The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 192 pages of information about The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon.
to him, that it was all a mistake, and that the spear had been intended for somebody else.  Mr. Barton is doing a useful work here in devoting his spare time and energy to a study of the Ifugao religion with its myths and mythology.  He told me that he had so far defined seven hundred different spirits and was not sure that he had got to the end of them.  The publication of Mr. Barton’s research is awaited with some avidity by the Americans living in the Province, as enabling them to have a better control of the people through their religious beliefs.

We had not long been seated in our quarters before a deputation of chiefs with their gansas and a large number of bubud [23] jars entered, and offered us bubud to drink.  Very soon our visitors began to dance for us to the sound of the gansa, their dance being different from that we had seen a few days before at Campote.  As, however, the next day was one dance from morning to night, I shall not spend any more time upon this affair, except to say that, turn about being fair play, Cootes got up and gave such a representation as he was able of a pas seul.  When he had done, our visitors started anew, and the gansas proving irresistible, Cootes and I joined in.  The steps, poise of body, motion of the arms and hands are so marked and peculiar that a little observation and practice enabled us in a short time to produce at least a fair imitation; indeed, so successful were our efforts that we were informed we should be invited to dance on the morrow before the multitudes!  This brought us up standing, and it was time anyway.  So our chieftains took their leave, their bubud jars remaining in our charge.  These jars are worth more than a passing mention:  the oldest ones come from China, and are held in such high esteem by the Ifugaos that they will part with them for neither love nor money.  According to the experts, some of them are examples of the earliest known forms of Chinese porcelain, and are most highly prized by collectors and museums. [24]

We put up our mosquito-bars this night, the only time on the trip, but I think without any necessity.  So far we had not seen, heard or felt a single fly or mosquito, and were to see none until we struck civilization once more in the Cagayan Valley.


    Day opens badly.—­Ifugao houses.—­The people, assemble.—­Dancing. 
    —­Speeches.—­White paper streamers.—­Head hunter dance.—­Canao.

Needless to say we were up betimes the next morning, May 2d, for the clans were to gather, and the day would hardly be long enough for all it was to hold.  The day began ominously.  As Kiangan is a sort of headquarters, it has a guard-house for the service of short imprisonments, a post-and-rail affair made of bamboo under the cuartel.  For while our administration is kindly, these mountaineers from the first have had to learn, if not to feel as yet,

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