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ANTH 202 Grief and a Headhunter’s Rage By Renato Rosaldo SUMMARY: Renato Rosaldo and his wife, Michelle Rosaldo, went to Ilongot to study the people of Luzon in the northern Philippines’ culture for 30 months (1967–69, 1974). He focused on a specific part of their culture; the Ilongot’s traditions in dealing with grief. They headhunt, cutting of human heads, as means to release their rage; as a way of venting with the hopes to throw away the anger of his bereavement with the act of severing and tossing the head. Originally, Rosaldo associated grief with sadness and could not comprehend the rage of the Ilongot. It was only after losing his wife to a tragic accident did he begin to grasp what compels a man to sever another human’s head ILONGOT PEOPLE: - 3,500 and reside in an upland area some 90 miles northeast of Manila, Philippines. - Survive by hunting deer and wild pig and by cultivating rain-fed gardens with rice, sweet potatoes, manioc, and vegetables. - After marriage, parents and their married daughters live in the same or adjacent households. - Largest unit within the society: bertan - Headhunting is most important practice •Celebrated with song, music, and dance… It’s supposed to give the raiders a sense of wellbeing - Anger is an emotional state much more celebrated than denied (contrasts American culture) HEADHUNTING - Not an exchange - The victim of a beheading was not an exchanged for the death of one’s own kin - In 1972, Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law; headhunting was barred and it was rumored that firing squads had become the new punishment. §Ilongots considered converting to evangelical Christianity as means of coping with the grief and abandoning headhunting§Contrast between those who wished to renounce headhunting and those who contemplated going on headhunting rages - Headhunting: •The raiders call the spirits of the potential victims, bid their ritual farewells, and seek favorable omens along the trail.