Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Creation Myth Variant 4: The Bird, The Sky and The Sea

Creation Myth Variant 4: The Bird, The Sky and The Sea
This version is said to be the pre-spanish and one of the earliest creation myths in the Philippines.

In the beginning, the earth only consisted of the endless seas and skies. The great bird, Manaul, flew across this sapphire expanse searching for a perch. Tired of his endless flight, he appealed to the god of the Sky, Kaptan, and to the god of the Sea, Magauayan, for aid but both did not give him anything, Manaul, dove into the deep blue sea and saw there was land at the bottom of it. And since the two gods would not help him, the great bird Manaul, devised a devious plan to make the two deities fight with each other by telling both Kaptan and Maguayan that the other wanted to take over their respective kingdoms. The plan of Manaul worked and Kaptan and Maguayan fell into a quarrel with each other over who was more powerful, they then sought to resolve this dispute by war. Maguayen sent furious and immense waves at his nemesis and Kaptan, meanwhile, unleashed whirlwinds that pushed back the seas to reveal the lands underneath. This went on for a long time, with neither gaining on the other, but the lands below the sea kept getting bigger and bigger, higher and higher as more of it is continued to be exposed due to the duel of the two deities. Manaul, desiring peace once more, then sent emissaries, the winds Kanauay and Amihan, to ask the gods to reconcile but Magauayan and Kaptan ignored their pleas. Tired of the battle, Manaul thus flew to the tip of a high craggy mountain overlooking the ocean, and gathered colossal boulders. He then dropped these on the warring gods and succeeded in stopping them.
Manual Bird
Ateneo Art Gallery
Art by Rodel Tapaya

When a lull was finally reached, Manaul flew down from his mountain perch until he landed near a tall clump of bamboo. A few moments later, he heard a voice inside the grove asking him to open the bamboos as those inside wanted to be free, and in some versions, Manaul stabbed his feet on a sharp bamboo spine and opened the plant up with a blow from his powerful beak out of spite. The bamboo plant split open and revealed to the world the first man, Sikalak and the first woman, Sikabay, who populated the place with their offspring.

Maguayen by Rodel Tapayas
Makaptan by FranzDG

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