Have you ever wondered where people came from? Have you ever wondered how your distant relatives got to America? Have you ever wondered where different nationalities and language groups came from? Well, here is a story that will help clear it all up for you. This is a true story.
A long, long time ago there was a bird named Itafuluma inside of a hollow tree called the sifai tree. He was in there finding grubs or something when a woman came along and chopped the tree down. When the tree fell, it started sliding down the edge of the mountain that it was on and it kept sliding till it ended up falling into the largest river in our area called the Lagaip River. Well, that hollow log with the bird in it began to float down river. It floated and floated until it eventually ended up getting stuck on a sand bar where it sat for several days.
One day, two sisters who lived in that area were out gathering firewood and they saw this log on the edge of the river. The two of them picked it up and carried it back to the pig house that they lived in. A pig house is a long skinny house built in such a way that pigs live in one half of it and people can live in the other half. There are pig stalls in one end, then a dividing wall and then a small room with a fire pit in it for people to live, eat and sleep. When the two sisters brought the log back, they put it up in the firewood rack that is traditionally above the fire pit.
For several days that log sat up there in the fire wood rack drying. During that time the pigs that belonged to those two sisters began to disappear. One by one all their pigs were missing until there were very few left. The ladies were distressed, but didn’t know what to do about it since they couldn’t see that a wild animal was killing the pigs or that someone was stealing them.
One cold and cloudy day the ladies pulled the hollow log down so that they could burn it in their fire. When they split it open they found tons of bones inside. These they realized were the bones of all the pigs that had disappeared. The pigs had been eaten and the bones hidden in the hollow log. The two ladies also saw at the same instant a bird that had grown huge and now turned into a man!
That man who used to be the Itafuluma bird married the two sisters and they had lots of children. All of their kids grew up and spread out over the land. One of the kids married and moved to one side of the mountains and his descendants became the Malamaunda tribe. Another of the kids moved up river and married and his descendants became known as the Engans. Another of the kids crossed the river and his descendents became known as the Paielans. The other kids lived on our side of the Lagaip River and became known as the Hewans.
So there you have it. Now you know where the different language groups came from and how they came to live in the areas that they live.
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