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.

The afternoon passed listening to stories and incidents like those just given, until it was time to go and see the sports. [36] These, with one exception, presented no peculiarity, races, jumping, tug-of-war, and a wheelbarrow race by young women, most of whom tried to escape when they learned what was in store for them.  But the crowd laid hold on them and the event came off; the first heat culminating in a helpless mix-up, not ten yards from the starting-line, which was just what the crowd wanted and expected.  The exception mentioned was notable, being a native game, played by two grown men.  One of these sits on a box or bench and, putting his right heel on it, with both hands draws the skin on the outside of his right thigh tight and waits.  The other man, standing behind the first, with a round-arm blow and open hand slaps the tightened part of the thigh of the man on the box, the point being to draw the blood up under the skin.  The blow delivered, an umpire inspects, the American doctor officiating this afternoon, and, if the tiny drops appear, a prize is given.  If no blood shows, the men change places, and the performance is repeated.  The greatest interest was taken in the performance this afternoon, many pairs appearing to take and give the blow.  The thing is not so easy as it looks, the umpire frequently shaking has head to show that no blood had been drawn.  The prizes consisted of matches, which these highlanders are most eager to get.

The day closed with a baile, given by the Ilokanos living in Bontok.  Many of these are leaving their narrow coastal plains on the shores of the China Sea and making their way through the passes to the interior, some of them going as far as the Cagayan country.  It is only a question of time when they will have spread over the whole of Northern Luzon.  This baile was like all native balls, rigodon, waltzes, and two-steps; remarkably well done too, these, considering that the senoritas wear the native slipper, the chinela, which is nothing more or less than a heelless bed-room slipper.  But one senorita danced the jota for us, a graceful and charming dance, with one cavalier as her partner, friend or enemy according to the phase intended to be depicted.


    The native village.—­Houses.—­Pitapit.—­Native

The next day, the 9th, Father Clapp very kindly offered to show Strong and me the native village, an invitation we made haste to accept.  This village, if village it be, marches with the Christian town, so that we at once got into it, to find it a collection of huts put down higgledy-piggledy, with almost no reference to convenience of access.  Streets, of course, there were none, nor even regular paths from house to house; you just picked your way from one habitation to the next as best you could, carefully avoiding

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