Thursday, April 3, 2014


Sais åños despues de umassagua i dos, ha sodda' un palao'an na primu-ña mina' kuåttro grådo i asaguå-ña.
(Six years after the two married, a woman found out that her husband was her fourth cousin.)

Mampos inestotba i palao'an pot este, ya humånao sekretamente guato gi bihå-ña para u famaisen kao guaha håfa båba bidan-ñiha yan i asaguå-ña.
(The woman was exceedingly disturbed on account of this, and secretly went to her grandmother to ask if she and her husband had done anything wrong.)

Ilek-ña i bihå-ña, "Hagas hu tungo' na parientes-ta i asaguå-mo, lao hu konsiente para un asagua gue', sa' esta mina' kuåttro påpa' i matuban niyok."
(Her grandmother said, "I knew back then that your husband was our relative, but I agreed for you to marry him, because he was four grooves down the coconut tree.")


Tuba, we mostly all know, is the fermented drink made from the sap of the coconut tree.

But matuba can mean the cut grooves on the trunk of the coconut tree (niyok) to help people climb it.  There is a connection between the cuts and the drink because the sap is collected by cutting the flower of the tree.

In the old days, one could see many coconut trees with these slashed grooves on the trunk.  Nowadays, as fewer people in our islands climb the trees to make use of them, it is harder to find trees that are matuba.

Older people thus used the symbol of the grooves of the coconut tree to express distance from the top.  The lower the groove, the more distance from the top.  By analogy, this could be applied to distances among blood relations.

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