The Creation Myth of Yayo


Those who broke out from the hard rock actually came from overseas. Once, there was someone who said, "We broke out from the hard rock."

They were forty people, and they lived at Tabedeh, afterwards they prospered there.

As for their origin, I heard old people talking about that generation after generation. It is said that on another island somewhere there was a person who once told his children, "Do not go to our plantation, because then you will eat the fruits of kalelenden and pali." "Why would we eat those?" asked the children. After a while, however, they went there anyway. Some time after that, when they were having breakfast, the younger child suddenly scratched his knee. "Oh, my child, why aren't you eating? What is wrong with you?" asked his father. "My knee hurts," the child answered. Then his knee swelled up, and he was very ashamed. "My child, this really looks as if you ate pali," his father said. "Yes, my father, I ate kalelenden," said the child. The eldest son said, "And he ate pali too." "Didn't I tell you not to eat those fruits, my children?" said their father. The man from overseas was ashamed, so he made a big wooden box and put his child into it. Then he said, "I let you drift in this box, and you go drifting with the current to the shore of the great rock at Tabedeh. While you are drifting in the ocean, if you meet other wooden boxes, you say, 'You stay far away from me, because the excrement of Lovolovoin will spray you!' And this is what the child said every time another wooden box came near. Apparently there were several wooden boxes in the current. Since glass existed already at that time, the child could look into the ocean.

The box drifted to Tabedeh. The people in this story were people from Ikbalat. Afterwards the child had an offspring. "This is why my knee hurt before," she said.

It turned out that the children could not speak. "My brothers cannot speak, because they ate kalelenden."

She had another child. It was a girl. Then the children intermarried and kept on prospering. Then they were forty at Tabedeh. "If our number grows so fast, soon there will be no space left for us here. Where are we going to move in the future?" they wondered. "We will stay only here in this village of ours," they said. They were all named after Si-Mawawa. That is the origin of those at Tabedeh.

One day, when they had moved up to Kasamrangan, the ocean started ebbing at the shore. "What is this, isn't it low tide?" people asked. "Yes, it looks like that." The ocean kept on ebbing. Alarmed, the people said, "The ocean keeps ebbing." They kept watching it. It looked as if it was going down to its bottom. "We do not know what is happening; it is going down to the bottom," people said. Suddenly it reached its lowest limit ever.

As the ocean ebbed, people picked up the fish which remained on the shore. The ocean kept on ebbing and the people were scared. At that time they did not know yet about blood relation, because brothers and sisters intermarried.

Afterwards, the ocean went past the middle part of the shore, and kept retreating. Their mother, who drifted to Tabedeh, died already. People went down to the shore and kept picking up the fish. "This is nice," they said and continued picking up fish for a while. What they picked up was a varied mixture of fish.

One day the ocean stopped ebbing and remained like that. It is not clear if it was after thirty or forty generations, when one day someone said, "Look, the ocean is rising again!" "Why is it rising again?" people said. The ocean went past that point far away from the shore, where it had stopped ebbing before, and went up to the middle of the old shore. "How are we going to survive this?" people asked "Let's wait and see if it will reach its previous level," they said. Suddenly it reached its original level, and the following day it reached the the mouth of the stream on the beach. "To hell with this, the ocean is getting bigger," people said. They were afraid so they started moving up to the hills. "We are not going to survive, villagers," they said to each other. As they found some elevated land, they often stopped and looked at the ocean. The tide kept rising. Then it gradually advanced towards the middle of the land and people kept going uphill. They had a lot of food with them. I heard from old people that they took salt along, but their treasures they did not take. "It keeps growing," they said. Then they climbed to the small plain on the top of Ji-Rakowatokon to Ji-Cakowyan.

The ocean did not stop; it kept chasing them. They died one after the other. "How is the situation at Ji-Peygahngen?" they asked. "It is getting covered," they said. Afterwards, there were tens of people who stayed on Ji-Rakwatokon. Of all those only two remained alive.

"How will these people multiply?" asked the one who looked down from heaven. Then he made one of the persons see a rat. The rat was stirring up the leaves. "Why are the leaves being stirred up?" the person asked. There was no change in the situation. Then he caught the rat and he said, "Why do you suddenly join me at the time when I am so anxious? Since you are here anyway, I'll throw you into the sea and it may bring me luck. Make the water go down so that I can survive. How will mankind survive if I die?"

Five days later, suddenly he saw the leaves stirring up again. He still did not suspect anything because the ocean hadn't retreated yet. Three months later he saw that he had only a handful of salt left. Then the waters started retreating. They kept retreating and soon Ji-Peyrarapoyan emerged. The two persons who survived went to stay in the caves. One of the persons died and there was only a woman left. Then she had a child, it was a girl. She saw the yams and the ngikahvit. Those were plants which do not exist anymore. That was what they survived on.

They prospered. There were all blood relatives with those in Ivatas and of Niapen-Mapapo who later went to Beleng.

"Elder brother, let's separate," the younger one said. "No, I will not leave here."

Then, they separated. The one who went to Ji-Minareyag had two children. It is not clear if the one who was at Minakavogo do Benen had offspring.

They came down to Ji-Minaveyagan; then all the old ones who came from Ji-Peyratayan died. His youngest child had a child, Si-Reyagan. People who lived west of the village said, "He was named Si-Reyagan because he was of the same ancestry with us." This happened because people of old times had no public property.

They moved down to Ji-Minareyagan. He went to settle down in Kavogow and he was the ancestor of grandfather Mapapo.

Si-Kavogow had children. He was directly related to Niapen-Matomid, and to my late grandfather Siapen-Kingasan and akin to those at Ranom, and to the ancestors of Niapen-Mapapo who had land at Ji-Mongya.

When they moved down to Ji-Minakeytan, the younger one asked "What are we going to do, elder brother?" "Let's go to the small bay because people are prosperous there," answered his elder brother. The younger one said, "No, we better go to the big bay over there." Afterwards, the brothers separated, and the elder one came to our village. The younger one went to Ivatas. Then they moved up to Ji-Sopi. The one in our village had a child, and his name was Si-Jingonot because his father had not followed his younger brother. Their house was really big among those at Ji-Sopi.

One day his father said, "Let's work, my child." They sharpened the point of their digging rod and went out to their yam and taro fields. Afterwards, on the land which they watered and blessed with their work, suddenly many ants appeared. Some time passed and one day suddenly the crowd of ants disappeared. Then the child saw four cuckoo birds flying, then suddenly five, six, then finally over ten. When they flooded the field with water, the cuckoo birds in the sky formed a circle so that their wings touched. "What is this, my father?" the child asked. "Let's gaze at them, my child, because this is an omen. But who knows if this is good for us or not. So I'll first dance, then we shall hang taro on a bamboo pole as an offering," his father said. They went to cut down two pieces of bamboo, and they put them in the cave at Ji-Sopi. They arranged their taro field and then they went to invite the father's brother. "Why does little brother want to celebrate? He has no house; does he want to celebrate the big stone cave he is living in?" His brother, who lived in Yayo, had their house covered with ugly thatch.

One who lived in Yayo had a child, Si-Mabzak. The children of Si-Mabzak were prosperous already. Our grandfather from Yayo hung taro from a bamboo pole, danced and worshiped. There was nothing they did not experience. When their father was no more, then our grandfather went on his way. They went to Samrangan, at Savatan. They moved up from Ivatas, and went to Ji-Makangingivit. There their children were all born with a crooked mouth. "It's bad here, because our children look terrible. Let's go and try to move above the place where our brother lives," they said. They went there, but then the children were born with a strange eye shape. "It's bad. Why is it that at this place though everything is peaceful and everything is all right with our brother, we have so many problems?" they asked. Afterwards, they returned to Maworod, but their children looked just as terrible.

Then they went to Kanavan and the situation improved. "Where else could we go?" they wondered, and they went to Ivatas. Our grandfather from Yayo liked them, they went to hang taro from a bamboo pole and their luck was good. They had their first celebration. "We take example from our blood-relatives from Ivatas because the performing of the rituals made them prosperous," they said.

The people of Yayo lived together. Afterwards, when the population increased to fifty in Ivatas, they were already socially organized. Starting from Kanavan on, they ignored their grandfather of Ivatas. Whenever they had fights they made those from Yayo run for their lives because they had more men. This is why our grandfather separated. It was Ivatas that had the first celebration. They chanted and sprinkled the parek. But they all went crazy in Ivatas. Whenever they had celebrations, they always had fights, so that finally only one man remained in every household. Ivatas incorporated the villagers of Ji-Kanalan and Ji-Morod. This is why they increased. They often chased and killed the people of Yayo.

When the population of Yayo increased to one hundred fifty, they chased and killed the Ivatas in the small jungle of Ji-Kalingtan.

One day, a boy from the village of Ivatas went fishing. Suddenly he saw something flying back and forth over the water. Then, that thing got its wings hooked in a small hole of the reef. The boy went home and told his father about it. His father said, "My child, that was a flying fish. Let's go and try to see it." Then they went there. When the father saw it he said, "What's this? This is a flying fish, my child. But why does it have its wing hooked here?" They were about to leave when the flying fish said, "Why are you leaving me? Haven't you brought any precious things to give me?" "How could we possibly have precious things on us? We only came to look for our food."

It was the end of May already when the child said, "Father let's go and see the flying fish; it is flying around again." When they went there, they tied a maraponay, a blue bead to the tail of the flying fish. "I tie this blue bead on you because this is what you like. You will not go and enter the bay of any other village because you are going to be the first flying fish I shall catch next year." "Yes, but can I find you easily?" asked the flying fish. "You must find this place because you come to Ji-Peirapoyan." "Well then, I shall certainly return here," the flying fish said. Once when they were pushing the boat into the sea during the flying fish season, they happened to see the blue bead so they caught the flying fish. "What, is this all that is going to be our food?" they asked. "It will make us have a dream. Let's eat it, my children," said their father. That night the flying fish appeared in their dream and said, "I do not mind that you ate me. We will change into many shapes like this and fade away while being eaten by you. To mark us, you will tie blue-beads to our tails every year," said the flying fish. Whenever they were tying the beads to the fish, they always said, "I tie a blue-bead on to you. Do not look for other people, we are your aim. If you do not go to Jisivosot, then go to Michayan because that is your feeding place. Since then the people of Ivatas have often eaten flying fish. Afterwards, they heard the flying fish say, "We are already in Iratay, in Ivalino."

Then they heard that a flying fish with a blue-bead tied to its tail had been caught by their relatives in Iranmilek. When they met, they said, "We demand that they return to us our belongings." They asked their relatives, "Is it true that the father of our grandchildren caught a flying fish with a blue-bead tied to its tail?" "Yes, that happened" was the answer. "Ha! that is my blue bead!" said the man. "All right." Thus, they returned the beads to them. Every similar case was handled like this if they were relatives. Afterwards, Rasarasey of the Kanitowan lineage caught the flying fish with the blue-bead tied to its tail. In those days people of wealth and power on this island in this situation handed over things. They explained to those of the Kanitowan lineage about the fish and the beads. They answered, "Yes, we caught it, but we are sorry, we did not know that the fish belonged to you and we ate it." They said, "Friends, it does not matter, but we must get the family heirloom back." That was an Ivatas custom. They had many stories because they experienced everything. And then they did not have many taboos yet.