Maharadia Lawana

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The Maharadia Lawana (sometimes spelled Maharadya Lawana or Maharaja Rāvaṇa) is a Maranao epic which tells a local version of the Indian epic Ramayana.[1] Its English translation is attributed to Filipino Indologist Juan R. Francisco, assisted by Maranao scholar Nagasura Madale, based on Francisco's ethnographic research in the Lake Lanao area in the late 1960s.[2]

It narrates the adventures of the monkey-king, Maharadia Lawana, whom the Gods have gifted with immortality.[2]

Francisco first heard the poem being sung by Maranao bards around Lake Lanao in 1968. He then sought the help of Maranao scholar Nagasura Madale, resulting in a rhyming English translation of the epic.[2]

Francisco believed that the Ramayana narrative arrived in the Philippines some time between the 17th to 19th centuries, via interactions with Javanese and Malaysian cultures which traded extensively with India.[3]

By the time it was documented in the 1960s, the character names, place names, and the precise episodes and events in Maharadia Lawana's narrative already had some notable differences from those of the Ramayana. Francisco believed that this was a sign of "indigenization", and suggested that some changes had already been introduced in Malaysia and Java even before the story was heard by the Maranao, and that upon reaching the Maranao homeland, the story was "further indigenized to suit Philippine cultural perspectives and orientations."[3]

See also


  1. Francisco, Juan R. "Maharadia Lawana" (PDF). Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Guillermo, Artemio R. (2011-12-16). Historical Dictionary of the Philippines (in en). Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9780810875111. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 FRANCISCO, JUAN R. (1989). "The Indigenization of the Rama Story in the Philippines". Philippine Studies. 37 (1): 101–111. JSTOR 42633135.

[[Category: Philippine Culture and Arts]