43 images Created 21 Aug 2014
Every year in the Cordillera mountains of Luzon a ritual is held to celebrate the end of the rice harvest season. Over a two day period, three barangays gather to give thanks and blessings of post harvest with the celebration culminating in a ‘punnuk’ (tug-of-war) which is held in a river flowing through the heritage rice terraces. Throughout the two day period all processes are performed by a ‘ritual specialist,’ a person ordained specifically to administer the various blessings required. The first day known as ‘huwah’ proceeds at the house of a prominent elder who will receive other respected members of the community and guests to partake in the drinking of a rice wine especially fermented for this event (the rice harvest blessing). Before and during the opening of the wine the ‘ritual specialist’ will conduct a blessing which takes the form of verbal chanting. The blessing involves five areas of tribal spiritual beliefs that need to be satisfied for the post harvest. The following day the ‘punnuk’ takes place in the river – as a means of cleansing the soul and spirit with organic figurines being offered to the river as a means of thanksgiving. The event is a time for the whole community to come together in unity to celebrate. Three barangays challenge each other in the tug-of-war ritual with men,women & children partaking. Instead of rope two long sturdy branches known as a ‘pakid’ are interlocked & bound together. The celebration was revived in 1999 but 2014 was the first year outside visitors were allowed to attend.