The following is a portion of the northern Thai (Yuan) version
of the creation of the world, as taken from the Pathamamulamuli, an
antique Buddhist palmleaf manuscript. Its translator, Anatole-Roger
Peltier, believes that this story is based on an oral tradition which
is over five hundred years old.
"When the world was not yet in existence, there were only the
cold and the hot. By coming together and by 'feeding each other',
these two states of matter gave rise to a wind that blew very
strongly and called into existence the earth and water. The moisture
released by rocks produced mosses and seaweeds which, in turn, gave
rise to grasses, plants and trees. Insects such as fleas and beetles
were born from the elements earth, water, fire, then beings endowed
with bones and blood. From the element earth a woman called Nang
Itthang Gaiya Sangkasi was born. The scent of flowers was her only
food. Mixing her sweat with clay, she moulded animals so that they
eat the plants that grew in plenty. From the element fire, a man
called Pu Sangaiya Sangkasi was born. As he was out for a walk, he
met Nang Itthang Gaiya Sangkasi and the two of them became husband
and wife. The couple shaped the first three human beings: a man, a
woman and a hermaphrodite. . .
". . .the three human beings grew up and had three children.
Itthi, the woman, showed great affection for Pullinga, the man, much
more so for him than Napumsaka, the hermaphrodite. When he saw that
the two beings loved each other tenderly, Napumsaka, the
hermaphrodite killed the man. The woman was grief stricken. She laid
her husband's body in one place, planted a Jhalatun tree to indicate
the place of the cemetery and offered food daily until the corpse had
completely decayed. Shortly after that, the hermaphrodite died also.
The woman put his body in one place and never came near it again, but
went on offering rice to her deceased husband. The three children
seeing their mother act this way, asked her: 'O Mother, why do you
bring food to Father who died first, and not to Father who died
last?'. The mother answered: 'The first was dear to my heart and I
loved him very much; as for the second, he was not dear to my heart
and I had no affection for him'. Shortly after that, the woman died.
The three children gathered the bodies of their three parents, staked
out the cemetery and offered food every day without fail.
"After their parents' death, the three children had thirteen
offspring: six girls and seven boys. . .afterwards Itthi, the
children's mother, reaching the end of her life, died. Pullinga, the
husband carried his spouse's body to the cemetery, staked out the
site by planting a Thong puang tree and offered food daily. Shortly
after, Napumsaka, the hermaphrodite, died in turn. Pullinga placed
his [sic] body in some place and cared no more about it. The
children then asked their father: 'O Father, to Mother who died
first, you offer food daily on her tomb. And for Mother who died
last, you don't do anything. Why is it that you don't treat them
equally?'. The man answered: 'O my darling children, you mother, the
one who died first, was dear to my heart; as for the one who died
last, she wasn't'".
Source: 'Pathamamulamuli: The Origin of the World in the Lan Na
Tradition' (1991) By Anatole-Roger Peltier. Chiang Mai, Thailand: