Bhutan Folktale.


Bandar is an American who was traveling in Bhutan when he heard this folktale. He is an abid traveler and student with a masters in International Relations.


Original script:

Two friends, monkey and hen live together. Monkey is always sent to work everyday hen stays at home and cooks for the monkey. The hen of course lays egg.

One day the monkey is working hard, right? In the field he works, while the hen gets to stay home, you know? So the monkey says, “ Now I’m going to cook for you, YOU go in the field and work”

Before, he watches the hen how hen does cooking and cleans everything up. What monkey sees is hen laying an egg over the pan. Monkey send hen to the field, she cleans everything up. She starts to cook and like the hen she sits over the oven and squeezes. No egg come out but of course other things come out, the poops come out, and it splashes the oil and burns off all his fur. So then we say its not always good to copy”


Background Information about the Piece by the informant: Bandar was traveling in Bhutan when the guide he was traveling with told him this folktale and recorded it for me.


Context of performance:

Told to my informant on a long car ride up in Bhutan.


Thoughts on this piece:

The story like most tales reflects belief system in the Bhutanese culture and provides a moral story on common sense. It is interesting that the narrator switches the sex of the Monkey and Hen. Does this mean that gender roles are not as important in Bhutan?