Container (Punamhan)

Inventory number SA 31372
A wooden ritual box with a lid that was used by the Ifugao in rituals evoking high-yielding rice cultivation. It contains remains of pakhuy (unpeeled rice), momah (betel nut palm, Areca cathecu), cut runo or Chinese reed stalks (Miscanthus chinensis), a stone amulet, a small flat iron (resembles part of a blade that was used to harvest travel) and possibly a dried part of the momah plant. The contents of the box are remnants of ritual practices in which this object was used. After each ritual performed, ritual accessories were left behind in the box. Runo or Chinese reed stalks were sometimes used in healing rituals to invoke the soul. In some villages in Ifugao, Runo remains in ritual boxes may have been used to to record the number of pigs with which the rice fields associated with the ritual box had to be paid for. Text: Prof. Dr. Leah E. Abayao, Cordillera Studies Center, UP Baguio.

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