Dagmay Legends: Origins of the Dagmay Cloth

Fiction by , , , | July 13, 2008

The Origin of the Dagmay Cloth, The Mariano-Muya clan version as retold by Amelia Muya Anong.

A long time ago, there was a community that was located far away from civilization. The people used the barks or leaves of trees for clothes. They lived in caves or built their houses in the trunks of trees. Their sources of living were hunting and fishing.

One day the Biya (Maiden) was taught by her friend Diwata how to weave bugti, a cloth with no color or design. She used it as her clothes. Then Biya taught other women to weave it for their clothes too. And so they did not use the barks or leaves of plants as their clothes anymore.

One day Tamisa , the brother of Biya, went hunting. While hunting, he found a beautiful piece of Cloth which was being dried under the sun. He stole it and ran home as fast as he could. Thunder, lightning and storm followed him until he reached home, half-dying.

Before he died, he gave the Cloth to his sister, Biya. Through the help of her friend Diwata, the storm, thunder, and lightning calmed down. Diwata told her that the owner of the Cloth was “Mapandig Tagamaling Magsainag ng Kilat” and the name of the beautiful cloth was DAGMAY. Biya wanted to return the Dagmay cloth but the spirit owner refused it because it was already paid for with the life of Tamisa and that it had already been touched by human hands. Thus, Biya got the Dagmay, and when she returned home, she copied the designs through the help of her friend Diwata.

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