Manu ketu tebe tasi

In the beginning Timor was created by a foot sparring pair of brother and sister birds (M: ketu). Their sparring kicked back the sea and so created the first dry land in the form of three mountains: Ramelau, Cabalaki and Matebian [see Map 5.1]. Sometime later Christu [a term (along with Maromak or God) which is now used interchangeably with the term for the preeminent indigenous Moon-Sun deity (M:Uru-Watu; W: L'ara Wulo)] descends and creates from the mud a human figurine . Christu then [like the wind] breathes life into the figure and fashions another figure from its rib. He then announces he will return in 7 days and orders the two people not to eat the forbidden fruit. Yet these two people listened instead to the python (M: talibere) and disobeyed the order. From this act they knew shame and hide their bodies under bark clothing. Later other people came from across the sea (Makasar) and showed them how to make tais (woven cloth). As their penance for eating the forbidden fruit, in order that they could have food to eat, they and their descendents were now destined to labor in fields growing rice and other crops. In order that he could help his older brother carry rice back from the fields, the younger brother of the first people secretly began transforming back and forth from person to horse. This act is known as kuda resa [M:'rice horse'] and it is from such [transformative] acts by the first ancestors that we came to know 'culture'. Today as descendents of these first people we continue to make offerings at large springs [the portals to the other world of deities and ancestors] in order to feed the spirits of the ancestors, imploring them to make the springs flow freely so that the people can live and grow their rice and other crops.

Related entries

Label / Notes Owner Date Modified
Lisa Palmer 11-Nov-2010 21-Mar-2012