Mythology: Pathway in the Search for the Philippine Bisayans’ Bornean Roots

  • by Marie Melanie J. Misajon (completed June 2009)

ABSTRACT

The study aimed to assess the myth that the Philippine Early Bisayans originated from Borneo. Specifically, it investigated the material and non-material cultures of the Early Bisayans and the Bornean Dayaks to determine any historical link. The comparative content analysis of the two takes after Glasser and Straus ( 1967) while the use of myths as data source to investigate historical events derives its basis from Oppenheimer ( 1999). The Hinilawod was used to observe the culture of the Early Bisayans and the “Story of Kichapi” for the Bornean Dayaks. From the investigation of both epics, the material and non-material cultures of the two peoples are evident. However, for comparative study, the overall data generated for the material cultures is insufficient to categorically declare the cultures as the same or different. From the available data on material culture, there is a slight indication that they are similar more than different. For the non-material aspects of the cultures, they are more different than the same in the social aspect, especially in the view of the nuclear family and the superior roles within. The political the non-material aspects of the cultures, they are more different than the same in the social aspect, especially in the view of the nuclear family and the superior roles within. The political system is also pronouncedly different with the Early Bisayans’ datu leadership and the absence of such among the Dayaks. The practice of beheading is very distinct among the Dayaks as an expression of political supremacy but absent among the Early Bisayans. Similarities are in their manners of livelihood, and epic structure. They are identical in the dominance of animism as the source of power, healing, control of environment and societal recognition. Given the findings from the observable comparative data, the Philippine Bisayans did not originate from the Sarawak area of the northwestern side of Borneo particularly from the Dayaks.

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