The Creation

The Creation of the World
An Igorot Folktale

In the beginning, when there were no people yet on earth, Lumawig, the Great Spirit of the sky, descended down to the earth and began cutting off some reeds. He arranged the reeds into pairs and distributed them into the different parts of the world. Then with a loud voice that echoed throughout the land he commanded the reeds saying, “Henceforth you shall become humans and begin to speak!” At once each pair of reeds turned to people consisting of a man and a woman who began to speak in languages different from those of the other pairs.

Later on, Lumawig also commanded each man and woman to marry and beget children. Their children spoke the same language as their parents. In turn, these children married and begot sons and daughters until the world was filled with people.

Meantime, Lumawig saw to it that the daily needs of the people were well provided, so he set out to work to supply them. Among other things, he created salt and assigned it to the inhabitants of one place to take care of its distribution. He told them to boil it down and sell it to their neighbors. Unfortunately, they could not understand the directions Lumawig gave them, so that when the Great Spirit visited them, he was disappointed to find out they had not even touched the salt.

Thus, Lumwaig took the salt away from them and gave it instead to the people called Mayinit who prepared the salt according to his instruction. It pleased Lumawig so much that he declared them to be owners of all the salt which they then sold to the other people.

Afterwards, Lumawig went to the people of Bontoc and taught them how to make pots out of clay. However, they didn't quite understand the molding process so the jars they made were awkward in shape. It displeased the Great Spirit so much that he told them to buy jars instead. Lumawig proceeded to Samoki and there he succeeded in teaching the people there how to make beautiful and stylish potteries which they later sold to their neighbors.

Lumawig proceeded to visit the other lands, and wherever he went he taught each people a different trade for them to carry on their livelihood. In this way, Lumawig, the Great Spirit, taught mankind and brought to them all the things which they now have.