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.
this climate and latitude.  But then the Ilokanos are the most businesslike and thrifty of all the civilized inhabitants:  their migration to other parts, a movement encouraged of long date by the Spanish authorities, is one of the most hopeful present-day signs of the Archipelago, I was sorry to take my leave of Vigan; the place and its environs seemed full of interest.  One more stop we made at San Fernando de Union the following day, a clean-built town, but otherwise of no special characteristics.  Here we met an officer of Constabulary that had been recently stationed at Lubuagan, who told us of coming suddenly one day upon a fight between two bodies of Kalingas, numbering twenty or twenty-five men each, and this in Lubuagan itself.  According to our ideas, it was no fight at all, the champions of each side engaging in single combat, while the rest looked on and shouted, waiting their turn.  One man had already been killed, his headless trunk lying on the ground.  On the approach of the officer they all ran.  Here, too, we heard from another Constabulary officer, that the insurrectos in 1898-1899 forced the Igorots to carry bells and other loot taken from the conventos and churches, and would shoot the cargadores if they stumbled or fell, or could go no farther under the weights they were carrying.

Twenty-four hours later we steamed up Manila Bay.  The trip was over.


Future of the highlanders.—­Origin of our effort to improve their condition.—­Impolicy of any change in present administration.—­Transfer of control of wild tribes to Christianized Filipinos.—­Comparison of our course with that of the Japanese in Formosa.

The question now presents itself:  What is to become of these highlanders of Northern Luzon?  And if the answer to be given is here applied only to them, let it be distinctly understood that logically the question may be put in respect of all the wild people of the Philippines.  Of these there are over one million in a total population of perhaps eight millions.  At once it appears that any conclusions we may draw, any speculations we may cherish, in respect of the Archipelago, as being inhabited by a Christian people unjustly deprived of liberty by us, must be subject to a very large and important correction.  Limiting our inquiry to Luzon alone, let it be recollected that of its 4,000,000 population nearly four hundred thousand, or one-tenth, are highlanders, and that these highlanders, in all probability, arrived in the Islands at an earlier date than their Christianized cousins of the lowlands.  Let us recollect further that these people are ethnologically not savages at all; not only are they workers in steel and wood, weavers of cloth, but hydraulic agriculturists of the very highest merit.  On the side of moral qualities they invite our approving attention:  they speak the truth, they look one straight in the eye, they

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