Wrigglesworth, Hazel J.

By far the more popular epic performed in Ilianen Manobo society today is that of the Tulelangan. Held by the older generation of Manobo to be an oral account of their Manobo ancestors performing heroic feats, it is sung in modern day Manobo language and is appreciated by young and old alike. Tulalang, the immortal hero of the Tulelangan epic, is believed to have lived along the Kulaman River in the Arakan Valley in the north-eastern part of North Cotabato, where the corner posts of Tulalang’s home are said to still stand today. Nearby lie several large stones bearing a resemblance to carabao heads which are believed to have been the carabao of Tulalang which he turned to stone before ascending up to heaven in a golden boat-like vehicle serimbar. And while epic singers have now become extremely rare, many of the episodes presented in song in the Tulelangan epic are also narrated in prose in the genre of teteremà “formal storytelling” by highly-skilled Manobo raconteurs. Narrative Episodes from the Tulalang Epic presents four Tulalang narratives from the repertoire of three Manobo raconteurs. Each narrative also includes a description of the distinctives of the Manobo narrative’s linguistic form as a result of its having functioned in the culture, and in the argumentation process of settling Manobo custom-law cases kukuman.
The Singing Rooster: A Manobo Chief Emphasizes the Manobo Work Ethic. 2009. Hazel J. Wrigglesworth, Tigar Zacharius, Lingkà Ansulang, Ampatuan Ampalid, Pengendà Mengsenggilid. Foreword by Lawrence A. Reid. ix, 142 pp. USD$12.00 In this study, Dr. Wrigglesworth presents six narratives from the oral literature of the Ilianen Manobo, as presented by four master storytellers. The narratives are presented in diglot form with English translations done directly from performances by the Manobo storytellers in their own language. Numerous glosses footnoted throughout the English translation provide additional pertinent cultural, historical, and linguistic information which reveals a control of rhetorical devices that prove the narrators to be a master in the art of maintaining the emotional involvement of their audience throughout the long, night-time hours. The plot of these narratives, with a host of Manobo rhetorical devices for heightening the vividness of that plot, is further shaped by the hands of skillful Manobo raconteurs in order to serve the function of providing maximum opportunity for reinforcing what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior in Manobo society. And when the story is further employed as ‘parable’ sempità, in establishing precedent in the settlement of Manobo custom-law cases, its reiterative force is unexcelled in Manobo oral tradition. Audience responses are documented for one complete storytelling performance, revealing the narrator’s involvement of her audience as Manobo society’s jurors as they respond with moral assessments of the story-participants’ characters. And comparative notes are provided at the beginning of each narrative, illuminating the tale-types (according to Aarne & Thompson classification of world oral literature) and the diaspora of the narratives.
Wrigglesworth, Hazel J., compiler
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