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Mandaya

The Children of the Limokon

In the very early days before there were any people on the earth, the limokon (a kind of dove)* were very powerful and could talk like men though they looked like birds. One limokon laid two eggs, one at the mouth of the Mayo River and one farther up its course. After some time these eggs hatched, and the one at the mouth of the river became a man, while the other became a woman.

The man lived alone on the bank of the river for a long time, but he was very lonely and wished many times for a companion. One day when he was crossing the river something was swept against his legs with such force that it nearly caused him to drown. On examining it, he found that it was a hair, and he determined to go up the river and find whence it came. He traveled up the stream, looking on both banks, until finally he found the woman, and he was very happy to think that at last he could have a companion.

They were married and had many children, who are the Mandaya still living along the Mayo River.

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*The omen bird of the Mandaya. It is believed to be a messenger from the spirit world which by its calls, warns the people of danger or promises them success. If the coo of this bird comes from the right side, it is a good sign, but if it is on the left, in back, or in front, it is a bad sign, and the Mandaya knows that he must change his plans.

--from Philippine Folk Tales by Mabel Cook Cole, published by AC McClurg and Company in 1916, and by the University Press of the Pacific in April 2000. Reprinted with permission from Javier Castano, production manager, University Press of the Pacific.

© Mabel Cook Cole

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