Schulers Books Online

books - games - software - wallpaper - everything


Books Menu

Author Catalog
Title Catalog
Sectioned Catalog


- A Study in Tinguian Folk-Lore - 3/14 -

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 [22] (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 [23] 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, [24] with the assistance of the old woman Alokotán (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 [25] (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 [26] 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 Alokotán, past whose home in Nagbotobotán 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, [27] who appear to be little more than their servants, with the evil spirits known as banbanáyo, [28] and with the alan [29] (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; [30] 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 Gaygayóma, 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; [31] 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. [32] In one case the latter appear to be pastured like animals, and surround Aponitolau when he goes to feed them with lawed [33] 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 [34] (p. 90); at the bidding of Dalonágan 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). [35] 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 [36] 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 [37] 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 Baliwán, 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 (p. 75), [38] while a belt or head-axe 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). [39] 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 [40] (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 head-axes 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

A Study in Tinguian Folk-Lore - 3/14

Previous Page     Next Page

  1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8   10   14 

Schulers Books Home

 Games Menu

Dice Poker
Tic Tac Toe


Schulers Books Online

books - games - software - wallpaper - everything