sompoton and sago palm

here is an excerpt from a book written by Thomas Rhys Williams entitled The Dusun:A North Borneo Society. a very interesting story about the origin of sompoton shared to him by the headman of sensuron village during his stay there from august 1959-august 1960. i have heard many different stories about the origin of sompoton. however, i have to say that i have never heard this one before, or maybe someone had way too much tapai and came up with this story.

…There are a variety of more than 30 folktales regarding creation of specific animals and plants. Dao, the headman of Sensuron village, told this story of the origin of the sago palm and the sago “beetle”:

There was a beautiful girl who was asleep in her house in the middle of the day. As the young hunter Saro passed that girl’s house he heard her call out in her sleep, “cut me bamboo to make sEmputan (musical instrument).” So he did that, and took the bamboo to the girl. But when she came onto the veranda of the house, and he gave her the bamboo, she would not take it, saying, ”I did not ask you for that”. But her vagina called out to Saro and said, “it was this girl’s vagina that called out for the bamboo!” The girl was very ashamed of her vagina, she went to the deep jungle and took it out and placed it on the stump of a tree. Then a deer came and rubbed its side against that vagina and left hair upon it. Then the tree stump grew again and became the sago palm and the vagina became the beetle you find inside there. (pg. 15)

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