Laura Watson Benedict

Part IV. Problem of sources of ceremonial and myth 250

It is only during the last half century that the Bagobo have come to the knowledge of the western world. We do not know how early they came into contact with the Chinese, but Dr. Laufer, ^^^ who has made a careful investigation of those Chinese sources which contain accounts of the Philippines, mentions no Chinese record of the wild tribes of Mindanao.

When we turn to the Spanish writers, we find as early as 1521 descriptions of the Filipino and of the Moro peoples, ^^* and from the end of the sixteenth until the close of the nineteenth century the work of the priests progressed in Mindanao; yet for some time there is no mention of Bila-an or of Kulaman, of Tagakaola or of Ba-gobo. Although as early as 1546 Saint Francis Xavier ^^'^ preached in Mindanao; although missions were established on this island by
the Jesuits in 1596, ^^^ and by the Recollects in 1622;^^' although in 1655 the number of christianized natives under the care of Jesuits and Recollects in Mindanao was reported ^^^ to have reached 70,000, the mountain tribes of the southeast were not known to the missionaries until two centuries later. It was along the coast line from the northeast to the southwest, and in the immediately adjoining territory of the interior that their numerous churches and convents were established. One may search in vain the maps of the early cartographers for any place-names along the gulf of Davao.
Even fairly detailed maps such as that by Sanson d'Abbeville, ^'''

383 ^^ "The Relations of the Chinese to the Philippine Islands." Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections (Quarterly issue), vol. 50, p. 248—284. 1907.

^^* See Blair and Robertson: op. cit., vol. 33 — 34; vol. 41, et cetera.

^^^ Cf. ibid., vol. 27, pp. 300, 304. 1905.

^«« Cf. ibid., vol. 28, p. 340. 1905. See also voL 41, p. 284. 1906.

^«' Cf. ibid,, vol. 21, pp. 214—233 ef se(i., 302 et seq. 1905, See also vol. 13, pp. 48, 86. 1904. See also vol. 28, pp. 340, 344. 1905. See also vol, 41, pp. 137—157.

««« r/. ibid., vol. 36, p. 57. 1906.

^«»See ibid., vol. 27, pp. 74—75. 1905.


dated 1654; of Archivo general de India, ^"^^ 1683; by Murillo Y^-larde,*^ 1749; by Mcol,^^^ 1757, and that from the "Complete East India pilot" ^^^ of 1794, indicate nothing in this region except the situation of Mount Apo. It was not until 1847 — 1848 that the conquest of Davao gulf was accomplished by the Spaniard Oyang-
uren, who by 1849 had the Moros of the entire coast of the gulf
subdued, and was turning his attention to the interior. ^^^

Our first descriptions, from Spanish sources, of the religious customs of the pagan tribes of the east and west sides of Davao gulf appear in that invaluable series of letters published under the title of "Cartas de los PP. de la Compania de la Mision de Fili- pinas," in 9 volumes, Manila, 1877 — 1891. "We do not know the precise date when the Jesuits began to work in the pueblos along the gulf, but it was some time during the third quarter of the last century. An undated letter from Padre Heras, Superior of the Mission, that precedes a letter of 1876 in the first volume of the Cartas, ^^^ mentions the little village of Davao as having a good church and a school, and names several of the wild tribes, including
the Bagobo, which would come within the jurisdiction of the mission.
In 1877, Padre More and Padre Puntas were working in Davao and were making visitations at neighboring Bagobo rancherias. ^^^
Padre Mateo Gisbert was there as early as 1880 and remained until his death in 1905, while Padre Juan Doyle came several years later than Grisbert. ^^^ It is the letters of these four last-named missionaries, therefore, that are of particular ethnological interest in relation to the Bagobo and their neighbors.

When found by the Spanish fathers, the Bagobo were practising a religion, the essential elements of which had been well-developed for a considerable period. The genealogy of one of the head datu, Manip of Sibulan, had been carefully preserved by means of oral recitation, and it ran back for eleven generations to his famous

^««See ibid., vol. 54, p. 51. 1909.

*^^See ibid., vol. 48, frontispiece. 1907.

»*See ibid., vol. 48, p. 281. 1907.

''^^See ibid., vol. 41, frontispiece. 1907.

^^'* Cf. Quirico More: "Letter ... Jan. 30, 1885." Blair and Robertson: op. cit., vol. 43, p. 194. 1906. Quotes Montero y Vidal: "Historiapirateria," vol. l,pp. 383— 4.03.

'«5 0/. Cartas, vol. 1, pp. 18—19. 1877,

^'^ C/. Cartas, vol. 1, pp. 65, 81. 1877. Ibid., vol. 2, pp. 47—50. 1879.

^^^ Cf. ibid., vol. 3, p. 104. 1880.


ancestor, Salingolop. ^^^ According to Bagobo tradition, human sacrifices were offered to Mandarangan while Salingolop ruled, in the same manner that they are offered to-day. It will be seen, then, that no Spanish document can throw light, by contemporaneous record, on the nature or the form of the Bagobo ceremonial of two or three centuries ago; still less, on the processes by which it grew to its present condition of complexity. Any attempt, therefore, to trace the mythology and the ritual customs to their sources must analyze them on a comparative basis. Here, too, the lack of
detailed ceremonial material from a large part of the Malay area permits only rather general comparisons; still, it is possible to arrive at some sort of answer to the question: ''To what extent is the religion of the Bagobo identical with that of other peoples in the Malay country, and in how far is it unique?"

In such a discussion, two or three lines of cultural development on the religious side would suggest themselves; none of which, however, should be considered as excluding the others. (1) The ceremonial of the Bagobo may represent in some of its aspects an independent local development; (2) Some elements of the ceremonial may have been brought into the Philippines by one tribe, or have taken shape in some one locality, and thence, as from a cultural center, have been superimposed on other groups; (3) The fundamental ceremonial factors may be considered as the common heritage of the wild tribes and the Filipino, and as having undergone merely such local modifications in each group as slight variations in cultural conditions would give rise to.

Scanty as is the descriptive material that has thus far been

^^^ Manip was the father of Tongkaling, who is data of Sibulan at the present time, and Salingolop appears to be the earliest ancestor known to this line. The genealogy referred to was recorded first by Father Mateo Gisbert, in a letter dated July 26, 1886; and a few years later it was given, without change, by Father Juan Doyle in a letter dated May 30, 1888. See Cartas, vol. 8, p. 205. 1889. Father Gisbert's letter, as translated by Blair and Robertson, runs as follows: "The Bagobos of Sibulan usually show their antiquity by the following genealogies. Manip, the present datu, had for father Panguilan; Panguilan was the son of Taopan; Tadpan, son of Maliadi; Maliadi, son of Banga; Banga, son of Lumbay; Lumbay, son of Basian; Basian, son of Boas; Boas, son of Bato; Bato, son of Salingolop. They say that of all their ancestors, Salingolop was the most powerful, and his name was always preserved among all his descendants. Before him there were already Bagobos with the same customs as those of today, that is, they were heathens and slaves of the great Mandarangan or Satan, to whom it appears that they always sacrificed human victims."' Op. cit., vol. 43, pp. 245 — 246. 1906.


gathered by observers of religious rites as celebrated by pagan tribes in the south, yet even in such records as we have, certain well-marked characteristics in ritual appear in the same setting in several different tribes. A number of the ritual elements that are found to be the common property of two or three or more mountain tribes of Mindanao will be mentioned briefly, not at all as a complete list, but rather as suggesting a line along which a full comparison might be extended.

We note, first, a close similarity in the essentials of sacrificial rites as practised by the Bagobo and other peoples of Mindanao.
The offering of human victims seems, at present, to be peculiar to the Bagobo, the closely allied Guianga and the Tagakaola; but the manner of sacrificing animals in other tribes is in many points identical with the Bagobo paghuaga. The intention and the technique of the bloody sacrifice is much the same, whether the victim be a man, a hog or a cock. In the brief but trenchant description given by Pastells ^^^ of this rite among the Mandaya, we learn that the sacrifice is performed at the signal of drums and agongs; the official sacrificers wear claret- colored shirts and ceremonial kerchiefs; the victim is tied to some structure of recognized form; a peculiar dance is performed about the victim before the attack; definite ritual words are repeated to Mansilatan or to Badlao — gods that answer to Mandarangan; the privilege of giving the first stab is awarded beforehand to a particular individual; a feast following the sacrifice is shared in by great numbers of people. The Buquidnon, similarly, offer sacrifices of swine and fowls, ^°*^ having old men as celebrants of the rites, with the accompaniment of songs, dancing and prayers. Besides the bloody sacrifice, the Mandaya, the Buquidnon and many other tribes, make agricultural offerings of areca-nuts and buyo and various products of the soil. ^^^ Antiphonal songs relating the achievements of ancestral heroes are sung on festival occasions by the Buquidnon, as well as by the Bagobo.
The shrines of the Buquidnon answer, structurally, to the Bagobo

^®^ ''Carta... al R. P. Superior de la Mision, Catel, 8 de Junio de 1878." Cartas de los PP. de la Compafiia de Jesus de la Mision de Tilipinas, vol. 2, pp. 138 — 139, 144. 1879.

'^"'^ J. M. Clotet: "Letter ... Talisayan, May 11, 1889." Blair and Robertson; op. cif., vol. 43, p. 296. 1906.

''"^ Pablo Pastells: loc. cit. Cartas, vol. 2, pp. 139—140. 1879. See also Clotet's letter {ut supra). Blaie and Robertson: op. cif., vol. 48, p. 296.


tambara;^^^ the Bila-an have a rice-altar (parabunnian) in form of a little hut much like that of the Bagobo. ^^^

Turning from the formal ceremonial to religious responses of a more informal nature, it appears that throughout the mountain tribes of Mindanao communication is set up with the gods through the medium of priestesses. The Mandaya meeting, in particular, as described by Pastells, corresponds in certain aspects to the manner of giving an oracle among the Bagobo — the emotional disturbance, the silence preceding the utterance, the behavior of the medium. ^^^

Valiant men, who have slain other men and have therefore received the title of hagani (or magcini)^ are everywhere entitled to the same privileges: the wearing of a closed shirt dyed in solid red, the ceremonial kerchief, and a costume graded (at least among the Bagobo, the Mandaya and the Manobo) by the number of persons the wearer has killed — from the kerchief to the full costume of encarnado.^^^ Among the Mandaya, the Manobo, the Bila-an, the Tagakaola and the Bagobo, and presumably in all of the neighboring tribes, these "brave men" hold a position of great importance, both from the ceremonial and the social point of view, and they exert a profound influence in the tribe.

Many of the popular beliefs *^^ found among the Bagobo are currently accepted throughout the entire island. The appeal to constellations to determine the proper time for burning over the ground and for sowing; the cause of an eclipse; the danger of continuing a journey when a slain animal is encountered on the road; the position of limokun as the omen bird and the interpretation of its cry; the sacredness of thicket growths; the haunting of the baliti and of various other trees associated Avith evil spirits — all these beliefs are held by many, if not all, of the tribes. Beliefs essen-

'''^J. M. Clotet: loc. cit., p. 296.

* "^ ^ See p. 93, footnote.

*'"».. Pastells: loe. cit. Cartas, vol. 2, pp. 139, 140. 1879.

405  haganis se distinguen en su vestido segun el numero de siis asesinatos. De cinco a diez muertes, llevan en la cabeza paiiuelo encarnado, de diez a veinte pafiuelo y camisa colorada, de veinte en adelante pafiuelo, camisa y pantalon encarnado." P. Pastells; loc. cit.. Cartas vol. 2, p. 144. 1879. C/*. also, Santiago Puntas: Carta ... Butuan, 19 Diciembre, 1880. Cartas, vol. 4, p. 37. 1881. Cf. also, P. Combes: "Natives of the southern islands." Blair and Robertson; op. cit.^ vol. 40, p. 159. 1906.

**« cy. Cartas, vol. 2, p. 141 et seq.


tially similar regarding death and burial are widely diffused throughout the northern, the eastern and the southeastern regions of Mindanao; such as the journey of the soul to another world, the importance of placing food for the soul to eat on the way, ^^^ the burial of rich clothes ^^^ and other possessions with the dead and, often, the desirability of forsaking a house in which there has been a death,

Names of demons, such as Busao, Tagamaling, Tigbanua, appear in other tribes, but sometimes with traits other than those that characterize these evil personalities among the Bagobo. The asuang^^^ of the Mandaya is clearly borrowed from the group of Visayan situated on the Pacific coast. The Mandayan Busao^ however, is not identical with the Bagobo Buso, for the former spirit is conceived to be a sort of intangible out-going from the good gods, Mansilatan and Badlao; it is believed that the bagani or brave men have the spirit of Busao given to them to make them strong and valiant. ^^^ Thus the Mandayan Busao is functionally identical with the Bagobo Mandarangan, who enters into the heads of brave men and fills them with a desire to shed blood. Padre Pastells states that the Mandaya had a Tagamaling, a being of gigantic stature ^^^ (thus differing from the Tagamaling of Bagobo myth).
Again, the name of Tagumbanua is mentioned as "a god of the fields" ^^^ among the Bukidnon; but, here, it seems highly probable that this spirit may be found to be identical with the Bagobo demon, for the missionaries may have been misled by the composition of the word.

In general, however, I think that we ought to be very hesitant about rejecting the records of the Religious in regard to the characteristics of the supernatural beings. Their notes on demons have a peculiar value on account of the sympathetic attitude of the priests when the natives brought to them accounts of supernatural visitations. Believing, as many of their letters show, that the spirits called busao, asuang, and so forth, were actual apparitions of the real devil of theology, they listened to the weird stories of the people in a spirit that encouraged confidence. *^^

'^^^ (y. P. Pastells: op. cit. Cartas, vol. 2, p. 142. 1879.

*««(?/. P. Pastells: ibid. Cartas, vol. 2, p. 143. 1879.

*"« {y. P. Pastells: ibid., Cartas, vol. 2, p. 138. 1879.

^^^ Ibid., p. 143.

"•^^ J. M. Clotet: loc. cit. Blair and Robertson: op. cit., vol. 43, p. 294. "Banua"^ means "the earth" in the sense of "the world," in Bagobo.

*• ^ * As the following passage and a number of others demonstrate, the missionaries


Certain of the religious beliefs that have been mentioned, such as the reverence for haunted trees, are widespread throughout the world and might easily have arisen independently in different Malay groups; but we find also such forms and customs as the sacrificial dance and the dress of the baganis that have a certain amount of complexity, and since they occur in neighboring groups they point, unmistakably, to contact and diffusion, for a completely independent growth of ritual phenomena so essentially alike is highly improbable. The chances for dissemination of religious culture from
island to island, and within each single island, must have been good at all times, especially where Malay people are concerned, who are both sea-farers and land-trampers.

The hypothesis of one cultural center in Mindanao from which ritual practices have radiated is not an impossible one, although at present there is not sufficient evidence to determine which of the tribes has ever been in a position to impose its mythical prepossessions on the rest. To determine such a center of radiation, it would be necessary to have access to records of the full ceremonial and the stories of each tribe — records which are not available. What we do know is that there must have been a general interaction among all of the ceremonial groups, and that borrowing of myths and of ceremonial details has undoubtedly been going on for a very long time, especially among groups that inter-
marry and that hold toward one another relations that are fairly friendly — such groups as the Bila-an, the Tagakaola, the Guianga and the Bagobo — though we do not know just how recently such friendly intercourse has come about. "We have, indeed, definite evidence from Spanish writers, as well as from the accounts

did not regard the stories of demons as mere fictions of the imagination. In the writings of Fray Casimiro Diaz, 1638 — 1640, we find an account of spiritual apparitions among the natives of Panay. "During the time when this apostolic minister Mentrida was preaching in the mountains of Ogton, there were visible apparitions of the devil, standing upon a rock and teaching superstitions and giving laws to a great number of Indians, who, deceived by him, followed him. Even at this day these hideous monsters are wont to appear to the Indians, some of whom remain in a demented condition for months from the mere sight of them; others go away with the demons, and are lost for a long time, and then will return in a terrified and fainting condition, few of them failing to die soon afterward. I would have much to tell and relate if I should stop to mention what has occurred with such monsters, who have been seen not only in the mountains of Ogton
and Panay, but very frequently in the province of Taal." Blair and Robertson: op. cit., vol. 29, pp. 269 — 270, 1905. See also, Aduaete: Historia. Op, cit., vol. 30, pp. 178—180. 1905.


of the natives themselves, that an attitude of hostility between many of the pagan peoples has been very common, and that along with this hostility has flourished the practice of slave-taking and the other accompaniments of intertribal warfare. Nevertheless, there is always much communication even between hostile tribes, with innumerable opportunities for the transmission of folklore and myth, particularly through the wide distribution of slaves.
Hostile or friendly, these mountain tribes of Mindanao must have borrowed much from one another. Yet, while the opportunities for the spreading of myth, either by direct grafting or through gradual dissemination, cannot be emphasized too strongly, there need not be excluded the hypothesis of a premigration development of the basal structure of that ceremonial which prevails throughout the mountains of Mindanao to-day; and the probability for such a common basis is the stronger in view of the similarity we find in groups separated by natural barriers difficult to cross. The question can be considered only in the light of ceremonial material from the other islands of the Philippines.

Turning from the wild tribes of the south to the now Christian races of the Visayas and of Luzon, we are at once confronted by the problem as to whether the pagan peoples of Mindanao form, in any sense, a cultural unit composed of similar ceremonial groups that show essential differences to the Filipino of three centuries ago.
What material do we find among Tagal and Visayan tribes to favor a hypothesis for such a religious isolation? So far from discovering ceremonial evidence that would corroborate this view, a comparison of the rites and beliefs of the Bagobo, say, as typical pagans of the south, with the rites and beliefs of the early Filipino shows a close parallel at almost every point.

Here in the north and in the west there is much more available material than in the south, for the Spaniard came into immediate contact with the Tagal, the Pintados, the Bikol, the Bokano and the other peoples that now compose the Christian population of the Islands; and, from the Relation of Pigafetta, ^^^ who was the chronicler of the Magellan voyage, in 1519 — 1522, down to the sketch by Jose Nunez ^^^ of vestigial superstitions among the Filipino in 1905,

' "First voyage round the world... 1519 — 1532. ms. ca. 1525. Blair and Robertson: op. cit., vol. 33; vol. 34, pp. 1—180. 1906.

"^'^ Op, cit., vol. 43, pp. 310—319. 1906.


records of great value on the religious customs of the natives have been made by missionaries, by explorers and by Spanish officials.
Many of these observations, especially on ceremonial rites, are fragmentary; many, isolated as single sentences in the midst of an ecclesiastical document, or in a discursive narrative of a voyage; many are tainted by religious bias; the majority are impressionistic and non-critical, yet they are priceless records, as being contemporaneous accounts of religious practices now almost completely vanished, simply and truthfully taken down without any attempt to present evidence for a pre-conceived ethnological theory, and as having been secured before the Filipino had been contaminated by intercourse with higher cultures. In some cases, we are able to check the observations of one writer by frequently repeated statements of other writers in not distant localities — all of which records leave us with the distinct impression that the Tagal and the Visayan of the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries worshiped and worked magic and sacrificed slaves in pretty much the same manner as the Bagobo do to-day.

The Tagal people used to set apart three days or four days annually, before the sowing, ^^^ for a solemn feast which, in ceremonial details as well as in fundamental character, closely resembled the Bagobo festival of Ginum. The large house of the chief was divided into definite compartments for the occasion, ^^"^ and during the four days of the feast it became the temple or ceremonial house, whither the entire baranguy, or group of relatives and dependants of the chief, came together for worship and for feasting; percussion instruments of various sizes were brought in and played on at intervals throughout the four festival days; torches of special types were put at set places in various parts of the ceremonial house;^^^ a sacrifice of a hog or of a cock was made, the animal being put to death after a peculiar dance had been executed around it, ^'^ and its flesh distributed to the people assembled ;^^^ the music of drums and bells accompanied the sacrifice;

"^^^ Of. Aduaete: "Historia, 1640/' Blair and Robertson: op. cit., vol. 30, p. 287. 1905.

'*^^ Cf Plasencia: "Relation of the worship of the Tagalogs, 1589," Blair and Robertson: op. cit., vol. 7, pp. 185 — 186. 1903.

'*^'' Loc. cit. pp. 185—186.

^^« Cf. Chirino: "Relacion . . . , 1601—1604." Op. cit., vol. 13, p. 270. 1904.

**» Of. ZMiga: The people of the Philippines," 1803. Op. cit., vol. 43. p. 125. 1906.


liturgical songs that had been passed down from generation to generation, and that narrated the achievements and the fabulous genealogies of tribal heroes and of divinities, were sung or chanted; ^'^^^ offerings of material things*^* had to be made by everybody who hoped to obtain the benefits of the sacrifice; priestesses acting under strong emotional stress gave oracles from gods who entered their bodies, though the term manganito was not confined to this phase alone of the religious functions for the entire celebration had the equivalent name naganito; ^^^ a special ceremonial liquor, ^^^ fermented from sugar cane and well-aged, was reserved for the festival, and finally the religious activities were followed by a big feast and drinking that closed the celebration.

The Pintados (Visayan) held a somewhat similar festival when they began to till their fields, ^^* and on special occasions, such as in sickness, before building and before going to war. At the Visayan festival, human victims seem to have been sacrificed ^^'^ much more frequently than among the Tagal, though the killing of slaves for the service of the dead was common everywhere. The Recollect priests mention the Visayan custom of having antiphonal chanting^^^ at their festivals, the alternation being between a number of men and a number of women.

Among the Filipino tribes in general, both men and women ^^^ officiated as priests, just as with the wild people now, and the altars at which the rites were performed could not have been very different from those which are found in use among the Bagobo and other pagan groups of the south. Offerings to the gods were laid in little houses, and these hut-shrines ^^^ were placed at the entrance

**" ^. BoBADiLLA.: Relation..." 1640. Blair and Robertson: vol. 29, pp. 282—283. 1905. See also "Early Recollect Missions." Op. cit., toI. 21, pp. 137-— 138. 1905.

'*^'- Cf. Chirino: "Relacion . . ." Op. cit., vol. 12, p. 270.

"22 Cf. Plasencia; "Relation...," 1589. Op. cit., vol 7, p. 186.

*2' Cf. Aduabte: "Historia . . . ,'' 1640. Op. cit., vol. 30, pp. 186, 243. 1905.

'*^'* Cf. M. DE Loarca: "Relacion de las Yslas Filipinas,'' 1582. Op. cit., vol. 5, p. 165. 1903. See also, "Early Recollect Missions," 1624. ,0p. cit., vol. 21, p. 203. 1905.

'^^^ Cf. A. DE Saavedba: "Voyage... 1527—1528.'' Op. cit., vol. 2, p. 42. 1903. See also, "Early Recollect Missions," 1624. Op. cit., vol. 21, p. 203, 1905.

Cf^ "Early Recollect Mission," 1624. Op. cit., vol. 21, p. 203. 1905.

"*' (y. D, Aduarte: "Historia . . . ," 1640. Op. cit., vol. 30; p. 243.

See also, "Legazpi expedition," 1564—1568. Op. cit., vol. 2, p. 139. 1903.

See also, "Early Recollect Missions," 1624. Op. cit., vol. 21, p. 203. 1905.

"=»« Cf. P. Chirino: "Relacion . . . ," 1601—1604. Op. c?7., vol. 12, p. 268. 1904. See also,


to the villages, or in retired places in the forest. The essential character of another kind of shrine was the white bowl or dish*-^ that must have been very widely used in ceremonial. Aduarte, the Bishop of Nueva Segovia, lays great stress on having destroyed a great amount of fine earthenware that had been consecrated to the uses of pagan worship, but was finally brought to the fathers by converted Tagal natives. In 1604 — 1605, Chirino speaks of the little plates that were used in making sacrifices at Tatai, near Manila. At the rites of the Yisayan, white china may have been in use at least four hundred years ago, for Pigafetta, in his account of the Magellan voyage, 1519 — 1521, describes a funeral ceremony at Cebu where fragrant gums were burned in the dishes. "There are many porcelain jars containing fire about the room, and myrrh, storax, and bezoin, which make a strong odor through the house, are put on the fire."^^

In Mindanao, the use of good crockery for sacred purposes by mountain tribes, whose own hand-made pottery is of the roughest sort, strikes the investigator as a remarkable phenomenon, especially when one notes how old and smoke begrimed the dishes are, and how different in shape from those which are now sold to natives in foreign shops at the coast. The earthenware in use at Bagobo altars is of a heavy quality, though always white; whereas Aduarte seems to have found fine porcelain used at Tagal shrines.'*''^'
The Filipino tribes of the north were the first, presumably, to acquire such dishes from Chinese traders, who came often with merchandise to the Islands. Later, the use of china bowls and saucers as receptacles for offerings at shrines may have been either transmitted by the Filipino to more southern tribes, or introduced directly by the Chinese at the coast of Mindanao. Such dishes would quickly have supplanted for ceremonial use the rough black ware or the cocoanut-shell bowl.

We find records that betel was offered at Filipino shrines, though it is not stated Avhether the areca-nuts were placed in the white bowls. Manufactured products, as has been noted, were also ceremonially presented to the gods.

Md., vol. 13, p. 72. 1904. See also D. Aduarte-. "Historia."' 1640. Op. cit., vol. 31, p. 155, 1905.

^^^ Op. cit., vol. 30, pp. 186, 243. See also, P. Chirino : loc. cit., p. 72.

'^^ Op. cit., vol. 34, pp. 173—175.

"'^ Op. cit., vol. 30, p. 243.


As for the places at which the informal ceremonial was conducted, anything like a permanent temple seems to have been rare. Morga *^^ and others state that every person organized his family worship in his own house. Little rooms especially dedicated to anito were found by Chirino, ^^^ and records of oratories in caves were brought to light by Rizal. ^^^

The term anito was in use among the Visayan as far back as the voyage of Saavedra, 1527 — 1528,^^^ and for how many centuries before that time, we do not know. We have already mentioned various interpretations of the word anito, as understood by the Tagal, the Visayan and the wild tribes. One interesting point in this connection is, that the care of the Bagobo to have all torches extinguished at manganito ^^^ is echoed in a note by a Recollect Father, who says that the Yisayan had a tabu against lighting fires when a priestess entered for official purposes. ^^^

Turning from the ceremonial to popular beliefs and customs, we find the names of a number of demons that are identical with those feared by the mountain tribes. The Patianak^^^ represented either the spirit of an unborn child, or of a woman who had died in childbirth, and consequently was conjured at the time of a woman's trial. Wood-demons identical with the Bagobo S'iring were believed to bewilder people in the woods and to leave them half dead. ^^^ The Tigbalag, or Tigabalang, ^^^ of the Filipino answers exactly to the Tigbanua of the Bagobo. The asuang is not found among the Tagal, but even to-day is dreaded by the Visayan, Catholic though he be, and, as has been shown, the asuang ^^^ is almost identical with the Bagobo buso. Sacred thickets ^^^ and single

"^^ Cf. "Sucesos," 1609. Blair and Robertson: op. eit., vol. 16, p. 132. 1904.

•^^^ Cf. "Relacion . . . ," 1604. Op. cii., vol. 12, p. 267. J 904.

*^'^ C/*. Rizal's note to Morga's "Sucesos", op. cit., vol. 16, p. 132.

•^^^ Cf. "Voyage of Alvaro de Saavedra.'' Op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 86—43. 1903.

*'^See pp. 195, 202 of this paper.

'*^'' Cf. "Early Recollect Missions," 1624. Blair and Robertson: op. cit., vol. 21, p. 207. 1905.

*'« Cf. J. M. DE ZunrGAi "The people of the Philippines." 1803. Op. cit., vol 48, pp. 125 — 126. 1906. See also T. Ortiz: "Superstitions and beliefs of the Filipinos,'' ca. 1731. Bid., vol. 48, p. 107. See also J. de Plasencia: "Customs of the Tagalogs," 1589. Ibid., vol. 7, p. 196. 1903.

"^^ Cf. D. Aduarte: "Historia . . . ," 1640. Op. ciL, vol. 30, p. 293. 1905.

'*'*'' Cf. J. M. DE ZUNIGA, loc. cit., p, 126.

'^ •• ^ See pp. 40, 42—43 of this paper.

>*^ Cf. -^ P. Chirino: "Relacion de las Islas Filipinas." 1604. Blair and Robertson:


trees were pointed out by all Filipino as objects appropriated by some divinity or by some demon, and the baliti held a unique place among other trees.

The omens regarded throughout Mindanao used to be of equal concern to the Tagal and Visayan : such as the cry of limokun; ^*^ the chance meeting with a lizard or a snake; ^^^ a sneeze at the beginning of an undertaking;^^'' the significance of an eclipse ^^^ of the moon, and so on through a long line of folk traditions. The crow ^^^ and certain other birds ^*^ were regarded by the Tagal as sacred. The place where lost articles were concealed ^^^ could be discovered by the bending of a flame in that direction. The constellations were referred to for setting dates. ^^*^ The ordeal Avas resorted to for proving guilt and innocence. *'^^ Vital parts of a slain man were eaten to secure qualities of strength and valor. ^^-^
The use of magical spells, *^^ the black art, the carrying about the person of small objects with which to harm a foe, the counteracting

op. cit.j vol, 13, p. 72. 1904. See also various references in "Early Recollect Missions/* 1624. Ibid., vol. 21. 1905. See also pp. 115 — 116 of this monograph.

"'^^ Cf. D. Aduarte: "Historia . . . /' 1640. Blaie and Robertson: op. cit., vol. SO, p. 287. 1905. See also "Early Recollect Missions," 1624. Ibid., vol. 21, p. 2C5. 1905.

'*'*'* Cf. J. DE Mendoza; "History of the great Kingdom of China," 1586. Oj). cit., vol. 6, p. 147. 1903. See also, P. Chirino: "Relacion . . ." 1604. Ibid., vol. 12, p. 267. 1904.

*'*^ Cf. P. CHiBmo, lac. cit. See also M. de Loarca: "Relacion . . , ," 1582. Op. cit., vol. 5, p. 165. See also D. Aduarte: "Historia . . ." 1640. Ibid., vol. 30, pp. 287—288. 1905.

'*'*^ Cf. T. Ortiz: "Superstitions and beliefs of the Filipinos." ca. 1731. Op. cit., vol. 43, p. 112. 1906.

'*'*'' Cf. P. Chirino: "Relacion " 1604. Op. cit., vol. 12, p. 265. 1904.

'*'*^ Cf. P. Chirino, loc. cit. See also "Early Recollect Missions," 1624. Op. cit., vol. 21, p. 138. 1905.

'*'*« Cf T. Ortiz: "Superstitions...," ca. 1731. Op. cit., vol. 43, p. 109. 1906.

'♦^'* Cf. M. DE Loarca: "Relacion . . . ," 1582. Op. cit., vol. 5, p. 165.

''^'- Cf. Z. RiZAL (note to Morga's "Sucesos.") Op, cit., vol. 16, p. 128. 1904.

"^"^ Cf A. PiGAPETTA: "First voyage round the world, 1519 — 1522." Op. cit., vol. 33, p. 243. 1906. See also, J. de Plasencia: "Customs of the Tagalogs," 1589. Ibid., vol. 7, p. 193. 1903.

'*^^ Cf. the following and many other references. M.de Loarca: "Relacion . . . ," 1589. Op. cit., vol. 5, p. 163. 1903.

L. DE Plasencia: "Customs of the Tagalogs,'' 1588—1591. Ibid., vol.7, p. 192. 1903.

P. Chirino: "Relacion..." 1604. Ibid., vol. 13, j). 81. 1904.

"Early Recollect Missions," 1624. Ibid., vol. 21, pp. 211, 314. 1905.

D. Aduarte: "Historia . . ." 1640. Ibid., vol. 30, pp. 179—180. 1905.

T. Ortiz: "Superstitions and beliefs...," ca. 1731. Ibid., voL 43, pp. 109—110, 1906.


of one spell with another — these are recorded of the Filipino everywhere, and survive among the Tagal, at least,
today; *^* but of course only the details of such magical arts would have any value in comparison, since magic is found the world over.

The accounts of Chirino, *^^ of Loarca, ^^^ of Aduarte ^^^ and others, show that both Tagal and Visayan buried the dead in the ground, either under the house or in the open field; that clothing, food and valuables were buried with the dead for their use in the lower world and in the journey thither; that slaves were regularly slain at the death of chiefs and of other distinguished individuals, or, more commonly, the slave was buried alive with the body of his master. ^^^ The soul was thought to go down below to a good place, ^^^ where a desirable existence without either reward or punishment ^^° could be expected. On memorial occasions, food in small bamboo boats was sent to the dead — apparently, in real miniature vessels that were actually let loose in the water. ^^^

We have no record of the details of religious ceremonies at marriage among the early Filipino, but social regulations in regard to marriage seem to have agreed, in many respects, with those that exist among the Bagobo: such as the generally prevailing monogamy, except in case of chiefs; regulations in regard to dowry or marriage price; conditions attached to the division or the return of property in case of divorce, the crucial point being that the one who initiates the separation, or is found at fault, is at a great disadvantage in the property settlement. ^^^ We are not here consid-

'*^'* Cf, J. NuflEZ: "Present beliefs and superstitions in Luzon." 1905. Blair and Robertson: op. ciL, vol. 43, pp. 310—319. 1905.

"^^ Op, cit., vol. 12, pp. 302—303. 1904.

"^^ 0^. cit., vol. 5, p. 135. 1903.

"^'0;?. cit., vol. 30, pp. 292—293. 1905.

"^^ Cf. D. Artieda; "Relation of tlie western islands...," 1573. Op. cit, vol. 3, p. 199. 1903. See also, Legaspi: Idid., vol. 2, p. 132. 1903. See also, J. M. de Zufiroa: "The people of the Philippines." 1803. Ibid., vol. 43, pp. 126—127. 1906. See also, J. DE Plasencia: "Customs of the Tagalogs," 1589. Idid., vol. 7, p. 195. 1903. For other references, see p. 189 of this paper,

** ^ * 0^. D. DE Artieda, loc. cit.

"^^ Of. J. M, DE ZulllGA, loc. cit.

•^^^ Cf. "Early Recollect Missions," 1624. Op. cit., vol. 21, p. 209. 1905.

'*^^ Cf.V. Chirino: "Relacion . . .'* 1604. Op. cit., vol. 12, pp. 293—296. 1904. "Early Recollect Missions," 1624. Ibid., vol. 21, p. 211. 1905. A. de Morga: "Sucesos . . ." 1609. Ibid., vol. 16, pp. 124—125. 1904. M. de Loarca: "Relacion . . ." 1582. Ibid., vol. 5, pp. 177—178. 1903. D. Aduarte; "Historia . . ." 1640. Ibid., vol. 30, p. 297. 1905.


ering social regulations, or ethical factors; but were such to be listed we should at once note that the blood-feud/^*^ the attitude of the community toward theft, ^^^ customs of rinsing the mouth, ^^^ of filing the teeth, ^^^ and so forth, are common to the Filipino and the Bagobo, and many such customs might be checked up.

The Filipino, too, had the equivalent of the bagani, for the Tagal man of valor was set off by special marks of distinction,
particularly in the w^earing of the red kerchief called potong^ the use of which was permitted to him only who had killed at least one man, special prowess, as well as chieftaincy, being indicated by the color of the cloth. Probably the word translated as "color" means shade or tint, a rendering that would bring this use into harmony with the prevailing custom in the south, where the number of men killed is indicated by the darker or lighter shade of the chocolate-colored tankulu. ^^^

In certain directions, however, the Filipino had developed his religion along lines distinct from those followed by the Bagobo.
Foremost in importance was the universal usage of making images *^^ of stone, wood, bone, gold, ivory and crocodile's teeth, and of setting up such images in shrines or in houses to serve as permanent idols which were afterward passed down by inheritance; whereas the Bagobo custom is to carve rough images from soft wood just as they are needed for each ceremonial occasion. Furthermore, these images do not parallel the idols of the Filipino, for those, as many documents show, were made in representation of the anito, and as such received homage, while the Bagobo figures have a purely magical function, and that a temporary one.

The custom of tattooing, *^^ which may have had a magico-reli-

463 ^ "Early Recollect Missions." Blair and Robertson: loc. cit., p. 208 — 209.

''^'^ Cf. D. Aduarte: "Historia . . ." 1640. Op. cit,, vol. 32, p. 200. 1905.

*«^ Cf. P. Chirino: "Relacion . . ." 1604. Op, cit., vol. 12, pp. 186—187. 1904.

•^^^ Of. P. Chirino, loc. cit., p. 187.

'*^'^ Cf, J. RiZAL, note to Morga's "Sneesos." Op, cit., vol. 16, p. 76. 1904. See also, D. Aduarte: "Historia . . ." 1640. Idid., vol.30, p. 296. 1905. See also, "Early Recollect Missions," 1624. Bid., vol. 21, p. 213. 1905.

*®® C/. the following passages.

A. Pigafetta: "Eirst voyage ... 1519— 1522." Op. cit., vol. 33, pp. 165, 167. 1906,

Mendoza: "History of ... China," 1583—1588. Ibid., vol. 6, p. 146. 1903.

P. Chirino: "Relacion . . ." 1604. Ibid., vol. 12, pp. 265—270; 272—275. 1904.

"Early Recollect Missions." 1624. Ibid., vol. 21, pp. 314-315, et cei. 1905.

"•* C/*. P. Chirino, loc. cit. vol. 13, pp. 205—206. D. Aduarte, loc. cit., vol. 30, p. 292; A. Morga, loc. cit., vol. 16, p. 72; Artieda, loc. cit., vol. 3, p. 200.


gious significance in all cases, as we know it to have had in the painting of certain figures, was so widespread a custom among the Yisayan that the Spaniards gave them the name of Pintados. In my work with the Bagobo, I saw only a few cases of tattooing, and they said that an Ubu (Ata) man, from a place in the far north, had done the work.

In many Filipino groups, there was a more distinctly devotional attitude toward the sun, the moon and the stars ^'^ than we find among the Bagobo, so far as is indicated by the attention given to certain constellations, to which they look for the setting of times and seasons, and to which they give offerings at certain times.
The Filipino is said to have paid worship to the sun, the moon and the stars, but the records are brief.

There seems, also, to have been a tendency toward some forms of ancestor worship among the early Filipino of a more distinct type than the mere placing of a few areca-nuts for the ghosts, with the intention of driving them away. It is possible that the stronger influence of the Chinese in the north may have been a factor in directing this tendency. It may be, however, that the impression gained by Spanish missionaries in regard to the extent of ancestor-worship throughout the Islands would have to be modified if all of the facts were at our disposal. One of the Recollect Fathers says of the inhabitants of the Visayas: "When they became sick, they invoked their ancestors to aid them, as we do the saints." ^^^ Now the custom of placing offerings at shrines in order to induce the dead to keep away from the living might easily lead astray an observer with a theological bent of mind. ^''^ In fact, the dividing line between ancestor-worship and magical spells intended to influence the dead is so hazy that perhaps it is hardly fair to name this custom as one peculiar to Filipino usage. A belief, perhaps unique^

"'^'^ Cf. Mendoza, loo. cit., vol. 6, p. 146; A. Morga, loc. cit., vol. 16, p. 131; Recollect Missions, loc. cit., vol. 21, pp. 138, 202, 314.

"^'^ Blair and Robertson: op. cit., vol. 21, p. 207. 1905.

*'*Warneck seems to use the term as the Spanish writers used it; for he finds ancestor-worship and soul-cults and fear of ghosts to be central elements in the religion of all Malay people. He says: "Die Religion der heidnischen Bewohner des Indischen Archipels zeigen im wesentlichen einen Typus, Mogea Zahl, Namen und My then der Gotter differieren, bei alien malaiischen Volkern ist der Ahnen- und Geisterdienst, auf- gebaut auf animistischeu Seelenvorstellungen, der gleiche; in alien ist Seelenkult und Geisterfurcht, das Zentrale der Religion." Joh. Warneck: Die Religion der Batak, p. 1,. 1909.


was found by Aduarte among the Tagal, to the effect that their departed ancestors would come to life again, and that they would look to find the people faithful to old religious customs.*'^

While methods of treating the sick show a general similarity, one peculiar custom seems to be local to Nueva Segovia — that of killing a young child and bathing the sick person in its blood, or of anointing the patient with the blood of a bird in place of the infant's blood. ^'*

The above points are noted as fairly representative of numerous religious customs and beliefs that doubtless could be cited as evidence of variation from that great body of tradition which probably dominated the entire archipelago in prehistoric times. In spite, however, of local differences and even of important peculiarities, there still remains the fact of the existence of a mass of ceremonial rites and magical usages common alike to Filipino and Bagobo, and perhaps to a great number of mountain tribes in the north and in the south. A range of ceremonies that reaches from central Luzon to southeastern Mindanao, through groups where transfusion of ideas would be an easy process, surely casts doubt upon any hypothesis of independent local development in single groups. The student is impelled to look for some common origin that may date back even to a pre-migration period, and to recognize, also, a development modified by a marked degree of dissemination within the Philippines of ritual forms and of religious practices. In this connection, Rizal's historical comments on the interrelations between the tribes in Spanish times are in point.

"This fundamental agreement of laws, and this general uniformity, prove that the mutual relations of the islands were widespread, and the bonds of friendship more frequent than were wars and quarrels. There may have existed a confederation, since we know from the first Spaniards that the chief of Manila was commander-in-chief of the sultan of Borneo. In addition, documents of the twelfth century that exist testify the same thing." ^^"^

In any attempt to trace the mythology and rites of these island tribes back to a common origin, we are at a profound disadvantage because of our great lack of native Filipino documents. Although

*'^ Cf. D. Aduarte: "Historia . . ." 1640. Blair and Robertson: op, cit., vol. 30, pp. 290, 292, 293. 1905.

'*'"' Cf, D. Aduarte: "Historia . . .'* 1640. Op, cit„ vol. 32, pp. 42—43, 55. 1905.

"'^ Blair and Robertson: op. cit., vol. 16, p. 121. 1904 (a note by Rizal to Morga's "Sucesos*').


the Tagal and Visayan were possessed of an alphabet, and were accustomed to writing with a point of metal on palm leaves and on the inner sheath of bamboo, they had preserved few, if any, written records of their mythology and ceremonial practices. ^^^ It was largely by oral tradition that each generation became acquainted with ancestral myths, and under the tremendous pressure of the new religion let down on them by Spain these oral traditions were slowly smothered. Origin myths disappeared; folk-stories vanished, and tribal narratives that might have thrown light on the historical development of the ceremonial passed out of existence. ^^"^ In reference to this unfortunate situation, Rizal says: "The ancient traditions made Sumatra the original home of the Filipino Indians.
These traditions, as well as the mythology and genealogies mentioned by the ancient historians, were entirely lost, thanks to the zeal of the Religious in rooting out every national pagan or idolatrous record. *'^^

The material before us indicates that the religion of the pre-Spanish Filipino and that of the present day Bagobo have more points of essential agreement than of difference, and may point to a common origin. From the Bagobo, we get no help in seeking for the source of the ceremonial, for according to Bagobo tradition both their own tribe and the neighboring tribes were aboriginal to Mindanao. Here, again, a comparative study alone may throw light upon the problem. Throughout the present discussion, various types of religious behavior among the Bagobo have found their
analogies in the peoples of the mainland on the other side of the south China sea, as shown by the accounts of Martin, Skeat and others. The geographical position of the Philippine Islands, as well as manifest resemblances in material culture between the Islands

*"* 6/". E. G. Bourne: Historical introduction to Blair and Eobertson: The Philippine Islands, vol. 1, p. 44, and footnotes from Spanish and French documents. 1903.

*'^ Since writing this paragraph, there has come to hand Beyer's "Origin Myths among the Mountain People of the Philippines," in which be calls attention to the discovery of ancient Filipino manuscripts in a cave in Negros. He says: "Until recent years, it has been believed that all ancient records written in the syllabic alphabets which the Filipinos possessed at the time of the Spanish conquest had been lost. It is now known, however, that two of these alphabets are still in use, to a limited extent, by the wild peoples of Palawan and Mindoro; and ancient manuscripts written in the old Bisaya alphabet have lately been discovered in a cave in the island of Negros. Many of these Negros manuscripts are written myths, and translations of them are shortly to be published." Philippine Jour. Sci., vol. 8, p. 35. April, 1913.

*^^An annotation by Rizal to A. Morga's "Sucesos." Op. cit.. vol. 16, p. 74. 1904.


and the peninsula of Malaysia, suggests a brief comparison of the religious elements in the two areas.

Certain constant factors in worship that appear pretty regularly in the religious system both of the Bagobo and of several peninsular tribes seem to indicate a relationship — that is to say, so far as those religious practices that are fixed below the veneer of Islam are concerned. In addition to the points that have already been noted in our treatment of Bagobo ceremonial and mythology, other similarities may now be considered.

Observances in sowing ^'^ and in reaping ^^^ and the magical spells employed to ensure the success of rice crops in Malacca, while forming a much more elaborate complex than the simple Bagobo ceremonies, carry the same spirit and offer a like plan in the general form. We may note, in particular, the following details: the necessity of planting rice in early morning ^^^ and at a set season of the year; the platform altar erected in the rice-field for offerings, ^^^ and the branches surrounding it for magical purposes; the gifts to the gods of textiles, rice, etc.,^^* at harvest; the ceremonial use of yellow rice stained w^th saffron ; ^^^ rules regarding exactness in posture, movements ^-^ and so forth. Of course, a Malay ceremonial in Malacca is so overlaid with Mohammedan ritual that the analogy is to be found rather in the whole animistic attitude toward rice culture than in identity of rites.
Perhaps the sacrifice of blood that Filipino tribes offered shortly before the sowing, or at the time of tilling the fields, finds its counterpart in the peninsular custom of sacrificing a goat^^^ to the earth hantu at the rice sowing season.

The ceremony of purification by w^ater, which plays such an important part in Bagobo ritual, is common among peninsular Malays, who have "annual bathing expeditions . . . which are supposed to purify the persons of the bathers and to protect them from evil." "^^^

"'^W. W. Skeat: Malay magic, pp. 218—223, 228—235. 1900.

'•^^ C/. ibid., pp. 235—249.

''^^ Cf. ibid., pp. 218.

'^^ Cf. ibid., p. 219.

"^^ or. ibid., p. 231.

"«'» C?/". ibid., p. 237.

'*^' Cf. ibid., p. 243,

•^ « « C/. ibid., p. 248 et seq.

'*^' Cf. ibid., pp, 232, 233—234.

"«« C/". ibid., p. 81.


Like the Bagobo, they resort to lustration in cases of sickness; at weddings the ceremony of bathing the bride and the bridegroom is present, and the essential ceremonial object in purification is a medicine-brush made up of a wide variety of magic plants by means of which rice-paste is applied to the candidate, ^^^ just as water is poured from the green sagmo bouquet in the Bagobo rite of Pamalugu at the river. At first sight, perhaps it might seem that lustration by water held no noteworthy place in Filipino rites, or some record of such custom would have been made by the missionaries; yet it is also true that purification ceremonies might not have come forcibly to the attention of the Fathers for the reason that ritual bathing, if it were like the same rite among wild people, would not have involved accessories of permanent value, such as religious zeal was hunting down for destruction. A bunch of magic twigs and leaves would hardly be brought to a priest, along with a white china dish.

That peculiar form of shrine called tambara that is used every- where by the Bagobo, and apparently was a frequent type of altar among some of the Filipino groups in their pagan days, consists of a slender rod of bamboo split at the upper end to hold a dish for offerings. A shrine of essentially the same type was found by Sir W. Maxwell at several krmnats in Perak, the shrines being formed by little stands made of bamboo rods, one end being "stuck in the ground and the other split into four or five, and then opened out and plaited with basket work so as to hold a little earth," on
which incense is burned. ^^^ From this account, it would appear that if the dish were ever an element of the shrine, it has now gone out of use. Small pieces of white cloth are used by the Perak Malays as votive offerings, just as white cotton textile is a favorite gift to Bagobo gods.

Regarding the nature of the soul, the Bagobo and the peninsular Malay, like primitive groups all over the world, fancy the soul of man to be a tenuous, unsubstantial image or phantom *^^ that separates itself from the human body in sleep, in trance and finally at death, and that functions during these absences like the physical body. The Malay notion, however, of the soul as a manikin, or

«. W. Skeat: Malay magic, pp. 77—80.

"«« Cf. ibid., p. 67.

"^^ Cf. ibid., pp. 47—50.


thumbling, is absent from Bagobo ideas, for they, on the contrary, identify the soul with the shadow cast by the body. Skeat says that the number of souls recognized by peninsular Malays is seven in each human body; while animal and material objects are supposed to have souls ^^^ — a belief common to all Malays. Like details in funeral customs may he noted: the arraying of the body in fine material;^^^ the observance of the wake; the measuring the depth of the grave on the body of the digger;^^^ the placing of the corpse with head toward the north; ^^^ a burial exhortation addressed to the deceased, to which he is supposed to listen with close attention; *^^ the funeral feast following the burial.

Popular folklore regarding sacred trees that are set apart as the abode of hantu ^^^ is practically the same in Malacca as through the Islands. Current beliefs concerning the nature of patianak {mati- anah) ; ^^^ the vampire {penangalan) that sucks the blood of children; the significance of omens drawn from earthquakes, from eclipses, from thunder, from lizards and snakes, ^^^ from the cries of certain pigeons, of night-owls and of other birds that suggest traditional associations ^^^ — these are but few of the great number of portents and popular traditions that differ little in the two areas that we are considering. We find also in Malaysia the use of the ordeal

by water, from which the thief is forced to emerge in proof of his guilt. ^01

Bagobo custom in the matter of boring the ears of children agrees with the peninsular Malays rather than with Sumatra, for the ears of Bagobo babies less than a year old are pierced. If it were ever a ceremony of adolescence, it is not now so regarded.
Concerning this matter, Skeat says : "The ear-boring ceremony (hertindeh) appears to have lost much of its ceremonial character in Selangor, where I was told that it is now usually performed when the child is quite small, i. e. ai the earliest, when the child is some 

'^ Cf, W, Skeat: Malay magic, p. 53.

^^^ Cf, ibid., pp. 397—398.

"«'* Cf. ibid., p. 405.

'^^'^ Cf. ibid., p. 401.

^«« Cf. ibid., pp. 406—408.

"«' Cf. ibid., pp. 203—217.

'^^^ Cf. ibid., pp. 320, 325—327.

'*^^ Cf. ibid., pp. 532—535.

.^«» Cf. ibid., p. 354.

:^«i Cf. ibid., pp. 542-544.


five or seven months old, and when it is about a year old at the latest, whereas in Sumatra (according to Marsden) it is not performed until the child is eight or nine."^^^ The filing of teeth in Malaysia is purely an adolescent ceremony, but the Bagobo boy under ten years old may often be seen with filed teeth. The discarding of ear-plugs by a girl at marriage is the custom in Malaysia, but it is not so in the Bagobo country, for I knew many married women who wore their ear-plugs.

Attention has been called, during the present discussion, to ceremonial and myth and religious customs throughout the East Indies — in Sumatra, in Nias, in Sarawak, in East Borneo, in Minahassa and elsewhere in Celebes — which correspond very closely with Bagobo ceremonial and myth and religious customs, or are even identical with them. ^^^ In particular, the pagan tribes of Sarawak have a ceremonial of peculiar interest for the present question.
Among the Berawan, slaves are killed at the death of a chief, and the sacrifice is made a group sacrifice, just as with the Bagobo, everyone present being allowed to give a spear-thrust to the un- fortunate victim. Certain ceremonial details that characterize the Bagobo Grinum, and which are not mentioned in the accounts of Filipino rites, are noted by Purness of the proceedings at the return of a Kenyah and Kayan war expedition. ^^^ Among these ritual details are the decorating of the ceremonial poles by shaving off the outer sheath into curled frills that extend down the entire length of the pole; the cooking of rice in bamboo joints by a steaming process, and the tabu on earthen pots for this ceremonial cooking; the substitution of the blood of a fowl for a newly-taken head; the placing of wooden effigies by the path near the festival house; the declaration of exploits by the warriors; the festival songs and the dances and feasting. All of these elements, and others that have previously been considered, give the impression of a celebration not at all unlike the Bagobo Ginum.

Were it possible to make a full comparative analysis of rites and myths that would be representative of the entire Malay area, it might be discovered that no single religious custom or belief is peculiar to the Bagobo. At present, there are many myths and a

^«* C/ ibid,, p. 359.

^""See pp. 33, 37, 45, 47, 64, 75, 90, 94, 96, 107, 113—114, 160, 161 of this paper.

^0* C/. W. H. FURNESS: The Home Life of Borneo Head-hunters, pp. 90—92. 1903.


number of ceremonial elements characteristic of Bagobo tradition and Bagobo worship that have not as yet been reported from other Malay peoples.

Perhaps the most striking of these characteristic elements is the treatment of the sugar cane liquor at the agong ceremony, and also on the last night of Ginum, during the rites before the balekat.
The old men stir the balabba with a green spray and dip out a few drops with a leaf spoon having a knotted handle. The officiating functionary offers the sacred liquor to the gods with these words:
"Do you take the first draught, and we will drink the rest.'' The part which balabba plays in the ceremonial suggests the cult of the soma in Indian rites, and the Iranian cult of the sacred haoma.
Many passages in the Vedas and in the Avestas contain allusions to ceremonies associated with the sacred liquor. ^^^'

Another feature of Bagobo worship that has a distinctly Indo-Iranian flavor is the use of a cluster of medicinal branches and leaves for the lavations at the river. Lines of frequent occurrence in the Vendidad refer to the bunches of sacred twigs bound up with a vegetal tie. This is the Baresma^ ^^^ which is one of the essential instruments in the purification of the body, at the offering of sacrifice and when reciting the prayers. This element of purification occurs also, as has been noted, in Peninsular rites; but there, too, it may have a non-Malay origin. Swettenham inclines to the opinion that seven hundred years ago the faith of Malaya was a form of Brahmanism, which had succeeded the original form of spirit worship. '^^~'

Other ceremonial elements which may, perhaps, hark back to an Aryan source are the attitude toward the creator of the world and of man; ^^'^ the importance of making the agricultural or blood-

^'^^ Cf. J. Darmesteter (tr.) "The Zend-Avesta: pt. 1, The Vendidad." The sacred books of the East, vol. 4, pp. 61, 74, 126, 169, 212, 289. 1895. Cf, also, P. Peterson (ed.): Hymns from the Rigveda, pp. 26, 46, 57, 119. 1888.

^""^ Cf. J. Darmestetek, (tr): op. cii., p. 22. (Editor's note): "The Baresma (now called barsom) is a bundle of sacred twigs which the priest holds in his hand while reciting the prayers." Cf also iHd., p. 215. "The priest shall cut off a twig of Baresma . . . The faithful one, holding it in his left hand, shall keep his eyes upon it without ceasing, whilst he is offering up to the Ahura Mazda ... the high and beautiful golden Haomas . . ." See also p. 150. "You shall wash your bodies three times, you shall wash your clothes three times . . . you shall bind up the bundles of Baresma, you shall bring libations to the good waters...'* See also pp. 214 — 215, 367 el cei,

^«^ (7/. Malay sketches, p. 192. 1903.

^"^ Cf. J. Darmesteter (tr.): op. cit.^ p. Ixiv.


less offering, as well as the bloody sacrifice ; ^^^ the virtue of the sacrifice for curing sickness and for securing material goods;^^'^ the cleansing and generative power of the waters;^^^ the celebration of a festival during the bright fortnight of the moon. These and other ritual aspects make one feel that the last word has not been said when all the single Malay characters in worship have been exactly compared and checked up.

Yet, after all, it is in hearing Bagobo songs recited and in listening to Bagobo romantic tales that one is conscious of a prevailing Hindu atmosphere. Without going too much into detail in the direction of the myths, since a careful analysis of episodes cannot be included within the limits of this discussion, there may be named a few constantly recurring elements: such as methods of magical manipulation; certain regularly appearing personalities; distinguishing marks of exalted individuals; the character of conventional incidents that are repeated so often as to form the woof of mythical situations — all these methods of literary treatment characterize Bagobo song and story as they characterized the Sagas of ancient India, though the respective settings are very different.
As illustrations of this characterization, we might name, particularly, the stress laid on the distinction of chaste men and of virtuous women, from whose bodies rays of light emanate, and on whose heads are halos inseparable from them;^^^ the auspicious marks on the bodies of semi-divine heroes;^^^ the essential coordination between rich apparel and a pure and lovely character;^^^ the disappearance of thirst and of hunger on attainment of the divine nature;^^^ the appearance of celestial women from trees in which are cities or palaces; ^^^ the growth to partial maturity at the moment of birth ;^^^ a magical covering of physical distance by flight through the air, ^^^ or in response to a mental suggestion; the summoning

^^^ Cf. S. Darmestetbr (tr.)i op. cit., p. Ixii.

50« (7/. ibid., p. 87.

51^ <y. ibid., pp, Ixxx, Ixxsi, 87, 232. Cf. also, R. T. H. Griffith (tr.): The hymns of the Atharva-Veda, vol. 1, pp. 37—38, 43—44.

^^^ Cf. SoMADEYA: The Katha sarit sagara; tr. by C. H. Tawney, vol. 1, pp. 121, 166, 415, 418; vol. 2, p. 246. 1880—1884.

^"-^ Cf. ibid., vol. 1. pp. 25—26, 189; vol. 2, p. 141.

^^"^ Cf. ibid., vol. 1, p. 333; vol. 2, p. 159.

^15 Cf. ibid., vol. 1, p. 36.

^^« Cf ibid., vol. 1, pp. 121, 229, 574; vol. 2, p. 150.

^^^ C/. ibid., vol. 1, pp. 119, 156.

«^« Cf. ibid., vol. 1, pp. 143, 278, 337, 328, 344, 346, 457, 494.


of another by a mere thinking of him, ^^^ and the accomplishing of great exploits by a simple wish; the importance of auspicious omens at the beginning of an enterprise; ^-^ metamorphosis into other shapes;^^^ the slaying of hundreds by one having magical endowment ^^^ and magic weapons; ^"^^ the averting of evil spirits by conjuring the four cardinal points; the role of the bewildering charm possessed by forest deities; ^'^^ the behavior of the flesh-eating demons called Edkshasa; the characteristics of rapacious birds that have lances for teeth and that prey upon man, and of demons that lose all power on the approach of day, being dazed by the sunlight. ^^^ One might extend such a list to great length.

This unmistakable Hindu tinge to Bagobo mythology seems to imply a rather intimate association with Indian myth at some time in Bagobo history, and suggests that the ancestors of the Bagobo received their mythical impressions through indirect transmission from Hindu religious teachers; and that, while clinging steadfastly to the simple spirit worship or demon worship that probably underlies all Malay religions, they came to borrow, to assimilate and to modify, until the complete fusion of Malay, Hindu and Buddhist elements gave a new religious complex that was not all Malay, and very far from being pure Indian in any phase.

Some of the elements just mentioned are obviously present, as well, in Filipino myth and tradition, and that we fail to find there such a deep impress of Indian influence as in Bagobo myth and tradition may be due, wholly, to the extremely fragmentary character of those vestiges of ancient religious practices which the Filipino now possesses, and to the scantiness of the mythology recorded by the missionaries. Diego de Bobadilla, writing in 1640, says: '^All the religion of those Indians is founded on tradition, and on a custom introduced by the devil himself, who formerly spoke to them by the mouth of their idols and of their priests. That tradition is preserved by the songs that they learn by heart in their childhood,

^'^ Of. Somadeva: op. eit., vol. 1, pp. 421, 436, 567.

^*« Cf. ibid., vol. 1, pp. 127, 283, 285, 465, 490; vol. 2, pp. 160, 162.

'^^ Cf. ibid., vol. 1, pp. 46, 179, 339, 525; vol. 2, p. 168.

^""^ Cf. ibid., vol. 1, pp. 84, 455, 456.

'^^ Cf. ibid., vol. 1, pp. 69, 503, 559; vol. 2, pp. 150, 164, 172, 527.

^^^ Cf ibid., vol. 1, pp. 337, 439; vol. 2, p. 150.

'^' Cf ibid., vol. 1, pp. 47, 60, 70, 167, 210, 263, 265, 338, 363—364, 572; vol. 2, p. 164.


by hearing them sung in their sailing, in their work, in their amusements, and in their festivals, and, better yet, when they bewail their dead. In those barbarous songs, they recount the fabulous genealogies and deeds of their gods . . ." ^^^ A record to a like effect was made by a Recollect Father in Zambales, on the west coast of Luzon. "Besides that adoration which they give to the devil, they revered several false gods — one, in especial, called hathala mey capal^ whose false genealogies and fabulous deeds they celebrated in certain tunes and verses like hymns. Their whole
religion was based on those songs, and they were passed on from generation to generation, and were sung in their feasts and most solemn assemblies." ^^^

The failure of the Filipino to preserve in written form their mythical epics and ceremonial recitations, coupled with the almost complete extermination of the songs and stories that had passed by word of mouth down through a great number of generations, '^^^ leaves us no means of drawing a comparison between the religious literature of the Tagal and that of the Bagobo. We do not know but that the vanished romantic myths of the Tagal, and of the Yisayan too, were characterized by the same literary quality as the ulit and the ogan^^'^ that are sung or recited by the mountain Bagobo of to-day.

If the wild tribes and the Filipino received the fundamentals common to them all from the Indian archipelago, with which area they share so many cultural traits, both material and religious, some infiltration of Hindu elements into their rites and myths would naturally be looked for, in view of the long occupancy of the southern Malay islands by people from the mainland of India.

The more or less mythical chronology of the Javanese dates the introduction of the Hindu religion into Java as far back as 149 A.D., or even earlier, since the first Indian prince is reputed to have
arrived at Java in the 75th year of our era. ^^^^ Crawfurd regards these dates as presumably fabulous, and suggests the sixth century as the earliest period to which, with any high degree of proba-

^^« Blair and Robertson: The Philippine Islands, vol. 29, p^), 282—283. 1905.

'^-^ Ibid., vol, 21, pp. 137—138. 1905.

^"^^ See, however, footnote 477, on the Negros manuscript.

^^^The ulit is an epic, or long mythical romance; while the ogan is a short song, often accompanied by the guitar.

^'« Cf, T. S. Rafeles: History of Java, vol. 2, p. 67. 1817.


bility, the introduction of Hinduism into Java can be referred. ^^*
He states, also, that western Sumatra was the first Malay insular region to be influenced by the religion of India. ^^^ Clifford has reached the conclusion that the Hindu settled both Java and Sumatra not later, probably, than the fourth century of our era. ^^^

However traditional the period of first occupancy, and however uncertain the dates given by native historians and the dates of the inscriptions on the monuments, there must have been a gradual extension of Indian influence for a very long time, and an enormous opportunity for the dissemination of Hindu myth and of ceremonial elements, even so far as those remoter parts of Java and Sumatra that are said to have remained in "a state of complete savagery." ^^^
For many ages, the dominant influence in the southern Malay islands was Hindu, for Mohammedanism was not established in the western part of the archipelago until 1320;^^^ while Java, where Hinduism had made the deepest impression, resisted the encroachments of Islam successfully until the fall of her last capital in 1478. ^^^
The period of Hindu rule in the Malay islands could not have been less than six centuries, and probably covered a period of more than ten hundred years. ^^~'

A number of scholars have put forth the theory that the Philippines, as well as the more southern islands, were anciently peopled by an Aryan stock — an argument based on the physical type of the mountain tribes, and on the fact that numerous Sanskrit words are found in various of the dialects of the Philippines. Another piece of evidence sometimes quoted to establish this hypothesis is a paper by the Chinese official, Chao Ju-Kua, who wrote, in the thirteenth century, of the finding of numerous copper statues of Buddha scattered in the forests of Luzon. ^^^

^^^ Of. A descriptive dictionary of the Indian Islands and adjacent countries, p. 185. 1856.

''^ Cf. ibid., p. 150.

^^^ Cf. ClifFord's article, "Malays."" Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11 ed., vol. 17, p. 475. 1911.

^^'^ Cf. K. G. Jayne: "The Malay archipelago." Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11 ed, vol. 17, p. 469. 1911.

^^^ Cf. J. Crawfued: History of the Indian archipelago, vol. 2, p. 221. 1820.

^""^ Ibid., vol. 2, p. 85.

^ ^ " Eaffles says that in the ninth century the records of the native historians begin to correspond in all essentials. Cf. History of Java, vol. 2, p. 64. 1817.

^^^ Cf. Chao Ju-Kua's "Description of the Philippines." (from his "Geography," ch. 40 ca. 1280.) Blair and Robertson: op. cit., vol. 34, p. 185. 1906.


This entire question, of course, is one that must be left to oriental scholars; but, whatever the final conclusion in regard to a hypothetical occupation of the Philippines by an Indonesian people, we are in no wise dependant upon this theory for an explanation of Indian elements in Bagobo myth, or for the presence of such elements in the religion of any other tribe in the Philippines. Even setting aside the possibility of premigration influences, there are records showing that a few centuries ago a much more intimate relation ^^^ held between the Philippines and the East Indies than has been the case since the Spanish occupation. More than that, if these interrelations had been much less close, there would still have been abundant opportunity for the diffusion of religious tradition and story, from the most southern of the Spice islands to Mindanao, to the Yisayas and to Luzon, so that we would surely look for a blending of Malay and Indian material in the customs and the ceremonies of these peoples of the Philippines.

Diffusion of myth and of ceremonial rites is a cultural phenomenon found occurring all over the world, throughout very extended areas, and, as Professor Boas has repeatedly pointed out, diffusion of any sort requires no large movements of peoples, but only such continuous transmission of cultural elements through the agency of individuals as may give opportunity for imitation, borrowing and permanent assimilation.

As for the Bagobo, whatever the time and manner of their emigration, they and the neighboring mountain tribes were in possession of Mindanao long before Islam dominated the southern coast, and the way was open for communication with the southern archipelago.
Their Malay heritage may easily have been enriched by increments from Hindu Buddhism, during the long centuries that the great Indian empire flourished in Java, in Sumatra and the adjacent islands.

The entire problem is an intricate one, and must remain open until further research work in the Philippines and among the wild tribes of the southern Malay islands shall have secured such detailed records of ceremonial and such full collections of songs, stories and folklore as to make possible an intensive study of this entire area. A few general conclusions, however, may be drawn from the material that has been presented in the preceding pages.

The religious culture of the Bagobo is essentially like that of

^*^ See footnote 473.


the entire Malay region, and in ceremonial usages, magic rites and folklore there is to be observed a marked resemblance to the ceremonial usages, the magic rites and the folklore of other pagan tribes in the Philippines, in the interior of the Malay Peninsula and on the islands of the Indian archipelago.

The close correspondence of Bagobo ceremonies and popular beliefs to those of many other mountain tribes in the Philippines, and to those of the Filipino in the times of pre-Spanish culture, points toward a common origin in the fundamentals of religion, and also to a very wide diffusion of religio-cultural elements through a long period of time. Both the complex character of certain ceremonial factors, and a geographical situation that would lend itself to ease of diffusion, negative the hypothesis of parallel development, as well as that of convergence. ^^'^

Many Bagobo rites and myths answer, very closely, to corresponding rites and myths in Celebes, East Borneo, Sarawak, Sumatra and Mas. In particular, the higher ceremonial of the Bagobo, on its sacrificial side, finds its counterpart in the ceremonial of several tribes of Borneo.

There are still some peculiarities in ritual details and in a number of other forms of religious response among the Bagobo that, with our present knowledge, seem distinctive to this tribe and would indicate a considerable degree of local variation that has proceeded independently of the continuous transmission of cultural elements from without. Only after we become acquainted with the detailed ceremonial of the various groups concerned in our discussion, shall we be able to pick out what is peculiar to one group and what is common to all.

Several ceremonial factors offer a strong presumption of derivation from Hindu sources; while in the mythical romances or epics, that are recited by the Bagobo, there appears a literary quality suggestive of an appreciable Indo-Iranian infusion.

The influence of the Chinese seems to have been less apparent on the Bagobo than on the northern tribes, although the white dishes in use at shrines are referable to the Chinese.

Contact with the Moro has given mythical episodes, perhaps.

^'*^ Cf. Dr. Goldenweiser's discussion of parallelism and convergence in his "The Principle of Limited Possibilities in the Development of Culture." Jour. Am. Polk-Lore; vol. 26, pp. 359—290. ]913.


which have been incorporated into Bagobo tales, while a few beliefs and magical practices may be referable to More influence; but, considering that this contact has lasted for three or four centuries and has had a decided effect on the material culture of the Bagobo, it is remarkable that there has been no weakening of the ancient faith, and no concession to Islam. ^^*

Spanish Catholicism had no effect at all upon the mountain Bagobo, and at the coast the ancient faith of the Bagobo has undergone but a superficial disturbance, while ceremonial observances have remained fairly intact.

Bagobo Ceremonial Magic and Myth

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