion," answered the Carabao, "for the men are
all the time riding on my back, and whipping me."

There were many Carabaos in the field, and they all agreed to this.

Then the man said to the Lion, "You may eat me; but we will first go
and tell the Cows."

Soon they reached the Cows' home, and the man told them that the Lion
wanted to eat him.

At once the Cows exclaimed, "Yes, eat him, Lion, because all day long
the people drive us away from their fields."

"All right!" assented the man; "but first let us speak to the Dogs."

When they came to the Dogs' home, the man cried, "The Lion is going
to eat me."

The Dogs said to the Lion, "Devour this man; for every day, when men
are eating, they beat us away from the food."

At last the man said, "Sure enough, you will eat me up, Lion; but
let us just go to the Cat."

When they reached the Cat's home, they found her sitting at the door,
keeping her nice house. It had groves of cocoanut-palms around it. The
Cat lived all alone.

The man said to her, "This Lion wants to eat me."

"Yes, Lion," the Cat replied; "but first you make a deep hole in the
ground. We will race each other into the hole. If you jump in first,
then I shall lose and you will win."

And the Lion ran, and jumped into the hole. Then the Cat covered
him with earth and stones until he was dead. But before he died,
the Lion called to the Cat, "Whenever I see your excrement (tai),
I shall eat it." That is why the Cat hides her excrement, because
she is afraid the Lion will come.

Now, the Lion is the dog of the Buso.

How the Lizards got their Markings

One day the Chameleon (palas [132]) and the Monitor-lizard (ibid
[133]) were out in a deep forest together. They thought they would
try scratching each other's backs to make pretty figures on them.

First the Chameleon said to the Monitor-lizard, "You must scratch a
nice pattern on my back."

So the Monitor went to work, and the Chameleon had a fine
scratching. Monitor made a nice, even pattern on his back.

Then Monitor asked Chameleon for a scratching. But no sooner had
Chameleon begun to work on Monitor's back than there came the sound of
a dog barking. A man was hunting in the forest with his dog. The sharp
barks came nearer and nearer to the two lizards; and the Chameleon
got such a scare, that his fingers shook, and the pretty design
he was making went all askew. Then he stopped short and ran away,
leaving the Monitor with a very shabby marking on his back.

This is the reason that the monitor-lizard is not so pretty as the

The Monkey and the Tortoise [134]

One day, when a Tortoise was crawling slowly along by a stream, he
saw a baby-monkey drinking water. Presently the Monkey ran up to the
Tortoise, and said, "Let's go and find something to eat."

Not far from the stream there was a large field full of
banana-trees. They looked up, and saw clusters of ripe fruit.

"That's fine!" said the Monkey, "for I'm hungry and you're hungry
too. You climb first, Tortoise."

Then the Tortoise crawled slowly up the trunk; but he had got up only
a little distance when the Monkey chattered these words, "Roro s'punno,
roro s'punno!" [135] ("Slide down, slide down, Tortoise!")

At once the Tortoise slipped and fell down. Then he started again
to climb the tree; and again the Monkey said, "Roro s'punno!" and
again the Tortoise slipped and fell down. He tried over and over
again; but every time he failed, for the Monkey always said, "Roro
s'punno!" and made him fall. At last he got tired and gave it up,
saying to the Monkey, "Now you try it."

"It's too bad!" said the Monkey, "when we're both so hungry." Then
the Monkey made just three jumps, and reached the ripe fruit. "Wait
till I taste and see if they're sweet," he cried to the Tortoise,
while he began to eat bananas as fast as he could.

"Give me some," begged the Tortoise.

"All right!" shouted the Monkey; "but I forgot to notice whether it
was sweet." And he kept on eating, until more than half of the fruit
was gone.

"Drop down just one to me!" pleaded the Tortoise.

"Yes, in a minute," mumbled the Monkey.

At last, when but three bananas were left on the tree, the Monkey
called, "Look up! shut your eyes" (Langag-ka! pudung-nu yan matanu

The Tortoise did so. The Monkey then told him to open his mouth,
and he obeyed. Then the Monkey said, "I'll peel this one piece of
banana for you" (Luitan-ko 'ni sebad abok saging [137]).

Now, the Monkey was sitting on a banana-leaf, directly over the
Tortoise; but, instead of banana, he dropped his excrement into the
Tortoise's mouth. The Tortoise screamed with rage; but the Monkey
jumped up and down, laughing at him. Then he went on eating the
remainder of the bananas.

The Tortoise then set himself to work at making a little hut of
bamboo-posts, with a roof and walls of leaves. The upper ends of the
bamboo he sharpened, and let them project through the roof; but the
sharp points were concealed by the leaves. It was like a trap for pigs

When the Monkey came down from the banana-tree, the Tortoise said,
"You climb this other tall tree, and look around at the sky. If the
sky is dark, you must call to me; for the rain will soon come. Then
you jump down on the roof of our little house here. Never mind if it
breaks in, for we can soon build a stronger one."

The Monkey accordingly climbed the tree, and looked at the sky. "It is
all very dark!" he exclaimed. "Jump quick, then!" cried the Tortoise.

So the Monkey jumped; but he got killed from the sharp bamboo-points
on which he landed.

Then the Tortoise made a fire, and roasted the Monkey. He cut off
the Monkey's ears, and they turned into buyo-leaves. [138] He cut
out the heart, and it turned into betel-nut. He took out the brain,
and it became lime (apog [139]). He made the tail into pungaman. [140]
The stomach he made into a basket. He put into the basket the betel
and the lime and the pungaman and the buyo, and crawled away.

Soon he heard the noise of many animals gathered together. He found
the monkeys and the deer and the pigs and the wild birds having a big
rice-planting. All the animals were rejoiced to see the Tortoise coming
with a basket, for they all wanted to chew betel. The monkeys ran up,
chattering, and tried to snatch the betel-nuts; but the Tortoise held
them back, saying, "Wait a minute! By and by I will give you some."

Then the monkeys sat around, waiting, while the Tortoise prepared the
betel-nut. He cut the nuts and the pungaman into many small pieces,
and the buyo-leaf too, and gave them to the monkeys and the other
animals. Everybody began to chew; and the Tortoise went away to
a distance about the length of one field (sebad kinamat), where he
could get out of sight, under shelter of some trees. Then he called to
the monkeys, "All of you are eating monkey, just like your own body:
you are chewing up one of your own family."

At that, all the monkeys were angry, and ran screaming to catch the
Tortoise. But the Tortoise had hid under the felled trunk of an old
palma brava tree. As each monkey passed close by the trunk where the
Tortoise lay concealed, the Tortoise said, "Drag your membrum! here's
a felled tree" (Supa tapo! basio' [141]).

Thus every monkey passed by clear of the trunk, until the last one
came by; and he was both blind and deaf. When he followed the rest,
he could not hear the Tortoise call out, "Supa tapo! basio';" and
his membrum struck against the fallen trunk. He stopped, and became
aware of the Tortoise underneath. Then he screamed to the rest;
and all the monkeys came running back, and surrounded the Tortoise,
threatening him.

"What do you want?" inquired the Tortoise.

"You shall die," cried the monkeys. "Tell us what will kill you. We
will chop you to pieces with the axe."

"Oh, no! that won't hurt me in the least," replied the Tortoise. "You
can see the marks on my shell, where my father used to cut my body:
but that didn't kill me."

"We will put you in the fire, then, and burn you to death," chorussed
the monkeys. "Will that do?"

"Fire does not hurt me," returned the Tortoise. "Look at my body! See
how brown it is where my father used to stick me into the fire."

"What, then, is best to kill you?" urged the monkeys.

"The way to kill me," replied the Tortoise, "is to take the punch
used for brass, bulit, [142] and run [143] it into my rectum. Then
throw me into the big pond, and drown me."

Then the monkeys did as they were told, and threw him into the
pond. But the Tortoise began to swim about in the water.

Exultantly he called to the monkeys, "This is my own home: you see
I don't drown." And the lake was so deep that the monkeys could not
get him.

Then the monkeys hurried to and fro, summoning all the animals in the
world to drink the water in the lake. They all came,--deer, pigs,
jungle-fowl, monkeys, and all the rest,--and began to drink. They
covered their pagindis [144] with leaves, so that the water could
not run out of their bodies. After a time, they had drunk so much
that the lake became shallow, and one could see the Tortoise's back.

But the red-billed bakaka-bird that lived in a tree by the water was
watching; and as quick as the back of the Tortoise came into sight,
the bird flew down and picked off the leaves from the pagindis of
the deer. Then the water ran out from their bodies until the lake
rose again, and covered the Tortoise. Satisfied, the bird flew back
into the tree. But the deer got fresh leaves to cover their pagindis,
and began to drink again. Then the bird flew to the monkeys, and began
to take the leaves from their pagindis; but one monkey saw him doing
it, and slapped him. This made the bird fall down, and then all the
monkeys left the Tortoise in the lake, and ran to revenge themselves
on the bird.

They snatched him up, pulled out every one of his feathers with their
fingers, and laid him naked upon the stump of a tree. All the animals
went home, leaving the bird on the stump.

Two days later, one Monkey came to look at the Bakaka. Little feathers
were beginning to grow out; but the Monkey thought the bird was dead.

"Maggots are breeding in it," said the Monkey.

Three more days passed, and then the Monkey came again. The Bakaka's
feathers had grown out long by that time; and the Monkey said,
"It was all rotten, and the pigs ate it."

But the bird had flown away. He flew to the north until he reached a
meadow with a big tual-tree in the middle. The tree was loaded with
ripe fruit. [145] Perched on one of the branches, the bird ate all
he wanted, and when done he took six of the fruit of the tual, and
made a necklace for himself. With this hung round his neck, he flew
to the house where the old Monkey lived, and sat on the roof. He
dropped one tual through the roof, and it fell down on the floor,
where all the little monkey-children ran for it, dancing and screaming.

"Don't make such a noise!" chided the old Monkey, "and do not take
the tual, for the Bakaka will be angry, and he is a great bird."

But the bird flew down into the house, and gave one tual to the
old Monkey.

"That is good," said the old Monkey, tasting it. "Tell me where you
got it." But the bird would not tell. Then the old monkey stood up,
and kissed him, and begged to be taken to the tual-tree.

At last the Bakaka said to all the monkeys, "Three days from now you
may all go to the tual-tree. I want you all to go, the blind monkey
too. Go to the meadow where the grass grows high, and there, in the
centre of the meadow, is the tual-tree. If you see the sky and the
air black, do not speak a word; for if you speak, you will get sick."

At the set time, all the monkeys started for the meadow, except one
female monkey that was expecting a baby. The deer and all the other
animals went along, except a few of the females who could not go. They
all reached the meadow-grass; and the monkeys climbed up the tual-tree
that stood in the centre of the field, until all the branches were
full of monkeys. The birds and the jungle-fowl flew up in the tree;
but the deer and the other animals waited clown on the ground.

Then the sky grew black, for the Bakaka and the Tortoise were going
around the meadow with lighted sticks of balekayo, [146] and setting
fire to the grass. The air was full of smoke, and the little monkeys
were crying; but the old Monkey bit them, and said, "Keep still,
for the Bakaka told us not to speak."

But the meadow-grass was all ablaze, and the flames crept nearer and
nearer to the tual-tree. Then all the monkeys saw the fire, and cried,
"Oh! what will become of us?"

Some of the birds and most of the chickens flew away; but some died
in the flames. A few of the pigs ran away, but most of them died. The
other animals were burned to death. Not a single monkey escaped, save
only the female monkey who staid at home. When her baby was born,
it was a boy-monkey. The mother made it her husband, and from this
pair came many monkeys.

It was the same with the deer. All were burned, except one doe who
staid at home. When her little fawn was born, it was a male. She made
it her husband, and from this one pair came many deer.

The Crow and the Golden Trees

The liver of the crow is "medicine" for many pains and for sickness. On
this account the Bagobo kills the crow so that he may get his liver for
"medicine." The liver is good to eat, either cooked or raw. If you see
a crow dead, you can get its liver and eat some of it, and it will be
"medicine" for your body.

The crow never makes its nest in low-growing trees, but only in tall,
big trees. Far from here, the old men say, in the land where the sun
rises, there are no more living trees; for the scorching heat of the
sun has killed them.all, and dried up the leaves. There they stand,
with naked branches, all bare of leaves. Only two trees there have
not died from the heat. The trunks of these trees are of gold, and all
their leaves of silver. But if any bird lights on one of these trees,
it falls down dead. The ground under the two trees is covered with the
bones of little birds and big birds that have died from perching on
the trees with the golden trunks and the silver leaves. These two
trees are full of a resin that makes all the birds die. Only the
crow can sit on the branches, and not die. Hence the crow alone,
of all the birds, remains alive in the land of the sunrise.

No man can get the resin from these trees. But very long ago, in the
days of the Mona, there came a Malaki T'oluk Waig to the trees. He
had a war-shield that shone brightly, for it had a flame of fire
always burning in it. And this Malaki came to the golden trees and
took the precious resin from their trunks.


An Ata Story [147]

Alelu'k and Alebu'tud [148]

Alelu'k and Alebu'tud lived together in their own house. They had
no neighbors. One day Alelu'k said to his wife, "I must go and hunt
some pigs."

Then he started out to hunt, taking with him his three dogs. He did
not find any wild pigs; but before long he sighted a big deer with
many-branched antlers. The dogs gave chase and seized the deer, and
held it until the man came up and killed it with the sharp iron spike
that tipped his long staff (tidalan [149]). Then the man tied to the
deer's antlers a strong piece of rattan, and dragged it home.

When he reached his house, his wife met him joyfully; and they were
both very happy, because they had now plenty of meat. They brought
wood and kindled a fire, and fixed over the fire a frame of wood
tied to upright posts stuck into the ground. On the frame they laid
the body of the deer to singe off the hair over the flames. And when
the hair was all burned off, and the skin clean, Alelu'k began to cut
off pieces of venison, and Alebu'tud got ready the big clay pot, and
poured into it water to boil the meat. But there was only a little
water in the house, so Alubu'tud took her bucket (sekkadu [150]),
and hurried down to the river. When she reached there, she stood with
her bare feet in the stream, and dipped the bucket into the stream,
and took it out full of water. But, just as she turned to climb up
the river-bank, an enormous fish jumped out of the river, seized her,
dragged her down, and devoured her.

At home, Alelu'k was watching for his wife to come back bringing the
water. Day after day he waited for her, and all day long he was crying
from sorrow.

The man (Alelu'k) symbolizes a big black ant that makes its nest in
a hollow tree. The woman (Alebu'tud) is a little worm that lives
in the palma brava tree. The fish is another man who carried off
Alelu'k's wife.

New York.


[1] In these legends, in a few instances, the exact phrases of the
narrators have been retained for the sake of their quaintness.

[2] Obtained from Jose Teodoro, Bay, Laguna, P.I.

[3] Obtained from Fabian de la Paz, San Fernando, Pompanga, P. I.,
who says it was "handed down from old time."

[4] Obtained from Camilo Osias, Balayan, Luzon, P. I.

[5] The word here translated "king" is hardly satisfactory, but
perhaps nothing better can be substituted. Of course the idea "king"
has crept in since the Spanish conquest. "Datto" or "chief" might be
more satisfactory. What is really meant, however, is nothing exactly
imaged by these words, but rather a sort of "head-man," a man more
prominent and powerful than others.

[6] See "Tar-Baby" in Uncle Remus, his Songs and Sayings, p. 7. Also
"Puss in Boots" in Lang's Cinderella, p. 36.

[7] See "Uncle Remus" on "Tortoise and the Rabbit," p. 87. Also AEsop's
Fables, p. 162.

[8] The incident of Ca Boo-Ug pretending that he did not wish to be
thrown into the water is similar to an incident in the "Tar Baby"
story (see Uncle Remus, his Songs and Sayings, p. 16).

[9] Juan Puson, or "Jack Paunch," as he would be called in English,
is a favorite character in Tagalog folk-lore. His adventures are
considered to be the height of humor, and a recital of these never
fails to be repaid with peals of appreciative laughter. The character
is merely a conventional one, to which all sorts of stories, no matter
how inconsistent with each of the others, may be attached. Some of
the accounts, which deal with the death of Juan and various members
of his family by burning, the writer has suppressed as too coarse
for Western ideas.

[10] Anac, child.

[11] Anac hang gabi, young root of the caladium plant. It also means
"child of the night."

[12] Any kind of relish to be eaten with rice, meat especially.

[13] Tuba, fermented juice of cocoa, buri, or nipa palms.

[14] "Lightning blast the stick!"

[15] The Tagalog word is literally "hash."

[16] This story is probably derived from a Spanish version of "The
Forty Thieves," but like all the stories of this collection, it is
from an oral version of the Tagalog tale.

[17] Filipinos do not kiss like Occidental peoples, but touch the
tip of the nose, with sometimes the lips, and inhale the fragrance
of the face or hair.

[18] Native houses of the poorer classes are very slightly built, of
four or six uprights, with bamboo floors and thatched roof and sides,
the whole tied together with rattan. They are very safe in earthquakes.

[19] "Honorable people."

[20] Malapad--a copper piece worth about eighty to the peso or 0.0125
Mexican dollars.

[21] Sec-apat--a real or one eighth of a peso.

[22] Pallok--rice pot of earthenware.

[23] This story is rather suggestive of the Arabian Nights. The writer
in unable to determine its true source.

[24] Tabo: a cocoanut shell cup.

[25] Sinio: corrupted from Sp. genio; Eng. genius.

[26] Multo: genius; etymology unknown.

[27] The general name for a story, of whatever type.

[28] Among the Bagobo the name "diwata" is used rather as a collective
than as a specific term, and refers to the gods in general, or to any
one of them. Pamulak Manobo, creator of the earth, is the diwata here
referred to.

[29] In Malayan-Arabic tradition, Adam was moulded from a lump of clay
mixed with water (cf. W. W. Skeat, Malay Magic [1900], pp. 21-22);
but the suggestion may as well have come from a Jesuit story.

[30] Tuglay, the "old man" of Bagobo myth, and Tuglibung, the
"old woman," were the Mona, who lived on the earth before time
began. Tradition says that they were acquainted with only the rudest
of Bagobo arts and industries; that they were very poor, and dressed
themselves in the soft sheath torn from the cocoanut-trees. Tuglay
and Tuglibung are not specific, but general, names for all those old
people of the tales.

[31] The Malaya of the peninsula have a similar tradition as to the
snake element (cf. Skeat, l.c., p. 6).

[32] The name "Mona" is ordinarily applied to the old man as well as
to the old woman of prehistoric days.

[33] A generic name for the old man of the ancient myths. The
word seems to be related to tugul ("old"), which is used only of
persons. "An old thing" is tapi.

[34] With ready ease the Bagobo incorporates elements that have
come from Catholic sources, yet without breaking the thread of his

[35] A tradition of the first peopling of Mindanao was found by
Mr. Cole at Cibolan. Cf. The Philippine Journal of Science, vol. vi,
pp. 128-129 (1911).

[36] Hemp warp that has been laced in a banded pattern before dyeing,
in order to produce decorative figures In a textile, is called
binubbud. After the binding-threads are clipped, there is an effect
of rippling in the hemp, of which curly hair is suggestive.

[37] Such auspicious white spots are referred to in the text of a
Bagobo song (in manuscript), in which the Divine Man who lives at
the source of the streams is said to have the pamoti on his body.

[38] A well-made box of hard wood in which fine garments are kept.

[39] A long, one-edged sword that hangs at the left side, in an
elaborate scabbard, when a man is in full-dress.

[40] Men (ta, "the;" -g-, a formal or euphonic infix; selat, "door;" k'
[ka], "of;" alo, "sun") at the door of the sun. Manobo is a general
term for "man," "people."

[41] The Visayans believe that an eclipse of the moon is caused
by an enormous animal that seizes the moon, and holds her in his
mouth. Cf. this Journal, vol. xix (1906), p. 209.

[42] Large percussion instruments made by the Chinese, imported from
Singapore into Mindanao, and widely used by the wild tribes.

[43] The first of mortals to reach heaven, and become a god (cf. the
"Story of Lumabat and Wari"). In the tales that I have thus far
collected, Lumabat does not figure as a culture-hero.

[44] The word indicating the relationship between brother and sister,
each of whom is tube' to the other, whether elder or younger.

[45] The mortar in which rice is pounded is a large, deep wooden bowl
that stands in the house. With its standard, it is three feet or more
in height.

[46] The place below the earth where the dead go (gimokud, "spirit;"
-an, plural ending); that is, [the place of] many spirits.

[47] The same word is used of the ceremonial washing at the festival
of G'inum. Ordinary bathing is padigus.

[48] See footnote 3, p. 15, also 3, p. 16.

[49] This is also an element in Visayan myth (cf. Maxfield and
Millington's collection in this Journal, vol. xx [1907], p. 102). For
the Malay tradition, cf. Skeat, Malay Magic, p. 205.

[50] See footnote 1, p. 18.

[51] A synonyme for Gimokudan ("the city of the dead"). It is not
ordinarily associated in the mind of the Bagobo with any idea of
retribution. This episode shows traces of Jesuit influence.

[52] See footnote 1, p. 15.

[53] The popular name "betel-nut," has been retained in these stories
to designate the fruit of the areca-palm. Strictly speaking, "betel"
is the leaf of a climbing plant (buyo) that is chewed with the nut.

[54] The solid part of the betel-nut that remains after the juice
has been extracted by long chewing.

[55] A sort of bridge or platform connecting the main body of the
native house with the shelter that serves as kitchen, when this is
separate from the living-room.

[56] A fabulous bird, probably associated with the screech-owl (Aluco
candidus) of the Philippines. It is a bird of ill-omen. Compare
A. Newton, Dictionary of Birds, pp. 679-680 (1893-96).

[57] General term for "man," "people."

[58] The ulit has a stereotyped opening with the phrase unda'me
(unda ume), "no year."

[59] The fabulous source of all the mountain-streams

[60] The anthropomorphic and zooemorphic evil personalities, whose
number is legion. The traditional concept of Buso among the Bagobo
has essentially the same content as that of Asuang with Visayan
peoples. Both Buso and Asuang suggest the Rakshasa of Indian myth.

[61] See footnote 2, p. 19.

[62] Bia, "lady;" t' (to), "the;" metum, "black."

[63] A stout work-knife, with broad, one-edged blade, and square tip;
used to hew down trees, and cut kindling-wood.

[64] A term regularly used of the great Malaki, and combining the
sense of "all-wise" and "invincible." Matulus is often used with a
connotation of having magical power.

[65] See footnote 3, p. 15, also 3, p. 16.

[66] The number sacred in ceremonial and song.

[67] See footnote 2, p. 16.

[68] Visayan word for rice growing in the field; Bagobo, 'ume.

[69] The long sword of the Moro, with a wavy, two-edged blade.

[70] The Babogo say, that, before the invention of weaving hemp,
all the people clothed themselves in the soft, inflammable layers of
the sheath that envelops the trunk of cocoanut-palms.

[71] The semi-divine being who dwells at the mythical source of
the mountain-streams (malaki, "good man;" t' [to], "the;" oluk,
"source;" waig, "water"), Traditionally there are many of these malaki,
devotionally there is but one.

[72] A very hard, fine-grained wood susceptible of high polish, in
color grading, according to age, from yellow to golden tan, and used
to make handles for the most valuable swords.

[73] These gods are of high rank. Salamia'wan occupies the second
heaven, and Panguli'li, the ninth.

[74] Malaki who lives at the horizon (lindig, "border;" ramut,
"root;" ka, preposition "of;" langit, "sky").

[75] Although the name malaki properly is limited to men of high moral
character, yet actually the story-teller calls all the young men malaki
round whom the action centres. Often it means simply an unmarried man.

[76] A typical Malay house presents the appearance of a pile-dwelling,
the floor being raised several feet above the ground, and tied to the
heavy upright timbers which run to the roof and form the framework
of the house.

[77] Short trousers of hemp, usually embroidered and beaded.

[78] Short jacket of hemp (ka, "of;" mama, "man," "boy," the specific
term for "man").

[79] Brass-smith.

[80] A title of respect, which is best rendered by "lady" or "senora."

[81] Brass toe-rings, corresponding to the paninsing ("finger-rings").

[82] See footnote 1, p. 29.

[83] Rock-terrace (-an, plural ending; ka, "of;" karamag. "wind")
of the Wind.

[84] Terraces (walu, "eight;" lapit, "folded;" dukilum, "night,"
"darkness") of Eight-fold Darkness.

[85] Udan ("rain").

[86] A large carrying-bag worn by Bagobo men on the back, by means of
straps over the shoulders. It is woven of hemp, often heavily beaded,
and contains the betel-box, the lime-tube, and a tight case of woven
rattan for flint, steel, medicine, and other necessaries.

[87] The leaf of a vine that is chewed with betel-nut.

[88] Dulama ("soft rock"). This rock formation appears to be a cuesta

[89] An embroidery done by old women in former days, but now almost
a lost art. Tambayang was used for the uppers of sleeves for fiesta,
and it formed the scarf worn by mothers to carry the baby. There is
a taboo on young women doing this special sort of needlework.

[90] The "small boy" of the ancient tales (ulit), who in some magical
manner becomes great.

[91] See footnote 4, p, 26.

[92] See footnote 2, p. 20.

[93] Bia, "lady;" inelu, "orphan,"--the orphan lady Itanawa.

[94] When a Bagobo makes an expedition over the mountains to attend
a fiesta, he wears his old clothes, and carries his elaborately
ornamented garments in the bag on his back. On nearing the end of
the journey, he goes behind a tree, or into the jungle, and puts on
his fine clothes.

[95] A box with three compartments,--for betel-nut, buyo-leaf, and
calcined shell,--cast in brass or bell-metal from a wax mould. This
type has rectangular surfaces, and is to be distinguished from the
kapulan, a type marked by its circular, or elliptical, or polygonal
top and base.

[96] It is the custom of the natives to wait for the host to say, "Come
up," before mounting the ladder or notched log leading to the door.

[97] The reference here is a little ambiguous. It is suggested that a
transposition of clauses may throw light on the meaning. Transposed
and expanded, the invitation would read thus: "Come up into the
house for shelter, since there are many showers in my town. Come up,
provided you can keep from bringing on a fight."

[98] The good man [of the] Folded Mountains (taglapida, "folded;"
pabungan, "mountains").

[99] Lindig, "border;" ramut, "root;" ka, preposition "of;" langit,

[100] A low-growing tree yielding a black dye, which for a very long
time has been used by women to color hemp.

[101] A bead necklace, the most highly valued of all Bagobo
ornaments. One section is a gold or silver cord, several inches
long. made of small over-lapping scales of the precious metal. The
necklace is thought to be of Moro manufacture, and is valued by the
Bagobo at from one to four agongs.

[102] See footnote 4, p. 32.

[103] A trial-marriage before the Bagobo ceremony is not uncommon.

[104] The tree that bears betel-nuts, and is commonly called
"betel-nut tree."

[105] Possibly a form of kambin ("goat"); diluk ("little"); i.e.,
"little goat," a name that would be selected readily by a Bagobo for
a fleet horse.

[106] See footnote 2, p. 15.

[107] One of the Agamidae.

[109] The same word is used for the reflection in the water and for
the shadow cast on the ground, since both phenomena are regarded as
manifestations of the same spirit (gimokud).

[110] The Mona were aged people, without sexual passions; hence this
episode presents a situation out of the ordinary.

[111] A small bird that steals grain from the growing corn and rice. A
clapper of split bamboo is sometimes made to scare away the maya.

[112] One of the thick-branching trees haunted by demons.

[113] A native sweet-potato. The Bagobo name is kasila.

[114] See footnote 2, p. 39.

[115] Buso is saying a charm to make the stem of the bagkang-plant
grow tall enough to form a handle for the betel-nut tree, so that
the children may be dragged down (tubu, "grow;" baba, "rattan strap
forming the basket-handle;" mamaa'n, "betel-nut"). The children,
for their part, say other magic words to make the tree grow at an
equally rapid rate, so that its branches may swing above the bagkang
as a handle for it. The Buso's formula appears to have been the more
effective of the two charms in producing a magically rapid growth.

[116] See footnote 1, p. 18.

[117] See footnote 2, p. 30.

[118] See footnote 1, p. 30.

[119] See footnote, p. 25.

[120] The S'iring are said to appear in the likeness of some near
relative of the wanderer in the forest (s-, prefix widely used by
mountain Bagobo before an initial vowel of a proper name; iring,
"like" or "similar to").

[121] The family altar seen in many Bagobo houses. It consists of
two slim rods of bamboo (attached to the wall, and standing upright),
split at the upper ends so as to support each a bowl of white crockery,
in which offerings of betel-nut, brass bracelets, and other objects,
are placed. Similar shrines are sometimes put up under trees or by
a mountain-stream.

[122] Red peppers and a piece or two of lemon laid under the house are
effective in keeping Buso away from that vicinity; and the use of the
same charm here against the S'iring suggests that the S'iring may not
be separated by a very sharp line from the Buso who crowd the forests.

[123] Tadu ("wax"), ka (preposition "of"), petiukan ("bees").

[124] This bird, often called a "hornbill" by foreigners in the
Philippines, is probably the halcyon kingfisher (Ceyx euerythra)
of the islands. The ground hornbill is confined to Africa; and the
tree hornbill of the Philippines does not make its nest at the foot
of trees, as in this story.

[125] A mountain-plant whose stem has a thin, glossy, black sheath,
that is stripped off and used in twisting the decorative leglet
called tikus.

[126] In a strict sense, the term malaki is never applied to a man,
unless he is young, unmarried, and perfectly chaste. But this technical
use is not always preserved.

[127] Small bells cast from a hand-made wax mould, and extensively
used for decorating baskets, bags, belts, etc.

[128] See footnote 1, p. 38.

[129] See footnote 2, p. 28.

[130] The good soul that goes to the city of the dead, and continues
to live much as on earth. The gimokud tebang, or bad soul, becomes
a Buso after death.

[131] The "lion" is borrowed from some foreign source, since in the
Philippines there are no large carnivorous mammals.

[132] The so-called "chameleon" of the Malay Peninsula and the Malay
Islands is Calotes, one of the Agamidae (cf. H. Gadow, Amphibia and
Reptiles, pp. 517-518).

[133] A semi-aquatic lizard of the Philippines that lays edible eggs,
and otherwise answers to the description of the Varanus, or Monitor.

[134] This story, in an abbreviated form, was found by Clara Kern
Bayliss at Laguna (cf. this Journal, vol. xxi, p. 46 (1908)).

[135] Roro, "slide;" s prefix (euphonic or formal, used by mountain
Bagobo before vowels and many consonant sounds, as the labial p here);
punno, "tortoise."

[136] Langag, "look;" -ka (suffix, second person nominative), "you;"
pudung, "shut;" -nu (pronominal suffix), "your;" yan (demonstrative
pronoun), "that," "those;" mata, "eyes."

[137] Luit (transitive verb and noun), "peel," "shell;" -ko (suffix,
first person pronominal). "I;" 'ni (abbreviated from ini), "this,"
"here." in sense of "at hand;" sebad. "one;" abok, "piece;" saging,

[138] See footnote 5, p. 32.

[139] A white powder (calcined shell) that is sprinkled on the
betel-nut. It is made by burning certain shells to ashes, and mixing
with water.

[140] The stem of a mountain-plant that is chewed in lack of
betel-nut. It blackens the teeth, like betel.

[141] Basio', term used of any old palma brava tree that has been
broken down or felled, and lies on the ground (supa, "drag," "lower;"
tapo, "penis").

[142] A short, pointed iron tool; used to punch ornamental designs
in brass ornaments, especially bracelets and leglets.

[143] In a slightly different version, the tortoise tells the monkeys
to bore into his ear with the tiuk, a brass wire that forms a part
of the hinge of a betel-box.

[144] The distal opening of the urethra.

[145] A small edible fruit with an acid pulp and red-and-white skin.

[146] A light-weight bamboo with slender, thorny branches, very
inflammable, and used where a rapid-burning and intense fire is needed
(bale ["house"], kayo ["wood"]). This wood is extensively used in
building the lighter parts of the framework of a house.

[147] This story came to the Bagobo from a young man of the Ata
tribe, whose habitat is the mountainous country in the interior,
to the northwest of the Gulf of Davao.

[148] "Alelu'k" and "Alebu'tud" are Ata names, for which the Bagobo
forms are respectively Bungen and Batol.

[149] The long handle or rod of a spear, tipped with a sharp-pointed
iron cone; equally useful for killing animals, and, driven into the
ground, for supporting the spear when at rest. The same name (tidalan)
is applied to the shaft of a spear lacking the blade, and carried by
old people like a mountain-staff.

[150] A vessel formed of a single internode of bamboo, in which water
is brought from the river, and kept in the house.


Back to Full Books