|One of Hiwang Village’s rice guardians|
|Hiwang Village has lots wooden carvings for sale|
|Animal skulls are typical house decors in Ifugao|
|See the skulls right there? Those are the skulls of the unfortunate Japanese soldiers|
|Hiwang Village’s dap-ay–strongly reminds me of Frozen’s love experts|
|Ifugao’s cooking area|
I wanted to listen to Noel more but darkness slowly descends the place accompanied by chorus of cicadas and we are forced to said our goodbyes. Kuya Benson explained in his native tongue we need to head back to Banaue Trade Center and en route we need to find the souvenir shop who sold us the Ifugao native skirt (though not using the thick authentic Ifugao woven cloth) that costs us Php 150.00 per piece. Original adult-size Ifugao skirt costs Php 600-800 with the white top and belt. The skirts we purchased are actually in teen’s size that falls mid-thigh. We just ripped the garter off and wore it with safety pins. Noel thanked us and told us to come back during harvest to witness tribal practices such as thanksgiving rituals. Best time to visit Banaue is from October to November during the harvest time. April to May is their planting season.
Hiwang Native House Inn and Viewdeck
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If you want to read more about the head-hunting ritual, here’s an excerpt from The Bontoc Igorot by Albert Ernest Jenks, release date: March 18, 2005 [EBook #3308].
[sic] There is little formality about the head taking. Most heads are cut off with the battle-ax before the wounded man is dead. Not infrequently two or more men have thrown their spears into a man who is disabled. If among the number there is one who has never taken a head, he will generally be allowed to cut this one from the body, and thus be entitled to a head taker’s distinct tattoo. However, the head belongs to the man who threw the first disabling spear, and it finds its resting place in his ato. If there is time, men of other ato may cut off the man’s hands and feet to be displayed in their ato. Sometimes succeeding sections of the arms and legs are cut and taken away, so only the trunk is left on the field.
Frequently a battle ends when a single head is taken by either side — the victors calling out, “Now you go home, and we will go home; and if you want to fight some other day, all right!” In this way battles are ended in an hour or so, and often in half an hour. However, they have battles lasting half a day, and ten or a dozen heads are taken. Seven pueblos of the lower Quiangan region went against the scattered groups of dwellings in the Banawi area of the upper Quiangan region in May, 1902. The invaders had seven guns, but the people of Banawi had more than sixty — a fact the invaders did not know until too late. However, they did not retire until they had lost a hundred and fifty heads. They annihilated one of the groups of the enemy, getting about fifty heads, and burned down the dwellings. This is by far the fiercest Igorot battle of which there is any memory, and its ferocity is largely due to firearms.
When a head has been taken the victor usually starts at once for his pueblo, without waiting for the further issue of the battle. He brings the head to his ato and it is put in a small funnel-shaped receptacle, called “sak-o’-long,” which is tied on a post in the stone court of the fawi. The entire ato joins in a ceremony for the day and night; it is called “se’-dak.” A dog or hog is killed, the greater part of which is eaten by the old men of the ato, while the younger men dance to the rhythmic beats of the gangsa. On the next day, “chao’-is,” a month’s ceremony, begins. About 7 o’clock in the morning the old men take the head to the river. There they build a fire and place the head beside it, while the other men of the ato dance about it for an hour. All then sit down on their haunches facing the river, and, as each throws a small pebble into the water he says, “Man-i’-su, hu! hu! hu! Tukukan!” — or the name of the pueblo from which the head was taken. This is to divert the battle-ax of their enemy from their own necks. The head is washed in the river by sousing it up and down by the hair; and the party returns to the fawi where the lower jaw is cut from the head, boiled to remove the flesh, and becomes a handle for the victor’s gangsa. In the evening the head is buried under the stones of the fawi.
In a head ceremony which began in Samoki May 21, 1903, there was a hand, a jaw, and an ear suspended from posts in the courts of ato Nag-pi’, Ka’-wa, and Nak-a-wang’, respectively. In each of the eight ato of the pueblo the head ceremony was performed. In their dances the men wore about their necks rich strings of native agate beads which at other dances the women usually wear on their heads. Many had boar-tusk armlets, some of which were gay with tassels of human hair. Their breechcloths were bright and long. All wore their battle-axes, two of which were freshly stained halfway up the blade with human blood — they were the axes used in severing the trophies from the body of the slain.
On the second day the dance began about 4 o’clock in the morning, at which time a bright, waning moon flooded the pueblo with light. At every ato the dance circle was started in its swing, and barely ceased for a month. A group of eight or ten men formed, as is shown in Pl. CXXXI, and danced contraclockwise around and around the small circle. Each dancer beat his blood and emotions into sympathetic rhythm on his gangsa, and each entered intently yet joyfully into the spirit of the occasion — they had defeated an enemy in the way they had been taught for generations.
It was a month of feasting and holidays. Carabaos, hogs, dogs, and chickens were killed and eaten. No work except that absolutely necessary was performed, but all people — men, women, and children — gathered at the ato dance grounds and were joyous together.
Each ato brought a score of loads of palay, and for two days women threshed it out in a long wooden trough for all to eat in a great feast. This ceremonial threshing is shown in Pl. CXXXII. Twenty-four persons, usually all women, lined up along each side of the trough, and, accompanying their own songs by rhythmic beating of their pestles on the planks strung along the sides of the trough, each row of happy toilers alternately swung in and out, toward and from the trough,its long heavy pestles rising and falling with the regular “click, click, thush; click, click, thush!” as they fell rebounding on the plank, and were then raised and thrust into the palay-filled trough.
After heads have been taken by an ato any person of that ato — man, woman, or child — may be tattooed; and in Bontoc pueblo they maintain that tattooing may not occur at any other time, and that no person, unless a member of the successful ato, may be tattooed.
After the captured head has been in the earth under the fawi court of Bontoc about three years it is dug up, washed in the river, and placed in the large basket, the so-lo’-nang, in the fawi, where doubtless it is one of several which have a similar history. At such time there is a three-day’s ceremony, called “min-pa-fa’-kal is nan mo’-king.” It is a rest period for the entire pueblo, with feasting and dancing, and three or four hogs are killed. The women may then enter the fawi; it is said to be the only occasion they are granted the privilege.