parts of the world. I have seen last-ditch stands and
innumerable acts of personal heroism that defy description
but for sheer breathtaking and heart-stopping desperation,
I have never known the equal of those Igorots. Gentlemen,
when you tell that story, stand in tribute to these
gallant Igorots.” - Gen. Douglas MacArthur
|I was wearing a combined attire of the tribes of Igorot.|
well I am one of them. Igorot people live in the Philippines. I am sure you heard of Manny Pacquiao, who is our representative when it comes to boxing, or Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach 2015 and Miss Universe Catriona Gray 2018. Now, you have an idea where I came from. Let me share with you who are we, and why are we called Igorot people. In the Southern part of the Philippines when people hear about Igorots they will think of mountaineers or head taking people. Haha, don't worry not all the tribes of Igorot are so-called "Head Hunters". This practice stops for a long time.
The Philippines, known as the "Pearl of the Orient". The Philippines is categorized broadly into three main geographical divisions: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Its capital city is Manila. Luzon is the largest island in the Philippines. The island of Luzon contains 8 administrative regions of the Philippines. One of the 8 is Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). CAR was created in 1989, a special administrative region for the indigenous tribes of mountains. Its provinces are Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, and Mountain Province. CAR, the land of Igorot people.
|One of the Igorot Leader|
1. The Tribe of Bontoc
|Tattoos in Igorot people signify their position in the||community.|
|Bontoc warrior in his tattoos.|
2. The Tribe of Kalinga
|Displaying human heads in their houses signifying an undefiable spirit.|
Kalinga society is very kinship-oriented, and relatives are held responsible for avenging any injury done to a member. Disputes are usually settled by the regional leaders, who listen to all sides and then impose fines on the guilty party. These are not formal council meetings, but carry a good deal of authority. Known also to be a head taking OR HEAD HUNTERS society since recorded history.
|Head hunters trophy(displayed in Philippine Museum)|
3. The Tribe of Isneg /Apayao
|Enemies Head is a Trophy to Igorot People|
4. The Tribe of KanKanaey
|KanKanaey Beauty with her attire.|
|kankaney lady wearing her tapis(wrap-around skirt)|
5. The Tribe of Ibaloi - where I belong :)
|Ibaloi beauty with her attire|
6. The Tribe of Ifugao
|bulol- Ifugao gods|
|Ifugao tribal house|
Ifugao people are well known for their excellent quality carvings of wood. You can see their unbeatable wood carvings in the entire village of Asin Road, Baguio City. The long tradition of wood carving was said started in the town of Hungduan, Ifugao barrio of Hapao. People around the world admire the quality and work of Ifugao people when it comes to woodcarving.
1. Courtship Dance.
One of the interesting dance of Igorots is performing COURTSHIP DANCE and wedding dance. Here, the couple raise and wave their arms and hands like the wings of a bird in flight. The use of blankets depicting colorful plumes to attract her. The man's movements resemble those of a fighting cock in the preening, strutting, and flying-off-the-ground gestures. A set of four gongs accompanies this dance.
This dance is part of the headhunting and war ceremonials inciting feelings of strength and courage as the warriors prepare to stalk their enemy. Much of the movements are improvised; two camps of warriors are usually featured pursuing each other, culminating in a melee where a fighter from one tribe kills one of his opponents.
|War dance of Igorot people.|
|Canao Dance- Igorot warriors dance in a canao, a feast to celebrate either victory in war, a bountiful harvest, or a wedding.|
It was believe by the Igorot ancestors that eagle has the power to control thunder and rain and believe its ability to fly high to reach the gods. Traditionally performed the eagle dance when divine intervention was needed for rain believing the eagle would carry up their requests to the gods. Eagle dances is performed by the brave Igorot hunters symbolizes heroism, no fear, and unconquered spirited tribe. Originally practiced in Mt. Province, Philippines and eventually adopted by other tribes.
|Igorot performer dancing Eagle Dance|
|Variation of Eagle Dance|
The canao is a socio-religious ceremony or feast of the Igorots that is held for a variety of reasons— as thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest, to signal the start of another planting season, as part of a wedding ceremony, or to celebrate the birth of a new member of the community, among others. There is much eating, drinking, singing, and dancing during a canao. The Igorots also offer food to their gods during the ceremony.
B. BEAUTY, CUSTOMS AND JEWELRIES.
Authentic customs and jewelries of the tribes of Igorots.
|G-String for Igorot Men|
|Tapis for Women- to cover themselves. Upper extremities are exposed|
|Igorota Snake Headdress|
|Young Igorotas Precious beads and customs|
|Kalinga woman with her colorful and beautiful custom and priceless heirlooms|
|Beautiful modern Igorota Miss Payaket with her attire and pieces of jewelry|
D. MODE OF TRANSPORTATION
|Aksiw for Men|
|Here is one example; the tribe in Mt. Province hang their dead in the caves.|
|Coffins in Sagada, Mt.Province, Philippines|
|Igorot's ancestors burnt the fat of their dead under the slow fire and keep them in the coffin after ritual to preserve their dead.|
F. MUSIC AND INSTRUMENTS
Chants. This is done during the waking nights/ days of the vigil. This is to give respect to the dead and keep the time and people awake during the vigil. Giving tribute. The word for a song or chant to the dead. It is sung purely vocal, spontaneously composed in a story telling prose where words are led by one elder and being followed into a chorus to the end of the sentence/song. The deliverance of voices and the sound it creates is captivating to fear but the actual message really relies on the words. It can either tell a sad or happy experience of the life of dead.
|Modern Solibao (Igorot drums)|
G. FOOD, WINE AND DELICACIES
Pinikpikan- "KILLING ME SOFTLY CHICKEN" - In reality, its preparation is a ritual performed by Igorot tribes to determine the appropriate courses of action and their fate. It takes hours of careful work to prepare an authentic Pinikpikan. The chicken is 'battered' to keep the blood inside the chicken. If it is beaten properly, the chicken will not be bloody when it is cut. None of the bones should be broken during the beating or even the slicing. The process of light beating or "pikpik" is where Pinikpikangets its name.
|The chicken is 'battered' to keep the blood inside the chicken. If it is beaten properly, the chicken will not be bloody when it is cut.|
|My little brother is burning the chicken pinikpikan for dinner.|
|Igorot eleders are enjoying the gathering, having jars of rice wines. Igorot people loves to drink their tapey or rice wines during ceremonies(wedding, burial, or any Igorot gatherings.|
Etag / Innasin/ Keni-ing
Also known as Igorot smoked meat. Some foreigners call this as Igorot ham. It refers to salted pork and is cooked best with pinikpikan, legumes, or plain vegetables. It can also be deep fried and then eaten with vinegar or hot sauce. Yum. Igorot ancestors hang their to meat to dry and preservation even now a days.
Sweet Potato/ Kamote. Aside from rice, one of the favorite food of Igorot people is Kamote.
We are known as Igorots because of the historical braveness of our ancestors and of who we are. It is because of them that made us the tribes of Igorot, which is different from other tribes.
General MacArthur acknowledged our fearless ancestors and leave footprints of braveness to fight our freedom by voluntarily attacking the Japanese invaders. We, Igorot's were part of the Philippine History. GOD BLESS IGOROT PEOPLE!
Dear Readers,hope you enjoyed reading about Igorot people. Thank you very much.
Thanks to Jennifer Gomez-Basco for helping me explain the eagle dance. Thanks to Jacob Maentz from United States, for allowing me to post some of his photographs of our people. I encourage you my fellow Igorots and readers to check his inspiring experience when he encountered our people and culture. Thank you Jag Fernando for allowing me to use one of your picture collection of your great great grandpa Baltazar Acop Fernando (Cosalan) canao for my blog. Thank you very much to all my fellow Igorots in Facebook for your inspiration, insights and pictures to help me make this blog post possible. To my loving husband Adam Pence, who never stop encouraging me to make more blog post and check my grammar. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
- Head Hunters of the Philippine Cordilleras
- Zena Kruzick Tribal Arts
- Wikipedia - Igorot people
- Center for Philippine Studies (2012) "Kalinga Woman"
- Mandirigma Research Organization (2013) - "The IGOROT People – Bontoc, Ibaloi, Isneg (or Apayao), Kalinga, and Kankanaey"
- www.collectorsdeck.com (2013) "Bontoc Igorot Warrior Spears " Gayang, Tufay, Fal-feg, Fang-kao"
- Albert Ernest Jenks (2005) "The Bontoc Igorot"
- Jilson Tiu - The Mountain Provinces
- jinxiboo - History of Filipino Tattoos: Tattooed Mummies, Rites of Passage