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Resistance through Ritual Feasts: The Role of Domesticated Pigs (Philippine Sus scrofa) in Ifugao’s Fight against Spanish Colonialism

Author(s): Queeny Lapeña ; Stephen Acabado

Year: 2017

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Successful resistance against a colonizing power involves effective martial organization and a complex polity. Due to violence and diseases, established polities in the Americas and the Philippines were devastated following Spanish conquest. Nevertheless, several groups have been documented as actively resisting conquest by establishing settlements in remote mountainous settlements. In the Philippines, scholars have suggested that Spanish conquest of the Magat Valley urged the Ifugao to strategically resettle in the Cordillera Mountains between AD 1600 and 1700. Shortly after, they adopted wet-rice agriculture and built extensive rice terraces. The subsistence shift was accompanied by an increase in the consumption of domesticated pigs, a pattern that we argue is associated with increased ritual feasting. The agricultural movement, hence, established a ranked society that awarded political power to individuals skilled in mobilizing the community. This paper argues that the ritual consumption of domesticated pigs in feasts was entangled in the maintenance of the ranked social order that emerged from Ifugao’s resistance against Spanish conquest. In the Philippines and elsewhere in the globe, local interpolity conflict is linked with the expansion of ritual feasting. This investigation presents a case where feasts politically and economically consolidated previously dispersed Ifugao communities.

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Resistance through Ritual Feasts: The Role of Domesticated Pigs (Philippine Sus scrofa) in Ifugao’s Fight against Spanish Colonialism. Queeny Lapeña, Stephen Acabado. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 428984)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17240

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America