Thursday, May 30, 2024

Igorots and Dogs

Taken between 1898 and 1912, this photo shows three Igorot men and one Igorot woman pausing at a trail to stand for the camera. The original caption for the photo stated: "Benguet Igorot carriers on trail. Dogs to be taken home and eaten."

One of the men was carrying a dagi or shagi, a traditional backpack. The woman was also carrying a backpack of some sort. Could also be a dagi or a kayabang.

Also notice that two of the men were wearing what looked like flat caps. This is a kind of hat that was very popular in the West during this period. It implies that the Igorots in the picture have had contact with foreigners before the photo was taken.

One theory is that the group just came from the lowlands to trade. And that's where they purchased the dogs. Even before the arrival of the Spaniards and the Americans in the Cordillera region, Igorots have been trading goods with their lowland neighbors for generations.

Image source: Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology (Harvard University)