Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 39.djvu/403

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389
THE QUIANGANES OF LUZON.

persons, relatives or friends. They work a day for one, a second day for another, and so on, till each one is given his turn—the owner of the field cultivated for the day having to board the whole company. There are also day-laborers who work for the wealthy, and besides their board receive wages in chickens or rice. Their industry is not much developed. Their smiths make of iron axes, lance-heads, knives for cutting rice, and short wood-knives. Their best lance-heads and their gansas—a kind of guitar, mounted with bronze and copper—come from the valley of Japao. They make a flute of a reed, which they blow with their nostrils.

The Quianganes recognize the classes of nobles and plebeians. Nobility is a personal character and not hereditary. He is noble who is rich, and among these again those are most eminent who have distinguished themselves as head-hunters; for the Quianganes are a head-hunting tribe. But wealth alone is not sufficient to make any one noble; it is necessary also to go through a certain established ceremonial. The newly rich plebeian who would enter the aristocratic class notifies the people of his own and the neighboring villages of his intention, whereupon a general rejoicing prevails in anticipation of the feasting and drinking that are to come. The finest tree is selected from the wood and felled, and from it is hewn a figure that looks as much as anything else like an animal set erect, from which the legs have been cut off. All the guests work upon this figure, while they are entertained at the expense of the candidate for noble honors. When the statue is finished, it is left lying in the woods, and the company return to their homes. After the end of the field-work, the company go again to the woods for the statue, which is called Tagabi, to take it to the candidate's village; a task which is attended by numerous ceremonies. The train joins in a festal march, on which the host strews the road with rice. The transportation of the Tagabi is not accomplished in a single day, for the party all go back to their ranches after the first feast; and it is not till the third day that the ceremonial entry of the statue into the village takes place. The figure is deposited under the house of the candidate, and the grand feast follows by which he is received into the caste of the nobles; but to remain there only as long as he is wealthy: wherefore the nobles, to preserve the recognition of their rank, are obliged to give from time to time ocular demonstration of their ability to hold it, by feasting the plebeians and the poor. In this way they often fall into the hands of usurers; and they rarely keep their wealth together long enough to leave it, with its accompanying nobility, to their sons. The sons, nevertheless, even if they have become plebeians, believe that they are honored, and have a special pride in calling themselves sons of nobles.