Forensic Fashion
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>Costume Studies
>>1922 Tinguian lakay
Subjectlakay chief
Culture: Tinguian Igorot
Setting: tribal warfare, Luzon highlands 19-20thc

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

* Cole 1922 p357
"The head of the village is known as lakay. He is usually a man past middle age whose wealth and superior knowledge have given him the confidence of his people. He is chosen by the older men of the village, and holds his position for life unless he is removed for cause. It is possible that, at his death, his son may succeed him, but this is by no means certain. 
    "The lakay is supposed to be well versed in the customs of the ancestors, and all matters of dispute or questions of policy are brought to him. If the case is one of special importance he will summon the other old men, who will deliberate and decide the question at issue. They have no means of enforcing their decisions other than the force of public opinion, but since an offender is ostracised, until he has met the conditions imposed by the elders, their authority is actually very great. Should a lakay deal unjustly with the people, or attempt to alter long established customs, he would be removed from office and another be selected in his stead. No salary or fees are connected with this office, the holder receiving his reward solely through the esteem in which he is held by his people."

* Power and gold 1985 p235
"Wealthy 'headmen,' who own many rice terraces, dominate village politics and have large stores of ceremonial wealth consisting of Chinese porcelain jars, copper gongs, and old beads."  [references omitted]


* Cole 1922 p435
"The hair is worn long, and is parted straight down the middle; the two strands are twisted, crossed in the back, then carried to the forehead, where they are again crossed, and the ends are fastened by intertwining on each side of the head. A bark band (ayabong) holds the hair in place, but at times it is replaced by a cloth or a narrow ring of interwoven grass and rattan. Round bamboo hats, with low dome-shaped tops, are commonly worn, but these are sometimes displaced by hats which go to a sharp peak, or by those made of a gourd or of wood."


* Cole 1922 p375-376
"The Spear, pīka.— .... A considerable part of these are made in the villages along the upper reaches of the Buklok river and in Balbalasang, but many come into Abra through trade with the Igorot and Kalinga. They are used for hunting and fighting, and are intended both as thrusting and throwing weapons. In the lowlands the older type of spear-head is a modified leaf shape, attached to a ferrule which slips over the shaft. In the mountains, heads with two or more barbs are set into the handles, and are held in place by means of wooden wedges and by metal rings which surround the ends of the shafts. A metal end or shoe covers the butt end of the weapon, thus converting it into an excellent staff for mountain climbing.
    "Occasionally a hunting spear is fitted with a detachable head, which will pull out of the socket when an animal is struck. The shaft is attached to the point by means of a heavy line, and as this drags through the undergrowth, it becomes entangled and thus delays the flight of the game."


* Cole 1922 p437
"Prized necklaces (paliget) made of small strands of twisted silver wire, are placed on the neck of a corpse, and on some occasions are worn by the living."


* Cole 1922 p373-374
"The Head-Axe, aliwa or gaman.—The axes made by the Tinguian and Kalinga are identical, probably due to the fact that the center of distribution, as well as the best iron work of this region, is found in Balbalasang—a town of mixed Tinguian and Kalinga blood. The blade is long and slender with a crescent-shape cutting edge on one end, and a long projecting spine on the other. This projection is strictly utilitarian. It is driven into the ground so as to support the blade upright, when it is desired to have both hands free to draw meat or other articles over the cutting edge. It is also driven into the soil, and acts as a support when its owner is climbing steep or slippery banks.
    "The blade fits into a long steel ferrule which, in turn, slips onto a wooden handle. The latter may be straight or plain, but commonly it has a short projection midway of its length, which serves as a finger-hold and as a hook for attachment to the belt. Quite frequently the handle is decorated with thin circles or bands of brass, while ornamental designs sometimes appear on the blade."


* Cole 1922 p376
"Shields, kalásag.—Mention has already been made of the typical Tinguian-Kalinga shield. While this is the common type of the region, others, which approach those of the Bontoc Igorot, are frequently used. As a rule, these come from Balatok, Lubuagan, Guinaan and the villages along the Malokbot river, all of which are strongly influenced in blood and culture by the Igorot. In the latter shields we find the prongs at the top and bottom, but they are no longer of sufficient size and opening to be of practical value. The clue to their origin is probably afforded us in their use by the Tinguian. 
    "... All shields are of very light wood, and can easily be pierced by a spear. They are intended to be used in deflecting missels [SIC] rather than actually to stop them. To aid in this purpose, there is a hand grip cut into the center of the back. This is large enough to admit the first three fingers, while the thumb and little finger are left outside to tilt the shield to the proper angle." 


* Cole 1922 p437
"During dances the hair is adorned with notched chicken feathers attached to sticks, while circlets made of boar's tusks are placed on the arms."

Basic Costume

* Cole 1922 p435
"The dress of the man is the clout (ba-al), either of beaten bark or of cloth, and a woven belt (balikᴇs) in which he keeps small articles. On special occasions he wears a long-sleeved jacket (bado), open in front, and in a few instances, trousers. Both these garments are recent acquisitions, and the latter, in particular, are not in favor, except where Ilocano influence is very strong. The man is not inclined to adorn himself with brass and gold, neither does he use tattooing to any extent, as do his Kalinga and Igorot neighbors. Some have small patterns on an arm or thigh, but these are usually property marks with which he brands his animals or other possessions. Tattooing as an evidence of a successful head-hunt is not found in this region, nor are there other marks or garments to identify the warriors."


* Cole 1922 p423
"The pasikeng or lagpi, commonly called the “head basket,” is the chief basket of the men. It is made of rattan, and is supported on the back by means of bands which pass over the shoulders. In it are carried extra garments and all necessities for the trail."


* Cole 1922 p373 
"Bolos, or long knives, are carried at the side suspended from the belt, and upon occasion may be used as weapons. However, they are generally considered as tools."


* Cole 1922 p372
"The weapons of the warriors consists [SIC] of a spear, head-axe, and shield, and the small bamboo spikes known as soga."

* Cole 1922 p376
"Across the top and bottom of each shield, near to the prongs, are two or three braided bands which appear to be ornamental, or to strengthen the weapon. Their real use, however, is to hold the soga, the pointed bamboo sticks which are planted in the grass to delay pursuers. A half dozen or more of these are usually to be found under the braiding at the back of the shield."