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Ifugao prestige symbol shell belt "Ginuttu"

Circa late 19th - early 20th century Ifugao Igorot Shell belt called "Ginuttu". It is one of the most highly prized heirloom among the Ifugao's worn only by the kadangyan (upper class) as a sign of prestige.


The belt is worn only by men of the social elite or kadangyan class. Boys can wear them during and after their elevation to the rank of kadangyan. Their use is limited to festive occasions such as marriage, funeral rites, successful headhunting raid dances and canyao's. The ginuttu is worn like an officer's sash except that the overlapping part is not worn on the side but in front. The belt is fixed at the waist usually from somewhere at the right side to the upper part of the left thigh and then allowed to hang loose at the left side.

The bolo (big knife), with its rattan wrapped handle, is inserted in a kind of wooden half-sheath to prevent the wearer from injury, but leaves the knife bare at the outside where one or more rings of rattan keep it in place. The knife and sheath are attached by rattan or string to the ginuttu. Reference: "Form & Splendor" by Roberto Maramba


These parts may or may have not been missing on the belt.

1. brass clamp (only one is present - it maybe two)

2. star shaped design made from water buffalo horn usually seen part of the upod the biggest shell (buckle) . (not always the case - other ginuttu's have none)

3. bolo / big knife


(Approximate) Length as pictured: 48 inches, diameter of the upod: 4 inches, diameter of shells (left of the image) 1.5 - 2 inches. right 1- 1.5 inches.

ifugao belt prestige symbol

ifugao belt prestige symbol


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  • Shipping Weight (Plus Packaging): 1200grams