Health and nutritional stress in Pericolonial Ifugao, Philippines


The Ifugao of the highland Philippines responded to Spanish colonial incursions in adjacent lowland towns in the early 1600s by consolidating their political, social, and economic resources. This period saw the introduction of wet-rice agriculture and subsequent expansion of irrigated terraced agriculture in the region. These social and economic changes suggest an increased reliance on rice and a decreased dependence on a broad-spectrum diet. It is hypothesized that changes in diet and larger population density would be reflected in deteriorating health of the population. For this study 23 fetal to early juvenile (24 months) skeletons and teeth as well as the fragmentary teeth and skeletons of six adults recovered from the Old Kiyyangan Village site were analyzed for health and diet data, including a subset analyzed for light stable isotopes. Adult are generally healthy. Fetal and sub-adult health indicate maternal nutritional stress during gestation as well as nutritional stress and the possibility of trauma in the first years of life. These patterns are stable through time, from before the Spanish colonial incursion through the abandonment of the village. Light stable isotope analyses also find that the diet remained relatively steady throughout the time period of intensifying wet rice production.

Cite this Record

Health and nutritional stress in Pericolonial Ifugao, Philippines. Adam Lauer, Stephen Acabado, Chin-hsin Liu, John Krigbaum. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429804)

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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17101