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>>>The word "Tinguian" may have been derived from the Malay 

word "tinggi," which means mountain or highlands, and may have 

been coined during the early Spanish period. As used by the 

Spanish colonizers, the word used to refer to all mountain people 

or hill tribes in the entire archipelago, living in places such as 

Zambales, Bohol, Basilan, and Mindanao. 


***Tinguians are wild remnants of Ilocanos.  Two general groupings exist: the valley Tinggian of the lower reaches of Abra province, who cultivate wet rice and maintain a concentrated and homogenous population; and the mountain Tinggian who rely on dry cultivation and root crops, and are much more sparse of population. They differ from all other Philippine groups in their taste for dressing in white; the women are known also for their extensive and heavily beaded lower arm ornaments. The political unit is the village, at the head of which is an elderly lakay assisted by a council of other elders.


(click the white underlined words for pictures)



Spanish Period



  Tinguian warriors shown here in the picture are posing with traditional bow and arrow,

fought with other Filipinos in the 1896 Revolution against Spain.

 (click WARRIORS. for  picture)



Performing Arts



VILLAGE DANCE. Tinguian dances are performed

today in a variety of costumes during ceremonial occasions.

(click VILLAGE DANCE. for picture)


The nose flute called kulaleng is played by Tinguian males 

during courtship, as do their neighbors in the Cordillera. 

NOSE FLUTE played by a Tinguian man.           

( click here for another picture )


>>>Among the most popular of Tinguian songs are the rice-pounding songs. Ceremonial occasions such as wedding, funerals, and anniversaries require that rice be pounded until they are well polished. The rice pounders, commonly women and young maids, sing these songs in rhythm to the pounding of rice.



In many cultures as among the Tinguian, a daily chore can become a ceremonial ritual with chant and dance movements.

(click RICE POUNDING. for picture)






A white detailed skirt is worn by the ladies.                    


                           The men of the village are, most of the times, armed 

with their bow and arrow together with a war shield 

shown at the left side of the page. 

(click HERE for another picture)




Tinguians of today only where costumes during important ceremonials. Traditions, however, are still being practiced by the locals. To date, most Tinguians can be found in the land of Abra.