Reviving an Ifugao ‘mumbaki’ ritual

Visit Kiangan!

Forty-eight years ago in the village of Bayninan in Kiangan town in Ifugao province, the last “dawat di bagol” (receiving the deity) ritual was performed.

This was an elaborate ritual in elevating a “mumbaki” (native shaman) to a higher order called the “mumbagol,” a performer of the high prestige rituals in Ifugao society and culture.

The dawat di bagol was performed during the harvest season where the supreme gods and deities were invoked to bestow authority on the mumbaki to preside over the rituals.

These included the rice ceremonies performed throughout the cycle of the “tinawon,” the traditional rice of the Ifugao. The rituals are done to honor the covenant between the “I-Pugaw” (people of the earth) and the givers of the tinawon, the “I-Kabunyan” (deities of the Skyworld).

During the recent rice harvest in Bayninan, Simon Tuguinay, 66, a mumbaki, was elevated to a mumbagol through a rarely performed…

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