The mouse deer as a trickster in Philippine folktales
SPJRD Vol 27 No. 2


mouse deer
Islamic folktale
Southeast Asia
the Philippines

How to Cite

Tsuji, T. (2022). The mouse deer as a trickster in Philippine folktales. Southeastern Philippines Journal of Research and Development, 27(2), 35-45.


This study explores mouse deer folktales from the Philippines. In these tales, mouse deer, called pilanduk, appear as tricksters. This study aims to explore such folktales and investigate why these animals are depicted in this way. The research method involved material studies designed to collect folktales for analysis and collecting, reading, and examining the details of literature about animal folktales, especially folktales about mouse deer in the Philippines. Prior to the library research, fieldwork was conducted on Balabac Island in Palawan Province. Results indicate that mouse deer folktales exist among at least four Muslim and indigenous groups on Mindanao Island, although mouse deer are a species native to Balabac Island of Palawan Province. Five specific mouse deer folktales were examined. In each case, the mouse deer functioned as a trickster, killing others, ridiculing their misfortunes, and plundering marriages. This article examines the characteristics of these folktales and discusses why mouse deer appear in folktales of ethnic groups, mainly on Mindanao Island. Variant mouse deer folktales are also found in Indonesia and Malaysia. It is possible that mouse deer folktales came from Islamic communities in Southeast Asia and that they may show cultural norms among Muslim societies.


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