Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1871 Ifugao kadangyan
Subjectkadangyan war leader
Culture: Ifugao Igorot
Setting: tribal warfare, Luzon highlands late 19th-20thc

Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)

* Harper/Peplow 1991 p241
"The Ifugao were feared headhunters who fiercely resisted Spanish colonization.  In 1752, a mission was established at Bagabag (Nueva Vizcaya) to serve as a base for the pacification of the'Igorrotes' of Kiangan, who frequently raided Cagayan Valley settlements.  But in 1767, the Ifugao routed a large Spanish expeditionary force in the Battle of Kiangan.  Part of Ifugao territory was penetrated by Spanish military expeditions between 1829 and 1837, and in 1841, the Spanish set up a politico-military settlement at Kiangan, from which missionaries approached outlying villages.  Resistance continued, however, and an 1868 rebellion needed strong military force to counter it.  The Spanish left in 1898, leaving most of the Ifugao region unexplored.  Their attempts to control and convert this widely scattered, conservative, and independent people had been in vain."

Howard 2000 p24
"It was not until the middle of the nineteenth century that the Spanish finally settled on a policy of divide and conquer, splitting the mountain province of Benguet into smaller administrative regions which could be more effectively governed by military occupation.  The Spanish set up heavy fortifications flanking the highlands on the south, west and southeast, and from their stronghold in Abra and Lepanto to the south, they sent out armed parties into the Kalinga and Bontoc territories.  Within a few years, the Spanish were able to establish semi-permanent base at Bontoc, but the tribes proved so hostile that the camp could not be reinforced substantially until the building of a mission in 1892.
​  "The Spanish military campaigns were aimed indiscriminately at the Bontoc, Ifugao and Kalinga tribes, all of whom remained implacably hostile to any occupying forces until the arrival of the Americans.  The Ifugao attacked Christian settlements, and the mission in Kiangan actually had to be closed between 1871 and 1889."

* Power and gold 1985 p249-250
"Traditional Ifugao society notably had no chiefs in a practical, political sense, nor any well-institutionalized governmental forms such as a chiefly councils [sic].  Kadangyan status was largely one of ritual power and religious influence."  [reference omitted]


* Chenevière 1987 p186
"During a special ritual for the anitos, the clan chiefs wear ceremonial headdresses displaying the tusks of wart hogs, symbol of strength and courage, and the beak of the calao, the bird considered to be the messenger of the gods.  For coming-of-age ceremonies, monkeys' heads suffice, as the animals are held to be the privileged accomplices of the spirits, who are invoked with laughter and jokes. ... [A]ccording to magic custom, the skull must look in the same direction as the person wearing it."

* Howard 2000 p43
"The feather- and skull-adorned [hats] are ceremonial headdresses."

Jewelry (Earrings, Necklace, Bracelet)

* Power and gold 1985 p250
"Ma-ibuy, or family property, consists of rice lands, forest lands, and heirlooms, including gongs, rice-wine jars, gold neck ornaments, strings of amber-colored glass beads, and gungol, strings of agates and bloodstones.  The current owner (rather, the family steward) of these treasures will outfit his family with the jewelry at ceremonies, at the same time that he displays the heirloom jars and gongs."  [references omitted]

* Harper/Peplow 1991 p243
"Ifugao are relatively short, well-built, and muscular.  Headhunters until relatively recently, the tattoos that were the sign of a successful headhunter and his family can still be seen on older people.  These tattoos on a man's chest, back, and neck, and on a woman's arms conferred great prestige.  Both sexes wore earrings, armlets, and leglets of brass wire, plus necklaces of large beads for women, and copper earrings with pendants for men."


* Jenks 1905 p128
"Kay-yan' is a gracefully formed blade not used in hunting, and employed less in war than is si-na-la-wi'-tan.  Though the Igorot has almost nothing in his culture for purely aesthetic purposes, yet he ascribes no purpose for the kay-yan' -- he says it looks pretty; but I have seen it carried to war by war parties." 

Basic Costume

* Maxwell 2014 p10?-10?
"The Ifugao of Luzon make twined jackets with a technique similar to macramé.  These jackets, and the hairy backpack (bango), seem to be associated with hunting and with ceremonies such as exorcism and those following violent deaths, when sacrifices are necessary."

* Harper/Peplow 1991 p243
[M]en still wear narrow G-strings and a bolo in a scabbard.  Warriors once carried spears and wooden shields."

* Howard 2000 p44
"The Ifugao male's 'binohilen' loincloth ... indicate[s] tribal membership with a specific design or pattern ...." 


* Howard 2000 p41
"Handwoven baskets are worn as backpacks to carry food back and forth to work in the fields, on hunting trips, and on visits to neighboring villages."


* Power and gold 1985 p337
"Hunter's belt called ginutu, made of clamshell disks, rubbed in the riverbed until round and then mounted on wickerwork.  The bigger disks go around the waist and the smaller ones hang at the front between the legs.  The minimum number of disks must be thirty-two when the exchange value of the belt is one gold pendant (balituk in Ifugao), or two adult female pigs." 

* Borel/Taylor 1994 p184
"The Ifugao fasten an upud, a shell disk with mounted openwork horn decoration, to the front of their shell-disk belts (ginutu).  Although this ornament is worn only by men, according to J.F. Safer it represents Pumupud, a diety believed to cause difficult births by blocking the birth canal, much as an operculum closes the opening of a shell."


* Howard 2000 p176
"bolo -- machete (Bontoc/Ifugao)"

* Steel and magic 2020 p223
"The forest knives of the Ifugao are the single-edged pinahig and the double-edged hinalung."


* Howard 2000 p176
"kindoman -- pipe for smoking (Ifugao)"


* Howard 2000 p39
"Traditionally, exceptional wooden spoons, with carved 'bulul' figure designs, are frequently used by guests at feasts, if the host is affluent, but usually the tribe eats with their hands, or a small supply of spoons maybe shared [sic].  Over the years these carved wooden implements are blackened by smoke from open air hearths ...."


* Howard 2000 p46
"Ifugao males carry a kind of purse, known as a 'butung,' with a distinct tribal pattern, which is held by a circular coiled brass handle.  The handle is highly-prized by the owner, and the possessor of a particularly ornate bag will be the envy of his neighbors."


* Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology > Pacific Islands Hall
"[...]  Baskets, kupit, were worn on the shoulder and used to carry food and/or personal objects." ...


* Steel and magic 2020 p223
"Spearheads featuring ... anthropomorphic figures have ... been categorised as Ifugao ...."