Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Curious Cat Question

Am doing a little research on a story and I was wondering: does anyone know why we don't seem to have too many Trickster stories?

(In that same light, I'm wondering if people on the international side of the 'net know their Trickster tales?)

Obviously, we don't have the same kind of trickster myths that other places have. Interesting though, a lot of tales about mambabarang and mangkukulam seem to have a mischievous cast to it. Have an argument with an old man (who turns out to be a sorcerer) over a coconut tree? Then your womb starts to spill out coconut meat.

Likewise, there's one or two birds involved in Philippine myths, ranging from the freeing of Malakas and Maganda from the bamboo tree to the creation of land between the Sky God and the Sea Goddess. Maybe there's a possibility here?

Update: Yow! I've checked the recommended Damiana Eugenio's The Folktales: Philippine Folk Literature and it costs a pretty penny at P700. Ouch.


bhex said...

there are quite a few trickster stories in local lore, actually... i guess they just haven't been documented well enough. besides the juan tamad stories (which people say are NOT filipino in origin, but i guess they can be called adapted filipino tales?), there are also the pusung(sp?) ones from sulu, and the pilandok ones from maranao.

i retold a few pilandok stories in an old page i have not updated in AGES, and you can find more in Damiana Eugenio's Philippine Folk Literature: An Anthology. one pusung story there is especially... racy XD

Charles said...

I can loan you the book (that Bhex mentioned) if you want. I actually think many of our stories are overcome by wits rather than by brawn (although it's not like we have a shortage of the latter). Still, as far as recent stories go, Ibong Adarna is more about outwitting your opponents. Even Rizal's pagong at matsing is a form of a trickster story.

banzai cat said...

bhex: thanks :-) actually a google-check did show Eugenio's book may be my best source of information so will have to pick that up.

as for juan tamad, i didn't know he could be considered as trickster (given how he doesn't follow a profile of a trickster-- though he is lazy at least), much less filipino.

tried out the link but there's something wrong with it, alas.

charles: thanks man but will try to get my own copy. pretty useful book looks like.

as for wits overcoming brawn, that's the thing: the character has to be the idea of trickster and not necessarily having the trickster qualities. though i've forgotten: was the pagong/matsing story an original filipino story? if yes, then yes, i think the matsing can be considered a trickster epitome.

Charles said...

Site's working now. Bhex must have fixed it either way. =)

Just so you know, Eugenio is a multi-volume book. The book fair was trying to sell the entire thing to me for P6700. =P My wallet didn't have that much money and my back couldn't carry that many books (they're deadly weapons!).

Not sure about the pagong/matsing but Rizal wrote it. Don't know if he got it from some other European influence.

bhex said...

ooh i see what you mean... i always just interpreted trickster in folklore to mean a constant character who made you laugh, but if you mean clever characters who got away with it - yeah, juan tamad is more or less just there to poke fun at.

i hope the page is working now? that particular server tends to go down a few hours in the afternoon. never sure why it does that...

banzai cat said...

charles: Oy. You mean it's not the 1st volume only? I saw it also during the book fair. Still, it looks like a good source so might get it. (I wish I had enough money to get the rest: Epics, Fables, Myths, etc.)

bhex: Heh actually, blame this book I'm savoring, The Trickster Changes the World. Real interesting study of trickster myths around the world.