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- A Study in Tinguian Folk-Lore - 4/14 -


is applied to the wounds, or the victim is placed in a magic well, but the common method is for the hero "to whip his perfume," [41] whereupon the dead follow his commands (pp. 152, 157).

The birth of a child, to a woman of these times, is generally preceded by an intense itching between the third and last fingers, and when this spot is pricked the child pops out "like popped rice." [42] Its growth is always magical, for at each bath its stature increases by a span (p. 102). Within a few days the baby is a large child and then begins deeds of valor worthy of the most renowned warriors (pp. 95, 96).

The power of assuming animal forms appears to be a common possession, and we find the different characters changing themselves into fireflies, ants, centipedes, omen birds, and in one case into oil [43] (pp. 85, 99).

One of the most peculiar yet constantly used powers of these people is their ability to send betel-nuts on various missions. Whenever an invitation to a ceremony or celebration is to be extended, nuts covered with gold are oiled and sent out. They go to the intended guest, state their errand, and, if refused, forthwith proceed to grow on his knee, forehead, or pet pig, until pain or pity compels him to accept (p. 146). In some cases it appears that the nuts themselves possess the magic properties, for we find Aponitolau demanding that his conquered foes give him their betel-nuts with magic power (p. 91).

Relationships can be readily ascertained by the chewing of these nuts, for when the quids are laid down they are transformed into agate and golden beads and lie in such a manner that the associations are fully established (pp. 35, 36, 41).

Enough has been mentioned to show how important a part magic and magical practices play in the life of this people, but one further reference should be made, since it is found in nearly every tale. When the marriage price is settled upon, the mother of the groom exercises her power and at once fills the spirit house with valuable jars and the like; this is repeated until enough are gathered to meet the demands of the girl's people (p. 133). Even when the agreed sum has been delivered we often find the girl's mother herself practicing magic, to secure additional payment, and by raising her elbows or eyebrows causing a part of the jars to vanish (pp. 133, 143).

Despite their great gifts we find that these people are not all-powerful and that they deem it wise to consult the omens before starting on a task or a journey. The gall sack and liver of a pig are eagerly examined, [44] while the calls of birds, actions of animals, or signs received from the thunder and lightning regulate their conduct. In cases where these warnings are disregarded misfortune or death always overtakes the individual (pp. 48, 49, 100 ff).

Death comes to them, but apparently is only a temporary state. The deceased are often revived by some magical process (p. 152), but if not the corpse is placed on a raft and is set adrift on the river. [45] The streams and rivers, we are told, all flow past Nagbotobotán before they empty into the hole where all streams go. In this place lives the old woman Alokotán, who is related to the people of Kadalayapan and Kaodanan. Her duty it is to watch for dead relatives, to secure them, and make them alive again (p. 132). She is the owner of a magic pool, the waters of which revive the dead and renew youth.

Comparison of the Reconstructed Culture with Present Day Conditions.--Before passing to a consideration of the tales in the last two divisions of our material, it may be well to compare the life and beliefs of these "people of the first times" with those of the living Tinguian. Kadalayapan and Kaodanan appear, in a vague way, to have been located in Abra, for we learn that the Ilocano, Don Carlos, went up the river from Baygan (Vigan) [46] to Kadalayapan; that the alzados [47] lived near by; while the tattooed Igorot occupied the land to the south (pp. 77, 155). The villages were surrounded by defensive walls such as were to be found about all Tinguian villages until recent times, and which are still to be seen about Abang and other settlements. Within the walls were many houses, the descriptions of most of which would fit the dwellings of to day. The one thing which seems foreign to present conditions is the so-called "ninth room" which receives rather frequent mention. There is nothing in the tales referring to buildings or house construction which lends support to the contention of those who seek to class the Tinguian as a modified sub-group of Igorot. [48] The Bontoc type of dwelling with its ground floor sleeping box and its elevated one room kitchen and storage room is nowhere mentioned, neither is there any indication that in past or present times the Tinguian had separate sleeping houses for the unmarried men and boys, and for the girls, as do their neighbors to the south.

The other structures, such as the spirit houses, rice drying frames, and granaries were similar to those seen to-day in all the villages. Likewise the house furnishings, the musical instruments, and even the games of the children were such as are to be found at present, while our picture of the village life given on page 6 still fits nearly any Tinguian settlement in Abra. The animals mentioned are all familiar to the present people, but it is worthy of note that in the first twenty-six tales, which make up the cycle proper, the horse is not mentioned, nor does the carabao appear to be used as a work animal. Still more important is the fact that the terraced fields and the rice culture accompanying them, which to-day occupy a predominant place in the economic life of the people, are nowhere mentioned. On the other hand, the langpádan, or mountain rice, assumes a place of great importance. References to the cultivation of the land all seem to indicate that the "hoe culture," which is still practiced to a limited extent, took the place of agriculture.

The clothing, hair dressing, and ornaments, worn by these people, agree closely with those of to-day. Beads seems to have been of prime importance, but could scarcely have been more prized or more used than at present. Unless she be in mourning, the hair and neck of each woman are now ornamented with strings of beads, many of them of evident antiquity, while strands above strands cover the arms from the wrist to the elbow or even reach to the shoulder. [49]

The wealth of a person seems to have been, to a large extent, determined by the number of old jars in his possession. As at the present time, they formed the basis of settlement for feuds, as payment for a bride, and even figured in the marriage ceremony itself. The jars, as judged from their names, were evidently of ancient Chinese manufacture, and possessed power of speech and motion similar to that of human beings; but in a lesser measure the same type of jars have similar powers to-day. [50]

The use of gold and jewels seems to have been common in the old times; the latter are seldom seen in the district to-day, but the use of bits of gold in the various ceremonies is still common, while earrings of gold or copper are among the most prized possessions of the women. [51] Placer mining is well known to the Igorot of the south, who melt and cast the metal into various ornaments. So far as I am aware, this is not practiced by the present Tinguian, but may point back to a time when the industry was known in this region, or when trade relations with the south were much freer than in recent years.

The weapons of the warriors, which we are specifically told were of metal, are identical with those seen at the present time, while the methods of warfare agree with the accounts still told by the old men of their youthful exploits.

A survey of the tales brings out boldly the fact that a headhunt was one of the most important events in Tinguian life. To-day stress of circumstances has caused the custom to suffer a rapid decline, but even now heads are occasionally taken, while most of the old men have vivid recollections of the days when they fought "in the towns of their enemies." A spirited account of a head celebration seen in the village of Lagangilang--from which ten of these tales were collected--will be found in the writings of La Gironiere, already referred to. [52] It is important to note that this account, as well as those secured from many warriors of the present generation, offers some striking differences to the procedure in the olden days, particularly as regards the disposal of the skulls. The tales tell of the heads being placed on the sagang [53] at the spring, at the gate, or about the town, after the celebration. Certain of the present villages make use of the sagang, but the more common type of head holder is the saloko, [54] which still figures in many ceremonies. However, the heads only remain in these receptacles until the day set for the festival. They are then carried to the centre of the village and there, amid great rejoicing, are cut open; the brains are removed and to them are added the lobes of the ears and joints of the little fingers, and the whole is then placed in the liquor, which is served to the dancers. Before the guests depart the skulls are broken into small pieces and a fragment is presented to each male guest, who carries it home and is thus often reminded of the valor of the takers. [55] A study of Tinguian beliefs furnishes an additional religious motive for the taking of heads, but with the people of Kadalayapan and Kaodanan revenge and the desire for renown were the prime incentives.

Every tale emphasizes the importance of the Sayang ceremony and the spirit structure known as balaua. [56] The ceremony is nowhere described in full, but the many details which are supplied show that it was almost identical with that of to-day. The same is true of the Dawak, [57] which we find mentioned on three different occasions, and of the ceremony made to aid in locating lost or stolen articles. The most noticeable fact, to the person familiar with Tinguian life, is that these are the only ceremonies mentioned among the many known and practiced at present. More than a score of different rites are now well known to this people, and occupy a very considerable portion of their time and attention during the first four months of the year.

The failure to make mention of these very important events is explained, it seems to me, not by their absence, but by the fact that these rites vary in importance and that the privilege of celebrating them is hereditary in a family. Should one not entitled to hold such a ceremony desire to do so, he must first give, in order, all the lesser events, a costly procedure extending over a period of several years. The people of Kadalayapan and Kaodanan always appear as being closely related to the spirit Kaboniyan, [58] and exceedingly powerful. It seems probable that the story teller takes it for granted that all of them are entitled to hold the most important ceremony known to the Tinguian.

A prominent figure in these rites is the medium, through whom the ancient people generally conversed with the spirits, but in exceptional cases we found the heroes talking direct with the superior beings; however, this gift is not confined to the men of old, for in such tales as 55 and 59 people who are believed to have lived recently have conversed with the spirits and have even been joined to them in marriage.

The procedure in choosing a bride, the engagement, the pakálon, [59] and the marriage proper are all those of the present day, but the rules governing the marriage of relatives differ radically. As already noted, one of the chief qualifications for marriage, among the people of the tales, was relationship, and even cousins became husband and wife. Such a thing is unthinkable among the Tinguian of to-day; first cousins are absolutely barred from marrying, while even the union of second cousins would cause a scandal, and it is very doubtful if such a


A Study in Tinguian Folk-Lore - 4/14

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