Elite formation and wet-rice access in the northern Philippine highlands

Author(s): Madeleine Yakal; Stephen Acabado

Year: 2016


Elite formation and development of cultural complexity in the Philippines have been considered to be a product of long-distance trade and interaction beginning at ca. AD 1000. Proxy indicators for this political shift have been based on increasing centralization of pottery production and consumption. In the highlands, however, we see an alternative basis for elite formation; one based on access to wet rice and the ability to sponsor feasts. In this paper, we explore the development of social status and pottery production in Ifugao, as the Spanish pushed lowlanders to the Cordillera. Based on pottery analysis, zooarchaeological and archaeobotanical data sets, we argue that there is no relationship between pottery production and and elite formation in Ifugao; instead, Ifugao elite status is associated with rice and rice terraces.

Cite this Record

Elite formation and wet-rice access in the northern Philippine highlands. Madeleine Yakal, Stephen Acabado. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403368)


Elites Pottery Status

Geographic Keywords
East/Southeast Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;