Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 77.djvu/527

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THE

POPULAR SCIENCE

MONTHLY


DECEMBER, 1910




THE ILONGOT OR IBILAO OF LUZON

By Dr. DAVID P. BARROWS

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA

THE grewsome practise of taking human heads is particularly associated with the Igorot peoples of the Cordillera of Luzon. These all engage in it or have done so until recently. But to-day the most persistent and dreaded headhunters are neither Igorot nor inhabitants of the Cordillera; they are a wild, forest-dwelling people in the broken and almost impenetrable mountain region formed by the junction of the Sierra Madre range with the Caraballo Sur. They have been called by different names by the peoples contiguous to them on the north, west and south, "Italon," "Ibilao," "Ilongot" or "Ilūngūt." The last designation would for some reasons be the preferred, but "Ibilao," or as it is quite commonly pronounced locally through northern Nueva Ecija, "Abilao," has perhaps the widest use.[1]

There are no early records of these people and until late in his rule the Spaniard knew almost nothing of them. In the latter half of the eighteenth century, the valley of the Magat was occupied and the mission of Ituy founded, out of which came the province of Nueva Vizcaya, with its converted population of Gaddang and Isinay. To reach Ituy from the south the trail followed up the valley of the Eio Pampanga almost to its sources and then climbed over the Caraballo Sur to the headwaters of the Magat. On this trail along the upper waters of the Pampanga grew up several small mission stations, Pantabangan and Karanglan, with a population of Pampanga and Tagalog people drawn from the provinces to the south. After more than a hundred years these small towns are still almost the only Christian settlements in

  1. The report of these people under different names has been the cause of the belief that they were so many separate peoples. Professor F. Blumentritt makes this mistake. "Versuch einer Ethnographie der Philippinen," p. 33; "List of Native Tribes of the Philippines," translated in Smithsonian Report for 1899.