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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Igorot People of Cordillera Region

Igorots are indigenous people living in uplands of Cordillera Region, they are the descendants of the original inhabitants of in the area who managed to resist the Spaniards and American colonization. They were able to retain most of their customs and traditions until now. This people in Cordillera are known previously for a practice of headhunting. The word Igorot is indigenous Filipino word means "Mountaineer" or People from Mountains".

Igorots are divided into five ethno-linguistic groups, Bontocs, Kalinga, Isneg, Kankana-ey, and Ibaloi. They were farmers who built famous rice terraces of Cordillera Region. Each tribe have their own organization, cultural expression and artistic skills.

The Bontoc tribe is located in central Mountain Province, living  on the banks of Chico river. This tribe who speak Bontoc langauge are known as peaceful farmers. They are known before for their practice of headhunting and for their body with decoration of tatoo. Bontocs are practicing a circular rhythmic dance acting out certain aspects of the hunt with the gang-sa or bronze gong. They believe to supreme deity called "Lumawig", who personifies the forces of nature. The believe also to the spirits of dead called "Anito".

The Kalinga tribe is located in Kalinga Province, speaks Kalinga and Limos language. They live in the drainage  areas of middle Chico River. They practice both wet and dry farming and developed an institution of peace pacts called "Botong" to minimized warfares and headhunting.

The Isneg tribe also known as Apayao, Isnag or Dibagat-Kabugao-Itneg is located in Northern Apayao. They live in the banks of Apayao River and tributaries of Northern Luzon. Their language is Isnag. They are distinguished from other Igorot tribes for their fine construction of their houses. Until now they still practice animism with small percentage of christian.

The Kankana-ey tribe also known as Sagada/Besao Igorot, western Bontoc or Aplai are located in Western Mountain Province, Southeastern Ilocos Sur, Northern and some part of Benguet. They speak Kankana-ey language. They live in Western Mountain Province, Northern Benguet and Southern Ilocos Sur. Two famous institutions are located in Mountain Province, the "dap-ay - the men's dormitory and civic center, and "ebgan" - the girl's dormitory where courtship between young men and women took place.

The Ibaloi tribe also known as Ibaloy or Nabaloi is located in Southern Benguet. They are traditional farmers that cultivate rice. Their language is Malayo-Polynesian branch of Austronesian language family which is closed to Pangasinan language. Baguio City is located in Southern Benguet where Ibaloi tribes inhabits.

Image Source
Bontoc woman with  her famous tatoo on hands

A Kalinga student in traditional garb and weapon
An Isnag woman wearing traditional attire, hav...Image via Wikipedia
An Isnag woman wearing traditional attire
Kankana-ey tribe while on performance
Ibaloi woman and small girl on their native dress
A famous Igorot dance called Pattong
A scence in Bontoc wardance
The old Igorots in Banaue
Igorot Weapons with Kalinga Shield
Igorot Weapons with their axe

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