The Tinguian eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 351 pages of information about The Tinguian.

Summarizing our material, we can say of the Tinguian, that they are a rather short, well-built people with moderately high, brachycephalic heads, fairly high noses, and angular faces.  Their hair is brown black and inclined to be wavy, while the skin varies from a light olive brown to a dark reddish brown.  A study of our tables shows that within this group there are great extremes in stature, head and nasal form, color, and the like, indicating very heterogeneous elements in its make-up.  We also find that physically the Tinguian conform closely to the Ilocano, while they merge without a sharp break into the Apayao of the eastern mountain slopes.  When compared to the Igorot, greater differences are manifest; but even here, the similarities are so many that we cannot classify the two tribes as members of different races.

We have seen that this people approaches the southern Chinese in many respects, but this is likewise true of all the other tribes under discussion and, hence, we are not justified, on anatomic grounds, in considering the Tinguian as distinct, because of Chinese origin.  The testimony of historical data and language leads us to the same conclusions.  Chinese influence, through trade, has been active for many centuries along the north and west coast of Luzon, but it has not been of a sufficiently intimate nature to introduce such common articles of convenience and necessity as the composite bow, the potter’s wheel, wheeled vehicles, and the like.

The anatomical data likewise prevent us from setting this tribe apart from the others, because of Japanese or Indonesian origin.



Birth.—­The natural cause of pregnancy is understood by the Tinguian, but coupled with this knowledge is a belief in its close relationship to the spirit world.  Supernatural conception and unnatural births are frequently mentioned in the traditions, and are accepted as true by the mass of people; while the possibility of increasing the fertility of the husband and wife by magical acts, performed in connection with the marriage ceremony, is unquestioned.  Likewise, the wife may be affected if she eats peculiar articles of food, [40] and unappeased desires for fruits and the like may result disastrously both for the expectant mother and the child. [41] The close relationship which exists between the father and the unborn babe is clearly brought out by various facts; for instance, the husband of a pregnant woman is never whipped at a funeral, as are the other guests, lest it result in injury to the child.

The fact that these mythical happenings and magical practices do not agree with his actual knowledge in no way disturbs the Tinguian.  It is doubtful if he is conscious of a conflict; and should it be brought to his attention, he would explain it by reference to the tales of former times, or to the activities of superior beings.  Like man in civilized society, he seldom rationalizes about the well-known facts—­religious or otherwise—­generally held by his group to be true.

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The Tinguian from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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