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Tiruray the Second Creation

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Tiruray also believe that should a religious leader have sufficient wit, power and goodness, he could lead all of his followers “beyond the sky” to live in the land of Tulus (or Sualla)… In the days of Lagey Lingkuwos (their greatest legendary hero), people had a difficult time with their farming. They wanted to please Tulus by farming well, but they were never sure when the winds would be right for burning; they had trouble predicting the arrival of the rainy season, and thus they were when they should plant; and they lacked a way of calling for the good or bad agricultural omens.

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Farming was therefore, a matter of guess work regarding timing, and the swidden cycle for those unfortunate people was seldom properly keyed to the yearly seasons as it so clearly needed to be. Lagey Lingkuwos was aware of this serious problem and was determined to do something about it. Near his place was a settlement where six people lived.

They were, like all people, farmers. And, like all human beings at that time, they were followers of Lagey Lingkuwos. Three were young unmarried men.

All first cousins whose names were Kufukufu, Baka, and Seretar. Each lived in his own house, near the houses of their uncles: the widower, Keluguy, who was the leader of the settlement, and Singkad, the group’s only married man who lived with his wife, Kenogon. These people kept as pet a species of forest dove, which the Tiruray called lemugen. When it came time for Lagey Lingkuwos to lead his followers to the place of Tulus, beyond the sky, he asked the special favors of the six people.

Knowing that Tulus would not leave the world without human beings to make swiddens in the forests, and wanting the next creation to have an easier time than the last, he asked those six followers to leave their pet bird behind in the forest, where its call could become the needed giver of omens. He further asked them to live in the sky for as long as there should be a world and people to farm it.

They agreed to both requests of their esteemed leader, and so it is today that the lemugen’s call gives the farmers much needed agricultural omen, and the six constellations move across the night sky, assisting this new creation of people to properly anchor their swidden cycle in the annual round of seasons. Tiruray said that the six seem, like themselves, to be always proceeding to work in their swiddens–the three young cousins ahead, followed by their uncle and headman.

Singkad comes next, prudently keeping himself between his attractive wife and the splendid Keluguy, whom Tiruray never refer to by name–to do so would be too disrespectful–but call by his nickname, Fegeferafad. Lemugen – Everyone listen attentively to the omen-call of the lemugen bird, which is believed to have the power to convey messages between human beings and the spirits. widower (Law) a man whose wife has died and who has not remarried Wit – intelligence , ability to understand Swidden – An area cleared for temporary cultivation by cutting and burning the vegetation. Tiruray – ethnic group in Mindanao

Seldom – Paminsan minsan Settlement – kasunduan Omens – Pangitain Constellations – An arrangement of parts or element. A group of stars forming a pattern that is traditionally named after its apparent form or identified with a mythological figure Anchor – fix cultivation – (agriculture) production of food by preparing the land to grow crops (especially on a large scale) “Tiruray Constellations: The Agricultural Astronomy of a Philippine Hill People,” The word “Tiruray” comes from “tiru,” signifying “place of origin, birth or residence,” and “ray,” from “daya,” meaning “upper part of a stream or river. The Tirurau are a traditional hill people of southwestern Mindanao. They live in the upper portion of a river-drained area in the northwestern part of South Cotabato, where the mountainous terrain of the Cotabato Cordillera faces the Celebes Sea. The Tiruray call themselves etew teduray or Tiruray people, but also classify themselves according to their geographic location: etew rotor, mountain people; etew dogot, coastal people; etew teran, Tran people; and etew awang, Awang people, or etew ufi, Upi people (Schlegel 1970:5).

The Tiruray may be classified into the acculturated and the traditional. The first refers to those who live in the northernmost areas of the mountains, and who have had close contact with Christian and Muslim lowland peasants, as well as with Americans since the beginning of the century. The second refers to Tiruray who have survived deep in the tropical forest region of the Cotabato Cordillera, and have retained a traditional mode of production and value system.

The Tiruray number about 27, 000, distributed in several areas: the coastal region, the northern mountain region, the Upi valley, the Tran Grande River, and Maganoy River regions. This entire mountainous stretch, in the seaward portion of northern Maguindanao, is also home to two other cultural groups who are linguistically distinct from the Tiruray and from each other: the nearby Cotabato Manobo, and the Tboli. The Tiruray are Malay in physical appearance. Their language is structurally related to those of the Malayo-Polynesian family.

But when spoken, it is unintelligible even to their immediate neighbors (Schlegel 1970:5). Tiruray Deities Minaden – The goddess who creates of the world, had a brother named Tulus, also called Meketefu and Sualla. Tulus – Is the chief of all good spirits who bestow gifts and favors upon human beings. He goes around with a retinue of messengers called telaki. Tulus is said to have rectified some errors in the first creation of the world and of human beings. Researches: Tiruray and Lagey Lengkuwos

One day, after the Teduray had grown to be a numerous people, a great shaman named Lagey Lengkuwos visited the Great Spirit “beyond the sky to the east”; he returned deeply impressed by the great beauty of the Region of the Great Spirit. In fact, he decided that it was much nicer than the forest where he and the Teduray lived, and so Lagey Lengkuwos led all the Teduray people on a great journey to relocate in the land of the Great Spirit. This journey was described in a long epic poem called the Berinarew, which in its entirety required some eighty or so hours to chant.

That evening, though, Mo-Bintang and his wife sang just one short section. It came from near the end of the epic, where the Great Spirit welcomed Lagey Lengkuwos and his people and gave them a place to live beyond the sky. This state of affairs, however, meant that no one remained to care for the forest, so the Great Spirit once again created a new group of Teduray. The Lemugen The inged families prepare small bamboo tubes filled with glutinous rice, and this they will offer to the spirits at the ritual marking of the first swidden site.

Men and women of the neighborhood congregate at a clearing, and they proceed in single file, as gongs are being played, to where the first swidden for the year will be marked for burning. Arriving at the site, they setup a small platform where they lay down the tubes of glutinous rice. Everyone listen attentively to the omen-call of the lemugen bird, which is believed to have the power to convey messages between human beings and the spirits. The first ritual marking is meant as a song of respect for the spirits of the forest, seeking permission to begin cutting down trees.

The owner of the field interprets the omen-call, and there are good signs and bad signs depending on the direction of the call. There are four good directions: selat (front), fereneken (45 degrees left), lekas takes (45 degrees right), and rotor (directly overhead). Any other direction is considered bad. The ritual laying of the food and the wait for the omen-call is repeated around the four corners of the swidden until a good omen is heard. Constellation

I was learning about their zodiac because forest Teduray used the night sky as a calendar. They believed that, like all of nature, the stars in the sky were put there for them, a gift to help them live. People carefully noted the movement of the constellations as the months passed, and from their position they calculated when the rains would come, or the dry season, or the best time to plant. I wanted to know how they did it, and little by little Mo-Baug told me. He was a fine old man of the forest and a specialist in storytelling.

Cite this Tiruray the Second Creation

Tiruray the Second Creation. (2016, Nov 16). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/tiruray-the-second-creation/

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