In the beginning there were no people on the earth. Lumawig, the Great Spirit, came down from the sky and cut many reeds.He divided these into pairs which he placed in different parts of the world, and then he said to them, “You must speak.” Immediately the reeds became people, and in each place was a man and a woman who could talk, but the language of each couple differed from that of the others.
Then Lumawig commanded each man and woman to marry, which they did. By and by there were many children, all speaking the same language as their parents. These, in turn, married and had many children. In this way there came to be many people on the earth.
Now Lumawig saw that there were several things which the people on the earth needed to use, so he set to work to supply them. He created salt, and told the inhabitants of one place to boil it down and sell it to their neighbors. But these people could not understand the directions of the Great Spirit, and the next time he visited them, they had not touched the salt.
Then he took it away from them and gave it to the people of a place called Mayinit. These did as he directed, and because of this he told them that they should always be owners of the salt, and that the other peoples must buy of them.
Then Lumawig went to the people of Bontoc and told them to get clay and make pots. They got the clay, but they did not understand the moulding, and the jars were not well shaped. Because of their failure, Lumawig told them that they would always have to buy their jars, and he removed the pottery to Samoki. When he told the people there what to do, they did just as he said, and their jars were well shaped and beautiful. Then the Great Spirit saw that they were fit owners of the pottery, and he told them that they should always make many jars to sell.
In this way Lumawig taught the people and brought to them all the things which they now have.
Notes: This book features 61 folktales from the Philippines.
Author: Mabel Cook Cole
Publisher: A.C. McClurg & Co., Chicago