6. Dengmaladeng, as told by Andrew Monka

This story does not involve any spirit beings or mythological figures; it focuses solely on human behaviour and what can happen to a person who deceives those around her. Dengmaladeng works alongside others in the garden, and as the day progresses, she is sent to collect drinking water. Instead of filling the bamboo containers with water from a creek, she cuts her breasts and fills the containers with drinking water that way.

The people unknowingly drink from Dengmaladeng’s breasts several times before she is caught out by another woman, and her secret is revealed. The people are angry that she has deceived them in this way and refer her punishment to the leader of the community. He declares that a feast will be held once the garden has matured, and Dengmaladeng will be the victim (iliu); that is, she will be killed and eaten. Again, this story ending with a feast allows the narrator a clear passage to pass the head of the pig on.

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