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Ifugao Ceremonial Trophy Boar Skull Plate

Ifugao Ceremonial Trophy Boar Skull Plate

Regular price €320,00
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Ifugao people, early to mid. 20th century, Cordillera, Northen Luzon, Philippines.

Fascinating and unusual aged ceremonial trophy plate. The Ifugao are an ethnic group that lives in a mountainous region of north-central Luzon, Philippines. They are former headhunters who are famous for their spectacular mountain-hugging rice terraces, which had once been hailed the "eight wonder of the world". Ifugao religion has an elaborate cosmology and more than a thousand important spirits (anitos). These spirits have precise locations in the Ifugao universe that carry with specific roles and duties. They cover almost of every aspect of life: war, peace, fishing, weaving, rain, disease etc. In addition to the spirits there are deities who are immortal and have the power to change form. Ifugaos believe in 6 worlds, Skyworld (Kabunyan, the place where deities are), Earthworld (Pugaw), Underworld (Dalom), the Eastern world (Lagud), the Western world (Daya), and the Spiritual world (Kadungayan). The Ifugaos include nature and ancestor worship, and participate in rituals (baki) presided over by a shaman (mumbaki), Priests (munagao and mumbini) guide the people in rites for good fortune. It is not unusual for a half dozen pigs, one buffalo (carabao) and scores of chickens to be sacrified during these ceremonies or rituals.

Finely hand carved wooden plate with two massive boar jawbones with sacred stone lashed together. Old smoked dark patina and rattan weaving for mounting or hanging on ceiling in the interior of an Ifugao hut where it was used as ritual decoration and sign of wealth. Good condition. Age-related wear, chip and fractures. Signs of ceremonial use over many years. Size approx. 32,0cm x 22,0 x 24,0cm.

Provenance: Dutch private collection

References and further reading:

Ifugao, Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life, 24 Jan. 2022  (

Vanishing Tribes, Alain Cheneviére, Doubleday & Co, Garden City, New York, 1987.

Ifugao, Facts and Details (

Philippine Basketry of the Luzon Cordillera from the Fowler Museum UCLA.(

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