The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 162 pages of information about The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon.

Here the affair was to be much smaller, all the elements being absent except the pig and drums.  We had noticed as we dismounted a pig tied to a post and evidently in a very uneasy frame of mind, and justly, for, although the honor of a canao was declined, on account of the length of the ceremony and of the distance we had yet to go, still they were resolved upon the death of the pig.  He, however, at the same time had made up his mind to escape, and by a mighty effort broke his tether, and got off; but in vain, for after a short but exciting chase he was caught and then, an incision having been made in his belly, a sharpened stick was inserted and stirred about until his insides were thoroughly mixed, when he died.  We left them cleaning and scraping and dividing, and beating two drums, about four feet long, eight inches in diameter, covered with leather at one end.  These are beaten with the open hand, the performer sitting on the ground with the instrument coming up over his left thigh, and produce a muffled and melancholy note.  Mr. Forbes had some notion of buying one of them, but was told he would be simply wasting his time, both gansas and drums having an extraordinary value in the eye of their owners.

We moved on, gradually descending, rested at Santa Fe, a rest-house and nothing else, for two or three hours, and then turned north, following an affluent of the Magat River, by an old and poor trail, the new one having been washed out for three hundred yards some two or three miles ahead.  And after dark we made Bone, our resting-place for the night.

CHAPTER V

    Aritao.—­Bubud.—­Dupax.—­Start for Campote.

We all slept in the school-house, for Bone is a Christianized village, and next day, April 28th, made a late start, for it was to be a day of easy stages.  By nine o’clock, passing through an undulating champaign country, we reached Aritao, being met at the outskirts by gansa-beaters and also by the Christian school-children with medieval-looking banners, and all in their best bibs and tuckers; the heathen and the Christians mingling apparently on the best of terms.  Aritao is an old town, now much decayed, but showing evidences of former affluence.  It has a brick church, the bells of which were rung on our approach.

As there is some Government here, of course we had to pay a visit of ceremony, and were accordingly received by the presidente and other dignitaries in an upper chamber, the little children with their banners massing around the gate of the house and forming a really pretty picture.  When we were all in, the presidente made the Governor-General and his suite a dignified speech of welcome, very well done, to which Mr. Forbes made answer in fluent and pretty good Spanish.

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The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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