Philippine Ethnic Igorot Costumes; The Kalinga Native Costume
Male native costume
The "bag" (bahag) is the common costumes for male Igorots or Kalingas. It is a long woven material about 10 to 15 inches wide and 3 to 5 feet long.
Its main purpose is to cover the man's private parts. It's firmly secured at the waist to prevent the clothing from falling off and to ensure that it covers the male organs safely and properly.
Traditionally, there are no upper clothes for men. Tattoos are common in the upper body. The amount of tattoos indicates the male's authority in the village.
It can also denote how many enemies he has slain with his spear or bolo. Some Igorot or Kalinga costumes include a head gear adorned with feathers, and some arm bands.
Female native costume
On the other hand, the female Igorot or Kalinga costume consists of a large rectangular woven clothing about 3 to 5 feet wide, and 3 to 4 feet long.
It's simply worn like a skirt and secured around the waist. In the olden times, there were also no upper clothing for women, but as the modern era has come to influenced the new generation, earth colored blouses are now worn.
There are still some villages where married women go topless with the older generations. The new generation though has decided to wear upper clothing for decency purposes. However, going topless during the olden days was not considered indecent.
Men didn't eye women with impure thoughts, and there were no cases of rape. It was like Adam and Eve existing in the Garden of Eden before Eve got tempted by the devil.
During those times, being nude is pure and innocent and not an indecent exposure. The native beads or "bongol" in the Kalinga dialect usually adorns the woman's upper body.
The weight and amount of beads in the "bongol" indicate the status of the woman.
Richer and nobler women have heavier and multi-layered "bongols".
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