Laura Watson Benedict

Bagobo Ceremonial Magic and Myth - Continuation

Ceremonies on the Main Day of Crinum. The fourth and main day of the festival — the Ginum proper — is crowded with important and deeply interesting ceremonial, that begins at dawn and continues until after sunrise on the following morning. Attention should be drawn to the events distinctive of the day, although, as has been indicated in an earlier summary, many other rites (such as drinking balabba, chanting gindaya, beating agongs, dancing, performing awas, and so forth) which took place on earlier days, reappear during the culminating ceremonial, but are here characterized, usually, by new elements that have to do with the formality, or with the extent of time, of the performance.

On the last day occurs the sacrifice of a human or of an animal victim; the cutting down of two ceremonial bamboos followed by the bringing in, the shaving, the decoration, the raising, and the attaching of spears to these poles; the raising of a war-cry at fixed points in the ceremonial; an exhibition of products of the loom and of the warriors' kerchiefs; the preparation and the cooking of special forms of sacred food; an illumination with ceremonial torches; the altar ceremonial, when sacrificial food and holy liquor and betel are first laid before the Tolus ka Balekat, and afterward
eaten; the rehearsing by old men, while clasping the bamboo, of the number of persons they have killed; and the serving and the eating of an excellent banquet, in which everybody present has a share.

When the first trace of dawn appeared over the mountains, and while the darkness in the Long House was still unbroken, the girls got up and called Loda and several of the other young men, who were to start the t'agong-go. They rose forthwith, and beat agongs lustily for about half an hour. Thus, at daybreak, the culminating period of the great festival was ushered in.

About one hour after sunrise, eight men left the house to cut the two bamboos that were to be placed in the festival house on that day. The ceremony of cutting down the two bamboos, or kawayan^^^ is called Dudo ka kawayan. The eight men included

***® The Bagobo distinguish nicely the many varieties of bamboo that grow in their country. The larger bamboos {Bambusa arundinacea) that grow to a height of from forty to sixty feet and are used for the heavier house timbers and for flooring, are called by the Bagobo kawayan. Two of these trunks are cut for the ceremonial poles at Ginum.


Ido, Bansag and other picked warriors, each of whom wore the tankulu, a sign that he had killed at least one man. No other Bagobo was permitted to go on the expedition. They had to go some distance over the mountains, to reach a certain spot where the bamboos might be cut, in accordance with a regulation that the ceremonial kawayan must be cut each year from the same place in the forests. The old man, Oleng, did not go with the party, but rested during the early morning at the Long House. Later, he seemed very impatient for the return of the men; he paced up and down, watching from door or window, and would say, as the hours crawled by: "It is time for them to come. I will go out and meet them." About the middle of the forenoon, he left the house with two or three other men, intending to meet the party, and to return with them.

Li the course of another hour, a current of suppressed excitement passed through the waiting group of people, as the word passed among us, "They are coming."

It was near the middle of the forenoon when a prolonged shout was heard in the distance, and then repeated. After the second shout, the nine men, headed by Oleng and Ido, came filing up the path from the southeast, bearing two long trunks of bamboo.

The little procession came up the house-ladder and through the narrow door, each man wearing the tankulu, and having a blossom or two of red and gold darudu fastened in the folds of his kerchief and hanging over his forehead. The expression on the face of every man was one of rapt abstraction and of high exaltation.
Immediately on entering the house, they rested the two bamboo poles against one of the transverse timbers. Then Ido, followed

A smaller species {Bambusa hlumeana) has a slender, brittle stem, covered with short thorns, and is called by the Bagobo hale-kayo^ which means "house wood.'* They make use of balekayo everywhere for the lighter parts of the frame-work of the house, such as the joists running from the ridge-pole to the edge of the roof, to support the thatch; and for the entire wall, sometimes, of the Long House; for flutes and other wind instruments; for making fires where a short-lived, intense flame is needed, as when shells are to be calcined for lime. This is the bamboo that the Spaniards referred to as "thorny cane" (Cana espiiaa). Another bamboo {Bambusa vulgaris'^) is thornless, has an exceedingly hard-grained stem, and is known among the Bagobo as hubung ; this is decorated with fine carving and used for lime tubes. The color of the wood is light yellow in the young tree and a rich, mellow tan tiut in older trees. Still another bamboo, of which the native name is laya, has a slender white stem that is utilized for various purposes, one of which is to supply a ceremonial frame at Ginum, on which textiles and other garments to be displayed before the gods are hung.


by the other seven men, leaped toward the structure from which the agongs hung, and seized hold of its long rods, round which ogbus vine had been twined at an earlier hour. The eight men, close clasping vine and pole, raised the same war cry that we had heard from afar. There was a long drawn out nasal, prolonged by holding the tongue against the palate so as to produce a humming sound on one note — n-n-n-n-n-n-n ! — followed by a continued sonant — r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r ! — given with open throat and resonant voice, while the bodies of the men swayed slightly back and forth.
When this behavior had lasted for several minutes, Ido sprang to the agongs, grasped a tap-tap, and beat the instruments with short, ringing strokes, his face expressing a jubilant ecstasy, as he darted from Tarabun to Matia , and from Matia to Mabagung. -^^ He produced such a grand clash of percussion melody that one felt a sense of trampling under foot all foes to the Bagobo. Prom the first signal at dawn until now, the agongs had not been struck.

Next followed the ceremonial decoration of the bamboos. The two poles were of unequal length and girth, the longer one consisting of nine internodes, and the shorter one of eight internodes.
The longer bamboo was perhaps fifteen or more feet in length (the exact measurements I failed to secure). With one end resting on the floor, and the other end on a cross-beam of the house, each bamboo stood at a gradual slant during the time that the men were working on their decoration.

First, Ido scraped on each pole four lines running from one end to the other, as an outline for the detailed work. On these lines, the men shaved ^^^ off the skin of the bamboo in short lengths.

^*" specific names of the instruments.

208 The ceremonial use of shaved poles, and of bunches of shavings, among the Ainu of Saghalin is discussed very fully by Sternberg. After mentioning the various hypotheses in regard to the significance of this element, as put forth by Batchelor, Bird, Dobrotvorski and Aston, the writer states his own conclusions: namely, that the shaved sticks to which the Ainu give the name of inao represent supernatural agents who carry the prayers and offerings of the Ainu to God, and that the shavings themselves are the tongues of the mediating-envoy. The Ainu place these inao at the door, in front of the house, and at spots on the mountains, in the forest, and at the riverside. On special occasions, as after recovery from an illness, or on returning from a journey, such shaved sticks are set up. The bear to be offered in sacrifice is often decorated with bunches of shavings. "To sam up,*' Dr. Sternberg says, "inao are shaved trees and pieces of wood, commonly in the shape of human figures, which act as man*s intercessors before deities.
Their power lies in their numerous tongues (shavings), which increase the suasive power of their eloquence to an extraordinary degree." (p. 436) "This odd cult," he states, "has


until they had made nine clusters of shavings on each pole, each cluster close to a nodal joint. The clusters on the long bamboo consisted each of nine shavings, and the clusters on the shorter bamboo, of eight shavings each, every individual shaving remaining attached by its base to the pole. But one of the single shavings was then split into three or four or more fine curls, so that a series of festoons appeared running down the poles, a group of festoons at each node.

The next process was a mechanical device for the attachment of leaves and flowers. Near each of the four central nodes on the long- bamboo, they cut a pair of small holes, so that there were eight holes, four on one side, and four on the opposite side of the pole.
Similarly, they cut three pairs of holes in the shorter bamboo, near the three central nodes. They inserted long slender sticks into the perforations thus made, letting each stick run through a pair of holes, and project several inches on each side. There were thus eight sticks passing through the trunk of the larger bamboo, and six sticks through the smaller one. The corresponding pairs of perforations in the two poles did not lie exactly in the same horizontal plane, and hence the sticks did not meet end to end. Long branches of a plant called baris that has a slender, glossy-black, stiff stem, were tied to the projecting sticks, every baris stem being
split into shreds — one large shred and eight small shreds for the long bamboo, while the stems for the shorter pole were cut into twelve shreds each.

The attachment of leaf-pennants and of flowers completed the decoration of the poles. Great bulla leaves were cut or torn into shreds spread from the Ainu to the neighboring people of the Amur region, — the Gilyak, the Orok, the Gold, and the Orochi . . . Judging from Krasheninnikof s description, an analogous phenomenon exists among the Kamchadal, but with the substitution of fibres of sedge-grass for shavings." (p. 430) "The Tnao of the Ainu." Boas anniversary volume, pp. 425—437. 1906.

Several years earlier, Purness had suggested a like interpretation for the symbolism of the shavings. He says of the Kayans, when they select a camphor tree, "if all omens are favorable, and they find that the tree is likely to prove rich in camphor, they plant near their hut a stake, whereof the outer surface has been cut into curled shavings and tufts down the sides and at the top. I suggest as possible that these shavings represent the curling tongues of flame which communicate with the unseen powers)." The Home- life of Borneo Head-hunters, pp. 167—168. 1902.

The Kayans are said to have lost sight of the significance of this ceremonial element, and the Bagobo suggested no explanation.


ribbon-like strips, which were fastened on by piercing them with the stiff, wiry stems of the baris branches, so that an effect of waving green pennants was, perhaps unconsciously, secured. Finally, the symbolic flowers of the Bagobo warrior — red kalimping and blossoms from the scarlet and gold darudu — were tied to the projecting tips of the baris stems, and also to the bulla-leaves. The last flowers and leaf-strips were added, and the final touches given, after the raising of the poles.

At the same time with the processes just described, other Bagobo were thrusting into the upper end of the hollow poles bouquets composed of leaves and flowers of different kinds, with white clusters of tender young leaf-buds and undeveloped fruit from the areca-palm. These clusters are called tibiis^ and form one of the characteristic decorations of the ceremonial bamboos. Sprays of ubus may be worn at the throat, or stuck in the leglets, or tied to the spears of brave men who have killed other men. A large part of these clusters of leaves and flowers were concealed within the bamboo trunks, but they protruded for a short distance from the openings.

The next proceeding was to raise the poles into place, so that they should stand upright beneath the steepest part of the roof, and directly in front of the altar called balekat. The shorter bamboo Avas easily lifted to a vertical position, so that its upper end rested against a joist of the slanting roof; but when the long bamboo had been raised to an angle of some fifteen degrees from the vertical it was found to be too long, by several inches, for the extreme height of the roof, and it could not be forced to stand up straight, so as to touch the ridge-pole as custom demanded. This check to the performances proved a serious matter; for to let the bamboo stand at a slant would be contrary to custom and hence unlucky; while to cut it shorter would be a sacrilege, certain to be followed by the sickness or the death of somebody. The old men and women talked over the matter, and everybody wore a grave and anxious face. My crass suggestion that they break the roof was dismissed as if unthinkable, and a long delay ensued, followed by a fresh attack on the pole, a new adjustment, a pressure from the upper end of the bamboo against the yielding joists and the thatch of grass, and a tacit consent of all concerned to allow the ceremonial bamboo to stand at a slant removed by an extremely small angle from the vertical.

Just as the decoration of the poles was finished, there were brought


into the house two long rods of the slender, brittle-stemmed variety of bamboo called halekayo. These were to serve as an additional frame on which to hang fine textiles and other garments for the ceremonial exhibit. They were very long, from one-half to two-thirds the length of the entire house, and they were lifted to their place between the two rods of laya that ran lengthwise of the house, and parallel to them. The usual bindings of rattan fastened the balekayo to the heavy cross-timbers of the house. Immediately afterwards, a number of long-shafted spears were brought to the ceremonial bamboos, and tied to them. At the moment of attaching the spears, Datu Oleng said a few ritual words, which I was unable to record. The spears stood with their points up, in the usual position of a spear at rest, when it is customary to thrust into the earth the sharp-pointed cone with which the handle is tipped.

While the rite with the spears was in progress, the women and girls were gathering together all the new hemp textiles that, with tireless industry, they had dyed, woven, washed and polished, and with the textiles they piled up many women's waists, men's trousers, salugboy (scarfs), fresh cotton textiles and various other articles.
All these they now brought forward and hung on the balekayo rods and on the long poles of the frame of laya wood that had been put up, primarily, for the agongs. The function of the three crossbars of this frame now became apparent, for so large a number of garments and stuffs were displayed that they covered every inch of the laya and balekayo, lengthwise and crosswise, thus making a sort of rectangular super-enclosure within which the ceremonies preceded. This is the annual occasion when the highly artistic work of the women is spread out to view, when all the guests may see, as in a picture gallery, the decorative designs done in glistening hemp, the rich embroidery, the figured patterns formed by tiny discs of mother of pearl. Ordinarily, the Bagobo keep all their treasures packed away in tight yellow wood boxes or in baskets, leaving the room, even in wealthy families, bare of all furnishings except the loom, the altar and the hearth. Even at the Ginum the exhibition appeared to be purely a ceremonial affair. The girls spread their beautiful things over the frames with a serious and quiet mien, as if they thought only of the gods, for whose pleasure the offerings were made, and who alone were to enjoy the spirit, or essence, of the material objects.

Immediately after this, the sugar cane liquor was brought in. It


was carried in three long vessels of bamboo that Andan and Agwas had made while we were waiting for the coming in of the two great bamboos. These vessels, called halanan^ had handles for the more convenient bearing and pouring of the liquor, whereas the ordinary water-bucket (sekkaca) has no handle. The balabba was brought in by young men, who proceeded to pour out some of the dark brown liquor into a tall metal jar, called tagudn ha balabba^ that had just been placed in the Long House. They stood up against the wall the balanan holding the remainder of the liquor, to be kept for the evening rites. After this, there was a short intermission ^ it was long past noon, and nobody had eaten since very early that morning.

The central event of the Ginum, namely, the sacrifice offered to the god of the balekat, took place on the evening of the fourth day, the preliminaries being handled in the afternoon. After the intermission, Datu Oleng carried a cock that had been tied in the house down under the house, where it was shot by Ido, with an arrow having a head of bamboo. The fowl was plucked under the house, and then brought up into the house again, where it was cut into pieces by Muku, a brother of Singan's. He cut it up in the same manner that the Bagobo cook commonly prepares a chicken for the pot: that is to say, opening the fowl by one lengthwise gash of the work-knife, removing entrails and opening gizzard, chopping off the wings, tearing off the skin by a downward pull over the legs, striking off the legs, and finally cutting the body, wings and legs into very small squarish chunks. Before this process was finished, another ceremonial detail of import was in progress.

Against the west wall, and near the two bamboos, the shrine called balekat hung in its usual place. It consisted of seven piles of old and smoke-grimed bowls and saucers, suspended by rattan hangers in the customary manner. Directly in front of this altar, the young men put up the broad shelf called taguan^^^ ka balekat^ and attached it firmly to the timbers of the roof by means of strong bands of plaited rattan. It hung at quite a distance above our heads, so that, in order to place or to remove anything from the shelf, the altar assistant was obliged to climb up the wall, and

^^^ Taguan is a word that expresses the idea of a receptacle of some sort. It may be a shelf, as taguan ka sekkadu (shelf for water- flasks), or taguan ka balekat (altar-shelf); it may he taguan ka sulu (torch-holder); or taguan ka balabba (jar for balabba).


on along the sloping roof, a feat easily accomplished by the help of house-posts and cross-timbers, and of that monkey-like agility which is characteristic of the movements of Bagobo youths.

The balekat now being complete for the sacrificial offerings, the composition of the elements that were to form the offerings proceeded. The sacred food that is placed before the Tolus ka Balekat, and afterwards eaten by the men and boys, is a mixture of chicken, red rice and cocoanut. The dessicated fowl, to which some cocoanut is added, is cooked by itself, while the bulk of the cocoanut pulp, with all of the rice, is cooked in a separate set of vessels.
After being taken from the fire, the contents of the different vessels — chicken, rice and cocoanut — are mingled together, before being offered to the god.

When iluku had cut the fowl into bits, he separated it into two portions, the portion on his right hand for the men, the portion on his left hand for the adolescent boys. In the meantime, Inok was scraping out white pulp from one-half of a ripe cocoanut, with a grater called arod. This is a little piece of cocoanut shell, armed with a row of teeth notched on one edge. The curve of the remaining margin of the shell fits nicely into the hollow of the palm.
As the shredded cocoanut pulp fell down in little heaps, Muku picked it up, handful by handful, and mixed it with the chicken meat at his right hand. He rubbed each handful of cocoanut thoroughly with a small part of the chicken, and dropped the mixture into a bamboo joint; He put each handful of cocoanut and chicken as soon as he had rubbed them together into the vessel, then picked up more cocoanut, mixed it with same of the remaining chicken meat, and so on, until all of the chicken on his right was disposed of. Next, he rubbed shredded cocoanut, in the same manner, with the pile of chicken meat on his left hand, but all of this mixture he put into a second bamboo joint. Both of the two bamboo vessels had been lined with sarabak leaves before the mess of cocoanut and chicken was dropped into them. Finally, Muku poured into oach of the vessels sufficient water to cover, in part, the food and tied up the openings with leaves of hemp or of sarabak.

Simultaneously, or a little later, nine other bamboo vessels, called Mutmi^ were being filled with rice and cocoanut in the following manner. Inok continued to grate cocoanut from the same half section of the nut, until he had scraped all of the pulp from the shell. Then, from a large basket beside him, he took a quantity


of raw red rice that had been crushed in the mortar, and stirred it up with the shredded cocoanut. The red rice is called omok^ and is one of the special forms of sacrificial food. I understood that the same name (omok) was given to the mixture of red rice and cocoanut. Another young man, Ayang, took a part of the little pile of red rice and cocoanut, heaped it on a sarabak leaf, and laid on it another sarabak leaf. He then lifted the leaves with their
contents, so that his palms did not touch the omok, and pressed the whole into one of the bamboo vessels — the lulutan. A very little cold water had previously been poured into the vessel. Immediately afterward, Buak filled a second lulutan in the same manner, thus using up the remaining cocoanut from the first half shell. Inok then attacked the other half of the nut and scraped out all of the meat which he mixed with the rest of the red rice, whereupon Ayang and Buak proceeded to fill seven additional lulutan.
Each of the bamboo vessels was filled up to about two-thirds of its capacity, or a little less; but the amount put into each did not vary, for Buak measured the content exactly, every time, by inserting a little stick of laya wood into the vessel and minutely examining the point to which the moisture mark rose. When the nine lulutan had been prepared, Inok tied together the two empty halves of cocoanut shell with rattan so as to make one hollow nut, which he left ready to hang on the altar at the close of the evening ceremony.

The nine lulutan and the two bamboo joints containing the chicken and cocoanut were then carried down the steps to a place under the house, where each vessel was filled to the rim with cold water, and its top tied securely with a leaf-cover. On stones encircling a wood fire, all of the vessels were placed where the food might steam until soft, the fresh green bamboo being not at all inflammable.

It was then deep dusk, and we hastened up into the now dark house so that we might be in time to see the illumination. Long torch-chains of biaii nuts, that had been strung a week earlier, were now to be lighted to take the place, for this one night, of the

I have been told that the root of a plant, probably saffron, from which a yellow dye is obtained, is used at Ginum to stain the sacrificial food yellow, but, on this occasion, I did not observe that any yellow stain played a part. Mandarangan, however, is said to be very fond of yellow rice. Skeat mentions, frequently, the ceremonial value of yellow among the peninsular Malays; but, as for the Bagobo, red and white seem to be the colors chosen for offerings and for sacrificial use.


ordinary torches of leaf-wrapped resin. To Maying, the second in age of the virgin daughters of Oleng, the privilege of making the sacred illumination was assigned. She hung several strings of biaii nuts on the forked branches of the native candelabra that stood on the floor, and other strings she suspended from house timbers. The nuts were rich in oil, and the flame flared up as soon as lighted, the entire length of the sections being soon a row of flickering lights. The Long House was as bright as if hundreds of candles were burning. The silence was broken by a resounding shout from the men, who now raised the war cry again at the moment the blaze leaped forth.

Close upon the last war cry of that Talun Ginum, arrangements for the evening ceremonial were gotten under way, and the people grouped themselves at their several activities in the appointed places in the Long House: young women attended to the cooking of foods — rice, pig, and venison — for the feast; old women prepared leaf-dishes for a supplementary awas; young men tended the fire under the house and watched the bamboo vessels in which the sacred food was steaming; other young men up in the house helped in the preparation of the feast, by placing cocoanuts ready to be grated at a later hour. Some of the old men sat near the balekat, while talking or making preliminary moves toward the altar ceremony now close at hand. Oleng was on his high seat {dega-dega) just north of the balekat, from which he had been observing carefully the dressing of the fowl, the mixing of the ceremonial food, and the succeeding activities. The weary guests sat in tightly packed lines on the floor, their faces wearing a patient, solemn expression, and waited.

The ceremony over the chicken and omok was performed by Oleng and Ido in front of the balekat, on the west side of the house where broad leaves were laid on the floor. On these, the contents of the nine bamboo vessels containing the cooked rice and cocoanut, and of the two vessels containing the chicken food were poured out, the sarabak leaves being left in the lulutan. The chicken and rice which had been boiled separately were now together in one brown soft mass forming a mixture called taroanan. But in spite of the apparent homogeneity of the food, there was a sharp distinction between the right-hand and the left-hand portions, for, in mixing the chicken and rice, Ido or his assistant poured the contents of the men's bamboo on the rice to his right, and that of the boys^


bamboo on the rice to his left, thus keeping the two apart as Muku had done in filling the vessels. The two halves of the sacred food were marked by two sarabak leaves that Ido laid upon it, one leaf on the right-hand portion and one on the left, with a very narrow space between the ends of the leaves to mark the dividing line.
Upon each sarabak leaf he put eight pieces of areca-nut, and in front of the aisle between the leaves, one entire areca-nut upon a buyo leaf. Standing before Ido were two white bowls for balabba.

Immediately in front of the sacred food, Ido sat, while Oleng took his place a little to the left, at the southeast corner of the altar, and Malik, son-in-law to Oleng, sat between the two datu.
At the south end of the taroanan, were Buak, Inok and Ayang, watching with deep interest the proceedings, and ready to assist in handing about utensils. The chief of Bansalan sat on the dega-dega but fell asleep during the ceremony, and did not waken until near its close.

The only material offerings to be seen besides the food and drink were a small pile of shells, little brass linked chains and miscellaneous ornaments that lay on the floor at Oleng's left hand.
This collective gift, called pamading^ was put there, I was told, so that the Bagobo would get rich; but I did not observe that it was touched during the ceremony, or that attention was directed toward it. No doubt it was a case of simply laying before the gods valued objects, with an expectation of receiving back a manifold increase.

Mention should here be made of four vessels called garongwhich had an important part to play at the altar ceremonial.
They were large cylinders of freshly-cut laya bamboo, with fitted lids shaped from the nodal joints. The four garong were of uniform size, and each had, perhaps, five or six times the containing capacity of the lulutan in which the rice was cooked. They had been

^ ^ Bamboo vessels, looking much alike, receive different names, according to the function of each type. The sekkadu is a water-flask; the balanan is a vessel with handles arid contains sugar cane wine; the lulutan is the vessel in which the red rice and cocoanut mixture is steamed, while the garong is a vessel decorated with shavings and reserved especially for altar use, including the sacred function of being elevated to the shelf with its contents of food or of wine. Each of these vessels consists of one internode of bamboo, of which one of the nodes forms the bottom of the vessel and the other node is utilized, often, for the lid.

I have no record of the specific name for the bamboo vessels that contained the chicken possibly they, too, are called lulutan.


made that same day, immediately after the bamboos were filled with green sprays. Like the bamboos, the four garong were ornamented with festoons of curled shavings peeled off in regular clusters on the surface of the vessel, two garong having nine clusters of shavings, and the other two, eight clusters. Two of these vessels were intended for drink offerings, and two for food offerings. At the beginning of the ceremony we are now discussing, the two garong destined for drink offerings were filled with sugar cane liquor, poured from the balanan by one of the young men who were serving as altar attendants. Prom one of the garong (now full of balabba), the sacred liquor was poured into two bowls that stood in front of Ido, between him and the sacrificial food.
The other garong full of liquor was elevated to the shelf of the balekat. To do this, one of the attendants climbed up from the south wall and then along the roof, until he was close to the south end of the shelf of the balekat. The vessel was then handed up to him by Ido(?) and placed on the shelf, where it remained throughout the following rites.

The more distinctively sacrificial part of the ceremony opened with the stirring of the sugar cane wine in the two bowls. For this purpose two spoons, known as barakas^ were used, the spoons being made of small sections of bulla leaf twisted to the shape of bowl and handle, and the stem-handle tied in a knot. The larger spoon had tied to its handle a red blossom of kalimping, and the smaller spoon was adorned with a scarlet blossom that had tasseled petals. Ido dipped into the bowl of balabba on his right hand the smaller spoon, and, having taken it out with a little of the brown liquor, he laid it with the liquor in it beside the bowl. In the same manner, he dipped the larger spoon into the left-hand bowl, took it out and laid it, holding a few drops of liquor, beside the left-hand bowl. He then stirred the balabba in the bowl to the right, with a small spray of manangid, and thereupon, either Ido or Oleng, with a second spray of manangid, stirred the contents of the bowl to the left.

The Giirrugga^ or worship, was then performed by Datu Oleng, who, in his priestly character, laid before the Tolus ka Balekat the flesh of a victim slain in sacrifice, together with those selected products of the field and fruit of the trees that are most highly valued by the Bagobo — rice and cocoanut and areca-nuts and the precious wine extracted from sugar cane. In his right hand, Oleng held a


small tube of hard bamboo, such as is used everywhere by the Bagobo to contain powdered lime. Prom the lime-tube, he sprinkled lime on the sixteen pieces of areca-nut, by sifting the white powder in showers through a little sieve stopper of rattan that closed the end of the tube. As he repeated certain ritual words, he made frequent passes, tube in hand, to and fro over the sacred food, often pointing the lime-tube toward the food and toward the areca-nuts on it. In the low, conversational tone of voice so often heard at a Bagobo ceremony, Datu Oleng said: "Tolus ka Balekat, I am making a
Grinum this year for you. I have prepared eight areca-nuts and I pray to you, while offering you the areca-nuts. Tolus ka Balekat, you demand a human victim this year, as in the years before when we celebrated the Ginum, but now we do not kill a man in sacrifice any more, because the Americans now hold control, and we are using a little American custom in giving you no human victim.
Instead, we have killed a chicken, ^^^ which we offer to you with the red rice." Oleng then sprinkled lime on the betel several times, and stirred the balabba in the left hand bowl with his spray of manangid, whereupon Ido stirred the contents of the right hand bowl with the other spray of manangid. Following this, the two spoons of bulla leaf, each still having in it a small amount of balabba, were handed up to be placed upon the shelf of the balekat, the young man, Madaging, having climbed up for that act.

Next followed a ceremonial drinking and a chewing of betel.
Datu Oleng, Datu Ido, Sali, and other men of renown, drank from the two sacred bowls of sugar cane liquor, and passed the bowls from one to another until they were drained to the bottom. There- upon, the men about the altar took the sixteen pieces of areca-nut that lay on the sacred food, and chewed them in the customary manner. Some other men then took areca-nut from the altar and chewed it.

Up to this point, the sacrificial food had lain spread out before the god, but in plain sight of all the people as well. Now, it must be passed up for the enjoyment of the great deity of the balekat alone. It was not put back into the same vessels in which it had

Whatever kind of sacrifice is asked for by the Giirrugga must be given, with the exception of the human sacrifice which, as it is expressly stated, may be compounded by the sacrifice of a fowl.'"' W. W. Skeat: Malay Magic, p. 211.

The Malay magician says that "if the spirit craves a human victim a cock may be substituted." Ibid., p. 72.


been cooked, but into the two large shaved bamboo vessels (garong) that still stood empty. Ido filled these garong with the taroanan, or sacred food, and carefully drew together and gathered up the last scraps clinging to the broad leaves on which the food had been spread. Then he closed the vessels with their tight stoppers, and passed them up to be placed on the shelf beside the garong of wine.
There they remained during the music, the dances, the chanting and the feast, and were not taken down until after the old men's statement of exploits.

As soon as the taroanan was elevated to the shelf, Inok hung- up, below the balekat, the cocoanut shells that he had tied together at the time the omok was mixed. At that moment, the profound stillness that had lasted for an hour and a half broke to the sound of the big drum, beat with dull monotonous taps, and accompanied by resounding strokes on the agongs. This was the signal announcing the close of the altar ceremonial. All the men who had been drinking balabba at once discharged an animated flow of talk, but the utter silence prevailing throughout the rest of the company remained unbroken.

Before this point in the ceremonies, a supplementary awas had taken place over a number of extremely small leaf dishes which were said to number two hundred — a rite conducted by the old women, Miyanda and Singan. This sacred office was going on at the same time as the altar ceremony, and hence was not observed by me, but was reported to have occurred after the taroanan food was spread on the altar, and before Oleng said the prayers over it. I failed to ascertain what was afterward done with the leaf-dishes, but, if their disposition followed that of the other leaf-dishes at the three preceding awas, they would have been taken out and laid down by the wayside.

It was not until after drum-beat that the chanting of Gindaya began, but from this time on, ceremonial chants were given at intervals throughout the entire night. The sons and nephews of Oleng carried much of the burden of the gindaya; they sang in the customary antiphons, one against one, or two against two, with recitatives intervening in the usual manner.

After the opening performance of gindaya, the music of the agongs called the dancers to the floor. The first dance was done by three warriors alone who were dressed in embroidered trousers, fine beaded jackets and tankulu of a very dark chocolate color, the tint showing that they were brave {magani) men, whose human victims were


many. This and the later dances were all performed in the same part of the house in which the bamboo poles stood, and in which the altar was situated. They danced on the restricted portions of the floor on each side of the two bamboos. This initial dance of the men was followed by a second ceremonial chant.

At this Ginum, there were eleven agongs suspended from the laya rods. Pour of uniform size formed the upper row, and each was named Matio. Just below them hung four others of uniform size, but somewhat larger than the four above them. The agongs in this lower row were called, from left to right, respectively, Tarabun, Mabagong, Marubur, Mabagong. The eight instruments just mentioned were all played by one expert musician, who beat tap-tap while dancing in the customary manner of an agong-player. Suspended just below the eight was another agong considerably larger in circumference, but of shallow convexity. It bore the name of Inagongan, and a woman performed on it, beating an accompaniment to the theme of the leading musician. Beside the Inagongan, hung a very small instrument called Bandiran, on which a child rang the tones.
Some little distance to the right of the ten instruments just named, was suspended an agong of exceedingly large size that was tapped by a man as an accompaniment, and that bore the same name as the woman's instrument — Inagongan. One or two drums, each beaten by two persons, a man and a woman, assisted the eleven agongs at every set performance.

Now came the event that had been looked forward to with keen anticipation by the weary people — the general drinking of the fragrant and delicious balabba. So little food had been served for the preceding twenty-four hours that it seemed more like a day of abstinence than a festival, for when the Bagobo are preparing for a great celebration, they pay no attention to bodily wants. Many of the guests had tramped a long distance over the mountains and were very tired; the refreshment of this first drink of balabba relieved the tension greatly. When the liquor was served, separate cups were supplied to the special guests, but a few large bowls sufficed for the majority of the company, who passed the same bowl from hand to hand. As fast as emptied, the bowls were refilled from the large metal jar, or from the fourth garong of bamboo.

Three successive periods of chanting Gindaya succeeded the drinking. Then followed the beating of agongs in dance measure,


a signal which brought girl dancers to the floor. '^^^ They were in festival costume of shining hemp skirts; short, tight fitting waists of cotton, decorated with conventional designs done in fine needle-work; bracelets and leglets of brass and of bell-metal cast from a wax mould.
These ornaments Avere hollow, and each inclosed a number of tiny, freely-rolling globes of metal that tinkled in the movements of the dance. The girls wore, also, necklaces of beads, pure white or many-colored; inlaid ear-plugs connected by tasseled pendants of white beads that passed under the chin; and some wore wide belts bordered with small, hand-cast bells.

When the dancing was done, two young men approached the bamboos, and standing there, each with one arm encircling a pole, they began afresh the monotonous yet sweet-toned chant that lasted until the banquet opened.

Ever since the conclusion of the altar ceremony, many women and men had been dishing up food and making preparations for serving that houseful of guests. All of this work was going on at one end of the Long House, while the chanting and the dancing were in progress at the other end. Under Sigo's direction, Sambil, Sebayan and three other girls, filled the hemp-leaf dishes that had been made days earlier with an appetizing mess just dished from the big clay pots, and called humodn. The ingredients were white rice, grated cocoanut, hashed venison and pig fat. Other delicious cocoanut mixtures were being prepared to be served with the kumoan. Several of the young men halved and grated the cocoanuts, whereupon other men caught up the white shreds by handfuls and mixed with boiled and slivered fish, manipulating the food swiftly with fingers and palms. Other men mixed bits of venison with grated cocoanut, and still others cut off narrow, thin slices of fresh boiled pork. Three men were kept busy in handing out to the women these foods as they were ready. Bansag handed up the pork; another man, the cocoanut-venison; and another, the cocoanut-fish. The five girls filled all of the leaf-dishes — an individual leaf-dish for each guest, and one for every member of the
family. They pressed into each leaf-dish a large portion of the rice and meat stew, and a small portion of cocoanut venison and of cocoanut-fish.

^^^See also pp. 85 — 87 for a discussion of the dance. The Bagobo say that Mandarangan comes to see the dance, and watches its performance with pleasure.



Eight large plates of heavy white crockery were prepared with special attention to arrangement and quantity of viands, for they were to be served to the eight most distinguished guests at the Ginum. An ample supply of the kumoan stew was heaped on the plate, and pressed into pyramidal shape; the white food of cocoanut and slivered fish was piled beside the stew, and the whole bordered by bits of venison that had been first roasted, and then broiled to a hard crisp. This last-named delicacy appeared only on the plates of the eight elect, of whom I was one, the other seven being datu and other Bagobo of note.

We all sat on the floor, tightly packed in solid rows, between which the girls made their way and, with the help of a few young men, handed to each of us a leaf-dish or a plate. I failed to note just which were the "distinguished guests," besides myself, who received the special plates, but among them may have been included Datu Yting of Santa Cruz; the datu of Bansalan; the two brothers of Tonkaling, datu of Sibulan; Sali, elder brother to Oleng, and Awi. When all were served, Ido called out in a loud voice, "Langun pomankit!" ("Let all eat!") and in reply all the people shouted out in unison, "Mimankid!" ("We will begin to eat.")
There were few words spoken after that until the end of the meal, for Ave were all well-nigh famished. Swiftly the leaf-dishes were emptied and the plates cleared, as with eager fingers the food was rushed to the mouth. Scarcely had the meal come to a close when the ceremonial offices were resumed.

The recitation of exploits began. An aged man, wrinkled and gaunt from continued privations, his shriveled skin clinging close to the bones of his famished face, stepped toward the ceremonial bamboos and, clasping a pole with one hand, made a statement before the god of the balekat, and in the presence of the assembled people, to the effect that he had slain a certain number of men during his lifetime. All the Bagobo listened attentively, but made no comment, or gave sign either of dissent or of applause.
It was Sali, brother of Oleng, who was making the recital. Directly he had finished, another old man came forward, and then another, each grasping a pole, or one of the spears attached to the bamboos, throughout his recitation. No man may lay hold of the bamboos, or of the ceremonial spears, unless he has killed at least one man. If any man break this tabu, he will be struck down by some terrible illness.


When Datu Oleng made his recitation, he stated that he had killed thirty men, and he then gave a charge to the bamboo and to the balekayo and to the ogbus vine that they were to keep on growing until the Ginum should be celebrated next year. Oleng was followed by Awi, who gave a lengthy autobiographical narrative telling how he had killed eighteen men in one locality; and the circumstances which led him to kill nine men in another place; and then, at a later period, eleven more; and how, on a certain occasion, he had killed one woman; and, at another time, one man; and , finally, how he slew three men — a total of forty-three on the face of the statement. Right here, however, there comes into play a remarkable tabu that changes the result of the count.

When a brave old Bagobo, while holding the bamboo pole, takes his oath on the number of men he has killed, he must always give one half the actual number, for if he should dare to state the correct figure he would be attacked by disease. Moreover, his audacity would be manifest to all the people, for if, while clasping the pole, he should reveal the true number of his victims, the great bamboo would instantly split, from the top down through the entire length of the pole, without blow from human hand.
The man's own Mandarangan, or personal war-god, would cause the bamboo to split, because the man has spoken the truth about his exploits. Applying this key, therefore, to the recitations of Oleng and of Awi, we double the count of each, and discover that Oleng had sent down to Gimokudan sixty individuals and that Awi's victims reached the grand total of eighty-six. This case is a fair illustration of that indirectness which forms such an essential element in the psychic complex of the Malay. Other instances, too, of what we call dishonesty or lying, may, perhaps as easily, be often traced to some religious scruple, or to some ethical restraint, making it incumbent on a man to say something less, or something more, than the truth.

When the old men had finished checking up their achievements, a rite of peculiar significance took place, namely, the eating of the sacred food that a little while before had been offered to the god of the balekat. The deity was supposed to feast on the spiritual essence of the food, but the material part was partaken of by the Bagobo men and adolescent boys, this being one of the very few privileges tabu to women. The two garong containing the sacred


food were lifted down from the shelf, and the contents poured out on the leaves that had been laid below the hanging altar. The distinction between the portion for the men and that for the boys was still preserved, so that, just as before, the men's food lay to the right of the officiating datu, and the boys' food to his left.
Old men near the altar ate first, and then the others, a few at a time approaching without formality, each thrusting the fingers of one hand into the taroanan and conveying a small portion to his lips, the boys taking from the left side and the men from the right.
Only the Bagobo and men from tribes closely akin in language and in appearance are permitted to eat the sacred food. Any male guest from the Guianga tribe, I was told, would be accepted at the altar like a Bagobo visitor; but no Bila-an, or Ata, or Kulaman, or a man from any other of those neighboring groups with which the Bagobo trade and intermarry, would be permitted to eat the taroanan. My own observation bore out this statement, for although ten or fifteen Bila-an had been at Mati for weeks waiting for the festival to begin, not a man of them approached the altar. Yet one of Ido's wives was a Bila-an woman, and the entire party of her tribe was entertained at Ido's house.

Now that the strain of the religious exercises was past, the people fell to drinking sugar cane liquor with, a freedom that up to this time had not been permitted. The bowels were passed round, first to guests from other towns and afterwards to the people of the home village. Speeches of an informal nature followed the first or second round of drinks. Datu Oleng and Datu Yting spoke on various little happenings of the week, and Yting urged the men not to drink enough to make them boisterous, but to remember that the seiiora was present.

Soon the chanting of Gindaya rose again, and continued at intervals throughout the entire night. Balabba flow^ed freely all night, and some of the men kept on drinking until noon the next day, so that they grew hilarious, and finally drowsy from the effects of a drink which is but slightly intoxicating, unless taken in large quantities. The extreme sweetness and rich quality of this liquor often proves too much for a people accustomed to a slim diet, and many Bagobo are sick the day following a festival. There often follows a period of exhaustion that almost prostrates an old man for some little time. Datu Yting had planned to return to Santa Cruz immediately after the festival, but it was two or


three days before he felt strong enough to make the journey. ^^*

Arrangement of the Long House. The Long House, called Dakul Bale^ has another name that refers, possibly, to its security from evil spirits. It is known in Gindaya chants as the "Tina- malung Tambubung," or "shady, well-roofed house." The phrase that best combines these various elements is "long, narrow house with a good roof."

On first entering the Long House, it appeared to be one continuous room, for there were no dividing walls, or noticeable partitions. Yet there were actually five compartments with distinct functions, in which separate activities connected with the festival took place. The lines of separation between the rooms consisted in strips of bamboo or of palma brava, ^*^ running the width of the house and projecting barely above the level. These relief partitions were tied to the same timbers to which the slats of the floor were lashed. There was a double floor, the lower one being of balekayo, and the upper of split bamboo of the larger variety (katvayan).
This upper floor, or carpet, was made from internodal sections of bamboo, averaging 12^/2 feet in length. The green sections are put

The following description of a Mandaya ceremonial is interesting to refer to at this point, because it combines, in one complex, elements that appear at several different ceremonies of the Bagobo Ginum: the rectangular altar made of four smaller altars suggesting the sonaran of agongs; the floral decorations; the great bamboo set up in the middle of the space; the drum-call at the opening of the festival; the costumed dancers; the interview with Mansilatan in which the emotional disturbance shown by the priestesses, the following silence, and the devotions as a whole resemble very closely the Bagobo, manganito; the offerings of areca {bongo) and of betel {buyo), the feasting and drinking at the close of the ceremony.

"Otro sacrificio es el Talibung. Para celebrarlo levantan cuatro altares en forma de reetangulo, y cado esquina del altar es adornada con flores. En medio de estos cuatro altares, colocan una cana gruesa de tres brazas de largo con sus hojas. Se inagura la funcion al son del guimbao 6 tamboril, salen tres 6 cuatro bailanes bien vestidas, organizan un baile al rededor de dichos altares. — Al cabo de cuatro 6 cinco vueltas se sientan a la vez, tiemblan, eruptan prolongadamente, sigue luego un silencio sepulchral en cuyo tiempo fingen el descenso de Mansilatan y su conversacion con ellas, en cuyo tiempo les infunde el espiritu profetico, le adoran luego, y le ofrece cada cual su polio asado y partido, juntamente con algunos camarones, los cuales mezolan con buyo hecho de tabaco, cal, fruta y hoja de la bonga, despues de cuya ofrenda repiten su baile, sientase, tiemblan, eruptan, escuchan a su dios, anuncian la buena cosecha, la curacion de la enfermedad, el buen viaje, y luego sigue la acciou de gracias en el festin y la borachera de costumbre." P. Pastells: Cartas, vol. 2, pp. 39—40. 1879,

*^* Talma brava: Coripha minor. The Bagobo call it basag. It is a blackish wood, strong and hard-grained, and is much used for building purposes, both for upright timbers and in place of split bamboo for the slats of floors.


through a process of striking, cracking and splitting to make them flexible, so that they can be laid down flat to form the "asug ka kawayan" (floor of large bamboo).

The room farthest south had a platform floor, raised by a few inches above the rest of the house floor, and the edge of this platform served as a seat, it being the nearest approach to a bench that the house contained. This room was occupied entirely by guests from other towns with a few from the same village. They all sat crowded close together, covering this slightly elevated platform.

The next room to the north formed the center of religious rites, and contained the sacred objects connected with the celebration.
Near the centre, the two ceremonial bamboos stood; the agongs hung on the east side ; the hanging altar was on the west wall, and below it the sacred food was spread; a space on each side of the two bamboo poles remained for the dancers. The dega-dega, or high seat from which Oleng reviewed the ceremonial, was just north of the balekat.

The third room was utilized in various ways. Attached to the east wall was the wide guest-bed of bamboo. It was 10 feet, 2 inches in length, and 4 feet, 1 inch in width, and would accommodate a number of men, sleeping side by side, their bodies across the width of the bed; that is, at right angles to the wall. As many more could sleep on the floor below, just as in a lower Pullman berth.
On the floor beside the bed, the young men cut in halves ripe cocoanuts, and mixed venison and fish with cocoanut
meat. The west side of this room caught the overflow of visitors, especially young", girls who, with a few men, sat in well-packed rows on the floor. A narrow aisle, between the cocoanuts and the girls, made possible locomotion from the north end of the house to the ceremonial room. ^^*^

In the fourth room, the women were filling leaf-dishes with food for all the people; piles of the leaf-dishes lay on the floor near the west wall. On the east side was the vacant floor space used by the older members of Oleng's family for rest at night.

The last room to the north, and the smallest of the five, was the kitchen, which opened upon a very small porch. In the northeast

^^^ The uprights and the long bamboo rods that formed the frame of the loom, from which the last textile had been removed before the festival, kept their place against the west wall, in this third room.


corner of the room were the three large stones that formed the native fire-place. They rested on a bed of earth several inches high, banked by strips of wood, and having an area sufficient to hold^ besides the fire-stones, big clay pots, piles of kindling-wood, and a little group of people who would gather round the fire. On this hearth, during the Ginum, all of the boiling and the broiling processes were carried on, and here, after the visitors had trooped off, the members of the family would gather to roast corn and to chat^

Festival of Ginum at Tubison. On May 27—28, 1907, almost three months earlier than the Talun festival, it was my privilege to be a guest, during the last fifteen hours, at the celebration of Ginum at Tubison, a mountain village at the top of a steep ascent several hours ride northwest of Santa Cruz. Datu Imbal and his wife, Siat, were the hosts. The festival was held three days before the expected sprouting of the rice in Imbal's fields, as he had planted somewhat earlier than several other Bagobo who, during that very week, were giving rice-sowing festivals to their neighbors. My observation of the ceremonies covered the period from about two hours before sunset of one afternoon until one hour after sunrise of the following morning. I shall here call attention to those ceremonial details alone which present points of variation or contrast to identical rites on the corresponding night at Talun; and, while passing over those lines of ritual behavior that may be expected to manifest themselves regularly at Ginum, I shall mention particularly some few single religious functions that appeared at Tubison, and were absent from Talun, as well as cases of the reversed situation.

The first important difference to be noted is one that touches the order of ritual functions. The offering of material objects upon the agong-altar with accompanying ceremonies -^^ (Sonar) which at Talun took place on the third day of the festival, was performed

The ceremony of placing tlie sacred food before the gods, and of reciting a liturgy over it, probably took place very early in the evening. I must have missed that important rite, for I was told that a ceremonial had been performed at the agong-altar about dusk while I was in the grounds with the young people. If that were the case, the rite must have been very much shorter than at Talun. I feel pretty well convinced that the betel ceremony which, at Talun, accompanied the rites over the sacred food was, at Tubison, transferred to the Sonaran as described. In each case the officiating priest
placed sixteen slices of areca-nut on the altar, each being laid on a piece of betel-leaf; they were separated into two sets of eight each, by sarabak leaves at Talun, and by the little ceremonial spoon of bulls leaf at Tubison; and the betel was similarly sprinkled with lime by the celebrant. Sugar cane liquor was drunk at the earlier ceremony a


at Tubison on this last night, as one of the early evening functions.
A single agong — a very large one — formed the altar, and on this the entire ceremony was performed, there being no additional -agong holding water and medicine for lavations. The rite of washing and the anito seance were both absent from the Sonar as performed at Tubison. On the other hand, we have at Tubison the ceremonial preparation and chewing of areca-nut and betel-leaf on the part of the old men, a function which at Talun did not occur in connection with the agong oblation. Another element of variation was the large number of sacred dishes used in drinking the sugar cane liquor.
There were, in all, sixteen cups, saucers, and plates, eight being placed to the right of the agong, and eight to the left; whereas at Talun there were but four bowls and one individual cup. The wide variety in the kinds of gifts brought to the altar at the Talun feast has been noted; but at Tubison the offerings were noticeably limited to swords, knives and brass armlets, ^^^ there being no textiles or bead-work or embroidery produced for the rite. Many of the bracelets were brought tied in bunches, and a few of these the celebrant fastened to the swords that leaned upon the agong.
In other respects, the details of Sonaran as performed at the two places were fairly parallel.

The bamboo prayer-stands, ^^^ called tamhara^ formed at Tubison a more distinctive ceremonial element than at Talun. It will be

Tabison, I understood, as well as at tbe later one; just as at Talun this ritual drinking occurred at the agong ceremony and also at the final sacrificial rites. As a whole, however, I should remark that the two ceremonies stood out from each other more sharply distinct at Talun than at Tubison.

2^« There were in all thirty-five brass armlets brought to the altar, in eight clusters 4^t different times, the clusters numbering from two to six armlets each; of these only three were the fine bracelets cast from a wax mould and called halinuhmg, the others being the wire armlets punched in patterns and called pankis. As for the swords, they were all of the long, one-edged type called kampilan — the most valued weapon among Bagobo men, and always worn in full dress. The ritual performance over the agong opened with eight kampilan piled one upon another, and resting in part on the floor, and ill part on the agong. After the sugar cane wine had been poured into the sixteen dishes, another kampilan was brought, thus giving nine, instead of the eight that at Talun made the proper count.

*^* In each corner of the house stood a bamboo prayer-stand {lambara) dedicated, respectively, to the god of the house {dios ka bale), the god of the fire {dios ka apuy) the personal guardian of our host {dios ku Dutu Imbal), and the unseen spiritual protector called Tungo, this last shrine being set up with the particular intention of keeping the family from sickness ("diri masakit to manobo tun to bale" — "not sick the people in


recalled that at the last-mentioned place bamboo stands functioned merely as accessories to the agong rite, both in association with the altar itself, and as shrines on which the gifts that had previously been offered on the agongs might be hung. At Tubison, €n the contrary, separate ritual recitations were uttered by the elder brother of Datu Imbal, while standing before two of the four tambara that occupied the corners of the house, and these devotions were accompanied by some display of dramatic action which cannot at the present time be discussed.

One of the distinguishing characteristics of this festival at Tubison was the notable part taken by women, particularly in the singing.
While the chanting of gindaya was, as usual, reserved for young men alone — indeed, the women told me that the daughters of Datu Imbal did not know the words of the gindaya — yet many other vocal performances were given by girls and women. My notes, taken during the night, mention thirteen of these songs and chants, six of which were performed by a chorus of adult women, three by young girls assisted by a few young men, three were recitatives by single female voices, and one was a duet between Imbal's sister and his brother's son, the same nephew who carried the burden of the gindaya. Alternating with the songs of the women, or sometimes massed in consecutive numbers, came choruses by male voices, including the war song {clura)^ while ever and anon rose the chanting of gindaya by Iti, Umpa and Imba^ sons of Datu Imbal, and by Ume, son of Imbal's brother. Some of the women's songs were given in a high key and with an explosive utterance that approached a shriek ; others were softly chanted at a low pitch.

One, at least, of the women's choruses was led by Siat, the wife of Datu Imbal, a middle-aged woman of remarkably impelling personality, who took a prominent part in directing the schedule of the entire night, acting, indeed, as a co-master of ceremonies with Imbal himself. There was something very impressive in the execu-

the house"). It was before the two last-named shrines that the ritual recitations above referred to were made. Above these two altars, and covering the intervening space, were draped a great number of the ceremonial, dark red kerchiefs called tankulu which were hung from the bamboos, and spread from joist to joist, so as to form an almost continuous canopy at this end of the house — the same end where the agong-altar rites were said. The family of Imbal had a wealth of tankulu, in a wide variety of figured patterns, and they formed the festive decoration of the house. There were no long lines of textiles displayed, as at Talun.


tive ability with which she superintended the various functions and the scrupulous care that she bestowed on the correct performance of ritual details, her attention passing so swiftly from one to another of the activities that were going on in the various parts of the Long House that it seemed as if she perceived the entire situation at one glance. Once I noticed that her keen eyes were fixed sharply on TJme, who was singing gindaya; it was obvious that he had made a blunder, and he stopped short, looking at Siat and laughing in a half-disconcerted manner, but Siat promptly corrected him, giving him his cue, and he resumed his chant. One ritual recitation was given by Siat in a high voice, and she drank sugar cane liquor from several of the sacred dishes at the altar.
One other woman drank with the old men.

A few minor ceremonial features may now be mentioned in which slight variations from the rites at Talum become apparent. The dancing took place late in the afternoon and up to dusk; during the evening and the night, no dances were performed. The sprigs of fragrant bulla, that were worn by all of us women at our waists, had to be discarded at a definite point of the ritual. It was rather soon after the opening strains of gindaya were heard, and while the food was being pressed into leaf-moulds, that a little girl came to me and removed the bulla-leaf from my belt, and I saw that the Bagobo women were laying aside their own decorations of bulla.
Another detail to be noted is that the sacred food, when taken from the altar was emptied into a flat basket and placed on the floor, where each man reached for it, putting his hand into the basket. I observed no separate portion for the boys. The general drinking of balabba by the guests followed immediately upon the consumption of the sacred food, a much later period in the ritual sequence than at Talun, where everybody was invited to drink balabba, not only before the men's food was laid out, but prior to the big general feast itself.

We now turn to a dramatic episode of the ritual which set off, to a marked degree, the religious activities of this night at Tubison from those we have recorded of Talun. The chief actor was an old man, Datu Idal, head of the neighboring village of Patulangan, and his part consisted in falling on the floor in a trance, or a pseudo-trance. This performance occurred quite late in the night, after all the liturgical ceremonial as well as the eating and drinking had come to an end. Following a period of successive singing,


interspersed with sharp cries from groups of women and groups of men, and while I was standing at one end of the house listening to the chanting of gindaya, there came a noise of tumult from the next room, and thither everybody began to rush and crowd together.
There was a sound of a heavy body falling, followed by low cries and exclamations. Instantly, the wife of Imbal hastened to me and begged me not to be frightened; she told me that what was happening was very good for the Bagobo, but that I must stay where I was, and not attempt to go to look. As soon as her attention was diverted, I succeeded in making my way to a place where I could get a glimpse of Datu Idal. He lay on his back, stretched out at full length on the floor, his eyes closed, his general aspect being that of a person in a faint. Siat (Imbal's wife) sat at his head and gazed fixedly at his face. The old people who were standing about explained that Idal was dead, but that he would come to life again by and by; and they assured me that it was something good for the Bagobo. The crowd gradually thinned out and the Bagobo, one after another, lay down on the floor and fell asleep. After a while Idal's condition of stupor, if it were such, seemed to pass imperceptibly into natural slumber. After keeping her position as watcher for one or two hours, Siat lay
down beside the old man, drew over herself a part of the cotton sleeping-blanket which she had spread over him, and soon dropped off to sleep. By that time, nobody was awake except the youths who were relieving one another at the gindaya and myself. I did not venture to lose sight of the sleeping datu, for it seemed highly probable that he would "come to life" suddenly, to bring to some dramatic culmination the events of the night; but nothing unusual occured. The hours wore on toward dawn, while only the monotonous intoning of gindaya broke the stillness. Soon after sunrise,
Datu Idal stirred, opened his eyes, sat up, and began to chew betel as if nothing had happened. Everybody else woke up as usual; and, as the sun shot rays across the mountain tops, only the soft chanting of the weary boys, each still holding over his lips an edge of the sacred kerchief as the last strains of gindaya came forth, indicated that a great religious festival was drawing to a close.

In attempting to characterize briefly this festival night as a whole, one would note the high degree of animation that pervaded the rites, a spirit which was quite as plainly apparent before the sugar


cane wine had been served as after the general drinking. In marked contrast with the quiet, orderly, almost conventional manner in which the proceedings at Talun were put through, the religious activities at Tubison suggested some hidden psychological stimulus to which every performer responded.  There were frequent shrieks and screams from the women; groans and loud calls from the men; shouting of directions; sudden dramatic outbursts, as when one datu seized hold of another and tried to drag him from his seat, or when one clasped the wrists of another during the prayers before the bamboo stands, or when the entire company oriented at the same moment, crowding together and facing the north, while the men sang the locust song [Apang), Yet, throughout this intense excitement, one was conscious of an organization so exact as to inhibit any excess of emotional discharge. Many of the above demonstrations, as well as the war songs, the cries, and the prolonged humming and trilling sounds that are associated with war expeditions, gave the impression of a battlefield with a fight in progress, or of the return from a successful man-hunt.

Question of Head-hunting. Much work remains to be done before the complete significance of the Ginum ceremonial is revealed.
Some of the religious rites that I have attempted to describe suggest similar customs which, by a parallel development or through convergence, have grown up in many countries and among many peoples all over the world. No attempt has been made in this paper to draw attention, outside of a limited territory, to parallels that will occur to every student of primitive religion.

There are other elements of the Ginum which seem peculiar to Malay groups, but the material is lacking for a detailed comparison.
Among these elements, the triumphal entry of the two bamboo poles, with the attendant ceremonies, calls for special investigation. That they are raised in honor of the same god who receives so

22 Two possible causes may be hinted at for what may be termed this difference in psychical atmosphere: — (1) Possibly a human sacrifice had been offered at Tubison during the preceding twenty-four hours; while at Talun the enforced substitution of a fowl as the bloody victim may have dampened the spirit of the feast. But cf. pp. 96 — 97.

(2) There was evident, at all times, in ImbaPs family a temperamental strain of buoyancy and of mental alertness that thrilled me, on every occasion when any one of them came to visit at my house. Possibly, all of the guests were infected by the enthusiasm and vivacity of our hosts. Oleng's family, on the contrary, with the sole exception of Ido, were less spontaneous in manner, not at all optimistic, cautious, reserved, and not inclined to be over-hasty in the execution of their intentions.


large a portion of the devotional exercises, that is, the Tolus ka Balekat, is a point we have already noted; that the poles are associated with exploit factors which include the shedding of human blood is demonstrated by the war cry at the entrance of the poles, by the attaching to them of spears, by recitations of the number of lives taken, and by the detail of grasping hold of a ceremonial pole and of maintaining this position as long as the narration continues.

Father Mateo was convinced that the decoration of the poles was a sign that a human sacrifice had just been made. He mentions this conclusion in two different letters, written about six months^ apart. In his valuable description of Bagobo ceremonial, he says: "From the place of the sacrifice they then go to the house of their chief or the master of the feast, holding branches in their hands^ which they place in a large bamboo, which is not only the chief adornment, but the altar of the house in which they meet." And again, "Curious persons who are present at those feasts, do not understand the language of the old men nor see anything that hints of a human sacrifice, but those who are fully initiated in the Bagobo customs, will note immediately the token of the human sacrifice which was made in the woods on the preceding day among^ the branches placed in the bamboo or drum, before which the old men above mentioned make their invocation to Darago." These passages were written after Father Mateo had been ministering to the coast Bagobo for about two years.

My own findings agree with those of Father Gisbert, in regard to the bamboos. At an interview with the anito, this association of the poles with the sacrifice was stressed, and the Bagobo were told by the god that the reason they were sick was because they no longer followed the old Bagobo custom of killing a man before performing the ritual with the bamboo poles; and the point was made that it was formerly the custom after the man was killed to get sprays of areca and certain plants to take into the house, and to set up the two kawayan, and to sing the war song. But in addition to their connection with the sacrifice, the bamboo poles may have a larger significance.

During my observation of the bringing in of the poles and of the rites that followed, I was impressed by the resemblance of these activities to the sort of celebration that one would look for at the close of a successful expedition against an enemy. The behavior of the men suggested forcibly the return of a war party from some


big slaughter, of the bringing back of heads, or of a related exploit.
Since that time, I have read Dr. Furness's picturesque account of the return of the Kayan head-hunting expedition, and I have noted several features of the celebration that closely resemble the Bagobo rites accompanying the entrance of the two bamboos. Still more striking is the similarity in mental attitude toward the ceremony, as would appear from such emotional responses as the fixed position of the warriors, the rapt and exalted expression of their faces, the restrained eagerness of the waiting women, the break into the war cry on entering the house. Since this behavior is only one of many points of resemblance between the Bagobo and the wild tribes of Borneo, it seems possible that the same stimulus — that of hunting human heads — gave rise to the ceremony in the one group as well as in the other.

Among the Berawan of Sarawak, according to Furness, when, in

**^ "At the very first glimmer of dawn I was awakened by an unusual stir throughout the house. The women and children and the few men who were so unfortunate as to have been obliged to remain behind, were all collecting along the edge of the veranda below the eaves, whence they could get a view of the river. Just at the very instant that the sun sent its first shaft of level light down the long expanse of river, we heard coming up-stream, a solemn, low, deep-toned chant, or rather humming, in harmony.
There were no articulate words, only a continuous sound, in different keys, from treble to bass, of the double vowel oo, as in Ifoom. A minute later the long line of canoes, lashed three abreast, slowly rounded the turn, and drifted toward the house. The men were all standing. Only a few were at the paddles, merely enough to steer the procession, while all the others stood as motionless as statues, holding their spears upright and the point of their shields resting at their feet. On and on they slowly glided, propelled, it almost seemed, by this inexpressibly solemn dirge, which was wafting this sacred skull to a home it must for ever bless. In order to watch the ceremony more narrowly, I left the veranda as the boats neared the beach, and I shall not soon forget Abun's solemn, absorbed demeanour. I could not catch his eye, and, unlike his usual self, he took not the smallest notice of my presence, nor did any of the others. Every face wore the rapt expression of a profoundly religious rite. Without intermitting the chant, Abun, bearing the skull, led the procession in single file to the up-river end of the house When they were all gathered, still chanting, in a close group, the old fencing-master' stepped out to the front with a blow-pipe, and, looking in the direction of the Tinjar River (still chanting) addressed a vehement warning to the enemy, and then (still chanting) raised the blow-pipe to his lips, and blew a dart high in the air to carry the message to them. The chanting instantly ceased, and all gave a wild, exultant shout." The Home Life of Borneo Head-hunters, pp. 90—93. 1902. [The account continues with a narration of the rites held over the skull.]

According to Furness, the Kayans have a legend on the origin of taking heads, and the mythical account says that it was first done on the advice of a frog, and that this initial trial brought them so many blessings that the practice was ever after continued. Op. cit., p. 60.


the old times, a man hunt was inconvenient, a slave was sacrificed as a substitute. Prom this point of view, we might look upon the Bagobo custom of sacrificing a single individual at Ginum as a mere vestige of a much more noteworthy outpouring of blood for the satisfaction of Mandarangan and for that of the Tolus ka Balekat.
But this view is not altogether satisfactory, for there is no reason to suppose that human sacrifice may not be a practice that has been associated with the Ginum equally as long as head-hunting, if we admit both as ceremonial elements.

The situation in regard to head-hunting among the Bagobo offers a question for investigation. For my part, I have never seen a human head preserved as a trophy, nor have I seen a human skull in any Bagobo house. Pig skulls are occasionally hung on the wall, the number recording the skill of the hunter.

The Bagobo seem to stand in great fear of the human skull, as to them it is a representative of Buso. One old woman, a priest-doctor, caught sight of a single skull among my ethnological objects, and suffered such a shock that she told me, weeks afterward, that she had been sick ever since she saw the ''bonga-bonga" at my house. Her feeling was fairly representative of the general sentiment.

Yet the frequency in many other Malay groups of this practice of taking heads, particularly in Borneo, in Celebes *^*^^ and in several parts of the Philippines, leads one to look for the custom in the history of the Bagobo tribe. One definite statement is given by Father Gisbert in a letter to the Superior of the mission, written from Davao, July 26, 1886. The case is one of head hunting on a large scale and it occurred only two generations ago.
The father of Manip, who figures in the episode, was Panguilan, the grandfather of the present datu of Sibulan, ^^^ so that these heads were taken well within the last one hundred years.

*^*^^ The Sarasin brothers write that the greatest pride of the natives of Minahassa was in head-hunting. The captured heads, they brought home in triumph, and this entry was followed by banquet and dance. Small pieces of the slain foe were devoured. Cf, Reisen in Celebes, vol. 1, p. 43. 1905. The natives on Kendari bay, in southeast Celebes, say that if they did not take heads their crops would fail, and sickness would come. Cf. ibid., vol. 1, p. 379. For head hunting among the Tolokaki, see ibid., vol, 1, pp. 374—375.

**^ See also "The Wild Tribes of Davao District," p. Ill, where Cole gives a contribution from Sibulan that throws light on this point. He says: "According to the tales of the old men, it was formerly the custom to go on a raid before this ceremony


"The father of Manip was the dato of Sibiilan, who died a few months ago at a very old age (perhaps he was as much as a hundred), and whom [sic] they say had already attained to the condition of immortality, which was due to the matuga guinaua, or good heart of Mandarangan, because of the many victims that he had offered that being. It is said that when he was yet a youth, he sought a wife, but did not obtain her until he had cut off fifty human heads, as was attested by the hundred ears which he carried in a sack from the river Libaganon to Sibulan." Blair and Robertson, vol. 43, p. 246.

[The word "ginaua" (ginawa) literally means "loving."]

Just why, and when, the custom of hunting heads passed out of use among the Bagobo is an interesting problem. There is one vestige, at least, in the practice that some old men have of fastening the hair of their slain victims to the handle or to the scabbard of a weapon. I bought from Awi one sword with human hair attached. Nieuwenhuis ^^* found this use to be a substitute for the old practice among the Kayan.

All we can say now is that there is some evidence that the Bagobo took heads at a time not very remote, and that the
character of certain of the Ginum ceremonies suggests that they may originally have been performed in association with the bringing back of heads (as well as with the human sacrifice), the two poles serving for the attachment of the skulls. The present ritual of tying on the spears and the recitations of the old men may be vestigial.

A Few Ceremonial Chants. A few of the typical chants are here given.


(Part of a war-song that is said to be sometimes chanted at the time of cutting down the two ceremonial bamboos).

[i. e. Ginum] was to take place, and successful warriors would bring home with them the skulls of their victims which they tied to the patanan.'' The author in a footnote explains this word as meaning "Ceremonial poles dedicated to Mandarangan and Darago,'* and continuing he says: "In Digos and Bansalan the skulls were not taken but hair cut from the heads of enemies was placed in the swinging altar halakat^ and left there until the conclusion of the ceremony."

In connection with Mr. Cole's use of the word patanan, it should be noted that at Talun they invariably called the two poles kawayan (the ordinary name for the large species of bamboo); but the ritual that was performed after the setting up of these poles they called patanan. It is quite conceivable, however, that in another mountain group the name for the ceremony might easily pass over to the ceremonial object itself, particularly among such a metaphor-loving people as the Bagobo.

-'-"*€/. Quer durch Borneo, vol. 1, p. 92. 1904.


Shout the war-cry;
Sing gindaya;
Pamansad ka kawayan. 225
Cook food for Ginum;
Serve food; dish it up;
Make the leaf-dishes.
Clear the jungle;
Fell the trees;
Lop off branches;
Burn the field;
Plant the rice;
Build the fence;
Place the altar.
Put on trousers;
Pull the drawstring;
Bind on tutub; 226
Dress the hair;
Put on necklace;
Gird on sword;
Hold the war-shield;
Take the spear;
Hold up spears; 227
Gird on sword
Fringed with goats' hair, 228
Tipped with kids' wool.
Ride horses;
Run the horses,
Racing, racing.
Dance to kuglung; 229
Dance to flute; 230
Dancing, all dancing.
Lay betel in mouth;
Tobacco makes dizzy.
Wash in Ragubrub; 230
At bank of Malilyo. 231
Cook food; climb for bees 232
Making combs very high;
Fix logan 233 for bees.
Make saddles; make stirrups.
Dig the holes; 234 build the house.
Make palandag. 235
Place altar and bowls. 236


Make the house strong;
Lay red peppers, 23t
Lest fighting break in.
Hang up torches at dark.
Dance to the flute;
Hold shield on guard;
Break the shield of the other;
Fight with swords; fight with spears;
Ride horse running.
Racing, racing,
Make fish-traps;
Dam the river;
Catch the fish.
Climb fruit-trees.
Beat agongs, all dancing.
Go swimming and diving;

One boy drowns; 238

^ * * Recitation of exploits that is made by the old men while grasping the ceremouial bamboo.

**^A kerchief worn by those not eligible to the tankulu.

^ * ' That is, while tying the spears in an upright position to the bamboo poles.

^^^ It is usually the scabbard, not the sword, that is decorated with a fringe of hair or of wool.

^ * ® The man's guitar having two strings.

^ ^ " The tzilali — a small wind instrument of light bamboo that is blown from one end.

*^^ The name of a river.

^ ^ ^ That is, smoke out the wild bees to get wax.

'-' ' ' A framework of wood and rattan that is sometimes fastened to the branches of trees to induce the wild bees to hive there.

*^* The holes for the posts of the Long House.

^ ^ ^ Another kind of small flute, that is blown from the side.

236 rpjj^g ^g ^-j^^ balekat, with its pingan, or bowls.

* " A charm against demons.

* ^ ^ Probably a reference to a single accidental occurrence.


He is dying.
Make saddles; play agongs.
Clear the brush;
Hew down trees;
Burn the field;
Pile up branches;
Lop olf branches;
Burn it over.
Plant the rice;

Hedge the altar; 239

Weave at loom.
Burn the meadow;
Hunt the boar.
Climb for cocoanuts.

Wear good clothes.
Cook food;
Make leaf-dishes;
Dance and cook.
Get wood for the fire;
Bring water; fetch leaves;
Get water in buckets.
Raise the bamboos,
Balekayo 240 and laya 241
Get tamanag 242 wood;
Manga, 243 lanzone,
Durian, areca;
Pound natuck. 244
Build the house:


(A part of the Gindaya chanted on the opening night of Ginum.) "God the Protector, the All-knowing, come down here and tell us, you who have been there, the story of the bird far away in the mountains. You have heard the tale of the youngest nestling of limokon, perched on a golden tree on the farther side of the mountains of Baringan, concealed
under the branches, finding at the topmost point fresh branches pointing toward the sunset, weaving toward the dawn

The magic plants tliat are placed around the hut-shrine at rice-planting. Some of the references are anticipatory of clearing and planting, as the Ginum is often held in January.

The textiles exhibited at the festival are hung from a frame of fight bamboo, called lalelcayo. See p. 136.

The agongs are suspended from rods of lay a wood.

A white, porous, highly inflammable wood, much used for kindling.

Mangifera indica L. : a large and delicious fruit having a yellow skin, a long pit, and a juicy pulp. Foreigners call it "manggo," but natives give it in this word as a single phonetic element.

Lansium domesucum: a small fruit with translucent white pulp having an acid flavor.

Burio zibeihinus: A good-sized fruit having a heavy rind covered with prickles, and a very soft, cream-colored pulp, which has a pleasently pungent flavor, but an offensive smell. The durian is a favorite fruit with the natives.

Sago, which is extracted from the sago palm, pounded and boiled to a jelly. Bagobo mothers feed their babies freely with natuck.

Duma Tungo, the "god who keeps the people.*' Duma sometimes means "wife," sometimes "companion." In the Long House at Tabison, there was an altar dedicated to Tungo, and there is a question as to whether the two divinities are identical.

^ '•^ The omen pigeon.

2"" Fabulous mountains of the ulit, the romantic tale.


In the north on the seashore lie nine million kalati; in the north on the seashore lie nine rows of sequins. To fifty trees the branches cling; in the south they drop showers; in the north the breeze makes branches sway.

There is a place in the Salikala mountains where there grows a bontia pebble on the rocks. Wire cannot dent it; iron and knives cannot cut it."


Gindaya chanted antiphonally by Ynok and Abe against Atab and Luma.
Ynok sings to Atab:

"Now here we are. I have been traveling eight years to find my own brother; these many years I have sought him, and now we have met in the house called Tinamalung Tambobung 252 (narrow long house with a good roof). Now I want to ask you, my brother, 253 if you have any areca-nut and buyo leaf with you. You have probably come from a town a long way off and if you have no betel you will be hurt by the wind and the hot sun in my town. I have something to ask you. I want you to show me the way to Tangos, 254 the little island near to this town. 1 must meet somebody there; and I have lost the way to my own town. I have not been back for eight years. I should not know my own areca-palm plantation nor my buyo. But this month I am going to find my way, and we will make our luas, 255 not to speak each other's names. We will meet in one month and one day. Now I am going toward my own town; and do not you say anything bad about me after I am gone, because we are very intimate friends.

Atab sings in reply to Ynok:

'^Here I am, my nearest brother. I came from Tangos island, near to the

^ " ® Small discs of mother-of-pearl that are grouud and pierced for beads by the Bila-an, the Tagakaola and the Kulaman tribes. The Bagobo get kalati in trade for use in decorating festival garments.

^^^ Bontia is said to be a tiny white stone of magic properties. If kept wrapped in a cloth and put away in a bamboo tobacco case or other tightly covered vessel, it will after a time reproduce itself. It will have one child at a time, several years apart. If the case or box it is kept in be not securely covered, the bontia may run away. This magic white stone is described as "a little larger than a grain of rice, but smaller than a kernel of corn." The bontia was once found in a bird's nest by a Bagobo of Tuban,
There is one variety of bontia — the bojitia tigaso — that never gets children, however carefully kept.

*^^ This chant may, perhaps, refer to the wanderings of mythical ancestors, but I am not able to make a definite statement as to this.

*^- A shady house with a good roof; that is, the Long House. Except in the chants, they always call it dakul bale, or "big house." The main elements of this term are malung, shady; tam-, prefix with a sense of "good;" hohung^ "roof,"

253 "Brother," or "own brother" is equivalent here to "close friend."

* * "* Tangos was explained as meaning any small island near to a town. From this it would seem as if, perhaps, this song had its origin at a festival on the coast.

* * ^ The names of certain persons are luas or tabu.


town, and I walked a long way on the American road with the wire, 256 to meet my own brother. I think I am a little pangalinan'^^' and the smallest boy in the world, because I did not bring any areca-nut. It is not right for you to say, *'My nearest brother," when you ask me for betel. I think you do not feel kindly to me, because I heard bad words from you after 1 came. After that, I did not care to keep the areca-nuts and the betel-leaf."

Rite of Human Sacrifice^ called Pag-Huaga

A fundamental feature of the worship of certain gods is the offering to them, from time to time, of a human victim, with appropriate rites. The war-god, Mandarangan, demands this sacrifice; and the persons who take part in the ceremony pray that he will keep them from sickness and death, in return for the human blood which they, for their part, are pouring out for him to drink. At the Ginum a deity of the altar, called Tolus ka Balekat, is the one for whom, from ancient times, the human sacrifice has been killed and ceremonially offered up.

Three hundred and fifty odd years ago, when the Spanish priests began the religious conquest of the Islands, the custom of killing a human victim as a religious ceremony was widespread among Tagalog and Visayan peoples of Luzon and the Visayas, as well as through the mountain tribes of Mindanao. These last-named have never given up the custom, in spite of persistent efforts made by the missionaries to crush it out. The attack has been renewed by the American government, but the human sacrifice represents so vital an element in the religious life of the Bagobo and of the other tribes who have always performed it that it dies very hard. There have been numerous references by many authors to the sacrifice, and we have three or four detailed accounts of it; but all of these were given to the various writers by Bagobo individuals, for, so far as we know, no white person has ever had the opportunity of being present at the rite. It is doubtful if any investigator will ever be in a position to record from personal observation a human sacrifice. But of the significance, and of the

256^ good illustration of the tendency of the native to incorporate recent happenings with the ancient elements of his story. Atab had walked along some part of the coast between Davao and Bolton, where telephone connections were established about 1906.
Thence he had taken the path up the mountain trail to Talun.

The traditional small boy of the old stories {ulit) who, though poor and often dirty and covered with sores, eventually becomes a great datu, or a famous malaki.


manner of its performance, we can get a tolerably clear idea from the several accounts that have leaked out, or that have been extracted by questioning.

One does not want to betray the confidence of a Bagobo friend, or to place him in an uncomfortable situation with respect to the local authorities, now that the situation has become strained in regard to this native custom. Without, then, mentioning the name of the young man who gave me an account of the sacrifice, I will simply say that the story was told without question on my part; and, on his, with a spontaneity and a naive dwelling on gruesome details that grew out of his ignorance of the danger of exposure, quite as much as his confidence in my discretion. This was several months before the case occurred that has been published by the United States War Department. ^^^ My informant had observed a number of sacrifices, and he was a keen observer. I have two or three pictures that he sketched of the slave tied to the sacrificial post.

As the sacrifice offered up at Ginum is fairly typical, that form may be selected for description.

The slave to be sacrificed at an approaching festival is selected some time in advance. It may be two or three months beforehand that the purchase, or barter, or transfer of the slave into the family holding the ceremony is agreed upon. During the first and second nights ^^^ of the festival, the slave-boy is kept in the ceremonial house, tied by his wrists to the wall, and fed "like the dogs" with scraps held to his lips. Clearly there is no suggestion of making the ceremonial victim the subject for special privileges during the hours just before death, or of feasting him before sending him to sacrifice.

On the last and main day of Grinum, shortly after sunrise, the slave is taken to the forest, or to the beach if the village is not

A full report of the governmental investigation that followed the human sacrifice of December 9, 1907, was published in the Annual Report of the United States War Department for 1908, pp. 367 — 370. Washington, 1909; and is reprinted in F. C. Cole: The "Wild Tribes of Davao District, pp. 115—119. 1913.

25» According to the account in the government report above cited, the appearance of the constellation Balatik is the signal for a sacrifice. This constellation appears early in December. Mr. Cole heard the same statement from Data Tongkaling. Op. cit,, pp. 114 — 115. The same writer states that this constellation is identical with Orion. Plasencia called Balatik the Greater Bear. Cf. Blaie and Kobeetson, vol. 7, pp. 186 — 187. 1903.

26 ^uiong the Hindu also, the victim for the human sacrifice was kept chained all night. Cf. Tawney's footnote to Som^deva: Katha Sarit Sagara, vol. 1, p. 336. 1880.


too far from the coast. All the people from several miles around gather to attend the ceremony, except the younger children who remain at home, where they later have a little supplementary performance.

At the place picked out for the ceremony, a frame — the ta- kosan — is set up. This consists of three posts, vertically placed, with a cross-piece connecting them at top. The three upright elements form the patindog^ and the horizontal cross-bar is the halabag.
The balabag is decorated from end to end with fresh young shoots from the areca palm. Directly in front of the middle patindog, a hole is dug in the ground, to which the slave's body will finally be consigned; the pit is called kiithui),

Near to the sacrifical frame, there is set up a small shrine {tani' hara) consisting of the usual white china bowl wedged into the split end of a rod of bamboo set upright on the ground, and secured to a tree or other support. In the bowl of the tambara the usual offerings of areca-nuts and buyo-leaf are laid. Before this shrine, the old men gather for the office called garug-dun^ which is recited by one or two of them acting in the capacity of priests. The burden of the rite is a prayer to Mandarangan, dwelling on Mount Apo, asking him to accept the sacrifice, and to keep the Bagobo from diseases and from all calamity. At the close of the garug-dun, or just before it, the slave is brought forward for the saksakdn^ or the rite of killing and cutting the body to pieces.

The slave is fastened to the middle post of the takosan, his hands uplifted, his wrists and ankles bound to the patindog by strong cords of vegetable fibre {ylana) Often he is tied so tightly that he cries out more in physical pain than in fear: "The fetters hurt me! Take them off! I can't bear the bands! Untie them for this time!"
Immediately many of the men begin the dance with war-shields — the palagise — a performance of remarkable maneuvers, demanding considerable practice as well as athletic skill. The leaping, the bending at the knee, the agile passes with the shield in presenting, drawing back, springing lightly from one to another position — all of these feats are done with a high degree of dramatic effect that is intensified by the character of the occasion. As they dance, they draw nearer to the takosan, and with spears and kampilan begin to make stabs at the victim. Others of those present, men and women, rush forward and each tries to inflict a wound on the slave, each one stimulated by the hope of a benefit to be gained


for himself if he assist at the sacrifice. In a few minutes the slave is dead from a multitude of gashes. The instant he is dead, they cut the body, with the exception of hands and feet, into small pieces, each about two and one-half inches by four inches in size, and drop them into the hole prepared to receive them. The ritual name of pinopul is given to a piece of a slave's body thus ceremonially cut off. The hands, sectioned just below the wrists, and the feet, just below the ankles, are left entire, these parts being reserved to carry home to the little boys in the family that offers the sacrifice. The lads cut these members into small pieces and bury them in another hole in the ground. This performance is for the purpose of making the children very brave.

Immediately after the sectioning of the body, one of the young men opens the chant called gindaya^ in which he is joined by one or three others who sing antiphonally for half an hour. Thus closes the tragic rite, from which the Bagobo hope to secure so large a measure of health ^^^ and prosperity. ^^"^

It is immediately after the conclusion of the sacrifice, or else the day after according to Gisbert, that the bamboo is filled with branches, and the accompanying rites are celebrated.
"From the place of sacrifice they then go to the house of their chief or the master of the feast, holding branches in their hands which they place in a large bamboo, which is not only the chief adornment but the altar of the house in which they meet." Blair and Robertson: op. cit.^ vol. 43, pp. 234. 1906. Again he says: "Curious persons who are present at those feasts, do not understand the language of the old men nor see anything that hints of a human sacrifice, but those who are fully initiated in the Bagobo customs, will note immediately the token of the human sacrifice which was made io the
woods on the preceding day among the branches placed in the bamboo or drum, before which the old men abovementioned make their invocation to Darago." Ibid., vol. 43, pp. 249 — 250. Cole received from Datu Ansig a statement to the same effect, that the sacrifice was made "at the time the decorated poles were placed in the dwelling.
'* Op. cit., p. 111.

*®* That the idea of substitution enters prominently into the complex of associations set up by the act of human sacrifice is nicely shown by Father Gisbert in the following paragraph: "When any contagious disease appears, or whenever any of their relatives die, the Bagobos believe that the demon is asking them for victims, and they immediately hasten to offer them to him so that he may not kill them. They are accustomed generally to show their good will in the act of sacrifice in the following words. . . . 'Receive the blood of this slave, as if it were my blood, for I have paid for it to offer it to thee.'
These words which they address to Biisao, when they wound and slash the victim, show clearly that they believe in and expect to have the demon as their friend by killing people for him. For they hope to assure their life in proportion to the number of their neighbors they deliver to death, which, they believe in always inflicted by Busao, or the demon who is devoured continually by hunger for human victims." Blair and Robertson: op. cii., vol. 43, p. 250. Attention has been called already to the confusion between


A human sacrifice of an entirely different type is that called gaka^ the victim being a Bagobo of virtue and valor who is killed in order that his liver may be eaten by other brave Bagobo men.
The manner of sacrifice is the same as that of the slave, the man being bound to the takosan and gashed to pieces. Before the body is buried, the liver is removed and ceremonially eaten. ^^^ This is the only trace of cannibalism ^^^ that appears in Bagobo customs.
They look with horror upon the practice of eating human flesh as a means of nurture, and say that it is a custom of the buso.
The eating of the human liver is a religious rite.

In prehistoric days, the custom of offering a human victim in sacrifice was widespread throughout the Islands. The Tagal, according to Plasencia, tied a living slave beneath the body of a dead warrior. ^^^ Artiedo, in 1573, writes of Filipino tribes in general, that they have a custom of killing slaves to bury with the chiefs. ^^^ This usage is not strictly analogous to the Bagobo rite, for the slaves were, no doubt, sent along to provide the distinguished dead with servants in the other world — a custom practised by the Bagobo in addition to the ceremonial sacrifice.

Among the Visayan people, we have records of both kinds of sacrifice. Chirino says that the people of the island of Bohol gave the slaves a hearty meal and then killed them immediately afterward. Male slaves were buried with the body of a man, and female slaves with that of a woman. '^^' The chronicler of the Legaspi expedition states that the Visayans of Cebu sacrificed several slaves at the death of a chief. ^^^ Saavedra records, in 1527 — 1528, that the natives of Cebu offer human sacrifices to the anito - Morga, it is true, wrote, in 1609, that the Yisayans "never sacri-

the personality of Mandaraugan and that of Biisao which appears throughout the writings of the missionaries.

^ * ' According to Coronel, the Zambales of Luzon ate the brains of those whom they beheaded. Blair and Robertson: op. cit., vol. 18, p. 332. 1904.

**' The statements of popular writers as to the reputed cannibalism of the Bagobo ought to be taken with a good deal of caution. Henry Savage Landor, for example, writes of "their eyes having a most peculiar lustre, such as is found in cannibal races." The Gems of the East, p. 362. 1904.

**^ Cf. Blair and Robertson: op. cit., vol. 7, p. 195. 1903.

^^^ Cf, ibid., vol. 3, p. 199. 1903.

'''' Cf. ibid,, vol. 12, p. 303. 1904.

^«« C/. ibid., vol. 3, p. 199. 1903.

^^^ Cf. ibid., vol. 2, p. 42. 1903.


ficed human beings;" but the Recollects, in 1624, found many instances of this rite, and recorded that in Visayan groups a sacrifice, either of a hog or of a human being, had to be made before a battle, in sickness, at seed-time, when building a house, and at other special times. ^'^

In regard to the wild tribes of the south, Pastells and Retana state: ''the human sacrifice. . . . called huaga^ is only practised among the Bagobo, and the most barbarous heathen of Mindanao." ^^^

Purness^^^ obtained an account of the sacrifice among the Berawan of Sarawak, and here two points are of special interest for our discussion: first, that the slave is killed to take the place of a head hunt; and second, that everybody present at the sacrifice is allowed to have a thrust, a distribution of privilege which, from various accounts, seems to be stressed by the Bagobo.

Bagobo Ceremonial Magic and Myth

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