Collection Description

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Culture Description

The Ifugao (Ifugaw) are a group of wet-rice agriculturalists occupying the mountainous area of northern Luzon, in the Philippines. Scholars estimate that the Ifugao probably lived in the area since the fifteenth century. The Ifugao language is classified as Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian). The Ifugao live in small hamlets of 5 to 10 houses scattered among their rice terraces. They have no chiefs and councils. Bilateral kinship obligations provide most of the political control. Ifugao religion is based on an elaborate cosmology with more than a thousand deities of various classes.


Select the Culture Summary link above for a longer description of the culture.


Asia --Southeast Asia



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Collection Overview

Documents referred to in this section are included in the eHRAF collection and are referenced by author, date of publication, and eHRAF document number.

There are 29 documents in the eHRAF Ifugao file. Religion and economy are best represented here. General cultural and historical accounts are found in Barton (1930, no. 12; 1938, no. 13), Villaverde (1909, no. 19), and Dumia (1979, no. 34). Studies of religion include a general monograph (Barton 1946, no. 1), rituals associated with rice, marriage, death, and property (Lambrecht 1932-1941; no. 9; Dulawan 1988, no. 39), harvest ritual and songs (Daguio 1952, no. 10; Barton 1911, no. 21), healing rites (Lambrecht 1955, no. 14), mythology (Beyer 1913, no. 18; Barton 1935, no. 4; Barton 1955, no. 20), funerals (Beyer 1911, no. 22), and ancestor rites (Lambrecht 1954, no. 29). Economic sources cover hunting (Lambrecht 1957, no. 25), land use (Conklin 1967, no. 16, Dove 1983, no. 36), and rice terracing (Breeman 197 , no. 35). Material culture studies include weaving (Lambrecht 1929, no. 26), basket weaving (Ng 1978, no. 32), and house design and construction (Lambrecht 1929, no. 26). An acculturation study examines the American impact on Ifugao land use and property (Klock 1995, no. 30). There is one linguistic study of Ifugao ethnobotany (Conklin 1967, no. 17). A comprehensive bibliography is supplied by Conklin (1968, no. 15). For more detailed information on the individual works in the file, see the abstracts in the citations preceding each document.

The culture summary is from the article, "Ifugao," by Martin J. Malone, in Sixty Cultures: A Guide To The HRAF Probability Files. 1977. Robert O. Lagacé, ed. New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, Inc. Ian Skoggard wrote the synopsis and revised the following sections: Identity and Location, Linguistic Affiiliation, History and Culture, and Subsistence. Harold Conklin helped with suggestions for new additions to the electronic file.

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Ian Skoggard

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