Infobox Philippine mythology

title = Sarimanok
description = The Legendary Bird of the Maranao people
gender = Male/female
region = Mindanao
equivalent = Víðópnir Simurgh
The Sarimanok is a legendary bird of the Maranao people who originate from Mindanao, a major island in the Philippines. "Manòk", which makes up part of its name, is a Philippine word for chicken.


It is the legendary bird or "artificial cock" that has become an ubiquitous symbol of Maranao art. It is depicted as a fowl with colorful wings and feathered tail, holding a fish on its beak or talons. The head is profusely decorated with scroll, leaf, and spiral motifs. It is said to be a symbol of good fortune. [ [ Philippine Arts and Culture: Sarimanok] . Accessed August 28, 2008.] [ [ Geocities: Sarimanok] . Accessed August 28, 2008.] [ [ Kipas: Kulintang Ensemble] . Accessed August 28, 2008.]

Origin and use

The Sarimanok is derived from a totem bird of the Maranao people, called "Itotoro". According to the Maranao people, the "Itotoro" is a medium to the spirit world via its unseen twin spirit bird called "Inikadowa". According to the tradition,the sarimanok is never displayed by itself. It must be displayed with the set of flags, standards and vexilloids. At present, this is not totally true; sarimanok may be placed on the top of the umbrella of a Sultan or dignitary, and also, the Mindanao State University has adopted it for the graduation exercises following a non-traditional use. [ [ Royal Sultanates of Lake Lanao] . Accessed August 28, 2008.] [ [ ABC: Under the Crescent Moon] . Accessed August 28, 2008.]

The Sarimanok is also believed to have originated from an Islamic legend. According to the legend, Muhammad found a rooster in the first of the seven heavens. The bird was so large its crest touched the second heaven. Its crow roused every living creature except man. Judgement day would come once this celestial rooster ceased to crow. [ The Manila Times Internet Edition: Adorning the Sarimanok] . Accessed July 29, 2007]


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