Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Igorot Way of Honoring the Dead

Igorots have high regard and respect to their dead.  The wake is very important.  The wake is a very significant event that needs special attention from all the community people. As soon as a member of a family dies, donations of all kinds from every household are brought to the aggrieved family. The community people try their best to make things easier for the grieving family. Aside from money and donations in kind, the aggrieved family will get the best help from all the people. The Igorots are very organized in times of calamities. Everybody is willing to give a hand in whatever way they can. There are always things to be done like preparing the food, washing the dishes and others.  At night time when the workers have come from work, they will always go and pay their last respect to the dead.




While the dead in the cities and other parts of the world are left in the care of funeral homes, the Igorots take care of their own dead at home.

The coffin is usually made by the men and the dead is usually buried in the yard. Today because there are cemeteries, most people bury their dead in the cemeteries.

My grandparents were all buried in their yard but my mother and father were buried in the cemetery. You would be surprised to see a tomb in the middle of the rice terraces or a tomb just in front of the house, because this is a part of the igorot culture.  Although in the modern world, people are advised to bury their dead in the cemetery for health reasons. This is not strictly enforced since culture cannot be altered.

The interment is considered a holiday in the community. People will not go to work because they have to attend the burial first before going to work. You can see at least one member of each family giving cash or in kind to the aggrieved family during the burial day; it could be rice, sugar, or anything in order to give aid to the family in need.

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