Voices from Sulu: a Collection of Tausug Oral Traditions


Political conflict and religious fundamentalism coupled with the advent of audio-visual media have made it difficult for traditional oral literature to remain in popular consciousness, especially in Sulu. This volume is an attempt to preserve and present to a new generation some of the Tausug oral art forms that were recorded and collected over fifty years ago in the Sulu archipelago.

The storytellers and singers then are the real authors of this volume. It contains their stories, cahnts, poems, proverbs, and riddles that first saw print in earlier Sulu Studies issues. Included here as well are the contributions of H. Arlo Nimmo from his own collection of Tausug tales from the early 1960s.

The rich and diverse pieces are introduced and annotated by G. Rixhon and H. Arlo Nimmo who, as anthropologists, attempt to present them in their original form and substance even if some deviate from traditional Islamic teachings or normative canons of morality. As a fitting last part of the book, Rixhon offers an overview and a classification of the Tausug oral traditions for further study and discussion.


Gerard Rixhon

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