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The Palauan Legend of Meduu Ribtal (The Breadfruit Story)

Posted by Keith on June 29, 2007 at 9:11 pm  

By Keith DeGreen

IMG_0935Ling Tebang’s exquisite mahogany storyboards hang in the lobbies of the Pacific Islands’ most distinguished financial institutions and luxury resorts.

His Breadfruit Story carving tells a particularly compelling story.

According to ancient Palauan legends, demigods traveled from village to village. They performed amazing feats to teach people valuable lessons.

On the northeast coast of Palau’s largest island, Babeldaob, are the remains of an ancient sunken village. It’s stone pathways and dwelling platforms can be seen just beneath the clear ocean waters. The island village was called Ngibtal.

IMG_0936According to legend, the female demigod, Dirachedesbsungel, spent her working life teaching the women of Palau how to grow taro. After many years of selfless service she settled as an old woman in Ngibtal. She wanted only to rest and to be treated with respect.

Click here for information on how to order your very own custom mahogany storyboard.

Dirachedesbsungei had a son, another demigod named Dirrachedebsungel, who traveled constantly. No one knew for sure where or when he would appear, for he was the teacher of natural childbirth. Until Dirachedebsungel taught the women of Palau about natural childbirth, the stomachs of pregnant women were cut open to remove the baby. Most such women died from the procedure.

And so the aged mother lived alone in the village. Each day she would watch as the local fishermen returned with their bountiful catch of her favorite fresh fish. But despite her many years of service to the community, no one offered her any of the fish, nor did they offer any other assistance. Although surrounded by villagers, the old woman was alone, hungry and miserable.

Finally, after a particularly long absence, her son came to visit. He felt remorse and sadness when he observed his mother’s pitiful state, knowing that she went hungry most days. So the son found a huge, hollow breadfruit tree near the water’s edge in his mother’s yard, and broke off a branch. From that moment, with every surge of the ocean, fresh fish we driven up the tree and out of its hollow trunk to the waiting arms of his mother. Now his mother had fresh fish to eat every day.

Click here for information on how to order your very own custom mahogany storyboard.

But the villagers, seeing the old woman’s good fortune, grew jealous and wanted to take her abundance of fish for themselves, without the need to cast their nets at sea.

So one day a boisterous group of young men entered the old woman’s yard and cut down the magic tree. Immediately the ocean rose through the remaining hollow stump and flooded the entire village of Ngibtal. All the villagers drowned – except the old woman who survived and moved to another village. There she assumed another title and name, and was treated with respect and dignity for her remaining years.

Now you can display the remarkable craftmanship of Ling Tebang and his artisans in your own home, as they depict this ancient legend on a mahogany wood storyboard, custom made for you.

Click here for information on how to order your very own custom mahogany storyboard.

IMG_0933The board’s dimensions are approximately 13.5” high and 57” long, but no two pieces are exactly identical due to differences in the grain of each carefully-selected piece of wood.

Because each piece is custom made upon order, delivery takes about 30 days from receipt of your order. It is carefully packaged and shipped to your home.

Lynn and I have purchased a custom “Breadfruit” storyboard for our Scottsdale home, where it will occupy a position of prominence. The board, in my opinion, is ideal for hearths, long walls or hallways. Each is a genuine one-of-a-kind work of art.

I am confident that if sold in the states these pieces would fetch well in excess of $2,000 each – perhaps considerably more. Our price is $795 U.S., plus $65 shipping. Although each piece is a true value at our price, as an investment advisor I would never suggest you invest art untested at auction as a financial investment. But I will tell you this: Ling Tebang’s wonderful work is an excellent investment in the elegance of your home, and lifestyle.

I cannot be certain how long we will be able to provide these custom mahogany pieces at this price, so I would encourage you to order your piece today.

Click here for information on how to order your very own custom mahogany storyboard.

–Keith

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