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(1880-1905)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

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

Mana

Mana as a personal quality Absent (Source)
Blust (2007)
Keesing (1984)
Blevins (2008), pp. 262
Mana related to social influence or technical skill Absent (Source)
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
Size of largest ritual social group Larger than the largest political community in the culture (Source)
Keesing (1962B), pp. 9
Vanoverbergh (1954), pp. 233-234
Political and religious differentiation Some overlap (Source)
Keesing (1962B), pp. 8, 10
Vanoverbergh (1953B)

Rites

Genital cutting Present in culture, but not a rite or feature of a rite (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)
Tooth pulling Absent from culture (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 99
Social Environment +
Population 10000 (Source)
Keesing & Keesing (1934), pp. 41
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
Polygamy Full polygyny (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 99
Marital residence Patrilocal or virilocal - with husband's kin (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 99

Conflict

Conflict within communities Moderate (Source)
Keesing (1962B), pp. 3-5
Conflict between communities of the culture Common, at least every five years (Source)
Keesing (1962B), pp. 3-5, 7-9
Conflict with other cultures Common, at least every five years (Source)
Keesing (1962B), pp. 3-5, 7-9
Fiagoy (1987), pp. 1-2
Cultural 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 African or Asian mainland (km) 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

Latitude 18.2 (Source)
Ethnologue (Map of Northern Philippines) (2014)
Google Maps (2014)
Longitude 121.2 (Source)
Ethnologue (Map of Northern Philippines) (2014)
Google Maps (2014)
Island type (island with largest culture population or largest island if unknown) Continental island (Source)
Rangin (1991), pp. 212-213, 217
Island Size (kmĀ²) 104688.0 (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Luzon) (2014)
Maximum elevation (meters) 2930.0 (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Luzon) (2014)
Post Contact History(1905-2014)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

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.

Foley, W. A. (1986). The Papuan Languages of New Guinea. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://books.google.co.nz/books?hl=en&lr=&id=KCATREJERGoC&oi=fnd&pg=PR10&dq=new+guinea+missionaries+dutch&ots=DxA1n4FHML&sig=QuGqCrZmy4lk3Z449NXYf0WeVLU#v=onepage&q=new%20guinea%20missionaries%20dutch&f=false

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

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.

Northern Philippines [map]. (2015). Paul, L. M., Simons, G. F., & Fennig, C. D. (eds.). Ethnologue: languages of the world, eighteenth edition. Retrieved from http://www.ethnologue.com/map/PH_n

Rangin, C. (1991). The Philippine Mobile Belt: A Complex Plate Boundary. Journal of Southeast Asian Earth Sciences, 6 (3-4), 209-220. DOI: 10.1016/0743-9547(91)90068-9

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.