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Boni, a traditional Igorot healing ritual

Boni is a traditional Igorot healing ritual, performed by an elder in the village for the treatment of a wide range of ailments.

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via igorotage.com

Boni is an Igorot traditional healing ritual, still in use in the Cordillera up to this day. It is performed by a village elder or "mambunong" for the treatment of a wide range of illnesses - including cancer, debility, or to counter witchcraft and spells.

After prayers invoking the gods and spirits, while partaking in the drinking of "tapey" or rice wine, the elder or mambunong orders the slaughter of a native "black" pig.

The slaughter is performed using the "tudok" method, stabbing the pig in the upper lateral chest to cause internal bleeding. The pig is then placed atop embers of burning wood for about an hour. The animal is opened and the liver is removed and presented to the mambunong.

Offering pigs to the spirits.
Offering pigs to the spirits.

The healer checks the quality of the liver and if it's "healthy" looking, applies it to the ailing part. If the liver looks "unhealthy", it is discarded and another pig - sometimes as many as four or five - is slaughtered until an appropriate healthy looking liver is obtained.

After the healing ritual, the healer, family and villagers divide the pig remains. When the patient's family is unable to do an outright purchase for the pigs, payment is usually made as barter of goods or labor.

Source:


Born Igorot, Die Igorot


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