An Ivatan Folktale: “Duch’narbaan” / “Where Someone Fell”

From Itbayat Folktales, collected by Professor Yukihiro Yamada and introduced by Celerina Mirabueno Navarro

– – – – – – – – – – – – 

A long time ago, during the time when my grandfather Aplakati was still a little boy, there was an old man who lived in the fields of Kagawran. This old man was so kind that when he saw dead snakes under the heat of the sun, he would take them to a shady place.

Although he was already very old and weak, he still would go to his farm. One day he went to look for food. There was a slope at the end of his farmhouse and there the old man slipped and fell due to his age. The old man was very big and tall.

While he was lying down helpless, a man came who tried to lift him up, but he could not carry him. So he sat down and thought about what he could do. Suddenly, a snake appeared with leaves in his mouth. The man thought that the snake would wind itself around the old man and squeeze him to death. He observed what the snake would do.

When the snake was near the head of the old man, it rubbed the leaves on his forehead and he immediately sat up, revived. Then the snake left quietly.

The place is now called “Duch’narbaan” (where someone fell) because it was the place where the old man fell.

Note: Itbayat is a northern island of the Batanes, and people there speak a different dialect of Ivatan (called Itbayaten) from the Ivatans of Basco and Sabtang islands. It is this language that “Duch’narbaan” was told in.

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like