Bontoc Igorot gongs "Gangsa" with a jaw bone gong handle war trophy. Accordingly taken during WWII when the Japs passed Bontoc.
Provenance: Marcelino - Grandson of a Bontoc Headhunter
The gongs are already damaged. but the smaller one can still be played with a stick and can produce a good to decent sound. Sizes: Smaller gong - 11 inches. Bigger - 12.4"
When a head has been taken the victor usually starts at once for his pueblo, without waiting for the further issue of the battle. He brings the head to his ato and it is put in a small funnel-shaped receptacle, called “sak-o′-long,” which is tied on a post in the stone court of the fawi. The entire ato joins in a ceremony for the day and night; it is called “se′-dak.” A dog or hog is killed, the greater part of which is eaten by the old men of the ato, while the younger men dance to the rhythmic beats of the gangsa. On the next day, “chao′-is,” a month’s ceremony, begins. About 7 o’clock in the morning the old men take the head to the river. There they build a fire and place the head beside it, while the other men of the ato dance about it for an hour. All then sit down on their haunches facing the river, and, as each throws a small pebble into the water he says, “Man-i′-su, hu! hu! hu! Tukukan!”—or the name of the pueblo from which the head was taken. This is to divert the battle-ax of their enemy from their own necks. The head is washed in the river by sousing it up and down by the hair; and the party returns to the fawi where the lower jaw is cut from the head, boiled to remove the flesh, and becomes a handle for the victor’s gangsa. In the evening the head is buried under the stones of the fawi.
- The Bontoc Igorot by Albert Jenks
In Bontoc the gang′-sa (gong) is held vertically in the hand by a cord passing through two holes in the rim, and the cord usually has a human lower jaw attached to facilitate the grip.