Fong: The origin of thunder and lightning, an Ibaloy tale

The following is another one of 117 stories compiled in “Nabaloi Tales” by Claude Russell Moss, published by the University of California Press in 1924 as Volume 17 of the University of California Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology. The document is now in the public domain, and permission has been secured for the use of this story.

Kabunian was a bachelor for many years. The moon was always laughing at him because he had no wife.

When he visited Lutab he saw a pretty woman. They were married, and lived in the house of the woman’s father.

There were other women who were jealous because they wished to marry Kabunian. One of them said, “Let us tie a goat under the house in which Kabunian and his wife sleep. When he thinks that his wife smells offensive, he will leave her and marry one of us.”

Every night they tied the goat under the house, until finally Kabunian knew what they had done. He became very angry, and decided to leave Lutab and return to the sky with his wife.

Soon after they had started a son was born, and they were delayed three days. When they went on, they came to a large rock in the middle of the road, which the woman could not pass. She said to Kabunian, “Let us return, because it is impossible to go farther.” Kabunian said, “You may return to Lutab if you wish, but I will take our child to the sky.”

His wife cried because she wanted to take the child. Kabunian became angry. He took his bolo. He took his bolo, cut and divided into two parts the child. He took half and gave half to his wife.

He made the lightning of half of the child, and started to the sky. When he turned around he saw that his wife was crying because she was unable to make alive her half of the child. Kabunian was sorry for her and made her half into the thunder.

Since then Kabunian has not visited the Igorot; but he sends the lightning to see what they are doing, and the thunder to scold them if they have been acting wrongly.

The following is the Ibaloy version. The strange-looking letter E (ë) is pronounced like the schwa sounds of the letters U and E in the English word “urgent.”

Balasang si Kabunian ni echakel ja tawën. Kangi-ngii ni bulan ta ënchi asawa to.

Nunta to impan-aadibay chi Lutab, inun-an toy mahëlting nga bii. Nan-asawa ira tan inan-a-chum chi balëy ni ama ni bii.

Guara ëchum ma bii ja ëman-a-dëm ta piyan cha ja ësaw-ën si Kabunian. Inkuwan ni sakëy, “Itakëd tayoy kalching chima duongan ni ogipan nën Kabunian tan asawa to. No nëmnëmën to jëy ëmanbëngët sota bii, si-janan to si asawa ët ësaw-ën toy sakëy son si-khatajo.” Dinadabi cha kaisingëd i kalching chi duongan. Asan cha ibjagi nunta inamta nën Kabunian i impasing cha. Bimungët pasya si-khato tan ninëmnëm to jëy onbëtik chi Lutab, jët ën-uli chi tabun si-khara son asawa to.

Idi chanchanin onda-jat ira, bimu-day I anak cha ja daki, jët ëtaktak ira ni tëdon akhëw. Idi dimaw ma ira, simbi ray ëbadëg ga bato chi kagachuwa ni chalan ja ëg mabëdin ja chalnën nonta bii. Injuwan to son Kabunian, “On-uli kita ta ëg mabëdin ja on-aragwi.” Inkuwan nën Kabunian, “Uli ka chi Lutab nëm piyan mo, nëm al-ën ko i anak ta chi tabun.”

Nimangis si asawa to ta piyan ton itakin i anak cha. Si Kabunian bimungët; inda to i ëtak to jët impanchuwa to i anak cha. Inda toy kagachuwa tan in-ahan toy kagachuwa son asawa to.
Dingkha toy kagachuwa ni anak to ni bagidat, jët dima-jat chi tabun. Idi
binmingi si-khato, inun-anto’s asawa to ja ëmanëngis ta ëg mabëdin ja biyagën to i kagachuwa ni anak to. Si Kabunian imangos, jët dingkha to ni kerol i kagachuwa to.

Ingkha nuntan si Kabunian ëg to inaadibay i Igudot, nëm to kaibëtkhag i bagidat ja ëmëngidmang ni cha kadagdag-a, tan sota kerol si-khatoy mëngisag-ang nëm ngaaw i dingdingka ra.

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