Laura Watson Benedict

Part III. Every-day Forms of Religious Response


The concept of anito is somewhat variable throughout the Islands, and hardly any two writers agree exactly as to the content of the word. Among the Tagalog, nature deities of the mountains, the plains and the sea, as well as the small images that impersonated them, were called anito '^ the spirits of dead ancestors, also, were placed among the anito. ^^^ Rizal explains that, "It appears that the natives called anito a tutelary genius, either of the family or extraneous to it. Now, with their new religious ideas, the Tagals apply the term anito to any superstition, false worship, idol, etc."^^^ Mendoza wrote, in 1588, that in Luzon small images were called manginitos^ and a great feast was held for them. ^^^
Visayan tribes, according to Morga, applied the name anito to their idols of demons, and we find elsewhere that they used such images for conjuring away sickness. ^^° Jenks says that the Igorot give the name of anito to all spirits of the dead. ^^^

The material gathered by me from the Bagobo does not give the impression that the word anito is associated with demons or with ghosts of ancestors, unless it be secondarily. With the Bagobo, the anito are those gods that are in the habit of coming into direct communication with man by means of a medium, through whose lips they speak oracles, ask and answer questions and give advice.
The deities who speak in this manner to man are those who are closely related to his interests, and who hold a friendly attitude

307  Colin: "Native races and their customs." Blair and Robertson: op cit. vol. 40, pp. 72—73. 1906.

^•'^ Blair and Robertson.- op. cit.^ vol. 16, p. 131 footnote. 1904,

^«« C/: ibid,, vol. 6, p. 146. 1903.

^*.« Cf. ibid., vol. 16, p. 131, aad vol. 21, p. 207. 1905.

^^^ Cf. "The Bontoc Igorot."' P. I. Department of the Interior. Ethnological Survey Publications, vol. 1, pp. 71, 196. 1905.


toward him, while some of them are addressed as anito even in the devotions at out-of-door shrines at times other than those of the regular seances. I have never heard of an utterance coming from a dead ancestor or from any other ghost at these night meetings, though at present I would not go so far as to state definitely that a ghost might not function as anito.

Another class of spirits that speak to the people on these occasions are the spirits of diseases, such as epidemics, malaria and other forms of disease which attack large numbers of people and are thought to travel from place to place. Sicknesses of individual Bagobo also are appealed to and give answers at the seances.
These disease-spirits, often called buso^ are the only personalities of the nature of demons that come to the night meetings^ for such dreaded fiends as tigbanua never speak as anito. Furthermore, the highest diwata who are remote from man's interests do not appear to function as anito.

The words and songs uttered under the influence of the anito are called collectively manganito^ a term which is applied also to the meeting itself. The occasions for calling manganito are various: the time of a religious festival; before a journey to a distant place; on putting up a new house; when sickness attacks a whole community or an individual, and in general when anything unusual occurs, like an earthquake, ^^-^ or when some new undertaking is in progress. During the nineteen days covering the preparation for the Ginum at Talun and its celebration, there were at least seven or eight anito meetings. These gatherings are to be distinguished sharply from a spiritualistic seance, since, as we have said, there seems to be no attempt to get into communication with the spirits of the dead.

In every village, there is usually one person who is said to ''have anito," and in a large rancheria^^^ there may be two or three individuals who are able to act as mediums. An old Avoman customarily takes this part, but sometimes a young man or an older man officiates as medium.

At Talun, the medium was Singan, one of Oleng's Avives. She was a middle-aged woman ; in physique, frail and anaemic ; in manner, timid and shrinking. She gave the general impression of extreme

308 See p. 202.

^^^ A name given by the Spaniards to the small hamlets of the pagan tribes.


mental susceptibility and of unstable equilibrium that would invite the slipping off into a trance or an ecstasy; yet, outside of the manganito, I never saw her show any sign of emotional excitement. Much of the time she kept by herself; she rarely spoke; for an hour or two before the meetings, one might see her crouching alone in some dusky corner where, in her mental isolation from the rest, she was dreaming and meditating.

Another person acts as leader of the manganito meetings, in the capacity of receiving directly the divine instructions and of seeing that they are followed out. She answers the anito's questions, and stimulates the medium when her utterances begin to lag. At Talun this official was always Oleng's sister, Miyanda, a woman of dominating personality, with a sonorous voice and persuasively kind intonations.
It was she who gave the order for the torches to be extinguished, as the room must be profoundly dark for the visitation of the anito.
If a mere flicker of flame starts up from the embers of the hearth, somebody runs to put it out.

The time may be any hour of night, after the evening meal has been eaten, this last and most substantial meal of the day being served at about nine o'clock. The place may be any Bagobo home, but preferably the house of the datu or the Long House. All of the night meetings that I attended in Talun were held in the Long House.

On account of the deep darkness, the facial expression of Singan and her exact posture could not be observed; but she would either sit on the floor, or squat on her feet in the customary Malay manner.
"When the possession began to come upon her, she grew cold and shivered, whereupon she Avould give a shout, followed by a series of harsh velar sounds, such as, "Goh! gusson! ugh!" Grradually, then, she would swing into a slow chant or an intoning of words that she felt herself inspired to utter. Brokenly and with great difficulty the divine messages came at first, but soon a clearer tone, a more sustained utterance and a greater confidence became apparent
in her delivery of the oracle. Between the songs, the priestess talked along, with intervals of gasping, of dry coughing and clearins: of her throat. One means of emotional discharge to which she frequently gave vent was a violent expulsion of air through the lips, in sharp, labial surds — "Upti!" — and semi-vowels thrown out explosively — "Huwca!" When the utterances lagged, Miyanda was always ready with an encouraging word, "L^na!" — a coaxing


ejaculation made use of by Bagobo, either to draw forth a tale from a story-teller, or to stimulate an oracle.

The first manganito at which I was present during my stay in Talun occurred on the night of August 1. Miyanda, as usual, was the leader, prompting, encouraging, suggesting or assenting to the messages of the gods. A favorite answer of hers was ^Katig'^ (We know that; that's so) given in a tone of genial assent. The chanting of Singan was, for the most part, on two notes, one interval apart (DDCC), uttered with a uniform quantity, but occasionally this intoning was varied by a melodious tune on four notes.

When the two leaf-wrapped resin torches, wedged in the notched ends of crooked branches, had been extinguished, the Malaki t'Olu k'Waig was the first of the anito to speak through Singan's mouth. He said: "When the thunder-claps are heard, that is the Malaki t'Olu k'Waig calling out in loud voice; and when the rain falls the Malaki's little sister is crying, and her tears drop down in showers."

After this, the Malaki instructed Miyanda in a method of cure for her son-in-law, Malik, who had been attacked by the "Sickness that goes round the world." The remedy consisted in the offering of betel, and in the observance of a certain tabu. Miyanda was told to cut one areca-nut into two times nine pieces, and likewise to cut one betel leaf into two times nine pieces, and having laid the areca on the betel to place it in the way where people walk.
Moreover, Malik was forbidden to enter any other house for three nights, and forbidden to eat any betel. After the third night, Malik was to cut two times eight sections of the twisted fiber called tikus^ or else to carve a little Avooden figure in form of a man and lay it in the path leading toward the trail to the coast. This method, the Malaki said, would cure Malik's sickness.

Up to this point, the priestess had conveyed the utterances of the god with quiet gravity, her speech or her song being interrupted only when there broke from her a gasp, a sob, a shout, or a chant on a higher key. Now, however, she began to give little shrill laughs — "He! he!" The anito of the "Sickness that goes round the world" had entered into the priestess, and was deriding the Bagobo. This anito is a female and she said: "I am the sickness of Malik; I am traveling round the world to make the people sick, and it is I that gives them chills and coughs." This speech was followed by a taunting laugh — "Hu! hu! hu!" and "Ha! ha!


ha!" — a harsh, mocking laugh, repeated several times in hoarse tones. The laughter ceased, and the priestess struggled through a hard coughing spell, after which was silence, while all the people in the Long House waited eagerly for the announcement of the next anito.

Presently Singan uttered a low-voiced shout, and chanted in tremulous tones, "Malaki t'Olu k'Waig." The Malaki said, addressing Miyanda, "The woman that brings sickness lives in the center of the earth, where there is a large, deep hole." Then Miyanda replied to the Anito, "You, Malaki, must keep us all the time from sickness."

Soon after this, another anito spoke as follows: "I am the spirit of the Senora, and I love {ginawa) the Bagobo."

At this, the Malaki t'Olu k'Waig took up the same theme and said, "Do not be afraid of that lady because of ka lamhimgan (difference in rank), for she is kind to us and we are friends of hers."

When the Malaki had left off speaking, another anito made himself heard. It was Abog, the big-bellied one who lives with his many dogs on a little island, ^^^ and he said: "You have no pig to eat, because when you hunted your dog did not hold and bite the pig. Now give me some arrows, and I, in return, will help you catch a pig; but if you do succeed in spearing a pig, do not sell any of the meat, to any people to carry home. ^^^ Do not let them buy, unless they eat the pig-meat here in this house."

Singan's voice was failing, for she had been under the strain for some time and had grown very tired. Her chants were broken by labored breathing, by grunts, "Hm! hm! hm!" and by ejaculations that were almost moans. Almost incessantly now she had to be stimulated by encouraging little interpolations from Miyanda.
The priestess struggled to bring out her words between coughing and choking — "Ohiib! ohiib!" — a pause, a groan; at last, slowly and faintly she enunciated the name "Malaki t'Olu k'Waig." Her voice died away, and she sank into the sleep of sheer exhaustion.

The second interview with the anito, in connection with the preparation for the Grinum at Talun, occurred on the night of
August 6. After the torches had been extinguished, the priestess

^ ^ * The small island of Saraal, in the gulf of Davao, is Abog's reputed home.
^^^ In reference to a ceremonial tabu which permits nothing used in connection with the Ginum to be carried out of the Long House until the close of the celebration.


began to exhibit the usual signs of possession, — gasping, groaning and laughing, — after which behavior she personated various deities by chanting and talking, as at the preceding visitation. The time covered from the first sign of emotional disturbance in the woman until the close of her oracles was very nearly two hours.

The Tolus ka Talegit spoke first, a female deity who understands weaving and all the work of the women, and who is the
"All-knowing One of the medicine for the loom." She said, "The Senora came from a long way off. She has come to see the Bagobo people, and she wants to know all the Bagobo customs."

Next, the Malaki t'Olu k'Waig gave an utterance in regard to Malik, who, it came out, had broken his tabu, the oracle being addressed to Malik's mother-in-law, Miyanda. The Malaki said: "Malik does not respect me, because he has spoken to some man during the eight days that he was forbidden, at manganito, to speak to anybody. ISTow, I am not angry with him, but he must give me eight pieces of betel -leaf, or eight pieces of areca-nut." Then Malik made answer to the Malaki: "We have no betel, but I will give you, as an awas, '^^^ some little bells or a brass armlet or some brass wire."

The Malaki t'Olu k'Waig then spoke of the coming festival and asked Oleng, "In how many days will the Grinum be?" Then Oleng answered: "We will have the Ginum when the moon is in the west. IS'Tow tell me what sickness this is in my body." In reply, the Malaki said: "It is the woman who lives in the middle of the sky who makes you sick. The reason she brings you sickness is because you have left off the old Bagobo custom of killing a man before you set up the bamboos and performed the patanan." ^^^

At this Oleng exclaimed: "Yes, we used to do that way, but now things are different; we cannot now do the same way we did before." The Malaki answered insistently: "It was Bagobo custom to kill somebody before the Ginum, and then to get the young sprays of areca-palm and the baris^ and to carry them into the house where the Ginum was celebrated. Then you would stand up the two bamboos in the house, and you would sing the war-song and chant the gindaya and perform the patanan over the bamboos." ^^"^

' ^ ^ Awas is here used in its primary significance, as a gift to a god.

^ * ' Recitation of exploits by the old men, while they are holding the bamboo.

^'« See p. 162, footnote.


There was some further talk between Oleng and the anito about the old customs and the present ones that I was not able to record.

After this, the All-knowing One of the Bamboos made his demands:
"If you do not hasten the celebration of Ginum, you will soon be attacked by sickness, because I will send the sickness. I will send the sickness if you do not make patanan quickly, just as is the custom of the Bagobo every year when they have the Grinum." "But you must keep us from sickness;" returned Oleng; "we want you to take all the diseases to the home of the Malaki t'Olu k'Waig, so that he may kill them."

Next spoke the Tolus ka Balekat, who is god of the high altar and to whom much of the ceremonial of Ginum is addressed, saying:
"In how many days will the Ginum be given? If you do not get ready quickly for the Ginum, the Tagaruso will come, or the Balinsugu."^^^

Then, changing the topic, the Tolus made a statement touching the offerings due to himself, as follows: "The Senora came from a long distance, and she wants to buy all the Bagobo things so that she may have everything that the Bagobo manufacture. Now, I do not want to have the Bagobo things sold, for I wish the spirit of the objects to pass into my pangolan^^^^ therefore hold back your possessions, and sell only a few things to the Senora, just so that she will not be offended." To this, Miyanda assented with a single word, "Sadunggo," (All right, certainly).

Then the anito of the "Disease that goes round the world" said:

"What strange woman is here?" Miyanda replied: "She is a bia^^^ who lives in the root of the sky." Then the Disease asked:

"Can I make the Bia sick?" "Oh no!" rejoined the old woman, "you cannot make her sick, because she is not of our blood."

The last of the anito who spoke that night was Abog, a god who controls success in the hunt. Malik put this question to Abog:
"Will you give us a pig to-morrow, if Iluk goes to hunt?" "Yes," replied Abog, "provided you make me a gift of some arrows with good steel points."

On the night of August 8, Miyanda summoned the Malaki t'Olu k'Waig, as soon as the lights had been put out — perhaps between

' ' * Demons that bring the spirit of unrest and tamult to a festival. See pp. 29, 36 — 37, 107.

^ * "^ A bracelet of solid shell, made from a cross-section.

^^^ Bia means "lady/' Cf. Jour. Am. Folk-lore, vol. 26, pp. 14, 30, 36. 1913.


ten and eleven o'clock. The priestess sang in sharp staccato style on two notes (CDC v^ - ^ short, long, short) in a manner totally different from her customary monotonous intoning. She poured forth her words fluently, needing little of the usual prompting and encouragement from Miyanda. The subject matter concerned myself and my efforts to become acquainted with the various processes of Bagobo handiwork — the twisting of leglets, the tying of patterns in cloth, the dyeing of hemp, and so forth. Frequently Miyanda would exclaim, "Katig kanun," (She knows that, she has learned that). The next morning Singan told me that all the Bagobo were very sorry that I was not going to stay with them; that Malaki t'Olu k'Waig favored the Americans; that when I went away they would sell their things to me; that if I would put upon the balekat some bells or a halmutimg ^-- or some white cloth, I would find it easy to buy the Bagobo things I might wish for.
These friendly approaches followed a question of mine as to what she had said in the seance of the previous night. Fumbling her feet and smiling in a timid uncertain fashion, she asked me whether I loved the Malaki t'Olu k'Waig, and on my replying in the affirmative she looked pleased and repeated that I was to put on the balekat a few little bells or a balinutung.

Soon after we had lain down to sleep on the night of August 9, Singan began to cough and to gasp; and soon, with ejaculatory speeches and chants, she entered into her character of medium for a brief seance, covering perhaps twenty minutes.

First, the Malaki t'Olu k'AVaig spoke as follows, referring to the girls who had been pounding rice until late that evening: "I hear many women pounding rice, and I am asking when the Glinum will be held.
Now I tell you women that since you have begun the binayu ^-^ you must keep it up, and pound rice all the time until the Ginum opens."

Next the Tolus ka Balekat gave a warning to Oleng in the following words: ''You must take care of your body because you are getting old, and by and by when you grow very weak, you will die quick." Replying, the old datu said: "I want you to keep me from sickness all the time, but tell me what kind of sickness will hurt me." The Tolus ka Balekat answered: "Your sickness comes from the root of the sky, from the horizon."

201 closed armlet or leglet, cast in brass or agong-metal from a wax mold.

**^ The pounding of rice in the mortar.


Following this oracle, a message came from a female deity of the women — the Tolus ka Talegit — who said: "Before long, the Tagaruso and the Tagamaling ^^^ will come into your house; but in order to keep them off you must tell her that she will have to put a linimut balinutung^^^ on the hanging altar, ^^^ because this is her first visit here."

Singan ceased speaking and came out of her trance. A little later, when Oleng complained of feeling cold, she went to the hearth, stirred up the fire and gave him some food or drink. Then Oleng, Singan and Oleng's daughter, Maying, talked together in low tones for a few minutes, while gathered round the fire. After this short consultation, Maying went to the other young women, all of whom were now sound asleep, and spoke gently to each of them. "With great difficulty she awakened them, one by one, and then went to the big mortar near the hearth and began to pound rice by herself. Presently, other women got up and went to help her.
Through the rest of that night and all of the next day and through the following night, they pounded continuously, working by relays.
The sound of the pestle in the mortar never ceased for thirty-six or forty hours. It was the eleventh of the month when they finished pounding; that is to say, three days before the beginning of Ginum. The anito had told them not to stop pounding until the opening of the festival, but it is possible that some further message curtailing the time may have come from the gods, since, on the night of the tenth, the old people ^^^ slept at Oleng's house.
The rest of us were sleeping in the Long House, and it is not possible to state whether on that night a manganito occurred or not.

On the night' of the eleventh, there were a few brief communications from the divine beings. Bualan was told that his wife had given birth to a child since he had left home to come to Talun, and that the child was a boy.

'^''See pp. 35—36, 38, 110.

^**Two general types of metal rings, whether worn on arms or legs, are carefully distinguished by the Bagobo:
(a) pankis, or halinutung gutang, which is made of a section of heavy brass wire rounded by pressure into a circlet that is not quite closed for the two ends are never soldered, a very narrow space being left between them; (b) halinutung linimut, a leglet or armlet much more higly valued than the other, for it is cast from a wax mold in brass or bell-metal and forms a complete circle. The "her," I was told> referred to myself.

^ » « The balehit.

' * ' That is, Oleng, Singan and Miyanda.


Oleng consulted the Tolus ka Balekat in regard to his own extreme feebleness and lack of appetite. "Why have I no hunger for my food?" asked the old man. "It is the karokimg ^'^'^ sickness," replied the god, "and it comes to you from that old woman who lives at the mouth of the river." Then Oleng begged the anito to take away his sickness and carry it to the Malaki t'Olu k'Waig, who would surely kill it.

On the sixteenth, about the middle of the night, the anito came again, on which occasion there were some chants and recitations of which I have no record.

On the Third Night of the Ginum, August 17, early in the evening, while we were all chatting and playing games, there came a call for the torches to be extinguished. The occurrence of the earthquake that afternoon with the consequent breaking off of the ceremonies was one of those happenings which made the summoning of anito very necessary. I am able to give only the substance of the interview.

There was discussion about the earthquake and its relation to the time of the ceremonies, the Malaki t'Olu k'Waig being the god consulted.

The Malaki said that Kaba ought to find a wife for his son, Tungkaling.

The Malaki stated, further, that a disease called gimusu^'^'^ was in the mountains and would undoubtedly reach Talun.

A female deity, the Tolus ka Balekayo (All-knowing One of the small bamboo), made known her wishes concerning the presence of foreigners at the Ginum. She remarked that she objected to having Americans come to the Bagobo festival; but several people in the room exclaimed, with one voice, that if they did not let the Senora come to the Ginum it would be bad for the Bagobo. "Well then," amended the anito, "the Senora must give a white chicken to Singan, and I will give one to the Senora because she underwent pamalugu in the river this morning."

On the following night, August 18, there was a manganito meeting which had a particular interest for Saliman, a nephew of

Attacks, probably of a malarial nature, characterized by fever, chills, cough and other accompanying symptoms, are usually called by the Bagobo karokung-. but the white woman with long black hair who lives in the river, and is held responsible for the sickness, is not ordinarily called an "old" person. See p. 226.

* * • A serious skin disease. See p. 227.


Oleng's, a young man gifted with unusual beauty, grace in dancing and charm of manner. When he arrived at Talun, he was just convalescing from a terrible illness, brought on by eating some poisonous substance that had been given him at Bansalan. ^^^ He had presumed too far upon his social charms while visiting in the homes of the sturdy and self-willed mountain girls, and they had determined to punish him in their own way. As soon as Singan had slipped into her trance, the anito of Saliman's malady came and said to him: "This is a woman sickness. Do you know me? I am the Sickness that makes you so skinny. Your lip is pale and dry, and I caused that too, at the time when the women at Bansalan gave you medicine in your betel, so as to make you very sick." On hearing this, Saliman called on the Malaki t'Olu k'Waig
saying: "You must take care of us, Malaki t'Olu k'Waig, and send the sickness to your own town. Do not let the diseases go out from there."

Then one of the anito gave instructions as to the proper remedies for Saliman, as follows: "You take iili-uli and other good weeds, rub them on your joints, and repeat at the same time these words, 'Go back, Sickness, to your own body.'" ^^^

Then Miyanda put some question in regard to gifts for the bamboo prayer-stand, and one of the anito said in reply: "The Senora must give a string of beads to put in the tambara, and I, in return, will give her one balintitung, because she is the first American lady that ever came here. If she fails to put beads in the tambara, she will be attacked, after a while, by sickness."


In the spiritual environment of the Bagobo, one seems aware of a somewhat exact apportionment of magical potentiality, rather than of a universal magical influence pervading the whole world. "When some phenomenon out of the ordinary or one hard to explain is observed, it is called by one of several names, each of which implies what we would call magic ; but each of these names has a particular meaning of its own that does not lend itself to the idea

^ ^ " A Bagobo village not far from Mati. It was reported at Mati that the Bansalan girls whom Saliman attempted to approach had put into his betel, when they prepared it for him, a ''medicine" that would kill a man.

^ ^ ^ The "body" of the sickness was the drug that the girls had given Saliman.


of an all-pervasive magical power; rather the person or the thing has its own individual potency. Furthermore, there is no general term, so far as I have observed, in use among the Bagobo that would correspond to the kramat of the Straits Settlement, or to kamana of Madagascar, or to mana ^^'-^ of Melanesia — each of which words usually has a connotation of some undefinable quality, or condition, or force transfused throughout nature.

A Bagobo calls a hero of romance who is wonder working and invulnerable matoUis\ a ceremony that is performed to produce magical effects is alat'^ a single object that acts as a potent charm is akmg. Each of these terms is too highly particularized to be held as an equivalent of the words above cited from other peoples of not far-removed areas. Another term, haivi^ which is in constant use among the Bagobo, has a wide range, for though regularly applied to a healing drug it is sometimes synonymous with alang^ a charm; and, again, bawi means something that is an antidote for the breaking of a tabu. Invariably, however, bawi refers to a certain material object, or else to a ritual act. You can never say of a person, "He has bawi," as the Melanesians say, "He has mana."
You can say that a person "has anito;" but anito in this sense is a word limited to a certain form of spiritual possession.

As for the words alat and alang^ there is not a sharp line of demarcation betw^een them, but, in general, alat is used to denote a magical method or a religious rite, while a charm-object is called alang, A potent medicine tied up in a rag is alang; a lighted torch is alang, while the ceremony of lustration for bride and groom is alat, and the rite of setting up the family shrine is also said to be alat. Yet the line separating these terms is not always so distinct as in the cases just quoted, for there is a special substance carried to charm away snakes to which the term alat is applied.

It is worthy of note that every sickness, every bit of ill luck, and (one might almost say) practically every transgression, carries with it a medicine that draws out the poison of the situation and puts things right again. There was once an old spear of a partic-

*** It is true that Codrington's exposition of mana sugajests a magic force personally wielded, rather than a universal force (as I have heard Dr. Goldenweiser happily epitomize the discussion); but among the Bagobo this conception would be associated only with the quality of being mafolus, and this characteristic is limited to gods and remarkable men. It might be transmitted to a hero's sword, possibly, but not to stones or to snakes, like mana in Melanesia. Cf. The Melanesians, p. 191. 1891.


ular type that I wanted to buy from Datu Yting; but he informed me that he could not sell it because it had become an ikut and was already hung on the wall for the gods, and that it would make him very sick to let it go. Accordingly, I dropped the subject.
Some time later the old man came to me and intimated that he might possibly sell me that spear; that there was a chance of his finding a bawi that would nullify the effect of the sacrilege, "for there is medicine for everything, Senora," he added, "medicine for everything." ^^^

Magic, as a Bagobo apprehends it, is either a potency inherent in certain objects or in several elements properly combined, as a drug or a fetish; or it is the dynamic power of a ceremony whose effect is sure; or it is an indirect suggestion that sets in motion a train of mental images leading to a fixed response — it may be a manikin, a formula, a significant action, or any one of a hundred things which is chosen to give the initial suggestion for the train of associations that it is desired to produce. An instance of such indirect suggestion is the washing of chickens and goats as a charm to call the rain.

Following the natural clustering of charms and magical arts as handled by the Bagobo, I shall attempt to make a rough grouping under psychological motives, rather than with regard to human interests, such as war, courtship, etc. Obviously, such groups will overlap, and often a magical method may be considered as belonging, indifferently, to one or to another class according to the point of view; yet even a tentative classification is convenient when handling a large amount of miscellaneous magical material.

We may say, then, that charms and magical rites will work out the desired end in one or more of four ways:

a). By actual defense magically placed;

b). By substitution, or the psychological principle of association by resemblance (Frazer's "homoeopathic magic," in part);

c). By association by contiguity (Frazer's "contagious magic," in part);

d). By inherent virtue, including fetishes and much of the native materia medica.

^^^ Cf. the same idea in Indian magic. "Brahmans can accomplish all things in this world by means of ceremonies." Somadeva: op. cit., p. 85.


Charms by Actual Defense

Here belong many protective charms, such as magic circles and similar devices, by means of which the individual using them is fenced about by a rampart that cannot be broken through by the demon, or penetrated by evil influences. The majority of these charms act as preventive medicines. In many cases, their efficacy is so closely associated with magic numbers, that if any other numbers than these were used, the mascot would straightway become a hoodoo. Even numbers are usually considered as the lucky ones, and odd numbers as unlucky, but nine^^^ is always a good number and thus an exception to the rule.

Many objects worn on the person are charms. Any bracelet or leglet that forms a closed circle may be magically used by Bagobo men and women, but especially valuable as protective charms are the armlets and leglets cast in metal from a wax mold and called by various names according to their several variations. A single one of such rings worn on arm or ankle is an amulet, ^^^ for each is a closed circle. As for bracelets like pankis^ each of which forms a circle not completely closed, an even number of these — forty, fifty, eighty — should be worn, if they are to bring luck to the wearer.

Closely associated with this idea is the custom of wearing certain amulets always on the same part of the body. Change the place and the charm is gone. If a bracelet, say, that is customarily worn on the left wrist is changed to the right wrist, the spell is broken, and the wearer will become sick.

A long girdle of hand-made brass links — the sinkali''^^^' — is a potent charm if wound about the waist an even number of times.

'^*Not only in magical association, but in ceremonial use, eight and nine are held by all Bagobo as sacred numbers. Skeat found among Peninsular Malays that seven was the valued number. Op. cit., p. 50.

^^^ Father Gisbert writes as follows on this point. "When they visit a sick person, they have the custom of placing copper rings on their wrists or on their legs, in order that the soul which they call limocud may not leave." Blair and Robertson: op. cit., vol. 43, p, 237. The idea here is rather that of using the magic circle to keep in something essential to life, than of keeping out harmful influences. There is apparently a misprint in the initial sound of gimotud, as Gisbert's own vocabulary gives guimucod as a synonym for espiritu. Diccionario espaftol-bagobo, p. 64. 1892.

^^« See also pp. 210—212.


or nine times, but unlucky if wound once, or three, or five times, or any odd number.

A tenuous and wiry legband called tikus, made by twisting the split sheath of certain plants round the stems of certain other plants, is worn by Bagobo men and women just below the knee. The effect is highly decorative, and a man will wear two or three hundred in a cluster, but a single tikus suffices as an amulet against the bite of poisonous vipers. In selling a set of these leg bands, a Bagobo is pretty sure to keep one for himself as medicine. ^^^

A strip of rattan decorated in patterns by a process of over-lacing with hemp before dyeing, forms a neck-band that is a charm against the sting of centipedes. This type of neck-band is worn more than almost any other, as it is also a magical defense against the attacks of Buso.

One's home may be safe-guarded from the demons if one walks around the house — presumably in dextral circuit — while holding in the hand a red pepper and a piece of lemon, for both of these fruits are believed to frighten any buso.

As has been stated in an earlier chapter, a rice-altar is put in the field at the time of sowing, and there is placed round the altar a little eight-wicketed fence of split bamboo. The fence is alat, and it forms a magical protection for the young rice so that no harm can come to the growing plants. In addition, this charmed circle keeps the family owning the field from being sick.

A charm on the principle of a barbed wire fence is the cao, a shallow, squarish basket that is used as a rice-winnower. If a woman is tossing rice up and down for the wind to blow off the chaff, and she has reason to think that a buso is approaching, she

"^^^ "Dass auch bei den Senoi, neben der Hiifte, der Hals uud die Arm- und Fiissge- lenke als Schmucktrager verwendet werden, versteht sich wohl von selbst. Bei den Natur- stammen spielt auch bier das scbon erwahnte 'akar batu' die wicbtigste RoUe, indem es teils einfach urn Hals und Gelenke gewunden wird, oder indem einige Mycelien za einem etwas kunstvolleren Scbmuck miteinander verflocbten werden. . . Die einfacben Arm- und Beinbander baben, so viel icb erfabren konnte, meist eine beilkraftige oder propbylak- tisebe Bedeutung, oder ibr Trager bofft dadurch seine Muskeln zu kraftigen. Selten, und, wie es scbeint, nur bei den nordlicben Stammen, finden sicb an solcben Bandern aucb Blatter, Baststreifen, Giaser oder Wurzeln angekniipft, von deoen man wobl ebenfalls eine Heilwirkung erwartet.'* Martin: op. cU. p. 698—699. 1905.

"AUgemein verbreitet sind ferner Amulete in I'orm von Hals-, Arm-, und Beinbandern, teils einfacbe Akar batu Scbniire, teils mit Knochelchen, Zabnen und Haaren verscbiedener Tiere bebangene oder aus Krauterbiindeln bestebende Ketten, die besonderen magiscben Zwecken dienen.'* Ibid, p. 954.


has only to interpose this flat basket between herself and the demon. "Hold it in front of you when you hear the buso," said an old woman who brought me a digo, ^^^ "and he will scratch it with his claws, and his claws will stick in it, and he will die."

A woman expecting to become a mother is liable to attack from a buso; hence to defend herself at night time she must put near her, before going to sleep, all the swords and knives ^^^ that the house contains, for if this precaution be neglected the buso comes and, in some unknown way, he metamorphoses her child into a buso-child.

A legendary charm that is said to be resorted to by young virgins to protect their chastity is a cloth of fine tapestry which has the name of tambayang^ a type of embroidery rare in these days but a well-known art in earlier times. In one of the Bagobo songs it is told that if a girl has spread the tambayang over herself, before going to sleep, no man is able to approach her.

The wake, or damag^ in the house of death is effective in. keeping buso from the house because of his fear of living men, and thus may be properly classed in this group of defensive charms.

Charms by Substitution

We have now to consider a group of charms which might be called charms by substitution, where the tendency is found to substitute one thing for another. Such magical devices follow the principle of association by resemblance, a small class, it would appear, from the actual number of charms listed here, but from a psychological point of view a group of some interest, since it includes all tricks for fooling Buso by images made in the likeness of man or of animal.

Little wooden manikins are laid down at Ginum and are told to draw into themselves the bad diseases that threaten to force their way into the bodies of the Bagobo.

To prevent or to cure measles, which is regarded as one of the

'^^ This wiuno'sver {diffo) that was used by the old woman as an object lesson is now in the American Museum of Natural History.

^^^ Cf. the episode in an Indian saga, where the "lying-in chamber'* was hung with various weapons. Cf. Somadeva: op. cit., vol. 1, p. 189, For a Bagobo tale bearing on this charm, see Jour. Am. Folk-Lore, vol. 26, p. 46. 1913.


buso, children wear, attached to their necklaces or to strings round their necks, small figures, usually human figures, not more than one-half to three-fourths of an inch in length and two or three millimeters in thickness. The buso of the disease is expected to leave the body of the child and to pass into the little manikin, which thus becomes a substitute; eventually, the buso returns to the forest.

During the great festival, two large figures of wood are set up in thickets by the path to act as buso-scarers, as substitutes for living men whom the buso traditionally fear to encounter.

Another charm for scaring off evil beings by the substitution plan is the representation of a crocodile, ^^^ a figure which women weave into their textiles, and which men paint on guitars and on bamboo boxes and carve on coffins. In place of the real animal, a mere figure of this greatly-dreaded reptile of the rivers, that for centuries has taken his toll of natives, is expected to fill the demons with fear.

We have some interesting cases of the performance of little ceremonies in order to render harmless a sale that is under tabu, and here again the principle of substitution is the center of attention.
The rite is called Iwan^ and whether the object parted with be a new article or an old object that is thought to belong to the gods, a brief ritual is performed. Two or three illustrations will show the nature of this little function.

At Datu Yting's house, his wife Oleng sold to me two strips of an extremely fine textile stiff from the loom, for it had not
yet been treated to the process of softening and polishing. Oleng parted with the material rather unwillingly, at the solicitation of her husband who was hard pressed for cash. After receiving the money, she asked me to let her have the textile again. On my handing it to her, she stepped toward the wall, turned her back to us so that she faced the stationary bench of bamboo that ran along the wall, and performed the Iwan. Upon the folded textile in her arms, she laid one areca-nut and one piece of betel-leaf, and said, at the same moment, words to the effect that she was

' * " The crocodile motive is widely used throughout Celebes, where it is carved on the timbers of the ceremonial house (Lobo) and on the coffin of a chief; it forms also one of the decorative designs on the swords of the Toradja. Cf, P. and F. Saeasin: Reisen in Celebes, vol. 1, pp. 218, 329, 268—270; vol. 2, p. 46. 1905.


selling her textile, but that she was providing a substitute for it which she was going to keep. A pace or two brought her to the other end of the bamboo seat, and there lay another textile, a perfect duplicate of the one just sold to me except that it had been softened, polished and made up into a skirt. Upon this garment, Oleng laid the same areca-nut and the same buyo-leaf that she had just before placed on my textile. Then she put my textile on the bench close to her own duplicate garment, so that the one touched the other. Next, she dipped the areca-nut, folded in its betel-leaf, into a cup of water and made with it an unbroken pass on the two textiles, beginning with the one just sold and stroking toward the one to be kept. She stroked in a direction away from herself, and with a sort of wiping motion in a line several inches long across the textiles. Twice she made the stroke, and, at the same time, repeated a magic formula to the effect that this act was to keep her from being taken sick. Finally, she returned to me the textile she had sold, and remarked: "Now, I shall not be sick from selling my inahul^ but the other, I must always keep and never give it away."

The intention of the rite was apparently to draw the spiritual essence from the one object to the other; that is to say, to entice the gimokud of the fabric that was leaving her into another fabric which in all essentials resembled it, and which would be always retained by her, in order that no evil consequences might attach to the sale.

Another illustration of magic substitution is found in the ritual attending the sale of a special type of linked brass chain called sinkali. Little girls among the Bagobo wear, while very young, nothing but a small pubic shield, which suffices as clothing for the first four or five years of life or until the child is considered big enough to put on a little skirt. The pubic shield {tamhihing) is in the form of a triangle and made of cocoanut-shell or, rarely, of brass.
In two corners are holes through which passes a girdle of hemp or a brass chain (sinkali) just long enough to go round the waist.
A mother, Siye, visiting at my house, consented to sell the shield worn by her little daughter, but the linked brass girdle attached she reluctantly gave up after much discussion with her friends and much persuasion from me. Relinquishing her plan of taking the child home before removing the shield, she drew the linked girdle down and off over the feet and asked for a little water. I brought


the water in a glass. Siye took off her own sinkali, which passed several times round her waist and had a large bunch of bells attached. It was made of brass links of the same pattern as the one worn by the little girl. The woman laid her own sinkali close to the child's sinkali, dipped her hand in the water and gently rubbed the two sinkali and the pubic shield, so that the water touched all three objects and stood on them in drops. Then she pressed the smaller sinkali into the child's hand, on whose little wrist hung a tiny bracelet of brass links like the girdle which was now in contact with it. The mother lifted the little hand clasping the chain to the child's lips, so that she took in her mouth and swallowed a very little of the water dripping from the chain. A few drops that remained in the child's hand her mother made her drink, carefully putting hand to lips as before. Then she gave me the pubic shield with its chain and put on her own girdle. My request that the ceremony be repeated was readily complied with, but the second time there were slight variations in the rite. Siye took off her girdle and laid it on the child's left wrist that had on it the sinkali-bracelet. She again dipped water from the glass with her hand and made passes over her own sinkali as she let the water drip on it, after which she put the child's hand on the chain, held hand and chain to lips and let a few drops be swallowed as before.
Next she made passes with water over the child's sinkali, and put it to her lips. Finally, having given back to me my purchase, Siye again girded herself with her own sinkali.

The explanation given by the woman and by several neighbors who came in during the affair touched the various points of the ceremony from different aspects. They said it was very bad to sell the tambibing and sinkali; that if Siye had not applied water to them, the child would have become very sick; that rubbing sinkali against bracelet meant that the bracelet became a new sinkali to take the place of the one sold; that the little girl must drink the water to keep her from being sick, on account of the sinkali having touched the water; and, finally, that Siye's husband would get another wife,
if she failed to take off her own sinkali and put it next the child's sinkali and to make the strokes with water.

On later occasions, other pubic shields were added to my collection, but each of these was worn by its little owner on a girdle of hemp, and the closest observation on my part failed to detect any ritual function attendant on the sale. One is led to infer that


a string or braid of hemp forming a mere temporary girdle to be replaced when worn or broken, never comes to have the intimate association with the human body that the chain of brass links acquires. That is to say, the sinkali may become an ikut, while a girdle of hemp, or of beaded cloth, may not become an ikut. Siye's child had worn the sinkali for about five years, or from birth.

The following conclusions may be drawn from the nature of the rite. The child's chain girdle was an ikut^ and its sale was under tabu. By a magical device, the child's bracelet of brass links came to be regarded as a substitute for the girdle of brass links, so that the tabu was removed and the child freed from the curse of sickness.

The general belief that the sinkali-bracelet becomes, after the ceremony, an equivalent to the sinkali-girdle justifies my conclusion that what is actually attempted is the coaxing of the gimokud or spirit of the girdle into a bracelet of similar pattern, so that only the material part of the girdle is sold — the accidents, to borrow once more the same theological term — while the spiritual substance remains in the family to which the girdle has ahvays belonged. The use of the mother's sinkali, in addition to that of the child, possibly serves the purpose of a double substitution ceremony.

On another occasion, my purchase of a linked brass chain from a young man who wore it round his waist to carry his short knife was achieved only after a magical rite, which consisted in making passes with water upon the brass chain, and on a bracelet of like design worn by the same man.

If no duplicate sinkali is in the possession of the owner, and a sale is desired, the sinkali must be cut in two. When Sebayan, Ido's daughter, made a trade with me, she divided her brass linked girdle in the middle^ after her father had measured it exactly.
One half she sold to me, and the other half she kept, explaining that the part of the girdle retained by her took the place of the whole sinkali, and kept her from being sick.

In concluding this section on charms which work by a principle of substitution, it should be stated that several elements in the native materia medica^ mentioned under the caption "Disease and Healing, ^^^ are of the nature of homeopathic cures, and are really examples of association by resemblance or substitution, such as the

''^^ See pp. 223—235.


application of heated leaves to skin burning from the sting of bees, and the use of bile from serpents to cure snake-bite.

Some mountain Bagobo eat the flesh of monkeys to prevent sores, for they say, quoting the myth of "The Buso monkey," "^^^ that the monkey sometimes turns into a buso, and that sores are caused by a buso. This appears to be a Bagobo case of the aphorism that "like cures like."

Charms through Association by Contiguity.

We have here a number of magical performances where the psychological association may be readily understood, and which suggest the principle of association by contiguity; that is to say, a clustering of elements that belong together is made, with the expectation that they will attract some other element which is commonly joined to them. Certain magical groupings regularly induce certain phenomena; make these groupings and the result is psychologically mandatory. Some charms that come under this category suggest Prazer's examples of "contagious magic."

In time of drought, the Bagobo call the rain by washing ^^^ the chickens, the goats, ^^^ the clay pots and the dishes, because, they say, chickens and goats and pots cannot wash themselves in the river, and if these animals and objects get wet it must be from a shower.

Another charm to call the rain is the following formula:

"Rain, rain on tagbak tree;                         345
Make mud veiy wet;
Kill the little chickens;
Drops like hasikung.'^

Here the association suggested is with rain so heavy as to be heard pattering sharply on the stiff leaves of the tagbak in drops like a round heavy fruit, big enough to kill a chick.

^*See Jour. Am. Folk-Lore; vol. 26, pp. 46—48. 1913,

^ * * A charm for rain-making was told to Skeat by a Malay woman of Selangor, who said that "if a Malay woman puts upon her head an inverted earthenware pan, and then, setting it upon the ground, fills it with water and washes the cat in it until the latter is more than half drowned, heavy rain will certainly ensue.'* Malay magic, p. 108. 1900.

^'*'' The Bagobo do not keep goats ; the goat's hair used by them is obtained in barter from the Bila-an tribe. The inclusion of goats in this charm is perhaps traceable to some Bila-an tradition.

^*^ Cf. the Selangor charm to bring rain, "Though the stem of the Meranti tree rocks to and fro." W. W. Skeat: op. cit., p. 109.


This is a form of black magic employed to send a man to sleep in order to rob him. It is said that the ingredients of this charm are very hard to find, and that only a courageous person can carry the enterprise through successfully. He must go at night to the grave of a little child that has been buried during the preceding twenty-four hours. He must dig up the baby, open its mouth, cut off the tip of its tongue, cut many of the hairs of the eye-lashes from each of its eye-lids, and then get away in safety before the Buso catches him. The charm is thus compounded: the tip of the tongue and the eyelashes are mixed with a certain resin (doka)^ and thrown in the flames of a fire kindled under the house of the man whom the conjurer intends to rob. The subject gets very sleepy as soon as the fire is lighted, and falls into a sort of trance. Then the one who is working the magic comes up the steps into the house, and asks the sleeping person, "Where is your food? "Where are your nice things?" The other answers in his sleep every question, and his possessions may easily be taken from him. This charm more nearly approaches a form of hypnotic suggestion than any other magical device that has come to my notice.
The association' set up is clearly with three elements — the tongue, the eyes, and the helplessness of an infant — so as to induce a certain condition in the subject of the charm.

It is very difficult to see Buso, but the following charm may be used by a brave person. Chips of wood cut from a coffin are taken, on the night following the funeral, to the stump of the tree from which the log for the coffin was cut, and laid upon the stump.
First there will be seen swarms of fireflies, shadows and parts of the body of the dead; afterwards Buso will appear, for he will be drawn by the smell of the chips of wood^ which he associates with the dead body. ^^^

An efficacious charm to drive away the mythical bird called ivakivak ^'^'^ is the use of a suggestive formula. The wakwak is a rapacious bird resembling a crow, but having four legs, two of which are covered with claws, and it flies over the country at night, hunting for living men as its prey. The magic spell is as follows:
When you hear the sound of the bird's voice shrieking, "Wak-wak!

'''^See Jour. Am. Folk-Lore, vol. 26, p. 42—43. 1913.

^''^ The wakwak is mentioned by Mr. Cole as a bird of ill omen among the Mandaya.
The wild tribes of Davao district, Mindanao, p. 174. 1913.


wak-wak!" you must call to him: ''I am not fat; I am skinny. I eat rotten wood. I eat haguiangs'' Then the wakwak cannot hurt you; but you must speak again, saying, "You go on to Bago; there are many fat men there."
By means of this spell, such unpleasant suggestions are flung at the evil bird as to induce him to seek prey elsewhere. If the baguiang leaf is chewed, it is said to give itching lips and to leave a bad taste in the mouth.

Sore throat is cured by hanging round the neck a string which has attached to it four bits of wood cut from the trees most frequently haunted by Buso — the magbo, the benati, the barayung and the lawaan. The inflammation of the throat, being itself one of the buso, is attracted into one of the pieces of wood and eventually returns to the tree from which the wood was chipped.

A Bagobo man eats the liver of another man reputed for valor and worth, presumably in order that he may acquire those qualities which he associates with that organ. The liver of a fallen foe may be eaten, or the liver of a good Bagobo who is selected for human sacrifice. One boy told me that his grandfather had eaten the livers of as many as forty brave men.

A charm to discover lost property is to burn some beeswax with a few red peppers, and to note carefully which way the smoke goes. This will give the direction where one must go in search of the lost articles. It is the S'iring, that troublesome wood-demon, who hides one's things, and the smoke behaves in this manner because the S'iring is afraid of red peppers and of the wax made by bees. It would appear to be the mingling of the S'iring's fear with his knowledge of where the things are hidden that turns the smoke in a direction to reveal the secret.

A magical necklace to make a horse run fast consists of narrow strips of deer-skin, or of goat-skin, with the hair left on them, the strips being pierced and run on a cord. This is called very good medicine for the horse, for since both deer and goat are fleet of foot the train of associations would naturally set the horse to running.

A charm for tracking deer consists in a substance that is rubbed on the bit and called "medicine to catch the deer." I saw one fine old brass bit with cheek-pieces decorated in the casting which the owner refused to part with because it had acquired great value by reason of this medicine.

A charm for catching fish {hawi ha seda) involves the response of the fish to suggestion. The fish-line is measured by fathoms


and may be nine, twenty, one hundred, or any number of fathoms in length, but if the catch is to be successful there must be an extra measure called kalingi added to the length. The kalingi is measured from the left shoulder to the tip of the right middle finger, or from the right shoulder to the tip of the left middle finger. This shoulder-measure makes the fish react to the bait, by impelling it ) to turn its head back "over its shoulder" to bite. /

As another charm for catching fish, certain kinds of wax are stuck in small lumps on the hook. This is done, they say, merely to attract the fish, not to stupify it, and while the significance of wax in this connection has not been disclosed, its stickiness may have a drawing efficacy, since a similar substance is used as an attractive force in the following charm.

A lump of resin (doka) from the marina tree is used in the magical spell, ^anting -anting ^^^ to draw the dead. The person performing the charm makes set passes before his face with the hand holding the resin, and the ghost thus summoned passes behind his seat, but nobody in the room can see the ghost except the old men and the person making anting-anting.

The magnet, of foreign introduction, made a deep impression on the Bagobo, who at once saw its possibilities as a tool for conjuring; and those old men who can get hold of a magnet sometimes use it in preference to doka, or as a substitute for doka, on account of its wonderful power of attraction.

There are a number of other charms where the suggestive significance is less apparent, and where we do not know just how the appeal to associative memory is made, such as the following:

Every woman who clings conservatively to tradition puts in her skirt a small patch, called tapung^ of a different design from the body of the textile. To make room for this patch, the central strip is woven a trifle shorter than the other two strips. The patch is a charm against sickness. One of the Talun girls told me that she put in the patch because she was obliged to lengthen the middle strip in order to match the others; but, in reply to a question as to why she had not made it longer, she said that she had purposely woven it short in order to add the patch. Finally, she explained that the odd piece would keep her from being "very sick."

The following is a building charm which is enticing by its rich though vague suggestiveness. After the frame of a house is erected, one of the skirts (jMnapisan) of the owner's wife is sometimes


laid on the timbers of the roof, and kept there for a set length of time during the process of building.

Charms having Inherent Virtue.

In the forms of magic thus far considered, associations are set up that act as stimuli or as inhibitions to the individual that the charm is meant to influence. In most cases, there is a more or less conscious play of attention on the part of the subject of the charm, in response to the suggestions put forth.

In the class of charms now to be discussed, the value lies in some hidden virtue, some mysterious efficacy, by which the desired result is produced directly, without any act of associative memory on the part of the subject of the medicine or of the witchcraft.
Indeed, the person is ordinarily imconscious of being worked upon until he begins to feel sick, and then he may not know who or what has caused the trouble. On the other hand^ the charm may serve a beneficial end, and may bring about a valued result by its own force, there being here, too, no need of calling out a train of associations in the mind of the person who is undergoing the magical influence.

In this connection, it should be noted that there are a few animals which are thought to have mysterious qualities, such as the flying lemur, the monkey, the crow, ^^^ and to certain parts of their bodies a curative power or a magical virtue is assigned — the liver and the foot of the crow, the hair of the flying lemur. The armature of crabs, of tortoises, of lobsters appears in various magical associations. Monkeys (lutung) are regarded with wonder and with a vague feeling of unrest that finds expression in little symbolic acts or motions. Such expression was called forth one day after a number of Bagobo men had been watching, with eager, delighted faces, the antics of my pasteboard monkey climbing a string.
They were turning to go, when one man, almost as an afterthought,,

'**'' The crow was a sacred bird with the Tagal and with some other Filipino tribes. Cf, Blair and Robertson, vol. 12, pp. 265 — 266. 1904. While it might be going too far to say that the Bagobo hold this bird as sacred, yet it is clearly regarded as possessing a peculiar magical value. The crow figures in mythical associations; Cf. Jour. Am. Folk-Lore, vol. 26, p. 62. 1913. The crow's liver, beak and foot are used as charms or as medicine. Handles of guitars are roughly carved in imitation of a crow's head.


picked up the toy and passed it once across his forehead. He handed it to the Bagobo next him, who also made a pass upon his brow; and he was followed by all the rest, though two or three men merely pressed the monkey on the eyebrow or above it. They said that they did this because it was lutung and that passing it over the forehead kept them from sickness and death. It is true that, as a matter of precaution, a Bagobo will often perform some little ceremony when he wishes to forestall any possible evil effect that an occurrence out of the ordinary may involve; but to the monkey, in particular, which appears prominently in myth, now as the prototype of man and again as metamorphosed into a buso, the Bagobo reacts emotionally.

Particular articles of food taken at special times produce definite magical results. A notable instance of this form of magic is found in the charm to produce sacral spots on the body of an expected child.

A small area of dark pigmentation was present in the region of the sacrum in several Bagobo babies that I examined. The women told me that all their babies had those dark-colored spots, that the name for them was obud^ and that if any child should be born lacking the obud it would quickly die. Hence great care is taken by the mother to produce the sacral spots on her child by means of eating certain prescribed vegetable products — also called ^ohiica — while saying a magic formula. Early in pregnancy the woman must, on seven consecutive days, swallow some of the sweet sap of the palma brava and chew with betel-nut a fine rattan known as nanga. At the same time she repeats a metrical rendering of the list of saps and fruits that should be eaten before the birth of the child, closing each verse with the words, "Very good to eat," "Very sweet to eat." Among these articles of diet are the tuba, a toddy extracted from the inflorescence of the cocoanut palm, the stem of baris, the bulla, the fruits of the balisinan, lapisut, tual, kamusi, durian and lukka^^^. This medicine will infallibly cause the sacral spots to appear on the child, but if any expectant mother fails to eat obud and to say the right words she will surely die, and her baby also. Other articles of diet are thought to prevent the formation of the sacral spots, and after the mention of such articles the woman says, "Very bad to eat."

Edible fruits. See index.


Many charms of this class are small objects that may be easily carried about, and the magical virtue of each charm is ordinarily limited to specific qualities assigned to it. The magical result achieved by such an object is not due to a spirit that either permanently inhabits it, or that temporarily enters into it. It is never worshiped or treated with reverence. It produces a given effect because of some mysterious potentiality that belongs to it. It may therefore properly be termed a fetish.

A number of magical usages of the type now under discussion are simply examples of the black art. Gamut is a resinous substance or gum extruded from certain trees, a lump of which may be carried about the person, tied in the girdle or put in the carrying-bag, when one wants to work witchcraft on some enemy. By and by the person will grow thin and soon become sick; white worms will appear coming out from his eyes and his head and his body; soon he will die. The simple carrying of the gamut with the intention of harming the foe appears to be sufficient to produce the result, without any magical manipulation of the resin.

Parayat is the name of another magical substance used in the black art. If one desires the death of a childless rich man, with a view to seizing his goods, one has only to carry this medicine, a performance which will cause the rich man to fall sick and die of the disease called parayat.

The above named charm may be used if a man does not want to accept a challenge to fight. If his foe wants to fight him, and he, refusing the combat, at the same time holds the parayat, he can make his foe sicken and die.

When a man is fighting, there are magical means of making his enemy helpless ^^^ without striking a single blow with spear or sword. The old man, Butun, brought me an old war-shield that had belonged to his father. The peculiar value of the shield lay in the magical medicines that were fastened to the handle through which the left arm passes, on the reverse side. The first of these medicines is panhayang^ a small piece of the skin of an eagle.
If a man, holding a shield to which pankayang is attached, simply stands still and points his spear at his foe, instantly his foe will

^ ^ ** A charm with such potential virtue is given the hero of a saga with the instruction: "By holding this jewel in your hand you can render ineffectual the best weapon of your enemy." Somadeva: Katha Sarit Sagara, vol. 2, p. 161. 1884.


drop dead. The second medicine is palids^ a bit of the root of the tree called by that name. The root is kept in a small tube of bal- ekayo tied with a red rag, and the effect on the enemy is like that of the preceding. ^^^ The third medicine is Mulug-muliig matadin (glaring eyes), magical leaves kept in the same tube with the preceding. This charm makes the eyes of him who carries it glare at the foe with a fixed, terrifying stare that puts the foe at the mercy of the other. Butun gave a dramatic rendering of the effect of all three charms.

A charm called palumi is held by women, and is operated to make a man thin and anaemic. They put the palumi into a cup of water, and then throw the water over the men who have incurred their displeasure. A girl will sometimes let it be known that she is working this witchcraft, and while she is sitting on the floor she will say to several boys who are trying to pass her, "You cannot pass." Then everybody in the house knows that she holds the palumi. If a boy succeeds in getting by the girl without having the water sprinkled on him, the charm is spoiled. Girls use the palumi as a means of repelling familiarity from those young men who presume to disregard the old, strict Bagobo customs regulating the etiquette that should prevail between the sexes.
When a boy goes too far with a girl, she may retaliate by putting palumi into the betel she offers him, thus causing him a severe illness.

Kahihi is a love charm that is rather scarce, as only a few men and a few women are known to possess it. When a girl rejects a young man and he, in anger, determines to revenge himself for the slight, he puts kabibi into the girl's betel, or else lays kabibi on one of her footprints in the ground. She reacts to the

^^^Of this sort of magic among the Visayan, 1634, a Recollect document records: "They gloried in knowing charms and in working them, by consulting the devil — a means by which some made themselves feared by others, for they easily deprived them of life. In confirmation of this assertion, it happened, according to the recital of one of our ministers, that while he was preaching to a great assembly one Indian went to another, and breathed against him with the intent of killing him. The breath reached not the Indian's face, however, but an instrument that he was carrying, the cords of which leaped out violently, while the innocent man was left unharmed. The philosophy of such cases is that the murderer took in his mouth the poisonous herb given him by the devil, and had another antidotal herb for his own defense. Then, exhaling his breath in this manner, he deprived of life whomever he wished." Blair and Robertson: op. cit., vol. 21, pp. 211—212.


charm at once, and begins to cry for her lover. Her passion for him grows more vehement until she loses her mind, and goes into the woods where she weeps continually. The only remedy now is for the young man to give her another medicine, usually the liver of a crow, to set her right. After this performance, her lover may still want marry her, but in one case that came to my knowledge a youth after giving a girl, first kabibi, and then ugka (crow's liver) afterward married another girl. This same love charm may be used by a woman upon a man.

The coast Bagobo think that the mountain Bagobo put something into the betel to make their visitors spit blood, and they have a special charm tied in a small cloth to counteract the danger, merely by its presence in one's bag.

A magical virtue inherent in certain medicines operates to punish a supposed thief at the same time with the discovery of his guilt.
This is the bongat^^^^ a word which means trap. "When a person misses something, — perhaps some of his store of rice, — he gets out a bamboo tube in which is kept secreted the magic bongat.
He lays the bamboo joint in the same place from which the rice was stolen, and repeats this formula:

"Whoever took my rice,
Curse him with bulging eyes 
Make his body swell;
After that let him die."

This charm makes the abdomen of the guilty one grow abnormally large; his eyes protrude from his head; his strength leaves him, and by and by he dies. They say that this way of detecting a thief is very simple, because it may easily be seen who gets big belly and bulging eyes.

In connection with the magical punishment of a thief, the test used to discover guilt is of interest; although the test or ordeal, with its appeal to the gods, belongs rather to the category of devotional performances than to magic arts.

* ^ * Father Gisbert speaks of the use of bongat as commoii both to Moro and to pagan tribes, and it is possible that this cbarm may have been borrowed from the Moro. "When the thief is discovered, he may be cured by putting powder from the other joint into the water and bathing his body with it." Blaie and Robertson: op, cit., vol. 43, p. 239. 1906.

352 The same conception is to be found in the Atharva-Veda, in the lines, "Make the confessing sinner's eyes fall from his head, both right and left." R. T. H. Griffith (tr.): op. cit., vol. 1, p. 19. 1895.


Ordeal or Test.

If two men are suspected of theft, and each man, laying the blame on the other, asserts his own innocence, the test called pusilume is resorted to. Both men are forced to swim in the river, while the people gather on the bank to watch. Just before the suspected men go into the water, the owner of the stolen property recites the following invocation.

"Behold, Diwata;

Like needles your teeth,

Like lunga-seeds ^353 your eyes.

Whoever stole my tap-tap^ 354

Send him cursed from the water."

Then the guilty one comes out from the river, but the innocent man sinks to the bottom like a stone, and lies there all day. In the evening, it is said, he is taken out unhurt. If by any chance the thief should sink, he would be seized by the Gamo-Gamo people who haunt the rivers and be tormented by them. All the river-spirits of this class carry sharp iron punches, with which they prick and gash the guilty person, but they never touch the innocent.
As long as the thief is in the water, he feels the torture; yet on emerging his body does not show the wounds.

His guilt now established beyond doubt, there remains for him but to make reparation as required. He must give whatever the owner of the stolen goods demands — agongs, spears, or what not.
There is no set ratio between the amount of the theft and the compensation insisted on. If a tap-tap worth two pesos has been stolen, the owner may, if he please, demand five agongs (the equivalent of about one hundred pesos) in satisfaction for the wrong done to him. The supposed thief, if unable to pay or to borrow the agongs for payment, would in the normal course of events become the slave of his creditor.

Rizal tells us that, "The early Filipinos had a great horror of theft, and even the most anti-Filipino historian could not accuse them of being a thievish race. To day, however, they have lost their horror of that crime. One of the old Filipino methods of

**^ A small, black, edible seed, about the size of a mustard-seed.

^^^ Agongs are beaten witb a small wooden hammer called tap-tap, whicli has a head coated with rubber overlaid by cloth.


investigating theft was as follows: 'If the crime was proved, but not the criminal, if more than one was suspected . . .each suspect was first obliged to place a bundle of cloth, leaves, or whatever he wished on a pile, in which the thing stolen might be hidden. Upon the completion of this investigation if the stolen property was found in the pile, the suit ceased.' ^^^ The Filipinos also practiced customs very similar to 'the judgments of God' of the middle ages, such as^ putting suspected persons, by pairs, under the water and adjudging guilty him who first emerged." ^^^


Ignorant of the nature of metabolic processes in the human body, and unwarned against the ravages of hostile bacteria, a Bagobo, in the frankly primitive attitude, accepts pain and sickness as due to the manipulations of the buso, or of his own left-hand soul, or else he suspects that he has broken some tabu. Some blunder of his own may, somehow, have brought on the illness: a failure to observe a ritual detail so that some ceremony is spoiled; the doing of some forbidden thing, such as eating a limokun pigeon, or uttering the name of his dead grandfather, or putting on the ceremonial red shirt while he is young. Just as frequently, however, a man is the innocent victim of a buso who gets inside of him, or of his evil soul that is playing truant from his body and shooting pains into him from some distant point.

We find, then, that sickness is due to one of the following causes:
(a) The breaking of a tabu; (b) The attack of a buso; (c) The adventures of the left-hand soul, or gimokud tebang.

Diseases that Result from Breaking Tabu.

The simple fact of falling sick because of the transgression of a

*^^ For magical usages in the Tagal tribes, Cf. J. de Plasencia: ''Customs of the Tagalogs." 1589. Blair, and Robertson: op. cii., vol. 7, pp. 192 — 194. Cf. also P. Chirino: "Relacion ..." 164. Op. cit., vol. 13, p. 81. For Visayan magic, cf. M. de Loarca: "Relacion ..." 1582. Op. cit., vol. 5, p. 163.

'^^ Blair and Robertson: op. cit., vol. 16, pp. 128^129. In Minahassa, the judgment of God by the water-ordeal was formerly in use, by which test he who could stay longer under water was the innocent person. Cf. Sarasin: Reisen in Celebes, vol. 1^ p. 44. 1905.


tribal custom or mandate is called bogok, but among the specific diseases resulting from breaking tabu — and breaking tabu is merely a phrase for disregard of old customs — are the following.

Kataltian is a serious skin infection from which a person suffers, it is said, if he sells a pair of old ear-plugs, or any other old object that has become an ikut and is ready to be offered to the gods. It appears that certain divinities are extremely jealous of their ancient rights, and resent the loss of any object that should come to the altar. It would seem, however, that this disease may be present even in a child, for there is a traditional "small boy" of the mythical romance who is covered with the sores called hatahian.

Pay^ayat^ or parayan^ shows itself in a form of sickness of which the symptoms are pain in the eyes, in the wrists and at the elbow joints, extreme pallor and emaciation, and profound drowsiness or lethargic sleep. This sickness comes upon a woman who sells the cloth patterned by over-tying, called himihhiid^ while it is still in the process of manufacture. Parayat may also be brought about by witchcraft.

Kangulag is a term commonly applied to a person who is weak-minded or foolish, but which is used specifically of a girl who is eager for the society of men, and is emotionally unbalanced. It is generally understood that she has fallen intothis condition because she has sold a textile before it was finished and ready to be taken from the loom. Bagobo custom requires that no woven work be sold until fully complete.

Karatas is a mortal illness in which the body grows thinner and weaker until death comes, and which is the expected punishment for any young man who presumes to wear the closed shirt called Imombtis. This garment is woven of hemp dyed in a solid claret tint, and is reserved for old men and old women.

Saki' tanhulu^ or tankulu sickness, manifests itself in various symptoms not definitely stated, but it is sure to attack a man who ties round his head the chocolate colored kerchief called tmikulu before he has earned this coveted distinction in the customary manner; that is to say, by killing somebody.

Kalaivag^ or yellow skin, is a disease that afflicts a person who mentions the name of his dead grandfather, or the name of any other of his deceased ancestors. The skin turns yellow, the body wastes away, and death results. A boy may get kalawag as a


penalty for another transgression, for the old people tell the children that if they should eat the omen bird (moai) their skin would turn yellow, and they would "get skinny" and die.

Tulud is the disease to be looked for if the people taking part in a rice-sowing festival do not preserve the proper direction of movement laid down for the Bagobo by a traditional pattern, that is, toward the south. If the direction taken in planting be toward north, or east or west, the tulud sickness would come. Just what form the disease would take is not stated, but that it would cause the patient to grow very thin and die is vaguely surmised.

Sebullo or nausea, accompanied by excessive vomiting and ending in death, is a fearful penalty waiting. for one who laughs at his reflection in the water, for this image is the manifestation of his left-hand soul. ^^^ My informant said: "When you laugh at your alung in the river, you will die of sebullo, that makes all the food come out of your mouth when you eat."

Katapilk is a disease that attacks a girl who attempts to embroider the scarf called salughotj ''^^^ after the ancient manner of doing needlework. A young girl may wear the scarf, but the privilege of embroidering it is reserved for old women.

Bogok is any sickness that comes to a girl who winds about her waist an odd number of times the girdle of brass links called sinkali. It has been noted that bogok is a general term for the class of diseases that result from breaking tabu. ^^^

Diseases Caused hy Buso

Undefined and hazy is the line of separation between Buso as a bringer of disease and the disease itself, which is commonly called a buso. Many buso walk the earth under the names of Diseases, and actually enter the body of the person who falls sick; other buso merely operate from a distance and cause suffering, just as does that potential buso, the left-hand soul. The following are a few of the sicknesses that are referred directly to the agency of evil personalities.

For sarampian or measles, the Bagobo have only the Spanish

^' See pp. 45, 58, 61.

^»See pp. 86—87, 128, 130.

* 8 See p. 324.


name because, they say, it was unknown before the coming of the Spaniard. It is very severe and often fatal among the wild tribes.
A buso is said to enter the body of the child afflicted, and the treatment is to hang small charm figures on the neck of the patient, so that the buso may be attracted into the figures. One small boy told me that he must wear the "little man" for one year after his recovery from measles.

Timhalung is a form of chronic constipation from which the people suffer miserably, and which is attributed to a buso that has succeeded in getting inside of the human body. The cure consists in the ceremonial application of water to the joints of the body.
This treatment is given by an old priest-doctor, who applies the water with a bunch of magical plants, continuing the treatment until excrement is voided and the demon at the same time ejected.
*^When Buso has come out from the intestines," they say, "the patient feels so light, and immediately gets better."

Giddiness is caused by a buso named Tagasoro, who in some ways invariably makes the person lose his sense of direction.

Karokung is a common sickness, of which the symptoms are fever, chills and a racking cough. It is to be traced to a white woman who lives in rivers and is said to be very beautiful. Her hair is long and dark; her feet black, or blue and black, while her legs, too, are black to a line half-way up to the knees. The rest of her body is white. She is very amorous, desiring to embrace every man she sees, and it is this propensity of hers that throws men into burning fever. When high fever is running, she is said to be putting the man into the fire, but directly afterwards she plunges into the river, and forthwith the patient begins to shiver. Nobody has ever seen the Karokung woman, but many people have dreamed about her, and thus her characteristics are completely established. When a Bagobo woman, however, has chills
and fever, her symptoms are caused by a white man with long hair, who also lives in the river and behaves like the Karokung woman. In either case, the treatment consists in burning the deserted nest of a limokun or of some other bird, and allowing the patient to inhale the smoke. Another effective remedy is to smell the fumes that come from burning a few wisps of hair cut from the coat of the flying lemur, called tmigcdung; or one may simply lay before a god some little agricultural offering. These disease-bringing river inhabitants have none of the ear-marks of


the traditional mermaid, who finds her counterpart, at least on the morphological side, in the gamo-gamo people who have already been characterized.

Three other disease-bringers are women, one of whom lives in the center of the earth where there is an enormous hole; another resides at the rim of the sky, and still another in the middle of the sky.

Several illnesses — chills, cough, skin disease — are brought by a mythical individual called "Sickness that goes round the World" and said to travel down the mountain streams. The "Sickness that goes round the World" is often called by the name of Gimusu — a disease which produces sores. At the time of the Grinum at Talun, the gimusu was reported to be in the mountains, and on the way to Mati."^^^

Furthermore, there are mythical birds and beasts that live in the sky or roam over mountain and plain, and that have power to bring sickness. These are the so-called "bad animals," among them some that were mentioned in our discussion of the various forms of the buso. ^^^ Those specially noted as disease-bringers are Pungatu, Limbagu, the eight-eyed Riwa-riwa, the swine-like Abuy, the chick-like Tulung and the aforesaid Timbalung. There seems to be no essential relation between the type of sickness that any one of these buso brings, and the zoomorphic form that the demon assumes. Almost any buso, indeed, is supposed to be able to "make the Bagobo very sick."

Diseases Caused by the Left-Hand Soul

When a Bagobo cannot recall having broken any tabu, and is unable to trace his sickness to any particular buso, he is likely to

^®** The tree-hantii, and several other disease-bringers, mentioned by Dr. Martin in his discussion of the religion of the Mantra, correspond to the buso diseases of the Bagobo.

", . . . So sind vor allem die Krankheiten, von denen der Mantra befallen wird, in seinen augen Damonen, die in den Menschen gefahren sind. Dementsprechend gibt es so viele Krankheitsdamonen, als der Eingeborene Krankheitsformen zu unterscheiden vermag.
... die Mantra glauben ... an einen Hantu-Kayu (d.h. Baum-Hantu), der in jeder art von Baumen lebt und die Menschen krank macht. Einige Baume sind der Bosartigkeit ihrer Damonen wegen besonders gef iirchtet . . ." Rudolf Martin: Die Inlandstamme der malayischen Halbinsel, pp. 942 — 943. 1905.

'«^ See pp. 31, 38—40.


blame his left-hand soul — his gimokud tebang — who is off on an adventure, and, by some form of sympathetic magic, is making the trouble. The left-hand soul, while absent from the body which he tenants, is able to cause suffering in any part of it that he pleases, simply by exploiting ^*^^ a corresponding part of his own shadowy structure. "When the head aches, the gimokud tebang is bunting his head against a tree or a rock, and as long as he keeps this up the pain continues. A sensation of nausea means that the tebang is drinking poison. Belly-ache comes when the left-hand soul jumps into the river; but the pain may be relieved by securing the bill of a crow, burning it to ashes, and swallowing the ashes mixed with plenty of Avater. Sore mouth troubles a Bagobo when his tebang is drinking boiling hot water. When the left-hand soul runs a fishhook into his neck, sore throat comes on, but it may be cured by tying in a rag a few hairs of the flying lemur, and wearing the rag attached to the necklace. One woman who was using this charm told me that she got it from a Kulaman. Sharp pain in the foot is experienced whenever the tebang strikes his foot against a sharp stone. The medicine is the ashes obtained by burning the foot of a crow. The ashes are to be rubbed five times on the suffering foot, and this must be done with a gentle, downward stroke. Some old women think that one single stroke is better. If the tebang chooses to climb in great forest trees and swing himself from branch to branch, he can make the arms lame and sore.
When the whole body feels lame and bruised, the left-hand soul is jumping from a tall tree down upon sharp-pointed stakes of bamboo, stuck in the ground like a man-trap. Cold shivers throughout the body, with sharp pains, mean that the tebang is swimming in the deep sea.

I noted but one kind of pain that was not attributed to an occult cause, — that was sugud^ or the sting of bees. Further investigation, however, may yet find the sting to be a demoniac element.
The remedy suggests that "like cures like," for it consists in laying

^** The impression I received of the left-hand soul was that of a spirit which hurts the body maliciously, or sportively. Professor Boas has called my attention to the difference between this conception, and that commonly held by primitive man, namely, that the harm done by the soul is due to accidents that happen in its wanderings. It is possible that I misunderstood my informant, and that the implied distinction does not actually exist, though the spirit of the folklore would bear me out.


against the stung face banana leaves that have been heated over a flame.

Methods of Healing Sickness

Unshaken in his conviction that he must look to the supernatural for the source of bodily pain, the Bagobo proceeds, consistently, to wrestle with a throng of diseases just as he would strive against any other outbreak of hostile demons. The methods recognized as efficacious are of three sorts, any one of which may be used either by itself or in combination with the other two. A case of sickness or accident may be treated, or sometimes prevented: (a) By an act of devotion; (b) By magic; (c) By native materia medica.

By an Act of Devotion. A simple act of faith, a devotional gift laid upon an altar or on the ground, a prayer asking that some god will keep the body strong, or that a buso may be appeased by a little betel and go away — any one of these acts is relied on for help even more than magic, more than curative plants.
Many a long ceremony with complex ritual may be resolved into one straining, pitiful cry for health and freedom from pain. The fundamental intention of many of the rites of Ginum is that of being kept from sickness and death, and touching appeals are put up in individual cases. At the preliminary awas the betel in leaf-dishes is offered to the Malaki, who, in turn, is asked to give the dishes to the tig-banua, so that those demons may be induced to refrain from sending disease to the Bagobo. Again, the priestess implores the Malaki to keep the diseases shut up in the leaf-dishes until he comes to kill the diseases. The buso that are associated with departments of nature are propitiated by offerings, and are asked to keep the people in health. At the Pamalugu in the river, areca-nuts with betel-leaf are laid before the Malaki t'Olu k'Waig and before Tigyama, the protector, with prayers to be kept from the Sickness that goes round the World. While the water is being poured over the bodies of the candidates, appeals are made to Tigyama and to Pamulak Manobo, and to all the anito that they will remove sickness and feebleness from each person, and take the diseases to the Malaki to be strangled. ^^^ Newly-married people are taught by the priest to set up a shrine in their house, and when

' See pp. 100, 123.


they are sick to give an areca-nut to Tigyama, and to ask him to take away the sickness.

It is customary, however, to supplement devotional exercises by other means of cure, particularly in those cases where the god is slow in giving help. In my journal kept at Talun, I find the following entry: "Have just given Malik quinine for karokung (malaria) — a disease caused by the 'White Lady who lives in the rivers.' The medicine recommended by the anito . . . does not seem to have done any good, and they have come to me for bawi."

By Magic. Much of the material belonging to this division of our subject has been discussed under the caption, "Charms and Magical Rites;" but the sort of healing which requires magic in combination with the use of native drugs will be considered in the following section.

By Native Materia Medica. While a few of the older women and men — that is to say, the priest-doctors — are highly skilled in the use of curative agents, they by no means hold a monopoly in the medical arts, for in every family the mother or grandmother has a store of remedies, and even young people treat themselves with varying success.

The list of native drugs that are supposed to have a curative effect is enormously large, including an uncountable number of names of trees, bushes, shrubs, rattans, climbing plants, whose yield of fruit or leaf or stem or bark or root is eagerly gathered and carefully preserved by the Bagobo for their primitive practice of medicine. The consideration of many such vegetable products which have an actual curative value belongs rather to a work on material culture than to a monograph on religion. Our interest in the present connection does not extend to the probing into the actual effects of this or of that specific medicine; but we are concerned with the general methods of treatment, particularly where magic is instrumental in producing the desired result.

A very large number of curative elements consist of spells and drugs used in combination, and depending for their effect, in part upon the value of the pharmaceutical element, in part upon a prescribed ritual of word-charms, of magic passes, of set counts to be used with the drug or the lotion. For instance, in rubbing the body the stroke must take an upward direction with one curative agent, and downward with another; while certain other forms of treatment would be futile unless employed simultaneously with


areca-nuts and betel-leaf. Ifaturally, then, some of these healing remedies might just as properly be catalogued under the heading,

"Charms having Inherent Virtue."

The overlapping of magic and medicine is a phenomenon that is impressed on anybody who talks with the natives on such subjects. One becomes distinctly aware of the lack of complete definition of such terms as bawi and alang — two words in constant use. There is certainly a tendency to use alang for what we call a charm or a talisman, and to give the name bawi to drugs and to external medicinal applications. This distinction, however, does not hold throughout, for certain charms against demons are quite as often named bawi ka huso as alang ka huso'^ while, contrariwise, a medicine to rub on the skin may be alang. One realizes, in listening to a Bagobo as he rapidly repeats a list of medicines, that he does not distinguish drugs from charm objects; he runs them all confusingly together. Any line, too, that we ourselves might attempt to draw between the healing by materia medica and the healing by spells would be a highly artificial line. "I used to be a leper," said one of my boys, "but I took an areca-nut, and stroked the sores on my skin, and after that I got well very quick."
Even when a mode of treatment might be termed, from our own point of view, a "rational" mode, such as inhaling hot fumes for a cough, a touch of magic is usually required to make the treatment work. ^^^ A fixed number of inhalations is required if relief is looked for; two wafts of smoke are to be repeated, say three times, for to repeat four or five times would be termed madat^ that is, unlucky.

Among the chief modes of treatment are the following: stroking and rubbing; inhaling of medicinal fumes; drinking water containing the ashes of a burnt object; wearing a medicine attached to necklace or jacket. We may distinguish certain clearly-marked groups, in one of which the factor of fire plays a prominent part, (a) The method of burning; (b) The method of external use without burning; (c) The method of internal use without burning; (d) The method of wearing or of carrying the medicine on the person.

* * * Similarly, the Indo-Iranians held that sickness should be cured by magical spells and by washing. "In fact, the medicine of spells was considered the most powerful of all, and although it did not oust the medicine of . . . drugs, yet it was more highly esteemed," J. Darmesteter (tr.)i "The Vendidad." Sacred books of the East, vol. 4, pp. Ixxx, 308 ^^ cet.


Method of Burning. A widely-used method of extracting the  virtue of a medicinal element is that of burning or of charring.
Here the Bagobo recognize two distinct methods of manipulation,  which they set apart from each other by their definition of the  two terms, tiduk and gilbo. (a) To burn with flame is called tiduh'^  (b) To burn with smoke is called guho.

By the method of tiduk the medicine is burned to ashes, and  the ashes are either mixed, while hot, with water and swallowed,  or are applied dry to the diseased part. The ashes of many kinds  of non-succulent roots, and of various species of rattan, are used  for sore throat, for cold on the chest and for stomach ache. The  foot and the beak of the crow, when burned to ashes, are both  highly esteemed as a cure for pain in the belly and for a number  of other ailments.

A very common method of cure is by giibo, which includes all  medicinal agents that can be readily charred, or from which smoke  may be drawn. In the charring process, the curative object is held  in the fire until it is blackened at one end and then the charred  part is rubbed on the throat, or chest, or other suffering member.
Sometimes this is done in silence, sometimes with word-charms.
Favorite objects used for charring are pieces of tortoise-shell for  bronchial colds; the shell of tabun-tahun nut for pain in the stomach  and for intestinal disorders; and a great variety of woods, roots,  barks and leaves, all of which are charred and stroked on the  painful part of the body in a manner which, for each form of ache  and pain, is prescribed with more or less definiteness. Galls produced by insects and forming excrescences on certain trees are  highly esteemed as a means of cure for sore throat and sore chest.
The healer holds the gall in a flame for twenty or thirty seconds,  rubs off a bit of the charred part while it is still glowing, and  applies it to the chest or the throat with a downward stroke that  leaves a black mark about two inches long. She does this twice  three times, while repeating the numbers, ^Uslia^ diia^ tolug; usha^  dua^ tolug,'' (One, two, three; one, two,, three). She must say no  more, and may make but the six strokes.

The other form of treatment included under giibo is the use of  smoke produced by burning vegetable gums, or the hair of the  flying lemur, or deserted birds' nests ^^^ (particularly the nest of

^ ^ ^ Skeat notes the Malay practice of treating a fretful child by smoking it over a  fire obtained from burning the nest of a weaver-bird. Cf. Malay magic, p. 338. 1900.


the limokun pigeon), or any other object from which fumes regarded as curative may be extracted. The patient, or some friend, puts his hand near the burning medicine, and wafts the smoke toward the nose or the sore chest or the aching head. It is not unlikely, though this inference is my own, that this treatment may be assumed to smoke out the disease-demon from the body, exactly as wild bees are smoked out from their tree-homes while the hunt for wax and honey is going on.

A similar method of treatment, though no actual smoke is present, is that made use of to cure pain all through the body (tapan).
Numbers of tiny brown calyxes from a plant called sale are kept strung on a thread of hemp, and alternating with these calyxes are little flat, black, glossy seeds known as teling^ also pierced and strung. Prom this flowerlike chain of brown and black, the patient takes one calyx and one seed and puts them into the flame of a candle or a torch. He then places his hand near the flame, and waves it twice toward his face, so that each time the flame will bend in his direction, after each of which moves he passes his hand over his face from forehead to chin. He is to repeat exactly three times the double wafting of the flame and the double stroking of the face, for to repeat four or five times is very unlucky.

Method of External Use without Burning. Another class of medicines include those that are never put into the fire, but are simply rubbed on the painful spot, or drawn lightly over the skin. Certain fruits and seed-pods are rubbed on the stomach; kamogna root is shaped into very small discs, mixed with betel, chewed and spit upon the abdomen, the head, or the chest; the fruit of esor is chewed with betel and rubbed with three upward strokes on a sore chest; vegetable gums furnish a panacea for pains in head, thorax, wrists and feet, provided they are rubbed on the part with a gentle downward stroke; from strings of seeds that hang from the necklace a few are cut off, mixed with betel, spit on the finger^ and with the finger rubbed on an aching head; selected fruits and bits of wood have only to be touched to lame arms and legs, and many roots are used in like manner. Leprosy is said to yield to a few passes made with an areca-nut on the sores, the magical motions being manipulated in this, as in many other modes of healingy by the patient himself.

A panacea for any and every bodily pain was brought to me by Aglang. It was a vegetable gum tied up in a cotton girdle, the


girdle being knotted at intervals so as to present several closed pouches that held the gum. Brass rings encircled the girdle, and alternated with the pouches. The manner of treatment was to take the girdle in the hand, and with it to make passes on the body of the patient: three gentle, downward strokes on the neck, three down the length of the arm, and one from hip to foot. Possibly the disease is thus forced to pass out through the feet.

Method of Internal Use without Burning. Definite rules are laid down for the preparation of medicines to be taken internally, according to the class of medicine and the sickness. Certain kinds of seeds, grasses, roots and vegetable gums must be boiled in water, and the decoction drunk entire; while certain other kinds of roots, as well as many varieties of rattan, barks and twigs are to be scraped, or minced, dropped into water, sometimes hot and sometimes cold, and swallowed raw. Bile from serpents ^^^ — a good remedy for pain in the belly — is put into water and drunk without boiling. The liver of the crow will cure a great number of troubles, whether eaten cooked or raw. Cinnamon bark and certain roots are scraped fine, and eaten dry.

Method of Wearing or of Carrying Medicine on the Person. The last type of curative agents to be mentioned includes all those worn about the person or carried in one's bag or basket, the mere presence of the object seeming sufficient to secure the benefit.
One of the most universally-used medicines of this class is the decorated neck-band of rattan that bears the name of limha and preserves the wearer from spitting blood, from centipede bite and from swollen breasts. Remedies for many illnesses are tied up in small rags and attached to the bead necklace or to some part of the clothing. Petals of ylang ylang blossoms are strung for neck- laces, and bits of fruit from the biid tree are also strung and hung round the neck, to prevent pain or to cure it. Hanging from the belt or from the jacket of the Bagobo are often to be seen bunches of dry, but fragrant, leaves and flowers, and heavy tassels fashioned from many strings of seeds or of tiny discs of aromatic woods, all in readiness to smell in case of headache, or to dispel, by their mere presence, other aches and pains.

Benua of the Peninsula have a cure for fever which consists in wearing hung on the neck the gall-bladder taken from a python. Cf. R. Martin: Die Inlandstamme der malayischen Halbinsel, p. 965. 1905.


It must not be forgotten, however, that in many cases a medicine is worn simply for convenience, so that it may be readily accessible when needed in haste for burning or for chewing, while one is on a tramp, or making a visit far from home. Some of the above-named remedies, while they may give relief by mere contact with the person, often are taken off and used like the other classes of medicine. The rattan neck-band, for instance, may be removed from the neck and a small portion of it burned off, in order to secure enough ashes to apply to a centipede sting. Prom the necklace or the tassel or the nosegay, little seeds of teling and of kuyo and of simarun, as well as calyxes of sale, are pulled off, one by one, just as they are needed either to hold in the fire or to swallow. There still remain, however, many curative objects that are worn as means of prevention, or merely smelled to relieve pain, like the above-mentioned fragrant bouquets.

Bagobo Ceremonial Magic and Myth

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