Traditions of the Tinguian: A Study in Philippine Folk-Lore
by Fay-Cooper Cole
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Traditions of the Tinguian A Study in Philippine Folk-Lore

By Fay-Cooper Cole Assistant Curator of Malayan Ethnology



Preface 3 Introduction 5 Tales of the Mythical Period 33 Ritualistic and Explanatory Tales 171 Fables 195 Abstracts 202


The following myths were collected by the writer in 1907-8 during a stay of sixteen months with the Tinguian, a pagan tribe of northwestern Luzon in the Philippines. The material, for the most part gathered in texts, was partially translated in the Islands, while the balance was worked over during a brief visit to America in 1909. In this task I was assisted by Dumagat, a full blood Tinguian, who accompanied me.

While not, in all cases, giving a literal rendering, I have endeavored to follow closely the language of the story-tellers rather than to offer a polished translation. In some cases, where it was impossible to record the tales when heard, only the substance was noted, a fact which will account for the meagerness of detail evident in a few of the stories.

The Tinguian tribe numbers about twenty thousand individuals, most of whom are found in the sub-province of Abra, and in the mountains of Ilocos Sur and Norte. Their material culture, beliefs, and ceremonials are quite uniform and exceedingly complex. It is my intention to publish a study of this people in the near future, but realizing that it will be quite impossible for readers unacquainted with Tinguian life to understand many references in the tales, I have added such foot notes as will enable them to grasp the meaning of certain obscure passages.

In the introduction, an attempt has been made to bring together the culture of the people as it appears in the myths, and to contrast it with present day conditions and beliefs. In this way we may hope to gain a clearer insight into their mental life, and to secure a better idea of the values they attach to certain of their activities than is afforded us by actual observation or by direct inquiry. It is also possible that the tales may give us a glimpse of the early conditions under which this people developed, of their life and culture before the advent of the European.

It should be noted at the outset that no attempt is here made to reconstruct an actual historical period. As will appear later, a part of the material is evidently very old; later introductions—to which approximate dates may be assigned—have assumed places of great importance; while the stories doubtless owe much to the creative imaginations of successive story-tellers.

A comparison of these tales with the folk-lore of neighboring tribes would be of greatest value, but unfortunately very little material for such a study is available. Under the circumstances it has seemed best to defer the attempt and to call attention in the footnotes to striking similarities with other fields.

In the main these tales are so closely associated with the religious beliefs of the present day that it is unlikely they will be found, in anything approaching their present form, outside the districts dominated by this tribe. Nevertheless, isolated incidents corresponding to those of neighboring peoples or even of distant lands occur several times.

Observation has led me to the belief that the religious organization and ceremonies of the Tinguian have reached a higher development than is found among the neighboring tribes, and that this complexity decreases as we penetrate toward the interior or to the south. If this be true, it seems evident that the tales based on or associated with them must likewise grow weaker as we go from Abra.

I wish here to acknowledge my indebtedness to Dr. Franz Boas and Dr. Berthold Laufer, whose interest and suggestions have been of greatest value in the preparation of the material for publication; also to express my gratitude to the late Robert F. Cummings, under whose liberal endowment the field work was carried on. His constant interest made possible the gathering of the extensive Philippine collections now in the Museum, and it is a matter of deep regret that he did not live to see all the results of his generosity made available to the reading public.

Fay-Cooper Cole,

Assistant Curator of Malayan Ethnology.

Chicago, January, 1915.

Traditions of the Tinguian: A Study in Philippine Folk-Lore


For the purposes of our study, the tales have been roughly divided into three parts. The first, which deals with the mythical period, contains thirty-one tales of similar type in which the characters are for the most part the same, although the last five tales do not properly fit into the cycle, and the concluding story of Indayo is evidently a recent account told in the form of the older relations.

In the second division are the ritualistic and explanatory myths, the object of which seems to be to account for the origin of or way of conducting various ceremonies; for the belief in certain spirits and sacred objects; for the existence of the sun, moon, and other natural phenomena; for the attainment of fire, food plants, birds and domestic animals, as well as of magical jars and beads. Here it should be noted that some of the most common and important beliefs and ceremonies are, so far as is known, unaccompanied by any tales, yet are known to all the population, and are preserved almost without change from generation to generation.

Division three contains the ordinary stories with which parents amuse their children or with which men and women while away the midday hours as they lounge in the field houses, or when they stop on the trail to rest and smoke.

None of the folk-tales are considered as the property of the tellers, but only those of the third division are well known to the people in general. Those of the first section are seldom heard except during the dry season when the people gather around bonfires in various parts of the village. To these go the men and women, the latter to spin cotton, the former to make fish nets or to repair their tools and weapons. In such a gathering there are generally one or more persons who entertain their fellows with these tales. Such a person is not paid for his services, but the fact that he knows "the stories of the first times" makes him a welcome addition to the company and gives him an enviable position in the estimation of his fellows.

The purely ritualistic tales, called diams, are learned word by word by the mediums, [1] as a part of their training for their positions, and are only recited while an animal is being stroked with oil preparatory to its being sacrificed, or when some other gift is about to be presented to the superior beings. The writer has recorded these diams from various mediums in widely separated towns and has found them quite uniform in text and content. The explanatory tales were likewise secured from the mediums, or from old men and women who "know the customs." The stories of the last division are the most frequently heard and, as already indicated, are told by all. It is evident even to the casual reader that these show much more evidence of outside influence than do the others; some, indeed, appear to have been recently borrowed from the neighboring christianized Ilocano. [2]

Tales of the Mythical Period

Reconstruction of the Culture.—In the first division certain actors occur with great frequency, while others always take the leading parts. These latter appear under a variety of names, two or more titles often being used for the same individual in a single tale. To avoid confusion a list of the fourteen principal actors and their relationships are given in the accompanying table. It will appear that there are some conflicts in the use of names, but when it is realized that the first twenty-six myths which make up the cycle proper were secured from six story tellers coming from four different towns, the agreement rather than the disagreement is surprising. As a matter of fact there is quite as much variation between the accounts of the same narrator as between those gathered from different towns.

Table of Leading Characters [3]

I. Aponitolau. Son of Pagatipanan [male] [4] and Langa-an [female] of Kadalayapan; is the husband of Aponibolinayen. Appears under the following names: (a) Ligi, (b) Albaga of Dalaga, (c) Dagdagalisit, (d) Ingiwan or Kagkagakag, (e) Ini-init, (f) Ling-giwan, (g) Kadayadawan, (h) Wadagan, (i) Awig (?)

II. Aponigawani. Sister of Aponitolau and wife of Aponibalagen.

III. Aponibolinayen. Daughter of Pagbokasan [5] [male] and Ebang [female] of Kaodanan. Wife of Aponitolau.

Appears as (a) Ayo, (b) Dolimaman(?).

IV. Aponibalagen. Brother of Aponibolinayen, and husband of Aponigawani; also appears as Awig.

V. Kanag. Son of Aponitolau and Aponibolinayen. Appears as (a) Kanag kabagbagowan, (b) Balokanag, (c) Dumanau, (d) Ilwisan, (e) also at times is identified with Dumalawi, his brother.

VI. Dapilisan, wife of Kanag.

VII. Dagolayan. Son of Aponibalagen and Aponigawani. Also appears as Dondonyan of Bagonan—the blood clot child.

VIII. Alokotan. An old woman who acts as a medium. Her home is at Nagbotobotan, where the rivers empty their waters into the hole at the edge of the world.

IX. Gawigawen [male]. A giant who owns the orange trees of Adasin.

X. Giambolan [male]. A ten-headed giant.

XI. Gaygayoma. A star maiden who marries Aponitolau. The daughter of Bagbagak [male], a big star,—and Sinag [female], the moon—.

XII. Tabyayen. Son of Aponitolau and Gaygayoma. Half brother of Kanag.

XIII. Kabkabaga-an. A powerful female spirit who falls in love with Aponitolau.

XIV. Asibowan. The maiden of Gegenawan, who is related to the spirit Kaboniyan. The mistress of Aponitolau.

In consequence of modern rationalism there is a tendency on the part of a considerable number of the Tinguian to consider these tales purely as stories and the characters as fictitious, but the mass of the people hold them to be true and speak of the actors as "the people who lived in the first times." For the present we shall take their point of view and shall try to reconstruct the life in "the first times" as it appears in the tales.

The principal actors live in Kadalayapan and Kaodanan, [6] towns which our chief story teller—when trying to explain the desire of Kanag to go down and get fruit—assures us were somewhere in the air, above the earth (p. 141). [7] At other times these places are referred to as Sudipan—the term by which spirits are supposed to call the present earth—while the actors are referred to as Ipogau—the spirit name for Tinguian. Whatever its location it was a place much like the present home of this people. The sky, the chief abode of spirits and celestial bodies, was above the land, and the heroes of the tales are pictured as ascending to visit the upper realms. The trees, plants, and animals were for the most part those known to-day. The ocean appears to have been well known, while mention is made of some places in Luzon, such as Dagopan and San Fernando in Pangasinan with which the people of to-day are not at all familiar (p. 89, 168).

We learn that each village is situated near to a river or waterway by the banks of which shallow wells are dug, and there we find the women gathering under the shade of the trees, dipping up water to be carried to their homes, washing and combing their hair, and taking their baths (p. 48). They seldom go singly, for enemies are apt to be near, and unless several are in the company it will be impossible to spread the alarm and secure help in case of attack (p. 43).

Leading up from the spring to the village are bamboo poles on which the heads of enemies are displayed (p. 43). In cases where the warriors have been especially successful these trophies may surround the whole settlement (p. 76). About the town is a defensive wall, generally of bamboo, but in some cases made up entirely of gigantic snakes (p. 43). Within this inclosure are many houses. The bamboo floors are raised high above the ground, while the thatching is of grass. Ladders lead up to little porches, from which doors open into the dwellings. At least part of the houses have a cooking room in addition to that used by the family, while structures containing a ninth room are several times mentioned (pp. 43, 52, 85).

In one corner of the living room is a box containing blankets, above which are pillows and mats used by members of the household and guests; an iron caldron lies on the floor, while numerous Chinese jars stand about. A hearth, made up of a bed of ashes in which stones are sunk, is used for cooking. Above it is a bamboo food hanger, while near by stand jars of water and various cooking pots. Food baskets, coconut shell cups, and dishes, and a quantity of Chinese plates appear when the meal is served, while the use of glass is not unknown. Cups of gold, wonderful jars, and plates appear at times, but seem to be so rare as to excite comment (pp. 33, 98, 102, 105).

Scattered through the village are numerous small buildings known as balaua (p. 43), which are erected for the spirits during the greatest of the ceremonies, and still inside the enclosure are the rice drying plots and granaries, the latter raised high above the ground so as to protect their contents from moisture (p. 150).

About the town pigs and chickens roam at will, while half-starved hunting dogs prowl about below the kitchens and fight for morsels which drop from above (p. 99). Carabao are kept and used as food (p. 101), but in the cycle proper no mention is made of using them as work animals. [8] Game, especially deer and wild chickens, and fish are added to the domestic supply of food (p. 80), but the staple appears to be mountain rice. Beans, coconuts, oranges, sugar cane, betel-nuts, and tobacco are also cultivated (pp. 33, 107, 121, 138).

Clothing is scanty but nevertheless receives much attention. The poorest of the men wear clouts of banana leaf, and the women, when in danger of capture, don skirts of bark; but on most occasions we find the man wearing a colored cotton clout, above which is a bright belt of the same material, while for ceremonies he may add a short coat or jacket. A headband, sometimes of gold, keeps his long hair in place, and for very special events he may adorn each hair with a golden bead (pp. 74, 76, 81).

The cotton skirts of the women reach from the waist to the knees; the arms are covered with strands above strands of beads, while strings of agate beads surround the neck or help to hold the hair in place. To the real hair is often added a switch which appears to be valued highly (p. 89). Ornaments of gold adorn the ears, and finger rings of the same metal are several times mentioned (pp. 39, 43, 124).

The tales afford us a glimpse of the daily life. In the early morning the chilly mountain air drives the people from their mats to the yard, where they squat about the fires (p. 132). As it becomes light, part of the women begin pounding out the rice from its straw and husks (p. 144), while others depart for the springs to secure water (p. 101). In planting time husband and wife trudge together to the fields, where the man plants the seeds or cuttings, and his wife assists by pouring on water (p. 107). In midday, unless it is the busy season, the village activities are practically suspended, and we see the balaua filled with men, asleep or lounging, while children may be playing about with tops or disk-like lipi seeds (p. 139). As it becomes cooler, the town again takes on life; in the houses the women weave blankets or prepare food, the older women feed the chickens and pigs (p. 93), while the workers from the fields, or hunters with their dogs and game, add to the general din and excitement (p. 80). When night comes on, if it be in the dry season, bonfires spring up in different parts of the village, and about them the girls and women gather to spin. Here also come the men and boys, to lounge and talk (p. 117). A considerable portion of the man's time is taken up in preparation for or actual participation in warfare (p. 74). We have already seen that the constant danger of enemies makes it advisable for the women to go in parties, even to the village spring. One tale informs us of a girl who is left alone to guard the rice field and is promptly killed by the alzado; [9] another states that "all the tattooed Igorot are enemies" (pp. 43, 155, 161).

Revenge for the loss of relations or townspeople is a potent cause of hostile raids; old feuds may be revived by taunts; but the chief incentive appears to be the desire for renown, to be known as "a man who goes to fight in the enemies' towns" (pp. 90, 59).

Warriors sometimes go in parties, sometimes alone, but generally in couples (p. 67). At times they lie in ambush and kill young girls who go for water, or old men and women who pass their hiding place (p. 97). Again they go out boldly, armed with shield, spear, and headaxe; they strike their shields as they go and announce their presence to the enemy (p. 103). In five of the tales the heroes challenge their opponents and then refuse to be the first to use their weapons. It is only when their foes have tried in vain to injure them that they enter the conflict. In such cases whole towns are wiped out of existence and a great number of heads and a quantity of jars and other booty is sent back to the towns of the victors (p. 104). Peace is restored in one instance by the payment of a number of valuable jars (p. 91).

Upon the return of a successful war party, the relatives meet them at the gate of the town and compel them to climb the sangap; [10] then invitations are sent out to friends and relatives in neighboring towns to come and aid in the celebration of the victory (p. 140). When they arrive at the entrance of the village they are met by the townspeople, who offer them liquor and then conduct them to the houses where they feast and dance to the music of gansas (p. 126). [11] Finally the captured heads are stuck on the sagang [12] and are placed by the gate, the spring, and, if sufficient in number, surround the town (p. 140). Taking the heads of one's neighbors does not appear to be common, yet cases are mentioned where visitors are treacherously killed at a dance (pp. 78, 83).

The use of poison [13] is twice mentioned. In one case the victims are killed by drinking liquor furnished by the father of the girl about whose head they are dancing (pp. 148, 156).

Bamboo spears appear to be used, but we are explicitly told that they fought with steel weapons, and there are frequent references to headaxes, spears, and knives (pp. 65, 76, 120).

Marriage appears generally to be negotiated by the mother of the youth at his suggestion (p. 128). At times both his parents go to the girl's home, and after many preliminaries broach the subject of their mission (p. 128). The girl's people discuss the proposition, and if they are favorable they set a day for the pakalon—a celebration at which the price to be paid for the bride is decided upon (p. 49). The parents of the groom then return home after having left some small present, such as a jar or an agate bead, as a sign of engagement (p. 128) [14]. The pakalon is held a few days later at the girl's home, and for this event her people prepare a quantity of food (p. 72). On the agreed day the close friends and relatives of both families will assemble. Those who accompany the groom carry jars and pigs, either in part payment for the bride, or to serve as food for the company (pp. 72, 128). The first hours are spent in bargaining over the price the girl should bring, but when this is settled a feast is prepared, and then all indulge in dancing the tadek (p. 59) [15]. When the payment is made a portion is distributed among the girl's relatives (pp. 72, 74), but her parents retain the greater part for themselves [16]. The groom cannot yet claim his bride, although in one case he is allowed to take her immediately after the pakalon by making a special payment for the privilege (p. 74). A few nights later the groom goes to the girl's home carrying with him an empty jar with which he makes the final payment (p. 73). The customary rice ceremony [17] follows and he is then entitled to his bride (p. 73). Should the house or anything in it break at this time, it foretells misfortune for the couple, hence precautions are taken lest such a sign should, by accident, be given (p. 60).

In all but two cases mentioned the girl and her husband go to live with his people. In the first instance their failure to do so raises a protest; in the second, the girl's parents are of much more importance than those of the groom, and this may explain their ability to retain their daughter (pp. 138, 159).

When the bride reaches her future home, she sits on the bamboo floor with her legs stretched out in front of her. The slats which she covers are counted and a string of agate beads, equal in length to the combined width of the slats, is given to her. She now becomes a full member of the family and seems to be under the orders of her mother-in-law (p. 60).

The tales give constant sanction for the marriage of near relatives. Dumanau, we are told, marries his cousin [18], while we frequently meet with such statements as, "We are relatives and it is good for us to be married", or "They saw that they were related and that both possessed magical power, so they were married (p. 35)". It appears that a man may live with his sweetheart and have children by her, yet leave her, and, without reproach, marry another better fitted to be his wife (p. 54). He may also accept payment for a wife who has deserted him, apparently without loss of prestige (p. 64). No objection seems to be raised to a man having two wives so long as one of these is an inhabitant of the upper world (p. 111), but we find Kanag telling his former sweetheart that he cannot marry her since he is now married to another (p. 138). Again, when two women lay claim to Aponitolau, as their husband, they undergo a test and the loser returns to her former home (p. 94). However, this rule does not prevent a man from having several concubines (p. 120). Gawigawen, we are told, is accompanied to a pakalon by eighteen young girls who are his concubines (p. 59).

Divorce is twice mentioned, but it seems to call out protest only from the cast off wife (pp. 63, 149).

Closely associated with the celebration of a marriage seems to be a ceremony known as Sayang, during the progress of which a number of small structures—the largest known as balaua—are built. Judging by their names and descriptions, we are justified in considering them "spirit houses" as they are to-day.

The details of the extended Sayang ceremony are nowhere given, but so much is made plain:—At its beginning many people pound rice, for use in the offerings and for food, and da-eng [19] is danced (p. 40). After the Libon [20] invitations are sent out, by means of betel-nuts covered with gold, to those whose presence is especially desired (p. 62). When the guests arrive at the village spring or gate they are offered food or drink, and then while they dance they are sprinkled with water or rice, after which all go up to the town (p. 41 note 2). A medium who knows the customs and desires of the spirits constructs a bamboo mat, which is known as talapitap, and on it offers food. To call their attention she frequently strikes the ground with the dakidak—split sticks of bamboo and lono [21] (p. 40). The guests are not neglected, so far as regards food, for feasting and dancing occupy a considerable portion of their time. The ceremonial dance da-eng is mentioned, but the tadek [22] seems to be the one in special favor (pp. 41, 59).

One tale tells us that the Sayang was held immediately following a head hunt; and another, that Aponitolau went out to get the head of an old man before he started this ceremony (pp. 69, 76); however, the evidence is by no means conclusive that it is related to warfare.

On page 105 we are told that Kanag's half sister is a medium, and the description of her method of summoning the spirits tallies with that of to-day. At the Sayang ceremony she is called to perform the Dawak [23], with the assistance of the old woman Alokotan (p. 106). The Dawak is also held in order to stop the flow of blood from Aponitolau's finger (p. 113). The only other ceremony mentioned is that made in order to find a lost switch (p. 91).

Certain well-known customs are strongly brought out in our material. The first, and apparently most important, is the necessity of offering liquor and food, both to strangers and to guests (p. 58). Refusal is so keenly resented that in one instance a couple decline to allow their daughter to marry a man whose emissaries reject this gift (p. 73). Old quarrels are closed by the tender of food or drink, and friendships are cemented by the drinking of basi [24] (p. 134). People meeting for the first time, and even friends who have been separated for a while, chew betel-nut together and tell their names and places of residence. We are repeatedly told that it is necessary to chew the nut and make known their names, for "we cannot tell our names unless we chew," and "it is bad for us if we do not know each other's names when we talk." A certain etiquette is followed at this time: old men precede the younger; people of the home town, the visitors; and men always are before the women (pp. 45, 133). The conduct of Awig when he serves liquor to the alzados [25] is that of to-day, i.e., the person who serves always drinks before passing it to others (p. 156).

Certain other rules of etiquette or restrictions on conduct come out in the tales. We learn that it is not considered proper for a man to eat with the wife of another during his absence, nor should they start the meal before he comes in (p. 52). The master of a dance is deeply chagrined and chides his wife severely, because she insists on dancing before he has invited all the others to take their turns (p. 70). Greediness is reproved in children and Aponitolau causes the death of his concubines whose false tales had led him to maltreat his wife (p. 116). Unfaithfulness seems to be sufficient justification for a man to abandon his wife and kill her admirer (p. 78); but Kanag appears as a hero when he refuses to attack his father who has sought his life (p. 121).

Of the ceremonies connected with death we learn very little except that the women discard their arm beads, the mourners don old clothing, and all wail for the dead (pp. 44, 90). Three times we are told that the deceased is placed on a tabalang, or raft, on which a live rooster is fastened before it is set adrift on the river. In the tales the raft and fowl are of gold, but this is surprising even to the old woman Alokotan, past whose home in Nagbotobotan all these rafts must go (p. 131).

Up to this time in our reconstruction of the life of "the first times" we have mentioned nothing impossible or improbable to the present day Tinguian, although, as we shall see later, there are some striking differences in customs and ideas. We have purposely left the description of the people and their practice of magic to the last, although their magical practices invade every activity of their lives, for it is here that the greatest variations from present conditions apparently occur.

These people had intimate relations with some of the lesser spirits, especially with the liblibayan [26], who appear to be little more than their servants, with the evil spirits known as banbanayo, and with the alan (p. 123). The alan, just mentioned, are to-day considered as 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 backwards from their wrists." The several references to them in the tales such as "you alan girls whose toes on your feet turn out" indicate they were so considered in the first times (p. 161). Some of them are addressed as "you alan of the springs," and in one instance a man dives down into the water where the alan live (p. 148), but in general their homes seem to be similar to but much finer than those of the people of Kadalayapan and Kaodanan. These spirits appear time after time as the foster mothers of the leading characters: Generally they secure a drop of menstrual blood, a miscarriage, or the afterbirth, and all unknown to the real parents, change them into children and raise them (p. 83). These foster children are pictured as living in houses of gold situated near springs, the pebbles of which are of gold or beads; [27] the places where the women set the pots while dipping water are big plates or dishes, while similar dishes form the stepping stones leading up to the house. Articles of gold are found in the dwellings and valuable jars are numerous. When the true relationships of these children are established they always go to their blood parents, carrying with them these riches, which are a source of wonder and comment (pp. 43, 64).

The people of Kadalayapan and Kaodanan have many dealings with the celestial bodies. The big star Bagbagak appears as the husband of Sinag—the moon—and father of the star maiden Gaygayoma, who, Aponitolau assures his wife, is a spirit. When this girl comes down to steal sugar-cane she takes off her star dress and appears as a beautiful maiden; [28] she becomes enamored with Aponitolau and takes him to the sky, where he lives with her. They have a child, who later marries in Kadalayapan and thereafter stays below. Upon the occasion when Aponitolau visits his first wife and fails to return to the sky at the appointed time, a great company of stars are sent to fetch him, with orders to devour him if he refuses to obey (p. 109, ff.).

In the first tale Aponitolau himself appears as "the sun," "the man who makes the sun," as "a round stone which rolls," but when it is established that he is the son of a couple in Kadalayapan he apparently relinquishes his duties in the sky and goes to live in the village of his people. With him goes his wife Aponibolinayen, who had been carried above by a vine. While at his post in the heavens, Aponitolau is closely associated with the big star, whose duty it is to follow him in the sky. Again we are told that Aponitolau is taken up by the spirit Kabkabaga-an, whom he marries and by whom he has a son (p. 114). In some instances this hero and his son Kanag converse with thunder and lightning, which appear at times not unlike human beings (p. 100); but in the eighth relation the two kinds of lightning are pictured as dogs who guard the town of Dona.

These people enjoy unusual relations with inanimate things, and we find them conversing with spears and with jars. [29] In one case the latter appear to be pastured like animals, and surround Aponitolau when he goes to feed them with lawed [30] leaves and salt (p. 51). Weapons weep blood and oil when taken down for the purpose of injuring certain persons (p. 43). A nose flute, when played by a youth, tells him of his mother's plight (p. 152), while a bamboo Jew's harp summons the brothers of its owner (p. 162). Animals and birds are frequently in communication with them: The hawk flies away and spreads the news of the fight at Adasin [31] (p. 90); at the bidding of Dalonagan a spider spins a web about the town (p. 124); and Aponitolau is enabled to fulfill the labors assigned him by the ten-headed giant only through the aid of spiders, ants, and flies (p. 101). [32] During certain dances the water from the river flows over the town and fish come up and bite the feet of the dancers (p. 59). Crocodiles are left to guard the sister of Aponibalagen, and when they fail to explain their negligence they are whipped and sent away by their master (p. 87). A great bird is pleased with Aponitolau and carries him away [33] to its home, where it forces him to marry a woman it had previously captured (p. 92). In one instance an animal gives birth to a human child; a frog laps up the spittle of Aponitolau, and as a result becomes pregnant [34] and gives birth to a maiden who is taken away by the spirits (p. 105). Another account states that the three sons of Aponitolau and Aponibolinayen are born as pigs, but later assume human form (p. 116). Kanag becomes a snake when he tries to secure the perfume of Baliwan, but is restored to human form when he bathes in a magic well (p. 137). These and other mysterious happenings, many of which are not explained as being due to their own volition, befall them; thus Ingiwan, while walking, is confronted by an impassable hill and is compelled to cross the ocean, where he finds his future wife, but upon his return the hill has vanished (p. 86). In other instances the finger rings of people meeting for the first time exchange themselves (p. 92). The headband of Ligi flies away without his knowledge and alights on the skirt of a girl who is bathing in the river. As a result she becomes pregnant, and when the facts become known Ligi is recognized as the child's father (p. 144). It seems probable that the superior powers are responsible for these occurrences, for in at least one instance the great spirit Kaboniyan steals a maiden and turns her into a flock of birds, who talk with and assist the owner of a rice field (p. 151).

While they thus appear to be to a certain extent under the control of the spirits and to be surrounded by animals and inanimate things with human intelligence and speech, the people of these "first times" possess great power over nature: Time and space are annihilated, for at their will daylight comes at once (p. 150), or they are transported to a place in an instant (p. 92). At their command people appear: Kanag creates betel-nut trees, then cuts the fruit into bits, which he sows on the ground. From these come many people who are his neighbors, and one of whom he marries (p. 121). The course of nature is changed: A field is planted in an instant; the crops mature in a few days, and the grain and fruits take themselves to the store-house (p. 150). A strike-a-light turns into a hill which impedes pursuers [35] (p. 75), while a belt or headaxe serves as a ferry across a body of water (p. 84). A storm is called upon to carry a person or a building to a distance (p. 121), and a spring is created by killing an old man (p. 60). [36] Prepared food appears at a word; a stick when cooked becomes a fish, and though it is repeatedly broken and served it always appears ready for service at meal time (p. 33); a small jar containing a single grain of rice supplies an abundance of food; another jar no larger than a fist furnishes drink for a company and still remains a third full; while a single earring fills a pot with gold [37] (pp. 47, 119, 123).

Quite as easy as the creation of beings is the causing of sleep or death. All the people of a village are put to sleep at the will of a single person (p. 145) and Albaga—while still at a distance—causes the death of Aponibolinayen (p. 44). At a word of command the spears and headaxes of the people of Kadalayapan and Kaodanan go out and kill great numbers of the enemy, and the heads and booty take themselves in orderly fashion to towns of their new owners (pp. 66, 75). Many methods of restoring the dead to life are employed; spittle is applied to the wounds, or the victim is placed in a magic well, but the common method is for the hero "to whip his perfume," [38] whereupon the dead follow his commands (pp. 152, 157).

The birth of a child, to a woman of these times, is generally preceded by an intense itching between the third and last fingers, and when this spot is pricked the child pops out "like popped rice." [39] Its growth is always magical, for at each bath its stature increases by a span (p. 102). Within a few days the baby is a large child and then begins deeds of valor worthy of the most renowned warriors (pp. 95, 96).

The power of assuming animal forms appears to be a common possession, and we find the different characters changing themselves into fire-flies, ants, centipedes, omen birds, and in one case into oil [40] (pp. 85, 99).

One of the most peculiar yet constantly used powers of these people is their ability to send betel-nuts on various missions. Whenever an invitation to a ceremony or celebration is to be extended, nuts covered with gold are oiled and sent out. They go to the intended guest, state their errand, and, if refused, forthwith proceed to grow on his knee, forehead, or pet pig, until pain or pity compels him to accept (p. 146). In some cases it appears that the nuts themselves possess the magic properties, for we find Aponitolau demanding that his conquered foes give him their betel-nuts with magic power (p. 91).

Relationships can be readily ascertained by the chewing of these nuts, for when the quids are laid down they are transformed into agate and golden beads and lie in such a manner that the associations are fully established (pp. 35, 36, 41).

Enough has been mentioned to show how important a part magic and magical practices play in the life of this people, but one further reference should be made, since it is found in nearly every tale. When the marriage price is settled upon, the mother of the groom exercises her power and at once fills the spirit house with valuable jars and the like; this is repeated until enough are gathered to meet the demands of the girl's people (p. 133). Even when the agreed sum has been delivered we often find the girl's mother herself practicing magic, to secure additional payment, and by raising her elbows or eyebrows causing a part of the jars to vanish (pp. 133, 143).

Despite their great gifts we find that these people are not all-powerful and that they deem it wise to consult the omens before starting on a task or a journey. The gall sack and liver of a pig are eagerly examined, [41] while the calls of birds, actions of animals, or signs received from the thunder and lightning regulate their conduct. In cases where these warnings are disregarded misfortune or death always overtakes the individual (pp. 48, 49, 100 ff).

Death comes to them, but apparently is only a temporary state. The deceased are often revived by some magical process (p. 152), but if not the corpse is placed on a raft and is set adrift on the river. [42] The streams and rivers, we are told, all flow past Nagbotobotan before they empty into the hole where all streams go. In this place lives the old woman Alokotan, who is related to the people of Kadalayapan and Kaodanan. Her duty it is to watch for dead relatives, to secure them, and make them alive again (p. 132). She is the owner of a magic pool, the waters of which revive the dead and renew youth.

Comparison of the Reconstructed Culture with Present Day Conditions.—Before passing to a consideration of the tales in the last two divisions of our material, it may be well to compare the life and beliefs of these "people of the first times" with those of the living Tinguian. Kadalayapan and Kaodanan appear, in a vague way, to have been located in Abra, for we learn that the Ilocano, Don Carlos, went up the river from Baygan (Vigan) [43] to Kadalayapan; that the alzados [44] lived near by; while the tattooed Igorot occupied the land to the south (pp. 77, 155). The villages were surrounded by defensive walls such as were to be found about all Tinguian villages until recent times, and which are still to be seen about Abang and other settlements. Within the walls were many houses, the descriptions of most of which would fit the dwellings of to day. The one thing which seems foreign to present conditions is the so-called "ninth room" which receives rather frequent mention. There is nothing in the tales referring to buildings or house construction which lends support to the contention of those who seek to class the Tinguian as a modified sub-group of Igorot. [45] The Bontoc type of dwelling with its ground floor sleeping box and its elevated one room kitchen and storage room is nowhere mentioned, neither is there any indication that in past or present times the Tinguian had separate sleeping houses for the unmarried men and boys, and for the girls, as do their neighbors to the south.

The other structures, such as the spirit houses, rice drying frames, and granaries were similar to those seen to-day in all the villages. Likewise the house furnishings, the musical instruments, and even the games of the children were such as are to be found at present, while our picture of the village life given on page 9 still fits nearly any Tinguian settlement in Abra. The animals mentioned are all familiar to the present people, but it is worthy of note that in the first twenty-six tales, which make up the cycle proper, the horse is not mentioned, nor does the carabao appear to be used as a work animal. Still more important is the fact that the terraced fields and the rice culture accompanying them, which to-day occupy a predominant place in the economic life of the people, are nowhere mentioned. On the other hand, the langpadan, or mountain rice, assumes a place of great importance. References to the cultivation of the land all seem to indicate that the "hoe culture," which is still practiced to a limited extent, took the place of agriculture.

The clothing, hair dressing, and ornaments, worn by these people, agree closely with those of to-day. Beads seems to have been of prime importance, but could scarcely have been more prized or more used than at present. Unless she be in mourning, the hair and neck of each woman are now ornamented with strings of beads, many of them of evident antiquity, while strands above strands cover the arms from the wrist to the elbow or even reach to the shoulder. [46]

The wealth of a person seems to have been, to a large extent, determined by the number of old jars in his possession. As at the present time, they formed the basis of settlement for feuds, as payment for a bride, and even figured in the marriage ceremony itself. The jars, as judged from their names, were evidently of ancient Chinese manufacture, and possessed power of speech and motion similar to that of human beings; but in a lesser measure the same type of jars have similar powers to-day. [47]

The use of gold and jewels seems to have been common in the old times; the latter are seldom seen in the district to-day, but the use of bits of gold in the various ceremonies is still common, while earrings of gold or copper are among the most prized possessions of the women. [48] Placer mining is well known to the Igorot of the south, who melt and cast the metal into various ornaments. So far as I am aware, this is not practiced by the present Tinguian, but may point back to a time when the industry was known in this region, or when trade relations with the south were much freer than in recent years.

The weapons of the warriors, which we are specifically told were of metal, are identical with those seen at the present time, while the methods of warfare agree with the accounts still told by the old men of their youthful exploits.

A survey of the tales brings out boldly the fact that a headhunt was one of the most important events in Tinguian life. To-day stress of circumstances has caused the custom to suffer a rapid decline, but even now heads are occasionally taken, while most of the old men have vivid recollections of the days when they fought "in the towns of their enemies." A spirited account of a head celebration seen in the village of Lagangilang—from which ten of these tales were collected—will be found in the writings of La Gironiere, already referred to. [49] It is important to note that this account, as well as those secured from many warriors of the present generation, offers some striking differences to the procedure in the olden days, particularly as regards the disposal of the skulls. The tales tell of the heads being placed on the sagang [50] at the spring, at the gate, or about the town, after the celebration. Certain of the present villages make use of the sagang, but the more common type of head holder is the saloko, [51] which still figures in many ceremonies. However, the heads only remain in these receptacles until the day set for the festival. They are then carried to the centre of the village and there, amid great rejoicing, are cut open; the brains are removed and to them are added the lobes of the ears and joints of the little fingers, and the whole is then placed in the liquor, which is served to the dancers. Before the guests depart the skulls are broken into small pieces and a fragment is presented to each male guest, who carries it home and is thus often reminded of the valor of the takers. [52] A study of Tinguian beliefs furnishes an additional religious motive for the taking of heads, but with the people of Kadalayapan and Kaodanan revenge and the desire for renown were the prime incentives.

Every tale emphasizes the importance of the Sayang ceremony and the spirit structure known as balaua. [53] The ceremony is nowhere described in full, but the many details which are supplied show that it was almost identical with that of to-day. The same is true of the Dawak, [54] which we find mentioned on three different occasions, and of the ceremony made to aid in locating lost or stolen articles. The most noticeable fact, to the person familiar with Tinguian life, is that these are the only ceremonies mentioned among the many known and practiced at present. More than a score of different rites are now well known to this people, and occupy a very considerable portion of their time and attention during the first four months of the year.

The failure to make mention of these very important events is explained, it seems to me, not by their absence, but by the fact that these rites vary in importance and that the privilege of celebrating them is hereditary in a family. Should one not entitled to hold such a ceremony desire to do so, he must first give, in order, all the lesser events, a costly procedure extending over a period of several years. The people of Kadalayapan and Kaodanan always appear as being closely related to the spirit Kaboniyan, [55] and exceedingly powerful. It seems probable that the story teller takes it for granted that all of them are entitled to hold the most important ceremony known to the Tinguian.

A prominent figure in these rites is the medium, through whom the ancient people generally conversed with the spirits, but in exceptional cases we found the heroes talking direct with the superior beings; however, this gift is not confined to the men of old, for in such tales as 55 and 59 people who are believed to have lived recently have conversed with the spirits and have even been joined to them in marriage.

The procedure in choosing a bride, the engagement, the pakalon, [56] and the marriage proper are all those of the present day, but the rules governing the marriage of relatives differ radically. As already noted, one of the chief qualifications for marriage, among the people of the tales, was relationship, and even cousins became husband and wife. Such a thing is unthinkable among the Tinguian of to-day; first cousins are absolutely barred from marrying, while even the union of second cousins would cause a scandal, and it is very doubtful if such a wife would be allowed to share in her deceased husband's property. [57]

It appears that only one real [58] wife is recognized as legitimate, but that from "the first times" to the present a man might have as many concubines as he could secure.

So far as mythology and present day conditions can inform us the bride has always gone to the home of her husband and, for a time at least, has been subject to the dictations of her mother-in-law, although the couple are generally soon established in a home of their own, in the town of the groom. There is nothing in Tinguian life or tradition to indicate that they have ever had a clan system or a matriarchal form of government.

The few references to the procedure immediately after a death indicate that, in part, the people of to-day follow the old custom; but here again an important departure occurs. We are thrice told that the corpse was placed on a little raft called tabalang and set adrift on the river; and in one case the afterbirth was treated in the same manner. Nothing of the sort is done to-day, nor does it seem at all likely that such has been the case in recent generations. The body is now buried beneath the house, and certain set rules govern the movements of all persons related to the deceased, as well as the disposal of the corpse. This procedure is so complex and so uniform throughout the whole Tinguian belt that it seems improbable that it has grown up, except through a long period of time. At this point it is interesting to note that at many ceremonies it is necessary to construct a small raft called tal-talababong, or talabong, to place offerings in it, and set it adrift on the stream, in order that any spirits who have been prevented from attending the ceremony may still secure their share. [59]

The festivals, the dances, the observances of the proprieties required by good breeding or custom of to-day, follow closely those given in the tales. The greatest divergence is in the offering of betel-nuts and the telling of names, which occupies such an important place in the narratives. The use of betel-nut for chewing is less common among the Tinguian people than with most other Philippine tribes, a fact which may be accounted for by their constant use of tobacco. However, betel-nuts still occupy a most important place in the various ceremonies, and many offerings intended for the spirits must be accompanied with the prepared nut. In nearly every instance when invitations were sent out, for a ceremony, the people of the tales intrusted an oiled betel-nut covered with gold with this duty. This has its counterpart to-day in the small gifts of gold which are often carried to some friend, in another town, whose presence is particularly desired. It seems not improbable that the golden colored husks of the ripe betel-nuts may have suggested the substitution.

Magic was practiced extensively in "the first time," but it is by no means unknown to the people of the present day. They cannot now bring a dead person to life, or create human beings out of bits of betel-nut; but they can and do cause sickness and death to their foes by performing certain rites or directing actions against garments or other objects recently in their possession. Even the name of an enemy can be applied to an animal or inanimate object and action against it be transferred to the owner.

Like the Tinguian, the people of Kadalayapan and Kaodanan are warned or encouraged by omens received through the medium of birds, thunder, lightning, or the condition of the gall and liver of a slaughtered pig; [60] and like them they suffer for failure to heed these warnings, or for the infraction of a taboo.

The myths of the first division make it plain that, to the people of those times, the sun, moon, and stars were animate—either spirits or human beings. In some cases a similar conception was held for thunder and lightning, while in others they appear as animals. It will appear that such ideas are not foreign to the second division of the tales, which represent present day beliefs. Thus, in the mountain village of Baay the sky is considered as a male spirit—the husband of the earth, and father of sun and moon. Again, in Lagangilang and Abang, the thunderbolt is identified as Kadaklan—the most powerful of all spirits—who "often eats the ground and releases his wife Agemem."

This brings us to a most interesting question, namely: Are the chief actors in our tales to be considered as celestial beings and spirits, or as human heroes? We have already made note of the fact that in the first tale Aponitolau is identified with Ini-init whom, we are told, was "the sun," "the man who makes the sun," "a round stone which rolls." In this tale he marries Aponibolinayen, a maiden whose name may possibly be construed to mean "the woman in the moon." [61] However, we find Aponitolau abandoning his place in the sky and going to reside in Kadalayapan. This tale comes from the town of Langangilang where, as we have already seen, the celestial beings are regarded as spirits. Tale fifteen, coming from the same town, shows us this same Aponitolau going up to the sky, where he marries the spirit Kabkabaga-an, but as before he returns to his home below. A further indication of his celestial character is perhaps afforded us in tale fourteen, which was recorded in Patok, a valley town in which the sun, moon, and stars are now regarded as "lights" belonging to the spirit Kadaklan. Here we find that Aponitolau marries the star maid Gaygayoma, who is the daughter of the big star Bagbagak, and Sinag—the moon. In this same tale Aponibolinayen appears as the first wife of Aponitolau, and it is clear that in the mind of the story teller she is not identified with Sinag. Aponitolau appears in the other tales without any hint of celestial qualities. Aside from her name and the fact that she is once pictured as visiting the sky, there is nothing to indicate that his wife Aponibolinayen is to be considered as the moon. A careful study of the other characters who reside in Kadalayapan and Kaodanan fails to yield any evidence that they are considered as celestial beings.

During the Sayang ceremony held in San Juan, a certain man and woman, who are then called Iwaginan and Gimbagon [62], represent the good spirits and are defended by the people when evil spirits try to dispossess them of their property. This is the only instance I have observed in which the names of any of these characters of the tales appear in the ceremonies, while a list of more than one hundred and fifty spirits known to the Tinguian fails to reveal more.

While in the practice of magic, and in their communication with nature, celestial bodies, and spirits, these "people of the first times" far excelled the present Tinguian, they had a material culture and ceremonial life much like that still found in Abra.

It seems then that these people, about whom the stories cluster, are not to be identified as celestial beings or spirits [63]. They appear rather as generalized heroes whose life and deeds represent that of an earlier period, magnified and extolled by succeeding generations.

Ritualistic and Explanatory Myths

The second division of the tales now assumes a position of importance to us, for in it we find present day ideas and beliefs of the people strongly brought out, and are thus in a position to contrast them with the tenets of the people in "the first times".

The influence of custom is exceedingly strong among the Tinguian of to-day. The fact that the ancestors did so and so is sufficient justification for performing any act for which they have no definite explanation. Nowhere is this influence greater than in the ceremonies. These, which accompany all the important happenings in their daily life, are conducted by mediums who are fitted for office by long training, and each one of whom is a check on the others if they wilfully or through carelessness deviate from the old forms. The ritual of these ceremonies is very complex and the reason for doing many acts now seems to be entirely lost, yet the one explanation "kadauyan"—custom—is sufficient to satisfy any Tinguian. Other acts, as well as the possession of certain things, are explained by myths, such as we are considering. It seems certain that we are here dealing not with present day beliefs alone, but with at least relatively old customs and tales, which while enabling us to understand present day conceptions also give us a glimpse into the past.

The myths 32-40, which are known to the people as diams, are now inseparable parts of the various ceremonies. Thus, when a pig is to be offered in the Sayang ceremony, the medium sits down beside it and strokes it with oiled fingers while she "talks to the spirits". The translation of her "talk" shows that this is in no sense a prayer but is rather an account of how the greatest of the spirits taught the Tinguian people to perform this ceremony correctly. Likewise, when she offers food in the Dawak [64] ceremony, she relates how the spirit Kaboniyan taught the Tinguian to do this in the same manner that he performs it. In the Pala-an [65] diam she relates, in story form, the cause of the sickness, but in this case ends with a direct invocation to the spirits in Dadaya to "make them well again if you please". The balance of the diams, 35-40, are in story form, and seem intended more as an explanation to the people as to the causes of their troubles than to be directed toward the spirits. However, the medium seldom has an audience, and rarely ever a single listener, as she recites the diams she has learned verbatim from her instructors when preparing for the duties of her office.

Myths 41-54 are of quite a different type. They are generally told by the mediums or wise old people, during the ceremonies, but always to a crowd of eager listeners. They are not learned word for word, as are the diams, but their content is constant and they are thoroughly believed.

That they exert a great influence on the beliefs and conduct of both old and young is undoubted. The evil which befalls a person who molests the guardian stones is thus made known even to the children who generally keep at a distance from the grove in which they stand. Again, these tales give sharp warning as to what befalls a person who even ignorantly breaks the taboos following a death; but at the same time advance means of thwarting the wrath of the enraged or evil spirits.

Myths 55 to 62 at first glance to not appear to be explanatory at all, but seem rather to be a series of stories dealing with the relations between certain persons and the natural spirits or those of the dead. However, it is the intent and use rather than the form of these stories which has caused them to be included in this division, for they give the people authority for certain beliefs and conceptions which they hold. Tale 56 gives us a glimpse of the prevalent idea of the abode of the dead, where the spirits lead much the same sort of life as they did while alive, but we secure quite a different picture of this realm from the Baluga [66] tale, in which the home of the deceased is said to be in the ground while the "life" of the dead woman is kept in a bamboo cup. This last account was heard in Manabo, a town near to the Igorot settlements of the Upit river, and may be influenced by the beliefs held in that section. [67]

Certain individuals appear to have intimate dealings with the natural spirits, in some instances even being joined to them in marriage. The afterbirth child, Sayen, is believed to have lived "not very long ago", yet we find his life and actions quite similar to those of the heroes in "the first times", while his foster mother—the alan [68]—takes the same part as did the alan of old.

Relations 63 to 74 appear as pure explanatory tales, accounting for the existence and appearance of celestial bodies and animals in their present state; they also account for the possession of fire and of many prized objects, such as jars and agate beads. Incidentally many essential traits and old customs come out, such, for instance, as those of war and mourning, which appear in connection with the origin of the kalau [69].

With few exceptions the myths of this division correspond to present beliefs; the spirits are those known to-day; the towns mentioned are now existing or their former locations are well known. They have thus the appearance of being of more recent origin than those of the first division, yet it is worthy of note that there is little in them which seems foreign to or out of keeping with the older tales.


The last division may be said to be made up of fables, for the story tellers without hesitation label them as fictions. The last of these appears to be only a worked over incident of myth 56, in which the big bird Banog carries the hero to its nest, from which he escapes by holding to the wings of the young birds. It is possible that more of these fables are likewise incidents in tales prevalent among the Tinguian, but not heard by the writer. Whether or no this be true, it is certain that most of these stories are well known to the Ilocano of the coast and the other Christianized natives throughout the archipelago. Comparison with the folk-lore from other regions shows that these stories are by no means confined to the Philippines. The chief incidents in the narrative of the turtle and the monkey have been recorded from the Kenyah of Borneo [70] and from the northern peninsula of Celebes [71]; the race between the shell and the carabao is told in British North Borneo [72] in regard to the plandok and crab, while it is known to European children as the race between the turtle and the hare. The threat of the mosquito in 84 is almost identical with that recorded by Evans in Borneo [73]; while many incidents in the fable of Dogidog [74] are found in the Iban story of Simpang Impang [75].

When comparing the Tinguian versions of these fables with those of the Ilocano, one is impressed with the fact that while the incidents upon which they are founded are often identical, the stories themselves have frequently been moulded and changed by the tellers, who have introduced bits of old customs and beliefs until they reflect, in a way, the prevalent ideas of the people. Thus in the story of the magic poncho [76], which is evidently of Spanish introduction, the owner is identified as the banbantay—a well-known minor spirit. Again, the first part of tale 85 is identical with that of the Ilocano, but ends with the parents of the groom preparing the things used in the pakalon—a very necessary part of the Tinguian marriage ceremony.

The footnotes have called attention to the many incidents which have their parallels in other districts. Reference to these shows that a large percentage are found in the islands toward the south. While recognizing that similarity of incidents does not necessarily mean identity of origin, we must still give full credit to the effects of borrowing, even over great distances. The easy communication along the coast during the past four hundred years and the contact with Spanish and Christianized officials and traders will readily explain the likeness of the tales in Division III to those held in distant islands, or even in Europe, but, as just noted, these are now undergoing change. Doubtless a similar inflow had been taking place, although at a slower rate, long before the Spaniards reached the Islands, and Tinguian mythology has grown up as the result of blending of native tales with those of other areas, the whole being worked over and reshaped until it fitted the social setting.

Previous writers—among them Ratzel and Graebner [77]—have sought to account for certain resemblances in culture, between Malaysia, Polynesia, and America, by historical connection. A part of our material—such as that of the blood-clot child (p. 125), [78] the rape of the maiden by the vine which carries her to the sky (p. 33), the magic flight (p. 75), and magic growth (p. 38) [79]—may seem to lend support to such a theory. These similarities are assuredly suggestive and interesting, but it appears to the writer that the material is too scanty and the folklore of intervening lands too little known to justify us in considering them as convincing proof of borrowing over such immense distances. [80]

General Results

Our study has brought out certain general results. We have seen that Tinguian folklore has much in common with that of other tribes and lands. While a part of this similarity is doubtless due to borrowing—a process which can still be seen at work—a considerable portion of the tales is probably of local and fairly recent origin, while the balance appears to be very old. These older tales are so intimately interwoven with the ceremonies, beliefs, and culture of this people that they may safely be considered as having been developed by them. They are doubtless much influenced by present day conditions, for each story teller must, even unconsciously, read into them some of his own experiences and the current beliefs of the tribe. At the same time these traditional accounts doubtless exercise a potent influence on the thoughts, beliefs, and actions of the people. In Tinguian society, where custom still holds undisputed sway, these well-known tales of past times must tend to cast into the same mould any new facts or experiences which come to them.

We believe that we are justified when we take the viewpoint of the Tinguian and consider "the stories of the first times" as essentially very old. How old it is impossible to state definitely, but a careful analysis of our material justifies us in believing that they reflect a time before the people possessed terraced rice fields, when domestic work animals were still unknown, and the horse had not yet been introduced into their land. That these are not recent events is attested by the great part they all now play in the ceremonial and economic life. It is evident that outside influences of great importance were introduced at a period later than the time when the Chinese first began to trade along the coasts of the Philippines for the prized jars, which play such an important role in the mythology, are not to be identified as those of native make but are ancient Chinese vessels dating back at least to the fourteenth and perhaps even to the tenth century [81].

It is probable that the glass, porcelain, and agate beads, which are second only to the jars in importance, are exceedingly old. Many ancient specimens are still in use and are held for as fabulous prices as are those found among the interior tribes of Borneo. Nieuwenhuis has shown that the manufacture of beads had become a great industry in the middle ages, and had extended even to China and Japan, whence the products may have spread contemporaneously with the pottery [82].

We have seen that, for the most part, the life, customs, and beliefs which appear in our reconstruction of "the first times" agrees closely with present conditions; certain things which seem formerly to have been of prime importance—such as the sending of a betel-nut covered with gold to invite guests to a festival or ceremony—appear to have their echo in present conditions. The betel-nut which played such a momentous part in the old times still holds its place in the rituals of the many ceremonies, although it is not now much used in daily life. The magic of to-day is less powerful than formerly, but is still a tremendous force. The communication of the ancient people with other members of the animate world, as well as with the inanimate and spiritual, and their metamorphosis into animals and the like, offers nothing strange or inconsistent to the people of to-day. They even now talk to jars, they converse with spirits who come to them through the bodies of their mediums, and people only recently deceased are known to have had the power of changing themselves, at will, into other forms.

In short, there is no sharp break between the mode of thought of to-day and that exhibited in the folklore. It is true that the tales give sanction to some things not in agreement with Tinguian usage—such, for instance, as the marriage of relatives, or the method of disposing of the dead—and it may be that we have here a remembrance of customs which long ago fell into disuse.

In a previous paper [83] the writer showed that there have been many migrations into Abra from the north, south, and west. A part of the emigrants have become thoroughly amalgamated with the Tinguian people and have doubtless introduced some part of their material culture and beliefs. This helps us to understand such conflicts as we have already noted in regard to the place held by thunder and lightning in the spirit world, as to the future abode of the spirits of the departed, as well as other discrepancies which the limits of this paper have prevented us from discussing.

It is not impossible that those customs of "the first times," which are at variance with those of to-day, may represent older ideas which have been swamped, or, on the other hand, the memory of the strange customs once practiced by the emigrants may have caused them to be attributed to the people of the tales.

Finally, we believe that a study of Tinguian mythology has shown us that we can gain a real knowledge of the past of a people through their folklore; that we can secure an insight into their mental life; and can learn something of the valuation they attach to certain of their activities and beliefs, which to us may seem at the surface trite and trivial.

Tales of the Mythical Period


"We go to take greens, sister-in-law Dinay, perhaps the siksiklat [84] will taste good. I have heard that the siksiklat is good," said Aponibolinayen. They went to get her siksiklat. When they arrived at the place of small trees, which they thought was the place of the siksiklat, they looked. Aponibolinayen was the first who looked. As soon as she began to break off the siksiklat which she saw she did not break any more, but the siksiklat encircled and carried her up. When they reached the sky (literally "the up"), the siksiklat placed her below the alosip [85] tree. She sat for a long time. Soon she heard the crowing of the rooster. She stood up and went to see the rooster which crowed. She saw a spring. She saw it was pretty because its sands were oday [86] and its gravel pagapat [87] and the top of the betel-nut tree was gold, and the place where the people step was a large Chinese plate which was gold. She was surprised, for she saw that the house was small. She was afraid and soon began to climb the betel-nut tree, and she hid herself.

The man who owned the house, which she saw near the well, [88] was Ini-init—the sun. But he was not in the place of his house, because he went out and went above to make the sun, because that was his work in the daytime. And the next day Aponibolinayen saw him, who went out of his house, because he went again to make the sun. And Aponibolinayen went after him to his house, because she saw the man, who owned the house, who left. When she arrived in the house, she quickly cooked, because she was very hungry.

When she finished cooking, she took the stick used in roasting fish and cooked it, and the fish-stick which she cooked became cut-up fish, because she used her magic power. [89] When she finished to cook the fish, she took out rice from the pot, and when she had finished to take out the rice from the pot, she took off the meat from the fish. When she finished taking the fish from the pot, she ate. When she finished eating, she washed. When she finished washing, she kept those things which she used to eat, the coconut shell cup and plate, and she laid down to sleep.

When afternoon came, Ini-init went home to his house after he finished fishing. He saw his house, which appeared as if it was burning, not slowly. He went home because it appeared as if his house was burning. When he arrived at his house, it was not burning, and he was surprised because it appeared as if there was a flame at the place of his bed. When he was in his house, he saw that which was like the flame of the fire, at the place of his bed, was a very pretty lady.

Soon he cooked, and when he had finished to cook he scaled the fish, and when he had finished scaling he cut it into many pieces, and he made a noise on the bamboo floor when he cut the fish. The woman awoke, who was asleep on his bed. She saw that the man who cut the fish was a handsome man, and that he dragged his hair. [90] The pot she had used to cook in looked like the egg of a rooster [91] and he was surprised because it looked like the egg of a rooster; and the rice which she cooked was one grain of broken rice. [92] Because of all this Ini-init was surprised, for the pot was very small with which she cooked. After Ini-init cooked, the woman vanished and she went to the leaves of the betel-nut, where she went to hide.

After Ini-init finished cooking the fish, he saw the bed, the place where the woman was sleeping, was empty. He was looking continually, but he did not find her. When he could not find her, he ate alone, and when he finished eating he washed, and when he finished washing the dishes he put away, and when he had finished putting away he went to the yard to get a fresh breath.

Not long afterwards he went to take a walk in the place of his betel-nuts. When he had finished to take a walk in the place of his betel-nuts, he went to sleep.

When it began to be early morning, he left his house, he who went up, because it was his business to make the sun. And Aponibolinayen went again into the house.

When it became afternoon, Ini-init went to his home, and Aponibolinayen had cooked, after which she went out to the betel-nut trees. When Ini-init arrived, he was surprised because his food was cooked, for there was no person in his house. As soon as he saw the cooked rice and cooked fish in the dish, he took the fish and the rice and began to eat. When he had finished eating, he went to his yard to take a fresh breath and he was troubled in his mind when he thought of what had happened. He said, "Perhaps the woman, which I saw, came to cook and has left the house. Sometime I shall try to hide and watch, so that I may catch her." He went to sleep, and when it became early morning he went to cook his food. When he had finished eating, he went again to make the sun, and Aponibolinayen went again to his house.

When the sun had nearly sunk, he sent the big star who was next to follow him in the sky, and he went home to spy on the woman. When he had nearly reached his home, he saw the house appeared as if it was burning. [93] He walked softly when he went up the ladder. He slammed shut the door. He reached truly the woman who was cooking in the house. He went quickly and the woman said to him, "You cut me only once, so that I only cure one time, if you are the old enemy." "If I were the old enemy, I should have cut before," said Ini-init, and he sat near her who cooked. He took out the betel-nut, and he arranged it so that they began to chew the betel-nut, and he said, "Ala! young lady, we are going to chew, because it is bad for us to talk who do not know each other's names." Aponibolinayen answered, "No, for if the rich man who practices magic is able to give to the rich woman who has magical power, soon there will be a sign." Ini-init said, "No, hurry up even though we are related, for you come here if we are not related." [94]

He begged her and he cut the betel-nut, which was to be chewed, which was covered with gold, and he gave it to the woman who had magical power, and they chewed. When she laid down the quid, it looked like the agate bead, which has no hole for the thread. And the quid of Ini-init looked like a square bead.

"My name is Ini-init, who often goes to travel over the world. I always stop in the afternoon. What can I do, it is my business," he said. Aponibolinayen was next to tell her name. "My name is Aponibolinayen, who lives in Kaodanan, who am the sister of Awig," she said, and when they had finished telling their names, both their quids looked like the agate bead which is pinoglan, which has no hole. Ini-init said, "We are relatives, and it is good for us to be married. Do not be afraid even though you did not come here of your own accord. I go to Kaodanan," he said. Then they married, and the sun went to shine on the world, because it was his business, and the big star also had business when it became night. Aponibolinayen staid alone in the house, and in the afternoon the sun again went home, but first he went to fish in the river. He went home when he had caught the big fish for them to eat—both those married. And when he arrived in their house he found Aponibolinayen, who was cooking, and he saw that she still broke up the fish-stick, which she cooked. Ini-init asked her, "What are you doing with that stick which you are breaking, which you put in the jar?" and Aponibolinayen replied, "I cook for us both to eat," and the sun laughed, because she cooked the stick. "You throw away that stick which you are cooking; this fish which I caught with the net is what you are to cook. It is not eatable that fish-stick which you cook," he said. Aponibolinayen said, "You shall see by and by, when we eat, what it will become. You hang up the fish which you caught, which we shall eat to-morrow." "Hurry up! You throw away that stick which you cook, it has no use. Even though you cook for one month, it will not become soft, and I do not think it will become good," said Ini-init. Aponibolinayen said, "No, you hurry and hang that fish which you caught with the net, because it is nearly cooked—the rice and the fish." Not long after she took out the rice from the jar, and she uncovered her cooked fish, which was a stick. When the sun saw that the fish came from the stick which she cooked, he was surprised and he asked her how she made the stick, which she cooked, turn to fish. Aponibolinayen said, "You hurry come and eat, for I have finished taking out the rice and fish." [95]

Not long after that the sun went truly in front of her to the place of the rice and cooked fish, and they ate.

Not long after they finished and Aponibolinayen washed, and when she had finished washing she put away those things which they ate and Ini-init made trouble because of the stick which became a fish. He again asked Aponibolinayen how she made the stick into fish, and Aponibolinayen said, "Do not trouble yourself, perhaps you know about the rich woman who practices magic in Kaodanan," and Ini-init said, "Yes, I know the rich woman who practices magic in Kaodanan, who sometimes has much power, who changes, who has no equal." Aponibolinayen said, "Why do you still ask if you know?" "I ask because I want to be sure, even though I know you have much power," said Ini-init. "If that is true, do not ask again," she said. Not long after while they were talking, they went to sleep, and when it began to be early morning Ini-init went to make the sun on all the world; when they had finished to eat he went to shine. Aponibolinayen staid in the house. When it came afternoon, the sun went down and he went directly to fish in the river, for the fish which they ate—the two who were married. Not long after he caught again a big fish, and he went home. When he arrived, Aponibolinayen had finished cooking, and he asked where she got the fish which she had cooked, and she said, "Why do you ask again? You know it is the stick which I cook, which is fish, which we ate, before you arrived again with fish. Throw away the fish which you caught, for this stick is many fish which I cook." After that Ini-init said, "Why do you order to throw away, that which serves the purpose to which we put it, even though you cook many sticks?" "If you value it, hang it on the hanger, and you come and eat."

Not long after they ate, and when they had finished eating, they washed, and when they had finished washing those things which they used to eat on, they talked and they went to sleep.

When it became the middle of the night, Aponibolinayen woke up. "I go up with you when you go up in the early morning," she said. Ini-init said to her, "Do not come, for it is very hot up above. You cannot endure the heat, and you will repent when we are there." "No, if it is too hot, we shall take many blankets and pillows, which I shall go under," she said again and again until it became early morning, then Ini-init agreed. They ate first and then they arranged those pillows and blankets which they took with them.

Not long after they went east, and when they arrived there the sun shone, and Aponibolinayen became oil because it was so hot, and Ini-init put her in a bottle, and he corked it and covered it with blankets and pillows, which sheltered her, and he dropped it down. She fell by the well in Kaodanan, and Indiapan, who was still dipping water, turned her face at the sound of the falling at her side. She saw many good blankets and pillows, and she unwrapped that which was wrapped, and when she had finished to unwrap she saw it was a pretty lady—none equal to her—and she was frightened. She went quickly to go up to the town, where they lived, and when she arrived there she said to the people, "We have been searching a long time for Aponibolinayen, and you killed and used many cows as food for the searchers, and you spent much for her. She is at the spring. I was frightened when she fell by me, who was dipping water from the well. I saw many pretty blankets and pillows, and I unwrapped that which was wrapped, and it was Aponibolinayen whom we are seeking," said Indiapan. They went quickly—her father and mother—and the other men went to see her, and when they arrived at the place of the well they saw Aponibolinayen whom they sought. "Where did you come from, Aponibolinayen, for whom we have been seeking? We have invited many and have fed many to search for you. Among the towns there is not one we did not search for you, and now you are here," said her father and mother. She said, "I came from Pindayan. I nearly did not come, because the alzados [96] closed the way, and I escaped while they slept."

Not long after they went up to the town, and not long after they went to wash their hair and bathe in the river, and when they had finished washing their hair they went home.

Ebang said, "Ala! husband Pagatipanan, let us make balaua [97] and invite our relatives who are sorrowing for Aponibolinayen," and Pagatipanan said, "We shall make balaua when next month comes, but now Aponibolinayen feels ill, perhaps she is tired." Not long after that Aponibolinayen commanded them to prick her little finger which itched; and when her mother pricked it out popped a pretty baby. [98] Her mother asked, "Where did you get this baby, Aponibolinayen?" But Aponibolinayen did not tell. "I do not know where I got it, and I did not feel," she said. When they could not compel her to tell where she secured the baby, "Ala, we make balaua to-morrow," said the father and mother.

They made balaua, and not long after Ebang used magic, so that many people went to pound rice for them, and when they had finished to pound rice they built balaua, and they went to get the betel-nut which is covered with gold for chewing. When these arrived, Ebang oiled them when it began to get dark. "You betel-nuts go to all the people in the whole world and invite them. If any of them do not come, you grow on their knees," said Ebang. And those betel-nuts went to invite all the people in the whole world. Every time they bathed the child they used magic, so that it grew as often as they washed it, until it walked. The betel-nuts arrived in the towns where they went to invite. The one that went to Nagbotobotan—the place where lived the old woman Alokotan—said, "Good morning, I do not tarry, the reason of my coming is that Ebang and Pagatipanan commanded me, because Aponibolinayen is there." "Yes, you go first, I will come, I will follow you. I go first to wash my hair and bathe," she said. The betel-nut which is covered with gold said, "I wait for you, for if you do not come, I shall grow on your knee." The old woman Alokotan started when she finished washing her hair and bathing. The betel-nut, which was covered with gold, took her, and not long after they arrived, and they met those whom the other betel-nuts went to summon in the other towns. No one wanted the baby to go to them, [99] and when none wished it to approach, the old woman Alokotan summoned the spirits. ("What town did they not yet invite?" This question was added by the story-teller. Not part of tale.) The old woman Alokotan said, "You invited all the people except Ini-init, who is above. You did not send the prepared betel-nut covered with gold to summon him. Perhaps he made Aponibolinayen pregnant, because the siksiklat took her up when they went to gather greens—she and her sister-in-law, who is Dinay."

They commanded the betel-nuts, and they oiled them, and sent them. Not long after the betel-nut, whom they sent, arrived above, who went to call Ini-init. And the betel-nut said, when he arrived, "Good morning, Sun, I do not tarry. The reason of my visit is that Ebang and Pagatipanan, who make balaua, send me. If you do not wish to come, I will grow on your head." The sun said, "Grow on my head, I do not wish to go." The betel-nut jumped up and went on his head, and it grew. Not long after the betel-nut became tall and the sun was not able to carry it, because it became big, and he was in pain. "You go to my pig, that is what you grow on," he said. Not long after the betel-nut jumped on the head of his pig, and the pig began to squeal because it could not carry the betel-nut which began to grow on its head. And Ini-init said, "Ala! get off my big pig and I come." The betel-nut got off the pig.

Not long after they went and Pagatipanan carried the baby near to the gate. When Ini-init and the betel-nut approached, the baby was happy and he went to be carried by Ini-init. When they arrived at the festival place, the people saw that he who carried the baby rolled because he was round, and they saw he was not a man but a stone, and Ebang and Pagatipanan said, "Ala! Aponibolinayen, you start and take off your arm beads and you dress in rags, you wrap your wrists with strings, in place of the arm beads, so that you can go with the stone when he takes you to his home, when our balaua is finished." Not long after Aponibolinayen started. She took off her beads and her dresses and exchanged them for rags and strings. When she changed her dresses, she went down the ladder, and she saw that he who carried the baby was a stone, which was round. After that Pagatipanan said, "Ala! now our balaua is finished, you go home to the town of the stone." Aponibolinayen said, "Yes, if that is what you say." Those people who were invited bade them good-by, and when they went away, they went home also—those whom they invited.

Not long after they arrived at their home and the sun became a man, he who had been a stone before. "When next month comes we shall build balaua, Aponibolinayen, so that we can invite our relatives, and I will pay the marriage price, because I marry you," [100] said Ini-init to her. Soon the month arrived in which they said they would build balaua, and they summoned the old woman Alokotan, to start the balaua. Not long after they sent to get bolo and lono [101] with which to make the dakidak and talapitap. [102] When it became afternoon the old woman Alokotan began to sing da-eng [103] and the next night they sang da-eng again. Not long after they commanded to pound rice, and Aponibolinayen used magic so that many women went to pound with them. [104] And Ini-init practiced magic so that they had many neighbors, and many who went to pound rice with them.

Soon they commanded to get the timbers for the balaua, and they prepared everything which they needed. When it became morning they built balaua, and not long after they went to get the prepared betel-nut, which is covered with gold, which they sent to invite their relatives. [105]

When they arrived—those prepared betel-nuts which were covered with gold—they oiled them at the beginning of the night, and sent them to invite. Aponibolinayen said, "I will use magic, so that you, betel-nut, may reach the town of our relatives so that you invite all of them. When there is one who will not come, you grow on their knees, as long as they do not come." Not long after they made Libon [106] in the beginning of the night.

Those betel-nuts, whom they sent to invite, arrived, those which they sent to invite their relatives. They did not wish to go to make balaua. The betel-nuts who went to invite them said, "If you do not wish to come, I will grow on your knee." Pagatipanan said, "You grow," and the betel-nut grew on his knee, and it became high and he was in pain. "Ala! you get off my knee, and you go on my pig," he said, and the betel-nut went truly on his pig and it squealed. "You get off my pig, and we will come," he said, and the betel-nut truly got off the pig. "Ala! you who live in the same town, you go and wash your hair and bathe, and wash your clothes so that we can go to make Sayang [107] with the stone and Aponibolinayen. Here is a betel-nut covered with gold which they send," said Pagatipanan. And the people who lived in the same town washed their hair and bathed, and they went to wash their clothes. Not long after it became afternoon and Pagatipanan used magic so that cake and singed pig appeared which they were to take to those who make Sayang, which they exchanged with those who make Sayang. [108] Not long after they arrived at the place of the gathering, and Aponibolinayen and Ini-init went to make alawig, [109] and when they had finished, they brought them up to the town. Pagatipanan said, "I did not think that the stone which rolled could change when he came to make balaua with us."

"Ala! now all you who have arrived, rich men, you divide the prepared betel-nut which is covered with gold," said Ini-init. Not long after Pagatipanan cut the betel-nut and chewed, and the quid of Ini-init went to the quid of Pagbokasan, and the quid of Aponibolinayen went to the quid of Pagatipanan. [110]

"Ala! now that we have finished chewing, I will give the payment for Aponibolinayen, and now that you have found out that I am your son—father and mother—let us give the payment," [111] said Ini-init.

His father and mother said, "If that is what you say, my child, we will give," and they gave him the name of Aponitolau. [112] And Aponitolau said, "Ala! you play the gansa [113] so that we can dance." When they played the gansa, Iwaginan took the alap and kinamayan [114] and he gave them to Aponibolinayen and Agyokan. When Aponibolinayen and Agyokan had finished dancing, they made Aponitolau and Asindamayan dance. When Aponitolau and Asindamayan finished dancing he made to dance Dinay of Kabisilan, who was the daughter of Dalonagan, and also they made to dance Kanag, [115] who was the son of Aponibolinayen and Aponitolau. When they finished to dance, Datalan and Dalonagan of Kabisilan danced, and when they finished to dance, Iwaginan made Dagapan and Indiapan dance. When they had finished dancing Ginteban and Agyokan were next. And the beads of Ginteban were jars, which struck together while they danced. Next were Iwaginan and Kindi-inan who was the wife of Ilwisan of Dagapan. And when they had all danced they stopped playing the gansa. Aponitolau gave the payment for Aponibolinayen and it was the balaua nine times filled with jars—malayo, tadogan, and ginlasan. [116] And when he had given all the payment they played again on the gansas for one month and they danced.

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