Geographical Location and Population
The province of Ifugao is located in the Northern Philippines (southeastern part of the Cordillera mountain ranges). It is a land-locked province and the Province's total land area is 251,778 hectares spread over eleven (11) municipalities. More than half of the entire area is classified as having very steep slopes, while only 8% range from level to undulating slopes. The rest is described as moderately sloping/steep. The 2000 year's census on population showed that the Province had population of 161,623 inhabitants. The poverty incidence (in 1997) is 61% thus ranking the Province as the second highest poverty incidence in the Cordillera Administrative Region.
Ifugao is derived from Ifugao, the name of the predominant ethnic group. It implies several meanings according to old myth. It means human beings, mortals or persons of the earth and also it means the common white rice variety which was first planted on the first rice terraces located on the hill.
Spanish military established their presence in Ifugao in the 1830s. During the Spanish period, Dominican friars tried to convert Ifugaos to Christianity, but failed. Hence, the Ifugao remained largely outside the pale of Spanish domination.
It was under the American regime that colonial rule was eventually established in Ifugao. Roads, schools and hospitals were built and tribal conflicts ceased.
During the Japanese occupation, the Japanese forces, headed by General Tomoyuki Yamashita, retreated to Wangwang where they held out against assaults of combined American and Filipino guerilla forces (in 1945). Finally, on September 2, 1945, General Yamashita came down from his mountain hideout and surrendered to US Army in Kiangan.
On 18 June 1966, the Province of Ifugao was from the Mountain Province by virtue of Republic Act No 4695.
Intangible Cultural Heritage
There are several forms of intangible culture in this area, such as, oral expressions, performing arts, social practices and knowledge practices about nature.
1. Hudhud Chant
The Hudhud are chanted principally by woman during harvest season, during death and binogwa(exhumation) rites using a highly poetic archaic language that is not being used by the Ifugao generation of today. Inscribed as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO in 2001, the Hudhud is non-ritual chant, which among other purposes, describe Ifugao world of old. As the chanters sing of the gallantry and exploits of Ifugao mythical heroes as well as their abounding wealth, prestige and authority in the community, the listener is toured to the complex yet amazingly harmonic structure of social organization, religious practices, customs, laws and material culture and environment.
A ritual ballad dealing with the supposed achievements of a culture hero and other precious items. It is chanted by the native priests in a prestige feast and during the burial rite.
A jovial parody done by a group of males and a group of females chanting alternately. This usually happens during prestige feasts when people get drunk.
Oral expressions of myths, legends, folk tales, and fables for entertainment and also for teaching the children some cultural values