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A Family As Old As Racial Memory

Ceremonial cloths hanging on bamboo flutter all over Marawi City. it is a festive day for the Maranao, on of the most colorful Philippine tribes. Two royal families will soon be joined in marriage, and the prenuptial feast can last weeks. Today, the Maranao are gathered in the courtyard of the Sultan's house to listen to yet another retelling of Bantugans' story. A wave of delight spreads across the expectant crowd as the storyteller takes his place on the makeshift stage. Accompanied by the agong, or gong orchestra he begins to sing Bantugan's septic tale.

Bantugan, exiled unjustly by his brother ruler of the Maranao, traveled from island, his wanderings fraught with difficulties. To survive he had to fight man and beast single-handedly. And though Bantugan was brave and strong, this hostile existence eventually wore him to death.

The islanders who found bantugan's body sprawled on their shore were beside themselves with worry. From the way the dead man was dressed, he was of royal blood. What if his tribe came to attack them, thinking they were responsible for his death? The only way to prevent bloodshed was to bring him back to life.

An Embellished Reality

Ceremonial cloths hanging on bamboo flutter all over Marawi City. it is a festive day for the Maranao, on of the most colorful Philippine tribes. Two royal families will soon be joined in marriage, and the prenuptial feast can last weeks. Today, the Maranao are gathered in the courtyard of the Sultan's house to listen to yet another retelling of Bantugans' story. A wave of delight spreads across the expectant crowd as the storyteller takes his place on the makeshift stage. Accompanied by the agong, or gong orchestra he begins to sing Bantugan's septic tale.

Bantugan, exiled unjustly by his brother ruler of the Maranao, traveled from island, his wanderings fraught with difficulties. To survive he had to fight man and beast single-handedly. And though Bantugan was brave and strong, this hostile existence eventually wore him to death.

The islanders who found bantugan's body sprawled on their shore were beside themselves with worry. From the way the dead man was dressed, he was of royal blood. What if his tribe came to attack them, thinking they were responsible for his death? The only way to prevent bloodshed was to bring him back to life.

 

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