Story Buli’ Kap

A Sama Tale about the Island of the Dead named Buli’ Kap

A Man and His Son Chance Upon an Island During a Wedding
The Celebes Sea is found at the back of the Siasi and Pandami grouping of Islands on the edge of the Sulu archipelago. There are no known islands to the Sama found in the Celebes Sea other than Buli' Kap, the island of the dead.

The Celebes Sea is found at the back of the Siasi and Pandami grouping of Islands on the edge of the Sulu archipelago. There are no known islands to the Sama found in the Celebes Sea other than Buli’ Kap, the island of the dead.

Na ma story Buli’ Kap, aniya’ duwa magtali’anak, agdaraing sigām. Dakayu’ llaw talaran sigām ni dilaut ya halam aniya’ a’ana. Ma-ī’ ma dilautan kalumang ma tōng Celebes Sea. Na, in duwa magtali’anak inān mma’ maka anak min leyod Musu.

Talaran sigām. Tabowa sigām ni s’llog. Akasampay sigām ni dakayu pū’. Sidda alasig pū’ inān. Magkalasigan. Kinambay sigām. Sinō’ sigām palanjal ni tampe’ pasalan aniya’ magkawin. Sinō’ sigām ajamu’. Halam aniya’ du isab saddi katandanan sigām angkan bay sigām palanjal ni paglahat inān ni bihing tahikna.

Na! Kamemon amaruli sigām. Nihulmat sigām. Pinakan sigām pahāp. Sogo’ ya kainu-inu maina’an ma pagkawin, kamemon pagkakan, kabasi’ lullun aka saging. Aniya’ du isab pisang sogo’ halam aniya’ daing ya pagjamu inān. Ya du kaheka’an inān, kabasi’. Indaginis b’llahanna basta kabasi’. Maka ai-ai na bungang-kahuy inān hatina ya ta’nda’ maina’an saging. Ya saging heya ilu.

Na. Buwattī’. So’ ya ina’an kainu-inu inān, magkalasigan kamemon. Ingga magbaila, angigal, hatina buwattī‘ ba alasig.

The People of the Island Seem a Little Too Familiar

Samotta na inān, ta’abut na tinilaw sigām dahūan ni ya nakura’ maina’an, “Angay kam itu?”
Sogo’ ina’an kainu-inu sigām, kaheka’an maina’an inān sali’ daluwa maka saga bay magkamatay ma sigām. Saga kampungan sigām maka aniya’ saga pangda’ig, ina’an luwa sigām maina’an kamemon. Sogo’ tinilaw sigām bang ka’a na. Sambung sigām, “Duma’in ka.” Hatina, marai daluwa sadja.

Na manjari itu, ta’abut na ni kohap, ama’id na sigām, sogo’ mbal lagi’ sigām pinaba’id. “Da’a lagi’.” yukna. Hatina, halam lagi’ ta’abut waktu’. Aniya’ to’ongan lagi’ kalalamihan ma sangom inān. Ya na ina’an hatina pagtingkuwangna sangom inān.

So’ yuk sigām, “Pī’un na. Ala’an na sadja kami.”

Yukna, “Da’a lagi’. Maitu lagi’ kam paubusunbi lagi’ dahūan in pagkawin.” Magdaawa nakura inān, “Subay niisihan dahū pelangbi. Mbal kam manjari alaan bang halam tabowabi.”

Jari dinuwaan ya kabasiaka saging in pelang sigām.

A Frightening Awakening

buli'kapSamotta na. Kohap na. Jari sali‘ talilap sigām. Bay pahali-hali ko‘ sigām sat’ggol sali’ buwattīpaglami-lami. Talilap sigā. Pagbati sigā, ilu sigām mariyata’ kayu pahapat. Pagtondok sigā masi magkalasigan. Kainu-inu sigām, painay akasakat sigām ni riyata’ pahapat?

Ī‘ sigām mariyata’, yuk anak, “Langkaw itu itū! Painay kita akareyo’ itu?”

Sogo’ asal ya matto’a l’lla inān, mbal ala’anan lubid ma hawakanna. Pasal in lubid inān bang iya palangi ni katāhan boalandos sllog sinōanakna angahellaya hengkot inān. Angkanna in hengkot inān, inaan sadja ma hawakanna. Bang aniya’ na saupama tak’llo’ e’ sigām sali’ payukan atawa daing hatina bang agkapana iya daing, lubid inān pangahengkotan e’na supaya pahella’ magtūy ni anak bo mbal isab tabowa ni s’llog.

Jari mainaan sigā mariyatapahapat. Nsatakalipat mattoa llla lubid inān asal inaan ma hawakanna.

“Ahāp isab,” yuk mma’na inān, “Oto’ da’a ka asusa pasal bay aku amowa lubid.”

Yukna, “Angay ka mma‘?”

Yuk mattoa,Lubid asal paghellanu ma aku bang aku palangi.”

Na ahāp mma’.” yukna.

The Escape

Na. Waktuna magagaw sangom maka llaw, saga palabi na lisag 5, pas’ddop na llaw. Pagka buwattī‘, sali’ asusa na sigā. Bang kale-kale sigā katilibut inān sali’ pasaddī na in saga tingkug-kahibal saga a’a maina’an inān. Makatāwtāw na. Saddī na in h’llingna. Ya bay magkalasigan, agtitowasadja inān, makakale na ka gōm pain sali’ kap’ddi’an, agtangis. Ya ī’ in takale e’ sigām.

Jari yukna, “Oto’, hengkotanta ka,” yukna, “tontontaka minnitu. Da’a ka,” yukna, “aghibuk. Bang hatina salibuwattilu kasasawan sigām, da’a,” yukna, “aghibuk.”

Yuk anakna, “Mma’ buwattingga ka?”

“Aku na bahala’ bang buwattingga aku pareyo’.” yuk Mmana.

Nihengkotan na anakna. Tinonton ni mmana ni reyo‘.

Yukna, “Patapuk ka maina’an. Da’a ka ala’an min po’onan pahapat ilu. Mailu kita. Tagarin aku.”

Jari, samotta na, in mma’ inān sat’ggol-t’ggol anonton dīna tudju ni reyo’.

Na pagka buwattī‘ kasasawan kamemon ma pangda’ig, halam sigām tasayu. Pagtkka mattoa llla inān ni reyo‘, parai’-dai’ na iya.

Dai’ na ka oto’. Bang buwattilu kasasawan sigām mbal kita tasayu e’ sigām. Dai’ ka,” yukna, “Sali’ saddī na palantarana itu. Akatāwtāw na paglahat itu. Taentomnu,” yukna, “dinsini’ ya yukku ma ka’a pasal saga kabapa’an kami at’ggol na bay agkamatay. Itu,” yukna, “ta’nda’ku maitu kamemon.” Yukna, “Sasuku saga pangda’ig kami aniya’ bay agkamatay, itu du isab maitu sigām ta’nda’ku. Sogo’ tilawku sigām hatina duma’in ka sigām. Pasamot ka,” yukna, “pasal in lahat itu sali’ duma’in ka ahāp. Sali’ lahat panila’-sila’an. Lahat saga umagad. Itu maitu kamemon.”

Flight by Boat

Atkka sigā ni bangka sigām, atohob na ni duwa’an. Aheka’ kabasi’. Magdai’-dai’ na sigām.

Yuk mma’na, “Oto’, ya sasuku ta’nda’nu isi pelang ilu. Hawasin. Timanin kamemon.”

Yukna ni mma’na, “Ka’ugun mma‘,” yukna, “katibu’uk na kabasi’. Heya kabasi’. Heya saging itu. Magkaugan minsan saga panagatunna, taga mussa. In sagingna salikahantang saging bulawan ilu.(Asinglab na saging pangguwa ilu. Saliakeyat walnana.)

“Da’a ka!” yukna. “Kamemon ilu, bbahin supaya mbal atohob. Timanin kamemon ilu! Bang mbal timanannu ilu, kabuhatan aku amusay.

Na pasangom-pasangom ī’ sali’ pasaddi na luwa saga a’ana in bay saga ahāp luwa sigām sali’ pasaddi na.

Nda’un ko’,” yuk mattoa, “palantara saga a’a itu. Sali’ akataw-taw na!”

Discovered

Tasayu na sigām.  Magolang na in saga aa inān.

“Halam na maitu in saga aa bay makatandan piitu ni kita. Pasamot kam. Nda’unbi,” yukna, “Ilu makalahi yukna in a’a bay pi’itu ni kitam.”

Hatina piniha na sigām.

Pagubus ī’, magolang isab, “Pabalik kam.” yukna. “Pabalik kam!”

Sogo’ ya onde’ inān sigi-sigi nihūg e’na saga kabasi’, saga saging inān. Ya ina’an kainu-inu sigām, ingga ameya’ ma bunut, taruwa! Heya-heya bunut lahing ilu. Ingga saga ameya ma lurang, buwattīdu isab. Angapas sigām min saga bunut maka lurang inān.

Minne’ na kahona-hona in matto’a l’lla inān yukna, “Saga pangguwa’ hati itu itū.” yukna.

Saga lurang ilu, ya ilu in papata’.

The Problem with Rowing

Na ī‘ na sigām taapas inān sogo pinuspus na ni matto’a l’lla inān amusay. Tinabangan ni onde’-onde’ pagka halam na aniya’ isi ya pelang sigām. Buwattingga na kosogna amusay gom pa’in agon-agon baya-baya sigām ta’abut sogo’ mbal isab ta’abut. Pinandogahan ni matto’a l’lla inān buwattingga in s’llog, hatina ameya’ sigām ma sllog, subay akosog sigām palaran sogo maina’an mbal.

Akahona-hona ya matto’a l’lla inān hatina, binusayan e’na tudju ni bukutan. Angkanna ya busayna ni rahūan, binaliktad e’na busay ni bukutan. Bā’nu sigām bay tinuran, bang buwattingga in kosogna amusay ni bukut ya isab ī’ in kosog pelang sigām pasōng padagan.

Na samotta na itu, makapuwas sigām na minnī‘. Makahona-hona in mattoa inān. Na aniya’ to’ongan ya pū inān, pū’ sin saga pangguwa’. Ya ina’an hatina Buli’ Kap. In Buli’ Kap, pū’ iya. Maingga aniya’ saga magkamatay ilu, maī’ pasampay, maī’ na sigām maglahat ma pū’ inān. Sasuku ya saga mbal tinaima’ ma riyata’ ī‘ hatina maina’an dahūan ma pū’ inān. Angkanna tuwi’ bang aniya’ a’a allum makapī’ ni sigām, na ya ī’ pinagtabangan e’ sigām kin’llo’ supaya halahuwalam, kinakan ka e’ sigām atawa pinapatay. Na sasuku akandaBuliKap ya mbal atau, iya na ītaklloesigām. Na mailu magtagna’ sin story Buli’ Kap.

English Synopsis

A man and his son get lost in the Celebes Sea only to come upon an island that is celebrating a wedding.  The people of the island are very festive, but the two start noticing some strange things.  First of all the food for the wedding is primarily squash and bananas.  The old man even seems to recognize relatives and neighbors who supposedly passed away, but they deny it being them.  It must only be a coincidence that they look alike.  Wanting to get back home the man takes his leave from the leader of the island, but they don’t want them to go.  They should stay for the final recognition of the bride and groom or at least wait till they can be sent home with some of the food from the feast.

That afternoon they accidentally doze off to sleep only to wake up at the top of a giant mangrove tree.  The happy sounds of the island have now turned frightening.  They hear screaming and crying. Luckily they are able to get down using the rope the old man always carries with him.  Evening approaches.  They sneak back to their boat which is by now filled with squash, bananas and shells.  The man instructs the boy to throw it all out as he starts paddling out to sea.  When they are discovered, the inhabitants of the island, who have changed in appearance to very frightening figures, start chasing after them.

The man realizes now that these are the ghosts of the dead.  They chase after them floating on the sheaths of coconut flowers and on coconut husks.  They are almost caught.  With the boat now empty and both father and son rowing their hardest they still can’t seem to get anywhere even though they should be in the strong current by now.  The old man realizes that there is magic involved and switches his method of rowing to the exact opposite of reason.  The boat takes off with speed and they are able to escape the ghosts, eventually to return to the island of Musu’ and explain to their family and friends about the island they discovered where those dead persons who have been rejected from paradise await any victim that might accidently discover them out at the open sea.

Sama Cultural Insights

The world the Sama live in is a world filled with spirits, ghosts, and tragedy.  It is not an uncommon tragedy for a loved one to have gone out fishing one day, get taken out to sea and never return.  Once a fisherman ventures past the last islands of Siasi he finds himself in the Celebes Sea where he expects to find no islands other than the vanishing island of the dead.  Buli’ Kap is a warning to the fishermen.  There is little in the Celebes sea that makes it worth venturing out for if one values their life.

This is also the first ghost story we have transcribed and posted.  Ghost stories are in abundance among the Sama.  This one has been handed down for at least three generations.  There are many Ghost stories that are 1st or 2nd person accounts.

There are lessons in the story about preparedness.  It turns out that the fisherman’s rope becomes the most useful tool that will help him escape with his son from the island.  In the same way the Sama fisherman when he goes out to sea must be prepared with the right gear and right knowledge to confront the various problems that might occur while he is out on his own.

The trick that the fisherman discovers with his oar at the end fits into the Sama category of ilmu’.  This is magical knowledge used by the Sama to interact on the spirit level.  This knowledge is also important to the Sama while out at sea.  The Sama must therefore also be prepared spiritually to venture into unknown places as dangerous as the open sea.

The story of Buli’ Kap also has a lesson about trust.  When in a strange land, no matter how friendly and kind the people may seem, there is always a chance of betrayal.  The Sama people are in and of themselves very hospitable people, but they are also very aware that the false kindness of others may result in their betrayal and threaten their survival.

Some of the more trivial lessons that the story has to offer, but nonetheless interesting are concerning some of the markers that can indicate the presence of ghosts.  Their food of preference are squash and a particular giant species of banana called the ghost banana.  This is why squash should never be prepared in the Sama observance of funeral rites.  Ghosts are also said by the Sama to accompany the coconut husks and sheaths of the coconut flower that are found floating out at sea.

2 Responses

  1. Tan Upsilon Ishmael June 16, 2016 at 8:20 pm |

    Makatawan tawan koh istori bulih kap itu

    Reply
  2. jomari jamaa
    jomari jamaa October 18, 2017 at 10:02 pm |

    who is the story teller??

    Reply

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