Saturday, September 15, 2012

Begnas,an Igorot Celebration

by: Felisa Daskeo

Begnas is pronounced as (buhg - nas)

 This is an Igorot celebration before harvest time.  The old men have the greatest influence on the celebration.  They plan and decide what must be done.
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Begnas is an Igorot community celebration with offerings and sacrifices believed to cause an abundance of harvest.  This is usually celebrated before the harvest time.  Being mostly farmers depending on crops, the Igorots have their own beliefs and practices that make harvest season productive. Begnas practiced by the Igorot ancestors was handed down to the next generations who have inherited such practices and even this new technology has not impeded the Igorots to celebrate Begnas.  Just like other cultures, Begnas is as important as life to the Igorots.  This is one of the most important celebrations that Igorots celebrate up to this day.

The Begnas starts with prior meetings of the headmen (composed of the oldest men in town), to plan the different activities of the said celebration. 

Every family head is involved and contributes to the animals to be sacrificed.  The celebration is a community event that involves every household in the community.  Whatever expenses incurred are shared by the community.

At the appointed time, usually before the cocks crow at dawn, people bring their shields and spears and head to the designated place for the purpose on the mountain peak.   A mock tribal war will take place which sometimes cause injuries but treated with unconcern because it is considered a blessing. 

After the mock tribal war, the participating group will walk back to the community while they beat their shields and chant the victory ballad.  At the crack of dawn, the men are already gathered in the Ato, (a special place of meeting for celebrations).  This is the starting place of the Begnas where everyone in the community or barangay is invited to join.  Men, women and the children can participate in the merry-making which includes beating the gongs and dancing the native dances.  Some gather around the Ato and chant the ballads.

Begnas is one of the most important celebrations in the community or barangay and where every family household is expected to give contributions such as food and wine.  The Igorot wine is called Tapey- wine made from fermented rice.

The celebration usually lasts for three days but it could be extended for days depending on the quality of the pig’s bile which is inspected by the pagan priests after the pig is butchered.  The signs are seen in the bile of the pig according to the pagan priests. 

If the bile shows good signs then the festivity is over but if the priests declare a negative sign, the festivity can extend for a few days with one pig sacrificed every day until the desired bile is seen.

The Begnas requires strict rules.  Nobody is allowed to go to work or leave the community until the bile of the pig meets the satisfaction and judgment of the pagan priests.

Begnas is still celebrated to this day in Igorot communities and barangays.   

Important words:

ato - this is a place in the community used asa venuee for rituals.

begnas - special Igorot celebration as an offering before harvest time.

Copyright 2012 Felisa Daskeo

9 comments:

Unknown said...

We like this blog and want to periodically feature it in our Igorot mobile app for others to easily view on their smartphones. None of your content will be changed. We hope this is okay with you. Please reply by emailing us at pocketigorot@gmail.com

Felisa Daskeo said...

Sorry just logged in today and saw your comment. Yes, I'd love too.

rj said...

Good day, ma'am!

I am a Mass Communication student from FEU and currently enrolled in a subject called Thesis Writing. I am working on a research entitled Global Village: The Role Blogging in Asserting Igorot Identity. Upon browsing the internet for bloggers who blog about Igorots ma'am, I was fortunate to found your blogsite called Tan-O The Igorot Blogs. I have browsed your blog entries and they really are promoting how rich and awesome Igorot culture is. With this regard, I believe ma'am that you are the perfect person who can give me useful data that I could use to enrich my research. I humbly ask for an online interview with you ma'am. The questions will be sent to you via email. I am really hoping for your positive response, ma'am. Thank you and God bless!

Respectfully yours,
RJ Sangcap

rj said...

Good day, ma'am!

I am a Mass Communication student from FEU and currently enrolled in a subject called Thesis Writing. I am working on a research entitled Igorots In the Global Village: The Role Of Blogging In Asserting Igorot Identity as Reflected in Selected Igorot-based blogs. Upon browsing the internet for bloggers who blog about Igorots ma'am, I was fortunate to found your blogsite called Tan-O The Igorot Blogs. I have browsed your blog entries and they really are promoting how rich and awesome Igorot culture is. With this regard, I believe ma'am that you are the perfect person who can give me useful data that I could use to enrich my research. I humbly ask for an online interview with you ma'am. The questions will be sent to you via email. I am really hoping for your positive response, ma'am. Thank you and God bless!

Respectfully yours,
Reyjohn Mark Sangcap
09358276127

Felisa Daskeo said...

Send me questions and I'll answer them with my best ability.

rj said...

Ma'am we have already sent the questions to your facebook account. But I will also post it here ma'am. Thank you so much ma'am.

rj said...

Ma'am, here are the questions:

1. What topics do you commonly write about?

2. What made you decide to blog about being an Igorot?

3. Do you think blogging is an effective way to assert your identity?

4. Do you receive feedbacks from your readers? How often?

5. What are their common reactions or views about your blogs?

6. What are the challenges you face as an Igorot blogger from followers or commenters who are not Igorots?

7. What advantages did blogging have brought to your identity as an Igorot?

8. Do you believe that blogging could be effective in asserting indigenous identity despite its limited readership?

9. Who are the frequent readers/visitors of your blogs?

10. What do you think are the reactions of Igorot bloggers after reading your blog entries?

11. What do you think are the reactions of non-igorots reader after reading your blog entries?

Ma'am, may we also ask for your Full Name, Age, Birthdate and Birthplace and Educational background ma'am. We assure you that this is just for academic purpose. You can email your answer ma'am at reyjohnsangcap@yahoo.com Thank you ma'am.

It would be a big help for me and my team ma'am. We almost lose our hope ma'am because we couldnt find another Igorot-based blog that is as good as yours ma'am. We are very happy that you noticed our request.

rj said...

Ma'am, here are the questions:

1. What topics do you commonly write about?

2. What made you decide to blog about being an Igorot?

3. Do you think blogging is an effective way to assert your identity?

4. Do you receive feedbacks from your readers? How often?

5. What are their common reactions or views about your blogs?

6. What are the challenges you face as an Igorot blogger from followers or commenters who are not Igorots?

7. What advantages did blogging have brought to your identity as an Igorot?

8. Do you believe that blogging could be effective in asserting indigenous identity despite its limited readership?

9. Who are the frequent readers/visitors of your blogs?

10. What do you think are the reactions of Igorot bloggers after reading your blog entries?

11. What do you think are the reactions of non-igorots reader after reading your blog entries?

Ma'am, may we also ask for your Full Name, Age, Birthdate and Birthplace and Educational background ma'am. We assure you that this is just for academic purpose. You can email your answer ma'am at reyjohnsangcap@yahoo.com Thank you ma'am.

It would be a big help for me and my team ma'am. We almost lose our hope ma'am because we couldnt find another Igorot-based blog that is as good as yours ma'am. We are very happy that you noticed our request.

rj said...

Sana po mabasa nyo agad.