Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

The Sacred and the Secular: Practical Applications of Water Rituals in the Ifugao Agricultural System

Abstract
Abstract

Water symbolisms permeate Ifugao religion, rituals, and oral tradition. Water plays a part in death, rebirth, and cleansing in Ifugao cosmology. As such, Ifugaos consider water as sacred. However, water is also central in Ifugao economy and politics. As a culture that highly values intensive wet-rice production in a mountain environment, managing access to water is necessary to maintain stability. Ifugao practices follow what Richard O'Connor described as the “agro-cultural complex” in which agricultural practices, social systems, and political, historical, and, cultural changes are understood as interlocking processes (O'Connor 1995). In this paper, we focus on the relationship between Ifugao water and agricultural rituals with the synchronizing and sequencing of agricultural activities. Using the concept of self-organization, we argue that water and agricultural rituals in Ifugao are not only meant to reinforce community cohesion, they also synchronize the farming activities crucial to a terraced ecology. Utilizing the practice of puntunaan (a ritual plot or parcel in the centre of an agricultural district) and the institution of tomona (the ritual leader of an agricultural district) as a case study, we observed that disruptions in the water and rice rituals stimulated great change in Ifugao sociopolitical organization.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      The Sacred and the Secular: Practical Applications of Water Rituals in the Ifugao Agricultural System
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      The Sacred and the Secular: Practical Applications of Water Rituals in the Ifugao Agricultural System
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      The Sacred and the Secular: Practical Applications of Water Rituals in the Ifugao Agricultural System
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Stephen B. Acabado 2016. The archaeology of pericolonialism: Responses of the “unconquered” to Spanish conquest and colonialism in Ifugao, Philippines. International Journal of Historical Archaeology, DOI: 10.1007/s10761-016-0342-9.

Stephen B. Acabado 2013a. Defining Ifugao social organization: “House”, field, and self-organizing principles in the northern Philippines. Asian Perspectives 52(2), 161189.

Walter Coward . 1979. Principles of social organization in an indigenous irrigation system. Human Organization 38(1), 2836.

J. Stephen Lansing . 2003. Complex adaptive systems. Annual Review of Anthropology, 183204.

J. Stephen Lansing and James N. Kremer . 1993. Emergent properties of Balinese water temple networks: Coadaptation on a rugged fitness landscape of Bali. American Anthropologist 95, 97114.

A. Kolata 1991. The technology and organization of agricultural production in the Tiwanaku state. Latin American Antiquity, 99125.

Kathleen Morrison . 1994. The intensification of production: Archaeological approaches. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 1, 111–60.

Thomas Park . 1992. Early trends toward class stratification: Chaos, common property, and flood recession agriculture. American Anthropologist 94(1), 90117.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

TRaNS: Trans-Regional and -National Studies of Southeast Asia
  • ISSN: 2051-364X
  • EISSN: 2051-3658
  • URL: /core/journals/trans-trans-regional-and-national-studies-of-southeast-asia
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 54
Total number of PDF views: 188 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 265 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.