AMONG all the peoples of Indonesia, the mountain tribes of northern Luzon in the Philippines seem to stand alone in respect to cosmogonic myths in that, so far as material now at our command is concerned, they lack entirely, or almost entirely, any myths of the origin of the universe. 1 The world, according to their belief, has always existed, although perhaps not in its present form, as has also the upper or sky-world. Of the creation of the earth or of mankind, of animals or of plants, little or nothing is said. All of these tribes, as will be seen later, possess deluge-myths, but of tales relating to the preceding period there are few if any.
The apparent absence of cosmogonic myths among these tribes is suggestive, for these peoples constitute, so far as can be determined, one of the purest remnants of the earliest non-Negrito stratum of Indonesia and have been practically uninfluenced by Indian and Islamic cultures, to which most of the other Indonesian peoples have been directly or indirectly exposed. In view of the affiliation of the earliest non-Negrito Population of Indonesia with the Môn-Hkmêr peoples of southeast Asia, which has recently been suggested on linguistic grounds, 2 it is perhaps significant that this same trait of the absence of true cosmogonic tales and the importance of deluge-myths is found among them also, so far as is indicated by the very scanty material that is as yet available. 3
Some of the tribes in Celebes are also characterized by the absence of any myths referring to the creation of the world or of the gods, though they are unlike the type to which reference
has just been made in that they have tales which account for the origin of mankind. The Bugi and the people of Makassar in the south-western part of the island state that in the beginning the son of the sky-deity was sent down to earth on the rainbow that he might organize and prepare the world for mankind. This task accomplished, he took to wife six female deities, three of whom had descended with him from the sky-world, and three of whom were derived from the earth or from the underworld, and thus he became the ancestor of all mankind. 4
A more circumstantial myth is recorded from the Kei Islands in the extreme south-east of the Indonesian area. According to this tale, 5 there were three brothers and two sisters in the upper sky-world. While fishing one day, Parpara, the youngest of the brothers, lost a fish-hook which he had borrowed from Hian, his oldest brother, who, angered by the loss of the hook, demanded that it be found and returned to him. After much fruitless search, the culprit met a fish who asked him what his trouble was, and who, on learning the facts, promised to aid in the search, at length discovering another fish who was very ill because of something stuck in its throat. The object proved to be the long-lost hook, which the friendly fish delivered to Parpara, who thus was able to restore it to its owner. Parpara, however, determined to have his revenge upon his brother, and so he secretly fastened a bamboo vessel full of palm liquor above Hian's bed in such a way that when the latter rose, he would be almost certain to upset it. The expected happened, and Parpara then demanded of his brother that he return to him the spilled liquor. Hian endeavoured, of course fruitlessly, to gather it up, and in his efforts dug so deeply into the ground that he made an opening clear through the sky-world. Wondering what might lie below, the brothers determined to tie one of their dogs to a long rope and lower him through the aperture; and when they had done this, and the dog had been drawn up again, they found
white sand sticking to his feet, whereupon they resolved to go down themselves, although the other inhabitants of the heaven-world refused to accompany them thither. Sliding down the rope, the three brothers and one of the sisters, together with their four dogs, safely reached the world which lay below, and which was thus discovered for the first time. As the second sister was descending, however, one of the brothers chanced to look up, at which his sister was so ashamed that she shook the rope and was hauled up by the other sky-people. In this way the three brothers with their sister were the first occupants of the world and became the ancestors of the human race. 6
Although the existence of the earth is postulated in Minahassa, in the extreme north-east of Celebes, we find an origin given for some of the gods and for mankind. 7 In the beginning the wind blew over the sea, and raising great waves, drove upon the shore the spume which their beating caused, the mass of foam being in the shape of an egg. The sun shone upon this, and from it was born a boy, who grew miraculously. One day, as he wandered along the shore, he saw a girl sitting upon a rock from which she had just been born, and taking her to wife, he thus became the parent of mankind. This and the preceding type, in which the cosmogonic element was wholly lacking, are, however, not common in Indonesia, and it is only when we turn to the next category that we find one current over large areas.
This more wide-spread class assumes the existence of a sky-world or upper realm, and of a primeval sea below it in which or on which the world is made. We may begin with the outline of a myth told in Minahassa which is a variant off the one just given. According to this form, 8 in the beginning there were only the sea and a great rock which was washed by the waves, and which, after first giving birth to a crane, sweated, from the sweat being produced a female deity called Lumimu-ut. 9 Advised by the crane of the existence of the "original
land," she got from thence two handfuls of earth which she spread upon the rock, and so she created the world, on which she planted the seeds of all plants and trees, obtaining them from the same "original land." 10 Having thus made the earth, Lumimu-ut ascended a mountain, where the west wind blew upon her and made her fruitful. In due time she bore a son, and when he had grown to manhood his mother advised him to seek a wife, but though he sought far and wide, he could find none. So Lumimu-ut gave him a staff, whose length was equal to her own stature, bidding him to seek for a woman who should be less tall than the staff, and telling him that when he should find such a person he would know that she was the one he was destined to marry. Mother and son then separated, one going to the right and one to the left, and travelled around the whole world until at last they met again, without recognizing each other, and lo! when he set the staff beside her, its length was greater than her stature, for without his knowledge the rod had increased in height. Believing, therefore, that the woman, who was indeed his own mother, was she of whom he had been told, he married her, and she bore him many children who became gods. This form of myth does not, indeed, directly refer to the sky-world, but speaks of the "original land" from which Lumimu-ut obtained earth and seeds for the construction of the world. It is interesting to compare the incident of the birth of Lumimu-ut from the rock, which alone broke the surface of the primeval sea, with the Tongan 11 and Samoan 12 myths of the origin of the first beings and of the world from a stone which split open; and a similar idea also occurs in Melanesia. 13 Perhaps more characteristic of this type of origin-myths are the legends of the Kayan, Kenyah, and Bahau of central Borneo. According to the Kayan, 14 originally there was nothing but the primeval sea and over-arching sky; but from the heavens there fell into the sea a great rock, upon whose barren surface, in course of time, slime collected, from which were bred worms
Wooden mask representing a spirit or ghost. Worn in dances by the tribes of Sarawak and central Borneo. Peabody Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
that bored into the rock. The sand produced by this boring collected, eventually covering the rock with soil, and after many years there fell from the sun upon this land the wooden handle of a sword which, taking root, grew into a great tree; while from the moon fell a vine which clung to the tree and rooted itself in the rock. From this mating of the tree and vine were born two beings, a boy and a girl, who wedded in their turn and became the ancestors of the Kayan. 15 Another version 16 varies somewhat in its details. In the beginning a spider descended from the sky 17 and spun a web, into which fell a tiny stone that grew and grew until it filled all the space under the horizon. A lichen fell from heaven upon this rock, to which it adhered, and then came a worm, from whose excrement the first soil was formed. This covering of earth gradually spread over all the rock; and next there fell upon the ground so made a tree, which at first was tiny in size, but which took root and grew great. A crab now dropped down to the earth and with its claws dug and scratched in the ground, thus forming the mountains and valleys. Plants grew upon the earth, and a vine, winding itself about the tree, mated with it. Finally, two beings, one male and one female, descended from heaven upon the tree, the male dropping a sword-handle and the female a spindle. Mating, these objects bore a child which had only head and body, but no arms or legs; and this monster in its turn produced two children, a boy and girl, who united and gave birth to offspring, which from generation to generation became more and more human in form until finally they were wholly so. These and their descendants then became deities of various sorts. 18
With them we may compare the origin-myths of several of the tribes of south-eastern Borneo. One version states 19 that in the beginning there were only the sky and sea, in which swam a great serpent upon whose head was a crown of gold set with a shining stone. 20 From the sky-world the deity threw earth upon the serpent's head, thus building an island in the
midst of the sea; and this island became the world. 21 A slightly variant account 22 declares that the deity sent down a messenger or servant to report upon conditions, and that it was this servant who spread the earth on the serpent's head. Still another version from this same region is interesting in that it serves as a transition to those found in Sumatra. According to this tale, 23 in the world of the gods there were two trees, one of which bore a bud or sprout in the form of a ball. By the motions of a bird, which sat on this tree, the bud was shaken off and fell into the Spirit River, in which a great serpent dwelt; but though the latter tried to swallow the mysterious object, it escaped him, and drifting to the shore, was metamorphosed into a woman. Marrying a man who was developed from a tree-trunk floating in the sea, she gave birth, first, to six streams of blood from which all evil spirits came; and finally to two sons, one of whom, taking with him the seeds of all plants and animals, was lowered from the sky-world, where all these events occurred, to the earth (of whose origin nothing is said) that he might prepare it for men.
Deferring for the moment any discussion of these tales, we may turn to a third group of myths, i. e. those of the Battak of Sumatra. The Toba Battak (who of all the Battak tribes are probably the least influenced by Muhammadan or Indian culture) account for the origin of things as follows. 24 Mula Dyadi, the highest deity, dwelt in the uppermost of the seven heavens and had two birds as his servants. Having created three male beings, he caused a tree to exist in one of the lower heavens, its branches reaching to the sky; next he made a hen, which perched on the tree and later laid three eggs, from which came three maidens whom Mula Dyadi gave as wives to his three sons. 25 The daughter of one of these sons refused to marry a cousin of hers because he had a face like a lizard and a skin like a chameleon, and devoted her time to spinning. One day she dropped her spindle, which fell down from the sky-world. On the thread so unrolled she then descended to
the surface of the sea which stretched everywhere below. In this primeval ocean swam or lay a great serpent on whose head the heavenly maiden spread a handful of earth brought down at her request from Mula, Dyadi by one of his bird servants; and thus she formed the world. The serpent, however, disliked the weight upon his head, and turning over, caused this newly made world to be engulfed by the sea. Thereupon Mula Dyadi created eight suns, whose heat should dry up the sea, and this being done in part, the divine maiden thrust a sword into the body of the serpent, revealed by the shrinking sea, and fastened his body firmly in an island block that he might never again thus destroy the world. With more soil she then re-founded the earth; but after this, having questioned her as to what was to be done with the youth whom she refused. as husband, Mula Dyadi declared that she now must marry him, and wrapping the unwelcome suitor together with a blowgun in a mat, he threw him down upon the earth. Unharmed by his fall, and feeling hungry, he shot at a dove which escaped unwounded, but caught the arrow dexterously and flew with it to the village where the heavenly maiden dwelt. Following in pursuit, the youth discovered the girl who had before refused him, found her more tractable, and married her; and so they became the ancestors of mankind.
The Dairi Battak, who live to the north of the Toba and are more or less in contact with the Muhammadanized Garo, have a version 26 which presents interesting differences. Batara Guru (Sanskrit Bhattara Guru), the highest of the gods, once sent a servant to get some venison, which was greatly desired by the deity's wife, who was about to give birth to a child. The hunt being unsuccessful, the divinity then sent the raven on the same quest, but he also could find no such food anywhere in the realms of the gods. In the course of his search, however, he discovered a cave, in which was a pit whose bottom he could not discern. The longest vine was too short to measure its depth, and a stick thrown down the opening disappeared
without a sound to indicate that it reached bottom. Determined to solve the mystery, the raven flew down into the opening, and after a long journey in complete darkness at last reached the surface of a wide-extending sea. After exploring in vain, the raven wished to return in order that he might report his discovery, but could not retrace his way to the opening through which he had come, though luckily he found floating upon the sea the bamboo which he had thrown down the hole, and on this he rested.
Meanwhile Batara Guru became impatient, and accompanied by several attendants, he flew down the dark opening in the cave, taking with him from the sky-world a handful of earth, seven pieces of wood, a chisel, a goat, and a bumblebee; and reaching the surface of the sea, he built a raft from the pieces of wood. The raven now appeared, sitting upon the floating piece of bamboo, and at his request Batara Guru called to the eight wind-directions, whereupon darkness at once gave place to light. By his command the goat, accompanied by the bee, went down under the raft to support it on his horns; but in finishing the raft the chisel broke, and the handle hit the goat upon the head, which made him shake it violently, and the raft with it, for which the deity chided him and ordered him to keep still. Then taking the earth which he had brought with him, Batara Guru spread it upon the raft, thus making the world, and gave this to the raven for a dwelling-place.
One more version may be given, that from the Karo Battak, who, like the Dairi, live north of the Toba. According to this, 27 Batara Guru, the heaven deity, and his wife, who was the daughter of the divinity of the underworld, full of sorrow at their childlessness, determined to try the effect of penance in poverty and seclusion, and accordingly went to live in a little hut by the sea. Here they planted a small garden, which was destroyed by a great serpent that came out of the water, but when Batara Guru went to drive it away, the monster
demanded that he put food into its mouth. Fearing lest his hand be bitten off, Batara Guru wedged open the mouth of the serpent with his sword, and withdrawing his hand, found upon his finger a magic ring which would grant his every wish. The serpent then returned to the sea, and in due course of time, aided by the ring, the wife of Batara Guru presented him with three sons and three daughters. One of these sons created the world in the space between the upper world and the underworld) making it with seven handfuls of soil sent him-by his father, who, when the earth was finished, suspended it from the sky by seven silken cords. The newly created world caused the underworld to be darkened, which aroused anger in that one of the three sons who had taken up his residence there. Therefore he shook the world so violently that it was destroyed. Seven times this was repeated, the earth being made anew each time, until the world-maker besought his father to aid him, and this Batara Guru did, setting up an iron pillar which supported four cross-beams, upon which the world was then founded. After this the underworld-brother could shake the world (as indeed he does to this day), but was unable to destroy it.
Taking this whole group of myths together, there are a number of points which will repay brief discussion. The concept of an original sea, above which lies the sky-world of the gods, is common to all, and is likewise characteristic, it will be remembered, of the cosmogonic myths of central and western Polynesia. 28 The origin of the world, moreover, from a rock thrown down from the sky, or from materials brought or sent down from thence, appears not only in the portions of Indonesia from which the foregoing myths are derived, but also in the Philippines, 29 and is further characteristic of Samoa 30 and Tonga, 31 while it is likewise known from Micronesia. 32 The prominent part taken by birds, either as the original beings who flew over the primeval sea, or as the messengers and helpers of the deity in the task of creation, is also a feature
of the mythology of Samoa 33 and Tonga. 34 Again, the idea that the first beings, whether gods; or men, were undeveloped, having merely bodies destitute of arms and legs, is found not only in Borneo, but also in the island of Nias, 35 and recurs in Samoa and the Society Group; 36 while the incident of the mating of tree and vine, characteristic of central Borneo, is known in Samoa as well. 37
From the foregoing it would seem, therefore, that we were justified in the conclusion that the cosmogonic myths of central and western Polynesia show similarity to the type of origin-myths just described in Indonesia--a similarity so striking, indeed, that a genetic relationship seems almost the only explanation. It has already been shown 38 that this type of myth is unknown elsewhere in Polynesia, and that there is reason to regard it as a comparatively late introduction into the Polynesian area.
In one of the Minahassa myths which has been given, an important incident is that of the incest of mother and son, the tale describing the two as separating, meeting without recognition after a lapse of time, 39 then marrying when a test had been applied which showed that the two were destined to become man and wife. The episode is known in practically the same form from the island of Lombok, 40 and also from Nias, 41 except that the staff is replaced by a ring as the test; and the essential element of mother-son incest is likewise found in the Philippines. 42 A modification of the original theme, by which the close relationship is discovered in time to prevent incest, is known among the Bantik of north Celebes 43 and also in west Borneo 44 though here the motif occurs in other than cosmogonic tales. Brother-sister incest is, moreover, a wide spread incident in Philippine myths 45 of the origin of mankind, as will be seen in more detail later. With this far-reaching element of incest in Indonesia it is interesting and perhaps significant to compare, on the one hand, the frequent appearance of father-daughter incest in Maori mythology, 46 where
[paragraph continues] Tane marries his daughter, Hine-a-tauira, who flees to the underworld in fear and anger when she discovers who her husband is. (It may be added that in one of the Philippine versions we again find this same flight of the injured wife to the underworld.) On the other hand, the incest theme as developed in Indonesia may be compared with its occurrence among the Môn-Hkmêr and other tribes of south-eastern Asia. 47 As already pointed out, suggestions of this motif are found in the Society Group in Polynesia; and in the same connexion we may, perhaps, compare the incident of Lumimu-ut's fertilization by the wind 48 with the similar action of the sun's rays in Samoa 49 and Fiji. 50
The origin-legends of the north-west Borneo tribes are related to the type of cosmogonic myth which has just been considered in that they set forth belief in a primeval sea and in the important part played by birds, although they imply something more of a direct creation. According to one of these, 51 in the beginning there was nothing but a wide-spread sea, over which flew two birds, who, diving, brought up two objects like eggs in size and shape, from one of which one bird made the sky, while from the other his fellow created the earth. As the size of the latter exceeded that of the former, it was pressed together in order that it might fit, its resultant crumples and folds producing the mountains and valleys. Other versions 52 speak of an original deity without legs or arms, who seems to have been supported upon an animal, 53 and who by an act of will created two birds, which then formed heaven and earth.
The cosmogonic myths thus far discussed are derived from western and central Indonesia; and we may now turn to the eastern portion of this area, where another type appears, albeit the available material is exceedingly scanty. Indeed, of true myth-material we have only fragments from the small islands north-east of Timor (the Sermata and Leti Islands). 54 These seem to indicate a belief in a sky-world and a world below, of whose origins, however, nothing is said. 55 On the
other hand, it may be noted that in all of the islands, from and including Timor to the Kei Islands, there is a belief in a male deity living in the sky and associated chiefly with the sun, and a female deity dwelling in or regarded as one with the earth, these being described as husband and wife, and being supposed to mate annually at the time of the monsoon, while it was also believed that the sky once was closer to the earth. 56 In Ceram, Buru, and Amboina, the definiteness of this concept of the heaven father and earth mother becomes clearer; but we have no myths, not even fragments, regarding them. In view of the almost total lack of cosmogonic myth material from this region, as well as from Halmahera and the other islands of the Moluccas, it is premature to draw any conclusions from the resemblance of this concept to the similar, but much more highly developed, ideas in Polynesia; yet it is difficult to avoid the impression that the strength of the belief here in the extreme eastern portion of Indonesia, which is geographically nearest to the Polynesian area, and its apparent absence elsewhere farther west, are significant. Further material, however, alone can settle the question.
In the Polynesian area one of the most characteristic and interesting types of cosmogonic myths was that which explained the origin of the universe as due to a sort of evolutionary development from an original chaos or nothingness; and, at least in central Polynesia, this assumed a genealogical form. This evolutionary genealogical type of origin-myths seems, so far as available material goes, to be lacking in Indonesia, except in one very restricted region, the island of Nias, lying off the western coast of Sumatra. According to myths from this island, there was in the beginning only darkness and fog, which condensed and brought forth a being without speech or motion, without head, arms, or legs; 57 and in its turn this being gave existence to another, who died, and from whose heart sprang a tree which bore three sets of three buds. From the first two sets six beings were produced, two of whom
made from the third set of buds a man and a woman--the ancestors of mankind. 58 The several variants of the myth differ in details, but all agree in tracing the origin of things to a primeval chaos, from which after several generations was developed a tree that in turn gave rise to gods and men. Although lacking the details and development found in Polynesia, these Nias myths seem to show the same fundamental conception.
Thus far we have mainly been concerned with the myths concerning the origin of the world; but now we may devote some consideration to those accounting for the origin of mankind. Two main types may be distinguished: one comprising those in which man is not thought of as created or made, but as either (a) derived from a sky-world, (b) the offspring of the gods, or (c) of miraculous origin; and those characterized by a definite account of the actual making of the first man by some deity. The belief in a sky-world origin for mankind is in the main confined to the extreme eastern part of Indonesia--Ceram, 59 the Kei Islands, 60 and the Tenimber Group. 61 Only in the Kei Islands do we have a detailed myth; 62 in the other instances it is simply stated that the ancestors came down from the sky, which was formerly nearer to the earth, by means of a tree or vine. The idea of a heavenly origin also appears in the extreme west, for among the various conflicting myths from the island of Nias 63 one gives the sky-world as the ultimate origin of mankind, whereas others 64 describe this as a proximate source, the ultimate and earliest human ancestors being derived from trees. A direct divine ancestry appears comparatively seldom. Among the Toba Battak mankind is descended from the divine maiden who came down to earth, and from the heavenly hero who followed her; in the southern Celebes the Bugi of Macassar believe themselves to be derived from the son of the heaven deity and his six wives; while in Nias 65 and among the Ifugao in Luzon 66 we also find the belief in a direct descent from deities.
By far the most common, however, are those myths which trace mankind to some miraculous source, an origin from plants or trees being perhaps the most frequent of these. For the most part we have from the eastern and south-eastern islands only the statement that the ancestor or ancestors of mankind burst from a bamboo or tree, 67 although in some instances the tales are more precise. Thus in the Ceram-laut and Gorrom Islands it is said 68 that in the beginning a woman of great beauty, called Winia, came out of a tree together with a white hog, the woman climbing into a tall tree, while the hog remained at its foot. After a time a raft floated ashore, on which was another woman, Kiliboban by name, who had drifted here from New Guinea and who became the comrade of the hog. Later a man (of whose origin nothing is said) came by and took off his clothing to go in fishing, but the two women saw him and laughed at him, whereupon, surprised that any one else was in the vicinity, the man sought for the source of the laughter and found Kiliboban, whom he straightway asked to be his wife. She, however, refused, but directed him to the tree in whose top Winia was concealed; so he climbed the tree forthwith, found the lovely damsel there, and taking her to be his wife, became by her the ancestor of mankind.
In Amboina 69 and Buru 70 the first human beings came from a tree after a bird had sat upon it and fructified it. In the latter island, according to one myth, the first to appear was a woman, who built a fire near the base of the tree, which it warmed, whereupon the tree split in two, and a man came forth who married the woman. A variant makes the man the first to appear. In Wetar 71 the first woman came from the fruit of a tree; and far to the north, among the Ami, one of the wild tribes of Formosa, 72 we find the same belief, for it is said that in the beginning a being planted in the ground a staff, which took root and became a bamboo on which two shoots developed, a man issuing from one of them and a woman from the other. Coming farther west to Celebes, traces of the idea
are found in Minahassa, 73 where, according to one myth, a tree-trunk floated ashore, and from it, when it was broken open by a deity, a man (in reality a god) came forth. A similar tale from the Tagalog, in the Philippines, is reported 74 in which two hollow bamboos floated ashore on the first land; these were pecked open by a bird, whereupon a man issued from the one and a woman from the other, the two thus becoming the ancestors of mankind. The belief appears again in Borneo in a tale from the Kayan 75 where the tree and vine of miraculous origin produce the ancestors of the different tribes; and a variant also occurs in south-east Borneo. 76 Lastly we find in Nias 77 that man originated from the fruit of the tree, tora'a, which grew, according to one account, upon the back of one of the first beings derived from original chaos; or according to another, from his heart after his death.
That the first men were derived from worms or came out of the ground as larvae is an idea apparently confined to the easterly islands 78 although little more is given than the mere statement of their origin. Perhaps related to this belief is that held in Watubela 79 and the Kei Islands, 80 that the first men arose out of the ground. 81 Among the Battak in Sumatra one myth 82 tells of the birth of the first man from a featherless bird, which was sent down from the sky.
Quite widely distributed, on the other hand, is the belief that mankind originated from eggs. In the Philippines 83 a bird laid two eggs, one at the source of a river and one at its mouth, a woman coming from the first and a man from the second. For long years the man lived alone, until one day when he was bathing, a long hair, floating in the water, entangled his legs so that he reached the bank with difficulty. Examining the hair, he at once determined to find its owner, and so travelled up-stream until he met the woman, whom he then married. From south-eastern Borneo 84 comes a different tale. After the world had been made by spreading earth on the head of the great serpent which swam in the primeval sea,
a deity descended upon it and discovered seven eggs formed of earth. Taking two of these, he found in one a man, and in the other a woman, but both lifeless; whereupon, returning to the upper world, he asked the creator for breath, that the pair might become alive. While he was gone upon his errand, however, another deity came down and blew into the mouths of the two lifeless forms and vivified them, so that when the first deity returned, he found himself forestalled, and mankind, which he had intended to make immortal, was now subject to decay and death. Another version speaks of only two eggs, from which a human pair came forth and bore seven sons and seven daughters, who were, however, without life. At the command of the deity the husband went to get for them the germs of life, bidding his wife in his absence on no account to stir outside her mosquito-curtains; but she failed to obey, and as she looked out a blast of wind came and blew into the children, so that they breathed and became alive; whence man is mortal, and wind (or breath) is his only life. Another tale of the origin of mankind from eggs is found among the Battak of Sumatra. 85 In Celebes we have already seen 86 how the first divine being was born miraculously from the rock or from the sweat which formed upon it; and an actual origin of mankind from a rock, which split open of itself, appears in Formosa. 87
In the consideration of the cosmogonic myths the frequency of the incest incident has already been pointed out. In most of these cases the offspring of the incestuous union are divine or semi-divine beings, who may or may not be the ultimate ancestors of mankind; but the belief in a direct origin of man from such brother-sister or mother-son marriages seems especially characteristic of the Philippine area, where it follows the flood-episode. As an example of these myths we may take the version given by the central Ifugao. 88 As the waters rose, people sought refuge on the mountains, until at last only two survived, a brother and sister, Wigan and Bugan, one of them
Image of Bugan, the wife of Wigan. She appears prominently in the myths, and all prayers for women are said to her, though no petitions are addressed to her image. She is regarded as the perfect woman. Ifugao tribe, Luzon, Philippine Islands. Peabody Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Mt. Amuyao and the other on Mt. Kalauitan. Bugan had a fire, which at night lit up the peak of Kalauitan, and Wigan then knew that someone else beside himself was alive. "As soon as the earth was dry, Wigan journeyed to Kalauitan where he found his sister Bugan, and their reunion was most joyous. They descended the mountain and wandered about until they came to the beautiful valley that is today the dwelling-place of the Banauol clan--and here Wigan built a house. When the house was finished, Bugan dwelt in the upper part and Wigan slept beneath.
"Having provided for the comfort of his sister, Wigan started out to find if there were not other people left alive in the Earth World. He travelled about all the day and returned to the house at night to sleep. He did this for three days, and then as he was coming back on the third evening he said to himself that there were no other people in the world but themselves, and if the world was to be re-populated it must be through them . . . At last Bugan realized that she was pregnant. She burst into violent weeping, and heaping reproaches on his head, ran blindly away. After travelling a long way, and being overcome with grief and fatigue, Bugan sank down upon the bank of the river and lay there trembling and sobbing. After having quieted herself somewhat, she arose and looked around her, and what was her surprise to see sitting on a rock near her an old man with a long white beard! He approached her and said: 'Do not be afraid, daughter! I am Maknongan, and I am aware of your trouble, and I have come to tell you that it is all right.' While he was speaking, Wigan, who had followed his sister, appeared on the scene. Then Maknongan placed the sanction and blessing of the gods upon their marriage, assuring them that they had done right, and that through them the world must be repeopled. He told them to return to their house, and whenever they were in trouble. to offer sacrifices to the gods. . . . In the course of time nine children were born to Wigan and Bugan, five sons and four daughters. The
four oldest sons married the four daughters, and from them are descended all the people of the earth-world." Here the actors are treated frankly as human beings, as they are by the Igorot 89 and Mandaya, 90 although in another Ifugao version (from the Kiangan) 91 they are really divine. In Nias 92 we again see this distinctly human character emphasized. In these Philippine versions the unintentional character of the incest, as recorded in the cosmogonic tales and in those from Nias, does not appear, though it does come to the fore in stories from other Philippine tribes which do not relate to the origin of mankind, such as the Tagalog, 93 and in variants from western Borneo 94 and Celebes, 95 where the relationship is discovered in time and incest is avoided. Thus, in a legend from the first area, a man deserts his wife and son, the latter of whom, when he has grown up, goes in search of his father, returning only after many years. In the meanwhile his mother has kept her youthful appearance, and unrecognized by the son, who is captivated by her beauty, is wooed by him. She, in her turn, does not recognize her son, but just as they are about to marry, a scar on his head reveals his identity to her. At first dismayed, the pair finally resolve to carry out their plans, but are suddenly turned to stone.
We have thus far dealt only with those myths of the origin of mankind in which the element of an actual creation does not enter. There remain to be considered those in which this creative theme occurs, the most widely spread form of the myth being that in which man is made from earth or clay. Thus, beginning in the east, we find that in Halmahera 96 man was made by a servant of the deity, who formed two figures from earth, one male and one female. When these were finished, he ascended to the sky-world to get the breath of life for them, but while he was gone, an evil deity destroyed the images. The divine messenger made the figures a second time, but when they were again demolished, he took the faeces of the evil beings, and from it shaped the figures of two dogs, which
he endued with life and ordered to guard the two new images of human beings which he made. This time his efforts were successful; for when the evil being came, he was driven away by the dogs, and the divine messenger bringing the breath of life, vivified the two human effigies so that they became the first of mankind.
In Minahassa 97 the deity makes two images of earth, one male and one female, whom he vivifies by blowing powdered ginger into their heads and ears. The Bagobo of Mindanao say 98 that after the creation of the sea and land, and the planting of trees of many kinds, the creator took two lumps of earth, and shaping them like two human figures, he spat on them, whereupon they became "man and woman." In Sumatra the Dairi Battak say 99 that after the deity, Batara Guru, had finished the earth, he desired to people it and accordingly first sent down a swallow, which returned, however, saying that it did not like the dwelling assigned to it. Batara Guru then wished one of his children to descend, but none of them were willing to exchange their heavenly for an earthly home. Determined to succeed, the deity himself came down to earth, bidding the swallow return to the sky to bring thence some earth from which he might shape man. With the material so provided, Batara Guru made two images, one male and one female, and set them in the sun to dry. After they had become hard, he muttered a magic formula over them seven times, and when they then began to breathe, he repeated another formula with which one may force another to speak. Then the two images spoke and said, "What do you wish of us, Grandfather, that you cry thus loudly in our ears?" and he replied: "I have called to you so loudly because I have created you in order that you might speak. Never forget that I am your grandfather. Obey my commands and never refuse to follow them." This the newly created pair promised to do.
An interesting variant of ordinary creation-myths occurs in south-eastern Borneo. 100 Here the two wonder-trees on the
new-formed earth mated and produced an egg, from which a phantom maiden came. A divine being descended to earth, and seeing the lifeless and intangible character of the maiden, went to get what was necessary to give her life and substance; but while he was away another deity became active, and gathering earth for her body, rain for her blood, and wind for her breath, made the beautiful shade alive and tangible. When the first deity returned and discovered what had happened, in anger he broke the vessel that he had brought; and the water of life which it contained flew. in every direction and watered all plants, which thus acquired the power of springing up after having been cut down; but man did not receive any of the precious fluid and so failed to acquire immortality. The use of stone as a material, instead of earth, occurs among the Toradja in Celebes. 101 The heaven father and earth mother having made two stone figures, one male and one female, the heaven deity returned to the skies to procure the breath of immortality with which to infuse life into the images; but in his absence the wind blew into them and vivified them, and on this account man is mortal. Another version 102 omits the attempt to secure immortality. A somewhat different form of origin-myth describes a series of attempts at creation in which different materials are tried, the first trials being failures, although success is finally achieved. Thus the Dyaks of the Baram and Rejang district in Borneo say 103 that after the two birds, Iri and Ringgon, had formed the earth, plants, and animals they decided to create man. "At first, they made him of clay, but when he was dried he could neither speak nor move, which provoked them, and they ran at him angrily; so frightened was he that he fell backward and broke all to pieces. The next man they made was of hard wood, but he, also, was utterly stupid, and absolutely good for nothing. Then the two birds searched carefully for a good material, and eventually selected the wood of the tree known as Kumpong, which has a strong fibre and exudes a quantity of deep red sap,
whenever it is cut. Out of this tree they fashioned a man and a woman, and were so well pleased with this achievement that they rested for a long while, and admired their handiwork. Then they decided to continue creating more men; they returned to the Kumpong tree, but they had entirely forgotten their original pattern, and how they executed it, and they were therefore able only to make very inferior creatures, which became the ancestors of the Maias (the Orang Utan) and monkeys."
A similar tale is found among the Iban 104 and Sakarram Dyaks, 105 only reversing the order, so that after twice failing to make man from wood, the birds succeeded at the third trial when they used clay. Farther north, among the Dusun of British North Borneo, 106 the first two beings "made a stone in the shape of a man but the stone could not talk, so they made a wooden figure and when it was made it talked, though not long after it became worn out and rotten; afterwards they made a man of earth, and the people are descended from this till the present day." The Bilan of Mindanao 107 have a similar tale. After the world had been formed and was habitable, one of the deities said, "Of what use is land without people?" So the others said, "Let us make wax into people," and they did so; but when they put the wax near the fire, it melted. Seeing that they could not create man that way, they next decided to form him out of dirt, and Melu and Finuweigh began the task. All went well until they were ready to make the nose, when Finuweigh, who was shaping this part, Put it on upside down, only to have Melu tell him that people would drown if he left it that way, for the rain would run into it. At this Finuweigh became very angry and refused to change it, but when he turned his back, Melu seized the nose quickly and turned it as it now is; and one may still see where, in his haste, he pressed his fingers at the root. Another account says that the images made of earth were vivified by whipping them. 108 In a few cases we find that man was supposed to have
been made of other materials. Thus the Ata in Mindanao declare 109 that grass was the substance used, whereas the Igorot in Luzon say 110 that the ancestors of all others than themselves were made from pairs of reeds. In Nias one version states 111 that man was formed from the fruits or buds of the tree which grew from the heart of one of the earliest beings, while various gods developed from the buds on the upper part of the tree. "When these two lowest fruits were still very small, Latoere said to Barasi-loeloe and Balioe, 'The lowest fruits are mine.' But Balioe answered, 'See, then, if you can make man of them. If you can do that, they belong to you; otherwise, not.' Latoere being unable to form men from them, Lowalangi sent Barasi-loeloe thither; but he could shape nothing more than the bodies of men, although he made one male and one female. Then Lowalangi took a certain weight of wind, gave it to Balioe, and said, 'Put all of this in the mouth of the image for a soul. If it absorbs all of it, man will attain to a long life; otherwise, he will die sooner, just in proportion to the amount which is left over of the soul that is offered him.' Balioe did what Lowalangi had told him, and then he gave the people names." In a few instances still other substances are said to have been used from which to make man. 112
Myths relative to the creation of animals ascribe various origins to them. Some of the Kayan in Borneo say 113 that two of the descendants of the armless and legless monster derived from the sword-handle and spindle that fell from heaven, cast pieces of bark upon the ground, and that these turned into swine, fowl, and dogs; while others declare 114 that all the birds, beasts, and fish were derived from the leaves and the twigs of the wonder-tree. In south-eastern Borneo 115 serpents, tigers, and all noxious animals were formed from the body of Angoi, the deity who had provided humankind with breath. When the other divinity, who had wished to bring man immortal life from heaven, found his endeavours forestalled, in
his anger he attacked Angoi and killed him, after which he cut up the body and scattered it far and wide, and from these fragments came all the harmful animals. 116 From the Ifugao in the Philippines 117 we have a more detailed account. The child of a sky-maiden and a mortal was cut in two, the mother returning to the heavens with her half and the husband retaining the other portion. Unable to restore this moiety to life, the father left it to decay; but learning of this fact, the mother descended and from it made various animals, birds, and the like--from the head, the owl; from the ears, a certain tree fungus; from the nose, a mollusc; from the bones of the breast, a serpent; from the heart, the rainbow; from the hair, worms and maggots; from the skin, a bird; from part of the blood, bats; and from the intestines, several sorts of animals. The Mandaya in Mindanao state 118 that "the sun and moon were married and lived happily together until many children had been born to them. At last they quarrelled and the moon ran away from her husband. . . . After the separation of their parents the children died, and the moon gathering up their bodies cut them into small pieces and threw them into space. Those fragments which fell into the water became fish, those which fell on land were converted into snakes and animals, while 'those which fell upward' remained in the sky as stars."
Of the origin of the sun and moon several accounts are given. According to the Kayan of central Borneo, 119 the moon, at least, was one of the descendants of the armless and legless being sprung from the sword-handle and spindle which fell from heaven; but in Celebes 120 sun, moon, and stars were made from the body of a celestial maiden; 121 while in Nias 122 sun and moon were shaped from the eyes 123 of the armless and legless being, out of whose heart grew the tree from the buds of which men and gods originated. Elsewhere in Indonesia the sun and moon are either said to have been created, or nothing is stated regarding their origin. In Polynesia a theme which has been shown to be wide-spread is that of the separation of
heaven and earth and the raising of the heavens; or the belief that formerly the sky was low and close to the earth, and that a deity or a demigod later uplifted it to its present place. The same concept appears also in the Indonesian area. Among the Ifugao, in the Philippines, it is said 124 that the sky was once so very near to the earth that it interfered with the plying of the spear, while its cannibalistic propensities were causing the extermination of mankind. 125 The aid of the gods was accordingly invoked, whereupon one of them, who had always remained in a sitting position, suddenly rose and with his head and shoulders thrust the heavens far above. The Tagalog also state 126 that the sky was once so low that it could be touched with the hand, and when men were playing, they would strike their heads against it, whence they became angry and threw stones at it, so that a deity withdrew it to its present position. The Manobo of Mindanao say 127 that the sky was so close to the earth that a woman hit it with her pestle while pounding rice, whereupon the heavens ascended to a great height. A similar tale is known also to the Bagobo in the same island. 128 The theme of raising the sky is well known in Borneo. In the north-west the deed was accomplished by the daughter of the first man 129 while the Dusun of British North Borneo declare that the sky, originally low, retreated when six of the seven original suns were killed. 130 Similar tales are told in the south-east and elsewhere in the island, 131 and also occur in Nias 132 Rotti, and Loeang-sermata. 133
Deluge-myths appear to be fairly well developed in Indonesia and show some features of interest; while in the Philippines, as already pointed out, the origin-legends in many instances begin with such a tale. As told by the Ifugao of Kiangan, the story runs as follows. 134 "The first son of Wigan, called Kabigat, went from the sky-region, Hudog, to the Earth World to hunt with dogs. As the earth was then entirely level, his dogs ran much from one side to another, pursuing their quarry, and this they did without Kabigat hearing their barking. In consequence
of which, it is reported that Kabigat said: 'I see that the earth is completely flat, because there does not resound the echo of the barking of the dogs.' After becoming pensive for a little while he decided to return to the heights of the Sky World. Later on he came down again, with a very large cloth, and went to close the exit to the sea of the waters of the rivers, and so it remained closed. He returned again to Hudog, and went to make known to Bongabong that he had closed the outlet of the waters. Bongabong answered him: 'Go thou to the house of the Cloud and of the Fog, and bring them to me.' For this purpose he had given permission beforehand to Cloud and Fog, intimating to them that they should go to the house of Baiyuhibi, and so they did. Baiyuhibi brought together his sons . . . and bade them to rain without ceasing for three days. Then Bongabong called . . . and so they ceased. Wigan said, moreover, to his son Kabigat, 'Go thou and remove the stopper that thou hast placed on the waters,' and so he did. And in this manner, when the waters that had covered the earth began to recede, there rose up mountains and valleys formed by the rushing of the waters. Then Bongabong called Mumba'an that he might dry the earth, and so he did."
The central Ifugao have a different version. 135 According to this, "One year when the rainy season should have come it did not. Month after month passed by and no rain fell. The river grew smaller and smaller day by day until at last it disappeared entirely. The people began to die, and at last the old men said: 'If we do not soon get water, we shall all die. Let us dig down into the grave of the river, for the river is dead and has sunk into his grave, and perhaps we may find the soul of the river and it will save us from dying.' So they began to dig, and they dug for three days. On the third day the hole was very large, and suddenly they struck a great spring, and the water gushed forth. It came so fast that some of them were drowned 'before they could get out of the pit.
"Then the people were happy, for there was plenty of water;
and they brought much food and made a great feast. But while they were feasting it grew dark and began to rain. The river also kept rising until at last it overflowed its bank. Then the people became frightened and they tried to stop up the spring in the river, but they could not do so. Then the old men said, 'We must flee to the mountains, for the river gods are angry and we shall all be drowned.' So the people fled toward the mountains and all but two of them were overtaken by the water and drowned. The two who escaped were a brother and sister named Wigan and Bugan--Wigan on Mt. Amuyao and Bugan on Kalauitan. And the water continued to rise until all the Earth World was covered excepting only the peaks of these two mountains.
"The water remained on the earth for a whole season, or from rice planting to rice harvest. . . . At last the waters receded from the earth and left it covered with the rugged mountains and deep valleys that exist today."
More or less fragmentary versions of similar tales have been given from the Igorot, 136 and it is probable that they also exist among the Tinguian. 137 In Mindanao 138 the Ata tell how in very early times the earth was covered with water, and all people were drowned, except two men and a woman, who were carried away and would have been lost, had they not been rescued by an eagle, who carried one man and the woman to their home. The Mandaya 139 in the same island have a still different account, according to which all the inhabitants of the world were once destroyed by flood, except one woman. When the waters had subsided, she gave birth to a son, who, when he grew up, married his mother, thus re-peopling the world.
The Borneo versions are quite different. The Iban, or Sea Dyaks of Sarawak say 140 that once, just as the harvest was ripe, it was found that a large part of the fields had been despoiled during the night. Since no tracks could be found, watch was kept, and a huge serpent was seen to lower itself
from the sky and to feed upon the rice, whereupon one of the watchers, rushing up, cut off the snake's head and in the morning proceeded to cook some of the flesh from it for his breakfast. Hardly had he eaten, however, before the sky was overcast, dark clouds rolled up, and a terrible rain-storm caused a flood from which only those few persons escaped alive who succeeded in reaching the highest hills. The Dusun 141 of British North Borneo have a picturesque variant. "Long ago some men of Kampong Tudu were looking for wood to make a fence, and while they were searching they came upon what appeared to be a great tree-trunk, which was lying on the ground. They began to cut it with their parangs, intending to make their fence from it, but to their surprise blood came from the cuts. So they decided to walk along to one end of the trunk and see what it was. When they came to the end they found that they had been cutting into a great snake and that the end of the 'trunk' was its head. They therefore made stakes and driving them into the ground bound the snake to them and killed it. Then they flayed the skin from the body and taking it and the meat home they made a great feast from its flesh. The skin of the snake they made into a great drum, and while they were drinking they beat the drum to try its sound, but for a long time the drum remained silent. At last, in the middle of the night, the drum began to sound of its own accord, 'Duk Duk Kagu; Duk Duk Kagu.' Then came a great hurricane and swept away all the houses in the kampong; some of them were carried out to sea together with the people in them, others settled down at what is now Kampong Tempassuk and other places, and from them arose the present villages." 142 In Nias 143 the flood-myth takes a still different form. According to this, "once there was strife between the mountains, each one desiring to be the highest. This angered one of the deities, who, saying, 'Ye mountains! I shall cover you all,' took a golden comb and threw it into the ocean, where it was changed into a mighty crab, which
stopped up the overflow of the sea. Then came a great rain, and these causes generated a vast quantity of water, which rose higher and higher until three mountains alone remained uncovered. All the people who fled to these with their animals were saved, but all others were drowned."
Very commonly in savage mythology we find the idea that death was not originally intended to be the inevitable fate of mankind. In Polynesia, as has been shown, 144 death was due to Maui's failure to pass through the body of Hine-nui-te-po, or to the express decree of some deity who wished man to die, in opposition to another divinity's wish that he should be immortal. In Indonesian tales immortality is lost, in many cases, by an error. Thus, the Dusun 145 in British North Borneo say that "When Kenharingan had made. everything he said, 'Who is able to cast off his skin? If anyone can do so, he shall not die.' The snake alone heard and said, 'I can.' And for this reason, till the present day, the snake does not die unless killed by man. (The Dusun did not hear or they would also have thrown off their skins and there would have been no death.)" 146
The Nias myths 147 ascribe mortality to a mistake. When the earth was finished and complete, the divine being who had spread it out and shaped it fasted for many days, after which he received nine plates, each filled with a different sort of food. Choosing that with the ripe bananas, he threw away the plate on which were some shrimps, and in consequence of his having eaten the easily perishable food man perishes and decays, but the snake who ate the shrimps became immortal. In Celebes, Borneo, and elsewhere we have already seen 148 that the immortality designed for man by his creator was lost through the fact that while the creator had gone to secure the breath of life, the image made by him was vivified by the wind or by some other deity; hence man's life is as unstable as the winds.
Myths of the origin of fire present a number of different
Dyak drawing on bamboo representing mythological scenes in the sprit-world. In the upper row are seen the "soul trees" with the souls ready to be reborn; in the central section, among other things, is the boat in which the souls of the dead are ferried across to the spirit-island. The lowest band shows figures of serpents, fishes, and crocodiles. Ethnographische Rijksmuseum, Leyden, Netherlands.
forms in Indonesia. According to the Igorot, 149 only two persons survived after the flood, a brother and sister who had taken refuge on Mt. Pokis. "Lumawig descended and said: 'Oh, you are here!' And the man said: 'We are here, and here we freeze!' Then Lumawig sent his dog and his deer to Kalauwitan to get fire. They swam to Kalauwitan, the dog and the deer, and they got the fire. Lumawig awaited them. He said: 'How long they are corning!' Then he went to Kalauwitan and said to his dog and deer: 'Why do you delay in bringing the fire? Get ready! Take the fire to Pokis; let me watch you!' Then they went into the middle of the flood, and the fire which they had brought from Kalauwitan was put out! Then said Lumawig: 'Why do you delay the taking? Again you must bring fire; let me watch you!' Then they brought fire again, and he observed that that which the deer was carrying was extinguished, and he said: 'That which the dog has yonder will surely also be extinguished.' Then Lumawig swam and arrived and quickly took the fire which his dog had brought. He took it back to Pokis and he built a fire and warmed the brother and sister." This theme of the fire being brought from another country by animals is also found in Melanesia, 150 while the Ifugao of Kiangan have still another version. 151 After Bugan, who was the sister-wife of Kabigat, had become reconciled to her marriage by the praise of Muntalog, Kabigat's father, "Kabigat requested leave to return, but Muntalog answered: 'Wait one day more, until I in my turn go to my father Mumbonang.' Muntalog found his father and mother seated facing each other; and, upon his arrival, his mother, Mumbonang, came forward and asked him: 'What news do you bring from those lower regions, and why do you come?' The father . . . inquired likewise as to the reason of his coming. Muntalog answered: 'I have come, father, to ask thee for fire for some Ifugaos who remain in the house of Ambumabbakal.' 'My son,' the father replied, 'those Ifugaos of yours could not arrive at (or, come to) Mumbonang
without danger of being burned to cinders.' Then he continued: 'It is well! Approach me! . . . Seize hold of one of those bristles that standout from my hair,' and so Muntalog did. . . . Then Mumbonang said to him again: 'Come nigh! Take this white part, or extremity, of the eye that looks toward the north-east.' . . . And he took it and placed it in his hand. And Mumbonang said to him once more: 'Come near again, and take the part black as coal, the dirt of my ear which is as the foulness of my ear.' And so he did. Then Mumbonang said to Muntalog: 'Take these things and bring them to thy son Ambumabbakal and to Ngilin, in order that the latter may give them to the Ifugaos.' And he said again to Muntalog: 'Take this white of my eye (flint), this wax from my ear (tinder), and this bristle or point like steel for striking fire, in order that thou mayest have the wherewith to attain what thou seekest.'" In this tale we have a closer approach to the various Polynesian myths of Maui and of his securing the fire from the fire-deity. 152
From central Celebes 153 a different type is recorded. Fire was given by the deity to the first men; but they allowed it to go out, and since they did not know the secret of how to make it, they sent a man named Tamboeja to the sky (which at that time was near the earth) to get flame. The inhabitants of the sky-world told him that they would give him fire, but that he must cover his eyes with his hands so that he would not see how it was made. They did not know, however, that he had eyes under his arm-pits also, which enabled him to watch their actions and see how they made fire with flint and steel; and this secret, together with the fire itself, he took back to earth and gave to men.
Bornean myths of the origin of fire are as follows. According to the Kayan 154 fire was invented by an old man, named Laki Oi, who discovered the method of making it by pulling a strip of rattan back and forth under a piece of wood. The Dyaks 155 of the Baram District describe the origin of fire as
due to an accident. "One day when the man and the dog were in the jungle together, and got drenched by rain, the man noticed that the dog warmed himself by rubbing against a huge creeper (called the Aka Rawa), whereupon the man took a stick and rubbed it rapidly against the Aka Rawa, and to his surprise obtained fire." Later some food was accidentally dropped near the fire, and the man, finding it thus rendered more agreeable to the taste, discovered the art of cooking. 156