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I am a Filipina Igorot from philippines and would love to share to you , some beliefs of our ancestor when it comes to death.........the bontoc igorot does not take death very sorrowfully, and he does not take it at all passionately. A mother weeps a day for a dead child or her husband, but death is said not to bring tears from any man. Death causes no long or loud lamentation, no tearing of the hair or cutting the body; it effects no somber colors to deaden the emotions; no earth or ashes for the body—all widespread mourning customs among primitive peoples. However, when a child or mature man or woman dies the women assemble and sing and wail a melancholy dirge, and they ask the departed why he went so early. But for the aged there are neither tears nor wailings—there is only grim philosophy. “You were old,” they say, “and old people die. You are dead, and now we shall place you in the earth. We too are old, and soon we shall follow you.”
All people die at the instance of an anito or gods or spirit.
The spirit of the person who dies a so-called natural death is called away by an anito/ gods.
A wise, rich man and the oldest man of Bontoc, heard an anito saying, “Come, it is much better in the mountains; come.” The sick old man laboriously walked from to the house of his oldest son, where he had for nearly twenty years taken his food, and there among his children and friends he died on that night....
Just before he died a chicken was killed, and the old people gathered at the house, cooked the chicken, and ate, inviting the ancestral anitos spirits and the departing spirit of rich man to the feast.
Shortly after this the spirit of the live man passed from the body searching the mountain spirit land for kin and friend. They closed the old man's eyes, washed his body and on it put the blue burial robe with the white “anito” figures woven in it as a stripe.
They fashioned a rude, high-back chair with a low seat,and bound the dead man in it, fastening him by bands about the waist, the arms, and head—the vegetal band entirely covering the open mouth. His hands were laid in his lap. The chair was set close up before the door of the house, with the corpse facing out. Four nights and days it remained there in full sight of those who passed.
One-half the front wall of the dwelling and the interior partitions except the sleeping compartment were removed to make room for those who sat in the dwelling. Most of these came and went without function, but day and night two young women sat or stood beside the corpse always brushing away the flies which sought to gather at its nostrils.
Nowhere was there visible any sign of fear or awe or wonder. The women sitting about spun threads on their thighs for making skirts; they talked and laughed and sang at will.
"Now you are dead; we are all here to see you. We have given you all things necessary, and have made good preparation for the burial. Do not come to call away [to kill] any of your relatives or friends".
on the 4th day coffin is ready. Two men untied the bands from the corpse, and one lifted it free from the chair and carried it in his arms to the coffin.
many ceremonies followed until the rich man buried.
Thank you so much for sharing your ancestor's ways Alpha.
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