Banua Mebuyan | Kurt Rojas
Mebuyan is the underworld Goddess of Bagobo and Manobo mythology. Before she was named as Mebuyan, she was only known as Tube’ka Lumabet (sister of Lumabet). It is written that Mebuyan’s refusal to go with Lumabet up into the heaven started the mortality of man. Their quarrel didn’t stop until Mebuyan sat down on the big rice mortar and said to Lumabet, “Now I am going down below the earth, down to Gimokudan. Down There I shall begin to shake that lemon tree. Whenever I shake it, somebody up the earth will die. If the fruit shaken down is ripe then an old person will die on earth, but if a green fruit falls, the one to die will be young.” She poured the rice into the mortar as a sign that the people should die and go down to Gimokudan. As she descended down to the underworld she now became the chief of the town called Banua Mebuyan (Mebuyan’s Town), where she takes care of all the dead babies, and gives them milk from her breasts. Mebuyan is so ugly to look at, her whole body is covered with breasts which all nursing the children. They remain there with Mebuyan until they became strong and stop taking milk from her breasts. All the spirits move down to Mebuyan’s town and bathe them in the waves of a black river, this pamalugu (bathing) is for the purpose of making the spirits feel at home, so they will not turn away and go back to their own bodies and they could go on their way to a tiresome journey to their families in Gimokudan, where they can get rice and live well.
*Possible critical symbolism used:
-The All-seeing eye of Mebuyan as the Goddess of the underworld
-Upside down triangles – Female, Mother, Underworld*Reference(s): Philippine Folk Tales - Mabel Cook Cole 1916A Structural Study of Bagobo Myths and Rites - Pieter Jan RaatsFacebook: www.facebook.com/KurtRojasArtTumblr: kurtrojasart.tumblr.com