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Wedding Rituals

The Wedding Dress

IFUGAO COUPLE. The elaborate headdress and G-string of the man and the heavy
necklace of heirloom beads of the woman typify the traditional Ifugao costume of
the early 20 th. century. (Field Museum of National History, Ayala Musuem

Wedding dance
The Bontoc Igorot dances in a circle, and he follows the circle counterclockwise.
There is no dancing without gang-sa music, and it is seldom that a man dances
unless he plays a gang-sa. The dance step is slower than the beats on the gang-sa;
there is one complete step to every full 4/4 count. At times the step is simply a
high stepping slow run, really a springing prance
Bontoc or Igorot Wedding Rituals
The Bontoc or Igorot wedding rituals usually spans several days. It starts with the
delivery of thefaratong (black beans) from thegirl to the bachelor signifying the
brides intentions to marry.
Afterwards, the brides family sends out what is known as the khakhu (salted pork)
to the grooms family. This is countered by the sending of sapa (glutinous rice).
These food items are distributed to their respective family members, including their
relatives.An important rite called insukatan nan makan(exchange of food) follows.
Here, one of the grooms parents, after receiving an invitation, must go to the
brides house and have breakfast with them. Later, the grooms parents also invite a
brides parent for a similar meal.The next step is the farey. The bride and
a kaulog(girlfriend) will visit the house of the groom. This is when they start
entering each others houses. They will have to leave immediately also, but they
will be invited again on the following morning for breakfast. This is the start of
the tongor (to align). The next day, the brides parents, bearing rice and salted
meat, will go to the grooms house for the kamat(to sew tight). A kaulug of the
bride and the grooms best friend is likewise invited. The evening will be the start of
the karang or the main marriage ritual. This is when the bride and groom are finally
declared as a couple to the whole community.The following morning is the putut (to
half). Here, only the immediate relatives are invited for breakfast, signifying the end
of the ritual. Two days after theputut, the couple can finally live as husband and
wife, but may not sleep together for the next five days, known as
the atufang period.The atufang serves to validate the marriage. The groom is
instructed to bathe in a spring, taking note of every detail that comes his way, such

as the characters he meets, weather changes, among others. Should anything

peculiar occur, he must make his way to the mountain to cut some wood. The bride,
on the other hand, is sent off to weed in the fields. Any untoward incidents serve as
warnings that the new couple must postpone their living together ormangmang.
The final stage of the atufang involves covering smoldering charcoals with rice
husks overnight. The marriage is considered null and void if the fire goes out the
morning after.
The final step is the manmanok where the brides parents invite the groom and his
parents and declare that the groom could officially sleep with the bride. This
signifies the end of the marriage ritual for most Igorots. An optional lopis (a bigger
marriage feast) could be done should the couples finances allow.
Sagada Igorot Wedding Rituals
The Igorot tribes of the Mountain Province have a wedding practice called the "trial
marriage." The Sagada Igorot, for instance, have a ward or "Dap-ay" where boys at
an early age live and sleep with their agemates. This ward is connected to one or
more girls dormitories called "Ebgan" used for courtship. In this dormitory, the
girls gather at night to sleep and to be visited by their suitors. When a boy develops
a real attachment to a girl, they live together in a trial marriage until the girl
becomes pregnant. The young man then sends gifts to the girls family. Chickens
are sacrificed and omens are read. When all the signs are favorable, the wedding
ceremonies take place. In these ceremonies, the couple drink from the same cup,
eating rice together, and make rice offerings.
Olog - The Betrothal House
There is a practice among the Ifugaos of northern Luzon of segregating "marriageable" girls in a communal abode called "Olog" or "Agamang". (The marriageable
boys are accommodated in another communal house called the "Ato".) The boys
from the "Ato" regularly visit the "Olog" and performed the first stage of courtship
known as the "Ca-i-sing." They unburden their feelings in native songs rich in
meanings and insinuation. The girls respond likewise in native verse. All these are
done under the watchful eye of the "Olog" head -- an elderly and married woman or
a childless widow who keeps the parents of her wards informed of the developments
of the courtship. The practice, unique to our Northern Mountain Tribes is also known
as "Ebgan" (Kalinga) or "Pangis" (Tingguian).