Tuesday, January 5, 2016

"Baskang" - Igorot Ritual for the Newly Married Couple or a Young Family

by: Felisa Daskeo

Like all other Filipino ethnic groups, Igorots have their own practices and beliefs that identify them from other Filipinos. This practice has been handed from generation to generation but it is not anymore recognized by the new generation. Except for a very few, the “baskang” is a never heard word to the young generation.

"Baskang" is the first Cañao for a starting family or newly married couple to provide material blessings as well as bliss to the young family. Igorots believe that performing the ritual and asking “kabunian” – the Igorot God and all the spirits of those departed- blessings will make life easier and happier for the young family.
Prior preparations are made by the family weeks before the ceremony. 

Here are the offerings made during “Baskang”.
3 pigs
One cow
A boar
A piglet
4 chickens

In addition to these, several wine jars have been readied before the celebration. Since this is a feast, three cavans of rice or ten baskets of camote (sweet potato) are also included.  The quantity of food and rice wine prepared is determined by the number of people to be invited.

The well wishers may bring gifts for the celebrants. Gifts come in cash or in kind, there are always abundance of gifts in kind such as palay, chickens, and other food items during the celebration.

On the day of the celebration, the guests and neighbors will feast on food and wine.

The “Baskang” and all other celebrations are observed by the Igorots with so much faith. From the day of the celebration up to the 7th day, the family observes utter state of idleness. The “ngilin” or the holiday for the family is like a seclusion time. The family will put a “pudong”- reeds knotted at the end and tied on the gate or entrance to the house- to warn people that the family is not to be disturbed or visited. On this occasion, nobody should attempt to enter the gate or knock on the door because it is strictly prohibited to enter the abode of a family celebrating a ritual. Celebrations are considered very sacred and no interference is made.

On the third day of the one week holiday observance for the family, a chicken is to be sacrificed and on the 7th day, a sow is butchered to signify the termination of the celebrant’s period of seclusion or “ngilin”.

After the ceremony, the celebrants can now engage in any endeavor. And henceforth, the husband can sit among the group of exclusive men who are regarded with higher esteem by virtue of the cañao they performed. This will make the man part of the well respected men in the community who can qualify for community leadership.

Read more here:

Cañao Explained

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