A vast being who lived on the clouds. His teeth were pure gold and his skin was pure white. Melú sat as the head of the river flowing from the upperworld to the underworld. From the dead skin which he rubbed off his body to keep himself clean he created the earth. Pleased with his creation he decided to make beings like himself, though smaller, to live on it. Using the remnants of the material left after making the earth he fashioned two men, but without noses. From below the earth Tau Tana appeared and demanded that he be allowed to make the nose, but he placed these upside down, which Melú later corrected.

The men were unhappy living on the great earth all alone. Melú told them to save all the hair from their heads and the dry skin of their bodies, and the next time he came would make them some companions. Eventually there were a great many people, living in a village with plenty to eat. One day, a man and a woman went apart from the rest and were gone many days, and when they came back, the woman carried a child in her arms. When Melú learned what had taken place he became very angry and went away, abandoning his creations. A great drought came, forcing the people from leave their home, two by two, a man and a woman together. Melú never again came to visit his people on earth.

In another version of the creation story there were in the beginning four beings: Melú and Fīuweígh, males, and Dwata and Saweígh, females. They lived on a small earth or island as large as a hat, and which was called salnaoñ. Nothing grew on the island, but they had one bird called Baswit. They sent the bird across the waters to secure some earth, the fruit of the rattan and of trees. Melú then made the land and planted the seeds.

After a while he said "what use is land without people," and they decided to make wax into people, but when they put the wax near the fire it melted, and so it was agreed to make man from dirt instead. Melú and Fīuweígh began to make man and all went well until they were ready to make the nose. Fīuweígh was making this part but put it upside down. When Melú told him that the people would drown if left that way, Fīuweígh became very angry and refused to change it. As soon as he turned his back, Melú grabbed the nose and turned it the way it is now.

The two people they made were called Adnato and Andawī, male and female, and their children were Tapī (or Mastafī) and Lakarol. (Others say that the first ones created were Mesa, Lakbang, and Mangarang.) Their descendants were Moáy, Sinnamoway, Kamansa, Gomayau, Salau, and Latara, males, and Sinudal, Limbay, Madinda, Gilay, Slayen, Baén, and Kanfal, females.

A variation of this story credits Melú and Dwata as being the creators of Fīuweígh and Siweígh. They are the ancestors of mankind, for they took the earth and made it into the form of people and then whipped it until it moved. The first people they made were Otis and Lakbang, parents of Mastafī and Lakarol (or Landol). From these two came the Balaan.

Melú and Saweígh now live below the earth.



  • Cole, Fay-Cooper. (1913). The Wild Tribes of Davao District, Mindanao. Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History, p. 135 ff.
  • Cook Cole, Mabel. (1916). Philippine Folk Tales. Chicago: A. C. McClurg and Company.
  • Jocano, F. Landa. (1969). Outline of Philippine Mythology. Manila: Centro Escolar University Research and Development Center, p. 32.
  • MacKenzie, Donald A. (1930). Myths from Melanesia and Indonesia. London: Gresham, p. 307.
  • Raats, Pieter Jan. (1969). A Structural Study of Bagobo Myths and Rites. Cebu City, Philippines: University of San Carlos, p. 34.