Laura Watson Benedict

Part III. Every-day Forms of Religious Response Continued


In every phase of activity, the Bagobo is bound up more or less tightly by an array of inhibitions that delay or completely check the prompt execution of his projects, by arousing in him fears, questionings and hesitation as to whether some tradition will be trampled upon, or some disease invited by this or that intended move. He explains his insistence upon any given tabu by drawing attention to a ceremonial restriction, or a social custom, or a known experience of a hurt that followed some transgression; but obviously present-day explanations give no clue to historical origin in any single case. This fact becomes the more evident on observing that the practice of the same tabu may be variously accounted for by different Bagobo. For example, one person refuses to eat the flesh of monkeys because once a monkey turned into a buso; while another says that to eat monkey would make him very sick because long ago, according to myth, monkeys had the form of man; and a third Bagobo explains his aversion by pointing out that a monkey has hands like the hands of man, and feet like the feet of man.

In any attempt to group into classes the different forms of tabu, this tendency of the natives to find more than one origin for a single custom emphasizes the highly artificial element that necessarily enters into every classification, for no item belongs in one fixed place alone. Yet the natural association of the tabus suggests


some such grouping as the following: (a) The ceremonial tabu, a tabu connected with objects sacred to the gods, or having a ceremonial significance; (b) The mythical tabu, a tabu whose coercive effect depends upon association with some tradition, myth, or supernatural mandate, including omens; (c) The class tabu, a tabu on privileges reserved for certain social classes; (d) The aesthetic tabu, a tabu which derives its force from the juxtaposition of incongruous mental images.

Ceremonial Tabu

The ceremonial tabus are connected particularly with ceremonies whose efficacy would be spoiled by the infringement of the tabu, of chief importance among which prohibitions are the following.

It is tabu to sell, or to give away, any article which has been placed upon an altar as an offering. In certain cases, such offerings must be left permanently upon the shrine; while in other cases the objects are returned to the owners at the conclusion of a ceremony, or after one night has passed while these gifts have been lying on the shrine. In any case, one must never part with an object thus offered to a god.

It is tabu to sell a weapon, or an ornament, which by reason of its age is called an ikut^ a term used of certain classes of articles when they become old, and are hence ready to be put upon an altar. The following objects are called ikut after they have been worn or carried for a period of not less than two years and one month. The pangidu^ a long-handled spear, of which there are some thirty or more types; the kampilan^ a valuable one-edged sword that is carried in a decorative scabbard; the sundong^ a long, two-edged sword of Moro manufacture, that is obtained by the Bagobo in trade; the kalasag^ a war shield made of fine-grained wood and often elaborately carved; the sinkali, a chain girdle of fine brass links worn by wealthy Bagobo women; the pankis,^^'^ a general term for several types of brass bracelet; the pmnarang^ ear-plugs worn by women and made of hard wood inlaid with very fine brass wire; the gading^ large ivory ear-plugs worn by men. "While exceptions may occur, the tendency is to limit the

'^' The armlet cast from a wax mold and forming a complete circlet is preferably the ikut.


classes of objects called ikut to weapons, arms and ornaments of metal and of ivory. The interesting point is that the object in question automatically attains a ceremonial value just because it is old. "Cannot sell; it's old," is the nonchalant and final answer to a request for something that is ikut ; for the ikut must go to the tambara or to the balekat, or to the parabunnian. Nevertheless, though the god of the field, or the god of the house shrine may claim the bracelet, or the ear-plug, or the shield, the Bagobo may still continue to wear the ornament, or to carry the arm or the
weapon, for some time at least, before placing it upon a shrine.
There seems to exist a sort of tacit understanding between himself and the divine being that, sooner or later, the precious possession shall pass over to the altar. The question as to whether or not an object has yet become an ikut may not rise into consciousness until an opportunity for sale presents itself. On one occasion, there was some hesitation about selling me a pair of ivory plugs because "the gading was old, and perhaps ready for parabunnian."

It is tabu to hold the festival of Ginum during the dark fortnight of the moon.

It is tabu to remove from the Long House any part of the ceremonial apparatus until the close of the celebration of Ginum.
This tabu includes articles of food that are brought in for the feast, such as meat and salt, and the prohibition extends even to such small things as fragments of rattan and parts of torches. The night we were stringing biaii nuts on sections of rattan for the illumination, I asked to keep a bit of the rattan for a sample, but my request was promptly denied. They told me that it would be "very bad" to take it until after Ginum.

It is tabu to cut the end of a ceremonial bamboo that is raised at Ginum. It is better to leave it standing at a slant if it is too long to be put in an upright position.

In the old men's statement of exploits, it is tabu for any man to give the correct number of the victims he has slain. He must mention only one half the actual number, because if he should give the complete count the great bamboo would split from top to bottom while his hand clasps it.

It is tabu to continue the celebration of Ginum if an earthquake shock occurs, lest the death of the man who gives the festival follow, and the death of every member of his family as well.

It is tabu to move toward the north or the west or the east


while sowing rice at the annual festival of Marummas. The prescribed direction is from north to south, and to go in any other direction would cause a Bagobo to "die very quick" of a disease called tulud.

It is tabu to sow rice at any time except during the traditional rice-planting season, which covers a period of about three months — April, May and June.

It is tabu to break the spray of rice that is ceremonially placed on the altar for the harvest ritual.

It is tabu for a torch to burn at the night meetings called Manganito^ at which seances not even a flicker of fire is permitted.

It is tabu for anybody in the house where there is a dead person to fall asleep during the death watch.

Mythical Tabu

The coercive effect of the mythical tabu depends upon its association with some tradition, myth, supernatural mandate or omen, as the following examples will illustrate.

It is tabu to continue a journey if an animal belonging to any member of the party dies on the road, or if any animal dies at a house where the party is stopping or waiting on the road.

It is forbidden to laugh at one's reflection in the water.

It is tabu to laugh at small animals. Whoever laughs at a mouse or a monkey or a lizard or a fly, or at any other little creature, will have his head turned round by the Thunder-god, so that he will face backward.

To kill a cat is tabu^*^^ because, according to the myths, the cat on two or three occasions gave timely warning to the Bagobo when they were in danger.

The killing of a snake, though perhaps not carrying a direct prohibition, is regarded as unwise, in view of the attitude which the snake community might assume toward the ofl'ender. My

**^ The Peninsular Malays consider it lucky to keep a cat in the house. Cf. W. W. Skeat: Malay Magic, p. 190. A passage quoted by Skeat from Hugh Clifford's "In Court and Kampong" (p. 47) reveals a like superstition. "It is a common belief among Malays that if a cat be killed he who takes its life will in the next world be called upon to carry and pile logs of wood as big as cocoanut trees, to the number of the hairs on the beast's body. Therefore cats are not killed but if they become too daring in their raids on the hen-coop or the food rack, they are tied to a raft and sent floating down stream to perish miserably of hunger/' Idid., p. 191.


mountain guide, Ayoba, on catching sight of a poisonous black viper on the traily uttered a startled exclamation, then cut a stick, picked up the reptile carefully and tossed it into the jungle. They told me at Bungoyan's home that if the snake had been put to death all its relatives and its friends might have come to bite us.

There is a tabu on eating monkeys, on the ground that once a monkey turned into a buso. Another tradition quoted for the origin of the inhibition is that of the primitive peopling of the earth by monkeys that had the form of man. It is said, again, that after the earth was occupied by human beings, a few persons were metamorphosed into monkeys.

To mention the name of a deceased ancestor comes under the tabu called luas^ a transgression to which severe penalties are attached. One often hears from the Bagobo remarks like the following: "I must not tell his name: he was my grandfather;" "I cannot speak my father's name, because he is dead." I am inclined to think that some Bagobo are afraid to mention the names of any dead persons, whether they are related to them or not.
Once or twice I have heard it said that "a Bagobo does not speak the name of the dead; it is very bad to do so." It is probable that the mention of the name would be held as an equivalent to a summons to the ghost to appear, and the care with which ceremonial is performed to prevent the spirits in Kilut from so much as giving a thought to those on earth shows how great is the anxiety of the Bagobo to shut off the possibility of ghostly apparitions. ^^^

Among mountain Bagobo, there is a tendency to avoid mentioning their own names that suggests the existence of a generally prevalent tabu at an earlier period. A chieftain educated strictly under the old Bagobo system, like Imbal of Tubison, if asked his name will motion to a companion to answer for him. There is an evident feeling that one's own name is a precious and personal thing, not to be tampered with by others.

Certain special circumstances appear to set in motion a name-tabu called hias'^ e.g. a man does not mention the name of a girl whom

Furness says of tabu on names in Borneo: "Among the Kayans and Kenyahs, as far as I know, the restriction on the utterance of names of relatives extends only to the fathers-in-law of a married couple, whose names must not be mentioned by either the husband or the wife. Again, it is most ill-omened for a son to mention his dead father's name; and, of course, neither man nor woman dare pronounce their own name;, this a downright courting of all conceivable disasters and diseases." cit, p. 17.


he has seduced; the names of two boys who are desperately at odds may be luas to each other.

It is tabu to mention the name of the god of fire, lest such mention act as a summons to Buso.

In building a house, it is tabu to place the floor at a level between the waist and the head of the builder. The floor must be either in the same horizontal plane with the waist of the builder, or else be raised to a height above his head. If the floor should be at the height, say, of the shoulder, the house would inevitably fall and crush the family.

In digging a grave, the depth must be such that the top of the walls be at a point about midway between the waist and the breast of the digger. It is tabu to dig a grave deeper or shallower than this measure.

Among mountain Bagobo, there is a rigid tabu against the sale of unfinished textiles or other handiwork that is still in process of manufacture by the women, such as carrying bags, embroidery, and over-laced work. To break this tabu will make the women too eager for the society of men. Of such an emotional disturbance, the dignified and self-controlled Bagobo woman is in deadly fear; and it was only after much discussion among the old people in regard to possible substitutes and medicines that I could secure an article in process of making.

Class Tabu

The class tabu defines the limits of privileges reserved for certain classes. This type of tabu may, perhaps, have become obligatory as a means of social control, or under the pressure of group interests. By this, I do not intend to give the impression that there has been any formal reservation of valued privileges for the old people, or for other classes of individuals distinguished for exploit or by their ancestry; but merely that in single cases, through some historic accident, such a tabu might easily have originated, and later have become fixed as a social obligation. In the nature of things, this class of tabus would be small, for the social system of the Bagobo is frankly democratic, and most good things are shared by all; yet here and there, though rarely, a young man who has performed no exploit, or a woman, on account of her sex, is at a disadvantage.


It is tabu for a youth who has never killed a man to eat the flesh of the limokun pigeon. The boys are taught that if they
should dare to eat it they would feel very sick, that their skin would turn yellow, and that they would grow thin and die; but the man who has killed other men may safely eat this pigeon, for the reason that the limokun is the king of birds. There seems to be no feeling of hesitation about killing this bird on account of its sacred association with omens, but only as to making it common food. Limokun is set aside for those who have achieved renown, just as certain articles of dress are reserved for old people and for warriors.

The wearing of the head-cloth called tankiihi is tabu to any man who has never killed another man, for the tankulu is a ceremonial badge, indicating that the wearer has given Mandarangan human blood to drink. This much-valued kerchief is made by women specialists, who employ a method of over-lacing cotton or hemp cloth before dyeing it. After coloring, the binding threads are removed and, wherever the dye has not penetrated, a decorative design in cream-color is left on a dark red background. The color varies from a claret tint to a dark chocolate shade in a progressive series, the lighter tints indicating that the wearer has killed but few men, the darker tints that he has killed many.

This beautifully decorated tankulu cloth, which gives the appearance of having been stamped with pattern blocks, is often made up into shirts, trousers and carrying-bags for the men, and into short waists and separate sleeves for the women. The use of this cloth is tabu, however, to all except those who have won the right to wear the tankulu kerchief^ and their near relatives. For example, a young man who has never taken life, but is nephew to a datu or other brave man, is often seen wearing the tankulu but a youth who has no distinguished relatives must earn his own exploit badge.

Another textile, the use of which is prohibited to young men and to young women, is linomMis^ a hemp fabric that is dyed a solid color in the rich claret dye extracted from the root of the sikarig tree, and made into closed, tight shirts for old men and women. It is said that in former times, before cotton cloth was imported at the coast, all Bagobo women, young and old, wore the linombus waist. At present, there is an attempt to preserve the ancient colors in the short waist of shop cotton, with its body of

bright scarlet and sleeves of dark blue, which is worn by young women and girls. The old women keep for themselves the firmly woven hemp waist, with its long black sleeves and dark wine-colored body. Younger women save themselves time and trouble by securing cotton stuff that can be bought at the coast and quickly sewed together; but just when the tabu on the use of Imomhiis by the young originated we do not know. That a custom which has passed out of use from unmistakably economic causes should now be prohibited under an ethical category is interesting to note. As for the young men, I heard no statement to the effect that they ever wore the closed linombus ^'^ shirt. Their present short jacket^ open in front and made of hemp woven in fine checks, may have been the historic garment. Only the sons and nephews of chieftains are permitted to wear the closed, claret-colored shirt of the old people, and for them it is frequently embroidered very beautifully and decorated with pearl discs. It is possible that the linombus shirt, like the kerchief of brave men, was formerly associated with rank and prowess, and that later it came to be reserved for old people only.

It is tabu for women to eat the sacrificial food which, under the name of taroanan^ ^'^ is offered upon the altar at Ginum.

It is tabu for young women to embroider the wide closed scarf called sinaya^ which is worn by mothers to support the baby as it rests upon the hip. This scarf passes over the right shoulder, across the chest, and under the left arm, and is covered with highly decorative figures embroidered with a special needlework that is now almost a lost art. Only aged women are permitted to do this embroidery, and now there are but few old women who understand the art. ^^-

The ivory ear-plugs called gading seem once to have been tabu to married men. It is said that these splendid discs of ivory are distinctive of men who are malaki, or virgin, but the tabu is certainly not now strictly preserved.

It is tabu to men and women who are not unmarried and chaste (malaki and daraga) to wear the wide, solid shell bracelet called ikmgolan. I remember having seen but one married man wearing

^'*'In the Bila-an tribe, young men freely wear both jacket and trousers of linombus cloth.

^•^^See pp. 79, 104, 138.

See the illustration in Amer. Mus. Jour., vol. 11, p. 166. May, 1911. This scarf is called also salugboy.


this armlet, and that was Antis, brother of Datu Ido. Possibly the tabu is lifted for relatives of chieftains.

Esthetic Tabu

The aesthetic tabu derives its force from the juxtaposition of incongruous mental images, often associated with some real or fancied resemblance.

The few tabus to be found in existence among the Bagobo on eating the flesh of certain animals are in nowise traceable
to any totemic origin; nor are they based on supposed hygienic grounds; nor is there any scruple against taking the life of an animal, as such; nor, except in the single case of the limokun, is there a religious sanction involved. Rather does the mention of eating this or that animal suggest a train of mental images that stimulates a feeling of distaste or repugnance. The tabued animal in said to be like some other animal which is never eaten; or it resembles man in some character; or the visual or the gustatory image is unpleasant simply because it is inhibited by Bagobo custom.
This group of tabus is by no means so generally binding as those of the two preceding classes, and the Bagobo who fails to observe them is gently derided rather than censured. The only animal food that I have heard spoken of as likely to produce death is the flesh of the goat.

The civet cat is tabu, the only reason given being on the ground of custom.

The carabao, or water-buffalo, is tabu for food, possibly because the animal is utilized for dragging loads, and for riding bareback.

Mountain Bagobo of the truly conservative type refuse to eat beef.
On my offering a share in a can of corned beef to some old women at Talun, who had very little food, they said that they could not eat it because the cow was "like the carabao." ^^^

^'^To the mountain Bagobo, cows are known only by an occasional glimpse at the very few herds kept by an occasional Spaniard at the coast. Rinderpest is so widespread a disease in the district of Davao that the attempt to introduce cows has met with little success. "The universal preference for the flesh of the Buffalo to that of the Ox in Malay countries is evidently a prejudice bequeathed to modern times by a period when cow-beef was as much an abomination to Malays as it is to the Hindus of India at the present day.'* W, W. Skeat: Op. cii., p. 189. As above noted, however, the Bagobo women objected to cow-flesh on the ground that it suggested eating buffalo-meat.


Goat's flesh is tabu, for "it would kill a Bagobo to eat it." I saw no goats under domestication with the Bagobo, but I was told that the Bila-an people kept goats. Whether this tabu has arisen through unfamiliarity with the animal, or because of the economic value of goat's hair for decorative purposes, or through some Bila-an tradition borrowed by the Bagobo cannot be determined until the Bila-an tribe is better known to us.

Reptiles, including snakes, monitor lizards and agama, are almost universally tabu among the Bagobo. Although some Bagobo will eat the flesh of the monitor lizard and of certain snakes, the aesthetic repugnance that leads to the prohibition is pretty general.

Nearly all Bagobo, young and old, show disgust and abhorrence at the mere suggestion of eating the flesh of monkeys. While the story-teller accounts for this widespread feeling by reference to some mythical or other episode where the monkey figured as a chief character, most Bagobo explain the tabu by pointing out the resemblance which an ape bears to a human being. From boys and girls, from old women and old men, one hears such remarks as the following, uttered with manifest signs of horror and shrinking.
"The monkey has two feet like man's feet; he has two hands like man's hands; I could not eat the monkey." "A Tagakaola can eat monkey; a Bilia-an can eat monkey; a Kulaman can eat monkey."
"Very few Bagobo can eat monkey, because monkey is like man."
I have known two or three Bagobo boys who frankly admitted to eating monkey-meat, "because it is like deer," or "because it is like chicken," but these boys were ridiculed by the other young people present. Doubtless, under stress of famine, which so often comes when the rice crops fail, any tabu that limits the food supply runs a risk of being broken.

The Bagobo say that other tribes eat animals proscribed among themselves. The Tagakaola are said to eat civet cat and lizards, while the Bila-an and the Kulaman are accused of eating monkey.
No doubt the tabu on certain classes of foods is subject to considerable local variation, but of course each tribe regards its own customs as more or less distinctive. One day there were ten or more Bila-an men at my house when we were talking of food tabus, and they all admitted readily that it was their custom to eat monkey-flesh.




Closely related to the entire subject of tabu is the belief in omens, signs and dream portents, some of which phenomena indicate a line of behavior to be followed out, while others foretell un- avoidable disaster, or simply serve to announce an event that has already occurred. The greater number of omens noted by the Bagobo as significant are believed in pretty generally by other tribes in the Philippines, and are of a nature that requires no particular consideration. Many of the signs and portents that are here briefly listed together have already been mentioned in our previous discussion, in association with the various subjects which they concern.
A number of conditions observable in natural phenomena are interpreted as omens.

When the western sky has a lurid or reddish aspect on a cloudy afternoon, it is a sign of misfortune for the world, and it especially foretells the appearance of the sickness called pamalii. There is a saying among the Bagobo, "When the sky is red, trouble will come."

"Maluto langit, madat e banua." Red sky, bad is world.

It is said that at rare intervals the sun at noon seems to have the shape of an umbrella, and that this timolud sun is an omen of terrible import. It foretells the calamity of an incestuous union between a brother and sister in some family, followed by the death of the guilty individuals.

An eclipse of the moon is a sign that the mammoth bird Minokowa has swallowed her, and that the sun and all the people on the earth will be swallowed by the same bird, unless the Minokawa can be induced to open its mouth and disgorge the moon — a result which is regularly brought about by the shouting and screaming of men, and the beating of agongs.

The so-called spots on the moon are actually a white monkey sitting on a tree; but to distinguish the form of the monkey is a portent of death to him that sees it.

Crashing peals of thunder augur sickness and death, for the zoomorphic thunder demon is emitting growls and roars, a sign that he will immediately drop down upon earth and devour somebody, unless spells be performed with lemons cut up in water.


A shower falling within a few days after the death of any Bagobo is to be interpreted as a sign that the dead person is weeping for a companion to follow him. Some one of his relatives or near friends, therefore, will be smitten with mortal illness, failing the performance of the proper spell to charm away the lingering spirit.

A dire portent is the occurrence of an earthquake during the celebration of Ginum, for it fortells the death of the host and of all his family.

A journey must be given up, or postponed, if an animal belonging to any one of the expedition dies on the road, for this is a sign that to go on w^ould be dangerous.

The sound of an insect chirping in a house at night is a sign that somebody has just died, and this faint singing is the voice of the right-hand soul (gimohid takmvanan) making the announcement of its departure from the earth.

The sound of a rotten tree crashing to the ground at night, when no man is near to fell it, is an augur of death, for it means that the evil ghost which was the left-hand soul (tebang) is striking his head against the trunk to show that he wants somebody to die and be his comrade as he prowls about at night. ^'^

The limokun^^^ is recognized by the Bagobo as the omen bird, whose voice must be listened to carefully for indications of success or ill-luck. Opinions in regard to the precise manner of the

^"Father Gisbert records several omens that I did not happen to hear mentioned as significant phenomena. In a letter dated February 8, 1886, he says: "When the Bagobos have an evil presentiment, for which it is enough for them to see a snake in the hoase, or that the jar breaks in the fire, etc., they hasten to their matanom, in order to have him conjure the misfortune by means of his great wisdom. . . . Sneezing is always a bad omen for them, and accordingly if anyone sneezes by chance when they are about to set out on a journey, the departure is deferred until next day." Blair and Robertson: op. cit, vol. 43, pp. 237—238. 1906.

^^^The limokun {Calcopkaps Indica) is a species of turtle dove, or wood pigeon, having
green and white plumage, with red feet and beak. It is a large and beautiful bird
that Bagobo children love to catch and tame for a house pet, and this they do freely,
notwithstanding its character as an omen bird. The boys snare it by laying a slip-noose
on the red pepper plant, whose fruit the bird comes to eat. The string of the slip-noose
is tied by its other end to the slender branch of a tree or bush, so as to work by a
simple form of trigger release, the branch bending down and springing back when the
bird steps into the noose. In about two nights, a boy told me, the limokun, imprisoned
in a little cage of split bamboo, has grown fairly tame. The decoy note for limokun is
made by whistling between the two thumbs held in contact, vertically and close to the
lips, the four fingers of the right hand being clasped over those of the left, with a tiny
crevice left for an air vent.


augury vary somewhat, though the postponing of a journey or the abandoning of the expedition is usually involved. A Bagobo told me that if the limokun were heard to whistle the journey must be abandoned for that day. Either a return home, or a mere wait on the road, will avert the threatened disaster. Certain other investigators'^^ have recorded that the advance or retreat of the party must be determined by the direction whence the limokun's voice comes — whether from the right hand or the left hand side of the path.^^^

Omens of life and of death, of w^ealth and of poverty, are read in the lines on the palm of the hand by Bagobos skilled in such matters.

Among my acquaintances were two young men and one old chieftain who understood a little of palmistry. The long curved line that follows the direction of the attachment of the thumb is called the lawaj which, when it ends proximally in many fine roots, means that the person will have a long life. The well-defined line running across the hand below the fingers is the kulili^ which, if strong and deeply-marked, signifies that the individual will grow rich and possess many things. The line running transversely between the kulili and the lawa is named the tidalan^ but I am unable to state its meaning, as my note on this line is broken off.
A faint line passing lengthwise over the middle of the palm, and crossing the tidalan and the kulili, is to be seen in the hands of some persons; this is the hera kamati^ and its presence indicates that one is the last of the family, that all of the other members are dead. The short line near the wrist, running obliquely from

*^^ Father Gisbert wrote, in 1886, as follows concerning the limokun augur among the Bagobo: "The song of the limocon is for them the message from God. It is of good or evil augury according to circumstances. Accordingly, when the limocon sings every Bagobo stops and looks about him. If he sees, for instance, a fallen tree, the limocon advises him not to advance farther, for the fate of that tree awaits him, and he turns back. If he sees no particular thing which indicates or prognosticates any ill, he continues, for then the song of the limocon is good/' Blair and Robertson: op. cit.^ vol. 43, p. 238. 1906.

^ ' ' Bishop Aduarte, writing in 1640 of the inhabitants of Nueva Segovia, probably refers to the limokun in this passage. "If they heard the singing of a certain bird which they regarded as a bad omen, they did not go on at all with what they had undertaken, even though they had traveled for many days, and even in the case of an entire army in war. They acted in the same manner if the bird came or iiew toward their left hand, or if it turned its bill in such or such a direction." See his "Historia. . ." Blair and Robertson, vol. 30, p. 287. 1905.


the lawa to the bera kamati, is called the hangmi^ and means that men will kill the sister of the possessor of the hand, or will kill his sister's husband. The koris is a short line branching upward from the bangan; but koris may be used also as a general term for the lines in the palm. The phrase madat palad signifies that your lines are unlucky, that you will have a short life, and that your wife, too, will soon die. ^'^


Dreams are of two distinct types, which may be called exploit dreams and warning dreams.

The exploit dream is characterized by adventures, hairbreadth escapes, strange encounters — all of which are actual exploits performed by the evil left-hand soul, which has escaped, temporarily, from the body in which it lives and is wandering about the earth. ^'^

The vision, or warning dream, is one in which a person who is living under some stress of anxiety or suffering is visited by a heavenly messenger, who tells him what to do to obtain relief.
Several myths illustrate this type of dream, such as the following.

^"^^ Parallel beliefs in the value of signs and portents for the determination of behavior are found in many tribes throughout the Islands. For example, Aduarte says of the Filipino of Nueva Segovia, in 1640: "If the Indians left their houses, and happened to meet anyone who sneezed, they went back home again even though they had gone a day's journey, as if the sneeze had been something in the road. Sometimes they went on, and returned without delay from their destination. If the same thing happened when they began to work, they immediately desisted from their labor. On the contrary, they were very much encouraged and very joyful whea the augury was a good one; and although a thousand times the event was opposite to what the augury had threatened or promised, they never lacked an excuse for remaining in that error. . ."
"Historia. . ." Blair and Robertson: op. cit„ vol. 30, jop. 387 — 288. 1905.

One of the pioneer Jesuit missionaries in Mindanao, Francisco Combes, says: "What they believe in thoroughly are omens, which are almost general ia all the islands. There are many of them: of birds, like the limocon; of insects, like the lizard [sic.']; of accidental occurrences, like sneezing; of happenings, like deaths and earthquakes; of observances, at times of sowing, and of reaping, and of the hunt — all of those have their observances which they fulfil in order to have luck ia the work; for they believe that without these it will be unlucky and without any profit." "Historia de Mindanao, Jolo, etc." 1667. Blaie and Robertson: op. cit., vol. 40, p. 134. 1906.

Cf. also, the following references as typical of many such to be found in the Indian sagas. "After he had set forth he saw an evil omen presenting itself in front of him."
Somadeva: Katha sarit sagara: tr. by C. H. Tawney, vol. 1, p. 283. 1880. "An evil omen presenting itself to people engaged in any undertaking, if not counteracted by delay and other methods, produces misfortune." Ibid.^ vol, J, p. 285.

^'^See pp. 58—60.


During a legendary famine that afflicted the Mona, the traditional ancestors of the Bagobo, a little boy with white hair appears to the old man, Tuglay, in his sleep and warns him to stay no longer where there is so little food, but to go to the land of the water-sources.

A mother whose son has been bewildered by the wood demon^ S'iring, and lured to his death, sees at night a dream-boy who stands beside her and bids her perform certain devotional rites that will procure the restoration of her son. ^^^

An allied episode is that in the story, " The Sun and the Moon,"^^^ when a white-haired boy tells the Sun, in a dream, that the Moon mother has hidden away her girl-baby in a box to save her from the cruelty of the Sun. ^^^

^«« (7/ Jour. Am. Folk-Lore; vol. 26, pp. 24—52. Jan.— Mar., 1913.

^^^ Of. ibid., p. 17.

^^*ror a discussion of magic, tabu and treatment of disease in certain Melanesian tribes, see Dr. C. G. Seligmann's "The Melanesians of British New Guinea," pp. 136 — 140, 167—193. 1910.

The subject of divination, magic and omens among the Todas of Southern India is examined by Dr. W. H. R. Rivees, in his "The Todas," pp. 249—273, 459—460.

See also Dr. A. C. Haddon*s Notes on the Omen Animals of Sarawak, in his "Head- Hunters, Black, White and Brown," pp. 381—393. 1901. Cf. Reports of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres Straits, vol. V, VI, 1904 — 1908, for an analysis of the magic and religion of the western and eastern islanders.

Bagobo Ceremonial Magic and Myth

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