Also known as: Apayao; Calasan; Isnag; Isned; Mandaya

The Isneg or Apayao live in the northern Cordillera of Luzon, the largest island of the Philippines. The Isneg were notorious for headhunting, a practice that they continued until the 1920s and which played a central role in their religion and social structure.

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Traditional Culture(1925)Expand All +
Belief +

Supernatural Beings

Nature Spirits Absent (Source)
Vanoverbergh (1953A), pp. 78-79, 81-82
Nature god(s) Absent (Source)
Vanoverbergh (1953A), pp. 78-79
Ancestral spirits Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Vanoverbergh (1953A), pp. 78-80
Vanoverbergh (1936), pp. 114-115
Vanoverbergh (1938B), pp. 225-260
Lebar (1975), pp. 100
Deified ancestor(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Vanoverbergh (1953A), pp. 78-80
Vanoverbergh (1954)
God(s) Absent (Source)
Vanoverbergh (1953A), pp. 78-79

Supernatural Punishment

Supernatural punishment for impiety Present (Source)
Vanoverbergh (1954), pp. 238-240

Afterlife and Creation

One's actions while living can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Vanoverbergh (1938B), pp. 225-236, 229
Vanoverbergh (1936), pp. 136-137
The actions of others after one has died can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Vanoverbergh (1938B), pp. 225-236, 230-231
Culture hero(es) Absent (Source)
Vanoverbergh (1953A)

General Features

Forces of nature are controlled by or imbued with the supernatural Present (Source)
Vanoverbergh (1953A), pp. 98

Classes of Tapu

Social hierarchy tapu Present (Source)
Keesing (1962B), pp. 9-10
Resource management tapu Absent (Source)
Keesing (1962B), pp. 6-7
Vanoverbergh (1936), pp. 134-184
Vanoverbergh (1953A)
Kinship tapu Absent (Source)
Vanoverbergh (1936), pp. 134-184
Vanoverbergh (1938B), pp. 187-224
Vanoverbergh (1953A)

Mana

Mana related to social influence or technical skill Absent (Source)
Mana as a personal quality Absent (Source)
Blust (2007)
Keesing (1984)
Blevins (2008), pp. 262
Mana as a spiritual or religious concept Absent (Source)
Blust (2007)
Keesing (1984)
Blevins (2008), pp. 262
Practice +

General Supernatural Practices

Headhunting Present (Source)
Vanoverbergh (1954), pp. 257-258
Vanoverbergh (1936), pp. 136-137
Costly sacrifices and offerings Present (Source)
Vanoverbergh (1954), pp. 241, 252, 255, 257
Largest religious community Larger than a household, no larger than the local community (Source)
Vanoverbergh (1954)
Political and religious differentiation Some overlap (Source)
Keesing (1962B), pp. 8, 10
Vanoverbergh (1953B)

Rites

Tooth pulling Absent from culture (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 99
Tattooing Present in culture, but not as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 99
Vanoverbergh (1936)
Vanoverbergh (1938B)
Genital cutting Present in culture, but not a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 99
Social Environment +
Population 12,000 (Source)
Census Office of the Philippine Islands (1921), pp. 898
Keesing & Keesing (1934), pp. 86-87
Population of largest political community 99 or fewer (Source)
Keesing (1962B), pp. 9
Lebar (1975), pp. 99
Importance of Patrilateral descent Medium (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 99
Importance of Matrilateral descent Medium (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 99
Marital residence Patrilocal or virilocal - with husband's kin (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 99
Polygamy Full polygyny (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 99

Conflict

Conflict between communities of the culture Common, at least every five years (Source)
Keesing (1962B)
Conflict with other cultures Common, at least every five years (Source)
Keesing (1962B)
Conflict within communities Moderate (Source)
Keesing (1962B), pp. 3-5
Isolation +
Contact with other cultures Frequent, through trade, warfare, travel, etc. (Source)
Keesing (1962B), pp. 6-7
Distance to closest landmass inhabited by a different culture (km) 0.0 (Source)
Ethnologue (Map of Northern Philippines) (2014)
Distance to nearest continent 691.5 (Source)
Ethnologue (Map of Northern Philippines) (2014)
Daft Logic Distance Calculator (2014)
Pre-Austronesian population Present: Clear evidence of human occupation prior to Austronesian settlement (Source)
Bellwood (1995), pp. 109
Hindu / Buddhist influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Keesing (1962B)
Cribb (2000), pp. Map 2.21
Islamic influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Keesing (1962B)
Cribb (2000), pp. Map 2.23
Christian influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence but in a region where contact is likely (Source)
Keesing (1962B), pp. 1-2
Subsistence and Economy +

Land-based means of subsistence

Animal husbandry as a source of food Minor (Source)
Scheffler (1962), pp. 6-7
Land-based hunting performed by individuals Medium (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 98
Land-based gathering Medium (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 98
Land-based hunting performed by one or more groups Medium (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 98
Agriculture / Horticulture Principal (Source)
Scheffler (1962), pp. 6-7

Water-based means of subsistence

Fishing and water-based hunting performed by one or more groups Minor (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 98
Fishing and water-based hunting performed by individuals Medium (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 98
Water-based gathering Absent (Source)
Scheffler (1962), pp. 6-7
Lebar (1975), pp. 98-99

Commercial Activity

Trade / wage labour as a source of food Medium (Source)
Keesing (1962B), pp. 6-7
Metalworking Present (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 99
Physical Environment +

Geographical Range of Culture

Number of islands inhabited by culture One (Source)
Keesing (1962B), pp. 1

Features of Island with Largest Culture Population

Island type (island with largest culture population or largest island if unknown) Volcanic high island (Source)
Yumul et al. (2009), pp. 732-733
Island Size (km²) 104688.0 (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Luzon) (2014)
Maximum elevation (meters) 2930.0 (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Luzon) (2014)

Location

Latitude 18.1 (Source)
Keesing (1949)
Google Maps (2014)
Longitude 121.2 (Source)
Keesing (1949)
Google Maps (2014)
Post Contact History(1925-2014)Expand All +
Religious History +

Conversion

Resident missionary involvement in conversion process Present, and from non-Austronesian societies (Source)
Smart (1993), pp. 333
Secular History +

Demographic and Social Changes

Foreign government systems Present, and of high importance (Source)
Fiagoy (1987), pp. 2
Language shift Medium (Source)
Fiagoy (1987), pp. 7-8
Ethnologue (Isnag) (2014)
Foreign education systems Medium (Source)
Ethnologue (Isnag) (2014)

Loss of Autonomy

Nature of loss of autonomy Largely involuntary (Source)
Fiagoy (1987), pp. 2, 16
Loss of political autonoomy High (Source)
Fiagoy (1987), pp. 2

Economic Changes

Exportation of goods to other cultures Present and substantial (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 99
Current Culture(2014)Expand All +
Belief +

Religious Demographics

Dominant world religion Christianity (Source)
Smart (1993), pp. 334
External Links
References
Bellwood, P. (1995). Austronesian Prehistory in Southeast Asia: Homeland, Expansion and Transformation. P. Bellwood, J.J. Fox, & D. Tryon (Eds.), The Austronesians: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (pp 113-114). Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.

Blevins, J. (2008). Some Comparative Notes on Proto-Oceanic *Mana: Inside and Outside the Austronesian Family. Oceanic Linguistics, 47 (2), 253-274. Retrieved from http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/ol/summary/v047/47.2.blevins.html

Blust, R. (2007). Proto-Oceanic *Mana Revisited. Oceanic Linguistics, 46(2), 404-423. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20172322

Census Office of the Philippine Islands (1921). Census of the Philippine Islands taken under the direction of the Philippine Legislature in the year 1918 (Vol. II: Population and Mortality). Manila, Bureau of Printing. Retrieved from https://archive.org/details/censusofphilippi03philiala

Cribb, R. (2000). Historical atlas of Indonesia. Surrey, UK: Curzon Press.

Daft Logic Distance Calculator. (2014). http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-distance-calculator.htm.

Encyclopaedia Britannica (Luzon). (2014). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/352414/Luzon

Ethnologue (Map of Northern Philippines). (2014). Map of Northern Philippines. Ethnologue. Retrieved from http://www.ethnologue.com/map/PH_n

Ethnologue. (2014). Isnag: A Language of the Philippines. Retrieved from https://www.ethnologue.com/search/search_by_page/isnag

Fiagoy, G. (1987). Death Stalks the Isneg: A Report on Three Fact-Finding Missions to Lower Kalinga-Apayao, Northern Philippines. Baguio City, Philippines: Cordillera Consultation and Research.

Google Maps (2014). Retrieved from maps.google.com

Keesing, F. M. (1949). Some Notes on Bontok Social Organization, Northern Philippines. American Anthropologist, 51 (4), 578-601. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/665014

Keesing, F. M. (1962B). The Isneg: Shifting Cultivators of the Northern Philippines. Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, 18 (1), 1-19. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3629119

Keesing, F.M. & Keesing, M. (1934). Taming Philippine Headhunters: A Study of Government and of Cultural Change in Northern Luzon. London, England: George Allen and Unwin.

Keesing, R. M. (1984). Rethinking "mana". Journal of Anthropological Research, 40(1), 137-156, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3629696.

Lebar, F. (Ed.). (1975). Ethnic Groups of Insular Southeast Asia. Volume 2: Philippines and Formosa. New Haven, CT: Human Relations Area Files Press.

Rahman, R. (1955, March). [Review of the book Folklore Studies: Journal of Far Eastern Folklore. Vol. XII, by the M. Eder (ed.)]. Philippine Studies, 3(1), 111-114. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/42719133

Scheffler, H. W. (1962). Kindred and Kin Groups in Simbo Island Social Structure. Ethnology, 1 (2), 135-157. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.auckland.ac.nz/stable/3772871

Smart, J. E. (1993). The Flight From Agiwan. A Case Study in the Socio-Cultural Dynamics of an Isneg Marriage Negotiation. Philippine Quarterly of Culture and Society, 21 (4), 330-343. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/29792132.

Vanoverbergh, M. (1936). The Isneg Life Cycle - Part I. Publications of the Catholic Anthropological Conference, 3 (2), 81-186.

Vanoverbergh, M. (1938). The Isneg Life Cycle - Part II. Publications of the Catholic Anthropological Conference, 3 (3), 187-280.

Vanoverbergh, M. (1953A). Religion and Magic among the Isneg: Part I: The Spirits. Anthropos, 48 (1-2), 71-104. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40451189

Vanoverbergh, M. (1953B). "Religion and Magic among the Isneg: Part II: The Shaman". Anthropos, 48 (3-4), 557-568. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40453017

Vanoverbergh, M. (1954). Religion and Magic among the Isneg Part III: Public Sacrifices. Anthropos, 49, (1-2), 233-275. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40450010.

Yumul, G., Dimalanta, C., Queaño, K., & Marquez, E. (2009). Philippines, geology. In R. Gillespie & D. Clague (eds.), Encyclopedia of Islands (pp. 732-738). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.