A Sama Tale of the Dugong (Sea Cow)
Bay waktu jaman eꞌ, hatina bay waktu kamattoꞌahan, aniyaꞌ kissa pasal manusiyaꞌ tahinang duyung.
Na, aniyaꞌ konoꞌ dakayuꞌ maglakibini, jari taga anak sigām. Landuꞌ kinalasahan eꞌ maglakibini ondeꞌ inān pagka anak tunggal du. Sagoꞌ ya kabilahiꞌan anak sigām inān subay na paꞌin amandi ma tahik. Na nirūlan eꞌ inaꞌna maka mmaꞌna ondeꞌ inān amandi ma tahik sabab mbal sigām bilahi apꞌddiꞌ atayna. Ya, sadja makasallaꞌ bang makapagpandi ni tahik ondeꞌ itu, min subu-subu giꞌ sampay ni kakohapan.
Dakayuꞌ llaw, amandi na isab ondeꞌ inān ni tahik. Pagka abay-kohap paꞌin boꞌ halam giꞌ makatandan ondeꞌ heꞌ, angalingan na inaꞌna maka mmaꞌna.
Yuk inaꞌ maka mmaꞌ inān, “Arung, patandan na ka.”
Na yuk sambung ondeꞌ-ondeꞌ heꞌ, “Bilahi giꞌ aku amandi.”
Na pinasagaran na heꞌ inaꞌ maka mmaꞌna. Song paꞌin pasꞌddop llaw, hatina magkakan na siga, angkan niꞌingannan pabalik anak eꞌ.
Yuk inaꞌna, “Dai na ka sabab magkakan na kitabī maka pasꞌddop na llaw. Ya aniyaꞌ bang aniyaꞌ kaitan, maraiꞌ kineket ka.”
Na mbal ameya anak-anak eꞌ, hatina bilahi na paꞌin iya amandi. Palabay paꞌin daka pila minutu, aniyaꞌ takale heꞌ maglakibini itu magkulesek
mareyoꞌ lumaꞌ angkan magdaiꞌ-daiꞌ sigām pehēꞌ patandaw. Na pagꞌndaꞌ sigām, ma ondeꞌ-ondeꞌ eꞌ waꞌi palangi sala alembo angkan patugpaꞌ magtuy inaꞌna maka mmaꞌna minaꞌatay saga alembo. Ai sa ka itu, pagꞌndaꞌ sigām, ya na anak-anak eꞌ palangi magkulesek, hatina nggaꞌi ka na ondeꞌ-ondeꞌ sagoꞌ tahinang na duyung.
Palangi na paꞌin sigām angapas ondeꞌ heꞌ sagoꞌ gom paꞌin palangi isab ondeꞌ heꞌ ni kalawakan sampay halam na tandaꞌ mataꞌ sigām. Hatina, waꞌi na palangi ni dilaut. Pagka buwattēꞌ palangi na amoleꞌ maglakibini inān ni lumaꞌ maka eꞌ sigām anangis.
Ya hēꞌ angkan aniyaꞌ salsila bay min kamattoꞌahan pasal duyung itu. Ya duyung konoꞌ itu bay manusiyaꞌ. Na mahēꞌ na sadja lapal eꞌ.
A child’s parents are trying to convince him to come inside after a full day of play. No matter what they say, he still wants to keep swimming in the ocean. They threaten him with sharks, they call him and tell him its time to eat. Eventually, they go out to him, thinking that he has drowned. They discover that he has turned into a sea cow*. They chase after him, but the child that has turned into the sea cow swims far from their reach.
* Originally my interpretation was that the child turns into the sea cow, a creature that is known to share many human characteristics. There are also stories of sea cows being eaten only for the consumers to realize they were eating their relative who had turned into the sea cow. Most of the people I have asked have sense informed me they believe this particular story refers to a mermaid. Mermaid and sea cow are both called duyung. (Edited on 5-24-2016)
Sama Cultural Insights
Drowning is a fear that many Sama parents have for their children. Many Sama children have the tendency of wandering all about their habitats playing from morning till evening. This story serves as a warning that parents can give their children that they need to listen when asked to come inside and that it is important that they don’t get to far off from their parents for fear of what might happen to them.