Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Kalinga Cultures and Traditions

The Kalingas.

The name "Kalingga" is believed to have been derived from the Ibanag word "kalinga" and the Gaddang word "kalinga", both meaning headhunters. The Spaniards picked up the term because of their headhunting tradition, and the Americans followed suit. The Kalingas have numerous songs, such as the salidummay, the dong-dong-ay, the oggayam, the ading, the wasani, the paliwat, the owawi, and the dandanag. But its enduring and distinct rite is the "Bodong" that has become an institution for peace up to this day. Kalinga is classified according to bodong-holding groups or ili, or sub-tribes, namely the Tinglayans, the Lubuagans, the Tanudans, the Pasils, the Balbalans, the Pinukpuks, and the Tabuks. (Source: Igorot, the Cordillera Schools Group.)

Inhabitants of the Cordillera

The Tingguians. The Tingguians are the indigenous inhabitantsof Abra. They occupy the eastern part of Abra, in the rugged Gran Cordillera Central mountain range. Although they may be referred to as Igorots in the sense of being from the Cordillera Mountains, the Tingguians refer to themselves as "Itnegs".

The Ikalahans (also called Kalangoya) inhabit the eastern side of the Cordillera in the Siera Madre mountains of Nueva Ecija, Nueva Viscaya, and Quirino. They are included in the term Igorot (Mountain People), but they call themselves Ikalahan.

The Bagos. The Bagos are immigrants from Western Bontoc to the boundary part of Ilocos and Benguet. They have called themselves Bagos, meaning "bagong Kristiano" or new Christians. They have a language that is a cross between Iloko and Aplai.

The Gaddangs inhabit the Cordillera portion of Cagayan, and are therefore a people from the Cordillera mountains and may have also been included in the collective name "Igorot" for inhabitants of the Gran Cordillera Mountain Ranges of Northern Philippines.

The Indigenous Culture Of The Kalinga/Ifugao Ceremonies and Rituals

I chose the indigenous religion of the Philippines because it fascinates me that certain rituals are still performed to this day. The books that I am getting my information from dates back twenty to thirty years, and they do not give indication that these tribes are changing to the modernization of the times. The dominant religion of the Philippines is Catholicism. These tribes live in the rural hills of the Philippines and this is probably why they have not been touched by the missionaries or technology. Whatever the reason I am glad because what I found out is something totally different from my western culture.

The indigenous groups I will be focusing on are called the Kalinga, Gaddang, and the Ifugao. These tribes are fairly close to one another so their rituals and ceremonies tend to overlap in certain areas. I will mention some rituals that pertain only to that certain culture, and others that all the tribes participate in for example head hunting; although the tribes might differ in performing rituals for this common activity.

The Kalinga, Gaddang, and the Ifugao's are very superstitious people and strongly believe in spirits. Spirits are the main reason behind disease, crop failure, death, and all misfortunes according to these tribes. All their ceremonies involving the supernatural requires the service of a medium.

The Ifugao mediums are always men, but amongst the Gaddang and Kalinga, women are preferred to conduct the ceremonies. Mediums are commonly needed at births, child naming ceremonies, marriage ceremonies, funerals, and generally to help individuals or families cure illnesses and prevent misfortune. Typically mediums are summoned to their profession through dreams or during illness. Recently the Gaddang mediums have not been following these summoning and instead have established new mediums through apprenticeships.

A medium will sacrifice a chicken for most rites. If there is a serious rite to be performed, examples would be a serious illness or funeral rite then the medium will sacrifice a pig or pigs pending. An example of the latter is the Purification rites of the Gaddang tribe involving a pig.

A purification rite is the cleansing a family member who broke a taboo. In this ceremony two female mediums are called to the families house. The family has cooked a lot of rice and provided a pig for the ceremony. The mediums distribute beads to the family members; beads are common in ritual paraphernalia and they serve as the communication bond between the supernatural world. The female mediums then begin to chant and pray to begin the ceremony. Female mediums never kill the pig, this is done by the male of the household or a male medium.

Instead one of the female mediums pours water over the pig and then jabs a stick in its ear. The other women medium will then interpret what the spirits are saying through the squealing pig. The ceremony is over by serving small portions of rice and the cooked pig to the family and mediums. Then to ensure that the spirits will be happy with the rite and family, the mediums take the left over food and sprinkle it around the house.

The marriage ceremony is very important to a tribe. It is an initiation rite signifying that the couple is not seen as adolescents anymore and they are accepted into the culture with full responsibilities. The Ifugao marriage ceremony involves many rites to find out if the spirits will allow the couple to marry.

When a Ifugao boy purposes to a girl he will send a messenger to her family. If her family accepts his proposal, then he will send them an engagement gift called a mommon usually a chicken, duck, or pig. To advance in the marriage procedure further, the timing has to be just right for the mediums of the Ifugao. The omens have to be good because this is how the couple will find out if they are meant for one another.

The boy again supplies the mediums with three chickens, for sacrifice. The mediums sacrifice them and read their bile-sac's and if they are bad then they go back to the agamang and can try to marry later if they want. If they bile-sacs are good then a couple lives in a house as spouses. This is called malahin meaning going separate referring to the individuals leaving the agamang. There are still two other marriage ceremonies that they have to go through, one has to due with the omens of the rice rites of the succeeding year. If this is bad then the two must separate and find new mates.

The Kalinga have a special rite called the kontad this is a rite that protects a child from evil spirits. The Kalinga believe that there is a time in a child's life when they are very vulnerable to spirits. The child is unable to protect itself at this time so parents and close relatives must observe the taboos closely. This is taken very seriously for if the taboos get broken, then harm could come to the child. The family will bribe the spirits with sacrificial offerings to insure the child's welfare.

The last ritual that I would like to mention is head hunting or head taking. It seems that it was performed by most of the tribes in the Philippines. It is debatable if it is considered a ritual or an act of violence. Although traditionally for the Gaddang head hunting began as a means for insuring a bountiful rice harvest in times of a famine. The reasons behind head taking might have started out as a ceremonious ritual, but the concept has changed from religious ritual to warfare. The reasons for taking heads was usually the result of feuds, avenging a relative, territory, and more commonly to attain status.

Even though it is questionable that the actual act of head taking was a religious ritual, there were many rituals performed before, during , and after the hunt. The one I found the most interesting is the taboos the Ifugao women had to observe while their husbands were on a hunt. In Barton's book he interviews a Ifugao woman whose husband went on head expeditions and this is what she said about the taboos she regarded while he husband was away.

"Women must not eat any kind of shell fish or crabs, nor any kind of climbing things such as beans or climbing yams. We might not weave, because that would tie the men's legs. We might not spin, for that would make the men dizzy...We might not carry a baby because that would make the men heavy-footed: we gave the babies to children to carry. We had to keep walking about all the time so that the men would be active: I was afraid even to sit down. It is permitted to lie down and sleep at night, but I couldn't sleep much"(Barton, 168).

It seems that all the effort of head hunting was not exactly left up to the men. From this narrative we can see that women also participated in their own way. In fact whole villages would participate because if a trip was successful, then there would be a huge celebration.

The celebration of a successful head hunt in the Kalinga tribe is quite elaborate. If the hunt is successful the village will hear the celebrating screams of the warriors a mile away from the village. The women of the village responds to the hunting party with a high pitch scream. This way the news was spread throughout out the village. The head and other booty was placed in a sakolang, which was a bamboo stalk six to eight feet in length stripped on the sides to form a basket. It was then lined with hibiscus flowers and placed near the sacred shrine.

Food was prepared by the warrior's relatives and then mediums would begin to perform the sagang ceremony. This consisted of chants bestowing a long life to the warriors, removal of the head from the sakolang and more chanting in the sacred shrine. After this was done the medium would put back the head, and it would remain there until the festivities were over. The ceremony lasted for two days.

Sometimes when energy was running high in the celebration the skullcap of the severed head would be removed and some of the brains would be mixed with wine. The warriors then would drink this mixture to make them courageous and successful warriors. Later the head would be boiled and broken into pieces that became trophies to the warriors. The best trophy to receive is the jaw bone because in the Kalinga tribe it is used as a musical instrument.

These expeditions were popular in the past; most of the tribes don't practice this head hunting anymore. In fact, both the Ifugao and the Kalinga people could not recall the chants that are used in the celebration of a head taking ceremony. It has been a long time a ceremony like that has taken place. The last occurring head raids was on Japanese in World War II. The Gaddang are participants of the peace act system (pudon), and trading partnerships (kolak) to guard against head hunting raids. It seems most of the other tribes obey by these pacts too, for the practice of head hunting is almost extinct.

I started this project for a class assignment, not knowing anything about the Philippines. I was surprised, once I started the project, how interested I became about this culture. From starting out with nothing, I feel a little wiser in an area of the Philippines and I hope that the information I have gathered will help to enlighten someone else in this field. (fromhttp://www.ecst.csuchico.edu/~mjw/phillipines/cultcere.htm)

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

dude...HU CARES...!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

DUDE,HU CARES!!!!....

Anonymous said...

DUDE,HU CARES!!!!....

Anonymous said...

at least somebody cares about our culture.I'm happy about it!

Anonymous said...

at least somebody cares about culture of igorots.I'm happy about it!

Anonymous said...

at least somebody cares about culture of igorots.I'm happy about it!

Anonymous said...

NICE!!! thanks for posting this article it really help me out on my homework

Anonymous said...

yeah, it helped in my assignment too!thank God gor His grace.may every people ever know the truth and follow it.

ofel said...

thanks for the information!
for i did made my work easy and well done..i'm OFEL PUGAO GUSIMAT and i actually came from tanudan but sec.college here in some part of manila.. tnx matagotago tako lusan!

Anonymous said...

I really like it. ;)) You are good. I hope you could study more about the culture of the tribes. Good luck! ;D

Anonymous said...

thank you sooooooooooooo much for writing this article.it helps my homework today. i looooooooooooovvvvvvveeeeeeeee it!

Denisse said...

thanks for the article...
it helped me allot for our culture presentation...

Anonymous said...

hi every person,

I identified kalingatambayan.blogspot.com after previous months and I'm very excited much to commence participating. I are basically lurking for the last month but figured I would be joining and sign up.

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Anonymous said...

thanks for the info. It really helped a lot in my project. I'm a filipino and I'm really happy that someone cares for our ethnic tradition.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful indepth research. I am an igorot myself and it is inspiring to know that someone's taking interest in our almost extinct culture. I don't think the younger and upcoming generations will ever know how our ancestors lived. Having these things written and recorded will keep them alive even after the tribal story tellers are long gone. Thank you,more power and hope you will do more.

Anonymous said...

its really nice...to the one hu comented 'hu cares",u suck!at least theres sumone hu really apreciated the cultures in the philippines.
thank..it really helps me on my research..

Anonymous said...

kalingas are very hard to educate, they are hesitant, coz they feel much saver and macho with their barbaric acts,

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing some of the information of our cultures and tradition,the kalinga..in fact I my self still reading about more factors from my tribe...You help a lot specially the young generation now.

Anonymous said...

Domo arigato ! :D
This is really informative

Anonymous said...

Sadly, most Pinoy have been brainwashed by Christianity and Islam. Both are foreign imports that denigrate native Pinoy customs and traditions. The Igorot, Tingurrian, Kalinga, Palawani, Lumad, and Negritos still living traditionally deserve the most respect of any Pinoy groups because only they have remained true to themselves.

Anonymous said...

Hi, just want to ask, how can we speak Good afternoon everyone in kalinga dialect, thanks and God bless!

Anonymous said...

YES! homework is DONE! thanks to that!

myrna ingosan said...

yes, this is informative, and to that person who commented hu cares and kalingas are hard to educate.... how about you? were did you get your education? what kind of education did you get? inspite of our (cordilerrans) weird traditions, we are a hospitable race and we have a culture unique from whatever culture you have!!! besides, dont read the articel if you dont like it. shame on you!!

Besides, we can persevere. we can eat anyhting under the sun! how about you, when calamities, war etc comes your way.... will you survive?? i bet my ass you cant dude!!!!

agbiag ti cordilerra!!!!

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Anonymous said...

according to some books,kalinga is a place in india.the only place that spaniards did not colonize,because the people are fears,brave and headhunters.so i thougt that,when they came to the philippines they met the same people so they call them kalingas.

Anonymous said...

Gaddang TRIBE never surrender to the spaniards,..almost 200 years b4 they built a church here in bayombong.we did not surrender.thats our Pride..Gaddang!!!!

Anonymous said...

goood job;; you help me in my report----------------thankz

Anonymous said...

goood job;; you help me in my report----------------thankz

Elaine Sinumlag said...

to those hu said hu cares!!!!you're r not a member of society coz you're ignorant about ur surrounding
!!!!!!!!people hu doesn't care at all except their happiness....SELFISH!!!!!!!!!11

Elaine Sinumlag said...

to those hu said hu cares!!!!you're r not a member of society coz you're ignorant about ur surrounding
!!!!!!!!people hu doesn't care at all except their happiness....SELFISH!!!!!!!!!11

Anonymous said...

FYI, dat one hu ask for the translation of the english word "good afternoon everyone".In kalinga its "ambalo we algaw taku losan"

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I am an Ao Naga from India.

We were headhunters. It is possible that us nagas and kalingas are same people.

have a look

http://www.google.co.in/search?q=nagaland&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=8-OQT9iDNo-HrAePmtGVBQ&biw=1024&bih=629&sei=A-SQT4iCDtDKrAfLvNSJBQ

http://www.google.co.in/search?q=naga+konyak&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=jeSQT5jNJs7irAf9n7mgBQ&biw=1024&bih=629&sei=mOSQT4KqIMPOrQeG56mPBQ#um=1&hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB%3Aofficial&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=ao+naga&oq=ao+naga&aq=f&aqi=g10&aql=&gs_nf=1&gs_l=img.3..0l10.4400.6198.0.6963.7.6.0.0.0.0.1120.1887.0j1j5-1j0j1.3.0.akstaOiM1kw&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=fdf013ae8fdf4a9b&biw=1024&bih=629

Anonymous said...

yeah true,.,those hu said "hu cares" shame on you'.im sure u're tribe didn't care you too.

Anonymous said...

proud to be "IKALINGA"

Anonymous said...

thanks..........

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH SIR NAT DALANAO FOR POSTING THIS VERY HELPFUL INFO ABOUT THE CULTURES OF OUR BELOVED LAND..VERY HELPFUL SPECIALLY TO STUDENTS...GOD BLESS KALINGA..

Anonymous said...

yasou eveerybody

Thanks for posting this informative research...it is really a great help to everyone..I am form Kalinga myself but I am not aware of all these things that is why i really appreciate your effort, time u have spend for these...Keep up and God Bless U!!!!
























































































































Anonymous said...

yasou eveerybody

Thanks for posting this informative research...it is really a great help to everyone..I am form Kalinga myself but I am not aware of all these things that is why i really appreciate your effort, time u have spend for these...Keep up and God Bless U!!!!
























































































































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Anonymous said...

thats veery helpful to me becoz where studying about the kalinga...people...tnx for sharing
its good that u care for our culture as Filipinos

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