Honga, Bolwa, Katlu: A Cultural Analysis of The Ifugao Traditions

Author: Romana Dulnuan (Nueva Vizcaya State University, The Philippines)
Speaker: Romana Dulnuan
Topic: Anthropological Linguistics
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2020 General Session


The Ifugaos found in the northern part of the Philippines are an ethnolinguistic group who still observe various rituals and traditions despite modern technology and other interventions. These traditions are aged old ones as they were cited in the narration of their Hudhud, an oral literature, which was declared as a world heritage by UNESCO in 2001 and their mythology

To me who is an Ifugao native, the Hudhud offers cultural discourses and analysis on the rich semantic aspects. This study then explores three major local constructs unique to the Ifugao culture found in the oral literature like their Hudhud: Honga (ritual performed where an old man or woman bestows his/her blessings to his/her children before s/he dies); Bolwa (a practice of meat sharing) and Katlu (the observance of the third day which is the most significant day when keeping wake for the dead).

The study uses discourse analysis in eliciting cultural heritage found in the oral literature like the Hudhud. Autoethnography and narratives from the Ifugao elders are also necessary to further deepen the understanding and meaning of honga, bolwa and katlu in the context of today’s generations. In doing so, the oral literature especially the Hudhud as a cultural heritage secures its cultural space from the rest of the world.

Keywords: Cultural analysis, honga, bogwa, katlu