Philippine Tribal Arts - Tribal Arts from Luzon Islands Philippines

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Ilongot / Bugkalot Headhunter's Hornbill Headdress

Nueva Vizcaya North Luzon Philippines early 20th century




This headdress was worn ONLY by an Ilongot who had taken a human head.
For Ilongot headhunting is a ritual and plays a big part in their life cycle and in gender. Taking a head means to a young man becoming an adult and being more attractive to women and respected by his fellow men.

For young Ilongot who wants to marry he needs to prove his manhood by taking a head, once a succesful headhunter he is then allowed by elders to wear the hornbill earrings "Batling" and in rituals and ceremonies are allowed to don the

"PANGLAO" - The Hornbill Headdress!

Taking a head and marriage are the only two important steps in an Ilongot´s life.

Origin: Philippines, Northern Luzon, Ilongot Bugkalot tribe.

100% authentic!

Museum quality artifact!

The Ilongot who inhabit certain valleys in the northern Cordillera of Luzon Island, Philippines, have been studied for their singular devotion to taking heads and the unique logic behind this practice. As recent as Rosaldo's study in 1968, it was calculated that more than 90% of men over the age of 20 had taken at least one head. But the reasons behind such perceived savagery was not, as was the case with most SE Asian head taking groups, to control other souls or to increase the fortunes of the community. Instead, men said that they took heads when they had a 'heavy heart' or felt angry or strong pressures. Taking a head helped a man to tame his wild emotions and passions, quieting his restless spirit and allowing knowledge and maturity to gain control and grow. Only in this way could a man ask a woman to marry him. Only after taking a head was a man allowed to wear the hornbill earrings, or "batling," and to don the ornate hornbill headdress during rituals and ceremonies.



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