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  Early Cagayan Culture

That the early inhabitants of Cagayan lived in villages which were properly organized and which maintained trade and security relations with one another gives proof of the kind of culture which existed among them already at that time. They were not nomads, they practiced agriculture. They raised livestock which they had brought from the lands of their provenance or domesticated those that they found in the new homeland. They wove cloth from plant fibers and kapok thread. They fashioned household and farm implements from metal. They cooked their food in pots and vessels made of clay.

With the kuribaw, the tulali and the kuritang, they made warlike, playful or sad music with the aid of which they passed on top their children the beauty of the anomie which conveyed, besides their history and legends, their lore about the mores which the tribe was supposed to keep sacred and inviolable.

In their society the kammaranan held sway over the kelian, and he who was in default for unsettled debts, or was taken captive in battle, became an aripan deprived of active or passive voice in the affairs of the community, and bereft of personal liberty until he was redeemed or rescued by kith or kin. Governance was exercised through an urayan with executive powers, an ukom who was the judge, and the kammaranan upon whose counsel policies and regulations were adopted. When the tribe went to war, a mengal led the vuggayawan (army), and for missions of conciliation and appeasement, a kagun acted the role of today's ambassador.

Worshipping beside the deities of nature spirits of their ancients, the Cagayanes were a religious people who received revelations from the spirit world through dreams, and communicated with the great beyond through the ministrations of female shamans.


from Vignettes About Cagayan and the Cagayanos
by Msgr. Domingo Mallo-Peņaflor



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