A truly fascinating look at the Ifugaos of the Philippines, who, at the time of the author’s visit, were mainly pagans and animists who had lived the same way for thousands of years. In this book the author interviews three Ifugaos and gathers their autobiographies, focusing on marriage customs, rituals, head-hunting and other aspects of society – some sections of the book suitable only for adults.
“The Ifugao’s world outlook and a large part of his thinking are of a magical nature. Magic is almost entirely of the kind called ‘sympathetic’. There are hundreds of myths which are recited on their appropriate ritual occasions for magical effect – myths that relate situations and crises in the past and how gods or heroes happily met them…I have seen about forty-five myths recited on one ritual occasions – a mock head-feast. The recitation of some myths requires as much as three hours.”