Tuwaang Attends a Wedding

(the second song of the Manuvu Ethnoepic Tuwaang cycle)

Tuwaang, after finishing some work, calls his aunt aside and informs her that the wind has brought him a message: he is to attend the wedding of the Maiden of Momawon. The aunt tries to dissuade him from going, for she foresees trouble. Tuwaang, however, is determined to go. He picks the heart-shaped costume made by goddesses, arms himself with a long blade and dagger, and takes his shield and spear. He rides on a flash of lightning and arrives at the "kawkawangan" grassland. While resting there a while, he hears a "gungutan" bird crowing. He decides to catch the fowl, but soon sees the "gungutan" with a daggerlike spur. The "gungutan" tells Tuwaang he came to know of his coming in a dream and that he wants to go with him to the wedding celebration. Tuwaang agrees to bring the "gungutan" along. The two shake their shoulders and are carried into space.

Upon arriving at Momawon, Tuwaang is admitted into the hall. He sits on a golden stool, while the "gungutan" perches on a crossbeam. Meantime, enchanting sounds from afar and flowering trees signal the arrival of the Young Man of Panayangan. Other gallants – the Young Man of Liwanon and the Young Man of the Rising Sun – arrive. Finally, the groom, the Young Man of Sakadna, arrives with a hundred followers. He haughtily asks the houseowner to clear the house "of dirt," implying the people in the house who do not count. To this insult Tuwaang answers there are "red leaves," i.e. heroes, in the house.

Preliminaries of the wedding ceremony start. The "savakan" (bride-wealth consisting of articles and wrapped food to be paid for by the groom's kinsmen) are offered one by one, until only the two most costly remain. One is given the value of an ancient gong with ten bosses and nine relief-rings; the other is redeemable only by a golden guitar and a golden flute. The groom confesses his inability to redeem these articles. Tuwaang saves the groom from the embarrassing predicament by taking his place: through his magic breath he produces a more ancient gong, which is accepted by the bride's party. He also produces the golden flute and golden guitar.

The bride is now asked to come out of her room and serve the guests some betel chew. She commands her betel box to serve everyone. Magically the betel box obeys, with the betel chew jumping into the mouths of the guests. After two betel chews leap into the groom's mouth, the betel box moves on to Tuwaang, before whom it stops altogether. Tuwaang brushes it away, but the box does not budge. The bride decides to sit beside Tuwaang.

The groom blushes; he is shamed. He decides to fight Tuwaang. He goes down the house and challenges Tuwaang to come down to the yard.

After the bride unrolls and combs Tuwaang's hair, Tuwaang goes down to fight. The "gungutan", meanwhile, has been fighting the groom's men and has slain a number of them until only six gallants remain. Tuwaang and the gungutan engage the six gallants.

Finally only Tuwaang and the Young Man of Sakadna are left moving about. Tuwaang is thrown against a boulder, which turns into dust. Trees get bent and topple. Tuwaang gets hold of his foe, throws him down so hard that he sinks into the earth. The Young Man of Sakadna surfaces quickly and confronts Tuwaang once more. Tuwaang in turn is thrust into the earth and sinks into the Underworld. There he talks to Tuhawa', god of the Underworld, who tells him the secret to overcoming his foe. Tuwaang surfaces and summons the golden flute in which the Young Man of Sakadna keeps his life. Tuwaang asks his foe to become his vassal in exchange for his life. The groom prefers death. Tuwaang therefore destroys the golden flute, ending his protagonist's life.

Accompanied by the "gungutan", Tuwaang takes his bride home to Kuaman, where he rules forever.

"Tuwaang Attends a Wedding" is the second song of the Manuvu Ethnoepic Tuwaang cycle to appear in print.

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