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Igorrotes

Igorrotes (Igolots), the largest and most powerful of all the semi-independent Malay peoples of Luzon (Philippine Islands), where they occupy the hilly districts in the provinces of Benguet, Lepante, Tiagan and Bontoc. Very few are now found in their original home, the Benguet valley,. since the sanguinary wars of 1820 and 1830, which resulted in the conquest of a great part of those fierce wild tribes. Type - very short muscular figures, 4 feet 8 inches high, clear olive-brown or yellowish complexion, thick black, lank, and lustreless hair, prominent cheek-bones, large black and slightly oblique eyes, which has been attributed to a strain of Chinese and even Japanese blood. The' Igorrotes, who wear a kind of blue (white for mourning) cotton or bast plaid wrapped twice round the body, live in wretched pile hovels, grouped in large villages. Formerly they were ferocious head-hunters, drinking the blood of thenvictims and celebrating the return of successful raiders with frightful orgies. The conquered and settled tribes are mostly nominal Roman Catholics, but the rest are all heathens whose religion is essentially a system of ancestry-worship. Spanish writers often apply the term Igolot in a general way to all the wild tribes in the hilly northern parts of Luzon; hence the vague meaning acquired by this word in ethnological works. (Fr. Blumentritt, Ethnographic der Philippinen; Semper; Schneidnagel, Distrids de Benguet, 1870.)

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