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A woman chanting after drinking pigs blood. The Abelling Tribe believe that Anitos (spirits) will reveal to them certain parts of their future by inhabiting the body of a tribe elder for a given time. For this to happen, the elders perform a long-standing ritual that lasts for three days. There is constant dancing where spirits enter the bodies of the elders and on the last day a pig is sacrificed and the elders drink the blood of the dying pig. (Tarlac, Philippines)

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Two Agta men catch an octopus on the northeast coast of Isabela. The men use a metal spear to pierce the octopus hiding in the rock and takes the two of them to pull it out. Most Agta fishermen use a pair of goggles made from wood, glass, and rubberbands, a metal spear propelled by a heavy rubber band, and occasionally a small steel barbed head attached to a line and a wooden shaft. However, today you can see many Agta men wearing plastic, manufactured goggles. Agta fishermen can stay out for hours at a time hunting fish and other marine life. (Isabela, Philippines)

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Agta are traditionally nomadic hunter-gatherers living in small temporary camps widely-scattered over several thousand square kilometers of dense rainforest in the Sierra Madre of eastern Luzon. Today they are most definitely a post-foraging society as they changed from foragers to peasants in the 1980s. The most salient activity of Agta men was hunting wild pig, deer, and monkey with bow and arrow. Much of their time is spent in collecting forest products for trade: wild game, rattan, honey, tree resin, orchids, etc. (Thomas Headland) (Isabela, Philippines)

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An Agta father taking time to look after his child while waiting for the rain to clear. Typically, there are very defined roles for men and women within the many indigenous groups throughout the archipelago. Women tend to be the caretakers of their young children while men are often the ones making a living or gathering food for the family. (Isabela, Philippines)

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Agta children playing a game of basketball on the side of their home. Popular Filipino sports have been adopted by many indigenous groups, basketball being the most significant. In rural villages, children games such as holen (marbles), shatong (stick flinging) and sungkit-goma (rubber bands) are also commonly played. (Isabela, Philippines)

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Agta women and children talking around a fire while heating water for coffee. Eating and socializing is an important time each day for community members to talk and build relationships. Dogs also enjoy the heat of the fire during rainy weather. This particular community is small with roughly eight families and almost everyone is related to each other in some way. Rice, sugar, coffee and tobacco are important items in villages like this one, but are often hard to come by because of the cost. Many times, instead of being purchased, these items will be traded for in exchange for fresh fish, maize, or other products collected from the forest. (Cagayan, Philippines)

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Nager, a Badjao fisherman, preparing to dive from his boat while his son waits onboard. Spearfishing in these waters takes a lot of time and concentration. Many of the larger fish have already been over-fished by more destructive means and it can take hours of effort to find small sized fish. Badjaos are noted for their exceptional abilities in free-diving, with physical adaptations that enable them to see better and dive longer underwater. Divers work long days with the “greatest daily apnea diving time reported in humans” of greater than 5 hours per day submerged. Some Badjaos intentionally rupture their eardrums at an early age in order to facilitate diving and hunting at sea. Many older Badjaos are therefore hard of hearing. (Davao del Sur, Mindanao, Philippines)

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A Badjao spearfisherman diving underwater to look for fish while a family member waits above. Badjao fishermen in this region of Mindanao often have to spend many hours searching for food because of the areas depleted fisheries. (Davao del Sur, Mindanao, Philippines)

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Two Ibanag boys using a bamboo raft on the Pinacanauan River, a tributary of the Cagayan River. The Ibanags are an ethnolinguistic minority numbering a little more than half a million people, who inhabit the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya. They are one of the largest ethnolinguistic minorities in the Philippines and speak the same language under the same name. Ibanag is also known as “Ybanag” and “Ybanak” or “Ibanak” and is derived from the Cagayan River\’s ancient name, Bannag. (Cagayan, Philippines)

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Much of the culture and life in the Cordilleras revolves around rice. From planting to harvest, each period represents a time that is honored and sacred in its own way. Rice is the staple crop for most of the indigenous groups in this region and they have built some of the biggest and most advanced rice terraces in the world. These terraces represent an ancient and sustainable system for communal rice production. To this day many of the tribes still practice thanksgiving rituals before planting and at harvest time. The Begnas ritual for the Kankanaey and the Bumayah for the Ifugao people are two examples of this. (Kalinga, Cordilleras, Philippines)

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