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.
were so soft and friable that they could be gouged out with ease with the hand, and appeared to be vegetable, while the white stripes were most probably limestone.  This bit of the trail is regarded as dangerous, because the rock overhead is continually breaking loose and tumbling down; for this reason it was unsafe to try to dislodge pieces for later examination.  One of our cargadores, as it was, fell over, his pack getting knocked in, while he himself escaped with a bruise or two.  It was a bad place!  At the end of it a host of Kalingas acclaimed us, as picturesque as the warriors we had met at the stream, and took over the pack.  Leaving the river, we began what appeared to be an interminable climb to Lubuagan.  Up ran the trail, disappearing far ahead above us, behind the shoulder of the ridge; and we would all be hoping (those of us to whom the country was new) that Lubuagan would be just around the turn, only to find we had the same sort of climb to another shoulder; the fact being that the ridge here thrust itself out in rising echeloned spurs, each one of which had to be turned, so that we began to doubt if there was such a place as the capital of the Kalinga province.  In truth, we had been up since 3:30 and were nearly spent from heat and thirst.  But at last we made the final turn, and entered upon a narrow green valley, with a bold, clear stream rushing over and between the rocks that filled its bed.  Broad-leafed plants nodded a welcome from the waters, as we rode through the grateful shadow of the overarching trees, and shining pools smiled upon us.  We crossed a bridge, came down a bit, and, breaking through the fringe of trees and shrubs, saw before us the place-of-arms of Lubuagan.


    Splendid appearance of the Kalingas.—­Dancing.—­Lubuagan.—­Basi
    —­Councils.—­Bustles and braids.—­Jewels and weapons.—­Excellent

The sight that greeted us was stirring, suggesting to the piously minded Bishop Heber’s unmatched lines: 

    “A noble army, men and boys,
        The matron and the maid.”

There must have been thousands of people, as many women as men, and almost as many children as women, all of whom set up a mighty shout as our little column emerged.  But what especially and immediately caught the eye was the brilliancy of the scene.  For, whereas the people so far encountered had impressed us by the sobriety of color displayed, these Kalingas blazed out upon us in the most vivid reds and yellows.  Many of them, women as well as men, had on tight-fitting Moro jackets of red and yellow stripes; but whatever it was—­skirt, jacket, or gee-string—­only one pattern showed itself, the alternation of red and yellow, well brought out by the clear brown of the skin.  As though this were not enough, some men had adorned their abundant black hair with scarlet hibiscus flowers, and all, or nearly all, wore plumes

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