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The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

From If ugao to Kalinga 

A Ride Through the Mountains of 
Northern Luzon 

With an Appendix on the Independence of the 


Lieutenant-Colonel U. S. Army, Trofessor 

United States Military Academy, 




Copyright 1912 

Franklin Hudson Publishing Company. 

Drawn from life by Julian Miller. 


J. G. H 



The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 





Highlanders of Northern Luzon. Meaning of the word 
Igorrote. Trails. The Mountain Province. Nature of 
the country. 


Annual inspection of the mountain tribes. We set out 
from Baguio. Pangasinan Province. Agno River. 
Reception by the people. 


Padre Juan Villaverde. His great trail. The beginning 
of the mountain journey. Nozo. 


Early start. Pine forest. Vegetation. Rest at Amugan. 
The gansa Bone. 


Aritao. Bubud. Dupax. Start for Campote. 


The Ilongots and their country. Efforts of 'our Govern- 
ment to reach these people The forest trail. Our 
first contact with the wild man. 


School at Campote. Our white pony, and the offer made 
for his tail. 


Appearance of the Ilongots. Dress. Issue of beads and 
cloth. Warrior Dance. School work. Absence of old 
women from meeting. 


Return to civilisation. Reception at Bambang. Ag.'i- 
payanos and Protestants. 


Magat River. Enthusiastic reception at Bayombong. 
Speeches and reports. Solano. Ifugao "college yell." 


We enter the Mountain Province. Payawan. Kiangan, 
its position. Anitos. Speech of welcome by Ifugao 
chief. Detachment of native Constabulary. Visit of 
Ifugao chiefs to our quarters. Dancing. 

8 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 



Day opens badly. Ifugao houses. The people assemble. 
Dancing. Speeches. White paper streamers. 
^ Head-hunter Dance. Canao. 


Dress of the people. Butchery of carabao. Prisoner runs 
amok and is killed. 


Barton's account of a native funeral. 


Visit to the Silipan Ifugaos at Andangle. The Ibilao 
River. Athletic feat. Rest-house and stable at Sabig. 


Change in aspect of country. Mount Amuyao and the 
native legend of the Flood. Rice terraces. Benawe. 
Mr. Worcester's first visit to this region. Sports. 
Absence of weapons. Native arts and crafts. 


We ride to Bontok. Bat-nets. Character of the country. 
Ambawan. Difficulties of the trail. Bird-scarers. 
Talubin. Bishop Carroll of Vigan. We reach Bon- 
tok. "The Star-spangled Banner." Appearance of 
the Bontok Igorot Incidents. 


Importance of Bontok Head-taking Atonement for 
bloodshed. Sports. Slapping game. 


The native village. Houses. Pit-a-pit. Native insti- 
tutions. Lumawig. 


We push on north. Banana skirts. Albino child. Pine 
uplands. Glorious view. 


Deep Valley. A poor rancher ia. Escort of boys. De- 
scent of Tinglayan Hill. Sullen reception at Tinglayan. 
Bangad. First view of the Kalingas. Arrival at 


Splendid appearance of the Kalingas. Dancing. Lubu- 
agan. Basi. Councils. Bustles and braids. Jewels 
and weapons. Excellent houses. 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 9 


We leave the mountains. Nanong. Passage of the 
Chico. The Apayao. Tabuk. The party breaks up. 
Desolate plain The Cagayan Valley. Enrile. 


Tobacco industry. Tuguegarao. Caves. The Cagayan 
River. Barangayans. Aparri. Island of Fuga. 
Sail for Manila. Stop at Vigan. Arrival at Manila. 


Future of the Highlanders. Origin of our effort to im- 
prove their condition. Impolicy of any change in pres- 
ent administration. Transfer of control of wild tribes 
to Christianized Filipinos. Comparison of our course 
with that of the Japanese in Formosa. 




An Igorot Warrior 2 

Hon. Dean C. Worcester 19 

Views of the Benguet Road 20 

Working on the Benguet Road 25, 26 

Padre Juan Villaverde 35 

Benguet Road, Zig-zag 36 

Tree Fern, Province of Bontok 41 

Ilongot Women 42 

Native Policemen 47 

Reception Committee of Ifugaos 48 

Mountain Scene in the Ifugao Country 57 

Mountain Scene between Benawe and Kiangan 58 

Inaba, Ifugao Village 63 

Ifugao Couple with Adornments of a Wedding Ceremony 64 

Ifugao Children 69 

Headless Body of Ifugao Warrior 70 

Ifugao Warrior 79 

Typical Ifugao House 80 

Ifugao Making Rounds of Granary 85 

Anitos, Kiangan 86 

Ifugao Chief Making a Speech 91 

Conference between Government Officers and the Headmen of 

the District . . . , 92 

io The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

Ifugao Head-hunter, Full Dress 101 

Head-hunter Dance, Kiangan 102, 107 

Dancing at Kiangan 108 

Ifugaos Dancing. . . . .- 113 

Silipan Ifugao Earring 114 

Ifugaos Dancing, Benawe 123 

Crossing Ibilao River by Flying Trolley 124 

Ifugao Head Dance 133 

Rice Terraces at Benawe 134, 143 

Body of Igorot Girl Prepared for Burial 144 

Carabao Fight 153 

Igorot Tribunal 154 

A Bontok Igorot House 163 

Igorot Rice Fields 164 

On the Trail from Benguet to Cervantes 169 

Bontok Igorot Woman 170 

Elaborate Tattooing of the Head-hunter 175 

Bontok Igorot Constabulary Soldiers 185 

Bontok Igorot Slapping Game 186, 191 

Gansas with Human Jaws as Handles 192 

Women and Girls Wearing Banana-leaf Skirts 197 

New School-house, Bontok 198 

Valley of the Rio Chico 207 

Kalinga Girl 210 

Looking Down the Rio Chico 211 

Spiral Camote Patch 216 

Madallam, Kalinga Headman 219 

Two Headmen of Lubuagan 220 

Kalinga Warriors 229 

Typical Kalinga House '. 230 

Conference at Lubuagan 239 

View of Lubuagan, Capital of Kalinga 240 

Kalinga Head-ax 249 

Igorot Shield 250 

Ifugao Carved Bowl 259 

Ifugao Pipe, Carved Figure, and Wooden Spoon 260 

Carved Wooden Figurines 269 

Map of Northern Luzon 270 


In 1910 the Secretary of the Interior of the 
Philippine Islands did me the honor to invite me 
to accompany him on his annual tour of inspection 
through the Mountain Province of Northern Luzon. 
In the following pages I have tried to describe what 
fell under my notice during the journey, with such 
comments, observations, and conclusions as seemed 

I should like here to thank Mr. Worcester for 
having invited me to join him, and Major-General 
Duvall, United States Army, for allowing me to 
accept. My thanks are also due the various offi- 
cers and officials of the Insular Government who 
placed me under obligations by their hospitality and 
other courtesies and by the never-failing patience 
with which they received and answered my many 
questions. To my friend Colonel J. G. Harbord, 
United States Army, Assistant Director of Constab- 
ulary, I am beholden for instructions sent out in 
advance of the journey to the various Constabulary 
posts on the itinerary, directing them to offer me 
every opportunity to accomplish the purpose of my 

1 2 Preface. 

trip. Except where otherwise indicated, the illus- 
trations are from photographs taken either by Mr. 
Worcester himself, or else under his direction. Some 
of these, as shown, were lent to me by the National 
Geographic Magazine of Washington, and others by 
the Bureau of Insular Affairs of the War Depart- 
ment. My best thanks are due and given in each 
case. Dr. Heiser was kind enough to let me have 
a few photographs taken by him. To Lieutenant 
P. D. Glassford, 2d Regiment of Field Artillery, I 
am indebted for the map of Northern Luzon and 
for one or two other illustrations copied from Jenks' 
"The Bontoc Igorot"; to Father Malumbres, of the 
Dominican Monastery in Manila, for information 
relating to Padre Villaverde and for the portrait of 
that missionary; it is to be regretted that this por- 
trait should be so unsatisfactory, but it is the only 
one available. The frontispiece is by Mr. Julian 
Miller, who has lived in the Igorot country, and 
whose drawing is from life. 

C. DE W. W. 
West Point, N. Y., 
January, 1912. 


Highlanders of Northern Luzon. Meaning of the word "Igorot."- 
Trails. The Mountain Province. Nature of the country. 

It is to be regretted that the people of the 
United States should in general show so little in- 
terest in the Philippine Islands. This lack of in- 
terest may be due to lack of knowledge; if this be 
so, then it is the duty of those better informed to 
do all that lies in their power to develop the interest 
now regrettably absent. Be this as it may, it is 
assumed here that most of our people do not know 
that a very large fraction of the inhabitants of the 
Philippines consists of the so-called wild men, and 
that of these the greatest group or collection is 
found in the mountains of Northern Luzon. 

These mountaineers or highlanders constitute 
perhaps, all other things being equal, as interesting 
a body of uncivilized people as is to be found on the 
face of the earth to-day. The Spaniards, of course, 
soon discovered their existence, the first mention of 
them being made by De Morga, in his " Sucesos de las 
Islas Filipinas" (1609). He speaks* of them as in- 
habiting the interior of a rough mountainous coun- 

*See Retana's edition, p. 183, Madrid, 1909. 

14 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

try, where are ''many natives who are not pacified, 
nor has anyone gone into their country, who call 
themselves Ygolotes." Here we have the first form, 
the classic form according to Retana, of the word 
now universally written Igorrote, or in English I go- 
rot. The word itself means 'Highlanders, " golot be- 
ing a Tagalog word for "mountain," and /a prefix 
meaning "people of." De Morga mentions the 
"Ygolotes" as owning *-'ch mines of gold and silver, 
which "they work as there is need," and he goes on 
to say that in spite of all the diligence made to know 
their mines, and how they work and improve them, 
the matter has come to naught, "because they are 
cautious with the Spaniards who go to them in 
search of gold, and say they keep it better guarded 
under ground than in their houses." 

The Spaniards at a very early date sent armed 
exploring parties through the highlands and main- 
tained garrisons here and there down to our own 
time.* But they never really held the country. 

The Church, too, early entered this territory, 
the field being given over to the Dominicans,f who 

*It is interesting to note that as late as 1889 General Weyler, 
then Governor- General of the Archipelago, in establishing various 
comandancias , drew up regulations for the treatment of the natives, 
etc., as remarkable for lenity and good sense as his later measures 
in Cuba were, whether justly or not, distinguished for severity. 

fFor an account of the early missions of this order, see the 
Manila Libertas of May 23, 1910. 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 15 

furnished many devoted missionaries to the cause. 
But here, too, failure must be recorded in respect 
of permanency of results in the really wild parts of 
the Highlands. It has remained for our own Gov- 
ernment to get a real hold of the people of these 
regions, to win their confidence, command their re- 
spect, and exact their obedience in all relations in 
which obedience is proper and just. 

The indispensable material condition of suc- 
cess was to make the mountain country accessible. 
Only those who have had the fortune to travel 
through this country can realize how difficult this 
endeavor has been and must continue to be, chiefly 
because of the great local complexity of the mountain 
system, but also because of the severely destructive 
storms of this region, with consequent torrential 
violence of the streams affected. But little money, 
too, can be, or has been, spent for the necessary 
road-work. In spite of the difficulties involved, 
however, a system of road-making has been set on 
foot, the labor needed being furnished by the high- 
landers themselves in lieu of a road tax. Very 
briefly, the system is as follows : 

(a) The first thing done is to open what is 
known as the " meter trail," i. e., a trail one meter 
wide, at a grade not to exceed 6 per cent, and 
where possible to be kept at 4 per cent. At certain 

1 6 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

points where the absolute necessity exists, a 10 per 
cent grade is admissible for very short distances, 
as at river crossings, but only where a gentler grade 
would involve a long detour at great expense. 

This "meter trail" weathers for one year, and 
thus automatically develops its own weak spots. 
These are repaired as fast as discovered (which is 
practically at once, by reason of constant super- 
vision), and the trail thus hardens, as it were, into 
something approaching permanency. 

(b) The next step in the history of the trail 
is to widen it to two meters, the same general course 
being followed as outlined in (a) . As a satisfactory 
state of permanency is reached we come to 

(c) The final widening, draining, and metal- 
ling of the trail to accommodate wagon traffic. The 
trail now becomes a permanent road. 

In many cases only wooden tools have been 
available, and the lack of money has compelled a 
sparing use of explosives. Nevertheless under this 
system there now exist in the Mountain Province 
730 miles of excellent horse trail of easy grade,* and 
what is significant, the people of the highlands are 
using these trails, and so becoming peacefully ac- 
quainted with one another. 

*Report of the Secretary of the Interior, Philippine Islands, 
1910; Washington Government Printing Office, 1911. 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 17 

The Mountain Province itself is the outcome 
of the difficulties encountered in governing the wild 
tribes so long as these were left in provinces where 
either their interests were not paramount, or else 
the difficulties of administration were unduly costly 
or difficult. Established in 1908, it has a Governor, 
and each of its seven sub-provinces a Lieutenant- 
Governor, the sub-province as far as possible in- 
cluding people of one and of only one tribe. The 
creation of this province was a great step forward 
in promoting the welfare of the highlanders. 

A word must be said here in explanation of 
the nomenclature of the mountain tribes. Generic- 
ally, having in mind the meaning of the word, they 
are all Igorots. But it is the practice to distinguish 
the various elements of this great family by dif- 
ferent names, restricting the term " Igorot " to special 
branches, as Benguet Igorot, Bontok Igorot, mean- 
ing those who live in Benguet or Bontok. The 
other members are known as Ifugao, Ilongot, Ka- 
linga, and so on.* Lastly, the following extract 
from the " Census of the Philippine Islands "f gives 
some idea of the mountain system in which dwell 
the people whom we are about to visit. 

*See "Census of the Philippine Islands," Vol. I., p. 453 et 
seq., for a discussion of the non-Christian tribes. 
fVol. I., p. 60 et seq. 

1 8 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 


"West of this Valley [the Cagayan] and sep- 
arating it from the China Sea, stands a broad and 
complex system of mountains, known as the Cara- 
ballos Occidentales. Its length is nearly 200 miles, 
and its breadth, including the great spurs and sub- 
ordinate ranges and ridges on either side, is fully 
one-third its length. The central range of the sys- 
tem forms the divide between the waters flowing 
to Cagayan River on the east and those flowing to 
the China Sea on the west. Its northern part bears 
the name Cordillera Norte. Farther south it is 
called Cordillera Central, while the southern por- 
tion is called Cordillera Sur." "At its south end 
the Cordillera Sur swings to the east, and, under 
the name of Caraballos Sur, joins the Sierra Madre, 
or East Coast Range." 

This description, it must be understood, gives 
no adequate idea of the local intricacy of the sys- 
tem, while at the same time it is precisely this in- 
tricacy, both vertical and horizontal, that increases 
the cost and difficulty of making roads, and that has 
served in the past to keep the inhabitants of these 
regions apart. 

U 3J 




At this point the line crosses back to the right bank of 
the Bued River. 


Annual inspection of the mountain tribes. We set out from Ba- 
guio. Pangasinan Province. Agno River. Reception by the 

Every year Mr. Worcester makes a formal tour 
of inspection through the Mountain Province to 
note the progress of the trails and roads, to listen 
to complaints, to hear reports, devise ways and 
means of betterment and in general to see how the 
hillmen are getting on. This tour is a very great 
affair to the highlanders, who are assembled in as 
great numbers as possible at the various points 
where stops are made ; during the stay of the " Com- 
mission" (as Mr. Worcester is universally called by 
the highlanders) at the points of assemblage, the 
wild people are subsisted by the Government. 

The trip is long and hard, nor is it altogether 
free from danger. Preparations have to be made 
two months ahead to have forage for animals, and 
food for human beings, at the expected halts, while 
everything eaten by man or beast on the way must 
be carried by the cargadores (bearers) who accom- 
pany the column, since living off the country is in 
general impossible. Under these circumstances but 


22 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

very few guests can be invited. I was so fortunate 
as to be one of these in 1910; how fortunate, I did 
not realize until the trip was over. For although an 
American may ride alone unmolested through the 
country we visited, still he would see only what 
might fall under his eye as he made his way ; where- 
as, on this official trip, thousands of people are 
brought together at designated points, and one can 
thus do and see in a month what it would take a 
much longer time to do and see under one's own 

This year (1910) the party was made up of 
Mr. Cameron Forbes, the Governor-General of the 
Philippine Islands; Mr. Worcester, Secretary of the 
Interior; Dr. Heiser, Director of Health; Dr. Strong, 
Chief of the Biological Laboratory; Mr. Pack, Gov- 
ernor of the Mountain Province; and of two offi- 
cers besides myself, Captain Cootes, i3th Cavalry, 
Aide de Camp to the Governor-General, and Captain 
Van Schaick, i6th Infantry, Governor of Mindoro. 
General Sir Harry Broadwood, commanding His 
Majesty's forces at Hong Kong, had been invited, 
but at the last moment cabled that his duties would 
prevent his coming. Unless he reads this book he 
will never know what he missed! As we passed 
through the various sub-provinces their respective 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 23 

governors and one or two officials would join us 
and ride to the boundary. 

On account of the difficulties of supply and 
transportation, we were requested to bring no mu- 
chachos (boys i. e., servants), so we had to shift 
for ourselves. Our baggage was very strictly lim- 
ited; each man being allowed two parcels, one of 
bedding, and the other of clothes, neither to be 
more than could be easily carried on the back of a 
single cargador. Mr. Worcester took along for the 
whole party an ingenious apparatus of his own con- 
trivance for boiling drinking-water, as all streams 
in the Philippines at a level lower than 6,000 feet 
have been found to contain amoebae,* the parasitic 
presence of which in the intestines produces that 
frightful disease, amoebic dysentery. We were es- 
pecially desired to leave our revolvers at home, 
and had no escort. 

Accordingly, our mounts and kit having been 
sent on a day or two in advance, we set out from 
Baguio in motor-cars, April 26, at eight A. M., of 
an extraordinarily fine day. The day before it had 
rained mercilessly; not only that, but clouds and 
mists had enveloped us so that one could not see 

*Mr. A. H. Savage Landor, in his "Gems of the East," pro- 
tests against our practice of boiling water before drinking it, but 
the experience of others is against him. He was simply fortunate 
in not being made ill by the natural water. 

24 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

twenty yards ahead. We were nearing the rainy 
season, and conditions were uncertain, but this 
morning the gods were on our side and we could 
not have asked for better weather. We went down 
the splendid Benguet Road, following the bed of 
the Bued River* to the railway, a drop of over 
4,000 feet in thirteen miles. Strange to say, the 
stream had not risen at all, a fortunate circum- 
stance, as one hundred and sixty bridges are crossed 
in the drop, and at times a rise will wash out not 
only the bridges, but all semblance of a road.f At 
the railway we turned south over the great plain 
of Pangasinan. This, in respect of roads, is the 
show province of the Archipelago and deserves its 
reputation, one hundred and twenty miles having 
been built. Those we passed over this day would 
have been called good in France even. Our pass- 
age was of the nature of a progress, thanks to the 
presence of the Governor-General. Simple bamboo 
arches crossing the road greeted us everywhere, Mr. 
Forbes punctiliously raising his hat under every one. 

*An attempt has been made to stock this river with trout, 
but it has proved a failure. The fish grew and throve, but did 
not breed. 

tThis happened on a large scale in the spring of this year 
(1912). Landslides having occurred on both banks of the cation, and 
as luck would have it, at the same point, the waters rose behind the 
natural dam thus formed to a height of over one hundred feet, and 
breaking through, scoured the valley in their sweep, completely 
wiping out the road. 



The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 27 

All the villages had decorated their houses; hand- 
kerchiefs, petticoats, red table-cloths, anything and 
everything had been hung out of the windows by 
way of flags and banners. Across the front of the 
municipal building of one village was stretched a 
banner with this inscription, "En honor de la venida 
del Gobernador General y de su Comitiva" (" In honor 
of the arrival of the Governor-General and of his 
retinue"), and then below on the next band, " De- 
seamos tener un pozo artesiano" (We should like to 
have an Artesian well"), which led Mr. Worcester 
to remark that four years before the banner would 
have demanded " independencia" (independence), 
and not an Artesian well. 

Even in Pangasinan, good roads must come to 
an end, and ours did as we neared the Agno River. 
For this blessed river is a curse to its neighborhood, 
and rises in flood from a stream say seventy-five 
yards wide to a rushing lake, if the expression be 
permitted, half a mile and more across. Our car 
finally refused to move; its wheels simply turned 
in situ, so deep was the sand. There was nothing 
for it but to walk to the river bank, where we were 
met with many apologies. A bamboo bridge had 
been built across the stream a few days before so 
that our cars might cross, but yesterday's rain had 
washed it down, and would we try to cross on rafts? 

28 The Plead Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

We looked at the rafts, bamboo platforms built 
over large bancas (canoes, double-enders cut out of 
a single log), the bamboos being lashed together 
with bejuco (rattan, the native substitute for nails), 
and decided that no self-respecting motor would 
stand such transportation, but would go to the bot- 
tom first by overturning. So we got our stuff aboard 
the rafts, were poled over, and made the rest of 
the journey to Tayug, our first considerable halt, 
in carromatas (the native two- wheeled, springless 
cart). Fortunately the distance was short, the car- 
romata being an instrument of torture happily over- 
looked by the Spanish Inquisition. 

At Tayug a great concourse of people welcomed 
us, with arches, flags, and decorations. The pres- 
idencia, or town hall, was filled with the notabil- 
ities, and Mr. Forbes was presented with an address 
by one of the senoritas. Suitable answer having 
been made, we adjourned, the men first, the women 
following when we had done, according to native 
custom, to the side rooms, where a surprisingly good 
tiffin had been got ready for us, venison, chickens, 
French rolls, dulces (sweets), whiskey and soda, 
Heaven knows what else, to which, all unwitting of 
our doom, we did full justice. About two miles be- 
yond Tayug lies San Francisco, the initial point of 
our real mounted journey. The people along this 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 29 

part of the road had simply outdone themselves in 
the matter of arches, there being one at every hun- 
dred yards almost. At San Francisco the crowd 
was greater than at Tayug; and here was set out 
for us another sumptuous tiffin, in a house built the 
day before for this very purpose, of bamboo and 
nipa palm. Access to it was had by a ladder and 
we sat down at a table, while the senoras of the 
place waited on us, every inch of standing-room 
being occupied by people who had crowded in to 
see the performance of the Governor- General and of 
his comitiva! And perform we did we had to! 
Ducks, chickens, venison, camotes (sweet potatoes), 
peppers, beer, red wine no one would have thought 
that but three-quarters of an hour before we had 
just gone through the same thing. But it would 
have been the height of discourtesy to give way to 
our inclination by showing a lack of appetite; more- 
over, it is not often that a party is held in a house 
built to be used merely one hour. So we did honor to 
the occasion, but had to let out our belts before 
mounting immediately afterward. 


Padre Juan Villaverde. His great trail. The beginning of the 
mountain journey. Nozo. 

The point to which we had come, San Francisco, 
marks the beginning of the Juan Villaverde trail 
from the Central Valley of Luzon through the moun- 
tains before us, to the province of Nueva Vizcaya. 
All day the chain we were to pierce had been in 
sight, and I for one had been wondering where we 
were to find a practicable entrance, so forbiddingly 
vertical did the range appear to be. 

Now the Spaniards in the Philippines at best 
were but poor road- or trail-makers. Indeed, in the 
matter of trails they were simply stupid, in some 
cases actually going straight up a hill and down 
the other side, when the way around was no longer, 
and of course far easier to maintain. But Padre 
Juan Villaverde of the Dominicans was a great and 
honorable exception. Quite apart from this aspect, 
we hear so much that is evil of the friars that it is 
a pleasure, when possible, to point out the good 
they did, a thing more frequently possible than 
people imagine it is. For Father Villaverde gave 


The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 31 

his life to missionary work among the hill-people, 
seeking in every way to better their condition ma- 
terially as well as morally. Born in 1841, as early 
as 1868 we find him on duty at Bayombong, in 
Nueva Vizcaya, the province we were about to 
enter. From the first he seems to have been im- 
pressed by the possibilities of the country in which 
he was laboring; and, foreseeing that good com- 
munications would ultimately settle most of the 
questions relating to the highlanders, he built trails, 
trails that are still in use, whereas nearly all the 
others (but few in number) established by the Span- 
iards have been abandoned by us, where Nature has 
not indeed saved us the trouble by washing them 
out of existence. For thirty years Villa verde worked 
unceasingly, building roads and bridges and churches, 
and striving to civilize the people among whom he 
lived; but his chief work, that by which his memory 
is kept green to this day, is the great trail from the 
otherwise almost inaccessible province of Nueva 
Vizcaya, across the Caraballos to the Central Val- 
ley of Luzon, where access to the outer world by 
rail becomes possible. This trail is officially des- 
ignated by his name, and is maintained by Govern- 
ment. This was the one we were about to enter 

32 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

upon.* Accordingly we thanked our kind hosts of 
San Francisco; and at last set out on our real. trip. 
But, curious and eager as I felt to engage upon it, 
I could not help regretting that this part of our 
journey was over, that we had to turn our backs 
on the smiling plains of Pangasinan, its hospitable 
and courteous people. The day had been so cool 
and fresh, and our progress so easy; flat as was the 
country, it had its charm, the charm of cultivated 
plains, relieved by lanes of feathered bamboos, by 
clumps of nodding palms, by limpid streams. But 
we were off, nevertheless, the Governor - General 
on a cow-pony, nearly all the rest on Arabs and 
thoroughbreds, Van Schaick and I riding mountain 
ponies. We had fifteen miles to go to reach our 
first resting-place. 

Crossing a stream, we began to climb at once, 
and as we rose the plain of Central Luzon began to 
unroll itself below us, with our road of the morning 
stretching out in a straight white line through the 
green rice -fields. Far to the west we now and then 
caught glimpses of Lingayen Gulf, with the Zambales 
Mountains in full view running south and bordering 

*For a fuller account of Padre Villaverde's labors, see the 
Manila Libertas of May 17, 1910. Villaverde remained at his 
post until his health broke completely; he set out for Spain, but 
never reached it, dying August 4, 1897, and being buried at sea 
a few hours only from Barcelona. The great trail he built reduced 
the cost of transportation by nine-tenths. 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 33 

the plain, while still farther to the south Mount 
Arayat* rose abruptly from its surrounding levels. 
Now Arayat is plainly visible from Manila. Here 
and there solitary rocky hills, looking for all the 
world like ant-heaps, but in reality hundreds of feet 
high, broke the uniformity of the plains. Flooded 
as the whole landscape was with brilliant sunshine, 
the view was exquisite in respect both of form and 
of color. But as we moved on, turning and twist- 
ing and ever rising, we were soon confined to just 
the few yards the sinuosities of the trail would al- 
low us to see at one time. For a part of the way 
the country was rocky, hills bare and fire-swept; 
not a tree or shrub suggested that we were in the 
tropics. Soon pines began to appear, and then 
thickened, till the trail led through a pine forest, 
pure and simple, the ground covered with green 
grass, and the whole fresh and moist from recent 
rains. It was up and down and around and around. 
Not a sign of animal life did we see, not a trace of 
human beings. 

*Acoording to the native legend, this mountain used to form 
part of the Zambales range. It became , however, by reason of its 
quarrelsome disposition, so obje^ tionable to its neighbors of this 
range, that they finally resolved no longer to endure its cantanker- 
ousness and accordingly banished it to its present position in the 
plain of Central Luzon, where it would have no neighbors to annoy, 
and where it has stood ever since, rising solitary from the surround- 
ing plain. 

34 The Plead Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

I was disgusted, and still more disconcerted, 
this afternoon, to find my pony going badly. He 
was perfectly willing to walk, but at a most digni- 
fied rate, selected by himself. He apparently had 
no objection to catching up the party every now 
and then, but only to relapse into his funeral walk, 
after contact had been re-established. But then 
Cootes took the lead that afternoon, and as his 
thoroughbred had had two days' rest, and breasted 
all the rises with apparent joyousness, nobody was 
able to keep up, until Mr. Worcester took the head 
with his black, a powerful but reasonable animal. 
However, everybody gets into camp sooner or later, 
and so did we all at a resting-point called Nozo, 
where we all turned in after supper, for reveille was 
to be at three o'clock. This had been a great day 
of contrasts in a descending scale, from motors, 
electric lights, and telephones in the morning to our 
solitary camp in the mountains at night, surrounded 
by watch-fires and guarded by Constabulary sen- 
tinels. This, by the way, was the only time we 
were so guarded. 



Early start. Pine forest. Vegetation. Rest at Amugan. The 
gansa. Bone. 

We set out next morning at five-thirty. Our 
journey so far, that is, since we mounted, had taken 
us over a preliminary range, and now we began a 
more serious climb. The morning was delightfully 
fresh and cool, with promise of a fine blazing sun 
later. Far ahead and above us on the skyline, we 
could see a cut in the forest where our trail crossed 
the divide. But that was miles away, and in the 
meantime we were ascending a lovely valley, pines, 
grass, and bright red soil. It was delicious that 
morning, riding under the pines. 

" Pinea brachia cum trepidant, 
Audio canticulum zephyri!" 

And part of the pleasure was due to the fact that we 
had an unobstructed view in all directions, usually 
not the case in the tropical forest. At one point 
we had a full view of Arayat, at another of Santo 
Tomas, near which we had passed yesterday on 
coming down from Baguio. But fine as were the 


38 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

distant views we got from time to time, the great 
attraction was the country itself, through which we 
were passing. Barring the total absence of any 
sign of man, it might have been taken for Japan, 
in the neighborhood of Miyanoshita, without, how- 
ever, any trace of Japanese atmosphere. 

The valley was steep-walled, narrow and twist- 
ing, at one point closed by a single enormous rock 
nearly three hundred feet high in fact, a conical 
hill rising right out of the floor of the valley, and 
apparently leaving just room for the stream to pass 
on one side. 

A curious fact was that while the mountains 
were decidedly northern-looking as to flora, yet the 
groins, wherever possible, were thoroughly tropical. 
For in these water runs off but slowly, with conse- 
quent richness of vegetation. And yet, on the other 
side of the divide which we were now approaching 
not a pine could be seen, but, on the contrary, the 
typical tropical forest in full development. The 
watershed, our skyline, was an almost absolute di- 
viding-mark. At any rate, there the pines stopped 

At the divide we crossed from Pangasinan into 
Nueva Vizcaya. And with the crossing began the 
forest just mentioned, and a long descent for us. 
Our immediate destination was Amugan, our first 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 39 

rest halt. It is of absolutely no use to try to de- 
scribe this part of the trip. If the confusion of 
trees, vines, orchids, tree ferns, foliage plants, creep- 
ers, was bewildering, so was the impression pro- 
duced. But we saw many examples of the most 
beautiful begonia in existence, in full blossom, gor- 
geous spheres of dark scarlet hanging above and 
around us. According to Mr. Worcester, all at- 
tempts to transplant it have failed. Its blossoms 
would be sometimes twenty and thirty feet in the 
air. Nothing could exceed the glory of these masses 
of flowers, sometimes a foot and more in diameter, 
as projected by the rays of the early morning sun 
against the dark green background, the whole glis- 
tening and dripping in the rain-like dew. Tree 
ferns abounded ; we passed one that must have been 
over sixty feet high. At one halt the ground about 
was aflame with yellow orchids, growing out of the 
ground. And there was one plant that I recognized 
myself, unaided, the wild tomato, a little thing of 
eight or nine inches, but holding up its head with 
all the rest of them. As always, on this trip, how- 
ever, it was the splendor of the country that held 
the attention, the wild incoherent mountain masses 
thrown together apparently without order or system, 
buttressed peaks, mighty flanks riven to the core 
by deep valleys, radiating spurs, re-entrant gorges, 

40 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

the limit of vision filled by crenellated ranges in all 
the serenity of their distant majesty. And then, 
as our trail wound in and out, different aspects of 
the same elements would present themselves, until 
really the faculty of admiration became exhausted. 
And so on down we went, to be greeted as we neared 
Amugan by a sound of tom-toms; it was a party 
that had come out to welcome us, carrying the Am- 
erican flag and beating the gansa (tom-tom) by way 
of music. The gansa, made of bronze, in shape re- 
sembles a circular pan about twelve or thirteen 
inches in diameter, with a border of about two 
inches turned up at right angles to the face. On 
the march it is hung from a string and beaten with 
a stick. At a halt it is beaten with the open hand. 
After crossing a coffee plantation, we reached 
a little settlement, where we off -saddled and took 
a bite after six hours' riding. The half-dozen houses 
of this tiny village are of the usual Filipino type, 
and the very few inhabitants were dressed after the 
fashion of the Christianized provinces. Neverthe- 
less, we here first encountered the savage we had 
come up to see; for not only did they have the 
gansa, but they offered us a canao. This is a feast of 
which we shall have splendid examples later on, 
with dancing, beating of gansas, drinking and so on, 
and the sacrifice of a pig. 

The grass in front is probably nine or ten feet high. 


Nueva Vi/cava. 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 43 

Here the affair was to be much smaller, all the 
elements being absent except the pig and drums. 
We had noticed as we dismounted a pig tied to a 
post and evidently in a very uneasy frame of mind, 
and justly, for, although the honor of a canao was 
declined, on account of the length of the ceremony 
and of the distance we had yet to go, still they were 
resolved upon the death of the pig. He, however, 
at the same time had made up his mind to escape, 
and by a mighty effort broke his tether, and got off; 
but in vain, for after a short but exciting chase he 
was caught and then, an incision having been made 
in his belly, a sharpened stick was inserted and 
stirred about until his insides were thoroughly mixed, 
when he died. We left them cleaning and scraping 
and dividing, and beating two drums, about four 
feet long, eight inches in diameter, covered with 
leather at one end. These are beaten with the open 
hand, the performer sitting on the ground with the 
instrument coming up over his left thigh, and pro- 
duce a muffled and melancholy note. Mr. Forbes 
had some notion of buying one of them, but was 
told he would be simply wasting his time, both 
gansas and drums having an extraordinary value 
in the eye of their owners. 

We moved on, gradually descending, rested at 
Santa Fe, a rest-house and nothing else, for two or 

44 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

three hours, and then turned north, following an af- 
fluent of the Magat River, by an old and poor trail, 
the new one having been washed out for three hun- 
dred yards some two or three miles ahead. And 
after dark we made Bone, our resting-place for 
the night. 


Aritao. Bubud. Dupax. Start for Campote. 

We all slept in the school-house, for Bone is a 
Christianized village, and next day, April 28th, made 
a late start, for it was to be a day of easy stages. 
By nine oclock, passing through an undulating cham- 
paign country, we reached Aritao, being met at the 
outskirts by gawsa-beaters and also by the Christian 
school -children with medieval-looking banners, and 
all in their best bibs and tuckers; the heathen and 
the Christians mingling apparently on the best of 
terms. Aritao is an old town, now much decayed, 
but showing evidences of former affluence. It has 
a brick church, the bells of which were rung on our 

As there is some Government here, of course 
we had to pay a visit of ceremony, and were ac- 
cordingly received by the presidente and other dig- 
nitaries in an upper chamber, the little children 
with their banners massing around the gate of the 
house and forming a really pretty picture. When 
we were all in, the presidente made the Governor- 
General and his suite a dignified speech of welcome, 

46 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

very well done, to which Mr. Forbes made answer 
in fluent and pretty good Spanish. 

Bubud was then passed about but this is go- 
ing too fast! Bubud (called tapuy elsewhere) is an 
institution in the parts where we now were, and I 
had been hearing of it for days. It is the native 
(Ifugao) name of a drink produced by the fermen- 
tation of rice, a drink that varies in color and in fla- 
vor, according to the care taken in its make, but 
nearly always agreeable to the palate and refreshing. 
That offered us to-day was greenish yellow, slightly 
acid and somewhat bitter from the herbs added. Un- 
fortunately, it will not bear transportation, but we 
made up for this by carrying off personally as much 
as was convenient. It had a happy effect on my 
pony, too: all the way to Aritao he had been 
slower than the wrath to come, but from this on 
he showed life and spirit; in fact, he danced and 
pranced through every town we crossed for some 
days afterward. I always meant to ask if some 
one had given him any bubud at Aritao, during the 
speech-making; on reflection I am inclined to doubt 
it, but at any rate, in honor of the circumstances, 
he was known as Bubud the rest of the trip. 

A short ride through the charming, smiling 
country (part of it might have been France), over 
a really good road most of the way, brought us to 

Photograph by Cootes. 


The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 49 

Dupax. On the way we were met by some of the 
American officials of the province, among them Mr. 
Norman Connor, Superintendent of Education (Yale, 
1900), and by two Belgian priests, DeWit of Dupax 
and Van del Maes of Bayombong. The natives met 
us, all mounted, with a band, so that we made a 
triumphant entrance, advancing in line to the pre- 
sidente's house, while the church - bell pealed out 
a welcome. 

Dupax must, like Aritao, have been a point of 
some importance in the past. It has a large brick 
church with a decidedly Flemish fagade, and a de- 
tached pagoda-like belfry. Its streets are overgrown 
with fine soft grass, and its houses had somehow 
or other an air of comfort and ease. Here we made 
quite a stop, first of all quenching our thirst with 
bubud, beer, cocoanut milk, anything, everything, 
for we had ridden nearly all the way so far in the 
sun. We then sat down to an excellent breakfast, 
and smoked and lounged about until two, when 
fresh ponies were brought, and we set off on a side 
trip to Campote, where we were to have our first 
contact with the real wild man, the Ilongot.* 

*Dr. Barrows, in the "Census of the Philippine Islands," Vol. I., 
p. 471, says that the etymology of this word is unknown. As it 
seems to mean "people of the mountains," it is not unlikely to be 
a form of "Igolot," by metathesis, as it were. 


The Ilongots and their country. Efforts of our Government to 
reach these people. The forest trail. Our first contact with 
the wild man. 

These people, the Ilongots, although very few 
in number, only six thousand, stretch from Nueva 
Vizcaya to the Pacific Coast, inhabiting an immense 
region of forested and all but inaccessible mountains. 
Over these they roam without any specially fixed 
habitation. They have the reputation, and appar- 
ently deserve it, of being cruel and treacherous, as 
they certainly are shy and wild. It was these peo- 
ple who killed Doctor Jones, of the Marshall Field 
Museum, after he had been with them eight or nine 
months. So recently as 1907 they made a descent 
on Dupax, killing people and taking their heads. 
When they mean to kill a man fairly, according to 
their ideas, they hand him a fish. This is a signal 
that he must be on his guard: to refuse the fish is 
of no use, because by so doing one puts one's self 
beyond the pale, and may be killed in any fashion. 
We heard a story here of a Negrito stealing a pig 
from two Ilongots^who'had a Negrito brother-in-law. 
Failing to recover the pig, they decided that they 


The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 51 

must have a Negrito head, and so took their brother- 
in-law's. Pig-stealing, by the way, in the mountain 
country is regarded much as horse-stealing used to 
be out West. Besides the spear and head knife, 
the Ilongots, like the Negritos, with whom they 
have intermarried to a certain extent, use the bow 
and arrow, and are correspondingly dreaded. For 
it seems to be believed in Luzon that bow-and- 
arrow savages are more dangerous than spear- and 
ax-men; that the use of this projectile weapon, the 
arrow, induces craftiness, hard to contend against. 
An Ilongot can silently shoot you in the back, after 
you have passed. A spear-man has to get closer, 
and can not use an ambush so readily.* 

Now our Government in the Philippines, by 
and through and because of Mr. Worcester, had 
made repeated efforts to reach these Ilongots, to 
bring them in, as it were, and 9nly recently had 
these efforts met with any success. For one thing, 
it is a very serious matter to seek them out in the 
depths of their fastnesses if only because of the 
difficulty of reaching them; many of them even 

*According to some accounts, the Highlanders, in throwing the 
spear, give it a rotation around its longest axis, twirling it rapidly 
in the hand as this is brought up before the throw. In other words, 
they have discovered that a rotating spear has greater accuracy 
than a non-rotating one. If this is true, this discovery is worthy 
to be bracketed with the use of the fire-syringe by the Tinguians 
of the North, and by certain other wild people of the Archipelago. 

52 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

now have never seen a white man, and would escape, 
if I recollect aright, on the aproach of our people. 
But in 1908 some fifty of them did "come in," and, 
gaining confidence, this number grew to one hun- 
dred and fifty in 1909. They, or some of them at 
least, now sent an invitation to Mr. Worcester to 
come and see them, and he accepted on condition 
of their making a trail, saying that they could not 
expect a man of his stature to creep through their 
country on his hands and knees. This trail they 
had built, and they had assembled at Campote, 
four hours from Dupax, for this first formal visit. 
It was the desire of Mr. Worcester that this visit 
should be happy in all respects; for, if not, the 
difficulties of intercourse with this people, already 
grea.t, would be so seriously increased as to delay 
the civilizing intentions of the Government for many 
years to come. 

We rode off at about two o'clock, passing under 
numberless bamboo arches, on an astonishingly good 
road, built by Padre Juan Villaverde. About two 
miles out we left the road, turning off east across 
rice-paddies, and then followed a stream, which we 
crossed near the foot of a large bare mountain facing 
south. Up this we zigzagged four miles, a tiresome 
stretch with the sun shining full upon us. But at 
the top we had our reward: to the south reached 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 53 

a beautiful open valley, its floor a mass of green 
undulations, its walls purple mountains blazing in 
the full glory of the afternoon sun. At the extreme 
south, miles away, we could make out Las Salinas, 
Salt Springs,* whose deposits sparkled and shone and 
scintillated and danced in the heated air. Grateful 
as it would have been to rest at the top and enjoy 
the scene, we nevertheless had to turn our backs 
upon it, for we had yet far to go over an unknown 
trail, and it was most desirable to get in before 
dark. So we turned and now plunged into a forest 
of tall trees so thick overhead and so deeply buried 
in vines, and creepers and underbrush generally, 
that just as no light got in from above, so one could 
not see ten yards in any direction off the trail. 
This effect was no doubt partly due to the shades 
of evening, and to our being on the eastern slope 
of the mountain. And that trail! The Ilongots, 
poor chaps, had done their best with it, and the 
labor of construction must have been fearful.t But 
the footing was nothing but volcanic mud, laterite, 
all the worse from a recent rain. Our ponies sank 
over their fetlocks at every step, and required con- 

*These salt deposits are now (1912), to the great satisfaction 
of the people of the province, being worked by the Government, and 
salt has ceased to be a luxury withia the reach of only the few rich. 

fThe Ilongots are so few in number and scattered over so vast 
and rough a country that trail-making can never be as successful 
in their territory as it has been farther north. 

54 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

slant urging to move at all. Compared to the one I 
was riding, Bubud was a race-horse ! Cootes, Strong, 
and I kept together, the others having ridden on. As 
the day grew darker and darker, the myriad notes 
of countless insects melted into one mighty, con- 
tinuous shrill note high overhead, before us, behind 
us, in which not one break or intermission could 
be detected. Anything faster than a walk would 
now have been unsafe, even if it had been possible, 
for at times the ground sloped off sharply down 
the mountain, the footing grew more and more un- 
certain, and part of the time we could not see the 
trail at all. Indeed, Cootes's pony stepped in a 
hole and fell, pitching Cootes clean over his head, 
and sending his helmet down the mountain-side, 
where Cootes had to go and get it. Soon after this, 
though, the forest thinned perceptibly, the trail grew 
better, and we met Connor, who had turned back to 
see how we were getting on, and who informed us 
we had only one-half hour more before us. Going 
on, we were greeted by a shout of welcome from 
our first Ilongot, standing in the trail, subligate, or 
gee-stringed, otherwise stark naked, and armed with 
a spear, the sentinel of a sort of outpost, equally 
naked, with which we soon came up. They were 
all armed, too, spears and shields, and all insisted 
on shaking hands with every one of us. You must 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 55 

shake hands when they offer to, an unpleasant mat- 
ter sometimes, when you notice that the man who 
is paying you this attention is covered with t&nia 
imbricata, or other rare tropical skin disease.* No- 
blesse oblige, here as elsewhere; besides, a considera- 
tion for your own skin may require you to put aside 
your prejudices. The trail now turned down over 
a broad, cleared hog-back, at the flattened end of 
which we could see two shacks and a temporary 
shed for our mounts. Smoke was rising cheerfully 
in the air and people were moving about. This 
was Campote. 

*Dampier's description of what he saw in Mindanao fits here: 
"This Distemper runs with a dry Scurf all over their Bodies, 
and causeth great itching in those that have it, making them 
frequently scratch and scrub themselves, which raiseth the outer 
skin in small whitish flakes, like the scales of little Fish, when they 
are raised on end with a Knife. This makes their skin extraordi- 
nary rough, and in some you shall see broad white spots in sev- 
eral parts. of their Body. I judge such have had it, but are cured; 
for their skins were smooth, and I did not perceive them to scrub 
themselves: yet I have learnt from their own mouths that these 
spots were from this Distemper." Dampier's "Voyages," Mase- 
field's edition, p. 341 ; New York, E. P. Dutton & Co., 1906. 


School at Campote. Our white pony, and the offer made for 
his tail. 

It was too dark by this time to see or do much. 
We had supper, looked up the place where we were 
to sleep, and then collected at the lower of the two 
shacks. Here we received visits, so to say, from 
as many Ilongots, grown men only, as could get 
into the place. In truth, we were as much objects 
of curiosity to them as they possibly could have 
been to us. To Mr. Worcester the occasion was 
one of business, explaining through interpreters why 
we had come, what the Government wanted, getting 
acquainted with the cabecillas (head men), and lis- 
tening to what they had themselves to say. One 
of our visitors was a grandfather, remarkable, first, 
because of his heavy long beard, and, second, be- 
cause his own grandfather was alive; five genera- 
tions of one family in existence at the same time. 

Campote, I may as well say it here as anywhere 
else, is merely a point where Connor has established 
a school for children, under a Christianized Filipino 
teacher. Some thirty children in all are under in- 
struction, the average attendance being twenty-four. 


The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 59 

It is almost impossible, so Connor told us, to make 
these people understand why children should go to 
school, or what a school is, or is for, anyway. How- 
ever, a beginning has been made. They all have 
a dose of "the three Rs" ; the boys are taught, besides, 
carpentry, gardening, and rope-making, and the girls 
sewing, weaving, and thread-making from cotton 
grown by the boys on the spot. They ought to show 
some skill in all these arts ; for the native rice-basket 
is a handsome, strong affair, square of cross-section, 
with sides flaring out, and about three feet high, 
and some of their weapons show great manual skill. 
The garden was on show the next morning, display- 
ing beans, tomatoes, cotton, perhaps other things 
that I failed to recognize or have forgotten, any- 
way, a sufficient garden. There is besides an ex- 
change here for the sale of native wares. 

One of our party had ridden a white pony, and 
was much amused, as were all of us, to receive an 
offer for his tail ! There is nothing else the Ilongots 
hold in higher estimation than white horse-hair, and 
here was a pony with a tail full of it ! But the offer 
was refused; the idea of cutting off the tail was 
not to be entertained for one moment. Certainly, 
he might keep its tail : what they wanted was the 
hair. Would he sell the hair? No; that was only 
a little less bad than to sell the tail itself. 

60 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

On our way back to the shack in which some 
of us were to sleep (the school-house it was) we no- 
ticed an admiring crowd standing around the pony, 
tethered under the house, and all unconscious of the 
admiration he was exciting, most rudely presenting 
his hind-quarters to his admirers. But that was 
not his intention; the crowd half women, by the 
way wanted to be as close to the tail as possible. 
We left them gesticulating and pointing and com- 
menting, much as our own women might while 
looking at crown jewels, but not so hopelessly; for 
the next morning, when we next saw the pony, 
nearly all the hair had been pulled out of his tail, 
except a few patches or tufts here or there, tougher 
than the rest, and serving now merely to show what 
the original dimensions must have been. 

While we were undressing in came a little maiden, 
who marched up to every one of us, shook hands, 
and said, "Good evening, sir." We were pretty 
well undressed, but our lack of clothes looked per- 
fectly natural to her, perhaps inspired her with con- 
fidence. She said her name was Banda, that she 
was thirteen, but of this she could not know, as all 
these children had had ages assigned to them when 
they entered the school; after greeting us all, and 
airing her slight stock of English, she withdrew as 
properly as she had entered. A trifling incident, 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 61 

perhaps not worth recording, but in reality sig- 
nificant, for it marked confidence, especially as she 
had come in of her own accord. We all agreed that 
she was very pretty. 


Appearance of the Ilongots. Dress. Issue of beads and cloth. 
Warrior dance. School work. Absence of old women from 

The next morning we turned out early, and got 
our first real "look-see." Campote is completely 
surrounded by mountains, the hogback dropping off 
into the valley below us. About four or five hundred 
people had assembled, men, women, and children. 
As a rule, they were small and well built, but not 
so well built as the tribes farther north. The men 
were fully armed with spears, bows and arrows, 
shields, and head-knives; gee-strings apart, they 
were naked. Some of them wore on the head the 
scarlet beak of the hornbill; these had taken heads. 
Quite a number, both men and women, had a small 
cross-like pattern tattooed on the forehead; the sig- 
nificance of this I did not learn. The shield is in 
one piece, in longitudinal cross-section like a very 
wide flat V open toward the bearer, the top termi- 
nating in a piece rising between two scoops, one on 
each side of the median line. The women had on 
short skirts and little jackets (like what, I am 
told, we call bolero jackets), the bosom being bare. 



The necklace of the woman is valued at 500 pesos; its intrinsic 

value is not over 10 pesos. 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 65 

Around the waist they wore bands of brass wire or 
of bamboo stained red and wound around with fine 
brass wire. These bamboo bands were pretty and 
artistic. You saw the children as they happened 
to be; the only thing to note about them being 
that they were quite bright-looking. What the men 
lacked in clothes they made up in their hair, for 
they wore it long and some of them had it done up 
in the most absolute Psyche knots. Such earrings 
as we saw were worn in the upper cartilage of the 
ear. It may be remarked, too, that the women 
had a contented and satisfied air, as though sure 
of their power and position ; we found this to be the 
case generally throughout the Mountain Country. 
The purpose of the visit being to cultivate 
pleasant relations with and receive the confidence 
of these shy people, the real business of the day was 
soon opened. Mr. Worcester took his place in the 
shade of his shack, and proceeded to the distribu- 
tion of red calico, beads, combs, mirrors, and other 
small stuff, the people coming up by rancherias (set- 
tlements or villages) ; none of the highlanders seem 
to have any conception of tribal organization, a con- 
dition no doubt due to the absence of communica- 
tions. A cabecilla, or head man, would receive 
two meters, his wife one, and others smaller meas- 
ures. This sort of thing was carefully studied out, 

66 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

so far as rank was concerned, for it would never do 
to give a common person even approximately as 
much as a cabecilla. One rancheria would take all 
red beads, another white, another blue, and so on. 
Not once did I see a trace of greediness or even 
eagerness, though interest was marked. The whole 
thing was conducted in the most orderly fashion, 
the various rancherias awaiting their turn with ex- 
einplary patience.* 

The issue over, dancing began. In this only 
men and boys took part, to the music of small rude 
fiddles, tuned in fifths, f played by the men, and of 
a queer instrument consisting of two or three joints 
of bamboo with strings stretched over bridges, beaten 
with little sticks by the women. The fiddles must 
be of European origin. The orchestra, seven or 
eight all told, sat in the shade, surrounded by an 
admiring crowd. Among them was a damsel hold- 
ing a civilized umbrella over her head, whereof the 
stick and the rib-points were coquettishly decorated 
with white horse-hair tied in little brushes, doubt- 
less furnished by our white pony. 

The dancing at once fixed our attention. Two 

*On one of his first expeditions elsewhere, however, when 
the women realized that they were really to receive gifts of beads, 
etc., they rushed Mr. Worcester and his assistants, upsetting them 
all in their eagerness to get at the stuff. 

fSo Strong said, himself an accomplished violinist. 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 67 

or three men, though usually only two, took posi- 
tion on the little terreplein below the shack, and 
began a slow movement, taking very short, formal, 
staccato steps in a circle against the sun. Keeping 
back to back and side to side, they maintained the 
whole body in a tense, rigid posture with the chest 
out, head up and thrown back, abdomen drawn in, 
right hand straight out, the left also, holding a 
shield, eyes glazed and fixed, knees bent forward. 
Between the steps, the dancers would stand in this 
strained, tense position, then move forward a few 
inches, and so on around the circle. After a little 
of this business, for that is just what it was, the 
next part came on, a simulation of fighting: and, 
as everything before was as stiff, strained, and rigid 
as it was possible to be, so now everything was 
light, graceful, agile, and quick; leaps forward and 
back, leaps sideways, the two combatants maneu- 
vering, as it were, one around the other, for posi- 
tion. It was hard to realize that human motions 
could be so graceful, light and easy. Then head- 
knives were drawn, and cuts right, and cuts left, 
cuts at every part of the body from the head to 
the ankles, were added to the motion; the man on 
the defensive for the moment making suitable parries 
with his shield. 

68 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

The dance completed, the dancers would ad- 
vance and face Mr. Worcester, put their heels to- 
gether in true military fashion, hold their arms out 
right and left, and make a slight inclination of the 
head, a sort of salute, in fact, to the one they re- 
garded as the principal personage of the party. 

We saw much dancing later on in our trip, but 
none that equalled this in intensity and character, 
apart from its being of a^ totally different kind. 
Heiser managed, with some difficulty, to take a 
photograph of the tense phase of one of the dances; 
it gives a better idea of the phase than my imperfect 

The dancing was followed by archery, the tar- 
get being a small banana stem at some thirty paces. 
This calls for no especial comment, except that 
many hits were made, and many of the misses 
would have hit a man. More interesting was an 
ambush they laid for us, to show how they attacked. 
While collecting for it, to our astonishment the en- 
tire party suddenly ran in all directions at top 
speed and hid behind whatever offered. On their 
return, in four or five minutes, they explained that 
a spirit had suddenly appeared among them, and 
that they had had to run. On our asking how 
they knew a spirit had turned up, they asked if 
we had not noticed leaves and grass flying in a 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 71 

spiral. As a matter of fact, some of us had, a very 
small and very gentle whirlwind having formed for 
a second or two. They had seen it, too, and that 
was the spirit. 

It was now mid-day; we had tiffin, and began 
preparations for our departure. The various arms, 
shields, and other things we had bought were col- 
lected to be cargadoed back to Pangasinan. Among 
them, alas! were not two beautiful head-knives, 
which their wearers had absolutely declined to part 
with on any terms whatever. They resisted the 
Governor-General even. I give a photograph here 
of a knife and scabbard that Connor sent me on 
later. It is a handsome one, but not as handsome 
as those two jewels! 

Our last performance was to look at the garden 
and to see the school at work, making thread and 
rope, weaving mats, and so on. I take it that this 
school was really the significant thing at Campote, 
apart from the significance of the occasion itself. 
We spent but little time over it, however, our in- 
terest in the arts of war having left us only a few 
minutes for those of peace. Nevertheless, here is 
a beginning that will bear fruit, and in the mean- 
time Connor rides alone and in safety among these 
wild people, which proves a good many things, 
when you select the right man to do your hard work. 

72 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

Mr. Worcester, as we rode off, expressed the 
liveliest satisfaction with the meeting. These peo- 
ple, returning to their rancher ias, he said, would 
talk for a year of their treatment at the hands of 
the Americans, of the gift of palay (rice) to four 
hundred people, for two days, to say nothing of 
two vacas (cows) and of other gifts. Next year, he 
hoped, half of them would come in; besides, the 
start made was good; the presence of so many 
women and children was a good sign, and equally 
good was the total absence of old women. For 
these are a source of trouble and mischief with 
their complaints of the degeneracy of the times. 
They address themselves particularly to the young 
men, accusing them of a lack of courage and of 
other parts, taunting them with the fact that the 
young women will have none of them, that in their 
day their young men brought in heads, etc. Thus it 
has happened, especially when any native drink 
was going about, that trouble has followed. It is 
the practice, therefore, of our Government when 
arranging these meetings to suggest that the old 
women be left at home, and if so left, it is a good 


Return to civilization. Reception at Bambang. Aglipayanos and 

The return to the main road from Campote 
was a great improvement over the advance. The 
sun had partly dried the trail, and his vertical rays 
enabled us to see about us a little, and realize what 
a tremendous phenomenon tropical vegetation can 
be. Some Philippine trees, for example, the nar- 
ra, throw out buttresses. One we saw on this trail 
must have measured twenty feet across on the 
ground, from vertex to vertex of diametrically op- 
posite buttresses, the bole itself not being over two 
and one-half feet in diameter, and the buttresses 
starting about fifteen feet above the ground. But 
the greatest difference to me personally was in my 
mount, Connor having lent me his pony, as ad- 
mirable as mine of the day before had been wretched. 
In spite of the fact that Connor had to stay behind 
at Campote and could catch us up later, this at- 
tention on his part was one of the most generous 
things that ever happened to me, for certainly the 
pony he got from me was the most irritating piece 
of horseflesh imaginable. I am glad publicly to 


74 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

give him my warmest thanks again ! Mr. Worcester 
was well mounted, too; he rode this day at two 
hundred and thirty-five pounds, and his kit must 
have weighed some thirty more, yet his little beast 
carried him soundly to Bambang, our destination, 
about seventeen miles, twelve of them at a "square, 
unequivocal" trot, by no means an unusual example 
of the strength and endurance of some of these native 
ponies. In what seemed a very short time (but 
the trail was comparatively dry) we broke out of 
the forest, and again had our lovely valley below 
and in front of us. At the top we saw some giant 
fly-catchers, a bird of so powerful and erratic a 
flight that no one has so far, according to Mr. 
Worcester, succeeded in killing one of them. It 
may be mentioned here that we saw very few birds 
or any other animals on our journey. Shortly after 
beginning the descent, some of the party, impatient 
of the zig-zags, decided to go straight down, the 
temptation being a cool green stream at the foot 
of the mountain; half an hour afterward, on turn- 
ing a point, we could see them disporting them- 
selves in the waters, and at that distance looking 
very much like Diana and her nymphs in the usual 

Back in the main road, we stopped to rest at 
a point covered with a sensitive plant so delicate 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 75 

that, on stepping on it anywhere, the nervous 
thrill, if that is what it is, would run three or four 
feet or more in all directions before dying down. 
From this point we turned north, our way taking 
us through a broad open valley, past rice-fields 
and between clumps of flowering guava bushes. 
As we neared Bambang, where we were to spend 
the night, we were as before met by the local 
notabilities on horseback; and breasting a rise, 
we saw our road down in the plain in which 
this town lies, lined on both sides by all the 
school-children of the place, dressed in their very 
best clothes, some of them American fashion with 
shoes and stockings and looking mighty uncomfort- 
able in consequence. Nearly everyone had a flag. 
Riding into the town, we found the plaza crowded 
with men and women, dressed mostly in white, and 
what with the flags, the church-bells clanging with 
all their might, the crowd, and the children trooping 
in, our cavalcade made a triumphant entrance. 

We dismounted at the presidente's, where mus- 
catel and cocoanut milk were given us. A little 
muscatel goes a long way, but this is not true of 
the milk when one's tongue is hanging out from 
riding in the sun, and there are only two or three 
cocoanuts. Filipinos apparently are not fond of 

76 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

this drink, and we nearly always had to send out 
and get more. No sooner were we in the house 
than addresses began, one of these being in Ilokano. 
The native language of Bambang, however, is the 
Isanay, spoken elsewhere only at Aritao and Dupax, 
a dying tongue, doomed to early extinction. 

Bambang, like nearly all the other Nueva Viz- 
caya towns we had seen or were to see, shows signs 
of decadence. It has a good church and convento, 
a great plaza, and is surrounded by a fertile country, 
but something is missing. After dinner, I went over 
and called on the padre, one of the Belgians, whom 
we had met the day before. He informed me that 
Bambang had many Protestants, which he explained 
by the sharp rivalry between the Aglipayanos, or 
members of the "native" church, headed by the 
secessionist Aglipay, and the Catholics. . To avoid 
the issues raised by this rivalry, many natives would 
appear to have abandoned the errors of Rome (or 
of Aglipayanismo, as the case may be) for those of 
the Reformation. 

When I got back to the presidentes, everybody 
had turned in, and the house was dark. However, 
I found a bed not occupied by anyone else, but of 
my bedding there was not a sign. So I stretched 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 77 

out on the petate* of my bed, only to wake up later 
shivering with cold, which I tried to remedy by 
fishing around for cover in a pile of straw mats, 
from which I extracted what turned out in the 
morning to be a jusi table-cloth, through which you 
could have shot straws. It is altogether a mistake 
to imagine that one can not be cold in the tropics. 

*The straw mat covering the "split bottom" of the native 
bed. There is no other mattress, and the "split bottom" consti- 
tutes the springs. Once accustomed to it, the bed is cool and 


Magat River. Enthusiastic reception at Bayombong. -Speeches 
and reports. Solano. Ifugao "college yell." Bagabag. 

The next day, April 20, we rode out at six, a 
splendid morning; Bubud felt the inspiration, too, 
for he got on capitally. We soon reached the Magat 
River on the other side of which was Bayombong, 
the capital of the province and our first halt of 
the day. 

The Magat is another of those turbulent, un- 
certain rivers of the Archipelago; we were not sure 
as we neared it whether we could get over or not. 
When up, it carries waves in midstream six to seven 
feet from crest to trough. But we had no such ill- 
luck, and bancas soon came over for us, the horses 
swimming. While waiting for them we had a chance 
to admire the beautiful country; on one side tall 
spreading trees and broad savannahs, on the other 
the mountain presenting a bare scarp of red rock 
many hundreds of feet high; immediately in front 
the cool, green river, over all the brilliant sun, not 
yet too hot to prevent our thinking of other things. 

Once over, we had no occasion to complain of 
our reception! All the notabilities were present, of 



Showing three heads which be has taken from his enemies at Kiangan. The wattled 
79 wall is suali. Human skulls are no longer displayed in the Ifugao country. 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 81 

course, mounted, but in addition there were three 
bands, all playing different tunes at the same time, 
in different keys, and all fortissimo. No instrument 
was allowed to rest, the drums being especially vig- 
orous. One of the bands was that of the Constabu- 
lary, playing really well, and with magnificent in- 
difference to the other two. I am bound to say 
they returned it. We had the Constabulary troops, 
too, as escort, a well set-up, well-turned-out and 
soldierlike body. What with the bands, the pigs, 
the dogs, the horses, the children, the people, it was 
altogether one of the most delightful confusions con- 
ceivable, not the least interesting feature being the 
happy unconsciousness of the people of the incon- 
gruity of the reception. However, we formed a 
column, the Constabulary at the head, with its 
band, and were played into Bayombong, with the 
other bands, children, dogs, etc., as a mighty rear 

Our first business was to listen to reports and 
addresses. So we all went upstairs in the Govern- 
ment House, the presidencia; the Governor-General, 
Mr. Worcester, and the presidente took their seats 
on a dais, while the rest of us, with the local Amer- 
icans and some of the native inhabitants, formed 
the audience, and listened to a report read by the 
treasurer. This made a great impression on us, so 

82 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

sensible and businesslike was it; not content with 
a statement, it went on to describe the affairs of 
the province, the possibilities of agriculture, and 
what could be accomplished if the people would 
turn to and work, and in particular it made no 
complaints. Apparently this report alarmed the 
presidente, for he left his seat on the platform as 
soon as he decently could, and delivered a speech 
intended to traverse the treasurer's report. His 
concern was almost comic: the idea of saying to 
the Governor-General that a great deal could be 
done locally by work, when there was a central 
Government at Manila ! Mr. Forbes, as usual, made 
in his turn a very sound speech, based on his ob- 
servation in the province, on its fertility, its possi- 
bilities^ he necessity of improving communications 
and of diversifying crops. I noticed here, as else- 
where in the province, the excellence of the Spanish 
used in speeches. As for the treasurer, we were 
informed that he had been taken in hand at an 
early age by the Americans and trained, so that in 
making his reports he had developed the ability to 
look upon the merits of the question in hand. But 
he must feel himself to be a unique person! 

We rested here in Bayombong through the heat 
of the day, part going to Governor Bryant's house, 
the rest of us to that of Captain Browne, the local 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 83 

Inspector of Constabulary. I have a grateful recol- 
lection of his hospitality, as well as of that of his 
brother officers, with whom we dined. Nor must 
I forget the Standard Oil Company. For had not 
Browne rigged up a shower, consisting of the Stand- 
ard five-gallon tin ? A muchacho filled it with water 
and pulled it up over a pulley, and you got an ex- 
cellent shower from the holes punched in the bot- 
tom. In fact, the Standard five-gallon tin is as 
well known in the East as its contents, and is care- 
fully preserved and used. We had several oppor- 
tunities to bless its existence. 

Pleasant as was the nooning, it had to end: 
we mounted and rode on to Solano. On the way 
Bubud insisted on drinking from a dirty swamp by 
the roadside, although there was a limpid stream 
not fifty yards ahead which he could see as well as 
I. But there was nothing for it but the swamp; 
I accordingly let him have his way, only to find the 
bank slippery and the water deep, so that he went 
in up to his shoulders, with his hindquarters on the 
bank. While I was trying to pull him back, he 
got in his hindquarters, and then, in further answer 
to my efforts, sat down in the water! And such 
water! Thick, greasy, smelly! A carabao wallow 
it was. He now gave unmistakable evidence of an 
intention to lie down, when a friendly hand got 

84 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

me up on the bank, whereupon Bubud, concluding 
he would get out too, emerged with a coat of muddy 
slime. This seemed to have no effect whatever on 
his spirits, for on entering Solano a few minutes 
later, to the sound of bells and bands, with banners 
fluttering in the breeze, he got into such a swivet 
that before I knew it he was at the head of the pro- 
cession, having worked himself forward and planted 
himself squarely in front of the Governor-General's 
horse, where he caracoled and curvetted and pranced 
to his heart's delight. As soon as we got out of the 
barrio, he was quite satisfied to take a more modest 
position, but occasions of ceremony seemed to de- 
prive him of all realization of his proper place in 
the world. 

The people of Solano made a great effort to have 
us stay the night, but it was impossible; we had to 
get on to Bagabag. Solano, by the way, is the 
commercial emporium of this end of the province, 
for there is not a single shop in Bayombong. So 
on we went, through a calm, dignified afternoon, 
the country as before impressing me with its open, 
smiling valleys, its broad fields, its air of expectant 
fertility, inviting one to come scratch its surface, 
if no more, in order to reap abundant harvests. In 
fact, it seemed to me that we were riding through 
typical farming land at home, instead of through a 





The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 87 

Malay valley under the tropic. And if anything 
more were needed to strengthen the illusion, it was 
a college yell, given by a gang of Ifugaos (the peo- 
ple we were now immediately on our way to visit) 
repairing a bridge we had to cross! They did it 
in style, and naturally had no cheer-leader; time 
was kept by beating on the floor of the bridge with 
tools. For this uttering of a shout of welcome or 
of other emotion in unison is a characteristic trait 
of the Ifugaos, like their using spoons, and can be 
likened to nothing else in the world but our American 
college yell. 

Our reception at Bagabag was much like all 
the others we had had: bands, arches, addresses, 
one in excellent English. But on this occasion, 
after listening to a speech telling how poor the 
people were, how bad :he roads were, how much 
they needed Government help, etc., etc., Mr. Forbes 
squared off in his answer, and told them a few things, 
as that he had seen so far not a single lean, hungry- 
looking person, that the elements were kindly, that 
they could mend their own roads, and that he was 
tired of their everlasting complaint of poverty and 
hunger, when a little work would go a great way 
in this country toward bettering their material con- 
dition. This, of course, is just the kind of talk 
these people need, and the last some of them wish 
to hear. 


We enter the Mountain Province. Payawan. Kiangan, its posi- 
tion. Anitos. Speech of welcome by Ifugao chief. Detach- 
ment of native Constabulary. Visit of Ifugao chiefs to our 
quarters. -Dancing. 

We were now on the borders of the Mountain 
Province; literally one more river to cross, and we 
should turn our backs on Nueva Vizcaya. And with 
regret, for it is a beautiful smiling province, of fer- 
tile soil, of polite and hospitable people, of lovely 
mountains, limpid streams and triumphant forests. 
In Dampier's quaint words, spoken of another prov- 
ince, but equally true of this one, "The Valleys are 
well moistned with pleasant Brooks, and small Riv- 
ers of delicate Water; and have Trees of divers 
sorts flourishing and green all the Year." 5 Its peo- 
ple lack energy, perhaps because they have no roads ; 
it may be equally true that they lack roads because 
they have no energy. However this may be, the 
province can and some day will grow coffee, tobacco, 
rice, and cocoa to perfection; its savannahs will 
furnish pasturage for thousands of cattle, where now 
some one solitary carabao serves only to mark the 
solitude in which he stands. 

*Dampier's "Voyages," p. 319, Masefield's edition. 


The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon, 89 

We crossed the stream about seven in the 
morning, May i, and opened out on an immense 
field, which we estimated at about thirty-five hun- 
dred acres, a whole plantation in a ring fence, and 
offering not the slightest suggestion of the tropics 
in its aspect. The ground now broke and we went 
on down to a bold stream so deep that those of us 
riding ponies got wet above the knees and were 
almost swept down by the current. The cogon grass 
in this river bottom was the tallest I ever saw, some 
clumps being well over twenty feet high. Then we 
began to climb till we reached another divide, across 
the stream at the foot of which was Payawan, 
our immediate objective. Payawan consists of two 
shacks and a name. Here we were to have had 
our first meeting with the clans of the Ifugao, but 
through some misunderstanding they took the place 
of meeting to be at Kiangan, some miles further on ; 
so we all rested a while, and some of us took a swim 
in the little river we had just crossed, finding the 
water on first shock almost cold, but delightful be- 
yond belief. Cootes and I were quite satisfied with 
the pool we found near the shack, but Strong and 
the rest thought they saw a better one downstream, 
so they crawled in the water around a small cliff, 
reached their pool, and then had to walk a mile 
and a half through the cogon and in the sun to return, 

90 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

there being no getting back upstream. Now, if 
there is anything else hotter on the face of the earth 
than a walk through the cogon in the dry season 
with the sun shining vertically down, it has yet to 
be discovered. 

At Payawan we were met by Captain Jeff D. 
Gallman, P. C., Lieutenant-Governor of the Sub- 
province of Ifugao, accompanied by one of his chief- 
tains, who made a splendid picture in his barbaric 
finery. Erect, thin of flank and well-muscled, he 
had a bold, clear eye and a fearless look; around 
his neck he wore a complicated necklace of gold 
and other beads; each upper arm was clasped by 
a boar's tusk, from which stood out a plume of 
red horse-hair. His gee-string was decorated with 
a belt of white shells, the long free end hanging down 
in front, and he had his bolo, like the rest of his 
people, in a half-scabbard that is, kept by two 
straps on a strip of wood, shaped like a scabbard. 
But all these were mere accessories; what distin- 
guished him was his free graceful carriage, the light- 
ness and ease of his motions, the frankness and 
openness of his countenance. 

Our rest over, we pushed on through a beau- 
tiful forest, unlike any other seen so far in that it 
was open. The trail was excellent, and rose stead- 
ily, for we had to cross a sharp range before making 


o o 

53 C3 

o ^ 


O -M 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 93 

Kiangan. I shall make no attempt to describe this 
exquisite afternoon: but there was a breeze, the 
forest tempered the sun's rays a good part of the 
time; and, as we rose, range after range, peak on 
peak opened on our view, valley after valley spread 
out under our feet until I wearied of admiring. 
The others had gone over the trail before, and 
looked on nature with a more matter-of-fact eye. 
At the top of the range I noticed an outcrop of 
fossil coral. Bubud distinguished himself to-day. 
Gallman, who was trotting immediately in front 
(and who ought to know his own trails!), called 
"Ware hole!" just as Bubud put one of his forefeet 
in it, pitched forward, and threw me over his head, 
thus establishing a complete breach of continuity 
between us. However, as long as the thing had to 
happen, it was a good place to select, for the trail 
was four feet wide here, and, in case of going over 
the side, the drop was only eighty or ninety feet, 
with bushes conveniently arranged to catch hold of 
on the way down. This was Bubud's solitary mis- 
hap, and it was not his fault. 

Past the divide, the trail became a road over 
which one might have marched a field battery, so 
broad and firm and good was it: we were nearing 
Kiangan. Presently we turned a low spur to the 
left, and the Ifugao town burst upon our view. It 

94 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

was the headquarters of a Spanish Comandancia in 
the old days, and here Padre Juan Villaverde lived 
and worked, seeking to convert the people, and to 
teach them to grow coffee and to plant European 
vegetables. The mission, however came to naught, 
leaving behind no trace visible to the casual trav- 
eller, save a few lone cabbages: the garrison main- 
tained here was massacred to a man,, the native who 
surprised and cut down the sentry being pointed out 
to us the next day. Kiangan was celebrated in 
Spanish times, and even more recently, as the home 
of some of the most desperate head-hunters of the 
Archipelago. But, thanks to Gallman, head-hunting 
in the Ifugao country is now a thing of the past. 
The town stands on the top of a bastion-like 
terrace, thrust avalanche-wise and immense between 
its pinnacled mountain walls; the site is not only 
of great beauty, but of great natural strength, like 
nearly all the other considerable settlements we saw 
on this journey. The two mountain walls approach 
somewhat like the branches of the letter V, having 
between them, near their intersection, as it were, 
the natural bastion mentioned rising from the bed 
of the Ibilao River, hundreds of feet below, and 
some thousands of yards distant. The whole po- 
sition is on a large generous scale; it would have 
appealed to the ancient Greeks. And so, of course, 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 95 

we yet had some distance to go, and now made our 
way through rice-paddies, echeloned on the flanks 
of the spurs that came down to meet us. These 
rice- terraces (sementeras) , the first I had seen, at 
once excited my interest, to the scorn of Pack, who 
bade me wait until we had come upon the real 
thing: these were nothing. It turned out he was 
entirely right; but I thought them remarkable, and 
anyway they were most refreshing and cooling to 
look at, after our long hot ride. The sound of run- 
ning waters, the sight of the little runlets bubbling 
away for dear life, of the tall rice swaying to the 
breeze, the acropolis before us with its clumps of 
waving bamboos, of nodding bananas, and the soft 
afternoon light over all, the combination made a 
picture that will live in my recollection. The im- 
pression immediately formed was that of a scene 
of quiet peace and beauty, more or less rudely 
shocked the following day. As we drew nearer 
and nearer we were welcomed by arches of bam- 
boo decorated with native flowers and plants, 
and guarded by life-size anitos* of both sexes in 

* According to De Morga (p. 196, Retana's edition), the anito 
was a representation of the devil under horrible and frightful forms, 
to which fruits and food and perfumes were offered. Each house 
had and "made" (or performed) its anitos, there being no temples, 
without ceremony or any special solemnity. "This word," says 
Retana, "is ordinarily interpreted 'idol/ although it has other mean- 
ings. There were anitos of the mountains, of the fields, of the sea. 

96 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

puris naturalibus, cut out of the tree fern, but with 
no connotation whatever of indecency. For these 
statues are either an innocent expression of nature, 
or, what seems more likely, an expression of Nature 
or phallic worship. 

We had now got up to the parade of the cuartel 
(quarters or barracks) and were greeted by shouts 
from the people gathered to welcome us. The chief 
who had met us at Payawan, and who, on foot, had 
beaten us into Kiangan, appeared in all his bravery 
and with a prolonged "Who-o-o-o-e-e!" commanded 
silence. He then mounted a bamboo stand some 
twenty feet high, with a platform on top, and made 
us a speech! Yes, a regular speech, with gestures, 
intonations, and all the rest of it. For these Ifugaos 
are born orators, and love to show their skill. Ac- 
cordingly, thanks to Mr. Worcester's appreciation, 
orators' tribunes have been put up at points like 

The soul of an ancestor, according to some, became embodied as 
a new anito, hence the expression, 'to make anitos.' Even living 
beings, notably the crocodile, were regarded as anitos and worshiped. 
The anito-figura, generally shortened to anito, . was 

usually a figurine of wood, though sometimes of gold." (Glossary 
to his edition of De Morga, pp. 486-487.) 

"The anito of the Philippines is essentially a protecting spirit." 
(F. Jagor, "Travels in the Philippines," p. 298, English translation, 
London, Chapman & Hall, 1875; originally published in Berlin, 
1873, "Reisen in den. Philippinen," Weidmannsche Buchhandlung.) 

"The religion of the islands, what may be called the true 
religion of Filipinos, consisted of the worship of the anitos. These 
were not gods, but the souls of departed ancestors, and each family 
worshipped its own, in order to obtain their favorable influence." 
(Pardo de Tavera, "Resena Historica de Filipinas," Manila, 1906.) 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 97 

Kiangan; it is strange that the Ifugaos had never 
thought of it themselves. This tribune, by the way, 
was ornamented with tufts of leaves and grasses at 
the corners. When the speaker had done, he clapped 
his hands over his head, and all the people followed 

Later on Gallman, who speaks Ifugao like a 
native, interpreted for us. The speaker told his 
people that a great honor had been done them by 
this visit of the "Commission," and that, besides, 
the great apo* of all had come, too. His arrival 
could not fail to be of good luck for them, as it 
meant more rice, more chickens, more pigs, more 
babies, more good in all ways than they ever had 
had before. As other speeches began to threaten, 
on a hasty intimation from Mr. Forbes we moved 
on to our quarters, preceded by the escort of Con- 

This detachment, composed entirely of Ifugaos, 
would have delighted any soldier. They certainly 
excited my admiration by the precision of their 
movements, their set-up, and their general appear- 
ance. A Prussian Guardsman could not have been 

*Apo means "lord, master." In the mountains every American 
is called apo. "Sir" in Tagalo is po, and the highest mountain of 
the Archipelago is named Apo. The native word for fire in these 
parts is something like apo. To distinguish Mr. Forbes from other 
apos, he was called apo apo in communicating with the natives. 

98 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

more erect. There are five companies of Constab- 
ulary in the Mountain Province, each serving in 
the part of the country from which recruited, and 
each retaining in its uniform the colors and such 
other native features as could be turned to account. 
Thus the only " civilized," so to say, elements are 
the forage cap and khaki jacket worn directly over 
the skin; otherwise the legs, feet, and body are 
bare; the local gee-string is worn, with the free end 
hanging down in front. Here at Kiangan each man 
has below the knee the native brass leglet, and on 
the left hip the bultong, or native bag, a sporran, 
indeed, showing the local influence in its blue and 
white stripes. Thus accoutered, the first impression 
formed was that these troops were actually high- 
landers; on reflection, this impression is correct, for 
they are highlanders in every sense of the word. 
I obtained permission to inspect the detachment 
after the honors were over, and found their equip- 
ment and'uniforms in admirable condition. Of their 


discipline, everyone spoke in the highest terms; in- 
deed, we had next day, as will soon appear, an ex- 
ample of this quality. Their loyalty to the Gov- 
ernment is unquestioned. These mountaineers are 
all, as might be expected, hardy, strong, able-bodied, 
and active; in fact, the physical qualities of these 
mountain people are remarkable. But at Kiangan, 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 99 

as elsewhere, it was noticeable that discipline, reg- 
ular habits, regular food, had improved the natur- 
ally good physical qualities of the people. The Con- 
stabulary appeared to me to be physically better 
than the tribe from which they were drawn. I no- 
ticed, too, that after protracted wearing of the khaki 
the skin of the body was several shades lighter than 
that of the legs. 

We now entered our quarters, being those of 
Lieutenant Meimban, the native officer in command. 
Here, too, we met Mr. Barton, the local school super- 
intendent. His predecessor had had to be relieved, 
because one day, as he was going up the trail, an 
Ifugao threw a spear "into" him, as they say in 
the mountains, and he consequently got a sort 
of distaste for the place, although it was clearly 
established in the investigation that followed, and 
carefully explained to him, that it was all a mis- 
take, and that the spear had been intended for 
somebody else. Mr. Barton is doing a useful work 
here in devoting his spare time and energy to a 
study of the Ifugao religion with its myths and 
mythology. He told me that he had so far defined 
seven hundred different spirits and was not sure 
that he had got to the end of them. The publication 
of Mr. Barton's research is awaited with some avid- 
ity by the Americans living in the Province, as en- 

ioo The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

abling them to have a better control of the people 
through their religious beliefs. 

We had not long been seated in our quarters 
before a deputation of chiefs with their gansas and 
a large number of bubud* jars entered, and offered 
us bubud to drink. Very soon our visitors be- 
gan to dance for us to the sound of the gansa, 
their dance being different from that we had 
seen a few days before at Campote. As, however, 
the next day was one dance from morning to 
night, I shall not spend any more time upon 
this affair, except to say that, turn about being 
fair play, Cootes got up and gave such a repre- 
sentation as he was able of a pas seul. When 
he had done, our visitors started anew, and the 
gansas proving irresistible, Cootes and I joined in. 
The steps, poise of body, motion of the arms and 
hands are so marked and peculiar that a little ob- 
servation and practice enabled us in a short time 
to produce at least a fair imitation; indeed, so suc- 
cessful were our efforts that we were informed we 
should be invited to dance on the morrow before 
the multitudes! This brought us up standing, and 
it was time anyway. So our chieftains took their 
leave, their bubud jars remaining in our charge. 

*Now frequently called ub-ub, i. e., "spring," in the Ifugao 
country; a change of name due to Gallman. 

Showing rain-coat, so-called head-basket, bolo, bultong, and waist-belt. 

The Head Hunters of Xorthern Luzon. 103 

These jars are worth more than a passing mention: 
the oldest ones come from China, and are held in 
such high esteem by the Ifugaos that they will part 
with them for neither love nor money. According to 
the experts, some of them are examples of the earli- 
est known forms of Chinese porcelain, and are most 
highly prized by collectors and museums.* 

We put up our mosquito-bars this night, the 
only time on the trip, but I think without any 
necessity. So far we had not seen, heard or felt a 
single fly or mosquito, and were to see none until 
we struck civilization once more in the Cagayan 

*See De Morga, " Sucesos," etc., p. 184, Retana's edition, 
and Retana's note on the passage; see also Jagor, "Travels," etc., 
p. 162 et seq. 


Day opens badly. Ifugao houses. The people assemble. Danc- 
ing. Speeches. White paper streamers. Head-hunter 
dance. Canao. 

Needless to say we were up betimes the next 
morning, May 2d, for the clans were to gather, and 
the day would hardly be long enough for all it was 
to hold. The day began ominously. As Kiangan 
is a sort of headquarters, it has a guard-house for 
the service of short imprisonments, a post-and-rail 
affair made of bamboo under the cuartel. For while 
our administration is kindly, these mountaineers 
from the first have had to learn, if not to feel as yet, 
that they must be punished if guilty of infringing 
such laws and discipline as have so far been found 
applicable. Accordingly, our guard-house held two 
men, sentenced for twenty days, for having threat- 
ened the life of one of their head men. Short as 
was the sentence, these two men had nevertheless 
dug a passage in the earthen floor of their quarters, 
and had just the night before opened the outer end 
of it, but not enough to admit the passage of a 
human body. A private of Constabulary, passing 
by this morning, stooped to examine this hole new 


The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 105 

to him, when one of the prisoners threw a spear at 
him, made of a stalk of runo* the head being a 
small strip of iron which he had kept concealed in 
his gee-string. So true was his aim that, although 
he had to throw his improvised spear between the 
rails, he nevertheless struck the private in the neck, 
cutting his jugular vein, so that in five minutes he 
was dead. The pen was now entered for the purpose 
of shackling the criminal, when he announced that 
he would kill any white man that laid hands on him. 
Upon Lieutenant Meimban of the Constabulary ad- 
vancing, both of the prisoners rushed him. In the 
mellay that followed the murderer was shot and 
killed and his companion badly beaten up; Strong 
later had to put seventeen stitches in one scalp 
wound alone. Although the rancheria from which 
the murdered private came was two hours off, so 
that it usually took four hours to send a message 
and get an answer, yet an hour and a half after 
the man died a runner came in to ask for his 
body so it could be suitably buried. Altogether, 
this double killing damped our spirits considerably; 
for one thing, there was no telling how it would be 
received, particularly if there should be any ex- 
cessive drinking of bubud; there were very few of 

*Runo is a stiff reed grass growing to several feet, the mountain 
cousin of the cogon of the plains. 

106 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

us, mostly unarmed, and the Ifugaos were coming 
in hundreds at a time, so that long before the fore- 
noon was well under way several thousands had 
collected. However, on moving out, we could not 
find that the cheerfulness of the people had been in 
the least disturbed. 

Before beginning the business of the day we 
walked about the village and examined one or two 
houses. These are all of one room, entered by a ladder 
drawn up at night, and set up on stout posts seven or 
eight feet high; the roof is thatched, and the walls, 
made of wattle (suali) , flare out from the base deter- 
mined by the tops of the posts. In cutting the posts 
down to suitable size (say 10 inches in diameter), a 
flange, or collar, is left near the top to keep rats out; 
chicken-coops hang around, and formerly human 
skulls, too, were set about. But the Ifugaos, thanks 
to Gallman, as already said, have abandoned head- 
hunting, and the skulls in hand, if kept at all, are 
now hidden inside their owner's houses, their places 
being taken by carabao heads and horns. One house 
had a tahibi, or rest-couch; only rich people can 
own these, cut out as they are of a single log, in 
longitudinal cross-section like an inverted and very 
flat V with suitable head- and foot-supports. The 
notable who wishes to own one of these luxurious 
couches gets his friends to cut down the tree (which 

The Head Hunters of Xorthern Luzon. 109 

is necessarily of very large size), to haul the log, 
and to carve out the couch, feeding them the while. 
Considering the lack of tools, trails, and animals, 
the labor must be incredible and the cost enormous. 
However, wealth will have its way in Kiangan as 
well as in Paris. 

By the time we had done the village, the hour 
of business had come, and we moved up to the 
little parade in front of the cuartel, where an enor- 
mous crowd had already assembled. As at Cam- 
pote, so here, and for the same reasons, very few 
old women were present, but about as many young 
ones and children as there were men. Our approach 
was the signal for the dancing to begin, and once 
begun, it lasted all day, the gansas never ceasing 
their invitation. Apparently anybody could join 
in, and many did, informal circles being formed 
here and there, for the Ifugaos, like all the other 
highlanders, dance around in a circle. Both men 
and women took part, eyes on a point of the ground 
a yard or so ahead, the knees a little bent, left foot 
in front, body slightly forward on the hips, left arm 
out in front, hand upstretched with fingers joined, 
right arm akimbo, with hand behind right hip. The 
musicians kneel, stick the forked-stick handle of the 
gansa in their gee-strings, with the gansa convex 
side up on their thighs, and use both hands, the 

no The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

right sounding the note with a downward stroke, 
the left serving to damp the sound. The step is 
a very dignified, slow shuffle, accompanied by slow 
turns and twists of the left hand, and a peculiar 
and rapid up-and-down motion of the right. 

True to what had been said the day before, a 
particularly large circle was formed, and Cootes and 
I were invited to join, which we did; if any con- 
clusion may be drawn from the applause we got 
(for the Ifugaos clap hands), why, modesty apart, 
we upheld the honor of the Service. 

Every now and then the orators had their turn, 
for a resounding ' ' Whoo-o-ee ! " would silence the 
multitudes, and some speaker would mount the 
tribune and give vent to an impassioned discourse. 
One of these bore on the killing of the prisoner that 
morning: the orator declared that he was a bad 
man, and that he had met with a just end, that 
the people must understand that they must behave 
themselves properly, and so on. I forget how many 
speeches were made ; but the tribune was never long 
unoccupied. Another performance of the day was 
the distribution of strips of white onion-skin paper. 
On one of his previous trips Mr. Worcester had 
noticed that the people had taken an old newspaper 
he had brought with him, cut it up into strips, 
and tied them to the hair by way of ornament. 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. in 

Acting on this hint, it is his habit to take 
with him on his trips to this country thousands 
of strips, and everybody gets a share according 
to rank, a chief five, his wife four, an ordinary 
person three, and little children two. Accord- 
ingly, he spent hours this day handing out these 
strips, for this was a duty that could not be dele- 
gated: the strips must come from the hands of the 
"Commission" himself. By afternoon, every man, 
woman, and child and there were thousands of 
them all told was flying these white streamers from 
the head, the combined resulting effect being pleasing 
and graceful. Meanwhile the people kept on com- 
ing from their rancherias, one arrival creating some- 
thing of a stir, being that of the Princesa, wife of 
the orator who had welcomed us the day before. 
She came in state, reclining in a sort of bag hanging 
from a bamboo borne on the shoulders of some of 
her followers. She had an umbrella, and, if I recol- 
lect aright, was smoking a cigar. On emerging 
from her bag, a circle formed about her, and she 
was graciously pleased to dance for us, no one ven- 
turing to join her. As she was fat and scant o' 
breath,* her performance was characterized by por- 

*The Princesa was the only fat person we saw in the moun- 
tains; apparently these highlanders all grow thin with age, and 
wrinkled from head to foot. 

ii2 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

lentous deliberation, precision, and dignity, and was 
as palpably agreeable to her as it was curious to us. 
The great performance of the morning, how- 
ever, was a head-hunter dance, arranged by Barton; 
that is, he had gone out a day or two before and 
told a neighboring rancheria, that they must furnish 
a show of the sort for the apos whose visit was im- 
minent. But, according to the old women of the 
village, he had made a great mistake in that he said 
it was not necessary to hold a canao in advance. A 
canao (buni in Ifugao), as already explained, is a 
ceremonious occasion, celebrated by dancing, much 
drinking of bubud, the killing of a pig, speeches. 
Whenever an affair of moment is in hand, such as 
a funeral or a head-hunting expedition, a canao is 
held. Our entire stay at Kiangan might be. called 
a canao, or, rather, it was made up of canaos. Now 
when Barton, two or three days before, refused to 
canao, the old women shook their heads, declaring 
that something would happen, and the killings of 
the morning were at once summoned as proof 
that they were right and he was wrong. However 
this may be, not long after the Princesa's dance 
we heard below us a cadenced sound and saw a 
long column in file slowly approaching. Its head 
was formed of warriors armed with spears and shields 
stained black with white zig-zags across; the lead- 


Drawn byjGlassford. 


Drawn by Glassford. 


The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 1 15 

ing warrior walked backward, continually making 
thrusts at the next man with his spear. A pig had 
immediately preceded, trussed by his feet to a bam- 
boo, and interfering mightily with the music that 
followed. This was percussive in character, and 
was produced by twenty-five or thirty men beating 
curved instruments, made of very hard, resonant 
wood, with sticks. These musicians marched along 
almost doubled over, and would lean in unison first 
to the right and then to the left, striking first one 
end, then the other of their instruments, which they 
held in the middle by a bejuco string from a hole 
made for the purpose. The note was not unmusicak 
Many of the men had their head-baskets on their 
backs, and one or two of them the palm-leaf rain- 
coat. I had never imagined that it was possible 
for human beings to advance as slowly as did these 
warriors; in respect of speed, our most dignified 
funerals would suffer by comparison. The truth is, 
they were dancing. They got up the hill at last, 
however ; laid the pig down in the middle of the vast 
circle that had instantly formed, and then began 
the ceremonious head-dance. Two or three men, 
after various words had been said, would march 
around in stately fashion, winding up at the pig, 
across whose body they would lay their spears. On 
this an old man would run out, and remove the 

u6 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

spears, when the thing would be repeated. At last, 
a tall, handsome young man, splendidly turned out 
in all his native embellishments, on reaching the 
pig, allowed his companions to retire while he him- 
self stood, and, facing his party with a smile, said 
a few words. Then, without looking at his victim, 
and without ceasing to speak, he suddenly thrust 
his spear into the pig's heart, withdrawing it so 
quickly that the blade remained unstained with 
blood; as quick and accurate a thing as ever seen! 
Of course, this entire canao was full of meaning to 
the initiated. Barton said it was a failure, and he 
ought to know; but it was very interesting to us. 
I was particularly struck by the bearing of these 
men, their bold, free carriage and fearless expression 
of countenance. 


Dress of the people. Butchery of carabao. Prisoner runs amok 
and is killed. 

It was now drawing near midday, and as though 
by common understanding we all separated to get 
something to eat. Our head-dancers formed up and 
resumed their slow march back down the hill; only 
this time, Cootes and I borrowed instruments and 
joined the band, partly to see how it felt to walk in 
so incredibly slow a procession, and partly for me, 
at least, to try the music. A little of it went a long 

The afternoon was, with two exceptions, much 
like the forenoon. Tiffin over, Mr. Worcester and 
Gallman held councils with the head men of the va- 
rious rancherias present; Pack inspected; and the 
rest of us moved about, looking on at whatever in- 
terested us. 

As elsewhere, but few clothes are seen: the 
women wear a short striped skirt sarong-wise, but 
bare the bosom. However, they are beginning to 
cover it, just as a few of them had regular um- 
brellas. They leave the navel uncovered; to con- 
ceal it would be immodest. The men are naked 


n8 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

save the gee-string, unless a leglet of brass wire 
under the knee be regarded as a garment; the 
bodies of many of them are tattooed in a leaf -like 
pattern. A few men had the native blanket hang- 
ing from their shoulders, but leaving the body bare 
in front. The prevailing color is blue; at Campote 
it is red. The hair looked as though a bowl had 
been clapped on the head at an angle of forty-five 
degrees, and all projecting locks cut off. If the 
hair is long, it means that the wearer has made a 
vow to let it grow until he has killed someone or 
burnt an enemy's house. We saw such a long- 
haired man this day. Some of the men wore over 
their gee-strings belts made of shell (mother-of- 
pearl), with a long free end hanging down in front. 
These belts are very costly and highly thought of. 
Earrings are common, but apparently the lobe of 
the ear is not unduly distended. Here at Kiangan, 
the earring consists of a spiral of very fine brass 

It is pertinent to remark that the Ifugaos treat 
their women well; for example, the men do the 
heavy work, and there are no women cargadores. 
In fact, the sexes seemed to me to be on terms of 
perfect equality. The people in general appeared 
to be cheerful, good-humored, and hospitable. Mr. 
Worcester pointed out that whereas most of the 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 119 

men present were unarmed (at any rate, they had 
neither spears nor shields), in his early trips through 
this country, as elsewhere, every man came on fully 
armed, and the ground was stuck full of spears, 
each with its shield leaning on it, the owner near 
by with the rest of his rancheria, and all ready at 
a moment's notice to kill and take heads. For 
although these people are all of the same blood and 
speak nearly the same language, still there is no 
tribal government; the people live in independent 
settlements (rancher ias) , all as recently as five or 
six years ago hostile to one another, and taking 
heads at every opportunity. This state of affairs 
was undoubtedly partly due to the almost complete 
lack of communication then prevailing, thus limit- 
ing the activities of each rancheria to the growing 
of food, varied by an effort to take as many heads 
as possible from the rancheria across the valley, 
without undue loss of its own. And what is said 
here of the Ifugao is true also of the Ilongot, the 
Igorot, the Kalinga, the Apayao, and of all the rest 
of the head-hunting highlanders of Northern Luzon. 
The results accomplished by Mr. Worcester with 
all these people simply exceed belief. But this sub- 
ject, being worthy of more than passing mention, 
will be considered later. The afternoon is wearing 

120 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

on, and we must get at the two exceptions men- 
tioned some little time ago. 

Since these highlanders have but little meat to 
eat, it is the policy of the Government, on the oc- 
casion of these annual progresses, to furnish a few 
carabaos, so that some of the people, at least, while 
they are the guests of the Government, may have 
what they are fondest of and most infrequently get. 
And they have been until recently allowed to slaugh- 
ter the carabao, according to their own custom, in 
competition, catch-as-catch-can, so to say. For the 
poor beast, tethered and eating grass all unconscious 
of its fate, or else directly led out, is surrounded by 
a mob of men and boys, each with his bolo. At a 
signal given, the crowd rushes on the animal, and 
each man hacks and cuts at the part nearest to 
him, the rule of the game being that any part cut 
off must be carried out of the rush and deposited on 
the ground before it can become the bearer's property. 
Accordingly, no sooner is a piece separated and 
brought out than it is pounced on by others who 
try to take it away; usually a division takes place, 
subject to further sub-division, however, if other 
claimants are at hand. The competition is not 
only tremendous, but dangerous, for in their excite- 
ment the contestants frequently wound one another. 
The Government (i. e., Mr. Worcester), while at 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 121 

first necessarily allowing this sort of butchering, 
has steadily discouraged and gradually reduced it, 
so that at Kiangan, for example, the people were 
told that this was the last time they would ever be 
allowed to kill beef in this fashion. It was pointed 
out to them that the purpose being to furnish meat, 
their method of killing was so uneconomical that 
the beef was really ruined, and nobody got what 
he was really entitled to. 

On this occasion, the carabao was tied to a 
stake in a small swale and I nerved myself to 
look on. I saw the first cuts, the poor beast 
look up from his grass in astonishment, totter, 
reel, and fall as blows rained on him from all 
sides. The crowd, closing in, mercifully hid the 
rest from view; the victim dying game without a 
sound. In this respect, as well as in many others, 
the carabao is a very different animal from the pig. 
But, while looking on at the mound of cutting, 
hacking, sweating, and struggling butchers, the smell 
of fresh blood over all, something occurred that 
completely shifted the center of interest. A boy 
came up to us in great excitement to say that the 
prisoner had got hold of a bayonet and was running 
amok. This was the prisoner of the morning who 
had been so badly beaten; to make him more 
comfortable, he had been laid on the veranda of 

122 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

the cuartel (just behind us), hobbled, but otherwise 
free. The boy spoke the truth; the prisoner had 
snatched his bayonet from a passing Constabulary 
private, and, turning into the cuartel, made for the 
provincial treasurer, who was busy inside. Him he 
chased out, getting over the ground with extraor- 
dinary rapidity, considering his wounds and hob- 
bles ; when we turned to look, the prisoner had come 
out and was running for just anybody. There was 
now but one thing to do, and done it was. Some 
one in authority called out to the sentry on duty 
before the cuartel, " Kill him! " The sentry, who up 
to this time had been walking up and down as a 
sentry should, brought down his carbine, aimed at 
the running man, and dropped him in his tracks 
by a bullet through the heart. He then ejected 
his empty cartridge-case, shouldered his piece, and 
continued to walk his post as unconcernedly as 
though he had shot a mad dog ; as striking an example 
of discipline as any soldier could wish to see. So 
far as I could mark, this occurrence made no im- 
pression on the people gathered together. The day 
went on as before. We should recollect, however, 
that these highlanders have no nerves, have in the 
the past held human life cheap, and must have 
realized in this case that the poor fellow who had 
been shot was himself trying to take human life; 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 125 

according to mountain law, he had got his deserts. 
Hence no astonishment should be felt that, while 
this human tragedy was being played to a finish, 
the carabao-butchers had not turned a hair's breadth 
from their business. For when I turned again to 
see how they were getting on, I found that they 
had disappeared, and, walking to the place, saw 
not a trace of the butchery save the trampled ground 
and a small heap of undigested grass. Mr. Wor- 
cester had told me before that I should find this 
to be the case; not a shred of hoof, hide, or bone 
had been left behind. 

The multitude had now begun to disperse, for 
the sun's rays were growing level, and the day was 
over. We were glad ourselves to find our quarters, 
for we had had some ten hours of gansa-beating, 
dancing, and all the rest of it: the canao had been 
a great success, and, although bubud had passed 
vigorously, the people had made no trouble. We 
wound up with a little bridge, and there was, as 
there always is, some business to be dispatched be- 
fore turning in. But we were all soon sound asleep, 
for next morning we had to be up at four.* 

*See Philippine Journal of Science, July, 1909, for Villaverde's 
account of the Ifugaos of Kiangan, translated and edited by Wor- 
cester, with notes and an addendum by Major Case, of the Con- 


Barton's account of a native funeral. 

Mr. Barton, already mentioned as in residence 
at Kiangan as local Superintendent of Schools, went 
out to see the funeral of the Constabulary private 
killed on the morning of the 2d. He was strongly 
advised not to go, because these highlanders resent 
more or less the presence of strangers at their fu- 
neral ceremonies. But this made him only the more 
eager, as very few Americans, or any others for that 
matter, have ever been present on these occasions. 

Passing through Manila a month or two later, 
he very kindly dictated for me an account of what 
he saw, and I give it here, with his permission, in 
his own words: 


"On the third day after the soldier was killed, 
the principal funeral ceremonies took place. To 
these ceremonies came a great number of people 
from their various rancherias, the party from each 
rancheria being led by the relatives of the soldier, 
some of them very distant relatives. 


The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 127 

"Aliguyen, the dead soldier, lived in the ran- 
cheria of Nagukaran, a rancher ia until quite recently 
very unfriendly to Kiangan, where I live. Aliguyen, 
however, had some kin in Kiangan, and this kin, 
together with their friends, went to the funeral. 
Their shields, as well as the shields of all who at- 
tended, were painted with white markings, taking 
some the form of men, some of lizards, some were 
zig-zags. All men who attended had a head-dress 
made of the leaf petiole of the betel tree and the 
red leaves of the dongola plant. To these leaves 
were attached pendant white feathers. Everybody 
was dressed in his best clout, and the women in 
their best loin-cloths and in all their finery of gold 
beads and agate necklaces. 

"Nagukaran is one rancher ia of several in a 
very large valley. When I reached a point in the 
trail commanding this valley, there could be seen 
from various rancherias in the valley a procession 
from each of them wending their way slowly toward 
Aliguyen 's home. From the time that they came 
within sight of the house, which was sometimes 
when they were a mile and a half or two miles from 
it, each procession danced its way, beating on the 
striped shields with their drum-sticks and on their 
bangibang. This last is a kind of wooden stick, 
made of resonant hard wood, coated over with 

128 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

chicken blood. It is extremely old. It is curved 
slightly and is about two feet long, and is held in 
one hand suspended by a bejuco string so that the 
vibrations are not interfered with. It is beaten 
with a drum-stick, as is also the shield. The gansa, 
or brass gong, the usual musical instrument of the 
Ifugaos, is never used in the funeral of a beheaded 
man. The two men who headed each procession 
carried two spears each. Behind came a man carry- 
ing a spear and shield. The two in front faced the 
on-coming procession, stepping most of the time 
backward, making thrusts toward the two who 
bore the spears and shields. The bearers of spear 
and shield made thrusts at them, the whole being 
a dance which in some respects resembles one of 
the head-dances of the Bontoc Igorots. From the 
high place on the trail where I was, they looked, 
in the distance, like nothing so much as columns 
of centipedes or files of ants all creeping slowly 
along the dikes of the rice-paddies toward the central 
place. It usually takes an hour for such a procession 
to cover one mile. The beating of shield and stick 
could easily be heard across the wide valley on that 
still morning. 

"Arriving at Aliguyen's house, we found him 
sitting on a block facing the sun, lying against his 
shield, which was supported by the side of the 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 129 

house. The body was in a terrible state of de- 
composition. It was swollen to three times its liv- 
ing girth. Great blisters had collected under the 
epidermis, which broke from time to time, a brown- 
ish red fluid escaping. The spear wound in his 
neck was plugged by a wooden spear-head. In 
each hand Aliguyen held a wooden spear. No at- 
tempt whatever had been made to prevent decom- 
position of the body or the entrance to it of flies. 
From the mouth gas bubbled out continually. Two 
old women on each side with penholder-shaped loom- 
sticks about two feet long continually poked at 
Aliguyen's face and the wound to wake him up. 
From time to time they caught the grewsome head 
by the hair and shook it violently, shouting, ' Who- 
oo-oo! Aliguyen, wake up! Open your eyes! Look 
down on Kurug. [Kurug being the rancher ia from 
which came Aliguyen's murderer.] Take his father 
and his mother, his wife and his children, and his 
first cousins and his second cousins, and his rela- 
tives by marriage. They wanted him to kill you. 
All your kin are women. [They say this in order 
to deceive Aliguyen into avenging himself.] They 
can't avenge you. You will have to avenge your- 
self! There is or den [law]; no one can kill them 
but you! Take them' all! 

130 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

"This calling on Aliguyen's soul never ceased. 
When an old woman got hoarse, another took her 
place. As the procession came to the house it 
filed past Aliguyen and its leaders stopped and 
shouted words to the same effect. The key-note 
of the whole ceremony was vengeance. It is true 
that both persons who were involved in killing Ali- 
guyen were themselves killed, but the people of a 
ranckeria regard themselves as being about the only 
real people in the world and hold that three, four, 
or five men of another rancheria are not equal to 
one of theirs. 

"Nagukaran being the rancheria that speared 
and nearly killed my predecessor. Mr. - , I 

explained my presence to the people there by say- 
ing that the soldier, being an agent of our Govern- 
ment, was in a way a relative of mine. The ex- 
planation was a perfectly natural one to the people, 
and they treated me with the greatest courtesy and 
helped me to see whatever was to be seen. 

"Toward noon they told me that they were go- 
ing to perform the feast which looked towards se- 
curing vengeance for Aliguyen's death. They went 
to where the people had built a shed to protect 
them from the sun's fierce rays on a little hillock 
some distance from any house. Two pigs were pro- 
vided there, one being very small. Only the old 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 131 

men were permitted to gather around the pigs and 
the rice-wine and the other appurtenances of the 
feast. The feast began by a prayer to the ancestors, 
followed by an invocation to the various deities. 
The most interesting and the principal part of the 
feast was the invocation to the celestial bodies, who 
are believed to be the deities of War and Justice. 
Manahaut (The Deceiver), a companion of the Sun 
God, was first invoked. The people cried: 'Who- 
oo-oo! Manahaut, look down! Come down and 
drink the rice-wine and take the pig! Don't de- 
ceive us! Deceive our enemies! Take them into 
the remotest quarters of the sky-world; lock them 
up there forever so that they may not return ! Ven- 
geance for him who has gone before!' Then an 
old man put his hands over his forehead and called : 
'Come down, Manahaut.' Manahaut came and 
possessed him, causing him to call out : ' Sa-ay ! sa-ay ! 
I come down Manahaut; I drink the rice-wine; I 
will deceive your enemies, but I will not deceive 
you.' The old man, possessed, jumps up and, with 
characteristic Ifugao dance step, dances about the 
rice-wine jar and about the pig. Quickly follows 
him a feaster who has called Umalgo, the Spirit of 
the Sun, and was possessed by him. Manahaut 
dances ahead of Umalgo to show him the pig. Umal- 
go seizes a spear, dances about the pig two or three 

132 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

times, when he steps over to it and with a thrust, 
seemingly without effort, pierces its heart. The 
blood spurts out of the pig's side and there quickly 
follows a feaster who has been possessed by Umbulan, 
who throws himself on the pig and drinks its blood. 
He would remain there forever, say the people, drink- 
ing the pig's blood, were it not that one of the Stars, 
his son, possesses a feaster, causing him to dance 
over to Umbulan, catch him by the hair and lead him 
from the pig. Following these ceremonies, there 
came feasters of various spirits of the Stars to cut 
the pig's feet and his head off. Then comes the 
cutting up of the pig to cook in the pots. The 
blood that has settled in its chest is carefully caught ; 
it is used to smear the bangibang and the jipag. 
The jipag are interesting. They are little images 
of two or three of the deities that help men to take 
heads. The images are of wood about six or eight 
inches high. Sometimes there are images of dogs 
also. When an Ifugao goes on a head-hunting ex- 
pedition, he takes the images in his head-basket, 
together with a stone to make the enemy's feet heavy 
so that he cannot run away, and a little wooden 
stick in representation of a spear, to the end of 
which is attached a stone this to make the enemy's 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 135 

spear strike the earth so that it might not strike 

' ' As the pig was being put in the pot to be cooked 
for the old men who had performed the feast, some 
unmannerly young fellow started to make away 
with one piece of the flesh. Immediately there was 
a scramble which was joined by some three or four 
hundred Ifugaos of all the different rancherias. Then 
the feasters (I think there were about one thousand 
who attended the feast) leaped for their spears and 
shields. The people who had come from Kiangan 
rushed to where I was and took their stand in front 
of and around me, and told me to stay there and 
that they would protect me from any harm; all 
of which, as may well be supposed, produced no 
trifling amount of warmth in my feelings toward 
them. Fortunately nothing came of the scramble. 

"I have no hesitancy in saying that two or 
three years ago, before Governor Gallman had per- 
formed his excellent and truly wonderful work among 
the Ifugaos, this scramble would have become a 
fight in which somebody would have lost his life. 
That such a thing could take place without danger 
was incomprehensible to the old women of Kiangan, 
who doubtless remembered sons or husbands, broth - 

*Gallman says they also carry their spears point down to 
cause the enemy's spears to miss. C. De W . W. 

136 The Plead Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

ers or cousins, who had lost their lives in such an 
affair. With the memory of these old times in their 
minds they caught me by the arms and by the 
waist and said, 'Barton, come home; we don't know 
the mind of the people; they are likely to kill you.' 
When I refused to miss seeing the rest of the feast, 
they told me to keep my revolver ready. 

"Looking back on this incident, I am sure that 
I was in little, I believe no danger, but must give 
credit to my Ifugao boy who attended me in having 
the wisest head in the party. This boy immedi- 
ately thought of my horse, which was picketed near, 
and ran to it, taking with him one or two responsi- 
ble Kiangan men to help him watch and defend it. 
Had he not done so, some meat-hungry, hot-headed 
Ifugao might easily have stuck a bolo in his side 
during the scramble and its confusion; and immedi- 
ately some five hundred or more Ifugaos would have 
been right on top of the carcase, hand-hacking at 
it with their long war-knives, and it would probably 
have been impossible ever to find out who gave the 
first thrust. 

"The old men who had performed the feast, 
after things had 'quieted down so^what, began 
scolding and cursing those who had run away with 
the meat. Finally they managed to prevail upon 
the meat-snatchers to bring back three small pieces, 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 137 

about the size of their hands, from which /I con- 
cluded that Ifugao is a language which is admirably 
adapted to making people ashamed of themselves. 
For I knew how hungry for meat these Ifugao 

"Three old men stuck their spears in a piece of 
meat and began a long story whose text was the 
confusion of enemies in some past time. At the 
conclusion of each story, they said: 'Not there, 
but here; not then, but now.' By a sort of simple 
witchcraft, the mere telling of these stories is be- 
lieved to secure a like confusion and destruction of 
the enemies of the present. When this ceremony 
had been completed, each old man raised his spear 
quickly and so was enabled to secure for himself 
the meat impaled. In one case, one of the old men 
just missed ripping open the abdomen of the man 
who stood in front. 

"The feast being finished, the people made an 
attempt to assemble by rancher ias. Then they filed 
along the trail to bury Aliguyen. Nagukaran ran- 
cheria took the lead. As the procession came near 
the grave the men took off their head-dresses and 
strung them on a long pole, which was laid across 
the trail. A Nagukaran rancher o went to where 
Aliguyen was sitting and picked him up, carried 
him to the grave, and placed him in a sitting pos- 

138 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

ture facing Kurug, the rancheria that killed him. 
Aliguyen was not wrapped in a death-blanket, as 
corpses usually are. His body was neglected in or- 
der to make him angry, so to incite him to vengeance. 
"The grave was a kind of sepulchre dug out 
of a bank. It was walled up with stones after Ali- 
guyen was placed in it, and an egg thrown against 
the tomb, whereupon the people yelled: ' Batna 
kana okukulan di bujolmi ud Kurugf ('So may it 
happen to our enemies at Kurug!') The poles on 
which were strung the head-dresses were taken and 
hung over the door of Aliguyen's house. After this 
the people dispersed to their homes. On the way 
home they stopped at a stream and washed them- 
selves, praying somewhat as follows: 'Wash, Wa- 
ter, but do not wash away our lives, our pigs, our 
chickens, our rice, our children. Wash away death 
by violence, death by the spear, death by sickness. 
Wash away pests, hunger, and crop-failure, and our 
enemies. Wash away the visits of the Spear-bearing 
Nightcomer, the Mountain Haunters, the Ghosts, 
the Westcomers. Wash away our enemies. Wash 
as vengeance for him who has gone before. ' ' 


Visit to the Silipan Ifugaos at Andangle. The Ibilao River. 
Athletic feat. Rest-house and stable at Sabig. 

We set out the next day, May 3d, at dawn, 
our destination being Andangle, selected as a ren- 
dezvous of the Silipan Ifugaos, another branch of 
the great tribe under Gallman's domination. And, 
to my great regret, we here parted from Connor, 
who had accompanied us thus far, but now had to 
return to his post in Nueva Vizcaya. I have the 
greatest pleasure in acknowledging here his many 
courtesies, the good humor and patience with which 
he answered my many questions, and I hated to 
see him turn back. 

The trail we were to take to-day was most of 
it new, the Silipan Ifugaos having finished it but a 
short time before our arrival. We rode through the 
reddening dawn, down the great bastion of Kiangan, 
with the Ibilao River, far below us, showing now 
and then on the turn of a spur, till at last it un- 
covered so much of its length as lay in the valley, 
and disappearing to the southeast through its tre- 
mendous gates of rock. For the everlasting moun- 


140 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

tains, narrowing down on each side, as though to 
halt the impetuous stream, nevertheless yield it pas- 
sage through smooth, vertical walls of solid rock, a 
gate never closed, nor yet ever open. It would have 
been most interesting to work our way down to this 
example of Nature's engineering, but we had to 
content ourselves with a look from afar, and soon 
the trail turned sharply to the left and shut out the 
view. The whole valley was keen that morning 
with its fresh, cool air and sound of rushing waters. 
It was a happiness to be alive, up, and riding. 

In about half an hour we reached the right 
bank of the river, where we off-saddled, crossing by 
a trolley platform; the horses were swum over, and 
the kit carried by the cargadores on their heads. 
My cargador must have gone down, for when I got 
my gear later it was soaking wet. On the other side 
we began to climb, and sharply; we now could 
look back on Kiangan. Rounding the nose of a 
gigantic, buttress-like spur, covered with camote 
patches, we descended to a small affluent of the 
Ibilao, where we halted and rested, and, crossing it, 
again began to climb, the trail being cut out of the 
side of another gigantic spur. At last we reached the 
top, to find a new deep, steep valley below us, and 
just across, only a few parasangs away, Andangle. 
But it was far more than a few parasangs by the 

The Head Hunters of Xorthcrn Luzon. 141 

trail, for we had to go completely around the head 
of the valley, mostly on the same contour. An- 
dangle itself is barely more than a name, but we 
found here a house of bamboo and palm fresh built 
for us, tastefully adorned with greens and plants, 
and protected by anitos, resembling those of Kian- 
gan. Like nearly all the other places visited by us, it 
was finely situated, the mountains we had just rid- 
den through forming a great amphitheater to the 

Our stay here was uneventful. There is really 
little to record or report. This branch of the 
Ifugaos impressed me as being a quieter* lot than 
the people we had just left and apparently fonder, 
if possible, of speech-making. For speeches went 
on almost without intermission, all breathing good- 
will and declaring the intention of the people to 
behave in a lawful manner and promising to have 
done with killing and stealing. 

There were many women and children, the chil- 
dren very shy. Of weapons there were none. Dancing 

*As a matter of fact, they were "the terror of the Spaniards"; 
they "annihilated an entire garrison at Payoan." "exacted a heavy 
annual toll of heads from the people of Bagabag, and 
made the main trail from Nueva Vizcaya to Isabela so dangerous 
that three strong garrisons were constantly maintained on it, and 
people were not allowed to travel over it except 
under military escort, and even so were often attacked and killed." 
(Worcester, The National Geographic Magazine, March, 1911.) Gall- 
man's mere name now suffices to do what three strong Spanish 
garrisons failed to do. 

142 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

went on uninterruptedly the whole day and night of 
our stay, and Cootes and I had to dance again. 
Only we had now arranged to simulate a boxing- 
match, which we presented to the beat of the gansa, 
and to the applause of our gallery. A runner came 
in while we were here, carrying a note in a cleft 
stick, the native substitute for a pocket. In dress 
and appearance, the Andangle people differed in no 
wise from those of Kiangan. Many of them, how- 
ever, have a silver jewel, of curious and original de- 
sign, worn chiefly as earring, but also on a string 
around the neck. Our splendid chief at Payawan 
also wore many of these jewels, but his were of 
gold. Mr. Worcester distributed his white slips to 
the ever-eager multitudes, listened to reports, and 
held council with the head men; the people were 
fed with rice and meat, appeared thoroughly to 
enjoy themselves, and so the time passed. 

The next morning, May 4th, we rode off. 
Shortly after leaving, we came suddenly upon a par- 
ty apparently wrangling over a piece of meat, at a 
point where the trail was crossed by a small stream, 
flowing in a thin sheet over a smooth face of rock, 
twenty or more feet high, and tilted at about seventy 
degrees. The wranglers took alarm on our approach 
and scattered in all directions. One of them, a boy of 
perhaps sixteen, ran up the rock just described at 


The woman at the side is the child's mother. 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 145 

full speed on his toes, and disappeared in the bushes 
at the top. Even if he had wished to use his hands, 
there was nothing to lay hold on. If I had not seen 
it performed with my own eyes, I should have de- 
clared the feat impossible : I mention it to mark the 
agility and strength of these people. Bear in mind 
that this youngster ran up, that the rock was not far 
from the vertical, and that the water-worn face was 
smooth and slippery. The thing was simply amazing. 

We stopped again at our rest-house of the day 
before, meeting a few cabecillas, who showed us, 
with much pride, long ebony canes with silver tops, 
and inscriptions showing that they had been given 
by the Spanish Sovereign as rewards for faithful 
service, etc. One of these canes had been given by 
Maria Cristina. Others produced, from bamboo 
tubes, parchments of equally royal origin, setting 
forth in grandiloquent Spanish the confidence re- 
posed by the Sovereign in such and such a cabecilla. 

This day's journey was without incident of any 
sort. But, like all our other rides, it took us through 
country that beggars one's powers of description. 
We rode part of the way through an open forest, 
many of whose trees were of great height. One of 
these had, on a single large branch thrust out from 
the trunk at a height of sixty feet or so, as many 
bird's-nest ferns as could crowd upon it, looking 

146 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

comically like a row of hens roosting for the night. 
From the ground, about fifteen feet from the root 
of this same tree, rose a single-stem liana, joining 
the main trunk at the branch just mentioned; to 
this liana a huge bird-nest fern had attached itself 
twenty feet or more above the ground, completely 
surrounding the stem, a singular sight. 

The day was fine, the trail good like all the 
others of Gallman's trails, and the people glad to 
see us. From time to time, as we neared Sabig, we 
were met by detachments, each with gansas and 
spears and our flag, and, besides, bubud in bamboo 
tubes; for, as must now be clear, the Ifugaos are a 
hospitable and courteous people, and we were made 
welcome wherever we went. 

At about three we reached Sabig, situated on 
a hog-back between the trail on the left and a deep 
valley on the right. Here the people had built us 
the finest rest-house seen on the trip. For this 
house had separate rooms all opening on the same 
front, the roof being continued over the front so as 
to form a sort of veranda, under which a bamboo 
table had been set up. But, as though this were 
not enough, there were hanging-baskets of plants, 
bamboo and other leaves ornamenting the posts. 
Our cattle were as well off as we, having a real stable 
with separate stalls. Just north of the house, where 

The Head Hunters of Xorthern Luzon. 147 

the ground sloped, a platform had been excavated 
for dancing, which went on all night. There was 
the customary distribution of slips and the usual 
business of reports and interviews with the head 
men. Here we first saw the rice-terraces for which 
these mountain people are justly famous, that is, 
terraces climbing the mountain-side. But of weap- 
ons we saw none. 


Change in aspect of country. Mount Amuyao and the native 
legend of the flood. Rice-terraces. Banawe. Mr. Worces- 
ter's first visit to this region. Sports. Absence of weapons. 
Native arts and crafts. 

We pushed on next morning early for Banawe, 
the capital of the sub-province of Ifugao, and Gall- 
man's headquarters. The cheers of our late hosts 
accompanied us as we entered the trail and began 
to climb. The country now took on a different 
aspect, due to our increasing altitude. The valleys 
were sharper and narrower, and so of the peaks. 
From time to time we could see the proud crest of 
Amuyao ahead of us. Over 8,000 feet high, this 
mountain, whose name means "father of all peaks," 
or "father of mountains," is the Ararat of the 
Ifugaos. Their legend has it that, a flood over- 
coming the land, a father and five sons took refuge 
on this topmost peak, coming down with the waters 
as they fell. They even have their Cain, for one 
of these five was killed by a brother. This family 
traditionally are the ancestors of all the mountain 


The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 149 

It took us some five hours to ride to Banawe, 
through a country of imposing beauty. It was not 
that we were in the presence of mighty ranges or 
peaks, so much as that the alternation of elevation 
with depression offered a bewildering variety of as- 
pect. At every turn, turns as unnumbered this day 
as the woes of Greece, the landscape changed its 
face. No sooner had one's appreciation become ori- 
ented, than it had to give way to the necessity of a 
fresh orientation. Of course there must be some 
orographic system; but to mark it, we should have 
had to fly over the land. To us on the trail it was 
not evident, mountain shouldering mountain, and 
valley swallowing valley, in confusion. And where- 
ever possible, rice- terraces ! If we posit the strug- 
gle for existence, then in this view alone these Ifu- 
gaos, and other highlanders as well, are a gallant 
people. Not every hillside will grow rice; if the 
soil be good, water will be lacking; or else, having 
water, the soil is poor. But, wherever the two con- 
ditions are combined, there will one find the slope 
terraced to the top, and scientifically terraced, too, 
so that every drop of water shall do its duty from 
top-side to bottom-side. The labor of original con- 
struction, always severe, in some cases must have 
been enormous, as we shall see later. Many of 
these terraces are hundreds of years old; their 

150 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

maintenance has required and continues to require 
constant watchfulness. Nearly every year the sup- 
ply of rice runs short and the people fall back on 
camotes (sweet potatoes). And yet, in marked con- 
trast with their cousins of the plains, whom these 
conditions would drive to helpless despair, we heard 
on this trip not one word of complaint. Not once 
did they put up a poor mouth and beg the Govern- 
ment to come to their help. On the contrary, they 
were cheerful throughout, knowing though they did 
that before the year was over they would probably 
all have to pull their gee-strings in a little tighter. 
It is not too much, therefore, to say that these 
highlanders are in a true sense a gallant people. 
Indeed, they are the best people of the Archipelago, 
and with any sort of chance they will prove it. 
This chance our Government, thanks to Mr. Wor- 
cester's initiative and sustained interest, is giving 
them, the first and only one they ever have had. 

This digression brings us a little nearer to Ba- 
nawe; we leave the terraced hills behind us, after 
noting how free of all plants the retaining-walls are 
kept, the sole exception here and there being the 
dongola, with its brilliant leaf of lustrous scarlet. 

In time we began to descend, and finally there 
burst on the view the sharpest valley yet, as though 
some Almighty Power had split the mountains apart 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 151 

with a titanic ax. Down one flank we went with Ba- 
nawe near the head, but farther off than we thought, 
because the trail was now filled with men that had 
come out to welcome us, all of whom insisted on 
shaking hands with all the apos. Our last three 
miles were a triumphal procession columns, gan- 
sas, bubud, spears, shouts, escorts, flags. Every now 
and then a halt; a bamboo filled with bubud would 
be handed up, and everybody had to take a pull. 
Once I noticed Gallman in front hastily return the 
bamboo, and reach desperately for his water-bottle; 
the next man did the same thing. It was now my 
turn, and I understood; I tipped up the tube, and 
thought for the moment that I had filled my mouth 
with liquid fire, so hot was the stuff! If there had 
ever been any rice in the original composition, it 
had completely lost its identity in the fearful excess 
of pepper that characterized this particular vintage. 
It was hours and hours before our throats forgave us. 
But at last we threaded our way down, and, 
turning sharp to the right, rode out on the small 
plateau that is B ana we, to be saluted and escorted 
by the Constabulary Guard and to be received by 
the shouts of thousands. They at once opened on 
us with speeches, but these were markedly fewer 
here than farther south. The quarters of the Con- 
stabulary officers were hospitably put at our dis- 

152 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon, 

position, and our first enjoyment of them was the 
splendid shower. 

Banawe stands at the head of a very deep val- 
ley, shut in by mountains on three sides ; the stream 
sweeping the base of the plateau breaks through on 
the south. This plateau rises sharply from the floor 
of the valley; in fact, it is a tongue thrust out by the 
neighboring mountain, and forms a position of great 
natural strength against any enemy unprovided with 
firearms. Across the stream on the east mount the 
rice-terraces over a thousand feet above the level of 
the stream; a stupendous piece of work, surpassed 
at only one or two other places in Luzon. Else- 
where we saw terraces higher up, but none on so great 
a scale, so completely enlacing the slope from base 
to crest. The retaining- walls here are all of stone > 
brought up by hand from the stream below. This 
stream makes its way down to the Mayoyao coun- 
try, and I was told that the entire valley, thirty - 
five or forty miles, was a continuity of terraces. 
Indeed, it requires some time and reflection to real- 
ize how splendid this piece of work is: it is almost 
^overwhelming to think what these people have done 
to get their daily bread. In contemplation of their 
successful labors, one is justified in believing that, 
if given a chance, they will yet count, and that 
heavily, in the destinies of the Archipelago. 


The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 155 

Banawe was first visited by Mr. Worcester in 
1903, coining down from the north with a party of 
Igorots. At the head of the pass he was met by 
an armed deputation of Ifugaos, who came to in- 
quire the purpose of his visit. Was it peace or 
was it war? He could have either! But he must 
decide, and immediately. Assured as to the nature 
of the visit, the head man then gave Mr. Worces- 
ter a white rooster, symbol of peace and amity, and 
escorted him in. But the accompanying Igorots 
came very near undoing all of Mr. Worcester's 
plans. Not only were they shut in during their 
stay, an obvious and necessary condition of good 
order and the preservation of peace, but, on Mr. 
Worcester's asking food for them, they were told 
they could have camotes, but no rice ; that rice was 
the food of men and warriors, and camotes that of 
women and children, and that the Igorots were not 
men. This almost upset the apple-cart, for the 
Igorots in a rage at once demanded to be released 
from their confinement so as to show these Ifugaos 
who were the real men. But counsels of peace pre- 
vailed. In fact, it is a matter of astonishment that 
Mr. Worcester should be alive to-day, so great at 
the outset was the danger of personal communication 

156 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

with the wild men of Luzon.* It was not always a 
handsome white rooster, in token of peace, that was 
handed him; sometimes spears were thrown instead. 
However, on this trip of ours he got a whole poultry- 
yard of chickens, besides eggs in every stage of de- 
velopment from new-laid to that in which one could 
almost feel the pin-feathers sticking through the 

We spent two days here, and over 10,000 peo- 
ple were collected ; some of them apparently showed 
traces of Japanese blood. Gallman allowed me to 
make an inspection of his Constabulary, their quar- 
ters and hospital. The men were as fine and as 
well set-up as those we saw at Kiangan. Everything 
was in immaculate condition, and ready for serv- 
ice. From the circumstance of this inspection, I 
could not afterward pass near the cuartel that the 
guard was not turned out for "the General" a 
fact amusing to me, but which I carefully concealed 
from the other members of the party. During these 
two days, nights too, the gansas never stopped, 
neither did the dancing. Mr. Worcester distributed 
thousands of paper slips, and, besides, much serious 
business was dispatched. Then we had sports and 

*This danger still exists in the case of the savages of the 
Southern Islands of the Archipelago, but Mr. Worcester, if un- 
disturbed, will bring these in too, all in time. In the fall of this 
very year, 1910, his party was attacked in Palawan. 

The Head Hunters of \orthern L,uzon. 157 

ceremonial formal dances, much like those we saw 
at Kiangan, but better done. There was the same 
slow advance with shields, the same sacrifice of a 
pig only this one was not speared, but had his 
insides mixed with a stick. He proved obstinate, 
however, and refused to die, so a man sat down on 
the ground, put his thumbs on the victim's throat, 
and choked him to death. Before that the usual 
lances had been laid across his body, and some 
bubud poured (judiciously, not extravagantly) on 
him as a libation. This was a head-dance, the 
taken head being simulated by a ball of fern-tree 
pith stuck on a spear fixed in the ground. 

But these formal dances were not the only ones. 
Everybody danced, even Cootes and I again; but 
it was our last time. People kept on arriving from 
miles around, columns in single file, headed by men 
bearing bubud- jars on their heads. Every party, 
of course, brought its gansas, and had to give an 
exhibition of dancing on the parade. The arrival 
of the Mayoyao people on the 6th really made a 
picture, because we could see the trail for a long 
distance, occupied by men and women in single 
file, headed by Mr. Dorsey, of the Constabulary, 
on his pony. What with the 6w6wd-bearers, the 
bright blue skirts of the women (color affected by 
these rancherias) , and the cadence of the gansas to 

158 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

which they marched, it was a good sight, received 
with cheers.* 

In general, but few parties were armed; and, 
as elsewhere, there were no old women. Some of 
the shyer people, coming from afar, had brought their 
spears, and, squatted on the slopes round about, 
apparently passed their time in silent contemplation 
of the great game going on below. Everybody 
seemed to be in a good humor. This was especially 
manifest in the great wrestling-match that took 
place on the afternoon of the 6th, when rancheria 
after rancheria sent up its best man to compete for 
the heads of the carabaos that had furnished meat 
for the multitude. The wrestling itself was excel- 
lent. The hold is taken with both hands on the 
gee-string in the small of the back; and, as all these 
men have strong and powerful legs, the events were 
hotly contested and never completed without a des- 
perate struggle. Defeat was invariably accepted in a 
good spirit. As before remarked, however, when Mr. 
Worcester first organized these meetings, the ran- 
cherias came together armed to the teeth. Each 
would stick its spears in the ground, with shields 

*Many years ago some Moros were brought to Mayoyao to work 
tobacco. The Ifugaos deeply resenting this invasion, at the first 
opportunity attacked and killed them all. Only one woman es- 
caped, covered with wounds, to Echagiie, where she was in 1910, 
still alive. The fight was most desperate, three Ifugaos biting the 
dust for every Moro killed. 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 159 

leaning on them, and then wait for developments. 
Suspicion, hostility, defiance were the rule, and hos- 
tile collisions were more than once only narrowly 
averted. But on these occasions the native Con- 
stabulary proved its worth, by circulating in the 
crowd, separating parties, and so asserting the au- 
thority of the Government in favor of good order. 
Moreover, the highlanders soon learned to respect 
the power of ''the spear that shoots six times" 
(the Krag magazine rifle, with which our Constabu- 
lary is armed) ; but it can not be repeated too often 
that our hold on these people is due almost entirely 
to the moral agencies we have employed. 

Gradually Mr. Worcester satisfied some ran- 
cherias, at least, that had been open enemies for 
generations, whose men, in Mr. Worcester's graphic 
expression, had never seen one another except over 
the tops of their shields, that nothing was to be 
gained in the long run by this secular warfare; and 
his purpose in bringing the clans together is to 
make them know one another on peaceful terms, 
to show them that if rivalry exists, it can find a 
vent in wrestling, racing, throwing the spear, in 
sports generally. And they take naturally to sports, 
these highlanders. Success has crowned Mr. Wor- 
cester's efforts; in witness whereof this very con- 
course of B ana we may be cited, where over 10,000 

160 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

persons, mostly unarmed, mingled freely with one 
another without so much as a brawl to disturb 
the peace. 

Two years ago people would not go to Mayoyao 
from Banawe, through their own country, save in 
armed groups of ten to twelve; now women go 
alone in safety. And it is a significant fact that 
the Ifugaos are increasing in numbers. Of course, 
this particular sub -province is fortunate in having 
as its governor a man of Gallman's stamp. But 
it is generally true that village warfare is decreas- 
ing, and that travel between villages is increasing. 
These Ifugaos ten years ago had the reputation, 
and deserved it, of being the fiercest head-hunters 
of Luzon. Gallman has tamed them so that to-day 
they have abandoned the taking of heads. Now 
what has been done with them can be done with 

At Banawe we saw more examples of native 
arts and crafts than we had heretofore. For ex- 
ample, the pipe is smoked, and we saw some curious 
specimens in brass, much decorated with pendent 
chains; others were of wood, some double-bowled 
on the same stem. Some of the men wore helmets, 
or skull-caps, cut out of a single piece of wood. 
Other carved objects were statuettes, sitting and 
standing; these are anitos, frequently buried in the 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 161 

rice-paddies to make the crop good; besides, there 
were wooden spoons with human figures for handles, 
the bowls being symmetrical and well finished. Then 
there were rice-bowls, double and single, some of 
them stained black and varnished. Excellent bas- 
kets were seen, so solidly and strongly made of 
bejuco as to be well-nigh indestructible under ordi- 
nary conditions. Mr. Maimban got me a pair of 
defensive spears (so-called because never thrown, 
but used at close quarters) with hollow - ground 
blades of tempered steel, the head of the shaft being 
wrapped with bejuco, ornamentally stained and put 
on in geometrical patterns. 

Our officials regarded this great meeting as en- 
tirely satisfactory. We made ready for an early 
start the next morning, saying good-bye to Browne, 
who had accompanied us from Bayombong, and who 
had shown me personally many courtesies. His last 
act of kindness was to take back with him the va- 
rious things I had got together, and later to send 
tbem on to me at Manila. Our column was to be 
increased by a party of Ifugaos, whom, with a head 
man named Comhit, Gallman wished to take through 
the Bontok into the Kalinga country. The fact that 
these men returned safely unaccompanied by Gall- 
man or any other American is the best possible proof 
of the positive results already achieved by our Gov- 
ernment in civilizing the highlanders. 


We ride to Bontok. Bat-nets. Character of the country. Am- 
bawan. Difficulties of the trail. Bird-scarers. Talubin. 
Bishop Carroll of Vigan. We reach Bontok. "The Star- 
Spangled Banner." Appearance of the Bontok Igorot. 

From Banawe we rode to Bontok, thirty-five 
miles, in one day, May yth. This day it rained, 
the only rain we had during the whole trip, although 
the season was now on. But the disturbance in 
question was due to a typhoon far to the southward ; 
and as it passed off into the China Sea, so did the 
day finally clear. Our first business this morning 
was to cross the pass on Polis Mountain, some 6,400 
feet above sea-level, the highest elevation we reached. 
As we rode out of Banawe we could see on the 
wooded sky-line to our right front a cut as though 
of a road through the forest; it was not a road, of 
course, but an opening normal to the crest of the 
ridge. Across this a net is stretched, and the bats, 
flying in swarms by night to clear the top, drop 
into the cut on reaching it, and so are caught in 
the net in flying across. We saw several such bat- 
traps during our trip. In this way these highland- 


The Head Hunters of Xorthcni Luzon. 165 

ers eke out their meager supply of meat. The bat 
in question is not the animal we are familiar with, 
but the immensely larger fruit bat, the flesh of 
which is readily eaten. Our trail took us up, and 
sharply; by nine o'clock we had crowned the pass, 
and stopped for chow and rest. In front of us, as 
we looked back, plunged the deepest, sharpest val- 
ley yet seen, around the head of which we had 
ridden and across which we could look down on the 
Ifugao country we had just come from; down one 
side and up the other could be traced the remains 
of the old Spanish trail, a miracle of stupidity. To 
the right (west), but out of sight, lay Sapao, where 
the rice-terraces have received their greatest develop- 
ment, rising from the valley we were gazing into 
some 3,000 feet up the slope. Sapao, too, is the 
seat of the Ifugao steel industry, so that for many 
reasons I was sorry it was off our itinerary. The 
point where we were resting has some interest from 
its associations, for our troops reached it in their 
pursuit of Aguinaldo, at the end of a long day of 
rain, and had to spend the night without food or 
fire or sleep. It was not possible to light a pipe 
even, a noche triste indeed. Most of the men stood 
up all night, this being better than lying down in 
the mud; to march on was impossible, as the coun- 
try was then trailless, except for the Spanish trail 

1 66 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

mentioned, to attempt which by night would have 
been suicide. A tropical forest can be pretty dreary 
in bad weather, almost as dreary as a Florida cypress 
swamp on a rainy Sunday. 

We now made on, having crossed into Bontok 
sub-province, and by midday had reached a point 
on the trail above an Igorot village called Ambawan. 
Here we were met by a number of the officials of 
the province, who gave us a sumptuous tiffin in the 
rest-house. And here, too, we bought a number of 
baskets made in Ambawan, graceful of design and 
well- woven, though small. Governor Evans offered 
an escort of Constabulary through the next village, 
Talubin, the temper of its inhabitants being un- 
certain, but Mr. Forbes declined it, and ordered 
the escort sent back. We were riding as men of 
peace, determined to mark our confidence in the 
good intentions and behavior of the various ran- 
cher ias we passed through. 

Immediately on leaving Ambawan, we had to 
drop from the new trail (ours) to the old Spanish one 
for a short distance, for our trail had run plump upon 
a rock, waiting before removal for a little money to 
buy dynamite with. Having turned the rock, the 
climb back to the new trail proved to be quite a seri- 
ous affair, as such things go, the path being so steep 
and so filled with loose sand and gravel clattering 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 167 

down the slope at each step that only one man 
leading his horse was allowed on it at a time, the 
next man not starting till his predecessor was well 
clear at the top. A loss of footing meant a tumble 
to the bottom, a matter of concern if we had all 
been on the path together. But finally we all got 
up and moved on, this time over the narrowest 
trail yet seen, a good part of the way not more than 
eighteen or twenty inches wide, with a smooth, bare 
slope of sixty to eighty degrees on the drop side, 
and the bottom of the valley one thousand to fif- 
teen hundred feet or more below us. Many of us 
dismounted and walked, leading our horses for miles. 
With us went an Igorot guide or policeman, who 
carried a spear in one hand, and, although naked, 
held an umbrella over his head with the other, 
and a civilized umbrella too, no native thing. How- 
ever, it must be admitted that it was raining. 

The mists prevented any general view of the 
country; as a matter of fact, we were at such an 
elevation as to be riding in the clouds, which had 
come down by reason of the rain. However, the 
valleys below us were occasionally in plain enough 
sight, showing some cultivation here and there, rice 
and camotes, the latter occasionally in queer spiral 
beds. The bird-scarers, too, were ingenious: a board 
hung by a cord from another cord stretched between 

1 68 'fhe Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

two long and highly flexible bamboos on opposite 
banks of a stream, would be carried down by the cur- 
rent until the tension of its cord became greater than 
the thrust of the stream, when it would fly back and 
thus cause the bamboo poles to shake. This motion 
was repeated without end, and communicated by 
other cords suitably attached to other bamboo poles 
set here and there in the adjacent rice-paddy. From 
these hung rough representations of birds, and a 
system was thus provided in a state of continous 
agitation over the area, frequently of many acres, 
to be protected. The idea is simple and efficacious. 
This long stretch terminated in a land-slide 
leading down into the dry, rocky bed of a mountain 
stream. At the head of the slide we turned our 
mounts loose, and all got down as best we could, ex- 
cept Mr. Forbes, who rode down in state on his cow- 
pony. Once over, we crossed a village along the 
edge of a rice-terrace, in which our horses sank 
almost up to their knees. As the wall was fully 
fifteen feet high, a fall here into the paddy below 
would have been most serious; it would have been 
almost impossible to get one's horse out. However, 
all things come to an end; we crossed the stream 
below by a bridge, one at a time (for the bridge was 
uncertain), and found ourselves in Talubin, where we 
were warmly greeted by Bishop Carroll of Vigan and 

s . 



- bfl 


Showing method of stretching lobe of ear. 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 171 

some of his priests. The Bishop, who was making 
the rounds of his diocese, had only a few days be- 
fore fallen off the very trail we had just come over, 
and rolled down, pony and all, nearly two hundred 
feet, a lucky bush catching him before he had gone 
the remaining fourteen hundred or fifteen hundred. 
Talubin somehow bears a poor reputation; its 
inhabitants have a villainous look, owing, no doubt, 
in part to their being as black and dirty as coal- 
heavers. This in turn is due to the habit of sleep- 
ing in closed huts without a single exit for the smoke 
of the fire these people invariably make at night, 
their cook-fire probably, for they cook in their huts. 
However this may be, the people of this rancher ia 
showed neither pleasure nor curiosity on seeing us, 
and I noticed that a Constabulary guard was present, 
patrolling up and down, as it were, with bayonets 
fixed and never taking their eyes off the natives 
that appeared. These Igorots lacked the cheerful- 
ness and openness of our recent friends, the Ifugaos. 
Their houses were not so good, built on the ground 
itself, and soot-black inside. The whole village was 
dirty and gloomy and depressing, and yet it stands 
on the bank of a clean, cheerful stream. However, 
the inevitable gansas were here, but silent; one 
of them tied by its string to a human jaw-bone as 
a handle. This, it seems, is the fashionable and 

172 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

correct way to carry a gansa. At Talubin the sun 
came out, and so did some bottles of excellent red 
wine which the Bishop and his priests were kind 
enough to give us. But we did not tarry long, for 
Bontok was still some miles away. So we said 
good-bye to the Bishop and his staff and continued 
on our way. The country changed its aspect on 
leaving Talubin: the hills are lower and more 
rounded, and many pines appeared. The trail was 
decidedly better, but turned and twisted right and 
left, up and down. The country began to take on 
an air of civilization why not? We were nearing 
the provincial capital ; some paddies and fields were 
even fenced. At last, it being now nearly five of 
the afternoon, we struck a longish descent; at its 
foot was a broad stream, on the other side of which 
we could see Bontok, with apparently the whole of 
its population gathered on the bank to receive us. 
And so it was: the grown-ups farther back, with 
marshalled throngs of children on the margin itself. 
As we drew near, these began to sing ; while fording, 
the strains sounded familiar, and for cause: as we 
emerged; the "Star-Spangled Banner" burst full 
upon us, the shock being somewhat tempered by 
the gansas we could hear a little ahead. We rode 
past, got in, and went to our several quarters, Gall- 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 173 

man and I to Governor Evans's cool and comfortable 

I took advantage of the remaining hour or so 
of daylight to get a general view of things. One's 
first impression of the Bontok Igorot is that he is 
violent and turbulent; it is perhaps more correct 
to say that, as compared with the Ifugao, he lacks 
discipline. It is certain that he is taller, without 
being stronger or more active or better built; in 
fact, as one goes north, the tribes increase in height 
and in wildness. The women share in the qualities 
noted. Both men and women were all over the 
place, and much vigorous dancing was going on. 
Using the same gansa as the Ifugao, the Igorot 
beats it on the convex side with a regular padded 
drumstick, whereas the Ifugao uses any casual stick 
on the concave side. Moreover, the Bontok dancers 
went around their circle, beating their gansas the 
while, in a sort of lope, the step being vigorous, long, 
easy, and high ; as in all the other dances seen, the 
motion was against the sun. The gansa beat seemed 
to be at uniform intervals, all full notes. While 
our friends the Ifugaos were, on the whole, a quiet 
lot, these Bontok people seemed to be fond of mak- 
ing a noise, of shouting, of loud laughter. They 
appeared to be continually moving about, back and 
forth, restlessly and rapidly as though excited. On 

174 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

the whole, the impression produced by these people 
was not particularly agreeable; you felt that, while 
you might like the Banawe, you would always be 
on your guard against the Bontok. But it must 
be recollected that we had no such opportunity to 
see these people as we enjoyed in the case of Banawe 
and Andangle. The occasion was more exciting; 
they were more on show. It is not maintained that 
these are characteristics, simply that they appeared 
to be this afternoon and, indeed, during the remain- 
der of our stay. 

Individuals appeared to be friendly enough, 
though these were chiefly the older men. One of 
them, a total stranger to me, came up and intimated 
very clearly that he would like the transfer of the 
cigar I was smoking from my lips to his. In a case 
like this, it is certainly more blessed to give than to 
receive, but in spite of this Scriptural view of the 
matter, I nevertheless naturally hesitated to be the 
party of even the second part in a liberty of such 
magnitude, and on such short acquaintance, too. 
However I gave him the cigar; he received it with 
graciousness. I found now that I must give cigars 
to all the rest standing about, and, after emptying 
my pockets, sent for two boxes. An expectant crowd 
had in the meantime collected below, for we were 
standing on the upper veranda of Government 


The Head Hunters of Xorthern Luzon. 177 

House, and, on the two hundred cigars being thrown 
out to them all at one time, came together at the 
point of fall in the mightiest rush and crush of 
human beings I ever saw in my life. A foot-ball 
scrimmage under the old rules was nothing to it. 
Very few cigars came out unscathed, but the scram- 
ble was perfectly good-humored. 

Of weapons there was almost none visible, no 
shields or spears, but here and there a head-ax. 
The usual fashion in clothes prevailed; gee-string 
for the men, and short sarong-like skirt for the 
women. Hair was worn long, many men gathering 
it up into a tiny brimless hat, for all the world like 
Tommy Atkins's pill-box, only worn squarely on 
the apex of the skull, and held on by a string passed 
through the hair in front. In this hat the pipe and 
tobacco are frequently carried. Many of these hats 
are beautifully made, and decorated; straw, dyed 
of various colors, being combined in geometrical 
patterns. Ordinary ones can be easily got; but, 
if ornamented with beads or shell, they command 
very high prices, one hundred and fifty pesos or 
more. Many men were elaborately tattooed, the 
pattern starting well down the chest on each side 
and running up around the front of the shoulder 
and part way down the arm. If, as is said, this 
elaborate tattoo indicates that its owner has killed 

178 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

a human being, then Bontok during our stay was 
full of men that had proved their valor in this par- 
ticular way. Earrings were very common in both 
sexes; frequently the lobe was distended by a plug 
of wood, with no appreciable effect of ornament, 
and sometimes even torn open. In that case the 
earring would be held on by a string over the ear. 
One man came by with three earrings in the upper 
cartilage of each ear, one above the other. Still 
another had actually succeeded in persuading na- 
ture to form a socket of gristle just in front of each 
ear, the socket being in relief and carrying a bunch 
of feathers. A few men had even painted their 
faces scarlet or yellow. No one seemed to know 
the significance of this habit (commoner farther 
north than at Bontok), but the paint was put on 
much after the fashion prevailing in Manchuria, 
and, if possibly for the same reason, certainly with 
the same result. The pigment or color comes from 
a wild berry. 


Importance of Bontok. Head-taking. Atonement for bloodshed. 
Sports. Slapping game. 

Bontok is a place of importance, as becomes the 
capital of the Mountain Province. Here are schools, 
both secular and religious; two churches in build- 
ing (1910), one of stone (Protestant Episcopal), the 
other of brick (Roman Catholic), each with its priest 
n residence ; a Constabulary headquarters ; a brick- 
kiln, worked by Bontoks; a two-storied brick bouse, 
serving temporarily as Government House, club and 
assembly; a fine provincial Government House in 
building; streets laid off and some built up, these 
in the civilized town. This list is not to be smiled 
at; a beginning has been made, a good strong be- 
ginning, full of hope, if the unseen elements estab- 
lished and forces developed are given a fair chance. 
The place was important before we came in; the 
native part is ancient and has a municipal organ- 
ization of some interest. Spain first occupied the 
place in 1855 and garrisoned it with several hun- 
dred Ilokanos and Tagalogs. She has left behind 


i8o The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

a bad name; but the insurrectos (Aguinaldo's peo- 
ple), who drove the Spaniards out, have left a worse. 
Both took without paying, both robbed and killed; 
the insurrectos added lying. 

Some four hundred Igorot warriors were per- 
suaded by the insurrectos to join in resisting the 
Americans and went as far south as Caloocan just 
north of Manila, where, armed only with spears, 
axes, and shields, they took their place in line of 
battle, only to run when fire was opened. Accord- 
ing to their own story,* which they relate with a 
good deal of humor, they never stopped until they 
reached their native heath, feeling that the insur- 
rectos had played a trick on them. Accordingly, 
it is not surprising that when March went through 
Bontok after Aguinaldo, the Igorot should have 
befriended him, nor later that the way should have 
been easy for us when we came in to stay, about 
seven or eight years ago. 

The site is attractive, a circular dish-shaped 
valley, about a mile and a half in diameter, bi- 
sected by the Riof Chico de Cagayan, with moun- 
tains forming a scarp all around. Bontok stands 

*See a native account of the part played by the Igorots in 
this battle, in Seidenadel's "The First Grammar of the Language 
Spoken by the Bontoc Igorot"; Chicago, Open Court Publishing 
Company, 1909. 

fSometimes also called the Caicayan. 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 181 

on the left bank, and Samoki* on the right; sep- 
arated only by a river easily fordable in the dry 
season, these two Igorot centers manage to live in 
tolerable peace with each other, but both have been 
steadily hostile to Talubin, only two hours away. 
However, it can not be too often said that this sort 
of hostility is diminishing, and perceptibly. 

We spent two days at Bontok very quietly and 
agreeably. The first day, the 8th, was Sunday, and 
somehow or other I got to church (Father Clapp's, 
the Protestant Episcopal missionary's) only in time 
to see through the open door an Igorot boy, stark 
naked save gee-string and a little open coat, pass- 
ing the plate. Father Clapp has been here seven 
years, has compiled a Bontok- English Dictionary, 
and translated the Gospel of Saint Mark into the 
vernacular. As already said, he has a school, a 
sort of hospital; is building a stone church; is full 
of his work, and deserves the warmest support. 
It must be very hard to get at what is going on 
behind the eyes of his native parishioners. For ex- 
ample, shortly before our arrival, a young Igorot 
had been confirmed by Bishop Brent. Now this 

*Samoki is celebrated for its pottery, sold all through this 
region, and of such quality that the Igorots use vessels made here 
to reduce copper ore. The potter's wheel is unknown. In regard 
to the skill of the highlanders in metallurgy, see Jagor, "Travels," 
p. 181. 

1 82 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

boy was attending school, and in the school was 
another boy from a rancheria that had taken a head 
from the rancheria of the recent convert. When 
the latter 's people learned of this, they sent for 
their boy, the recent convert, the Monday after 
confirmation, held a canao (killing a pig, dancing, 
and so on), and sent him back resolved to take 
vengeance by killing the boy from the offending 
rancheria. Accordingly, on Thursday, at night, the 
victim-to-be was lured behind the school-house un- 
der the pretext of getting a piece of meat, and, 
while his attention was held by an accomplice with 
the meat, the avenger came up behind, killed him, 
and was about to take his head when people came 
up and arrested him. This case illustrates the dif- 
ficulties to be met in civilizing these people. Le- 
gally, under our view, this boy was a murderer; 
under his own customs and traditions, he had done 
a commendable thing. When the boys' school was 
first opened, they used to take their spears and 
shields into the room with them; this proving not 
only troublesome, but dangerous, their arms are 
now taken away from them every morning, and 
returned after school closes. 

Many people came to see Governor Evans this 
day, among them a young man begging for the 
release of a prisoner held for murder. He really 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 183 

could not see why the man should not be set free, 
and sat patiently for two hours on his haunches, 
every now and then holding up and presenting 'a 
white rooster, which he was offering in exchange. 
The matter was not one for discussion at all, but 
Evans was as patient as his visitor, paying no at- 
tention to him whatever. Whenever the pleader 
could catch Evans's eye, up would go the rooster 
and be appealingly held out. Only two or three 
weeks before, a private of Constabulary had shot 
and killed the head man of Tinglayan some miles 
north of Bontok. He was arrested, of course, and 
when we came through was awaiting trial. But 
a deputation had come in to wait on Mr. Forbes, 
and ask for the slayer, so that they might kill him 
in turn, with proper ceremonies. Naturally the re- 
quest was refused ; but these people could not under- 
stand why, and went off in a state of sullen dis- 
content. Here, again, was a conflict between our 
laws, the application of which we are bound to up- 
hold, and native customs, having the force of law 
and so far regarded by the highlanders as meeting 
all necessities. The practice of head-hunting still 
exists in the Bontok country, though the steady 
discouragement of the Government is beginning to 
tell. Here in Bontok itself, a boy, employed as a 
servant in the Constabulary mess, dared not leave 

184 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

the mess quarters at night; in fact, was forbidden 
to. For his father, having a grudge against a man 
in Samoki across the river, had sent a party over 
to kill him. By some mistake, the wrong man was 
killed, and it was perfectly well understood in Bon- 
tok that the family of the victim were going to 
take the son's head in revenge, and were only wait- 
ing to catch him out before doing it. These hom- 
icides can, however, be atoned without further blood- 
shed, if the parties interested will agree to it. A 
more or less amusing instance in kind was recently 
furnished by the village of Basao, which had in the 
most unprovoked manner killed a citizen of a neigh- 
boring rancher ia, the name of which I have un- 
fortunately forgotten The injured village at once 
made a reclama (i. e., reclamation, claim for com- 
pensatory damages), and Basao agreed, the villages 
meeting to discuss the matter. When the claim was 
presented, Basao, to the unspeakable astonishment 
and indignation of the offended village, at once ad- 
mitted the justice of the reclama, and handed over the 
damages to-wit, one chicken and pesos six (three 
dollars). This was an insult to the claimant; for 
on these occasions it seems that each party takes 
advantage of the opportunity to tell the other what 
cowards they are, what thieves and liars, how poor 
and miserable they are, that they live on camotes 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 187 

in short, to recite all the crimes and misdemeanors 
they have been guilty of from a time whereof the 
memory of man runneth not to the contrary, 
this recital being accompanied, of course, by an 
account of their own virtues, qualities, and wealth. 
The claimants in this case accordingly withdrew, 
held a consultation, and, returning, declared that 
in consequence of the insult put upon them the 
damages would have to be increased, and demanded 
one peso more! The body is always returned, and 
the damages cited are for a body accompanied by 
its head ; if the head be lacking, the damages go up, 
no less than two hundred pesos, a fabulous sum in 
the mountains. 

The highlanders* believe in bird signs and omens 
drawn from animals generally. A party sent out 
to arrest a criminal had been ordered to cross the 
river at a designated point. Returning without 
their man, the chief was asked where they had 
crossed, and, on answering at so-and-so (a different 
point from the one ordered), was asked why he had 
disobeyed orders. It seems that a crow had flown 
along the bank a little way, and, flying over, had 
alighted in a tree and looked fixedly at the party. 
This was enough : they simply had to cross at this 

*So do their cousins of Formosa. Pickering, "Pioneering in 
Formosa," p. 150; London, Hurst & Blackett, 1898. 

1 88 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

point. Sent out again the next day, a snake wrig- 
gled across the trail, whereupon the chief exclaimed 
joyfully that he knew now they would get their man 
at such a spot and by one o'clock, that the snake 
showed this must happen. Unfortunately it did so 
happen ! 

The afternoon passed listening to stories and 
incidents like those just given, until it was time to 
go and see the sports.* These, with one exception, 
presented no peculiarity, races, jumping, tug-of-war, 
and a wheelbarrow race by young women, most of 
whom tried to escape when they learned what was 
in store for them. But the crowd laid hold on them 
and the event came off ; the first heat culminating in 
a helpless mix-up, not ten yards from the starting- 
line, which was just what the crowd wanted and ex- 
pected. The exception mentioned was notable, be- 
ing a native game, played by two grown men. One 
of these sits on a box or bench and, putting his right 
heel on it, with both hands draws the skin on the 
outside of his right thigh tight and waits. The other 
man, standing behind the first, with a round-arm 
blow and open hand slaps the tightened part of 
the thigh of the man on the box, the point being 
to draw the blood up under the skin. The blow 

*For a full account of the way in which the Igorots have 
taken to our sports, see Mr. Worcester's article in the March, 1911, 
number of the National Geographic Magazine. 

The Head Hunters of X or them Luzon. 189 

delivered, an umpire inspects, the American doctor 
officiating this afternoon, and, if the tiny drops ap- 
pear, a prize is given. If no blood shows, the men 
change places, and the performance is repeated. 
The greatest interest was taken in the performance 
this afternoon, many pairs appearing to take and 
give the blow. The thing is not so easy as it looks, 
the umpire frequently shaking has head to show 
that no blood had been drawn. The prizes con- 
sisted of matches, which these highlanders are most 
eager to get. 

The day closed with a baile, given by the Ilo- 
kanos living in Bontok. Many of these are leaving 
their narrow coastal plains on the shores of the 
China Sea and making their way through the passes 
to the interior, some of them going as far as the 
Cagayan country. It is only a question of time 
when they will have spread over the whole of North- 
ern Luzon. This baile was like all native balls, 
rigodon, waltzes, and two-steps; remarkably well 
done too, these, considering that the senoritas wear 
the native slipper, the chinela, which is nothing 
more or less than a heelless bed-room slipper. But 
one scnorita danced the jota for us, a graceful and 
charming dance, with one cavalier as her partner, 
friend or enemy according to the phase intended 
to be depicted. 


The native village. Houses. Pitapit. Native institutions. Lu- 

The next day, the 9th, Father Clapp very kind- 
ly offered to show Strong and me the native village, 
an invitation we made haste to accept. This vil- 
lage, if village it be, marches with the Christian 
town, so that we at once got into it, to find it a 
collection of huts put down higgledy-piggledy, with 
almost no reference to convenience of access. Streets, 
of course, there were none, nor even regular paths 
from house to house; you just picked your way 
from one habitation to the next as best you could, 
carefully avoiding the pig-sty which each consider- 
able hut seemed to have. I wish I could say that the 
Igorot out of rude materials had built a simple but 
clean and commodious house! He has done noth- 
ing of the sort : his materials are rude enough, but 
his hut is small, low, black, and dirty, so far as one 
could tell in walking through. The poorer houses 
have two rooms, an inner and an outer, both very 
small (say 6x6 feet and 4x6 feet respectively, 
inside measurement), cooking being done in the 
outer and the inner serving as a sleeping-room. 



[From National Geographic Magazine, Washington, D, C., 
Copyright IQH; by special permission.} 


These jaws have been taken from their enemies. 
[From National Geographic Magazine, Washington, D. C., 
Copyright 1911; by special permission ] 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 193 

There is no flooring; although the fire is under the 
roof (grass thatch), no smoke-hole has been thought 
of, and as there are no window-openings, and the 
entrance is shut up tight by night and the fire kept 
up if the weather be cold, the interior is as black 
as one would expect from the constant deposit of 
soot. The ridge-pole of the poorer houses is so low 
that a man of even small stature could not stand up 
under it. The well-to-do have better houses, not 
only larger, but having a sort of second story ; these 
are soot-black, too. We made no examination of 
these, not even a cursory one. The pig-sty is us- 
ually next to the house, and is nothing but a rock- 
lined pit, open to the sky, except where the house 
is built directly over it. 

It is astonishing that these people should not 
have evolved a better house, seeing that the Ifugaos 
have done it, and the Kalinga houses, which we were 
to see in a day or two, are really superior affairs. 

Passing by a certain house, Father Clapp stopped 
and said, "Here is where Pitapit was born," and 
stood expectant. Strong and I looked furtively at 
each other; it was evident that we were supposed 
to know who Pitapit was. But as we did not, the 
question was put: "Who is Pitapit?" Father 
Clapp, gazing pityingly upon us, as though we had 
asked who George Washington was, then enlight- 

194 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

ened us. Pitapit is a Bontok boy of great natural 
qualities, so great, indeed, that he was sent to the 
States to a church school, where he had recently 
won a Greek prize in competition! Father Clapp 
was naturally very proud of this, as he well might 
be. The fact of the matter is that Igorot children 
are undeniably bright; given the chance, they will 
accomplish something. And I repeat what I have 
said before: we are trying to give them and their 
people a chance, the only one they have ever had. 

We remarked, as we walked about this morn- 
ing, that although Father Clapp seemed to know 
some of the people we met and would speak to them, 
they never returned his greeting. None of these 
highlanders have any words or custom of saluta- 
tion. In the Ifugao country, however, they shake 
hands, and would frequently smile when on meet- 
ing them we would say, "Mapud!"- i. e., "Good!" 
the nearest thing to a greeting that our very 
scanty stock of Ifugao words afforded. But the 
Igorot never shook hands with us nor offered to: 
they have no smile for the stranger, though they 
seem good-humored enough among themselves. 

Poor as we found the village on the material 
side, it has nevertheless some interesting institu- 
tional features. For example, it has sixteen wards, 
or atos, and each a to has its meeting-place, consist- 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 195 

ing of a circle of small boulders, where the men 
assemble to discuss matters affecting the ato, such 
as war and peace; for the ato is the political unit, 
and not the village as a whole. A remarkable thing 
is the family life, or lack of it rather: as soon as 
children are three or four years old, they leave the 
roof under which they were born and go to sleep, 
the boys in a sort of dormitory called pabafunan, 
occupied as well by the unmarried men,* and the 
girls in one called olog. And, as one may ask 
whether pearls are costly because ladies like them or 
whether ladies like pearls because they are costly, 
so here: Is the Igorot house so poor an affair be- 
cause of the olog, etc., or does the olog exist because 
the house is poor? Be this as it may, and to re- 
sume, the children go on sleeping in their respect- 
ive pabafunan and olog until they are grown up 
and married. A sort of trial marriage seems to 
exist ; the young men freely visit the olog indeed , 
are expected to. If results follow, it is a marriage, 
and the couple go to housekeeping; otherwise all 
the parties in interest are free. Marriage ties are 
respected, adultery being punished with death ; but 
a man may have more than one wife, though us- 

*A similiar institution exists among the aborigines of Formosa, 
the unmarried men and boys slept in a shed raised 
from the ground. This building was regarded as a kind of temple, 
in which the vanquished heads were hung." (Pickering, "Pioneer- 
ing in Formosa," p. 148.) 

196 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

ually that number is not exceeded. However, a 
man was pointed out to us, who maintains in his 
desire for issue, but without avail, a regular harem, 
having no fewer than fifteen wives in different vil- 
lages, he being a rich man. 

Among other things shown us by Father Clapp 
was a circle of highly polished boulders, said tra- 
ditionally to be the foundation of the house of Lu- 
mawig, the Deity of the Bontok. One stone was 
pierced by a round hole, made by Lumawig's spear: 
on arriving, he decided he would remain perma- 
nently in Bontok, and began by sticking the shaft 
of his spear in the stone in question a very minor 
example, by the way, of his magical powers. More 
interesting, perhaps, than the ruins of Lumawig's 
house was a sacred grove on a hill rising just back 
of the village, in which, according to Father Clapp, 
certain rites and ceremonies are held once a year. 
The matter is one for experts, but it appears strange 
that this people should have a sacred grove, as 
being unusual. 

We wound up our stay in Bontok by going to 
a grand dinner in Government House, given by 

*For a more or less complete account of the Bontok Igorot, 
see Jenks's "The Bontoc Igorot"; Manila, Bureau of Public Print- 
ing, 1905. For the language, consult "The First Grammar of the 
Language Spoken by the Bontoc Igorot," by Doctor Carl Wilhelm 
Seidenadel; Chicago, Open Court Publishing Company, 1909. 


o >, 


We push on north. Banana skirts. -Albino child. Pine uplands. 
Glorious view. 

Our two days' stay had greatly refreshed our 
horses and ponies, and they needed it, not only be- 
cause of the work already done, but because of the 
effort we were going to ask of them during the next 
forty-eight hours, when the sum total of our as- 
cents was to be 18,000 feet, and of descents the 
same, and the distance to be travelled seventy miles. 

We continued our journey on the loth, leaving 
Van Schaick behind, and also Cootes, both of whom 
had been taken ill, not seriously, but enough to 
make it safer to fall out than to go on. On this 
day, the relations between neighboring rancherias 
being uncertain, we changed cargadores at the- out- 
skirts of each village we came to. We could un- 
doubtedly have taken the same set of men through, 
but it was thought best not to try it. At the same 
time, the mere fact of our riding through unmo- 
lested, and still more the fact that Gallman was 
taking a party of Ifugaos with him to show them 
the country, is proof positive that peace is making 


200 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

its way in the North, just as it has already done 
farther south. 

Our first day the going was very hilly, and very 
hot; we dismounted frequently so as to spare our 
cattle over the steepest ups and downs. As before, 
not only was the scenery that unfolded itself, as we 
rose from the valley of the Rio Chico, of great 
beauty, but it increased in beauty the farther north 
we travelled. And I can not but regret again my 
inability to give some idea, however faint, of these 
mountains and valleys and rivers, especially of 
those that paraded themselves before us on the 
second day's ride. 

About four hours out (the hour, and not the 
mile, being the unit of the highlands), as we were 
nearing the top of a ridge, a party of young women 
and girls came out of the wood on our left, each 
with a banana-leaf skirt on, no less and no more. 
They had simply stripped off one side of the leaf, 
and, after splitting the other into ribbons, had 
wrapped the stem about their waists, and there 
they were, each with a sufficient skirt. One of 
them had apparently never seen a horse before, agid 
showed so much interest that Pack gallantly of- 
fered to let her mount his and take a ride. When 
the remainder of her party understood from her 
motions that she was actually going to bestride 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 201 

that monster, they set up a chorus of ear-piercing 
shrieks and screams and laid hold on their insane 
sister, and besought her with lamentations not to 
risk her life. During the struggle, Mr. Worcester 
came up and produced a diversion by offering red 
cloth, and, moving to the top of the ridge for the 
distribution, we found there some twenty-five or 
thirty more damsels, of all ages from grandmother 
to mere tot, and all banana-skirted. Mr. Worcester 
said that in all his experience he had never seen 
the like before. Heiser, in the meantime, had got 
out his camera and tried to form a group with the 
children in front and the older ones back. But 
when they realized that the effect of this would be 
to conceal all but the heads ajid shoulders of those 
in rear, the group broke up almost automatically, 
giving way to a line with arms linked, which no 
amount of effort on anyone's part succeeded in 
breaking. Each one was resolved to be in the pict- 
ure at full length! In the crowd, looking on, was 
a man carrying an albino, a child two or three years 
of age, with absolutely fair white skin and yellow 
hair. It was sound asleep, and so I did not see 
its eyes, but otherwise it was a perfect albino; even 
here at home and as a normal child it would, have 
been regarded as unusually fair. The pack had now 
got up, and Mr. Worcester began his issue. At his 

202 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

feet stood a little lassie, whom he overlooked, and 
whose countenance, as she saw the red cloth di- 
minishing and likewise her chances, displayed the 
most vivid play of emotion. Finally, when the last 
yard of the stuff had been given out and she had 
got none of it, two large tears formed and ran down 
her cheeks. Poor little thing, but ten minutes ago 
she had braved it with the best of them, but her 
skirt had now suddenly gone out of style! The 
eternal feminine ! I neither saw nor heard any other 
child cry during the whole trip. As we rode off, 
our banana-grove accompanied us part way, sing- 
ing, and, disappearing behind a hillock on our left, 

"Unrobed and unabashed in Arcady," 
shifted from Nature's weave to man's. 

From this point to the stream at its foot, the 
ridge on which we found ourselves was completely 
bare of trees, and presented a different appearance 
from any other so far seen or to be seen, tremendous 
rounded masses. One of these had been split through 
the middle by a recent earthquake; the right half, 
as we looked at it, dropping down eight or ten feet 
below the other, a splendid example of convulsive 
power. Across the stream and nearly at the top 
of the climb that followed we halted for chow and 
sleep under some tall pines. Two hours later we 
were off again, through a country from which all 

The Head Hunters of Xorthern Luzon. 203 

visible suggestion of the tropics had disappeared. 
We were passing through red soil uplands, grass 
and pines, with a clear view in all directions. 

Passing on, we now faced one of the most disa- 
greeable ascents of the whole trip : a bare, mountain- 
ous hill facing south, so steep that we had to switch- 
back it to the top, with the sun blazing down on our 
backs, the hour being three of the afternoon, and 
not a breath of wind going. It was too steep to 
ride, and our water-bottles were empty. When we 
got to the top, Gallman and I, we could both have 
exclaimed with Villon, 

" ]e crache blanc comme colon." 

What wonder, then, that on finding a clear, cold 
spring at hand, Gallman should have drunk his fill 
of the cool water, and that he should have persuaded 
me, against my better judgment, to take a swallow 
of it, just one swallow, no more? Who would have 
believed that a mere taste of such innocent-looking, 
refreshing water could have had such dire conse- 
quences? For it made me ill for six weeks, at times 
all but disabling me. However, as water, it was 
irreproachable; and, anyway, as though to com- 
pensate the tiresome climb just finished, we had 
before us now one of the most glorious views imag- 
inable. From far to the south indeed, from the 

204 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

blue mountains bounding the view miles away, the 
silver ribbon of the Rio Chico unrolled itself in a 
straight line between green-sloped mountains, rising 
from its very banks and towering into the clouds. 
At our feet, but far below, the river turned square 
to the east in a boiling rapid between gigantic walls 
of rock, the mountains here yielding to its sweep 
in a broadening valley only to press on it beyond 
and thrust it back on its way northward. It was 
all splendid and simple; if you please, nothing but 
a stream filling the intersecting slopes of a wedge- 
shaped valley and turning off because it had to. 
But the serenity of the whole composition: gray 
rocks, shining waters, green slopes ; white mists, en- 
veloping the crests, smiling in the afternoon sun ! Jad- 
ed as were our faculties of admiration by the many 
exquisite scenes we had already passed through, 
this one held us. We had to leave it, though, mak- 
ing our halt later for the night at a rest-house in 
a pine wood, near a good stream. 


Deep valley. A poor rancheria. Escort of boys. Descent of Ting- 
layan Hill. Sullen reception at Tinglayan. Bangad. First 
view of the Kalingas. Arrival at Lubuagan. 

We were off early the next morning, the nth, 
our destination being Lubuagan, the capital of the 
Kalinga country. We had a long, hard day before 
us. As I was about to mount, I noticed that Doyle, 
Mr. Forbes's groom, looked seedy, and learned that 
Bubud had broken loose in the night and gone the 
rounds of the herd, kicking every animal in it be- 
fore he could be caught, and so robbing poor Doyle 
of a good part of his sleep. After riding a bit 
through the pines, the ground apparently dropped 
off in front of us out of sight, rising in a counter 
slope on the other side, in a great green wall from 
which sprang a hogback; only this time it was a 
razor-back, so sharp was its edge, up which back 
and forth ran the trail. It was another of those 
deep knife-like valleys; this one, however, chal- 
lenging our passage, and justly, for it was more 
canon than valley, and it took us nearly two hours 
to cross it. But it was worth the trouble and time. 
For imagine a canon with forested sides and car- 
peted in green from the stream in its bed to the 


206 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 


highest bounding ridge! Near the top we came 

upon a bank of pitcher-plants, the pitchers of some 
of them being fully six inches long. A mile or so 
farther on, we halted and dismounted near a little 
rancheria, Butbut by name, in a corner of the hills, 
the people of which had been assembled for the 
"Commission." These were the only physically 
degraded-looking people we saw on the trip; small 
of stature, feeble-looking and spiritless. The reason 
was not far to seek: it is probable that they live 
hungry, through lack of suitable ground for rice- 
cultivation, and because their neighbors are hostile. 
Now, I take it on myself to say that it is just this 
sort of thing that will come to an end if Mr. Wor- 
cester is allowed to carry out his policies. For, 
with free communication and diminishing hostility, 
interchange of commodities must needs take place. 
Indeed, the relations existing between ranckerias are 
nothing but our own system of high protection car- 
ried to a logical extreme by imposing a prohibitive 
tariff on heads! Fundamentally, granted an ex- 
tremely limited food-supply, every stranger is an 
enemy, and the shortest way to be rid of the diffi- 
culty involved in his presence is to reduce him to 
the impossibility of eating. 

On reaching the top of Tinglayan Hill, which 
we did shortly after leaving the poor people just 

2 J 


212 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

mentioned, we saw a man coming towards us ac- 
companied by thirty or forty boys not more than 
ten or eleven years of age, all gee-stringed, and 
eight of them carrying head-axes on their hips. 
When the man got up, he handed Mr. Worcester 
a bamboo about a yard long. Mr. Worcester drank 
and then passed it on back to us, the best stuff, it 
seemed to us that hot morning, we had ever tasted. 
We were now in the basi country; this being a sort 
of fermented sugar-cane juice, judiciously diluted 
with water.* The boys now formed a sort of col- 
umn with the ax-bearers immediately in front of 
Mr. Worcester as a guard of honor, and we got a 
good look at them, well-built, erect, of a light brown, 
with black flowing hair. They were as . healthy- 
looking as possible, and, what is more, intelligent 
of countenance by all odds the brightest, most 
cheerful lot of youngsters we had yet seen. As we 
moved off they set up a chant, clear and wild, be- 
ginning with a high note and concluding with as 
deep a one as their young voices could compass. 
The thing was as beautiful as it was wild, and as- 
tonishing from the number and range of notes used. 

*Dampier mentions this drink in his "New Voyage Around 
the World." He calls it bashee, and found it in the Batanes Islands, 
just north of Luzon: " And indeed, from the plenty of this Liquor, 
and their plentiful use of it, our Men call'd all these Islands, the 
Bashee Islands." (Masefield's edition, o. 425.) 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 213 

Marching thus, we came upon a large gather- 
ing of men, women, and children, to whom various 
gifts of cloth, pins, beads, etc., were made. Here 
Gallman found, to his amazement, that he could 
understand the speech of these people. Not trust- 
ing his own ear in the matter, he sent Comhit about 
to talk to them, and reported afterward that both 
not only had understood what was said, but had 
made their own selves understood. Neither of them 
could make out a word in the poor village we had 
just passed through, nor anywhere else on the road 
in the Bontok country. 

We now began the long descent to Tinglayan, 
seven miles, most of us walking and leading our 
ponies. At Tinglayan, instead of the usual cheer- 
ful crowd waiting to welcome us, we found only a 
few extremely sullen men and women, who held 
themselves persistently aloof. There were no chil- 
dren, neither were chickens nor eggs offered a bad 
sign. This reception was due entirely to the re- 
fusal of the authorities to give up the Constabulary 
private that had but recently shot and killed the 
head man of the rancher ia, as already explained. 
However, in time, Mr. Worcester prevailed on the 
few present to accept gifts, and we affected not to 
notice the character of our reception, not only the 
best, but indeed the only thing to do. Here we 

214 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon, 

had chow. We were now directly on the left bank 
of the Chico, and, passing on, found the country 
more open, and so better cultivated, the paddies 
being broad, the retaining- walls low, and the country- 
side generally wearing an air of peace and affluence. 
This impression deepened as we reached Bangad, 
extremely well situated on a tongue running out 
at right angles to the main course of hills. Here 
was a semblance of a street, following the trail, or, 
rather, the trail, going through, had followed the 
street. The houses were larger, cleaner, better built; 
in short, substantial. One of them, unfinished, gave 
us some idea of its construction : floor sills on posts 
to ground; roof frame of planks, i x 6 inches, bent 
over to form the sides of the house when completed, 
all hard wood, without a single nail, the whole being 
held together by mortises and tenons and other 
joints, accurately made and neatly fitted. We re- 
mained here an hour or so, while the "Commission" 
was making gifts to the people. No weapons what- 
ever were visible, and the women and children moved 
about freely without a trace of shyness or fear. 
Our way beyond the village now took us by many 
turns .back to the river, the trail finally rising in 
the side of a vertical cliff, such that by leaning over 
a little one could look past one's stirrup straight 
down to the water many hundreds of feet below. 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 215 

At the highest point the trail turned sharp to the 
left, almost back on itself. I am proud to say that 
I rode it all, but was thankful when it was behind 
us. Heiser's horse this day got three of his feet 
over the edge and rolled down eighty or ninety feet, 
Heiser having jumped off in time to let his mount 
go alone. It was fortunate for him that this par- 
ticular cliff was not the scene of this fall. Some 
three miles farther, on fording a stream, we passed 
from Bontok into Kalinga, and were met by Mr. 
Hale, the Governor, with two warriors, tall and 
slender, broad of chest and thin of flank, with red 
and yellow gee-strings, tufts of brilliant feathers in 
their hair, and highly polished head-axes on their 
hips. Greetings over, we went on, and soon reached 
the river again, going down the left bank until we 
came upon what seemed to me to be a most inter- 
esting geological formation. For the bank of the 
river here rose sharply in a rounded, elongated 
mass, the end of which toward us was cut off, 
as it were, just as one cuts off the end of a loaf 
of bread, and showed alternate thin black and 
white strata only three or four inches thick tilted 
at an angle of sixty or seventy degrees and mount- 
ing several hundred feet in the air. The trail itself 
had been cut out in the side of the mass, and was 
so narrow that not only was everyone ordered to 


Drawn by Glassford, 


The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 217 

dismount, but the American horses were all un- 
saddled, the inch or two so gained being important 
in passing along. The black and white strata show- 
ing on the path, there was an opportunity to exam- 
ine them; the black layers were so soft and friable 
that they could be gouged out with ease with the 
hand, and appeared to be vegetable, while the white 
stripes were most probably limestone. This bit of 
the trail is regarded as dangerous, because the rock 
overhead is continually breaking loose and tum- 
bling down; for this reason it was unsafe to try 
to dislodge pieces for later examination. One of 
our cargadores, as it was, fell over, his pack getting 
knocked in, while he himself escaped with a bruise 
or two. It was a bad place! At the end of it a 
host of Kalingas acclaimed us, as picturesque as the 
warriors we had met at the stream, and took over 
the pack. Leaving the river, we began what ap- 
peared to be an interminable climb to Lubuagan. 
Up ran the trail, disappearing far ahead above us, 
behind the shoulder of the ridge; and we would all 
be hoping (those of us to whom the country was 
new) that Lubuagan would be just around the turn, 
only to find we had the same sort of climb to an- 
other shoulder; the fact being that the ridge here 
thrust itself out in rising echeloned spurs, each one 
of which had to be turned, so that we began to 

218 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

doubt if there was such a place as the capital of 
the Kalinga province. In truth, we had been up 
since 3:30 and were nearly spent from heat and 
thirst. But at last we made the final turn, and 
entered upon a narrow green valley, with a bold, 
clear stream rushing over and between the rocks 
that filled its bed. Broad-leafed plants nodded a 
welcome from the waters, as we rode through the 
grateful shadow of the overarching trees, and shin- 
ing pools smiled upon us. We crossed a bridge, 
came down a bit, and, breaking through the fringe 
of trees and shrubs, saw before us the place-of-arms 
of Lubuagan. 


Showing scarlet hibiscus and feather head-dresses. 


Splendid appearance of the Kalingas. Dancing. Lubuagan. Ba- 
si. Councils. Bustles and braids. Jewels and weapons. 
Excellent houses. 

The sight that- greeted us was stirring, suggest- 
ing to the piously minded Bishop Heber's unmatched 
lines : 

"A noble army, men and boys, 
The matron and the maid." 

There must have been thousands of people, as many 
women as men, and almost as many children as 
women, all of whom set up a mighty shout as our 
little column emerged. But what especially and 
immediately caught the eye was the brilliancy of 
the scene. For, whereas the people so far encoun- 
tered had impressed us by the sobriety of color dis- 
played, these Kalingas blazed out upon us in the 
most vivid reds and yellows. Many of them, women 
as well as men, had on tight-fitting Moro jackets of 
red and yellow stripes; but whatever it was skirt, 
jacket, or gee-string only one pattern showed itself, 
the alternation of red and yellow, well brought out 
by the clear brown of the skin. As though this 


222 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

were not enough, some men had adorned their abun- 
dant black hair with scarlet hibiscus flowers, and 
all, or nearly all, wore plumes of feathers, one over 
each ear. Each rancheria has its distinctive plume; 
as, red with black tips, black with red, all red, 
white with black, and so on, some with notched and 
others with natural edges. Many men had axes on 
their hips. The whole effect was startling, and all 
the more that these people, erect, sinewy, of excel- 
lent build like their comrades farther south, were 
perceptibly taller, men five feet ten inches tall not 
being uncommon. Add to this a stateliness of walk 
and carriage, combined with a natural, wholly un- 
conscious ease and grace of motion, and it is easy 
to imagine the fine impression made upon us by our 
first look upon these assembled people. It is not 
too much to say that the whole sight was splendid; 
but, more than this, under the surface of things, it 
was easy to catch at once the possibility of a real 
development by these people under any sort of 
opportunity whatever. 

We had hardly dismounted before the dancing 
began, in general against the sun, as elsewhere. 
Each rancheria of the many present had its dancers, 
and all made a display. One event, if the sporting 
term be permissible, seemed to be a sort of " follow - 
my-leader"; the motions, however, being confined 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 223 

to the circle, across which the file would go from 
time to time, thus differing from any other dance 
seen. In some cases, the step was bold and lively; 
in others, slow and stately, with arms outstretched. 
The gansa music was not nearly so well marked as 
that of the Ifugaos; it seemed to lack definition 
(an opinion advanced with some hesitation, and 
which a professional musician might not agree with) . 
Sometimes women only appeared; in fact, up here 
the sexes did not mix in the dance. If we had re- 
mained longer in this part of the country, perhaps 
the differences and characteristics of this expression 
of native genius would have stood out more clearly ; 
but in our short time, with so much dancing going 
on, impressions necessarily overlapped. And, in any 
case, shortly after our arrival, night fell, putting 
an end to the show, and we betook ourselves to 
our quarters ; Captain Harris, of the local Constabu- 
lary forces, most kindly receiving some of us in 
his house. 

Kalinga is neither a race nor a tribe name, but 
a word meaning "enemy" or "outlaw," as though the 
hand of the people that bear it had been against 
everybody's else. These people have been great 
head-hunters, and have not yet entirely abandoned 
the practice, though it is steadily diminishing. It 
should be recollected, however, that it is only with- 

224 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

in the last three or four years that we have had 
any relations with them, Mr. Worcester's first visit 
to Lubuagan having occurred in 1907. On this oc- 
casion, immediately on arriving, he was shut up with 
his party in a house; and all night a lively debate 
went on outside as to whether the next morning 
his head should be taken or not, his native inter- 
preter informing him of the progress of opinion as 
the night wore on. 

In some respects these Kalingas differed from 
the tribes already visited. Their superior height 
has already been noted. It may be noted further 
that they are sloe-eyed, and their eyes are wide 
apart. It is said that they have an infusion of 
Moro blood, brought in, many years ago, by exiles 
from Moroland turned loose on the north coast of 
Luzon by the Spaniards, with the expectation that 
the local tribes would kill them ; instead, they inter- 
married. Among themselves they call their import- 
ant men dato, a Moro title, and their Moro dress 
has already been mentioned. They will not marry 
outside of their own blood, and their women, so we 
were told, would not look at a white man. 

Lubuagan itself is extremely well situated on a 
gigantic terrace-like slope, as though, as at Kiangan, 
an avalanche of earth had burst through the rim of 
encompassing mountains. Here live the Governor of 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 225 

the province and the inspector of Constabulary with 
a detachment; their houses, with the cuartel and 
public offices, are disposed around a sort of parade, 
divided into an upper and a lower terrace. Agui- 
naldo marched through the place during his flight, 
and left behind seventeen of his men, sick and 
wounded. He had no sooner gone than these were 
all taken out and beheaded. The native town lies 
above and just back of the parade, with its houses 
running well up on the slopes. These are, every- 
where possible, terraced for rice, and so successfully 
that two crops are made every year, as against only 
one at Bontok and elsewhere. It follows that the 
Kalingas have more to eat than their relatives to the 
south, and that is perhaps one reason of their greater 

The morning of the i2th, our one full day at 
Lubuagan, broke clear, bright, and hot, and so the 
day remained. Events during the next few hours had 
no particular axis. We looked on mostly, though, 
of course, here as elsewhere, business there was to be 
dispatched. The upper terrace was the scene of 
crowded activity, being packed with people from 
sunrise to sunset. Dancing went on the whole day; 
the sound of the gansa never ceased. A particu- 
larly interesting dance was that of a number of 
little girls, eight or ten years of age, who went 

226 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

through their steps with the greatest seriousness 
and dignity, a very pretty sight. In yet another 
the performers, nine all told, grown men, attracted 
attention from the fact that the handles of their 
gansas were human lower jaws, apparently new, in 
the teeth of two of which gold fillings glistened. 
The Ifugaos, who, it will be recollected, had ac- 
companied us from Banawe, also danced, their steps, 
motions, and music forming a sharp contrast. This 
dance over, Comhit could not restrain himself, but 
made a speech, in which he declared that "These 
people up here, the Kalingas, are very good people 
indeed, but not so good as the Ifugaos." Fortun- 
ately, only his own people understood him. He had 
noticed on the way that the people we passed of- 
fered nothing to drink to the traveller, and had 
commented freely to Gallman on this lack of hos- 
pitality, so different from his country's habits. We 
had nothing to complain of, however, on this score 
at L,ubuagan, for basi circulated freely the whole 
day, being passed along sometimes in a tin cup, at 
others in a bamboo; everybody drank out of one 
and the same vessel. On the whole, this basi was 
poor stuff, not nearly so good as bubud. Harris 
told me after the day was over, and we had taken 
innumerable tastes, at least, of the brew (for one 
must drink when it is passed), that in preparing 

Tlie Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 227 

basi a dog's heart,* cut up into bits, is added to the 
fermenting liquid to give it body. One man amused 
us by going around with a bamboo six inches or 
more in diameter and at least eight feet in length 
over his shoulder, and obligingly stopping to let his 
friends bend down the mouth and help themselves 
a "long" drink if there ever was one! 

But it was not all basi and dancing: councils 
were held, the visiting rancherias profiting by the 
opportunity of enforced peace to clear up issues. 
At these councils, which came off in the open, on 
the parade, the people of the rancherias interested 
would sit on the ground in a circle, maintaining 
absolute silence, while their spokesmen, a head man 
from each, walked around in the circle. The man 
who had the floor, so to say, would remain behind 
and address his adversary in the debate, who mean- 
time kept on walking around with his back turned 
squarely on the speaker. As soon as the argument 
in hand had been made, both would countermarch, 
and the listener would now become the speaker. 
A great part of the debate was taken up on both 

*De La Gironiere, in his "Aventures d'un Gentilhomme 
Breton aux lies Philippines," describes (Chapter V.) a feast, at 
which he had, while on a visit to the Tinguianes, to drink human 
brains mixed with basi. Whatever De La Gironiere says must be 
received with considerable caution; but Pickering, a prosac andi 
matter-of-fact Britisher, speaking of the Formosan savages, says 
that "they mixed the brains of their enemies with wine." ("Pi- 
oneering in Formosa," p. 153.) 

228 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

sides by a recital of the crimes and misdemeanors 
of which the other party had been guilty. In one 
of these councils, one debater wearing civilized 
dress, by the way suddenly broke through the 
circle and disappeared, much to our astonishment, 
until it was explained that his opponent in the de- 
bate had charged him with having recently poisoned 
six persons; as this was perilously near the truth, 
the criminal simply ran away. The accuser was a 
fine-looking man, splendidly dressed, of a haughty 
countenance, displaying the greatest contempt for 
all the arguments addressed to him, his impatience 
being marked by " Hds!" accompanied by stamping 
on the ground the while and striking it with the 
butt of his spear. This chief was in confinement at 
Lubuagan, but, to save his face, Governor Hale had 
enlarged him during our stay. 

Naturally there was an opportunity during the 
day of observing many things in some detail. Who 
shall say, for example, that the Kalingas are not 
civilized? The women and girls all wear bustles, 
a continuous affair made of bejuco, an endless roll, 
in short, of varying radius, that over the small of 
the back being considerably the greatest. The top 
of the skirt is tucked in all round, instead of being 
directly on the skin, as farther south. In further 
proof of the local civilization, the women wear false 




The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 231 

hair. One matron was obliging enough to undo 

her coiffure for our benefit, and held out by its end, 
for our admiring inspection, a mighty wisp nearly 
three feet long. She put it back on for us after 
the manner, as I have since been informed, of a 
coronet braid. The men gave fewer evidences of 
civilization, unless smoking cigars in holders will 
serve. However, one man brought up his wife and 
children and regularly introduced them to us, the 
woman doing her part with great coolness, while the 
children gave every sign of terror. This incident 
struck me as being very unusual. Everyone had on 
at least one necklace, and some three or four neck- 
laces, of dog-teeth, of agate beads (these being im- 
mensely prized, agate not being native to the Phil- 
ippines), or of anything else the form, color, and 
hardness of which could make it answer for pur- 
poses of ornament. One young woman had on 
sleigh-bells, the tinkle of which we heard before we 
saw its source, an incongruous sound in those parts. 
These bells must have been brought down by Chi- 
nese trading from the plains of Manchuria. Two 
or three young men displayed what looked like 
lapis lazuli around their necks, but what turned out 
at closer quarters to be pieces of a blue china dinner- 
plate. They had cut out the white interior and 
then divided the rim radially, the jewels thus formed 

232 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

being all of the same size and shape, with perfectly 
smooth edges. Here, too, were the same pill-box 
hats as those seen at Bontok, some elaborately 
beaded and costing from one to five carabaos apiece ; 
in one case the lid of a tomato tin had been pressed 
into service as a hat. But the finest thing of all 
was the head-ax, a beautiful and cruel-looking weap- 
on, the head having on one side an edge curving 
back toward the shaft, and on the other a point. 
To keep the weapon from slipping out of the hand, 
a stud is left in the hard wood shaft, about two- 
thirds of the way from the head, the shaft itself 
being protected by a steel sheathing half way down ; 
the remainder being ornamented with decorative 
brass plates and strips, and the end shod in a ferrule 
of silver. The top of the ax is not straight, but 
curved, both edge and point taking, as it were, 
their origin in this curve; the edge is formed by a 
double chamfer, the ax-blade being of uniform thick- 
ness. All together, this weapon is perhaps more or- 
iginal and characteristic than any other native to 
the Philippine Archipelago. With it goes the Ka- 
linga shield of soft wood, made in one piece, with 
the usual three horns or projections at the top and 
two at the bottom. These projections, however, 
are cylindrical, and the outside ones are continued 
down the edge of the shield and so form ribs. In 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 233 

the ordinary Igorot shield the horns are flat, merely 
prolonging the surface of the shield, or else present- 
ing only a very small relief. As usual, a lacing of 
bejuco across top and botton protects the shield 
against a separation in the event of an unlucky 
stroke splitting it in two. 

We found the town unusually clean. Public 
latrines exist, and public drinking-tanks, both put 
in by Governor Hale, and highly approved of the 
people. The houses themselves were the best we 
had seen, some of them hexagonal in ground plan, 
and built of hard woods. The pigs stay under- 
neath, to be sure, but their place is kept clean. Rich 
men have rows of plates, the dinner-plates of civ- 
ilization, all around their houses, and take-up floors 
of split bamboo are common, being rolled up and 
washed in the neighboring stream with commend- 
able frequency. All together, Lubuagan made the 
impression of an affluent, not to say opulent, center, 
inhabit ated by a brave, proud, and self-respecting 


We leave the mountains. Nanong. Passage of the Chico. The 
Apayao. Tabuk. The party breaks up. Desolate plain. 
The Cagayan Valley. Enrile. 

The morning of Friday, May i3th, broke clear 
after a night of hard rain. We set off before sun- 
rise, our way now taking us eastward for the last 
stage of the mountain journey proper. The whole 
earth this morning seemed to be a-drip: every 
stream was rushing, and banks of cloud, fog, and 
mist crowned the heights and filled the valleys. To 
describe even approximately our course as we de- 
scended from the great terrace of Lubuagan is well- 
nigh impossible; but, as we came down, scene after 
scene of the greatest beauty offered itself to our 
admiration. The landscape softened too; we were 
leaving the high mountain land behind us, not too 
suddenly, however; for example, at one point a 
huge valley lay below us, bounded on the other side 
by a tremendous vertical wall of rock, over which 
fell a powerful stream. I estimated the fall at the 
time as at least four hundred feet. 

In due course we came to an affluent of our 
old friend the Chico, and had to ford. The stream 


The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 235 

was up, but we got over without mishap. Fording 
is always a delicate operation in these mountains 
after a hard rain, since no one can ever tell what 
the nature of the footing will be, because of the 
boulders swept down. On this occasion Evans's pony 
stopped short in mid-stream, refusing either to move 
on or back. There was nothing for it but dis- 
mount and investigate, Evans discovering that his 
pony had put one foot down between two large 
stones close together and so was simply caught fast. 
The country had now become decidedly more 
open; the trail for long stretches was almost a road. 
As a matter of fact, we were on the old main line 
of communication from the highlands to the Ca- 
gayan Valley. We made our first halt at Nanong, 
where everybody brought in gifts of chickens, eggs, 
and camotes, and received beads, red cloth, pins and 
needles in return. What made a particular impres- 
sion here was the number of children brought in, all 
wide-eyed, sloe-eyed, and some of them extremely 
pretty. The remainder of the day we spent go- 
ing down the left bank of the Chico, encountered 
again at Nanong. Shortly after leaving this point 
two large monkeys, brown with white breasts, ap- 
peared on the edge of the trail, apparently protest- 
ing with the utmost indignation against our presence 
in those parts. Harris remarked that once passing 

236 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

this point alone he had run into eighteen of them, 
and that for a time he thought they were going to 
dispute his passage. These were the only animals 
we saw on the whole trip, not counting a few birds. 
The valley opened hereabouts, and on the other 
bank, the right, a sharp-edged terrace came into 
view, fully three hundred feet above the river and 
continuing for miles as far as the eye could see. 
This must be an unusually good example of river 
terrace. On our side the trail was cut out of the 
cliff, solid rock, with a straight drop to the river 
below, a stretch of two of the hottest miles con- 
ceivable, what with the full blaze of the sun and the 
heat radiated and reflected from the face of the 
cliff. I was so weak from the water I had drunk 
the other day that I dismounted and walked the 
whole way, so that, if knocked out by the heat, I 
should at least not fall off my pony; a tumble on 
the wrong side would have brought the journey to 
a very sudden end. But, fortunately, nothing hap- 
pened, and we at last got down to the level of the 
river again, only to find it half in flood and fording 
out of the question. We were on the upstream side 
of a huge dome of rock, rising from the river itself, 
the only way around which was to cross twice. The 
rest of the party coming up with the cargadores, we 
had to wait until bamboo rafts could be built, the 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 237 

raft really being nothing but a flat bundle lashed 
together with bejuco. In this case our rafts were 
so small that under the weight of only one man and 
his kit they immediately became submarines, so 
that one got partially wet crossing. Our horses and 
ponies were swum over. 

We were six hours making the two passages; 
still we were in luck, for had the stream been really 
up, we should simply have had to camp on its bank 
and wait for the waters to fall, a fate that sometimes 
overtakes the traveller in a country where an inno- 
cent stream may become a raging torrent almost 
while one is looking at it. 

We slept that night in a rest-house just across 
the river from Tabuk, and next morning the party 
divided, Mr. Worcester, Dr. Strong, Governor Pack, 
and Lieutenant-Governor Villamor to continue the 
mountain trip into Apayao, while the remainder of 
us, having been invited to accompany Mr. Wor- 
cester only as far as Tabuk, went on to the Cagayan 
River. It may be of interest, however, to say a 
few words here about the Apayao country, my au- 
thority being the " Seventh Annual Report of the 
Secretary of the Interior to the Philippine Com- 
mission" for the fiscal year 1907-1 90**. 

This country was first visited by Mr. Worces- 
ter in 1906, the Spanish Government never having 

238 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

succeeded in gaining a foothold in it. " During the 
insurrection Lieutenant Gilmore, of the United States 
Navy, and his fellow-captives were taken into the 
southern part of it and there abandoned." "So far 
as is known, no white man had ever penetrated 
the southern and central portions of Apayao until" 
Mr. Worcester, suitably accompanied and escorted, 
crossed the Cordillera, in 1906, from North Ilokos. 
A later expedition, commanded by a Constabulary 
officer, was attacked, not necessarily from any hos- 
tility to it as such, but because it was accompanied 
by natives hostile to a rancheria ( Guenned ) ap- 
proached on the way. A punitive expedition, led 
by the same officer, afterward met with some suc- 
cess, but American popularity suffered in conse- 
quence. The Apayao country is the only sub- 
province under a native Governor, and its Governor, 
Senor Bias Villamor, is the only Filipino that has 
ever shown any interest in or sympathy for the 
highlanders. His task has been a difficult one; for 
example, his only line of communication, the Abu- 
lug River, runs through a territory inhabited by 
Negritos, who had been so abused by the Christian 
natives on the one hand, and whose heads had been 
so diligently sought by the wild Tinguians of the 
mountains, on the other, that they had acquired the 
habit of greeting strangers with poisoned arrows. His 










o ^ 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 241 

mountain region itself was inhabited by inveterate 
head-hunters, most of whom had never even seen 
a white man. Conditions are improving, however; 
the raids against the Christian and Negrito inhab- 
itants of the lowlands of Cagayan have been com- 
pletely checked, and Mr. Worcester hopes that head- 
hunting will diminish.^ It still exists. Strong told 
me, on his return to Manila, that, looking into a 
head-basket after leaving Tabuk, he found in it 
fresh fragments of a human skull; for the Apayaos 
take the skull like the other highlanders, but un- 
like them, break it into pieces. But with these peo- 
ple head-hunting is a part of their religious belief, 
and so all the harder to uproot. With the others 
it is a matter of vengeance, or else even of sport. 
"On the other hand, the people of Apayao have 
many good qualities. They are physically well- 
developed and are quite cleanly. They erect beau- 
tifully constructed houses. Their women are well 
clothed, and both men and women love handsome 
ornaments. They are quite industrious agricultur- 
ists and are now begging for seed and for domes- 
tic animals in order that they may emulate their 
Christian neighbors in the raising of agricultural 

Of course we should have been very glad to 
go on with Mr. Worcester into the Apayao country 

242 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

if he had asked us; but it is practically trailless as 
yet, and for a party as large as ours would have 
been, questions of supply and transportation would 
have been difficult, to say nothing of the impolicy 
of taking a large number into the country at all. 
And so, on Saturday morning, May i4th, we shook 
hands with Mr. Worcester and his companions. His 
progress so far had been an unqualified success, un- 
marred by a single adverse incident, for the deplor- 
able loss of life at Kiangan could in no wise be at- 
tributed to our presence or to the occasion. What 
the results of the visit of 1910 will be, only time can 
tell; but experience shows that every year marks 
an advance in the spread of friendly relations, not 
only between the Government and the people, but 
between the subdivisions of the people itself.* 

The Chico being still up when we reached it, 
we crossed again on submarines, climbed the bank, 
and found ourselves in Tabuk (or Talbok), the most 

*For example, this year (1912) more people "came in" to meet 
Mr. Worcester then ever before. In Bontok every valley of the 
sub- province was represented, and there was a time when represent- 
atives of all the villages danced together on the plaza, an event of 
importance in the history of these people as marking the passing of 
old feuds and a determination to live at piece with one another. A 
moving picture machine was taken along in a four-wheeled wagon 
(showing incidentally that the main trails have become roads since 
1910), and created both enthusiasm and alarm : enthusiasm when 
some familiar scene with known living persons was thrown upon the 
screen, and alarm when a railway train, for example, was shown ad- 
vancing upon the spectators, causing many of them to flee for 
safety to the neighboring hills and woods. 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 243 

pestilential hole in the Archipelago. Nothing is left 
of it now but a ruinous church and one or two houses. 
The first mass was said here or hereabouts in 1689, 
by the Dominicans, who kept up the mission until 
the monks all died of fever. Did an occasional 
officer in the old days prove objectionable to the 
authorities in Manila, he got an order to proceed 
to Tabuk for station; it was almost certain that he 
would never return. The point is of unquestionable 
importance, commanding, as it does, the main out- 
let of the Kalinga country to the plains of the Ca- 
gayan Valley; and so our own Government under- 
took to garrison it with Constabulary as a check on 
raids. The garrison remained long enough to be 
carried out on stretchers, and was removed to Lu- 
bagan, where the check is just as complete and per- 
sonal control possible. 

We had a long and hard day before us, but we 
did not* know it when we set out from Tabuk at 
about seven in the morning. Gallman, Harris, and 
I kept together; our first business was to cross a 
vast, roughly circular plain fifteen miles in diameter, 
and densely overgrown with a rough, reedy grass 
two feet and more high. A foot-path ran across the 
plain, visible for only a very short distance ahead 
as long as one was in it, but imperceptible twenty 
yards to the right or left. To lose this path would 

244 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

have been a serious matter, as it would have been 
a heart-breaking thing to force one's way through 
the undisturbed grass. 

It would be hard to imagine anything else more 
wearisome than that fifteen-mile stretch. The sun 
was riding high in the heavens, " shining on both 
sides of the hill"; not a breath of wind was stirring 
nor was there, barring a rare bird or two, a sign of 
life save the thousands of flies which, as our ponies 
pushed aside the grass overhanging the path, rose in 
clouds only to settle on our faces, hands, necks, backs, 
everywhere. We began by brushing them off, but it 
was of no use, and so we rode with our faces turned to 
a dim haze of low mountains bounding the plain on 
the east, and themselves dominated by still an- 
other range, the Sierra Madre, so distant as to look 
like a bank of immovable blue cloud. For miles 
our plodding seemed to bring them no nearer. If 
we could only get out of that sea of olive-gray grass, 
on which the heavy, stifling air seemed to press, and 
reach those nearer mountains! Twice the path led 
us into sinks or depressions fully ninety or one hun- 
dred feet below the level of the plain; why these 
could not have been avoided when the path was 
first struck out is hard to imagine, unless it was 
to get to water. For one of these sinks boasted of a 
clear, bold stream with all of its course underground 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 245 

save the part in the depression. In both were full- 
grown trees and grateful shade. Had we not been 
pressed to get through, it would have been interest- 
ing to explore these huge sinks; but we passed on, 
the flies, which had abandoned us on our descent, 
rejoining us when we climbed out on the other side. 
In time we reached our mountains, arid, bare, eroded, 
wind-bitten, and made our way slowly and pain- 
fully up and through the pass, our trail hereabouts 
being nothing but a trench so deep and narrow 
that part of the way we could not keep our feet in 
the stirrups. As we neared the crest of the range 
the pass disappeared, and for the last half-mile or 
so we attacked the ridge directly. When we got 
to the top, we found a gallant breeze blowing, and, 
spreading out before us, the vast plains of the Ca- 
gayan Valley. Far over in the east, and apparently 
no nearer than ever, rose the blue, cloud-like mount- 
ains of the Sierra Madre, now showing like a wall, 
which indeed they are, and one which no man has 
so far succeeded in scaling. But not a sign of life, 
of man or beast, caught our eye. And yet this val- 
ley is an empire in itself; its axial stream, the Rio 
Grande de Cagayan, or Ibanag, the "Philippine 
Tagus" of the ancient chronicles, the longest river 
of the Archipelago, by overflowing its banks every 
year, renews the fertility of the soil wherever its 

246 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

waters can reach. We stood here on the ridge a 
long time, resting and looking. Below us green rib- 
bons, following the undulations of the plain, marked 
the trail of various water-courses; but, apart from 
this evidence of Nature's living forces, somehow or 
other the entire landscape was silent and desolate. 
We now began the descent, leading our ponies, 
for it was too steep to ride, and at last came to a 
stream where we found shade and grass, and, better 
yet, the advance guard of the party with food and 
drink ready. Our next stage was over rolling coun- 
try, covered with fine short grass; once over this, 
the ground broke in our front, and we made the 
descent, finally coming out on the lowest floor of the 
valley at Enrile, two or three miles from the river. 
Night was falling as we made our way through its 
grass-grown streets, finding the air heavy, the people 
dull-looking, and everything commonplace: we had 
already begun to miss our mountains. 


Tobacco industry. Tuguegarao. Caves. The Cagayan River. 
Barangayans. Aparri. Island of Fuga. Sail for Manila. 
Stop at Vigan. Arrival at Manila. 

The great valley in which we now found our- 
selves really deserves more notice than perhaps it 
is suitable to give it here. As everyone knows, it 
furnishes the best tobacco of the Islands, tobacco 
that under proper care would prove a dangerous 
rival to that of Cuba, though it can never quite 
equal the product of the Vuelta Abajo. The cattle 
industry should prosper here in fact, did a few 
years ago; the broad savannas, some of which we 
had crossed, furnishing excellent pasturage. It was 
proved long ago that this region was naturally 
adapted to the culture of silk and to the raising of 
indigo and sugar-cane. While tobacco was a Gov- 
ernment monopoly,* the valley was wealthy, traces 
of wealth being still found in the hands of the peo- 
ple under the form of jewels, some of them costly 
and beautiful. 

*For an account of what this Government monopoly really 
meant, see Jagor, "Travels," etc., p. 324. A Spaniard of my ac- 
quaintance told me that if a native's attention to his crop did not 
please the inspectors, they would cause him to be publicly flogged 
on Sunday before the church after mass; and if this course brought 


248 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

The passage of the Payne bill has already 
brightened the prospects of the people, and espe- 
cially of the small growers, for prices paid on the 
spot have already gone up very considerably. The 
valley is sure to flourish before many years shall 
have passed, and nothing else would so much hasten 
this end as the completion of the railway from Ma- 
nila, But when we passed through, a sort of gen- 
eral apathy seemed to fill the air: the people were 
listless, and so much of the tobacco crop as we 
could see looked neglected. A partial explanation 
is to be found in the belief, wide-spread in these 
parts at this time, that the comet had come to mark 
the end of all things, and that any work done would 
be wasted. This belief, however, did not check the 
native and courteous hospitality of the people; all 
of us were taken in for the night, Evans and I go- 
ing to Senor Cipriano Pagulayan's, where we found 
an excellent dinner awaiting us in particular, coffee 
of superlative excellence. Don Cipriano was very 

no amendment, they would then cut his stand down. Jagor, who 
travelled in the Philippines as long ago as 1859-60, could see no 
future for them save under American control, and he predicted 
that this control would come, an astonishing prophecy. "In pro- 
portion as the navigation of the west coast of America extends the 
influence of the American element over the South Sea, the capti- 
vating, magic power which the great Republic exercises over the 
Spanish colonies will not fail to make itself felt also in the Philip- 
pines. The Americans are evidently destined to bring to a full 
development the germs originated by the Spaniards." ("Travels 
in the Philippines," p. 369.) Jagor's work, it may be remarked, 
will always remain an authority on the Philippines. 





Q -s 





Photograph by Stockbridge. 

2. Igorot Shield (from Lubuagan), defaced and scarred by cuts 

from a head-ax, received in a fight about March, 1910. The 
man behind this shield, a Kalinga policeman, was sent out 
to bring in an escaped prisoner. The prisoner showed fight 
and was killed. 

3. Usual form of Igorot Shield. 

4. Typical Kalinga Shield. 

The Plead Hunters of Northern Luzon. 251 

modest about it, explaining that the coffee had been 
roasted only after our arrival and ground just before 
it was set on; but none the less it was admirable. 
Now, this coffee, of course, was grown in the valley, 
and there is no reason why its cultivation should not 
be taken up on a large scale for export. 

Enrile held us only for the night. The next 
morning we all mounted, alas! for the last time, and, 
escorted by a great number of local magnates, took 
the road for the river. Here we left our mounts to 
Doyle, who was to return with them to Baguio. 
It was with great regret that I parted from Bubud : 
he had carried me faithfully and well, and I shall 
not soon forget his saucy head, looking after us as 
we got down the bank to go on board the motor- 
launch of the Tabacalera.* 

In a few minutes we had crossed and landed at 
Tuguegarao, the capital of the province, and still 
retaining traces of its wealth and importance in the 
great days of the tobacco monopoly. It has an 
imposing church built of brick, a hospital, and a 
Dominican college, all of substantial construction; 
its streets are broad and well laid out, but of the 
town itself not much can be said, as a fire swept off 

* The cable and popular name of the "Compania General 
de Tabacos de Filipinas"; it owns plantations up the Grande in 
Isabela Province. 

252 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

most of it a few years ago. Still Filipino towns rise 
easily from the ashes, and there is no reason why 
prosperity should not again smile upon this ancient 

We tarried two or three days in Tuguegarao, 
waiting for river transportation and meanwhile great- 
ly enjoying the hospitality so generously shown us. 
Major Knauber, of the Constabulary, and Mr. Just- 
ice Campbell, of the Court of First Instance, invited 
me to stay with them in a fine old Spanish house 
they had together. Every evening Herr - , of the 
- Company, had us to dinner in his beautiful 
bungalow. At a grand baile given us the day after 
our arrival, Heiser asked me if I had not dined that 
day and the day before at Herr - 's; on my say- 
ing yes, he laughed and remarked that he had just 
taken up his cook as a leper to be sent to the leper 
hospital on the Island of Culion. But in the East 
nobody bothers about a thing like that. 

Tuguegarao is a point of departure for some 
interesting trips, notably one to some limestone 
caves, larger than the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky. 
In one of these caves, receiving light, air, and moist- 
ure from fissures in the natural surface of the ground, 
palms (cocoa and other) , bamboos, and other plants 
and trees are growing in natural miniature. I was 
told that this cave was fascinating and that I ought 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 253 

to go and see it. But time was pressing ; although the 
commanding General had set no limit on my ab- 
sence, I felt I ought now to return. Accordingly, 
on the morning of the i8th, our transportation be- 
ing ready, Mr. Justice Campbell and I went aboard 
a motor-launch and set out for Aparri, at the mouth 
of the river. 

All river trips here in the East have an interest ; 
this one proved no exception to the general rule, 
though it presented nothing especially worthy of 
record. But the Rio Grande is the great road of 
the Valley, to such an extent, indeed, that there are 
no land roads to speak of. We passed between low, 
muddy banks, frequently of uncertain disposition, 
as though wondering how much longer they could 
possibly resist the wash of the current. The stream 
itself is shallow, uncharted, unbeaconed; its nav- 
igation requires constant attention, which it cer- 
tainly got this day from our quartermaster, who 
remained on duty for ten consecutive hours. We 
had the ill-luck not to see a single crocodile, al- 
though the river is said to be full of them, all of 
ferocious temper. On the other hand, we did see 
the oddest possible ferry : a bundle or raft of bamboo, 
with chairs on top, towed across stream by a carabao 
regularly hitched up to it and getting over himself 
by swimming. This he does on an even keel, his 

254 77** Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

backbone being entirely out of the water when 
under way. 

There is nothing picturesque about the lower 
reaches of the Rio Grande, though its upper course, 
through hilly country, is different in this respect. 
The remains of one or two old towns, cut in two 
by the shift of the river-bed, excited our curiosity. 
So 'did, from to time, the barangayans , or native 
river-boats, huge, clumsy, ill-built, and generally 
with but four or five inches of free-board amidships 
on full load. These craft look as though they ought 
to sink by mere capillary attraction. However, peo- 
ple are born, live, and die aboard of them, so they 
must be safe enough. In the afternoon the river 
widened and its right bank, anyway, grew bolder 
and occasionally more permanent-looking, and fi- 
nally, about an hour before sunset, we perceived 
the low white go-downs of Aparri. We landed not 
at a wharf, but at the outer edge of the huddle of 
craft crowding the water front, and put up at the 
Fonda de Aparri, having done eighty-odd miles in 
a little over ten hours. 

All the tobacco of the Valley reaches the world 
through Aparri; it is consequently a port of con- 
siderable importance. But it has no safe anchorage 
and is frightfully exposed to typhoons, all of which, 
if they do not pass over the place directly, somehow 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 255 

or other appear to step aside to give this region a 
blow. There is a never-ending conflict in the ad- 
jacent waters between the currents of the China 
Sea and those of the Pacific, making navigation 
hazardous, and for small boats perilous. On the 
day of our arrival, calm and fair as it was, a tre- 
mendous surf was beating on the bar, the spray and 
foam mounting in a regular wall many feet high, 
and driven up, not by the gradual attack of an ad- 
vancing wave, but by the tireless energy of angry 
waters ceaselessly beating upon the same spot. 

Of Aparri itself little can be said here: but, 
small as it is, it has nevertheless the bustle of all 
seaports in activity. Many of its streets are paved 
with cobble-stones, and some of its buildings are, 
if not handsome, at least substantial. But it is 
cursed with flies: in our inn, otherwise comfortable 
enough, the kitchen and the temple of Venus Cloa- 
cina were side by side. The flies were all the more 
annoying that we had seen none in the mountains, 
nor indeed do I recollect ever having seen them in 
any number elsewhere in the Archipelago than at 
Aparri and in the never-to-be-forgotten plain of Ta- 
buk. However, we survived the flies, and late in 
the afternoon of the third day went on board a 
Spanish steamer bound for Manila. We used our 
cabin to stow our kit, but lived and slept on the deck 

256 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

of the poop, the main deck between which and the 
forecastle was crowded with natives. Poor things! 
Each family appeared to have an area assigned to it, 
on which were piled indiscriminately all its earthly 
possessions in the shape of clothes, bags, pots and 
pans generally ; the heap once formed, its owners sat 
and slept on it, with the inevitable family rooster 
at its highest point lording it over all. In fact, 
every spot on the main deck not otherwise occu- 
pied was simply filled with roosters, all challeng- 
ing one another night and day by indefatigable 
crowing. As illustrating the difficulties of navi- 
gation in these parts, our steamer was two hours 
getting out of the river and across the bar, a mat- 
ter of not more than a mile. Once out, she began 
to roll and pitch in an incomprehensible manner, 
seeing there was no wind and no sea. It was sim- 
ply the never-ending contest between the Pacific 
Ocean and the China Sea. Once fairly in the lat- 
ter, she behaved steadily enough. 

Our journey was without incident; it did not, 
much to my disappointment, include the side trip 
sometimes made to the Babuyanes Islands for 
cattle. One of these islands, Fuga, is especially 
interesting; urn-burial prevailed in it in the past, 
the urns in some cases being arranged in a circle 
around a central urn or altar. Moreover, there is 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 257 

in Fuga a stone building known as the "Castle," 
with arched doorways, said not to be of Span- 
ish origin, and near by is a plain strewn with 
human skulls and other bones, probably the scene 
of a battle. The skulls are remarkable from 
their great size, some of them being reported as 
extraordinary in this respect. The present inhab- 
itants of these islands and of the Batanes live in stone 
houses, much like those of North Ireland and the 
islands west of Scotland.* And so we had hoped, 
Campbell and I, that we might get at least a look at 
Fuga. For, although it lies near to Aparri, it is hard 
to reach; small boats, even on calm, smooth days, be- 
ing occasionally caught in the wicked currents of 
these waters and swamped out of hand. The next 
morning we made Kurrimao, which has a shore-line 
strikingly picturesque in a land almost surfeited 
with the picturesque. We stayed long enough to 
take on a number of carabaos, which were swum out 
to the ship, and then hauled out of the water by 
a sling passed around their horns. 

Our next stop was at Vigan, a well-built town, 
many of whose houses are of stone. We reached 
the town in a motor-car, passing through well cul- 

*So do the aborigines of Formosa. "These aborigines of the 
hills live in villages. Their houses are built of stone, roofed with 
slate, and have a remarkably clean, home-like appearance." (Pick- 
ering, "Pioneering in Formosa," p. 69.) 

258 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

tivated fields of maguey. The mountains, rising 
abruptly from the coastal plain, are here cut by 
the famous Abra de Vigan, a conspicuous gap serv- 
ing as a land-mark to the mariner for miles. And 
it is the custom to take a ride of many hours up the 
pass, and then come down the rapids in two, on 
bamboo rafts built for the purpose. This is a most 
exciting trip; alas! we had to be contented with an 
account of it ! But Vigan itself was worth the trouble 
of going ashore; its churches and monasteries are 
extensive, dignified of appearance, and far less di- 
lapidated than is unfortunately so frequently the 
case elsewhere in the Islands. Not the least inter- 
esting item of our very short stay was a visit to a 
new house, built and owned by an Ilokano, and 
equipped with the most recent American plumbing. 
The house itself happily was after the old Spanish 
plan, the only one really suited to this climate and 
latitude. But then the Ilokanos are the most busi- 
nesslike and thrifty of all the civilized inhabitants: 
their migration to other parts, a movement encour- 
aged 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 Vi- 
gan; the place and its environs seemed full of in- 
terest. One more stop we made at San Fernando de 
Union the following day, a clean-built town, but 

Photograph by Stockbridge 

Ifugao Carved Bowl, stained black. Axes'of larger 
Bowl, 4 and 5 inches (inside). 


Photograph by Slockbridge. 

Ifugao Pipe, of brass; length of stem, 6Jnches. Wooden Carved 

Sitting Figure, Ifugao, 3.5 inches high. Wooden Spoon with 

carved handle; earrings, etc., of brass wire. 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 261 

otherwise of no special characteristics. Here we met 
an officer of Constabulary that had been recently sta- 
tioned 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 en- 
gaging in single combat, while the rest looked on 
and shouted, waiting their turn. One man had al- 
ready been killed, his headless trunk lying on the 
ground. On the approach of the officer they all 
ran. Here, too, we heard from another Constab- 
ulary 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 car- 
gadores 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 administra- 
tion. Transfer of control of wild tribes to Christianized Fili- 
pinos. Comparison of our course with that of the Japanese 
in Formosa. 

The question now presents itself : What is to be- 
come 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 cor- 
rection. 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 prob- 
ability, arrived in the Islands at an earlier date 
than their Christianized cousins of the lowlands. 
Let us recollect further that these people are eth- 


The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 263 

nologically 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 ap- 
proving attention: they speak the truth, they look 
one straight in the eye, they are hospitable, cour- 
ageous, and uncomplaining; their women are on a 
footing of equality, more or less, with the men, and 
are respected by them. Where they have had 
an opportunity, they have shown an aptitude to 
learn of no mean quality. Physically they are the 
best people of the Archipelago, and under this head 
would be remarkable anywhere else in the world. 
Now, the Spaniards, with a few exceptions, 
made no systematic, continuous attempt to civilize 
these peoples; or, if they did, no measurable results 
have come down to our own day, even Villaverde's 
efforts, genuine as they were, having left almost no 
trace . So far from having done anything for the hill- 
men, the record of the Spanish at the very few points 
garrisoned by them is one of injustice and robbery, 
and worse. That of the Filipinos,* in imitation of 

*The word "Filipino" is taken to mean the civilized, Chris- 
tianized inhabitant of Malay origin of the Philippine Islands. As 
such, it is convenient and useful. It should be recollected, how- 
ever, that there is no such thing as a Filipino people. There are 
Tagalogs, Visayans, Bicols, Pampangans, Ilokanos, Cagayanes, etc., 
etc., to say nothing of the wild people themselves, all speaking 
different languages; but these can not be said to form one people. 

264 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

their Spanish masters, is no better. At any rate, 
when we took over the Archipelago in 1898, a vast 
area of Luzon was held by a people who looked, 
and justly, so far as their experience had gone, upon 
the white man and his Filipino understudy as an 
enemy. The difficulty of guiding and controlling 
these people undoubtedly had been (and still is) 
great, and partly accounts for the state of affairs 
we encountered when we first entered the country, 
but it was necessarily no greater for our prede- 
cessors in the Islands than it has been for us. 
Now, where they failed, we, it may be said with- 
out fear of contradiction, are succeeding, and it 
is but the simplest act of justice to say that 
the credit for our success belongs to the Secre- 
tary of the Interior of the Philippine Islands, Mr. 
Dean C. Worcester. He would be the last man 
on earth to say that his success is complete; on the 
contrary, he would assert that a very great quan- 
tity of work yet remains to be done, and that what 
he has done so far is but the beginning. But it is 
nevertheless a successful beginning, and successful 
because it rests on the solid foundation of honesty 
and fair dealing, and is inspired by interest in and 
sympathy for a vast body of people universally 
hated and feared by the Filipino, and until lately 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 265 

neglected and misunderstood by almost everybody 

The physical difficulty alone of reaching these 
various peoples was not only very great, but mere 
presence in their country involved great risk of one's 
life. Again, the absence of even the rudest form 
of tribal organization made the way hard. Take 
the Ifugaos, for example, about 120,000 in number, 
all speaking essentially the same language, inhabit- 
ing the same country, and having the same origins 
and traditions. Yet this large body was and is yet 
broken up into separate rancherias, or settlements, 
each formerly hostile to all the others, this hostility 
being so great that merely to walk into a neighbor- 
ing rancheria in plain sight, not more than two miles 
off across the valley, was a sure way to commit 
suicide. And what is true of the Ifugaos is true of 
all the others. Could any other field have been more 
unpromising, have offered more difficulties? There 
were those thousands of savages shut up in their all 
but inaccessible mountains. Why not leave them 
there, to take one another's heads when occasion of- 
fered ? They raised nothing but rice and sweet po- 
tatoes, anyway, and not enough of those to keep 
from going hungry. Why concern one's self about 
them, when there was already so much to be done 
elsewhere ? 

266 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

To Mr. Worcester's everlasting honor, be it 
said, he took no such view. On the contrary, he 
went to work, and that after a simple fashion, but 
then, all great things are simple ! The first thing was 
to see the people himself; and then came the be- 
ginning of the solution, to push practicable roads 
and trails through the country. Once these estab- 
lished, communication and interchange would follow, 
and the way would be cleared for the betterment 
of relations and the removal of misunderstandings. 
Today an American may ride through the country 
alone, unarmed and unmolested;* twenty years ago 
a Spaniard trying the same thing would have lost 
his head within the first five miles. And this dif- 
ference is fundamentally due to the fact, already 
mentioned, of the honesty of our relations with these 
simple mountaineers. We have their confidence and 
their esteem and their respect, and this in spite of the 
necessity under which our authorities have constantly 
labored of punishing them when necessary and of in- 
sisting upon law and order wherever our jurisdiction 
prevails. The lesson has been hard to learn, but it 
has been driven home. The truth of the matter is, 
that a great missionary work has been begun; mis- 
sionary not in the limited sense of forcing upon the 

*Retana, in his edition (1909) of De Morga remarks (p. 502): 
' ' To-day there would not be many to dare go from Manila to 
Aparri by the road taken by the Spaniards in 1591." 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 267 

understanding of a yet circumscribed people a re- 
ligion unintelligible to them, but in the sense of 
teaching peace and harmony, respect for order, obe- 
dience to law, regard for the rights of others. 

A beginning accordingly has been made, but 
what is to be the end? We should not stay for an 
answer, could we but feel sure that but one answer 
were possible. But we can not feel sure on this 
head; the people of the Islands, whether civilized 
or uncivilized, have not yet gone far enough to pro- 
ceed alone. To drop the work now, nay, to lessen 
it, would merely be inviting a return to former evil 
conditions. No greater disaster could befall these 
highlanders to-day than a change entailing a dim- 
inution of the interest and sympathy felt for them 
at the seat of government. It is best to be plain 
about this matter : the Filipinos of the lowlands dis- 
like the highlander as much as they fear and dread 
him. They apparently can not bear the idea that 
but three or four hundred years ago they too were 
barbarians ;* for this reason the consideration of the 
highlander is distasteful and offensive to them. The 
appropriations of the Philippine Assembly for the 

*Some Igorots brought down to the Manila carnival of 1912 
were forced, at the request of Filipino authorities, to put on trous- 
ers. This was not for comfort's sake, no'- yet for decency's, for the 
bare human skin is no uncommon sigh, in Manila. Apparently, 
the Filipinos of Manila were unwilling to let the world note that 
their cousins of the mountains were still in the naked state. 

268 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

necessary administration of the Mountain Province 
are none too great; they would cease entirely could 
the Assembly have its own way in the matter. The 
system of communications, so well begun and al- 
ready so productive of happy results, would come to 
an end. To turn the destiny of the highlander over 
to the lowlander is, figuratively speaking, simply to 
write his sentence of death, to condemn as fair a 
land as the sun shines on to renewed barbarism. We 
are shut up to this conclusion, not by theoretical 
considerations, but by experience. The matter is 
worth examining a little closely, covering, as it does, 
not only the hill tribes, but non-Christians every- 
where else. 

Certain persons have demanded from time to 
time that the control of non-Christian tribes shall 
be turned over to the Filipinos. Now, pointing out 
in passing that the Filipinos and the non-Christians 
are distinct peoples, fully as distinct as the Dutch 
and the Germans, and that the Filipinos have no 
just claim to the ownership of the territory occu- 
pied by the wild men, let us ask ourselves if the 
Filipinos are able and fit to control the non-Christian 

*For a full discussion of this entire matter, see the Report 
of the Secretary of the Interior, Philippine Islands, for 1910, Wash- 
ington Government Printing Office, 191 1, from which the quotations 
given above are taken. 

Photograph by Stockbridge. 

Carved Wooden Figurines, Ifugao; 9 and 8.5 inches 
high, respectively. 

100 MILES 

Drawn by Glassford. 


The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 271 

Consider for a moment the facts set out in the 
following extracts : 

"With rare exceptions, the Filipinos are pro- 
foundly ignorant of the wild men and their ways. 
They seem to have failed to grasp the fact that the 
non-Christians, who have been contemptuously re- 
ferred to in the Filipino press, as a "few thousand 
savages asking only to be let alone," number ap- 
proximately a million and constitute a full eighth 
of the population of the Archipelago." 

"The average hillman hates the Filipinos on 
account of the abuses which his people have suffered 
at their hands, and despises them because of their 
inferior physical development and their compar- 
atively peaceful disposition, while the average Fili- 
pino who has ever come in close contact with wild 
men despises them on account of their low social 
development, and, in the case of the more warlike 
tribes, fears them because of their past record for 
taking sudden and bloody vengeance for real or 
fancied wrongs." 

"It is impossible to avoid plain speaking if 
this question is to be intelligently discussed; and 
the hard fact is, that wherever the Filipinos have 
come in close contact with the non-Christian in- 
inhabitants, the latter have almost invariably suf- 
fered at their hands grave wrongs, which the more 

272 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

warlike tribes, at least, have been quick to avenge. 
Thus a wall of prejudice and hatred has been built 
up between the Filipinos and the non-Christian 
tribes. It is a noteworthy fact that hostile feeling 
toward the Filipinos is strong even among people 
like the Tinguians who, barring their religious be- 
liefs, are in many ways as highly civilized as are 
their Ilocano neighbors." 

"The success of American rule over the non- 
Christian tribes of the Philippines is chiefly due to 
the friendly feeling which has been brought about." 

' ' The wild man has now learned for the first time 
that he has rights entitled to a respect other than 
that which he can enforce with his lance and his 
heaiLaxe. He has found justice in the courts. His 
property and his life have been made safe, and the 
American governor, wha punishes him sternly when 
he kills, is his friend and protector so long as he 
behaves himself." 

"Finally, it should be clearly borne in mind 
that the Filipinos have been given an excellent op- 
portunity to demonstrate practically their interest 
in the non-Christians, and their ability wisely to 
direct the affairs of primitive peoples. While the 
inhabitants of the Mountain Province, Nueva Viz- 
caya, Agusan, and the Moro Province are not now 
subject to control by them, and the inhabitants of 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 273 

Mindoro and Palawan are subject to their control 
only through the Philippine Legislature, there are 
non- Christian inhabitants in the provinces of Caga- 
yan, Isabela [and eighteen others]. 

"At the outset, these governors and provincial 
boards \i. e., of the provinces just mentioned] exer- 
cised over their non- Christian constitu tents precisely 
the same control they had over Filipinos. To the 
best of my knowledge and belief, not one single im- 
portant measure looking to the betterment of the 
condition of these non-Christian inhabitants was 
ever inaugurated by a Filipino during this period. 
Indeed, the fact that no expense would be volun- 
tarily incurred for them became so evident as to 
render necessary the passage, on December 16, 1905," 
of an act setting aside a portion of the public rev- 
enues for the exclusive benefit of the non-Christians. 

"After Apayao was established as a sub-prov- 
ince of Cagayan and the duty of providing funds 
for the maintenance of its government was explicitly 
imposed upon the provincial board of that prov- 
ince, the governor stated to me that, in his opinion, 
it would be useless to make the necessary expend- 
iture, and that, in his opinion, it would be better 
to kill all the savages in Apayao! As they number 
some 52,000, this method of settling their affairs 

274 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

would have been open to practical difficulties, apart 
from any humanitarian consideration!" 

"Contrast with this record of inaction and lack 
of interest the record of the special Government 
provinces* and the Moro Province, where dwell 
really formidable tribes, which have until recently 
engaged in piracy, head-hunting, and murder. Here 
very extensive lines of communication have been 
opened up by the building of roads and trails and 
the clearing of rivers. A good state of public order 
has been established. Head-hunting, slavery, and 
piracy are now very rare. The liquor traffic has 
been almost completely suppressed. Life and prop- 
erty have been rendered comparatively safe, and 
in much of the territory entirely so. In many in- 
stances, the wild men are being successfully used to 
police their own country. Agriculture is being de- 
veloped. Unspeakably filthy towns have been made 
clean and sanitary. The people are learning to 
abandon human sacrifices and animal sacrifices and 
to come to the doctor when injured or ill. Numerous 
schools have been established and are in successful 
operation. The old sharply drawn tribal lines are 
disappearing. Bon toe Igorots, Ifugaos, and Kalin- 
gas now visit each other's territory. At the same 
time that all of this has been accomplished, the 

*E. g., the Mountain Province. C. De W. W. 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 275 

good- will of the people themselves has been secured. 
They are outspoken in their appreciation of what 
has been done for them and in their expression of 
the wish that American rule should continue. They 
would be horror-stricken at the thought of being 
turned over to Filipino control."* 

' ' So far as concerns the warlike tribes, the work 
for their advancement thus far accomplished would 
promptly be lost; for they would instantly offer 
armed resistance to Filipino control, and the old 
haphazard intermittent warfare, profitless and worse 
than profitless for both peoples, would be resumed." 

"I say, in all kindness, but with deep conviction, 
that there is no reason for believing that Filipino 
control of the more pacific non-Christian tribes would 
not promptly result in the re-establishment of the 
old system of oppression which Americans have 
found it necessary to combat from the day when 
military rule was first established in these islands 
until now. I speak whereof I know when I say 
that the people of these tribes have been warned, 

*It is interesting to note that since the foregoing report was 
published, Captain Harris, Philippine Constabulary, has persuaded 
the Kalingas to turn in one hundred and eighty-seven firearms in 
their possession, and this without firing a shot himself. What this 
means may be inferred from the fact that all over the Islands, 
whether among Christians or non- Christians, the desire to have 
firearms is of the keenest. The great ambition of the Ifugao is 
to be a policeman, and so be authorized to carry a gun. The 
Moros will give $400.00 for an Army rifle and a belt of ammunition 
worth, say, $18.00. C. De W. W. 

276 The Plead Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

over and over again, by those interested in re-es- 
tablishing the old regime, that American control in 
the Philippines will be only temporary, and that 
when the government is turned over to the Fili- 
pinos the tribesmen will be punished for their pres- 
ent 'insubordination' and failure tamely to submit 
to injustice and oppression, as many of them for- 
merly did." 

These extracts speak for themselves. So far as 
is known, the report from which they are drawn 
has gone unchallenged. Is it necessary any further 
to consider the question of a transfer of control 
from the present authorities to the Filipinos or to 
any other authority? Would not any change in 
the present administration be singularly unwise? 
Of course, the views and arguments set forth here 
are extremely unpopular among the politicians of 
the native ruling class. But then no Filipino likes 
the plain, unvarnished truth, a fact that should re- 
ceive full weight in considering any demand or re- 
quest of native or racial origin, involving questions 
of government. 

With our own treatment of the American Indian 
in mind, our people should be the last to consent 
to any change in the relations or administration of 
the wild men of the Philippine Islands not fully 
justified by the amplest necessity, not warranted by 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 277 

well-grounded hopes of greater improvement. These 
men, for the first time in their history, are having a 
chance. That chance is fair to-day, and will con- 
tinue fair so long as its administration lies in Amer- 
ican hands, competent, trained, and experienced. 

In taking over the Philippines, we have inci- 
dentally become responsible for a large number of 
wild men. Their fate is bound up in that of the 
Islands. Now, these islands may remain under our 
control, or they may not. Obviously, then, the 
question has its political side: we may grant full 
international independence to the Philippines. In 
the belief of some this would be merely a signal for 
civil war in the Archipelago, the issue of which no 
man can guess. But whether or not, in granting 
independence to the Philippines, we shall be sign- 
ing the death-warrant of the highlander. Let us 
repeat that this people form one-tenth of the pop- 
ulation of Luzon: save as we are helping him, he 
can not as yet assert himself beyond the reach of 
his spear. Shall we be the ones to mark this as the 
limit beyond which he shall never go? Let us not 
deceive ourselves: a grant of independence means 
the abandonment of hundreds of thousands of peo- 
ple to perpetual barbarism. 

What would happen if the Islands fell into alien 
hands of course no one can tell. But there is strong 

278 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

ground for believing that Japan would enter a mighty 
bid for the sovereignty of the Archipelago, if we 
ever contemplate parting with it. Now, Japan in 
Formosa has for years been struggling, and without 
success, to control or subdue the aborigines of the 
mountains, a people of the same blood as the Igorots, 
of the same habits and traits, savage head-hunters, 
the terror of all the plainsmen of no matter what 
origin. It is interesting to read* that "among other 
measures taken by the Japanese authorities to ' con- 
trol ' the aborigines was the erection of barbed wire 
entanglements charged with electricity," the idea 
being, after surrounding a savage position by these 
entanglements, to have the troops drive the sav- 
ages upon them. Many people have refused to be- 
lieve that this electrical process has ever been put 
into effect, but the Kobe newspaper goes on to 
quote the correspondent of the Times in confirma- 
tion. And a correspondent from Shanghai, writingf 
to give the truth about the state of affairs in For- 
mosa and to defend the Japanese against the charge 
of ill-treating the savages, nevertheless admits hav- 
ing been shown the entanglements, which, he says, 
are "as harmless as any ordinary fence wire during 
the day, except in cases of serious uprising on the 

*The Japan Chronicle, weekly edition, Kobe, January 5, 1911. 
\lbid., same date. 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 279 

part of the savages. At night it is charged, but all 
the savages know this grave fact." According to 
the Times correspondent, some three hundred miles 
have already been set up, and the work will be 
pushed until the aborigines "are wholly caged." 
Lastly, the Chronicle reports the Governor-General 
of Formosa as fixing a term of three years for the 
suppression of the bravest and fiercest tribe of all, 
numbering 50,000, at a cost of 17,000,000 yen. Now, 
we have no interest here or elsewhere in what is, 
after all, a municipal affair of Japan's. She must 
and will settle her own problems as seems best to 
her, and, if she is driven to "suppress" her For- 
mosan aborigines, it is none of our business. More- 
over, before pronouncing upon the matter, we should 
in all fairness hear the other side, although it does 
look as though the electric wire fence must be ad- 
mitted. But there is enough in what is reported 
from Formosa to give us pause when we consider 
the possibility of parting with the control of the 
Philippine .Islands, whether to Japan or to any 
other nation. 

In so far as the wild tribes of the Archipelago 
are concerned, we have made a happy beginning; 
we owe it to our self-respect to carry on the work 
to a happy end. This we can do by heeding the 
simplest of rules: Leave well alone. 




"Am I my brother's keeper?" Genesis *v., 9. 

"If we lose sight of the welfare of the people in a creed or a 
phrase or a doctrine, we have taken leave of our intelligence, and 
we have proved ourselves unfit for leadership." A Letter to Uncle 

Shall we give their independence to the Philippines? To this 
question an answer is still to be made by the American people. 
Not only do we not know whether we shall give this independence 
or not, but we have not yet decided whether we ought to or not. 
Even if we could suppose that the country had made up its mind 
on the subject, it would still be true that no competent authority 
has considered the manner in which our country would translate 
its desires into action, whether in one direction or another. 

The reason of this state of affairs is not far to seek: our 
people neither know anything about these islands, nor do they 
care anything about them. Perhaps it is more accurate to say 
that our ignorance is the logical result of our indifference. The 
Islands are far away, as it were, inhabited by a different race, 
busied, on the whole, about things that form no part of our life, 
whether national or private. We have, as a people, bestowed no 
serious thought upon them; we have not yet raised the disposition 
to be made of them to the dignity of a national question. 


The Philippines became ours by the fortune of war. On the 
subsidence of the immediate questions raised by the war, we have 
continued in the ownership of the Islands without concerning our- 
selves thus far as to the ultimate place they are to occupy in our 
national ecomony. Of this state of affairs, but one opinion can 


284 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

be expressed: it is extraordinary. Even in a grossly material 
material point of view, our attitude is indefensible; if we regard 
ourselves as landlords, we are indifferent to our tenants; if as mere 
owners, then are we careless of the future of our property. We 
have not assumed the responsibilities involved with any national 
sense of responsibility; we have neither declared nor formed any 
policy. But in this fact lies the extraordinariness of the situation. 
Of the soundness of our title to the Islands at international law there 
is not the shadow of a doubt; the Islands are ours. What do we 
intend to do with them? Why have we not, after fourteen years' 
possession, found an answer to the question, or, in other words, 
declared a policy? Nations, no less than individuals, must take 
an interest in their property, and society demands as a right that 
any property of whatever nature shall be adjusted in respect of re- 
lations to all other property. We have followed this course as 
regards Cuba and Porto Rico; but, apart from taking the Phil- 
ippines and continuing to own them, we have made no adjustment 
of their case. The property, as such, has been administered, and, 
on the whole, well administered; the amount of work done, indeed, 
is astonishing. But that is not the issue: however good has been 
the official administration of the Archipelago, whatever the progress 
under our tutelage of its peoples as a whole, no one knows to-day 
what relation will be permanently established between the Archi- 
pelago and the United States, what our policy is, or is to be, in 
respect of the Islands. And yet upon our declaration of a policy 
hangs their future. The matter in its interest and importance is 
national; equally national is the indifference we have displayed 
with respect to its settlement. Both the United States and the 
Philippines are entitled to a decision. 


At the outset of any consideration of the question in hand, 
it is obvious that we are not shut up a priori to any one solution. 
Thus, we may decide to keep the Islands, or we may grant them 
immediate independence, or independence at some future date; we 
may establish a protectorate, or give a qualified independence, or 
even turn them over to some other power for example, England 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 285 

or Japan; or, finally, we may secure an international agreement 
to neutralize the Islands, thus ostensibly guarding them against 
athe mhitions of powerful neighbors of colonizing disposition. All 
of these solutions have at one time or another been memioned; 
not one of them has ever been officially announced by the Govern- 
ment, or ratified by the people. Although they are all possible, 
yet a moment's thought shows that they are of very different 
weight: it is hard to conceive, for example, of our turning the 
Islands over to England. Excluding, then, cession to any foreign 
power, we may roughly arrange the various possibilities in a 
scale, as it were: (a) absolute retention; (b) qualified retention; 
(c) protectorate; (d) neutralization; (e) international independence 
at some future date; (/) immediate international independence. On 
examining this list thus arranged, certain deductions appear. The 
stated various possibilities are not all independent, nor are they 
all exclusive one of the others. Thus (a) excludes all the rest, or, 
better, implies (b), (c), and (d), and excludes (e) and (/); (b) and (c) 
between them are not independent, since a qualified retention may 
pass into a protectorate. Neutralization not impossibly may ulti- 
mately call for a protectorate. Future independence, so long as 
unaccomplished, implies (a), (b), (c), and (d), while (/) is compl -tely 
exclusive. It may, however, not prevent foreign absorption, if, 
once out, we stay out. 

We shall not here take up all of these possibilities. Whatever 
other conclusion may be reached, the American people must first 
pass, either tacitly or explicitly, on retention or independence. If 
either of these extremes be selected, the other possibilities go by 
the board. If both are rejected, the remaining four will then have 
their day in court. 

Our immediate purpose, then, is to discuss the question with 
which this investigation opens, with the definite purpose of sug- 
gesting, if not of reaching, conclusions that may help others in 
forminga a decision. It is only when individual decisions have so 
increased in number as in some sort to form a body of public 
opinion that future action, whether for or against independence, is 
to be expected. 

286 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 


However unjustly the American people may treat its own 
self in respect of tariffs and other issues deeply affecting its welfare, 
it may be taken for granted, and is so taken here, that in foreign 
relations the desire of the people is to do what is right. The right 
determined, a duty is imposed. Clearly, then, we must first try 
to discover in this case what is right what is right for us, what 
is right for the Islanders. It may be that what is theoretically 
right, or regarded as theoretically right, shall turn out to be prac 
tically wrong; or that what is right for the one shall be wrong 
for the other. Again, some common standing-ground may be 
found, where the right of each, converted into the rights of both, 
may so far overlap as substantially to coincide. 

The idea is held by a vigorous few, and incessantly expressed, 
that the American people, through force of arms, is holding in 
subjection and depriving of liberty another people; that this state 
of affairs is wrong, bad for both sides, and should come to an end 
by an immediate grant of full independence to the Filipino people, 
because no one nation is good enough to hold any other in sub- 
jection. It is pertinent to remark, that these ideas so far have 
found no nation-wide expression: as already said, they are the 
expression of only a few, but they may be the private opinions 
of many. Taken together, they constitute what may be called 
the purely abstract view of the case. This view takes no account 
of attendant conditions; it asserts that the right is one and only 
one thing, and can not be anything else; that is to say, it defines the 
right and refuses to admit that any other definition will hold, or 
that any elements can enter into the definition other than those 
which it has seen fit to include. If no other aspect of the case be 
correct, our duty is indeed plain. But it is conceivable that this 
view may not be correct, or at least that so many other factors 
have to be considered that what might be true in the abstract is 
subject to very considerable modification when applied to things 
as they are. 

Of this, no better illustration can be given here than the 
error committed when it is asserted that we, one people, are hold- 
ing another people, the Filipino, in subjection. As a matter of fact, 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 287 

there is no Filipino people. A certain number of persons, about 
eight millions, inhabit the Philippine Archipelago, but it is no more 
correct to call these one people than it is to call the Europeans one 
people because they happen to inhabit the European continent. 
It is well to keep this point in mind, because, unless a grave error 
is here committed, the impression prevails that it is one single, 
homogeneous people whom we are unjustly depriving of independ- 
ence. At any rate, if not categorically expressed, the connotation 
of the idea of homogeneity exists. How far this is from the truth 
is so evident to any person having the slightest real acquaintance 
with the Philippines, that it would hardly be worth while to dwell 
upon the matter here, were it not for the ignorance of our people 
at large. It is convenient to speak of the Filipino people, just as it 
is convenient to speak of the Danish people, or of the English; 
but whereas, when we say "Danish" or "English" we mean one defi- 
nite thing that exists as such, when we say "Filipino" we should un- 
derstand that the term stands for a relatively great number of very 
different things. For example, confining ourselves for the moment to 
the Christianized tribes, it may be asserted that the inhabitants of 
the great Cagayan Valley, the tobacco-growing country, are at least 
as different from those of the Visayas, the great middle group of 
Islands, as are the Italians from the Spanish. Precisely similar dif- 
ferences, increasing, roughly, with the difference of latitude, may 
be drawn almost at random between any other pairs of the ele- 
ments constituting the Filipino population. The Ilokanos, to give 
only one more illustration, have almost nothing more in common 
with the Bicols than the fact that they both probably come from 
the same original stock, just as the English and the Germans have N. 
the same ancestors. All these subdivisions speak different lan- 
guages, and the vast majority do not speak Spanish at all. 

But this is not all. The Filipino peoples are divided into 
two great classes, the Christian and the non-Christian. Now, these 
non- Christians number over a million, and are themselves broken 
up into many subdivisions, not only differing in language, customs, 
habits and traditions, but until very recently bitterly hostile to 
one another, and so low in the scale of political development that, 
unlike our own Indians, they have never risen to any conception 

288 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

of even tribal government or organization. Moreover, in Moro- 
land, in the great island of Mindanao with its neighbors, the situ- 
ation is further complicated by the fact that the dominant elements 
are Mohammedan. Over most of these non- Christians the Span- 
iards had not even the shadow of control. The appellation "Fil- 
ipino people" is therefore wholly erroneous; more than that, it is 
even dangerously fallacious, in that its use blinds or tends to 
blind our own people to the real conditions existing in the Archi- 
pelago. It isj?orrect to speak of the Filipino peoples, because this 
expression is, geographically, accurately descriptive; but it is ab- 
solutely misleading to speak of the Filipino people, because of the 
false political idea involved and conveyed by the use of the singular 
number. Similarly, there is no objection to the term "Filipino" or 
"Filipinos," so long as we understand it to mean merely an inhab- 
itant or the inhabitants of the Philippine Archipelago, more nar- 
rowly the Christianized inhabitant or inhabitants; but it is dis- 
tinctly wrong to give to the term a political or national color. It 
may be remarked now that the divisions, both Christian and non- 
Christian, of which we have been speaking, determined as they 
are by natural conditions, are likely to survive for many genera- 
tions to come. At any rate, the fact that many, and those the 
most important, constituent elements of the proposed independent 
government are widely separated by the seas, and that even those 
situated on the same islands are confined by mountain ranges 
hitherto extremely difficult to cross, makes it plain that the homo- 
geneity necessary to the formation and permanency of a strong 
government will be hard to secure, or, if ever secured, to maintain. 
When, therefore, it is proposed to grant independence to the 
Philippine Islands, let it be recollected that this grant is to be 
made not to a single homogeneous people, of one speech, of one 
religion, of one state of civilization, of one degree of social and 
political development, but to an aggregation of peoples, of different 
speech, of different religions, of widely varying states of social 
and political development, of little or no communication with one 
another to an aggregation, in short, whose elements, before 1898, 
had had but one bond, the involuntary bond of inherited sub- 
jection to Spanish authority, and all of which to-day are distin- 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 289 

guished by the characteristic trait of the Oriental, absence of the 
quality of sympathy. 


Since, at international law, our title to the Islands is unclouded , 
it follows that our responsibility in the premises is complete. If, 
therefore, in the administration of our responsibility, our wards 
should make a request for independence, it is our duty to examine 
this request, to inquire into its origin, and then to investigate its 
reasonableness with the purpose of determining whether, in the 
circumstances, our wards are able, prepared, or ready to undertake 
the responsibilities which they pray us to discharge upon them. 
That the request for independence is made, and frequently 
made, there can be no doubt. It has been made in the past and 
it will continue to be made in the future. One hears it in speeches, 
and the native press echoes it. Regularly the Assembly closes, or 
used to close, its sessions by a resolution calling upon the United 
States to grant immediate independence to the Philippine Islands. 
Apparently the request has some volume; in any case, it is more 
01 less loudly made. Now, if the demand is widespread, if it comes 
from all ranks of society, from the humblest peasant in the rice- 
paddies to the richest merchant of Manila, from the tobacco- 
planter of the Cagayan Valley to the hemp-stripper of Davao, if 
it is made in full recognition of the responsibilities involved, then, 
whether we are disposed to grant it or not, it is a serious matter. 
It becomes serious, objectively, because so many people are asking 
for it. Even if the demand come but from a few, the matter is 
nevertheless, subjectively, one of concern, because we are respon- 
sible, and no factor or element should be overlooked in making 
up our minds. 

Now, it is a fact that the chief demand for independence comes 
from the Tagalogs, the subdivision or tribe of the Filipinos (we 
are using the word here and elsewhere as a convenience merely) 
inhabiting Manila and the adjacent provinces. We speak hi all 
kindliness when we say that they are distinguished by a certain 
restlessness of disposition, by a considerable degree of vanity. They 
are not so given to labor as some others for example, the Ilokanos, 

290 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

to whom they are measurably inferior in point of trustworthiness. 
More numerous than any other tribe except the Visayans, they 
are also wealthier and better educated. Some of them have there- 
fore earned and achieved distinction, but these are exceptions, for 
in general they are characterized by volatility and superficiality. 
They are more mixed in blood than other tribes. It is not without 
significance that it was these same Tagalogs who organized in the 
past the chief insurrections against the domination of Spain, prin- 
cipally, as is well known, because of the misrule of the friars. It 
is also a fact that the farther one removes from Manila the feebler 
becomes the cry for independence. If we consider the condition 
of the loudest supporters of the movement, we find them all, or 
nearly all, to be politicians, politicos. Some of these politicians are 
not Tagalogs for example, Sen or Osmena, the Speaker of the 
Assembly, is a Visayan; so that it would perhaps be more ac- 
curate to say of the entire propaganda that it is an affair of the 
politicians, supported chiefly by Tagalogs. In other words, it is 
worth while to ask ourselves if the demand for independence be 
real, arising out of the necessities of the people, or artificial, ex- 
ploited by the politicians for ends not unfamiliar to us here in the 
States. It is useless to appeal for a decision to public opinion in 
the Archipelago, that shall include the whole population, for no 
such public opinion exists or can exist. And N if it be argued that 
lack of public opinion is no disproof of the existence of a real desire 
for independence, the rejoinder springs at once to the tongue, that 
independence would be a sham where public opinion is impossible. 
There is cause to believe that the true aspect of the case is to be 
found in a remark made by a young Tagalog (to Mr. Taft himself, 
if we recollect aright), that there was no reason why independence 
should not be established at once, seeing that the two things needed 
already existed in the Philippines to-wit, the governed in the shape 
of the peasantry of the fields, and the governors among the gente 
fina, the gente ilustrada (the superior classes) of Manila. However 
this may be, a native newspaper of Manila, distinguished by its 
hostility to all things American, by its insistent demand for in- 
dependence, did not hesitate to accuse the wealthy Filipino class 
of being "refractory to the spirit of association," of being "ego- 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon, 291 

tistical and disdainful toward the middle and lower classes," and 
of refusing "to join their interests with those of the lower classes."* 

We do not go so far as do some, and believe that the whole 
agitation is but a conspiracy to place the destinies of the Islands 
in the hands of an oligarchy. But, in all probability, a Tagalog 
oligarchy would be formed; for the capital, Manila, is Tagalog, 
the adjacent provinces are Tagalog, the wealthy class of the Islands 
on the whole is Tagalog, and there is no middle class anywhere. 
The mere fact that the capital is situated in the Tagalog prov- 
inces would perhaps alone determine the issue, apart from the 
fact that the Tagalogs are the dominant element of the native 
population. Before granting independence, therefore, we should 
be reasonably sure that we are not in reality placing supreme con- 
trol in the hands of a few. 

But let us suppose that in fact the populations of the Archi- 
pelago were quite generally to ask for independence. We must 
again ask ourselves, How genuine or real would this demand be? 
It is not very difficult to answer this question. The Filipino is 
most easily led and influenced; indeed, it is to be doubted if any- 
where else in the world a being can be found more easily led and 
influenced. f For example, it is relatively not an uncommon thing, 
certainly in the Tagalog provinces, for a man having a grudge 
against a neighbor to invite three or four friends to join him in 
boloing his enemy. The invitation is frequently accepted, although 
the guests may themselves have nothing whatever against the 
victim-to-be. Early in 1909, a miscreant who had been parading 
himself in women's clothes as a female Jesus Christ, upon exposure 
by a native doctor, out of revenge got together a band of nineteen 
men, and with their help proceeded to cut the doctor to pieces. 
This occurred within a day's march of Manila. The example just 
given suggests another Filipino trait, the readiness with which the 
more ignorant will swallow any and all religious nostrums, and 

*See the weekly Manila Times, October 21, 1910. 

^According to a story current some years ago, a distinguished officer of 
our Army serving in the Philippines once remarked to a justly celebrated native 
judge of the highest character, that he had no opinion of the "native justice, and 
added, that for a thousand pesos he could procure witnesses to prove that the 
judge had committed a murder in such a place, although the judge had never 
been in the place in his life. "Absurd," remarked the judge. "How absurd?" 
"You misunderstand me," answered the judge; "it would be absurd to spend a 
thousand pesos on such a purpose when two hundred would suffice." 

292 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

form absurd sects, usually for the financial or other material ben- 
efit of their leaders. In yet another case, a murderous bandit* 
of Tayabas Province, a Tagalog province, whom we caught and 
very properly hanged, used to promise as a reward for any 
deed of special villainy in which he might be interested, a bit of 
independencia (independence), and then would show a box with 
the word painted on it, declaring that it contained a supply sent 
down to him from Manila. He never failed to find men to do 
his will. Our purpose in citing these examples, whose number 
\ might be indefinitely multiplied, is not to show that the poor, 
\ ignorant Filipino is especially criminal of disposition, but to point 
\out the ease with which he can be led by other men. If, under 
Wil influence, he will altruistically, as it were, consent to almost 
any crime, obviously he can be induced to consent to almost any- 
thing else. His consent or acquiescence can not be taken to in- 
dicate appreciation of the issue. 

If told, then, by his political leaders that he must ask for 
independence, the Filipino most certainly will ask for it; and the 
fact that in the majority of cases he has no idea of what he is ask- 
ing for will make no difference to him, just as this makes no dif- 
ference to his cacique, or boss. But it ought to make a great deal 
of difference to us. We may be giving him edged tools to play 
with, only to find when too late that the edge has been turned 
against him, a result for which we should then be directly respon- 
sible. If a general or universal request could be taken to show 
that lack of independence is operating to deprive the Filipino of 
his liberty and to estop him in the pursuit of happiness, the situ- 
ation of affairs would be confessedly acute. But it is a fact patent 
to all who know the country, that the Filipino enjoys a freedom 
at least as great as that of the average American citizen, and is 
at complete liberty to pursue happiness in any way consistent with 
the law of the land and with the rights of others. We must con- 
clude that a request, even if universal, would not necessarily be 

'''This worthy, Ruperto Rfos by name, in succession promoted himself to 
brigadier and major general, and then announced himself as generalissimo. As 
though this were not enough, he next proclaimed himself pope, "Papa Rios," and then 
crowned his earthly glories by calling himself Jesus Christ, and as such was 
hanged. Our pity for such self-delusion is tempered by the tact that the purpose 
in view was crime. 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 293 

for us a safe guide of action. The universality shown might prove 
merely that all had agreed to what had been proposed by the 
leaders, and would leave untouched the merits of the case. 


Intimately allied with this question of reasonableness are 
those of readiness, preparedness, capacity to assume the burdens 
as well as the rights and privileges of independence. 

On readiness, we need not dwell; it is the readiness of ac- 
quiescence, not of preparation: the Filipinos are ready, just as 
children are ready to play with matches. But preparedness and 
capacity call for more consideration, however brief. 

No one will pretend that the Filipinos have had any political 
training. Before the arrival of the Spaniards, only 350 years ago, 
they were all uncivilized. Many of them are still semi-savages I 
others are savages pure and simple. These facts are indisputable. 
If, then, we turn to history for assistance, we can not find a single 
instance of any real political evolution in any of the various di- 
visions of the inhabitants of the Archipelago. The exception fur- 
nished by the debased Mohammedan sultanates of the great Island 
of Mindanao is only apparent. The germ of fruitful growth is 
everywhere missing. Now, the Spaniards assuredly took no steps 
to teach their new subjects the art and science of government: 
there was every reason, from their point of view, why they should 
not teach this art and science. On the other hand, our own course 
has been totally different. We have lost no time in putting po- 
litical power into the hands of the natives, so that to-day, after 
fourteen years' possession, municipal and provincial government 
are almost wholly native. To crown all, we have given the Fil- 
ipinos an elective legislature, an Assembly, all the members of 
which are native. Students of the subject at first hand, impartial 
observers on the spot, declare freely that we have gone much too 
fast, and that we have granted a measure of political administration 
and government beyond the native power of assimilation and di- 
gestion. With this opinion, sound though it be, we are not im- 
mediately concerned: the point we wish to bring out is that the 
experiment we have made is not free; that the case is one of con- 

294 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

strained motion, since everyone knows that the mighty power oj 
the United States dominates the entire situation, and that under 
these conditions the Filipinos have been exercising themselves in 
the form of government, rather than in responsible government 
itself. The Filipino government as such has faced no crisis: be- 
hind its treasury stands that of the metropolis. Order is assured 
by the garrison maintained by us, internal police by the Constab- 
ulary, another agency of American origin. But, even if all this 
were not true, it is questionable if an experience of only eight or 
nine years affords sufficient ground for the belief that a nascent 
government could exist and advance under its own power alone. 

Our training, ample and generous though it may have been, 
as it has not, for lack of time if for no other reason, prepared the 
native to govern himself, so it furnishes no real test of his capacity 
to govern himself. Self-government is not a function of the mere 
ability to fill certain offices, to discharge certain routine duties of 
administration: it depends for its existence and maintenance on 
the possession of certain qualities, and still more, perhaps, on the 
possession of those qualities by a majority of the people who prac- 
tice or are to practice self-government, on an educated and inherited 
interest of the citizen in the questions affecting his welfare in so 
far as this is conditioned by government. Tested in this wise, the 
Filipino breaks down locally; to believe that anything else will 
happen internationally is to blind one's self to the teaching of 

But there is yet another test. If political independence is 
to be of value to those who have it, if it is to endure in any useful 
way, it must rest on economic independence. The state must be 
able to meet its obligations, and by this we do not mean merely 
its current bills, its housekeeping bills, as it were, but its obliga- 
tions of all and whatever nature, interior police, finance, adminis- 
tration, dispensation of justice, communications, sanitation, edu- 
cation, defense. We do not find these things too easy in our own 
land, and all of us can without effort bring to mind examples of 
independent societies in tropical regions, where, these things being 
neglected, the resultant government is a mockery. Have we any 
reason to believe that the Filipino, untrained, inexperienced, occu- 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 295 

pying an undeveloped area of special configuration in a region 
where continuous effort is disagreeable and initiative distressing, 
will achieve success where others of greater original fitness have 
made a failure? 

Evidently the possibility of obtaining an answer to this ques- 
tion depends on the possibility of determining, within allowable 
limits of precision, the qualities and defects of the Filipino peoples. 
Now, this is a difficult thing to do, but it is not an impossible thing ; 
at any rate, a first approximation may be derived from the author- 
ities quoted in the "Census of the Philippine Islands," 1903, pp. 
492 et seq. In time, these authorities range from Legaspi, 1565, 
to our own day, and include governors, prelates, travellers, engin- 
eers, priests, etc., among whom are found Spaniards, Englishmen, 
Americans, and Filipinos. As might be expected, all sorts of qual- 
ities and defects are reported. Classifying these, and rejecting from 
consideration all, whether quality or defect, not supported by at 
least five authorities, it may be concluded, so far as this induction 
goes, that the Filipino is, on the one hand, hospitable, courageous, 
fond of music, show, and display; and, on the other, indolent, super- 
stitious, dishonest, and addicted to gambling. One quality, imita- 
tiveness, is possibly neutral. It would appear that his virtues do 
not especially look toward thrift i. e., economic independence 
and that his defects positively look the other way. If the witnesses 
testifying be challenged on the score of incompetency, let us turn 
to the reports of the supervisors of the census, contained in the 
volume already cited; for these cover the entire Archipelago, and 
set forth actual conditions at one and the same epoch, 1903, the 
date of the census. Moreover, these supervisors, as well as the 
special agents and enumerators, were nearly all natives. When, 
therefore, these supervisors report the mass of the Christianized 
Filipinos as simple and superstitious, we may be sure that we have 
the truth; but we are also inevitably led to the conclusion of eco- 
nomic unfitness. As this matter of economic independence is one 
of the first importance in determining the future of the Islands, we 
must look for all the light possible on the question. A flood is 
thrown on it by an article entitled " Nulla est Redemptio," published 
in the (native) La Democracia, of Manila, October 10, 1910, and 

296 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

believed to be the production of perhaps the ablest Filipino alive 
to-day. Premising that agriculture is the chief source of Philip- 
pine wealth, and that this source failing, all others must fail, the 
author points out that, although taxes are lighter in the Archipelago 
than in any other country, production is much less, and that this 
is the chief cause of the prevailing economic distress. He points 
out further that the Assembly is wholly native, as are all municipal 
and nearly all provincial officers, and that therefore they, and the 
constituencies that elected them, must assume responsibility. Now, 
what has been achieved? The provinces have spent money on 
buildings and parks, but, with one brilliant exception, none on 
roads. Nothing has been done for agriculture. Of the munici- 
palities, the least said the better; they are a wreck in the full 
extension of the word. And, as the hope of a people must rest in 
its youth, what does he find to be the case? Thousands of can- 
didates in pharmacy, law, medicine; as regards the Civil Service, 
enough candidates to fill all the posts in the Islands for generations 
to come. But of farmers, young men willing to return to the fields, 
their own fields, and by the sweat of their brow to work out the 
salvation of the country? None: the development of this prin- 
cipal element of national existence is left to the ignorant and in- 
dolent peasantry. He draws no less gloomy a picture in respect 
of capital and property. Nine- tenths of Manila, and all important 
provincial real estate, is mortgaged. Capital is furnished at ex- 
orbitant rates of interest, and usury prevails. In the country, no 
security is accepted save real property, and then only when the 
lender is satisfied that his debtor will be unable to pay, and that 
the security will pass. 

Bad as the outlook is, no remedy suggests itself. For, re- 
turning to the theme that agriculture is recognized as vital, much 
energy is spent in discussion, discourses, lectures, in writing arti- 
cles, in discovering reasons why agriculture does not flourish, but 
-nothing else and nothing more.* 

The picture may be overdrawn; but it is a Filipino picture, 
drawn by a Filipino hand. Let us now permit the native press 

:;: It is only fair to remark that the Government is doing every thing in its 
power to develop native interest in agriculture. Of course it is too early as yet to 
say whether its efforts will be rewarded. 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 297 

to speak again on the subject engaging our attention. Thus Van- 
guardia* a bitter anti- American sheet, arraigns its wealthy fellow- 
countrymen for lack of initiative and fondness of routine. It ac- 
cuses them of a willingness to invest in city property, to deposit 
money in banks, "to make loans at usurious rates, in which they 
take advantage of the urgent and pressing necessities of then- 
countrymen," but of unwillingness "to engage in agriculture, ma- 
rine or industrial enterprise"; and says they are "generally lack- 
ing in the spirit of progression." According to another native 
newspaper, the vice of gambling has infected all classes of society, 
men and women alike, rich and poor, young and old. Here it is 
almost impossible to overdraw the picture, so widespread is the vice. 
Let us now couple these statements, drawn from native 
sources, with the fact that the Christianized tribes, all told, number 
some 7,000,000; that of these but one-tenth speak Spanish; and 
that of this tenth only a very few are educated in any accepted 
sense of the word. Repeating here a form of summation already 
employed in this discussion, let us bear in mind that, if we decide 
to make a grant of independence, we shall be deciding to grant it 
to a population, composed, first, of a very few educated persons; 
next, of a small fraction able, through the possession of Spanish, 
to communicate with one another; and, lastly, of a remainder 
the vast, the immense majority not only unable so to communi- 
cate, but characterized by qualities that, however commendable 
in themselves, do not constitute a foundation on which popular 
self-government may safely rest. Further, we mean to grant it 
to a population which contains no middle class, to one in which 
the poor are peculiarly at the mercy of the rich, and in which 
nearly all the elements that make for economic independence are 
conspicuously lacking. 


What would happen if we were to grant immediate inde- 
pendence to the Islands? Without having the gift of prophecy, 
one runs no risk in declaring that civil war would be almost un- 
avoidable. At least this is the belief of some well-informed Fili- 

= Quoted in the weekly Manila Times of October 21, 1910. 

298 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

pinos, a belief that appears to have some ground when we take 
into account the great probability of a Tagalog oligarchy. But, 
without going so far as to predict armed strife, it would seem that 
any government, not held together by some strong external power, 
would soon begin to break up. Its various elements, not only dif- 
ferentiated from one another by speech, but physically separated, 
in many cases, by the seas, would tend to fall apart. The Visayas, 
for example, would refuse sooner or later to acknowledge the Ta- 
galog supremacy of Luzon. If we proceed farther south still, what 
practicable bond can be found to exist between Mindanao, peopled 
by Mohammedans and savages, and Luzon or Panay or Negros? 
The consequences of such a disruption as is here predicted must 
occur to everyone. The gravest of these, gravest in that it would 
defeat our purpose in granting independence, would be foreign 
intervention. Japan would most certainly insist on being heard. 
Now, the Filipinos, as a whole, prefer our sovereignty to that of 
the Japanese. England, too, would have a right to interfere for 
the protection of her commercial interests in the Archipelago. It 
exercised this sort of right, in 1882, by seizing Egypt in behalf of 
civilization in general. In the meantime, the Moros of Mindanao 
and Jolo would have resumed their piratical excursions to the north- 
ward, burning, killing, and carrying off slaves. If this be questioned, 
then let us recollect that as recently as 1897 they carried off slaves from 
the Visayas, a sporadic case, probably, but giving evidence that the 
disease of piracy is to-day merely latent. Given an opportunity, 
it will break out again. Under independence, the large, beautiful, 
and fertile island of Mindanao would be left to its own devices, 
would be lost to civilization. Upon this point we need have no 
doubt whatever. The issue of Filipino control of Mindanao was 
very clearly raised, when Mr. Dickinson, the late Secretary of War, 
visited Mindanao in August of 1910. Upon this occasion Mr. 
Dickinson, in response to a Filipino plea for immediate independ- 
ence, with consequent control of the Moros, made a speech in 
which he declared the unwillingness of the Government to entrust 
to the 66,000 Filipinos living in Mindanao the government of the 
350,000 Moros of this province. At the close of this speech, four 
datus (chiefs), present with 2,000 of their people, and controlling 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 299 

the destinies of 40,000 souls, swore allegiance to the United States ; 
and, requesting that, if the Americans ever withdrew from Min- 
danao, the Moros should be placed in control, firmly announced, 
at the same time, their intention to fight if the Americans should 
ever take their departure. One of the datus, Mandi by name, was 
outspoken in praise of the present Government, and both he and 
the other chiefs declared that they were contented with things as 
they are. Such testimony as is afforded by the foregoing incident 
is not lightly to be brushed aside to make way for an abstraction. 
If disregarded, then the efforts that we have made to better the 
condition of Mindanao, to introduce some idea of law and order, 
some notion of the value of peace and of industry, will come to 
a sudden end; for the Christianized Filipinos can never hope to 
cope with the active warlike pirates of Moroland. So far as this 
part of the Archipelago is concerned, a grant of independence means 
the re-establishment of slavery, the recrudescence of piracy,* the 
reincarnation of barbarism. How great a pity this would be may 
be inferred from the fact that Mindanao forms nearly one-third 
of the Archipelago in area, and exceeds Java in arable land. Now, 
Java supports a population of over 25,000,000. 

If we turn our attention to the other non-Christian elements 
of the Islands, the case is no better. The Christianized Filipino 
fears and dreads the pagan mountaineers, the head-kmiters^ who 
occupy so large a part of Luzon, the largest and most important 
island of the Archipelago. He grudges every centavo spent under 
our direction for the betterment of these truly admirable wild men. 
The governor, the Christian governor, of a province bordering on 
the wild men's territory, had, indeed, no other idea of the way to 
treat his pagan neighbors, about 50,000 in number, than to kill 
them all. His argument was that they were worse than useless: 
why spend any money on them, when, by exterminating them, all 
questions affecting them would be forever answered? But, under 
our administration, some excellent work has been done, and is 

*That piracy, even under our strong control is not dead, is shown by the fol- 
owing : 

"MANILA, April 15 A pirate raid, is reported from Jolo, where a Japanese 
pearl-fishing boat was found adrift and looted. The crew of the pearler are 
missing, and are believed to be murdered. The Mataja Lighthouse has also been 
attacked and robbed, presumably by the same band. Gunboats have been sent to 
investigate." New York Times, April 15, 1912. 

300 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

growing, to turn these as yet unspoiled peoples to account in the 
destinies of the Archipelago. Independence would mean the end 
of this work, the restoration of the old order of rapine, murder, and 
all injustice as between Christians and pagans, and of internecine 
strife and warfare as between the communities of the pagans them" 
selves. That this result would follow is not even questioned by 
those who have acquired their knowledge at first hand. Are we 
willing to shoulder the responsibility of such a result? 

We have at our very doors an example of the danger of in- 
dependence to a people unfitted for the burdens and responsibilities 
of self-government. We have already since 1900 been compelled 
once to intervene in the affairs of Cuba: the possibility of a fresh 
intervention continually stares our statesmen in tne face. But 
Cuba, let it be observed, in contrast with the Philippines, has but 
one language, one religion ; it has no wild tribes, no Mohammedans ; 
its provinces are not separated from one another by seas of diffi- 
cult navigation, are bound together by suitable communications. 
The curse of Cuba is personal politics: have we any assurance 
that this same curse in a worse form would not come to blast the 


Some of the conclusions reached or hinted at in the course 
fo this argument must have formed themselves in the minds of at 
least a few Filipinos of independent character. Otherwise how 
shall we account for the fact that some declare their disbelief in 
the possibility of independence? How else shall we explain what 
is far more significant, the silence under this head of the really 
first-rate men of the Archipelago? Is it not worthy of note that 
Rizal himself, the posthumous apostle of the Philippines, never 
advocated or contemplated independence? In yet other cases, the 
belief held finds expression in the assertion that the Islands must 
be declared independent, but only under the protection of the 
United States. What that would ultimately mean is so plain to 
those who know the country as to require no consideration here. 
It may even be asserted on the best of authority, so far as any 
authority is possible in such a case, that not even those who shout 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 301 

the loudest for independence are sincere in their clamor: the As- 
sembly itself would be seriously disturbed if its resolution to this 
end should suddenly be honored by the United States. 

We make bold to quote here, in full, a short editorial that 
appeared in the Weekly Times of Manila, December 30, 1910: 

"Mr. Perry Robinson, whose articles on the Philippines are 
now being published by the London Times, makes one point that 
offers a valuable suggestion to our ardent friends of the Nationalist 
party.* While here, Mr. Robinson interviewed a number of the 
leaders of the party and discovered that they were all afraid of 
immediate independence. They admitted that the country and 
people would not be ready for it for years, and, when pressed for 
an explanation, said they feared, if they did not press the question 
now, it would not avail them to do so later on. The inconsistency 
of the present position must strike every sensible person who ex- 
amines it. Let us assume that the United States Government de- 
cides at this time to give ear to the plea of those who are politically 
active in the Philippines what will happen? It will dispatch a 
commission or committee to the Islands to examine the representa- 
tions of those who make the plea. It is admitted by even the Na- 
tionalist leaders, when speaking privately on this question, that 
the people are not ready to shift for themselves and can not be made 
ready for some years. Surely it is not believed that the investi- 
gators are going to be deceived about the real truth as to conditions 
in the Islands, and we are unable to see what good is to be accom- 
plished by having this inquiry made. 

"Would it not be infinitely better for the Nationalist and 
other leaders in this country to squarely face the facts and base 
all their future operations on the facing of those facts? One diffi- 
culty is that they have made a lot of promises and professions to 
the people that they are incapable of fulfilling, and another is that 
they have largely aided in deceiving the people themselves as to 
where they really stand and as to what they are really capable of 
under present conditions. But to go on means discredit and failure 
in the end, and a greater work could be done for the country at 
large by squarely facing the facts. It must be admitted that 
*The party of immediate independence. 

302 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

neither position is especially pleasant. There has been created 
among the people a vanity of ability and power that will make 
the blow a hard one; but, unless there are Filipino leaders capable 
of making the people realize the truth about their position, there 
is really not much hope for them in the future. 

"The truth is, that the race must be built up physically and 
its numbers be enormously increased before it may seriously as- 
sume the obligations of statehood; and, for our part, we await 
the statesman who is prepared to drive this and other important 
lessons home to the minds and hearts of the people. 

"Assurance and pretense serve their purposes on many oc- 
casions, but they must be set aside when it comes to the test that 
will be applied to the plea that Filipino leaders now make with 
such persistency." 

It is maintained that the matter of this short editorial de- 
serves to be as deeply pondered by the people of the United States 
as by the Filipinos to whom it is specially addressed. 

That all this talk of independence, the motions to that end 
occasionally made in Congress, the circulation of so-called anti- 
imperialistic literature, have so far endangered the real interests 
of the Philippines, there can be no reasonable doubt. The inde- 
pendence propaganda prevents, or tends to prevent, recognition 
of the fact that the Philippines will be greater with the United 
States than they can ever hope to be standing alone, if so be that 
they can stand alone at all. It has retarded the development of 
the Islands and has checked progress. It forces into the back- 
ground the fact that with an infinitude of work lying before Amer- 
icans and Filipinos alike, if the Islands are to have their full value 
in the world's economy, the best way to do this work is for Amer- 
icans and Filipinos to labor together, each contributing his share 
to the common result. Upon this safe ground both may stand. 
"The law of life is labor; the joy of life is accomplishment." But 
we can not labor if the fruits of our toil may be torn from us; 
accomplishment is impossible in the face of uncertainty and dis- 
sension. If our people have the welfare of the Philippines genuinely 
at heart, it must thoroughly consider the question of permanent 
retention; for this course, on the one hand, would not only clear 

The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 303 

away all misunderstanding, but, on the other, it would meet the 
real responsibilities of the case. There is no disposition here to 
burke the fact that these responsibilities are serious, if not onerous ; 
that they call for administrative statesmanship of a very high 
order. But we should also recognize the fact that these responsi- 
bilities are ours, created by us, and that our rejection of them is 
sure to be followed by consequences disastrous, not to us, but to 
the Filipinos themselves. If, on the other hand, we accept these 
responsibilities, then sooner or later Americans and Filipinos to- 
gether could bend their energies to the development of a country 
in which they would now have the same interest. And if, under 
the prevailing uncertainty, so much has already been accomplished 
in preventing disease, abating epidemics, building roads and bridges, 
erecting telegraphs and telephones, lighting the coasts, establish- 
ing courts of law, equalizing taxation, conserving forests, founding 
schools and colleges, encouraging commerce and agriculture, what 
may not unreasonably be expected if all shall feel that the founda- 
tions of order, system, and justice are permanent, that life is secure, 
liberty assured, and the pursuit of happiness possible? 

Surely there is significance in the effect at once produced in 
the sugar-raising islands by the passage of the Payne Bill: idle 
fields were planted to cane, and the elections took an unmistakable 
americanista trend. There is no better peacemaker than the pay- 
master. The Assembly, it is true, fulminated against the bill: 
success, prosperity, contentment under its operation might mean 
the dissolution of a dream. So they might; but the bill also cate- 
gorically established the possibility, and more than the possibility, of 
permanently profitable relations under the aegis of the United States . 
It might even ultimately greatly reduce, if not entirely destroy, the 
racial issue. Here is already common ground, limited though it be, 
on which Americans and Filipinos may and do stand together. 
If any doubt should exist on this- score, we have but to look at 
Porto Rico, whose total external commerce has grown, in round 
numbers, from iy.K million dollars in 1901 to 79 millions in 1911. 
During this same interval that of the Philippines has risen from 
53 million to 90 million dollars, nearly 20 millions of the increase 
being due to the Payne Bill. The population of Porto Rico (census 

304 The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon. 

of 1910) is 1,120,000; that of the Philippines, 8,200,000: the area 
of Porto Rico is 3,606 square miles; that of the Philippines, 128,000 
square miles. This comparison is frankly commercial ; but thriving 
commerce means prosperity, and prosperity spells content. After 
eliminating certain natural and social advantages enjoyed by Porto 
Rico, and not by the Philippines, the vast economic difference 
between the two can be accounted for only by the different relation 
they respectively bear to the United States, a conclusion confirmed 
by the effect of the Payne Bill. In the case of one, this relation 
is denned; in that of the other, undefined. We intend to re- 
main in Porto Rico; we do not know what we shall do with the 


To conclude, and in part to repeat: when we took over the 
Philippines, we unquestionally at the same time acquired a burden. 
Of this burden we can rid ourselves by setting the Islands adrift; 
or we can declare that we intend to keep the Islands, as we have 
kept Porto Rico. In the light of the argument hereinbefore sub- 
mitted, which of these courses appeals to the people of the United 
States? May we, or may we not, without incurring an accusation 
of injustice to a dependent population, honestly ask ourselves if 
actual conditions should not sometimes limit or control the ap- 
plication of an abstract principle? Does our duty in the premises 
consist or not in merely satisfying such a principle? Is it or is it 
not possible that practical considerations and what is practical 
is not always sordid may outweigh an abstraction? Is it or is 
it not conceivably our duty to use our superior knowledge, power, 
and experience to the best advantage of those chiefly concerned, 
even if these should apparently for a time not agree with us in the 
application we purpose to make of our knowledge, power, and 
experience ? 



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