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Hunter's Backpack, Luzon, Philippines

Hunter's backpack, inabnūtan
Ifugao, Luzon Island, Philippines
Plaited construction
Rattan and palm fiber
2001.35.6 “Igorot” is the generic name of the several groups of people living in the inner part of the northern Philippine island of Luzon. These people, among other things, share linguistic and artistic commonalities and, a shared history in resisting the colonizing influences of the Spanish. Most groups identify themselves with the name of their village, although this is not always strictly the case, with the most often cited being the Bontoc and Ifugao groups. This part of the world is known for its beautifully terraced rice fields set within emerald green hills and, for the ingenious irrigation system that refreshes them. Rice plays a central part in both everyday and ceremonial practices for the people of this region as does basketry which, is used for food, adornment, religious events and surrounds all pivotal life events. In general, Luzon baskets share many similarities in type and style with the individualistic group traits appearing in the embellishment and construction methods.
This backpack would have been worn by a man on a long hunting journey. The basket portion of the backpack is worn so that it is sheltered between the pack and the man’s back. It would carry food and other necessities for the hunter’s trip and, if the trip was prosperous, it would be filled with meat upon return to the village. The layers of palm fiber are decorative and serve to protect the wearer from environmental conditions, most importantly rainwater that the palm fibers are able to repel keeping both man and basket contents dry.
All images and text under copyright. Please contact Collection Department for permission to use. Information subject to change with further research.
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