Sama tale of the battle of the monkeys and the sea cucumbers (trepang).
Aniya’ kono’ inān magisun. Pagisunan sigā inān: Kuyya’ maka Bāt.
Yuk bāt, “Minsan kam pila ngibu, angatu kami.”
Na angimbatal kuyya’, ingga kuyya’, dakayu’ paglahat.
Lisagun kono’ agung. Ho, ho, ho, ho.
“Ai isab” yuk kuyya’.
“Papūn kam ma damlag bulan.”
“Tahik heya. Al’ggot t’bba. Aniya’ kuntaratam.”
“Anā, ubus! Bāt, kuntara tam! Ubus!”
Sakalina, magpanaho’an Sultan Kuyya’ Nakura’ Bāt, “Bāt, ai llaw?”
Yukna, “Ma damlag bulan, inday bang llaw ai-i. Ma l’ggot-t’bba.”
“Na buwattē’ na. Aho’.”
Na. Ho, ho, ho, ho. “Ai yuk bāt?”
“Ma damlag bulan, ma l’ggot t’bba.”
Sakatahan bihing tapiyan e’, sakatahan kuyya’ ma laksa’an. Sōng pa’in t’bba, sakatahan isab t’bba e’, e’ aheka bāt.
Bang anumpit bāt, “Ō, at’ggol pahāp t’bba.”
Bang maglaksu kuyya’, yukna “At’ggol pahāp t’bba.”
Pagt’bba maglinganan bāt, kaut. Pinagi’ikan bāt.
Na. Angaluntang ka: Taddik, serol, sandulay, gamat. Kamemon bāt. Pinagi’ikan. Halam ba aniya’ da’ugan sigā.
“Na! Aubus na bāt mailu?”
“Halam. Ō! Sikagumakan”
Ya pagnakura’an inān: Bāt tagokan.
“Na, ō, Nda’un ba ilu. Apote’ ilu, ō. Lubu-lubu ilu. Ō ni tape’nu ilu. Mmm.”
“Siga’in ba ilu.”
“Mbal, pala’an itu.”
“Ala’an ko’ ilu.”
Sampay pē’ mbal ala’an. Yuk nakura’ sigā kuyya’, “Ya na itu bāt aheya. Magkabang la’a.”
Bāt tagokan itu. Takajarina itu. Gini’ikan, anumpit. Paluwa’ ya pikitna-i’ maka ya lubuna. Tina’ina.
Na. Sōng tambang. Palalom tahik.
“Angay aniya’ buwattī’?
Yuk kasehe’an, “Angay ya sehe’tam, ya maglaksu-ī’?”
“Pē’ kono’ ka!”
“Oy na! Oy na! Da’a ka buwattilu bāt.” Yukna, “Alalom na tahik. Ala’an ka.”
Yuk Nakura’ Bāt, “Mbal kami makala’an. Asal paljanji’an, e’ magbono’.”
Ahalu’ kuyya’. Sampay alalom tahik, mbal…Na mbal makal’ngngan. Bāt tagokan. Pikitan.
Ya b’nnal, sasuku’ ya gamat, anganu isab, sago’ ya makalandu’: Sandulay, bāt tagokan. Suku’ bāt tagokan e’. E’ kamemon. Ya bay tiniga’ e’ ba’anan kuyya’. Kuyya’ ma’aslag e’. Na…
As the story goes there were two groups scheming. The monkeys and the sea cucumbers.
The sea cucumbers said, “No matter how many thousand you bring, we will fight with you”
The monkeys got any kind of monkey in their land.
“Sound the gong.”
So the gong was sounded. “Ho, ho, ho, ho.” (Monkey’s shrieking)
“What now?” said the monkeys.
“Gather on the night of the full moon.”
“It’s the high tide of the ocean. Then the ocean’s at its lowest. We have an enemy to fight.”
“The Sea Cucumbers.”
“Ha! We’ll destroy them. Sea Cucumbers, our enemy! Destroy, I tell you!”
So the King of the Monkey’s commanded the head of the Sea Cucumbers, “Sea Cucumber, What day?”
He said, “On the full moon, whatever day that is. When the tide is at its lowest.”
Next thing you know, “Ho, ho, ho, ho.” (Monkey’s shrieking) “What did the sea cucumber say?”
“On the night of the full moon when the ocean is its lowest.”
As far as the edge of the land and the water, that’s how many monkeys there were. Tens of thousands. The tide was going out. The entire area of the low tide was filled with sea cucumbers.
The sea cucumbers squirted, “Why is it taking so long until low tide?”
The monkeys jumped, saying “This is taking too long until low tide.”
When it was low tide the sea cucumbers called seawards. The monkeys started stomping on the sea cucumbers.
Next thing you know things got really sticky. The sea cucumbers were all kinds of trepang species. Taddik, serol, sandulay, gamat. They were all stomped on. All of them losers.
“What’s the news? Have you destroyed all the sea cucumbers there?”
“Not yet, look. Look at that worthless thing there.”
The leader of the sea cucumbers was the Tagokan sea cucumber.
“See that. Look there. The white thing there. That stringy thing on your foot. That.”
“Drive him off.”
“He won’t leave.”
“He’ll leave alright.”
No matter how hard they tried they couldn’t get the Tagokan sea cucumber off. The monkey leader said, this is the greatest of the sea cucumbers, with its many colors.”
The Tagakon sea cucumber has always been like that. If you step on it, it sprays out its innards, that’s the sticky, stringy thing. Its guts.
Now high tide was coming. The ocean was rising.
“What’s going on over there?
Other monkeys said, “Why is our fellow jumping like that?”
“No idea,” said the other.
“Get out there and check.”
“Uh oh! You stop that right now sea cucumber.” He said, “The ocean is already deep now. Get out of here.”
The head of the sea cucumbers said, “You can’t make us leave. Our agreement was war.”
The monkeys froze. As the ocean rose to its deepest, there was nothing they could do…They couldn’t walk. It was a Tagokan sea cucumber. They were stuck.
Actually even the Gamat sea cucumber sticks like that, but the stickiest. That’s the Sandulay and especially the Tagokan. Any kind of Tagokan Sea Cucumber. The ones the monkeys had been targeting and attacking. Even the large monkeys…The end.
Sama Cultural Insights
Basic cultural observations are that the Sama have an astute understanding of the contents of the sea. Stories like this one let little children know which types of sea cucumbers have what characteristics. Also contained in this story are hints at the self perception of the Sama. The homeland of our story teller is the community of Kūd-Kūd. The community was formed because of fighting between rival families. Sama in general are peace loving. Others would look at them and think that they are cowards and powerless in terms of warfare or fighting. But as they always say, its the quite ones that are the bravest and fiercest. Don’t underestimate the Sama.