Ear Adornment

In the Cordillera, the simple c- or kidney-shaped type of the lingling-o (among Bontok also dinumog or bitog) is the most common ear adornment. It was made of gold, silver, copper, or brass. Worn by both genders, women used it more frequently. Occasionally it was used as a neck adornment too. According to Maramba (1998: 70), the c-shape with the ends pointing inwards is equated with fertility; similar forms of ear adornments can be found in Indonesia. Villegas interprets it as uterus with opening vagina. He suggests that the stylized form with double-headed attachments represents the reproductive system with cubes and ovaries (1983: 188). Such kind of construction is not used by any of the groups in northern Luzon, however. Nevertheless, today modern reproductions are sold to tourists as “fertility symbols” (Maramba 1998: 74). (Ursula Brandl-Straka 2009: 36-37)

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