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"Ibaloi Tale on Why We Speak Many Languages"

One of the earliest known Austronesian tribes is the Ibaloi tribe, which is closely related to the Kankanaey tribe. It is fascinating that one of their earliest stories mirrors the Judeo-Christian story of why there are so many languages.

When the Ibalois learned that one of their own had obtained rice from heaven, they decided to build a stairway to heaven because they did not know any other way to get there.

After building for a few months, their stairway was as high as the nearby mountains, but still, it could not take the people to heaven.

One day, when the gods looked down on the earth, they saw the stairway and the people busily laboring over it. They said to each other, "Look! The people are trying to reach heaven. This will not do. They are wasting their time and look at how deserted their villages are. We must put a stop to this."

The gods created lightning and threw the lightning bolts down through the sky. The people at work on the stairway were frightened as they had never seen lightning bolts before. "Run!", they cried. "What sort of giant spears are these? They seem to be made of fire. The gods must be angry!" In great haste, they scrambled down the stairway to seek cover among the bushes and rocks, babbling words they suddenly could not understand. Each of the men began to speak a different language.

When all was quiet again, the men came out of hiding. They had forgotten all about the stairway to heaven, and now they were tired and hungry. When they began speaking, they could not understand each other. Soon, they all left for their own villages. As for the stairway, it was never finished since the people no longer spoke in the same tongue.

"Story from Cordillera Tales" by Maria Luisa B. Aguilar-Carino
Lifted from: @igorotsky

via igorotage.com
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